Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Upstate Art Scene Gets Boost with New NADA Art Fair in Hudson

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Come July: 100 percent less snow, 100 percent more art.
  • Come late July: 100 percent less snow, 100 percent more art.

Remember how last summer we suggested you travel up the beautiful Hudson River Valley to take in some of the region's world-class art institutions? Well this summer there'll be another must-see stop on your upstate art day trip: the NADA Art Fair in Hudson on July 30 and 31.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photos and a Video from Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 4:37 PM

As you may have heard, there's a new magazine on the streets called Brooklyn Magazine, and we're proud to say we made it with our own two collective hands. Last Friday, we celebrated our creation with a launch party at Causey Contemporary Gallery in Williamsburg. Snacks were savored, gift bags were treasured, and in between sips of Brooklyn Brewery beer, I <3 Boy photographer Jessica Yatrofsky took some stellar polaroids and video (available after the jump). Tag yourself and your friends in these portraits on facebook.

Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party
Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party

Brooklyn Magazine Launch Party

Click to View 35 slides

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Atlantic Yards Causes Bike-SUV Collision

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Vision-blocking blue construction fences at the Atlantic Yards site.
  • Vision-blocking blue construction fences at the Atlantic Yards site.

Last week a bicycle deliveryman was killed on the Upper East Side after a car swerved to avoid Second Avenue subway construction and cut off a city bus, which hit the cyclist, and last night construction blockages precipitated a non-fatal bicycle collision in Brooklyn: the Park Slope Patch reports that shortly after 10pm an SUV hit a cyclist at the intersection of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue after the driver's view of the oncoming rider was blocked by big blue Atlantic Yards construction walls.

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DUMBO's New Cultural Affairs Director Has Top-Shelf Art World Credentials

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM

An outdoor installation by Natsu at the Dumbo Arts Festival.
  • An outdoor installation by Natsu at the Dumbo Arts Festival.

Last month Zannah Mass left her job as the Cultural Affairs Director for Two Trees Management—the real estate company that owns most of DUMBO, oversees the DUMBO Arts Festival (pictured) and keeps a strong set of arts groups in the area—a post she'd held since 2007. Now, DumboNYC reports that Lisa Kim has been selected as Mass's successor, and she brings some pretty hefty art world muscle to the job.

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Carroll Gardens Kids Forced to Take Patriotism "Litmus Test"

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

PS 29 on Henry Street, where lapel flag-pins are mandatory for teachers
  • PS 29 on Henry Street, where lapel flag-pins are mandatory for teachers
For a decade, students at Carroll Gardens' PS 29 have not had to pledge their allegiance to the nearest American flag every morning. But those anarchic days are over. Parents complained about the missing indoctrination ritual, the Carroll Gardens Patch reports. "If a parent wants it, I have no choice, we have to do it," the school's principal said. New York State law requires that schools do the pledge of allegiance, although students are not forced to participate. (After September 11th, the Bord of Ed "passed a resolution" that "reinforced" the law. God, remember those days? When suddenly there were American flag decals on bus windows?) Once I found out I didn't have to say the pledge of allegiance, as a high school student, I defiantly refused to stand daily, such the rebel was I. But some parents worry that children who decline to rise up and swear that they cross-their-heart-hope-to-die love America could be harassed by jingoistic bullies.

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Where's Williamsburg Waldo? New Local Tumblr Knows

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Williamsburg Waldos in a subway billboard.
  • Williamsburg Waldo's in a subway billboard.

The hilarious new sticker art Tumblr Williamsburg Waldo (the work of local graphic designer Daniel Savage) explains: "Waldo got some horn rim glasses, some skinnies, a pair of clae's and is wandering around Williamsburg. Help us find him!" The hipsterified Waldo sticker is shown on L train signage, subway billboards (as above), and even the back of a soap dispenser in the bathroom at Oak. Have you seen him? (DesignYouTrust)

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More Musicians Announce Releases to Benefit Japan

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 1:13 PM

WNYC has compiled a very useful list of Japan benefit shows to attend throughout the month. But in addition to the slew of concerts organized to aid Japan in the wake of the tsunami, musicians are also releasing albums and cassettes for disaster relief. A sampling of them below.

The Morning Benders have made available for download their Japan Echo EP, eight tracks with contributions from artists Wild Nothing, Twin Sister, Star Slinger and more. All proceeds go to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund.

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$1 Heineken Drafts at Literary Upstart Tomorrow Night

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Literary Upstart, The L's short fiction competition and reading series (brought to you by Harper and the New School), finally kicks off this year's readings tomorrow night at Spike Hill, at 7pm.

There, four of the city's best unknown writers will read short, previously unpublished fiction, vying for the ultimate approval of our panel of judges: Distinguished Spokesjudge Ben Greenman, Electric Literature cofounder Andy Hunter, literary agent Katherine Fausset, the New School's Luis Jaramillo, HarperCollins and Fifty-Two Stories' Cal Morgan, and the L's Adam Bonislawski.

And for you—for everyone, really. For humanity—there'll be dollar beers. (As you know, because you clicked through the title of this post.) Dollar Heineken drafts, starting at 7pm and continuing through 8pm. So we'll expect to see you there, supporting new writing and cheap beer, without which there would be no new writing.

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Choice Eats 2011: Lowly Intern Prepares To Overeat at Tonight's Food Festival

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Yummy-looking something from Choice Eats 2010.
  • Yummy-looking something from Choice Eats 2010.

T-minus a bit less than 7 hours until Choice Eats 2011, where the Village Voice challenges me to sample food from several dozen different restaurants hand picked by Voice food critic Robert Sietsema, and I take it on, with varying results. Perhaps I'll have to be rolled out, or I'll walk out unscathed, but regardless the event—which is being held yet again tonight at the 69th Armory on Lexington Avenue at 26th Street from 6:30-9:30pm—will prove to be either incredible, heart attack-inducing, or a little bit of both.

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The L Mag Questionnaire for Writer Types: Oliver Broudy

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Oliver Broudy, a freelancer and former Paris Review staffer in upper upper Manhattan, has just published The Saint, an Amazon Kindle Single ebook (85 pages, $1.99).

For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
"This small, extraordinary book has more to say about life, disappointment, New York, Tibet, India, the holy, and the profane, than most other books could say in ten times as many pages. Oliver Broudy's astounding, funny, harrowing, and finally quite sad experience with a millionaire philanthropist and arch eccentric—a man as saintly as he is demonic—is conveyed in prose as startling as cold water. This is a book I deeply envy, a book I will read again—probably immediately."
Tom Bissell (author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter)

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Watch the New Pains of Being Pure at Heart Video (Also Go Buy Their New Record)

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM

To coincide with the release of their outstanding sophomore full-length, Belong, former L Mag "8 NYC Band You Need to Hear" the Pains of Being Pure at Heart drop the video for the album's first single, "Heart in Your Heartbreak," and it is a doozy, replete with mullets, theft and arguments about the proper height at which to hold your bass guitar. Check back in tomorrow for much more with the Pains, but in the meantime, here you go.

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#serials@TheFlea, Week 3 Recap: Taking Liberties with Mythology, Libertines and Cereal Puns

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 9:10 AM

#serials best costume accessory to date.
  • #serials' best costume accessory to date.
Welcome back to The L's continuing coverage of #serials@TheFlea, coverage that—get this— itself is serialized. This marks the final recap of cycle two, but we'll be back whenever the third cycle begins (the start date is unknown; it could be a multi-month gap).

Pro-incumbent fever swept #serials this past week, with neither new show garnering enough votes to move onto the next round, whenever that is. I am both startled and a little dismayed by the results; I thought both newcomers were fascinating and creative and I wouldn't have been disappointed to see either of them return. While I'm halfway tempted to throw up a Citizen Kane-style FRAUD AT POLLS headline on this sucker, I must accept the will of the drunken late-night people and move on. It certainly isn't as though the week's winners weren't worthwhile too.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

City-Suing Slope Bike Lane-Bashers Dispute DoT Data

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Not to be trusted.
  • Not to be trusted.

Back in January the city's Department of Transportation published a report that seemed to indicate the overwhelmingly beneficial effects of the epically disputed Prospect Park West bike lane, like dramatically reduced speeding, fewer accidents and virtually no additional gridlock. Auto-dependent borough president Marty Markowitz wasn't buying it; nor was the small group of well-connected Park Slopers currently suing the city to have the lane removed, who were quick to dispute the apparent benefits. Now the NIMBY group is picking apart specific stats from the DoT report.

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City Opera's Monodramas Shows Every Generation Gets the Music It Deserves

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Director Michael Counts' Monodramas, a new, defiantly abstract, aggressively alienating, and conceptually overblown collection of three short vocal works at City Opera, traces the evolution of musical communication as Robert LePage's recent Nightingale and Other Short Fables elucidated the history of theater: it begins in a quasi-primitive time without language, moves through the discovery of poetry (and nightmarish imagery) and lands in the demoralizing mechanical-monotone of the postmodern present, using the ugliness of contemporary music to force a mirror in front of our faces.

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Marty's Bike Hate Explained: Markowitz Is an Automobile Addict

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

We would also have accepted BK RULZ, PREZ4LIFE and JUNIORS.
  • We would also have accepted "BK RULZ," "PREZ4LIFE" and "JUNIORS."

We've long been puzzled by Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz's near-schizophrenic attitudes towards the borough's cycling community, at times seeming to encourage it, but more often going hard against it. Now it all makes sense: Marty's addicted to cars.

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Watch Shark? Perform Live for Newtown Radio

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Well, this is certainly a pleasant surprise on an otherwise incredibly boring Monday. Awkwardly punctuated local band Shark? was recently filmed performing their excellent self-titled song (yes, you read it right) for Newtown Radio. This is the first song of theirs I ever heard, and to their credit, they've only gotten better and better. Consider picking up their new 7" for proof. Or at least consider listening to it.

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Ted Leo Sings Woody Guthrie in Support of Wisconsin Laborers, but What the Fuck is Going on in Michigan?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

The Wisconsin protests have been receiving a fair amount of press, but what about Michigan's "Emergency Manager" law? Signed into effect March 16th, so far the controversial decision has attracted little mainstream attention or upset.

As The Wall Street Journal reported:

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Guess Who the Big Winners Were at the JUNO Awards This Weekend

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 12:09 PM

  • The JUNO Awards
These guys.

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Halsey Street L Stop: Deadliest Subway Station?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM

The most dangerous street in Brooklyn?
  • The most dangerous street in Brooklyn?
A man forsaken by his ex-girlfriend took his own life on Saturday by jumping in front of the L train near the Halsey Street station. The man, who has not yet been identified, assaulted his ex (who was not injured) at her apartment when she spurned his pleas for reconciliation, the Daily News reported, then headed for the subway, where he climbed off the platform and walked the tracks before putting himself in front of an oncoming train around 8 p.m.

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How to Clean Your Sex Toys

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Dear Audrey,

Over the years I've amassed a collection of sex toys. What's the best way to clean them all? Some of them are made of different materials, and some of them I don't really remember what they're made of. I definitely want to be safe and sanitary but I don't want to destroy any of them or shorten their lives.

So, as usual with questions that require actual knowledge, you ask me and I ask the internet. And the internet says (in several places!) that your best bet is to read the cleaning instructions that came with the toys and follow them. Which really? The internet really thinks everyone has some shoebox in the bottom of a closet somewhere filled with little dildo informational booklets, saved just in case? That is like some hoarders-level shit right there. Plus also I feel pretty sure that none of the sex toys I've ever come across had any accompanying literature beyond maybe a little slip of paper that shows how many and what kind of batteries you need, but then I'm cheap so I don't buy the good stuff.

In any case, warm soap and water, especially anti-bacterial soap, will do the trick for most things. Definitely do not get batteries and electrical plugs wet, which duh. Obviously sex electricity functions the same as toaster electricity in that regard. Silicon and glass can go in the dishwasher, though how you feel about that is up to you. I mean I get that if the dishwasher is sterilizing stuff then it will sterilize your plates and your butt plugs together, but to me there's just something unsavory about that prospect. Separate loads, maybe.

Silicon can also be boiled, but don't boil molded plastic because it will melt. I found this out the hard way one time when I found a roach in my kitchen drawer and freaked out and dumped the entire contents of the drawer into a giant pot of boiling water for an hour. All the plastic spatulas melted, which was a drag, but I was also secretly relieved because ew, roach cooties. Metal implements can be boiled or dishwashed or just washed in soap.

Most non-porous things can also be cleaned in a very mild bleach solution (9 to 1) so long as you make sure to really rinse the bleach off afterward. Needles and such should be boiled or autoclaved. Apparently rubber is very porous and is basically a shitty material to make sex toys out of. Use a condom or just throw those ones away and get some non-rubber stuff. Oh and of course feel free to use condoms on any of your sex toys if you want to be double extra sure, but if it were me I would still give them a good wash afterward.

Leather is pretty porous too. For straps and things you can just wipe them down and let them dry, but for anything that's going in an orifice I think you're going to want to use a condom. It seems that they also make special sex toy cleaning gels and fluids, but I suspect those are probably kind of a rip-off. Just figure out what material your toy is made of, and clean it like any normal thing that is made of that material (that is covered with sex fluids). And I guess next time you buy a sex toy save the instructions? Or don't because that's weird. Just use soap.

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