Orange Fridays

July 27, 2007

The urgent color of orange — the color that has been assigned to those detained and tortured with no due process — must become the color of a gathering sentiment to end the Bush regime and reverse its program.

Flyer distributed at Orange Fridays rally

Union Square Park is the site of countless protests and demonstrations. This evening I stumbled across a particularly colorful one: a coalition of anti-war, anti-administration activists holding the first rally of their “Declare it Now: Wear Orange” campaign.

Supporters of the group called The World Can’t Wait/Drive Out the Bush Regime vowed to wear orange every Friday to show opposition to Bush’s policies. They are calling for “impeachment, resignation or indictment.” The protesters plan to meet every week in Union Square at 5:00 p.m. and hope to make Orange Fridays a nationwide movement.

Please note: this political movement should not be confused with the Orange Fridays promotion sponsored by the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

Distributing flyers
Distributing flyers

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Protesting with papa

Parading through the park
Parading through the park

Veteran protester
Veteran protester

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Drumming up attention

Adjusting the microphone
Adjusting the microphone

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Blindfolded singer

Torture + Silence = Complicity
Banner on the stage

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Buying badges

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Selling orange t-shirts and bandanas

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All oranged-up

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Buying an orange shirt

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“I’ve been doing this all my life,” she said.

The World Can’t Wait
San Francisco Giants: ‘Orange Fridays’


Guitar Guys Friday

July 27, 2007

Thanks to the River to River Festival, this was “Guitar Guys Friday.” Three of the buskers who usually perform in the subways as part of the Transit Authority’s Arts for Transit: Music Under New York program were invited to come above ground and play in the heart of the financial district.

They appeared under a green awning in the space formerly known as Liberty Plaza Park. Unlike most New York City parks, which are owned by the city, this square block on Lower Broadway between Liberty and Cedar Streets is owned by a private real estate company, Brookfield Properties.

The park was destroyed on September 11, 2001 and when it finally re-opened last summer (yes, the park was closed and hidden behind tall fences for nearly five years), the name had been changed to Zuccotti Park to honor John Zuccotti, the U.S. Chairman of Brookfield Properties.

The space is popular with lunchtime crowds, who munched while listening to local guitar heroes Delfin Tardio, who describes his reggae-tinged music as “electric meditation” and Heth and Jed, who call their rock-based sound “Pink Floyd meets the wall.”

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Delfin Tardio playing in Zuccotti Park

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Delfin Tardio

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Heth & Jed in Zuccotti Park

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Heth playing the guitar

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Heth

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Jed on his blue guitar

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Jed

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

By the way, just to give you a bit of historical perspective, here is a photo of the park on September 11, 2001. I didn’t take it; this image was shot by photojournalist Jeff Mermelstein.

Liberty Plaza Park 9/11 by Jeff Mermelstein
Liberty Plaza Park on 9/11 by Jeff Mermelstein

Heth and Jed
MySpace: Heth & Jed
River to River Festival: Guitar Guys
MTA’s Arts for Transit “Music Under New York” program
New York Times: Jeff Mermelstein
Lower Manhattan: Zuccotti Park
Project Rebirth: Liberty Park Plaza
Cooper Robertson: Liberty Park Plaza
Brookfield Properties


Whose Broads Stripes

July 27, 2007

One of the most imposing buildings on Wall Street, Federal Hall was the original home of the United States Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. It was here that George Washington first took the oath of office.

Today, while Wall Streeters despaired over a slump in the stock market, the steps of the Federal Hall were the site of Lawrence Goldhuber’s Whose Broads Stripes.

No signs, announcements or explanations preceded the performance, so the tourists who crowded around the building, snapping each other’s photos, were shocked when guitarist Geoff Gersh launched into Jimi Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner and two showgirls dressed in red and white sequined gowns began to dance with feathered fans.

After a few minutes of shimmying in the sunlight, they went back up the steps and held aloft protest signs. The music changed to a recording of Pink Floyd’s Money, the dancers dropped the signs, descended and flung phoney $50 bills into the air. 

As the audience dove to grab the funny money, the glamour girls seemed to notice a middle-aged businessman sitting on the steps with the rest of the lunchtime crowd. They pulled the laughingly protesting man to his feet, and he awkwardly, gamely attempted to join them in their dance.

Then, suddenly, they covered him with their fans. From behind the feathers, the man’s jacket flew into the air. Then his tie. And then … when the women lowered the fluffy white fans, the stuffy businessman was gone, replaced by a dancing, strutting superhero.

Geoff Gersh
Geoff Gersh in front of Federal Hall

Geoff Gersh
Geoff Gersh & his guitar

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The showgirls appear

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Dancing on the steps

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Displaying signs asking for peace and love

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Throwing fake $50 bills to the crowd

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Spotting a businessman beneath the statue of Washington

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The businessman awkwardly joins in the dance

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They hide the businessman behind their fans

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He emerges as a superhero

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The superhero & showgirls shake & shimmy together

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The end!

Lawrence Goldhuber/BIGMANARTS
Geoff Gersh
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council: Sitelines
River to River Festival
Pink Floyd
Jimi Hendrix
Federal Hall National Memorial


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