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.
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.
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.