Monday, October 30, 2017

In Homage to Unruly New York: Street Art, Bike Kill and Last Call at Brooklyn Workshop Gallery

Riding through Bushwick I glimpsed at two people standing in front of a train track. The sun shone, magic light filling the scene of the old train tracks, graffiti everywhere. New York can still be beautiful. But the feeling is often fleeting.

 I’d left Bike Kill event down the street, where anarchist cyclists usually joust and race with their maniacal ten foot high creations, celebrating Halloween and their subculture. But the police had tried to shut it down.  Cyclists were busy organizing to meet up somewhere else for the event.


10/28/2017, 12-LATE, Totally FREE.
Afterparty in same location...

_`\ <,_
(_)/ (_)

Your favorite holiday since 2002.
A day of dumb events and REALLY dumb bikes brought to you with love by the New York chapter of the #BlackLabelBicycleClub.

Truly mayhemic events for all riders, bring your bike, ride one of ours, leave your camera at home.

Bands and DJs day AND night.
Crashing smashing thrashing bouncing soundtrack brought to you by:

144-162 Pilling Street
Bike Kill is FREE

Please invite your maniac friends...
༼☉ɷ⊙༽ ^⨀ᴥ⨀^ 龴ↀ◡ↀ龴 @( * O * )@ (-.-)Zzz
...we've made a shit ton of bizarre bikes for you all to ride.

“Why not just ride down the street and hang in the cemetery,” I commented to one.
“We’re trying to plan something.”
“That’s it.  New York is over,’ declared a man in a mask. “New York is over.”
The frustration was tangible. Can’t the police just go do something else?

The cat and mouse of New York goes on and on.  A group creates a subculture, which invites more people, unbridled merriment; scrutiny and inevitable police attention follow.  The beat goes on ad infinitum. 

New Yorkers love their Halloween weekends.  The night before I had attended a party called, Halloween w/ The Smiths & Morrissey + Depeche Mode Tribute at the The Bell House.  The Sons & Heirs (A Tribute to The Smiths & Morrissey) performed with Master and Servant, a Depeche Mode cover band.   
People still love this stuff in New York, singing along to the Smiths and their myriad of homosexual anthems every year.

Fans write:

"By all accounts, the greatest tribute to the Manchester group making music today. Far from a novelty cover band, The Sons & Heirs are a genuine loveletter to one of the greatest rock acts of all time." - No Country for New Nashville

"The Sons & Heirs visually and musically approximate The Smiths in their prime” - Jerusalem Post

"The Smiths will never for most fans The Sons & Heirs are the closest they will ever get" - The Daily Beast
Since 2006, The Sons & Heirs have performed everywhere from Tel Aviv to New York to Nashville to LA, sharing the stage with The Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke and Morrissey's longtime drummer Spencer Cobrin. Their annual Halloween show also pays tribute to The Smiths' guitarist, Johnny Marr - born on Halloween in 1963.

With special guests, Depeche Mode tribute MASTERS AND SERVANTS.

We loved Master and Servant and their outrageous singer who seemed to be channeling Prince, romping and strutting about. They didn’t play Shake the Disease, which is my favorite Depeche Mode song.  But they aptly did play Master and Servant:

It's a lot (like life)
There's a new game we like to play, you see
A game with added reality
You treat me like a dog, get me down on my knees
We call it 'Master And Servant'
We call it 'Master And Servant'
It's a lot like life, this play between the sheets
With you on top and me underneath
Forget all about equality
Let's play 'Master And Servant'
Let's play 'Master And Servant'
We danced and sang along, remembering and shaking.

The crescendo only continued with Somebody and Just Can’t Get Enough. The singer reached out, grasping hands, lunging across the stage.

The  Sons & Heirs lead the crowd who sang along to Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now and William It Was Really Nothing.  Sons and Heirs lead the crowd who sang along with William It was Really Nothing and Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.     

New Yorkers are ready to fight like hell for their right to party, or just to fight.  Punchy   organizers 
told me I was walking in the wrong place at the Sandy rally earlier in the day. Someone stole my bike chain at the show the night before.  The punks at Bike Kill were just ready to fight. But we were also trying to connect with some of the old magic of New York.  

My friend Martine sent me an invitation for the last call for her gallery, the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery, a space I only just discovered in my neighborhood.

Workshop Gallery Artists Foundation invites you

Sunday, October 29 from 12:00 - 8:00

to celebrate the time and creativity we have shared

at THE COAL SHOP:Brooklyn Workshop Gallery

Our doors close permanently tomorrow night.

So many of you have asked how you can help.

We would like to ask you to donate to our moving fund however small or large as you can.
$5 or $50 will make a big difference.  

We would like to thank all of you who have made the gallery with us. It's been your place too.
Do come tomorrow to celebrate all that we've done together. There will be cake.

The Brooklyn Workshop Gallery is a secret space full of ideas and beauty.  But its being wiped away.  They lost their lease.  Arriving in the rain, Martine and company were drinking Campari and soda.

“One more toast!” she smiled when I arrived.
“I wished there were more people here to celebrate and drink it all.”
“It was beautiful tonight,” she smiled gesturing around her own gallery.

We drank and talked about art in the city, the  aesthetics of the streets.

“I used to skip school to go to the Met or stay out all night doing photo shoots at the Statue of Liberty. I miss the informal happenings, the performances,” she smiled. “I didn’t go to school much. We’d read Marx and Engels on our own.  The Met was my education.”

Now she’s leaving.  But the romance of the city remains, along with its battle against the negative, its struggle to regain its balance in the eternal battle between moloc’s ugly buildings and creative spaces, art and the commodity fetish consuming it and our roving communities, fortifying us and disappearing city year by year, as storms and condos wipe away what was as we create what will be over and over anew.  We’re always battling tides here. 

last call at the brooklyn workshop gallery