Monday, September 12, 2016

A Long Day in a Bad Shirt, back to school, and off to the beach

Images of a day at the beach, a first day in school, and the LIU as fall began.

It was the kids first week back at school.  Long Island University faculty were locked out. In between solidarity pickets and work, my friend Wendy told me about our friend Jamie Leo’s new performance piece.  Leo writes: “'A Long Day in a Bad Shirt' investigates how we spend our time – internally and externally – with colorful imagery, a range of performance styles, and a highly unique and witty verbal and visual vocabulary.”  This story traces losing and finding, terrifying moments and gestures of kindness, often in the same evening being lost and very sick in Istanbul. Watching the show, I found myself thinking about those feelings as we walked through Istanbul, exploring the beauty, reeling from the Sultan’s Revenge 15 years ago.

Summer has kept on going and going.  As the weekend began, I just wanted to ride and explore, taking trips out to Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and a community garden and Bed Stuy, where my friend Trix was organizing a cleanup day at Pheonix Community Garden. Come join us on October 22 for our Halloween party, everyone told me. The place was bristling with energy.

The kids were skating all afternoon, growing and growing.

Sunday, a group of my buddies and I joined Steve Arthur’s beach ride out to Fort Tildon.
We met in Grand Army Plaza and made our way through Holy Brooklyn to the beach, past Prospect Park, Ditmas and out to queens, clear majestic skies in the distance.  A few cards honked and screamed at the group of cyclists.  The bike battles never end.  13 miles later at the beach, we passed over the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, where we zipped to and from during the Hurricane Sandy relief rides from 2012.  Some of the abandoned buildings, graffitied and left derelict were repainted as part of a show at MOMA:

The Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse, who previously transformed the Amtrak corridor in Philadelphia, has given a splash of color, using her unique spray painting technique, to MoMA PS1’s art installation, Rockaway!.  The Gateway National Recreation area at Fort Tilden, which was deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy, houses the decaying aquatics building. The building, which was part of a former military base, was painted three shades of red, alternated with white in this large-scale sculptural installation.
The entire process took one week. Since Hurricane Sandy, the structure used for this installation has been deemed unsafe, and will be razed when the installation comes to an end in November. Klaus Biesenbach, curator at large for MoMA PS1, hopes the exhibit will create a dialogue about the surrounding environment and the planning of future storms.

Between the splashes of red paint and the blue skies, the image was striking.

We spend the afternoon swimming, body surfing, reflecting on the summer, our past adventures and the days since Hurricane Sandy and the relief rides we all took part in after the storm.  My friend James Tracy, dropped by, and chatted with everyone. The ride back, through separated bike lanes, along a green bike path, offered a picture of what a healthy forward looking, connected city could look like. We talked about the ways this could be a model, expanding on a long conversation about urban cycling and tactical urbanism.   As always days like this remind us to dream about what our cities and lives can be. 

1 comment:

  1. what a great day to be at the beach w/the timesup beach ride - the waves were great for body surfing and the weather was amazing ! thanx Ben for the whole trip in pictures and words !