Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘brooklyn’

I love listening to Worcester-based WICN (jazz radio). Bonnie Johnson had an especially good show yesterday, opening with Cynthia Scott and 3rd, 4th & 5th graders of PS32 in Brooklyn, NY, singing “Dream for One Bright World.”

“There is a new day dawning
“The time is now
“The world is ready for a change …

“Let’s teach out children to care
“To help one another
“And mend broken hearts
“So many children in the world
“Have never had a chance
“Their time has come …

(More lyrics here.)

You can listen to WICN online at wicn.org. Bonnie Johnson’s program is described at Colors of Jazz. “Bonnie Johnson is host of Colors of Jazz on Sunday afternoon from noon-4 pm. If you asked the Worcester native how she found jazz, she would tell you that jazz found her. As an undergraduate student at Howard University in Washington, DC, Ms. Johnson became a fan of the Quiet Storm featured on the college station WHUR-FM. …

“Ms. Johnson appreciates the diversity and the evolution of music. As a self-taught electric bassist, she has enjoyed many years of playing various types of music with her daughter and close friends in a family band. Growing up, she sang in the St. Cecilia Girl Choir at All Saints Worcester. …

“Ms. Johnson holds B.A. in Liberal Studies and M.S. in Communications and Information Management degrees from Bay Path College. She believes the future of jazz is in our children, stating, ‘Music and the arts is one area that gives young people an outlet and release of creative energy. While there are many children exposed to music through lessons and attending live performances, there are too many more that are not.’ One of Johnson’s primary goals as host at WICN is to reach youth in creative ways through community engagement.”

That’s something to think about on Martin Luther King’s birthday — and maybe to act on, too.

Bonnie Johnson, host of WICN radio’s Colors of Jazz 

Read Full Post »

Having heard one too many panel discussions and lectures lately about the downsides of the “ageing population,” I was delighted that a few upsides were mentioned at today’s Harvard conference on “Ageing + Place” — a refreshing and intriguing event presenting the latest research and design ideas related to ageing.

Meanwhile, John was on my wavelength again, sending me a link to a story about someone who seems to be ageing remarkably well and making a contribution to society while she’s at it.

Katie Honan of DNAInfo.com writes at BusinessInsider about a 100-year-old woman who is still teaching children in a Brooklyn elementary school.

“Three days a week, Madeline Scotto walks across the street from her home to St. Ephrem’s elementary school, where she was part of the first graduating class.

“She climbs the stairs to her classroom, where she works to prepare students for the math bee. She pores over photocopied worksheets with complicated problems, coaching kids on how to stay calm on stage while multiplying and dividing in their head.

“She’s just like any other teacher at the school — except for one thing: She’s 100 years old.

” ‘I think it just happens, you know. You don’t even realize it,’ said Scotto, who marked her birthday on Thursday.

” ‘Last year I thought, “This can’t be, that I’m going to be 100.” I sat down and did the math actually. I thought, I could not trust my mind. This I had to put paper to pencil — I couldn’t believe it myself. It just kind of happened. I guess I’m very lucky.’ ” More here.

Is there a person of any age who isn’t astonished when they think of how old they are? I think if you are 21 or 40 or 65, you are still going to say to yourself, “How did that happen?”

Photo: DNAInfo
Madeline Scotto is 100-years-old and still teaches students in Dyker Heights.

Read Full Post »

Claire swims in Walden Pond before work. I take a lazy walk. Other people run or go to the gym. But in Brooklyn, you have the option of a dance party at a club.

Stacey Anderson has the story at the NY Times: “It was a typically raucous scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn … . However, not all was familiar at this rave called Daybreaker, held at the club Verboten. For a start, the 400 young participants wore athletic clothing and pressed office wear rather than skimpy dresses and droll T-shirts. Some were bright-eyed, but just as many yawned and clutched cups of coffee. …

“The Daybreaker dance party, which runs from 7 to 9 a.m. three times a month, is one of two new early electronic diversions finding audiences in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Branded as both a morning workout option and a wholesome inversion of dance culture, the events are novel beyond their sunrise start times: They are alcohol-free, with coffee and fruit-infused water distributed at the bar instead of the customary club libations. The event, which had its debut in December and moves from place to place, darkens its spaces to mimic the typical rave experience, quite convincingly.

“ ‘It’s like a casino in here; there’s no idea of time,’ said Malcolm Ring, 24, a financial analyst. He woke at 5:30 a.m. to attend this Daybreaker party, his first. ‘I would normally go for a run right now, but this is more enjoyable.’ ”

More here.

Photo: Willie Davis for The New York Times
The rap artist Salomon Faye at a Daybreaker party at Verboten, a club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

Read Full Post »

I remember going with Nicky Perls up a steep and very narrow stairway near Times Square years ago so my brother could buy bootlegged blues 78s. Later Nicky traveled the South buying up old 78s and rediscovering blues singers like Mississippi John Hurt.

Record collecting can become an obsession, as seen in a Brooklyn Magazine excerpt from Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records, by Amanda Petrusi.

Petrusi says, “In the 1940s, 78 collecting meant jazz collecting, and specifically Dixieland or hot jazz, which developed in New Orleans around the turn of the 20th century and was defined by its warm, deeply playful polyphony …

“Because of its origins, collecting rare Dixieland records in 1942 was not entirely unlike collecting Robert Johnson records in 1968, or, incidentally, now: deifying indigent, local music was a political act, a passive protest against its sudden co-optation by popular white artists. …

“In January 1944 [collector James] McKune took a routine trip to [the Jazz Record Center operated by Big Joe Clauberg] and began pawing through a crate labeled ‘Miscellany,’ where he found a record with ‘a sleeve so tattered he almost flicked past it.’ It was a … nearly unplayable copy of Paramount 13110, Charley Patton’s ‘Some These Days I’ll Be Gone.’

“Patton … was almost entirely unknown to modern listeners; certainly McKune had never heard him before. He tossed a buck at a snoozing Clauberg and carted the record back to Brooklyn. As [scholar Marybeth] Hamilton wrote, ‘even before he replaced the tone arm and turned up the volume and his neighbor began to pound on the walls, he realized that he had found it, the voice he’d been searching for all along.’ ”

More here on the world of the impassioned music collector.

Photo: Nathan Salsburg

Read Full Post »

No reason a recycling facility can’t have an attractive design, right? As long as it isn’t expensive.

Michael Kimmelman wrote for the NY Times last month about a municipal facility that must make the recycling staff there feel good about going to work.

“Recycling in New York is a scrappy business,” Kimmelman writes. “Billions have gone toward building water tunnels, power plants, subways and sewage treatment facilities, but little toward an infrastructure of recycling. …

“But a Sims Municipal Recycling Facility will open shortly at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park. The city’s first big, state-of-the-art plant for processing discarded plastic, metals and glass, it promises jobs to nearby residents and, as the cost of exporting garbage out of state rises, some savings for the city. …

“The facility is understated, well proportioned and well planned — elegant, actually, and not just for a garbage site. It is an ensemble of modernist boxes squeezing art, and even a little drama, from a relatively meager design budget. …

“Instead of letting engineers design the plant, as often happens at an industrial site, Sims hired Selldorf Architects, a glamorous New York firm known for doing Chelsea art galleries and cultural institutions. …

“The idea? Partly to game the public review process, but also to build a well-designed plant — welcoming to the public, beckoning from the waterfront.” More here.

Photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
A look inside the new Sims Municipal Recycling Facility in Brooklyn.

Read Full Post »

I continue to be a fan of street art and the way it allows informal artists to express themselves while also letting passersby enjoy both homespun and professional achievements as they go about their errands.

In Rhode Island, there’s a painted rock. Everyone paints it, and no painting lasts for long. In the summer, paintings wishing someone happy birthday may last only a few hours, as mine did one Birthday Week when Suzanne turned 16 and John turned 21. (They didn’t wake up in time to see it.)

There has also been some amazing work by experts on that rock, too, but it gets respect for only a couple days. It’s essential to capture it with a camera.

Yesterday I passed along an idea to a gallery owner that she liked. How about painting the painted rock to look like a rock!? Crazy, huh? She may do it, too. She has a painting of rocks in the current show that she could replicate. She knows she’d have to take a photograph, though, or the rock might be painted over before anyone sees it.

Meanwhile, here’s a nice story about street art in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

Amy O’Leary writes at the NY Times, “Growing up, Joseph Ficalora would sit on the roof of his family’s steel fabrication business. In Bushwick, Brooklyn, in the 1980s, it was one of the few safe places outdoors. The view was grim. The streets were dirty. Graffiti was endless. …

“Most people want to hold onto their past as it was, but Mr. Ficalora has found greater comfort in obliterating it, bathing the neighborhood in paint.

“Today the rooftop of [his] family business, GCM Steel, offers an eye-popping panorama of street art. More than 50 multicolored murals have transformed a swath of nearby buildings into a vast outdoor gallery called the Bushwick Collective, anchored at the intersection of Troutman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.” More.

Photo: Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Gaia, well-known among street artists, paints — legally — on a building in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Read Full Post »

An artist discovered at 64 has a gallery show in New York.

Jim Dwyer writes at the NY Times, “For more than three decades, [Rafael Leonardo] Black, 64, has made a portal to the world in dense, miniature renderings of ancient myth and modern figures: Frank Wills, the security guard who discovered the Watergate break-in; Shirley Temple as a sphinx; the head of the surrealist André Breton as the head of John the Baptist; Marianne Faithfull in multiple incarnations.

“Until recently, few people ever saw his work because he had almost no visitors. He held paying jobs as a typist in a law firm, a salesman at Gimbels and then Macy’s, and as a secretary in a school. Most recently, he has worked mornings as a part-time receptionist in a hospital. …

“ ‘I just never made the effort to sell it,’ Mr. Black said. ‘I never expected to be able to make a living at it, but I’ve always done it since — well, I guess, since I’ve known my self.’

“Then [in May], a Manhattan gallery owner, Francis M. Naumann, mounted ‘Insider Art,’ an exhibition of 16 works by Mr. Black. Ten of them sold within days, at prices ranging from $16,000 to $28,000.

“ ‘People liked them, people who know art,’ Mr. Black said. ‘It makes me very happy.’ …

“Late last year, [his friend John] Taylor passed along Mr. Black’s number to [another] friend, Tej Hazarika, who publishes in the art world. Mr. Hazarika urged Tom Shannon, an artist and inventor, to look at the work. In turn, he brought it to Mr. Naumann’s attention. …

“ ‘If you are going to make a picture, you have to make something that’s in concert with the way the world operates,’ Black said. ‘There’s a line from the Lovin’ Spoonful: “You came upon a quiet day, and simply seemed to take your place.” ‘ ” More.

Photo: Victor J. Blue for the NY Times
“There’s a saying: ‘Everybody writes poems at 15; real poets write them at 50,’ ” said Rafael Leonardo Black, who draws miniature figures.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: