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
Mondays on Memory Lane: THE PALLADIUM DISCO “EVERY DAY IS GAY PRIDE DAY” – June is world wide Gay Pride month. One of the last great dance palaces of the disco era was the grand Palladium which every Sunday catered to an almost all gay audience. Owned and operated by the former Studio 54 masterminds Ian Shrager and Steve Rubell. It was one of the last clubs I attended around 1986 before “it just wasn’t fun anymore.”
The Palladium was converted from a movie theater to a music venue and then into a nightclub. The famous duo hired Danceteria DJ Richard Sweret, who saw the possibility of a much larger audience for a downtown New Wave, Euro and house music-oriented club. From its celebrity-studded opening in May 1985, through the end of the 1980’s, it was one of the major features on a vibrant New York club scene. The club was a mainstay on the New York club scene until it was bought out in 1997 by the voracious appetite of New York University (NYU) and demolished for a sterile campus housing project. They have continued to destroy New York ever since.
Junior Vasquez’s Arena party, held Saturday nights and all day Sundays at Palladium between September 1996 and September 1997, was one of the most popular parties in the New York club scene at the time. Although the promoters billed Arena as “The Gay Man’s Pleasure Dome”, the party drew an eclectic mix of gay and straight from Manhattan and far beyond. 14th Street in those days was still seedy and therefore the attraction to gain entrance into the club as you bypassed the bums in the adjoining urine stenched doorways was ‘chic’ and daring.
1986 Palladium party invitation
The Palladium represented architect Arata Isozaki’s transformation of a vacant and rundown theater, originally built in 1927 as the Academy of Music, into an extraordinary interior that can only be described as a sleek new structure, the equivalent of a seven-story building using more than 200 tons of steel, within the restored grandeur of the original shell. After the conversion from a venue to a club, the main dance floor of the Palladium was a huge space which used to hold the theater and seating. One interesting feature of the club was the large banks of TV monitors in grid formations that were used to display music vidoes. Each monitor could operate separately, or one large picture could be shown across the grid – we had never seen such technology before and it was mesmerizing to us at the time.
The entire gigantic cavernous club was big enough to hold different areas, the equivalent of three or four clubs! Besides the pounding main dance floor area there was a multicolored basement, and the famous upstairs “VIP room”, The Michael Todd Room. Murals were created for this space by the well known New York artists of the 1980s Jean-Michel Basquit, Francesco Clemente, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring – these treasures are gone.
The video links below will show you the 1980’s grandeur it once was.
A rare visual tour into the past of The Palladium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5_NI2MSmp8
MTV music video A. Snap – The Power B. Technotronic – This beat is Technotronic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUdbX4B-74s
June 3, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: "The Gay Man's Pleasure Dome", "VIP room", 14th street, 1927 the Academy of Music, 1980's, architect Arata Isozaki, architecture, arts, Danceteria DJ Richard Sweret, Downtown Julie Brown, downtown New Wave, entertainment, Euro, fashion, Francesco Clemente, gay club scene, Gay Pride, Greenwich Village, Hans Von Rittern, house music-oriented club, Ian Shrager, Jean-Michel Basquit, Junior Vasquez's Arena party, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, large banks of TV monitors, Manhattan, MTV music video, music vidoes, New York City, New York photo, New York University (NYU), PALLADIUM DISCO, Snap - The Power - Technotronic, Steve Rubell, Studio 54, Sunday gay party night, the end of the disco era, The Michael Todd Room, vidoes of club, vint\ge video club scene | 2 Comments