Street Artist RAE Debuts Show in Vacant East Village Bodega

Araceli Cruz
On Saturday night, Brooklyn street artist RAE presents "Word of Mouth," his first solo show in New York City. Unfortunately, he won't be attending opening night, because when you use the city as your canvas, you never know if the police might be looking for you.More »

Q and A: Michael Lemonick On Global Weirdness, Climate Change, And How To Talk About Science

Michael Lemonick
Michael Lemonick
Michael Lemonick is a former senior science writer at Time Magazine, the senior staff writer at Climate Central, and the lead author of Global Weirdness, a new book that attempts to lay out, in simple terms, what scientists do and don't know about climate change. We spoke with him this week about climate change and his approach to science journalism.

Why did you write Global Weirdness?

Thomas Friedman wrote this column bemoaning the harsh rhetoric back and forth about climate change -- all the conflicting information people were sending out and how confusing it all was. He said that the world's greatest climate experts should sit down in a room and write a 50-page book that explains what we know and how we know it in language a sixth-grader could understand.

At Climate Central, we were interested, because the idea was very much in keeping our mission, which is to steer clear of rhetoric and hype and be faithful to the science and just talk about what climate science is telling us and be honest about what we don't know and admit uncertainties where they exist.

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Gregory Lee, President of National Association of Black Journalists, On the NABJ/UNITY Split, Money, and NLGJA [AUDIO]

Steven Thrasher
Gregory Lee (foreground) of NABJ in a heated exchange with LZ Granderson of ESPN and Mark Whitaker of CNN

Updated below, with a message from former UNITY board member John Yearwood.

Greetings from New York, New York (the city, not the casino) as the Voice has returned from the 2012 UNITY convention in Las Vegas.

The elephant in the room for UNITY, as CNN Worldwide Managing Editor Mark Whitaker acknowledged in UNITY's first panel, was the absence of the National Association of Black Journalists.

For many years, multiple groups of minority journalists (NABJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, and the Native American Journalists Association) would meet every four years in what became the largest "Journalists of Color" convention in the world (and the largest gathering of journalists, period, in the United States). But in a highly public battle, NABJ decided it would not participate in UNITY 2012 about a year ago.

Meanwhile, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association joined UNITY a few months later. The formal name "UNITY Journalists of Color" was changed to simply "UNITY Journalists."

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EXCLUSIVE: Rafalca Romney, Mitt Romney's Dressage Horse, Speaks to the Voice!

Rafalca Intro.jpg
Like much of America, we at the Village Voice have been bemused by Rafalca Romney, Mitt Romney's dressage horse who will be competing in the XXX Olympiad in London tomorrow. Imagine our surprise when we noticed that @RafalcaRomney was Tweeting*! We immediately emailed her, and Rafalca was more than happy to share her thoughts on being Mitt's horse, the difficulties of tweeting with hooves, the even more harsh realities of living off of expenditures that exceed those of the average American family's each year, and traveling to London via FedEx.

Thank you for speaking to the Voice by email from London, Rafalca! An indelicate question for a lady first: How old are you?

I'm a 15-year-old Oldenburg warmblood mare. Translation: I'm pretty as hell.

When did you first start Tweeting?

I decided to save the world sometime in late April.

Is it hard to Tweet with hooves?

Typing with hooves is not easy, even with a custom-fitted equine keyboard. Usually, I just dictate tweets to my PA.

Apple or Android?

I like Apples. Mitt's an Android guy.

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The Skinny With Patrik-Ian Polk, the Gay Filmmaking Love Child of Spike Lee and Tyler Perry

Patrik-Ian Polk.jpg
Before meeting the director of The Skinny for lunch recently, I had seen Patrik-Ian Polk refer to himself on his Twitter profile as "The gay Tyler Perry. Shut up." But I'd also heard of him referred to as the gay Spike Lee.

So which is it, I inquired when we met, especially since many people consider the former of those two directors to already be gay?

"It's both," he says laughing.

Polk considers himself something of the kind of love child Lee and Perry would have had they gotten together and been able to procreate. (Pushed as to whether he thinks Madea's alter ego could possibly be interested in women, Polk says, "He says he's straight," with something of a smirk on his face, adding, "I have no reason not to take him at his word.")

The influence of both filmmakers can clearly be seen in The Skinny, Polk's third feature film which just concluded a run at the Quad and premiered on Logo this month. In a similar way that Lee put black (hetero) sexuality on the screen in a raw, in-your-face manner completely unlike how it had ever been seen before with She's Gotta Have It, Polk puts black homosexuality up there in a way rarely seen in narrative movies from the opening minutes of the film. Like Lee's early films (and, actually, from early dispatches we've heard about Red Hook Summer), Polk is wearing many hats behind the camera on The Skinny, a project he largely financed himself.

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Angelina Altishin, GLOW Female Wrestler, on GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

If you were a baby of the '80s, you'll know that, while boys went nuts for Hulk Hogan and Macho Man "Randy Savage," we girls had our own burly heroes in Sally the Farmer's Daughter and Vine. Yes, GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) was a groundbreaking television show that ran four seasons, from 1986 to 1990, and featured female wrestlers who, we now learn, were actresses, models, dancers, and/or stunt women hoping to break into show business any way they could.

But what happened to them?

Director Brett Whitcomb takes us into the lives of this tough group of women in his documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling from the initial open-call auditions, to the grueling training with wrestling legend Mando Guerrero, to overnight success and global recognition, and the show's unexpected cancellation. 92YTribeca is hosting a screening of this documentary Saturday night. This includes a Q&A with original GLOW girls Gremlina, Little Egypt, and GLOW referee/writer Steve Blance. Comedians and GLOW fans Glennis McMurray and Matt McCarthy moderate the discussion. We caught up with former GLOW girl Angelina Altishin, known as Little Egypt, who has since become a successful real estate agent. Right before she caught her flight to New York, she took the time to chat with us about being a GLOW girl, life after GLOW, and the touching reunion with the rest of her wrestling team mates. More »

Comptroller John Liu Talks Racial Profiling at Stop and Frisk Father's Day March

During yesterday's Silent March to End Stop and Frisk, the Voice caught up with Comptroller (and mayoral hopeful) John Liu. Liu, who was marching with a small contingent at the midway point of the assembled, took a break from the silence to speak (very quietly) with us.

Being Father's Day, we asked him how he explained the point of the march to his young son, Joey, who was gleefully marching with his dad. Liu told us about why he thought anyone was out there marching, and told us about the ways stop and frisk, usually considered in terms of Black and Hispanic New Yorkers, specifically affects Asian, South Asian, and Muslim New Yorkers, too.

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Henry Hill, Goodfellas Gangster, on Art, the Witness Protection Program, and His Adult Circumcision

via Hill's eBay account
Henry Hill with Ray Liotta
Henry Hill was best known by Ray Liotta's face. An East New York native famously mentored by the Lucchese crime family, Hill was the Lufthansa-heisting mobster whose 1986 memoir, the Nicholas-Pileggi-shaped Wiseguy, served as the inspiration for Martin Scorsese's modern classic Goodfellas. As TMZ reported last night, Hill died yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 69.

Hill's life consisted of well-documented involvements with the dirty businesses of narcotics, extortion, robbery, and one major point-shaving college-basketball scandal. Eventually he became an FBI informant and entered the Witness Protection Program until he was expelled for, in his words, "being a Goodfella." He then lived openly under his real name, relocating to Topanga County, becoming a recurring guest on Howard Stern, and hawking his paintings through an eBay store. In 2007, the enterprising ex-con opened a mob-themed restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut called Wiseguys. (An attic fire mysteriously broke out shortly after the establishment opened.)

That same year, the Voice spoke with the self-described "bullshit artist" about spaghetti sauce, his artistic muse ("whatever goes through my sick, fuckin' mind"), his Witness Protection Program dismissal, and "learning to fuck again" after his late-life circumcision. Reprinted below is an edited version of Michael Clancy's Runnin' Scared dialogue with the legendary gangster.

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Carlos Motta, Artist, On 'We Who Feel Differently' and Obama's Gay Marriage Stance

New Museum
When it comes to discussing LGBT rights, multidisciplinary artist Carlos Motta has a lot to say on the matter. The Colombian-born artist draws upon "political history in an attempt to create counter narratives that recognize the inclusion of suppressed histories, communities, identities and ideologies" in his pieces. His work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, MOMA/PS1, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Museo de Arte del Banco de la República in Bogotá, among several others. His latest show "We Who Feel Differently," at the New Museum, explores the idea of sexual and gender "difference" within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer community via a series of sculptures, prints, interactive forums, and a video installation based on 50 interviews with academics, artists, politicians, and researchers. Motta's mission isn't just about tolerance; rather, he looks ahead to a "concept of equality that provides for greater personal freedom."More »

Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on Why Yesterday's Ruling Against DOMA Is The Most Important Gay Marriage Case Right Now

Yesterday saw a major legal blow (perhaps the most significant one yet) to the Defense of Marriage Act, as the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the federal government's definition of "marriage" and "spouse" are unconstitutional as limited to just applying to opposite sex married couples.

As we usually do, we turned to Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner to explain what this means legally. It's startling moment in the war for marriage equality for several reasons. First, the unanimous ruling came from two Republican appointed judges (tapped by presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush) and one Democratic appointee (tapped by Bill Clinton).

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