Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bob Nichols on the Razing of Trees in Washington Sq Park

TO SEE THE CHAINSAW MASSACRE OF THE WASHINGTON SQUARE TREES GO TO http://www.youtube.com/washingtonsqdestruct
Nichols was landscape architect for the previous renovation of Washington Sq. in the late 60s and creator of the unique fountain theatre and sitting wall -- condemned to rubble and not to be rebuilt (the fountain, yes; the amphitheatre, no). Liza Bear has been making a film, Squaring Off, about the fight to save Washington Square from bulldozing since May 1, 2005, and actively participating in that fight--not just filming the destruction. The more recent chronicle of destruction is just a sad epilogue to the film. Work-in-progress scenes from Squaring Off (2005 on) can be seen at http://squaringoff.blip.tv, http://www.youtube.com/nothingofficial, http://www.youtube.com/washingtonsq.destruct

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Outrage at Privatization of Park

Liza Bear has been documenting the destruction of Washington Park. This clip shows how the construction crew needs to cover the scene, so that people won't protest.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

January in Willow

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Why Move On Sucks

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sonia Malkine, Shady, New York

Sonia Malkine is a neighbor who lives in Shady-- just down the road from my house in Willow. During the 1960's I was living in Bloomingburg, New York, raising three children and a few goats. My lifeline to the larger world was WBAI FM which came in very clearly on our kitchen radio. One of the programs I loved was a weekly show by Sonia Malkine. She would sing and often have folk singer guests from all over the world. She has lived in Woodstock since the 1950s and graces the local scene with her concerts and song. I am working on a documentary about her life-- it began as a Paper Tiger show: Sonia Malkine Reads Anarchist Trading Cards.
Sonia's mother, May Piqueray, was a well-known French anarchist, and I knew that Sonia had known Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, so I showed Sonia a deck of anarchist cards, which I had bought at the Left Bank Book Store in Seattle. Sonia personally knew about half of the anarchists who were on the cards! Since so many young people call themselves anarchists, I thought it would be interesting to look a one woman's involvement with anarchism in the early part of the 20th century.
This clip is a rough beginning of the 28 minute program.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Dia de los Reyes

My friend Papoletto is one of the three kings every year in the procession through East Harlem that commemorates the Christmas holiday in Puerto Rican tradition. This is from the New York Times in 1998: "Papoleto Melendez, resplendent in gold turban and furry white boots as King Gaspar, found hope in the smiling face of each child he encountered on the street. He rushed to the sidelines to greet them, slapping joyous high-fives. Not exactly kingly, but then again, he also wore dreadlocks. (''Hey, one of the kings came from Africa, right?'')

''The Magi went to the manger to see the baby Christ,'' said Mr. Melendez, who is a poet and playwright. ''In modern times, all these children are the new Christ. Each one is the future. They all have the power to change the world. They have to take it. You know, that carpe diem thing.'
I never knew what a big deal the three kings were until I went to the art museum in San Juan. There I found a tremendous collection of art about "Los Reyes": prints, sculptures and puppets. This one includes the star.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Winter Days

This mammal appeared on our pond two winters ago. We don't know if it is a "Fisher" or a "Marten" but one thing I know is that it ate all the carp in our pond! We had five or six large carp there and by spring there were none left, even though in the past they had weathered very cold winters.

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