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January 31st, 2008

JOHN STUART @ EARTH2MARS, THROUGH 3/31/8.

by John Coakley

STUART
John Stuart is an accomplished photographer whose work ranges from slickly commercial to raw and personal. His show at Earth2Mars Agency showcases his travel photographs in the Middle East which go from panoramic to intimate. And yes, the gallery is uptown but John is a SoHo resident so show some love.

Travel & Betty
Earth2Mars Agency
404 Park Ave. South at 28th Street, 3rd Fl.
9am-6pm, Monday-Friday, through March 31st.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 31st, 2008

TELL THEM YOU DON’T WANT VEGAS ON THE HUDSON: THURSDAY, 1/31/8 @ 4PM.

by You the Reader

Thanks to Andrew Berman of the GVSHP for the heads-up.

The Hudson River Park Trust will be voting on the fate of Pier 40 this Thursday, January 31st, at their meeting which begins at 4 pm at the Jewish Museum, 36 Battery Place in Battery Park City. WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO ATTEND THIS MEETING, SO THE TRUST KNOWS HOW STRONGLY WE FEEL ABOUT REJECTING THE RELATED COMPANIES’ MEGA-DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR THE PIER, AND THE NEED FOR A COMMUNITY-FRIENDLY PLAN LIKE THAT PROPOSED BY THE PIER 40 PARTNERSHIP. Thank you to everyone who came to the rally on Sunday — there were hundreds of you, and it was a tremendous success! (for more information, click here)

For a video of the recent rally against Related’s plan for Pier 40, click here.

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

January 30th, 2008

STOP PUTTING DOWNERS IN SCHOOL LUNCHES.

by John Coakley

ow.
No, not Ritalin; that’s a whole other story. “Downers” are cows that are too sick or old to stand. Those animals have been linked to the twelve cases of mad cow disease thus far reported in North America, so they obviously shouldn’t be used for human consumption. Hallmark Meat Packing Co., of Chino, CA, doesn’t seem to think that kids are human because they all too happily supply these cows to the Westland Meat Company, which processes the carcasses and then ships the meat to schools in 36 states. The Humane Society performed an undercover investigation recently and exposed the whole mess. Click here to see footage and learn how to help.

Filed Under: Community | Politics | Take Action

January 30th, 2008

HITCHENS VS. BOTEACH: DOES GOD EXIST? THIS WILL SETTLE IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!

by John Coakley

IT'S ON!
Having just finished Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, I can tell you that this will be a doozy. Hitchens has done his homework – he can quote scripture with the best of them – and his rhetorical abilities are a force to be reckoned with. He is especially good at arguing the case for non-believers being just as capable (if not more capable) of having a strong sense of ethics as believers. But Rabbi Boteach is no slouch either – he’s the host of the television show Shalom in the Home and the author of 18 books.

Most folks in the audience will not leave with their minds changed about God’s existence, but a few of them just might. And everyone else will probably leave with a few new things to consider. And really, who doesn’t like to see their views affirmed by a sharp, bold, verbal pugilist? God knows, I do. Or he would know, if he existed. See? You’re either vindicated or pissed off already. Quite a rush, right? Well that’s nothing compared to what these two guys will stir up.

Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in Debate: Does God Exist?
Wed, Jan 30, 2008, 8:00pm
92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Kaufmann Concert Hall

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York

January 28th, 2008

HELP TONY AVELLA SAVE THE BOWERY: MONDAY, 1/28/8 @ 6:30PM.

by You the Reader

Thanks to Rob Hollander of LES Residents for Responsible Development for continuing to fight the good fight.

Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
Monday, January 28, 6:30pm
200 E 5th Street (JASA, corner of Bowery)

Special guest: City Councilman Tony Avella, anti-gentrification, pro-community advocate, and chair of the Council Zoning Committee.

Mr. Avella will discuss his legislation to prevent demolition and new construction in neighborhoods awaiting protective rezoning.

Let’s save the Bowery now!

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Take Action

January 28th, 2008

“DROP THAT CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR & PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” ON WBAI 99.5: 1/28/8 @ 1:30PM.

by You the Reader

Damn right, Alert!
Thanks to 9/11 Environmental Action for keeping us informed.

Click here for our earlier piece on Intro 650.

If the City Council goes along with the police plan, New York City will become the first jurisdiction in the world where air monitors will be illegal unless permitted, a place that will put a new twist on the National Rifle Association bumper sticker -“When air monitors are outlawed, only outlaws will have air monitors!”

Beginning at 1:30, host Jonathan Bennett will discuss the details of the NYPD’s plan, known as Intro. 650, which is now under consideration by the City Council. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | Politics | Take Action

January 27th, 2008

EROTIC LOVE LETTER WRITING WORKSHOP @ BABELAND: SUNDAY, 1/27/8 @ 7PM

by John Coakley

Hubba Hubba.
Rachel Kramer Bussel is the editor of Best Sex Writing 2008 and numerous other compilations, the host of the In the Flesh Erotic Reading Series, and writer of the bi-weekly Lusty Lady column in the Village Voice. So she is eminently qualified to help you write the perfect Erotic Love Letter to your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day – which, like all holidays, is closer than you think. Ms. Bussel will be leading a workshop in writing said letters this evening at Babeland, everyone’s favorite neighborhood purveyor of vibrators and classy erotica. You can only give flowers and candy so many times, people, so this would be an excellent way to affirm that budding new relationship or reaffirm/reignite that old one. And being part of an erotic writing workshop led by a woman possessed of classically “naughty librarian” good looks sure beats watching 60 Minutes.

January 27, 2008, 7 pm
Erotic Love Letter Writing Workshop w/ Rachel Kramer Bussel
Babeland
43 Mercer Street, NYC
Cost: $20 – Register in person at the store or by phone
212-966-2120

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 26th, 2008

RALLY FOR THE PARK @ PIER 40: SUNDAY, 1/27/8 @ NOON.

by You the Reader

As always, thanks to Andrew Berman of the GVSHP for keeping us informed.

Courtyard Fields @ Pier 40 at West Houston Street
Hudson River Park

Scheduled to Appear:
Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick
State Senator Martin Connor and Brad Hoylman, Chair Manhattan Community Board 2, plus
Neighborhood Celebrities including famed chef Mario Batali

Featuring:
Raffle Prizes, Community Bands and Hot Chocolate

Pier 40‘s future — and the future of our community’s park and playing fields — is coming to a vote. Now is the time to act. The Hudson River Park Trust will decide the fate of the Pier next week – a decision the people of New York City will live with for years to come.

Hundreds are expected to rally to send a strong community signal to the Trust that a low-impact development, with park-friendly activities, will secure a better neighborhood for all New Yorkers than the construction of a mega-entertainment complex. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Take Action

January 26th, 2008

YOUNG ASSOCIATES WHITE-GOLD WINTER PARTY: TONIGHT, 1/26/8, 8-11PM, $10.

by John Coakley

White Gold Winter

What happens when you combine interactive multi-media projects with lots of vodka? Find out tonight. Just don’t get sick all over art that you can’t afford to replace. That would be uncouth.

Chelsea Art Museum
556 W 22nd St
Phone: (212) 255-0719

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 25th, 2008

BUFFALO TOM @ JOE’S PUB: SATURDAY, 1/26/8 @ 11:30PM.

by John Coakley

Buffalo Tom

Buffalo Tom is one of those bands that tends to create obsessive fans. Their music has a good, strong punch to it – think The Replacements or The Smithereens – combined with lyrics that are like good fiction about love, family, and patterns you can’t seem to break. Some of the songs get you choked up, some of them get you pumped up, and more than a few do both at the same time. This is the kind of honest, passionate rock music that everyone from the Goo Goo Dolls to Daughtry tries to pull off but can’t because the cheese gets in the way. Buffalo Tom is not cheesy. They are amazing, and you should go see them.

Buffalo Tom
with Essie Jain
@ Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette St.
212-967-7555

Saturday January 26
11:30 PM
$18 advance, $20 at door. Get tickets here.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 24th, 2008

MARC RIBOT + LAURIE ANDERSON @ THE STONE: 1/24/8 @ 10PM.

by John Coakley

The Stone is a not-for-profit performance space in Alphabet City that features Downtown luminary John Zorn as its artistic director. They don’t have a bar and all of the money from the door goes to the musicians; they get by on CD sales and donations. The lack of booze means that you can bring the kids if you think they would enjoy the experimental, jazz-influenced fare that they provide. It also means that you are less likely to have a talkative day trader killing a potentially beautiful moment by discussing his new girlfriend’s sexual voracity RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR EAR.

Tonight’s bill is typically avant garde for The Stone but unusually star-powered. Marc Ribot is a former member of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards who has also worked with Elvis Costello and Tom Waits, all the while releasing over a dozen solo albums. Laurie Anderson is Laurie Anderson. She’s the person who brought performance art to mainstream audiences with her concert film, Home of the Brave. More importantly, her version of performance art is actually good. I don’t know what these two will come up with when they collaborate tonight, but it’s bound to be interesting.

The Stone
Ave C/East 2nd St.
Thursday, 1/24/8
Marc Ribot @ 8pm
Marc Ribot + Laurie Anderson @ 10pm
$10 per set

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 23rd, 2008

WRITE FROM WRONG @ THE NUYORICAN: 1/23/8 @ 7PM.

by John Coakley

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe has been showcasing poets of all stripes – but particularly of the performance-centric slam variety – for over thirty years. They also provide a place for experimental theater, film, and music. It’s a miracle that they haven’t been priced out of Manhattan yet, though if the condo towers ever reach Avenue C they may be in trouble. In a way, we’d all be in trouble. But I digress.

Tonight’s event is called Write From Wrong: A showcase of words written by young people who have survived the prison industrial complex. A lot of poetry springs from self-involved, middle class navel gazing. That won’t be the case tonight. Tara Betts, an accomplished poet and writer-in-residence at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, will be featured, and an open mic will follow. Oh, and the event is hosted by Frank Black. Whether it is Frank Black from The Pixies or just some dude with the same name is for you to discover.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 East 3rd Street btw. Aves. B + C
212.505.8183
1/23/8 @ 7pm
$7

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 22nd, 2008

THE REAL ID ACT: REAL SCARY.

by You the Reader

Thanks to the New York Civil Liberties Union for keeping us informed.

If you thought the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping were bad, wait until you hear what the Bush Administration has up its sleeve next.

Passed by Congress in 2005 with no meaningful debate, the Real ID Act attempts to create America’s first-ever national ID card system.

Under the Bush Administration’s vision, a Real ID card will become an internal passport for Americans and part of everyday life–a way to keep track of your movements, your activities and your lifestyle.

Please join us on Thursday, January 24th, to learn more about this controversial law and what you can do to stop it.

Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 W. 64th St.
New York, NY 10023
Free Admission Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Politics | Take Action

January 21st, 2008

THE 5TH ANNUAL NEW YORK ARAB-AMERICAN COMEDY FESTIVAL: TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY, 1/23/8 @ THE ZIPPER THEATER.

by John Coakley

What is the protocol for today’s holiday? “Happy King Day!” sounds a little wrong, a little flippant. “Happy the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” is appropriately respectful but one hell of a mouthful. I guess it just seems strange to put happy in front of the name of the man whose assasination still weighs heavily on our collective memory. But King’s accomplishments and inspiration should outweigh his untimely end, obviously. So let’s celebrate the man himself.

One thing that often gets overlooked about King is the fact that he was not a dry, ascetic, holier than thou man. He really enjoyed a good laugh, a helpful quality for someone who connected with so many people from so many walks of life. With this in mind, check out the 5th Annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival. We don’t really get to hear the funny side of Arab-American culture that often, but anyone who has seen Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil special knows that these comedians are worth checking out.

Love thy neighbor. And laugh with him too. Dr. King would have approved.

The Zipper Theater
336 W.37th Street
New York, NY
Click here for tickets

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | News

January 20th, 2008

HONOR DR. KING BY CONTINUING HIS LEGACY: SUNDAY, 1/20/8 + MONDAY, 1/21/8.

by You the Reader

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday by partaking in the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) 5th Annual Anti-Hunger Serve-A-Thon. The idea is to honor King’s memory by volunteering on your day off. There are many ways to participate, including: preparing and serving hot meals at soup kitchens; unloading, sorting, inventorying, packaging, and distributing groceries at food pantries; cleaning, painting facilities, and constructing new storage and service spaces; and conducting Food Stamp and School Breakfast outreach by distributing materials to clients. Anyone with a background in marketing, accounting and financial management, technology and computer skills, or fundraising is especially encouraged to learn how to help the Coalition in the long-term.

To register, contact Andrea Dispenza 212-825-0028 ext 202, adispenza@nyccah.org. The Coalition Against Hunger is an umbrella group for the more than 1,200 charitable kitchens and pantries citywide–and the more than one million low-income New Yorkers forced to use them to feed their families. More information about the Coalition Against Hunger and hunger in New York City is available here.

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Take Action

January 19th, 2008

MY HAPPY GUN: 1/20/8 @ 9PM

by John Coakley

My Happy Gun is a New York City band comprised of members of other New York City bands – SHLSHKD, Oscura, and Foxglove, to name only a few. They sound like they’re from some other place, a place where Link Wray, Nick Cave, and X all hang out and swap tales of adventure. Which makes sense in a city where so many people come from somewhere else. They rock with style. Check ’em out.

Sunday, 1/20/8 @9pm
Niagara
112 Ave. A @ E.7th St.
E.Vil, NY
w/ The Dirty Novels and The Bowery Boys
Gun slingin' rock!

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 19th, 2008

NYC FREE HUGS ROAM: SUNDAY, 1/20/08.

by John Coakley

Juan Mann Was an Australian ex-pat who had made his home in London. A few years ago, for reasons unknown, he had to return to Sydney. No one was there to greet him at the airport, and the happy, hugcentric reunions that filled the gate gave him an idea. He wanted a hug, so Mann decided that the best way to get one was to offer one. So he made a sign that said, “FREE HUGS!,” picked a busy corner in town, and waited. For the first fifteen minutes he got nothing but strange looks. Then a woman approached. Her dog had died that morning, a morning that also happened to be the first anniversary of her daughter’s death in a car accident. Sometimes, life really is like an old country song, and when that happens, a little human contact comes in handy. They hugged. They both felt better. And the rest is history.

The Free Hugs Roam is basically a bunch of people scattered around the city who are following Juan’s example. To volunteer, click here. You don’t need to have recently gone through tragic events to qualify for a free hug – you could be just a little out of sorts, a little lonely, or a little curious. It’s easy to feel disconnected from people here, so go for it. Just don’t get all pervy and cop a feel off of a volunteer. It’s a kind, brave thing they’re doing, so don’t be a jerk and weird them out. Not cool, man, not cool.

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Take Action

January 18th, 2008

CANADIAN ARTISTS OPENING @ ELI KLEIN FINE ART: SATURDAY, 1/19/8, 6-9PM.

by John Coakley

Captive Visions: Contemporary Canadian Art

If you live in SoHo – and especially if you moved here in the 80’s – then you are no doubt familiar with the irony of having to take the C train up to Chelsea to see new art. A few stalwart galleries remain, but most of them seem to trade in art that won’t clash with the clothes or furniture that you just bought next door.

The folks at Eli Klein Fine Art would like to change that. They just recently finished an impressive exhibition of Contemporary Chinese art that expressed the conflict of old and new culture in all kinds of interesting ways. Now they’re opening a show that features Candian artists both established (Cathy Daley, Marcel Dzama, Tony Scherman and Max Streicher) and emerging (Talia Shipman, Elena Willis and Christopher Ross). We Americans tend to view Canada as our polite but dull neighbor, which is a mistake. Artists up north tend to be freer to experiment because the Canadian government is very supportive of the arts, and this show should prove the wisdom of that policy quite nicely.

Opening Reception: January 19th, 6-9pm
Eli Klein Fine Art
462 West Broadway (between Houston and Prince)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 255-4388 / info@EKFineArt.com
www.EKFineArt.com

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 17th, 2008

AMERINDIANS: THE RETURN @ THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY, 1/17 – 1/20.

by You the Reader

AMERINDIANS: the return is a performance-exhibition that explores indigenous memories, history and politics with a contemporary performing and digital multimedia and language.

Cristina Cortes, the author, director, choreographer and originator of the media concept, envisions a future of cross-cultural empowerment in “Amerindians: the return.” The piece mixes passages between myths, legends and historical events, from the past to the present and the future. There are composite animated illustrations with still images and video; movement on stage generates interactive 3D animations, sounds and images on screen. The opposite also occurs: still images on screen, after manipulation, trigger the appearance of live elements and characters on stage.

More info here. Tickets here. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 17th, 2008

INTRO 650: SHUT UP & COUGH

by John Coakley

Boy, is this insulting. Insulting and upsetting.

Intro 650 is a bill currently before the city Council that is meant to protect us from “excessive false alarms and unwarranted anxiety.” It is also meant to protect the city government from lawsuits related to its handling of the environmental effects of terrorism. Apparently some downtown residents were upset that they got sick after they found the city’s post 9/11 advice of cleaning one’s apartment with wet rags wasn’t enough. Intro 650 will ensure that any independent environmental testing – like the kind done for lawsuits – can only happen with the permission of the NYPD.

No one wants to encourage unwarranted lawsuits, but this could lead to all kinds of problems for anyone with a legitimate case against the city. The readings from something as simple as a store-bought carbon monoxide detector would be inadmissible in court. This bill is meant to keep us in line and keep us quiet. It has the support of the Mayor and, more surprisingly, Speaker Quinn; they want it passed by the end of this month. For more information, click here and here.

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | Politics | Take Action

January 16th, 2008

WE’RE IN THE PAPER!

by John Coakley

Read about Don’s fight against racist housing laws in Southampton here, as mentioned in the – ahem – New York Times

And for more on this issue and Don’s place in it, tune in to Telemundo (Time Warner Cable Ch. 47) tonight, 1/16/8, at 6:30.

Filed Under: Community | Politics | the Hamptons

January 15th, 2008

ANDREW BERMAN ON THE TRAGEDY AT TRUMP SOHO.

by You the Reader

A letter from Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:


By now you have no doubt heard the tragic news of the fatal accident yesterday at the construction site for the Trump SoHo ‘Condo-Hotel’ at 246 Spring Street at Varick Street (see the links here, here, here and here. We were very very saddened to hear that one worker lost his life and others were seriously injured, and our thoughts go out to the victims and their families and loved ones.

This is a tragedy that never needed to happen. GVSHP and a long list of community and business groups from across the city contended from the beginning that this project illegally violated zoning laws, and should never have been granted building permits by the City. The City continually stood behind this project and allowed it to proceed, even after it was revealed that the developers openly advertised the project as containing illegal residential uses, after 150-year old bones from the graveyard of an abolitionist church were found on the site, after a key member of the development team was found to have a hidden criminal record, after numerous demonstrations by hundreds of neighbors, and after numerous complaints by neighbors about the speed and sloppiness and construction at the site.

The most recent complaints about hasty work came as a legal challenge against the City’s approval had been filed by our partners in fighting this project, the SoHo Alliance. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | New York | Politics | Take Action

January 15th, 2008

KIMYA DAWSON @ SOUND FIX: TONIGHT, 1/15/8 @ 8PM

by John Coakley

If you’ve seen the movie Juno then you are familiar with Kimya’s catchy brand of whimsical folk. That happy little song about not killing yourself because you have friends you could call instead? That was Kimya. Some people love her music (me) and understandably, others (my wife) find her music twee and annoying. I can relate – I find most of the “freak folk” stuff coming out of Williamsburg insufferable; it’s downright pretentious in the way that it swears up and down how sincere it is. But Kimya Dawson’s songs are clever and droll, at least to these ears. And the show is free, Sound Fix is a wonderful store, and it’s a lovely walk over the Williamsburg Bridge. So you should go.

Kimya Dawson
Sound Fix Records
110 Bedford Ave. @ N. 11th St.
8pm
FREE

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

January 14th, 2008

worker killed at trump soho

by C.B. Coakley

breaking story in our neighborhood,
on the scene reports from Gothamist & The New York Times
our condolences to the worker’s friends & family

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | News

January 14th, 2008

OTTO PREMINGER RETRO- SPECTIVE AT FILM FORUM: TODAY THROUGH 1/17/8.

by John Coakley

Film Forum is hosting an Otto Preminger retrospective through this Thursday, and while big hits like The Man with the Golden Arm, Exodus, and Carmen Jones have already been screened, there are still a few gems to be (re)discovered. For example, today we have Margin for Error, a political satire starring an uncharacteristically restrained Milton Berle as a New York cop hired to protect the German Consulate in the days before the Second World War. Preminger was a Jewish ex-patriate from Vienna, and he took great pleasure in not only directing this film but portraying the lead Nazi himself, unwittingly laying the groundwork for Hogan’s Heroes in the process. The movie is a hoot, so don’t hold that against him. Margin of Error is part of a triple bill with In the Meantime, Darling and Under Your Spell, so if you’re at work right now, start cultivating that horrible, contagious stomach ailment, get out of there, and have some popcorn for lunch.

Click here for showtimes and synopses.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

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