Just Do Art!
BY SCOTT STIFFLER | TENEMENT TALKS: “FERMENTED NEW YORK” Part history lesson, part lecture, part author meet and greet: The Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s Tenement Talks series consistently informs and engages by shining a light on famous, infamous and forgotten aspects of New York City culture. Gangsters, poets, pugilists and vanishing storefront shops are among our favorite past topics — but the series is at its mind-feeding best when food is on its plate (which is often; check out their website to listen to all 75 minutes of June 19’s “Behind the Scenes: Goldie Lustgarten’s Kosher Butcher Shop and the Riot of 1902”).
Scholar and self-proclaimed “fermentation revivalist” Sandor Katz rhapsodizes about the 7,000+ year-old tradition that gives some added character to bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and…more. In addition to citing facts, figures and anecdotes from his book “The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World,” Katz will delve into all aspects of New York’s own unique pickling traditions — then conclude with a home pickling workshop and tasting.
Thurs., Aug. 2 at 6:30pm. At the Tenement Museum Visitor Center and Museum Shop (103 Orchard St., SW corner of Delancey St.). Seating is first-come, first-served. For tickets, call 877-975-3786 or visit tenement.org. For info, call 212-982-8420. Admission is $25 ($45 with purchase of the book).
BARTOW-PELL MANSION MUSEUM RESTORATION WORKSHOP Like the East Village’s own Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. Fourth St.), the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum provides the public with a rare opportunity to see life as it was lived in the 1800s. Now, for the second consecutive summer, Bartow-Pell’s Shutter Shop on Shore Road Restoration Workshop will allow you to do more than just tour the last of the country estates in the Pelham Bay area. Help restore the Green Revival mansion’s interior wooden shutters — from the mansion bedroom where its prized Charles-Honoré Lannuier bedstead is located. With special attention paid to curatorial, preservation and environmental considerations, participants will learn how to safely handle lead paint removal, make appropriate carpentry repairs, prime and paint. Then they’ll put those new skills to use.
Mon., July 30 through Fri., Aug. 3, 9am-4pm. At the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (895 Shore Road, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx). The workshop is $295 for the week and includes snacks, lunch, instruction, materials and insurance. Guest speakers and mansion tours are scheduled during the lunch break. Participants must be 18 or over. Registration is required. Call 718-885-1461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The mansion and carriage house are open to the public for guided tours every Wed., Sat., & Sun., from noon to 4pm. The gardens and grounds are open daily from 8:30am to dusk. Mansion admission is $5 adults, $3 for students/seniors and free for children under six. Visiting the garden and grounds is free. For more info, visit bpmm.org .
EXHIBITION: “STEAMPUNKINETICS” The last time Bruce Rosenbaum descended upon Gotham’s cobblestone streets, it was that bygone era known as winter 2012 — when he curated an exhibition at Soho’s Wooster Street Social Club. Tricked out with all manner of gauges and gears, the highly stylized collection of cell phones, chairs, bicycles and desktop workspaces made perfect sense among the tattoo parlor’s buzzing metal machinery. Now, the prolific and visionary Rosenbaum returns (this time to Tribeca) to once again push the envelope of the already boundary-shattering world of Steampunk.
“Steampunkinetics” is an exhibition of over 40 kinetic sculptures by 18 artists inspired by (and entrenched in) the Steampunk aesthetic. The still-evolving genre — which has grown from a literary device to a rich subculture encompassing everything from fashion to visual art to home design — mashes the Victorian industrial aesthetic with elements of contemporary technology and futurism. The result, as seen in “Steampunkinetics,” is a forward-thinking yet retro-informed take on everything from the functional (lighting and musical instruments) to the fantastical (time machines and airships).
Free. Through Sept. 2: Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm & Sun., 11am-6pm. At AFA (54 Greene St., at Broome St.). For info, call 212-226-7374 or visit modvic.com, afanyc.com and steampuffin.com.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK(ING) LOT Why slum it among the flora and fauna of Central Park? See classical theater the way the Immortal Bard intended — in an empty parking lot on the Lower East Side. The Drilling Company’s 2012 “Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot” season is currently offering “The Merry Wives of Windsor Towers,” through July 28. Hamilton Clancy directs the enduring tale of class conflict and gives it a contemporary spin by placing the action in Windsor Towers — an imaginary condo that has just gone up on the Lower East Side. The comic hero, John Falstaff, is a classic LES real estate man always looking to score some primo land (and ladies).
Free. Through July 28, Thurs.-Sat., at 8pm. In the Municipal Parking Lot (at the corner of Ludlow & Broome Sts.). The running time is 2:30. For info, call 212-873-9050 or visit shakespeareintheparkinglot.com.