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238 East 14th Street
Bao Haus 1 Thai East Village

When we walked into Bao Haus one weekday afternoon and I commented on how crowded it was, Esteban, our photographer, confirmed for me that this is one happening spot. He has been several times during his NYU student career and says the steamed Taiwanese buns are great and the atmosphere “chill,” which works perfectly for him. While chatting with a staff member, I asked why they stay open until 3:30am on the weekends when they are not a bar or a fast food chain, and he responded, laughing, “A lot of drunk kids come here and we like to serve them at all hours.”

Bao Haus 2 Thai East Village
Bao Haus 1 Thai East Village
Bao Haus 3 Thai East Village

More places on 14th Street

Lost Gem
Babycastles Gallery 1 Event Spaces Art and Photography Galleries Workspaces Non Profit Organizations West Village

Babycastles Gallery

Babycastles, randomly named in honor of a Japanese pastry, is a gallery and community venue for video game designers. However, according to Todd Anderson, one of the members of the Babycastles collective, Babycastles is about more than just gaming. It is an “incubator” of fresh artistic thought, a place to go with unconventional ideas to be welcomed by individuals who can see those concepts into fruition without red tape and hefty price tags.Using his own story as a case study, Todd told me about how he moved to New York from Chicago in order to pursue digital poetry, a relatively new genre that plays with the interaction between technology and language (for example, using a keyboard to control the delivery of a poem in the same way a conductor guides an orchestra). Todd turned to Babycastles, inquired about hosting a monthly poetry event, and was met with great support. He found a home for his art, and has been invested in Babycastles ever since.Sharing a building with Hack Manhattan, Babycastles hosts a wide variety of events for all ages including concerts, lectures, game launches, and even yoga. The Babycastles team curates exhibitions that spotlight independent video game designers and define their work in the larger context of fine arts. Oftentimes, custom game cabinets are built to accommodate the works on display.Game creators and other artists are invited to apply for the Babycastles residency program, which allows them to take advantage of the bright, sunlit co-working space and receive inspiration from an artistic community where they can freely test their latest ideas. For an application to the program, check the website; new members are admitted regularly.