Author Topic: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker  (Read 11510 times)

Regular Joe

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #45 on: June 07, 2008, 02:30:12 AM »
The EMP in Seattle? 


I used to live in Seattle and I can say that I have never seen a building even close to how ugly this building is. It would make me angry to see it. His building design is ugly enough but it has so many ugly, clashing colors. To those who say 'that's the point. this is art. deal with it.' I say take that art and keep it in your city or your home. Do not pollute a beautiful, landmark park with your ugly, confrontational art. Go see Funny Games and Damien Hirch's art and let those of us who enjoy things have a park.

You are 100% correct about this, that building is an eyesore in a terribly out of place area. A friend of mine and I would drive by this building, and every time she would have to point out that it's supposed to be in the shape of Jimmy Hendrix's smashed and flaming guitar. I still cant for the life of me see it, so I call bullshit. No guitar, just an ugly, self-indulgent building.

yesno

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2008, 06:50:52 AM »


Hasn't been built yet.  It's from Kunstler's Eyesore of the Month several months back.  New Czech National Library contest winner.

One of the things I like about that guy (Kunstler) is that he realizes that context-free starchitecture is the flip side of cheap commercial/big box store/strip mall-type development.*  It's what happens when you ignore tradition and view a building either as your personal aesthetic vehicle of expression and/or money-making gizmo, rather than as a contribution to a community.

I'm glad to see there are fellow architectural reactionaries on the board.

*One of the things I don't like about that guy is that he gleefully anticipates millions of people dying of famine in order to score a few "I told you so" points, and his terrible new novel.  (I glanced through his book and read a few sample chapters; he apparantly sees a post-oil future as being more or less the same as 1860s America with bogus old-timey accents and with women in their place.)  Man, I like using footnotes in board postings.



TL

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2008, 10:05:10 AM »

(I glanced through his book and read a few sample chapters; he apparantly sees a post-oil future as being more or less the same as 1860s America with bogus old-timey accents and with women in their place.)

ew boy.




Now write me a receipt so I can tip on outta here...

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2008, 12:46:53 PM »
I am a total architecture reactionary, Yesno, even though I'm practically a knee-jerk avant-gardist when it comes to art, literature, film, theater, etc. Actually, that's not true, I just have pretty catholic tastes in all of those things.

Anyhow, some of the best writing I've seen anywhere about these egomaniacal, Ayn-Rand-character architects is by Mark Kingwell in Harper's; he's got a new book coming out from the publisher of Rock, Rot, & Rule called Concrete Reveries that I'm pretty jazzed about.
Oh, good heavens. I didn’t realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the O’Connor family.

yesno

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2008, 01:06:18 PM »
In my view, the disconnect is that architecture isn't merely art.  Unlike a sculpture or a painting which doesn't actually have to *do* anything, it has a function.  If it fails at that function it is a failure.  It's insane that this position has to be defended.

Know what else shouldn't be avant-garde?  Food.  I'd rather eat Cheerios than a bowl of steel cubes.

As far as the more aesthetic concerns go, I'm sorry, but if you think you can just put up whatever you want on your land without consideration for what other people think, or for how the neighborhood as a whole ends up feeling when you're done, you might be within your "rights," but you're still an asshole.  Also, tastes change.  Since you should be building things that last for hundreds of years, you should stick with styles that not just you, but your great-grandchildren might like.  Thus the need for a modicum of restraint.

Josh

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #50 on: August 01, 2008, 09:19:02 AM »
Dr. Kush
New Yorker
July 28, 2008


I got this far:
Quote
I recently spent six months, off and on, with Blue—at his apartment, in private homes, on farms, in pot grow rooms, and in other places where “medical marijuana” is produced, traded, sold, and consumed in California. During that time, I saw thousands of Tibetan prayer flags. The flags identify their owners with serenity and the conscious path, rather than with the sinister world of urban dope dealers, who flaunt muscles and guns, and charge exorbitant prices for mediocre product. For Blue and tens of thousands of like-minded individuals, Proposition 215 presented an opportunity to participate in a legally sanctioned experiment in altered living. The people I met in the high-end ganja business had an affinity for higher modes of thinking and being, including vegetarianism and eating organic food, practicing yoga, avoiding prescription drugs in favor of holistic healing methods, travelling to Indonesia and Thailand, fasting, and experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs. Many were also financially savvy, working long hours and making six-figure incomes.

then skipped to the last paragrah:
Quote
Growing ganja lets you feel that you’re still living on the edge, especially when you’ve become a little complacent politically. Emily nodded, and took another puff. “The forest is still getting cut down or whatever,” she said, watching the fragrant smoke swirl in the breeze. “But you’re still working out here. You’re still subverting the Man. And you’re getting people high.”
"Alright, well, for the sake of this conversation, let's say the book does not exist."

Josh

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #51 on: August 01, 2008, 09:25:12 AM »
It’s Been Quite a Pool Party, but the Days Grow Short
New York Times
August 1, 2008


Quote
FOR three years rock ’n’ roll has had a great summer romance at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn.

Instant I-was-there concerts in the big, empty pool basin by M.I.A., Blonde Redhead and TV on the Radio. Packed free shows on blazing Sunday afternoons. The thrift-store couture, the human mural of tattoos, piercings, sunburns and hair dye. Every other midriff drenched from a Pete Rose dive down the Slip ’N Slide.

Like every sweet summer fling, though, this one is destined to end. According to a city plan, McCarren, on the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, will soon quit its current state — a combination performance space, hula hoop and dodge-ball playground, alt-fashion catwalk and reclaimed ruin — and revert to its original purpose as a public swimming pool.

Built by Robert Moses in 1936 with money from the Works Progress Administration, the 50,000-square-foot pool fell into decrepit condition and was closed in 1984, its steep brick archway a gravestone to the fun once had there. Now, after two decades of political stalemate, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to its renovation. The plan is to go before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission this month; if approved, shovels could be in the ground by spring, and the new pool could open in 2011. The last scheduled concert is Sonic Youth on Aug. 30.

“It was a good run,” said Emmy Tiderington, a 27-year-old Williamsburger with a tattoo snaking down her right shoulder. “Nothing lasts,” she added.

From SummerStage in Central Park to Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park, New York has no shortage of prime outdoor concert spaces. But none have had McCarren’s brief and brilliant life. More than 200,000 people are expected to ramble over its concrete shell this summer for concerts, film screenings, plays and craft fairs, said Stephanie Thayer of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, which administers the pool in cooperation with the Parks Department. Ten thousand alone turn up for the free Sunday concerts by the promoter JellyNYC; the space holds 6,000, and many are turned away. The last free concert will be Yo La Tengo on Aug. 24.

Nowhere else does a quadruple-Olympic-size swimming pool fill with music usually heard in dark nightclubs where hula hoopers fear to tread. Nowhere else do water-sport squeals serve as auxiliary percussion. And for better or worse, no other stage has so definitively established itself as the preferred strolling grounds for the latest and most bizarre hipster plumage.

“This is the coolest place to people-watch,” said Bryan Murphy, 20, a University of Connecticut student who commutes to the pool on the 85-minute Metro North train from Bridgeport. “People in Brooklyn are different than people anywhere else. They just look different.”

And perhaps no other concert space so clearly illustrates the swift effects of gentrification. Just as bohemian culture in Greenpoint and Williamsburg is having its most visible, celebratory moment, it is being bulldozed out of the neighborhood. Rows of gleaming luxury condominiums have sprung up alongside the park, and the tattoo-and-skinny-jeans set is getting priced out.

That McCarren Pool will be filled with water again has pleased many longtime residents and activists. But at several recent concerts the prevailing opinion was: bummer.

“They let it rot for years and years, and now all of a sudden they’re like, ‘It’s viable to turn it into a pool again,’ ” said Liz Castaldo, a 23-year-old sporting yellow knee socks, a plaid miniskirt and AfterMidnight Blue hair. She lived in Williamsburg until the rent shot up, she said; now she lives in Bushwick.

Angus Andrew of the experimental rock band Liars, which played two Sundays ago, echoed the ambivalence of many concertgoers unhappy about losing McCarren as a full-scale performance space but aware that far worse things could happen to it.

“I think it’s actually a real shame if we lose that space for what it’s being used for,” Mr. Andrew said. “But at the same time, I’m as hot as anyone and I would love to jump in a pool.”

The fight for McCarren Pool has been going on for longer than much of the current crowd has been alive. After it closed, the pool was nearly demolished amid a bitter and racially charged community debate over its use. That debate still lingers. Phyllis Yampolsky, founder of the McCarren Park Conservancy and a Greenpoint resident since 1982, said that the pool belonged to a more diverse local population than the mostly white crowd that attends concerts there.

“The basic need of that pool is as a pool and recreation center for all the peoples of North Brooklyn, which includes a lot of black people and a lot of Latino people,” Ms. Yampolsky said. “Its basic needs are not for the fashionistas of Williamsburg.”

Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, said that the concerts and other events were never considered a permanent plan. “We always envisioned that these would be interim uses,” he said, “but we are delighted by what has happened there and want to find alternate venues.”

The design for the renovated pool calls for a slightly smaller swimming area and a space that could be used for off-season performances.

The Open Space Alliance is searching for a new concert area for next year, and has its eye on Bushwick Inlet Park, a planned 28-acre city park along the industrial waterfront of northern Williamsburg. But it’s far from a sure thing; among other issues, the results of environmental testing at the site are not available.

Perhaps just as discouraging, Ms. Thayer said, is that few of the young people at the McCarren concerts have attended community board meetings, thus depriving themselves of a voice in the political process. “They’re voting with their feet by coming to the concerts,” she said, adding, “During the planning process for Bushwick Inlet, they just didn’t participate.”

At one point during the Liars set, Mr. Andrew looked out over the crowd and tried a quick vote about the future of the pool.

“How many people would like water here?” he asked, and a smattering of hands went up near the stage. Then he offered the second option: “Some people want rock.” Again, mild response. But once the band started the strangled guitar chords of its next song, the place came alive with hoots and hollers, fists pumping and, in a sign of audience happiness found only at McCarren Pool, a raging dodge-ball game.

Next year JellyNYC’s “pool parties” will open in offbeat performance spaces in Austin, Tex.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; and Nashville, said Alexander Kane, the company’s founder. Without a secure plan for a replacement site, though, they could easily disappear from New York.

“All the soul from this neighborhood is going to be gone if these concerts and the films and everything else that happens at the pool is gone,” Mr. Kane said. “Then this neighborhood just turns into any other neighborhood that was settled by artists, and then the artists have to leave.”

Despite the political noise and the millions of pledged dollars, it took an artist to reopen the pool. Four years ago Noémie Lafrance, a Canadian-born choreographer who specializes in dance in unusual spaces — and who moved to Williamsburg in 1994 — got an idea for a performance at the crumbling and graffiti-covered pool and took matters into her own hands.

“I one day woke up and called the Parks Department and said I want to do a show there,” Ms. Lafrance said.

To her surprise, the Parks Department agreed. But to clean and prepare the space required a fee of $250,000. Ms. Lafrance raised $50,000, and the rest was paid by Live Nation, the giant concert promoter, which was eager to present ticketed (i.e., non-free) events. Ms. Lafrance’s piece, “Agora,” had its premiere by her company, Sens Production, in September 2005. JellyNYC, which got involved through Ms. Lafrance, put on the first concert at the reopened space on July 9, 2006, a free show with the Brooklyn band Les Savy Fav.

Then as now, the events had a playful, improvised appeal. The setting gives every concert a fresh context — O.K., you’ve seen the Yeah Yeah Yeahs before, but have you ever seen them in a place where people once swam the backstroke? — and musicians have often seemed energized by the novelty as well.

But even the free shows cost money. Mr. Kane said his budget for the season of nine shows is almost $750,000, raised largely through corporate sponsorships. As a result the pool parties are heavily branded. Advertising banners line the stage side of the pool, opposite the Scion display car and the little village of promotional booths for Topshop, a clothing store, where patrons get a branded plastic beach mat after sitting for a branded photo-booth session.

Waiting on line at Topshop with two friends, Mr. Murphy, the Connecticut student, shrugged at all the advertising. He had already gone through the photo booth and gotten his mat. “I’m just keeping my friends company,” he said.

Regardless of whether a new space is found, the sun has started to go down on the McCarren concerts. Last year events ran well into September, but the concert season was cut short this summer to allow the scheduled construction to begin, Ms. Thayer said.

Remaining events include performances of the play “Twelve Ophelias” by the Woodshed Collective, open-air screenings of the films “28 Days Later” and “Rushmore,” and concerts by Wilco, the Black Keys, the Felice Brothers and Aesop Rock. The next free show is Sunday, with the Black Lips and Deerhunter.

Elena Gilbert, 22, a Bard College student whose summer plans include five pool shows, looked up briefly from what appeared to be prolific texting to note the one hope for the future of the pool events: bureaucratic delays.

“Hopefully it’ll be like the Mermaid Parade,” she said, “where they keep telling you it’s the last summer and it never is.”
"Alright, well, for the sake of this conversation, let's say the book does not exist."

John Junk 2.0

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #52 on: August 01, 2008, 11:21:29 AM »
I like the 20 year old from Connecticut who's like "People from Brooklyn are unlike people from anywhere else!"

ugh.

People have been fighting over that pool for like 100 years.

Andy

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #53 on: August 01, 2008, 11:28:22 AM »
The EMP in Seattle? 



I used to live in Seattle and I can say that I have never seen a building even close to how ugly this building is. It would make me angry to see it. His building design is ugly enough but it has so many ugly, clashing colors. To those who say 'that's the point. this is art. deal with it.' I say take that art and keep it in your city or your home. Do not pollute a beautiful, landmark park with your ugly, confrontational art. Go see Funny Games and Damien Hirch's art and let those of us who enjoy things have a park.

You are 100% correct about this, that building is an eyesore in a terribly out of place area. A friend of mine and I would drive by this building, and every time she would have to point out that it's supposed to be in the shape of Jimmy Hendrix's smashed and flaming guitar. I still cant for the life of me see it, so I call bullshit. No guitar, just an ugly, self-indulgent building.
and terribly expensive. (not that cost should ever be a driving factor on an iconic building.)
Breakfast- I'm havin' a time
Wheelies- I'm havin' a time
Headlocks- I'm havin' a time
Drunk Tank- not so much a time
George St.- I'm havin' a time
Brenda- I'm havin' a time
Bingo- I'm havin' a time
House Arrest- I'm still havin' a time

yesno

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #54 on: August 01, 2008, 12:30:08 PM »
I guess that a hot, converted concrete swimming pool is a pretty good concert space.

But I'll take, oh I don't know



For.  The.  Win.

Emily

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #55 on: August 01, 2008, 12:40:25 PM »
^^^ where is this? Colorado?

Stan

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yesno

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #57 on: August 01, 2008, 01:55:54 PM »
And I'll take the Yonder Mountain String Band, George Thorogood, or Jethro Tull over Yo La Tengo any day.

Actually I did see LCD Soundsystem there, which was pretty rad.

Andy

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #58 on: August 01, 2008, 02:23:53 PM »
Yonder Mountain String Band is a great concert.  It's amazing how driving the music can be with no drums.
Breakfast- I'm havin' a time
Wheelies- I'm havin' a time
Headlocks- I'm havin' a time
Drunk Tank- not so much a time
George St.- I'm havin' a time
Brenda- I'm havin' a time
Bingo- I'm havin' a time
House Arrest- I'm still havin' a time

yesno

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Re: Thank you New York Times AND The New Yorker
« Reply #59 on: August 01, 2008, 02:34:37 PM »
Yonder Mountain String Band is a great concert.  It's amazing how driving the music can be with no drums.

Well, I'll have to check them out then.  I'm sometimes a bit dismissive of the olde timey mountain man/jam band music that the North Face vest-wearing, microbrew-sipping Colorado crowd seems to be into.