Here’s our list of noteworthy events happening on the Lower East Side this month:
Sat. 3 – First Saturdays For Families: What is a Neighborhood? Bring the family and join New Museum educators for a special event organized in conjunction with Lower East Side History Month. The workshop explores what constitutes a neighborhood through discussions with guests, interactive drawing and collage-making.
235 Bowery // 10 a.m. // free.
Sun. 4 – Lower East Side History Month: More than 50 cultural and community groups are collaborating to launch the first annual Lower East Side History Month, a celebration of the diverse history of the neighborhood. Dozens of public events, exhibits, tours and interactive opportunities will take place at more than 30 sites. The celebration aims to connect the present to the past, exploring how history can inform and inspire the future. Special kickoff activities include a community picnic at Pier 42 with performances and activities for all ages on Sunday, May 4; plus Chalk LES, an interactive project that encourages anyone and everyone to share memories and images of the Lower East Side on the city’s pavements.
Tues. 6 – Claudia Triozzi: Boomerang or The Return to the Self at Abrons Arts Center: Triozzi investigates the idea of the self on stage, focusing primarily on feelings of uncertainty and fear of the unknown by asking questions about theater in a series of interviews. The event is part of DANSE: A French-American Festival of Performance and Ideas taking place around the city May 1 to May 18 (frenchculture.org/danse).
The Abrons event runs through May 8 // 466 Grand St. // 7:30 p.m., $15.
Thurs. 8 – Cutlog at The Clemente Soto Velez Center: Jumping in to the fray of the NYC art fair season for its second year, this underground French import features more than 50 galleries and curators presenting art, installations, performances, talks and films in a creative, architecturally designed show that takes over much of the winding interior of the center.
Through May 11 // 107 Suffolk St. // Thursday 6:00 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday through Sunday noon – midnight // $15.
Fri. 9 – NADA at Pier 36: The third edition of the New Art Dealers Association’s NYC fair pops up for three days featuring high-end rising talent and exquisite new art from around the globe. This year’s fair includes more than 85 exhibitors, live music, food trucks and cocktails on the waterfront.
Through May 11 // Pier 36, 299 South St. // Friday 2 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. // free.
Sun. 11 – Yiddishe Mamas Mother’s Day Walking Tour at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Start a new family tradition this Mother’s Day and discover your roots. Follow in the footsteps of beloved balabustas, freethinking feminists and turn-of-the-century working girls, then indulge in homemade rugelach, bagels and coffee. All food served is kosher.
12 Eldridge St. // 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. // RSVP required, $25.
Thurs. 15 – Making Space for Downtown Dreams at University Settlement: The settlement house fundraiser presents a showcase of emerging talent from their local youth organizations, celebrating transformational change ignited by the arts in the LES community. Higher-tiered tickets include an exclusive after-party in a landmarked synagogue, now the studio of artist Hale Gurland.
184 Eldridge St.// 6:30 p.m., //$75 – $175.
Fri. 23 – Rickie Lee Jones at Joe’s Pub: The rock legend and two-time Grammy winner returns for a preview of an upcoming album of new work, her first in over a decade. Known for her amazing, confessional live performances, be prepared to hear a mix of rock, R&B, blues, pop, soul and jazz standards.Jones’ latest album, The Devil You Know, produced by Ben Harper, is a collection of covers reimagining the music of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Neil Young and more.
425 Lafayette St. // 9:30 p.m. // $60.
Sat. 24 – Governor’s Island Opening Day: For the first time, the car-free island will be open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September. Enjoy 30 new acres of park, free bike mornings during the week and a diverse array of arts, cultural and recreational programming–not to mention hammocks!
The ferry leaves hourly from the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St., // 10 a.m.-7 p.m. // free.
SAVE THE DATE:
Mon. 2 - The Grand Street Cooperatives – A look at the Past, Present and Future at the new Manny Cantor Center: Join The Lo-Down for a lively panel discussion centered around the Grand Street Co-ops. Moderated by Editor-in-Chief Ed Litvak, special guests will discuss the unique history of the co-ops, how the community has changed and what lies ahead for these diverse residents. Beer, kosher wine and snacks provided.
197 E. Broadway // 7 p.m. // free.
Add your own events and find more local activities, updated daily, on our Calendar here.
Here’s our list of highlighted events happening on the Lower East Side this month.
Fri. 4 – “The Real Estate Show” at James Fuentes Gallery: Fuentes revisits a seminal exhibition which took place in 1979-80 in an abandoned city-owned building at 123 Delancey St. Organized by a group of artists and activists, the exhibition aimed to deal with what they saw as a real estate crisis in New York City for the non-wealthy. See the full story here.
Through April 27 // 55 Delancey St. // additional sites at Cuchifritos in Essex Market, 120 Essex St., (April 19-May 11) and ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St. (April 9-May 8) // free.
Sun. 6 – Passover Nosh and Stroll at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Trace the route of turn-of-the-century immigrants as they prepared for the holiday and journey into the kishkes of the old Jewish Lower East Side. Visit Streit’s Matzos, The Pickle Guys and other shops that shed light on Passover customs, foods and history of a century ago.
12 Eldridge St. // 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. // RSVP required // $25.
Weds. 9 – Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra at Joe’s Pub: The self-described “old-timey songwriter and playwright” and his band return to Joe’s Pub for a “regular band show” after touring internationally with their hit show, “No Place to Go.” Lipton’s witty, working-man lyrics stem from his modern-day experience as a “perma-lancer” in New York City before the economy crashed. Supported by his band’s addictive blend of jazz/folk/alternative music, the group raises cabaret storytelling to new levels.
425 Lafayette St. // 9 p.m. // $20.
Thurs. 10 – Richard Maxwell and New York City Players: Isolde at Abrons Arts Center: Theatrical heavyweight Maxwell’s latest play revolves around a famous actress who decides to build her dream house after her ability to retain her lines begins to slip away, but the project and her marriage become jeopardized by the award-winning architect she hires.
Through April 26 // 466 Grand St. // 8 p.m. // $25.
Mon. 14 – The Poet in New York at Bowery Arts + Science: This weekly event hosted and curated by Liz Peters and Nikhil Melnechuk features two special guest poets and 10 brave open mic poets competing to have their work published, with a live band backing up the readings.
Every Monday // 308 Bowery // 9 p.m. // $10.
Tues. 15 – Red Thread: The Prisoner and the Painter at Dixon Place: Painter Duston Spear created this short film based on the poetry of Judith Clark, a political activist and educator who has been an inmate at the Bedford Hills Maximum Security Correctional Facility for over 30 years.
161A Chrystie St. // 7:30 p.m. // free.
Weds. 16 – The Tribeca Film Festival: Founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center, the festival happily kicks off its 12th year of independent film screenings, panels and festivities throughout downtown.
Through April 27 // Visit tribecafilm.com for tickets, venues and the full schedule.
Mon. 28 – Jessica Lea Mayfield at Mercury Lounge: The 21-year-old neo-country singer-songwriter departs from her eloquently analytical love songs to play some new music from Make My Head Sing…, her just-released rock album. 217 E. Houston St., 7:30 p.m., $15.
Find more local events updated daily on our Calendar here.
After leaving their home of seven years at 21 Clinton St., the Living Theatre has settled in to the nearby Clemente Soto Velez Center and kicked off their 67th season last night (yes, you read that right) with a brand new piece titled NO PLACE TO HIDE. Written and directed by 87 year-old living legend (and co-founder of the company) Judith Malina, the show, presented in workshop format as a work-in-progress, takes on the idea of surveillance as a household topic, asking “about the how, why, and what of hiding, taking the (participatory) audience on a journey through the untold history of New York. Challenging political, philosophical, and moral spheres of concealment, the play questions the boundaries between the private and the public while blurring our sense of intimacy.”
The production is presented by executive producer Brad Burgess, with associate artistic directors Leah Bachar, Brad Burgess and Tom Walker. Go here for tickets.
Through March 29th // $15-$20 // 8:00 p.m. // The Flamboyan Theatre at The Clemente // 107 Suffolk Street.
Turn off the drum machines and head to La MaMa where the Fourth Annual American Human Beatbox Festival kicks off tomorrow night. A variety of beatbox performance styles and forms are showcased in this three-day event that includes an open mic, beat rhyme battles and vocal wars featuring some of the leading beatbox artists in America. There will be special appearances by 2013 Beatrhyme Battle and Vocal Wars Winners Kaila Mullady, Baba Israel and Yako 440. The festival is curated and hosted by Kid Lucky.
Through Sunday, March 16 // 74A E. Fourth St. // showtimes vary, $15 or two for $20/advance.
Check out our events calendar for details and more happenings.
Here are some highlighted events happening on the Lower East Side this month:
Sat. 1 – If Buildings Could Talk! at the Museum of Chinese in America: Bring the kids (best for ages 5 to 11) to explore an exhibition featuring photographs of Chinatown residences called “A Floating Population”; then create your very own small-scale 3D model of a living space in Chinatown.
215 Centre St. // 11 a.m. // free.
Sun. 2 – Aruán Ortiz Quartet at Abrons Arts Center: Critically acclaimed Cuban pianist and award-winning composer Ortiz comes to Abrons with his superb quartet, including Rashaan Carter on bass, Eric McPherson on drums and David Gilmore on guitar. Enjoy an afternoon of free-flowing improvisation inspired by a range of influences, from the impressionist colors of Maurice Ravel to the rhythms of Thelonious Monk. Part of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert series.
466 Grand St. // 3 p.m. // free.
Thurs. 6 – Faye Driscoll’s Thank You for Coming at Danspace: Bessie Award-winning choreographer and director Driscoll uses her latest piece to continue exploring “how we experience ourselves in relation to other bodies, other stories and the spaces we all inhabit, as a company of performers, designers, supporters and audiences is built around a long-term creative endeavor.”
Through Saturday, March 15 // 131 E. 10th St. // 8 p.m. // $20/$15 members.
Fri. 7 – The Rocky Horror Opera Show at the New Museum: Guest music curator Cori Ellison kicks off a series of musical events delving into the possibilities of the operatic voice by placing it in nontraditional contexts. A quartet of singers performs operatic standards to live accompaniment while an audience of die-hard opera fans and the general public are encouraged to dress up, sing along, dance and throw toast do whatever they’re moved to do.
235 Bowery // 7 p.m. // $12.
Thurs. 13 – Fourth Annual American Human Beatbox Festival at La MaMa: A variety of beatbox performance styles and forms is showcased in this three-day event that includes an open mic, beat rhyme battles and vocal wars featuring some of the leading beatbox artists in America. Curated and hosted by Kid Lucky. Through Sunday, March 16, 74A E. Fourth St., showtimes vary, $15 or two for $20/advance.
Fri. 14 – Hobo Grunt Cycle at Dixon Place: Forging empathic links between wounded soldiers and rescued fighting dogs, performer Kevin Augustine premieres his tribe’s latest work alongside a foam-rubber cast of life-sized pit bulls, disabled American veterans and a cadre of competing circus clowns, exposing the postwar legacy of soldiers while raising questions about peace and healing in our daily lives.
Also Saturday, March 15 // 161A Chrystie St. // 7 p.m. // $16.
Thurs. 20 – The War on Drugs at Bowery Ballroom: Still playing some of the best “road-trip music” around, frontman Adam Granduciel and his indie band from Philadelphia are back on tour with their new album Lost in the Dream, the followup to their highly regarded 2011 record, Slave Ambient.
6 Delancey St. // 9 p.m. // $20.
Sun. 23 -Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon at Bowery Arts + Science: JP Howard curates this showcase, which kicks off the salon’s spring 2014 series at Bowery Poetry for Women’s History Month and celebrates a “sacred space” for women’s voices.
308 Bowery // 3:30 p.m. // $10.
Mon. 31 – Little Failure at Tenement Talks: Former LES resident and award-winning author Gary Shteyngart returns to the neighborhood with a humorous yet poignant new memoir about his American immigrant experience. Growing up in Queens after moving with his parents from Leningrad, Shteyngart describes his journey toward becoming a writer against his parents’ wishes and the battle to survive public school as a “misfit” Soviet Jew in America, a country once viewed as the enemy. He is joined at the Tenement Museum by his friend, Suketu Mehta, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author.
103 Orchard St. // 6:30 p.m. // free.
by Mark Anderson
If you ask, many people are not ready to screen an unknown feature film (in this case, ‘i like you’) in their homes with complete strangers right at this very moment. Even if you provide the screen, the sound system and popcorn.
“It’s a lot to ask, but hey, we bring the party!” says Fritz Donnelly the artist, filmmaker, and personality behind the ‘Home Invasion’ concept.
On an East Village street corner last Friday night, Fritz and a small band of ticket-holding event attendees asked the world to watch a movie with them, just so long as it was at someone else’s place.
“It’s a friendly invasion. We’re very polite. We take off our shoes,” assured Eyal, an attendee and native New Yorker.
A lot of passersby on the street were curious about the movie, applauded the ‘home invasion’ effort, appreciated the audacity, laughed at the humor, were bewildered, weren’t sure — but few were ready to go through with it.
“This screen could be showing a movie… to you… right now… in your house!” Fritz cried, unscrolling a vintage portable projection screen.
For some, another time was better, or they didn’t live nearby, or they didn’t know anything about ‘i like you,’ Fritz’s first narrative feature, a ‘quirky surreal romantic comedy’ shot in the neighborhood, funded on Kickstarter, made on donated time and equipment, and starring Fritz and Christina. And for some, they were just walking by and wanted to keep walking.
For some, but not for all.
A nail salon, a Mexican restaurant, and a pair of single girls living in a studio apartment all said ‘yes.’ And three hours and two screenings later, everybody was smiling.
“I have confidence in people. Still, I’m kind of amazed it worked,” said Fritz between screenings. “In the beginning it was kind of like hitch-hiking: humbling and you have no idea who will stop, or how much longer you’ll be on the side of the road.
“I really respect the people who did this with me,” he continued.
The ‘Home Invasion’ attendees bought tickets online at HiChristina.com–his and his wife Christina’s ‘interactive performance art’ presence–met on the appointed street corner and jumped right in.
“Everyone became a full part of the effort, talking to strangers, following a guy with big hair to a birthday party that seemed promising, initiating dialogue, explaining the movie based on looking at the DVD cover, even heating popcorn and leveling the projector.”
The group was carrying everything you need to screen a movie, an LCD projector, a portable screen from the super 8 movie era, even a sound system with BOSE speakers; oh — and an extension cord. The whole setup worked as long as there was one free three-pronged outlet.
“I saw the screen and I thought, awesome.” Remarked a man who suddenly joined the group with his partner, Emily. They couldn’t host the screening but she made two calls to friends hoping to find a host apartment, and when that didn’t pan out, they accompanied the group on the adventure. “I’m an A/V tech so I understand what it’s like to lug one of those screens around. Respect.”
“I’ve been to some of his events before,” said Robert, an attendee dressed in jeans and a sports jacket. “He encourages me to feel uncomfortable, to push the boundaries, but he’s there with you. Sticking through it is totally rewarding. Definitely a memorable experience.”
“There’s a political dimension to the whole thing too,” Fritz claims. “Like where would someone spontaneously share their art on a Friday night in the East Village or LES in 2014? How can you show things to people who are outside your circle of friends, or outside any circle you travel in? We did that tonight,” commented Fritz. “There are many great cultural institutions but they require planning and process and have specific audiences.”
A common reaction from some passersby was to point out other venues nearby that would welcome a screening event with some advance notice. But for Fritz the immediacy and the intimacy were just as important.
“It was fun to go out there and see how open (or not) people were,” explained Lauren, another attendee. “It involved a little bit of risk-taking by everyone, and I think anything that involves a risk is always fulfilling in some way, even if it’s just trying to watch a movie.”
“They’re going against the trend of the neighborhood getting more and more expensive, and less bohemian,” said Emily on why she joined the ‘Home Invasion’ coming off the street. “This is the kind of thing that people imagine happened in New York once upon a time.”
So how did it happen just a few nights ago?
“We decided we would go out and find something fun to do that didn’t involve alcohol for a change,” explained Mariah, one of the pair who invited the ‘Home Invaders’ into her and her roommate Phoebe’s apartment. “We stopped outside this restaurant where there was a projection and people inside, and it seemed like something out of the ordinary was going on. ‘Go inside and ask,’ said this guy who was standing there too. Then he walked off. Odd, but we did. We really owe this amazing night to the encouragement of a random stranger!”
“And who can say no to sparkly pants,” chimed in Phoebe, referring to Fritz’s ice-capade-like leggings and purple sequined bolero.
“The movie itself was super sweet,” commented Lauren. “Quirky and romantic … A modern day NY artists’ love story! Loved the whole experience of bringing real people into experiencing a fictional movie that stars real people. There’s something really cool and meta happening here…can’t quite put it into words…”
As a result of doing this event a lot of people have offered to show the movie in their homes, their gardens, on their roofs, and the staff at Oaxaca, the Mexican restaurant, encouraged the ‘Home Invaders’ to come back anytime.
The next scheduled screening of ‘i like you’ will take place with the theme of “Robe and/or Undergarments” at the Manhattan Inn on Sunday, March 2nd at 5pm.
“What better way to watch a movie than in a robe and slippers or better yet, your underwear!” Rolyn co-owner of the Manhattan Inn assures us that the heat in the screening room will be cranked all the way up.
Here’s the monthly roundup of local events featured in our magazine:
Tues. 4 – Pig Iron Theatre Company Presents Twelfth Night at Abrons Arts Center: Pig Iron Theatre Company’s raucous, spirited Twelfth Night breathes new life into the Bard’s classic, creating an exhilarating version replete with practical jokes, gender confusion and mistaken identity. Directed by Dan Rothenberg.
Through Feb. 23 // 466 Grand St. // showtimes vary // $30-$40.
Thurs. 6 – The Losers Lounge Tribute to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground at Joe’s Pub: This ongoing “Tribute Project” has been charming (and alarming) New Yorkers since 1993. Started by session keyboardist Joe McGinty (Psychedelic Furs, The Ramones, Ryan Adams) and Psycho-Cabaret singer Nick Danger, their often-irreverent performances attract musicians of all stripes and genres who join in and offer their take on the music of the evening. Their bimonthly performances have included tributes to everyone from ABBA to Neil Diamond to David Bowie and The Zombies. This month they are honoring one of the greats. Expect fabulous and famous guest artists to show up and join in.
Through Sat., Feb. 8 // 425 Lafayette St. // show times vary // $25.
Fri. 7 – The Mystery of Pearl Street at Dixon Place: Set in the mysterious Blue Room, playwright, performer and journalist Toni Schlesinger pursues the unsolved real-life story of two artists who disappeared in 1997 from their 19th century loft near the East River on one of the oldest streets in Manhattan.
161A Chrystie St. // Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 22 // 7:30 p.m. // $16 adv./$20 door.
Tues. 11 – Seth Herzog’s SWEET at the Slipper Room: Self-proclaimed comedian, writer, food-eater, funny face-maker and break dancer Seth Herzog continues his long-running weekly stand-up comedy extravaganza. Performers like Kroll, Justin Long and Tiff Stevenson (UK) often stop by.
167 Orchard St. // 9 p.m. // $7, 21+over.
Wed. 19 – Rugelach Making Workshop at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Learn how to make rugelach, the traditional Jewish pastry, with a range of tasty fillings, including cinnamon, fruit and chocolate. All ingredients are kosher.
12 Eldridge St. // 11 a.m. // RSVP required // $20 adults.
Wed. 19 – Nina Persson at Mercury Lounge: One of Sweden’s biggest pop stars over the past decade returns to the stage after a lengthy break due to a cancer diagnosis. The former lead singer of The Cardigans has gone solo for her new album, Animal Heart, her first major release since 2009′s Colonia with A Camp, her side-project with husband Nathan Larson and guitarist Niclas Fris.
217 E. Houston St. // 7:30 p.m. // $20.
Thurs. 20 – Vanessa Anspaugh’s We Were an Island at Danspace: Choreographer and performer Vanessa Anspaugh debuts her new work exploring territories of togetherness and meditates on the illusory nature of islands, asking whether the way to know absence is to find new land.
Through Sat., Feb. 22 // 131 E. 10th St. // 8 p.m. // $20 General/$15 Danspace members.
Sun. 23 – Sing, Yell, Tell: A Panel on Voice at the New Museum: Join in a public panel bringing together experts to discuss the notion of voice, from technical concerns to political potential to affective possibilities. This is the beginning of the New Museum’s Season-long exploration of VOICE, ranging from the relationships between vocal performers and engaged audiences to voice as agency in political work.
235 Bowery // 3:00 p.m. // $8.
Local businesses are dusting themselves off and opening back up for the weekend. Here are a few of the happenings:
Our friends at the Abrons Arts Center have announced a fantastic lineup for their fall season. They write:
Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center continues to carve out a unique culture nitch on the Lower East Side. With three world premieres and a distinctive mix of contemporary performance, immersive theater, new music, and innovative twists on popular classics, the Abrons’ Fall 2011 season offers practically something for all tastes and levels of artistic exploration.
Abrons is proud to present the return of Arias With a Twist starring the demented diva Joey Arias and a cadre of fantastical puppets under the direction of Basil Twist. This is then followed by the wildly successful Steampunk Haunted House, this year creating an immersive performance environment in the Abrons Playhouse that adopts the more terrifying elements of Lewis Carroll’s classic stories.
Partly cloudy this morning with a chance of severe thunderstorms (and maybe even some hail) in the afternoon. We’re expecting a high of 92. Enjoy the week!
It won’t be quite as hot today — partly sunny and breezy with a high of 87. Tomorrow looks even better. Coming up today: our Weekend Kids’ Pick, a nice, refreshing local recipe and our monthly look at restaurant health inspections. Also, the HOT! Festival continues at Dixon Place this evening with two fascinating dance performance pieces. Check our Calendar for more on these, and other, Lower East Side events. Stay cool out there!
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