BY HERMIONE HOBY VIA THE GUARDIAN
Lunch With Laurie Anderson. Illustration: Lyndon Hayes
Long after she’s left, I’ll still be thinking about Laurie Anderson’s pumpkin-coloured jacket. I see it through the window of the restaurant, this big daub of colour amid all the greys and blacks of a New York winter. Then that colour is inside and here, emerging from it, is Laurie Anderson – 69 years old, small, sparkling and wide awake. Her hair, a spiky coronet, stands on end as if permanently electrified by the brain beneath. When she’s smiling, which is most of the time, she looks even more impish. The jacket, this big fat orange thing, puffy to the point of spherical, should be plain absurd, but on her I can’t help seeing it as extension of her own being. For decades, Anderson has been disarming us with searching and playful work that dovetails these same qualities: the spiritual and the silly. In the early 80s she was hailed as one of the most exciting figures in experimental art and she remains our foremost performance artist, inspiring something so often lacking in avant-garde work – humour and affection. That’s certainly the tenor of her most recent work, Heart of a Dog, which the New York Times called a “dreamy, drifty and altogether lovely movie”. Narrated by Anderson and comprising animated drawings and old home video, it’s a roaming, looping consideration of various loves and losses: her dog, her mother, and her husband, the musician Lou Reed, who died in 2013. It opens with Birth of Lola, in which Anderson recounts, in detail, a dream about giving birth to her rat terrier. I imagine many women must feel that intense, bodily love for their pet yet it’s not exactly socially acceptable to admit to it.
BY KYLE ALMOND VIA CNN
A woman reads Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl and Other Poems” inside the 7 Arts Coffee Gallery in New York City. The coffee shop, along with Washington Square Park, was a popular meeting spot for members of the Beat Generation, including Ginsberg himself. Photographer Dave Heath was there in the 1950s and took portraits of the people he came across.
BY DAVID BUEHRENS VIA GO FUND ME
John Wilcock is an under-recognized but vital part of U.S. history. In the 1960s he helped establish the Underground Press Syndicate, which became the model for alternative media and the New Journalism movement. Among numerous credits to his accomplishments, he was a co-founder of the Village Voice and, with Andy Warhol, he co-created Interview Magazine.
BY ROBERT D. MCFADDEN VIA NY TIMES
Nat Hentoff, an author, journalist, jazz critic and civil libertarian who called himself a troublemaker and proved it with a shelf of books and a mountain of essays on free speech, wayward politics, elegant riffs and the sweet harmonies of the Constitution, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS VIA DAILY MAIL
A bridge too far? Painters hang from suspended wires on the Brooklyn Bridge October 7, 1914 — 31 years after it first opened
Almost a million images of New York and its municipal operations have been made public for the first time on the internet.The city’s Department of Records officially announced the debut of the photo database.Culled from the Municipal Archives collection of more than 2.2 million images going back to the mid-1800s, the 870,000 photographs feature all manner of city oversight — from stately ports and bridges to grisly gangland killings.
The project was four years in the making, part of the department’s mission to make city records accessible to everyone, said assistant commissioner Kenneth Cobb.’We all knew that we had fantastic photograph collections that no one would even guess that we had,’ he said.
Taken mostly by anonymous municipal workers, some of the images have appeared in publications but most were accessible only by visiting the archive offices in lower Manhattan over the past few years.Researchers, history buffs, filmmakers, genealogists and preservationists in particular will find the digitized collection helpful. But anyone can search the images, share them through social media or purchase them as prints.
BY STEPHANIE GEIER VIA UNTAPPED CITIES
The Strand, which opened in 1927 on 4th Avenue and eventually moved to its current location, still thrives today despite the decline in independent bookstores.
If you were to stroll down 4th Avenue between Union Square and Astor Place back when the area was called “Book Row,” the sights and sounds would differ greatly from those of today. While these six blocks are now lined with a variety of restaurants and stores, from the 1890s to 1960s, they were dominated by just one kind of business: secondhand bookstores.
In fact, 48 bookstores once spanned this segment of Fourth Avenue, earning it the title “Book Row.” However, these bookstores either relocated or closed entirely by the 1960s. The only vestige of Book Row is the renowned Strand Bookstore on Broadway and East 12th Street, and its survival is quite a story in itself.
BY : AMY HABEN
Photo: Debbie Harry
All in one November night, I chatted with Debbie Harry, Johnny Marr, Walter Lure, and Clem Burke. It all started on Nov. 15th with an evening at the Gramercy Theater to witness my old friend Ian Svenonius, (singer of Chain and the Gang) interview Johnny Marr of the Smiths. The talented strummer whose music comforted countless numbers of morose teenagers gave us a glimpse into those first moments creating magic with Morrissey. He had varied influences, even writing licks to a song that were based on disco legends Chic and David Bowie’s, “Rebel Rebel.” Nile Rogers from Chic was in the building to congratulate Johnny on his new book, Set The Boy Free, which was given out free with entry. My friend Denise and I chatted with Johnny after the show and even though there was a line of people waiting to get their albums signed, he was attentive and seemed genuinely curious about our lives. I told him we were on our way to the Heartbreakers gig at Bowery Electric. Johnny asked me to do him a favor and tell Walter Lure that he’s a huge fan.
VIA VINTAGE EVERYDAY
Studio 54 is a New York discothèque that was the place to be and be seen, as the celebrities, partygoers, and those crazy for dancing who filled it every night were happy to prove. From between 1978-80 photographer Tod Papageorge made it inside the New York City’s legendary disco club and documented the beautiful people he found – in all their debauchery, glamour and cool. “Only the famous or socially connected could assume they’d find themselves shooed around the flock of hopeful celebrants milling on the street side of the velvet rope and guided through the door; otherwise, the thing most likely to help was to be beautiful. Once inside, though, everyone there seemed thrilled by the fact, no matter how they’d managed it, an excitement fed by the throbbing music and brilliantly designed interiors, which, on a party night, could suggest anything from Caliban’s cave to a harem.”
– In Papageorge’s own words.
BY STEPHANIE ECKARDT BY W MAGAZINE
The photographer Richard Corman was unpacking boxes recently after moving into a new apartment in New York when he unearthed dozens of Polaroids he’d taken one Friday in 1983, which he just happened to have spent with a 24-year-old Madonna. Just weeks before the release of her eponymous album, the pair had headed to her brother’s apartment for a photo shoot at the behest of Corman’s mother, a casting director and producer hoping to remake Cinderella with Madonna as the star. The film, of course, never came to be, but 66 of Corman’s unseen snapshots are now finally being published in Madonna 66, a limited-edition book out this week by NJG Studio. Take a look back at Madge’s pre-glory days, here.
BY LAUREN EVANS VIA VILLAGE VOICE
This is not worth $30,000. -Photo credit -Sotheby’s
A superb way to make a buck is to pull something out of the trash and then sell it at Sotheby’s for $30,000. That’s what CBGB’s former manager, Drew Bushong, did when he found the legendary club’s awning languishing in a box in a dumpster.