Pierre Simmons Collects Cans by Day and Plays Beautiful Piano by Night

Categories: Video, Work

Pierre Simmons, 62, spends his days picking up bottles and cans. He made $8 his first day. Then he met people who were "religiously" into picking up bottles and cans.

"I thought a lot of these people that did this were either drug addicts or homeless," he says. "But I was wrong." Simmons says he likes the job because "nobody tells me what to do, nobody tells me when I get paid." He's also a talented pianist. "Sometimes when I'm canning, and walking those distances, a song comes to me."

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Ride Along With New York Private Eye Michael McKeever

Categories: Dating, Video

"People are like snowflakes," says private detective Michael McKeever. The son and grandson of New York City police officers, McKeever, upon graduating from college, decided he wasn't "cut out for the grisly side of life." Instead, he hunts down cheating spouses, does surveillance in fraud cases, and looks for people who have gone missing.

He shares thoughts on his life and work with videographer Emrys Eller.

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Harlem's Only Black LGBT Church Searches for a Home

Rivers of Living Water has become a place of refuge for African-American LGBT Christians, but it's a church without a home.

The Harlem church declares itself "radically inclusive and open and affirming" of the LGBT community, and the majority of its congregation, along with its entire ministry, is LGBT. And unlike the few other Harlem churches that open their doors to gay members, Rivers of Living Water performs same-sex marriage ceremonies.

But embracing the LGBT community has come with a cost: Senior pastor Vanessa Brown says that because black religious organizations largely still condemn homosexuality, she has had trouble finding a proper space for her congregation to worship.

"I find myself, when trying to do business deals around space with other churches, that I don't tell them what kind of church this is — for fear that they are going to pull back of the deal," Brown says, adding that she sometimes sends people on her behalf to search for space.

As of today, Rivers of Living Water is holding its services in the basement of the United Methodist Church (263 West 86th Street) on the Upper West Side.

Pastor Brown says she would like to move back to Harlem, but looking for a space there has become a long and arduous process.

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Vendors at Brooklyn's Morbid Flea Market Embrace the Weird

The Morbid Anatomy Spring Flea Market at the Morbid Anatomy Museum (424-A Third Avenue) in Brooklyn was born from French expat Laetitia Barbier's memories of hitting up flea markets on Sundays in Paris, which were full of all sorts of items, from the traditional to the strange (strange as in, full skeletons).

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New Yorkers Give Love and Sex Advice

Categories: Dating, Sex, Video

Stand-up comic Sam Morril asks New Yorkers young and old, fresh-faced and grizzled, and a few tourists (because we did this in midtown) about love and sex in 2015. Happy Valentine's Day!

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[@JessicaPilot212]

Video: Ludlow Street on New Year's Eve Is a Big, Loud Mess

Categories: NYPD, Video


Village Voice contributing photographer C.S. Muncy sends this first-person account of the scene on Ludlow Street between Stanton and Rivington on the Lower East Side on Wednesday night. This is what New Year's Eve on the LES in 2014 looks like, people:

Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, somebody started DJ'ing through a big stereo in the middle of Ludlow Street at max-volume. So, you know, no sleep for me. Or anyone else on the block. Around 1 a.m. the cops show up and shut it down. There's about twenty drunk people and they start screaming things like "Fuck the police," "NYPD, KKK, how many children did you kill today?" and "I CAN'T BREATHE!" Then one guy stands in front of the cop car, and the video above shows the rest.

More video is below.


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Video: Why 'I Don't Want To Be the Hottest Chick at Comic Con'

Categories: Culture, Video

Ruby Taki and Cici James both competed in the cosplay contest at the recent New York Comic Con. One is a Japanese salesperson working in Manhattan; the other owns a sci-fi and fantasy bookstore in DUMBO. Although they come from different cultural backgrounds, the two shared a somewhat unpopular goal at Comic Con -- not being the hottest chick in the Javits Center.


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New Yorkers Have a Love-Hate Relationship With the Met's New David H. Koch Fountains

Categories: Politics, Video

On September 9, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's newly renovated plaza was opened to the public after two years of construction. Located on Fifth Avenue from 80th Street to 84th Street, the outer space features two new fountains, paving stones, and about 100 new trees. When the Met announced its renovation in 2012, officials said they would not name the project after anyone. But it's now named after David H. Koch, who donated $65 million to fund the project. We asked New Yorkers what they think of the new fountains and the oil billionaire.

Video: This New Yorker is the National Pole Champion

Shaina Cruea is the 2014 U.S. National Pole Champion, known for combining her signature contemporary dance style with the beauty of fluid strength and grace. But she wasn't always so confident.

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Video: Chinese Dragon Boats Race for Cash & Culture In Queens

Categories: Video

At the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival held last weekend, August 9 and 10, in Flushing Meadows Park, nearly 200 boats raced down a 500-meter course in hopes of winning cash and prizes for their teams.

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