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Inspirational Drake: Because Getting A Forehead Tattoo Is Too Much

A series on the stuff that delighted us on the Internet this year. READ MORE

Bon Iver, Brooklyn, Last Night

The moon over Prospect Park last night was exceptionally nice. Justin Vernon, the lead singer of Bon Iver, took careful notice of this. “Take a look at the moon, it’s really awesome," he told a crowd. Everyone erupted in cheers for the moon because Justin said so. READ MORE

A Miracle Fruit Party and Its Attendant Trend Story

"Nothing is certain but death and taxes" and, since 2007, "trend pieces about miracle fruit parties." Oh yes: "The miracle fruit party" is the trend piece that just won't die, despite that there have likely been more feature stories about miracle fruit parties than there have been actual miracle fruit parties. READ MORE

The "Food Porn" Party

Food porn is one of the Internet's veritable viral cornerstones. Pictures of wacky cupcakes, fusion fried chicken or an incredible, competitive array of deviled eggs get reblogged viciously by legions of salivating fans. In an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist and assess what's to be the next "hot thing all the young, hip and/or upwardly mobile people are doing," I filmed my first amateur food porn. READ MORE

Murray Hill: Frat City?

New Yorkers with self-respect try to avoid the Murray Hill scene at all costs. It's been universally branded as a Manhattan's frattiest neighborhood, a place where the newly graduated roam free in backwards hats and do keg stands and attempt to avoid being Iced. But is this really the case? Are the residents up on Murray Hill really the frattiest of the fratty, or is it all just an exaggeration borne out of the casual disdain with which more established citizens view the kids today? READ MORE

A Visit to the Wall Street Duane Reade

At yesterday's opening of Duane Reade's new store at 40 Wall Street, three men in suits sat under a rolling stock ticker and had what seemed to be the first ever power lunch held in a drug store. I gravitated towards the someone who I thought was the manager of the store: I wanted to understand why this Duane Reade was so lush. READ MORE

Are Broadway Theater Seats Too Small?

Every New Yorker has a series of cherished myths and hard-earned wisdom that he or she considers the Gospel truth about how to get by in this city. But are the stories we tell ourselves in order to live really on the level? We turn to the experts to help us figure it out. READ MORE

The 'Village Voice' Prepares for Strike While Ashton Kutcher Rages

Tonight at midnight, the three-year contract at the Village Voice expires, so Voice workers held a strike benefit at Williamsburg's Public Assembly last night. The bands were really loud and the crowd drank a lot.

The crowd was heavy with, yes, Village Voice staffers and their friends, as well as a handful of former-Voice employees there to show their support. Ex-employees in attendance included: Zach Baron (who left The Voice for The Daily back in March), Foster Kamer (of the New York Observer), and Tom Robbins (the influential writer who left the paper after the departure of long time columnist Wayne Barrett). Robbins' appearance was perhaps the biggest "screw you" move of the night and was a reminder of the ever-more-corporate Village Voice. As was the arrival at the paper of Nick Pinto from the Village Voice Media's (the parent company of The Village Voice) Minneapolis weekly City Pages.

Back in March, Pinto wrote the nationally printed and murky Voice cover story "Women's Funding Network Sex Trafficking Study Is Junk Science." The story defends Village Voice Media's ownership of the classified site Backpage.com.

Backpage.com allows "adult ads" to be posted; last year a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim sued VVM for aiding and abetting prostitution. This week's piece, by Martin Cizmar, Ellis Conklin and Kristen Hinman—which doesn't have a lot of fans on the staff—was called "Real Men Get Their Facts Straight." Billed online as "The Truth Behind Sex Trafficking," it targets Ashton Kutcher's "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" campaign against U.S. underage sex trafficking.

The piece also pokes fun at estimates of underage sex workers, using arrest records from American cities. Because obviously the number of minors arrested for prostitution must somehow explain the number of minors in the sex business, right? A sidebar to the piece also blamed "feminists, religious zealots" and others for bringing Craigslist's adult services section to a Congressional hearing.

A while after attendees of the benefit stumbled home from last night's party, Ashton Kutcher took to Twitter to berate the Voice for their cover story.

Hey @villagevoice REAL MEN DON'T BUY GIRLS and REAL NEWS PUBLICATIONS DON'T SELL THEMless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Kutcher's 11 angry tweets to his seven million followers were apparently only the beginning.

Hey @villagevoice I'm just getting started!!!!!!!! BTW I only PLAYED stupid on TV.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

The Voice answered back this morning.

Wow, @aplusk having a Twitter meltdown! Hey Ashton, which part this story is inaccurate? http://tinyurl.com/3nme6l8less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Meanwhile, Voice editor Tony Ortega took the time to joke about the union negotiations.

Going back into negotiations soon. Gotta be quicker with my jabs and uppercuts. Didn't know Hoberman could move that fast.Thu Jun 30 14:58:34 via TweetDeck

We hear Village Voice Media's Executive Editor Mike Lacey is going to take control (has taken control?) of the Voice's Twitter account today to fire back at Ashton. [UPDATE: We are told we hear wrong.]



Disclosures: Myles Tanzer worked previously at the Voice; The Awl is happily pro-labor.

Here to Make Friends: The New York City Reddit Meetup

The internet hive mind is scary. Geeks operating together as one Voltron-like force of good or evil is an intimidating kind of deal—and leaving the house, for some Internet people, is equally scary. But getting drunk and hanging out with members of the hive mind isn't actually that bad! Saturday was World Reddit Meetup day, and, to observe, members of the Internet forum Reddit—a wholly owned subsidiary of Condé Nast Digital!—met up at 160 or so locations around the world, including d.b.a. in the East Village. READ MORE

La Toya Jackson's Book Party

On the roofdeck at 230 Fifth Avenue last night, a man was taking pictures of La Toya Jackson with an iPad. "I saw Spike Lee take Obama's pic with that thing!" said a photographer. Apart from press, the crowd tended towards rejected Real Housewives. (One partygoer named Cheri aspired toward both a singing career and a gay sidekick.) READ MORE