Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About New York City in Songs

The next time you’re tempted to write a song about the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” do New Yorkers a favor: don’t. The latest pop homage to New York comes via virtual unknown Catey Shaw and “Brooklyn Girls,” an anthem for young female transplants riding the L train from their apartments in Bushwick to Williamsburg, asserting their edginess by wearing combat boots in the summer. It’s suddenly started to go viral, three days after its release — yesterday afternoon, “Brooklyn Girls” had 7,000 views on YouTube. As of press time, it has 105,000. A great deal of its rise to prominence is attributable to the instant backlash from Brooklynites intimately familiar with the world Shaw describes (i.e., many music bloggers). … Read More

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The Brooklyn Cyclones’ Delightfully Geeky Salute to ‘Seinfeld': It’s Real and It’s Spectacular

A grown man asked me to take a picture of him with a minor league baseball team’s mascot this weekend, but before I did, he needed to put on his puffy shirt. You see, he was just trying to match Sandy the Seagull. … Read More

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Northside Festival 2014 Highlights: CHVRCHES, Swearin’, Pharmakon

Five years ago, the folks behind Brooklyn Magazine and The L Magazine created what seemed at the time to be a CMJ Music Marathon exclusive to Williamsburg venues, dubbed Northside Festival. Over time, CMJ has deteriorated into a shell of itself: Lower East Side venues brimming with brand parties that wouldn’t even make the radar at SXSW and bills rounded out by major labels’ baby bands. With all due respect to what CMJ once was, the music portion of Northside — which now, in a SXSW-esque twist, includes innovation and film panels — has grown to be a much clearer representation of indie rock (at a time when the genre term has come to communicate very little) — and a cleaner go at music discovery. … Read More

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Adelle Waldman’s Scarily Accurate Brooklyn Returns in ‘The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.’ Ebook Prequel

Adelle Waldman’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., new to paperback this week, was one of the pleasures of last year, a book with such a witty 19th-century voice, so creepily accurate about life in Brooklyn as a freelance writer and a self-made literary type, that after reading it, it was hard to not see things through its lens — or to imagine Waldman in the back of the room at any party, taking copious notes. A recent Observer article on how Nathaniel P. connected with readers begins with a 23-year-old woman in finance (who hadn’t read the book), calling a potential paramour “Nathaniel P.” Admittedly, I may have even written an email last year that included a sentence like, “Don’t waste your time on someone living that Nathaniel P. life, my friend.” (And yes, that waste of time does work for a New York-based media company.) … Read More

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Spike Lee’s Posturing About Gentrification Helps No One

It’s been a whole month since Spike Lee spoke out about gentrification in Brooklyn, but never fear, he’s back on his soapbox about his favorite topic — specifically, he’s taken issue with A.O. Scott’s recent piece in the New York Times, which addressed the matter of gentrification in Brooklyn. Lee has of course been vocal about this subject in the past, and he posted a lengthy response to Scott’s article on his Facebook. … Read More

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A Whiskey Distillery Grows in Brooklyn: Talking Moonshine With Kings County Distillery’s Colin Spoelman

The thing about walking into the Navy Yard building that houses small-batch whiskey producer Kings County Distillery is that it looks exactly like what you’d imagine: old brick walls and a marker over the front door that commemorates the date when the building was completed, set amid a cluster of other ancient, nondescript brick buildings. It didn’t hurt that I walked to this little corner of Brooklyn on an overcast day that seemed to mark the true beginning of autumn, a full month late. … Read More

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Watch Banksy’s ‘The Sirens of the Lambs’ Spook Onlookers

Squeaky puppets and stuffed animals, crammed into a slaughterhouse delivery truck, will be creeping around New York’s meatpacking district… Read More

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Portraits from Brooklyn’s DIY Music and Art Space, the Market Hotel

If you live in Brooklyn, chances are you’ve heard of the Market Hotel. Run by Todd Patrick, the Bushwick venue was a Dominican speakeasy during the 1970s. In recent years, it became a spot for indie music acts of every ilk — including Death Grips, who played with a ten-foot guillotine on stage — but it was never legal. The loft space was also home to about a dozen people. They were recently displaced in order to get the building up to code and resurrect the Market Hotel with legal standing as a new “sustainable, all-ages, open-to-the-community, 7-nights-a-week home for independent music and art.” Photographer Adam Krause, who we first learned about on Cool Hunting, captured their final days at the untamed concert/studio space before its rebirth. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More

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The Last Roller Skating Rink in New York City

The last roller rink in New York City isn’t as much a roller rink as it is a gymnasium in the Salvation Army building located along Kosciuszko Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Every Wednesday night since 2008, the Crazy Legs Skate Club has opened its doors at 8:00pm for all those 18 and over wanting to get down. Admission is $10.00, because the charitable organization doesn’t rent out its gym for free.

One Wednesday night in February, I visited Crazy Legs. The painted lines on the gym’s wooden floor were faded, the basketball rims up above were bent, and the northern wall was lined with a row of metal folding chairs. A scant assortment of Christmas lights festooned about provided the otherwise dark room with a muted glow, while a great mass of bodies on wheels moved in a counter-clockwise formation. Some experienced skaters occupied the center, where they swirled and twirled to the music in a manner that left no limb looking anything less than fabulous. Around 120 people were there, total. … Read More

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