Fleet Week 2007

May 30, 2007

For the past 23 years, New York City has hosted an annual event called Fleet Week, when attention is focused on the troops who serve at sea: the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Part tribute, part celebration and part recruiting extravaganza, the week begins when a flotilla of ships enters New York Harbor, some docking at Staten Island’s Stapleton Pier, others going to Pier 90 in Manhattan. Official, scheduled activities include military concerts and demonstrations, public tours of ships and aircraft, and participation in Memorial Day events around the city.

The aspect of the week that most New Yorkers most enjoy, however, is the sight of thousands of uniformed sailors and marines scrambling around town, trying to cram in every last sight (and drink, and sqeeze) before their ships depart.


On the town
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Passing the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Helicopter on the deck of the USS Wasp
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Tourists viewing helicopter
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Kid in the cockpit
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Sitting in helicopter
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Signal flags
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Former Miss Liberia, Patrice Juah, on board
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Flag hung inside the USS Wasp
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Marine and friend
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Sailor and family
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Walking away from the ship
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Navy Band Rhode Island Sound
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Navy Band Rhode Island Sound in Times Square
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Navy Band Guitarist
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Lead singer of Rhode Island Sound
Originally uploaded by annulla.


At the Armed Forces Recruiting Station
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Taking photos with a cell phone
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Grabbing a snack in Times Square
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Posing for a sketch artist
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Walking up Broadway
Originally uploaded by annulla.


At Columbus Circle
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Navy Band Northeast Performs at Times Square

The Navy’s Official Fleet Week Web site
20th Annual Fleet Week New York Ends
Commander Navy Region Midatlantic: Navy Band Northeast
Navy Band Northeast
Fort Hamilton Salutes USS Wasp During Fleet Week 2007


DanceAfrica at 30

May 28, 2007

In early 1977 the New York-based Chuck Davis Dance Company staged a remarkable performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Influenced by a recent trip to Nigeria, their show incorporated elements of both modern dance and African traditions.

The critics were captivated. New York Times noted that, “the dancers performed with spirit, good humor and the kind of exuberance with which the Davis company consistently manages to draw in its audience” conveying “the spirit as well as the steps of African dance.”

The success of the show at BAM inspired Davis to create a day-long celebration of music, dance and culture from and inspired by the nations of Africa. He called it DanceAfrica.

In the 30 years since that first performance, DanceAfrica has become an annual Memorial Day weekend tradition. Now a three-day festival, the event includes performances, classes and films as well as a sprawling outdoor African Village Bazaar where vendors from around the world fill the streets surrounding BAM with movement, music and color.


Baskets for sale
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Masks for sale
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Men examining African crafts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Friends
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Three old friends
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Dancers with son
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Men with jewelry & shades
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Woman Examining Rack of Dresses
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Man with red scarf
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Man with gold chain
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Drummer
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Mother & daughter
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Boy selling t-shirt
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Couple
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Dancing in the street
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Woman shopping
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Man with flag
Originally uploaded by annulla.

BAM: 30 Years of DanceAfrica
Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble
NY Times: African Energy Celebrated Ebulliently and Symbolically
NY Times: Dance Review – African Pieces by Chuck Davis (02/27/77)
Wikipedia: DanceAfrica
Wikipedia: Brooklyn Academy of Music


Remembering in Bay Ridge

May 28, 2007

This is a side of Brooklyn you’ve never seen on television or in the movies. Here, in the southwestern corner of the borough, in the shadow of the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge, is a place bursting with patriotism and pride.

Today, in this location, there are no wiseguys, gangstas, hipsters or poseurs. No protestors or dissenters, either. Those who crowd the streets and the park have all come for what is known as “the longest-running continuous Memorial Day parade in the United States.”

For the 140th year, those who came to the Bay Ridge Memorial Day parade marched, watched, cheered and waved their flags. They listened to accounts of battles gone by, sacrifices made and lives lost. They wore their uniforms, patches, ribbons and medals, embraced old friends and, quietly, unashamedly wiped away their tears.

On this sunny day, a normally-busy section of the city that never sleeps stopped, stood at attention and remembered. And on Memorial Day in Bay Ridge, no “designer” label could ever equal the status of an ordinary Broooklynite clad in red, white and blue.


Good Fellas Barber Shop
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Kelly’s Tavern with bunting
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Couple paying respects
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Rolling Thunder motorcycle
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Rolling Thunder
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Quartet of Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Girl Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Group of Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Veterans & granddaughter
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Members of the American Legion
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Lady in a yellow suit
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Member of Rolling Thunder
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Scoutmaster
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Boy Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Friends in uniform
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Family group
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Scout & Mom
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Vet with helmet & flag
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Rolling Thunder pair
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Women with flags
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Courier-Life: Brooklyn celebrates Memorial Day ‘07
NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation: This Memorial Day Weekend
Bay Ridge Blog


Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe

May 27, 2007

A luncheon on the grass isn’t what it used to be.

Legend has it that in the mid-1800s, while watching bathers in the Seine, Edouard Manet was reminded of a painting he’d seen in the Louvre, Giorgione’s Concert Champêtre (Pastoral Symphony). He was inspired to reinterpret Giorgione’s work, which showed nude females serving clothed men a luncheon under the trees, and to give it a contemporary twist.

At the time, there was only one way young artist could achieve success: by participating in official, government-sanctioned exhibitions at the Académie des beaux-arts. At these shows, known as the Salons de Paris, conservative juries favored classical painting styles depicting biblical and mythological themes.

In 1863, when Manet submitted Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) – the painting Giorgione’s work had inspired — to the Salon’s selection committee, they refused to include it in the show. In fact, that year the committee turned away nearly every work that employed modern subjects or techniques.

The rejected artists’ protests and their claims of bias resulted in French Emperor Napoleon III deciding to allow their works — including Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe — to be shown in a separate exhibition called the Salon des Refusés.

When the Salon opened, Manet’s painting caused a public outcry. The critics were not offended by the nudity, but by the fact that the nudes had no supernatural or religious connotations; rather, they were shown as real people, modern, recognizable Parisians enjoying what appeared to be a bawdy, drunken picnic on the grass.

Of course, then as now, notoriety has its rewards. The rejection, outrage and resulting scandal not only helped cement Manet’s reputation and make him a hero to the avant-garde, it also brought together the group of young painters who created the Impressionist movement. 

Today I saw a group in Central Park enjoying a birthday luncheon on the grass. Unlike the women Manet’s painting, all of these New Yorkers remained fully dressed. But, just as their Parisian antecedents did, they lounged in the sunlight, nibbled on sweet treats and raised their goblets.

And, they had one thing that surely would have inspired jealousy among Giorgione and Manet’s models: a large, deluxe, insulated fiberglass cooler. After all, on a sunny afternoon, the only thing better than a luncheon on the grass is a luncheon that includes a properly chilled wine.


Fête Champêtre by Giorgione
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Le Djeuner sur l’Herbe by Monet
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Luncheon on the Grass in Central Park
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Picnics in Paintings
Artcyclopedia: Forbidden Visions
National Gallery of Australia: History of the Paris Salons
Musée du Louvre
Rossetti Archive: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s For a Venetian Pastoral
Musee d’Orsay: Le déjeuner sur l’herbe
The Web Museum: Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe
Wikipedia: The Luncheon on the Grass


Times Square Spring Block Party

May 27, 2007

In New York City, most street fairs, block parties and festivals are a mixture of greasy food, shoddy merchandise and bewildered tourists. 

Visitors go to these events expecting to get a taste of local color, and instead find themselves surrounded by vendors hawking plastic jewelry, counterfeit designer purses, funnel cakes, bedsheets, flimsy t-shirts and tube socks. In other words, an assortment of items they could find at their local carnival, dollar store and Wal-Mart.

If you go to a dozen street fairs in a dozen different neighborhoods, chances are you’ll run into the same vendors with the same merchandise over and over again.

The reason for the tawdry mediocrity? Most street fairs, festivals and block parties held here (there are hundreds every year) are run by three large production companies: Mardi Gras Festival Productions, Clearview Festival Productions and Mort and Ray.

According to librarian Marcus Banks, the companies make it “easier both for the sponsoring organizations and for the vendors, by navigating what turns out to be a formidable permit process … [and help the sponsors and vendors] … obtain the necessary individual state and city permits they need. [They] also sell the vendors booths in the fairs … and, if vendors buy a booth at more than one fair, they get a discount, which is why the same vendors appear in festival after festival.”

Cutting through governmental red tape and bureaucracy isn’t a bad thing. However, these firms lack any incentive to include local merchants and craftsmen or diversify the types of vendors at the fairs. The result is aggravating to New Yorkers and confusing to tourists who show up at something called a “Harvest Festival” anticipating displays of fresh baked goods and ripe produce, not knockoff Dora the Explorer backpacks and tube socks.

There are, of course, exceptions to the bland homogeneity. The city still hosts fairs and festivals put on by community and cultural groups that want to celebrate their neighborhood’s individuality, character and, of course, cuisine. Those events, while harder to find each year, are always worth a special trip.

Summer is the prime time for street fairs and festivals, and today I stumbled across the first of the season. And so, since this is the only Mardi Gras/Clearview/Mort and Ray event I plan to attend this year, here is the Times Square Spring Block Party (including a picture of my favorite vendor).   


Barrier across 47th Street
Originally uploaded by annulla.


New York City Souvenirs – Unbelievable Low Prices!!
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Underwear Vendor
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Jewelry Any Item $2 & Up
Originally uploaded by annulla.


T-shirt vendor
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Toys & Knockoff Purses
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Shish-Ka-Bobs & Corn Dogs
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Times Square Psychic
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Sausage & Corn Dogs
Originally uploaded by annulla.


iPod Accessory Sale!
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Tube sock vendors
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Knock-off purses
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Tourists with shopping bags
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Mom & dad’s assistant vendor
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Gothamist: NYC Street Fairs are “Generic”
Gotham Gazette: Block Parties, Street Fairs, Street Festivals
Center for an Urban Future: Rethinking New York’s Street Fairs
Mardi Gras Festival Productions
Clearview Festival Productions
Mort and Ray


AIDS Walk New York 2007

May 20, 2007

AIDS Walk New York is the world’s largest AIDS fund raiser. Since 1986, this annual event has raised more than $90 million for research, treatment and support services.

This year I couldn’t participate as a walker, so I agreed to work as a sign-in volunteer. I reported to Central Park at 6:45 a.m. and spent the morning welcoming and signing in walkers, registering people who decided to join at the last minute, handling forms and gathering donations.

A substantial number of those who participated in the walk did so as members of teams (a team can be as small as two). Most teams are comprised of people who represent businesses, schools, religious affiliations or professional organizations, but many are groups of friends and family members who walk in memory of someone lost to AIDS.

Despite the intermittent rain, about 47,000 people walked the 10 kilometer route (a few collapsed just after crossing the finish line) and they raised a record breaking, astonishing total of $6,857,527.


Volunteer in sign-in tent
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Three volunteers
Originally uploaded by annulla.


A volunteer
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Volunteer
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Volunteers at work
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Two volunteers (one unofficial)
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Tie-dyed team
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team Sikhs in America
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team HAF: Tu Bienestar, Nuestra Mision
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team Maria Davis: Mad Soul Runners Can’t Be Silenced
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Family team
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team Latin Life Savers
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team Sheryl
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team Resurrect Auto Club
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team In Loving Memory of Flor Zevallos
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team P.S. 158 – Grades 3, 4, 5
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team James Curley 1964 – 2005
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Team Vanegas Family
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Vivir La Vida: Anna Maria Colon Dec 3, 1944 – March 6, 1988
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Nellie’s Team February 11, 1959 – March 29, 2004
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Fraternity team crossing finish line with linked arms
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Walker with walker
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Official Web site of AIDS Walk New York


P.S. 6: Pony Rides & Petting Zoo

May 19, 2007

Public School 6 is located in one of the wealthiest sections of New York City, on a block lined with mansions and luxury buildings. Today the school, which serves children from kindergarten through 5th grade, held its annual Spring Fling fundraiser.

East 82nd Street between Madison and Park Avenues was closed to traffic and a food table, giant slide, rock climbing wall, dunking tank, entertainment and other attractions were set up. The event was billed as “rain or shine,” but once it began drizzling, most of the activities were packed away.

The petting zoo and pony rides remained in place long enough for these city kids to enjoy the rare experience of meeting calves, chicks, ducks, goats, bunnies and a llama face to face and riding the small, gentle ponies up and down the block.


PS 6 Goes Green information tent
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Petting bunny and chicks
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Kids, chicks & ducks
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Llama, goats & sheep
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Poor little rich girl peeks out the door
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Petting baby goats
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Petting chicks & ducks
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Riding the pony on E 82nd Street
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Boy getting on pony
Originally uploaded by annulla.

PS 6
Street Easy: Real Estate for Sale in the PS 6 School District
The Oil Drum: PS 6 Greenmarket Withdrawn
Curbed: Upper East Side Greenmarket Undone


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