The talented aerosol artists / muralists, whose vibrant colorful work adorned the walls of the recently displaced (evicted) 5POINTZ graffiti arts mecca in Long Island City (LIC) Queens to make way for the impending construction of luxury condos, were not the only victims of the late 2013 shutdown of the globally revered outdoor public arts space. The long-running, local, non-profit, underground arts organization LP (Local Project Arts Space), who were housed inside the Long Island City 5POINTZ complex, were also unceremoniously evicted. Luckily they found a new home just several blocks away but now they have the challenge of meeting the higher rents in this once run-down industrial section of Queens which, like so much of New York City, is undergoing a gentrification makeover - read: driving out the artists and working folks who can no longer afford to exist there.
In the case of LP whose mission statement has always been to provide local artists a platform to show their work, under the shrewd guidance of its Chilean born director Carolina Penafiel (see Amoeblog interview above), it has come up with creative ways to pay the rent and exist (subsist?) in its new home on 44th Road. These include preparing to sublet out some of its space as small office cubicles and also, in the short-term to cover the rent for the immediate two months, a 30-day Kickstarter campaign that will end on July 12th. Tied into that campaign this Friday, June 27th 2014, they will have a sign-up donation station for visitors to contribute to the organization (in turn they get a brick in the wall with their name engraved on it), as part of a photography art show entitled The Bad, The Good, The Beautiful, The Ugly Pt 2. There will also be spoken word artists and DJs including myself (doing a live WFMU broadcast) on Friday evening. For more info on LP and this Friday's exhibit visit their website, and click link for more info on their current Buy-A-Brick Kickstarter campaign and/or peep video below.
This week is a good time to be in New York City with a bevvy of wonderful events taking place including the once endangered, wonderfully flamboyant annual Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade which happens Saturday (June 21) at the beachside Brooklyn district (take the F train to the last stop). The above three hour video, care of TradingPhotos.com, of last year's parade will give you an idea of what to expect at the giant scale art parade with burlesque and vaudeville event. More info.
Meanwhile NYC's Pride Week (June 24-29, kicks off with a family night, free screening of “The Wizard of Oz” in Lower Manhattan at Hudson River Park’s Pier 46. For full details on the event packed Pride Week, that concludes with a parade and dance party headlined by Demi Lovato, visit the NYC Pride website .
There are two full days left to Williamsburg's Northside Festival which is being described as Brooklyn’s answer to South by Southwest - only in its formative days, back before big megastars headed to Austin and it was just underground unknown bands. Comparatively the Northside Festival is much more modest in scale and content with approximately 400 up-and-coming (mostly local) bands of different genres including Baked and Ava Luna scheduled for the week long music and film festival at various venues that ends tomorrow (Thursday June 19th) night. Like SxSW there will also be panels and speakers including the likes of Jon Steinberg of BuzzFeed. For exact show/event details and tickets click here.
Boot Camp Clik "Trading Places" - The legendary BK crew throw a free BBQ/concert tomorrow
Yesterday (June 3rd) was the official launch of this season's annual citywide park concert series SummerStage with a free show by Ty Dolla $ign at Red Hook Park in Brooklyn. The series continues this evening at the same location where Mark McGuire, Marissa Nadler, and Delicate Steve all perform (again for free) at 7:00pm. An excellent triple bill this show is worth it just to check out Mark McGuire alone who plays an array of instruments and musical styles that include mandolin, drum machines, guitars (electric and acoustic), and a Talkbox as witnessed on the former Emeralds member's latest solo album Along the Way whose sound Amoeba.com likened to "early New Age—think Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno." More info.
Greetings from New York City where right now am in the Chelsea District on 25th Street down the block from where the production crew trucks from Law & Order are setting up for a shoot that will run through tonight. As I walked by the shoot, I half-expected to hear that L&O signature doom doom sound effect emit from the set. According to one tech guy I talked to briefly, the television show's film crew are "hoping it won't rain again." That's a valid concern since, over the past week here in NYC, we've been enduring a series of thunderstorms (plus humidity). In fact, the heavy rainstorms over the Memorial Day weekend disrupted a lot of planned outdoor events, which was a bummer for New Yorkers and visitors, including the 1500 sailors in town for Fleet Week. But weather forecasters predict good weather to arrive with June, just round the corner.
Otherwise, things are pretty good in NYC: a recently released report says that NYPD's stop and frisk incidents under the new mayor are down a whopping 89%. This is good, but from what I've seen round town, random stops of cyclists seems to be on the increase. Alex Baldwin's recent national news-grabbing arrest for riding his bike the wrong way on a one-way street was just one of many citations and arrests made by busy NYPD on cyclists in the past month. Meanwhile CitiBike - the Manhattan bicyle sharing program that boasts 6,000 blue bikes at 330 docking stations from 59th Street all the way downtown - just celebrated its one year anniversary yesterday and, despite a few problems that are all being worked on including budgetary ones and keeping up with demand, is doing real well.