“demarcates a site of police hostility and racial profiling that targets “suspicious” youths …. the ghost-like absence of a body in Hammon’s piece recalls lynching and the memory of its victims. In light of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies, the intensely controversial themes presented in The Hood remain equally relevant today as they were in 1993″.
…”equally relevant” is unfortunately sad and true. the NYPD has carried out somewhere near 5 MILLION stop-and-frisks (!?). in the current class-action suit over this policy, “New York State Senator Eric Adams said on the record that he heard Commissioner Kelly tell then-Governor David Paterson and a room of other lawmakers that stop and frisk targets minorities because “he wanted to instill fear in them that any time they leave their homes they could be targeted by police.” [gawker]
the LA riots were in 1992. 1993 was 20 years ago – how far have we come on this issue? with the 5 million+ who have been profiled in NYC alone, injunctions in Oakland, the deaths of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and so many uncounted others who did nothing but “look suspicious”, and the speed of proliferation of other institutionalized forms of racism, this simple piece of a hood hanging on the wall almost made me cry in anger and shame.
there were a lot of other really political and emotional pieces in the show, including one that was just a square painted on a wall – about which you might ask “how the hell is that art?” - and maybe it isn’t – but the color of the square painted on the wall was the memory of the color of the skintone of someone loved who had died of AIDS. so simple. so wrenching.
def see the exhibit if you can make it there.
Filed in art, politics and news | Tagged with #occupyart, NYC | Comment (0)
mom got here late thursday night
-her first visit to NYC -
and to the Met
and then times square (nothingtoseethere)
saturday we went to battery park to glimpse
the Statue of Liberty,
which you can’t get to b/c of Hurricane Sandy damage
and passed by the 9/11 memorial but did not go in
and had donuts in zuccotti park
and then hopped over to DUMBO to see
the Wild Bride at St. Ann’s Warehouse , which we liked and would recommend
and later that evening after mom went to sleep we met up with another visiting SF friend and had way too much to drink
and then sunday morning we walked around brooklyn because it was cold but sunny and warmer and dryer than where she’s from
and then she left.
way too short, but she’s a prof and has to teach and our breaks were different weeks.
so Friday i went to the Met and Saturday i went to the theatre and sunday afternoon we went to some LES galleries and today i went to the MoMa and now i want to continue this art run for the rest of the week, which is my spring break, but doesn’t feel like it because it’s neither spring nor any real break.
wood cabinets and leather couches and a woodstove and a small library and candlelight and bourbon cocktails brought to you by waitresses who are really good at their jobs, just like old times. last night we sat in the back room of the delightful french restaurant, and i took the anthology of poetry off the shelf and read this to j&j.
Granted, we die for good.
Life, then, is largely a thing
Of happens to like, not should.
And that, too, granted, why
Do I happen to like red bush,
Grey grass and green-gray sky?
What else remains? But red,
Gray, green, why those of all?
That is not what I said:
Not those of all. But those.
One likes what one happens to like.
One likes the way red grows.
It cannot matter at all.
Happens to like is one
Of the ways things happen to fall.
then we went to barcade and drank beer and played marble madness and q-bert. and we talked of yelling goats and fake tans and hamburgers, and tried to determine which of my long-committed veg/vegan friends i can someday convince to go on a date with me and order the 24-oz steak. and eat it.
Filed in autobiographical, food, health & vegetarianism, not poems | Tagged with bourgeois, brooklyn, NYC | Comment (0)
a short rundown of our galavanting since arrival that is definitely missing some things. i’m pretty sure that i will not continue to keep track of all the where/what/when we’re gonna do here, but this is special because Neal and Shelby were with us for 8 days!
picking up where we left off… (keywords: little dragon, prospect park, ecstatic dance, highline, upright citizens brigade, w. kamau bell, ezra furman, sprinklers, humans of new york, museums, sleep no more, purple rain dance party).
mon 8/6 – thurs 8/8: mostly apartment hunting in daytime, wandering around brooklyn at night, scoping neighborhoods
thurs 8/9: awesome welcome vegetarian potluck at m&c’s, stayed up a lot later than anticipated. noted: the table was filled with all kinds of super delicious fruit and vegetable dishes and salads, but as far as i recall, no one brought dessert. in SF, half the table would have been filled with desserts. conclusion: people in NY don’t eat dessert.
fri 8/10: went to see free Little Dragon concert in Prospect Park. i am not so much into little dragon (a little too synth pop for my taste) but it was a fun time.
sat 8/11: we had some people over at our temporary place, spent a nice night on the roof until midnight-ish and then walking around bklyn late in the evening.
sun 8/12: more apartment looking, watched Lost in Translation again.
mon 8/13: n&s arrived
tues 8/14: morning: signed a lease!!! we are brooklyn residents! vintage shopping in wmsbg, where i bought a ridiculous pageant gown in a bright swirly psychedelic print and covered in rhinestones on the front. it could’t be helped. there will come a time for it, i know. then in the evening, we went out with the other j & a, and they took us all for a surprise to Upright Citizens Brigade improv night. was pretty funny, although i can’t imagine wanting to go over and over again like i’m sure some people do. had dinner/drinks afterward.
wed 8/15: it was a rainy day but we headed out into the city for wandering and shopping. i bought another gown. because 1. i needed another black dress and 2. gowns are important for poor art school students in NYC. right? went to Wash Sq Park, ate at one of my fave vegan places, Sacred Chow, gave up when it got too cold and rainy to wander around and went home.
wednesday night neal and i went to Ecstatic Dance NYC and due to freak metoerological circumstances our SF friend Kathryn was delayed overnight on a flight out of at JFK and joined us there! Ecstatic dance NYC is like Ecstatic dance oakland except 1. WAY HOTTER IN THE SUMMER and 2. way less contact improv.
thurs 8/16: thurs AM ran some errands, met up for lunch with aB, then met the rest of the crew at the FX studios to see a taping of our old Oakland friend W. Kamau Bell’s new show “Totally Biased” on FX! was super funny, and fun to see a show being taped, which i never had. *HIGH FIVES* to kamau for making it big!!!
afterward we walked to the HighLine and hung out and played in the water sculpture foot fountain thingy. later that night, we went back to brooklyn to see our man Ezra Furman play at the Knitting Factory. superlative, as always. if you are not listening to Ezra Furman i feel sad for you.
fri 8/17: it was hot so in the afternoon we set out to find some of those playground sprinkler/fountains they have all over NYC. technically adults without kids are not supposed to play in those things but \whatev/. took large quantities of margaritas to go. maybe that’s why adults like us aren’t allowed. anyway, went to Ft. Greene, had some sushi, played in some sprinklers.
later that evening we went to the upper east side and it started to rain really hard and we didn’t have umbrellas and so we found a long piece of cardboard and the four of us ran down the street holding this cardboard over our heads. it was fun, actually. other people laughed and those also without umbrellas said “hey we should be doing that”. and then tried to go to the Whitney Museum of American Art, but so did everybody else and the line was around the block and it would’ve closed before we had enough time to look around, so we bailed. fail.
but on the WAY to the Whitney, a photographer approached us and said, of the 4 of us, to jay, “hey can i take your photo? i really like what you’re wearing.” at first we were all confused because he was with ME and i was dressed up and almost NO ONE ever asks to take jay’s photo and not mine ; ). after he took the photo we said “who are you?” and he said “i have a photoblog, Humans of New York” and i SQUEEED. we wondered if jay would make the publishing cut and the next morning, there he was! conclusion: another one of the differences in NY is that i am pretty much invisible compared to all the beautiful women, but jay ranks pretty high among men.
“We’re heading to the Whitney.”
“What’s happening at the Whitney tonight?”
after the failed attempt at the Whitney, it was still raining, we had 3+ hours to kill before our next thing, and we needed a drink. we went to the fancy Carlyle hotel because it was right around the corner. the drinks were good. the hotel was fancy.
then back downtown, and at 11pm we went to the acclaimed Sleep No More. this is where this blog post could get really long, but i’ll try to keep it short.
**SPOILER ALERT*Filed in autobiographical, friends | Tagged with NYC | Comment (1)
i don’t know what we’ve been doing but the days are going by. we haven’t even turned on the TV yet where we are staying, and i haven’t read the news or watched a youtube video or anything since we got here.
it’s another reality. we are here. it’s a dream.
we packed up, emptied our loft, and left oakland on saturday july 28. we drove to tahoe, where our friends were camping. it wasn’t very far (4 of 48 hours of driving), but at least we were out. out of oakland. the next morning, as we hung out with our beloved friends in the sierra campground on an alpine lake and prepared ourselves to *really* hit the road, to leave California and its landscapes and temperate climate and our community behind, i had a bout with anxiety. shaking. breathless. panic. it took a while to calm down. we hit the road around 3pm and made it to Salt Lake City later that night.
sunday 29. SLC. not as beautiful as i thought it would be? or maybe i had the wrong viewpoint. not sure. but we weren’t there very long. we did find some really good vegan food @ http://sagescafe.com/
monday 30. we recalculated the schedule and determined we had an extra day, and decided we didn’t want to just keep heading east on 80 through northern utah and southern wyoming, and detoured south to Moab to visit the red canyonlands of Utah. we hit up a truck stop that included *both* an exotic petting zoo and monster trucks, arrived in the early evening, took a walk and went to the local brewery and then a dive bar. warm desert nights.
tues 31. Arches National Park. amazing. (photos) we spent a lot of hours out in the hot desert sun, and overheated a bit. loved climbing all the rock walls, went off trail a few times (i know it’s a park rule no no but COME ON. i need to climb on the big rocks). in retrospect we should have stayed in Moab again, but we hit the road around 3pm and drove to Denver. by the time we got there the mood was pretty exhausted and i sort of lost it for a little while. found a crappy hotel that we thought was by a park but turned out to be by the freeway/railyard.
the next morning jay had to move the van due to parking lot construction at the hotel and when he exited the parking lot he thought he could just come in the other side, but it turns out turning the corner was the onramp right onto the freeway. so i look out the hotel door and there is jay still in his pajama pants and flip flops, standing in the street with the van parked on the side of the freeway onramp with the blinkers on, him just shaking his head and waving his arms around in the air. it could have been another to add to the list of frustrating moments in the “we missed the exit/when the wrong way” on the trip, but instead i couldn’t help it, and i think just having released all the stress the night before, i just started laughing. i figured out what was going on and pointed at the curb. and jay got in the van and just drove it over the curb, back into the parking lot. and i kept laughing. because it was all really ridiculous.
wed Aug 1. we drove from denver, CO to lincoln, NE. stayed at nice hotel downtown. found an empty cocktail joint. not much happening in downtown Lincoln.
thurs 2.woke up and had a good vegan brunch at Maggie’s vegetarian restaurant (where the sandwich i ordered was recently declared the best in Nebraska!), and then drove the rest of the way across NE, through IA and IL, to Portage, Indiana, outside of Chicago/Gary and near where my dad grew up (Valparaiso) and my uncle lives and my grandparents just also happened to have driven up to from Florida and were visiting. made contact with them, planned brunch, went to bed.
fri 3. woke up and had brunch/lunch with my grandma and grandpa Porter and my uncle Mike LeBlanc (all of whom i haven’t seen in years!), and then drove off to Ann Arbor (MI). met up in the afternoon with Alison and Aaron, friends from SF who just recently moved to A2, then had dinner with jay’s family, then back to A2 for some late evening cocktails.
sat 4. got up, relaxed with the family for a bit, and then hit the road to new jersey. this was also somewhat momentous, as 14 years ago in the fall of 1998, jay and i did the same thing: left his mom’s house and drove off west to California.
we stayed in a nice hotel just outside of NYC – heavy anticipation!!
sun 5. got up and drove through Manhattan and into Brooklyn. met up with our sublet hosts (who have gone to Switzerland for the month to get married) who gave a quick tour and handed over the keys. a few awesome friends showed up to help us unload the van, and shortly after unloading we all headed out for food and beverages for the rest of the afternoon/evening.
we had arrived.
i was thinking before i left oakland/SF about how there i’d learned the city streets like country roads, and how disoriented i am now. i don’t know where they go, how they might change direction, where things intersect, how to get across/under the freeways. i am having to relearn all of this, and this is new york, so there are so many streets to learn. it isn’t a part of your brain that gets challenged much when you live in the same place for a long time.
so we’ve spent days and days now wandering around Williamsburg, figuring out the grid and geography and where do we want to live? near this, or that? in this type of building or that type? searching for apartments online, over and over again, phone calls and emails and walking to and from places. there are plenty of apartments, and most that we’ve looked at were totally livable/doable. we just have to decide. deciding is the hardest part. it’s a commitment, choosing where to live here. location defines so much of your life.
this past friday morning it rained quite a bit and then finally cooled off enough that i felt like i could go to yoga (can’t do it in the heat. will pass out.) my body was sort of wracked from all the moving and driving and stress and unusual habits and i needed to go. friends recommended a yoga center nearby and i signed up for what was listed as “rock and roll yoga” in the late afternoon because it sounded both fun and the level of practice i was looking for. upon arrival, i was really wound up. i was shaking. too much coffee, too much stress, to much uncertainty flowing through my body.
the instructor showed up, late and seemed a little shaken. she then proceeded to tell us about her day, complaining about a situation in which she went out of her way through traffic in both directions into manhattan during the hot afternoon with no a/c in the car to buy a bookshelf off craigslist that was then more expensive than agreed. and how frustrated and pissed off she was at the situation, and at herself for letting things she *wants* take over her life and affect the things she knows she *needs*. at first i was rather annoyed by the story, like she was kind of verbally letting off her steam at us, when we were there to do yoga. and i sat there a bit agitated, fidgeting. i needed the physical release of yoga. i didn’t want to sit and listen to some moralistic tale.
but then her story grew and had a realization point, and near the end i really resonated, as i’d just been struggling with the same thing in these last few weeks of moving/apartment searching. getting panicked, paranoid about things, and chasing them, creating stress and complications in your life instead of waiting until those things you want are easier to obtain and don’t compromise what you know you should be focused on doing. in the end of her story, her friend who had been with her during the day’s ordeal said to her: “relax. don’t worry. you will get your bookshelf. maybe not that one, but you will get one.”
and that hit me, and i realized that i too will get my bookshelf. i will get it. i need to slow down.
after that, the rest of the practice was amazing.
and now here we are, sunday night, one week after arrival. it’s still a little unreal that i won’t be going home. that this is where i am. i think when we sign a lease (soon, let’s hope) and stop living in someone else’s house it will feel much more real. and when i actually start school after labor day, which i haven’t *quite yet* started freaking out about. but for right now i am unemployed and it’s summertime in new york city, and this is my new life.
finally, i can’t even put into words how much i am so in love with and appreciate Jay through all of this. he is jumping off this cliff with me. it is so amazing to have someone hold your hand like this, to trust it’s all going to be ok.
Filed in autobiographical | Tagged with exploding dog, NYC, yoga | Comment (1)