In case you missed the history lesson in Captured, the documentary about the Lower East Side documentarian, the Clayton cap was created in 1986, when Patterson discovered a couple of mom-and-pop shops on Avenue A that did iron-ons and embroidery. “A lot of the street gangs would go in there and cut out their letters and iron them on their jackets,” Clayton remembered. When Clayton realized the shop could also make custom baseball hats, the first Clayton cap was born.
A new exhibition at La MaMa brings together the various threads of New York City nightlife, art, and HIV/AIDS activism. The close ties were always there but curators, gallerists, and artists seem to be reassessing spaces that are thought to be reserved for escapism and debauchery. Osman Can Yerebakan and Emily Colucci (who has contributed to this blog in the past) are the curatorial team behind Party Out of Bounds: Nightlife as Activism Since 1980. The show has been in the works for two years, so Colucci and her curatorial partner have been able to compile an incredible array of archival materials, photographs, and work by artists who are long gone and contemporary artists and activists who are ensuring the party rages on.
Okay, not hanging — this is street art, after all. But check out the mural that Solus and John “Crash” Matos put up today just across the way from the former CBGB, at Bleecker and Bowery. According to the LISA Project, the piece is part of the LoMan Art Festival, and marks the anniversary of the Ramones’ first show at CBGB, on August 16, 1974.
You used to be able to see Keith Haring’s art just by ducking into the subway — now all you have to do is catch a ferry to Governors Island. Not only are photos of the East Village legend’s subway squiggles on display at an exhibit of downtown public art, but you can also peep this Haring hologram.
Some of the city’s most colorful characters flocked to The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center last night to celebrate the completion of a $9.2 million renovation project. A sparkling rainbow ribbon was cut by Edie Windsor, who famously caused the Supreme Court to change its exclusively heterosexual interpretation of marriage through a civil rights case that is now a historical milestone for the LGBT community. Cheers resounded as it fell to the floor.
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More ch-ch-ch-changes on Astor Place, where last week the beloved cube went away for a while. What did we spy on our way into work today but this gleaming Keith Haring sculpture outside of 51 Astor Place. Apparently the lobby’s Jeff Koons rabbit wasn’t blingy enough.
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Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong are sifting through their voluminous archive of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.
Described by the Soho Weekly News as “New York’s best party band,” Strange Party was a witty, stylish group serving up a fizzy cocktail of performance art with a dash of Latin-infused new wave. They were a huge outfit with six backup musicians and four vocalists upfront. And what vocalists! Led by downtown art star Joey Arias, the quartet was rounded out by Tony Frere, Paige Wood, and Janus Budde. They were eccentric and compelling — their guitarist George Elliot once described the band as “a little like heavy metal Ricky Ricardo.” Joey suggested they were just trying to turn art into fun.
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Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.
For a lot of people, those early Reagan Years were also the Up All Night Years. Typically, an after-hours spot opened around 3 a.m. and gave up the ghost around noon. Somehow, they were always packed and never too hard to find. Given the variety and sheer number of options available, folks tended to flit from place to place, but clubs did have individual identities. AM/PM in Tribeca attracted a mix of Wall Street types, downtown rockers and artists, while Crisco Disco and the Anvil were for the gay boys on the West Side. The Jefferson was shabby chic, a derelict vaudeville theater and a bit of a death trap; there was only a narrow staircase to the second floor where the festivities sometimes spilled out onto a rickety marquee overlooking East 14th Street. It did have romance: a friend of ours met his first wife there. Keep Reading »