Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #36: Staten Island is Punk Island, Coney Island Mermaid Parade, Make Music New York + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 19, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Above is a photo taken on a recent early morning of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal Greenmarket - the twice weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays from 8am to 7pm) farmers market inside the Staten Island Ferry building. The market is located all the way downtown at 4 South Street Ferry, where commuters on their way to work or tourists on their way to a free Staten Island Ferry ride past the Statue of Liberty can pick up fresh fruit, live plants, veggies, and maple syrup from the local farms of Wilklow Orchards and Remsburger Maple Farm.

The farmers market also presents cooking demos, seasonal celebrations, and "family friendly activities," but this Saturday will be a very different vibe at this location as thousands of punk rock fans will throng through the open terminal space on their way to the Punk Island festival on Staten Island's Pier 1 where over 90 punk bands will perform on several outdoor stages from 10am til 10pm. That's just one of the many wonderful events happening in New York City in the week ahead and previewed here in the latest (#36) installment of the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog.

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Amoeblog Interview with Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp

Posted by Billyjam, June 12, 2013 10:47am | Post a Comment
Kalyn Heffernan and Wheelchair Sports Camp (WSC) are currently in the midst of their intense two-month, cross-country US tour opening for Flobotson which they'll have covered 10,000 miles by the time it ends up back in WSC's home state of Colorado on June 28th and 29th. The first leg of the tour the Denver CO act played San Francisco's Cafe Du Nord which is not wheelchair accessible - something Kalyn, who has the brittle-bone disability osteogenesis imperfecta and is in a wheelchair herself, was unaware of until it was brought to her attention right before the show date. Her solution? Do an impromptu free show outside the venue for those in wheelchairs who were denied denied access. "Since this tour a lot more disabled people have been coming to see me that I've never met which is awesome to me. But it seems like the most inaccessible places is where they want to come," said Kayln who weighs just over 50 pounds and is 3 1/2 feet tall and can easily be carried up and downstairs with her small wheelchair at the SF venue and other venues that are non-wheelchair accessible.

I talked with Kalyn via emails back last month at the time of the Bay Area WSC date for an Amoeblog. And last week (June 4th), when Wheelchair Sports Camp arrived in New York City for their gig at Santos Party House, I caught up with the rapper/producer who loves to smoke the weed, clearly loves life and music, and proudly sports a CRIP LIFE tattoo on her stomach. When we met up the upbeat good-humored Kalyn was wearing a black T-shirt with the bold pink lettered message "Blow up dolls, Not countries." The video interview was conducted with Kalyn just as she had arrived with her crew (including her longtime girlfriend and assistant on the road Jennah Black - pictured above) outside and round the corner from the downtown Chinatown district Manhattan club before their concert - which was off the hook.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #35: T.I.N.Y. (The Interactive New York), The Roots & Jim James, Shakespeare In The Park + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 11, 2013 06:36am | Post a Comment

Above and below are photos taken recently at the most unique T.I.N.Y. (The Interactive New York) large-scale, art installation that is on exhibit (for free) through this Sunday (June 16th) at the Marina at Pier 57 (Westside Highway at end of 15th Street on West side of Manhattan) where Garson Yu, the curator of this fun (and free) installation inside an old pier building, invites visitors to completely throw themselves into the interactive multi-media installation and to "engage in a sound hunt and discover your own story." Los Angeles resident Yu is the founder of yU+co: a design company specializing in film title design and motion graphics for film/TV and new media. He was born in Hong Kong but did live in New York about 20 years ago, where he began his art career, when the acclaimed video artist developed a love for the city and a keen appreciation of the sounds, sights and all the senses and feelings given by the streets of NYC and its intense subway system on which he bases this large scale art installation housed in a series of shipping containers.

I stopped by last weekend and joined the, surprisingly few, attendees taking advantage of this highly entertaining and completely free, vast interactive exhibit that is designed to interact with all of your senses as you walk into the big cavernous space surrounded by shipping containers - some 36 hanging above, others open for people to walk through and designed to resemble a subway car in length and scale with text and simple art, drawn by installation attendees (or “straphangers”) with the colored chalk provided, on its walls. Inside speakers pump out ambient sounds of the noises of the subway with city street sounds mixed in while video images of the city (all of which he meticulously filmed across the boroughs of NYC) flash by on the walls. Outside in the main opening videos are projected onto the containers on one side, and microphones are set up for folks to make loud "WOO" or "BOO" sounds into which, in turn, can speed up or slow the down the corresponding nearby video projections of city street and subway images (complete with sounds) - all done via the latest in interactive sound and motion technology.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #33: Red, Yellow, and Blue, NYC Popfest, Grandmaster Caz on NYC, The Boy vs Girl From NYC

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2013 11:52am | Post a Comment

Above is one of the three key components (the red colored portion) of the latest public art exhibits in ever changing public art installation space that is Madison Square Park (MSP) Red, Yellow and Blue is the simple yet descriptive title of this new exhibit that was unveiled earlier this month (following 2½ years of planning, conceiving, reworking, and production, plus an additional eleven days of installation) and will remain through September 8th in the park that is bordered by 23rd and 26th Streets, and Fifth and Madison Avenues in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. The ambitious work of sculptor/artist Orly Genger the Red, Yellow and Blue installation contains 1.4 million feet of layered, painted, and hand-knotted rope that are threaded through steel posts and drilled into the park's lawns to hold in place.

Of the three colors my favorite is the yellow (see pic right) since it is to my eyes the most natural. In fact when I first unexpectedly  encountered it -  stumbling upon the artwork earlier this week while walking through the park - at first glance thought it was a hedge or some large plants I was seeing. A traveling installation Red, Yellow and Blue will next travel to near Boston, MA after it finishes its run in NYC, when it takes up residency at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in October. More info on its current MSP exhibit.

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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, 5ptz.com).

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