Just Do Art!


[/media-credit] Jam Stand proprietors Jess and Sabbs want you to know there’s much more to life than grape jelly. Photo courtesy of GVCCC
As if reasonable prices and fresh products weren’t enough, The Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce is about to give you plenty of other good reasons to shop local — when they bring together over a dozen area merchants for their Inaugural Chelsea Bazaar. The budding annual summer fair will feature vendor booths on the ground level, with live entertainment and beer- and wine-tasting at the lower level (the first 1,000 people to arrive can stop by the Welcome Table and receive a free alcoholic drink voucher). Among the other attractions: The Spot Experience will be providing free on-site doggy day-care and raffling off prizes ranging from $100 to over $1,000 in value; Lucky 777 Chili (Greenwich Village’s first chili parlor) will be on hand to heat things up; and at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel booth, you can enter to win a complimentary night’s stay. Only Hearts, Bite Me Cheesecakes, Crunch and CitySights NY are among the other participants.

Free. Sat., July 14 — from 11am to 8pm — at the Altman Building (135 W. 18th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For info, visit villagechelsea.com, call 646-470-1773 or send an email to info@villagechelsea.com.

[/media-credit] Sam I am: Spend 90 minutes in Lower Manhattan getting to know the New York of Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens).
It’s been 115 years since the great Mark Twain fired back at a newspaper’s premature obituary by describing the report of his death as “an exaggeration.” Today, the oft-quoted (and censored) American humorist is best remembered for his tales of life on the Mississippi — and his status as an early adopter of contempt for Congress. “Suppose you were an idiot,” Twain speculated. “And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

With the job approval of Congress polling below 20 percent, modern Americans are in lock step with the man who was born Samuel Clemens. Hear more of the author’s choice comments on the people who make our laws, when writer and Twain scholar Peter Salwen takes you on a walking tour of Lower Manhattan. “In his day,” notes Salwen, “Twain was New York’s best-known celebrity. At the same time, the city itself (and the people he met here) played a big part in Twain’s own development as a writer and as a person. If Sam Clemens hadn’t come to our town when he did, it’s fair to say there would be no Mark Twain — at least, not the Mark Twain we know and cherish.”

The “Mark Twain’s New York” tour begins at the site where Twain published his first book — and met his future wife. It ends at the mansion where he lived at the start of the 20th century. In between, there will be stops at over a dozen other places Twain visited, conducted business and/or caused enough trouble to make him (in his own only slightly inflated words), “the most conspicuous person on the planet.”

Tours, 90 minutes in length, take place at 1pm on the first Sun. of the month, through Oct. (July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2, Oct. 7). Meet at 500 Broadway (btw. Broome & Spring Sts.). To purchase tickets ($20), call 917-620-5371 or email mtny@salwen.com. For more info, visit marktwainsnewyork.com.

[/media-credit] Weathering the recession, 1891 style.
Long before occupiers were protesting Wall Street, artists were satirizing it. Now, the Medicine Show Theater company takes you back to the future — with its everything-old-is-new-again production of “Wall Street, A Farce in Three Acts.” Written and performed during a recession (the one that caused the Panic of 1819), the script was recently discovered at the New York Public Library. Lost to the ages, it seems, is any knowledge of the play having been performed since it premiered. Medicine Show’s adaptation of the breezy 90-minute script will include additional material (such as folk songs, show tunes and “hard times” songs from the 18th century up to the present).

Select performances will feature short acts by guest artist “occupiers.” On July 1, Zachary James (Lurch in “The Addams Family”) will sing patriotic songs. During the July 5-8 period (exact dates TBA), investigative economic and political journalist Greg Palast will conduct a talk-back with the audience that addresses parallels between the Panic of 1819 and today’s economic meltdown.

Closes Sun., July 8. Performances are Thurs.-Sun., 8pm. At Medicine Show Theatre (549 W. 52nd St., near 11th Ave.; 3 Floor). For tickets ($18, $15 for students/seniors), call 212-868-4444 or visit smarttix.com. For more info, visit medicineshowtheatre.org.