Letters from January 5, 2012

 To The Editor:

Re “Schwartz: Dodge is ‘arrogant’” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Dec. 29):

I write in response to incumbent 66th Assembly District State Committeeman Arthur Schwartz’s comments about my potential candidacy. While I look forward to a competitive and lively campaign, I hope to discourage him from making personal attacks and feel the need to address some inaccuracies listed in Scoopy.

Schwartz’s statements that I have never lived, worked or gone to school in the district are all patently false. In fact, I lived at 245 Waverly Place until I was 16 and attended two schools in the district. I was educated at City and Country School on W. 13th St. for three years, as well as attending the Gateway School on E. 14th St.  — both schools are in the district. Indeed, that special-education school provided me the background to campaign on the issues of our education system when I ran for City Council in 2009.

My roots in the district compelled me to give back to the community that I was so fortunate to grow up in. For instance, I served as youth coordinator for Yetta Kurland’s City Council campaign in 2009. That campaign — with much of the district located inside the 66th A.D. — also allowed me to get to know many residents of the district and learn the issues relevant to the community that I love so much.

My activism continued when I became involved in trying to get a new hospital for the Lower West Side. I have appeared and spoken at many rallies advocating for a full-service hospital. I have been in the trenches in furthering that issue, as well, collecting hundreds of signatures to petition the attorney general to stop the Rudin corporation from building luxury condos at the former St. Vincent’s site. When I was appointed to Community Board 6, which covers a small but important part of the 66th A.D., my efforts to fight for a new hospital were amplified.

For example, I authored and introduced a resolution calling for a new hospital, stressing that the hospitals on the East Side have become too overcrowded due to the closure of St. Vincent’s. That resolution, aligning with ones by Community Boards 1 and 2, showed that many neighborhoods stood in solidarity with the campaign for a new hospital and were also affected by St. Vincent’s closure. Clearly, many concerns pertinent to Village residents go beyond the boundaries of the 66th A.D., and my hospital advocacy for residents affected by the closure has led to action by those in the borough who have also been impacted.

Through my work with fellow community board members, I was able to secure some of the only institutional support in the fight to acquire a new full-service hospital in the 66th A.D. My actions prove that there is no credence to Arthur’s claim that I have not been involved in district issues.

I am looking forward to running a positive campaign that represents a new generation of leadership, by advocating for special-education improvement and youth involvement in local politics, as well as opposition to the introduction of dangerous hydrofracking, to list just a few issues with which I am involved.

My record representing 66th A.D. residents on the community board for the past two years, my three years serving on the board of directors of Marriage Equality NY’s Political Action Committee and my efforts to get a new hospital constructed at the former St. Vincent’s location prove that I have the record and ability to serve as an effective consensus-builder who will highlight the problems in the community and address them accordingly. While I might live four blocks outside of the Assembly district, the 66th A.D. lies within my Gramercy Park neighborhood and my roots are firmly planted here. My commitment to the issues facing those residents shouldn’t be dismissed.

I am looking forward to an energetic campaign based not on personal attacks but on a new vision of leadership for the 66th Assembly District.
Dodge Landesman

 A glorious mess! What next?

 To The Editor:
Re “Farewell (for now) concert” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Dec. 29):

I have been making some form of Michael Alan’s Living Installation for close to seven years. The performance on Jan. 20 will be the ending as I know it. It will be at our main place, our home that we claimed like a raccoon in a room, ABC No Rio.

ABC, one of the only true spaces, which tolerates me and the mess I make with my friends, is going to be torn down. It’s going to be torn down very, very soon. Double ending….boom! We’ll have no place to play, or no place we want to play.

The Living Installation is a punk band / art piece / blah blah blah… . Everyone wants us to come to their venue. They look at the images, the press we get, the musicians we have, the performers, how many people come out and ticket sales — but then they’re mad that I f—– up the place, messed it up, or they didn’t make a million dollars. Who knows? Who cares? Didn’t they look at the pictures? Or did they book us via dating service?

Art is messy. But ABC No Rio with Garry and Steven, and also Kenny Scharf’s Cosmic Cavern, these two venues have been really, really kind and want the Living Installation to happen. They know what’s going to happen and it’s a true art space. It makes me sad that it’ll be gone for some years. Where will we go?

I’ve put so much energy into the Living Installation. We don’t have any money or spaces and that’s fine, and that is life. I blew most of the money on breaking stuff all over everyone during the performances…poof, gone… . I loved every moment.

This is a really good time for us to “go down with the building” and maybe regroup, maybe not… . I feel it’s historically important for me and ABC. It’s a performance, installation, head trip that’s like nothing else. I can’t even describe it in words because there are so many elements in six hours of constant rebuilding and change of the space that you should just go and experience it or stop reading the rest of this.

I got to collaborate in the studio for this upcoming show with Japanther, the Krays, Jesse Jones of Yuppicide, Geneva Jacuzzi, Tim “Love” Lee and Renaldo and the Loaf, part of the Residents tribe. We have a three-hour soundtrack for both parts of the show. What is the show? Look at the Web site, http://www.michaelalanart.com/art/upcoming-projects/ .

At the end of the show, I’m not sure where we’re going to stand with the Living Installation and I think that’s sort of exciting. I just hope the building doesn’t get torn down before the 20th. You live now, make history mean something… . Dance backwards… .
Michael Alan

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