Memorial Tribute to Musician and Graffiti Artist Ana Bender This Weekend

Late-night romps can be cruel after you have done in it for decades. Today’s sunlight is lashing me awake and I haven’t the strength to wash the evening out of my hair. Hotel Chantelle was absolutely off the hook last night, with Sam Valentine, Michael Tee, Miss Guy, and Michael Cavadias and a slew of others whipping the crowd into a frenzy. I think the weather had something to do with it as well. The early spring brings flowers early and confusion into club circles. When it’s nice, the places are packed, but when the weather returns to form and a cold rain requires clothes that have been packed away till next year, the hordes stay home. This Sunday, the two-hour premier of Mad Men will hurt Sunday club ambitions.

After memorial tributes in San Francisco and Seattle for Ana Dyson aka ANA BENDER aka AYBEE, NYC gets its turn. White posters pasted on walls that hipsters pass announced the memorial, which will start at 7pm MARCH 25 at Legion, 790 Metropolitan Avenue. It’s a free show. The posters were produced by Ana’s friend Katsu. This comes from the 12ozProphet website:
"RIP ANA BENDER
 
4/26/1987 – 2/2/2012
 
Ana Dyson aka ANA BENDER aka AYBEE
 
Was an influential musician and graffiti artist from Seattle that lived in NYC and SF.
 
She was known for her raw and pure punk/folk music style as well as her graffiti tags “AYBEE”.
 
AYBEE was a close friend of the BTM graffiti crew both on the west and east coasts.
 
She lived in New York City for a time.
 
She lived in SF for a time.
 
A free event is happening this Sunday."
There will be performances by JAPANTHER, Soft Dov, Brohammer, and Dead Reich and DJs Maxwell 57, NineLives, The Cat, Grace of Spades, Ella, and Chloe.
 
Tonight I will attend a very special affair that is hush hush, super duper, uber secret and I have sworn to only speak of it come Monday. It’s one of these "show up on a corner late-night and you will be led to it’" events.
 
Twenty years ago I would have thought I was being whacked. I can’t offer you more today; my body is upset at my brain for the insults of last night. My brain needs to turn itself off for a couple of hours. It asks for your forgiveness. I got the usual, "Don’t you ever sleep?" from the waitstaff at Kellogg’s Diner at 6am. They had seen me for breakfast 20 hours earlier. I replied with my usual: "I’ll get all the sleep I need in 20 or 30 years." I realized over my eggs that I started saying that 15 years ago.  

Dumps, Dives, & Holes: A Dive Grows in Clubland

Legion straddles the line between dive bar and a club by the area’s standards. It pops off on the weekends, dance floor and all, but still works as a slightly depressing daytime joint. On Metropolitan towards Bushwick, it’s one of the last bits of hipster before Williamsburg fades into projects and 99-cent stores, making it convenient to both areas.

With exposed brick, wood floors, and appropriately dark lighting, it’s a solid space. A side door leads to an outdoor smoking area, perfect for cooling off or sneaking in. The giant front room segues into a thin hallway, and then there’s the back room. It’s private and windowless, perfect for shows. They used to book local punk bands in the back there, but it doesn’t seem to happen much anymore. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly used for their weekly ‘90s sing-alongs. I’ve heard they’re fun. 

The crowd can go really any which way. As I said, it’s kind of clubby, so it depends of whether there is a promoter and a DJ with a name or if it’s just a normal bar night. Yuppies mix with punk kids, local weirdos, and hipsters. Everyone generally seems to have a good time, but it does harbor its share of douchebag lay-hounds so ladies, beware.

Best part: cheap drinks. Drafts run from $3 (Atomic) to $6 (Guinness). There’s no normal cheep beers on tap, which I find questionable but one with a more developed pallet may not. Sols are $5, Buds are $4, Rolling Rocks are $3. They boast the obligatory dive special: $5 for a beer and a well shot. With dirty bar prices in a pretty nice spot, one can’t complain. 

Go on the weekends when you don’t really feel like "going out" but still want to have a good time. Don’t forget your ID as they door guy’s a bit of an ass, and it’s cash only so no tabs—which is probably a good thing. 

Where Celebs Go Out: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes

1. Richard Gere, at the premiere of Brooklyn’s Finest: My favorite restaurant has to be the Bedford Post. 2. Don Cheadle: BOA, in L.A. 3. Ethan Hawke: Manganaro’s, on 9th Avenue. 4. Wesley Snipes: That’s gotta be home. My wife is an excellent cook! Where do I like to go? Oh, La Dinastia, the Cuban-Chinese restaurant on 72nd, near Broadway. 5. Hoda Kobt: I love 21 Club. I love Tabla. I love Shake Shack, just their burgers. ‘Cause the first time I saw a line, I thought, ‘Who would wait in a line this long for a burger?’ And then I realized, ‘I would.’ There’s something about the size, the texture; they’re moist, they’re delicious. And I like Kefi — on Columbus — the best, best Greek food ever, delicious.

6. Antoine Fuqua: Carmine’s. They have Carmine’s in New York and L.A. 7. Richard Belzer: I hang out in bed with my dog! West Branch is one of my favorites. It’s up here on the west side on 77th and Broadway. And all of Drew Nieporent’s restaurants. Yeah, I get around. 8. Wade Allain-Marcus: I go to a spot like Legion in Williamsburg. It’s a bar. It’s a beautiful thing. 9. Nicoye Banks: I like the Hudson. The Hudson’s always good. The Mandarin has a nice lounge on the 35th floor, if you really want to relax, look at Central Park, be smooth. Good restaurant — Parlor Steakhouse on 90th and 3rd. 10. Grizz Chapman: Actually, I work. I don’t really hang out too much. Favorite restaurant is The Palm, the one on the east side. Being that my diet has changed, my favorite dish would, probably, just be vegetables and chicken. 11. Kevin “Dot Com” Brown: I don’t get a chance to hang out, like I used to. I come to these events, and I never remember the name — I just follow the flyer; whatever address is there; I just follow the address. But I never remember the names of the venues. And when you’re not at an event? City Island. I go to Sammy’s — I go to Sammy’s seafood in City Island, and I overeat! 12. Andre Brown: I hang out at the Rose Bar, the GoldBar, Juliet — that’s about it. 13. Daymond John: Restaurants: I always go to Nobu, Blue Ribbon. Bars, I go to Tenjune. Clubs — well, Tenjune’s like a bar and a club — I go to the Greenhouse and I go to M2. 14. Shannon Kane: Wow! I don’t really hang out at a lot of clubs or anything like that, but I have some really great restaurants in L.A. One of them is El Cholo, a Mexican restaurant. Any favorite dish? The vegetarian burrito, and the fresh guacomole — they make right in front of you. 15. Michael Martin: I used to love Bar Code. It’s, actually, gone now. I love club Amnesia, great place. The Tunnel is gone now. Tammany Hall — that’s a great one. 16. Wendy Williams: Victor’s — Cuban food. 17. Sherri Shepherd: There’s a restaurant on 56th, between 8th and 9th called Bricco’s. And it’s just a nice, little family restaurant, and I go there with everybody because they got fresh Italian food, and the owner — oh, my gosh — he kisses you like you’re the most amazing woman in the world! 18. John D’Leo: John’s Pizzeria in the village has, probably, the best pizza in New York. 19. Carrie Lowell: Bedford Post — the restaurant we own. 20. Lili Taylor: I love Bar Pitti. I like the Cuban restaurant in Harlem on 125th. Sylvia’s Soulfood in Harlem. 21. Bethenny Frankel: I like Kraft. I like the Strip House. I like Abe and Arthur’s. I like steakhouses. I need meat on the bone. I need to feed the baby! 22. D’brickashaw Ferguson: Probably, Junior’s. In Brooklyn? Yeah, gotta represent! Other than the cheesecake, I’m a big fan of their barbecued chicken. 23. Ellen Barkin: I don’t have [a favorite restaurant]. 24. Lena Olin @ “Remember Me” premiere: My favorite restaurant in the city is Nobu! 25. Gregory Jbara: The Standard Grill right now is open now till four o’clock in the morning, and they have a phenomenal menu. They have great waitstaff and you can always get a great meal, after the rest of the town is shut down. I’d recommend the oysters. They have a phenomenal selection of east-coast oysters. Also, they serve an appetizer of dried-crust cheese with English radishes. And you look at it on the table and you go, ‘What am I supposed to do with that — plant a garden?!’ And then you taste it, and you go, ‘This is a brilliant, original way to start a meal.’ Corner Bistro has the best burgers, but, if you want the best glass of wine and want to sample wines, you go to Dell’anima, which is down just south of 14th on 8th Avenue. 26. Peyton List: I love going to Dylan’s Candy Bar. I always go there and get treats or chocolates. I, actually, love the bakery called “Baked.” They have the best Chocolate Cloud cookies. What’s that? It’s a chocolate cookie, and it’s really thick and I love it, ’cause it’s so chocolatey, and I love chocolate! 27. Greg Bello: Oh, Jesus! Oh, I can’t give away all those secrets; then everyone’s gonna find out and they’re not going to be hot anymore. I don’t know what to tell you! Actually, probably, the Boom Boom Room is the hottest room in the city right now. 28. Allen Coulter: Del Posto, Peasants, Ouest –said with a French accent, but I can’t do it, Barney Greengrass. 29. Tate Ellington: ‘Cause I live in the Williamsburg area, one of my favorite places is DuMont. DuMac and Cheese is one of the greatest meals I’ve had in New York. There’s a place called Barcade which is pretty wonderful, as far as a bar, but it’s gettin’ a little packed, nowadays, but it’s a good place and the bartenders are nice. Huckleberry Bar is a nice, little cocktail lounge. 30. Peggy Siegal: Oh, I like the Monkey Bar. I like the new Jean-Georges restaurant at The Mark Hotel. I like 21, the Four Seasons, Michael’s, the Waverly Inn, the Standard Hotel. What else have I missed? I don’t know. Any favorite dishes? No, I’m always on a diet!

Box Office Haul: ‘Avatar’ Tips ‘Titanic’; Harrison Ford Drowns

Leave it to James Cameron to dethrone James Cameron. Or as he would say, “I see you, James Cameron,” except he would say it in Na’vi, the language that he created because he can. This weekend, Avatar will become the highest grossing film of all-time, with $1.841 billion in ticket sales worldwide in six weeks through yesterday. Titanic‘s decade-plus reign atop the all-time earners list, with $1.843 billion, is slated to be eclipsed Sunday. Maybe right… now. Or now. The 3-D sci-fi epic grossed $36 million domestically this weekend, adding to its $552.8 stateside total. After the jump, a rundown of the Top 10 (plus a few more) highest grossing films and their weekend hauls.

(‘DiggThis’) In a distant second place, Legion — the trashy horror flick featuring that terrifying homicidal grandmother in the trailer — pocketed a not-too-shabby $18.2 million, just ahead of Denzel Washington’s post-apocalyptic shoot-’em-up The Book of Eli and some documentary about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s ever-slipping sense of self-worth, Disney film The Tooth Fairy. Despite his killer denim, Harrison Ford’s Extraordinary Measures, also starring Brendan “Constant Comeback” Faser, scored a disappointing seventh place finish with only $7 million — or barely more than Alvin and the Chipmuks: The Squeakquel in its fifth week. And the rest of the top 10:

1. Avatar ($36 million) 2. Legion ($18.2 million) 3. The Book of Eli ($17 million) 4. The Tooth Fairy ($14.5 million) 5. The Lovely Bones ($8.8 million) 6. Sherlock Holmes ($7.1 million) 7. Extraordinary Measures ($7 million) 8. Alvin and the Chipmuks: The Squeakquel ($6.5 million) 9. It’s Complicated ($6.2 million) 10. The Spy Next Door ($4.75 million)

Below the Top 10: Leap Year ($3 million), Daybreakers ($1.6 million), and Crazy Heart ($1.4 million) Only in 1 theater: 44 Inch Chest ($2,050)

Paul Bettany in Eight Minutes or Less

“You have about 8 minutes with Mr. Bettany,” says a bleary-eyed publicist as we walk down the hallway at Manhattan’s Regency hotel. To promote the Charles Darwin biopic Creation, Paul Bettany has been doing interviews here for the last six hours. A delta force of publicists and handlers stalk the 19th floor, shuffling around faceless journalists, on a mission to organize press for Bettany and Jennifer Connelly, his wife and co-star, who I spot coming out of the elevator. Eight minutes is not a lot of time. It seems like even less when I remember that I’m clutching a notebook with five pages of questions. And then even less when I consider I’m trying to interview a guy who’s appeared in movies like A Beautiful Mind and Master and Commander and has Creation and also the, uh, very interesting looking Legion coming out this month. Honestly, press days suck. How am I going to get him to say serious and smart things to me? He’s done it for other journalists, but they must have had at least, like, 12 minutes. (Serious things he’s said include, “I wish I did have faith.I think it would make life so much easier. I just have not discovered God in my life. I mean, I don’t see him.”) I decide not to wallow. I walk into the room. Paul Bettany’s sitting there in the stale air looking bored as hell. We start to chat. In the end, I got 19 minutes and 40 seconds. It’s all after the jump.

Do you enjoy press days like this? Um, well, [long pause] I don’t mind it too much when I know I am trying to represent the movie well.

I have to admit, I hate doing interviews like this. Ok good. I’m glad we can start off like this.

Well, let’s actually start off with Legion. I know you’ve said before that you like to mix it up, but Charles Darwin to this? I did Legion first and then I did Creation and then I went and did the vampire movie [Priest]. I like vampire movies. I love all sorts of movies. There are loads of ways you can get pigeonholed. You can get pigeonholed by other people, or you can pigeonhole yourself and say, ‘I only ever do cool, art house movies, important movies about historical figures,’ or say ‘I don’t do those sort of things I only do action movies,’ and I just refuse to be one of those people. I just want to do as many different things as I can, and to act on my own whim. I’m making a movie about Charles Darwin and I’m thinking, ‘maybe I’d like to jump about on a wire after this?’ The two movies are very different disciplines. You know when you go to the movie theater, you are going to get a very different thing from seeing Legion than you are from seeing Creation. It’s the same when you’re making it.

Do you worry about the reviews when you make a commitment to film a movie like Legion? All in all, I really don’t care how the movie reviews, or what the acting reviews are like. In Legion, I’m an angel. It’s a movie that wasn’t made for critics. I made that movie because I wanted to see people’s popcorn go up in the air. I went to see it the other night and it’s a really visceral reaction. It’s like doing comedy. Horror is like doing comedy. You see people laughing at your jokes or you see people going “Ouoooghhh” and popcorn going everywhere. And it’s gratifying in a really nice way.

What was the last thing you were doing where you had to look around to see if anyone was watching you do it? That is a really funny question. It happens to me every morning. We are making a film right now and we have paparazzi outside of the house. It doesn’t usually happen, or just randomly during the summer. Well, it’s my job in the morning to take the dog for a walk and so there comes a point where I have to put a plastic bag on my hand and pick up the dog’s shit. And I’m always looking around for paparazzi. In fact, Jennifer went jogging, she went running with our dog and it pooped, and she thought about what might be worse, to have a picture of her leaving the poop or a picture of her bending over in my lycra pants picking up the poop? It’s like FUCK! I always find I look around for paparazzi before picking up poop. Get it at the right angle and what not.

You’ve played Geoffrey Chaucer and Darwin. Would you say you’re drawn to personalities in history? I wouldn’t say I usually am. Not to the point where I’d really like to play George Washington or something. With Charles Darwin I just got really interested in him after I made Master and Commander. And I went to the Galapagos and I was reading, as I’m sure anyone who has gone to the Galapagos has, his diaries from The Beagle. I can’t think of any other examples where I have actually had any sort of a plan. Which is terrible. I don’t have any plans. It’s terrible. It’s incredibly shallow. I believe I’m a very shallow personality. I have no plans, it’s awful.

That’s sort of refreshing? I don’t know if it is. Maybe. But it’s probably more along the lines of a bit stupid. Some people have great plans and they work out really well. But then some people have plans like Stalin. Stalin had a seven year plan that went really badly. So who knows.

Were you prepared to be bombarded with questions about your faith and religion after completing Creation? No. Not as much as I am. What is really interesting is that evolution and there being a god are not mutually exclusive. They are not. I am an atheist but there’s no intellectual reason for there to be a conflict.

What was the best thing that you learned from making Creation? I think it’s about tolerance of ideas. Tolerance of other people’s ideas. I think that it’s a large message in the movie that isn’t really hammered home, but it’s certainly a message that one can glean from the Darwin’s marriage. He was agnostic, but when the child dies he goes toward science and his wife goes toward religion. And somehow they go on together, looked after each other, supported each other and coexisted while having these wildly different opinions. His wife absolutely believed in heaven and hell and she didn’t change. And somehow we are getting less and less able to be able to have different opinions and still be able to be at peace with one another. I mean you go on the internet and people get so angry at Charles Darwin. It’s so weird. I mean, calm down. So you don’t believe in it? Just calm down.

I read that you had a hard time getting into Darwin’s inner turmoil, especially about spirituality, so you focused on looking the part. Is that true? Well, there are certain things that I can understand about Charles Darwin. There are certain things I can’t. I can’t understand the ability that he had to focus and observe and re-observe life. His way of freshly looking at things and not just saying, ‘well I know what a cup looks like,’ but to actually look at it without all of his preconceived notions of the cup. I do know what loss feels like. I concentrated on those bits that I could control. I cannot become the most intelligent human being that has ever lived, but I can sort of do an impression of that for the camera [laughs].

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Were you at all surprised to see what a few wigs and a couple of pounds would do? I gained 40 lbs because I just made Legion and I had been in a gym for 6 months. There are these scenes with Darwin where I knew I didn’t want to look like I do now…so I better start eating sandwiches! It wasn’t that I wanted to get fat, it’s just that I didn’t want to have a 6 pack for the movie. It would have been wrong. Wouldn’t have done Darwin justice. I also have a great makeup artist called Veronica McAleer. She is brilliant. She put wigs on me.

Now that you have experienced hydrotherapy, do you believe it does much good? No! It was freezing cold. I don’t know what it does. It’s great for your pores. You know, it’s really interesting. He was so sick. He had traveled all the way around the world as an incredibly robust youth who liked hunting and sports and was a jock in a weird way. He went all around the world and was fine and then came home and was sick for the rest of his life. I think it was psychosomatic. He then went to hydrotherapy and hydrotherapy has absolutely no scientific basis. I mean there is no science to it and yet, he’d come out and say, ‘Oh I feel much better now, I feel great!’ He was a scientist! Which leads me to think that it was psychosomatic.

Publicist interrupts: Times up! No, let’s have a few more questions, shall we?

SomepPeople are saying that you guys had a surprising lack of chemistry on screen. I felt that there was this sort of disconnect between you and Jennifer on screen. But I thought it was so purposeful and made the relationship touching, the two of you portraying the real disconnect that can happen in relationships. You know I was so surprised to hear that criticism because that was sort of the point. Darwin was a scientific man. Using science I could prove to you that the chemistry of the film is a bananas concept. People talk about on screen chemistry and I can promise you it doesn’t exist. It’s about acting. And you can in actual fact, overplay these things on film. If you don’t have a relationship with the person, you tend to feel the need to sort of telegraph it, gazing into their eyes a lot, and overplay it.

I have been married for seven years and there’s a massive amount of ignoring each other that just goes on, not because you’re tired of each other, just because you know the person is there. You know what they look like and you’ve got the kids to get right, you’ve got things to do. And the way you are physically with them, which might seem without chemistry, actually comes from a slower and deeper love for that person. You know they walk by you and you don’t even have to look to know where their hand is. Cause that hand’s been in the same place for the past seven years in our case. And the Darwins had been together for 15 years when we meet in the film, so they had the same familiarity. I’m glad you picked up on that because that was the whole fucking point. The fucking point wasn’t that they were falling in love. The whole point was that their long marriage was in crisis. Married people don’t behave like a new couple. I don’t do that and I have two kids. Imagine what it’s like with fucking ten children? As if they really have time to stare at each other?

What are some movies you really enjoyed watching in the last year? You are gonna laugh at me. But the Fantastic Mr. Fox. It’s fucking brilliant! It’s my movie of the year.

What was the last movie that you saw? A Serious Man.

The last restaurant that you ate at? I just got back from LA. It was the Four Seasons, but that was because I happened to be doing a hotel junket. If I were going to make one up the Blue Hill. But, really I haven’t eaten there, I would just be making it up.

Of all the directors you have worked with who was the most difficult? Lars Von Trier.

If you could take a piece of any actor today and make it yours, it could be anything from a talent, to abs, to George Clooney’s eyebrow, what would you want? I want everything that Daniel Day-Lewis has. But with my family. I love his talent. He has made a deal with the devil. Also, all of Meryl Streep.

All of? Well, except for the boobs and the vagina. They’re lovely! They really are, but I’m happy being a man. My wife would be shocked if I came home with a pair of Meryl Streep’s boobs and her vagina. I think she’d be more than shocked.

Hook, Line and Single! Top 10 Places to Pick Up Seamen During Fleet Week

imageIt’s hard to stand out in a city populated by naked cowboys, that screeching guy who wears bird feathers and bells in Union Square, and Mike Nelson. But when the ships dock in New York for Fleet Week and its annual Memorial Day celebration, the Coast Guard and Navy mariners dressed head-to-toe in their white, starched uniforms aren’t exactly subtle. That said, a handy how-to on nabbing seamen might be helpful. (Full disclosure: They’re everywhere!)

Rusty Knot (West Village) – This nautical-themed watering hole is practically on the Hudson, and it has the best dark and stormy mix in the city. Worst-case scenario: You won’t meet a sailor, but there’s an aquarium filled with blowfish! ● Old Town Bar (Flatiron) – Once a safe haven for Manhattan’s old-world editors, this creaky, dark den of drink now serves the best clam roll in the city to the weariest of Navy-gazers. Plus, there’s a man who lives off of the upstairs eating area, and I’m almost sure he’s Cap’n Ahab. ● Ritz Bar & Lounge (Hell’s Kitchen) – Think Village People, not necessarily seamen proper, at this HK schooner-adorned, dimly lit meat market. (On your quest for Fleet Week friendship, expect multiple “seamen” puns from the gay patrons here.) ● Legion (Williamsburg) – There may not be any boathouse boys here, but this East Williamsburg staple has three-dollar “Atomic” pints of beer — and a White Castle across the street. ● Cubby Hole (West Village) – No longer the sanctuary for casualties of the Beatrice Inn door policy, this anything-goes shrine to Madonna and 90s divas will most certainly attract a don’t-ask-don’t-tell group of Fleeters. ● Ear Inn (SoHo) – A late-late-late night restaurant sure to reel in a few Sway castaways looking for cheap, unfussy beer. ● Spring Lounge (SoHo) – There will be no shortage of men in white here. Its microbrewery beer menu is almost overwhelming, and it opens at 8am. ● Don Hill’s (SoHo) – No longer home to Leigh Lezark and her asymmetrical crew of merrymakers, the eponymous venue now has room for the nightlife aquatic. In keeping with the nautical theme, Hill’s will house a live performance by Pisser tonight. ● Central Park Boathouse (Upper West Side) – Overlooking the park lake, the Boathouse is a healthy, hearty mix of geriatrics, homeless passersby and, yep, sailors! Order the swordfish or snapper with melted cabbage. ● Blue Water Grill (Union Square) – http://bbook.com/guides/details/blue-water-grill Part of the Dos Caminos family of restaurateurs, Blue Water Grill employees tweet about the goings-on at their seafood emporium. A sample: “memorial days menus have been finalized- watermelon gazpacho, jumbo shrimp skewers, main lobster, jonah crab boil, tons of sides, etc etc,” and, “recently saw former presidential candidate mike dukakis for what seemed like a formal business dinner with 10+ people, wife was there too.” Ships ahoy!
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