About Frank Mastropolo

Posts by Frank Mastropolo:

No Comments

Tyrus Wong, Visionary Behind Disney’s Bambi, Peeped His Solo Exhibit at MOCA

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong (China, b. 1910). <em>Bambi</em>, 1942 Visual development. Watercolor on paper. Courtesy of Mike Glad. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong (China, b. 1910). Bambi, 1942 Visual development. Watercolor on paper. Courtesy of Mike Glad. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Wong looks at a photo of himself and his wife Ruth taken at their home in Southern California in the 1950s. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Wong looks at a photo of himself and his wife Ruth taken at their home in Southern California in the 1950s. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong, <em>Bambi</em> (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper; 10 x 11.5 in. Courtesy of Tyrus Wong Family, ©Disney. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong, Bambi (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper; 10 x 11.5 in. Courtesy of Tyrus Wong Family, ©Disney. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Wong with Nancy Yao Maasbach, president of Museum of Chinese in America (far left) and Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President (center). (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Wong with Nancy Yao Maasbach, president of Museum of Chinese in America (far left) and Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President (center). (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong (China, b.1910). <em>Bambi</em>, 1942 visual development. Watercolor on paper. Courtesy of Tyrus Wong Family (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong (China, b.1910). Bambi, 1942 visual development. Watercolor on paper. Courtesy of Tyrus Wong Family (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong (China, b.1910). <em>Bambi</em>, 1942 visual development. Watercolor on paper. Courtesy of Tyrus Wong Family (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Tyrus Wong (China, b.1910). Bambi, 1942 visual development. Watercolor on paper. Courtesy of Tyrus Wong Family (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

If you’ve seen the Disney animated classic Bambi, you’ve experienced the art of Tyrus Wong. An exhibition of his work opened Wednesday night at the Museum of Chinese in America. It’s titled Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong. Wong, who is 104 years old, attended the Chinatown event. We walked with him during his first look at the collection of his life’s work.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

The Zaccaro Sign Has Left the Building

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

While researching our recent story on ghost signs, we were saddened to discover that a Lower East Side classic has disappeared. The façade of 19 Kenmare Street used to boast a 1940s-era sign for two companies still in business: P. Zaccaro Co. Real Estate and J. Eis and Son, an appliance store. Workers have removed the iconic hand-painted ad.
Keep Reading »

No Comments

Top 10 Ghost Signs of the East Village and LES

Photo:

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

Though many lament the frenzy of change in New York’s oldest neighborhoods, there are still remnants of the past to see if you’d look up from your smartphone. Ghost signs, advertising signage that has survived long after a business has gone bust, are still around… but are disappearing fast.

Click through the slideshow to see our favorites, then leave your own in the comments.
Keep Reading »

1 Comment

Marky Ramone On Life as a Ramone in the E. Village: ‘Everybody Was Psychedelized’

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

No band is more identified with the East Village than the Ramones. The band’s performances at Hilly Kristal’s CBGB and other neighborhood venues defined punk rock forever. In 2003, the corner of the Bowery and Second Street near CBGB was officially named Joey Ramone Place. Over time, members of the group lived, drank and hung out in the East Village.
Keep Reading »

27 Comments

‘This Is My Living Room’: After 110 Years, De Robertis Caffé Will Close Dec. 5

Robert and customer (Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

John De Robertis and customer (Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

There’s only a limited time left to experience an era when people came to coffee shops to talk rather than stare at a computer screen. De Robertis Caffé is scheduled to close for good on Dec. 5, Bedford + Bowery has learned.
Keep Reading »

No Comments

Fillmore East Plaque Unveiled at Site of ‘Church of Rock ‘n’ Roll’

Andrew Berman and Phil Hartman of Two Boots unveil the plaque.

Andrew Berman and Phil Hartman of Two Boots unveil the plaque. (Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

More than four decades after its closing, a commemorative plaque was unveiled last night at the site of the Fillmore East, the legendary East Village concert hall at 105 Second Avenue that presented the biggest stars of the music world from 1968 to 1971. A light rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd that packed the sidewalk in front of what is now an Apple Bank branch.
Keep Reading »

7 Comments

‘It Was a Joint’: Jazz Musicians Remember Slugs’ in the Far East

Albert Ayler outside of Slugs.

Albert Ayler outside of Slugs.

Slugs’ Saloon opened its doors in 1964, a neighborhood bar owned by Robert Schoenholt, who died in 2012, and Jerry Schultz. By early 1965, many musicians who lived in the neighborhood convinced the owners to feature live jazz. The club rivaled the Five Spot Café as one of the top jazz spots in the East Village.

Despite its implication, Slugs’ took its name from the book All and Everything by mystic George Gurdjieff, who referred to three-brained humans as “slugs.” New York law in the ‘60s prohibited the name “saloon,” so the club re-branded itself – keeping the apostrophe – as “Slugs’ in the Far East.”
Keep Reading »

No Comments

‘Tommy Was the Ramones’: Friends and Colleagues Remember Tommy Ramone

Tommy Ramone at The Roundhouse in London on 4th July 1976. (Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns)

Tommy Ramone at The Roundhouse in London on 4th July 1976. (Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns)

Despite their impact, the Ramones struggled for commercial success. Their debut album, Ramones, has been called the most influential punk record, but it was only this past June – 38 years after its release – that the LP went gold.
Keep Reading »

1 Comment

Remembering Café Le Metro: ‘We Were the Resistance to John Q Average American’

(Photo: Fred W. McDarrah)

Author-musician Ed Sanders (center, with his feet on a chair) and poet Ted Berrigan (left, with hand on chin) and Paul Blackburn (right, with mustache and glasses) at Cafe Le Metro, October of 1964. (Photo: Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

In 1963 Newsday reported on artists who had abandoned Greenwich Village for the Lower East Side, “New York’s newest bargain-basement bohemia”: “Poets aren’t lacking on the Lower East Side. Cynthia and Moe Margules, who operate Le Metro, a coffeehouse on Second Avenue, have found that poets are regular, if not heavy-spending customers. Once or twice a week the poets drop by in force to read to each other.”
Keep Reading »

5 Comments

‘We’d Found This Cave Out of Time’: A Look Back at Glam Rock’s Club 82

(Photos: Aileen Polk)

(Photos: Eileen Polk)

When Judy Garland, Kirk Douglas, Liz Taylor and the glitterati of the ‘50s wanted to walk on the wild side, they headed to the East Village’s Club 82, “New York’s After-Dark Rendezvous.” The notoriety of the basement club, at 82 East Fourth Street, came from its elaborate stage shows performed by 35 female impersonators. Strippers, dancers, comedians and singers, all men in drag, staged three shows nightly, seven days a week well into the ‘60s, when the novelty wore off and the club’s popularity faded.
Keep Reading »

1 Comment

The East Village Jazz Scene Remembers Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka reads the words to songs by Curtis Mayfield as William Parker and Leena Conquest perform Parker's "Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield" on the final evening of Vision Festival XIII at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in 2008. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Amiri Baraka reads the words to songs by Curtis Mayfield as William Parker and Leena Conquest perform Parker’s “Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield” on the final evening of Vision Festival at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in 2008. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

In the 1950s, before LeRoi Jones would change his name to Amiri Baraka, the poet soaked up the sounds of jazz in bars throughout the East Village. Clubs like the Five Spot Café, where Jones was a regular patron, featured jazz legends like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. Their performances helped inspire Jones to write Blues People, the 1963 groundbreaking study of African-American music.

To further honor LeRoi’s time in the East Village, we spoke to three members of the era’s jazz scene.
Keep Reading »

No Comments

‘Definitely a New York Hang’: Jazz Musicians Remember the Five Spot Café

Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.
frontpicUrban renewal plans are nothing new to the Bowery. In 1955, New York dismantled the Third Avenue El, the elevated train that ran overhead, in an effort to bring light and air to the sordid strip of dives and flophouses. The cleanup campaign inspired brothers Joe and Iggy Termini to transform their No. 5 Bar, named after its Five Cooper Square address, into a place that would welcome the artists, writers and dancers moving into the neighborhood.
Keep Reading »