Peas & Pickles, DUMBO's biggest grocery, is having a problem, the Brooklyn Paper reports. It's "beggars," loitering outside and asking for change! You know, panhandlers, the kind that exist in every urban setting. Apparently, said beggars have rattled the "rapidly gentrifying" neighborhood's residents and grocery-store patrons. Some have even stopped shopping there! Oh, meow. Have New Yorkers completely lost their ability to engage with reality?
Perhaps feeling left out of the New Yorker book party at Chinatown Brasserie, a number of "small" Brooklyn publishers hosted a party in DUMBO at the Powerhouse Arena this weekend. Word on the street was that this would be the hottest party of the whole Book Expo. There were nearly 800 people there, but we didn't want to talk to any of them; all we wanted to do was silently judge. Actually, all we really wanted to do is have YOU, dear reader, silently judge. With that in mind, Joshua David Stein and Nikola Tamindzic combed the party for the most attractive literazis so as to give you the chance to vote on who is the hottest fey boy and liberated female. Books you shouldn't judge by their cover—people who go to book parties, on the other hand? Fair game. If these thumbnails that follow don't provide enough detail, visit our gallery for larger and more revealing portraits.
With the horrabulous J Condo going up and $780/sf real estate prices, it was only a matter of time until the last vestigial traces of an untamed DUMBO disappeared neath the hooves of gentrification and suburbanality. The latest victim seems to be Pedro's Restaurant, that outpost of chimichangas and margaritas on the corner of Jay and Front streets. Though the restaurant itself is still standing, the extraordinary profusion of skulls in sombreros and Dia de los Muertos figures that had been, for years, drawing Flickr fans has been supplanted by gray boring stucco. A quick call to the restaurant reveals the cause to nothing more than snow damage from the recent storm. But when asked (admittedly in 6th grade Spanish) if they were planning on replacing it, an employee of the restaurant said the murals were never to return. Que triste!
Some of us round here happen to hail from parts of the country where the "Hell Houses" — i.e. scared-straight parades of theological horrors put on by evangelical Christians — are openly staged without a trace of irony. And of course, many people have seen the documentary. Even so, we were at first not much intrigued with the Hell House starting up in DUMBO by the experimental theater company Les Freres Corbusier. It's an ostensibly earnest theatrical treatment, created in full cooperation with the originators of the genre. However, this version does have at least one selling point:
In the September Vanity Fair, various members of New York's own energy-drink-themed soccer team (the Red Bulls) get dolled up in the latest "camouflage army-surplus fashion" from designer Junya Watanabe. Lots of Travis Bickles, but which one later gets forced into the role of Jodie Foster's prepubescent hooker?