Chinatown Working Group Looks at Restructuring

Last month's Chinatown Working Group meeting. During the summer, it looked like the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) was on the verge of finalizing a comprehensive neighborhood development proposal for submission to the city.  That was before a blow-up over the hiring of a planning consultant to help refine a 197A Plan and a more recent campaign by some participants to restructure the 51-member organization in the name of greater democracy. Now it appears likely the CWG will spend the remainder of this year regrouping and will not be ready to forward their proposal to the Department of City Planning until sometime in 2011.

Weekend Guide

What’s on our calendar for the weekend?  Well, we have our (previously noted) Weekend Music Picks, shows from Joey Arias and Kate Clinton, a festival of Art in Odd Places and — a few other items of note:

  • This week’s Midnight Movie at the Sunshine is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Terry Gilliam’s fantasmagoric odyssey based on Hunter S. Thompson‘s book of the same name.  The film is an underrated tribute to the late “gonzo” journalist and features two thrilling and quite brilliant performances from Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. $9.99 // Fri. and Sat. at midnight // 143 E. Houston.
  • The Nuyorican Poets Cafe‘s Poetic Heritage Festival continues with SLAM REVIVAL on Friday Oct. 1st at 7pm,  starring past & present Nuyorican Slam Team members  Jared Singer, Caroline Rothestein, Ken Arkind, & Carlos Andres Gomez.  This Saturday through Monday, the cafe will present a staged reading of SHANGO DE IMA by Pepe Carril and adapted by Susan Sherman.  The readings will be directed by award-winning director Rome Neal with the Orisha music performed by Grammy-nominated Wilson “Chembo” Corniel. Also starring Audelco Award-winning actor Lloyd Goodman.  $10 // 7pm // 236 East 3rd Street.
  • The New Amsterdam Market is back down at South Street & Peck Slip on Sunday from 11a – 4p with a slew of local vendors and purveyors offering L.E.S.  favorites like Saxelby Cheesmongers to Rick’s Picks to Luke’s Lobster.

Art in Odd Places 2010 Takes Over 14th Street

Paul Notzold's TXTual Healing, interactive projection will be at Art in Odd Places 2010

Art in Odd Places is taking over 14th Street from the East River all the way across to the Hudson. The quirky interactive festival begins today and runs through October 10th.  Twenty-five different artists and performers will present work based on this year’s theme, “Chance.”

Casa Mezcal Now Serving Food

Casa Mezcal opened on Orchard Street four months ago. The margaritas have won rave reviews (along with free bar snacks) but anxious diners have had to wait for a full menu. It looks like the wait is finally over. Via the restaurant’s Facebook Page:

Casa Mezcal is now serving delicous tacos de cazuela (clay pot): al pastor,tinga, adobo, chicken, cecina and picadillo (ground beef with potatos and carrots). Starting tonight (Thursday) and on!!!!!!

And Time Out reports:

Next month, they intend to add an upstairs gallery for emerging artists and a basement performance space with weekly film screenings.

Casa Mezcal opens at 5pm. It’s located at 86 Orchard, near Broome.

Soybean Sprouts From Essex Farm Recalled

The state is recalling all packages of soybean sprouts sold at Essex Farm, one on the merchants operating out of the Essex Street Market. Here’s the full release from the NYS Agriculture Department:

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker (Thursday) alerted consumers that Essex Farm Inc. (dba Best Farm), located at 120 Essex St. #32 & 33, in New York, New York, is recalling all packages of “Soybean Sprouts” due to the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this weekend:

Harper Blynn will play Rockwood Music Hall

HARPER BLYNN – Friday, October 1 | 10:30pm at Rockwood Music Hall

Brooklyn’s Harper Blynn produce an extremely potent form of catchy power-pop. Their album “Loneliest Generation,” produced by David Kahne, has so many layers of harmonies, organs, and percussion toys that every listen has your head bopping to a new discovery every time.

Good Morning: Morning Mess, Inwood Night Spot Eyes LES, Maloney’s a “Winner”

The morning rush was a nasty one.  Flooding in several subway stations caused train delays… city buses are running behind… flights are backed up at all three airports. On the bright side, forecasters say the rain will taper off around noon and we might even see the sun this afternoon. Tomorrow: sunny with a high near 70.

With any luck, the weather will cooperate with our friends at the Hester Street Collaborative, who are unveiling their temporary art installation on the Allen Street pedestrian malls today (see above).  UPDATE 1038AM: We just heard this event is postponed!