Fresh Pressed: Sunday's Finest at Manero's

Fresh Pressed: Sunday's Finest at Manero's

by Matt Weinberger

This is Fresh Pressed, in which photographer Matt Weinberger takes us inside some of the rawest moments happening in NYC and beyond. Fresh Pressed is all about encountering the juicy ideas, aesthetics and people shaping culture through the lens of the city's many creative scenes.

Sunday's Finest @ Manero's (2/26/23)

Manero's on Mulberry is the hottest new downtown hang. The venue has hosted magazine launch parties, fashion events, poetry readings, rave parties, hyperpop DJ sets, chess nights, jazz concerts and more, all attended by some of NYC's hottest talent. The rising popularity of this unsuspecting spot, which was formerly just another (very delicious) Italian restaurant in Little Italy, has come from the robust programming featuring a lineup of parties hosted by a wealth of NYC's emerging creative vanguard, curated by the venue's popular nightlife directors, Travis Bass and Georgia McCann.

The reoccurring Sunday party, thrown by Ry Spataro, called "Sunday's Finest," brings in a slightly different crowd than the typical night at Manero's, geared towards merging the typical downtown Manero's scene with the often exclusively gay parties that Ry frequents. For this "Sunday's Finest," the party's resident DJ Chris King played alongside the very popular and beloved Griffin Maxwell Brooks and up-and-comer Adam Ziff, debuting the beautifully named duo of "Ziff and Griff", as Adam referred to it on a recent Instagram post. It's places like Manero's that make NYC so special. Great programming, a good community and pizza, pizza, pizza. Oh, and did I mention they serve pizza?

Model/Actriz LP Release Show @ The Hole (2/25/23)

Brooklyn-based band Model/Actriz, comprised of Ruben Radlauer, Aaron Shapiro, Cole Haden and Jack Wetmore, played an LP release show at the Hole, an art gallery in Tribeca, celebrating their new album, Dogsbody. The show raged on for a sweaty near-hour of fun to the great delight of their many fans who came out to see them rock the night away. The guys in the band not only play music well but also seem to have a good sense of humor. Cole, the lead singer of the group, opened the show while wearing his Halloween costume from last year (Rhonda Byrne's famed self-help book The Secret). The band, who cites influences including Björk and Fugazi, put on a show that felt like a high-energy mystical head-banging journey into the rock and roll dreamscape of a sleep-deprived neighborhood buddy. In other words: They know how to put on a good show. Their US tour starts in early March; they’ll be playing a show in New York on 4/20 at Racket. Jack plans on building a lamp that he saw in a dream to display at the show.

Tony or Tony's Headline Debut @ Elsewhere (2/11/23)

Tony or Tonygave an absolutely electric performance at their debut headlining concert at Elsewhere, where they performed a number of unreleased songs. The band consists of Tony 1.2, Tony Z and Quick Tony. Tony 1.2 and Tony Z grew up together in Arkansas. They escaped a cult together when they were 18 and moved to NYC and started a band. They describe their music as a “combination of late style thumper rave and glissando core.” Some main influences on the band include Tiny Leg, DJ Klub Foot, The Five Discs, Chris & Cosey, Neubauten and Beethoven. Tony or Tony is making music you can dance to. Their next song, "New Toy," is coming out at the end of March.

LaQuan Smith NYFW After Party @ Silver Linings (2/13/23)

LaQuan Smith walks into the club. Young Paris is dancing around with a big smile on his face. A dapper-looking man introduces himself to you as “Food God." One table over is Teyana Taylor looking sharp as a tack, chilling with her crew. Diplo walks into the club with Eric Andre and Emily Ratajkowski. Eric and Emily start making out in the VIP section. You try a few times to get a good photo of them kissing but kissing is awkward so the photos look awkward, too. Also, taking photos of people kissing is an awkward thing to do. Whoops. Ice Spice walks into the club and gets established at a table next to Laquan Smith’s booth. Ice Spice gets on the table and does an impromptu performance. She slays. You peer to your left and dancing in the crowd is none other than Lil Nas X. He is super friendly and dressed like a fuzzy rainbow. This all might sound like a weird dream born out of picking celebrities' names out of a hat — but this wasn’t a dream. This was my night at the LaQuan Smith NYFW FW23 after party.

Dion Lee NYFW After Party @ Boom Boom Room (2/10/23)

Fashion is culture and, at the Dion Lee NYFW FW23 after party at Boom Boom Room, culture turned up. The party celebrated Dion’s newest collection, one undoubtedly worthy of praise, following an epic runway show earlier in the day. There was a surprise guest performance by Azealia Bank,s who hopped up onto the bar and sang to the room filled with an absolutely stoked crowd. Everyone had their phones out to record the performance and capture a glimpse of Azealia as she rocked the room. The fashion world was treated to a very special night and Dion Lee re-confirmed his spot as a fashionista cool-guy favorite — a shining light within the New York fashion scene.

Acne Studios Loves Larry Stanton After Party @ The Hotel Chelsea (2/9/23)

Sometimes fashion is bigger than what you wear. Acne Studios, in partnership with Visual AIDS, hosted an exclusive exhibition of work by Larry Stanton, followed by an after party to celebrate his memory and accomplishments. The event was a respectable ode to Larry Stanton, who died of AIDS in 1984. Despite the somber circumstances on which the event was predicated, the atmosphere of the event was cheery and optimistic, serving as a celebration of fashion, art and the community we have amongst one another. With slick fits and knits, stripes and a dash of elegant sleaze, the Acne Studios crowd pulled up looking undoubtedly stylish while carrying a creative, street-inspired edge. Cocktails and champagne were flowing and chatter echoed throughout the venue as fashion industry creatives and models intermingled within the multi-room event space at The Hotel Chelsea. R.I.P. Larry Stanton — may his memory be a blessing.

Viktor & Rolf FLOWERBOMB Party @ Jeans (2/9/23)

Fashionistas, iconic style, couture galore, and flowers, flowers, flowers. Viktor & Rolf’s FLOWERBOMB party celebrated Emily Ratajkowski as the face of the fragrance. EmRata showed up in style — wearing a chic outfit with her hair done up in a manner that Aphrodite herself might have been jealous of. Everyone pulled up dressed to impress, with outfits that had all the Ts crossed — attention to detail was not spared. Partygoers were treated to DJ sets by Mona Matsuoka and Bambii while dancing between the two floors of the event, with the occasional stop at one of V&R’s fragrance discovery stations. Bright, flashing, flower-filled video installations brought the whole party together to create an overall immersive FLOWERBOMB experience.

The Lifionized: A "Grace" Release Party (2/4/23)

NYC got treated to the often taken-for-granted luxury that is typically only seen in the suburban and rural parts of America: A classic rock and roll house show. The crowd was treated to performances by both The Life and Stella Rose and The Dead Language. Both bands ripped legendary original tracks worthy of becoming part of NYC lore. Curtis Everett Pawley of The Life hit the audience deep in the nostalgia gut, granting us a taste of throwback bliss while also carving a musical path into the future of what the genre of rock can be. Stella Rose’s vocals and stage presence are equally worthy of praise and her guitarist, Ben Arauz, is easily one of the best shredders in the scene, creating a genuinely heart-pounding experience.

AF94's Valentine's Dance (2/2/23)

It’s not even Valentine’s day yet but with AF94, Halsey’s beauty brand, everyone is already celebrating love. This dance was straight out of a 1980s romantic comedy. Delicious small bites were passed around in excess and a table of treats, constantly refilled, gave all attendees something to feel sweet about. The evening had an absolutely wonderful guest list filled with beauty industry sweethearts and online style influencer heartthrobs. Balloons filled the ceiling and the open bar sported a generous menu of delicious concoctions. The analog photo booth was a big hit, sporting color photos printed via chemical processing, spitting out images of all the partygoers eager enough to brave the long line. The beauty crowd came through. A truly glamorous night.

MegSuperstarPrincess' "F List" Party @ Studio 151 (1/31/23)

Beloved downtown indie-sleaze grunge girl and major trendsetter MegSuperstarPrincess is the queen of the F List. She threw a release party for her new Film, titled F List, at Studio 151, a fun upstairs East Village venue known for its sushi nights and for having been the haunt for Rachel Rabbit White's iconic birthday party this past year. At Meg's F List party, the whole F list "celebrity" crew came through. The party was comprised of a solid crowd of people you may have heard of if you're into niche downtown club scene DJs, grifters, writers, fashionistas or the post-Dimes Square debutantes of tomorrow.