Here in New York City this week the big happening is the United Nations General Assembly:General Debate of the 68th Session that takes place at the United Nations at 787 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017 and is being streamed via YouTube. Beyond the reports of what is happening at the newsworthy global conference inside the U.N. building, such as yesterday with both Obama and new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaking out for a resumption of stalled nuclear negotiations, outside in the streets of New York City the immediate meaning for everyday New Yorkers and tourists in town of the General Assembly is that traffic is screwed up on the East Side midtown and slowed down elsewhere across town. One friend of mine who foolishly took his car into Manhattan from Queens yesterday reported that just going 2 blocks took an hour in his attempt to get to the Queensboro Bridge with all the closures First Avenue is closed from 42nd Street up to 48th Street, and 44th, 45th and 46th streets are each closed to traffic between First and Second avenues . This means that for most of the city driving or taking taxis is not a good idea since those closures have a domino effect crosstown with gridlock everywhere. Good time to cycle or walk (weather if perfect this week here in NYC) or alternately take the subway. For more on the U.N. General Assembly click here.
Scheduled to coincide with the aforementioned U.N. General Assembly will be the big Global Citizen Festival on Saturday, Sept 28th at 4pm. The mission statement of the Global Poverty Project, who organize the event, is to help end extreme poverty on a global scale, listing additional focuses on health, education, and women's equality. According to organizers this year's festival is all about, "celebrating success and accelerating progress to a world without extreme poverty by the year 2030. Saturday night's big concert festival will take place on Central Park's Great Lawn with performances fromKings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, and Alicia Keys (who, with the beautiful Manhattan skyline backdrop, has to include "Empire State of Mind" in her set). The festival is expected to draw approximately 60,000 people. Those who have been involved in the cause have gotten tickets for free already (they stopped giving them out a week ago) but an online search will result in tickets being sold (scalped) for this "free ticketed event" if you don't mind paying anywhere from $70 to $700 for a seat. But odds are that free tickets will be handed out near the gate on the day as was the case last year according to reports. For more info on Global Citizen Festival, including how to audio/video stream it live on Saturday from 4pm (EST) onwards, click here.
Hip-hop dance fans in NYC this Friday will be heading to the all-ages Upper West Side Historical B-Boy/B-Girl/Boogie Summit at the Goddard Riverside Community Center from 7pm to 11pm where the host will be Zulu Native's Scott. Also in the house will be DJ Looie Loo + special guests plus a long list of invited judges (see accompanying flyer left for names). All ages. It's a free event but a $5 donation is requested by those who can afford it. Friday, Sept. 27th, 7pm at Goddard Riverside Community Center 647 Columbus Ave betw. 91st and 92nd streets. More info here.
Also happening this Friday evening, September 27th, is the kickoff of the weekend long DUMBO Arts Festival in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO (District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) that this week, along with tony Brooklyn Heights, got included in the top ten list of highest income neighborhoods of New York City along with 8 wealthy Manhattan districts. The festival, which will be happening at multiple DUMBO locations, will present three days of art at numerous open studios and galleries, plus lots of family-friendly performances and installations. Full details here.
And finally this week I leave you with a video of the latest public "mission" from round the streets of New York City by the ever ambitious pranksters at Improv Everywhere who recently set up a Carnegie Hall orchestra in a small city park in the middle of midtown Manhattan. As you will see in the video below the collaboration of Improv Everywhere with Carnegie Hall and Ensemble ACJW involved the formerly dressed up classical musicians with instruments in hand, setting up with chairs that they brought with them to the compact Greeley Square Park (Sixth Ave. between 32nd and 33rd streets). With further assistance from a few Improv Everywhere volunteers, whose willing participants now number in the thousands, an empty podium was placed in front of this unannounced orchestra with a sign on it that boldly read, “CONDUCT US" with all left to happen was for passing New Yorkers to take the bait, or offer of a lifetime. Then random New York natives and tourists at this busy midtown intersection took the challenge and inflected their own style of what they thought an orchestra conductor would do. Great idea and well executed!