Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #27: Greenwich Village Pillow Fights, Manhattan Mad Men Party Drinks, and more

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment

Welcome to installment number 27 in the weekly Amoeblog report New York State of Mind direct from the Big Apple where events of the past week included the eighth annual Pillow Fight Day in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village near NYU on Saturday when hundreds of New Yorkers descended (with pillows under their arms) to partake in the goodhearted annual fun day that is simultaneously celebrated in other cities round the world. On Sunday evening at several bars and clubs around Manhattan, there were Mad Men themed costume and booze parties to celebrate the kick off of the new series of the popular AMC TV show. Dressed like Don Draper and company, fans gathered at places such as The Millesime at the Carlton Hotel on (where else but) Madison Ave. and The Carnegie Club (situated on 56th St. just behind Carnegie Hall), dressed in '60's chic and enjoying period-appropriate music and newly-invented retro-styled cocktails such as the Sterling Cooper Spritzer (Aperol + Grand Mariner + Veuve Clicquot Champagne + soda) and the Womanizer (bourbon + Galliano liqueur + grapefruit bitters) before and during the 9pm airing of the sixth season premiere of Mad Men. 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog # 26: Rap Quotes, Mary Lou's Lost Cat, Prohibition Music, Midtown Escape, Leonard Cohen +

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2013 12:24pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog in which I run down such things as Leonard Cohen taking Manhattan and other concerts and events around the five boroughs in the week ahead, including a free Saturday afternoon performance in Flushing, Queens by The Toomai String Quartet. I also report on Macy's exquisite South Asian themed floral garden (photos left, above, and below), which offers the perfect meditative escape for those who need a breather in busy midtown Manhattan. Also offered is a look at a hip-hop fanatic's cool homage to New York City-themed raps, plus the (futile?) search by ever-hopeful homeless New Yorker Mary Lou for her lost cat Simon.

What is most striking about the ongoing The Painted Garden: Macy's Flower Show, which effectively captures the landscapes of southeast Asia with lush displays of tropical flora and is on exhibit in a long wide tent set up in Herald Square (6th Ave & 34th Street) outside its flagship store, is how peaceful and meditative it is...provided you arrive early in the day (it opens at 10am) before the crowds arrive and get inside this greenhouse filled with gorgeous lush floral displays with Southeast Asian motifs, soothing water fountains, and a hypnotic soundtrack of traditional Indian flute music playing on the overhead speakers. Even though you are in hectic midtown Manhattan, you can forget that while inside this lovely space. I stopped by the other day when the wait to get in was only a few minutes and the cost: free. Note however that the flower show runs everyday from 10am to 9pm through Sunday, April 7th in Broadway Plaza, Herald Square outside Macy's.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #25: Northern Dispensary, Vampire Weekend, Nail Art, Coney Island, Lady Gaga Foundation +

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment

In this 25th installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I take a look at the new Vampire Weekend video, "Step," which has a Souls Of Mischief connection as well as other Bay Area references, the new Bronx graffiti indie film Gimme The Loot, a cool piece of public art by sculpture WIll Ryman that is constructed out of industrial nails, a look at Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation that rolled through Times Square last weekend, concerts in the Big Apple for the week ahead, and the interesting tale of a historic building in the high-priced Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Above is a photo taken yesterday of the historic Northern Dispensary building that is located in northern Greenwich Village. Originally, it was established by The City of New York in 1791 as a Dispensary for the treatment of the poor when it was located further south on the island of Manhattan in the neighborhood of City Hall. But as New York City rapidly grew, this current structure was established in 1824 and fully built seven years later in 1831 as a provincial branch to the north - hence named "Northern Dispensary."  The unusual Y-shaped building now sits in Waverly Place where Grove Street and Christopher Street intersect on its own little island of land. The photo lower left was taken of the building in 1885.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #24: A Tale of Two Nick Caves, Sigur Ros @ MSG, Blues for Smoke, Rakim & Raekwon, and more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment

       

 

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog report with an overview of a diverse mix of fun things from music and film to art happening in the Big Apple in the week ahead. Included in this latest Amoeblog report from New York City are such things as the music-inspired Blues for Smoke exhibit at the Whitney, the inspiring documentary You Don't Need Feet To Dance, the photo exhibit celebrating the centennial of the 1913 Armory Exhibition, concerts such as Sigur Rós at MSG, and the slightly confusing tale of two Nick Caves (one horsesuit related and one Bad Seeds related) happening at Grand Central and the Beacon Theater next week.

The fact that two high profile artists in different contemporary art fields with the exact same spelling of the name Nick Cave are performing in the same city on overlapping days is bound to cause confusion to some, so lets clear it up now and distinguish between the two Nicks. Think of it as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds vs. Nick Cave and the Herd of Soundsuit Horses. One is the well-known Australian musician/sometime actor Nick Cave we all know/love from the Birthday Party Bad Seeds, Grindermanetc. (more on him in NYC a little down further) while the other Nick Cave is the visual artist whose installation/performance piece entitled HEARD•NY (see above & left) will take up residency for a week starting Monday, March 25th inside Grand Central Terminal's main space as part of the historic New York transit hub's big 100 year anniversary celebration.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #21: Deep Cuts Record Store/Barber Shop, The Return of NY Hip-Hop, V-Day in NYC, Concerts + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2013 04:02pm | Post a Comment


In this week's New York State of Mind Amoeblog is a preview from the forthcoming XXL magazine on the return of New York hip-hop, a review of a unique new record store/barber shop  Deep Cuts at the Silent Barn in Bushwick Brooklyn, plus a novel, budget conscious, way to celebrating Valentines Day in New York City, as well as a righteous rewarding way to participate in V-Day's  One Billion Rising in NYC,  plus concerts picks and happenings for the week ahead.

Concerts include gospel great Mavis Staples (pictured right) on Feb. 14th as part of the American Songbook series in the Allen Room, Jazz At Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall at Broadway at 62th Street. 8pm show. More info 212 721-6500 and at AmercianSongbook. Also on Feb 14th (Valentine's Day) soul singer Freddie Jackson plays BB King's on 42nd Street in the Times Square area. More info. On Friday, Feb 15th heavy metal masters Meshuggah headline a bill at Roseland Ballroom on W 52nd near 8th Avenue with both Animals As Leaders and Intronaut opening. Tickets and info. Big Head Todd & The Monsters play Irving Plaza on Saturday, Feb 16th. More info. Longtime homegrown hip-hop acts M.O.P. and Smif-N-Wessun, both from Brooklyn, team up to play a show at the Highline Ballroom at 431 West 16th Street in the Chelsea district on Sunday Feb 17th. More info.
On Friday and Saturday (Feb 15 & 16) in celebration of Black History Month 2013 Reg E Gaines will present three performances of his multimedia one-man show The Last Celebrity  which is billed as a "non-linear look at Reg’s accidental brush with fame and his journey from obscure street poet to writer of the Tony Award winning musical, Bring in da Noise/Bring in da Funk." For each of his three performances (two on Saturday and one on Friday) he will have a different opening act. For the 7pm Friday show NJ to the Bay to NY artist Azeem will do a performance of his acclaimed one man show Rude. Technically it is not a New York event since it happens across the river over in Jersey City at Art House Productions at 1 McWilliams Place. But Jersey City is only a five minute PATH train ride from WTC station in Lower Manhattan. Tickets are $10 and you can buy them here.

"New York is back" - that's the word according to New York City based Harris Publications hip-hop magazine XXL who, in celebration of this proclamation, feature on the cover of their brand new (March/April) issue both Harlem’s A$AP Rocky and The Bronx’s French Montana in both solo covers and the joint cover (left). These two newcomer NYC rap stars, "are sure to be two of 2013’s most celebrated MCs" write XXL's editors. A$AP Rocky’s debut album (as distinct from his mixtapes), LONG.LIVE.A$AP, debuted at No. 1 on the Amoeba chart and on Billboard 200 upon its release last month. Meanwhile fellow NY rapper French Montana's debut disc, Excuse My French, will drop on April 16th and is expected to do extremely well. In the new XXL issue, which hits stands nationwide on February 19th, both artists give intimate in-depth interviews with Rocky talking about such things as his former drug dealing days and the recent death of his father, and Montana discussing such things as his relationship with 50 Cent and his feelings on that almost deadly day he was shot in the head.

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