Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #83: CitiBike One Year Anniversary, World Science Festival, WFMU Record Fair, NYC Film Festivals + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2014 11:53am | Post a Comment


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.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #82: Memorial Day, Governors Island, Top Gun on the Intrepid, Farewell East Village Radio

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2014 01:26pm | Post a Comment


After one of the seemingly longest and most brutal (weather-wise) winters, New Yorkers are more than ready for Memorial Day and what it signifies: the beginning of the summer season. Traditionally this time of year in New York is when numerous events begin for the summer season. This weekend that will include the wonderful 172 acre public open park space Governors Island. A true oasis amidst the craziness of New York City, Governors Island offers the perfect one-day mini-vacation even though it is only a mere half mile or ten minute ferry boat ride from the lower tip of Manhattan. It reopens Saturday (May 24th) for the 2014 summer season but, unlike in previous years when it was only open weekends, this island of fun will be open seven days a week this summer. Furthermore, the park will now offers an additional 30 acres of space for the public to enjoy.

Governors Island amenities include sporting facilities, picnic areas, old buildings to view or explore, and lots of art on exhibit...and this is all free to see and do. There are even have bike rentals that are free at certain times (free weekday mornings for one hour between 10 a.m.and noon) and at other times moderately price), but you can always bring your own bike over on the ferry. Similarly entrance to the island park, a former military base and home to the US Army and Coast Guard that first opened to the public nine summers ago, is completely free. The ferry ride (formerly free) over from nearby the Staten Island Ferry Building is now just a minimal fee of $2 round-trip. There are lots of concerts and music events on the island too. For full info on Governors Island summer schedule and general info click here.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #81: The Dream House, CASH Music Summit, DMC NYC Part II, Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2014 06:55am | Post a Comment

Checked out legendary drone sound installation art space The Dream House in TriBeCa (pictured above) last weekend and it was amazing. Luckily I got to check it out when I did since the long running space is about to temporarily close again this Sunday (May 18th) before taking a break until its next (22nd season) in mid September.  A long running collaborative "Sound and Light Environment" piece, that dates back to 1993, by sound artist/composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela the Dream House is presented by the MELA Foundation. There at 275 Church Street there is a non descript door with no sign but just a buzzer that will get you inside and up the long steep flight of stairs to the third floor exhibit  - a floor below where the minimalist exhibits' creators live. Luckily too since any other tenant would surely not wish to live above such a wall (floor?) of sound which is one long continuous hypnotic humming single frequency drone care of giant speaker stacks in the long purple light fused room that overlooks Church Street looking up towards Canal. The shaggy carpeted floor is strewn with pillows to lay down and relax on and get the best effects of the drone. The guy at the door suggested moving your head around to get alternate soothing effects of the loud (but not deafening) throbbing drone. For some attendees the experience is a religious like one that transcends visitors beyond this lower Manhattan space.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #80: WTC BASE Jumpers, F Train's F Grade, Bob Dylan Art Show, Slick Rick + Other Concerts

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2014 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Just released video of Marko Markovich's BASE Jump off the 1 WTC (Freedom Tower)
 3 am on September 30, 2013. Yesterday Markovich and his fellow jumpers were in court


Above is a brand new video, posted to YouTube a couple of days ago, of the controversial NYC BASE jump in the wee hours of September 30th last from the Freedom Tower at the location of the World Trade Center. This latest video was take from the point of view (head cam) of jumper Marko Markovich who was the first of the three base jumpers to parachute from the 1,776-foot-tall building before getting arrested for the daredevil stunt - but not at the time of the incident, only in recent weeks when the first video of the jump was uploaded to YouTube. This second video, which is much longer than the previous one posted, captures both the amazing view from so high up above Downtown Manhattan floating downwards as well as the nervous anticipation by the 27 year old Markovich and his fellow jumpers. In the video you can hear the three jumpers (who were all arrested along with their lookout person) say how they hope they won't end up in the local NYPD Precinct arrested for felony charges. Unfortunately for them the posting of that first video in late March was exactly what led to their arrest on felony charges. Meanwhile Monday's posting by the jumpers of this second video to YouTube, which asked viewers to donate to their legal fund and to help make BASE jumping legal, was a strategic one since the following day (yesterday May 6th) all four would be in court on charges of burglary, reckless endangerment, and jumping from a structure - that could result in them serving some serious time behind bars. They all pleaded not guilty with their lawyer stating that his hope that the charges would be reduced from felony to a misdemeanor. The case continues in six weeks when they all return to court.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #79: Red Bull Music Academy Festival NYC, Bike Month, Aerial NYC, Concerts + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 30, 2014 03:06pm | Post a Comment


You gotta just love the above aerial-view shot video of New York City that, in a mere two minutes, offers a remarkable overview (literally), utilizing the assistance of a drone, of the Big Apple and a real sense of its majestic beauty and vastness. Made by aerial photographer Randy Scott Slavin and perfectly synced to the soundtrack of RL Grime & What So Not's song "Tell Me" the engaging short-but-powerful video, that was published a couple of weeks ago via Vimeo, is the next best thing to taking a helicopter ride around Manhattan as it takes in such vistas as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Highline, and Washington Square Park. Speaking of visiting New York City - now and for the next month is a good time to do so before both the weather gets too hot and before prices of flights start to go up. 

While the non-stop rain we have been enduring all day today here in New York City continues through tomorrow (May 1st) with an 80% chance of precipitation, come Friday sunshine and nice temps will be ushered in and forecast to remain with us in the Big Apple for most of the rest of the month of May. And that's good news since May in NY is traditionally the month when everything and everyone seems to shift from indoors to outdoors with lots of activities taking place such as the annual AIDS Walk NYC that happens on Sunday May 18th and benefits over 40 AIDS service organizations in NY, NJ, and CT and, as of today April 30th, has already raised over $2million for the cause.  See route map here, and for more info and how to get involved click here.

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