While, for instance, Aces & Eights LES helped raise $1,200 for UNH (United Neighborhood Houses)... they were still serving up the beer pong, as Michaelsen said, "that much maligned representation of jockdom and fratholiness you all despise (possibly because you didn’t make the Varsity team in high school? Don't worry, neither did I.)"
Later, he wrote: "I'd love to get ideas from the community as to how we could improve your quality of life. If anybody has anything constructive to say, I would love to hear it."
And now, starting Thursday...
Well, let's go right to the news release that Michaelsen sent me:
Aces & Eights at 34 Avenue A, brings back the glory days of East Village art with a fun exhibition of evocative, post-pop photographs by Curt Hoppe in a lively, lounge setting. Who could be more perfect for the bar’s first foray into serious art than the legendary Hoppe, who as a young artist was one of the most talked about stars of the notorious “New York / New Wave” show at PS1 which helped launch the careers of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe and others, back in 1981.
For most of the last twenty years, Hoppe has keapt a relatively low profile steering clear of downtown shenanigans for a lucrative career making exquisite photo-realist paintings of scenes in the Hamptons. Hoppe has always used his own photographs for his paintings. Recently turning his camera on city scenes, he has accumulated a profusion of exciting new images, and began thinking about exhibiting the photographs themselves. When Aces and Eights called, it seemed the perfect opportunity to give the new work its first public test.
Aces & Eights’ decision to show art was an outgrowth of the spirited exchanges on EV Grieve’s neighborhood blog between then general manager Tom Michaelsen and East Village residents concerned about the bar’s Upper-East-Side, preppy reputation. “Our style is sometimes a little different,” says Michaelsen, “but there is much about East Village culture that we share and we’re proud to be part of the community and its history.”
OK. I love Hoppe's work... and I see this as a positive step for the bar...I'm curious what other people think...