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.
In trying to find the in-process piece that I saw Barry McGee (I think?) working on Thursday night when I was returning to Manhattan on the above-ground subway, I got confused where the A branches between Lefferts Blouvard and Far Rockaway. I ended up walking from Rockaway Avenue all the way to Lefferts, which meant I inadvertently discovered a captivating little place called Ozone Park.
Replete with housing projects, retirement centers and curious rows of crowded, weed-ingested bungalows, Rockaway Beach is the quintessential everyman’s urban beach town. Even as Beach 116th Street holds more (sub)urban standards such as Duane Reade, a local firehouse and the Rockaway Diner than surf and swim shops (Blue Bungalow apparently only traffics enough business to open one day a week), the crumbling duplexes continue to bear proud front door plaques with statements such as “If you’re lucky enough to live at the beach, you’re lucky enough,” while tan kids with sun-bleached hair terrorize the boardwalk on bikes and skateboards. So what if Playland (the poor man’s Coney Island) closed in 1985 and half of the neighborhood’s housing is government supplemented? Rockway Beach still has (somewhat crunchy) sand, a boardwalk and beachfront snacks and, perhaps most importantly, real (dangerous!) waves and a Ramone’s song. Continue reading
This week I discovered:
2) Rockaway Beach
3) Potentially a paint-still-wet Barry McGee piece in Queens
First things first: On Monday my friend Eric Eigner’s band, Mysterium, played at Spike Hill in Williamsburg. It was a late show and the bar folk were low key. People sipped cocktails at tables or hung out in the back, maintaining a respectful distance from the stage and the video tripod in the middle of the room—which is why I thought it strange that this one guy—stocky and bearded, in a nondescript t-shirt—was hanging out merely inches from the stage. I had overheard Eric’s roommate, Bruce, trying to explain the band to some perplexed and increasingly defensive man at the bar earlier—“Soundpainting,” Bruce called it, murmuring something about improv and jazz. Continue reading