Culturefix, the bar-slash-art gallery on the Lower East Side, was vindicated last week after deciding to fight back against NYPD charges that it was operating unlawfully. The bar was accused of serving alcohol to minors, but a judge found the case had little merit (the only minors ever found were undercover cops there working the sting). However, despite winning its court case, Culturefix is still being harassed by the NYPD.
“After the riots on Ludlow Street stemming from a Smif N Wessun concert, the police and intelligence division all came out of the woodwork to harass us, asking when Smif N Wessun was going to perform at Culturefix,” co-owner Ari Stern told us by email. “Obviously, we responded with a resounding, ‘NEVER,’ and despite the fact that we sent the police a schedule of our events for the month, which included manners classes and a knitting circle (as part of the current performance art exhibit with BabySkinGlove), they continued to come to our bar with thuggish intimidation asking us when this hardcore gangsta rap group would be here.”
It’s a shame that the local community board and police seem intent on hounding the bar, which recently replaced its Digitalfix boutique upstairs with Perfect Picnic, a local food shop and picnic-delivery service.
“We were astonished at the lack of research into what we actually do,” said Stern. “A simple look at our website or Facebook would show that we are not a home for riots or rappers. A little Biggie or Tupac on the iPod, but that’s it.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2011