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Matthew Love

Matthew Love

Articles (39)

Julio Torres on his hilarious new HBO series Los Espookys

Julio Torres on his hilarious new HBO series Los Espookys

Julio Torres is apologizing to his fork. Not audibly, no, so the crowd at Sisters bar in Clinton Hill doesn’t hear him. Instead, he gazes at his cutlery, then explains that when he was a boy, he crafted a story about a curvy, feminine spoon running away with a phallic knife. The prickly fork? He served as the cuckolded husband. “I created some narrative that it was some jealous thing,” says Torres with a shrug, “just because the fork was spiky.” It isn’t just inanimate objects on which the sharp-yet-spacey comic endows an unlikely pathos. The SNL writer is constantly shining an odd light on the ignored or forgotten. Case in point: Los Espookys, which he cocreated with Fred Armisen and Ana Fabrega, another young Brooklyn comedian. Performed in Spanish, with English subtitles, it follows a crew of amateur horror-makeup artists who stage gothic experiences—exorcisms, hauntings—for hire. Despite the blood-soaked packaging, it feels like a workplace comedy. “It’s almost like he came from another planet,” explains Fabrega of Torres’s studied remove. “But he has such emotional intelligence, too.” Torres chafes when execs separate him from other comics, labeling him a niche act. “A lot of people who make big decisions assume that if something is different, an audience won’t want to consume it,” he says. “My perspective is different, and the way that I say things is different, but there is a humanity there.” Then, with a laugh, he adds: “I think?”  The multihyphenate’s backstory help

Alt-cabaret dynamo Bridget Everett is finally having her moment

Alt-cabaret dynamo Bridget Everett is finally having her moment

Gravity. Electromagnetism. Bridget Everett. All awesome forces of nature, but only one 6', unhinged alt-cabaret superstar is likely to spew chardonnay in an audience member’s face right before sitting on it. After more than a dozen years in the trenches, playing gay bars in Hell’s Kitchen and downtown venues including Joe’s Pub, Everett is finally getting the attention she deserves. Amy Schumer championed her in 2013, with invitations to appear on Inside Amy Schumer and, in 2015, with a part in Trainwreck. Since then, the momentum behind this 45-year-old—whose original songs include lyrics like, “You got them little nippy titties, put ’em in the air!”—has only increased. In 2017, Everett stole scenes in the bawdy comedy Fun Mom Dinner; delivered a surprisingly dramatic turn in hip-hop underdog tale Patti Cake$; and starred in the sadly-passed-on Amazon pilot Love You More, created with the help of her mentor, Michael Patrick King. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Yorkers of the Year Your stage persona is demanding and all-consuming, whereas you’re quite gentle and sweet in person. How much do you relish becoming that onstage Bridget, or how much does it take out of you?I feel like I’m storing up energy before I go onstage. Usually, it’s two glasses of Rombauer and “Dr. Footlights” and I’m back in business. “Dr. Footlights,” that’s what my friend Neal Medlyn—[hip-hop cabaret and performance artist] Champagne Jerry—calls [stage time]. Every time before I go out, I’m like, God, I’

What it’s really like to get married at the New York City Clerk’s Office

What it’s really like to get married at the New York City Clerk’s Office

You don’t need all the trapping of a traditional wedding to have a truly special day in NYC. Just hit up your local bridal shop then head down to the Financial District for a government sanctioned-ceremony. You may be trading stained glass for metal detectors but the joyful vibe will stay intact. Take away the gin. Lose the Aperol. Ditto for the grapefruit juice, the mason jar and Devin, the best man, giving a questionable toast about the groom’s oats-sowing days. Forget the place settings, the canapés, the DJ (and, therefore, the Isley Brothers’ “Shout”) and the months of nonstop planning to summon friends and family to some barn upstate. Leave only two people in love, a subway ride, an exchange of words and rings and a signed piece of paper. This is what a wedding at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau offers: no more and no less. Photograph: Krista Schlueter; Céspedes (right) and Taveras (left) Located at 141 Worth Street since 2009, the City Clerk’s Office issues a staggering number of marriage licenses to New Yorkers while also hosting a never-ending stream of meaningful ceremonies. In June, an average of 86 ceremonies took place daily from Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, that average climbed as high as 168. The office also issues approximately 150 licenses every single day it’s open. A far cry from its spartan former home in City Hall a block away, the current bureau is essentially one massive waiting room where couples, witnesses and select kinsfolk linger until their n

Mixologist Ivy Mix shares her top 5 NYC spots

Mixologist Ivy Mix shares her top 5 NYC spots

In the overcrowded New York cocktail scene, Mix stands out for much more than just a remarkably appropriate moniker. A native of rural Vermont, the 29-year-old took the long road to the hospitality industry, landing at Brooklyn’s Clover Club after an original plan to make it as a visual artist and a career-changing stint in Guatemala spent “opening beers and pouring shots of mescal.” Mix’s curious history and unique perspective has clearly paid off: In 2015 alone, she opened the thriving, Latin-influenced Cobble Hill spot Leyenda and won the Spirited Award for American Bartender of the Year. “It’s exciting, pushing boundaries of what people thought they could put in their mouths,” says Mix. Even while she invents new cocktails with challenging flavors like tamarind or Mexican herb hoja santa, she paves the way for other women to win some recognition in a male-dominated industry. Her Speed Rack female bartending competitions not only prove who mixes the best martini but, as Mix says, “the meme of a bartender isn’t a guy in suspenders anymore.”RECOMMENDED: Meet the talents who will be shaping our city

NYC couples in open relationships tell all

NYC couples in open relationships tell all

Try counting the number of times you or someone you know has recently come across the following on Tinder or other dating apps: a profile of a person who identifies as polyamorous or an ethical nonmonogamist. A lot, huh? From the massive, annual cuddle puddle that is Burning Man to OkCupid’s 2014 adoption of the “open relationship” designation, polyamory (roughly defined as intimate relationships involving more than two people, though its circumstances can vary widely) is slowly edging its way into the mainstream. According to this year’s annual survey Singles in America conducted by researchers at the Kinsey Institute, more than one in five people are currently or have been involved in an open relationship. What’s more, a poll of OkCupid users noted an uptick in interest regarding polyamory: In 2010, 42 percent of singles using the service would consider dating someone in an open relationship, while today more than 50 percent would. (Here are some date ideas in NYC, if you’re in the majority.) And our fair city has a budding infrastructure to support the lifestyle: There’s Hacienda Villa, a Bushwick apartment complex that caters to poly tenants, and advocacy group Open Love NY, which sponsors workshops and events including the increasingly popular monthly mixer Poly Cocktails. “On any particular night, we can draw upward of 500 people,” says Mischa Lin, VP and communications director of Open Love NY. “Cocktails go until midnight, but I usually peace out at 8:30pm because it

Mike Birbiglia talks new movie Don’t Think Twice

Mike Birbiglia talks new movie Don’t Think Twice

Mike Birbiglia is perpetually in motion. Sometimes the comic somnambulates—a very real condition he details in a solo show, a book and a film that are all titled Sleepwalk with Me. Sometimes he jitters and twists about—as he did in an impression of the Scrambler carnival ride during his confessional show My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. Sometimes he tours as a stand-up or sells out Off Broadway houses while talking about jokes and religion, and sometimes he pops up in TV shows such as Orange Is the New Black. Now, with his new film, Don’t Think Twice, Birbiglia pays homage to the art form that taught him how to stay on his toes: improv. Don’t Think Twice—which the 38-year-old wrote, directed, produced and stars in—follows a sextet of improvisers called the Commune as they play comedy shows for packed houses (but for no money) and dream of making it onto SNL surrogate Weekend Live. Cameras get right into the action as the cast, including Key & Peele’s Keegan-Michael Key and Community’s Gillian Jacobs, supports one another onstage and struggles with professional jealousies when the lights go off. I caught up with Birbiglia in the midst of a whirlwind 30-city tour, doing what he calls “hand-delivering the movie” to theaters around the country alongside costar Chris Gethard and improv guru Liz Allen. Keep on truckin’, Birbigs. In addition to screenings, these tour stops include improv workshops. Do you have some hope that Don’t Think Twice will play an ambassadorial role for improv?Tha

The best books about New York

The best books about New York

In a city of 8.5 million, there are 8.5 million ways of looking at the city. It’s necessary to have authors, then, to channel their own gritty and glamorous visions of the greatest city in the world into something to which others might be able to relate. Here, we’ve compiled some of the most iconic New York novels alongside a few of our new fiction favorites. Of course, there are dozens of life-changing books set in NYC, so feel free to expand on our list in the comments. // var vglnk = { key: 'b1dd7a2b35c8ab61d18b653f5d33bbe2' };    (function(d, t) {     var s = d.createElement(t); s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.async = true;     s.src = '//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js';     var r = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0]; r.parentNode.insertBefore(s, r);    }(document, 'script')); //

Sunnyside

Sunnyside

It's hard to believe Queens Boulevard and the elevated 7 train plow right through the middle of Sunnyside; the neighborhood projects a familial vibe and unhurried pace that belie the massive thoroughfare bisecting it. There's space (inside the buildings and out), rents are low, and interesting businesses open regularly. Babies and dogs are walked along the southern blocks of big, residential buildings and along the northern crop of tiny, garden-lined homes in Sunnyside Gardens; national chains can be accessed on Greenpoint Avenue, while smaller, unique shops and cafs dot 43rd and Skillman Avenues. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Sunnyside, Queens Angel Gil Orrios, artistic-executive director, Thalia Spanish Theatre "When I arrived from Spain 30 years ago, I already loved Sunnyside. I saw there was a very mixed, cosmopolitan neighborhood that enabled many different people from many different communities to live in the same place. I thought that was very New York. I was impressed by the small houses and amount of green, so different from Manhattan." "I wanted to buy an apartment, so I did, 15 years ago. My wife and me adopted two kids from Guatemala and we thought this was the best neighborhood to raise them: It's a very quiet neighborhood, it's mixed with people from all over the world and we like that. It's family-oriented—no violence, no robberies. Of course, I also like having work a few blocks from where I live." "Because the community is so mixed, the supermarkets are good at

Ellie Kemper talks furies, vices and wanting to play the next Walter White

Ellie Kemper talks furies, vices and wanting to play the next Walter White

“It’s so nice not to smile,” says Ellie Kemper, with an air of relief. She’s between shots at her cover shoot, dipped into the slinky red dress of a noir heartbreaker and giving the camera her best sultry glances. And she finds an actor’s motivation in her own special way—“Oh, it’s like she smelled a fart,” Kemper says with a giggle—and it’s abundantly clear how little these darkly seductive looks have to do with who Kemper really is. Whether she’s playing the titular cult survivor in the Netflix sensation Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the innocent sidekick Becca in Bridesmaids or even the weirdo receptionist Erin on The Office, she is eternally cute and unflaggingly chipper. Kemper is getting a kick playing against type for once—the Black Widow never, ever grins and waves before swallowing her man whole. Which isn’t to suggest the 35-year-old isn’t enjoying her sunny successes. She’s featured alongside Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart in the upcoming animated movie The Secret Life of Pets, and she even has her own Buick commercials. And then, of course, there’s the reason for our interview: Kemper’s star turn in Kimmy Schmidt, which Netflix picked up for a third season before the second even aired. To celebrate this good news—a real rarity in TV land—she and her comedy-writer husband Michael Koman (Nathan for You, Eagleheart) bought a place on the Upper West Side. This is great for New York comedy fans who miss Kemper’s cheery, loopy presence on the improv stages of Upright Citizens B

Check out 2016’s most-exciting books by New York authors

Check out 2016’s most-exciting books by New York authors

As part of our toast to literary New York, which has included original short stories and talks with some of the city’s hottest writers, we’re rounding up the 2016 books by NYC authors we’re most excited about. Dig into these novels, which tackle everything from slavery and biomedicine to the Manson family and Parisian opera star.

The seven coolest reading series in NYC

The seven coolest reading series in NYC

Get lit, people! Almost every evening, our fair city brings NYC authors—both bigwigs and up-and-comers—to a variety of stages from bars in NYC to some of the city's best bookstores. New to the scene? Here are the ones to check out.

These local small presses are helping to keep NYC’s indie spirit alive

These local small presses are helping to keep NYC’s indie spirit alive

“Size matters not,” to quote Yoda. And at least as far as NYC’s lit scene goes, boy is he right. Our city is packed with envelope-pushing presses—some of which publish some of today’s best books and biggest heavy-hitting authors today—operating out of spaces as tiny as a NYC apartment.

News (4)

Our totally accurate predictions for NYC in 2018

Our totally accurate predictions for NYC in 2018

The year from hell is over! Rejoice, one and all, as 2017 has officially left the building! It’s a new year, and we’re feeling positively clairvoyant. Here's our predictions for the new year in New York City that are totally, without a doubt going to happen. Buckle up, baby. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best of 2018 1. As hurricane season approaches, clever realtors sell properties in Red Hook and Gowanus by touting access to a “Splash Zone.” 2. The hottest app is Hinder, which lets you remove bros drinking at Turtle Bay or the 13th Step from your friend’s Tinder queue. 3. The latest dessert mash-up is raw Cronut batter in a rosé-infused Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Fans call it Cro-DŌ-Ro-Fro-Yo. It is the first Instagram-only treat, in that it may be photographed but not eaten. 4. New Yorkers are dumbstruck to learn their favorite snack can be made at home with avocados and (gasp!) bread. Avocado toast is then replaced by an unbelievable new trend: fruit salad. 5. Desperate for a jukebox musical hit like Beautiful or Springsteen on Broadway but completely out of legends, producers back All Star: The Smash Mouth Smash-ical. 6. Self-driving cabs take over Manhattan and immediately go on strike, because even computers resent backseat drivers with smartphones. 7. Locavore farm-to-table dining goes to the next level at Trough, where diners eat whole grains from a giant communal gutter. Farmers pat patrons on the nose, ensuring them that they are good boys and girls. 8. Designers,

Don’t go overboard with fall in NYC, please

Don’t go overboard with fall in NYC, please

Summer can suck it; fall is my season and my reason for life. While the rest of this world is closing up shop for the winter, I am coming into my own. I’m enrobed in the season’s oranges and reds and flooded in its soups and ciders. I even love fall’s sounds—all that crackling and crunching and shit. While others may believe the “sexy lumberjack” is a thing of the past, fall reminds me that the look will never go out of style. I am reborn as I don my puffer vest and slip my hands into its fleecy pockets for the first time this year. I know the best spots for apple picking, and I know Fuji from Honeycrisp by sight. I invented the pumpkin spice pizza. My very fragrance is nutmeg and cinnamon. Halloween is coming fast, and yes, I whipped up my Stranger-Things-kids-as-Ghostbusters outfit as soon as the show’s trailer dropped. But some New Yorkers take the season way, way too far. Take the subject below as a prime example of fall pushed to its limit.  Single red leaf pressed inside book, for rediscovering and sighing over in January Arms toned by lifting a thousand pumpkins in front of face, for Instagram purposes only Scarf: like being reborn from an alpaca vagina Boots for heavy-duty hiking over patches of Second Avenue construction dirt Ever-ready to describe an apple or the air as “crisp” All things squash in the piehole. No pumpkin spice, no dice. Eyes closed during every inhale of breath, indicating an unrivaled appreciation for the year’s most refreshing O2 mo

Here's what happens when an amateur tries to become a synchronized swimming champion

Here's what happens when an amateur tries to become a synchronized swimming champion

For me, the question is not, “Where can I watch the Olympics?” but rather, “Where can I feel like I’m in the Olympics, even though I’ve never gone to the gym in my life and am currently nursing a hangover?” And though synchronized swimming doesn’t seem to get the attention that events like soccer or volleyball do, I can’t think of a sport that speaks more to the grand spectacle that is the Summer Olympics. RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the Olympics So, in order to become one of those chipper faces beneath a bathing cap, perfectly executing subaquatic pirouettes and heroic lifts, I head to one of the weekly classes held by Gotham Synchro. Once greeted by the masters-level competitors and their sculpted physiques, I think it’s fair to say that the al dente noodles I call my arms feel entirely outnumbered, outclassed and, yes, outgunned.      Photograph: Teddy Wolff Over the next 90 minutes, the cheery crew gives me a glimpse of what real synchro training is—more drills, less just jumping out of shallow water with jazz hands. Then I learn techniques for unobtrusive underwater propulsion (“sculling”) and surging out of the pool (a “boost”). Oh, I do get chances to look pretty: I float on my back and send my legs to the sky (er, with lower lumbar support from others so I don’t sink).   When the class is over, I’m dazed, understanding why head coach Dale Mohammed told me that synchro is best for the dedicated water-dancer. It’s not just about athleticism, teamwork and timing; it’

This interactive graphic shows what Manhattan's skyline will look like in 2035

This interactive graphic shows what Manhattan's skyline will look like in 2035

For our 20th birthday, we're looking ahead and dreaming of how the city will change over the next two decades. Maybe New York in 2035 will be drone traffic, jet packs and space elevators, but here’s what we know: The skyline will have about 30 new  buildings, at least according to creative agency Visualhouse, which provides renderings for many big developers. They created the one above just for us.  “With the exception of the west side of the Hudson Yards and 15 Penn Plaza, these buildings have all gone through their permitting and landmark processes,” says Visualhouse managing director and founder Robert Herrick. “The exciting time is when we bring them together to ask, ‘How are they all going to impact the skyline?’ Not all of these will stand the test of time. Some will become the next Chrysler Building, but some will just be glass boxes." Check out the interactive graphic above to find out more about some of the highlights of NYC's future cityscape.