Full Tilt E.Vil. Nostalgia

September 14, 2007


Don’t miss The New York Times article about the best nabe in the world (still!), the East Village. The article mentions that Abbie Hoffman started the yippie movement in a basement apartment he lived in at 30 St. Marks Pl. I happen to live in one of two basement apartments that still exist at 30 St. Marks. The video (which is also excellent, don’t miss it) indicates that the “basement apartment” is now the Japanese restaurant Go, but I wonder if that’s correct, given that the restaurant is on the ground floor and there are still two basement apartments in the back. Does anyone know for sure which space Abbie Hoffman actually lived in? (I took the above photo in front of the store Trash and Vaudeville several years ago, which is the space where Yoko Ono and other artists held “happenings.”)

There is also a downloadable audio walking tour. Click here for that.

Howl Festival

September 8, 2007

Tompkin Square Park is alive with the Howl Festival. I happened to catch The Little Death NYC featuring Moby this afternoon. The whole park was rocking. Along the outside fence are murals by local artists. Here is one of the more compelling juxtapositions (click to enlarge):


For a short slideshow of last year’s Howl parade down St. Mark’s Pl. at the end of the festival, click here and scroll down to the sixth item.

Steel This Tree

April 24, 2007


The New York City Park’s Dept. recently completed a two year study to determine the cost v. benefit of urban trees ($5.60 for every dollar spent). So what is the calculus for steel trees? The sculptor Roxy Paine has three steel treestree1.jpg being erected in Madison Square Park. Not much carbon dioxide being removed from the air, but they’re lovely to look at — and that cost benefit-analysis is even more difficult to calculate (click to enlarge photos).

Light Criticism

January 26, 2007


What is this? Check it out, the Anti-Advertising Agency via LVHRD.

(Location) x 3

January 10, 2007

picture-3.pngPolis readers know I eagerly await the New Museum of Contemporary Art on the Bowery. In the meantime, the museum is sponsoring a series of lectures in the neighborhood. Tonight’s panel discussion, “Location Location Location,” sounds like it’s about real estate, but thankfully it’s not. The role of regional culture in a global world, and whether provincialism is as bad as it sounds, will be discussed by Saskia Bos, the dean of the School of Art at Cooper Union; the architect Teddy Cruz; the artist and MacArthur Fellow Julie Mehretu; and Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic of The New York Times (6:30 p.m., Cooper Union, Seventh Street at Third Avenue, East Village, (212) 219-1222; $6).

Photo by Nicole Bengiveno for the The New York Times: The artist Julie Mehretu in front of her “Rise of the New Suprematists” at the Project in Harlem in 2001.

The Ice Storm: 1909

December 4, 2006

underbridge.gifUnderbridge Pictures, a gallery in DUMBO that focuses on architectural photography, recently had a show of Dutch farm houses and agricultural architecture taken in Brooklyn by long-forgotten New York photographer, Clinton Irving Jones (click here for a previous Polis post). As a follow up, Underbridge is now exhibiting photos that Irving Jones took in Prospect Park after an ice storm in 1909. He used a 4×5 camera loaded with glass plate negatives, even though rollunderbridge1.gif film cameras were readily available. Thanks to David Sokosh, owner of Underbridge, the photographer is enjoying a renaissance of sorts since his negatives were discovered near Syracuse and were sold at auction. The buyer put them on eBay, where Sokosh purchased the collection. For more info about the opening reception on Thursday and the show, click here.


December 1, 2006


No sooner had MoMA opened what was thought to be the final wing of its ten year expansion — the learning center, an eight-story building that anchors the eastern end of the sculpture garden — that MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry tantalized reporters with more building news. Apparently, the museum might get fatter by 17,000 square feet on the western side of its building (where people cue up for Free Fridays). According to Bloomberg News, the assembled land was supposed to be held for future needs, but with land prices skyrocketing, the right time might be sooner rather than later. Mr. Lowry “stressed that no decision had been made to go forward, the museum could add income-producing commercial or residential space above more galleries, totaling as much as 210,000 square feet.”

Photo by Fred R. Conrad for the Times.