Scoopy’s, Oct. 4, 2012

SHOCKING FEAT: Magician David Blaine is set to electrify the Hudson River Park— and himself — at an event called “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On.” The three-day, three-night stunt will take place on Pier 54, at W. 13th St., and will start on Fri., Oct. 5. A trailer shows Blaine, 39, suspended between two Tesla coils, with purplish-colored electrical currents zapping out from his fingertips. Hopefully, Blaine’s incredible feat won’t affect power in the 5-mile-long park. … Brings back memories of Gecko’s Tesla show at the old Collective: Unconscious on Ludlow St. We would caution spectators to heed her words of warning from back then: Remove all body piercings before approaching the Tesla coil, or Blaine.

 TOP-SECRET TILES: We checked in with Andretti Mullens on the 9/11 tiles standoff last Friday for the latest, and it seems they are safe, but we have no idea where. We asked permission to view the formerly public tiles ourselves, but Mullens said it can’t be allowed right now, for the memorial tiles’ own safety. “The tiles are in safekeeping. I’m not going to say anything more than that,” he said. “We’re not going to jeopardize them by taking them out of safekeeping. We’re staying on target with our agenda, cataloguing them. Very soon, we’ll start stabilizing them.” He said that this month “a ceramics team” will start intensively working with the tiles to ensure that they’re fully stabilized, since the painted panels were eroding in the elements. Mullens said they will, as previously planned, eventually put the tiles in the Crown Relocation high-end art storage facility in New Jersey, but added, “we’re waiting for the dust to settle.” He said he and his partner, Dusty Berke, are waiting to see if the Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association backs off or if they will still try to wrest back control of the former street memorial. “We’ll see how they behave,” Mullens said, “if they meet the terms of our cease-and-desist letter. They’re going to have to do a retraction and a formal apology.” We tried to find out from the Sixth Precinct how mediation efforts between the two parties are going, but didn’t get an update by press time.

FIRESTONE FEMINIST APARTMENT: Fran Luck of WBAI’s “Joy of Resistance” feminist radio show said the effort to make the late Shulamith Firestone’s E. 10th St. apartment  permanent affordable housing for a deserving East Village feminist is moving forward, as activists plan to deliver a petition to Firestone’s landlord Bob Perl next week. The campaign has garnered signatures from a number of prominent feminists and housing activists, including Kate Millett, Ti-Grace Atkinson, Frances Goldin and Nellie Hester Bailey. The petition has been posted to change.org, where people can sign onto it. Radical feminist Firestone, who died in late August, penned “The Dialectic of Sex.” Luck and other local feminists say Firestone wouldn’t have been able to do her important work unless she’d been able to live in an affordable apartment, since feminist writers don’t make much money.

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4 Responses to Scoopy’s, Oct. 4, 2012

  1. I'm posting, below, the Petition proposing that Shulamith Firestone's apartment be made available to a low income feminist–it best describes the essence of the campaign. I've included the major signers (well known feminist and community activists) in my second "comment." .Villager readers can sign at: http://tinyurl.com/93blfaw Thank you Villager for running with this!
    –Fran Luck

    PETITION, October 1, 2012

    Because… The Feminist world, the Art world and the Lower East Side/East Village Community have just lost one of our great visionaries–Shulamith Firestone–a woman who was able to remain, work and survive in her/our neighborhood for many years because she paid a relatively low rent..

    Because… the average rent being charged new renters in our neighborhood is $2,100., and had Shulamith tried to rent here today, it would have been impossible for her to find, live and work in an apartment she could afford… _
    Because… the Lower East Side/East Village environment is all the poorer for the loss, due to skyrocketing rents, of the kind of creative spirits that formerly gave the neighborhood its unique character–but who are now being priced out..

  2. Because… Shulamith's sister feminists, friends and admirers would like to memorialize her by making it possible for a feminist(s) coming after her to be able to live in this neighborhood and do feminist work here–such work usually being either unpaid or poorly paid, and therefore requiring an affordable rent.

    Because… it is well within "fair housing practices" developed over decades for developers/owners of housing in formerly working class neighborhoods to create "set-asides" of affordable rental units for those who cannot pay market rates.

    Therefore… We, the undersigned, do hereby Petition Robert Perl, owner of 213 East 10th Street, and do strongly urge him to work with us to create a "Shulamith Firestone Memorial Apartment" that would, in perpetuity, remain well below market rates and which rent would, at this time, not exceed $1,000. per month; this apartment would be reserved for a woman who is making an important contribution to the feminist movement that is not well remunerated.

  3. Candidates for residence in such an apartment would be vetted by a committee of feminists drawn from the list below and would meet the same standards as any other tenant–with the exception of paying a lower-than-market-rate rent.

    PETITION Signatures* (list still in formation)

    Kate Millett, Feminist, Author: Sexual Politics * Frances Goldin, Co-Founder Cooper Square Committee,
    Literary Agent for Mumia Abu Jamal * Carol Giardina, Professor of Hisory, Queens College, CUNY, Author: Freedom for Women * Kathie Sarachild, Director, Redstockings Women's Liberation Archives for Action * Marisa Figuereido, President, Redstockings, Inc.* Ti-Grace Atkinson, radical feminist * Nellie Hester Bailey, Director, Harlem Tenants Council * Annette Averette, Co-Director, Sixth Street Community Center * Rosalyn Baxandall, Distinguished Professor, SUNY-Old Westbury * Fran Luck, Executive Producer, Joy of Resistance Multicultural Feminist Radio @WBAI * Merle Hoffman, President, Choices Women’s Medical Center, Publisher, On The Issues * Alix Kates Shulman, write* Ariel Dougherty, Co-Founder, Women Make Movies* Erin Mahoney, National Women's Liberation (NWL) * Allison Guttu, Organizer, NWL, Women of Color Caucus (NWL), Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

  4. * Amy Kesselman, Professor Emerita, SUNY-New Paltz * Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, Professor Emeriti, California State University * Roberta Salper, Resident Scholar, Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center * Louise Bernikow, author, activist* Ann Snitow, Network of East-West Women* Jennifer Sunderland, Redstockings * Kathy Scarbrough, feminist * Pete Dolack, Former Editor, New York State GreenParty Newspaper * Bill Koehnlein, Brecht Forum * Marie-Claire Picher, Co-Founder, Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory * Nancy Kogel, MNN TV Producer, Reaching Out for Animal Rights (ROAR) * Barbara R. Lee Singer, Activist, Reverend Billy Church of Stop Shopping * Carol Hanisch * Barrie Karp * Halina Bendkowski * Lorena Ambrosio, activist, OWS Femnist General Assembly, Feminist Force * Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz, Artist/Musician

    *Note: All affiliations are for identification purposes only and do not denote agreement by institutions/organizations mentioned.

    Thanks, Villager Readers for bearing with all these comments–wanted to get the whole thing in and it wouldn't fit otherwise. Hope you will support the campaign.

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