And She’s Gone

And she’s gone. And she’s gone. Summer’s gone. Taking with her Summer’s play…

Stevie Wonder, “Summer Soft”

The season somewhat incorrectly bracketed by Memorial and Labor Days, is for 2009 officially over. It seems to have gone by in a whir. No time to compile my annual list of the best of Summer freebies; my schedule too tight to partake of most. I did manage, however to get in just a few moments worth mentioning. Bear with me now, some notable highlights:

Shake Shack, Madison Square Park

While waiting in the notoriously long line (hey the park is pretty and the weather that day, divine) for a rich chocolate shake, I was approached by a clean-cut, well-groomed older gentleman who leaned in and offered me $100 to let him sniff my neck. Life in New York.


Madison Square Park, one of three Shake Shack locations.


The Governor’s Island funfest was, this year, populated with many references subtle and direct to human consumption and the recycle/repurpose movement.


Secret of 101, Chin Chih Yang‘s meditation on the environmental issues of pollution. The topographical work encourages viewer participation as the audience is invited to add cans.


Watershed from branding agency MSLK, is a man-made forest of 1,500 plastic water bottles which serves as a visual representation of one second of U.S. bottled water consumption.


80% of these bottles are currently not being recycled. Bottled water is 1,900 times more expensive than tap water, and the toxins emitted by it have been linked to serious health problems, such as reproductive issues and cancers.


Discarded Chair Dragon, Benjamin Jones and Anna Heckler’s 30-foot mythic creature, was assembled from wooden furniture collected on trash day in Brooklyn.


line, 2009 hand embroidered, appliqued, & cut re-appropriated linen, clothesline, clothespins, wind, and sunshine. Joetta Maue’s nostalgic installation was “inspired by the memories and associations of childhood and my grandmother’s back yard.

Afro-Punk Festival 2009

From BMX flips and tricks, a chocolate-dipped skate massive and revolutionary art & adornment to riffs that rattle the bones and awaken the African spirit of punk rock…


Muralist paints the defiant image of a shackled Kunta Kinte from the movie, “Roots.” Saul Williams rips U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

Strolling The High Line

I love the repurposing of this abandoned 1930’s elevated rail structure into a decidedly urban public park.


Photo: Iwan Baan, from The High Line Blog

Identity by Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native Women’s Dresses

Though this wonderful exhibition of the National Museum of the American Indian (at the New York branch at the U.S. Customs House at Bowling Green) closed just days ago, the title above links straight to the comprehensive, well-executed online exhibit. Elk tooth embellishment, immaculate bead work and turn-of-the-century hand painting are just some of the highlights.


On the left: Crow elk tooth dress, ca. 1900, Montana. Hide, imitation elk teeth (bone), seed beads, red wool, sinew. Crow belt, ca. 1900, Montana. Harness leather, seed beads, brass tacks, commercial buckle. Crow leggings, ca. 1890, Montana. Hide, seed beads, red wool, sinew, canvas, cardboard. Crow moccasins, ca. 1890, Montana. Hide, seed beads, rawhide, sinew. On the right: back detail from “Give Away Horses” dress, 2006, Montana. Made by Joyce Growing Thunder Fogarty (Assiniboine/Sioux b.1950) Hide, seed beads, thread.


Detail from Sioux Cloth Dress, ca. 1890, South Dakota. Muslin, blue denim, red wool, red, green and black paint, thread.

Tonya Engel

Whilst window shopping BK’s Boerum Hill strip of Atlantic Avenue, I stumbled on a newish, deceptively large cafe. Clover’s Fine Art Gallery & Cafe makes use of the open, spare space and I enjoyed a frothy cappucino and took in the dreamy, oil and encaustic world of Brooklyn-by-way-of-Houston artist, Tonya Engel.


Sewing Room #3, oil on canvas.

Artomatic 2009

The top floors of this annual art event, offered a lovely vista of the DC landscape, including a direct view into Nationals Park, the stadium of the Washington Nationals baseball team. I felt like I was at the game. I went specifically, however, to see the paradoxically ethereal yet earthy installation of a friend whose work I admire, Alex Zealand. I am happy to report that as a result of the inclusion of her Flock, she’s received a commission to create another floating pith piece. I was also introduced to the painstakingly detailed line work of Corwin Levi and the well-executed animation skills of 17-year-old filmmaker Callison Slater’s String Studios.


Flock, 2009, Alexandra Zealand’s grapefruit pith cloud.


Corwin Levi’s Mandala, Pencil on paper, 30″x 22

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Still from The Woes of Marsh, Callison Slater’s 10 minute animated short.

Négritude at Exit Art

Négritude is from Mars/Negroes is from Venus, the Greg Tate-curated segment of Exit Art group show, Négritude gave us the Black Mystery Anti-Panopticon,” a place more mystic than mythic, ’cause the funk is for real.


Backed musically by Burnt Sugar, music critic Siddhartha Mitter performs (in French) the words of Martinican poet and proponent of the Négritude Movement, Aimé Césaire.

The Robert Glasper Double Booked Release Party at Le Poisson Rouge

It started woefully late, but it was definitely a treat to see/hear the prodigious Robert Glasper in a double bill of his two groups, the acoustic Robert Glasper Trio (with Vicente Archer on bass and Chris Dave on drums) and the free-form electric alter ego, The Robert Glasper Experiment (Derrick Hodge on bass, Chris Dave again on drums, and Casey Benjamin on saxophone and vocoder) Given a taste of his new dual-band release Double Booked, I’ll be headed for the iTunes download.


The virtuoso himself.


RGE’s stylish Casey Benjamin killin’ it on the sax and drummer Chris Dave workin’ it out.

Sundae Sermon

Uptown’s Sunday afternoon, family-friendly gathering in Morningside Park gets the “congregation” on its feet with “positive house music and peaceful tribal vibes,” from Minister of Music, DJ Stormin’ Norman and rotating guest DJs. theHotness founder, Nicole Moore helped us nip and nosh on her Belizean-blend punch and spicy tuna/mac salad.


DJ Beverly Bond guesting while Minister Norm snaps the crowd; “Sermonista,” Michaela Angela Davis.


Four generations: Publicist Lea surrounded by (counter-clockwise from left) her mom, grandmother and daughter.


Left, master hairstylist, Dekar Lawson and Hotgrrl, Nicole Moore. Right, Rick and N Harlem Boutique proprietor, Larry Ortiz.


Just days before the birth of their daughter, filmmaker Shola Lynch joined the fun with husband, Congressional hopeful, Vincent Morgan and their son Julian. Makeup artist extraordinaire, Shade Boyewa-Osborne smiles at darling daughter, Paloma.


“Carlos and Carmen Vidal just had a child, a lovely girl with a crooked smile…”

And finally, kitty-sitting…


While my filmmaker friend, Sonya was shooting in the Caribbean, I cared for her tiny, cute-as-a-button kitten, Violet.


One Response

  1. Great photos, great summer, great memories! Hope you took homeboy’s $100! 😉

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