The Parks Department is hosting an exhibition at its Arsenal Gallery, in Central Park at 60th St. and Fifth Ave., entitled “Parkcentric: Photographs From the Museum of the City of New York, 1890-1940.” On view weekdays through Thurs., Aug. 30, the show covers a critical period in the city’s parks development from the social reform era to the Works Progress Administration. Among the historic images by well-known photographers — such as Jacob Riis and Berenice Abbott — are several Village greenswards, including Union Square, Tompkins Square, Washington Square, Christopher Park (Sheridan Square) and Kenmare (aka Lieutenant Petrosino) Square. The photo above is from an Arbor Day parade and planting in Tompkins Square in 1904. So was the woman standing in front of a pine tree or something — or is that her real hair, or an elaborate nest? We had to ask Jonathan Kuhn, the Parks Department’s director of art and antiquities. “Yes, this is an arresting detail,” he responded. “There has been considerable debate in the office (and gallery) as to this head accoutrement. It does not appear to be her natural hair, nor I think, a wig. It seems to be a massive headdress with some top plumes rivaling those sported by contemporary artist Chakaia Booker.” Photo by Byron Company, courtesy Museum of the City of New York
FROM THE 6 TO THE 2:
College-age community board member Dodge Landesman recently switched from Community Board 6 to Community Board 2, thanks to his recent relocation from Gramercy to the Village. “I moved in with my brother on Charles St. in early July, so I am officially a C.B. 2 resident. Very excited to be representing the district I grew up in,” Landesman told us. He said he believes his appointment to C.B. 2 fills the space vacated by former Chairperson Brad Hoylman, who resigned from the board to run for state Senate.
Becky Ferguson has left her job as administrator of not just Washington Square Park but also Union Square Park for a plum position with the National Parks Service, we’re told. A search is ongoing for a new Washington Square administrator.
Our article in last week’s issue on Duane Park restaurant taking over the Bowery Poetry Club space incorrectly said that Bowery Gals blogger K Webster had called burlesque “sexist and demeaning.” In fact, what Webster wrote is that burlesque uses “female bodies as commodities” and represents “the sexual exploitation of a vulnerable group for the profit of others.” She characterized Duane Park and businesses like it as “enterprises…with a posh veneer that cash in on exposing women’s bodies for profit.” The article has generated an interesting online debate between Webster and Kita St. Cyr, a practitioner of the art form who says Webster just “doesn’t know much about neo-burlesque.”
THE CLAYTON EFFECT:
Over at Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A, Kim Charles Turim said that after he was recently profiled by Clayton Patterson, he gets treated like a celebrity when he walks into Key Food supermarket.
MUSIC, POETRY, AERIALISTS — AND PIZZA!
As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, Two Boots Pizza, partnering with SummerStage, is hosting a free concert — with free pizza! — on Thurs., Aug. 23, at the East River Park amphitheater, at Cherry St., from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The main attractions are the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, with supporting bands and musicians Mamarazzi, Odetta Hartman, Himalayas and the Whiskeyhickon Boys. There’ll also be poetry by Nuyorican Poet’s Café and City Lore and Bowery Poetry Club’s POEMmobile. But that’s not all! There will also be performance art by aerialists Lady Circus and the Magic Beans, as well as the Free Art Society and 4Heads Art Collective.
THANKS! Thanks to Phil Mouquinho of P.J. Charlton bar and restaurant in Hudson Square for so graciously agreeing to host Albert Amateau’s retirement party last week. Phil is a real Villager who grew up in the neighborhood, and has some great stories. When he was a kid he used to live across from John Sebastian of The Lovin’ Spoonful and he and his buddies would compete to carry the singer’s guitar for him down the street.