nonsensenyc: 6.5 to 6.11

From: "Jeff Stark" <>
Subject: nonsensenyc: 6.5 to 6.11
Date: June 5th 2009

Friday, June 5
* Bushwick Open Studios 2009, Brooklyn
* Free Bouncy Rides, Williamsburg
* We Like the Good, Williamsburg
* Animated Films at Loew�s, Jersey City

Saturday, June 6
* Soul Clap and Dance-Off No. 23, Williamsburg * Renegade Craft Fair, Williamsburg
* A Fragment of Figment, Manhattan
* The Right to the Airwaves, Queens
* City Reliquary Bike Ride to the LIC Bike Parade for the 100th Anniversary of the Queensboro Bridge, Queens * Charismatic Battle and Interactive Social Contract Rally No. 3, Cabaret Filet and *Amazing Ghost

Sunday, June 7
* A Drive-In II, Brooklyn
* Issue Project Room Sound Walk-a-Thon, Brooklyn * NYC Mixtape Exchange, Manhattan

Monday, June 8
* HiChristina Ghettoblaster Snaggle Tooth, Williamsburg

Tuesday, June 9
* Sxip Shirey and Special Guests, Manhattan

Thursday, June 11
* Cabaret Filet and Amazing Ghost, Williamsburg

* Coney Island Film Society

* Chashama Residency

Spectre Priority
* The One Pig in Afghanistan

* Visual Journey

* Central Park Scavenger Hunt

NOTE: For some navigation help, or an explanation for what this is all about, scroll all the way down to NONSENSE. You'll find snarky editorial comments and little bits of praise littered throughout this list. These nuggets are marked with all caps, like this: NOTE. Also, we make a lot of mistakes, especially with dates; you should always double check our work. And you can donate to this project at

Another NOTE: Although we prefer to avoid disclaimers, or at least multiple disclaimers, we have to apologize to anyone with events left off this week�s newsletter. We are writing this note while sitting on top of a raft on a borrowed computer in some seriously dirty water. Our machine is dead, and we�re working with what we�ve got. If youre wondering why we didn�t include you, well, that�s why. Sorry, and we hope your event is super successful anway.


Pickles in the Lagoon of Death.


Bushwick Open Studios 2009

Bushwick Open Studios is a self-organized art festival where anyone in the community is welcome to participate by presenting art work, organizing activities or helping to produce the event. The purpose is to create an open and inclusive event that benefits the entire community through the sharing of artistic projects and the encouragement of community interaction and dialogue.

Bushwick Open Studios is an art festival centered around the open studios of local artists. Also included are myriad other platforms for exhibiting and celebrating the creative energy of Bushwick. Anyone in the community is welcome to participate by presenting artwork, organizing activities or helping to produce the event. BOS 09 will be the Festival�s third year.

Our sponsors are local businesses, our staff are volunteers and we are all about Bushwick. Check website for complete details.

Various times and places
Continues through SUNDAY

***** Also on FRIDAY *****

Free Bouncy Rides

The plush, blue fish mascot is back tonight for another round of free bouncy rides. He's been called a pervert and a hero. Come and decide for yourself which is which.

L train platform
Lorimer Station, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 10-11p; $free

***** Also on FRIDAY *****

We Like the Good

A receptive and responsive exhibition: an installed space that forgets to be boring. We Like the Good is constructed in a movable format. All the walls are on wheels, freely moving around the space; a choreography performed by sybaritic women dressed in perfect French maid costumes during the opening night. All successive days and nights can be arranged by the visitors of the gallery. There is a note upon entering the space: �Please arrange this space. Everything is on wheels as this organization is only temporary: Adjust to suit.�

The curators, artists themselves, deploy artists who work within a broader realm of art-making; artists who do not stick to a classic body of work approach, in favor of the moment, yet somehow remaining timeless. This somehow is the interest of the show. How is anyone making anything interesting anymore? Often it starts with a sort of humor of dissent. Sometimes serious art can only be approached, revealed from a denial of the formal protocols of art-seriousnessness.

This work, from the ambitious failures of Jim Sharpe's Robot Movie (with a quintessential Lary Seven soundtrack) to the framed, studied disasters of a Todd Fisher print, avoids the obvious pretensions fatal to the concept behind the conceptual. We get it, all of us do, but seldom does art get a chance to pull it together. Art too often must prove its legitimacy. In taking cue from Seth Price's description of an artist as "amateur inventor" in his essay "Dispersion", We Like the Good mounts a Patrick Resing futile robot on a portable pedestal -- its programmed mission being only to find its way off. Art is as important as your morning coffee and donut; that is important, surely, but just a cardinal fact of existence. All that is required is our innate curiosity and need for stimulation, in both cases. Laughter implies an afterthought. The exhibition facilitates that thought for the viewers/participants.

Live with Animals Gallery
210 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 7-10p opening; $free

***** Also on FRIDAY *****

Animated Films at Loew�s

Come to the Loew's Jersey this Friday and Saturday as we close out this movie season with two acclaimed animated feature films and an afternoon of classic cartoon shorts.

And thank you for your patronage this past year. We'll be going into our summer restoration mode for the next couple of months, so if you can't get enough of us, feel free to come by and volunteer. Email us if you're interested in helping us out.

Tonight: Spirited Away. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Saturday: Medley of classic cartoon shorts at 3p, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? at 7:30p.

54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ
PATH train to Journal Square
8p; $6
201 798 6055

NOTE: We can�t say enough how great this place is. Again, it�s your best chance to impress a date, and your last chance for a while.


Soul Clap and Dance-Off No. 23

The Soul Clap Championship featuring DJ Mr. Jonathan Toubin and guests Kristen and Matty of New Orleans� Mod Dance Party.

Glasslands Gallery
289 Kent, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
11p, with free beer before midnight; $3

***** Also on SATURDAY *****

Renegade Craft Fair

With Cakehouse, Miniature Rhino, Wai Sze, Better Than Jam, Knit Knit, Stereoette, DirtyLovesClean, Peppersprouts, MShoelace, Allene Laspina, Dhara Holistics, Caja Jewelry, prismPOP, p*Charming, Ikyoto, Look Closely Press, This Is Love Forever, Fisk and Fern, Metal Sugar, JDavis Studio, Charlie and Sarah, JTopolski, Mary Savel and Anne McDonald, and the New New.

McCarren Park
Driggs Avenue between Lorimer Street and Union Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11a-7p; $free
Continues SUNDAY

***** Also on SATURDAY *****

A Fragment of Figment

Fragment will be an urban hors d�oeuvre for the famous feast that is the Figment summer art event on Governor�s Island. Desalvio Playground will host large-scale interactive art for the whole community to explore. Come listen to live music, dance, spoken word performances, and unique performance art pieces on our stage. The two components of Fragment are Art in the Park and the Nolita Art Walk.

With Daniella Day and Aaron, classical Indian Dance by Carol Tessitore, Jessica , Jim Avignon's one-man-band Neoangin. Partcipating Art Walk Galleries: Whitebox, Envoy, Fushion Arts Museum, Thierry Goldberg Projects, Janos Gat, DCKT Contemporary, Jen Bekman Gallery, Moes Meat Market, Museo Ermanski, and more.

Desalvio Playground
Spring and Mulberry Streets, Manhattan
11-7p; $free

***** Also on SATURDAY *****

The Right to the Airwaves

Join transmission artists neuroTransmitter, Tom Roe; engineer Andy Gunn and others for an informal discussion about their work and issues of free speech, free space, and the right to the airwaves.

Also: Angel Nevarez (neuroTransmitter,) Radio Ruido, and Tom Roe broadcast DJ sets from Max Goldfarb�s M49 radio transmission truck to boomboxes setup around the university. Beer will be available.

The Right to the Airwaves is a public program of the exhibition The University of Trash. From April through July this year, New York based artist Michael Cataldi and London based artist Nils Norman will transform the Sculpture Center into The University of Trash, an exciting experiment in alternative city building and design. Working collaboratively and collectively with students, local organizations, activists, and academics, the artists will gather and investigate research material related to the activities of 1970s countercultural "Appropriate Technology" movement, adventure playgrounds, "Non-plan", emergency and low-impact design, and the vernacular of makeshift housing in 3D form. The result will be the creation of a crazy complex of interconnected architectural spaces, pavilions and walkways from readymade, recycled and found materials. On view May 10 - August 3, the exhibition will run parallel to an extensive series of related workshops, talks and film screenings.

Sculpture Center
44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City, Queens 1�9p; $free

***** Also on SATURDAY *****

City Reliquary Bike Ride to the LIC Bike Parade for the 100th Anniversary of the Queensboro Bridge

Join the most civic museum in town, the City Reliquary, in celebrating the Queensboro Bridge�s 100th anniversary. In tandem with this big bridge�s birthday, we will ride our bicycles to Socrates Sculpture Gardens to kickstart their second annual LIC bike parade.

Learn about the magnificent history of the best bridge to Queens as well as the development of the most ethnically diverse region in America! Understand the unfolding of Queens� various immigrant enclaves as well as the cultural and social history of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which hosted not one but two Worlds Fairs. Upon arriving on Vernon Boulevard we will herald the start of Socrates Sculpture Park�s 2nd Annual LIC Bike Parade, up and down Vernon Blvd, which will be closed to vehicular traffic.

Meet at City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11:45a; $free

***** Also on SATURDAY *****

Charismatic Battle and Interactive Social Contract Rally No. 3

Cheap beer, win booze. Live music. DJ. Experimental beer-backed currency. Hypno software. New gods through science. Guaranteed sincere love and excellent sex for all attendees. Come get down and participate in the world's first combined drinking game, direct democracy, and techno-cult. Music, alcohol, flattery, peer group pressure, all the latest propaganda techniques and cult tactics will be harnessed to achieve true turbo zen at the third and most functional charismatic battle ever. Write new laws at our hypno terminals. Lobby your fellow party.

99 South 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 8p-later; $3


A Drive-In II

A Drive-In II will at approximate dusk at an empty lot across the street from Work Gallery. A Drive-In is a distinguished un-authorized projection party held sporadically at an empty lot in Red Hook, Brooklyn since 2008. Brought to you by Work Gallery and Clearchannel (Walker Waugh, Jessie Stead, and David Gatten). The evening will feature casual outdoor projections of new and used 16mm film and video by different people onto big white semi-abandoned trailers. There will also be intermittent live music and other surprises. No automobiles are required at A Drive-In II. All transportation forms welcome especially rollerskates and rickshaws and cars too if you have one.

Empty lot at Union Street and Van Brunt, Brooklyn Sundown; $free

***** Also on SUNDAY *****

From New Release:

Sound Walk-a-Thon

The always interesting Issue Project Room has programmed a wealth of sound walks with esteemed members of the New York avant-garde music scene today. Kenny Wollesen is leading something called a balloon bassoon march; Marc Ribot is leading a group through the Gowanus area; Flaming Fire seem to plan on running past the other groups while screaming songs at them; and there are a bunch of others. The original deadline to sign up for the walks was yesterday, but it's been extended for the time being. Our guess is that everything will fill up soon, so get on it.

Issue Project Room
232 3rd Street, at 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn Various times; $10 seems to be the minimum donation, and you can sign up to fundraise more

***** Also on SUNDAY *****

NYC Mixtape Exchange

This month's theme is New York City. Make a mix tape or CD and come join us. But make extra if you can. The more you make, the more you bring home. All is welcome.

Double Down Saloon
14 Avenue A, at Houston, Manhattan


HiChristina Ghettoblaster Snaggle Tooth

Welcome to HiChristina's good ol' fashioned dance party. With just a few extra-special amendments:

  1. Bring your own music (ipod or CD) enough to last six minutes.
  2. Have your "signature move" in mind. Something you can teach all of us.
  3. Guess what's in the box: If you need to rest for a moment reach your hand inside one of three mystery boxes or crawl into box number four. If you dare.

The night culminates in a choreographed group dance, the ultimate in dance experimentation: A combination of all the signature moves from all different genres. Learn from someone who knows less than you. Breakdance/Ho-Down, hip hop/doo wap. Planned experts will teach some extra special moves to add to the ever-building excitement. Be sure and dress your music genre: Coltrane-Cowboys (country-jazz fusion), Sparkle Gangstas (funk), and Willie Nillies (bluegrass), while sipping on ice tea and playing backgammon. We here at HiChrisitna promise you'll learn a whole new dance routine before night's end. PS: hula hoops and zebra stripes are welcome and encouraged.

632 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 8p; $5 donation


Sxip Shirey and Special Guests

�My first night in New York City, I wandered over to Tompkins Square Park. Fifteen punk rockers were armed with sledgehammers, sticks, and whatever they could find. They were pounding this piano into dust. It was like John Cage made dangerous and ridiculous. It was the most beautiful thing I ever heard." Sxip Shirey

With his full-fledged solo performance at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater on June 9, experimental circus composer Sxip Shirey creates a lush evening of theatrical spectacle, provocative performance, and sonic sculpture from the souls of cities.

Ingenious, rogue composer for the Bindlestiff Family Circus and member of the Romanian gypsy punk outfit Luminescent Orchestrii, Sxip Shirey's esoteric melodies paint a lush soundscape with stream-of-consciousness instrumentation from his clutch of extended pennywhistles, obnoxiophones, bullhorn harmonicas and vibrato-tinged glass bowls. Recently opening to capacity crowds with his well received seven show run in Berlin, Mr. Shirey returns to New York in rare solo form.

Joe's Pub at the Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan
9:30p, $15
212 539 8777


Cabaret Filet and Amazing Ghost

Cabaret Filet: An extravaganza of song and pomp, primp and pimp alike, scruff and fluff and psych, oh my. With works ranging from Hoagy Carmichael to Shocking Blue, the scandalous, tragic, inspirational real-life story of Gerry! 8th Wonder of the World is finally told in gritty detail as nature intended -- through song! Starring Jor Kane and the Minions Mignon.

Amazing Ghost: a sexy slinking low-down musical act featuring the understated arousing vocal stylings of Eddie Pren and most of the members of the neo-salsa mambo machine Bio Ritmo playing traditional and electronic musical instrumentation:

With DJ Team: The Electric Cowbell featuring Das Booty and Johnny Travolta spinning soul, dunk, reggae, salsa, surf, rock, mambo, and boogaloo.

Zebulon Cafe
258 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 9p; $free
718 218 6934;


  • Figment, June 12�14
  • Mermaid Parade 2009, June 20
  • Game Play, July 2-25


  • Better Rock Shows. Nonsense does not straight list rock shows in New York unless they occur in tandem with puppet shows or jump rope tournaments or in subway tunnels or in graveyards. For listings of good shows, especially shows that feature independent bands at quality venues like Death by Audio and those booked by hard-working promoters like Todd P or Sleep When Dead, consult resources like,,, or the lively New York Happenings listserve on Yahoo groups For the most exhaustive list of underground shows at unusual venues, track down a copy of the extremely useful -- and handsome -- Showpaper.

***** ONGOING: FRIDAYS *****

  • Burlesque at the Beach. 10p; $15. Sideshows by the Seashore, corner of Surf Avenue and West 12th Street, Brooklyn.
  • Sal Principato Teaches You to Cook, at his apartment (the address of which we'll leave undisclosed at the moment), time depends on when you're available; $15. Just email Sal at salvatp[at] to set up a time and a date. NOTE: This listing comes from the excellent New Release list. Sign up for it here:
  • Manhattan Critical Mass. Union Square, 17th Street and Broadway, Manhattan. Last FRIDAY of the month. 7p; $free.
  • Brooklyn Critical Mass. Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Second FRIDAY of the month. 7p; $free.


  • Coney Island Film Society. 8:30p; $3-5, free popcorn. Sideshows by the Seashore, corner of Surf Avenue and West 12th Street, Brooklyn.
  • Night Kayaking Tours, Manhattan and Brooklyn. Explore: Coney Island submarine, creepy Governors Island, gross Gowanus Canal, and money-making Manhattan. Website:
  • Rock and Roll 101. Watch music documentaries projected on the wall. St. Jerome's, 155 Rivington, between Clinton and Suffolk, Manhattan. 4-9p; $free.
  • Barefoot Boogie: No shooze no booze. The Boogie is a not-for-profit alcohol-free event that happens every second and fourth SATURDAY of the month. Insight Meditation Center, 28 West 27th Street, 10th floor, buzzer No. 27. 8:30p-12:30a.

***** ONGOING: SUNDAYS *****

  • Clothing Swap. Bring your old clean stuff and trade for old clean stuff that you like better. Like shopping, but free. Every first and third SUNDAY. The Temple, 99 South 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 7-10p; $free., or
  • CrazyTown / Locoville. Odd open mike hosted by Steph Sabelli. Weirdoes welcome and encouraged. Under St. Marks Theater, 94 St. Marks, at First Avenue, Manhattan. 9p sign up-1a; $free.
  • Grub. A cheap, simple dinner for strangers and co-conspirators. Rubulad home base, 338 Flushing, at Classon, Brooklyn. G train to Flushing or Classon stations, J,M,Z to Marcy, B61 bus to Flushing. First and third SUNDAYS, 6:30p doors, 7p dinner; $pay what you want, and bring your own booze.
  • Church of Craft, group crafting. Etsy Labs, 325 Gold Street, third floor, Brooklyn. 2-6p; $free.
  • NYC Bike Polo. No experience needed. We'll show you how to play. We have mallets and balls; bring your bicycle. 1:30-5p-ish (or later if it's really nice out); $free. Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Broome between Chrystie and Forsyth, Manhattan.

***** ONGOING: MONDAYS *****

  • Free movie screenings. Double feature, with free popcorn. The Lovin Cup, 93 N. 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 9p; $free.
  • Aerial Open Work Out. Come play in 29 feet of vertical fun. Use our silks, lyras, and trapezes, or rig your own. 8-10p; $15, Sky Box, 342 Maujer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, L train to Grand Street. 585 507 1770. RSVP to
  • Williamsburg Spelling Bee, compete for bar tab at a real adult spelling bee, every other MONDAY, 7:30p; free, Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
  • The Big Quiz Thing. NYC's live trivia spectacular. Crash Mansion, 199 Bowery, at Spring, Manhattan. Two Mondays a month. 7p doors; $7, $200 grand prize.
  • Show and Tell. Each performer gets seven minutes. Writing contest and Beer Walk for free beer. Hosted by the O'Debra Twins. Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, Manhattan. MONDAYS 10p; $3. Monday, January 31: The heavy and strange Thank You For Not Screaming open.


  • Drink N Draw. Art. Nudity. Beer. We provide the beer and the model, you bring your drawing tools of choice. 3rd Ward, 195 Morgan, Brooklyn. Second and fourth WEDNESDAYS 8-10.30p; $15, or $20 for two. afenton[at],


  • The Lower East Side Community Choir, a non-auditioned choir that believes that everyone can sing and that singing together in harmony with others is essential for personal and community health and vitality. Our repertoire is eclectic. If you love a cappella music and want to be able to join a drop-in gathering of like minded people, then this is for you. Lower East Side Girls Club, 56 East 1st Street, Manhattan. 7-9p; $donations.
  • Private Ear Audio Theatre: Radio Plays. 8:30p; $?. Brooklyn Lyceum.
  • $mall �hange and House of Yes present: No Parking on the Dancefloor. A party bringing it back to dancing. Basically we do not have any kind of dogma or judgment. Do what feels comfortable to you and be respectful to those around ya, that's basically all we ask. Different DJs every time. House of Yes, 342 Maujer, near Morgan, Brooklyn. Every other THURSDAY, 9ish-midnightish (starts/ends early); $5-10 suggested donation. NOTE: This event is every other Thursday, not every Thursday. Also, sometimes they cancel the event for some reason or another. You should check first:
  • Carmine Street Jugglers. All levels welcome to practice juggling and related arts. 7:30-9:45p. Club is free, but building requires NYC Parks and Recreation membership ($0-$75 per year).
  • Rocky Sullivan's Pub Quiz, with Quizmaster Scott M.X. Turner. 8:30p; $free admission, potable prizes. Rocky Sulivan's, 34 Van Dyke Street, Brooklyn.


What have you been wishing for? Collaborators, grant monies, a new home? Please send brief listings to Alita at alita[at] We only list available apartments, lofts, studios, and one-off rentals -- not spaces wanted.

NOTE: Wishlist is on vacation this week. Sorry.


Before we had a name, the Spectre Event Horizon Group used to meet at a bar to commiserate about the news. At some point we set up a way to send emails to each other, and that grew into an open forum for knowledge-sharing and what our business friends call best practices. The group has expanded online, but it remains premised on smartening the crowd mind. There are no subject limits; our favorite is our sci-fi present, and we like anything that goes toward a better understanding of human behavior and ecology. Our basic idea is to connect minds with mind-blowing information and create a space for the informal trade of specialized investigative research, presented for the non-specialist.

The Spectre email list, which is a separate group from this column, is a moderated open forum. People are encouraged to join and to post. This section is compiled for Nonsense by J. Sinopoli. Contact us at[at] or Some of what came in this week:

***** Vote Pirate *****

The Pirate Party "In Sweden, a force known as the Pirate party had (at the time of writing) grown to become the country�s third largest political organisation by membership. Its inspiration? The successful prosecution of file-sharing site Pirate Bay, for the illegal distribution of millions of films, albums and television programmes. With 45,000 members and counting, the Pirate party are campaigning on a simple platform: �to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens� rights to privacy are respected.� They seem likely to win at least one seat in the European parliament�provided, Pirate party leader Rick Falkvinge notes, �we get our ballot papers out.� As a non-established political force, they must supply all 7,000 polling stations in Sweden with their own ballots by hand."

Post-Verdict Membership Boom "The party is campaigning in the June European elections, fielding 20 candidates. It wants sweeping reform of copyright law and an end to patents. The membership boost followed the jailing last week of four founders of a file-sharing website, The Pirate Bay. The party says membership soared from 14,711 to 36,624 in just a few days. Mr Falkvinge said it was funded entirely by private donations, typically of 100 kronor (�8; $12)."

3rd Largest Party In Sweden "Falkvinge is looking forward to the upcoming European Parliament elections on June 6 this year. �I�m extremely optimistic,� he told TorrentFreak. �It�s not a question of �a� seat any more. If everybody who is angry with the Pirate Bay verdict goes to vote, we will get at least one seat, and probably more.� Although things are looking good, the road to Brussels is not guaranteed yet. There are two hurdles left. �One is to get our ballot papers out � contender parties are not served by the Election Authority, but have to distribute their ballot papers to all 7,000 polling stations by hand. That�s a logistical nightmare, but with 13,000 activists, we should be able to fix that. We had 1,600 activists in the last election, and covered 93%. The other hurdle is getting our folks to actually vote, but I believe they�re still angry enough.�

Trial Corrupted Pirate Bay Bias Charge: �Random� Judge Assignment Wasn�t "Lawyers for the four file-sharing defendants accused the Swedish courts of secretly steering the case to a hostile judge. The latest ethics charges alleged that the judge who presided over the trial wasn�t chosen at random, as is required under Swedish law. The allegations came weeks after it was revealed that the same judge, Tomas Norstr�m, is a member of pro-copyright enforcement groups. �We�ve found some things, particularly about the random selection. It doesn�t seem to have been random,� Per Samuelson, one of the defendant�s lawyers, told Swedish television station SVT.'

Pirate Party International "The Swedish Pirate Party was formed by Rickard Falkvinge, and hecreated the embryo of this site and mentioned the address once on a busy DirectConnect hub on January 1, 2006. Within two days, the site displayed three million hits, and the first thousand or so members joined up."

Rick Falkvinge
email : rick.falkvinge [at] piratpartiet [dot] se / info [at] piratpartiet [dot] se


Pharma Patents


Pirate Movement "Kerbein, who lives in California, is now "trying to get the ball rolling" there; to do so, he needs to round up one percent of the voting population from the last primary election. In this case, that means 88,991 people. But before he can get started on that, the party needs to hold a caucus, elect officers, and have a constitution�which is still in progress. Unlike the Swedish party, the US pirates are aiming their cannons at tiny targets. Kerbein says that the group's current target is just getting all the signatures and being recognized by California's Secretary of State. Actually winning any sort of seats, even at the state level, remains a long shot. Copyright isn't even one of the main planks. Instead, Kerbein says that the US party wants to make sure that people can protest freely without excessive police action; to see that privacy is protected from warrantless wiretapping and other abuses; and to insist that secret government is wrong, and that full transparency is needed for democracy. Still, he does believe that the noncommercial trading of copyrighted material should be legalized. Given the odds against him, Kerbein has chosen to invest his time in the fledgling party because "I feel like I've been gypped by politics as usual." Nothing makes him angrier than lying politicians; his version of a "pirate" is someone who is honest, transparent, protects privacy, and doesn't have anything against a little consensual blockbuster swapping among friends. But he knows that "the national climate for third parties is rather unforgiving" right now."


We look for the sort of classes you circled in college course catalogs but never managed to fit into your schedule. And we also look for the kind of things that no college could teach. Cheap and eclectic is the rule, though all rules get broken occasionally, and we especially love workshops, round-tables, and teachers who won't take your work out of your hands and show you how to do it right. One-time listings are categorized, with general recurring classes at the end. We thrive on your suggestions, so make sure to tell us about upcoming classes that you think are nifty-keen.

Learning is compiled and edited every week by Avital Oliver. He also runs the School of Mathematics ( Send listings, announcements and corrections to him at avital(at)


Screenwriting Master Class with Eric Byler

Although independent films often avoid the genre tropes found in popcorn movies, there is a method to the madness of writing an art film. Led by Asian American independent film pioneer Eric Byler, this workshop will begin with the framework and the orthodoxy for writing screenplays in general -- such as the three act structure made famous by Syd Field -- and then move on to specific techniques for bringing forth the poet inside you who wants to tell a story visually.

Those who register for the workshop will be asked to bring a 2-page scene they have written, and asked to read a screenplay, which will be emailed to them.

The Asian American Writers' Workshop
16 West 32nd Street, Suite 10A, Manhattan 1-5p; $90

***** LEARNING: MONDAY *****

The Making of a Visual Journal, Part 1

The Society of Illustrators and Materials For The Arts are sponsoring a two part workshop at the MFTA warehouse with special guest Illustrator, Graphic Novelist and noted educator Barron Storey.

Part One of the Workshop will focus on making the actual journal with teaching artist Joy Suarez.

Materials for the Arts
33-00 Northern Blvd. 3rd Floor, Long Island City, Queens 5-8p; $10


The Many Uses of Herbs

Discover the many benefits of growing herbs, from medicinal to culinary, flowering beauty to pest control. Various herbs and perennials will be available to GreenThumb registered garden groups, while supplies last.

Vogue Community Garden
431 East 156th Street, between Elton & Melrose Avenues, Bronx 5:30-7p; $free


Poetry Workshop - Stop Making Sense!

Mean without meaning to. Chance upon delight, mystery, paradox, and other linguistic revelations as, given free rein, words can lead you to broad and unexpected spaces/places. In approaching the writing of a poem, this workshop emphasizes play, lyricism, and an openness unbeholden to narrative. Worry not about the latter: its texts are indelibly written in the everyday. Worry not, therefore, about your grandmother, your sexuality, your roots. They will never leave you.

For those seriously beginning to write poetry. Limited to twelve participants.

The Asian American Writers' Workshop
16 West 32nd Street, Suite 10A, Manhattan 6:30-8:30p; $225 (6 week series!)


  • Learn the basics of making Kombucha and Sauerkraut. Afterwards, join us for "Cinema Sautee" where we'll be showing awesome films (some outdoors), combined with collaborative cooking of foods found in the flicks. June 13.
  • Introduction to Permaculture and Urban Farming - Bilingual (Spanish/English). Permaculture is an international movement for sustainability that uses ecological design principles to meet human needs like food, shelter, and energy. June 13.


  • Freegan Bike Workshop. Learn how to turn found bike parts into working bicycles & build your own bike. For more info, call Christian at (917) 582-9010. To get more involved, come to our open meetings at 5pm on Wednesdays (an hour before the bikeshop opens).
  • Yoga classes in Prospect Heights. HanaKyle Moranz believes in yoga as a gateway to mind-body connection, as well as physical and mental well-being. All levels of experience welcome; classes are tailored to the ability and interests of the students. Mondays and Wednesdays 8-9:30a. hanakyle(at)
  • Didge Project is a didgeridoo awareness movement that promotes the use of the didgeridoo for music, meditation and healing. Our goal is to bring a didgeridoo into every household and to facilitate happiness and harmony on planet earth. Didgeridoo classes in Prospect Park. Saturdays.
  • The Fixers Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing and mending. Our goal is to increase material literacy in our community by fostering an ethic of creative caring toward the objects in our lives. Thursdays.
  • Project Film School is film-theory freeschool with a weekly screening series and online resources. We encompass a mind-set and community of learning in a non-traditional framework. Participate as much or as little as you want. Monday nights.
  • HoopSculpt is a fun, 4-week hoop fitness class for beginners. We will practice learning a few moves, group games (Hoopscotch, lasso back bends, hoop jumprope), partner up for circuit training, and more. This is a fitness class, not a free-form dance class - you will SWEAT. Various days. thefunnestbootcamp(at)
  • Flaming Fire Practice for the Flaming Fire Dance Squad (the dances are manly and primal enough to not feel like a wuss) and the Flaming Fire Running Band. No experience necessary, just show up! Mondays.
  • 3rd Ward offers multi- and interdisciplinary courses in visual art, technology and fabrication for artists (both amateur and career) and creative professionals looking to expand their skill set or just have fun. Mention nonsense nyc when you sign up for the member rates!
  • Self-Hypnosis to Achieve Your Goals.
  • Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that makes a ritual of movements from martial arts, games, and dance. This is a Capoeira Group for beginners and advanced students at a very moderate price. Come and join us. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Free Self-Defense Classes. Wednesdays.
  • Night Kayaking Tours, Manhattan & Brooklyn. Explore: Coney Island Submarine, Creepy Governors Island, 'Gross' Gowanus Canal, and Money Makin' Manhattan.
  • Spoke the Hub's mission is to nurture both individual and community health and happiness through providing the general public with affordable creative arts study, contemplation, and practice opportunities of the highest caliber.
  • Art of balance: Group tightwire walking class and foot juggling workshop at Trapeze Loft in Williamsburg. Sundays 5-6:30p and various days.
  • Screenprinting at 123 Printshop. Fridays 5-8p and Saturdays 3-5p.
  • Gearilla! a Street Theater Workshop (on bikes). Tuesdays.
  • Bicycle Repair Classes at Time's Up! Various Days.
  • Capoeira - Brazilian martial art and dance. Various days.
  • Co-ed non-sexual naked yoga classes. Various Days.
  • The School of Mathematics cultivates a natural and stress-free environment where everyone can explore, study and discover mathematics. Prior knowledge is not assumed. Various Days.
  • Beading Classes at Brooklyn Bead Box. Various days.
  • Balkan folk dance classes. Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Classes in the needle arts at Brooklyn General Store. Various days.
  • Classes in knitting and spinning at The Yarn Tree. Various days.
  • Mosaic Workshops. Wednesdays 1-4p and 6-9p.
  • Free Yoga with Becky and Lily. Tuesdays 8-9p. (scroll down)
  • Belly dancing at the House of YES. Tuesdays 1-2:15p. lauren.picheny(at)
  • Open Craft / Hack Nights at NYC Resistor. Thursdays 6-9p.
  • Knitting Classes at the Point Knitting Cafe. Various days.
  • Figure Drawing at Brooklyn Artists Gym. Mondays 6:30-9p and Saturdays 12-3p.
  • Free Rowing on the Hudson with FloApple. Floating the Apple's mission is to restore access to urban waterways to the community.
  • Wing Chun Kung Fu lessons in small class environment. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
  • Parkour Workshops. Sundays.
  • First Aid for Cats and Dogs. Various days.


Ever taken part in an old-fashioned barn raising? We never have, but we think it would be kind of cool -- all those neighbors in funny hats and overalls coming together to pound nails, stand up walls, and raise the collective roof. In that spirit, we look for one-day volunteer opportunities with no long-term commitments required. Our goal is to help groups or individuals that serve the greater good in small but significant ways, avoiding mega-nonprofits and people just looking for free labor. Know of any existing opportunities? Looking for ways to help out? Or need volunteers to get your own community project off the ground? Send your requests to Joanie Schaffer at schafferific[at]

***** HELP: SATURDAY, JUNE 6 *****

Renegade Craft Fair, Entrance Volunteer, Shift 1

Volunteer duties include handing out event programs and tracking attendees at each entrance. You'll be able to enjoy the fair as well. Please note this is also a fundraising event for OneBrick, as a partnership.

McCarren Park
Driggs Avenue between Lorimer Street and Union Avenue, Brooklyn 10:45a � 3p

***** HELP: Also on SATURDAY *****

Central Park Scavenger Hunt

Come join the 7th grade students of Mott Hall Elementary School as they explore the hidden secrets of Central Park by participating in our annual scavenger hunt. It's a race against time as the kids must navigate their way to hidden clues scattered around Central Park. We will be meeting at Mott Hall Elementary School at 11a and will accompany the kids down to the Bethesda Fountain located in heart of Central Park. The Scavenger Hunt runs about three hours and we will return to Mott Hall at around 4p.

Mott Hall Elementary School
71-111 Convent Avenue, Manhattan

***** HELP: Also on SATURDAY *****

Serving Restaurant-style Meals

Volunteers at the University Soup Kitchen serve meals to men and women of all ages in a respectful "restaurant-style" environment. Soup Kitchen is a great, fun way for busy people to lend a hand to the community while meeting other young professionals in the city. Volunteers are needed at the Soup Kitchen for several upcoming Saturdays. Space can be limited so please sign up online if you're able to volunteer. Please arrive at 11:45a for a quick orientation and job assignment, and then please courteously stay until clean-up is finished. You must be 18 to volunteer. Please let us know as soon as you know you can't make a day you've committed for. Remember, the success of these events depends on our volunteers. We understand plans change so if you sign up for an event and later realize you cannot make it, please be sure to cancel your registration on our website to free up your spot for another volunteer.

The Spellman Center
137 East 2nd Street, Manhattan

***** HELP: Also on SATURDAY *****

Atlantic Avenue Artwalk

Atlantic Avenue Artwalk Committee seeks volunteers, leading up to and during the weekend, to help coordinate the tour, staff information sites, and participates in arts programming activity. This weekend, Atlantic Avenue will be alive with displays of the work of a multitude of artists in stores. Galleries, studios and outdoor spaces. Volunteers work in shifts of 2-3 hours each, acting as docents along the route, hosting special events and receptions, and staffing information stations along the Avenue.

Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
1-6p on June 6-7
718 875 8993

***** HELP: SUNDAY, JUNE 7 *****

Renegade Craft Fair, Entrance Volunteer, Shift 3

Volunteer duties include handing out event programs and tracking attendees at each entrance. You'll be able to enjoy the fair as well. Please note this is also a fundraising event for OneBrick, as a partnership.

McCarren Park
Driggs Avenue between Lorimer Street and Union Avenue, Brooklyn 10:45a � 3p

***** HELP: Also on SUNDAY *****

Bingo with Seniors

Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of Bingo with the residents of Cabrini. You do not need to know how to play as we will teach you. All we need are enthusiastic, friendly, compassionate volunteers. Most of the residents are wheelchair bound and do not get any visitors. This is an opportunity to provide them with much needed social interaction. Volunteer responsibility primarily includes assisting the residents in playing bingo. We do require volunteers to bring the residents from their room and take them back as well. We request all volunteers to bring bingo prizes. You can bring anything reasonable within your budget. Suggested prizes include a small snack (for example chips, pretzels, cookies). But if you can afford and if you want to be generous, you are more than welcome to bring anything else that you think a senior would love. Please do not bring any used items. Please bring new items only. Edible items need to have expiry dates.

Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation 542 E 5th Street, Manhattan

***** HELP: Also on SUNDAY *****

Renegade Craft Fair, Entrance Volunteer, Shift 4

Volunteer duties include handing out event programs and tracking attendees at each entrance. You'll be able to enjoy the fair as well. Please note this is also a fundraising event for OneBrick, as a partnership.

McCarren Park
Driggs Avenue between Lorimer Street and Union Avenue, Brooklyn 2:45 � 7p

***** HELP: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10 *****

Northside Festival

Wanna see four days worth of bands, really good bands, bands like Sunset Rubdown, the Dodos, Woods, Bishop Allen and John Vanderslice without spending a dime? Volunteer at The L Magazine�s Northside Festival in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. We�re looking for people to help us out June 10-14. You�ll be assigned four-hour shifts either lending a hand at the registration booth or checking badges at the venues � relatively painless work with no experience necessary, although dependability is crucial. In return, you�ll be given badge privileges, granting you access to shows, gallery exhibits and other events outside your shift. We won�t even make you wear a name tag (although, a red T-shirt, yes). If you can work all five days, we�d love you forever. If you can only work one, that�s cool too.

Various venues
Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn
June 10-14

***** HELP: UPCOMING *****

  • Anthology Film Archives is looking for summer publicity/distribution interns. We need people to pick up calendars/fliers for distribution to neighborhood spots. This is perfect for someone who loves being outdoors and biking around the city. We also need people to help with publicity; this involves maintaining press archives; burning DVDs; assembling/delivering press kits; overseeing press screenings and more. The benefit is you will get to see free films. Schedule of internship is one or more days a week, 4-8 hrs a day, between 11a-6p. Email letter and resume detailing availability to publicity[at]
  • June 21: Brooklyn Music Festival at Aviator Sports and Recreation Center Floyd Bennet Field. Volunteers will be needed from now until the day of the event. Work included are promotion, production, parking attendant, bar backs and help with set up. Promotion is handing out flyers to your school, schools around your current area, your work place and etc. Production is artist assistance (bringing them food and water). Helping with set up will be done the day before the event and/or the day of the event. If you're interested please email your name, number and what can you do to help us make this event successful. Contact 718 282 8041 or brooklynmusicfestival[at]
  • Through mid-July: Flux Factory, a Queens-based artist-run center and art collective, is soliciting volunteers for construction of a new live/work/play space in downtown Long Island City. We lost our home of nine years last October due to eminent domain expansion of the LIRR, but now we�re back, with a better location, an 8000 square foot building, and the will to conquer. We�ve just signed a lease on a three-story mixed-use building (a former greeting card factory) just two blocks north of Queens Plaza. When all�s said and done, we�ll have built a mixed-use art production, living, event, community, and gallery space with a communal wood shop, recording studio, screen printing facilities, a large gallery and a smaller project space, an open shared office, a cozy library, a modest speakeasy, regular events for the Queens arts community, and living quarters for between seven and ten Artists in Residence with private studios also available for rent. We�ve got a lot of work to do, and we want your help. We�re working in the space every Tuesday through Saturday from about 10a-6p, sometimes later, from now until mid-July. We need volunteers to help with all aspects of demolition and construction. Come ready to learn all about how to renovate a building using green techniques and recycled materials, or spend an afternoon showing off your superhuman sheetrock skills for a good cause. We�re also looking for administrative volunteers to help us with different aspects of running a sprawling non-profit, like alternative materials acquisitions, event production, mailings, and other fun office stuff. We�ll make you lunch, give you beer after you�re done with the sledgehammer, and have so much fun together. All levels of ability, from 98 pound weakling to master carpenter, are welcome and encouraged to come by for as much or little time as you�d like. Interested? Contact Shalin at 678 936 7721 or shalin.scupham[at]
  • June 12-14: Figment is a large free participatory art event on Governors Island. Figment is seeking volunteers to help with final preparations for the event (including decorations, signage, building stages), as well as working the event (stage managing, greeting the public, gallery sitting, helping to clean up). We need your help. Sign up at
  • July 18: City of Water Day. Help the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance bring hundreds of boaters, environmentalists, artists, fishermen, kids and musicians to Governors Island for a day of exploring and celebrating our waterways. More information about volunteer opportunities can be found at
  • August 30: The Inaugural 150th Street Ultimate Block Party and Arts Fest. We are currently seeking entertainers from all walks of life/genres, grassroots organizations to host educational and/or interactive booths, workshop organizers, prized for our raffle, artists for art installations, DJs, performance artists, dance ensembles, volunteers, etc. The Hybrid Movement Company, a fiscally sponsored organization, will be hosting the Arts Fest for our community, families, friends, and neighbors in the vicinity of 150th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway on Sunday, August 30. The block party provides a forum for neighbors and community members to get to know one another with the goal of strengthening neighborhood spirit and encouraging residents to look after the neighborhood, in addition to providing a family-oriented festive environment to celebrate the connectivity of community members, all while promoting the well-being of our environment. We welcome your participation. Contact thehybridmovementcompany[at] or 775 450 2484.

***** HELP: ONGOING *****

  • Reverend Billy Talen of the Church of Life After Shopping is the Green Party candidate for Mayor of NYC. The election is November 3 and we're looking for volunteers to help us between now and the election. Come share your fabulous talents with us, whatever they may be. We have a new headquarters at 250 Lafayette (between Prince and Spring) in lovely SoHo. Whether you're a poet, an artist, an organizer, or just willing to do odd jobs around HQ, like run errands or stuff envelopes, we'd love to have you working with us. To get involved, go to our web site and sign up on the volunteer page, stop by HQ, or come to our weekly meeting for new volunteers on Wednesdays from 7-9p in HQ. Right now we're especially in need of web savvy folks who know Drupal - we need Drupal administrators and Drupal themers to help with our web site.
  • Lit Drift: �Storytelling in the 21 Century� Seeks creative folks. I'm looking for bloggers, marketers, event organizers, and tech people to help out on our new blog dedicated to highlighting innovations in storytelling, with the ultimate goal to celebrate the art and craft of storytelling (in all its forms) by serving as a storyteller's resource and community. Lit Drift will start out as a blog, and eventually grow into an offline headquarters and creative space. But in the meantime, it's just a blog, so no one is getting paid until the site starts generating serious traffic and revenue. All I am looking for is a few passionate, creative people to pitch in for a few hours each week from the comfort of their own homes, and maybe get together every once in a while to discuss how the site is doing, where it's going, and schmooze over a beer or two (or ten). Please get in touch if you're interested at julia[at] and tell me about yourself.
  • We can always use help in our office during regular business hours. There are a range of projects that volunteers can help with, some examples: press clippings, a Google Maps project (related to Community Boards and Council Districts), lending a hand in our events closet re-organization, general data entry projects and much more. Volunteers are welcome to come in for short or longer shifts, as often as you want. Please feel free to call or email Elena (volunteer and membership outreach coordinator) with any questions or to set up a time to come by and help out. elena[at] 646 873 6036
  • GALLOP, a New York City-based nonprofit corporation offers therapeutic riding lessons to individuals with disabilites at the historic Kensington Stables in the East Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn, near Prospect Park. Staffed by a riding instructor certified by NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) and a supported by licensed physical therapists, as well as a dedicated and experienced group of volunteers, the program offers a safe and supportive environment in which an individual can reap the many benefits of therapeutic riding. GALLOP is always in need of volunteers to help out with our program in any way. No horse experience is necessary, but it does help. We provide all the training you will need. We need people to help out at the stable with the horses and riders during lessons. Also, we have tons of "behind the scenes", such as office work, fundraising, grant writing, etc.Visit
  • SafeWalk is a free service to increase safety in our communities. From 11p Friday to 2a Saturday, we organize volunteers to take your call, bike to your location, and walk you to a destination within a 10-15 block radius. Our area of service currently includes Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and downtown Brooklyn. Interested in becoming a volunteer? Contact safewalknyc[at] or visit
  • More than a barn, we're raising the mother of all meeting houses. New Yorkers deserve the basic democratic right�enjoyed by most other Americans and in most of the country's big cities�to have a direct say in our city's future and the laws we live by. (Just think: we could actually make dancing legal again.) The right of citizens to propose and vote on laws is fundamental to democratic government around the country. Some of NYC's lowercase democrats aim to win it and bring it into the 21st century. Join in designing the meeting house (i.e. writing the needed amendments to our city's charter), help grow the November '09 - June '10 petitioning drive, or find out more at
  • The Fortune Society is looking for volunteers to teach reading, writing and math to former prisoners and young people facing prison time. Contact 212 691 7554 x250 or visit
  • NY Artists Unlimited is a 25 year old, multicultural nonprofit that takes professional theatre and art to under-served audiences. Volunteers/ interns are used in all areas: administration, office work, design, graphics, technical, fundraising & development, PR/marketing, creative areas, and more. We are soon moving back into our renovated East Village arts center and need help in design, planning & development, fundraising, PR/marketing. In the summer, we present the International CringeFest, which includes the Bad Plays, Bad Musicals, and Bad Films Festivals. All proceeds go to support our work with under-served audiences. Class credit is available for college interns. Come join us in an artistic, supportive environment where noble deeds are being done and great creativity is taking place. No pay, but snacks, beverages, occasionally lunch available. Visit the website for further info: www.NYartists.orgVisit the website for further info: or contact Nyartunlt[a t]
  • The Rock Dove Project focuses on connecting health care practitioners who offer cheap/free services with seekers of those services.
  • Mentor kids through skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding at Stoked Mentoring. Contact info[at]
  • Rescue disoriented and injured birds and ultimately help migratory birds make it to their destinations as a Project Safe Flight Volunteer. volunteer[at]
  • Volunteer with Books Through Bars, an affiliated project of ABC No Rio that sends books to prisoners all over the country. Books Through Bars meets Mondays and Thursdays 7:30-9:30p and Sundays 5-8p at the NYC AIDS Housing Network, 80-A Fourth Ave, Brooklyn.
  • Help feed the homeless by volunteering at a City Harvest special event.
  • Volunteer as a writing tutor for kids at 826NYC.
  • Dog walking and Cat Petting at the Brooklyn Animal Rescue Coalition.


nonsense nyc is a discriminating resource for independent art, weird events, strange happenings, unique parties, and senseless culture in new york city.

please remember that you are always free to pass nonsense nyc along to anyone who needs to see it, but you do not have permission to use any of the listings for your commercial publication. if you are receiving this list as a forward from someone else you can sign up for yourself at

we now accept donations to cover the costs of producing this list, and suggest $5 a year from individual readers or $20 a year if we list your events. to be clear, this is not a traditional subscription, but a donation because you believe that independent artists should support other independent artists. if you've ever paid for a ticket to see your friend's band you know what we mean. you can make donations here: and thank you.


Don�t pull me in/ Let me be/ I dance like this/ For me.

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nonsense nyc is a discriminating resource for independent art, weird events, strange happenings, unique parties, and senseless culture in new york city.

we like rock bands and experimental musicians and arty films and galleries and museums and big street festivals, but we can find information about all of those things in other places. we generally will not list these kind of things on their own. that leaves that other stuff, the stuff that has no name or a name that you feel really self-conscious saying out loud, like "underground."

we publish more or less once a week on fridays in easy digest format. if you sign up, the important thing to remember is that the nonsense nyc happens because of you. that means we rely on you to let us know what events you are organizing and what events you are attending. please keep us up to date and don't assume that we'll find out about something from someone else. our job is to gather, edit, organize, and filter; your's is to make interesting thing happen and let us know about them. (and we love you, and the other people on this list love you, for that effort.)

also, feel free to send us editorial comments. we certainly don't endorse every event on this list, nor do we attend all of them. that means it's nice to hear what you have to say. for instance, let us know if you had the best time of your life last weekend, or, conversely, if you felt like you were cheated out of $5 by some group that sounded good but turned out to be hippie drummers.

anyway, please enjoy this list and remember to do your part to make new york a better place to live.

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