The Top NYC Bars To Hook Up With Hipsters

How does it feel to tear off someone’s skin-tight lycra shorts and mismatched striped socks? Are coffee-guzzling, liberal arts majors better at talking dirty? What’s a hipster’s morning-after go-to spot ? If you cannot answer any of the above questions, it’s time you consult our list of the Top NYC Bars To Hook Up With Hipsters. This is a species that travels in packs, and where there’s one, there’s many. We are confident you will find lots of single, attractive, and nimble hipsters here.

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Hip-hop Trio Das Racist Take a Hazy Stroll Through Brooklyn

Does anyone have any volumizing product?” asks Himanshu Suri, a.k.a Heems (center), returning from a quick glance in his bedroom mirror and stepping out into the living room of the messy ground-floor apartment he rents in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. So I Married an Axe Murderer is playing on a flat screen. Clouds of smoke waft through the room. After running a dollop of mousse through his hair, the 25-year-old rapper decides on a gray snapback and lights a joint, offering it to his Das Racist bandmates Victor Vazquez (left) and Ashok Kondabolu.

Last month, Das Racist released their debut album, Relax, the official follow-up to their 2010 mixtapes Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man. “Calling it an album and not a mixtape and then selling it for money will probably make people think of it as something more ‘real,’” says Vazquez. “But it’s not all that different from the music we’ve made previously.” That music, which includes the 2008 viral hit “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” and more recent singles like “hahahaha jk?” are part of Das Racist’s catalog of seemingly puerile pothead raps, which, when actually given a serious listen, tell stories from the perspective of disaffected American minorities. (Suri and Kondabolu, who went to high school together, are both of Indian descent and were born in Queens; Vazquez, a San Francisco native, is of Afro-Cuban and Italian heritage.)
 
“There are a lot of inside jokes in the music, but I think people like that—they seem to like feeling a bit confused,” says Vazquez. The title of their new album is a perfect example: “Heems and Dapwell (Kondabolu’s stage name) used to sell T-shirts at Coney Island that showed a joint smoking a cigarette, with the word ‘relax’ on them,” he says. “There was another one with a hot dog eating a hamburger and it said ‘fresh.’” Says Kondabolu, “We made 60 of each shirt, but we only sold one to a high Mexican dude from a biker gang.” Still, the joke obviously stuck, and now the image features in their cover art. It’s also become a laid-back mantra of sorts—something Kondabolu, Suri, and Vazquez proved while languorously and happily stopping in at a few of their favorite Brooklyn hangouts.
 
Das Racist 2
 
Manhattan Inn, 632 Manhattan Avenue
Greenpoint, NYC – 718-383-0885
“Our friend Brooke Baxter co-owns Glasslands, where we used to play a lot of shows, but we’ve been coming here ever since she opened this venue. It’s basically the fancy version of Glasslands, plus a lot of our friends DJ here, and it’s in the neighborhood.” —HS
“We had mussels here with one of the dudes from the Lonely Island one time. The mezcal margaritas are very good here. I’ve been on acid in this place like four times.” —VV
 
Das Racist 3
 
Brooklyn Fire Proof, 119 Ingraham Street
Bushwick, NYC – 347-223-4211
“We filmed the video for our single ‘Michael Jackson’ across the street. We needed a warehouse area, and they had a big space, so we got a Michael Jackson impersonator and we reenacted the ‘Black or White’ video. We pretty much stole shamelessly from Jackson’s video, but anyway, we came here for lunch and had the lobster roll with bacon and avocado.” —VV
 
 
Das Racist 4
 
East River Ferry, Foot of India Street
Greenpoint, NYC
“You can come here at night and smoke, if that’s what you’re into, but I’m more of a get-in-trouble-for-open-containers kind of guy. I just come and sit here, and I’ve been meaning to bring my sketchbook. I once set a mouse free by the rocks, then I saw a cat a few seconds later. But when I got home there was a mouse in the apartment, so I think he followed us back.” —HS
 
Das Racist 5
 
New China Wok, 57 4th Avenue
Boerum Hill, NYC 718-638-1898
“North Brooklyn has terrible Chinese food, plus I don’t eat meat, so I can’t fuck with a lot of stuff people generally get at Chinese food places. I’m typically stuck eating eggplant or bean curd, but this family figured that they’re close enough to Park Slope that a lot of white people would be ordering non-meat food. They do tofu incredibly well—very crispy and not oily or fried, with lots of scallions and garlic sauce.” —AK
 
Das Racist 6
 
The Brooklyn Improvement Company, 360 Third Avenue
Gowanus, NYC 
“I like this building because it looks eerie. There was a dude named Edwin C. Litchfield who owned a lot of property in Brooklyn about 150 years ago, and the offices of his Brooklyn Improvement Company were in this building, surrounded by other very old, beautiful buildings that Whole Foods destroyed when they bought the lot next door. This is the only building left on the block. Across the street there’s half of the wall from a stadium that housed the Brooklyn Superbas baseball team. They’re called the Dodgers now.” —AK
 
Photography by Phil Knot

Speak Easy, A New Brooklyn Speaker Series, Celebrates Doing It Yourself

From pizzerias to cupcake shops, local honey makers to music venues, Brooklyn is filled with businesses that serve their local community, all while keeping their quality up and their carbon footprint down. So it was only a matter of time before someone tapped the minds and personalities behind these businesses. Speak Easy (the name gamely references another New York trend), a new monthly series out of Veronica People’s Club, kicks off February 15, and will spotlight a different subject each month, highlighting the connection between entrepreneurship and the arts that its organizer, Cara Cannella, feels is too often overlooked – or underplayed. The Haslegrave brothers, the women of Ovenly, and musician Nathan Larson (Shudder to Think, A Camp) are some of the subjects Cannella has lined up.

“I think Brooklynites are really loyal to, and supportive of local businesses, especially those driven by a DIY or collaborative ethic,” says Cannella.“For the most part, we’re seeking authentic experiences and connections—at the farmer’s market, the Brooklyn Flea, the local butcher shop, etc.—rather than anonymous transactions, and we like to share what we know through word of mouth. The borough’s strong neighborhood and community ties, cultural diversity, creative energy, and relative affordability result in fertile ground for startups.”

Cannella’s interest can be traced back to a post-college internship at Inc. magazine, where she interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs and where she continued to work on and off for ten years as a reporter. “Over the years, I’ve talked to hundreds of entrepreneurs, interviewing them, and I just find the whole process of creating something out of nothing and putting your whole heart and soul into it to be fascinating. And I think basically that’s what artists have to do too.”

Cannella counts among her friends many of Brooklyn’s small business owners and owes her luck with the series to the generosity of her friends, many of whom she’s made writing about small businesses and food, and not least among them Heather, of Veronica People’s Club. “I feel so lucky to have this space as a home base for Speak Easy. The owners are really supportive and community-driven, and their hosting of the series came about organically. One day, I was there hanging out with Heather (one of three owners, along with Dre and Stevie; Heather also owns Heathers Bar in the East Village), thinking out loud about wanting to do the series, and she generously offered the space. They’re all curious, passionate and open-minded, and their staff and crowd reflect that. The bar’s open design—along with rotating DJs, Sunday Suppers, projected movie screenings, and the relaxed garden out back—all contribute to a welcoming and creative vibe, which is exactly what I want for the series. During the day, they serve Inteligentsia coffee and locally made Ovenly pastries; with that and wi-fi, it’s also a great place to do work.”

Pictured top: Cara Cannella. image The Haselgrove brothers.

On April 5th, the Speak Easy will present “How to Bring a Restaurant to Life” in two parts. Part I will feature Oliver and Evan Haslegrave, the two brothers behind the design team hOmE, who are known for their use of recycled and repurposed material in the creation of spaces like the Manhattan Inn and other venues. “Oliver used to be a fiction editor for one of the big houses,” says Cannella.“Their company is called hOmE, which is the acronym of their four siblings. Their family is sickeningly close. Their sister now works with them. They all have a tattoo too that says hOmE, including their mom.”

It will also feature Paul Giannone, of woodfire pizza restaurant Paulie Gee’s (designed and built by hOmE), and Agatha and Erin of Ovenly, “who bake out of Paulie’s kitchen and create ice cream toppings for the restaurant. Agatha and I grew up together, and she and Erin met at Four Burners, a food-focused book club I started three years ago.”

So that’s going to be part I. The other part will Sean Dimin of Sea2Table,—which partners with fishermen from sustainable wild fisheries to deliver their catch overnight, creating a direct connection with chefs—and Jacques Gautier, chef and owner of Palo Santo, a Latin American-influenced restaurant that sources fish from Sea2Table and vegetables and herbs from its own rooftop garden. Gautier also “raises bunnies on his roof” that he cooks and serves to friends.

For June, Speak Easy will present musician and author Nathan Larson, of Shudder to Think. “He has a novel coming out called the Dewey Decimal System, which is set inside the New York Public Library, which I’m so excited about. “[Larson] scores a lot of movies. He scored Boys Don’t Cry. He’s married to the lead singer [Nina Persson] from the Cardigans. I’m a big fan of the Cardigans.”

For future guests, Cannella hopes to feature Brooklyn Brewery founder Steve Hindy, “since he was one of the pioneers of the recent local small business boom,” the founders of Etsy, and Lisa Price who started out mixing oils and fragrances as a hobby and now runs Carol’s Daughter, a multi-million dollar all-natural beauty company. Cannella will also feature “less conventional business owners,” like subway buskers, food truck vendors, and farmers who sell at local Greenmarkets.

As for how Cannella managed to swing Colm Toibin for the first guest? She met him ten years in Newport Rhode Island to write a profile on him. “We spent the whole day together—did the Cliff Walk; went to a used bookstore where we found some of Colm’s books; went to a lobster dinner. He was imagining, ‘Do people think we’re father and daughter? That you’re my mistress?’ It all felt a little surreal. I played his Minnie Temple,” she says.She recently heard Toibin speak at the NYPL series. “He closed with Sylvia Plath’s Daddy from memory. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.”

While she reveres renowned and established discussion series like Live from the NYPL, Cannella admits her series is inherently different, though she aims to create a similarly exciting atmosphere. “First and foremost, I want the series to be fun. I want people to come together and share stimulating ideas, but for it not to feel formal. I really wanted to generate community—people in a room, connecting. Like the experience of hearing Colm recite “Daddy” the other night—chills up everyone’s spines. And that doesn’t happen when you watch a video.”

A Very Important Night in New York

To V.I.P. or not to V.I.P., that is the question. I am always conflicted about which New York to show clients. Should I take them to La Esquina, Lit, White Noise, or Don Hill’s? Should I venture out to my beloved BK for Brooklyn Bowl and Manhattan Inn? The Manhattan hot spots are designed for client relations and the special white-glove pick-pocketing that goes with it. It seems to be a dollar-and-cents thing that makes sense when the deal is sealed. My clients with limos and expensive expectations wanted the V.I.P. New York that they understand, because it’s quite similar to the V.I.P. experience they know from Vegas and Los Angeles. We were to meet at Avenue after my DJ gig in Chelsea.

I almost DJ’d at the APM models holiday soiree at The Chelsea Room. I walked in, looked for APM V.I.P. Penny Basch, and watched the crowd jump to that special House music only played in the most swanky joints around town. I knew every track and wished I didn’t. I very much doubt superstar DJ David Guetta, who begins Pacha’s 5 year anniversary celebration tonight, will be offering up this drivel. Anyway, the crowd at The Chelsea Room was living for it, so I opted out. My special blend of tracks produced long before Penny’s long-legged crew were born would have stopped the show. I walked out after gaggles of fake giggles and double-sided cheek kisses, and headed west to meet my clients. The party was fab and the place accommodating, but my business took me elsewhere.

Noel Ashman, the former operator of the Chelsea Room, called me as I departed. In some sort of cosmic karma coincidence, the long call ended as I passed Darby, the other space he once operated as N.A. and Plumm. Amanda found 2 bowling trophies by a lamp post and we promptly dropped them off at the ever-developing SNAP, which needs some more sporty stuff. The trophies were for “lowest score” in some tournament, and the receiver I guess dumped them when he had lost the people who thought that was cute. The double coincidences were not lost on Amanda and I. We bought a lottery ticket. The great Willie Sutton, who robbed over 100 banks – a career decision that had him in jail for most of his life – once said, “A man should place a bet every day. Otherwise, he could be walking around lucky and not even know it.” We lost our money, and with it, respect for Willie Sutton’s advice.

We arrived at V.I.P. joint Avenue and were whisked to a table. Avenue has some of the best “whiskers” in town. The door people whisk you into the hosts, who whisk the clients credit card to some safe spot as the waitrons whisk bottles of sticky liquids into glasses that are in a position nearby just waiting to be whisked. In no time at all, thousands of dollars were being whisked from one bank account to another. Everybody on staff smiles impossibly wide smiles with immaculate pearly white teeth. A trip to the men’s room had a security guard, who recognized that I was at a table, whisk me to a small private bathroom. That level of service separates the great whiskers from the boys. My clients were ecstatic, surrounded by movers and shakers and beautiful women. Hotel magnates told of projects and I heard the name “Dubai” 3 different times from 3 different folk. I bet there’s a whole lot of whisking going on at that Dubai place. Avenue is all that it should be and an absolute goldmine. Everybody was having fun and knew that they were in the right place. And then suddenly we were to be whisked “elsewhere,” as intelligent phones carried the news that “elsewhere” was better. “Elsewhere” would be more perfect than this perfect.

Cars were outside to whisk us to Lavo, where our beautiful crew was whisked inside by proprieter Noah Tepperberg to other proprietor Mark Packer’s table. Jayma Cardoza – the best whisker ever – grabbed my girl by the hand, and with unbelievable glee made friends with her. Somewhere nearby, someone was putting some credit card in some safe place. Promoters to the left and promoters to the right, with tables full of 6 foot beauties, came over to say hello. The 6-footers smiled perfect smiles at me, and whisked perfect hair from their almost-perfect faces. I remembered the old days, when beauty could also be found in shorter people as well. Alas, I’m sure that’s still true in other non-V.I.P., non–whisking, non-credit-card-maxing places. I wondered if some promoters were paid by the inch. The same music was being played at Lavo that was offered at The Chelsea Room. Avenue had the hip-hop or open format version of that music.

After a while, when the business talk had been shouted out over the din, it was time to leave. Nearby, men in nice suits danced like bobble head dolls with women who truly loved them for their personalities. I imagined them talking about Dubai for a minute, but then noticed nobody was really talking. For the most part, the loud, almost-house music, took the talking out of the mix. What was there to talk about, really? We all have money, we all look good, and we spend all the rest of the time of our lives talking with cell phones and computers. Now was the time to sway, pump it up, and flirt with eyes, and celebrate our successes and desires. Hot-as-hell go-go dancers would have been great conversation pieces, but due to the volume, were perfect just as pieces.

I double kissed a dozen people, and I pointed at a couple bottles on the table, and shouted to my client to take 2 of these and call me in the morning – or tomorrow night. I offered my giggly joke to all, waved to people I didn’t want to say goodbye to, and headed to the street. Lavo is amazing, wonderful, and banging. But of course, not for me. I headed to Williamsburg in a fast yellow chariot and stopped at Kellogg’s Diner before home. The lobsters in the tank by the door greeted me with confused stares. They belonged at Kellogg’s about as much as I belonged at those V.I.P. spots. The music on the radio at Kellogg’s was pretty much the same stuff offered up at the clubs, but it came with a cheesburger deluxe, and I accepted it.

Fashion Week Frenzy

My Blackberry was screaming at me to get to subMercer, as “everyone was there.” The reopening of the underground spot I call home had me covered in goose bumps. They could have been caused by the cool, cool night, but I love goose bumps no matter what the cause. I was dying to get to subMercer, but it was quite early and I was dining in Brooklyn. Manhattan Inn in Greenpoint is yet another reason there’s no way you’re gonna keep me in Manhattan. Fashion Week events were beckoning me from across the East River, but I was in a better place. I think someone should organize a Brooklyn Fashion Week.

We scurried into Manhattan to catch the BB Dakota Fashion Week Kick Off Party. Despite the very pleasant people at the event door and inside the still-chic Chloe 81, we were in and out faster than you can say Chloe 81-2-3-4. We’d arrived there a little too deep into the open bar, and even the fabulous people we knew didn’t know us anymore. It was like going to a masquerade party without a costume. I must admit that everyone was having a blast. We hit the streets hard and headed to see Gabby and Richard at subMercer. We passed by Travertine. The basement boite, XIX, is on my list of things to visit. We paused outside the joint, where a fabulous herd of foreign correspondents, debutantes, hipsters, and bally-hoos amused us on the sidewalk as we chatted up the door peeps. Door guru “Disco” (ex-Bungalow 8 and many other sweet spots) was supervising the scene. My beautiful friend Alexis Clemente was there as well. They insist the place is hot and I believe them, as Disco has never lied to me. I clicked my ruby sneakers together and repeated “there’s no place like home” and headed to my home away from home, subMercer.

A huge throng was smoking and cruising outside The Mercer Hotel. As we neared I asked Amanda if she hated Fashion Week yet.”Is it like this everywhere?” she queried, and I told her, “It only gets worse as the week goes on.” Every joint worth its lemon zest is doing something incredible every night. Soon, the fashion flock, victims, and the peeps who actually work will be hit with tremendous exhaustion. But they’ll still need to be out. A feeding frenzy will make the classy turn crass. The innocent and sweet will morph into sleep-deprived cocktail and stimulant monsters. The beautiful will get ugly.

Courtney Love was holding court on one of the benches as we approached. She was surrounded by the most fabulous peeps, and, as often is the case with subMercer, hanging outside is a big part of the party. Door god Richard Alvarez and I caught up. We exchanged a battery of “You look greats” and “Whatchabeendoings?” while he and Amanda spoke in a strange Spanish dialect that apparently needed hands, hips, and lots of prancing around to understand. They both broke down laughing at the end, and I still have no idea what was said. We were whisked down to Gabby Meija, the queen of the joint. It was mobbed with balloons and wonderful folk who don’t need Fashion Week to tell them what to wear. Gabby showed me the newly appointed DJ booth, where I’ve bored so many. It has Plexiglas up to the ceiling to prevent drinks from ruining the night. She told me it would stop a tossed tomato on nights when I spin. Andre Balazs was there but gone by the time we arrived. I’ll see him tonight at the Boom Boom Room (or whatever they call it) re-launch.

We were off to Kenmare. A huge crowd of hipsters was smoking up the street, which made me think to myself, great…not inside. It was refreshing to think that this wouldn’t be a deal breaker here. Megan greeted us in and we were instantly among friends. Everybody was hanging on everybody as Kenmare remains the sexiest place around where clothes are still required. I couldn’t find Nur , who was over here but then over there and back that way as everyone insisted they just saw him. I’ll see him tonight at Don Hill’s. I can’t wait to see what he and Paul Sevigny have done to the place. A sneak peek I had just a little while back indicated they were keeping all the good stuff but adding much needed seating, bathrooms, as well as cleaning up the place. I hope it’s not too clean. The great Andy Warhol once said, “Anyplace that’s too neat or too clean can’t be any fun.” Don Hill’s was always kind of perfectly grungy. I will then make my way, way up to Good Units at the Hudson Hotel. Tonight Susanne Bartsch and Desi Monster will kick off their monthly soiree, Bloody Mary. Every queen this side of Elizabeth II will be in attendance.

Things To Do in NY This Weekend Because Everyone Knows Summer Unofficially Ends Soon

See Every Rapper You Liked in the 90’s on One Bill Rock The Bells—aka the annual post-old-school pre-autotune hip-hop traveling show—hits the beach at Governors Island on Saturday. The weather is supposed to be great, and the lineup is better: Wu-Tang Clan (sans ODB, obvs), Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill, Rakim, KRS-One, and Slick Rick are among the performers.

Grill Things Preferably meat, like the delectable duck sausage from Los Paisano’s Meat Market on Smith St. in Brooklyn. Cook it in a Big Green Egg. But if non-meat protein’s what you’re after, Field Roast Grain Meat Co. makes a mean veggie sausage. Try the Mexican Chipotle flavor. Also, a regular old grill will always suffice.

Get Your Dance On, Awkward Writer Types Head to the misleadingly named Manhattan Inn (it is neither an inn, nor in Manhattan) in Greenpoint tomorrow night for the latest installment of the Kings County Society for Fitness Musical Merriment. This monthly party is hosted by Gigantic Magazine editors James Yeh and Lincoln Michel, who spin dancefloor classics and rarities under the dorkily literary monikers DJ Hemingyeh and Cormac McBootay, respectively.

Tickle your eager Franzen bone Read excerpts of the author’s soon-to-be-released Freedom over on the NPR website (scroll down to get the excerpt).

The Emmys When you’ve already accepted that a long, harsh winter is nigh.

Seva Granik on PS1, Klaus Biesenbach and Booking New York’s Hottest Summer Event

“The DFA line-up of August 7th is crazy,” says Seva Granik as small dishes of mac ‘n cheese, sliders, and guacamole are placed on our table courtesy of Coco 66. We’re sitting window-side at a private event for the Australian group Tame Impala, and Granik is talking about one of the events for Warm Up—MoMA PS1’s highly acclaimed summer concert series. Granik is part of the illustrious team of New York music industry insiders brought together by MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach to produce this year’s series. “Jump in,” Granik says, pushing the mac ‘n cheese lightly in my direction as he continues his run-down of some of the acts he’s looking forward to. “The Crystal Ark is a new band by Gavin Russom that no one has heard. It’s their first show ever. And, just from looking at their stage plot and input lists, I can already tell that they will blow people away. It’s the most complicated, technically well-put together plot I’ve seen in all of my short career.” Warm Up started years ago, but more recently it’s evolved into a premiere summer concert series, and this year’s line-up is “the biggest ever” according to Granik. “This has never gone down at MoMA PS1.” When offered beer, Granik puts his hand up in polite demurral. “I’ve got a long night ahead of me.”

Granik’s role as Bookings and Stage Manager entails managing bookings, contracting, finances, tech liaison and day-of stage-managing. The team of curators he supports are Dean Bein (head of True Panther Records under Matador), Kris Chen, (head of A&R at XL Recordings), Robin Carolan (head of Tri Angle Records), Jonathan Galkin (co-founder of DFA Records), Ronen Givony (founder of Wordless Music), and Brandon Stosuy (senior writer for Stereogum). The curatorial committee also included the support of Eliza Ryan, MoMA PS1’s new Curatorial Assistant for Performance and Contemporary Practice, as external adviser.

“They’re playing,” Granik nods to the black concert space next door, where Tame Impala has just taken the stage. At 35, Granik is tall and lanky in dark skinny jeans, Keds, and a sleeveless angular jacket that tapers at the waist. His hair is shaved at the sides. Back at the table I ask if he likes the band. He’s not sold yet. He has to listen to their music for a while to understand it before he can come to a decision. Tom, a friend of Granik’s, joins us, as do the members of The Luyas, a Montreal-based band. They order burgers. Tom says there’s a rumor that MGMT will be going on. He leaves and comes back. “Yeah, it’s just one of them. He’s jamming with [Tame Impala] on bass.”

Qualitatively, Granik’s position at MoMA PS1 is not very different from work he’s been doing over the past ten years. Beginning in 2007 with a show for Yo Majesty at Studio B, his mainstay has been producing DIY shows at completely raw locations. “A lot of curating, a lot of booking, a lot of stage managing, dealing with tech stuff, like stage plots and input lists, guest lists.” But by that point Granik had already had years of experience dealing with booking and carrying most of the workload, while touring with bands he was in (he played guitar, wrote songs, and sang back-up), one of which toured stadiums. “It was all very fun,” he says. “But it always ended up collapsing for me. Bands are fickle creatures. They are born, live, and die so very fast. Soon I figured out that I was on the wrong side of the musical fence. Bands come and go…. But the curator perseveres.” Granik is also part-owner of myopenbar.com, a site that informs boozehounds about parties with open bars in cities around the U.S.

Sarah Hooper, a good friend of Granik’s, walks in with two friends, one with an arm covered in tattoos. She owns JellyNYC, a marketing outfit that produced the well-known waterfront Pool Parties in Brooklyn. Sarah sits down and asks Granik how it’s going. They fall into easy shoptalk. Granik says he’s had a lot of work to do for Warm Up and looks down at the table. “Why don’t you get an intern, a kid,” Sarah says. “I know a kid. Carlos. He’s great.” Granik lifts his head in a swift but gentle snap. “Because a kid can’t send emails to clients,” he says. “A kid can’t talk to agents.” Granik orders a crepe with dulce de leche. Cutting it up, he tells me to try some and that it’s delicious. He looks around the table. “Looks like we’re deficient in forks,” he says, and hands me his. A woman walks through the door and stretches her hand out to Granik. “We met at SXSW,” she says and smiles. “We slept on the same floor.”

image image

We get into Granik’s blue minivan. He had planned on us going to a goth party, but instead he drives us to the Manhattan Inn in Greenpoint, where he lives. He drives calmly and looks up over the steering wheel with a steady gaze. I ask about the curatorial meetings. “It’s a very, very scary room to open your mouth in,” he says. “I literally took notes as Jon Galkin and Kris Chen were speaking. Those guys are legends. Those two, and Ronen Givony, of LPR; those guys know pretty much everything that anyone in this town knows about the music business.” I ask if Klaus Biesenbach attends the curatorial meetings. “He showed up at the first two, just to make sure everything was running smoothly. He doesn’t come anymore. He doesn’t need to.” Biesenbach left for Europe almost immediately after the initial round of meetings and his assistant Jocelyn Miller served as liaison between Biesenbach and the group, handling permissions and out-of-the ordinary contracting. Granik says Biesenbach was mostly involved in creating the team. He “curated the curators,” and made some very serious decisions regarding the direction of the series and its scope. From that point, the committee acted with relative independence.

“I think that the driving reasoning, the logic behind the curating was diversity,” says Granik. “It’s important to the institution, this year anyway, to be as wide-ranging and far-reaching in its decisions on music.” I’ve seen pictures of Klaus Biesenbach and he looks austere. I ask Granik if he finds Biesenbach intimidating. “No!” he says. “He’s very friendly. And funny. And he’s good at putting people at ease. I’ve met him before and it was always very light-hearted conversation, mostly about my clothes. What’s great about Klaus is that he knows how to socialize on every level. I’ve realized that the most successful people are those who are able to socialize with anyone. That’s a skill I’d like to be able to perfect.” After we park, Granik pauses by the car. “I only wish,” he says, “that I had started this sooner.” Four pale salt-rimmed margaritas are placed on our table at Manhattan Inn. No one has ordered margaritas. Granik clinks glasses with Sarah and her friends. “There’s a lot of music industry people here,” Granik says. “That’s Dean [Bein], the founder of True Panther Sounds.” He points to a young man in a red t-shirt with wavy brown hair. “He’s one of the curators for Warm Up; one of the most talented young music executives around. He was behind Girls, Delorean, Tanlines. His label was bought out by Matador. He blew up overnight.” He smiles and takes a sip of his margarita. He crosses the room to sit down next to a woman with long hair and dark-rimmed glasses. “He’s going to hit on that girl,” Sarah says.

Each of the ten days of Warm Up is curated by one individual or is a collaborative process among two curators, though all curators weighed in on contacts. Granik worked very closely with all of the curators. In terms of strategy and approaching managers and booking agents, Granik learned a lot from Jon Galkin and Kris Chen. “It’s sort of incredible. I have had so much responsibility thrust upon me. To act as a conduit for the world’s most important modern arts institution’s musical series, it gives you a lot of power in dealing with people. But it’s also frightful. What if you miss? The pressure can be overwhelming.” The transition to MoMA PS1 had its glitches and Granik is cognizant of mistakes and bad moves he made initially. “I moved on some contracts when I should not have, took liberties when I should not have. The institution is a very tightly controlled collective, and it was unusual for me at first to work in such a controlled environment. But I caught up very quickly and learned a lot.” He also owes a lot to his adviser, Eliza. “With Eliza advising Klaus on who’s who in this town’s Music business, there could have been no misfires.”

A few days later I meet Granik at Home Sweet Home, “the best bar in the city” according to Granik, where he bartends on Sundays. In a black cut-up t-shirt that shows more skin than it covers, he welcomes me and tenders a frozen margarita, from a machine. “The secret,” he says, “is top shelf tequila—Sauza.” Sitting on a stool next to me, near a taxidermy bird hanging from the ceiling, Granik talks in his composed and pensive tone about what his work entails now that the booking is done. “It’s just getting more hands-on. We’re getting into the payment process, and it’s difficult since MoMA PS1 is a non-profit.” I ask how it is to work for MoMA PS1. He sits up straight, pauses, and says as if the idea just startled him, “Overnight every agent in the States knows who I am. You have no idea what it’s like to have MoMA behind you.” He sits back and smiles almost imperceptibly and regains his calm demeanor. “But it’s about the music. I’m able to do what I love. Yes, it’s priceless for someone like me. I feel very pompous right now, very self-important. I hardly deserve the honor. But hell—I’ll take it.”

Photography by Shoko Takayasu.

BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where cool customers go out — bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, you name it. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Voyeur (LA) ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, W South Beach (Miami) ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Da Umberto (NYC) ● Director of Finance and Operations – Tim Umstead, Aquagrill (NYC) ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick, El Ay Si (NYC) ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Manhattan Inn (NYC)

EDITORIAL ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, Morimoto (NYC) ● Vice President Content – Chris Mohney, This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef (NYC) ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, Freemans (NYC) ● Features Editor – Willa Paskin, The Sackett (NYC) ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Jean Philippe Patisserie (Las Vegas) ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, subMercer (NYC) ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, LeVack Block (Toronto), Cayte Grieve, Vince (NYC), Foster Ethan Kamer, Sel De Mer (NYC), Eiseley Tauginas, Maialino (NYC) ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (Miami) ● Editorial Interns – Megan LaBruna, Crash Mansion (NYC), Averie Timm, Madiba (NYC), Hillary Weston, Les Halles (NYC), Annie Werner, DBGB (NYC), Ashley Simpson, Barcade (NYC), Michael Jordan, Destination Bar & Grill (NYC)

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Union Pool (NYC) ● Assistant Designer – Serra Semi, Five Points (NYC) ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Provocateur (NYC) ● Freelance Designer – Krista Quick, Fornino (NYC)

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Fashion Editor – Christopher Campbell, Grand Sichuan International (NYC) ● Fashion Interns – Jillian K. Aurrichio, Greenhouse (NYC), Anabele Netter, Il Buco (NYC), Nicole Applewhite, Vanilla Bake Shop (NYC), Deanna Clevesy, Tao (NYC)

ADVERTISING ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Blue Duck Tavern (Washington, DC) ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, Charles (NYC) ● Advertising Director – Michelle Koruda, Supper (NYC) ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, The Lodge (Chicago), Kristen von Bernthal, Pukk (NYC) ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Old Town Social (Chicago), Andrea Forrester, Tuman’s (Chicago) ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, The Tar Pit (LA) ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, Flora (Oakland), Shawn O’Meara, Nopalito (San Francisco)

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Eponymy (NYC) ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, Bozu (NYC) ● Interns – Adam Meshekow, Ronnybrook Milk Bar (NYC), Kayla Gambino, Grom (NYC), Marie Baginski, Stir (NYC)

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Standard (Miami) ● Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Greenhouse (NYC) ● Developer – Dan Simon, Hudson Terrace (NYC) ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Uchi (Austin) ● Developer – Sam Withrow, Phone Booth (San Francisco) ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Ginger’s Bar (NYC) ● Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Alloro (NYC)