Naked Bike Ride

photo courtesy of treehugger.com

Now that you know how to properly ride a bike without getting a ticket, disregard that and get naked.  Okay, wear a helmet, and body paint if you’d like, and join the third annual 2011 World Naked Bike Ride NYC this Saturday. By the way, it’s legal to be topless in NYC! Lose those hot clothes that barely cover your skin anyway, and come out to raise awareness for green transportation and the environment.  Here are the details from the official Facebook page:

“RAIN OR SHINE (your body is water proof)
3 pm- Gather to socialize, body paint and prepare (b.y.o.~ paints and brushes)
5 pm- Riders Assemble
6 pm- We RIDE!!!
EAST RIVER PARK MANHATTAN,
JUST SOUTH OF WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE,
ENTER at DELANCEY ST @ migrate towards the East River

Don’t miss the official after party hosted by environmental group Time’s Up at S. 6th and Bedford Ave.

Rabbis vs. Tank-tops

Photo by Aaron Short

In another bit of culture clash, members of Williamsburg’s Hasidic Jewish community are posting fliers around Southside reminding women not to show too much skin this summer.
Following a decree from the Central Rabbinical Congress, known for enforcing strict dress codes, the Yiddish language signs instruct orthodox Jewish women to refrain from wearing tank tops, short skirts, or any clothing to tight, or too skimpy. Clothing evidently isn’t the only issue of decency and virtue taken up by the congress. According to The Brooklyn Paper:

Last month, members of a neighborhood modesty group stapled posters to lampposts warning women against talking on cellphones in public and urging them to move to the other side of the street when a man is walking on the sidewalk.”

Williamsburgers are no strangers to a few differences in cultural tradition.  Over the years debates about bike lanes, billboards, rent, and woman’s rights have shown us the challenges of living in such a diverse city, and the importance of understanding and communication.

Andrew Bird plays free show in Prospect Park

On Friday June 10 at 8:15pm Andrew Bird will play the Celebrate Brooklyn! Opening Night Concert. Since 1979 Celebrate Brooklyn! has provided outdoor performing arts festivals in Prospect Park. The festival offers music, film, spoken word/theater, dance, and more. The best part is all Celebrate Brooklyn! performances are free! Obviously they couldn’t do it alone, so sponsors and friends help keep the festival alive. Opening night is part of a gala to honor longtime festival sponsors Jet Blue and Ray Levin. The evening will feature a lot more than Bird’s performance, but the extra’s require a ticket. They’re a bit pricey, but it’s a worthy cause.

Check out the schedule for this summer’s series running June 10-August 6 with benefit shows running until August 11. It’s worth getting out of Williamsburg for these shows.

Ai Weiwei Sculptures Exhibit in NY

Dissident artist Ai Weiwei was not in attendance for the opening of his Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads sculpture unveiled today outside Central Park, across from the Plaza Hotel at Grand Army Plaza 5th Avenue and 60th Street. As an outspoken human rights advocate, and critic of the Chinese Communist Party Mr. Ai made enemies in the Beijing establishment and was taken into custody last month. He has been missing since his arrest. You can show your support for Ai’s release by signing this petition and coming to see this inspiring collection of modern sculpture.  Before returning to China, Ai lived in New York for many years, and attended Parsons School of Design.  According to Gothamist,  Ai said in a statement,

“My work is always dealing with real or fake, authenticity and value and how value relates to current political and social understandings and misunderstandings. However, because Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads is composed of animal heads, it’s a work that everyone can understand, including children and people who are not in the art world. I think it’s more important to show your work to the public. That’s what I really care about.”

Industries of the Blind Chapter 1 Release Party

The much awaited release of Brooklyn based instrumental post rock band Industries of the Blind debuts at Coco66 Friday. On April 8 their evolving lineup, now consisting of three guitars, a bass, keys, two violins, a viola, and drums will premiere their first official release in their nearly eight years. Originating in the great state of North Carolina in 2003, the band has grown through various incarnations, honing their technical, sprawling sound and ethereal energy. Industries is sure to bring an exciting and memorable show along with Ghastly City Sleep and Future Ghosts. The new Industries album, “Chapter 1” is available for download at any digital retailer or their website. Rumor has it, a few songs from their upcoming album, Chapter 2, might make their way onto the set list. For only 7 bucks, don’t miss this show.

Stupid Alien Hipsters

Phil DePaolo, a Williamsburg resident for 32 years, filmed this unidentified glowing thingamajig around 11pm Monday night over the streets of the neighborhood. He said it vanished within 15 minutes. Rumor has it they came to Earth for brunch around 1pm, had one too many bloody marys and stayed all day. DePaolo caught their escape. They’ll be back for St. Patty’s day parties. Maybe its just some schmuck’s art project. Annoying footage from FoxNY

UFO Over Brooklyn?: MyFoxNY.com

R.I.P. B.I.G.

On this day in 1997 Brooklyn lost a famous son, and Hip Hop lost a legend. Christopher George Latore Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, The Notorious B.I.G., and Big Poppa died after being shot in California; the victim of a much debated unsolved drive-by case. We all know the story. Avoid the west coast, pour some out for Biggie and Bed-Stuy, and enjoy this clip.

I Stand With Planned Parenthood

The House of Representatives voted to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.  In response, supporters all over the country have gathered to tell the GOP that the services offered by Planned Parenthood are more than necessary to promote woman’s rights and physical health. Planned Parenthood offers everything from basic OBGYN exams to STI testing and cancer screenings, mammograms, and pap smears to women here and throughout the United States. As we reported earlier today, New Yorkers met at Foley Square to show their support for the organization, reproductive freedom, and public health,   To learn more, click here.

My favorite sign slogans at the rally:

“Republicans care about fetuses until they become women”

“Laissez faire my uterus”

“Giving up

On

Prevention. ”

“Get your Boehner out of my Vagina”