05/19/16 11:25am
A few members of the "Fly By Night" flock gather on a rooftop. Photo: Creative Time/Will Star/Shooting Stars Pro

A few members of the Fly By Night flock gather on a rooftop. Photo: Creative Time/Will Star/Shooting Stars Pro

“I missed Scandal for this?” The woman behind me was not impressed as we sat on risers and watched a small fraction of the 2,000 pigeons in the avian light show Fly By Night prepare for their Brooklyn Navy Yard debut. Her question made me wonder whether I had walked deep into the Navy Yard simply to watch pigeons fly. These, my feathered nemeses, were now the star of a show; it’s a free show, sure, but one with a waiting list and a great review in The New York Times. It was akin to hearing that a childhood bully had become a movie star.

Growing up in New York City pigeons were a nuisance, not works of art. While the city has long had a tradition of rooftop pigeon coops and pigeon fanciers, to which Duke Riley, the artist behind the show, is paying tribute, their charms never seduced me. In fact, despite watching one hatch on my parents’ balcony, I’ve spent most of my life in an avian cold war, never attacking them, but convinced that they would attack me if given the chance. Was detente finally here and and happening in Brooklyn? (more…)

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08/13/15 10:57am
Clare McNulty and Bridey Elliot take millennial angst to all-time lows in 'Fort Tilden.' Photo:  Brian Lannin

Clare McNulty and Bridey Elliot take millennial angst to all-time lows in “Fort Tilden.” Photo: Brian Lannin

“This place is awesome, it’s such a piece of shit,” notes one of Fort Tilden‘s leading women as she strolls toward the titular beach in Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers’ debut feature film. The movie, which picked up a Grand Jury Award at last year’s SXSW, and opens tomorrow at IFC Center, follows a day in the life of Harper (Bridey Elliott) and Allie (Clare McNulty), two friends in their mid-twenties who live in a white-walled, sunlit Williamsburg loft, the kind you see on Instagram but never in real life.

There’s a kind of very believable awfulness to the film’s two heroines that makes you feel nauseous watching the way they react to events of the day, casting aside borrowed bikes, borrowed money, even a litter of abandoned kittens.

You’ve met Harper and Allie before: Harper is a multi-media artist whose most successful creative pursuit so far has been collecting blank checks from her wealthy father, while Allie is also a well-off, though well-meaning millennial who doesn’t seem to do much of anything. Breakfast is set aside so that their “morning tummies” can stay flat late into the day. To get the apartment potentially “sex ready,” Infinite Jest is taken off a dusty shelf and thrown onto the couch in full view. Allie is about to leave for Liberia to serve in the Peace Corps, so the two decide to tag along to the Rockaways with a pair of guys they met at a party the night before. (more…)

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