Eagle statue, Grand Central Terminal
Saturday starts Summer Streets in New York City. The next three Saturdays, no cars on Park Avenue from 7am to 1pm, between Brooklyn Bridge and E72nd. This is a view you can mostly only get on those days, the eagles overlooking Grand Central Terminal, with the Chrysler Bldg photobombing the whole scene.
In certain respects, much of what I’m saying about [Christopher] Williams at MOMA could apply to the Koons show at the Whitney, as well. Both artists glory in cultivating shocks—or, anyway, mild bemusements—of recognition, with pointed evocations of culture either low (Koons) or far out (Williams). The major gap—a chasm—between them is worldly. It has to do with disparate visions of, yes, happiness. Koons exalts a society that is defined and dominated by financial wealth, as flaunted by those who have it and presumably admired by those who don’t. Williams assumes and addresses people who would rather be rich in leisure time and energy to visit museums, read specialized books, and savor wayward discourses. Let a fifty-eight-million-dollar stainless-steel balloon dog that astounds the eye while benumbing the mind stand for the values of the first constituency. Have Williams’s murky photograph of a Renault sedan tipped on its side—referring to a factory site and evoking a barricade, from the political upheavals of 1968 in France—represent the knowingness of the second. One party buys and sells. The other talks and talks. The emptied middle that they bracket buzzes with possibilities for a truly satisfactory art, contingent on whether our time proves itself worthy of it.
(Via Sharp Focus: Christopher Williams’s Sophisticated Pictures, Newyorker.com)
John Lennon and Elton John, at Madison Sq Garden in 1974, covering The Beatles's (mostly-Paul McCartney) song, I Saw Her Standing There. The last song Lennon ever played on stage.
Well, my heart went boom
When I crossed that room
And I held her hand in mine
In a comic strip that ran from October 8th through the 24th of 1930, Mickey Mouse was left with a dilemma. Minnie had fallen for another man, er… rodent and apparently at the end of his rope and thinking that there is no hope left for him in the world decides to commit suicide. These excerpts from a much larger story is a testament to how different the world was back in the 1930′s. After all, if such a thing today was attempted with Mickey Mouse or any other popular cartoon character, it would be decried by every organization on Earth!
[Suicidal Mickey Mouse (or life-affirming, deepening on how you look at it), via messynessychic.com]
I am a dedicated reader and appreciator of your blog. I am also 21, have lived in the neighborhood for less than two years, and am, in the eyes of many, part of the East Village’s central problem. I have always wanted to voice my opinion on this matter, as it is one on which I feel very strongly, and such a feeling is only ever heightened after I read the many user comments on Grieve.
I recognize fully how the influx of young, yuppie college students and 20-somethings has dramatically altered the neighborhood, but I want to defend myself and say that while I can easily be grouped into this category (and I’m not arguing it — 21-year-old NYU student living in an over-priced apartment that still happens to be cheaper than living in an NYU dorm), I have found myself resenting this more and more.
Before I moved into an apartment (versus a dorm) in the East Village, I did my research. I investigated the shady and unlawful landlords, corrupt management companies to avoid, the best small businesses around the apartments I was considering, and the like. As an 11th Street resident, I protested 7-Eleven when it arrived, I devote all my business to the local deli beneath my apartment, and I agree that many things happening in this neighborhood regarding rent, landlords, what have you, are truly absurd.
However rambling this may seem, I just want to give a voice to those younger residents who consider themselves to be on the same page. We are not all the same — I don’t get belligerently drunk and hang off of fire escapes, I don’t scoff at the rent-stabilized tenants in my building, I don’t ignore my super and the other supers on the block. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I recognized immediately upon moving here that in order to make the most of the two years I’d be spending on this street, I would have to earn some respect by developing relationships with the people who’ve been here the longest and are truly residents of this neighborhood.
I also recognized that this is, in many ways, just how the growth of a city unfolds. My entire family grew up in a building on Christopher Street beginning in the 1940s, and they were priced out far before gentrification was a term being thrown around. While I did not live through the gentrification of this neighborhood, I can appreciate the good and bad it has done.
All I am trying to say in the end is that I want to enjoy and appreciate the East Village’s quirks and unique charm as much as those who have resided here for decades, not drunkenly puke all over them in the early hours of a Saturday morning.
11th Street Resident
The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are.-L. Frank Baum, author of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, calling for annihilation of native Americans in an editorial following the death of Sitting Bull in 1890 edition of the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer
From Beck’s ‘Record Club’ series where he and various other musicians perform and record covers for each song on another artist’s album (Songs of Leonard Cohen, Skip Spence’s OAR, Yanni Live at the Acropolis, etc.), all in one day and post the results on the Record Club site.
This is a nice cover of Velvet Underground’s I’ll Be Your Mirror
Please put down your hands
‘Cause I see you
[fwiw, i don’t know which musicians are playing on this song — there don’t seem to be any credits on the website. but the musicians who are participating in the overall record club project include thurston moore, jeff tweedy, giovanni ribisi (beck’s brother-in-law, iirc), nels kline, and many others whose faces i don’t recognize and whose signatures i can’t read.]