Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #52: Sheep in NYC?, 5 Pointz R.I.P., CMJ Music Marathon, WFMU's RadioVision 2013

Posted by Billyjam, October 16, 2013 03:20pm | Post a Comment

I must admit I had to do a serious double take upon when, a few weeks ago, I first walked by the gas station on 10th Avenue at 24th Street in Manhattan's Chelsea District that I always walk by (see photos above and below) following been away from NYC for a just few weeks to witness sheep roaming in the hilly grass of where not long ago drivers pulled in to fill up their tanks with Unleaded. Damn! I thought to myself - How long have I actually been gone for this to unfold? Am I in some weird parallel science fiction universe? WTF!  Like a twisted futuristic scene from some post-apocalyptic New York City set, Sci Fi movie (think Will Smith and his dog roaming the deserted Manhattan streets in the 2007 film I Am Legend - sans the virus and the horror stuff) I immediately conjured up what the city that never sleeps might look like if humans deserted the island of Manhattan. This type of imagery is likely what the people behind this wonderful short-term art installation, whose all too short six-week run ends this Sunday October 20th, had hoped to trigger. 

The exhibit, which includes a total of 25  ‘Moutons’ made from epoxy stone and bronze, includes works by the artist from the years 1979 to 1996 and is described by curators as 
"Set in a surrealist landscape amidst the existing industrial gas station architecture, the sheep symbolize Lalanne’s mission to demystify art and capture its joie de vivre. ‘Moutons’ have become Lalanne’s most iconic work, embodying his very approach to art while commenting on the nature of art itself." Sheep Station is open through Sunday October 20th. It is free public space event located at 239 10th Ave., at 24th St. More information.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #51: Free Times Square Concert/CBGB Fest, John Lennon Art Exhibit, Banksy Whitewashed

Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2013 01:01pm | Post a Comment

A lot of really good stuff happening in New York City this week (where the autumn weather has finally arrived) including the big annual CBGB Music and Film Festival that kicked off last night and runs through Sunday (October 8-13) with the highlight being the big (free) concert in Times Square all day Saturday (10am to 7pm, Oct 12th) on three different stages will be performances from such artists as My Morning Jacket, Grizzly Bear, and the Wallflowers. The week long Festival, that just began last year, gives the long-running annual CMJ conference (coming up next week in New York) a run for its money. The six day event includes a wide variety of seminars and workshops, concerts and showcases by hundreds of new and established musical acts of all genres, plus a hundred film screenings including, most fittingly, a premiere screening of the brand new film about and titled CBGB, that Amoeba Music recently gave away Hollywood premiere screening tickets to, starring Alan Rickman and featuring a killer soundtrack that includes Dead Boys, MC5, Television, New York Dolls, Talking Heads, and Wayne County & The Electric Chairswas released yesterday and is directly available from Amoeba.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #50: Steely Dan's Week-Long Series, Government Shutdown's Impact On The Big Apple + More

Posted by Billyjam, October 2, 2013 11:03am | Post a Comment

This week in New York City the weather is just perfect: sunny, no rain or fog, temps in the upper seventies, and none of that typical overbearing summer humidity. Ideal weather to cycle round town and enjoy sights like the above one taken yesterday morning heading east towards Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village where the fountain, that is normally turned off, was on in full force. Meantime in the park itself people, including NYU students, tourists, and neighborhood residents, all seemed to be in a good mood taking in the glorious weather of the first day of October in New York City. Near the fountain several members of ZTA (Zeta Tau Alpha) busied themselves spreading the word on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by handing out pink ribbons to passers by and with drawing images and messages on the concrete park ground with colored chalk (see pic below).

Meantime a little further down the island of Manhattan on this fine first day of October the vibe was less happy as tourists who had traveled to Battery Park at the end of the island to take the boat over to the Statue Of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island were disappointed to learn that, due to the government shutdown, that the National Park Service had closed the famous landmark. An estimated 15,000 people visit the Statue Of Liberty everyday but not yesterday or today or for as long as the Government shutdown (now, October 2nd, in day two) lasts. The Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island were not the only destinations shut down in New York City. The Park Service also closed The National Museum of the American Indian, Federal Hall, and Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace.
 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #49: Global Citizen Festival, B-Boy/B-Girl Summit, Improv Everywhere's "Conduct Us" Mission + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 25, 2013 03:23pm | Post a Comment


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.

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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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