Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #30: The Met Celebrates Punk Rock, 5 Pointz Celebrates Hip-Hop, WTC's Observatory Deck, + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2013 04:45pm | Post a Comment

Compared to Bay Area, the weather in NYC of late has been overall pretty crappy with some nasty rainy days like today: overcast, wet, showery with highs only hovering around the 60 degree mark. Yep, for spring coming into summer this is not the most desirable weather, but it is another needed reminder for anyone living in or visiting that it is always good to carry an umbrella with you anytime in NYC (summer or spring) because it can switch up from sunny to stormy in an instant. Last Saturday, when the weather was mostly nice, warm, and sunny, outdoor events included a big free hip-hop jam at the season re-opening (after the winter) of NYC graffiti mecca 5 Pointz (pictured above), which was simultaneously the kick-off of the all summer long, four-month hip-hop event accurately titled Celebrating 40 Years of Hip-Hop. Yes, believe it or not is now four full decades since that fateful day back in 1973 in the Boogie Down Bronx when DJ Kool Herc's block parties would kick-start the global music and cultural movement of today known as hip-hop. The always impressive, decade old 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center, which has been rumored to be facing eviction for some time now but reportedly is not in any danger for the next year, will continue its celebration of hip-hop between now and September 14th with most entertainment taking place on Saturdays (but note the area is open to public 24/7. Entertainers will include influential, legendary NY hip-hop DJ/producer Marley Marl spinning music and local emcees and beat-boxers holding informal battles - and, of course, lot and lots of graffiti art being done live. 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center is located near the E and 7 train stops at 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens; 317-219-2685, 5ptz.com).

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #27: Greenwich Village Pillow Fights, Manhattan Mad Men Party Drinks, and more

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment

Welcome to installment number 27 in the weekly Amoeblog report New York State of Mind direct from the Big Apple where events of the past week included the eighth annual Pillow Fight Day in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village near NYU on Saturday when hundreds of New Yorkers descended (with pillows under their arms) to partake in the goodhearted annual fun day that is simultaneously celebrated in other cities round the world. On Sunday evening at several bars and clubs around Manhattan, there were Mad Men themed costume and booze parties to celebrate the kick off of the new series of the popular AMC TV show. Dressed like Don Draper and company, fans gathered at places such as The Millesime at the Carlton Hotel on (where else but) Madison Ave. and The Carnegie Club (situated on 56th St. just behind Carnegie Hall), dressed in '60's chic and enjoying period-appropriate music and newly-invented retro-styled cocktails such as the Sterling Cooper Spritzer (Aperol + Grand Mariner + Veuve Clicquot Champagne + soda) and the Womanizer (bourbon + Galliano liqueur + grapefruit bitters) before and during the 9pm airing of the sixth season premiere of Mad Men. 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog # 26: Rap Quotes, Mary Lou's Lost Cat, Prohibition Music, Midtown Escape, Leonard Cohen +

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2013 12:24pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog in which I run down such things as Leonard Cohen taking Manhattan and other concerts and events around the five boroughs in the week ahead, including a free Saturday afternoon performance in Flushing, Queens by The Toomai String Quartet. I also report on Macy's exquisite South Asian themed floral garden (photos left, above, and below), which offers the perfect meditative escape for those who need a breather in busy midtown Manhattan. Also offered is a look at a hip-hop fanatic's cool homage to New York City-themed raps, plus the (futile?) search by ever-hopeful homeless New Yorker Mary Lou for her lost cat Simon.

What is most striking about the ongoing The Painted Garden: Macy's Flower Show, which effectively captures the landscapes of southeast Asia with lush displays of tropical flora and is on exhibit in a long wide tent set up in Herald Square (6th Ave & 34th Street) outside its flagship store, is how peaceful and meditative it is...provided you arrive early in the day (it opens at 10am) before the crowds arrive and get inside this greenhouse filled with gorgeous lush floral displays with Southeast Asian motifs, soothing water fountains, and a hypnotic soundtrack of traditional Indian flute music playing on the overhead speakers. Even though you are in hectic midtown Manhattan, you can forget that while inside this lovely space. I stopped by the other day when the wait to get in was only a few minutes and the cost: free. Note however that the flower show runs everyday from 10am to 9pm through Sunday, April 7th in Broadway Plaza, Herald Square outside Macy's.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #25: Northern Dispensary, Vampire Weekend, Nail Art, Coney Island, Lady Gaga Foundation +

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment

In this 25th installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I take a look at the new Vampire Weekend video, "Step," which has a Souls Of Mischief connection as well as other Bay Area references, the new Bronx graffiti indie film Gimme The Loot, a cool piece of public art by sculpture WIll Ryman that is constructed out of industrial nails, a look at Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation that rolled through Times Square last weekend, concerts in the Big Apple for the week ahead, and the interesting tale of a historic building in the high-priced Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Above is a photo taken yesterday of the historic Northern Dispensary building that is located in northern Greenwich Village. Originally, it was established by The City of New York in 1791 as a Dispensary for the treatment of the poor when it was located further south on the island of Manhattan in the neighborhood of City Hall. But as New York City rapidly grew, this current structure was established in 1824 and fully built seven years later in 1831 as a provincial branch to the north - hence named "Northern Dispensary."  The unusual Y-shaped building now sits in Waverly Place where Grove Street and Christopher Street intersect on its own little island of land. The photo lower left was taken of the building in 1885.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #24: A Tale of Two Nick Caves, Sigur Ros @ MSG, Blues for Smoke, Rakim & Raekwon, and more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment

       

 

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog report with an overview of a diverse mix of fun things from music and film to art happening in the Big Apple in the week ahead. Included in this latest Amoeblog report from New York City are such things as the music-inspired Blues for Smoke exhibit at the Whitney, the inspiring documentary You Don't Need Feet To Dance, the photo exhibit celebrating the centennial of the 1913 Armory Exhibition, concerts such as Sigur Rós at MSG, and the slightly confusing tale of two Nick Caves (one horsesuit related and one Bad Seeds related) happening at Grand Central and the Beacon Theater next week.

The fact that two high profile artists in different contemporary art fields with the exact same spelling of the name Nick Cave are performing in the same city on overlapping days is bound to cause confusion to some, so lets clear it up now and distinguish between the two Nicks. Think of it as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds vs. Nick Cave and the Herd of Soundsuit Horses. One is the well-known Australian musician/sometime actor Nick Cave we all know/love from the Birthday Party Bad Seeds, Grindermanetc. (more on him in NYC a little down further) while the other Nick Cave is the visual artist whose installation/performance piece entitled HEARD•NY (see above & left) will take up residency for a week starting Monday, March 25th inside Grand Central Terminal's main space as part of the historic New York transit hub's big 100 year anniversary celebration.

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