Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Debra Hampton Turns Heads with Neon Stencils on Brooklyn Bridge Park Bike Lane Barriers

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Debra Hampton stencils near Brooklyn Bridge Park

The new protected two-way Furman Street bike lane that debuted this summer along a desolate stretch under the BQE and behind the new Brooklyn Bridge Park just got a little less dreary. Over the weekend artist Debra Hampton and a team of volunteers applied her stencil portrait onto the concrete barriers that separate cyclists from the highway-speeding motorists shuttling between Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights. I stopped by this morning to get a closer look. More views after the jump.

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The Scariest Bit of Music Criticism You'll Read All Day is, Unsurprisingly, About My Chemical Romance

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 11:59 AM

In the midst of all this hubbub around the release of Kanye West's very good perfect My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, I straight up forgot to listen to the new My Chemical Romance record, which has quietly become a favorite of a small but vocal group of critics on Twitter. Now that the Kanye talk has gone well beyond the point of saturation, though, I woke up this morning and decided, finally, to get familiar with the Jersey emo band's fourth full-length, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. As I listened, I began seeking out reviews of the album, and while there are surprisingly few of them so far (though perhaps tomorrow's alt-weeklies will change that), they're generally very positive. One in particular, though, from the Washington Post, is a bit troubling.

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Meet Lunar Chandelier, a New Brooklyn Poetry Press

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Next Monday evening, the Poetry Project hosts a launch reading for Lunar Chandelier, a new Brooklyn-based poetry press. (The readers are Vyt Bakaitis, Lynn Behrendt, and Joe Elliot, whose collections are the first books Lunar Chandelier is putting put.) We had some questions for publisher Kim Lyons:

What's your background? When, and why, did you decide to start a small poetry press here in Brooklyn?

Like nearly all publishers of poetry in the outer edges of the small press world, I am a poet myself. After nearly 30 years in New York of hectic poetry reading attending, writing, prior publishing projects including the last books of poetry printed on a mimeo machine—that was Prospect Books with Mitch Highfill—and as a kind of contributing editor to Joe Elliot’s Situations Press, and all sorts of interlaced happenings quintessential to this world, I thought to give back to the poets. It was time. I was banging my head against the wall trying to figure out a way to persuade some press to take a look at manuscripts by these poets and then: aha! Do it yourself.

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City Taking Proposals for Bike-Sharing Program

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Bike SHaring
Realizing that urban bike-sharing programs are no longer just for Scandinavian socialists, New York City plans to release a solicitation for bike-share proposals in the city today. The Times reports that the open call will likely require proposals to begin with a 10,000 bike roll-out from distribution points in dense business districts from Manhattan below 59th Street to Downtown Brooklyn (more bikes on the Brooklyn Bridge!). New York will be a late-comer to the States-side bike-share scene—despite flirting with a pilot program back in August—with programs already rolling in Denver and Minneapolis and others afoot in San Francisco and Boston. If New Yorkers are anything like Parisians with their Vélib' bikes, which are used 150,000 times per day, the program will have to expand quickly to meet demand. (Curbed)

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Get a Short Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse of the Spider-Man Musical

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Spider-Man musical trailer
A brief trailer and mini behind-the-scenes featurette for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark appeared on the show's Facebook page yesterday, just in time for the first preview, which is on Sunday. In addition to snippets of choreography and wire work, we get glimpses of a stunning set (pictured) with skyscrapers folding in on each other. It's all very fast, brief and blurry, though, and one gets the sense they don't want to give too much away, possibly because they're way behind schedule, or just to preserve that "wow!" effect. "We can't really tell you what this is," says director Julie Taymor, speaking into a mic, possibly to investors on the $60 million show, "but it has rock 'n' roll, drama, and it has circus." She continues: "Yes we have spectacle, but the spectacle is in the service of a good story." If you say so...

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Monday, November 22, 2010

LennonNYC Premieres Tonight on PBS

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

In honor of what will be the 30th anniversary of his death next month, PBS airs LennonNYC at 9pm tonight, a look into John Lennon's life after moving to New York in 1971. The latest in PBS' American Masters series, the documentary features never-before-seen outtakes from concerts and home movies, archival footage, and interviews with the likes of Elton John, photographer Bob Gruen (the guy behind the iconic "New York City" t-shirt photo) and Yoko, who, according to PBS, "cooperated extensively with the production and offers an unprecedented level of access." Check out the preview above. Pitchfork probably would've given this guy a 10.0 too, you know. Or, actually, maybe they wouldn't have. They've been known to make a bad call or two.

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Top Tweets in Response to Pitchfork's Kanye Review

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Boy, Pitchfork sure does like that Kanye West, huh? As everyone with eyeballs has heard...10.0, "OMG," "WTF," etc. Ryan Dombal's review of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy marks the first Pitchfork-granted 10.0 since 2002 (then with Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) and only the 12th non-reissue to receive a perfect score in the history of the 'Fork, causing Twitter to implode, critics to go loopy, and Best Coast to boldly state the obvious within hours of the review going live. It's basically this, but real life. Let's take a look at some of our favorite tweets among the first wave of reactions, just 'cause it's fun to see how riled up everyone is getting over a record review. In that sense, we all win.

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The L's Paddy Johnson Talks About Her Art Awards Nomination and Predicitons

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 3:46 PM

2010 Art Awards
Last week Rob Pruitt announced the nominees for his second Annual Art Awards, to be handed out at Webster Hall on December 8, including our own Paddy Johnson, founder of the excellent art blog Art Fag City. We asked her a few questions about her nomination, the other nominees, and her surest predictions.

The L: When did you find out that you were nominated in the "Blogger or Critic of the Year" category? Were you given any insight into the nomination process, or who else might have been contending for the four nominations? If you could add a fifth nominee, who would it be?
Paddy: I heard a rumor about it the first week of September, but I didn't find out until three weeks ago. I found out who the other nominees were when they released the list, though of course, it wasn't exactly a surprise that Jerry Saltz was nominated in the "Critic of the Year" category, or that Marina Abromovic is nominated in both "Solo Show of the Year, Museum" and "Artist of the Year." The Guggenheim asks professionals in the field to vote on nominees and winners, so it's a fairly democratic process as far as I can tell.

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The L Magazine: Parties, Giveaways, and Free Stuff for people who like us

Posted on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Does anyone have this sign? We want it.
  • Does anyone have this sign? We want it.
Whether you've been to one of our parties, reaped the rewards from one of our giveaways, or had your day brightened by our witty tweets, chances are that your life is that much better because you are socially connected to us. So for those of you who aren't, it's time for you to ride this train and never look back.

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter to hear about our exclusive booze parties, exclusive free music parties (these are usually combined), and other ways to win or collect free stuff. Thanks for your friendship, we'll reward you soon by posting a picture of you looking really cool at one of our events on our facebook or something.

Filmed in Brooklyn: Your Boardwalk Empire Recap

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire
Season 1, Episode 10, "Emerald City"

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! A peek in to Richard Harrow’s subconscious reveals a longing for a lost love and the missing half of his face. He opens his one eye to find Margaret’s terrified daughter screaming bloody murder after discovering him sleeping without his mask. Margaret is uncomfortable with the new living situation, but when she suggests to Nucky that he might consider an alternative, he brushes her off, insisting that Harrow is there for everyone’s protection. Later, Harrow takes a cue from The Wizard of Oz and cleverly tells the children he is the Tin Woodsman. Everyone is convinced, and Harrow settles comfortably in the role of Manny. For now…

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Solar Power Farm Coming to Sunset Park's Brooklyn Army Terminal

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Brooklyn Army Terminal solar panels
It's a new micro-trend! Massive ex-military Brooklyn buildings are getting retrofitted with green power-generating technology. First it was the Brooklyn Navy Yard getting solar and wind power, and now the Post announces that the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park (pictured, at right, with rendered rooftop solar farm) is slated to receive 50,000 square feet of solar panels as part of the city's Economic Development Corp. plan to test the feasibility of such large-scale clean-energy initiatives for city-owned buildings. The EDC will put up a little over a quarter of the $10 million required for the rooftop installation, for which proposals are currently being solicited, with the rest coming from Federal grants and tax credits. The panels are expected to generate some 600,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, roughly enough to supply 120 households. In one stroke, Sunset Park will surpass City Hall and Red Hook as the city's foremost 'hood for solar power. (Curbed)

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Unicyclist Suing NYPD for $3 Million (For Sidewalk Ticket)

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

  • Unicycles into ploughshares.
I've been pretty clear about my dislike of unicyclists (look, I know some actual people who unicycle, and they are very nice, but still...). So it was with great some interest that I read of the story of Kyle Peterson, a circus unicyclist who is suing the NYPD for $3 million after he was given a citation for riding his unit on a Bed-Stuy sidewalk in 2007. Mr. Peterson suffered the unfathomable indignities of waiting outside while the ticket was being written, and of hearing the cops sing circus music to him (heh).

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Art.sy, the Social Network for Blue Chip Art Collectors

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Likened by some, such as Business Insider, to the Pandora of art collecting, Art.sy is a new New York-based social network and customized recommendations site for top-tier art collectors. The recently-launched web start-up has more than your typical cast of wealthy investors behind it, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, global art gallery mogul Larry Gagosian, Twitter and Foursquare co-creator Jack Dorsey and dashing Russian art czar Dasha Zhukova. Membership is by invitation only, so I can't say what the user experience is like, but if you request an invitation you're asked to fill out a collector survey in which one of the questions is: "What is the typical price range of art you collect or are interested in collecting?"

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Cute Tourist Kid Hit by Biking Brooklynite on Brooklyn Bridge

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Bike accident kid with neck brace
On Friday evening, at 5:17 according to the Post, Brooklyn resident and inter-borough cyclist Reynaldo Morales collided with visiting Salt Lake City 7-year-old Porter Nielsen (pictured, horizontal) on the Brooklyn Bridge, on the Brooklyn side, causing the child to be placed in a neck brace and carried dramatically to an ambulance and from there driven to Bellevue Hospital. The Brooklyn Bridge on a Friday evening, of course, is pitch black and packed with pedestrians and bike commuters—both Morales and the Nielsens were in their respective lanes when the physics-defying crash occurred—so this type of incident isn't especially surprising, and frankly it's amazing that it doesn't happen more often.

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UPDATE: Stolen Williamsburg Shelter Dog Reunited with Longterm Companion

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Archie and Edith
  • Archie and Edith, together again, just in time for Turkey Day.
Boy, it's really nice to report some good news on a Monday morning. I told you on Friday about the bizarre case of Edith, a 12-year-old longhaired chihuahua who was stolen out of BARC, an animal shelter in Williamsburg. And as strange as it was to report a dog theft (from a shelter!), the saddest part of the story was Edith's separation from Archie, a 9-year-old moppy mutt.

Well... EDITH'S BEEN FOUND! I've yet to get full details, but apparently lots of credit is due to NYPD Detectives Vega and Randazzo who, according to BARC co-founder Vinny Spinola, "are wonderful, and went above and beyond the line of duty."

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Paul Auster Holds Court at BookCourt

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 8:55 AM

It can be easy to become disenchanted with an author who’s published enough not-terrific books in the decades since you got hip to his buzzed-about early work. That is, it’s hard to get hot for The Humbling if you picked up Portnoy’s Complaint in 1969. But for young minds, for which established classics are still to be discovered, which are just experiencing City of Glass for the first time, a minor-seeming late novel like Sunset Park can become an event.

Or, such was the theory I was working on Thursday while waiting for the Paul Auster reading at Book Court to begin. As the clock approached the advertised starting-time and passed it, I noticed the SRO crowd of 60 or so—at least one of whom brought his own wine—was overwhelmingly in their 20s, just like the heroes of the just-published Sunset Park. Maybe there was a different lesson: write about your demographic, or who you want that demographic to be.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Murakami Characters Appear Uncredited in Ad for Thanksgiving Day Parade

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Thanksgiving Floats including Murakami

As previously reported, two of J-Pop art superstar Takashi Murakami's trademark anime-inspired characters, Kaikai and Kiki (seen above at far right, below the ogre, next to the panda), will be floating through Midtown during this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday. But ANIMAL points out that all the floats are identified in the above ad from today's amNewYork, except Murakami's pair, which are by far the most intriguing and in need of captioning. The proof is after the jump.

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Our New York City Opera Photos, Now in Classy Black & White

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Last night culture buffs congregated at the New York City Opera for the L Mag’s second Act 4 event, featuring kick-ass indie pop musicians Active Child. A ticket to Strauss’ Intermezzo gave opera-goers access to our all-expenses-paid after party — that’s right, free booze, free concert.

Though the angelic vocals and delicate harp-strumming of these former choir boys are more Strauss’ style, Active Child’s 80’s synths turned the theater into a hopping after-hours spot. Partygoers enjoyed free cocktails as they lounged, shmoozed, and jammed out to some awesome harp-rock.

Unfortunately for you, this was the last Act 4 event of the decade. So if you missed this year’s events and love freebies (you already know we do), be sure to mark your calendars for March 24th, 2011, when the third installment will feature Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love followed by a special guest performance.

ACT 4 with Active Child
ACT 4 with Active Child ACT 4 with Active Child ACT 4 with Active Child ACT 4 with Active Child ACT 4 with Active Child ACT 4 with Active Child ACT 4 with Active Child ACT 4 with Active Child

ACT 4 with Active Child

By John Rogers, photographer

Click to View 19 slides

Here's an Exclusive Clip from The Legend of Pale Male, in Theaters Next Week

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 3:36 PM

The Legend of Pale Male, which opens in New York next Wednesday, is a documentary about quirky Manhattan history, conservation, and real estate. It retells the saga of Pale Male, the local-legend Red-tailed Hawk of Central Park, who prefers to nest in the facade of tony apartment buildings uptown. In late 2004, the co-op board of 927 Fifth Avenue (at East 74th) had the hawk's nest removed from its masonry, leading to a swarm of protests (including building resident—but not co-op board member, apparently—Mary Tyler Moore), as documented in this advance clip:

For more on the film, see thelegendofpalemale.com.

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Jasper Johns' 5 Most Presidential Medal of Freedom-Worthy Paintings

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Jasper Johns Map 1961

On Wednesday the White House announced 15 new recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the Commander in Chief can bestow on civilians, including Modernist painter Jasper Johns (also, George H.W. Bush...). Obama will pin medals on lapels during a ceremony early next year, but in the meantime, let's look at five Johns works that seem well-suited for presidential approval, starting with his stately "Map" (1961, above, from MoMA).

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