One of the things I've always liked about NYC is how the landscape is always morphing and changing. But it's a slippery slope.

Yesterday after the parade I walked with a friend through our old haunt, the Meatpacking District. Honestly I barely recognized the place. I couldn't believe how many ultra-swank lounges and restaurants are there now. Rio Mar, one of my favorite Spanish restaurants in the city, is closed. I laid eyes for the first time on the Ganesvoort Hotel and was stunned into stupor at the sight of that fancy cafe with all the outdoor seating in the formerly near-condemned triangle building at Hudson where Jay's Hangout and the Vault used to be. When I lived on 9th Ave right above the Old Homestead Steakhouse and Nick's Diner (both of which are still there), the corner in front of that triangle building was tranny hooker & drug dealer central! Now it's all Prada girls chatting away over triple low-carb lattes.
CHINATOWN
I am such a Chinatown junkie! I just love that a 10 minute bike ride can bring me to what feels like another continent. I generally avoid meats like pork, but steam it up in a bun and I'll devour it. I stay away from sugary drinks but give it an exotic flavor like taro, throw in some tapioca pearls, and I'll have two!

For a real Asian experience go to East Broadway. You can find it branching off of Bowery just a bit below Canal. Under the Manhattan bridge is the East Broadway Mall, a totally Chinese shopping center. They recently added another building across the street. It's full of cute fashions for small sized ladies. Damn! Where's the Asian Lane Bryant? Anyway, if you walk through the mall (new building) and out the back it leads to an under-the bridge courtyard with an outdoor fruit market. I just love the atmosphere.

It's a great neighborhood for boy watching. So many cute crazy 80's inspired haircuts! The hair salons are cheap and very service oriented. You always get a little scalp massage with your shampoo. The produce is the best and cheapest in Manhattan. If you go now, get some fresh Lychees. They are only arund for a few months.
Thanks Missy, I am always glad to hear of outdoor fruit/veg markets that I haven't tried, since supermarkets these days seem to only stock produce that can withstand an impact of 50 MPH.
Hey y'all...any advice? I want to do a photo shoot in the meatpacking district in front of a bunch of carcasses hanging on the sidewalk. I used to see them hanging out on 14th just west of Mother, on weekdays, at around 4 a.m.-ish. Does anyone know if they're still there? And if possible, could you help me narrow the window of opporunity (say, they're out there from 3 to 7 a.m., for example...) Many thanks!!
Last edited by Michael Madison
Michael, last a knew one of the few remaining houses is right on the highway so if you go to the end of 14th west turn left and its just one or two buildings down, you can't miss the loading dock. Not sure about the hours though. But who knows, since last I saw it the place could have become a tanning salon or Manolo factory outlet.

The last time I was at a party on the old block was about a month ago for Funhouse which was doing one night in the old Cooler space a few doors before the Jackie Corner. It was an island of BDSM/Industrial/Goth aficianados salting down the truly weird swankies clogging the trendy restaurants and the unmentionably squeeky clubs. Designer-wear girls started coming across the street to smoke among the Funhouse crowd, you know, for a little 'soft adventure'. I just had this huge feeling of like being in the station after the train had long since departed.
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So Sad...
It looks like B&H Dairy, an East Village institution, is no more. The sign says that the space has been posessed by the landlord. I guess that means they were evicted. It was a lovely Lower East Side relic. I'll miss the split pea soup.
So, that explains it. From the NY Observer. I came damn near close to being flattened by a garbage truck last week as I stopped in the middle of the street to peruse one of these:

Manhole Mystery

The end of summer has ushered in a subtle change beneath New Yorkers' hurried feet: All across Manhattan, manholes have become covered with a translucent slop that gives the rust-colored iron disks the appearance of a murky puddle. Other times, when the sun hits just right, the clear coating glints like some kind of frosted splotch of ice that has absorbed a year's worth of Manhattan grit.

The see-through coverings now spread around the city are not some toxic spill or anti-terrorism strategy; rather, they are the culmination of Con Edison's citywide program to insulate the 6,600 steam manholes dotting the intersections across Manhattan. Eight years ago, according to a Con Ed spokesperson, the power utility began insulating the city's manholes with a clear epoxy sheath to reduce the surface temperature of the scalding hot steam below. Underneath the streets, steam races through a 105-mile labyrinth of pipes at nearly 9.7 million pounds per hour to more than 1,800 buildings all over the island. While it's environmentally friendly, sizzling steam can be treacherous, as seen when a 26-year-old Brooklyn woman was recently "branded" when she fell onto a billowing Con Ed manhole on Second Avenue. An exploding electrical manhole forced the evacuation of three Times Square restaurants and one bar in March. And earlier this year, a similar tragedy struck when a woman stepped on an electrified East Village utility-box cover while walking her dog and died (luckily, steam manholes can't electrocute). Between Code Orange terror alerts and last summer's blackout, New Yorkers have had to add crosswalk calamities to the urban-risk equation.

But now it appears underfoot safety has been improved. Last week, Con Ed finished sealing up the last of the unprotected steam manholes on the Upper East Side "in an around-the-clock operation," a company statement said. The epoxy coating may keep us safe, but like any change"”from the Bloomberg smoking ban to having Republicans flood our city"”New Yorkers aren't sure what to make of their glossy-topped manholes.

"It looks a little toxic to me, or like some kind of jelly" said Alexandra Cohen, a 21-year-old artist from the Upper East Side as she warily eyed a pair of manholes in front of the Park Café on a recent afternoon. The covers had the greenish hue of mossy rock. "They look gross."

A little while later, Mort Hochstein, a wine and travel writer who lives in the Village, ambled up Park Avenue and stopped at the traffic signal. "Green slime"”that's what they look like to me."

In front of the Christ Church near East 60th Street later that afternoon, Rich Green, a real-estate broker in from Long Island, looked down at three manholes lining the intersection, equally flummoxed over their new appearance.

"They look kinda slippery to me, almost as if they're wet," he said. "I just walk around them."

Chris Olert, the Con Ed spokesman, assured The Observer that New Yorkers have nothing to fear about the manhole makeover.

"Don't be afraid of the epoxy," he said. "There's nothing to be afraid of."

"”Gabriel Sherman
So... the tyke and I were at the playground on 12th and Ave B...yesterday morn... there was a load of police/fire/ambulance suddenly btw 12 Band C turns out they had just discovered a dead body in a car.... This was not on the news.. i take it finding bodies in this hood is part of a daily routine...
The body they found on 13th street (around the corner from us and down the block from you) was big news. I wonder why one makes the news and another one doesn't. This woman was a Spanish street pros. too. Not an NYU co-ed or anything. Maybe the Ave. B body was black. Black bodies don't seem to rate. I mean the country is still OBSESSED with Laci Peterson. As it was for Chandra Levy and just about any other pretty young white girl. Missing Black girls usually don't seem to make new$.
I have googled this and watched the news for ages. But still no sign of this... i heard that it was a drug addict allegedly OD'd. And prob Black or Latino so.. theres a few reasons why it aint in the news... Pity it wasn't the bloated dead body of drug addict Rush Limbaugh ..
Currently, B and 13th Street is the hottest buyers' paradise for coke and weed north of the park. So that a DOA addict around the corner would not be too surprising.

Of course not o-so-long ago you could watch live bodies get converted to dead ones. One particular example I recall was when I was sitting outside at Life Cafe on 10 and B across from the park (very early 90's) on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon around 3PM when very unceremoniously this woman put two into the head of a guy as they both stood right in the intersection of 10 and B. He went down like a rock and she was gone instantly. EMS was there rather more quickly than usual and the TNT Squad ( A Dinkins invention -tactical cops with heavy weaponry, decked out for assaults ) showed up way too late to even get the trail of the woman. And even this did not make it into the media at all -but back then the daily rodeo around the nabe provided many more such incidents than the news could find exceptional.
Meanwhile, it seems my hood East Harlem is quickly become Upper Yorkville, darling!

For some time now Lex has observed the signs of yuppie-fication near his uptown bachelor pad. In the nearly 3 years since I left the East Village and moved up here, the last abandoned building on my block has been gutted, renovated and rented out, while two brand new buildings, both looking rather fancy, are going up within feet of my doorstep. Likewise there are many new buildings going up on surrounding blocks, and a somewhat lavish-looking doorman apartment building on First Ave & 102nd Street with a huge marble lobby. Not to mention the slow proliferation of suits, post-collegiate white grunge rockers and occasional trendy Asian girls. Nevertheless East Harlem is still rough around the edges and feels like a ghetto to me, warts and all.

But the clincher came earlier this week when I visited a new, very downtown-looking restaurant that opened up on Second Avenue btwn East 110th & 111th, right around the corner from my apartment. I'd been meaning to try it since it opened a couple of months ago and finally got to around to it. The food was excellent, so I'm glad it's there because the closest nice restaurants up here are at least 10-12 blocks away from me. Anyhoo, the owner tells me proudly and without apology how East Harlem will get the next Meatpacking District-style makeover with a Starbucks opening several blocks away and of all things a W Hotel opening at the corner of 110th St & Fifth Ave at the northeast tip of Central Park. Needless to say I gagged, trying to picture how it would all blend with the scores of housing projects around here (East Harlem has the highest concentration of them in NYC). But that's how New York has always been, they just gentrify around the housing projects. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, having said for years that Central Park North was an undiscovered gold mine that somebody would one day exploit. But still ....

I don't see the build-up of this hood as terrible per se as it was never a Red Light district like the Meat Market was. Also it's difficult at times for someone like me who barely knows how to boil water to have no nice restaurants nearby. It's all fatty fast food around here, and I don't always feel like schlepping downtown. But I don't want the rough trade scared away! And you know when Starbucks opens on the corner, the Stepford Wives marching in their Monolos are not far behind. I guess it's a mixed bag.
Last edited by Luxury Lex
Another one bites it. Page 6 says:

quote:
WE HEAR.. . THAT Plaid nightclub is closing. Most staff already got fired without notice, and the rest are furious because the place was supposed to stay open until the end of the month. "Everyone is pretty sure they're getting axed unceremoniously any day now," said one worker.


I actually rather enjoyed Plaid on Thursdays. Once the early crowd of rabid fags dispersed, it was a pretty good bet. Anyone know what happened? Always packed. And with the $50 drinkies, they had to have been making some money.
A pity. I enjoyed Plaid/Spa on Thursdays too and loved how there were always new faces around, plenty of twinks to satisfy ole Lex's sweet teeth! Madge and I had some fun times there and many nice chats with Amanda.
I just got the word... reason is they have to sell the space (prime real estate sweetie) they feel real bad about lettin the team go apparently...it will soon be that the only 'cool' clubs will be out in Canarsie at these real estate prices...
Wait! Today's New York Post reports that the 90s are back in a big way with the opening of Nerveana, which, says the owner (who also brought us Culture Club) is "like Madame Tussaud's with a cash bar." But 90s retro is so over. I think Lily of the Valley was the first to bring back grunge...was it five years ago? I think it was at the Brown Party. Definitely at Flamingo East. Was it the Brown Party? Lily performed in an extravagant mess of flannel. Gorge! But I'm not sure if I'm ready to dance next to a blue-Gap-dress-clad mannequin Monica.

quote:


RETURN OF THE 90'S

By MAUREEN CALLAHAN

LONG for the halcyon days when war with Iraq lasted less than a year, presidential scandals involved interns and the dot-com boom minted paper millionaires? Next week, you can relive those days at New York's first '90s-themed nightclub, complete with Monica cocktails, a "Basic Instinct" room and a VIP booth set inside a white Bronco - an homage to O.J.'s famous car chase.

"We're seeing so much of the '90s get regurgitated now," says owner Robert Wattman, who named his new space Nerveana, partly after grunge behemoth Nirvana (if you think Kurt Cobain's already spinning in his grave, read on), and partly because he had "the nerve" to bring the '90s back (whatever that means).

He's certainly not the first to do so. This week, VH1 is premiering "I Love the '90s, Part Deux" - a follow-up to its highly rated "I Love the '90s" specials. There are '90s nights at clubs from New York (the Cellar's "OK Cola" party) to D.C. (The Black Cat's "My So-Called '90s"), as well as best-selling '90s compilation CDs.

"The decade was all about scandals: Monica, O.J., Amy Fisher," Wattman continues. "But after things hit a 10-year anniversary, they start getting kitschy."

Robert Thompson, professor of media and popular culture at Syracuse University, says the '90s revival is premature, yet he understands the new club's appeal.

"The nostalgia cycle is already cannibalistic to the point where we're getting nostalgic for what happened this past Tuesday," he says.

"The '90s seem further away psychologically than chronologically," he adds.

"That decade's like a daydream - the fear of global destruction had gone away, and the economy was good. Even the most important stories - like the impeachment of a president - happened to be incredibly kitschy in nature."

Wattman - whose 5,000-square-foot space on Varick Street is like Madame Tussaud's with a cash bar - installed a Plexiglas-enclosed mannequin wearing a near replica of Monica's infamous blue Gap dress.

"We're having the stains installed," Wattman says casually, "and we're gonna add a couple of pounds to the mannequin."

But among the wall-size murals of Nirvana's Cobain and cardboard cut-outs of the "Beverly Hills, 90210" cast is Wattman's favorite attraction: a white Ford Bronco.

"O.J. was the biggest moment of the '90s for me," says Wattman.

Wattman - who was at a Knicks game during the now-mythic car chase - gutted the Bronco and fitted it with special seating.

It's the only space in the nightclub that requires a reservation, and is clearly a point of pride.

"When you walked in, did you recognize the Bronco?" he asks nervously. "One person didn't, and it bothered me."

Turning nostalgia into night life is something of a specialty for the Connecticut-bred Wattman and his partner, Tim Ouellette, who co-founded the '70s-themed club Polly Esther's (in a tiny space on West 26th Street) almost 20 years ago.

The '80s-themed Culture Club - where bridge-and-tunnelers dance to pop and new wave amid giant murals of Molly Ringwald and suspended DeLoreans - followed in 2000, and the two clubs have since become nationwide franchises.

"People have fun at our places," says Wattman, who nevertheless aspires to attract a sophisticated "industry crowd" at the new space.

That crowd might be difficult to cultivate, given such down-market cocktails as the John Wayne Bobbitt ("A Cut Above the Rest"), the Titanic ("It Will Take You Down") and, of course, the O.J. ("It's to Die for") - as well as his patrons' propensity for "singing in unison."

"We're gonna try and do something on Thursdays, where we're gonna be a little 'velvet rope,'" Wattman muses. "We'll see."

With little time left till the official opening on Jan. 27, Wattman has more pressing concerns: The wall-size mural of the Spice Girls - which faces Cobain's tortured visage - has to be completely redone. "I didn't like some of the likenesses," he says.

The small room devoted to hip-hop, decorated with murals of Tupac, Eazy-E, P. Diddy and the Notorious B.I.G., needs to be stocked with 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor.

"It's the only place in the club where you can drink 40s," Wattman says proudly. "We're calling this Tha Dawg Pound - yeah, that's spelled D-A-W-G, as in Snoop."

Snoop spelled it D-o-g-g, but that's a minor detail to Wattman, who is fixated on other missing pieces.

He still needs to get footage of the low-speed O.J. chase, which he wants to run on a loop. "I've got a buddy who works at a news agency," he says.

And he still needs to firm up Thursday's special guests.

"We're getting look-alikes of the Spice Girls," he says. "We're seeing if RuPaul will get in here and sing that one 'You Better Work' song. We have a drink for him." (It's the RuPaul: "You Better Drink!")

Wattman's dream opening-night VIP, however, is Kato - the houseguest and former O.J. cohort made famous by Simpson's murder trial.

"How great would that be?" asks Wattman.

While making a fetish of the O.J. Simpson trial shocks even Prof. Thompson - "I love the idea that O.J. can be perceived as innocence and fuzziness," he says sardonically - he thinks Wattman's nightclub, and '90s nostalgia in general, is serving a healthy purpose.

"People don't want to think about the war, or whether they're going to lose their jobs tomorrow. They just want an anaesthetic," he says. "The very fact that you're at a nightclub means you don't want to confront reality."
what is happening?!?!?
it seems like new york nightlife
has been handed over to retards with
credit cards.
getting past a velvet rope
so you can drink a 40 in a bronco
with a spice girl LOOKALIKE?!?
it's too funny!!!

but also,.... sad. Frown
When I was but a youngster in the early Sixties (the Ninteen Sixties, Daddy) and a Boy Scout (!) we used to go once a month to shoot at the police gun range located in the remote Rodman's Neck section of The Bronx. I don't know whether this was standard practice at the time (before they realized that kids might be better off not learning this skill,) or if our Troop Leader had some kind of "in" with the NYPD (looking back, he was some sort of early paramilitary survivalist nut and spent a lot of time hanging out at the local precinct.)
The target used was a human form of a thug-like white guy, half-crouching with a gun. Well, it is still in use today, known professionally as "Advanced Silhouette SP-83A". There is a great article about who the drawing might have been modeled after in the NY Times:

Cops' Favorite Target...

Oh, BTW, I got some kind of award then for the most "kills". Go figure.
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The Gates....

OK so this gave me a chuckle.... http://www.not-rocket-science.com/about_gates.htm

I am one of the few folks in this city who 1. Have NO interest in The Gates (Christos project, in Central Park)... 2.Have no interest in the wanker artists (watch the Maysels doc. these people are arseholes)
I think its real sick that $20m.US (ok of their own money) was spent on this ...in this day and age when Congo, Sudan, education, health issues all need funding. I find it criminal... i know, i know.. y'all disagree... but HAD to say it..

In the words of my 4yr old "..why are they doing that in the park, why?" - good question my son...

Bah humbug
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I'm with you Anna Nicole...$28 million on 7500 pieces of plastic and cloth..I could have done it for so much less...The world's gone mad!
Thank goodness I'm not the only one who thinks so...I ran into a construction crew when the metal bases were being unloaded. I asked them what they were for and the guy said, " Art."
"What kind of art?"
"Fabric."
I started laughing, and the guy protested, "No really, it's fabric. It's going to be really nice. They're spending millions on it!"

I couldn't stop laughing. The dogs will have pee markers.
To think people actually gave money to this.
Last edited by B. Domination
I agree completely!!! Went and saw it with a few friends and thought it was completely ridiculous. Perhaps if they were all on fire and there were naked people running below twirling batons I would have found it interesting.
I'll probably go look at it. No one I've talked to who has seen it was particularly impressed. Christo is so 20th century. He had to fight for this thing for like 20 years until his "friend" Mayor Puff Puff Blommberg said yes. With friends like Puff Puff who needs an art critic. Christo's specialty has been to impose his geographically massive ego on entire city populations. Wrapping the Pont Neuff or the Reichstag in a sheet was kooky and nice. But who really wants to be a human croquet ball?
Everyone is free to dislike the Christo installation, but like it or dislike it on its own merits, not by its price tag. The "I could've done it myself for less" gripe has been done ad nauseum since Warhol painted a Campbell's soup can. Everybody looked at it, scratched their heads and said "I coulda done that". But they didn't do it, Warhol did it and it changed history and inspired legions of future artists. Likewise with the "in this day and age" bit, as if there weren't world problems or catastrophes occurring in every day and age, not just this one. We could use that cliche, tried-and-true line of attack to invalidate any expenditure at any time. It's being used by the Bush administration right now to slash NEA funding because Art is Not Important. Yet Arnold Schwarzenegger's last movie cost $120 million and there is no moral outrage. Millions are spent DAILY in Iraq by the US, UK and others. As always art is the easy target to kick down with the excuse that we can't spend money on it without recognizing its power to transform or elevate someone's life or at least leave someone with a lifelong memory. The Gates was financed by private donors and a loan Christo took out which can all be made back through autographed Christo pieces that sell for $10,000 a piece. But the money is not the point. It's the 'same old-same old' that people can't step outside of themselves for 10 minutes to see the world through an artist's eyes. If you feel that strongly about it then take out your own loan for the tsunami victims or paint your own soup can. But don't disparage an artist just because he had a grand scale ambition and realized it.
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Said better than I could Lex, yes. Totally agree. I wanted to reserve judgement till I saw it for myself, which I did yesterday. Have to say, it was pretty underwhelming. At best. I walked and walked and walked, waiting to come upon a vista that "moved" me. Didn't happen. I found the pumpkin orange (it's not saffron) of the gates kind of dull, too muted, and against the brownness of the park at this time of year, well, the color combo just didn't cut it for me. And though there are thousands of gates throughout, it somehow didn't seem enough. The enormity of the park, to me, just dwarfed the installation. I couldn't help wanting more, excess. So it wasn't my cup of tea, but thousands of other folks seemed really to be enjoying it, and the effect on city business is undeniable...I had to walk to 2nd Avenue to find a place to eat at 4 p.m. on Saturday; every restaurant on the UES was packed to capacity. And the subway back downtown afterward was a full-on rush hour crush. So good for Christo and wifey for realizing this hulking project, even if I did leave asking ""..why are they doing that in the park, why?"
Hear, hear, Lex!
And at its very least, "The Gates" has inspired an incredible public discourse about that too-often forgotten muse-- Art. And not only on these boards. The woman who comes in to help my father care for my mother, a capable, crusty New Englander, who barely has the time or patience to comment on anything outside of her immediate frame of reference (although she did give me an earful about "those damn rich Republicans" back in November,) embarked upon a lengthy and impassioned critique starting with the Christos' work and ending with Duchamp's urinal! If "The Gates" should inspire such ruminations about the nature of artistic expression by the general public, well then it's well worth the millions spent, IMHO... why I haven't heard so much talk about art since the NEA brou-haha!

In much the same way, I think, that the "DaVinci Code," for all its mangling and distorting of the history and myth of one of my fave subjects-- the Knights Templar-- is ultimately a success because it has encouraged people, who would not be inclined to do so, to pick up a book and actually read something... Although of course I am now sick to death about all the PR it has generated, as well as the endless television shows.

Although I haven't yet seen "The Gates" unfurled, I will be doing so this week. I suspect, however, that the construction really works, as someone pointed out, from a distance. It reminds me a bit of those crop circles when viewed from the air-- quite beautiful and grand.

I have heard that the sight of "The Gates" up in The North Meadow, a place in Central Park that I have never been (!), is quite impressive as it meanders, crossing the meadow and disappearing from view.
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Discussions about the merits of the art itself are all well and good. I don't mean to defend the Gates as if it's the best thing since sliced bread. It isn't. And if you think it's bad or mediocre art, fair enough. I just think it's lame to attack it for its monetary cost. Throughout history there have always been floods, droughts, plagues, earthquakes, etc that have destroyed human lives and communities. Does that mean we should not have art? We can always make the excuse that there is something more pressing to spend money on. The Bush administration would have us all believe we don't need art, that it's an unnecessary extra that adds no value to the human experience while they wage wars in the name of "freedom" and "democracy". But it's not a question of milk for the orphans vs. a Picasso. One has nothing to do with the other. How much did it cost to make the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for example? Or artsier fare like Finding Neverland? Or trashy TV shows that we watch and love? Or even commercials or concert tours or state-of-the-art rides at Disneyworld? It's all relative. At least the Gates was financed privately and is FREE for the public. What more can be asked of the artist?
Hmmm. I, for one, didn't mean to imply it is ridiculous beacuse of the money, I meant to imply it is ridiculous to imply it is art. And that it is ridiculous to spend that much money on useless FABRIC.
The emperor has no clothes! Heh heh.
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I agree with Betty.... (quel suprise)... i do feel the whole thing is kings new clothes... and I feel supported by Bloomberg its been given real positive mass media attention, which is obnoxious. Wish they could channel the attention to also showcasing other artists in the park or for it to be part of some other larger festival perhaps.... just feel that this is way too contrived and defo not justifiable.. and I see what u say Lex about Arnies movie being $120mill... but movies are not art any more just commercial ventures.. whereas Christos for me is always a commercial venture and not art... ahh i am just really old fashioned.
I think assessing art on the scale of Christo's latest empaquitage is not so simple. But let me say up front that for anyone to be creative at all now is a plus. But in this instance, like most where a rich establishment artist imposes work on the public (did we get any say in whether we wanted our park to be taken over and festooned by Christo? Did the parks commission have a say? Or was it just Puff Puff Bloomberg's say so?) a lot of the work's merit has to do with what the artist's motive was. And that is not easy to know even if they are professing their motive publicly (all the more reason to be cautious about their motive). For me in this case a lot of this has to do with the priviledged position Christo assumed as a friend of Puff Puff Bloomberg as well as the aesthetic that accommodates the giant ego behind a massive 'public' art work. Jean Claude says Christo and her make art just for themselves. In a sense all art shows how artists are self-indulgent. Some of the best art in my opinion is self-indulgent art, it just depends on what the artist's motive was. When Vito Acconci shows us a close up photo of his asshole, or William Wegman speaks directly into the video lens while holding his dog in his lap like it was a child while he unselfconsciously strokes the dog's balls, I'm not sure that is the kind of self-indulgence that really speaks to anyone else. So regarding Christo, just because a work of art is 'public' in its design, that does not necessarily free it from being over-ridingly an egotistically off-putting acte-de-presence. There may be more art to the gates in the coordination of their sheer production and hornswaggling of the local city bureaocracy than in their symbiosis with the park landscape. I like Christo and Jean Claude mostly for their personalities. They seem to be genuinely warm and smart. His artistic vision is unique. But there are many more examples than are needed of where huge, colorful, massively expensive, and nice to look at do not translate in to art that works on any other levels but those material, expenditure-based characteristics. But then, maybe that is the perfect aesthetic for public art in New York City. The art just has to appear to be another example of capital itself -capital of the psyche, finances and civic landscape. Maybe that is all it really needs to be to pass as art here; big, expensive and easy on the eyes.
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Did you ever go to Central Park on like a whim and then run into someone you know who lives, like, in Kansas -?

That happened to me the other day.

I did see the gates too. It was Tony Orlando.

I mean Jean Claude says her and Christo make art just for themselve and if anyone else happens to like it that is just an incident.

But the gates are pure top forty radio. So one has to wonder.
hate the gates, really hate them. a cabby drove into the parking lot of tavern on the green by mistake forcing merlin to see them one evening thank god in the dark.

europe has raped the american landscape for centuries. before the euros showed up in america a couple of hundred years ago there was NO MAJOR POLUTION PROBLEM on this continant. no polution three hundred years ago, look at it now, and three hundred years is a blink of the eye. europeans also kulled the small animals for furs accross northern US before the US took over the louisiana purchase. they killed every animal they could so that the americans could not have them. many species were almost abilterated. look at the buffalo.

europeans have come to this continant to remove nature and put up monuments to foreign gods and artists. europeans took major religious sites, bulldozed them and put up churches. it's not funny that it isn't an american artist hiding nature, it's a euro comming here to ruin our views and natural veiws.

and all the phonie artsy tourists pretending to be empressed while the artistic emporer has no clothes. it was rediculous and expensive. the people that are proud are only counting the heads and financial gain, they are not concerned about art rather fame and the obliteration of nature.
I LOVED THE GATES!!!

I thought they were gorgeous. I saw them about six times. Gorgeous. I LOVED the color, the design, everything. I really loved the thousands of people walking through them etc. talking about them. I loved it.

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And today I'm going to see the Cy Twombly show.

OK, Christo is one thing but DON'T NOBODY SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT CY TWOMBLY!!!!!!

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bzzz bzzz bzzz I adore Twombly...Where is the show?

I agree with Merlin though. The Gates was just as good on paper. It did not have to be erected. Another "score" for the idiot Philistine Bloomberg, intent on ravaging Manhattan however he can. Make the city a tourist trap instead of a livable entity. Yes Merly it WAS all about how many heads, and how much money it generated. A few hot dog sellers and t-shirts vendors made out. Wow, what a boost for the economy.

What was even more wretched was Christo conveniently positing that the art was about "nothing". What profundity. Just what we require, oh visionary, further anomie for this etiolated age!

Why didn't Bloomberg suggest Christo fund one of the falling-down rotten public schools that don't even have enough toilet paper, never mind enough teachers? Because that would suggest that there actually might be a problem over in that direction...

Lexy's point here that Art is art, and $20 Million here doesn't mean there should be $20. million over there is very well-reasoned, but in the end, that's a bloodie cold line!

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