Promoter and Queer Icon Dean Johnson DiesDowntown icon and gay performing artist Dean Johnson died last week, friends just learned. The six-foot-six promoter was found dead by authorities in Washington, D.C., but remained unidentified until this week. Police are still investigating the cause. Johnson, 45, founded the iconic weekly party Rock and Roll Fag Bar in the late eighties, and also started HomoCorps, a monthly gay music showcase at CBGB, before the punk club closed. At times a porn star and at other times a rock star (he fronted Dean and the Weenies and later the Velvet Mafia), he was always recognizable by his height (often augmented by heels) and brazen eyewear. Friends say he helped shape the growing East Village art and club kid scene in the late eighties, continuing through to today, with popular and notoriously raunchy parties he’s hosted at dive venues like the Hole and the Cock. He had battled drugs “historically,” said his longtime friend Joe Birdsong. “But in the past year he had cleaned that up.” Friends will celebrate his life next week at Rapture Café and Books on Wednesday at 8 p.m
The Velvet Mafia [Official site]
Dean Johnson – Death of a Legend [Motherboards]
Related: Party Favorites [NYM]
The Honorable Regis PhilbinAt Jeffrey Toobin’s party for The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, free copies of the book were nowhere to be found, much to the chagrin of one late arriver, Regis Philbin. “I can’t get my hands on the book! All the free copies are gone!” he told us, upset because he had wanted to read the book and hold it up on his show. “I don’t know how the etiquette works. But usually when you go to a book party, they give you the book! Do you have the book?” We didn’t. “Are you disappointed?” Welll … now that you mention it, yeah! “You should be! I think you deserve it!” Wow, Regis really knows how to rile up a crowd, we thought. And as if reading our mind, he took that moment to throw his hat into politics. “I should be on the Supreme Court,” he said.
The Flowerbox Is RevealedAlphabet City: The new Flowerbox building near Avenue D is real, and it’s spectacular. [Curbed]
Brooklyn Heights: Tomorrow’s Cranberry Street Festival will not only feature the usual pet parade, but also a belly dancer! [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Dumbo: After filling up with yuppies fleeing Manhattan, Dumbo takes the final step into suburbia: It’s starting a Neighborhood Watch. [DumboNYC]
Greenpoint: Miss Heather finally captures on film the neighborhood’s elusive Dog Who Wears Sunglasses And A Seatbelt [Newyorkshitty]
Harlem: The Randolph Houses are getting completely renovated by the city. Who says Bloomberg is a bad landlord? [Uptown Flavor]
Exclusive: Ivan Kane Kills NYC Plans for Forty Deuce Club owners have a long, proud history of ignoring Community Board rulings, so we were surprised to hear that Ivan Kane has taken the massive opposition to Forty Deuce to heart. According to a spokesman, Kane will not open a burlesque club at 19 Kenmare or anywhere else in the city. This is despite the fact that construction was well underway and despite implying, during the CB meeting, that he might pursue the project regardless of outcry. Kane, who moved his family to New York while building the club, has returned to Los Angeles to open his Hollywood restaurant and lounge, Café Was, and will focus on opening Forty Deuces in San Diego and — pending negotiations, we’re told — perhaps Atlantic City. And here we thought New York was becoming too friendly to chains!
Earlier: Neighbors Take the Riding Crop to Forty Deuce [Grub Street]
Too Many Hipsters Bring Down L Train GradesToday, the MTA released its subway report card results for the L Train, which runs from Eighth Avenue across 14th Street and through Brooklyn. The L train received an overall grade of C — nothing to brag about, but still good enough to avoid a note home to your parents. The biggest complaint, overcrowded trains during rush hour, is totally justifiable, unless you happen to enjoy sitting with a stranger’s package three inches from your face. According to the New York Times the L train’s congestion troubles are due to a ridership growth rate in hipster-sanctuaries Williamsburg and Greenpoint, where the population has grown by 20 percent since 2000, double the city average. At least the hipster population is overall abnormally (freakishly) thin — you can easily pack three hipsters into the space of one un-artistic, short-haired, loose-panted person. Were they of normal girth, the L train would really be in trouble. — Dan Amira
Hostess Fantasies May Come True in the EV; Pork and Funnel Cakes Find Each OtherBoerum Hill: Sunday’s Atlantic Antic Street Festival = live music + copious gut busters ranging from baklava and funnel cake to pulled pork and roasted corn. [Hell’s Half Acre]
East Village: The Bourgeois Pig plans to move to a new location next week, which means the original space is that much closer to becoming a New World wine-and-beer bar serving homemade versions of Hostess snacks! [Imbible]
Harlem: One of uptown’s favorite food carts, Super Tacos on 96th and Broadway, is a finalist at the Vendy Awards this Saturday. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Nikki Beach restaurant and nightclub wants to lure you back in the morning with a weekend buffet brunch. [Grub Street]
Soho: Joe on Greene Street near Prince introduces a Fall program of coffee-related classes including “Coffee & The Environment”; “How to Cup: Single Origin Coffee”; and “How to Cup: Exploring Roasteries” that will begin in October. [Grub Street]
Upper West Side: Just the right bargain to make us think about how much mark-up we’ve been getting charged for wine: Order the $35 prix fixe on Sundays at Compass restaurant and any bottle you order is 50 percent off. [Grub Street]
the sports section
The Day Philadelphia Bested New YorkAs Mets fans averted their eyes last night from the dispirited slop on the field at Shea, they could find no comfort in the National League scoreboard. Before the Mets even stepped up to bat, the Phillies led the Braves by four. The St. Louis Cardinals shut out the Mets with little bombast, and fans left Shea so humiliated by simultaneously losing the game and their sole claim to first place in the NL East that they could barely muster a few feeble taunts at a guy wearing a Rick Ankiel jersey. This is what happens to New Yorkers when we realize that Philadelphia is better than us.