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Newark USA

A fotojournal about LIVING in Newark USA, New Jersey's largest and most cultured city, by the author of the foto-essay website RESURGENCE CITY: Newark USA.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NJTV Studio in Gateway Center


PBS station NJTV (OTA [Over The Air] channel 50.1) has completed its move from Montclair State University to Downtown Newark, after a stay in WNET's Manhattan studios while the Gateway space was being constructed.


Called the Agnes Varis Studio, the complex opened with a bang in a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 27th that involved a number of NJ dignitaries. It even brought former Newark Mayor Cory Booker home for a visit.


Question: why is the Jersey City skyline shown in a studio in Newark?

Actually, I don't know if now-U.S.-Senator Booker maintains a residence here, or if, once Newark launched him into the political stratosphere of the United States Senate, he relocated his NJ digs to some suburban locale. I hope not. I met Booker a number of times. He was open and willing to speak to a blogger he knew nothing about. I also sort-of met the previous Mayor, Sharpe James, during an African-American Parade on Broad Street. This is one of the advantages of living in a mid-size city. But, then, when I lived in Manhattan, I sort-of met Mayors Koch (who lived in Newark for a while in his childhood) and Beame. I have not, as of yet, met Mayor Baraka. In due course, I suspect, I will.


Here is some info about NJTV's new space from an article at its website.
May 28, 2015 – Newark, NJ – NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, publicly unveiled its new studio space in Newark with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday. The 10,645 square-foot Agnes Varis NJTV Studio, located on the second-floor concourse space of 2 Gateway Center, now serves as the network’s television anchor studio and broadcast home to its weeknight news program, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams . The state-of-the-art digital studio will also soon produce Michael Aron’s perennial public affairs series[es] On the Record and Reporters Roundtable . NJTV’s new location also houses staff office space as well as a community room.* * *

A landmark $2 million gift from the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust supported the construction of NJTV’s Newark studio. The late Agnes Varis was a self-made business leader ... [who] also spearheaded several philanthropic endeavors.

NJTV has received two other substantial gifts in support of the new space. A gift of $300,000 was given by Josh and Judy Weston. Mr. Weston is the honorary chairman of ADP [which, you will recall, was our late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg's company] and serves as NJTV’s board chairman. NJM Insurance Company’s $250,000 naming gift will support the community room, which will become the focal point for NJTV’s community engagement efforts and will be used for hosting public events and program productions. * * *

In this foto of a stairway down to the ground from the second-floor concourse of Gateway 2, you can see a banner proclaiming the presence of NJTV (in reverse, in this view). Gateway is duly proud of NJTV's relocating from Montclair to Newark.
"We take pride in providing our viewers with unique, quality, Jersey-centric programming," added NJTV General Manager John Servidio. "This new studio, integrated into the heart of New Jersey’s largest city, affords us tremendous opportunities to connect with the public and our neighbors as we enter our fourth year of broadcasting."

I saw the NJTV Studio last Saturday only because I had to be in that vicinity to take in The Gateway Project's small (one-room) foto exhibition of works by Ysa Perez, which was marked by some kind of fog that filled not just that room but the entire area outside it for a fair distance. Here, people dance in it, so it presumably had no adverse health consequences. I don't know what that fog comprised, nor did I see it ejected from any source. But it added a distinct, if very odd, element to that fotograffic display.

It must drive Jersey City officials and boosters NUTS every time they hear Newark referred to as "New Jersey’s largest city". Tuf. Newark IS New Jersey's largest city and, altho no one can predict the future, it seems likely to remain so, because there is lots of residential construction (for instance at the Newark ShopRite site), and rents/purchase prices are substantially lower for larger residences than are available in Jersey City. J.C.'s new residential construction is beyond the economic reach of ordinary families of size. Newark's is not. So, whereas some individuals may be able to manage J.C.'s high costs, most families cannot. When you tally the influx, individuals vs. families, families win out. Which means that Newark wins out. J.C. is thus likely to fall slitely farther behind Newark every decade, rather than gain against us.


The density of the fog was not as great as you might think from today's pictures. My camera was bumfuzzled by an unexpected liting situation. (Tho the link I show to Dictionary.com indicates primary stress on the second syllable of "bumfuzzled", I'm inclined to place primary stress on the first syllable. I have, however, never heard this expession in New Jersey. I think I heard of it, in fact, only once, from my brother Brian, who lives in the Houston area of Texas, via email.)

It drives ME nuts when people say things like "Jersey-centric". This is NOT "Jersey". Jersey is a small island off the coast of France, part of the Channel Islands dependency of the United Kingdom. I just reread a post I placed in this blog on February 23, 2007, "JerseyPride.com Not So Proud", which explains why the Isle of Jersey and the State of New Jersey share the term "Jersey". I think that post is terrific, but the fotos that had been in it no longer appear, because they had been hosted by AOL but AOL closed all members' online-storage spaces years ago. That seems pretty dopy to me, esp. now that AOL has just been bought by Verizon for $4.4 billion. If the reason for closing subscribers' online spaces was expense, but AOL is now awash in dollars, doesn't it's having closed foto-storage spaces look short-sighted, even moronic now?


I found striking this image on a teeshirt of a young man with a coarse-net veil on his face. Odd, to be sure, but interesting nonetheless. I generally don't like contrivances, however.

Here's more good news for Newark from the NJTV/WNET empire.
NJTV has a growing relationship with the city of Newark, having partnered with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on special programming like American Songbook at NJPAC and The Midtown Men Live in Concert! Other independently-produced programs that air on the network like Conversations at NJPAC with Steve Adubato and Due Process are also taped in Newark.
So there is now a fair amount of broadcasting produced in Newark, as there should be. Unfortunately, I cannot generally bear to watch NJTV News (at 6pm on channel 13.1) because it plays an 8-tone musical 'tag' something like 150 times in the 25-minute course of each broadcast, and that drives me crazy. So I have to mute my TV every time that maddening noise comes on. I then usually miss the first few seconds of legitimate sound after each span I need to mute. I would like everyone responsible for that INSANE musical attack to be ARRESTED, jailed, and subjected to endless assault by those 8 notes over and over again, 24 hours a day, loud, for as long as they are incarcerated. They should be given a means by which to commit suicide to escape that insane attack, say, an icepick. If they do indeed stab themselves to death, or puncture their eardrums to end the agony of endless assault by that lunatic musical tag, so much to the good.


I went looking for the NJTV studio when I was in 2 Gateway Center for the small Ysa Perez fotograffic art show in The Gateway Project's space last Saturday. It turns out that the NJTV studio is right next to The Gateway Project, but just beyond it from where I enter, from the west, so I hadn't see it theretofore.
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Earlier that evening I had attended the Hycide event at the Newark Museum, pix and discussion of which I intend to present here in the near future, but which is too much for me to deal with right now.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

North Star Addition Complete

From North Star Vailsburg
The construction of an addition to the North Star Academy charter school a few blocks from my house in Vailsburg is now apparently complete. I have shown progress pix from the destruction of the former convent on the grounds of the Sacred Heart of Vailsburg complex (church, parochial school (which was taken over by North Star as a charter school), convent, and parish house) thru many months of construction.

From North Star Vailsburg
Original portion (left) and addition (right), North Star Academy.

I first addressed the destruction of the convent on February 26, 2014, 16 months ago, and have taken progress pix several times since.

From North Star Vailsburg

I did followup posts on July 11, 2014, November 24, 2014, and March 28, 2015, at the least, but did not keep careful records as to the location online of all the fotos I used in those updates. It seems I made a serious mistake, for not being given helpful advice by Picasa Web Albums as to why I might or might not want to include a link to the album in which a given foto appears. I thought that such info was superfluous, and visitors who clicked on a foto might be distracted into looking at other fotos in that album and lose the connection to what I was talking about in the post they first clicked within. So I told Picasa NOT to show the album link. Now, however, when I'm trying to retrieve and reorganize fotos about the North Star addition into a separate album, I could certainly use the original-album info.

From North Star Vailsburg

Tho I deeply resent the destruction of the convent building, I must concede that the North Star architects have done a wonderful job in creating something of artistic distinction in this part of far-western Newark proper. What is indefensible is that there were utterly ordinary one-family houses right across the road, both Fortuna Street and Sandford Avenue, that could have been demolished instead of the distinguished and historic convent. The choice of destroying the convent in place of those architectural nothings is tantamount to Vandalism — that is, the behavior of history's Vandals, a Germanic people who, during the end days of the (Western) Roman Empire, sacked Rome and ravaged Roman provinces from Spain to Africa. I doubt the architects who created this fine new building intended to pick up where the Vandals left off, but that is what it amounts to, in my eyes. The building looks great, nite and day.

From North Star Vailsburg
There is a tilt built into the structure that runs from a high end at the west toward Hazelwood Avenue down to a low end on the east, at Sandford Avenue. (Does anyone know, with certitude, how "Fortuna" is pronounced? Is it faur.túe.na or faur.chúe.na?) That comes off as dynamic, a conflict between the ground and the structure. I certainly wouldn't have thought to create such tension, but whoever designed that addition did. The original building, the Sacred Heart School, had no such tension. All the horizontal lines of the building were parallel to the ground. Some viewers might not see tension between the building and the ground in the new portion of the school, but I do. Do you?

From North Star Vailsburg

I was told by email from a regular reader of this blog that the addition comprises a gymnasium, which the preceding school never had. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, that is also a tad odd, in that in recent decades there has been a disregard for physical education in many schools in this country. Have recent concerns about childhood obesity impelled North Star to impose a phys-ed requirement upon its students? (And yes, we do/did in NJ say "phys-ed" rather than "P.E.")

From North Star Vailsburg

Sitting steps for kids waiting for friends, checking email, or whatever, built into the ingenious design of this wonderful addition to an old school.

In any case, the deed is done. The historic convent has been destroyed; an architecturally distinguished structure has been completed; and Vailsburg, which had been robbed of a fine old building, has been enriched by a fine new building. I am reminded of the French expression, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose", the English version of which is "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I had thought that, an observation of stasis, neither gain nor loss. But a website I found in looking for the exact wording of the French called it a "pessimistic French expression". I guess my inclination to regard the expression as neutral makes me an optimist. Guilty as charged.

From North Star Vailsburg

There is some kind of tiny exercise field in the North Star extension. I don't know what sport could be played in so small a space, but there are markings on the grass, and a wrought-iron fence to keep the ball from going off onto Sandford Avenue.

Somehow that makes me think of Newark real estate. I was speaking last Saturday with Rebecca Jampol, who has a little art empire in Newark and New York (Solo(s) Project House, in Newark; The Gateway Project, with another woman, also in Newark; and a gallery in Manhattan) during the small Ysa Perez foto exhibit at Gateway II. Rebecca had seen my coverage on Friday, with many pictures, of her current show, "Glassbook Project: Provisions, and expressed appreciation for my giving attention to artists who display in Newark. I stated that that is all part of my drive to bring good people into Newark from other places, by showing how much there is here that is good and enriching. But I also mentioned that there is a lot of new residential construction — presumably at rates much lower than in Manhattan, to be sure, but also than in Hoboken or Jersey City, such that families could live economically here but not there — but when I pass by at nite, I see few lites in the apartments. Now the developers of the Newark ShopRite are building three major apartment houses, so presumably savvy real-estate professionals are betting on Newark. Still, is the word getting out that Newark is not just, for the most part, safe but also cultured, a good place for adults and kids, esp. given excellent public schools?
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Newark should be viewed universally as a very good bargain. Is it so regarded? The ShopRite development has a special "hook": a very short walk to a major supermarket with very good prices. Not far from there, however, are major apartment houses bounded on two sides by Springfield and Morris Avenue, only five blocks or so away. These appear to be fine buildings, and are beautifully landscaped. But when I drive by in early evening, I see almost no lites in the apartments. Are the residents still out, after work or at one of Newark's many fine restaurants? Or are the apartments, no matter how good, unoccupied? It's a serious question. What is the going rate for a one-bedroom apartment in existing buildings in good locations such as Morris and Springfield Avenues, right by bus lines? What will the rate be in the residential buildings soon to be completed in the Newark ShopRite complex, also near bus lines? And why aren't people flocking by the tens of thousands into Newark, a city of distinction and culture abounding? I really don't understand.

From North Star Vailsburg
Small sports area between the addition and the parish office building.

There is, of course, the whole issue of COLD New Jersey as a place to live year-round. Against that, however, we need to consider why people might be glad to brave Northeastern winters in Hoboken or Jersey City, but not Newark. How much value do people attach to being a few miles closer to Manhattan? As a practical matter, how much TIME does seven miles closer to Manhattan shorten one's commute, if one works in Manhattan? If you do NOT work in Manhattan, of how much value is living NEAR Manhattan? If you can see the Manhattan skyline from your apartment, that's great. But in DOLLAR terms, how much is that worth? And if you rarely go INTO Manhattan, because is it just too crowded and crazy, are you paying for reasonably quick access to the greatest city in the world, but something you do not actually use, except on rare occasions? Newark is not Sioux City, Iowa, after all, but is also within quick access of Manhattan. (I have been to Sioux City, by the way. Nice town, but I wouldn't want to live there. Nor, I suggest, would more than a tiny proportion of Newarkers. We like to be NEAR Manhattan, but not IN Manhattan.)
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In any case, today's fotos concern a charter school in an established neighborhood in which little new construction is underway. There WAS a considerable amount of construction of "Bayonne box" housing before the Great Recession, but there is almost nothing being built today. How long will this awful economic drought go on? This is not a Newark issue, but a world-wide issue. There is good reason to believe that the economy of the United States will NEVER recover as long as we have free trade with, mainly, Communist China, but also India, Bangladesh, (Communist) Vietnam, and other horrendously poor countries in which people are willing to work for almost no wages and absolutely no benefits. Rather than accept the obvious truth that American workers cannot possibly compete with the hideously poor people of China, who make, at most, $2.85 an hour in manufacturing work, some people in Government, both the White House and Congress, pretend that, with minor fixes, we can all, both Americans and our ENEMY Communist China — which wants to destroy us — profit from economic interchange. The suggestion, by the Radical Right, that we can somehow compete with Communist China, is an outrageous, cynical LIE. We cannot. So if we continue to engage in free trade with Communist China and other appallingly poor countries, we will be reduced to a Third World country ourselves — but with First World rents and other expenses..

From North Star Vailsburg

I present below a slideshow of my North Star Academy fotos. You can view the pix with or without captions. In most cases, the captions amount to little more than the date.

Friday, June 26, 2015

TWO Art Events Tomorrow

There are two overlapping free art events tomorrow, one at the Newark Museum from 4-9pm, the other at the Gateway Project in 2 Gateway Center, from 7pm "onwards".


Screenprint from the Newark Museum's website about its summer Jazz in the [Sculpture] Garden concerts "Thrusdays". Can we get a proofreader in here, please? I am unclear as to whether the $3 entry fee to these garden concerts applies to all nonmembers, or if admission is free to Newark residents who are not otherwise members. The City of Newark makes handsome contributions to Museum operations, so perhaps that support should be regarded as buying all Newark residents a limited membership, as should at least cover free admission to these garden concerts more than just to the main Museum (but not to the Planetarium shows, which are separate, even for paid members. I think. I was a paid individual member for several years, when I was still working for money, but had to let that pass when I fully retired, on meager Social Security.) The Museum needs to place an explanatory note about that point in announcements of these garden concerts. If I see one, I'll mention it in this blog.

The Newark Museum hosts a celebration of another edition of Newark fotografer Akintola Hanif's magazine, Hycide. Assuming that I get to this event, it will be the fourth Hycide event I have attended, the initial launch, at Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art on Broad Street south of Central Avenue, and the second-edition party, also at Aljira (which I discussed here on October 21, 2011; and a third issue exhibition at Solo(s) Project House, advance info about which I showed here on December 14, 2012 and a followup on January 17, 2013.


The remaining fotos today are from the last Gateway Project show, "Glassbook Project: Provisions", the opening reception for which I attended June 4th.

You can see the Newark Museum's email announcement online. Permit me to draw your attention to this portion of that announcement.
Tour the museum's internationally recognized exhibitions. Moroccan photographer and videographer Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars. George Osodi's monumental photographs Royals & Regalia: Inside the Palaces of Nigeria's Monarchs.

A gift to the viewer of the Glassbooks part of the exhibition.

A couple of weeks ago I was Downtown on one of my periodic walkabouts to see what's new, and stopped into the Museum to take a quick look at the current special exhibits (and use the men's room and drinking fountain). In that I am a Newark resident, I got in free. And it was worth every cent. But seriously, folks...


The "rock stars" exhibition was nifty, but the giant Osodi fotos (something like 5 feet high each, in a group of perhaps 25 (I didn't count), are MAGNIFICENT, and shouldn't be missed. You don't have to be a Newark resident (tho should be) to see them tomorrow for free. Don't miss that opportunity. Indeed, if you have friends from outside Newark to whom you would like to show off our fine Museum proudly, this would be a good time to show them around at least the current-exhibitions area, if not all 80 of the Museum's galleries of art from ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman, to modern American — plus scientific exhibits!
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I am very pleased to see the Museum daring to stay open later than its usual hours (Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 pm). Newark arts have played, and will continue to play, a major role in the resurgence of this fine city. But galleries and the Museum must not be open only during the hours that most people are stuck at work.


I love many of these glass books, because they add an element of luminosity to the opacity of most books.

The second art event is the opening reception for the new show at The Gateway Project, 2 Gateway Center, "from 7pm onwards". To when? No after-party at Skylab on the rooftop of the Hotel Indigo? Here's the description from the email announcement, which you can also see in its entirety online.
CREDIT LAUNCH | YSA PEREZ: UNTITLED

We are pleased to invite you to the official launch party for our fabulous partners, CREDIT MEDIA! Join us on Saturday, June 27th, from 7pm onwards in The Gateway Project Studios.

In conjunction with the opening, CREDIT Studio will be launching their monthly series of artist exhibition collaborations and open studio opportunities. The launch exhibition features the work of Ysa Perez (www.ysaperez.com), a once New York-based photographer who made a name shooting the likes of A$AP Rocky, Chief Keef, Riff Raff, Solange Knowles, Cassie, and [in] publications with broad readerships, from Bloomberg Businessweek to Spin Magazine. "Untitled," is a new collection of photos exchanging Perez's fixed editorial work for a life in transit. Depicting a constant state of flux, the photographer detaches her histories and develops an objective eye for the cultural roller coaster of travel. From accompanying Steve Bishop (DJ Oneman) on tour, to settling into a new life in South London after six years freelancing in New York, these images reflect on the last year of the experiences throughout Europe. [Ungrammatical. All the text from "From accompanying" to "New York" refers to the fotografer, not the images.]

The exhibition will feature limited edition box sets, prints and zine in collaboration with Monolith Collective, all available for purchase.

Set by DJ Oneman (www.djoneman.net) CREDIT Projection Room

The foto above shows the text description of the premise of the exhibition, as imprinted on the wall. It may be very hard to read at this resolution, but I have tried to provide readable text. I imagine that The Gateway Project has that text somewhere online.


The foto above shows a wide view of part of the long table that held the glass books. The next foto shows a closer view of the main artwork in that area, with all the interplay of lite and shadow intrinsic in glass books.


Here's another group of glass books.


Unfortunately, given the fragility of the medium, visitors to the exhibit could not pick up these books and flip thru them, even if they were to wear gloves to prevent finger smudges. What we end up seeing is only, in most cases, one or two pages of several, much like illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages put on display — very nice, but rarely every beautiful page.


Is "I first her saw her" in the foto above a typo, or does the text continue someplace I did not see, as made sense of that odd start? How could a GLASS book contain a typo? Aren't there several steps to creating it that no typo should get thru? If that is a typo, it would seem that even glass books require proofreading. Proofreaders are not dispensable. The occasional mistake gets thru even in materials I write and publish, even tho I worked as a proofreader in many temp jobs in the legal industry over many years. That anyone can miss something is reason enuf that major law firms have proofreaders work in teams of two, one reading aloud to the other, and sometimes switching roles midway in a document.


In the foto above, the art overpowers the words, and a viewer would probably have to hold the book to read the text.
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The last foto today is of one of the large-format fotos in Adrienne Wheeler's part of the Gateway Project Provisions show, right near the entrance to the gallery.


Altho the wedding fotos from which these details were culled were representational, Ms. Wheeler's isolating individual bits of those fotos rendered them largely abstract.
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I have asked my friend Jerry from Manhattan if he'd like to join me for either or both of these events tomorrow, but have not heard back. The problem is that the two venues are about 11 blocks apart, and the one that Jerry can get to easily from a train into Newark Penn Station starts three hours later than the Newark Museum event. So even if I were to meet him by car in the vicinity of the Station (but not on the madhouse of Raymond Plaza West), we probably could not find a parking spot close-in to the Museum, so would have to look for a spot midway between the two venues. That means that wherever we'd park, we'd have some sizable amount of walking to do between venues and, for me, back to the car. Jerry can walk easily from the Gateway Project to Newark Penn Station to return to Manhattan. But we usually make a run to the Ferry Street Pathmark to see if there's anything he'd like to pick up, in Newark, usually at slitely better prices, before heading back to Midtown Manhattan.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

New Exhibition at Index Art Center TONITE

I have some fotos from the last Index opening reception to show here, but don't have time to do that right now. My friend Jerry is probably going to come in from Manhattan for this evening's opening reception from 7-10pm at 237 Washington Street, just around the corner from Market Street heading north. But he won't attend if it rains. For now, I show only one foto from the Jerry Gant exhibition "We Laugh At Your Graff", May 9th, entitled "Police Training Target".


Here is the text of the email announcement of tonite's art-show opening and reception.
Index Art Center presents:
"Working the Unit"

A group exhibition of artists using smaller repetitive units to create a larger whole. Curated by Jeanne Brasile, the show includes artists influenced by Minimalism and its adherents’ emphasis on materiality, form and viewer experience. While influenced by this movement, the participating artists transcend the austerity associated with Minimalism by moving into new, fertile territory where artists are free to introduce color, non-industrial materials and overt subject matter, while maintaining an interest in repeated forms.

"Working the Unit" features eleven artists from the New Jersey tri-state region, including; Gregory Coates, William Corwin, Kate Dodd, Lorrie Fredette, Ruth Hardinger, Robert Lach, Hayoon Jay Lee, Lynn Koble, Karen Margolis, Matthew Nicolosi and Alexandra Phillips. The artists work in a variety of materials including plaster, cement, rubber tubing, wood, fabric and repurposed tape rolls. The themes addressed by each artist are as divergent as their chosen media.

The opening reception will feature a live string trio throughout the evening and a performance by artist Hayoon Jay Lee at 8:30pm.

Also exhibiting - Index Side Gallery:
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEARTH: Emergency Care for the Art World

A solo exhibition by Darren Jones at Index Art Center ... Curated by Jeanne Brasile, the exhibition takes a wry dig at the art world, suggesting improvements and alternatives to clichéd standards, threadbare names and aesthetic tropes. Jones' role as writer and curator combine with his work as an artist so that all three practices inform these visual tweaks to the cultures of galleries and museums.
Brasile notes "Darren Jones’ exhibition is especially gratifying for me as a curator. I endeavor to develop exhibitions that reflect critically on the practices of art-making and the relationship between where art is made and displayed, while encouraging viewers to question the social function of art." While the idea of institutional critique came into vogue in the 1970’s and 80’s, with such proponents as Hans Haacke and Fred Wilson, it seems that a systematic query into the inner workings of art institutions is still exceptionally poignant. Amidst a current environment in which populist themes, celebrity hijinks at art fairs and exorbitant auction prices are of more note than the art, Darren Jones’ take on the art world could not be more well-timed.

LATER THIS MONTH: A poetry reading on Thursday, June 25 at 7pm will feature published author, Jonathan Goodman.

Hours are Thursdays 6 to 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 1 – 4pm and by appointment.
Admission is free and open to the public.

This event sponsored by our neighbors 27 Mix and Kilkenny Alehouse.
Featured artists at 27 Mix are Anna Ryabtsov and Sohoah Angela Lee

Index Art Center
237 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
www.indexartcenter.org
index.gallery@gmail.com

Gallery ph. 862-218-0278

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Coffee Cave Gone

A longstanding business on Halsey Street (one block west of Broad Street, Downtown), has closed. "Longstanding" is one of those words with more than one spelling, the second having a hyphen: "long-standing". There are many such words. I have a list, intended to be an appendix to a book that I am gradually writing about spelling reform, that includes 1,556 words that have alternate spellings, NOT including entire categories of words that differ between American (standard) and British (dialectal) English, such as center vs. centre, organize vs. organise, and color vs. colour. That 1,556 lists, in general, only base words, not derivatives as well. Alternate spellings are another reason it is so hard to spell English. If someone asks you "Is it 'carburetor' or 'carburator'?", you can answer "Yes". It is EITHER "carburetor" or "carburator" — or "carbureter", and, in Britain, also "carburrettor" and "carburetter"! That's right: five spellings for one word.
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Do not marvel at kids having trouble learning to spell. Marvel, instead, that anyone ever learns to spell English. But does the educational Establishment agitate for spelling reform? It does not. It prefers to blame massive functional illiteracy — millions of people in the largest English-speaking country, the United States, who can only with difficulty read a newspaper, even the New York Post — on the pupil rather than the system. If we had a mathematical system in place in which 2 + 2 only SOMEtimes made 4, but other times made 5 or 3 or 17, wouldn't somebody demand change?
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In any case, I attended, late, the 48th Fire Muster on Sunday, June 7th, then walked around Downtown Newark to check, among other things, anything new that I might espy as to the construction sites of the Hahne's Building renovation and the closing stages at the NuPru Building (that is, as regular readers of this blog know, the annex to the Prudential Financial World Headquarters), when I realized that I did not see the Coffee Cave on my travels. I retraced my steps a block or so, and looked to where I thought it should be. This is what I saw.


In that there was no lettering as would confirm that the blanked-out commercial space at issue used to belong to the Coffee Cave, I searched the Internet for more info once I got home, and found a Coffee Cave website, which made no mention of closing. There was a 'contact us' feedback form, so I left this message.
I was on Halsey Street yesterday (Sunday, June 7th, 2015) and was looking for the Coffee Cave but saw only blanked-out windows where I THOUGHT you were located. Your website makes no mention of the business having closed or moved, so I don't know what's going on. Please advise. If you have moved to a new location, I'd like to mention that in my fotoblog, "Newark USA". Please advise.
Two days later, I hadn't had a reply. So, when I received from Tamara of Newark Pulse an email notice of a celebration of five years of Newark Pulse being celebrated at Burger Walla on Halsey Street not far from the (former) Coffee Cave site, I sent her an email inquiry as to whether she knew if the Coffee Cave had closed or moved. She replied that it had indeed closed some two months earlier. Tho she didn't say whether it was simply a financial issue, she did send me link to Newark Pulse's webpage about it, which indicated not only that the business had been in place for seven years (I thought it longer) but also that the owner was now engaged in other activities, on Mt. Pleasant Avenue in eastern Newark, near the Passaic River. This is the statement at Newark Pulse by the Coffee Cave's founder, John D. Murray, about the change, with a further paragraf from Newark Pulse about the new thrust.
"Karmically, out of the success of the Coffee Cave, something stronger is being born. We have established and maintained a culture that facilitated growth and expressionism for many. Just as those affected by our environment have grown, so has The Coffee Cave itself. With Coffee Cave set to close, we will soon be unveiling our new business, The CAGE. The CAGE is an acronym for Creative Artists Gaining Empowerment. The CAGE is a business cooperative that will be owned by our community of creative artists. It is an event based business concerning all forms of cretive artistry including visual, theater, fashion, dance, poetry, music, underground forms and more. This will be our new vehicle that will shoot us to higher levels as we continue our journey and provide business ownership to our talented partners."

The CAGE will essentially be a co-op venue space letting event planners and creatives be a part of the establishment. It will be located in a converted warehouse space with indoor and outdoor space at 312 Mt. Pleasant Avenue. John is still reviewing submissions for those interested in being a part of this endeavor – contact John at john.jd.murray@gmail.com[.] I don't know if that email address is current, so have not made it clickable.
I don't know if that is a forthright statement of a new dedication, or if Murray is just blowing smoke in our eyes to cover a simple business failure. If the latter, the Coffee Cave might have experienced a big wave of new business had it been able to hold out a few months until NuPru opened this month, bringing hundreds of well-paid office workers within blocks of the Coffee Cave's location.
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I had thought that the Coffee Cave was doing well, in that it had filled-in a formerly open back yard with an auditorium. I did an extensive post to this blog about an art show by the Newark women's art collective Catfish Friday within the Coffee Cave and their poetry reading in the back yard before it was filled in. Hosting art shows was part of what made the Coffee Cave so important a part of the Downtown Newark scene. Here is a foto, from that post, of the poetry reading in the Coffee Cave's backyard in June 2009.


I hope Mr. Murray achieves great success in his new venture, and carries a lot of people with him.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Recognized as Sole Originator of 'Gay Pride'


The first few of today's illustrations are screenprints (or screen captures, or screenshots) of the website of the British podcast "The Allusionist".

For Fldecades, my enemies in the "lesbigay" Movement have tried to deny me credit for coining the term "Gay Pride" as it is now used. They have just been dealt a severe setback: a British podcast about language issues recognizes my role without reservation. Will Wikipedia finally surrender to the truth, or will cowardly liars hide behind anonymity to continue to deny credit where credit is due?


The podcast is "The Allusionist". The particular episode is #12: "Pride", which was placed on the Internet on June 3d and remains current until two weeks from the 3d, the 17th. Even after that, if you scroll down at the podcast's website, you should be able to listen to #12, which is about 18 minutes long. I speak during about 13 of those minutes. The sound is a little garbled at times because we were conversing on a trans-Atlantic fone call.


View of the website scrolled slitely lower to include all of the descriptive text about the "Pride" episode.

Documentary proof of my role can be seen at the Second Anniversary Special Issue of the newsletter of the organization Homosexuals Intransigent!, April-May 1971: a scan of a paragraf from that mimeograffed publication that can be found in gay archives in various universities and standalone gay archives. If I can find time to alter the HTML code on that page to allow a link directly to that graffic, I will do so. But considering how backed-up I am in my various computer tasks, this must wait. If you'd like to see that scanned paragraf online, in context, just use your vertical scrollbar to go about 40% down the page and look for a paragraf of text on a white background in a lavender-bordered box. For your convenience, I show a screen capture of that area below.


Who, you might wonder, are the "enemies" who want to deny me credit for what I obviously did do? "Enemies" is a strong word, but it fits this situation. At different times, I as a gay activist and writer/"propagandist" have had various enemies. Early on, they included Communist-influenced people in organizations with names like "Gay Liberation Front", because I knew well and stated aloud that Communists were not our friends, but sought only to use gay people to promote internal conflict in the United States, to weaken this country as part of the drive to carry out worldwide Communist Revolution. I had no hesitancy to point out that Communist Cuba had an internment camp for gay men on the Isle of Pines, which proved handily that Communists didn't want to liberate gay people.
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There were other organizations, not Communist-influenced, that took stances and adopted tactics not shared by the group I founded two months before Stonewall, Homosexuals Intransigent!. In NY, Gay Activists Alliance staged demonstrations and sit-ins at, for instance, the offices of publications that issued antihomosexual materials. I did not participate in such things, only in the first several marches each June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. My worst enemies, however, were always the people who tried to confuse gay men and make them identify with and lend their legitimacy and power to people unlike us, especially lesbians, so-called "bisexuals", and what came to be called the mythical "transgendered" people. You see, I and my organization rejected all suggestions that gay men must identify as women or confused losers and cowards who refused to 'fess up to their homosexual reality. It was obvious to me that gay men needed to demand respect for their MANHOOD, and their right to be men oriented to and concerned primarily with, men. Let lesbians take care of lesbians, not parasitize gay men's organizations and misdirect gay men's numbers and money away from men's concerns to, instead, women's issues, and esp. that most heterosexual of women's issues, murder of the unborn, which would, statistically, mean the murder of more boys than girls, because more boys are conceived. I knew full well that that was not just NOT a gay-men's issue but actually murderously antagonistic to gay boys.
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Rather than argue the merits of particular issues — for instance, whether "bisexuals" are just, shall we say, 'homos in hiding', and "transgendered" people don't have the courage to be openly gay, so pretend to be women so they can "properly" lust after men — these enemies have worked to prevent me from receiving any recognition by society, for instance, being credited in Wikipedia as coiner of "Gay Pride". I think they keep waiting for me to die so they can rewrite history and erase all evidence that I or my stances ever existed. But the more time that goes by, while I am still alive to speak out on a podcast or in print, the more doomed their cause. I WILL be recognized as coiner of "Gay Pride", whether they like it or not.
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Uniting Suburban and City Gay-Pride Events. Again this year, anti-Newark activists have held a "North Jersey Pride Festival" in Maplewood, dividing the suburbs from the City. Altho the pretense is that that event is inclusive of all types of people from the entire state of New Jersey, it is plain to me that racial animus is a large part of, if not THE primary motivation, behind this suburban event. Disgraceful. Newarkers, fortunately, have not given up their own Pride events, but will again this year celebrate their own Gay Pride Week next month, including a "Sounds of the City" dance party outside NJPAC on Tuesday, July 16th from 5-6pm. When will the "lesbigay" community end the racial segregation in Essex County "Gay Pride" events?


The last two pix today show the gathering before Gay Pride Parade 2014, Downtown Newark.

Unfortunately, the gay movement in this area is as crazy and destructive as all of the groups absurdly thrown together now were in the worst, benited days of the 1950s. "Newark Gay Pride" proclaims on its website "A Celebration of Newark's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Community!" There IS NO SUCH COMMUNITY. These groups rarely get together for any reason, and most of the time have no interest in each other, or, if the truth be told, much use for each other. Gay men are not lesbians, not "bisexual", and most emphatically NOT "transgender"."Queer" is an INSULT that cannot be rehabilitated. It will remain, ALWAYS, the exact equivalent of "the N-word" WITH the R. Gay men outnumber lesbians, but are always relegated to SECOND in the various names of this nonexistent "community". Lesbians who would be indignant at men opening a door (while saying "Ladies first!") or pulling out a chair for them at a table in a restaurant have no hesitancy to sell out their Radical Feminist principles to insist that L always go before G.


It's one thing to form an alliance between groups all of which know that they are separate and distinct. It is quite another to try to force all the groups of an alliance to IDENTIFY as each other, as confuses their own identities. It is SHAMEFUL that so many gay men and lesbian women are still so CRAZY, self-denying, and self-despising after all these years. I put forward the term "Gay Pride" in spring 1970, 45 YEARS ago. What is TAKING so long for these people to sort themselves out?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Portugal 'Day' This Weekend


I didn't hear about this year's "Portugal Day" street fair in advance, but only thru a traffic advisory sent out at 6:16pm today, a day late, as part of the Ironbound Super Neighborhood's email distribution list. The event actually occupies three days, Friday thru Sunday, running as late as 1:00 a.m., and there are severe restrictions on parking and traffic in an area that is ALWAYS hard to park in. I don't know that I want to take buses round-trip, then cope with walking in dense crowds. But I'm 70 years old and have some trouble walking because of knee problems. Younger people might not mind having to take buses and walk extensively.


I did an extensive post about this annual event on June 9, 2007, but the 12 pictures that illustrated it disappeared when AOL closed all subscribers' online storage spaces. The fotos I show today are from the 2007 event.


The Greater Newark Convention and Visitor Bureau describes "Portugal Day Newark" thus:
Every year nearly 300,000 people come to Newark’s Ironbound to celebrate Portugal Day. Dive in and explore Portuguese culture and cuisine close up. Be moved. International music and dance performances happen all night long!

From folk dancing to special performances by Portuguese recording artists, classical guitarists, to classic rock you’ll get experience all that Portugal is right here in Newark. Savor the flavors of Portugal as Newark’s Ironbound eateries serve up the best of Ferry Street, dishing out classics like Portuguese BBQ chicken, grilled sardines, chouriço sausages, and sangria.

You won’t want to miss a bite.

Foolishly, the notice from the City contains this noxious paragraf:
Citizens are reminded that alcohol[ic] beverages will not be permitted in the streets. Citizens are also reminded to obey all traffic laws[;] these and any other disorderly conduct will no[t] be tolerated and police will be instructed to enforce all city codes and ordinances.

When will this country grow up about alcohol? This is not 1928. We tried Prohibition and it was a disaster. We allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages in sidewalk cafes along our streets, don't we? Why not IN the streets DURING street fairs?