New York State of Mind Amoeblog #30: The Met Celebrates Punk Rock, 5 Pointz Celebrates Hip-Hop, WTC's Observatory Deck, + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2013 04:45pm | Post a Comment

Compared to Bay Area, the weather in NYC of late has been overall pretty crappy with some nasty rainy days like today: overcast, wet, showery with highs only hovering around the 60 degree mark. Yep, for spring coming into summer this is not the most desirable weather, but it is another needed reminder for anyone living in or visiting that it is always good to carry an umbrella with you anytime in NYC (summer or spring) because it can switch up from sunny to stormy in an instant. Last Saturday, when the weather was mostly nice, warm, and sunny, outdoor events included a big free hip-hop jam at the season re-opening (after the winter) of NYC graffiti mecca 5 Pointz (pictured above), which was simultaneously the kick-off of the all summer long, four-month hip-hop event accurately titled Celebrating 40 Years of Hip-Hop. Yes, believe it or not is now four full decades since that fateful day back in 1973 in the Boogie Down Bronx when DJ Kool Herc's block parties would kick-start the global music and cultural movement of today known as hip-hop. The always impressive, decade old 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center, which has been rumored to be facing eviction for some time now but reportedly is not in any danger for the next year, will continue its celebration of hip-hop between now and September 14th with most entertainment taking place on Saturdays (but note the area is open to public 24/7. Entertainers will include influential, legendary NY hip-hop DJ/producer Marley Marl spinning music and local emcees and beat-boxers holding informal battles - and, of course, lot and lots of graffiti art being done live. 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center is located near the E and 7 train stops at 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens; 317-219-2685,

Another big hip-hop event last weekend in New York City, that was previewed here on last week's NY State of Mind Amoeblog, was the 2013 NY DMC Regional Battle held at Stage 48 last Friday night. And the winner of the NYC battle was visiting SoCal DJ EtRoNiK who beat out NY DJ Dirty Digits (aka Dan Chaves) to become the NYC DMC champ of 2013.  DJ EtRoNiK, who hails from Pico Rivera, CA, also beat Brooklyn NY DJ Esquire to take the 2013 DMC Battle for US Supremacy title. The US DMC Finals will take place in NYC on August 3rd - more details closer to the event. The Boogie Back! party presented by Benny Soto and Miss Jen Lyon with the DJ selecting the soul/funk/disco/boogie records being none other than Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest kicked off its one month long weekly series last night, Tuesday May 7th, and will happen every Tuesday night of the month of May here forth. Boogie Back! takes place downtown at Cielo in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan at 18 Little West 12th Street. Doors 10pm and party goes til 3:30am with chicken being served between 10pm and 11pm. More general info here. Tix here.

Salt N Pepa's here? No just a NYC "restaurant" that covers all its ethnic food bases so as not to miss out on any target market. American, Spanish, Indian, Pakistani, pizza... you name it, the Salt & Pepper's got it covered. Good for a filling inexpensive feed if you are not seeking health food. Located on 33rd St. near 7th Avenue not far from Madison Square Garden.

 Punk at the Met? Yes indeedy: opening tomorrow, Thursday May 9th, at the staid, somewhat stuffy uptown Metropolitan Museum of Art will be an exhibit on the downtown anarchy fueled cultural movement of the 70's. Titled Punk: Chaos to Couture and curated by the the Costume Institute the exhibit will focus more on the clothes and fashion and design spectrum of early punk.  With a balanced spotlight on both UK and US punk - namely NYC and London in the years 1974 to 1979 - the goal of the exhibit is to attempt to show the parallel between certain single-minded designers and the predominant do-it-yourself aesthetic of the punk rock movement. Not surprisingly already, even before it has opened, news of the exhibit has many skeptical old school diehard punkers rolling their eyes in cynical disapproval.

Items on exhibit will an original Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren parachute suit. There will also be a lot of newer fashions inspired by (ripping off?) the original punk styles. One particular interesting item to be displayed (and funny to think it will be at the posh uptown museum) is the heavily graffitied and stickered toilet at defunct downtown NYC punk mecca CBGB which has been carefully recreated here by artist Justin Lowe to look exactly like the original. There is also one display that reportedly is filled with vacuum-packed trash of such items as the heads of dolls, used syringes, and old cassette tapes. Punk: Chaos to Couture runs through August 14th. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the largest art museum in the world, is located right beside Central Park on the East Side of Manhattan: 1000 5th Ave  New York, NY 10028. It is open everyday except Monday and while suggested donation is $25 it is only "suggested" so you can pay what you can afford - IE $3 if you wish despite the nasty look you will likely receive from the cashier. More MET info here

An excited topic of discussion of the past month or so here in New York has been about the anticipation for the welcome return of the World Trade Center. This conversation has been fueled by the recently unveiled mind blowing view from the (almost completed) new World Trade Center's observatory deck that is perched high up atop NYC's tallest building in the historic location of the 9/11 attack. One World Observatory will not open until 2015 but when it does the building, which is 1776 feet high with a mere one minute elevator ride up to the top 101 floors up, will offer some amazing views of New York and New Jersey like the one below.

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New York City (101), New York State Of Mind (92), Hip-hop (209), New York (57), Punk Rock (15)