Even Ex-Georgian presidents have trouble affording Williamsburg these days


[photo via NY Times]

Mikheil Saakashvili once lead a nation in a war against Vladimir Putin’s Russia, but today he’s got issues with a foe more intimately familiar to us all: the cost of living in Williamsburg.

“I’m not poor poor, but it really bites,” the ex-Georgian president told the NY Times in a profile piece last week. The disgraced founder of the United National Movement was barred from running for a third term last year’s Georgian presidential election, so he decided to move to a condo on North 7th Street and ride his fixie over ti Cafe Mogador to “work on his book” all day.

Seriously, he’s a regular L train ridin, Dun Well Donut buyin’, kiss-stealin, wheel n’ dealin sonuvagun (WOO!) And he’s got a keen sense of the socioeconomic up-trending and/or cultural assimilation of “alternative culture” over the past decade and a half. [Read more...]

A former Rock Paper Scissors champ is making dough at Williamsburg bars

rps32-year-old ‘pro’ Rock Paper Scissors player Brian Bennett has been winning money at Williamsburg bars like Union Pool thanks to [Read more...]

This Goes To Eleven: Weekly metal roundup

ELECTRIC-WIZARD_Ester-Segarra_1Coming off last week’s release slate, we were bound for a correction toward the mean, and that’s exactly what we’ve got. While the shows go on (this is NYC, after all), things on the new music side of the metal spectrum are running a little lean, so take this as an opportunity to get caught up on some things you missed and get rested for next Tuesday’s resumption of insanity. For those of you who are currently experiencing symptoms including but not limited to excessive itching, eyelid spasms, cold sweats, and nausea, however, please follow me. For the right price, I may have just what you’re looking for.

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Bar/restaurant finally opens at Bushwick’s Flushing and Forrest triangle


[photo via Facebook]

Haven’t you all always wondered what the hell that mysterious triangle-shaped plot of land was on Flushing Avenue across the street from Life Cafe 983? It always seemed to me that it’d make a sweet spot for a bar and/or restaurant. Well, I guess I wasn’t alone; Forrest Point opened its doors a few weeks ago at 970 Flushing Ave:

Darin Rubell of East Village spots Boulton & Watt and Ella has long admired the triangular plot across the street from his other place, 983 — Bushwick’s Living Room. “It’s the most unique, special space in Bushwick, in my eyes,” he told us. The onetime Flushing Farms property has sat conspicuously fallow for the past five years but still boasts grape vines, rose bushes, and apricot trees from when an artist tended a garden there.

Now Rubell and his partners in 983, David Rotter and Mark Trzupek, are poised to revive it as what Rubell says will be “a neighborhood bar and restaurant in this little oasis in Bushwick.”

On the bar side, Dustin Olson of Ward III has created a cocktail list that includes milk punches served by the glass or in a fishbowl. And on the restaurant tip, Rotter has contributed an “eclectic” 12-item menu that’s dotted with Mediterranean and other international touches. (See both below.)

Obviously, the place’s allure is its 70 outdoor seats, but the airy interior (which holds another 60 seats) is appealing as well: hanging lightbulbs are dramatically enclosed in gigantic birdcages and the walls are splashed with art by Ben Angotti, who also painted the building’s exterior.

All of that — plus a square bar that lends itself to mingling — should make for vibey evenings and late nights. For daybirds (and for the hungover who don’t mind returning to the scene of the crime), there’ll be lunch as well as a takeout window serving coffee, breakfast and pastries starting around 8 a.m. [Bedford and Bowery]

I checked out the bar the other night for a few pumpkin ales (where did summer go?) and a quick bite. They’ve done a remarkable job with the space. Good stuff. The burger was cooked perfectly and was reasonably portioned (and only $7.) The waffle-fries were well-seasoned and enough to share. I can’t wait to go back for the tuna tartar tacos. All in all, a very welcome addition to a hood in dire need of decent late-night eats.

Check out the menu here.

The Knick…why are you not watching this immediately?!

The Knick

Great stories are made of great characters.  Of which, they need fulfill two essential elements:

  • They’re multifaceted and have depth (i.e., not the usual shallow monstrosities you typically see).
  • They have desire. As Vonnegut once said, “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.”

Some of you may recall it being shot in Greenpoint last October, The Knick, set in and around The NY Knickerbocker hospital of Manhattan circa early 1900s, has these characters in spades. I guarantee, will immediately draw you in.  The cast is simply amazing.  Most notable of which are Clive Owen and Andre Holland.  This may just yet be Clive’s piece de resistance in his role as Chief Surgeon Dr. John Thackery, a coke-addicted yet absolutely brilliant and endlessly driven doctor.  Andre Holland is cast as Assistant Chief Surgeon Dr. Algernon Edwards, a pioneering African-American doctor, who addresses the racist obstacles of the day head on (with both mental and physical muster). There’s Tom Cleary, the hard-drinking ambulance driver, Sister Harriet, the abortion-performing nun, Herman Barrow, the fund-pocketing snake-like hospital manager, and Cornelia Robertson, the strong willed head of the hospital’s social welfare office (and daughter to the Knick’s main benefactor Captain August Robertson).

Not for the faint of heart, there’s a fair amount of gore (especially in the operating theatre).  Steven Soderbergh excels in his double duty as both director and cinematographer (the latter under his pseudonym Peter Andrews). The sound scape is gorgeous.  Rather than opting for tracks of the time, they’ve chosen Cliff Martinez’ very modern scoring style (whose previous works include The Limey, Traffic, Solaris, and Contagion) and is simply sublime. It’s already been picked up for a second season and I cannot wait to see where it goes.

For those who have Cinemax, WATCH IT NOW.  For those without, be on the lookout as it becomes available on other “platforms”.  The first episode was being offered for free regardless of subscription and may still be dependent on whether you’ve got FIOS or Time Warner.

The Knick airs on Cinemax every Friday, 10PM EST and available On Demand.


Live Review: The Dandy Warhols played Music Hall of Williamsburg


There was more than a hint of nostalgia in the air when The Dandy Warhols rolled into town this weekend. As well as celebrating their 20th anniversary, the band are currently on tour promoting their first ever live album, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia Live At the Wonder (listen here); which in itself celebrates the 13th anniversary of Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia. 

To add some personal nostalgia to proceedings, I saw The Dandys play Oxford in June of 2000; the week of my 18th birthday. I still remember that show fondly as  the band ripped through songs from Thirteen Tales… which had yet to be released. Oh, and England beat Germany in Euro 2000 that night.

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Verboten Presents Willkommen in the Park: Outdoor Deep House Yoga

DeepHouse YogaNEW

Partying heavily this weekend? Good for you! After it’s all said and done, don’t fear the beginning of the week. Monday is the perfect time to reset, and what better way to get right than by giving your chakras some attention at a Deep House Yoga Session? Catch Verboten’s last Deep House Yoga session of the summer with Willkommen in the Park this Monday, September 22nd. Detox and bring the focus back to your well being, while enjoying live house music from George Faya + Tasha Blank.

[Read more...]

Midnight Movie Screenings 9/19-9/21 Include Heavenly Creatures and Harold and Kumar

Alright boys and girls, it’s midnight movie time and things are about to get weird.  As usual, this weekend brings you everything including cult comedies, bizarrely violent films, and the most ‘90s movie ever made. Let’s start with the pleasant though, shall we? [Read more...]