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Posts Tagged ‘NYC nightlife’

This week decided to experiment a bit. So this week’s sketch has a slight surreal feeling. Of course, Psycho Bunny himself only has one thing on his mind.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Monday, July 10th, 2017.

PsychoBunnyJuly72017PS

Slight Surrealism, Psycho Bunny style. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Posted Monday July 10th, 2017. 

In case you didn’t know, here’s some links. There’s the Psycho Bunny and Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress Facebook pages. Don’t forget Tumblr, and Instagram.

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This Wednesday I’ll be showing artwork for NYC personality Gerry Visco’s birthday party. The event will be at Lovecraft Bar NYC, located in the East Village, ten dollars admission. The Facebook invite and more information can be found here.

Till next time…

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This Wednesday I’ll be showing my artwork at Lovecraft NYC. It’ll be a birthday party for NYC legend Gerry Visco. For those who don’t know, Gerry Visco is an actress, academic, photographer, club personality, podcast host and all around bad ass. So head over to the East Village this Wednesday for performance art, art exhibition, and more. Stalkers need not apply.

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Performance art, art on exhibit and more. Birthday party for NYC personality Gerry Visco. July 2017.

The Facebook invite can be found here.

Lovecraft Bar NYC: 50 Avenue B, NYC 10009.
21+ event, 8pm – 12pm.
Admission $10.00 

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The first time I ever visited the infamous Mars Bar, it was sometime during the ’90s. It was your typical run-down dive bar. It also had the only bathroom I was hesitant to use – and in the Lower East Side area of NYC, that’s saying a lot.

I went back a few more times, but I wouldn’t say I was a regular. Back then, my hang outs of choice was Max Fish (original location), Coney Island High and Mother’s. Later on, I would visit The Raven Cafe and this small gay bar across the street from Raven called The Cock. In the late ’90s, The Cock would have this outrageous party ever Saturday night titled ‘What Would You Do For $100?’ Trust me, at that particular party, I’ve seen what people would do for $100, but that’s for another blog post.

Before Mars Bar closed down for good, it’s glory days were pretty much over. Last time I was there, must’ve been sometime in 2008 or 2009. There was barely anyone inside. In 2012, its doors shuttered. Now some overpriced bourgeois restaurant stands in its place. Like New York City needs another un-affordable eatery.

So fast forward to 2015. My friend who was a Mars bar regular informed me about an open call for art at the Whitebox Gallery. Quickly I grabbed some of my framed work to hang at the group show.

There was two parties at Whitebox. One was the installation party, in which mayhem was already in full bloom when I arrived. Free beer was flowing and music was blasting as the Mars bar reunion ensued. It wasn’t long when half-filled beer cans was being thrown at some of other attendants.

As for the exhibit itself. The opening party was called ‘Last Night At Mars Bar.’ It was part of a bigger exhibit called ‘The Last Party.’ The Last Party was curated by Anthony Haden-Guest and highlights NYC nightlife from 1975 to the early 90s.  Anthony Haden-Guest is a writer/cartoonist/art critic and has documented NYC underground downtown culture at its zenith. I was personally lucky to have gone to such places like Limelight, Tunnel, The World, and Danceteria. Especially when I was under-aged during the Danceteria days. Dancerteria was one of the first places I ever clubbed at, back when I was in high school. (I also went to Studio 54 when I was in junior high back in the early ’80s, and yes, that’s also another story within itself. I couldn’t, however get into Boy George’s birthday party over at Palladium, because I was under-aged. I did sneak into Palladium a year and half later, for another party. Once again, another story.)

My artwork as part of the group show at the 'Last Night At Mars Bar' July 2015.

My artwork as part of the group show at the ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ July 2015.

Installation party at Whitebox Gallery for 'Last Night At Mars Bar' which was part of a bigger exhibit, 'The Last Party.' July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Installation party at Whitebox Gallery for ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ which was part of a bigger exhibit, ‘The Last Party.’ July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Johnny Bizzare and 'ODP' - Old Dirty Puppet. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Johnny Bizzare and ‘ODP’ – Old Dirty Puppet. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Anyway, back to Mars Bar. You see, Whitebox is a non-profit gallery which focuses on ‘culturally relevant work.’ Yes, that dive bar has become ‘culturally relevant.’ Before the ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ event, I visited Whitebox once before. It was a part of some Lower East Side art crawl festival. What was the theme – pizza? I can’t remember. Just a lot of free beer, and the night’s curator getting really upset when elderly old Chinese ladies dropped by to collect the discarded beer cans for recycling money. The female curator tried to shoo the ladies out, but since the ladies probably didn’t know any English, the curator was simply ignored. While the well dressed curator had this sour expression upon her expensively made-up face, someone in the crowd commented ‘Welcome to the real New York, lady.” The curator was not amused.

Whoever put this latest show together didn’t seem that bothered by the old Mars bar crew. In fact, the security guard was actually pretty chill. Meanwhile, the Mars Bars reunion was in full effect. East Village nostalgia.

At the installation party for 'Last Night At Mars Bar.' Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015 at Whitebox Gallery.

At the installation party for ‘Last Night At Mars Bar.’ Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015 at Whitebox Gallery.

Replica of Mars Bar window, at Whitebox Gallery. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015.

Replica of Mars Bar window, at Whitebox Gallery. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015.

The next night was the opening party. It pretty much picked up where the installation party left off. The show was the opening party was ‘Last Night At Mars Bar Variety Shit Show’ hosted by Johnny Bizzare. A band called The Sunnyside Social Club performed as well.

At the end of the opening party, a tad bit of sadness came over me. New York City has changed. Although there is less crime than back in the ’70s and ’80s, it’s organic creative chaos is gone. There’s still bits and pieces here and there but it’s more hipster contrived now. Nice, and safe, and guaranteed not to offend in the age of political correctness. Completely bland.

Hopefully this current state of NYC with its overpriced rents is a temporary thing.

Crowd outside Whitebox Gallery after the 'Last Night At Mars Bar' show. Whitebox Gallery. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Crowd outside Whitebox Gallery after the ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ show. Whitebox Gallery. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

I watched the rest of the crowd sing merrily in the street, then head over to some watering hole nearby, in true Mars bar fashion. Since there were responsibilities to take care of the next day, this was my cue to head home. If you want to see the exhibit yourself, and you just happen to be in the NYC area, you have up until Aug. 23rd. At least I could now say I had my work shown in the infamous L.E.S.

Whitebox Gallery, created for 'Last Night At Mars Bar' show, July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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Over the weekend at The Cobra Club, my friend Dawn suggested checking out the 16th Annual Mr. L.E.S. Pageant. With that she thought our mutual friend Chad would be perfect for the contest.

So yesterday, I texted Dawn about whether or not Chad was still interested in doing the pageant. Particularly since yesterday’s temperatures were going down to a freezing nine degrees. A few more texts between us three, and suddenly plans were in place. Chad threw on my black sequined tank top and black mini-skirt. Dawn went to a local 99 cents store to grab cheap thigh high stockings. Chad’s contribution, besides the insanity, was a thong fashioned out of a belly dancing belt. I had brought along my silver star platform shoes purchased back in the late ’90s, but unfortunately the heels were too small for Chad’s feet. Since we had to get to the church on time, I applied Chad’s makeup while riding the subway to Brooklyn.

'Sparkles' riding the subway to the 16th Annual L.E.S. Pageant.  Taken Mon. Feb. 23rd, 2015.

‘Sparkles’ riding the subway to the 16th Annual L.E.S. Pageant. Taken Mon. Feb. 23rd, 2015.

Wait…Brooklyn you ask? But doesn’t L.E.S. mean the Lower East Side, as in the borough of Manhattan? Technically yes. What happened was, the event was originally slated for Jan. 31st over at the Cakeshop, but due to certain difficulties, it ended up rescheduled and moved to the Lucky 13 bar in Gowanus, Brooklyn. That’s how sterile Manhattan has become. In fact, that’s seems to be the case all over NYC, thanks to the plague of hyper-gentrification.

Anyway, we finally arrived at on location. Whether or not last year’s winner, Matthew Silver was there, we don’t know since we were late. Luckily we managed to get Chad on stage, and he was the last contestant to strut his stuff.

Lucky 13 was packed full of drunken revelry. The rowdy audience heckled in between chants of “BALLS!”

This year’s winner of the Mr. L.E.S. title was Claude Debris. He was some skinny guy with a tight hounds-tooth suit and a French accent who calls his mother every week, like a good son should. He even made sure computer towers were attached to his testicles.

WARNING…THE BELOW VIDEO IS NSFW.

The rest of the winners were:

Mr. Congeniality – Brer Brian

Mr. GowANUS – Johnny Bizarre

Mr. Tribeca – Fritz Donnelly

On stage at the 16th Annual Mr. L.E.S. Pageant. Taken Feb. 23rd, 2015 by Michele Witchipoo.

On stage at the 16th Annual Mr. L.E.S. Pageant. Hosted by Rev. Jen. Taken Feb. 23rd, 2015 by Michele Witchipoo.

It was a great night. The only fall-out was I got really sick of seeing penis everywhere. It did inspire this sketch featuring my old (self-published) comic book character, Psycho Bunny. So I created this:

Introducing male stripper Psycho Bunny! Drawn by Michele Witchipoo.

Introducing male stripper Psycho Bunny! Drawn by Michele Witchipoo.

Online post-coverage of the night’s events:

http://bedfordandbowery.com/2015/02/consensus-16th-annual-mr-lower-east-side-pageant-was-totally-nuts/

Update: Forgot to mention that the hostess was NYC’s own Rev. Jen.

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