08/19/09 4:00am
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08/19/2009 4:00 AM |

Cal Morgan, Harper Perennial

What’s your job title and what does the gig entail?

I’m editorial director of Harper Perennial, Harper paperbacks, and It Books, three imprints at HarperCollins Publishers. “Publishing” means making public, and that’s what I try to do: I read a lot of books, fall in love with a few of them, and try to get them into the hands of as many people as possible.

Ten years ago, is this something you imagined you might be doing?
I actually came to work here exactly ten years ago. I’m doing roughly the same thing now, just more of it and with a different cast of characters.

Do you still harbor other aspirations?

Well, sure. (Awkward pause.)

How has working in an office environment changed you?

I’m a naturally shy, introverted person — that was true when I was four, and it’s still true today. What publishing has done is socialize me — imperfectly, but helpfully.

Do you think your job will still exist in ten years?

Of course. There’s at least that much reading left to do.

Is your office more The Office or Mad Men?
Casting: WKRP in Cincinnati. Set design: Barney Miller.

What’s the best part of office life? And the worst?

The best part is that I get to work with my wife. The worst part is I can no longer wave to her from my office.

Finally, what are three things someone coming into your field should know on their first day?
1. Your authors’ hopes and dreams are now your responsibilities.
2. You will have to bring some people bad news. This can be unbearably painful.
3. You will get to bring some people good news. This makes numbers 1. and 2. worth it.

08/19/09 4:00am
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The Accidental Careerist
Saying you love music is kind of like saying you love ice cream. Or the beach. But channeling your love of music into a professional career is pretty cool, even if at the end of the day you don’t have groupies.

You’ve spent many a party sitting by the iPod sipping beer all night. Well, lots of industries pay to have people pick their music. Learn how to research and procure audio material and incorporate it into today’s media.

Get basic training in the demographic and marketing techniques used in the industry.

You don’t even have to travel all the way to the Bronx! Lehman College offers on-line courses to prepare you for a career in the music industry, like this one about audio technology. There’s a lot more to do than just hit “record”: here you’ll learn how to mix and master, how to make sense of Pro Tools, and how to play with MIDI and “virtual instruments”.

CDs are little more than fancy coasters these days. Suffice to say, the music industry is changing and you’d be wise to see where it’s going. This course examines the new media outlets involved in distribution and casts an eye toward the future of the industry.

We take it back: anyone can write a song. (“Love” rhymes with “above”!) But not everyone has the savvy and knowhow to sell it. This on-line course teaches you the basics of A&R, publishing, marketing, promotion and legal — you know, all those unglamorous but necessary aspects of the music business. Take comfort: even if you’re tone deaf, there’s still a place for you in the industry.

The Unrepentant Dreamer

It’s ugly business, isn’t it? And you don’t even have any groupies. And you have to pay for your beer, don’t you? DON’T LET THE DREAM DIE DUDE. (We are totally getting the band back together!!!)

Your band might sound good, but if you sound like an idiot to a producer, things might not go so well for you.

Get over it: artistic creation isn’t all just numinous inspiration. There’s a craft to learn, and this online course will teach it to you: how to write songs, how to arrange them. Lesson One: “Moon” needn’t always rhyme with “June.”

It might not be professional-grade software, but you need a demo and your wallet is really more of a nice accessory than a dispensary of money these days.

Fleet Foxes do little more than sing sweetly and listeners swoon. You can do that, right? Growing a beard is the hard part.

Office Issue Home

08/19/09 4:00am
by |

The Accidental Careerist

You were always pretty funny, and frankly, most of the sitcoms you grew up watching your Aunt Donna watching were terrible… So what the hell, right, writing for TV? But it wasn’t exactly how George and Jerry made it look (and anyway, there’s already one show about nothing). But still, you help bring entertainment to millions, which is more than those snoots at the New Yorker can say (see above). Now how the hell are you going to become the next Jack Donaghy?

What would NBC be without its trademark tri-tone jingle? In this intensive course, you’ll tackle multiple, overlapping projects focused on television network branding. The ultimate in black magic.

Producers be cold rockin’ a number of hats during the production process. Learn how to wear ‘em all. And then no one can ever tell you, “That’s not how you do it.”

The Unrepentant Dreamer

Oscar Wilde. Lenny Bruce. George Carlin. Comedy is how we deal with the tragedy of existence; it has the power to really change the world. Hey, you’re funny and angry all the time, so why settle for filling on-air coffee cups with whiskey when you should be changing the world?

Ad-libbing jokes while watching The View with your friends will only get you so far. Learn the basics of comedic writing for television and create a sketch package ready for submission. Fame to follow closely thereafter. >SELL IT AND KEEP THE MONEY:
Oh, cool. You have a great TV program (and yes, webisodes count now!). Now you need to sell it. This course teaches you how to negotiate through the contracts and legalese that comes with obtaining a distributor. Fame to follow closely thereafter.

An intensive workshop designed to turn that vague idea for a movie that you’ve had on the back burner and turn it into a feature-length screenplay. Just like Happy Gilmore. Fame to follow closely thereafter.

Learn how to land an agent and deal with the unfriendly suits in the biz. Fame to follow closely thereafter.

Office Issue Home

08/19/09 4:00am
by |

The Accidental Careerist

You loved books as a child, as a tween, as a teen, and as a college student, so it was perfectly reasonable of you to assume you might want to write one at some point. But then you realized that writing fiction is a hard, unpleasant, solitary, unpleasant, lonely, hard, solitary, unpleasant undertaking that very rarely involves Benzedrine and/or fighting in the Spanish Civil War. But you still love books, and working in publishing allows you to work with books, so there’s that…

Learn about the latest print and online venues for book marketing from an industry veteran. Ok, honestly, nobody knows what the secret is yet, especially not an “industry veteran,” but if you’re going to hang on to your job as the whole publishing world panics it wouldn’t hurt to flash some of that lingo around, no?

Working your way through a publishing contract can be like trying to put together a piece of Ikea furniture in the dark, after an hour with the Aquavit. This course guides you through all the legal mumbo (and some jumbo) related to book publishing and all the new made-up laws governing internet publishing (see above, re: getting the lingo down).

Are you working enough with actual literature? Learn how to take someone’s (metaphorical) baby and alter it beyond recognition, without hurting his or her feelings. It’s kind of like what parents do on Toddlers & Tiaras, but without, you know, real children.

The Unrepentant Dreamer

Just because Thomas Hardy got up at 5:30am to write before going to his mind-numbing job doesn’t mean you can (it’s not likely that you can, so just stop trying). You thought the best way to a career as a novelist was to get as close to the professional world of books as possible, but it turns out the best way to a career as a novelist is to write, except you just don’t have time. But before you quit your job to live in a garret producing masterworks, why don’t you ease back into the writing with a course or two.

Personal essays are so hot right now. No, really, they are. Be the next Sloane Crosley. Or better yet, make up a compelling hellacious experience and say that it really happened and become famous, and then get caught, and then just pretend nothing ever happened!

Everyone could use a little bit of crazy now and then. Learn how to write fiction from an “outsider” point of view and study works by Dostoevsky, Jean Rhys, Samuel Beckett and others.

No one can really teach you to be the next, you know, what’s her name, that lady from the New Yorker… Alice Munro! Yeah. But having to show up at a class and talk to other people about your writing is a pretty good incentive to, you know, actually write.

Save some dollars with a low cost membership to this community of writers. The Morningside Writers group offers workshops, editorial services and a network of established writers from which to draw professional contacts and advice.

Office Issue Home

08/19/09 4:00am
by |

The Accidental Careerist
You were briefly excited that time in high school when you caught the last two thirds of All the President’s Men on TV, so journalism sounded like a pretty good gig… And then you ended up at a magazine, and at first you were itching to make a lot of phone calls and protect sources (which, you know, you have to get first), but then you realized you liked the long schedule of the glossy, and even if you’re not writing the kinds of stories you once dreamed of, who can refuse the schwag. So how do you hang on to one of the last full-time jobs in a dying industry? Improve yourself.

People don’t read the news anymore—they remix it. Learn how to create information “mashups” using social media platforms and hopefully autotune the shit out of something.

In this two-day intensive course, instructors guide print editors through the tag-infested waters of the internets. After that, you’re sure to become rich harnessing the easily monetizable power of the World Wide Web.

Each spring, Columbia invites leaders in the field of magazine publishing to speak at this public lecture series. Get acquainted with current issues in the field and schmooze your way through the crowd of media professionals.

Put your hands on some projects and learn how to be a better editor. [Ed. This whole section is so fucking passive-aggressive.]

Face it: print is dead, and if you don’t master the skills of 21st-century journalism, your career will be, too. Luckily, Baruch offers a number of courses to keep you looking valuable to management: “Demystifying Final Cut Pro” will teach you the video editing skills you need, while “Video Journalism Boot Camp” will have you turning in professional-level video after a two-day intensive.

The Unrepentant Dreamer

When did All the President’s Men become The Devil Wears Prada? And how do you get off this crazy train? Branch out, get flexible, and above else, write the stories you want to write however you can.

Maybe if you had a bit more time to think about substantial stories, and pitch them around, you wouldn’t feel like such an ass. Freelance! Make your own hours and make your rent by learning how to adapt your writing to a variety of media industries such as PR companies, advertisers and non-profits.

The reporting is easy; the hardest part of journalism is finding what to report on and getting it placed. Two courses at Baruch will help you on your way to freelance freedom. “How to Find Stories” teaches you the secrets to finding scoops (tip #1: Pick up the phone!) while “The Perfect Pitch” shows you how to make your story irresistible to crusty, cigar-munching editors.

You’ve been writing copy about pet accessories for way too long. Write an in-depth piece that takes up more than a quarter page in your portfolio scrapbook; even if you can’t find a home for it, editors will always love the right story on spec. Just write it.

Looking to branch out on your own? Maybe you could start a blog? Haven’t a few people gotten successful by doing that? Baruch’s “Blogging Best Practices” class won’t just teach you how to blog—it’ll show you how to blog well. Or you could just ask us, since our blog, at, is so successful. Lesson One: Curse. Like, a lot, from your headlines on down.

Print may be dead, but you know what will never die? A digital video file of you going all guerilla journalist, speaking truth to power, telling the stories that need to be heard. Just like how Katie Couric does. Current TV is always losing its reporters, so something’s probably open over there.

Office Issue Home

04/01/09 12:00am
by |
04/01/2009 12:00 AM |

1.A 2.B. 3.C 4.B 5.C 6.C 7.A 8.C 9.A 10.A
11.B 12.A 13.B 14.A 15.C 16.B 17. Dave Eggers
18.A 19.C 20.C 21.A 22.C 23.A 24.B 25. Italian
26.A 27.C 28.A 29.A 30.Lincoln and Grant
31.A 32.A 33.B 34.B 35.A 36.B 37.C 38.A
39.B 40.A 41.B 42.B 43.C 44.A 45.A

38-45 correct: Next Borough President

32-37 correct: Veteran Brooklynite

25-31 correct: Dedicated Newbie

18-24 correct: Try Hoboken

10-17 correct: Try Brookline

1-9 correct: Try Brooklyn Beckham

04/01/09 12:00am
by |
1. From which novel about a Brooklyn writer is the line, “To make matters worse, I was out of a job and had very little money and was self-exiled to Flatbush—like others of my countrymen, another lean and lonesome Southerner wandering amid the Kingdom of the Jews”?
A. Sophie’s Choice
B. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
C. Incredibly Fast… something, something, something

2. What was the last year the Dodgers played in Brooklyn?
A. 1963
B. 1957
C. Dodgeball is a McCarren Park institution and will never die.

3. What does the O stand for in Karen O?
A. Ophelia
B. Obtuse
C. Orzolek

4. In what year did Brooklyn change from an independent city to a borough of New York City?
A. 1867
B. 1898
C. Never

5. Which indigenous people were living in Brooklyn at the start of European occupation?
A. The Portuguese
B. The Artsy Types
C. The Lenape

6. Do the Right Thing and Dave Chapelle’s Block Party were shot at opposite ends of which Bed-Stuy street?
A. Gates Avenue
B. Cred Boulevard
C. Quincy Street

7. How many trains can get you to Coney Island?
A. 4
B. 7
C. 2

8. What basketball position is Brooklyn famous for producing?
A. Power forward
B. Assistant coach
C. Point guard

9. What is the name of the longest continuous underwater tunnel in North America?
A. Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel
B. Getting to the bathroom from the bar at Union Pool
C. Brian’s Special Tunnel

10. How many members of nine-piece Staten Island-based rap supergroup Wu-Tang Clan are actually from Brooklyn?
A. 4
B. 9
C. None

11. What’s the best facial-hair look currently found on the streets of Brooklyn?
A. Flying Burrito Brothers roadie, c. 1973
B. Swedish naval officer, c. 1890
C. Post-apocalyptic hobo priest, c. 2066

12. What’s the original spelling of the Dutch-named Brooklyn?
A. Breuckelen
B. Breukelen
C. Crooklyn

13. In what county is Brooklyn located?
A. Bloom County
B. Kings County
C. County County

14. In what year was the Brooklyn Bridge completed?
A. 1883
B. 1878
C. 1898

15. In which election of the last 50 years did the majority of Presidential votes from Brooklyn go to a Republican?
A. Nixon in ‘72
B. Reagan in ‘84
C. Never

16.  What does Brooklyn’s official motto, “Een Draght Mackt Maght” translate to?
A. One Toke Over the Line
B. In Unity There is Strength
C. Beer Before Liquor, Whatever

17. Which of these authors does not have a home in Park Slope: Jonathan Safran Foer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jonathan Franzen, Rick Moody, Jennifer Egan, Paul Auster, Nicole Krauss, Dave Eggers.

18.  How many years running is the Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest?

A. 93
B. 37
C. Too many

19. The Chicken Hut is:
A. A progressive daycare in Park Slope
B. A BBQ palace in Flatbush
C. A too-cool-for-school bicycle gang squat-loft in Bed-Stuy

20.  Which famous author wrote about Brooklyn: “I live in Brooklyn. By choice. Those ignorant of its allures are entitled to wonder why.”
A. Tao Lin
B. Hubert Selby Jr.
C. Truman Capote

21. In what neighborhood was Saturday Night Fever set?
A. Bay Ridge
B. Bayside
C. The Bay of Pigs

22. How much time per month must members of the Park Slope Food Coop work?
A. 4 hours
B. Long enough to form a quorum in order to judge you
C. 2 hours and 45 minutes

23. Where was the first Brooklyn Industries store opened?
A. Bedford Ave. and N. 8th St.
B. Broadway and Bedford Ave.
C. Chicago

24. Which bar is affectionately known as “The Dog Bar”?
A. Iona
B. The Brooklyn Ale House
C. Abilene

25. Which of these European ancestries is most represented by population: Italian, Irish, Russian, Zemblan.

26. Children under 12 are permitted at the McCarren Park Dog Run when:
A. Accompanied by an adult
B. Accompanied by a dog
C. Accompanied by a talking dog

27. Which famous folk singer’s ashes were scattered off the coast of Coney Island?
A. Tommy Pancake
B. Ani DiFranco
C. Woody Guthrie

28. On which street in Williamsburg can you get arepas, bibimbap, burritos, prawn crisps, buffalo mozzarella, vegetarian chicken wings and a haircut?
A. Grand
B. North 6th
C. In the mini-mall

29. In what season are the New Jersey Nets now supposedly moving to Brooklyn?
A. 2011-2012
B. Autumn
C. 2013-2014

30. Which two Presidents have their likeness in sculpture on the inside of the Arch in Prospect Park?

31. What are the draught beer options at Habana Outpost?
A. Sixpoint light, Sixpoint dark.
B. Pacifico, Corona, Tecate
C. They don’t serve alcohol

32.  Which famous horror writer wrote a short story about a Brooklyn neighborhood, and what hood was it?
A. H.P. Lovecraft, Red Hook
B. John Darnielle, Gowanus
C. Owen King, Williamsburg

33.  Where was the residence for the Brooklyn Real World originally supposed to be?
A. Hell
B. The BellTel Lofts in downtown Brooklyn
C. Dayton

34.  What is the name of the current Borough president?
A. Rubem Fonseca
B. Marty Markowitz
C. Anthony Weiner

35.  In what year was the pool at McCarren Park last used as a swimming pool?
A. 1984
B. 1978
C. Does slip n’ slide count?

36. To whom is Greenwood Cem-etery’s statue of Minerva waving?
A. The hopes and dreams of all who lay there.
B. The Statue of Liberty
C. Livia Soprano

37.  Where in Brooklyn was most of the Battle of Brooklyn, one of the first battles of the American Revolution, fought?
A. The Roxy
B. Backstage at the McCarren Park Pool
C. Brooklyn Heights

38. Within the boundaries of which Brooklyn park is actor Montgomery Clift buried?
A.  Prospect Park
B. McCarren Park
C. All of them

39.  Which poet wrote “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”?
A. Biggie
B. Walt Whitman
C. Hart Crane

40. Which immigrant group holds its annual Independence Day Parade in Bay Ridge?
A. The Norwegians
B. The Canadians
C. The Zemblans

41. Why are there so many Bay Ridge questions in this quiz?
A. Cuz the Ridge rulz haterz!
B. Because Intern Henry lives there.
C. All of the above.

42. Which street is said to have once held the Guinness World Record for most bars?
A. The Dirty Boulevard
B. Third Avenue
C. Bedford Avenue

43. Who owns the Brooklyn Paper?
A. Bill Cosby
B. Gersh Kuntzman
C. Rupert Murdoch

44. What Williamsburg favorite used to be in the space now occupied by the Bedford Cheese Shop?
A. Clovis Press Bookstore
B. Ugly Luggage
C. VICE Magazine

45. What is the old nickname of Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene?
A. Murder Avenue
B. Muddleville
C. Mirth Street

check your answers HERE.
09/17/08 12:00am
by |
09/17/2008 12:00 AM |
It’s been a year since our little Nightlife Awards experiment succeeded, and this election year, partiers have once again run for their [night]lives. In preparation for November’s slightly more serious Tuesday election, The L’s Nightlife Editor Zachary David Palmer reached across party lines to poll nightlife pundits, themselves line-jumpers. This year’s ballot was updated to reflect both the suggestions and criticisms of the event’s inaugural year, but selecting the winners remained the same: after a lengthy vetting process, panelists were tapped to serve on a party-school version of an electoral college — an Orwellian nightmare where all partiers are equal, but some are more equal than others — given the task of picking winners from the nominees short-listed by the reader’s poll. Now that the conventions are over, catering (spoon-fed, as per money-rules) to the lobbyists, The L ignores the hobbyists and honors nightlife professionals.



DJ Performance at a park or festival: Paul Van Dyk
In a decade, seeing Paul Van Dyk’s genre-breaking set as the waves of the Hudson River broke not far away might replace our memories of bike-riding on an elementary school summer vacation. Of course, Bruce Springsteen will never write a song about that, but maybe Van Dyk will do a remix of classic Springsteen.
Nominees: BEMF, McCarren Park, Santogold at Summer Stage, Diplo and A-Trak at Summer Stage, Siren

Music Festival: Kevin Saunderson at The Yard

New Song: ‘Kids’, MGMT
We are not sure that this can still be considered new, but it is newish. We are such old men, and did you see what MGMT did to the McCarren Park Pool this summer? We guess it counts… rekLES?
Nominees: Kingdom, Dave Gahan; L.E.S. Artistes, Santogold; Shut up & Let Me Go, The Ting Tings; Paper Planes, MIA; I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You, Black Kids; Electric Feel, MGMT

Record Label: iheartcomix
We love that Interscope was nominated, perhaps we failed in our intention: independent record label. However, look at The Predator (released on Interscope) by Ice Cube, whose early N.W.A. stuff was all DIY. If Johnny Cash wrote the first rap song, congratulations DIY-hipsters, you just maybe commodified out-of-trunk LA and street corner NYC hip-hop for street cred for your noise “project.”
Nominees: DIY, Norton Records, Interscope, DFA, Trouble & Bass, “they all suck”
Last Year’s Winner: Vacancy Records

Rock ‘n’ Roll DJ: Miss Guy
Maybe you heard him at last year’s Nightlife Awards, maybe you have been following him since the 90s, as a DJ and rockstar (the Toilet Böys).
Nominees: Twig the Wonderkid, Michael T, Theo Kogan

Female Hard Rock DJ: Lady Starlight
A write-in award, we are not sure that it makes any difference what equipment you have as a DJ, so long as you know how to use it. Just because you put a woman on a platform does not mean that everyone will like your Party. That goes for John McCain and Sarah Palin, too.
Nominees: Theo Kogan, Carin Shock, Shar Gorgiiss, Lauren Flax

DJ: DJ Jess
So what if he plays too much Morrissey? Jess is the real deal, able to go from The Smiths to electro to mod to punk rock and back to The Smiths in just two steps: a double-shot of The Smiths.
Nominees: Jeremy (DJ Bastard), Jake Destroyer, VDRK, Dimitry!!!, Lauren Flax, Michael T, Twig the Wonderkid
Last Year’s Winner: rekLES


New Party: Disco Down
Hosted by the Glitter Kids, Twig the Wonderkid and DJ Bastard’s electro, disco, rawk and indie Tuesday night party plays revisionist history to the Disco Demolition — punk and disco getting along?
Nominees: Girls & Boys, Minou, Ether, Bottoms Up!, Stereo-Type, Campout
Last Year’s Winner: High Voltage

Party: BYTE
If only every party could be a mix of play areas, pass-out worthy performances, fabulous costumes and songs that are not heard everywhere else.
Nominees: TRASH!, High Voltage, Trouble & Bass, Rated X, Six Six Sick, Fixed, Unstoppable Perfect, Subway Soul Club, The Pull-Out Method, Nacotheque, Stereo-Type, Cheeky Bastard, East Side Social Clvb,
The Panty Raid
Last Year’s Winner: FUN

Gay Night: Sundays at Hiro
One member of the Academy’s “Friday (anywhere)” pretty much captures it, but what Sundays at Hiro does is say: not only do I want to live outside of the marrying public’s norms, but also their work weeks and sleeping schedules. If you can pretend that Hiro is the sandwich, the sandwich being a sub, and then make the jump to a submarine: this party is like Fleet Week every week.
Nominees: The Filthy Party at Metropolitan, Family, Wednesdays at Metropolitan, The Look
Last Year’s Winner: The Factory

Goth (Forgive the Catch-All) Night: BYTE
The best party to which our Nightlife Editor has probably ever been. He passed out, he got a concussion, he saw a knife and whips and leather and a guy rolled up in a carpet. Nevermind the tweaked-out kids spending hours looking like they just woke up, give us a cathartic latex cat-suit (or, for that matter, a guy in a business suit spending money that he actually has at a party) any day.
Nominees: Salvation, SMack!, Weird at Home Sweet Home, Just One Fix, Manic at Trophy, Contempt

Glam-Rock Night: Glamdammit
Twig the Wonderkid and the Astronettes’ party has lasted longer than most of its attendees have been in college. Taking the glam-night format to a higher degree than most of the commodified parties blipping around the scene, this one is stellar.
Nominees: Glamdammit

Underground Party: Famous Friends
Sorry for out’ing you, but now maybe you can live up to your name. Their weekly party at Arlo & Esme received plenty of nods on this ballot.
Nominees: Copy Cat, Minou, Tingle Tangle, Trouble & Bass, Rubalad, BYTE

Party for Live Music (Drumming, Etc.) During and/or Between DJ Sets: Minou
The legacy of SoulPusher lives on, even though it is years gone by. Minou, a quite new party that has tapped into the zeitgeist, comes away with some serious mixed-media of recorded and live music, then.
Nominees: Cheeky Bastard, SoulPusher

Party to be Abjectly Humiliated by the Emcee: Rated X
Anyone who ever went to Motherfucker knows that Formika’s forked tongue speaks volumes. Rated X’s Hot Body Contest is strictly praise-only from the crowd, we have never heard an insult that wasn’t deserved at Rated X. Plenty that were, though.
Nominees: “Where’s Formika?”

Outdoor Party: Sunday Funday at The Yard
Nominees: Sundays Best at The Yard, BEMF, Hope Lounge, High Bar, McCarren Pool, The Yard
Another summer creation sure to replace hazy summer memories — The Yard is one of those places where you get to hear great music and find out what your friends look like in broad daylight.

After Work Party: High Voltage
We are not totally sure how a late-night party came up with this award, perhaps the people have spoken for napping between 6pm and midnight and hitting up the Annex on Wednesday nights as a pre-work event. Or they’re all waitstaff.
Nominees: A Rock and a Hard Place, The Hump at Blue Owl, Danny Krivit at Water Taxi Beach

Party with Live Performances (Music, Otherwise): BYTE
Performances at BYTE are astonishing, those who are in that scene are pleased and those who are only curious are shocked. Any party can have a band that suits a music genre, but BYTE taps into the fetish lifestyle.
Nominees: Minou, TRASH!, Cheeky Bastard, RebelRebel, Rated X, The Rub



Greatest Living New Yorker: Woody Allen
At first, we were a little hesitant to accept this category — many of the nominees were not particularly in the Nightlife capacity. Good, then, to know that Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band are performing every Monday through Decemeber 15th at The Carlyle — 8:45pm, $150, $100, $70; dinner required.
Nominees: Jimmy from Trash & Vaudeville, Michael T, Andy Shaw, Anna Wintour, Twig the Wonderkid, Jayne Country
Last Year’s Winner: Antonio

NewComer: Glitter Kids
A consummate reflection of Salinger-esque Manhattan, The Glitter Kids (Ashley, Kelly and Mikey) are young, beautiful and drunk. Let’s defer to the youth is wasted on the young/if you are not wasted, your day was.
Nominees: Keyle, Lena Utin, Ashley the pirate, Jake D., Charlotte Rose of Luxe, Ruthie (Famous Friends)
Last Year’s Winner: Jason Ultra

Nightlife Photographer: Jess —
Jess’ is full of NSFW pictures of barely-legal (and hardly-legal) partiers. Asked about hate mail in last year’s interview, he responded: Don’t get hate mail. Do get a lot of “If my wife/grandmother/boyfriend/child/boss/pet sees that photo… I’m ruined!”
Nominees: Nicky Digital, Jeff Rhodes, Igor, Nikola Tamindzic, Isabel Belfor, Mr. Photog
Last Year’s Winner: Nikola Tamindzic

Nightlife Icon: Sophia Lamar
“Your [Nightlife Icon winner] not by choice, by demand!” Sophia is a “professional human being” — simultaneously spectacular to look at and lovely to interact with. She has been on the scene since most of her parties’ patrons were in short pants, but she prefers something that shows off her legs in a more flattering manner.
Nominees: Amber Star, Michael T, Nick Zed, Georgie Seville, Larry Tee, Mistress Formika, Amanda Lepore, Justine D.
Last Year’s Winner: Michael T

Go Go Dancer and Burlesque Performer: Amber Star
She can dance, and looks good dancing. Comfortable on just about any surface — stage, bar, dance floor, platform — at ease wearing just about anything, the closer to nothing the better. A staple of New York’s underground parties, legendary.
Go Go Dancer Nominees: Ariel, Abby (Chantilly Lace), Apathy Angel, Lady Starlight, Anna Copa Cabana
Burlesque Performer Nominees: Amber Star, Stormy Leather, Legs Malone, Peekaboo Pointe, Janis DiMilo, Tali De’Mar
Last Year’s Winner, Go Go: Machine Sex

Promoter Most Likely to Coerce You into a Bathroom Stall FOR HIJINKS: Everyone
We have witnessed the coercion, you bet. If a promoter is not promising bathroom-encounters at their events, they are not trying hard enough. If a promoter needs to make good on their promise, they have to do it themselves.
Nominees: Michael T

Promoter: Andy Shaw
The best, not only a competent businessman, but a remarkable human being. His weekly email blast goes out to just short of 9,000, and his heart goes out to them all.
Nominees: Famous Friends, Jess, Frances and Lena, Twig the Wonderkid, One Night Stand, Cut, Michael de Guzman,  “They’re all drug addicts”
Last Year’s Winner: Andy Shaw

Most Attractive Bartender: “The long-haired model at Beatrice Inn on Fridays”
“The long-haired model at Beatrice Inn on Fridays” is no way to talk about a person. We are sorry, but if it is any consolation all of Manhattan thinks that you are beautiful. We would send our interns on a fact-checking mission, but imagine that if the creeps that we think are at Beatrice Inn are indeed at Beatrice Inn… well, then it is better to leave you anonymous.
Nominees: Aaron (40 C), Robert at Happy Ending, Matt at Union Pool, Mary Kate at Crash Mansion, Lauren Larkin, Maddy Thaler at Royal Oak

Most Attractive Cocktail/Bottle Waitress: Rebel
Rebel is surely not a person, which would lead most to assume we’re talking about the entire cocktail waitress staff as a whole… but, instead, let’s talk about the multi-talented and beautiful Shannon Foster (who we hope, for her talent, is still not there). An actress on stage, too, she is only pretending to flirt with you… the mark of a true professional.
Nominees: Rebel

Drag Performer: Deryck Todd
See him in a dress, and be surprised that he is a boy. Those are his killer legs, but that is not his last name. His rendition of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” during this past BowieBall was amazing.
Nominees: Trigger, Acid Betty, Rainblo, Epiphany, Peppermint Gummybear

Gender Fuck Performer: Pixie Harlots
Members Jonathan Bastiani, Matthew Crosland, Machine Dazzle, Layard Thompson and Darrell Thorne (choreographed by Julie Atlas Muz and Vanessa Walters) are as ferocious as they are fabulous, somewhere between The House of Ninja and a production of Cabaret staged in the streets of a 1980s Alphabet City.
Nominees: Pixie Harlots


Door Staff: Lit (Matt Kepler)

Formidable without being abominable, professional without losing his sense of humor, Matt Kepler (and the rest  of the door staff) keep the riff-raff out while letting the horrorshow in.
Nominees: Annex, 40 C, Ro (Annex, darkroom), Happy Ending, TRASH!, Don Hill’s, “Anywhere but Hiro,” “Rififi when TRASH! was there”
Last Year’s Winner: Rififi

Bar Staff: Le Royale
Some of the fabulous staff from the last few months, and today: Jenna Duffy, Flutura Bardhi and Sam behind the bar, with Esther running bottles, Daniel at the door, Kieren Taylor holding down the fort, Lauren Sieber checking coats, Ariel guarding the back section of the main floor and owner Terry Casey keeping it all in balance.
Nominees: 40 C (Aaron), Happy Ending, Le Royale, Beauty Bar, Matt and Jess at Savalas, The Plumm
Last Year’s Winner: Rififi

Venue-Bar: Beauty Bar
The west side of 14th Street is fabulous: between Lotus (until recently), The Plumm and Country Club, things are astounding out Hudson River way. The east side of 14th Street belongs to Beauty Bar. A mix of kitsch and mixed drinks, with sparkled walls and lights that make everything look like some kind of deep sea fish. The dancing there is amazing, and apparently you can get your nails done and get drunk at the same time.
Nominees: Arlo & Esme, Savalas, Rodeo Bar, darkroom, Union Pool, Black and White, Duff’s
Last Year’s Winner: Rififi

Place to See DJs Spin Vinyl, Dance Floor, and Venue: Santos Party House
With so many listings and such little space, we focus on Sundays at Santos often. Nicky Siano is your resident, Studio 54, he has never stopped. Leave it to a man who learned on vinyl. Of course, the best new venue is one that no one in Manhattan media spells correctly. No apostrophe in the name, no rules on the dance floor: Andrew WK’s new venue is all about bringing fun to the masses, not the “Me!” generation-residuals of other neighborhoods. The volume is loud, the design is loud, the space is voluminous, the dancefloor is epic and the lights are blindingly fantastic, but leave enough darkness for what you are a looking for on a night out.
Place to See DJs Spin Vinyl Nominees: Marquee, Beauty Bar, Studio B, 205, Sundays Best, East Side Social Clvb, Love. Dance Floor Nominees: 40 C, Studio B, darkroom, Touch, 205, Cielo, Annex.
Venue Nominees: The Delancey, Love, Happy Ending, Rebel, Le Royale, Studio B, The Plumm
Last Year’s Winner, Dance Floor: Studio B

Spot to See Breakdancing: McCarren Park Track
The local kids come out in droves, keeping the neighborhood more real in view of a hipster and young professionals invasion. No worries about locking doors, there is locking going on out here. In a borough that most of America associates with breaking and entering, there is breakin’.
Nominees: Rebel, Ninjasonik on Wednesdays at Happy Ending, Hiro on Thursdays

Yuppie-Spotting: Beatrice Inn
“Weekends in Meatpacking,” “weekends in East Village,” and “L Magazine Nightlife Awards Party” are all correct, but Beatrice Inn has a Jacksonville, Florida density of yuppies, neo-yuppies, etc. Bring your field guide, your binoculars and your safari hat. Be careful not to stand too close to the door, they might let you in for irony­ — if we learned anything from the Reagan 80s (“Just Say ‘No’ to Drugs” and the introduction of crack to inner-cities), it is that yuppies love irony.
Nominees: Hiro, “Manhattan,” Ruff Club, “Weekends in Meatpacking,” “Weekends in East Village,” “L Magazine Nightlife Awards Party”

Spot for Anonymous Sexual Encounters: The Box
If “everywhere” has anything to say about it, everyone is a winner. If Gossip Girl has anything to say about it, The Box (or, the limo you arrive in) is best.
Nominees: Lit, Don Hill’s, Six Six Sick, High Voltage, TRASH!, “everywhere”

Gay Club: The Cock
The name says it all, and the bird above the entrance lights your way.
Nominees: Metropolitan, Splash, Phoenix, HK

Place to Spot Celebrities:

A-List: Beatrice Inn
B-List: Beatrice Inn
C-List: Lit
A-List and B-List: Of course this West Village spot wins.
C-List: Of course this East Village spot wins. How hip and with it everyone is, we are actually shocked it is not the other way around—the A-Listers trying to act tough and the B- and C-Listers social climbing.


A-List: Marquee
B-List: Lit
C-List: Three of Cups
Mixed: Happy Ending, Bowery, Hiro

Post-Breakup Night Out Spot: Death & Co.
It seems pretty reflexive and a little too convenient that one would chose a place with Death in the title for a night of sorrow. But misery does love company.
Nominees: Metropolitan, Lucky Cheng’s, Ruff Club, Chemistry NYC, “Stay home”

“My Significant Other is Out of Town” Spot: Ruff Club
Just stay away from the photographers and the minors.
Nominees: Metropolitan, O’Connors (Brooklyn), Chemistry NYC, Happy Ending, “Stay home,” “When my significant other is out of town, I drug myself until he comes back”

Most Relaxed No-Smoking Policy: Beatrice Inn

This should probably not be published, but we cannot imagine many legal-types are reading the Nightlife Issue to plot their sweeps. Unless those legal types are not cops but libel-watchers.
Nominees: Lit, 205, Annex basement, Le Royale

Venue Decor: Lucky 13 Saloon

A true, blood-in blood-out rock ‘n’ roll establishment with more credibility than maybe all of the LES combined. Posters line every non-floor surface, the floor looks ready for a brawl and half-naked, dancing patrons add to the ambiance.
Nominees: Love, Happy Ending, 205, Le Royale, Bowery Electric, Cielo

Venue That Deserves Getting Dressed Up to Visit: Beatrice Inn

Dress up fancy, there are a lot of new friends to be made—or, at least plenty of strangers to smile at and celebrities to stare at. Unless you are barely out of adolescence or A-list, you had best plan your outfit for Beatrice Inn like you would for your wedding day.
Nominees: Marquee, Gansevoort, Happy Ending, Clover Club

Most Dangerous In-Venue Staircase: Three of Cups

It is dark. You are drunk. Those are not good odds for any staircase. Le Royale is an upset: the main staircase has people throwing themselves down it, staff racing around it, drips humbling up it and people racing toward it from outside, the bathroom and the bar upstairs — oh, and its back staircase is all that, and black as pitch, too.
Nominees: Le Royale, 205, Beatrice Inn, Happy Ending, Rehab, The Pool at QT

Venue with the Most Pretentious Line-Companions: “Who waits in line”

Exactly. If you are standing on line, go home. Not because you are not a wonderful human being who does not deserve admission, but because you are wasting your time. If you are waiting in line outside, you will wait in line inside in some capacity. The people who skip lines know the bartenders and are occupying them with their mixer needs. It is a cycle.
Nominees: Marquee, 205, Santos Party House, Pink Elephant, Hiro

Open Bar: Lit

The drinks are strong, the staff is pleasant, the variety is large. Open bars at Lit, particularly during NC-17, are a 2-for-1 orgy of mixed fluids and poor/pour judgments.
Nominees: Minou, Disco Down, Ether, A Rock and a Hard Place, Zygo (High Voltage),, “All”

Non-Theater/Concert Venue for Live Performances: Arlene’s Grocery

What it lacks in venue-size, it makes up for in sonic prowess. The engineers are competent behind the sound console, and can turn over a stage quickly enough for you to take a break without losing the crowd to any of the bars within spitting distance.
Nominees: Studio B, Annex, Don Hill’s, Irving Plaza, Bowery Poetry Club, Pianos, Mercury Lounge, Maxwell’s, McCarren Park Pool, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, Market Hotel, Death By Audio

Bottle Service Menu: Marquee

Responses to this included, “gross” and “blow me,” but whether or not any of us at The L can afford a bottle is beside the point that Marquee’s menu is top-notch. Keep an eye on our Nightlife section: Zachary likes to list the parties for which he hosts bottle service.
Nominees: Beatrice Inn, Happy Ending, 205

In-House Club Food: Trash Bar in Brooklyn

Whether it is the special events catering that comes out of the room at Don Hill’s (home to the MisShapes’ famous white wall or a full-service kitchen), nothing says healthy like food in the middle of the night, and nothing makes you want to dance like short-ordered food. We could really use a cupcake from Country Club right now, but come midnight Trash’s food (ew?) does just fine.
Nominees: Crash Mansion, Union Hall, Sprinkles cupcakes at Country Club, Pete’s Candy Store, Union Pool (Taco Truck), White Rabbit

Rooftop: The Delancey

In a city filled with skyscrapers, it is always nice to rise up from our five-to-seven-foot frames and scrape a bit of the sky. It sure helps when there are drinks and food to share with friends, scraping together singles to tip the bar staff. The Delancey’s rooftop is high enough from the litter below to make our spirits light, while keeping in view the Williamsburg Bridge so that we can see from whence we came.
Nominees: Studio B, High Bar, 230 5th, 300 CPW, The Hudson, Bar 13

Duly Noted

All-Night Train: “None!”

We still maintain that the D train is the best: there are almost no service changes and even on a Sunday morning it will get you from 59th to 125th in about 10 minutes — if you are going that way. However, the L, J,M,Z, G and R trains smack of a BK- and LES-centric readership. The resounding call of, “None!” figures somewhere between the nominations below for the expensive convenience of a car service and the green-consciousness of bikes.
Nominees: L train, J,M,Z trains, J (singular) train, G train, R train, F train
Last Year’s Winner: A train

Car Service: Bikes

Environmentally and fiscally responsible, hip and quick—there is no waiting for a train or paying for a cab. It is a good thing that that bike lane just got painted along Broadway. Please pedal safely. Does anyone remember Go Home With Someone? The L’s vote goes to RightRides.
Nominees: Metropolitan in Williamsburg, Northside, Arecibo, New Brooklyn, Yellow Cab, 7777777 Carmel
Last Year’s Winner: Taxi

Fashion Trend: Staying In

Spring 2009 Fashion Week has come and gone, and so have the 80s. Get over it. About as much of what was good in 1987 and good at the tents this month is translatable to right now. Glitter is fabulous, neck-braces are mean and exposed chest hair is just gross. Staying in is anti-social, but the choice of Pepsi drinkers (go out and dance, you raging alcoholics).
Nominees: Glitter, neck-brace, boys with exposed chests/low v-necks, large bows, brown leather dress shoes, 80s bathing suits as onesies, being yourself, headbands over foreheads, over-sized glasses, clothing optional, “Anything, but shutter shades,” “Fuck trends,” glowsticks, Pokémon vomit

Last Year’s Winner:
Fanny Pack

Post-Clubbing Food: Pizza

Do you want to know what we prefer to do? Starve until we get home (suffering an hour-long train ride) and then gorge ourselves on cereal, PB&J or the sandwich we packed to eat but could not bring ourselves to once we realized how close to home (and bed) we were. That is we as in The L, as a staffer recently wrote, “a container of cottage cheese and eight spoonfuls of hummus, and a glass of milk, and some cashews.” This is obvious staple of middle-of-the-night food and we would like to consider among the winners Ray’s Pizza, along with all of the establishments listed that serve pizza.
Nominees: Ray’s Pizza, Punjabi, San Loco, Yaffa, Around the Clock, 7A

Night to Go Out: Thursday

This is funny, there are only seven to choose from. For most of the working public, only two to choose from —which means that for the Nightlife professionals there are only five from which to choose. L Magazine staffers only party on days that end in Y.
Nominees: Tuesday, Friday, Wednesday, Saturday
Last Year’s Winner: Friday

Mix of Nightlife and Fashion: BYTE

As it should be, this was met with a million nominations. Sadly, most of them are drivel compared to the potential mix of nightlife and fashion. BYTE is the shining example of originality (forgive the rubber/recycling solecism). Songs that you will not hear most anywhere else in a scene that mixes a lifestyle beyond Zygo open bars and fashion beyond American Apparel… the place where Steampunk and Industrial meet in the Empire State.
Nominees: Disco Down, Trouble & Bass, Ruff Club, Fashion Indie, Stereo-Type, TRASH!

Mix of Nightlife and Live Music: Lit

These days, finding an East Village venue doing something worthwhile is rare. Lit manages to keep a balance between Nightlife excesses and artistic catharsis with a cavernous concert set-up in their cave-like basement.
Nominees: Minou, Cheeky Bastard, Phat Baby, Famous Friends Parties, Santos Party House, Studio B

Mix of Nightlife and Art: Lit

Remember when Sonic Youth were playing shows in art galleries? Lit has an on-site art gallery, perfect.
Nominees: Beatrice Inn, Supreme Trading, Arlo & Esme, Stereo-Type, Glasslands, Hugs

Most Thriving Scene: Electro
Seriously? We blame the readers over the panel. What a circle-jerk all of that is. As far as nightlife goes: it fits perfectly.
Nominees: Metropolitan, Williamsburg, Bushwick, “hipster crap,” Ruff, DIY, downtown rock scene

~ ~ ~ ~

The Second Annual L Magazine Nightlife Awards, generously sponsored by KillShopKill and Shaw Promotion,  with PR support from R. Couri Hay CPR, was held at Touch on September 16. It featured: Emcees Michael T and Michael Formika Jones. Panelists Michael Gogel, Rachelle J. Hruska, Steve Lewis, Gregory Littley and Stephanie Wei. Presenters Peter Davis, Rachelle J. Hruska, Robbyne Kaamil, Sophia Lamar, Steve Lewis, Michael Musto, NickGQ, Thomas Onorato, Peppermint Gummybear and Stephanie Wei. Performers Bugs in the Dark and Naked Highway. Awards Girls Ariel and Baby Sinead. After Party DJ rekLES. After Party Hosts JE, Mae (Ill P.), One Night Stand’s Jake Destruction, Alex Christian and Chantilly Lace, and Zachary David Palmer… and enough dangling Chads to make you forget the Bush years.  ~

09/10/08 12:00am
09/10/2008 12:00 AM |

Last I heard, New York City was kind of an artsy town. We have some of the best art museums and galleries in the world, there are concerts, readings, and performances every night of every week, and even the streets are covered with paint. We are the city of Laurie Anderson, Andy Warhol, drum circles, guerilla art, and Neckface. All this creativity — what attracts so many artists to this city in the first place — is constitutionally protected. In theory. As we all learned around 3rd grade, the First Amendment prohibits congress from making laws that hinder freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. A nice idea.
But it seems that the New York City Police Department may have a looser interpretation of the First Amendment than was originally intended. Now, it goes without saying that the NYPD has its share of honorable men and women committed to protecting and serving our city, but there are some cases — and some stories — that would probably make any self-respecting New Yorker wonder what’s really going on. What follows are five of those stories.

The Accidental Activist: Joyce Lin
Joyce Lin’s story goes beyond Joyce Lin, photographer and environmental activist. It piggybacks off the history of tension between Critical Mass (a leaderless bike ride that meets at Union Square on the last Friday of every month) and the NYPD. One of this past summer’s viral YouTube videos features rookie Officer Patrick Pogan body- checking a Critical Mass cyclist off his bike and sending him skidding across the street. This tension is real, and people are getting hurt.

But this wasn’t the first documented clash between Critical Mass and the NYPD. During the 2004 Republican National Convention, a protest bike ride resulted in the arrest of 264 bikers. In February of 2007, the NYPD established the new parade permit laws that actually seemed to target Critical Mass. The city now required a permit for a gathering of 50 people or more. The March 30, 2007 Critical Mass bike ride marked the first occasion during which the police could ticket and arrest under this law.

Joyce Lin was present at the event — she’d been photographing the entire ride, and was documenting it for her personal archives. She was taking pictures of another biker being arrested when the trouble with the police began. An officer approached her from behind and asked for her identification. Because Lin knew it was within her rights to refuse to provide identification and walk away, that’s exactly what she tried to do. According to Lin, the officer was having none of that.

“Get her.”

She turned her back, but couldn’t just walk away. Instead, she felt one cop, then two, then six holding her down, grabbing at her camera, and trying to pry things out of her hands. She screamed to attract attention, and she screamed so that the cops would let her go. A crowd of bikers and photographers gathered around her and began chanting, “Let her go.” They didn’t.

That day, Lin was arrested along with several other bikers, photographers, and videographers. She was taken to the small police station in the middle of Times Square, where she was held in a cell with other women who had been arrested during the ride or in the area. After a few hours she was taken to a larger police station with the other Critical Mass arrestees. She was forced to stay overnight in prison, and was eventually charged with six assorted felonies and misdemeanors.

In case you’re wondering whether Joyce should have been arrested for taking photographs of an arrest, the law states that anyone may photograph police in action as long as they don’t interfere. If you’re still doubtful, try searching for this incident on YouTube, then try to tell yourself Lin was in the wrong.

By the way, the charges were eventually dropped. Just like 95 percent of Critical Mass cases taken to court.

The Pro-Photogs: Clayton Patterson and Simon Lund
Clayton Patterson and his wife Elsa Rensaa have amassed the largest archive of photographs of the Lower East Side ever taken. If you frequent the neighborhood, you may have seen him: a bear of a man with a long gray beard, camera permanently slung around his neck. For nearly three decades Patterson has taken thousands of photographs and videos of the mundane and the extraordinary happenings of one of New York’s freakiest thriving neighborhoods. He was one of two people who was able to take video footage of the Tompkins Square Riots in 1988, and was subsequently arrested for refusing to give the NYPD the original copy of the video. He spent ten days in jail.

On July 16, 2008, Patterson decided to take some pictures of police officers and fire fighters in action, responding to an alarm on Ludlow Street, where he had shot for years without problems. The police claim that Patterson didn’t comply with their orders to keep his distance, and that because he was unable to produce a press pass, they had the right to arrest him. Patterson sees it differently. Because there was no frozen zone, and he wasn’t in the way of any action, Patterson maintains that he was simply doing what he’s always been compelled to do. Patterson was eventually released, and his latest statement pleads that we all ask, “What are our rights to document?” and that we become the guardians and watchdogs of our own communities.

An arrest like Patterson’s is not the only way the NYPD can infringe on photographer’s rights. Intimidation is another tactic favored by some officers. Simon Lund, a professional photographer on his day off, was one such artist who was intimidated into surrendering his film. Lund was taking an afternoon walk around Coney Island with his wife, documenting Coney Island’s “final summer” (version 3.0). Suddenly, a female beachgoer (who remained nameless) ran up to Lund demanding to know why he was taking pictures of her child, and asked that he destroy the image immediately. Unfortunately, Lund wasn’t working with a digital camera, and destroying one picture would have meant destroying the entire roll. Eventually, the woman became frustrated and called for the attention of some nearby cops.

The mother, some of her male friends, and a police officer all pressed Lund to give up his film. He knew it was within his rights to take pictures of the rides, the booths, and the beach, so he tried to reason with the police officer. That is when the officer began to threaten Lund, stating that if he didn’t give up his film “things would get much worse for [him]”.

Lund gave up his rights then and there. He handed his roll of film to the woman with the promise that she could develop it, get rid of the offending pictures, and send the film back to Lund, all on his dime. This never happened. Lund took his complaint to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), where he was told that the case did not warrant their attention.

More information about Clayton Patterson and Simon Lund can be found on their respective websites: and

The Performance Artist: Yazmany Arboleda

Yazmany Arboleda is a performance and visual artist with a provocative style and political subject matter. Inspired by the press coverage of the upcoming election, Arboleda created a show called “The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama” that he planned to set up at a vacant storefront at 264 W. 40th St. Though the title is, without question, shocking, the show focused on the character assassination of the two candidates by the press. According to Arboleda’s artist statement, there was no intent to harm either of the candidates. The pictures on Arboleda’s website clearly illustrate his intention to explore the press’ jibes at the candidate’s reputations. Take, for example, Arboleda’s faux Vogue spread about the hideousness of Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits. For the purposes of this exhibit, it was clear that he was interested in exploring what it means to live in a society where we are quick to castrate anyone attempting to ascend to a position of power. 

Imagine Arboleda’s surprise when he found himself detained and questioned by NYPD detectives and Secret Servicemen. They appeared within the first hour of Arboleda’s exhibition going up. They asked him whether he was a violent person, whether he had ever been institutionalized, whether he was a threat to the candidates. He answered no to those questions, and was free to go in a few hours.

Though the exhibit was only supposed to last one day, even 24 hours was too long for the police. The NYPD and the Secret Service required that Arboleda take down the exhibit early. In place of the storefront installation, the Leah Keller Gallery now has the exhibit available for viewing by appointment only. You can also see a slideshow of Arboleda’s work on his website:

The Musicians: Rebel Diaz

Rebel Diaz’s slogan is: “If Hip Hop organized the Whole World Would be in Trouble.” The group has come to represent the potential for change in their Bronx neighborhood. One of the causes they champion is policing the police — they call it “police terrorism.” Rebel Diaz formed in 2006 after being invited to perform at an immigrant rights march. They claim that they have seen the police behave inappropriately, unfairly and unconstitutionally towards members of their community one too many times. 

On the morning of June 18, 2008, Rodstarz and G1, two of the three members of Rebel Diaz, were showing a friend around Hunts Point. They came upon two police officers hassling a fruit vendor. Since the vendor only spoke Spanish, the brothers asked for permission to translate for the officers. When they were granted permission, they came to understand that the fruit vendor had no idea why the police officers were “stealing his fruit.” As tensions rose, Rodstarz and G1 took pictures of the officers in action, and asked for the officers’ names and badge numbers. The situation quickly became physical, escalating into a violent arrest. (A video of the scene can be viewed on Rebel Diaz’s website: Eventually, the brothers were taken to the 41st precinct where they were held for ten hours and charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice.

This incident alone would be traumatic enough, but, at 2am on June 24th, four police officers burst into Rebel Diaz’s studio/apartment. No warrant. No warning. No explanation. The police claimed they were looking for a fugitive. The members of Rebel Diaz still have no answers, and are waiting to hear back from the N.Y.P.D.
The Street Artist: De La Vega
I first meet James De La Vega sitting outside his eponymous St. Mark’s store, chain smoking cigars, tattoos crawling up his arms. He’s pretty intimidating. In between puffs he explains to me that he wants to inspire kids from underprivileged neighborhoods to become more than cogs in the capitalist system. His graffiti pieces can be as simple as the messages he writes, such as “realiza to sueño” (become your dream) and “You are your best investment”, though they are usually accompanied by De La Vega’s chalk drawings.

De La Vega’s first arrest was a few years ago (he can’t remember the exact date). He was arrested for graffiti, and pleaded guilty in order to lessen the sentence. He explains that he never would have pleaded guilty had he been made aware of the legal definition of graffiti: “The etching, painting, covering or otherwise placing a mark upon public or private property, with the intent to damage such property.” The “intent to damage” part of the definition didn’t fly with De La Vega, which is why he pleaded “not guilty” when he was arrested again in 2003 for painting a mural on a blank wall in the Bronx. De La Vega maintains that in creating his art he does not intend to damage anything, and that the wall was usually covered with graffiti anyway. The courts ultimately sentenced De La Vega to fifty hours of community service.

During the course of our interview, De La Vega and I get into a little… disagreement. Though he is willing to be included in this article he doesn’t agree with its theme — specifically, the problematic relationship between artists and the NYPD. He understands graffiti laws as a protection of private property, and he doesn’t think the NYPD necessarily did anything wrong by arresting him. I concede his first point, and ask him whether he considers it a violation of freedom of speech to be arrested for making impermanent marks in a public place. He says that not every idiot should be allowed to express himself freely: “What if they say something I don’t agree with?” Though I’m still intimidated, I say that freedom of expression extends to response. That one has the right to question what is written and what is said. One has the right to demand explanation and accountability. After all, freedom of expression creates a space for dialogue and thought, exactly what he is trying to inspire. He tells me to chill out, and hands me a bag of pork rinds.

09/10/08 12:00am
by |

Metropolitan Opera
The Met’s season opens with an updated take on Strauss’ tragic retelling of the Biblical story. Karrita Mattila lends her rich and sensual soprano to the role.
Opens September 23

Don Giovanni
Met vets and newbies alike play the victims and rivals of opera’s favorite Casanova.  With Erwin Schott in the title role. 
Opens September 27

Lucia di Lammermoor
Flexing her creative muscles, director Mary Zimmerman stages Donizetti’s portrait of the titular fragile heroine as a Victorian ghost story. No Patrick Schwazye or Demi Moore anywhere.
Opens October 3

Doctor Atomic
Penny Woolcock makes her directorial debut at the Met with John Adams’ contemporary masterpiece about the making of the atomic bomb (it wasn’t as hard as you think). With baritone Gerald Finely playing the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Opens October 13

La Traviata
Seasoned star Anja Harteros takes the lead as Violetta, and Massimo Giordano counters as her cocksure wooer. Franco Zeffirelli, known for the totally sexy Romeo and Juliet you watched in eighth-grade English, directs Verdi’s sumptuous classic tragedy.
Opens October 20