The West 121st Street block where George Carlin grew up was officially renamed George Carlin Way at a ceremony yesterday. The renaming was slightly controversial due to objections from Carlin’s childhood church, but those concerns have been cleared up. The late comedian’s 83-year-old brother marked the occasion by smoking a joint under tree. [NYT; previously]
Image via Trevor O’Brien
In celebration of the new LEGO store in the Flatiron, there’s a 20-foot version of the Statue of Liberty in Madison Square Park, built over the course of four days with the help of passerby, children and tourists. Three master LEGO builders were on hand for the project. What’s even cooler is the backstory (we’re not sure if this was conscious on LEGO’s part, however). When the Statue of Liberty first arrived the United States, its torch was displayed in Madison Square Park to raise money for the construction of the pedestal. It sat near 25th Street across from General Worth Square. As the story goes, French politician Edoard Labouaye in 1870 proposed the statue as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries but Americans were critical of it, claiming that the U.S. shouldn’t have to contribute to a gift meant for them. `
This article was originally published by Untapped Cities.
Extell’s plans for a 16-story granite and limestone condo tower next to the Park Avenue Christian Church have yet to pass muster with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, but the groundwork has already been laid for the controversial development. The church sold its rectory, parish house, and air rights to the development, in an agreement that says the church will receive about $24.7 million from Extell.
According to the Journal, which sourced the numbers from court documents, the sum includes a more than $2 million endowment for a new preschool and a new $8.75 million church annex. The agreement works out to about $640 per square foot of condo space that Extell will build, making it one of the priciest deals by a church selling its development rights (and there are a lot of them).
· Park Avenue Christian Church Due Millions [WSJ]
· Opponents Lambast Plan To Replace Parts of Park Ave. Church [Curbed]
· All Park Avenue Christian Church coverage [Curbed]
Brooklyn-based artist Elana Adler has created a collection of cross-stitch samplers titled “You Are My Duchess”, combining the delicate and the crass into one project including over 40 individual works.
“Each captures a moment, giving these words a visual presence, a power, and a state of concreteness,” Ms. Adler says on her website. “These words were hurled casually and heard quickly but required hours of time-consuming, careful stitching.”
A solitary sampler may be almost amusing, but as viewers wade through the collection, they must confront the reality of regular verbal assault.
Was there a moment of inspiration after a specific instance of street harassment that led you to create this collection?
The project started out as a collection of things people would holler at me. I get catcalled all of the time, most women do–once I started getting more interesting ‘calls, I started texting them to myself and thus the collection began. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I started cross-stitching them. I wanted to laboriously give attention to all these phrases that were verbally thrown at me in a moment. Needlepoint made sense to me because of its connotations and how it historically references women’s work. I also liked the idea of how it tested my perseverance. That these statements would stick to me or be in my mind for a very long time.
Do you think that the samplers will open a productive discussion about verbal assault?
A discussion is definitely brewing. I think that is exciting, art should provoke conversation. The series informs some and resonates with others. I think it is very relatable, most have experienced this behavior. Perhaps it will cause people to think more about what they are saying and how they are saying it before it is said, hopefully concluding with less objectification.
You say the collection is the “beautification of an assault.” Were these pieces particularly cathartic to create as a way of dealing with harassment?
I would say yes, cathartic and also, meditative. Sitting with a statement you get to know it, and imagine how it could resonate with others. I think that making the work in the way I did was a healthy response. I do encourage women to harness negative feelings into positive work. Personal experience is great fuel for life and art. In this instance, “assault” is referring to the hurling of the statement. Yes, some are more violent and disgusting, but not all of them.
Do you think that New Yorkers have a responsibility to work together to stop catcalling? Is “You Are My Duchess” a contribution to this effort?
Of course I promote the notions “think before [you] speak” and “if you have nothing good to say, maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all.” But this work is my way of dealing with my own experience. Its is more about my own art, and what I consider to be engaging and inventive in my own practice (which I think many artists strive for).
That being said, if it sparks more thought or conversation–which it seems to be–around how humans treat one another I will take that as a very positive result.
On Friday, October 24, Elana Adler’s work, along with five other local artists, will be on display in the Calico Gallery in Brooklyn for the exhibit Shape Scapes.
***This interview has been edited and condensed.
Stop worrying about ebola and just be glad you aren’t on a cruise ship teaming with food-poisoned zombies. That’s the setting of a quirky, uproarious tale now playing at Under St. Marks.
You might not want to eat anything before you see The Pumpkin Pie Show: Seasick, in which chunks of vomit are vividly compared to multicolored fireworks. The story centers around four lovable cruise-ship workers whose jobs are to make sure everyone on board is as happy as can be, despite a ghastly case of seafood gone awry. The captivating Katie Hartman plays a custodian who, while tending to a playroom, is forced to shoot down zombified children with bleach. As the Karaoke Coordinator, Hanna Cheek delivers a heartwarming ballad as she amusingly fights off the urge to throw up. The stereotypical French chef, played by Abe Goldfarb, makes for a fine villain — as he complains about the lack of appreciation for his food, even if his accent wanes.
Without the help of a set or even costumes, the characters’ superb storytelling conveys the Halloweenish madness aboard the Argonautica and manages to fill the 25-seat black box theater with laughter over the course of an hour and twenty minutes.
Clay McLeod Chapman, creator of The Pumpkin Pie Show, also plays the Captain, a bitter man with a love for the open sea and a haunted past. (By day, Chapman is a writing instructor at Pace University.) Finally, as his name suggests, Brian Silliman brings the laughs as a father determined to save his family from the spreading sickness. In one of the show’s best moments, Silliman takes off his pants and shirt to drench himself with bleach, only to find the solution makes him blind.
Sadly, the only “pumpkin pie” here is in the title. But trust us: you won’t even want to think about food until you’ve finished digesting this gross yet hilarious show.
Frigid New York at Horse Trade Theater Group, the same company behind the annual FRIGID Theatre Festival in New York, presents “The Pumpkin Pie Show: Seasick,” which plays until November 1st, with shows Thursday-Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18.
If you want more from FRIGID New York, the 3rd Annual Gotham Storytelling Festival takes place November 5 to 10 at Under St. Marks.
If, like so many of us, you don’t happen to have a spotless credit report and make 40 to 45 times your monthly rent, you may have a tough time qualifying for a New York City apartment. The traditional way around this is to get a guarantor, someone who will co-sign your lease and pay the rent if you don’t. But this is often easier said than done.
Guarantors are generally required to have a credit score of at least 700, an income that amounts to 80 times the annual rent, and if the landlord is extra cautious, residence in the tri-state area. Prospective renters or guarantors without a U.S. credit history or proof of a steady income (even with money in the bank) isn’t likely to make the cut, meaning that for freelancers and foreigners alike, getting approved through traditional means can feel close to impossible.
But naturally, there are ways around it. Below, a few time-tested methods for locking down that apartment without the help of a parent (or a sky-high paycheck):
After notorious slumlord Samy Mahfar purchased 102 Norfolk Street in March, the building’s rent-stabilized tenants didn’t have to wait long before the harassment began. While three of them accepted buyouts, 18 tenants remained in the 25-unit building and were forced “to live in a ‘war zone’ of constant construction, landlord bullying, and hazardous worksite practice,” according to a report from Bowery Boogie. The article went on, “Tenants must contend with weekly water shut downs, exposed wiring, an influx of rodents, and ill-timed exterminator visits.” That was back in June, and Mahfar has continued to try and force out the building’s inhabitants ever since. This week, some local politicians decided to get involved, and not a moment too soon, as a report today from DNAinfo highlights just how hazardous conditions have been inside the building. According to a report from an inspection conducted in April, which the tenants were only able to see after submitting a Freedom of Information request with the Health Department, the lead levels in 102 Norfolk were at one point 2,750 times the safe limit. “That was only one day and then this was all cleaned up,” Mahfar told DNAinfo. Another inspection conducted in June revealed lead levels to be “only” two to 18 times the limit.
In addition to subjecting his tenants to an insane amount of toxic lead dust, Mahfar has also racked up a slew of other building violations (all still open), tried to block a Health Department inspector’s access, and denied receiving the report after it had been sent to him. Let’s hope that the politicians who are aware of the problems have something in mind more serious than a strongly worded letter, because that’s not going to cut it with Mahfar, who has employed similar tactics at 143 Ludlow Street and other properties.
· Apartment Building Had Nearly 3,000 Times Legal Lead Limit, Report Says [DNAinfo]
· 102 Norfolk Street coverage [Curbed]