This week in the Voice, out today, Nick Pinto profiles Congressional hopeful George Martinez: “This is all the basic stuff of Brooklyn retail politics, the story of an upstart candidate backed by a ragtag crew of idealistic volunteers pulling 18-hour days in a desperate effort to make up with sweat what they’re lacking in money. What makes Martinez’s candidacy unique is that he’s proudly announcing himself as an Occupy Wall Street candidate — the first one ever to get on a congressional ballot.”
In food, Robert Sietsema channels the cheap on Eldridge Street: “This quintessential Lower East Side thoroughfare–where an 1887 synagogue and the ragtag appearance of the narrow storefronts on the southernmost block still suggest what the neighborhood looked like more than a century ago–never lets grass grow under its feet. Recently, three wildly inexpensive restaurants have opened up, each with its own unique attributes. “
Jessica Hopper writes about Grass Widow in music, and finds that the group is moving away from Past Time‘s morbidness: “‘[Past Time] was a therapy album. We had to write those songs,’ explains bassist Hanna Lew, who worked through her father’s death with the record. ‘They were hard to perform because despite the metaphors — we knew.’ With Internal Logic, it became crucial to make music — songs, sounds, and lyrics — each member could enjoy. ‘This time around, it’s about acceptance of the unknown rather than the shock of the unknown.'”
Nick Pinkerton doesn’t much like Rock of Ages, a new jukebox musical: “Rock of Ages, a new star-clogged pop-musical diversion, is a cinematic event. It’s not every day, after all, that you get to see two great American traditions — guitar/bass/drums rock music and Tin Pan Alley musical theater — so thoroughly, mutually degraded.”
Michael Feingold finds that John Patrick Shanley Shaws the Bronx in his new play Storefront Church: “Shanley has the gift, always rare among playwrights, of writing scenes that convey both shape and spontaneity. You never feel with him that his characters are being shoved this way or that, for the sake of a previously worked-out agenda. Things happen in a Shanley play because they happen, not because the author nagged or nudged the characters into making them do so.”
And in art, Martha Schwendener tracks the growth of gardening activism: “The pivotal element in New York’s art-gardening boom might be the Occupy movement. Because if gardening sounds like the domain of the rich — you need space for a garden, after all — Occupy opened up conversations around the commons (that is, shared resources), food justice, sustainability, and corporate control of seed populations.”
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