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Penn Badgley, Zoe Kravitz, and Others ‘Occupy’ The Bowery Hotel Tonight - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Penn Badgley, Zoe Kravitz, and Others ‘Occupy’ The Bowery Hotel Tonight


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GemmaScott Lynch The Bowery Hotel’s restaurant, Gemma.

The Bowery Hotel, where the accommodations are a few steps up from the tents of Zuccotti Park and the room rates aren’t exactly 99%-friendly, might not be the first place where you’d expect an Occupy Wall Street event to take place. But tonight, East Village-based author Daniel Pinchbeck will team up with Penn Badgley (the actor best known for his role in “Gossip Girl”), Zoe Kravitz (the actress, singer, and model who is daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet), and several other bold-face names to host an evening of music and discussion at the hotel, to coincide with Occupy’s latest “Day of Action.”

During a conference call with Aaron Stern, a West Village-based producer of music- and film-industry events who is helping to stage tonight’s salon, Mr. Pinchbeck told The Local that he had written about Occupy Wall Street on his Website, and had attended some of the marches and general assemblies; but he and his fellow hosts had remained mostly “on the periphery” of the movement.

Mr. Pinchbeck said that he hoped to “broaden the discussions to other social groups and sectors,” adding: “What Occupy has opened up is an extraordinary level of debate around economic and social justice and the direction of our society, and it’s important that people who have leverage in different fields understand why this debate needs to take place and what’s at stake.”

The event, he said, would combine live music and DJ sets with a panel discussion bringing together Mr. Badgley, Ms. Kravitz, television personality Alexa Chung, and others from the host committee, which includes artist Chloe Cockburn, model Nina de Raadt, actor Raviv Ullman, and actress and musician Tennessee Thomas. The panel will also incorporate a member of Occupy Wall Street’s finance committee as well as Greg Mitchell of The Nation.

“By presenting this material in a certain context,” said Mr. Pinchbeck, “it makes it more palatable for many people who haven’t yet taken the time to think about these issues or have only thought about them in a denigrating or eye-rolling way.”

But why stage the discussion and performances at the chic Bowery Hotel, as an R.S.V.P.-only affair?

Mr. Stern said that Eric Goode, an owner of the hotel, was kind enough to donate what Mr. Pinchbeck described as an “incredibly huge room.”

“You can only do a limited amount of things,” said Mr. Pinchbeck. “We’re not doing a Central Park concert – we have a space that has a limited capacity and part of our concept for the event was to make it a town hall meeting for the various communities that the panelists know and represent.”

Mr. Pinchbeck, whose publishing company Evolver Editions has released a pair of books touching on themes of the Occupy Wall Street movement (“Sacred Economics” by Charles Einstein and “What Comes After Money?”, a collections of essays from the Website), said that this would likely be the first of similar events: “This idea of bringing a combination of party ambiance with musicians and also a time to discuss and reflect on something more serious could be an interesting model.”