This is one of my favorite Replacements songs, and I feel like more people should know about it so they can love it, too. It’s an ode to Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls, who did die of a drug overdose in 1991, ten years after this song was released. Four years later, Bob Stinson, Replacements guitarist, followed in his tracks (um…pun intended?)
I’ve been backlogging my Picasa site and feeling a bit nostalgic about my old neighborhood. Washington Heights is primarily a Dominican enclave at the northern tip of Manhattan, and while I often complained about my tiny, roach-infested studio with its single brick-wall-facing window, the “wanted for knifing” posters that appeared in my building compliments of the strip club across the street, and the lack of amenities catering to me (i.e. coffee house with wifi, veggie restaurants, music and art-events nightly), I loved the vitality of the streets. In the summer especially, the neighborhood was ripe with the overflow of cramped emotions and cramped apartments. People, even very tiny, sleepy people, were out at all hours–playing ball or riding Big Wheels, gathering on stoops to munch chicken and plantains and drink (soda? beer?) from wrinkled paper bags, jostling around the fridges at all-night bodegas, throwing cookouts and birthday parties, flirting and fighting and always, always blasting latin music. So a year after the fact, here’s my homage to Washington Heights.
More photos here…
I’ve been back in New York for the past few weeks—essentially from Fashion Week to Armory Week, with the Whitney Biennial sandwiched between—and I’ve seen so much art that I’m not sure where to begin. To make things more interesting, my camera started giving random error messages, and I haven’t had time to have it serviced, rendering void my usual tactic of posting tons of pics rather than taking the time to politely word actual opinions.
So basically I’ll hit the high points—if something stuck with me, obviously it’s significant enough…right?
This was the 75th anniversary of the Whitney Biennial, and it was supposed to be toned down, a careful showcase for an era of shrinking endowments and shuttered museums. But I’ve never been to a Biennial before, and six hours later, this one didn’t seem moderate to me. I can’t imagine those days of venue overflow—although post-art-fairs, the imagining is getting easier. I wanted to love or hate the Biennial, because it seems so wishy-washy to be “safe” and optimistically cautious about a show that has a history of polarizing critics, in the very year that every other critic (if that’s what I am) decided to be optimistically cautious. But if I am honest, there were a (very) few pieces that I loved, some stuff that I liked and lots that I didn’t.
Keep reading at Juxtapoz.
Finally…the characters I photographed Saturday, that somebody (who looked like Barry McGee) stood on a ladder spraying as I rode by on the overpass Thursday evening. But I’m not sure if this piece actually is actually Barry McGee’s work–the style appears similar to Barry McGee’s only in the blocky heads.
In the Jewish community, Mokom Sholom and its sister cemetery Bayside have been embroiled in controversy for several years–I’m not entirely sure what the noise is about, and it would take serious research to get it straight, but what follows is my rough summary of the situation.