I can come up with a handful of half-decent excuses to not talk to a canvasser on the street, ranging from the whiny to the legit– I really am too broke to help. But to tell the truth, I also don’t want to get into a difficult conversation about the dismal state of the world. Don’t we have enough of that shoved down our social media feeds everyday? So yes, turns out I am that person that we wrote about in October, the one who brushes past Amnesty International canvassers. There’s an art to it, too: first I let my gaze turn steely, then I tighten the grip on my bag and put on an air of a person with a purpose. It works like a charm and at worst, I’m left with a slight twinge of guilt.
At 81 years old, D’yan Forest describes herself as a “young Betty White.” The octogenarian and veteran performer doesn’t mask her sexual conquests in grandma-speak. Indeed she speaks Millennial more fluently than some natives I know– she’s sex positive, has done her fair share of swiping left on Tinder, and is open-minded toward all kinds of people. Before I set off to the West Village apartment to meet D’yan where she’s lived since the ’60s, I phoned her and she assured me: “I’m very interesting, too, darling.” Click. It’s hard to argue with that: the multi-instrumentalist’s career spans at least three continents, and she can sing in nine languages. On top of all that, she’s now trying to hack it as a stand-up comic.
As a 30-year resident of the East Village, Daniel Root has seen his fair share of neighborhood transformation. “But you know, when you’re living in a place, it doesn’t really jump out at you that it’s changed that much, because obviously it’s a gradual change. Even though right now, at the moment, it feels like it’s ramping up in speed,” he said.
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Last night, Jim Power, the legendary Mosaic Man, took to his Twitter and Facebook to post a diatribe on the waning support from his community. Power is trying to raise money to continue his work on the Mosaic Trail: 80 decorated light poles, bedazzled with colorful pieces of tile, spattered around the East Village.
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