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Travel Feature

The Museum of Broken Windows Covers a Legacy of Brutality

 

The New York Civil Liberties Union will be organizing the Museum of Broken Windows, an upcoming pop-up exhibition featuring over 30 artists from across the country, running September 22 to the 30th. The exhibition will showcase the ineffectiveness of broken windows policing, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.

The museum will be opened at 9 West 8th Street near Washington Square Park and uses art to express how fundamentally broken methods of policing have affected New Yorkers.  "Broken Windows policing, which treats minor 'quality-of-life' infractions like jumping a turnstile or smoking marijuana as crimes, has turned neighborhoods into occupation zones," said NYCLU advocacy director Johanna Miller. "While stop-and-frisk, a hallmark of broken windows policing, has been significantly reduced, the criminalization of communities of color for minor offenses continues. The goal of the Museum is to bring the emotional, physical and societal impacts of this style of policing to life for all New Yorkers, and elevate a critical conversation about what it means to be and feel safe in this city."

Participating artists and photographers include Jesse Krimes, Dread Scott, Hank Willis Thomas, Molly Crabapple, Gabe Kirchheimer and Jordan Weber.

To learn more, go to: https://www.nyclu.org/en/mobw

NYCLU: Museum of Broken Windows
September 22 - 30, 2018

9 West 8th Street
New York, NY 10011

This July Celebrate Liberty Gallic Style

 

While July 4th celebrates one earth-shaking revolution, another world shattering event took place in France on July 14th 1789 — the storming of the Bastille. That event led to the undoing of the French monarchy and the establishment of the French Republic which was more less ratified at the Fête de la Fédération a year later in 1790. In English-speaking countries, Bastille Day is the common name given to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14 each year. In France, it’s formally called La fête nationale

Here in New York it’s acknowledged by several interconnected events such as French Restaurant Week and Bastille Week both created/sponsored by MPB Agency. Finishing up this week, the 3rd annual France Rocks Summerfest, presented by The French music Bureau Export, — which had started on June 1st 2018 — and closed on July 5th with a selection of bands in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. It is the largest French music festival in the US and showcases the multifarious native French talent as well as international artists who draw their inspiration from France. The lineup had included 25 artists spanning genres from indie pop, rock, world and electronic music. Info can be found #FranceRocksFest2018 where one can view the artists bios.

Since its creation in 2011, French Restaurant Week® has been supported by over 211 participating restaurants. In partnership with the ordering system, OpenTable®, this week offers customers the opportunity to consume special prix-fixe menu options during either dinner, and in some cases, lunch. Previously, wines were also highlighted within the dining spots as sponsors. 

This celebration is also part of Bastille Week, which not only recognizes the other major global revolution of the late 1700s but also offers an online media resource which lists events that spotlight the French Independence Day and it highlighting events during July. 

This year, New York’s 9th edition returned July 2nd and runs through Bastille Week, dovetailing into various celebrations on July 15th, 2018. And, from July 16th to the 22nd, Chicago’s French Restaurant Week takes place. In both cities special promo prices run from $17.89 (the bar option), $25 (the lunch option), $38 (the basic dinner option) and $178.90 (the dinner option for 2), so priced in honor of the French Revolution.

Among the 22 Restaurants participating this year are such favorites as A.O.C East, Troquet, Le Bateau Ivre, La Sirene, Bistro Vendôme, A.O.C. L’aile ou la Cuisse, Brasserie 8 1/2, Café du Soleil, Café Centro, Boucherie, Match 65 Brasserie, Excuse My French, Bistrot Leo, Fig & Olive, Petite Boucherie, Boucherie Park, Perrine, Le Rivage, Pardon My French, Deux Amis, Maison Harlem, and Jubilee.
For more information go to: www.FrenchRestaurantWeek.comand/or www.BastilleWeek.com

In addition, Bastille Day can be celebrated through the French street fair sponsored by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), on Sunday, July 15, 2018, from noon to 5 pm. This summer’s fête offers booths with an afternoon’s selection of French food, wine, culture, musique, dance, and other entertainment on east 60th Street, within three blocks — from Fifth Avenue to Lexington. For over 20 years, Bastille Day on 60th Street has been the city’s largest public celebration of France’s national holiday and honors the country’s historic friendship with the USA. The day recalls the storming of the Bastille — the birth of the modern French nation. 

Highlights include a live screening of World Cup Final; a champagne and jazz party (inside the FIAF building from 1:30pm & 3:30pm); a South of France Tasting, a “Sneak Peek” screening of “Le Brio” at 5:30pm; and at 4:45pm a prize drawing to win trips to Paris and Martinique. For more info: phone or email 212-355-6100/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Finally, on Saturday, July 14th is the 5th Annual NYC Bodypainting Day. Though not directly related to the other events by date — unless they present the the French tri-color flag — fully nude men and women will spend four hours of live painting, accompanied by Washington Square Park pianist Colin Huggins and will hold a unity song circle which follows at 4:15pm. Promoting acceptance of all people, regardless of race, gender and political affiliation, the songs will include Imagine by John Lennon and This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie. Other activities include a photo shoot at the Fountain, a march to Union Square Park, a double-decker bus tour over the Manhattan Bridge, and the Bash After-Party, benefiting Human Connection Arts, producer of Bodypainting Day and other public art events.
For more info go to:humanconnectionarts.org

My Father's Place Reborn

 

For those not familiar with it, the club My Father’s Place (in Roslyn, Long Island) was one of the most influential spots in the country for breaking new acts in the 70’s and 80’s. Dave Mason, Bruce Springsteen, Todd Rundgren, Hall & Oates, The Police, Rick Derringer, The Runaways, Bob Marley, U2 and many, many more, were among the first to play there; beginning their rise to fame and fortune. One other thing to know straight away, is that the music industry was a very, very different beast back then. Record companies then had a department called artist development  that sought to brainstorm ideas on how to break a new band. Honestly, that doesn’t even remotely exist anymore and as such, the industry has surfaced grave setbacks. MFP was to the Island, what The Bottom Line was to New York. An opportunity, for a reasonable price, to go see a new or developing artist. Today, that doesn’t even exist anymore. Launched in 1971 and closing in 1987, it was a milestone club.

Since 1987, Michael Epstein (who lorded over the club) wanted to re-open it. The original club closed down for a number of reasons not even worth getting into, although the fact that record companies supported many of those original acts’ appearances and now, would not, was always a big factor.

Last night, at MFP at The Roslyn Hotel, it re-opened. For the record, I worked there during the first run; seeing acts from Springsteen on and left me with great memories. I had spoken to Eppy (Epstein) numerous  times over the course of the years and yes, this was his dream, to re-open the club.

I liked  Eppy from the get-go, because he truly appreciated the music and the artists playing there. In fact, you could not have a bigger supporter than him; his drive, enthusiasm still is terrifically infectious.

About a year ago, the idea was hatched to re-open the club in the former banquet room at the Roslyn Hotel. I didn’t see it in person, but the initial photos showed there was a lot to be done.

I went last night with a feeling of excitement; would Eppy really be able to make this a go? Clubs today are more-or-less supper clubs; where the money made on the bar and food carry forward towards booking the acts. The acts are more expensive than ever and a myriad of booking agents are in the mix. Last night’s act, Buster Poindexter (David Johansen) was a true opening night marquee name.

The entrance to the club was separate from the hotel; the entrance on the parking level and once inside, the anticipation was palpable. The bar and merch table were brand new and as we entered the actual ballroom, it was quite sumptuously decked out. A soft opening the previous night somewhat prepared everyone for this opening. Once seated we met our server Sean, who finally admitted that this was his first night. The service somewhat sketchy, but that’s pretty much common on first-nighters.

The demo of the crowd was 50+ for sure. I looked around and really didn’t see too many people I recognized. One, Steve Rosenfield, who used to be the official “unofficial” photographer for the club was there and introduced to me to his wife … who he met at the first Poindexter show at MFP eons ago. Of course, back then the admittance was almost nothing, the ticket price for this show was $75.00 per with a cover at the table. My how times have changed!

A much-more subdued Poindexter took the stage and with his four piece band and put on quite an impressive show. I hadn’t seen his act in years and it was much more dialed back; but, just sensational. Adorned in a hot pink jacket and light-blue slacks, he was gracious, funny and in tip-top voice.  It’s ironic that when David Jo launched this persona, songs from the great American-songbook were not much in vogue; today, however, from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga on down, it’s totally reversed.

His four piece been excelled. He was really great. The sound was excellent and the sight-lines perfect.

There really is not a bad seat in the house.

I thought about the evening on the way back to Manhattan and feel that it was a terrific night. Someone from the stage asked how many people had gone to see MFP in its heyday and almost every hand (including mine) was raised.

It was, to quote my friend, a happening. One thing’s for sure, if anyone could pull this off, it’s Eppy.

Interestingly enough.  When Eppy took the stage to massive applause, even he seemed somewhat taken aback. I applaud him and his efforts and will support the new MFP all the way.

Arena di Verona Opera Festival: History & Grandeur

Carmen

The 96th edition of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival (June 22 - September 1, 2018) will feature important conductors, internationally famous directors, opera stars and new rising stars distinguish. Running 47 evenings of great music and under the stars in the world’s largest opera theatre in scenic and historical Italy’s Arena di Verona.

The 2018 Arena di Verona Opera Festival is inaugurating with a new production of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, alongside Aida by Giuseppe Verdi, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi and Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini.

The festival includes dance performances by Roberto Bolle and Friends, and the special and the Verdi Opera Night dedicated to the famous Busseto composer, who has dominated Arena summers for over a century.

To learn more, go to: https://www.arena.it/arena/en

Arena di Verona Opera Festival
June 22 - September 1, 2018

Arena di Verona
Piazza Bra, 1, 37121
Verona VR, Italy

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