France’s New President Is A Kanye-Loving Socialist

While you were busy yesterday sleeping off your Cinco de Mayo hangover, France was electing a new president. Socialist candidate François Hollande won 51.6% of the vote, beating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, who had 48.4%.

So what should you know about Hollande? One of his biggest challenges will be dealing with European and national debt, which he plans to address by raising taxes on the rich and corporations. He also wants more teachers, judges, and houses, and supports gay marriage. The mother of his four children, Ségolène Royal, is also an important French Socialist politician.

Oh, and his official campaign video is set to “Ni**as in Paris.” Quite a different direction from Sarkozy’s politics.

Hollande may take office as soon as May 14th. At least Sarkozy can always fall back on his wife’s singing acting career.

Waterfront Concerts Lineup Is Starting To Take Shape


The lineup for this season’s waterfront concerts at Williamsburg Park is finally beginning to take shape. On Monday event organizers announced four concerts that we can look forward to, three of which are ticketed and one of which is free:

Pretty Good Friends with Eugene Mirman and special guests OK GO – July 19th (free)

Cake – August 10th (ticketed)

My Morning Jacket with Shabazz Palaces – August 19th (ticketed)

Sublime with Rome, Cypress Hill, and Pepper – August 24th (ticketed)

Here’s What North Brooklyn Has Planned For Tomorrow’s “May Day”


The national Occupy movement is planning a “May Day” general strike tomorrow. The Facebook event page has 25,000 attendees and while some locations are hosting specific events, the main plan is for “NO WORK – NO SCHOOL – NO SHOPPING – NO BANKING – NO TRADING.”

“The goal is to shut down commerce worldwide and show the 1% we will not be taken for granted, we will not be silenced, WE WILL NOT MOVE until our grievances are redressed,” organizers write on Facebook.

In Williamsburg and Bushwick – where we’ve seen Occupiers in action before – groups are joining forces in a march over the Williamsburg Bridge and into Wall Street. Occupy Bushwick invites participants to meet at Maria Hernandez Park at 8am. From there the group will march to Continental Army Plaza and meet up with Occupy Williamsburg, followed by a march over the bridge and into lower Manhattan.

Inside The Band Rooms and Lofts Of The Wythe Hotel

Wythe Hotel

The long-anticipated Wythe Hotel finally opens on Tuesday and according to its website, it “has rooms for artists, friends, brewmasters, musicians, concertgoers, mothers, brothers, grandmothers, bowlers, interns, twins, engineers, vignerons, and chefs.” That just about covers the major demographics of gentrified Brooklyn (aside from dog walkers, bathtub whiskey distillers, and locavores).

The hotel offers eight types of rooms, including ones that are “lofts,” “band rooms,” and “historic.” Many of these rooms offer “industrial detailing” like pine wood ceilings and exposed brick, all of which date to 1901. Check out descriptions of some of the rooms after the jump.

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War On Brunch Continues: Lokal Gets Violation

joonyounglee's flickr

The War on Brunch continues this morning and the hipster brunch-goers have lost an important battle: Lokal, the perpetually crowded bistro at the intersection of Nassau, Bedford, and Lorimer, is facing a citation for breaking a rule that states that sidewalk cafés cannot operate before noon on Sundays.

Lokal’s owners will go in front of a judge on June 11th. Despite all of the neighborhood’s brunch places, Lokal is the only one to receive a citation so far.

Tom Burrows, the public safety general for the area’s Community Board 1 is the main voice behind the battle against early morning brunch spots. Burrows’ main concern is that outdoor eating crowds the sidewalks for Sunday churchgoers.

Here Is The Inevitable “Brokelandia”

It was just a matter of time before gentrified Brooklyn got its own Portlandia spin off, even if unofficial. Here is a video making the rounds today with a pretty amusing storyline (the pains of going from neighborhood to neighborhood in search of plans), although some jokes tread on pretty well-worn territory.

Looks like there is another clip in the series, posted three months ago.

Waterfront Concerts May Have Moved, But SummerStage Returning To East River Park (UPDATED)

NYCSummerStage flickr

Update: The good people at Friends of the East River State Park have pointed out that these concerts are at East River Park in Manhattan, not East River State Park in Williamsburg. Sorry for the confusion, but these shows are still worth checking out across the river!

While disgruntled neighbors were successful in moving the Waterfront concerts out of East River Park, the City Parks Foundation announced today that its SummerStage series will be returning to the venue. CPF released its full schedule for the summer, which includes 12 dates at East River Park. This will be SummerStage’s third season there.

The 12 events include dance, comedy, and music. Click here for the full schedule, including the major Central Park shows.

Are You Eating Free Big Lebowski-Themed Pizza Right Now? (4/20)


Specialty pizza chain Two Boots is giving away free samples of their The Dude pizza (Cajun bacon cheeseburger pizza topped with tasso ham, andouille sausage, ground beef, cheddar, and mozzarella) right now. If you’ve never been to Two Boots, the chain was started by two filmmakers in the Village in the late ’80s. Today’s The Dude samples – named after the protagonist in The Big Lebowski – is one of their many special pizzas named after movie icons. One of the locations even doubles as a video rental store.

Stop by any of the Two Boots locations between 4:20 (ahem) and 6pm for your free half-slice. Closest to North Brooklyn are the ones in Park Slope and on Avenue A in the Village.