New York State of Mind Amoeblog #7: NYC's Rapid Road to Recovery, Grand Central Terminal, Fresh & Onlys in NYC + much more

Posted by Billyjam, November 7, 2012 06:19am | Post a Comment

Compared to this time last week when the New York State of Mind Post-Hurricane Sandy Blues was posted to the Amoeblog in the devastating couple of days following the unprecedented impact of the storm that hit the region with a vengeance and brought the city that never sleeps to a standstill, things are looking a lot better in New York City (albeit far from back-to-normal in all places, most notably in the hard hit Staten Island and the Rockaways section of Queens).

Now the majority of power has been restored in most parts of NYC and a large percentage of public transit service (about 85%) is back up and running. In most places, NYC is getting back on track as fast as it can. However, the fallout of Sandy will still be felt here for a quite some time, especially in places that need to rebuild and/or tackle the daunting task of major flood damage repair. Plus, there's the nor'easter / second storm coming this week. Despite all of this, New Yorkers have worked together and around the fallout of Sandy to get things running despite the obstacles presented to them.

Jay-Z has been heralded as a "guardian angel" by his neighbors after the rap mogul hooked up grateful folks by buying a generator to power 195 Hudson St., a building located in the TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal) part of downtown Manhattan in which he and wife Beyonce own a large, expensive unit. Then on Sunday, hundreds of the runners who had expected to be part of the huge New York City Marathon (which was canceled in the eleventh hour by Mayor Bloomberg) ran errands for those effected by Sandy by bringing food supplies and clothing, and hauling fallen trees and other debris in hard hit areas of Staten Island and other badly damaged regions of the five boroughs. 

Even though they had to shutter the theater for two nights last week and do some repairs for damage to their building by Halloween, the Metropolitan Opera (located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near West 62nd St. & Columbus Ave.) forged ahead and presented Thomas Ades’ operatic interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest in a new production that ironically used the opera house as a metaphor for the island in the storm.

Then on Thursday, just three nights after Sandy struck, the Assembly Theater on Clinton Street in the hard hit Lower East Side of Manhattan decided that the show would go on even without electricity when they invited theater goers to bring their own flashlights for a special benefit performance of their ongoing production Home/Sick, which runs through November 18th. The money taken at the door, based on whatever folks wished to pay/donate, went to a fund for hurricane victims. Besides donating funds to the Red Cross, who have been doing a great job in the disaster recovery process, there are numerous other charities and organizations working directly with Hurricane Sandy victims including CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund) who, along with its partners in the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, are committed to providing and connecting people to emergency relief and are working with artists affected by the storm.

Meanwhile, Long Island raised electronic musician Dan Deacon has announced that he will be donating 100% of the profits from his two upcoming NYC shows next week to both the Red Cross and Occupy Sandy. "I chose these two organizations because they both cover the entire affected region and are both helping in very different capacities. I thought it would be best to inform my fans so that if they were also feeling conflicted about raging and partying while all this shit is so fucked, that at least they would know that their ticket was going to help aid in the recovery," said the musician in a prepared statement earlier this week. Deacon plays the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on November 14th and the Bowery Ballroom in lower Manhattan on November 16th.

On this Thursday (Nov 8th), Shock G (Digital Underground) and Scarface (Geto Boys) will be among the hip-hop acts at the multimedia Art, Beats + Lyrics event at Terminal 5 on West 56th Street. Sponsored by liquor makers Gentleman Jack, the traveling art exhibition event (described as "an explosion of creativity and originality that infuses various mediums to produce a one night event that ignites the inner desire for innovation and freshness") will feature the work of 30+ visual artists and photographers. Peep a video of a past Arts, Beats + Lyrics event from Atlanta last year to get an idea of it all and click here for more info on this week's NYC event at Terminal 5, where the following night (Friday, Nov 9th) rockers The Tragically Hip will be doing a concert. Tix/info here.  

Over in Brooklyn this week, San Francisco (and Amoeba) favorites The Fresh & Onlys will be playing at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday, November 8th. The visiting Bay Area band, that was co-founded eight years ago by bassist Shayde Sartin and front-man (and accomplished solo artst/former hip-hopper) guitarist/singer Tim Cohen from Amoeba SF, have been honing their constantly evolving sound and lineup ever since.

The band has also been pretty prolific along the way, releasing a series of recordings on a bunch of different labels and their most recent full-length album Long Slow Dance, which dropped a couple of months ago on Mexican Summer/ADA to rave reviews.  For more on the band visit their Facebook page, their blogspot, or follow them on Twitter.  You can find their music here. The Williamsburg show is $12 advance tix or $14 at door. Concert info.

Fun "Carry On" (2012)


In their brand new video (above) for the song "Carry On" that was unveiled a couple of weeks ago New York-based indie pop band Fun go out on the (home)town for a night of partying and sold-out concerts from Terminal 5 to Grand Central Terminal in the video that was shot before Sandy hit. The day (Oct 24th) that they released the new video the band, who were the musical guests on Saturday Night Live over the weekend performing the song, also announced their new tour dates and tickets have been selling briskly.

Four weeks away, their NYC date (December 7th) is a radio station event (NY Z100’s Jingle Ball) with no tickets for sale but relatively easy to obtain if you listen to NY Z100. The video is for the third and latest single off the increasingly popular band's second studio album, Some Nights, that also featured the singles "We Are Young" and the title track. Directed by Anthony Mandler the documentary styled music video includes some great shots of the band inside Grand Central Terminal.

The Fisher King Grand Central Terminal Dance Scene(1991)

Grand Central Terminal
, which is captured in a rare near empty state in the two photos at top (by me) and bottom (by permission of Van Truong Photography) of this Amoeblog in the days following superstorm Sandy, is typically a bustling, mad-busy place. It is also well worth a leisurely visit if you are in New York City with time to wander round and take in its magnificent architecture and design.

Find out more about their audio tours here and Grand Central Terminal general info here. As well as the new Fun music video above, Grand Central Terminal has been utilized as a location for countless movies and TV shows including the 1991 comedy/drama The Fisher King starring Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams which featured the great dance scene as seen in the video clip above.

Relevant Tags

Fun (2), The Fisher King (1), New York State Of Mind (92), Van Truong Photography (1), Hurricane Sandy (3), Grand Central Terminal (6), Fresh & Onlys (10), Jay Z (7)