Archive for the ‘Biopic’ Category

Apparently, just the 100 or so artists living in a loft in Bushwick at 345 Eldert Street.

That’s right. In order to protest the economic system that allows them to live in the most expensive city in the country and be artists, the residents of this big-ass loft building are trying to “secede.” Or to be more accurate, they want to throw a party and invite different people (other than the current management company) to buy the building, so they can continue to live in their space and pay below market rate in a non-rent controlled building. Is it just me, or is this the dream of like 80% of renters in New York?

As a borderline Marxist, I totally feel the revolutionary spirit. As a poor gentrifier, I totally feel them on wanting to continue paying less rent. As an artist with a day job, I totally feel them on wanting to do art instead of work. As a hater of management companies, I totally feel them on wanting to annoy the people who sent them threatening “rent is due” notices. So why am I so pissy about this?

Because only a bunch of Williamsburg-lite hipsters would try to call whining a revolution. They should just go ahead and do it. If the Queens border was redrawn one block south, they’d be out of Brooklyn anyway.

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Last night at around 8:15pm, I, along with a few other Brooklyn Skeptics, decided that it was time for our weekly Sunday evening booze binge. We’re drunks. Except that in fact, I did not drink anything so I suppose I’m not a drunk. Only the days I choose to drink vodka out of my 32oz polycarbonate water bottle, do I consider myself a quasi alcoholic.

Just kidding. I can get *Liza Minelli’d from simply sniffing an open bottle of liquor. Unlike many of my fellow Brooklyn Skeptics, my alcohol tolerance does not equate to an entire keg of Keystone Light. But it’s good. It means I’m a cheap date.

Anyway, after a brief pow-wow we, the Team, decided to make our way over to Bar Reis. It’s nice at Bar Reis. A pretty tight upper level (by tight I don’t mean “off the hook,” but rather, “claustrophobic”), however the basement provides ample space (for a less than huge crowd), a pool table, jukebox, board games, couches, and an outdoor garden. Very pleasant.

Bar Reis is interesting though. There is no set standard as for the type of patronage Reises Pieces brings in. A pretty eclectic mix of people, I’d say. Here, I’ll explain: In one corner was the single guy hoarding two sets of couches as he watched a basketball game on tv, I hated him. In another corner were some hipsters celebrating a birthday, or something (whatever). In the third corner was me, and some other (Brooklyn Skeptic) people. And in the last open space, taking up both the pool table and jukebox were a group of European ladies. These ladies, these ladies were loud. And weird. While dodging their pool ques, and discotheque ready outfits (they hurt my eyes), we concluded that suddenly, we were swimming in a sea of about 10 au pairs. We surmised they were all employed through the same agency and decided to go wild on this Sunday evening, their day off. Also discussed were the prerequisites for attaining an au pair position:

1. Willingness to sleep with Hedge fund investor father.

We realized that’s probably the only prereq. But it’s a good one.

Shortly after the European invasion, we gathered our belongings and made our way over to the outdoor patio. It was nice from that point on.

In the end, I enjoy Bar Reis. Sure some of its customers aren’t familiar with American customs and blast The Pussycat Dolls from the jukebox, but I’d take loud European women over loud American hipsters any day.

*Liza Minelli’d: A term used to illustrate an incredibly drunk, well sung woman.

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As the New York Times, which I read obsessively and love more than my own family, tries its darndest to recapture its waning readership, it has filled more and more of its pages (both online and off) with youth-friendly features like blogs and articles about fancy underwear. And boy does it work. Thursday is now my favorite day of the week. In second place is Sunday, where I can generally count on a healthy dose of Michael Pollan waxing masturbatory on local produce while tsk-tsking our love of corn syrup. God, it’s hot.

However, I like my fluff pieces to feature the same writing standards as the real articles. I have no objection to illogical structure or straight-up bullshit. It’s really just the Times’ appropriation of slang in its perverse dissection of youth culture that makes me want to die a little every time I happen across it. It’s as though every time there’s an article about hipsters, it’s as though the newspaper is saying that the group is not just a subjective social distinction among well-off young people, but it’s an actual cultural group. Like, with legal rights or something. That’s not okay.

Additionally, I take issue in these articles with the use of language commonly found on a 12-year-old’s Livejournal. Snarky, for instance. Or any time “u” replaces “you.” Same goes for “2” with “too” or “to.” Even if you’re just trying to make a point about how we crazy kids love our text messaging.

And while I’m at it, I’m going to also declare a moratorium on anymore discussions on how the world is deeply affected by social networking and Blackberries. Let’s stick with dead Russians and pissy Republicans.

New readers can’t be more important than dignity, right?

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Here at Brooklyn Skeptic, we have a place in our heart for hipsters. It’s a cold, hate-filled place, but a place nonetheless. And the reason we have that hate can best be described by a Jewel song, “Pieces of You.” You get my drift.

Today, Cary Tennis over at Salon.com takes on the heart-wrenching tale of someone who longed to be a hipster, but was so woefully uncool, she actually sought the assistance of an advice columnist who is too deep in his own existential crisis to actually help anyone out. An excerpt regarding her plight:

“I am obsessed with hipsterdom… [but] I am so dissatisfied with my unhip life. Leaving Williamsburg and breaking up with the ex seem to have severed every connection to ‘cool’ I ever had. I wish I had never known what hip was, so I wouldn’t have to miss it. I am also disgusted by the creeping feeling of superiority it gives me over my acquaintances.”

Dissatisfied? Superiority? Oh honey, good news! You already are what you most wanted to be. Please see the following evidence, culled directly from her own plea for help:

Outcast in high school: “When I was younger, back in high school, I hung out with the punks and indie rockers, but I myself wore Nikes (instead of Converse) and ran cross-country (instead of skateboarded).”

Lived in Williamsburg before it was cool: “After college the indie-rocker and I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn (before it exploded of course), and I learned to appreciate grit and dives and PBRs and irony.”

Unemployed: “I had no creative, impressive job to justify my presence [in Williamsburg].”

Lived in obscure Brooklyn neighborhood: “Eventually the indie rocker and I broke up and I moved to a less hip part of Brooklyn, a part where people do their own laundry and where the sidewalk is not a fashion parade.”

Judgmental: “I judge them for listening to Coldplay. I judge my kindhearted friends for not having dark-rimmed glasses and Vans. I judge my neighborhood for not having galleries, or the right ZIP code.”

Acts like me when I was 12: “I should be happy, but instead I achingly obsess over Pitchfork reviews and Vice Do’s and Don’ts. At work I sit in front of my computer and listen to people talk about Nine West heels and 401Ks and I just want to drink whiskey till I die. I want to read Kerouac and smoke cigarettes until my lungs are black and filthy.”

I would tell Tragically Unhip to rest assured, she is most certainly a hipster. It’s okay, baby. Your lanky gait only serves you well on this team.

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I’ve recently adopted a Tuesday evening tradition. Well, it’s only been two times now, so maybe it’s more of a Tuesday evening coincidence. It’s something in the spirit of Mardi Gras – revolting hedonism on a Tuesday. This event, which I like to call “Shotdogs,” has everything but the girls gone wild.

The evening starts out at Welcome to the Johnsons, a perfectly divey bar in the Lower East Side in Manhattan (yuck, I know). I’ve been going to this bar for several years now and was something of a regular when I lived in that hood. I was there for the summer when fruit flies had infested the limes and so there was always a fine film of bugs and bug-parts on every drink you ordered. That was when I developed an irrational fear of bar fruit. I’ve witnessed the replacement of the toilet that was once so covered in band stickers, you could hardly tell what you were supposed to do with it. The new one is collecting its own piss stained collection. I’ve been there for brawls between guys who look like they fell out of a Ramones show thirty years ago – replete with blood trickling from their self-pierced safety pin earring holes. Anyway, as pleasant as all that sounds, there is one reason above all that I have been a Welcome to the Johnsons fan for so long: $2 drinks during happy hour (from when you wake up till 9 PM). You must not tell anyone about this. It’s a secret.

At Welcome to the Johnsons, the drinking begins. First, $2 whiskey and gingers. Then the shots. Last night we did a Red Headed Slut, followed by the bartender’s own concoction, Dr. Nut. Then we continue on with the regular drinks. All the while, the conversation gracefully flits from one topic to the other, weaving in nearby patrons and their opinions of The Flaming Lips, March Madness, olive juice, etc.

cupcackeeIn order for the Shotdog participants to remain reasonable, we all have to eat dinner. Dinner is hotdogs from Dash. In my case, vegetarian chili dogs. In other cases, processed meat monstrosities, choked with bacon, Fritos and other wonderful things. But that’s not all. Then come the chips and salsa from Festival Mexican Restaurant (outside of which, some guy drunkenly peed behind a Pathfinder while everyone in the bar watched with horror and glee) and then cupcakes (including one for the bartender) from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Please keep in mind, I skipped the gym to partake in this madness.

By 9:00, we are all sufficiently bloated and return home to watch American Idol while we mainline salad and try to rehydrate.

Now, I don’t know if this particular evening’s activities can be approximated in our borough. I have a feeling that it is possible, but only in Williamsburg, where girls in leggings and guys in hoodies are a dime a dozen. The real issue here is that while the people at Johnsons and the people in Williamsburg are all disgusting hipsters, the ones at Johnsons are much skeezier. In my mind, this goes a long way. So, until an absurdly underpriced dive bar and an absurdly overpriced hot dog vendor move into my current hood, I think I’ll just keep hitting up the L.E.S for my shotdog fix.

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In a move that is totally 2007, the Barack Obama campaign team has set up a social networking site called My.BarackObama.com. You can think of it as Facebook‘s really, really timid cousin. You know, with fewer pictures of underage drunk girls and racist parties.

I, for one, am really happy about the development of this site. It’s another demonstration of Obama’s forward-thinking ways. Not only is he creating a community for his young supporters where they have a safe space to dialogue about their dreams for America, he’s making it just a little easier for me to find a husband.

Now, I like universal health care, peace and unions as much as the next guy. I’ll stand beside Obama as he takes on the Halliburtons and the Rangers and all the other ultra-right-wing organizations. But at the end of the day, I’m looking for one thing from my President and that’s easy access to potential suitors or at least drunken, liberal hook-ups.

I can just picture it now: I log into My.BarackObama.com and see I have a new message from HackeySacks1980. “Hey cutie… U R so liberal. U wanna chill 2nite??!”

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I am going to have to disagree with your douchebags/sq. ft estimations. While douchebags run wild in both bars on a typical Saturday night, I don’t recall ever running into one on the bocce court at Union Hall. I did however want to punch a girl in the face at Floyd. Now, I’m not saying more hate-worthy females can be found at Floyd, I’ve just never encountered one at Union Hall.

I also think your average patron age is off, for both bars. And even if you’re right, and the mean age for Floyd is 25, most of the people there look/act/dress like oldish 30-somethings. While Union Hall brings in the opposite; older clientele trying to recapture or maintain their youth by dressing like a young hipster. And yes, hipsters are annoying and always think they’re funnier than they actually are. However, they at least make me feel like the young 23-year old I am.

I mostly agree with everything else you said, but in the end, I choose Union Hall. In spite of the fact that Eugene Mirman like, lives there.

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