Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NYC visiting

Sister Dimension at La Mama, Etc. June 15, 2008
Double click any of my images to see them larger.

Tomkins Sq. Park, NYC: Temperance Fountain

Temperance Fountain in NYC: which works serving up free fresh cool and clean water with no plastic additives. 

Crazy colorfully painted Bus

Bicycle Ricshaw with a flat :-(

I just spent a weekend in NYC's east village at the institution,
I was there with my dear friend John Kelly to talk on a panel of former friends of Larry Ree the creator and founder of the first all male drag ballet. It was called the Original Trockadero Gloxinia Ballet and got it's beginning in 1972 and many years of support at La MaMa where founder Ellen Stewart was a big fan & friend to the company. John Kelly and I were both dancers in this ballet from about 1982 . I dropped out of the practice in the late 1980's after a year long toe nail infection from one of my visits to NYC to dance on point shoes with too little rehearsal. John collected some excerpts from videos of us dancing and Larry in various roles as a drag performer as well as slides and guests to tell about their memories of Larry and Madame. We spent two hours story telling, watching the slides and videos to bring a very important theater and gay history to life. All of it was recorded for the La MaMa, Etc. Archives. I had a good time and got to stay in the 4th floor dormitory for my two nights in exchange for my testimony. Allen Mace: Sister Dimension the former manager and DJ at the Pyramid Club where we did many shows was a panelist and posed for a quick snap shot of his fabulous red hat and boa. Sister Dimension is now famous on You Tube for his role as the pickle in the Pickle Surprise video by Tom Rubnitz. Madame's "world's largest tutu" sat in the corner. This is a six foot wide ballet tutu skirt that stood erect on Madame's waist! Larry spent a couple years making it and beading it and the top skirt. I got a very short video of the tutu by accident when I thought I was making a photograph with my new camera. You can see it below. I also saw a few fun things on my walks around the old neighborhood I used to live in back in the early 1980's not to mention plenty of memories returning. While I was there in my free time I also got to see my best friend from Pratt Institute. He is a fabric designer with one of the world's largest makers of fabrics and has developed a love of flowers because of that work. I walked with him to see what we might find and came across lots of community gardens and city parks gardens where we shared stories about our gardens.  He has a big garden 3 hours north of NYC in western Massachusetts which is in a zone 4 area so that is quite different than mine in Washington DC our zone 7-8 of a warmer subtropical climate. I am posting a few photos of the Temperance Fountain I found in Tomkins Square Park built for the Prohibition era thirsty by some wealthy man. I also traveled up to New York City and back on the new fully wired for laptops and wifi BOLT BUS which was fun, on time and inexpensive. High gas prices make traveling on a bus very green.  
I saw an amazing new work of theater written, directed, composed and produced by Ellen Stewart, called THE RAVEN which was a musical in the style of the Peking Opera. It was a fantastic fairy tale of princes, ogres, spirits, magic and beautiful ladies all in elaborate costumes and head dresses with a live orchestra and special digital screen effects. It was truly a magical evening and it was opening weekend so if you are near and you like fantasy go see The Raven at La MaMa, Etc. it is a brilliantly colored story from the mysterious world of old China. It has nothing to do with Edgar Allen Poe's Raven. This one gets shot! 

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