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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #54: New Yorker Lou Reed, Halloween Parade, Monsters Of Rap, Clocktower Gallery + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 30, 2013 11:12am | Post a Comment
      

New York City is still in mourning over the loss of one of its most beloved, longtime citizens: Lou Reed who sadly passed on Sunday at age 71. The Velvet Underground co-founder represented New York City more than most artists ever did and referenced it repeatedly in his work over the years. Sure New York City changed a lot since Reed sang about "waiting for my man" and walking "on the wild side" but so too did Reed himself who in more recent years would be seen with his wife Laurie Anderson walking their small dog on the gentrified streets of lower Manhattan. In the interview clip above, from the 1990's documentary Blue In The Face, the influential singer/songwriter/guitarist talks about his affinity for the New York City and what it meant to him in comparison to other cities. Right is an impromptu piece of graffiti dedicated to the late artist, pictured in the East Village, that appeared within hours of the news of Reed's passing on Sunday.

For the past four decades Halloween in New York City has been a most distinctive, memorable annual event thanks the mega scale annual Halloween Parade in the Village that attracts hundreds of thousands of revelers every October 31st for the parade that anyone and everyone (provided they are in costume) can join in and travel uptown from Sixth Avenue and Spring in the Village at 7pm (that is when it starts but get there earlier).  This year’s Parade will be extra special and will include a total of 53 bands playing a myriad of musical styles, hundreds of puppets, dozens of dancers of various styles, and incredible floats and costumes and art creations. The weather forecast for tomorrow, Halloween night, is mild with a chance of showers, but compared to this time last year that is no big deal.  As you may recall last year the Parade had to be suffered an unprecedented last minute cancellation following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. As a result Last year the Parade was the first event cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Hence this year's Parade is a celebratory return Parade - one that will be honoring "NYC's superheroes" that the Parade organizers called: "the REAL ones — those folks who stepped up to help the city out of that disaster and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Transplant Team and Jeff Bratcher—longtime Parade volunteer—who donated a kidney to the Parade Director’s son;  and all those who have volunteered to marshal and animate giant puppets throughout the Parade’s long history and kept this humble arts organization going!" Enter the line-up of the Parade on 6th Ave. from the East and South between Canal and Spring. See Parade map above and for more parade info click here.
Among the many concerts happening Halloween night is the Monsters Of Rap showcase at the Hammerstein Ballroom with Jadakiss, French Montana, Juelz Santana and many more including the late great Jam Master Jay's young son DJ Get Live who will be doing a special turntable tribute to his late great legendary father. The Hammerstein is located at 311 West 34th Street between 8th and 9th Aves. Tickets are $65 and available at TicketMaster

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #48: 9/11 Anniversary, CBGB movie, New York City's Next Mayor

Posted by Billyjam, September 11, 2013 04:05pm | Post a Comment
Following yesterday's primaries New Yorkers moved closer to determining who might replace current three term NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in next month's election. Bill de Blasio, who was the most liberal Democrat in the race, racked up way more votes than any of his rivals in the Democratic primary yesterday which is significant in that the mayoral hopeful promised a totally different approach to city governing compared to the New York City of the past two decades under both Bloomberg and Rudolph W. Giuliani. His platform, which the average New Yorker can fully relate to, has been built on shrinking that increasing gap between New York's very rich and its poor, and on making sweeping changes to New York's long controversial aggressive police practices such as stop and frisk. In his campaign he personalized this issue by including his bi-racial, Afro wearing son Dante as an example of a target of racial profiling by NYPD under the current regime. In sharp contrast was the winner on the Republican side; Joseph J. Lhota whose campaign was built on a promise of continuing a tough, no-nonsense approach to both crime-fighting and city budgeting. In short Lhota would continue the tight reined  city governing of Bloomberg and Giuliani (maybe even more extreme) while de Blasio would  present a total departure and change in his running of the city. Either way it is going to be a very interesting election come November 5th.

Today, September 11th, in New York City is a most solemn day. Even a dozen full years after 9/11 New Yorkers still gristle at the thought of that devastating day when everyone across the city was somehow impacted by the tragedy that unfolded. To commemorate this twelve year anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil, when 3,000 died, there are numerous memorial events - some personal, some public - taking place around the city including, naturally, downtown Manhattan at the site of World Trade Center. Perhaps the most significant of all though is the  national campaign under way that asks people to take the day to pause and reflect on what happened. It is also to help build awareness for the memorial museum, to open next year after delays, devoted to what happened that day. In that end workers are busy in their efforts to get the The National September 11 Memorial & Museum finished and open by Spring 2014. In a recent public statement the museum/memorial's director of education and public programming is author Clifford Chanin, who penned the book The Stories They Tell: Artifacts from the National September 11 Memorial Museum, said that the museum will feature hundreds of artifacts. Each one of these will capture individual personal stories of those directly impacted by that fateful day in September 2001. Due to several factors including real estate disputes and the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy the memorial/museum project, which should have been open by this year's anniversary, got delayed. To raise both funds and awareness of the project a campaign has been launched that asks people to “Take a day to remember the day that changed us forever.” Today in both the general media (TV, newspapers, websites) and on social media sites. So expect to see/hear a lot more about this today on such websites as Facebook,  Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube that is also asking for minimal donations to go towards the staggering $700million price tag of the new museum/memorial.  More info here.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #47: End Of Summer Big Apple Photo Blog

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2013 06:06am | Post a Comment



For this photo special, end of summer New York State of Mind Amoeblog, I present a short series of photos taken around New York City over the past few months - in a summer that flew by way too fast. Of course the good weather does continue in NYC into this month and next - sometimes in late October you can have days with temps in the upper 80s. But, as of now, summer is officially over in New York City.  If you scroll your mouse icon over the photos here, such as the one above of Bryant Park the day after the final Monday night HBO movies on the lawn summer series ended, you can read text on the content of each respective image on this Amoeblog.






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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #46: Second Avenue Subway, Louis Armstrong House Museum, New York Public Library + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2013 04:55pm | Post a Comment


Above is a recent photo of the ongoing, long-term construction of the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) - the subway line that has been on-and-off again over several decades due to lack of funds. As of last year, SAS was back in construction mode with Phase I (consisting of two miles of tunnel and three stations) work underway, all underneath Second Avenue on Manhattan's East Side. According to the MTA, two contracts have been finished with two more to be completed  by the end of the year. More will follow over the next few years with a projected completion date of 2016. Fans of abandoned subway stations and never-completed ones should check out this map on the subject care of WNYC.

As the summer's official end quickly approaches, the deluge of free park concerts and other outdoor events begins to slow down with Labor Day weekend being the last run of most (but not all) park events. The two-decade strong tradition of Bryant Park Monday night movies summer series wound up its run on Monday of last week with (despite some light rainfall) a packed lawn of moviegoers assembled on the midtown public space to view ET.  Some other series are finishing this week including at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy where they exercise true democracy this week.  The Park Conservancy, along with their co-sponsors Syfyinvited the public to vote on the last film of the summer, which will screen tomorrow (August 29th) in the Brooklyn park.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #45: Afropunk Fest 2013, Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, VNova, MTV VMA's, Ken Fury + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2013 06:06am | Post a Comment

This weekend the two-day Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn promises to be not just the best line-up in the ten year history of the annual festival born out of the documentary of the same name that showcases the best of African American made music on the punk/alternative music side of things - but also one of the best events in NYC in the week ahead. And the festival that as well as music features films and food is totally free! It is also one of the most diverse lineups with more hip-hop related acts than in previous years.

This year's scheduled acts include Chuck D and DJ Lord, The Coup, Living Colour, Death, Saul Williams (right), The White Mandingos, Mykki Blanco, Jean Grae, Danny Brown, CX Kidtronik, Big Freedia, and many more as seen in posters above seen on the streets of Lower Manhattan earlier this week.  Afro Punk Fest 2013 happens in the Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn's Fort Greene (between Nassau St. and Park Ave., and Navy Street and N. Elliot Place) from noon to 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday - August 24th and 25th. No cover. All ages. More info.

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