Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Massive NYC Effigy Will Go Up in Smoke at What Might be the Last Burning Man Festival Ever

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Burning Mans last stand?
  • Burning Man's last stand?
Bushwick denizens Kat and Jesse Green will set aflame an epic 12-foot model of New York City for the sake of setting aflame an epic 12-foot model of New York City at what might be the last Burning Man Festival ever at the Blackrock Desert in Nevada (now through Sept. 5).

The product of eight months of hard work with the help of many volunteers—including at least one biomedical engineer from DUMBO—will burn to a crisp this Sunday for the first ever “Circle of Regional Effigies.” For the 25th anniversary of Burning Man—an impromptu weeklong temporary city of creatives and contrarians—event organizers have invited regional groups across the country to light up effigies representing their home base in the biggest coordinated bonfire in the festival’s history. Coming from the biggest city in the nation, Kat Green told the Times, “We’re going to have the biggest effigy.”

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Another Awful Thing About the Barclays Center: Its Sidewalks Will be Really Narrow

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Good luck getting around this thing.
  • Good luck getting around this thing.

When you walk over to the Barclays Center to catch an inevitably disappointing Nets game, you might have to start tiptoeing on the sidewalk, or pinching in your elbows to avoid a tractor trailer. Forest City Ratner, never a community favorite, is still igniting local opposition. According to Atlantic Yards Report, in July FCR submitted a plan to the Parks Department to install 206 bollards around the arena, which revealed that several of the sidewalks surrounding Barclays will be much narrower than what FCR originally analyzed in their 2006 environmental impact statement that ultimately helped FCR win approval from the state.

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29-Year-Old Cyclist Killed on Bushwick Avenue Last Night

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Looking north from the intersection of Bushwick Avenue and Powers Street.
  • Looking north from the intersection of Bushwick Avenue and Powers Street.

Last night around 7pm 29-year-old Bushwick resident and dancer Erica Abbott was cycling southbound on Bushwick Avenue near Powers Street, mere blocks from her home, when she fell off her bicycle and was run over and killed by a woman driving a Mercedes-Benz. This marks the fourth cyclist fatality in August, and the second 29-year-old rider killed in Bushwick this month.

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What the? Jack White to Release Insane Clown Posse Covering Mozart on Vinyl

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Is this another one of those things where Jack White already has everything he could ever want, so he decides to do something completely wacky just to save himself from boredom and anomie? Pitchfork has reported that Jack White and his label, Third Man Records, will unleash "Leck Mich Im Arsch" (translating to "Lick Me in the Ass") unto the world, a 7" single that features Shaggy and Violent J rapping about ass cracks over Mozart melodies and female choral arrangements. How JEFF the Brotherhood got involved doing the grunge guitar thing underneath it all also remains a fucking mystery.

You can listen to it here. Then you can laugh hysterically before slumping over your keyboard and rubbing your tear-stained face over the keys, asking, "Why? Why?! WHY?" like I did. What is it, Jack? Drugs? Is it drugs? There is nothing more to say.

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Sony Warehouse Fire During London Riots May Have Been Orchestrated by Professional Thieves

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Sony-warehouse-007.jpg
The fire that destroyed a Sony distribution warehouse storing three million CDs from pretty much every independent label imaginable, in addition to tens of thousands of film DVDs, during the London riots in early August may have been a "professional heist," the Telegraph reports. While gangs of looters were seen helping themselves to the merchandise once the building went up in flames, new evidence suggests that a pack of robbers intentionally planned the fire, using the riots as a cover to blend in among the chaos. According to the Telegraph:

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New York Desperately Needs Blood

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM

blooddrop.jpg
The whole city seemed to shut down during Rainstorm Irene last weekend—including the blood drives. The New York Blood Center, which supplies 200 hospitals in the city with donated vital fluids, is now as a result down to a two-day supply, which could prove catastrophic for accident victims in need, the Times reports. "Any delay in providing sufficient amounts of appropriate blood types for victims could make a life or death difference,” the president of the city's Health and Hospital Corporation said.

To make matters worse, the blood center's website says the Brooklyn Donation Center by the Jay Street-Metrotech stop is closed until September 8. But several blood drives are scheduled in Brooklyn for this weekend and beyond. It might not solve the two-day crisis, but New York always needs blood.

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Brooklyn Artist's Touristy Makeover of Union Square GW Statue Approved (and Denied!)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Rendering of Leon Reid IVs Tourist in Chief.
  • Rendering of Leon Reid IV's "Tourist in Chief."

Despite being denied a permit by the Parks Department, Brooklyn-based sculptor and street artist Leon Reid IV took his proposal for the equestrian George Washington statue in Union Square before Manhattan's Community Board 5 on Monday, where it was given unanimous approval.

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Why Did Park Slope's Hotel Le Bleu Charge $999 for a Room During Irene?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Just a big misunderstading.
  • Just a big misunderstading.

Well, it turns out Hotel Le Bleu is just French for "The Blue Hotel," not "that morally bankrupt bluish hotel on Fourth Avenue..." After someone from Hotel Le Bleu left us a comment claiming that they did not actually charge $999 for a single night during Tropical Storm Irene and the whole thing was a huge mistake, we contacted them to find out what exactly happened.

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Williamsburg Art Space Not An Alternative Priced Out of Havemeyer Street Home

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Karolina Sobeckas interactive dog projection installation Sniff at Not An Alternative in 2009. (Photo: Frank Pichel)
  • Karolina Sobecka's interactive dog projection installation "Sniff" at Not An Alternative in 2009. (Photo: Frank Pichel)

It's been a bad year for DIY art spaces on Havemeyer Street: first Cinders Gallery was forced out of its 104 Havemeyer space by a massive rent increase (and then kicked out of its new location around the corner mere months later), and now neighboring art space Not An Alternative is having to vacate its storefront at 84 Havemeyer following a stunning 240 percent rent increase.

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Has McCarren Park Literally Become Too Shitty?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 8:57 AM

McCarren drunks of yore.
  • McCarren drunks of yore.

Does the mantle of gentrification show cracks? Will alcohol and other, um, "organic substances" derail utopian dreams of sweeping everything undesirable under the rug? Maybe: The Brooklyn Paper reports that “a group of middle-aged men” have been sleeping on benches in McCarren Park, showering in the sprinklers, and allegedly leaving urine and feces on the park grounds.

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Slideshow: Ruschmeyer's Hotel in Montauk

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Staying at Ruschmeyer's gives one the overwhelming sense of nostalgia for an experience that never actually happened—it's like staying at Wes Anderson's Summer Camp for Adults, and every day there's a hipster scavenger hunt. Visit their site for more details.

Slideshow
Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's
Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's

Montauk Escape: Ruschmeyer's

Staying at Ruschmeyer's gives one the overwhelming sense of nostalgia for an experience that never actually happened—it's like staying at Wes Anderson's Summer Camp for Adults, and every day there's a hipster scavenger hunt.

Click to View 7 slides

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Listen to the First New Olivia Tremor Control Song in Over a Decade

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Weve been busy doing this for 10 years.
  • "We've been busy doing this for 10 years."
Oh happy, happy day! The gods of psychedelia have bestowed a blessing upon us. "The Game You Play Is In Your Head, Parts 1, 2, 3" is a new track from the Olivia Tremor Control, and it bears all the classic hallmarks of one of the most prolific and enigmatic psych-pop outfits to emerge from mid '90s Athens, Ga. and the Elephant 6.

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Graffiti Temple 5Pointz' Days Are Numbered

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 3:23 PM

The interior yard at 5Pointz in its more-or-less current state.
  • The interior yard at 5Pointz in its more-or-less current state.

It had been a while since we heard about Jerry Wolkoff's plans to tear down the dilapidated warehouse he owns in Long Island City at 45-46 Davis Street—the world famous outdoor graffiti gallery and street art pilgrimage destination 5Pointz—and on Saturday the Times filed an update on the site's uncertain future.

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First They Came for the Dogs in Bars

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 2:36 PM

marianne-rafter-lucky-dog-bar-williamsburg-bryce-franich-of-colonel-records-with-dog.jpg
Since the city department of health instituted its letter grade system, health inspectors have been cracking down on dogs in bars, the Times's City Room blog reports, citing anecdotal evidence from bar owners and patrons who've observed an uptick in citations. Because liquor, beer and wine count as food under the relevant city guidelines, bars—even those that just sell plastic bags of Andy Capp Hot Fries—are no more supposed to allow dogs than any restaurant, technically, even in outdoor seating areas.

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Grand Army Plaza Getting Much-Needed Bike Lane Connections

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Grand Army Plaza, before its controversial bike lanes, in 1928.
  • Grand Army Plaza, before its controversial bike lanes, in 1928.

The overhauling of Grand Army Plaza has been a long time coming, especially for pedestrians and cyclists who've had to navigate a confusing jumble of lanes, crosswalks, islands and signals. But it's about to get better!

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The L Mag Questionnaire for Writer Types: Myla Goldberg

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 1:08 PM

myla-high_res.jpg
Myla Goldberg, of the Greater Park Slope area, is the author of the bestselling Bee Season, Wickett's Remedy, and most recently The False Friend, which has just been released in paperback, which she'll read from and discuss (with Darin Strauss) tomorrow night at the Greenlight Bookstore.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
Once someone told me that reading a description I had written made him wonder if he had unknowingly dropped some kind of fast-acting LSD. Even if it was just accurate for that one guy, that pretty much made my week.

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Wavves Likely Had More Fun at the VMAs Than Beyoncé's Unborn Child, Read His Tweets for Proof

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Youth
  • Youth
With the dust settling from Sunday night's Video Music Awards spectacle (or non-spectacle, if you find yourself in alignment with Justin Vernon), the real winner of this thing is starting to emerge: Wavves. Nathan, joined by bassist Stephen Pope, or at least until he got kicked out for pot possession, found himself in a real-life Tracy Jordan all-night rager. Or something like that. He irreverently tweeted the night's events as they unfolded, because that's sort of his thing. Follow the narrative arc from a selection of highlights below, then download his new song, "I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl," over at Spin.com.

I like when he complains about having to walk the red (black, whatever) carpet twice, but persevered.

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In Bed-Stuy, Foreclosures Facilitate Gentrification

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Mary Ward
  • Mary Ward
In recent weeks, Bed-Stuy has rallied around 82-year-old Mary Ward, a victim of predatory lending who is now facing eviction from her home. She has become the face of a crisis: the neighborhood has one of the highest foreclosure rates in America, the Bed Stuy Patch reports—which is bad for Bed-Stuy homeowners, but a potential boon to newcomers looking to swoop in. Patch reports:

This involuntary exchange of property into the hands of those looking to benefit off of another's misfortune weeds out many long-term residents, inevitably accelerating class gentrification.

The site recommends people in financial trouble seek help from community organizations before they go to lenders.

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Reported Rapes Quadruple in Williamsburg

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 10:42 AM

williamsburgbridge.jpg
Sexual assaults in Williamsburg have spiked—16 rapes have been reported in 2011, compared to four at the same time last year, the Brooklyn Paper reported. The incidents have occurred all over the neighborhood, and in most cases the victim knew her attacker, according to police. Councilmember Diana Reyna told the paper that an uptick in reported rapes doesn't necessarily mean that the actual number of sexual assaults have increased. "It suggests that those who are being assaulted are coming forward," she said. Other kinds of crime are either the same or down from last year.

Except, that is, for hate crimes against homosexuals, reports of which are also up in North Brooklyn, according to advocates.

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Giant Snake Found in Brooklyn Sink

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I just moved to Brooklyn!
  • "I just moved to Brooklyn!"
A leak during a tropical storm might seem routine. But workmen who responded to a call on Sunday about a leaky ceiling in Brownsville's Howard Houses discovered an overflowing sink guarded by a ten-foot python, the Daily News reports. It is illegal to keep pythons as pets in New York City; the two-year-old snake was taken to a shelter in Brooklyn—and not stuck with a pitchfork.

Housing-project fauna has been a popular topic since last week, when a three-foot rat was killed with a pitchfork in the Marcy Houses.

[photo]

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