Archive for December, 2008

Day Off

Posted in day off with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Hello faithful Brooklyn Socialites,

Things that I want to talk about include

1. The final Happy Endings Reading Series that I attended last night

2. a production of The Colonial Nutcracker , which I caught on Sunday

3.More on Chocolate, the Gym, La Esquina, 8th St Wine Bar, and how I hate holidays

But for now, I just wanted to post-announce my day off. Yes I have been MIA for the past 24 hours planning my next yellow-color combo outfit, hedging my bets on whether it will snow or be 65 degrees, spending time with people in (I know this is crazy) but actual real-time physical space, and daring to feel a little peaceful. This week I have been threatening all my friends with my potentially serious plans to become a Vegan. Last week I was threatening to become a go-go dancer, so apply whatever amount of doubt to this claim that you feel is appropriate.  The week before I had deputized myself to police VU. Next week i will threaten to be a movie actor, so if you have a role for me, please let me know! Perhaps its best to harness these whims as quickly as possible.

So goodnight, and dream well. Tell me what your threatening to be on this eve of the new year!

The Garden, Esperanza Friends

Posted in film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Tonight was one of those nights were I didn’t really feel like like going out, it meant ditching the pjs, leaving Brooklyn and facing the snow. Still, I had the feeling that Stranger than Fiction was the right place for me to be, so I bucked up and faced the elements. It turned out to be another beautiful STF night, and I’m so glad that I made it. I was greeted by the wonderful Raphaela Neihausen, Executve Director of STF, then I purchased IFC’s yum organic popcorn, with butter, and found my way to my seat.

The film, The Garden, was about the intense struggle by nearly 400 families to save the huge community garden/farm, located in South Central LA that had been given to them by the city in the wake of the LA riots. In order to quell tensions that flared up after Rodney King’s police assailants were acquitted, the city gave the land to the community for use as a community garden. Ten years later, the city decided to take it back, or rather claim that they did not indeed own it, and that it instead belonged to the previous owner, a greedy developer, that had had his property seized by the city under imminent domain. Back in the early 90’s he was paid 5 million for the land, then for some unexplainable reason, in the early 2000’s the city sold it back to him for the same price. Now you don’t have to be an economics major or even a graduate of the 7th grade for that matter to understand that after ten years of inflation, there is no way that the value of the property had not risen at all in over ten years. Quite to the contrary property in South Central has become increasingly desirable to developers and new residents.

The film tracks the development of the Latino community gardener’s struggle to advocate for themselves and win the right to keep their garden, in fact the largest community garden in the United States. I won’t tell you whether or not they succeeded, you will have to see the film to find out (or google it, but do the former first)!  I highly recommend it as a valuable record of people’s history and as compelling cinema. Interview with the director to come!

But wait, the night gets better. After STF the whole audience was invited to 99 Below on MacDougal street for a free drink with ticket stub and a chance to mingle with the director, Scott Hamilton Kennedy. Scott was very friendly and approachable. He was joined by representatives from Silver Docs, a great documentary film festival, which takes place in DC each year, the  director of Trembling Before G-d, Sandi DuBowski, and unrelatedly, the chocolatiers behind Living Love organic raw chocolate. The chocolate chefs were kind enough to offer me several samples of their awesome chocolates, which perhaps explains why I am still so chipper, typing away at 4am.

I should really sleep, but before I do, I have to conclude that what really put the icing on the cake of this being a great night was that I ran into some really good old friends from my days of garden activism in NYC some 7-8 years ago. Aresh of More Gardens continues his stand-up work, while Ben has extended his commitment to South Bronx gardens, to also include a Victory Gardens style farm upstate, where he grows vegetables and herbs which he can then distribute to communities in poor NYC neighborhoods and also sell at farmers markets to benefit political prisoners. This model has been successful for VG and is showing a lot of promise for Ben’s farm as well.

Yay! and goodnight.

Treadmill

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

When I started this blog, almost 3 months ago, it was after having a vision of myself on a treadmill. Now it has actually happened! 3 month later. Twice in the same week, I have found my self at the warm shiny place, affectionately known as “The Gym.” There were several things that kept me away from the gym thus far…1.You can’t wear your pajamas there without being mildly embarrassed, especially if your pajamas, like mine, are flannel and in the style of an old man. 2 Going there, may make you feel healthy and encourage you to give up your new-found writerly ways, (ie. late nights, pash sessions, large quantities of alcohol and etc) [I am always torn between fashioning myself after the archetypal French writer (don’t ask why) and the yoga, smoothie, vegan chic aesthetic that I have dabbled in, during previous years.] ok 3. People who you don’t want scoping you out (naked) like middle aged janitorettes and overly friendly sauna-mates, will inevitably scope you out, leaving you with no choice but to politely “pretend not to notice”. and 4. the danger always exists, that one day, running on the treadmill enthusiastically to Chaka Kahn, you may confuse yourself with Bridget Jones, or worse, one of the lame normal people you secretly mock(!)… The bottom line is that the treadmill just doesn’t seem cool.

Oh but it is. Feeling healthy and fit is all the rage right now and I have to admit, I already feel better. I miss yoga and smoothies and I’m going to have to find some middle ground. Being a workaholic/something else aholic is going to have to back down and make some space for a happy holistic lifestyle goddamit!

Quantum of Solace

Posted in film, opera, People of Color with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Wow, first of all what is up with filmic references to Tosca, after the scene in Milk, where Harvey Milk attends a performance of Tosca and then dies flashing back to it, while starring at the Tosca banner advertisement on the San Fransisco Opera House, visible outside of his window. A man who played in the real performance that Harvey attended 30 years ago, and 2 days before he died, had this to say about it. Strange coincidence, now I really want to see Tosca, being as it is that I have become quite the budding young opera fan as of late! Really. I swear the funny thing about high art vs low art is that there are so many striking similarities, in terms of plot and design. Although the music at the Opera tends to be far better than the suspenseful elevator tunes, which are used to score soap operas, as I remember from watching after school at a friend’s house, the drama in Passions was not that different from the conflict in Tristan und Isolde (the last Opera that I attended.)

Strange coincidence aside,  the Tosca scene was definitely one of the highlight of the latest James Bond incarnation. Don’t ask me to explain the tittle, because it really makes no sense to me, but this is what happens in the film: Bond, meets a Bolivian agent, who has been trying to infiltrate her way to the man who killed her father, raped her mother and sister, and left a burn scar on her back. He is a Bolivian military leader, who overthrew the previous dictatorship, which her father was a leading member of. Bond crosses paths with her on his mission to track down a secret crime organization, which is working against the British secret service and with a man named Greene, who is essentially a water pirate, posing as an environmentalist. Greene, buys up the natural water supply in countries like Bolivia, and then sells it back to the people at astronomical prices. He is willing to install any government that will allow him to do so, and he gets the American government on side, by promising them imaginary oil stores. The best thing about this plot is that it is so now, so reality! I mean, yes, several details have been changed to ensure dramatic sex and fight scenes, but the Bolivian water crisis is pretty real, and American oil greed, I don’t know how they thought of that one!

I also really appreciated the reference to Alice in Wonderland, “This one will make you taller, this one will make you…” However, I am a little confused by the fact that the Bolivian vixen is played by a Ukranian actress, would it hurt to cast a real live person of color? Jeffery Wright is in the film though, one point in their favor. He’s a great actor and I’m glad to see him in more than one currently released Hollywood film. He’s getting almost as much airtime as Tosca!

Soda Bar

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 14, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Soda bar is straight out of A Different Strokes, your every local, Brooklyn, Ace for Diversity- bar. It attracts a mixed, mostly straight crowd, and they have DJs and events on certain nights. The snug couch set-up is perfect for de-briefs with friends and impromptu dancing.

The Joys of Public Transport

Posted in People of Color with tags , , , , , , on December 13, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I wanted to share this little moment with you. I am on a bus in Bed Stuy, wobbling my way to Greenpoint on blue plastic seats. There are several copies of AM New York strewn about the floor, with headlines blaring “Depression”. This is the life! South by South dialogue amounts to taking the bus up and down brook-town x

Slate Honey, Novice Theorey

Posted in Mr Slate Honey, Music, People of Color, queer with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

By Slate Honey

My favorite musical experiences are ones that feel like lucid dreaming.  The one-person band Novice Theory has quickly found a choice spot on my list of vision-inspiring.  I sink into self-reflective hallucinations somewhere in the curves of songwriter Geo’s grandiose melodic piano-playing, pulled deeper in by his heartbreakingly sharp, lyrical narratives.  I saw Novice Theory live for the first time at Joe’s Pub last night.

This morning, I woke up to flashes of dreams still fresh on my mind.  In one, I braided my miraculously-grown long curls.  In another, my mother and I had a love-affair breakdown in a restaurant in Chinatown.  Lying in bed, two lines from a Kate Bush cover performed the night before looped in my head.  I hummed it over and over again on my walk to work.  I couldn’t kick the tune all day… but I didn’t really want to.

I often lose touch with my own tenderness in dealing with complicated questions of identity.  It’s easier for me to turn to political and overly-intellectual language to make sense of the daily experiences of gender-queer and racially-othered bodies in this wide world.  Novice Theory takes on these questions on an emotionally bare level.  Sometimes pounding and other times caressing the keys of a grand piano, Geo works out so much in his music.  He labors through intensity and honesty with a crafted precision.  Novice Theory mixes together classical and folk tones, a tender darkness, cutting humor and an entrancing theatrical sound.  Experiences most difficult to process somehow become easy to listen to in the candid and lavish storytelling–or maybe just graspable, simply distilled to rich and vivid imagery.