(Courtesy Alchemy Theatre Laboratory)
Dysphoria, which refers to a state of feeling unwell or unhappy, is the twisted, cinematic tale of Jenny, a beautiful 20-year-old crystal meth addict who “plots a road to redemption through the strip clubs and drug dens of Baltimore.” We don’t usually equate crystal meth with attractiveness, but this is fiction. And a redemptive route via pole dancing and seedy, smoke-filled slum houses sounds like a future episode of Intervention, but a dope-addled beauty always makes good entertainment. Dysphoria screenwriter Brian Havelka, who worked with period piece powerhouse Merchant Ivory Productions before editing TV shows like Pawn Stars and Fashion Hunters, is hosting a staged reading of his screenplay. Sadly, Betty Ford resident Lindsay Lohan will not be performing the role of Jenny.
Alchemical Theater Laboratory, 137 West 14th Street, (212) 675-1390, 8-10pm, Free
At least tourists like the maps.
These last few weeks, to hear some people tell it, you'd think that New York's streets have been endangered by one of the greatest threats to public safety that the city has ever seen (not to mention the worst aesthetic blight since the Ugg craze). Comparisons have been drawn between the Department of Transportation and the Taliban. There have been impassioned pleas, there have been fits of yelling and, of course, there have been lawsuits. But now, perhaps, we'll finally get some respite from all the bike rack hatred as New Yorkers shift their hatred to the bikes themselves.
Citi Bikes will be arriving in the next few days—some 800 of the 6,000 bikes are already docked at stations—and New Yorkers will be able to take them out for a spin starting Memorial Day. It's just too bad that the incessant whining over the bikes is likely to sound very much like the incessant whining over the racks, led first and foremost by the chorus of sanctimonious ninnies going on about public safety.
Public safety seems to be the trump card these days when it comes to complaining about anything you don't like. It's also incredibly useful for garnering press attention and an effective response, even when the complaints are not justified.
Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that the co-op at 175 West 13th Street, which had sued the city for putting bike share racks in front of its building "nearly saw its worst fears realized Sunday when emergency responders had trouble getting to a 92-year-old resident in distress."
Worst fears or just the non-event that bike rack-hating residents were waiting for to bolster their flimsy case? Residents eagerly painted a picture of EMS responders stymied by the waist-high racks for the Post, the co-op board president called the racks an "impregnable wall" and the board's lawyer quipped that it was "good news is the guy's not dead."
The 92-year-old's wife gave the most heartbreaking account of all, telling the Post that "the ambulance couldn’t even come up to the building. The ambulance couldn’t get to him."
Which was not actually true at all, according to the New York Fire Department, which released a statement from fire commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano reading, "Contrary to a news report today, FDNY EMT's had absolutely no problems responding to and providing medical care to a patient on Sunday on West 13th Street in Manhattan. The FDNY has been working closely with DOT on this initiative and we have not experienced any problems nor do we anticipate issues operating at or near bike racks that have been situated on city streets."
Then, rather than owning up to the fact that the breathless account was overblown, the co-op doubled down and was seemingly rewarded when the DOT removed several racks directly in front of the building (the DOT said that it had been planning to remove the bike racks before the "incident.") Never mind that parked cars would ostensibly be just as much an impediment, if not more, than the bike racks. And that there would be very little street parking in the city if the DOT created emergency zones in front of every residential building. (The DOT responded to The Observer's interview request by pointing to the Fire Department's statement.)
What's more, the removal didn't even placate the building residents, who are apparently too crotchety to navigate around any bike racks and are still suing the city because they believe that any bike racks in the vicinity of their building present traffic and safety concerns. We just hope that these people don't catch wind of how dangerous cars are.
So in days to come expect lots of whining and clutching of chests and news organizations around the city mobilizing to interview little old ladies and grouchy drivers about how unsafe bike share is. How it presents real public safety concerns. How it's an impediment to traffic. How someone is going to get hurt. When what they are complaining about is the fact that bike share will be a little inconvenient for anyone who's not using bike share. And what they're forgetting is that to live in New York is to be irritated by endless construction and sidewalk-blocking tourists and noisy neighbors. To be constantly inconvenienced, in other words, by other people doing things that have nothing to do with you.
A video of a taxi driver giving away candy has warmed our bitter hearts. It reminded us that even though cab drivers are more than people that refuse to take us Brooklyn. Thusly, we've rounded up a list of all the most amazing cabbies that have graced the New York City streets.
Mansoon Khalid has become famous around the city for encouraging customers to grab handfuls of the free candy he leaves in the back of his taxi, accompanied by coloured lights and upbeat dance music. He said he began the sweet escape after the death of his young son, when he realised that bringing the doctors sugary treats made him feel better.
The Sexy One
Joining Khalid in YouTube fame, a video of Shahid Nawaz Bhutta has racked up tens of thousands of views on the site, due to his extensive sexy song, which includes such lyrical miracles as : "Sexy sexy sexy, do you need a taxi?" and "I can take you Downtown, I can take you Midtown, I can take you Uptown, I can take you Gastown."
Jack Alvo hit the news earlier this year when he shared his incredible story of how he lost his $250,000 year job at Morgan Stanley and ended up driving a cab. His aptitude for figures and hard-working spirit have come in handy on the mean streets of Manhattan, where he now works to support his wife and family. He hasn't entirely given up his financial ambitions, keeping a stack of resumes in the back of the cab for potential employers.
The Oldest Driver
Johnnie "Spider" Footman, now 93 years old, began taking passengers around the city back in 1937 and is still going strong. He counts John Wayne and Rock Hudson among his most famous fares, but admits that he struggles to remember the rest. Despite his age, he passed a recent medical test, giving him a licence until 2014.
The Gun Show This week, Twitter launched a shiny new client-friendly
Music Class Are you excited for the new Daft Punk album? Well, we’ll tell you who’s really excited, and that’s Square CEO Jack Dorsey and VC Fred Wilson. “The new Daft Punk album is a knockout. Pure joy,” Mr. Dorsey said in a micro-review of the album on Twitter. Mr. Wilson responded: “yup. I’ve had it in heavy rotation all week. It was even on in the coffeeshop today.” Just an FYI in case, for some reason, you get stuck in a car with both of them sometime this summer.
Apparently owning cutesy GIF factory Tumblr is just not enough to slake the thirst of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. AllThingsD reports that the aging Valley giant made a bid to acquire Hulu this morning, just days after spending $1.1 billion (ca$h money) to buy Tumblr.
Ms. Bynes posted this photo on her Twitter account on April 25.
Amanda Bynes was arrested last night after reportedly throwing a bong out the window of her midtown apartment. The former child star was charged with reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and criminal possession of marijuana.
For anyone who’s been tracking Ms. Bynes’s recent activity—especially anyone who’s been following her on Twitter—news of Ms. Bynes’s latest crazed behavior should come as no surprise. In the past three years, the former child star has been embarking on a seemingly Lohan-like spiral, from DUIs and hit-and-runs to seriously, seriously insane tweets.
For your convenience, we’ve composed The Complete History of Amanda Bynes's Breakdown.
March 2010: Ms. Bynes leaves/is fired from The Farrelly brothers’ Hall Pass. On Twitter, she insists she left because of scheduling conflicts. Rumors on the interwebs suggest she was booted for bizarre behavior. #awkward.
June 2010: Ms. Bynes announces she’s retiring from acting, via Twitter. She tweets: “I know 24 is a young age to retire but you heart it here first I’ve #retired. I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it … If I don’t love something anymore I stop doing it …Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem.” Ms. Bynes’s retirement announcement comes shortly before the release of Easy A, in which she portrays a vehemently Christian high schooler alongside Emma Stone.
July 2010: #LOLZ, just kidding: Amanda Bynes takes to Twitter to announce her un-retirement. This is funny, in retrospect, because Easy A remains Ms. Bynes’s most recent film.
All of 2011: Not a lot happens. Despite being un-retired, no acting occurs. Her Pomeranian Little Angel goes missing and then dies, and it’s sad. On April 6, 2011, Ms. Bynes tweets, “Sad day … .Little Angel is in heaven now. RIP I love you.”
March-September 2012: Ms. Bynes proves why she should never be allowed to operate a car, ever. On March 7, the LAPD pulls Ms. Bynes over for talking on her phone while driving. She drives away while the cop writes her a ticket. On April 6, she’s charged with a DUI. She commits two hit-and-runs—one in April, one in August—and is charged on September 4. On May 4, she is pulled over by the LAPD for reportedly side swiping another man’s car. On August 20, she gets in an accident with another driver. On September 6, the California Department of Motor Vehicles takes away Ms. Bynes’s license. Three days later, the LAPD pulls her over for driving without her headlights on. This is exhausting. On September 16, Ms. Bynes gets her car impounded when she’s caught driving with a suspended license. Five days later, she’s charged for the offense. Amanda Bynes, please stop driving.
March 2013-present: Ms. Bynes composes some seriously weird tweets. Some hint at obsessive dieting, like these:
From March 1:
And later, from April 2:
Until she finally admits, on April 4:
But seriously you guys, this is scary:
Other photos posted to Twitter reveal the actress’ newly-shaved head (#Britney?), and painful-looking facial piercings on both her cheeks.
A topless photo tweeted by Ms. Bynes
Another brand of Ms. Bynes's tweets propel her unrelenting hatred of media outlets that document her “erratic” behavior. Juding by her angry tweets, Ms. Bynes is pretty much suing everyone.
On April 10, she tweets a tirade declaring legal war against any and all publications that cover her craziness, particularly singling out In Touch, Us Weekly and Perez Hilton. "I'm suing In Touch, Us Weekly, Perez Hilton for hiring paparazzi who follow me then take the worst photos with the worst angles," she writes, "I'd like to put up their worst photos on my twitter until they only start putting up my twitter photos when writing a story when there is NO story, just an awful photo posted with instead of a caption, they say I have erratic behavior when I do NOTHING wrong." Yikes—we guess The Observer better watch out.
And check out these disturbing tweets fired at Perez Hilton in particular:
From April 11:
What does that last sentence even mean? It’s unclear.
And finally, some tweets are just plain weird.
From March 31:
Or this one, from March 17:
(Ms. Bynes must literally hate everyone, since she only follows 6 people on Twitter. Sorry, Amanda Bynes fans: you are hated.)
This one from March 21 is perhaps the weirdest of all:
Please, someone go check on Ms. Bynes and make sure her vagina is still alive.
May 2, 2013: Jonathan Jaxon, a Hollywood publicist, reportedly calls the NYPD after a drugged-out Ms. Bynes tells him she doesn't want to live anymore.
May 24, 2013: Ms. Bynes is arrested for throwing a bong out her window. She’s charged with charged with reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence, and criminal possession of marijuana. She attends court wearing a disheveled blond wig, and a few hot pink acrylic nails on her left hand. She's due back in court July 9.
Needless to say, we miss Ms. Bynes innocent Nickelodeon days, and her spunky, bright-faced performances in Hairspray and She's the Man. Still, we admit we're darkly curious to see where The Amanda Show veers next.
Turns out the Great GoogaMooga might not be so great for Prospect Park.
For the second straight year, Brooklynites are up in arms about the condition of Prospect Park following the food festival.
Tire tracks, dead grass and patches of dirt are all that remains of the once lush area that played host to the event. Outraged residents blame farm equipment and the heavy platforms used in the production of the festival that shut the park down to the public for two weeks leading up to it.
The event lasted for two of the three scheduled days due to inclement weather. Two days were enough to cause damage, and the rain didn't do much to help the condition of the park.
“It’s only going to get worse because of the rain,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of the New York City Park Advocates told Brooklyn Paper. He also told the Brooklyn Paper that the cost of repairs to the park would completely offset the $75,000 rental fee. “It’s just not worth it” Mr. Croft lamented.
Organizers have just finished cleaning up the second annual festival, which featured 85 New York restaurant stands as well as live music (Matt and Kim headlined the event).
The Prospect Park Alliance, the group in charge of upkeep of the park, has been busy documenting the damages done after the festival, and plans to send it to the sponsor, Superfly Presents.
A representative from Superfly told the Brooklyn Paper they will fix any damage caused by the event, and “It’s a top priority of Superfly’s to restore the park from any damage caused by the festival.”
CANNES, France -- Cannes is winding down its 66th edition (the awards are doled out on Sunday night) and an elegiac mood has reliably settled on the Mediterranean town. Venerable trade publications like the Hollywood Reporter and Variety as well as Euro counterparts Screen International and Le Film Français stopped publishing their special daily print editions on Thursday, ceding the breathless industry reports and film reviews to the handful of remaining bloggers while everyone else beelines to the Nice airport. And the cinema bazaar known as the Marché du Film, with its hundreds of merchant kiosks and schlocky posters for z-grade fare such as FDR: American Badass (“A New Deal for Nazi Werewolves,” reads the tagline), is being disassembled and boxed away for another year, as local workers roll up carpets and haul off billboards. Another dose of mid-afternoon rainfall also soured the mood, especially for the hundreds of soaked moviegoers cowering in the outdoor queues. (The local African street vendors have been making a killing this week, switching out sunglasses for umbrellas and hawking their inventory for 20 euros a pop.)
Alexander Payne (Getty Images)
So it’s apt that Nebraska, a dour and turgid seriocomic slice of Americana from Alexander Payne, finally made its end-of-fest debut on the Croisette to a respectful if muted reception. A major setback in an otherwise formidable career of humanist works, Mr. Payne’s inert father-and-son road trip movie from Billings, MT, to Lincoln, NE, is a strangely unmodulated drama compared to the symphonic portrait of emotions that colored his previous film, The Descendants. (It also boasts a stark and uninspired use of black and white cinematography, adding another relentlessly bleak dimension to the picture.) Bruce Dern plays the doddering dad who insists on trying to cash out a mail-order subscription solicitation disguised as a spurious sweepstakes claim that he won $1 million. And former SNL clown Will Forte (in an admirable but underwhelming stint as straight man) plays his put-upon son, whose resentful attitude towards his indifferent father predictably softens into a forlorn respect and belated love. Meanwhile, everyone in Mr. Dern’s hometown actually believes that the ridiculous windfall is true and tries to shake him down for a piece of the action.
The completely ridiculous contrivance is poorly written and tremendously condescending, especially to those flyover-state denizens, who come off as a population of old coots and rubes. Mr. Payne’s intent is to bring meaning and value to lives lived poorly, and to show how adult children learn to see their parents as flawed human beings with a lifetime of good intentions, bad instincts and a dollop of self-sabotage. But the execution is smug and lazy, and a pale imitation of the profoundly perceptive films that Mr. Payne has produced for almost two decades.
In stark contrast to the cinematic euthanasia of Nebraska comes Blue is the Warmest Color, Abdellatif Kechiche’s ebullient three-hour lesbian romance that chronicles the emotional, spiritual and physical maturation of a confused teen into a wise woman (the relevatory Adèle Exarchopoulos is the lead, while her lover is played by sensuous French model-turned-actress Lea Seydoux). The Sapphic bildungsroman never pulls its punches, either, with extremely graphic and prolonged (at times animalistic) sex scenes between its leads—if ever there were a same-sex Kama Sutra for women, these two would be the perfect practitioners.
Lea Seydoux, left, and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Getty Images)
Remarkably, though, the explicit scenes never really feel pornographic, especially since the film isn’t about titillation or arousal; the lovemaking is instead quite tender (although often impressively athletic) and feels absolutely justified in order to build character over the span of many years, from high school to young adulthood. Besides, the physical encounters are a fraction of the three-hour running time, which is otherwise devoted to quotidian rhythms and quietly truthful revelations rendered in compassionate detail. Nothing less than a triumph, Blue is a major work of sexual awakening and Dourfirst love that, in its naturalistic and unsensationalistic approach, feels like a landmark.