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August 31st, 2008

STORIES IN BABELAND.

by Joelle Panisch

Clair Cavanah Talks About How She Founded Her Famous Sex Store and the Tribulations Along the Way.


Rachel and Claire.

When Claire Cavanah founded Toys in Babeland in 1993 with best friend Rachel Venning she was a green feminist, fresh out of the liberal wonderland that is Brown University. She had convictions, tenacity, and a vision of social revolution that probably reflected her naivety better than her chance for success. The ladies opened their first “women-friendly, sleaze-free” sex shop in Seattle to mixed opinions, including disapproval from Claire’s own father. After all, though the early nineties were a time when the liberal sexual revolution was beginning to influence a more mainstream public, there still was a strong religious and conservative opposition.

But in spite of controversy the businesswomen persevered, fumbling at times but learning most–if not all, according to Claire–of the business along the way. And somehow their little shop-that-could became something of a cultural phenomenon, offering women and people of the LGBT community in particular a safe haven for exploring their sexuality. Babeland (as it officially changed its name to in 2005) is a sex shop unlike others in that, aside from its vast selection and highly esteemed products, it’s also a statement. This is more than the openly gay Cavanah and Venning ever could have dreamed of while lounging in Cavanah’s Seattle apartment debating the foundations of feminism and defiantly seeking the title of non-conformists. And little did they know that 15 years down the road she would have three New York stores, a tremendously successful catalogue, and still be watching it grow; the 15 year anniversary was celebrated with the opening of the Brooklyn location in Park Slope last May.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Claire Cavanah and ask her about her beginnings. It was girl talk of the best kind.

SoHo Journal:
What were your parents like?

Claire Cavannah: My mom died when I was very young so I was raised by my dad, my gay brother and my straight brother. So I joke that I was raised by wolves…the only girl, in Wyoming with all these guys. My father was a naval officer and a physician. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York

August 30th, 2008

BOOK OF LIFE.

by Mr. Norman Maine

DREAM OF LIFE
by STEVEN SEBRING
Rizzoli Books
ISBN: 978-0-8478-
3208-8
Hardcover-416 Pages
Release date: September
2008

How is this for a combo: Patti Smith, the publishing geniuses at Rizzoli Book, and photographer/filmmaker Steven Sebring—pretty great, right? You have no idea!

Where to start. Well, the book is a by-product of the movie Dream of Life-Patti Smith that Sebring has been working on for about 11 years. The dedication of this man to his work is staggering and, in the simplest of terms, his efforts show and it was all time VERY well spent. Sebring, a masterful photographer, was so taken with the enigmatic and charismatic Smith after seeing her in concert that he contacted her to see if she would be interested in collaborating on a film project.

Integrated throughout the book are numerous private and never before published photographs, along with many quotes and transcripts that offer a real, unpretentious and in-depth look into the life of an artist of this magnitude; seldom, if ever, seen. With the Rizzoli imprint, we have come to expect certain things: perfect printing, the highest quality papers, flawless binding, superior layouts and type. This historic book is no different. This is a superior product and the film itself will go down in history as one of the great profiles caught on film of a star, in league with other great rock documentaries, most notably “The Last Waltz.” The general release date for the book and film are early August and September 2008, respectively.

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

August 30th, 2008

FILM REVIEW: PATTI SMITH – DREAM OF LIFE.

by Mr. Norman Maine

Patti Smith is an artist without parallel. She is an innovator and an original, completely unique. From her early rock/punk roots to her now aged and soulful voice, she has shocked and amazed. And not just with her music—Smith’s poetry is unnerving, deep and inspired. Her love of classic poetry and poets, her respect for those who have come before her, her outspoken political views and her drive make her a true force of nature. She is a widow, a loving mother, a friend and a caring and concerned citizen of planet Earth.

Filmmaker Steven Sebring has mustered every ounce of his formidable talents to create this powerful, moving documentary. With the cooperation of Smith, together they have created nothing short of a masterpiece. The film has already been awarded with the Best Cinematography prize at the 2008 Sundance Festival. Sebring has also taken on the legendary position of photographing Smith for her CD covers, a position of prominence once held by the brilliant Robert Mapplethorpe; to date Sebring has photographed Patti Smith for her Gung Ho, Land, and Twelve covers.

If you go to this film with the expectations of seeing a Patti Smith concert you’re going to be deeply disappointed. This not a Martin Scorsese, Rolling Stones, every shot planned out, scripted and over-edited film, and it’s not the typical rockumentary with the obligatory black and white, slow motion in and out of a limo shot—although a good portion of the film is in black and white. This is an uncensored, unrehearsed open door look into the private life of one of the great artists of our time. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

August 29th, 2008

PORTRAIT OF A PHOTOGRAPHER: THE POLITE VANITY OF NIKOLA TAMINDZIC.

by Joelle Panisch

When Nikola Tamindzic trudged into the East Village coffee shop, shaken by the sudden May showers, I was surprised that I found him to be, of all things, elegant. Tall, with a carved face, Serbian born Tamindzic wore a camera around his neck and indistinguishable attire. He shook off the rain and smiled. He is less like the “taller, rather more mobile version of Larry Flynt” that he once was quoted describing himself as and more of a gentle giant. He seemed sincere.

Tamindzic is probably used to defying expectations. His website is titled “Home of the Vain,” and his reputation doesn’t veer far off. His fame is firmly rooted in nightlife photography, having the innate talent to unearth a soft humanity in partygoers’ seemingly impervious vanity. “I was drawn to people who go out on a limb and are ridiculous,” he said. “You may go home to your shitty little apartment at five in the morning but until then you are outside yourself, something more.” Uncouth and raw as the scene may be, Tamindzic’s photographs always uncover a depth. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

August 29th, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LGBT CENTER ON THEIR 25TH ANNIVERSARY!

by Lawrence Pfeil Jr

In large social environments, inevitably a central gathering place develops where its members can come for safety and support, to share information and ideas, to organize and strategize, to plan and build, to celebrate and mourn. Through the ages that place has varied greatly- prehistoric fires, ancient temples, medieval castles, Elizabethan taverns, a colonial tree, settlement houses, southern black churches-but its intrinsic function has remained the same: to foster a sense of common unity, of community.

For the past 25 years New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center has been doing just that…and much, much more. Continue Reading »

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

August 28th, 2008

PURE GOLD: CAMPAIGN MEMORIES.

by Ed Gold

I’ve been in a fair number of political campaigns, particularly during the reform battles against Tammany, and each has its own character. There is always a winner, usually several losers. Some campaigns leave you euphoric, some result in pain, while others are bittersweet. Many are memorable for some special quality.

Here’s a mix of campaign experiences that have stayed with me through the years:

I was living in a DeSapio-controlled building in 1957 when Village Independent Democrats ran Herman Greitzer, a purist reformer, against the last great Tammany leader, Carmine DeSapio.

I had the temerity of running for county committee against my building owner, Irving Hartstein, a DeSapio captain. He didn’t appreciate my position and called me a “disloyal tenant.”

But he approached me one day with a proposition. It concerned Greitzer’s candidacy. “Mr. DeSapio is a very busy man,” he noted, “and really would like to avoid a district leadership campaign you can’t possibly win. I think we could arrange a judgeship for Greitzer.”

It was difficult not to break out laughing. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | Politics

August 28th, 2008

SOHO POLITICS.

by D. Clark MacPherson


Pete Gleason.

This year there are a number of real races among the Democrats, which will affect SoHo in particular. Since we live in a Democratic town, the Primary is the election. November is merely a formality once the Primary battle is concluded in September.

Daniel Squadron, for example, is running against Democratic incumbent State Senator Marty Connor, who for 30 years has not had a serious opponent. That has changed this year. Squadron managed to garner the endorsement of Downtown’s major, if embattled, Democratic political club, D.I.D. (Downtown Independent Democrats), and is clearly now in the lead for that State Senate seat. While Squadron has raised significant money (nearly $500,000 thus far), his real success is in making headway without the overt support of his political rabbi, Senator Schumer. Squadron traveled with Schumer and they wrote a book together.

Having to make one’s own political way–in spite of a tremendous political asset–in order to connect with the community and inspire a sense of commitment is not an easy task. Squadron seems to have accomplished this by virtue of his energy and persistence.

The City Council races for SoHo will soon become more interesting. Julie Menin, Chair of Board #1, thought to have the upper hand in the coming election next year, has primarily focused her attention on attorney Pete Gleason. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | Politics

August 27th, 2008

THE AUXILIARY POLICE.

by Mr. Norman Maine


A.P.O. Marmol, A.P.O. Frederick, and Sgt Sterling.

When I was asked by the editor to write a piece about the New York City Police Department Auxiliary Police I thought to myself, ugh, a story about more dogooder, Barney Fife wanna-be’s: booooring. But being the kind and open-minded individual that I am, I agreed to do it.

I met with Mauricio J. Marmol, who was kind enough to stop by the SJ office, drop off some materials on the Auxiliary Police and sit and talk with me for a few minutes.

Well, It’s a good thing I listened because I was amazed at what he had to say about this largely unnoticed and obviously under appreciated division of the New York City Police Department. Continue Reading »

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

August 27th, 2008

INTERVIEW: ANDREW BERMAN.

by Joelle Panisch

Mr. Berman’s office is on the second floor of a quite remarkable building. Ernest Flagg designed the Beaux-Arts style structure in 1901. It now stands with a rustic white facade and burnt-red door, and when you walk in an elegant staircase regally welcomes you. It once housed the Rector for St. Marks Church but now is home to the Neighborhood Preservation Center, as well as Andrew Berman.

It’s an appropriate space for Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation since 2002 and the foremost leader of neighborhood preservation crusades. He, like the building, is rich with New York history. Raised in the Bronx, Mr. Berman explored the city from a young age with his father, a traveling hardware salesman. He grew entranced with New York’s charismatic architecture and the personality it evoked, seeing the city as a living entity that jokes, hustles, and weeps with its inhabitants as much as it houses them. He fell in love.

In college Andrew nurtured this affection by majoring in in art history. He found he had an affinity for something else as well: activism. According to Mr. Berman, he spent more time “rabble-rousing” than studying. That proved to be okay. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | Interview | New York | Take Action

August 27th, 2008

THE RESTLESS MISCREANT: GUNS, BUTTER & PIZZA

by Delbert Grady

Well, we’ve gotten plenty of the first two from our fearless leader and benefactor, George Walker Bush. Now comes the third, but in a very different way than we’re used to.

Let’s start at the beginning: the tech bust of 2000. If you look back in history, that kind of beating has always been followed by serious economic problems.Well, none of those for Dubya! With the help of Alan Greenspan (interest rates), Congress (tax reductions and pork barrel), an unnecessary war (procurement spending) and totally irresponsible banks and other lenders (no-equity mortgages and virtually unlimited credit card lines), he’s been able to dodge the bullet for 6 years. Till now.

Now we have giant budget and trade deficits because we’re spending far more as a government and a people (U.S. households savings rate is actually negative for the first time since the Great Depression) than we can possibly afford and a repayment schedule for all this funny-money spending that’s going to be a bitch.

Plus, in any event, you can add to all this exponentially growing debt the cost of oil due to a plethora of problems which will not go away and the true eventual cost of the Iraq fiasco, which has been estimated by Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia and Linda Bilmes of Harvard as $1.3 trillion. That’s about $4,500 for every man, woman and child in the country. (That was in 2006—much more now.) And let’s not forget the almost 50% of the relatively anemic jobs creation numbers in this country since 2000 were in construction due to the runaway housing boom, which has now ended.

So what does all this mean for us? It means we’re fucked, that’s what. Here’s my cheery scenario: Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | Politics

August 26th, 2008

PLUNKITT OF TAMMANY HALL—A POLITICAL COLUMN OF AMAZING RANDOMNESS: THE PEOPLE’S INDICTMENT OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG. PLUS: PAY TO PLAY.

by Trip Plunkitt

The push for development buy this mayor has led to the death of quite a few people this year alone. His development mania has also wasted precious government time and resources: just look at the failed 2012 Olympic bid and failed congestion-pricing plan (Bloomberg sent state legislators glossy brochures to convince them). And don’t forget “Guantanamo on the Hudson,” the four day police-instigated hostage situation during the Republican National Convention, where protesters were held at Pier 57 long enough to keep them off the streets until the convention was over, without due process. Thank YOU, Mayor Bloomberg!

In taking the City in the direction of non-stop construction, the mayor has chosen to overlook the safety of workers and citizens. For this ignoble effort, we give Mayor Bloomberg the “Emperor Nero, Death by Development” Award for most construction, most death of any mayor since (pick a date). And as we write this, more will probably be killed as a direct effect of Mayor Bloomberg’s (“the business mayor”) edict that business, real estate interests, and big money trump all else. Even life. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | Politics

August 25th, 2008

PURE GOLD: ST. VINCENT’S COULD USE SOME STATE OF THE ART TRANSPORT. STAT.

by Ed Gold

I am a veteran of St.Vincent’s Hospital, with my share of ER visits, procedures, overnight stays and an assortment of operations. So the hospital appeal for a new state-of-the-art medical center sounds good. If the hospital fulfills its plans, I hope “state-of-the-art” will extend to patient transport, which, in my experience, has left a lot to be desired.

I have no complaint about doctors and nurses have been conspicuously conscientious and caring during my recovery periods.

But “transport”—moving my body from one location to a desired destination—has been dysfunctional on several memorable occasions.

First, there was the case of the broken hip. My right leg collapsed as I got out of bed in the middle of the night. I eventually dragged myself to a phone, contacted friends who came over and called for an ambulance, which deposited me at St.Vincent’s ER. Shortly thereafter, an x-ray confirmed a broken hip, and periodically I was visited by a nurse who gave me pain killers. I was advised I would be removed to a room as soon as an open bed was discovered.

I lay in ER for eight hours, with nurses offering encouragement as the hours passed. Finally picked up by transport, I was delivered to a room in Coleman where I found two beds that had been unoccupied all day. The breakdown in communication was never explained. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York

August 24th, 2008

FRANK BANGO BONE MARROWTHON @ BOWERY BALLROOM: 8/26/8 @ 8PM.

by John Coakley

The day after Frank Bango started mastering his hook-filled second album, The Sweet Songs of Decay, he was diagnosed with cancer. Since Bango, like most musicians, lacks health insurance, this was doubly bad news. Fortunately, his friends are trying to help by putting on a show at the Bowery Ballroom. And what friends he has—Richard Buckner is a master of low, gravelly-voiced folk music that is as sad as it is smart, while former Luna members Dean & Britta make dreamy, elegant pop music that would be perfect background music in any decent coffeehouse. This is a good one, folks. Don’t miss it.

Frank Bango Bone Marrowthon with:
Nada Surf (acoustic), Dean & Britta, Richard Buckner, Sam Champion and special guests
Bowery Ballroom, Doors 7pm 18+
$20
Get tickets here or at the Mercury Lounge Box Office.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Take Action

August 23rd, 2008

2008 CHARLIE PARKER JAZZ FESTIVAL @ TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK: 8/24/8 @ 3PM.

by John Coakley

Good stuff to be had in the parks this weekend, thanks to the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. Saturday’s show uptown in Marcus Garvey Park looks like a corker, thanks to the inclusion of mighty free jazz force Rashied Ali. But those of you who hate to go above 14th Street also have reason to celebrate, thanks to Sunday’s show in Tompkins Square Park. Randy Weston, for example, blends the elegance of Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk with the sounds he’s absorbed while travelling through Africa. Jerry Gonzalez and Fort Apache have been nominated for two Latin Jazz Grammy’s, while pianist Eric Lewis has toured with Wynton Marsalis and Cassandra Wilson and is a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; he’ll perform a piece especially commissioned for the festival. And Gretchen Parlato (pictured above) has a voice that is said to have “a deep, almost magical connection to the music.” “Who said that, her agent?” you may ask. Well, no. It was Herbie Hancock, smart guy. Better show some respect; at the very least, show up.

2008 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Tompkins Square Park
7th St. & Avenue A
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival’
8/24/8 @ 3:00pm
Free

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

August 22nd, 2008

NATIONAL GO TOPLESS PROTEST DAY: 8/23/8 @ CENTRAL PARK.

by John Coakley

Little known fact about New York State: women are allowed to be shirtless anywhere that men are allowed to be shirtless—the beach, the park, the street. Who do we have to thank for that? The Top Free 7, a small group of ladies from my hometown of Rochester (former home of Susan B. Anthony) who took the matter to court. So why don’t we see more ladies letting it all hang out? There are tons of reasons, mostly involving harassment of one form or another. Society, by and large, isn’t ready for it yet.

GoTopless.org wants to push things forward by staging topless protests all across the country tomorrow. In some of those cities folks will likely be arrested, but not here. That’s a good thing, if you ask me. Pervy voyeurs should remember that this will likely be a realistic range of boobs on display, so ogling would not only be rude and hostile but not at all what you see on the interweb when your boss leaves the room. More fun could be had at watching the inevitable arguments between offended American tourists and supportive German tourists. Bring popcorn.

National GoTopless Protest Day
8/23/8 @ Noon
Central Park
Merchants Gate at Columbus Circle
(59th Street at the corner of Central Park West and Central Park South)

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

August 21st, 2008

ZENG JIANYONG @ ELI KLEIN FINE ART: 8/23/8—9/6/8.

by John Coakley


The Header No. 121 by Zeng Jianyong.

Eli Klein continues to bring us fresh insights into the world of contemporary Chinese art with the Header series, a group of recent paintings by Zeng Jianyong. The Header is a term used in the People’s Republic of China to denote the head of the class—the top pupil who not only earns good grades, but respects his or her elders and gets along well with others. That’s a coveted position, something Chinese children are encouraged to work towards. But the pressure of attaining or maintaining that status can sometimes lead to depression or suicide.

So it’s interesting how these paintings bear a passing resemblance to Margaret Kean’s big-eyed children that were so popular back in the sixties. These kids are also staring straight at you with big, sympathetic eyes but they look a little dazed, a little punch drunk. This difference pulls your attention closer to these watercolor and ink pieces that were painted on homemade rice paper. Most definitely worth a look.

Zeng Jianyong
Opening Reception: Saturday, 8/23/8 from 6—9pm.
Runs 8/23/8—9/6/8
Eli Klein Fine Art
462 West Broadway
(212) 255-4388
Open 7 Days, 11-7pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

August 20th, 2008

CHANDELEIRVA: (A) ONE WOMAN SHOW(S) US WHAT IT IS TO BE FEARLESS.

by Joelle Panisch


Suzette Araujo

Come see Suzette Araujo resume the title role in the one-woman production of Chandeleirva. Araujo, a Cirque de Soleil alum, stars as the “free-spirited diva who faces her tumultuous past with humor and passion”. This is a role she has performed at Fringe Festivals since 2004 and along the way has perfected the balance between silly/absurd and refreshingly touching. It’s a delicate line and Araujo walks it well.

Chandleleivra
The Players Theatre (Venue 12)
115 MacDougal Street
Thursday, AUG. 21st – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, AUG. 23rd – 8 p.m.
Sunday, AUG. 24th- 12 p.m.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

August 19th, 2008

OUTDOOR MOVIES—GET ‘EM WHILE YOU STILL CAN: 8/20/8 @ 8:00PM + 8:30PM.

by John Coakley

A good, clear night for outdoor movies, something you may want to take advantage of if you’re like most people and have let your summer to-do list lie fallow. Time’s a wasting, kids, so get out there while you still can.

The French Connection
Central Park
Rumsey Playfield
DJ at 6pm
Movie at 8pm


Scheider and Hackman, back when cops knew how to dress.

Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider kicking ass, taking names, and maniacally chasing cars in the grand 70’s New York tradition. When this was made, you’d be suicidal to be in the Park after sundown. Enjoy the gritty aesthetic of days of yore in the safe comfort of modern Manhattan. Just don’t stray too far from the pack when you leave because we are in a recession, you know.

The Blues Brothers
Pier 54
West St. @ 13th St.
8:30pm


They’re on a mission from God. Sorry, I had to.

Yes, the movie is a little long for its own good, and its success is responsible for other SNL skits-turned-movies and, by extension, the career of Rob Schneider. Doesn’t matter. Belushi and Ackroyd are hilarious and the musical numbers are a wonder to behold – where else are you going to see performances by James Brown, Ray Charles, and Cab Calloway all in the same film? Certainly not in the best-forgotten sequel. Worth a look.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

August 18th, 2008

PURE GOLD: JEFFERSON MARKET LIBRARY AND THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO COULD.

by Ed Gold

Jefferson Market Library, one of the architectural gems of the nation, is in the process of being renovated, thanks to contributions from Speaker Chris Quinn of the City Council, State Sen. Tom Duane and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who have put together a $7 million package to ensure the structural integrity of this storied building.

Apparently, work is required on the facade, windows, roof and tower, with construction completion scheduled in the spring of2010.

This new effort brings back memories of a much darker period when the library’s very existence was threatened until a tiny, feisty woman–Ruth Wittenberg–got the city to reverse its disasterous policy: a decision by the trustees of the New York Public Library to shut down arguably the most important branch library in the city, one which doubled as an historic treasure. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | Politics

August 17th, 2008

MOVEOPOLIS TAKES OVER DOWNTOWN: 8/18/8-8/22/8.

by John Coakley


God, birthday clowns get creepier and sexier all the time.

The River to River Festival is keeping things outdoors and urban with Richard Move’s MoveOpolis, which presents Hostile Takeover–a series of site-specific dance performances that take on our pre-conceived notions of sex and violence, femininity and masculinity, reality and imagination. Butoh-inspired female dancers bring beauty and all of its attendant baggage to the traditionally male-dominated centers of high finance while DJ Savage provides the music.

The schedule:

Hesperornis Regalis (Seabird): 8/18/8, 6 pm, North Atrium Balcony, 3rd Floor of Seaport Pier 17 Mall
Mariko Mori Musings: 8/19/8, 12:30pm, 77 Water Street, courtyard corner of Water Street and Old Slip
Red Cicciolina: 8/20/8, 12:30 pm, 7 World Trade Center (near Jeff Koons sculpture), Greenwich & Barclay Street
La Danse d’Hermes: 8/21/8, 12:30 pm, Hermes Wall Street window, 15 Broad Street
cavalla bianca: 8/22/8, 5:30 pm, Fulton Fish Market stall, South Street, between Beekman Street & Peck Slip

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

August 16th, 2008

SILENT RAVE @ UNION SQUARE: 8/17/8, 5:25PM-?

by John Coakley


…wave ’em like you just don’t care: last year’s silent rave.

If you’re picky about the music you listen to, chances are good that you’re also picky about what you dance to. Even the best DJ’s are eventually going to kill your buzz by dropping the wrong song, the one that you couldn’t escape that one summer years ago, or that one that your mean ex-girlfriend thought was SO HOT and should have been a big, fat, honkin’ sign that you should have dumped her before she beat you to it. Those songs.

That’s why the silent rave is so ingenious. It’s simple: a whole bunch of folks gather at Union Square, plug in their headphones, and get down to their favorite playlist/mix CD/mixtape. Yes, mixtape—you know you’re still out there, people. Don’t be ashamed. And if you don’t want to participate, you can just stand back and marvel at the writhing, silent multitudes in front of you. Kind of meditative, really. Check it out.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

August 15th, 2008

UNITY @ THE ARTFUL DODGER: 8/16/8 @ 10PM.

by John Coakley


Unity—maybe they weren’t at Diddy’s White Party, but they still rock the Hamptons.

So you have that share in the Hamptons. You love the water and the beach and the slower pace, and you want to get the most out of them since who knows if you’ll be able to afford this luxury next year. But you’re not so crazy about the night life. But why? What, you don’t like waiting in line for two hours to pay $12 for a Heineken and shuffle along to bad Justin Timberlake remixes just so that spray-tanned, hyper-blonde Marketing Associate might—just might—go home with you, providing your car is good enough? You don’t like that? What’s wrong with you?

Maybe you should do what the locals do and check out Unity at the Artful Dodger. Unity is a rock solid party band that plays the covers you want to hear—we’re talkin’ Low Rider, Sex Machine, Stand by Me, Moondance—you name it, they play it. No cover, no attitude, and you can get good beer for less than five bucks, not to mention a killer burger from neighboring Magic’s Pub. Welcome to the other Hamptons. You’re welcome.

Unity
8/16/8 @ 10pm
Artful Dodger
113 Main St (behind Magic’s Pub)
Westhampton Beach, NY

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | the Hamptons

August 14th, 2008

+/- @ MERCURY LOUNGE: 8/15/8 @ 11:30PM.

by John Coakley

Plus/Minus, also known as +/-, is a pop band that writes melodies so sweet and catchy that there is really no good reason why they aren’t ten times more popular than they currently are. Co-guitarists/singers/songwriters James Baluyut and Patrick Ramos are both veterans of Versus, one of NY’s greatest indie-bands-that-almost made-it. Drummer Chris Deaner is a rhythmic genius who is adept at switching from electronic beats to full rock kit thunder in the same bar, a skill that lead to him playing drums for Kelly Clarkson a little while back. It could very well be the rhythmic complexity that he and everyone else in the band so tastefully employs that keeps them from competing with the Top 40 crowd, but it is also what gives their songs a distinctive edge that indie fans worldwide have come to appreciate. You should definitely go.

Fri 8/15/8
+/- {plus/minus} 11:30
Hymns 10:30
Bridges & Powerlines 9:30
Loud Est Boom Bah Yea 8:30
$10 adv / $12 dos
Mercury Lounge
217 E. Houston St. (corner Ave A & Houston)
New York, NY map & directions
212–260–4700
Advance Ticket Box Office Hours: Mon–Sat, Noon–7pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

August 13th, 2008

NEW YORKERS PROTEST AGAINST PHONY DEMOLITION LOOPHOLE.

by Joelle Panisch


Councilmember Rosie Mendez addresses the crowd.

City Hall Park was resounding with chants of protest Tuesday morning as gatherers rallied at the building steps against phony demolition regulations. Led by councilmember Rosie Mendez, the rally included close to a dozen high-ranking officials and advocacy group leaders.

The assembly came about an hour before the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) heard testimony on the unlawful use of the demolition clause to evict rent-stabilized tenants. The clause was instituted to protect renters from bodily harm due to unsafe conditions in buildings that are beyond repair. However landlords and developers have been abusing the law’s unspecific language to evoke the demolition clause with the actual intent to oust low rent tenants and create profitably luxury housing.

All this technicality is over the definition of demolition. “Demolish means razed to the ground,” Mendez said with the support of the crowd. Continue Reading »

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

August 12th, 2008

CHASHAMA’S TAX FREE ART: ALPHABET CITY, 8/15/8—8/27/8.

by John Coakley


Hot Coffee Table by Dean Radinovsky.

The folks at Chashama are celebrating funky, crafty, appropriation-heavy art in Alphabet City, starting this weekend. The work lends itself to the unconventional and irreverent, and features scores of artists known for their unusual perspectives and choice of materials. They include Elaine Defibaugh, Ryan Frank, Abby Goodman, and one of my favorite street artists, El Celso. Definitely worth a look.

Tax Free Art: an Art Celebration in Alphabet City
August 15-August 27
At Chashama ABC Gallery
169 Avenue C
Tuesday-Sunday 1-6pm
and
Teneleven Tavern
171 Avenue C
Monday-Sunday 2pm-4am
and
Monk Thrift Shop
177 Avenue C
Friday August 15 to Sunday August 17, 1pm-6pm
(opening weekend only)
Opening: Friday, August 15, 6-9pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

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