The Purves Street Block Association meeting is coming up this Wednesday, July 23rd, and there are two very interesting proposal on the agenda. First off, the Sculpture Center will present on its new building reopening, and related events planned. The Center started an expansion project in the spring of 2013; it includes 6,500 square feet of interior exhibition space, a 2,000-square-foot entrance lobby and a 1,500-square-foot enclosed courtyard. Last we heard, the ETA for the space was this fall.
The second item on the agenda is a presentation from Rockrose Development for new park space at Dutch Kills Street and Jackson Avenue. The area is mostly commercial with a few empty lots but unfortunately, there aren’t any more details to divulge at this time. If you’re interested in attending the meeting, it will take place at Sculpture Center, 44-19 Purves Street, from 7 to 8pm. RSVP to Cheryl@sculpture-center.org or call 718-361-1750.
Unbeknownst to us, the M. Wells team opened up a small bar on the rooftop of MoMA PS1 for the summer. Tastoria checked out the space this weekend, which is also where M. Wells grows vegetables and herbs for its Dinette outpost downstairs. (Check out more photos of the garden right here.) There are now some tables and chairs to enjoy the incredible view, and a bar cart serving up beer and wine. Roof visitors can also check out a small-scale Richard Serra piece on display in an alcove on the roof.
The garden is open during normal museum hours, weather permitting, but is closed during Warm Up Saturdays.
The Local Project, an arts nonprofit based in Long Island City, recently funded a Kickstarter account to stay in its current location. The group hoped to raise $6,100; they raised a total of $7,657 with 109 backers. The Local Project hosts year-round exhibitions, arts mentoring, classes, coworking space, art residencies and bilingual programming. They recently moved out of the 5Pointz building to 11-27th 44th Road, where they then faced a 50 percent rent hike. The money funded through Kickstater ensures they can stay at their present location, as well as focus on a long-term strategic plan. DNAinfo reports that they hit their goal several days before the campaign ended this Saturday. (more…)
Last night, SummerStage debuted in Queens with a MET practice recital at Socrates Sculpture Park. But that’s not all for the City Parks Foundation, who will bring more than 100 free performances to fourteen different NYC parks through August. Five more concerts are coming to Queensbridge Park, and the schedule is as follows:
Tuesday July 15th, 7:00 pm: Ismael Miranda / Rebel Tumbao at Queensbridge Park
Wednesday July 16th, 7:00 pm: J Holiday at Queensbridge Park
Thursday, July 17th, 7:00 pm: Mobb Deep at Queensbridge Park
Friday July 18th, 7:00 pm: Harambee Dance Company / Master Class: Harambee Dance Co at Queensbridge Park
Sunday July 20th, 4:00 pm: Queens Family Day at Queensbridge Park
After the jump, check out all the details for upcoming performances.
Brooklyn Street Art posted an excellent photo essay featuring closeup shots of the 5Pointz building, where chipped paint reveals the layers of colorful graffiti work once there. (The top coat, of course, is now all white.) The images are accompanied by a tribute to the artwork now covered up:
So the murals on the surface are gone but in reality they are not – they are here in front of us, just covered by layers of paint. If you want to, you may see it as evidence of the tribute to collaborative public space that 5 Pointz embodied – the affirmation of a multi-membered community united in all it’s multi-colored splendor. Here is your visual forensic report: before you is a brief sampling of the thousands of hours of sweat, labor, inspiration – and thousands of gallons of paint, vividly represented, richly textured, and unquestioned proof of the success of 5 Pointz.
The warehouse building is now waiting for demolition (although some preliminary demo work started earlier this year) and will be replaced by condos.
I say this every time that the Mister rings his bells: Mrs. Softee is lonely during the torrid nights of a New York summer, wondering for whom her man plays his song. Mister Softee is no damn good, and she’s sure of it.
Pictured above is a proper “Mister Softee” truck, found on its rounds in Astoria one night, doing exactly what he told the Mrs. that he’d be up to. The mister’s wearing his proper “trade dress” and nothing is as it shouldn’t be (except that I was walking the dog and didn’t have a penny on me, so I couldn’t buy a vanilla cone with sprinkles. Frankly, the dog was more upset than me about this, but there you go.)
Of late, however, something strange has been going on in Queens – someone has been impersonating the Mister.
This month two artists opened a temporary gallery in Rockaway Beach. The gallery, Topless Rockaway, is in a former eye doctor’s office that had been abandoned since Hurricane Sandy hit. The artists, Jenni Crain and Brent Birnbaum worked with the landlord to renovate the space, pulling down old drop ceilings. They told DNAinfo that they preferred being in Rockway over gallery-heavy neighborhoods like Bushwick and Chelsea because of the community feel.
The pair hope to have four exhibits over the course of the summer. Topless Rockaway is at 90-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 pm and by appointment.
I’ve been missing 5Pointz something fierce lately, so after meeting some friends from the City for lunch nearby Astoria Park recently, we paid a visit to the Welling Court Mural Project. There is a LOT of street art going on here, and there has been since 2009, when the Ad Hoc Art group began the project.
The Welling Court Mural Project began in 2009 when Ad Hoc Art was invited by the community of Welling Court to slay some aesthetic blights in their neighborhood. The first project debuted in May 2010 with over 44 murals, fitting for the diverse and lively inhabitants. Each year since, spectacular crews of legendary and groundbreaking artists have come together to transform the neighborhood into a creative celebration and public art experience.
Many, many more images and lots of commentary after the jump. (more…)
As discussed in prior postings, Kevin Walsh and I decided to take Q’stoner with us to the very edge of New York City when we visited the Rockaways. Here’s Part One and here’s Part Two. This is the third installment, and Kevin will finish up the quartet tomorrow. Now, back to the beach.
This shot is looking back at Riis Park, at the border of what must have surely been an enormous and quite recent industrial endeavor.
The park was largely built on the site of the former Rockaway Naval Air Station, one of the first US naval air stations. Riis Park was designed by the politically powerful New York City Park Commissioner Robert Moses, who had also created Jones Beach as a state park further east on Long Island in 1929. Moses saw Riis Park as a Jones Beach for poor immigrants, and ensured that the location was accessible by public transportation and closer to Manhattan.
A vast wall of sand was found, dissimilar in color to the beach sand which the bathers and sun worshippers at Riis were gamboling about upon. This beach is now the built environment, it seems.
In the Rockaways, long stretches of sand are less weekend paradise and more construction zone. Forget your sun visor. This is hard-hat territory.
“It looks like hell,” said Kevin Boyle, a Rockaway community activist. “It’s not exactly ready for the top 10 list anywhere, but it’s coming along. I’m pretty sure by 2020, the boardwalk will be there and the beach will look good.”
It should be mentioned, by the way, that everybody seemed to be having a much better time than Kevin and myself. We were the two weird looking old guys walking around on the beach with cameras… the ones who looked uncomfortable and relatively pale. The suntans people sport out here are actually outrageous for this early in the summer.
This past Saturday, Make Music New York took on Queens. Free concerts in public spaces popped up in Astoria, Corona, Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, LIC, Rockaway and Sunnyside. Musical acts included pop, blues, jazz, reggae, indie, folk, Latin, experimental, country, gospel and more. Sunnyside Shines posted this great photo set from the event, which is in its eighth year. Twenty-three free concerts took place throughout that single neighborhood! Looks like a great success.