Photo of the day: MY SPEECH TO SAVE 5 POINTZ DIRECTED AT COUNCILMEMBER JIMMY VAN BRAMMER AND DEVELOPERS – On Wednesday October 2, 2013 both sides in favor and against tearing down Graffiti & Mural museum 5 Pointz, gathered inside City Hall for a hearing by the NYCHA – The New York City Housing Authority. It’s basically a side show/dog and pony show with the real estate developers always claiming tearing something down is “for the good of the community.” The owner, Jerry Wolcoff wants to build twin mirror glass apartment towers for which he will receive $7 million. Now you know me – I do not go quietly! Here is my passionate speech directed in part at my Queens councilmember, who is Christine Quinn’s lap dog and Mayor Bloomberg’s pet – Jimmy Van Brammer – who has stated he does not believe the magnificent powerful graffiti and mural works at 5 Pointz is “art” – and therefore in favor of tearing the building down. (When embarrassingly trapped by the truth of his statement at the hearing he said: “Well….I said I don’t quite understand it.” After also admitting he has rarely ever visited the site in his district.
rendering-5 POINTZ WOLCOFF TOWERS
My name is Hans Von Rittern, born raised in Queens, licensed tour guide of 8 years. I have been hired by Harlem Spirituals Tour company to take European tourists on a 5 hour tour of Brooklyn. They marvel at the view from Fulton Ferry and thank me, they love Park Slope bagels and Coney island puts a smile on their faces. The endpoint of the tour is supposed to be hipster Williamsburg. I chose not to do that and end my tour at 5 Pointz as a surprise. When I get back onto the bus, each and EVERY single time they burst out into spontaneous cheers and applause saying “THIS is highlight of the New York tour”! “THIS is New York!”
I take tourists on “art tours” of galleries and or museums. When they reach MOMA’s PS1 they are bored and unmoved by the art. I say “come with me” and lead them to 5 Pointz and I always have trouble getting them back into our vehicle. This is an untapped rich resource that needs imagination of design and investment, NOT a quick buck, another mirror glass box and then get the hell out of there as fast a possible.
There are 2 ways to make money: The quick bang fix and run – or, the wise investment – for perpetual monetary return on your investment of restoring the building and let the artists go hog wild on the interior. Hipsters will kill for a graffiti-ed loft, stores would love the unmatched ambience and above all, CHARGE FOR THE ADMISSION INTO THE BUILDING AS A FULLY FLEDGED MUSEUM.
Muralist VERONIQUE BARRILOT makes her (final?) statement
‘Not a museum because it’s not “art”’, as some politicians like my councilmember Jimmy Van Brammer will say?
May I remind you:
Toulouse L’autrec – was considered street art and torn off the walls, today his street posters are considered the finest examples of classic art.
Matisse – was dismissed as “scribble,”
Picasso – was considered a crackpot for putting a woman’s nose where her ear ought to be
Warhol– not taken seriously at all, soup cans as art?! Own one today and it’s worth millions.
Keith Haring – used to graffiti at my subway station, I watched him get arrested. Today he hangs in MOMA and the cathedral of St. John The Divine.
Basquiat – was looked down upon as wanna be street artist. His work is now in the major museums around the world.
Yes, I fully realize this is not what the building was intended to become, but it has, it has become bigger than what you realize.
So who are YOU – to say this is not “art” and therefore not worth saving and investing in?
I should think greed alone would take over and try to save it.
Don’t have your names forever associated with the destruction of this building so all of you can make a “fast buck” rather than a wise “invested buck.”
Look back, which one of you doesn’t wish they owned a Warhol soup can now?
Well – you have dozens of them, right here in front of you.
Just because it is relatively new art does not make it less relevant art.
Remember all the fools that said the same of Lautrec, Warhol, Haring and Basquiat.
Will you be the same short sighted fools?
Fellow tour guide Andy Sydor testifying in favor of 5 Pointz
Reporter Greg Mocker of WPIX11 Covered the hearing, I can be seen testifying saying : “Yes, I fully realize this is not what the building was intended to become, but it has, it has become bigger than what you realize.” Here is the video link http://pix11.com/2013/10/02/nyc-council-hears-plans-for-iconic-queens-grafitti-building/#axzz2gfgASpxA
5 POINTZ WEB SITE: http://5ptz.com/
October 3, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 5 Pointz, 7 train, architecture, arts, Basquiat, Brooklyn tour, City Hall 10-2-13 hearing, CLUE-LESS POLITICIANS, Coney Island, CORRUPT POLITICIANS, Councilman Jimmy Van Brammer, Councilwoman Christine Quinn, European tourists explore Brooklyn, fighting city hall, freedom to paint, Fulton Ferry Landing, German tourists explore New York, graffiti, Great artisits once dismissed as garbage, greed vs. art, Greg Mocker, Hans Von Rittern, Hans' Brooklyn tour, Harlem Spirituals Tours Brooklyn Tour, Jackson Avenue, Jerry Wolcoff, Jimmy Van Brammer, Keith Haring, Long Island City Queens, Manhattan, Matisse, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, mural art, New York City, New York City Housing Authority, New York photo, NYCHA, Photo of the day, photography, Picasso, Queens, Sterling City Tours, street art, Sunnyside, The New York City Housing Authority, Toulouse L’autrec, VERONIQUE BARRILLOT, Warhol, WHAT IS ART?, WPIX11 news | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: WHY I MARCHED WITH PRIDE AGAINST NYC COUNCILWOMAN CHRISTINE QUINN
I lost my Gray Line tour guide job of seven years because of her bullying through a ‘headset bill‘ in New York City. It all started two years ago when two older residents on Greenwich Avenue complained about guides on open mic and insist we be rerouted. We tried all diff routes, but Greenwich is largest, best flow and connection to the rest of the routes and bus stops.
These complainers had the sirens of St. Vincent’s Hospital, a school yard with screaming grade school kids and the bars showing European soccer matches to boisterous patrons till 4am – if u do not like the noise – move to a better location, you knew what u where getting into when u moved in. So a headset law was suggested.
No one seemed to hear ’noise’ but them. Guards were placed at the corner to see if we were off mic. A noise “study” was supposed to have been done and magically was never needed.
NYC councilwoman Gail Brewer tried to help us and insisted a proviso be put in the bill the headsets be connected to a live guide. ALL tour guides rallied, spoke on TV and radio and press to “Keep New York Live”. Greg Mocker/WPIX11 befriended me and joined our cause. Rumor was that Twin America, the monopoly that owns blue City Sights and red Gray Line double decker buses was trying to get the ’live guide’ proviso thrown out. No tour guides = no high licensed salaries, no health insurance. BINGO! The proviso was erased in the middle of the night by Quinn, because Quinn is in the pocket of Twin America and they padded her coffers for her mayoral run. She simply claimed the proviso was ‘not needed’.
We held one big last ditch effort rally on the steps of city hall at noon time. 12:30….no press, no one. I called TV transit reporter Greg Mocker “Where are you?!!” ‘It’s canceled, isn’t it?’ Quinn had called the press and told them it was canceled. The bill passed with live tour guides eliminated. Councilwoman Brewer cowered under Quinn and was a bit of a wimp, she needed funding for her district. Next came the slaughter of the guides. We had a sign up book, you would sign the days you wanted to work for the next few weeks. Allllll of a sudden, any guide who was seen at NBC, ABC, WPIX11, CBS News, etc was not ‘allowed’ to sign up with no reason given. I was one of their top tour guides. I never had one complaint. I was requested world wide, did all their celebrity tours (Liza Minnelli, Heidi Klum, Cyndi Lauper, etc.) yet I was no longer allowed to sign the book. A fellow tour guide overheard my boss Eva Lee tell the dispatcher “these people are effectively no longer here.” With pressure mounting by the guides, Gray Line said we could re-apply for our jobs, but not at $17.75 an hour with insurance, but with $12.75 and hour, no insurance. We applied. “If a position arises we will contact you” we were told with the iciest of cold faces. Meanwhile through the tour guide grape vine we heard they were begging and pleading other less experienced guides to please come in.
Senior guides were offered insulting low buyouts. Gray Line wanted no one left with a memory of what it used to be like. Guides who had worked there 18 years!!, spoke 5 languages!, were now gone. They wanted no one to question the ‘new authority.’ No rebels, just quiet frightened to death zombie guides. Then they realized no one was watching the tourists on top, so they hired illiterate ‘watchers’ to sit on top and make sure guests didn’t stand up. Pay was about $7-11 per hour. The recorded tour tapes didn’t and don’t work well (at first they didn’t at all!) so now they are hiring guides who are given the answers to the Tour Guides License test, so any idiot can pass the test. Watch them, the buses pass by and the guide is saying nothing, or babbling utter incoherent nonsense. And so here we are. New York tourists are greeted by these “ambassadors to the city” – it’s a joke. The headset law was bullied thru by Quinn, the required noise study was NEVER done and hundreds of guides my age (57 and older) don’t find it easy at all to find work in this city at our age or at other companies. It is almost impossible. You have to be minimally bilingual (I am/German) or be the darling of one of the smaller companies. Smaller companies don’t have the work, salaries and clients. So many guides went bankrupt, moved, sold their things, took several other low paying jobs = slaughtered by that greedy dictator!
There are many other reasons I will cut my hand off before I vote for Christine Quinn. Zoning variances have become the norm in New York and we are becoming a city of soul-less glass boxes since she is in the deep pockets of the real estate Rudin family. Councilmembers are afraid of her. Vote against her – your funding is cut. She over turned term limits in the middle of the night as well so that elitist mayor Bloomberg could buy a third term. NYC had voted TWICE for a two term limit. How is this a free country?
She is “gay for pay” – on gay pride day she runs to the front of the parade, but has not voted for one pro gay health, housing or community bill – NOT ONE. Her ultimate sinful act was to tear down St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village as well as the ‘Tiles For America’ memorial across the street. Built in 1849, St. Vincent’s took in the only survivors of the Titanic, was at the epicenter the AIDS crisis, and 9/11. The Rudin real estate family wanted condos there. Quinn saw to it, and while at it, tore down the adjoining church as well. She is the most dangerous thing that has happened and could happened to New York City. We rebuilt after 9/11 and hurricane Sandy – we cannot tear down the glass boxes that are rising at an alarming rate where the mom and pops used to be. We have lost more long time establishments under the Bloomberg/Quinn administration than in the entire history of New York City. Affordable housing tenants are squeezed out, the middle class is ceasing to exist. VOTE this election,
VOTE FOR “ANYBODY BUT QUINN!”
WATCH THIS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXoANkQh93I
July 2, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: ABQ, AIDS crisis, animal rights, anti gay, Christine Quinn, City Sights tours, destruction of middle class, destruction of New York City, Donny Moss, elitist government, Gail Brewer, gay bating, Gay Pride Day Parade New York 2013, Gray Line Tours, Greenwich Village, Greg Mocker, Hans Von Rittern, horse drawn carriages, Hurricane Sandy, mayoral 2013 campaign, Michael Blomberg, New York City, New York photo, overturn of term limits, Photo of the day, St. Vincent's Hospital, the Rudin Family real estate empire, The Truth Behind The Smile, Titanic, WPIX11 news | Leave a comment