Elizabeth Wood may be a young filmmaker, still soaking up directorial lessons and figuring it all out, but she knew exactly what she was doing when she decided to call her first full-length feature, a semi-biographical film set in Ridgewood, White Girl. The label is alluring, gnawing, and sorta yucky all at once. Hilton Als wrote an entire collection of essays, White Girls, devoted to decoding the concept, which he determines is somewhere between an actual state of being and a mirage, both an all-powerful fantasy and the ideal object to be controlled : “Once I lived in a perpetual state of disbelief: How could one be a white girl and hate it? Wasn’t she— whoever she was— everything the world saw and wanted?”
It’s a pejorative, a term commonly attached to catcalls that’s less poetic than, say, “snowflake.” It’s “white girl wasted.” It’s a spoiled, naive little girl. It’s complaining too much. It’s traveling abroad and refusing to eat a stew made with chicken broth. It’s infantilizing, condescending, and rarely a compliment. It’s also a nickname for cocaine.
On Tuesday the Doe Fund organized a march against K2 (Photo: Nicole Disser)
An imaginary line cuts across Broadway, separating Bed-Stuy from Bushwick and, just a few blocks north of the street’s intersection with Myrtle, Williamsburg begins. At any given hour here, the confusing jumble of crisscrossing streets are jammed with a chaotic crush of street traffic and pedestrians going about their day. The looming JMZ track overhead holds the busiest sections in near-permanent darkness, and at night, when the neon comes on and flickers across the fetid puddles of who knows what, Myrtle-Broadway starts to feel like a scene from Blade Runner. People have started to call this area “Zombieland” now that it has become a hot spot for K2, a synthetic cannabinoid that city leaders and cops can’t seem to get rid of, even though it carries a distinctly gnarly smell, and is sold and used out in the open, day and night.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams speaks about K2 at a press conference on Tuesday (Photo: Nicole Disser)
When we arrived at the intersection of Myrtle and Broadway today, the often hectic meeting point of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy was even more chaotic than usual– midday traffic jams were in full effect as trains rattled overhead at the JMZ transfer point and a crowd had gathered to hear a press conference held by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The racket was so loud that it was nearly impossible to hear at times, but the commotion was nothing compared to what went down here yesterday, when 33 people were plucked up from the area and rushed to the hospital after a “mass overdose.”
You may have been shocked to hear, yesterday, that the NYPD raided an unassuming Bushwick bodega and uncovered what appeared to be a massive heroin operation.
But one Brooklyn resident told us he was “totally not surprised.” More than a year ago, Bruno Navarro posted the above photo of the Gates Candy & Grocery to Yelp with the caption “Get your fresh…candy?!”
Still from “Icaros: a Vision,” Filippo Timi as Leonardo (Image courtesy of Matteo Norzi/ “Icaros”)
If you really, really wanted to, you could probably find ayahuasca right here in Brooklyn. We know you’d be “asking for a friend” and everything, but just keep in mind that artist Melanie Bonajo didn’t seem to have any trouble for her film on urban shamanism, Night Soil, andthere’s at least one ayahuasquero – a spirit guide responsible for serving the hallucinogenic brew – based in Bushwick, a neighborhood where a certain “mixed-use community space” (that may or may not still exist) hosted ayahuasca ceremonies recently. Still, it’s not like you can approach your neighborhood drug dealer to hook you up with some of that especially potent jungle juice (one part Banisteriopsiscaapi vine, one part Psychotria viridis leaves).
Thankfully, with the recent premiere of Icaros: a Visionat Tribeca Film Festival, we can satisfy our ayahuas-curiosity from a safe distance while getting a good look at both the indigenous tradition of ayahuasca tripping and what happens when Western ninnies leave behind their workout routines and compulsive internet consumption and start getting real.
The Mayor signed a series of laws today criminalizing K2, part of the City’s continuing effort to crack down on the use and sale of synthetic marijuana. The drug, which Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton both referred to as “poison,” is a liquid substance manufacturers spray on herbs. It has been marketed as incense, spice and, perhaps the most hilarious departure from its actual use, bath salts.
The intersection at Myrtle-Broadway in Bushwick is K2 central (Photo: Nicole Disser)
“I have a really high tolerance for people doing stuff on the street,” said G Lucas Crane, a member of the Silent Barn collective. “I’m from Brooklyn, I just wanna see people do their thing, I don’t want to call anybody out– but when it gets to this level of saturation, the community needs to do something about it.”
The Silent Barn sits just a block from the intersection of Myrtle-Broadway, a hotbed for K2 and other synthetic cannabinoids that have been targeted by city officials. Now, a coalition led by Council Member Antonio Reynoso is bringing a new kind of attention and care to this bustling but problematic corner.
We recently squeezed our way into Morbid Anatomy‘s sold-out lecture “Psychedelics & Death” presented by Dr. Neal Goldsmith, a New York City-based psychotherapist who practices what he calls “psychedelic-inspired therapy.” He’s also the author of Psychedelic Healing. Until recently this topic might have seemed fit only for people with Alex Grey posters on their dorm room wall and aging hippies. And of course radical artists, like Melanie Bonajo, who are concerned with the ways in which ayahuasca could maybe be reasonably adapted into Western society.
Eduardo Sarabia, “Ballads” exhibit. (photo: Rob Scher)
Paper holds much value, even when it’s not green, with Franklin’s unsmiling mug on it. A recent MoMA exhibit, for instance, showed Henri Matisse’s appreciation for the potential beauty of tree pulp. Another fellow who seems to have received the memo is Mexican-based artist Eduardo Sarabia, whose most recent exhibit, “Ballads,” opens today at Other Criteria gallery in Soho.
Smoking weed is oft associated with “chilling” or “hanging out,” however there is a tendency to disregard the norms of social decency when obtaining it. This is likely due to the fact that weed is illegal and cannot be purchased at your local bodega.
There are innumerous ways in which both potheads and casual weed smokers act like total jerks on their quest to get stoned. We consulted with a weed dealer (who will remain anonymous for obvious reasons. We shall call him “Mr. Green”) to find out common weed ordering faux pas and how to rectify them. Keep Reading »