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June 27th, 2007

Ex-EPA Administrator Grilled Over Her Role in 9/11 Illnesses.

by John Coakley

Who would have thought that a Bush-appointed head of the EPA would put politics ahead of health? Shocking.

Article courtesy of the good people at Environment News Service. Click here for the story.

Filed Under: Articles | New York | News | Politics

June 15th, 2007

VIDEO STORE GUY

by Steven Anderson

backlash.jpgBACKLASH
** DVD
Directed by Dave Chameides Written by Caitlin McKenna Starring Danielle Burgio, Kevin Levrone, Bas Rutten, Lauren Kim Produced by G. Anthony Joseph Rated R Running time: 85 mins. 2006

Somewhere in the world, Andy Sidaris is laughing his ass off.

The man responsible for so many action-packed low-budget tittyfests–“Dallas Connection” and “Day of theWarrior” among them–would surely see this sucker coming from a mile off. CIA operative Skye Gold, who looks damn good in a bikini, is off to Trinidad to hide out after busting up a gunrunning outfit. Not surprisingly, everyone else knows where Skye is, much to the haughty amazement of the CIA. Thus, Skye ends up fighting for her life surrounded by other hot chicks in bikinis and loads of gunfire.

No one will ever mistake “Backlash” for serious art. It’s bullets, it’s babes, it’s awesome island scenery, it’s an unsettlingly inept CIA convinced it can do no wrong. There’s nothing new here, and frankly, all the old cliches are pretty threadbare and not all that brilliantly executed. If you’re prepared or even eager for a bout of Something Familiar, then “Backlash” is going to be just what you’re hungry for.

Everyone else, meanwhile, will be rolling their eyes and hitting their “eject” buttons long, LONG, before then.

final-move.jpgFINAL MOVE
*** DVD
Directed By Joey Travolta Written By David Shoshan, Richard Preston Jr. Starring Matt Schultze, Lochlyn Munro, Rachel Hunter, Amanda Detmer Produced By Richard Salvatore Rated R Running time: 92 mins. 2007

“Final Move,” a relatively new addition to our video store shelves, comes with one of the most interesting premises in quite some time. A serial killer who did all his killing according to chess pieces–even going so far as to set up a map of Los Angeles like a chess board with gridlines and alternating black and white squares–was executed, but not long after his execution, a similar set of killings began. So the question becomes, did they execute the wrong man? Or is there a copycat around? Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | New York

June 6th, 2007

TEMPORARY INSANITY: BODY OF ART

by Chip Maloney

boa1.jpgThe Body of Art creates masterpieces through the art of body painting, hairstyling, accessories and other make-up, and by fashioning surreal environments and atmospheres to display them in. Chief Art Director, Designer and Project Manager Danielle Fonseca’s services are highly sought after by professional photographers, event promoters, advertising agencies, fashion and publishing houses, music and theatre groups, and any other number of companies seeking to offer something exciting and different for their shows, events, advertising and promotional campaigns, and parties.

Fonseca started The Body of Art in January 2004, and has since gone on to create stunning and unforgettable productions for clients as diverse as Mercedes Benz, Stolichnaya Vodka, ESPN, Virgin Mobile, The Latin Grammy’s and House of Fields. Her work has also been featured in countless magazines and television shows, and for the past 13 years, she has also served as Art Director at the Harvey Cavalier Camp for fine and performing arts in Katonah, New York, where she teaches painting and make-up to children ages 6-16.

Danielle received a BFA in Painting and a BS in Art Education at the State University of New York at New Paltz where she worked under artists Spencer Tunic, The Art Guys, and Tim Rollins, among others.

31.jpgSJ: Did your background in theatre, fine arts and make-up naturally lead you to start The Body ofArt, or was there a eureka moment that inspired you? Maybe something you saw, or some project you worked on?

DF: When I was in college, I had my feet in a couple of different pools. I was not only getting a BFA in Contemporary Painting, I also did sets for theatre productions. I was inspired by things like Cirque du Soleil and theatrical make-up. When it came time to choose a career, I started teaching art in schools. As much as I love teaching, I felt stifled in the public school system and felt trapped there, so I decided to take a really weird, arbitrary leap and took a job with MAC. My parents asked, “What are you doing?” because, you know, all parents always have an issue when you want to be an artist in the first place, and now, I was going to take a position doing something I didn’t even study in school. Anyway, I started at MAC, and somehow, I guess because of my loves and wants, and how I did my paintings– which were all installation based–everything sort of just came back around to the same spot.When I did body art photo shoots, I started integrating sets into the background, and murals, and then I brought in hair people and all the other production elements I loved so much in the theatre, and I just began encompassing this whole environment into my pieces.When you look at my work, you’ll see things like murals in the background and props. I try to do all of my loves, and that’s what I built this company on, so, it’s not just about the body painting. It’s the environment that also creates the space and the story. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

June 6th, 2007

GIRLS STILL WANNA HAVE FUN!

by John J. Flanagan

banana.jpgTHE DIVAS OF 1981: BELINDA CARLISLE, KIM WILDE AND TWO OF THE THREE BANANARAMA’S ARE BACK, BUT DID THEY EVER REALLY GO AWAY?

Flashback, 1981. Reagan is sworn in as the 40th president of the United States. Iran releases 52 US hostages held since 1979. Reagan is shot. The Pope is shot. Sandra Day O’Connor is nominated to be the first woman on the US Supreme Court. Anwar el-Sadat is assassinated. And on August 1, 1981, MTV goes on the air, and the world is never again the same.

Back then MTV played music videos. Any rock/pop/R&B/rap artist who wanted to make it big had to go through them. It was MTV that introduced the world to Bananarama, Kim Wilde, and Belinda Carlisle. While all three are still pop stars today, they began their careers as indie musicians experimenting during the late 70’s. KimWilde and Banarama originated in the British new wave scene. While some of their later music was sugar coated for American ears, their early hits were classic synth-heavy new wave.

Belinda Carlisle grew up in the LA punk scene. She drummed for the GERMS before creating the legendary all girl band the GoGo’s with Jane Wiedlin. As front woman for the GoGo’s, Belinda became the face of one of the most successful female bands of all time.When the GoGo’s imploded, Carlisle went on to a moderately successful solo career. With new records released by all three of these post-punk, dance divas over the past several months, it’s time for Americans to become reacquainted with the girls of 1981. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure

June 6th, 2007

06/08/07: SUPPORT CONGESTION PRICING & TRANSIT IMPROVEMENTS!

by You the Reader

We have a once in a lifetime chance to win cleaner air, traffic relief and a dedicated source of funding for much needed mass transit improvements and expansions in New York City, and we need your help.

When: Friday, June 8th
Rally: 8:30 am
Hearing on PlaNYC: 10 am

Where: Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Auditorium
42 West 44th Street
Between 5th and 6th Avenues
New York, NY

On Friday the New York State Assembly will have a public hearing, here in New York City, on the transportation portion of the Mayor’s PlaNYC: A Greater, Greener New York. The state legislature has to vote to approve significant portions of the transportation portion of the plan. If this hearing goes well and our elected officials see the broad public support for the Mayor’s plan, then we are well on our way to cleaner air, better transit and safer streets.

Support  what we need — station renovation, subway repair, 10 new rapid transit bus routes, traffic improvements on congested corridors, dedicated bus lanes on East River bridges, new ferry service, the 2nd Avenue subway, a subway connecting LIRR to Grand Central, better intra-city commuter rail service, and the congestion pricing pilot program. Several committees will participate in this hearing: Ways & Means, Transportation, Cities, and Environmental Conservation. Written testimony will be accepted from the public.

While the Mayor’s plan for congestion pricing may seem like a common sense solution, many Assemblymembers are still skeptical. And a small but vocal opposition threatens to dominate the crowd in the hearing room on Friday. Don’t let them! Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | Events | New York | Take Action

June 6th, 2007

A SUMMER WITHOUT THE JOHN DREW.

by Christian McLean

jd1.jpgWithin these brick walls are the silent echoes of cultural fortitude and artistic collaboration that were forged in the midst of the Great Depression. For 75 years the walls of the John Drew Theater have collected tomes of dialogue, the quips of special guests and the awe of patrons, compiling a theatrical history that rivals the mightiest playhouses in the country. But under the great weight of time and use, the John Drew has also accumulated cracks and has become outdated. Staging hundreds of productions has taken its toll on the theater and this summer, for the first time since its dedication in 1931, the house will remain dark.

The stock market had crashed in 1929 and somewhere between four and five million Americans were jobless. Many of East Hampton’s newfound aristocracy had lost everything, their oceanfront homes gone, their lives in shambles. The summer colony which had been established only 40 years earlier had lost its momentum.

jd.jpgCulturally, the theater was running aground as well. Earlier in 1921, The Clinton Academy, the local high school that doubled as a community center, had fallen into disrepair. The school was to be restored and turned into a museum, relieving it of its previous roles. Local philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo E. Woodhouse offered to finance the restoration of the Academy. In the process Mrs. Woodhouse, despite having a playhouse on her Hunting Lane estate, realized East Hampton was now without its meetinghouse and in serious need of a cultural center.

In 1930, she and her aging husband purchased a 161 x 200 foot piece of land at the corner of Dunemere Lane and Main Street. The Woodhouses, who had also built other community structures, donated $100,000 for the construction and preservation of the building. Believing that a community center should have something invested in it by the community, the Woodhouses left it to the citizens of East Hampton to raise the remaining funds. During a time of great economic hardship, $10,000 was collected and Architect Aymar Embury II was charged with the responsibility of creating Guild Hall; a brick structure for both visual and performing arts. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | the Hamptons

June 5th, 2007

HOUDINI WHODUNNIT

by Chip Maloney

houdinis-grave.jpgTHE BEST-SELLING BOOK BY LARRY SLOMAN AND WILLIAM KALUSH, THE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI: THE MAKING OF AMERICA’S FIRST SUPERHERO, HAS SPARKED A DEMAND FOR THE EXHUMATION OF HOUDINI’S BODY.

Even in the certainty that is death, many uncertainties exist in the mysterious and untimely death of legendary escape artist and magician Harry Houdini. So many uncertainties in fact, that in a startling case of life imitating art, bombshell research revealed by authors Larry Sloman and William Kalush in their best-selling book, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, has sparked a demand for the exhumation of Houdini’s body from Machpelah Cemetery in Queens for a new hi-tech, forensic investigation into the exact cause of Houdini’s death. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

June 5th, 2007

SoHot: Book Reviews

by Chip Maloney

boom-box-cover004.jpgOne Block. Four Neighbors. One Very Loud Problem. This is the opening to the official book description of Gabriel Cohen’s new novel, “Boombox: A Novel.” If it sounds like the tagline to several movies you’ve seen in the last two decades, that’s probably because it is…Taglines are usually forgettable and reductive, and this is no exception, because despite the fact that some of the themes and characters (and even the central plot-line of a young black teenager blaring gangsta rap and thus causing a heated racial conflict during the hot summer in an otherwise quiet neighborhood that ends in tragedy) seem straight out of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” Cohen’s second novel is emotionally substantial and sensitively written.

The somewhat predictable plot surrounds a courtyard in the quickly gentrifying Boerum Hill which is shared by the several main characters, each representing a different demographic now occupying the same turf. There is Jamel – a black sixteen-year old father who lives with his mother and is friends with the teenagers from the projects across the street, Carol – an Italian secretary from Bay Ridge who also lives with her mother, but is married to a Bosnian immigrant, Mitchell – a yuppie banker with a frustrated wife, and Grace – a West Indian administrator, struggling with the glass ceiling. Though the novel’s beginning immediately announces that it will be about racism (Carol comes home to her mother who gripes about her friendship with “that woman,” Grace, and then goes on to express her disappointment about her marriage) the characters do manage to breathe with life. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | New York

June 4th, 2007

SOHO GADABOUT!

by Anthony Venditto

Normally, I don’t enjoy drinking with an agenda. I feel it severely cramps my style and limits my potential for spontaneous mischieviousity. Besides, agendas are for vertically challenged North Korean despots and gold-digging old cougars like Carol Brady or Farah Fawcett. No. I prefer to do my drinking like a man; an American Man: carefree, loud and boisterous with complete disregard as to my health or reputation in the international community.

Still, every once in a blue moon a rare, life-defining opportunity presents itself. A chance to be a part of something completely absurd and delicious. A couple Sundays past, not too long ago, such an opportunity presented itself to me in the form of four simple words and a hyphen: FEMALE AMATUER JELL-O WRESTLING!

As serendipity would have it, the funk was going down practically in my back yard: Don Hill’s in SoHo. I called up my girlfriend, who was mortified, put on my “man about town” boxers and left the house hours early. If I was gonna experience a life changing event I wanted to get good and hammered first to appreciate it. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

June 1st, 2007

GIVE THE SOUTH VILLAGE LANDMARK STATUS – 6/6/07 @ 6:30PM

by gvshp

SECOND HEARING and VOTE on SOUTH VILLAGE LANDMARKING PLAN at COMMUNITY BOARD on WED., JUNE 6 at 6:30 pm — please come to hearing or send letter in support

South Village Landmarking Proposal:  Community Board #2’s Landmarks Committee will hold a second hearing and vote on the proposed South Village Historic District on Wednesday, June 6th at 6:30 pm in the basement hall of Our Lady of Pompeii Church (at Bleecker and Carmine Streets, enter on Bleecker). In spite of overwhelming support by more than 200 attendees at the last South Village hearing (www.gvshp.org/southvillagenews.htm#April26), the Board leadership decided not to vote on the proposal and to instead hold a second hearing.  It is critical that we get strong support from the Community Board for the proposed district, which has been endorsed by every block association and community group in the affected area, local elected officials, city, state, and national preservation groups, and Italian-American organizations (see www.gvshp.org/documents/SVdistrictsupportltrs.pdf ).

However, there is a movement afoot to try to call for changes to the proposed district, which would ultimately weaken its chances of landmark designation. Therefore it is critical that we have a strong turnout at the meeting calling for support for the proposed district AS IS.  Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Politics | Take Action

June 1st, 2007

SCENES FROM A FUNDRAISER

by Joelle Panisch

img_0510.jpgCongressman Jerrold Nadler has been a long time friend to SoHo residents by honoring their issues. So in return they honored him. Supporters showed their dedication at a fundraiser held at Barolo Restaurant in SoHo on Sunday, March 25th. Julie Nadel of The Hudson River Park Trust, and The SoHo Arts Council hosted the event.

Congressman Nadler earned his reputation through his continued devotion to advocating for local issues as fiercely as he would for more publicized, national ones. Nadler was one of the few politicians concerned with air quality and contaminants post 9/11, and continues to fight for its cleanup. He is also involved in other issues, such as Hudson River Park and Trump SoHo.

Nadler also campaigns for state and national issues such as civil rights and liberties, environmental protection, campaign finance reform, and efficient transportation, as well as progressive issues such as health care, protection of social security and support for the arts. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics

June 1st, 2007

RUMORS & LIES: FAIR AND BALANCED IN THE HAMPTONS

by Jack Torrence

Apparently the Southampton Press is so serious about wanting to expand its Kingdom that one of its reporters actually asked a few too many questions about the Motz matter.

For those of you who have not been following Mayor George Motz’s little imbroglio, google “S.E.C. Motz” and the matter will be clear as day. Seems that a little scam like coupon clipping comes to mind, but it’s called “switching tickets”–as in you buy a stock at one price, the house buys at another and the house charges your account for the one that makes THEM a profit. Rumors suggest that the Quogue Mayor and trading associates at his Quogue club whose members (refered to by the younger generation as Quoglodytes) may also be in the soup once the investigation starts to warm up. One wonders why neither the NY Times or theWall Street Journal picked up the story since the Mayor had to take the Fifth. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics | the Hamptons

June 1st, 2007

GREENWICH VILLAGE – PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE: THE CRADLE OF GAY ACTIVISM

by Lawrence Pfeil Jr

stonewall-inn-69-hi-res.jpgWith its earliest roots as a Dutch hamlet in the first half of the seventeenth century, it wasn’t until its capture by the British in 1664 that the renamed Greenwich Village (Grin’wich to be exact) became independent of Manhattan, and was later recognized as an “official” village in 1712. Three centuries later it would attract progressive artists and writers, becoming an epicenter of Bohemian culture known for its avant garde art movements, radical politics, and alternative way of life. During its post-WWII bohemian hey day, a group lead by Marcel Duchamp even went so far as to declare it “The Independent Republic of Greenwich Village.”

So… it’s not surprising a place so fertile and fervent in ideas and intellect would become a hot bed for social awareness, justice, and change, and give birth to the largest civil rights movement in the history of the world. But on a sweltering night in late June 1969, police raided a mafia run underground gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village…and the world has never been the same. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | Politics | Take Action

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