April 28, 2008

My camera fell and broke.

It wasn’t a big fall, only the distance from a chair seat to the floor, but I guess it was enough to kill it.

I’ll take it to a repair shop, but I’m afraid they won’t have good news.

What’ll I do with no camera?


April 27, 2008

Recently, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art held an innovative exhibition called blog.mode: addressing fashion. The ideas behind the show, which closed on April 13, were that (1) fashion is a living art form and, like all art, open to multiple interpretations and (2) it is important to promote critical and creative dialogues about fashion.

The exhibition included forty costumes and accessories that were recently acquired by the Met, and visitors were encouraged to share their reactions using computers set up in the Costume Institute galleries. You can see all of the clothes, and read comments on the exhibit blog (sadly, comments can no longer be added) by clicking the links below.

These are some of my favorites from the show, where the question wasn’t “Is it attractive?” or “Would I wear that?” (after all, most of these things were never intended for everyday wear) but rather “What does that garment say?”

Entrance — the Costume Institute is on the lower level.

Long dress

Gray constructed dresses

Pleated dresses

Three white dresses

Pink gown

Pink shoe

Blog.mode: Introduction
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Blog.mode Exhibit


April 25, 2008

In the mid-1990s, a New York City nightclub owner Don Hill decided to hold a weekly “gay night.” He hired a party planner who vowed to create an event that included everything he liked and nothing he didn’t, and they called the result SqueezeBox! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the name).

The Friday night SqueezeBox! parties offered uncensored, uninhibited entertainment and attracted a regular audience of drag queens, rock & rollers and celebrities. After several years, the parties had run their course.

The last SqueezeBox! event, a gala farewell party, was held on May 18, 2001, and filmmakers almost immediately began working on a documentary. Last night, the movie that was seven years in the making was shown as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Some of the SqueezeBox! regulars showed up in full party regalia and, for a few moments, the lobby and street outside the theater were transformed into the site of an impromptu drag performance, fashion show and family reunion.

The filmmakers onstage

Screening attendees

Attendee in the lobby

Jayne Country at the screening

In front of a Tribeca Film Festival banner

Jim Wallerstein and Bebe Buell

On the street in front of the theater

Film attendee in the street

Tribeca Film Festival: SqueezeBox!
Don Hill’s SqueezeBox Party
MySpace: SqueezeBox The Movie
MySpace: Squeeze Box

This is Thriller Night

April 24, 2008

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight you see a sight
that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
You’re paralyzed

‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer thriller tonight

A quarter of a century after it was released, Michael Jackson’s Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time. To acknowledge this landmark in music and, thanks to its accompanying video, in film, this evening the Tribeca Film Festival held an event called “Thriller Night.”

The open-air celebration of the ghoulish song included a zombie face-painting station, a “make your own Michael Jackson glove” booth, where participants dipped white gloves in glue and glitter, Thriller dance lessons and demonstrations, a Michael Jackson dance-alike contest, and screenings of the epic music video and the rarely seen documentary, The Making of Thriller.

Choreographer Vincent Peterson, who danced in the original video and now hosts the Bravo network television program Step It Up & Dance, hosted the event while the cast of his show danced onstage. The evening also included a special appearance by filmmaker and Thriller video director John Landis and an amusing, unplanned and not entirely friendly encounter between two Michael Jackson impersonators.

Contestants in the dance-alike contest

The winner of the dance contest meets the press

Zombie in black leather jacket

Zombie with hair ribbons

Little Zombie

Zombie bride

John Landis

John Landis and Vincent Peterson

Zombie and film festival worker

Zombie huddle

Zombies surround reporter

Zombies dance onstage

The audience watches the video

Like the real Michael Jackson, these impersonators seem to be doing something scary to a little boy

Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Thriller Night
New York Times: At the Drive-In Movie
The Epoch Times: 25th Anniversary Party for Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’
Entertainment Tonight: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of ‘Thriller’
MSNBC: MJ’s ‘Thriller’ still a classic after 25 years


April 23, 2008

Many people believe that this spot, at the intersection of Astor Place and Lafayette Street, marks the point where Greenwich Village turns into the East Village.

Today, this trio of buskers took advantage of the warm sunshine by playing their jazzy tunes near the entrance to the Astor Place subway station. When the musicians took a break, I asked whether their group had a name. “Three,” replied the sax player, “all in lower case.”

And so, here they are: three.

The band playing at Astor Place

Behind the band, people pour in and out of the subway station

The drummer


Saxaphone player

Bass player

Project Looking Through

April 18, 2008

I enjoyed being part of Anna Carson’s Project Yellow and have decided to try another blogger project, Mark’s Project Looking Through. The object is to post a photo that gives the viewer the sensation of looking through something.

This photo was taken in Brooklyn Bridge Park, 12 acres located between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. This narrow stretch of land is separated from the East River by a paved promenade and a short iron fence.

Click on the image to see the details. Shot through the rails of the fence, it shows the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge and the 32-story Verizon Building, one of the world’s first art deco skyscrapers. All you way to the left, on the far side of the river, you can glimpse the domed roof of the World Financial Center.

Look closely at the surface of the river, between the iron bars, and you’ll see two boats heading beneath the bridge — a long, dark barge and a small, bright vessel with an American flag flying from the stern.


Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation
Wikipedia: Verizon Building
Wikipedia: Brooklyn Bridge

Project Yellow

April 11, 2008

I’ve never participated in this sort of project before, but today I visited Anna Carson’s blog and decided to to join her Project Yellow.

This is the doorway at the end of the World Trade Center subway station in Lower Manhattan. These doors, temporarily covered with yellow tape marked Caution, Do Not Enter, used to open into 5 World Trade Center.

On September 11, 2001, I came out of the subway and was heading through these doors when I heard that there was some kind of a fire in the building. I should have just turned around and gone back home, but I didn’t.

These doors, no matter how many times I pass through them, still lead me back to that morning.



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