Volume 77 / Number 49 - May 7 - 13, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Lot o Keith cash: In its largest gift to date, the Keith Haring Foundation on Sunday which would have been Harings 50th birthday announced a $1 million endowment grant to the New Museum. With the massiveinfusion of cash, the new Bowery museum will establish a fund to work with local school children and will appoint a Keith Haring director and curator of education and public programs. The private celebration for Haring, who died in 1990 at age 31, was held in the New Museums rooftop sky room. On prominent display was a large Haring dog made of red flowers from Yoko Ono with a card, though she wasnt spotted there herself. Many Haring family members were on hand, including his mother and father, sisters and nieces. Standing out among the crowd, with magenta hair, a white punky dress, tattoos nose ring, pierced tongue and an octopus-pendant necklace was one statuesque niece in particular, Jenna, 22. Like Keith, shes from the heart of conservative Pennsylvania Dutch country, and is also an artist. Even though she was only 4 or 5 at the time, she vividly recalls Uncle Keith bounding up the front yard with a funky/goofy bop to greet them. I have had three or four dreams where I was hanging out with him, she said. Like Haring, she eerily also shares a penchant for collecting newspaper headlines. From 1981 to 1986, Haring lived and worked at Broome St. and Bowery. In addition to the grant to the New Museum, a fluorescent mural that Haring painted at Houston St. at Bowery in the early 1980s on what was then a cement handball court has been restored just under the giant Grand Theft Auto ad.
The ONeill gurus cometh: An international outpouring of opposition to New York University School of Laws plans to demolish the Provincetown Playhouse has university officials scrambling for a way to appease ONeill fans and preservationists, yet still construct the new building N.Y.U. claims it needs. Word is the university, at this point, is considering whats being dubbed the cantilever option. Under this approach, the MacDougal St. sites relatively small theater space a ground floor in one of what were formerly four, separate, adjacent buildings would be maintained, while the rest of the property would be razed. In addition, N.Y.U. is convening a gathering of theater history experts and ONeill gurus who will take a walking tour of the space and offer opinions on exactly what should be done, how much of the old theater is worth keeping and so forth.
Scoopy surgeries: Ed Koch is scheduled to have back surgery on Wed., May 21, and has been told to plan on a two-week recovery. Hizzoner has stenosis, a narrowing of the spine, and had been getting shots to ease the pain, but because the shots were no longer working, opted for the procedure. Meanwhile, David McWater recently had his gall bladder removed. The Community Board 3 chairperson said hed been suffering from bouts of excruciating pain two or three times weekly since Christmas 2006. Doctors figured it might have been gallstones, so they removed his gall bladder which luckily doesnt serve any vital purpose, according to McWater. Just to be on the safe side, though, and make sure it really was the gall bladder that was bothering him, he wont be on the field coaching his beloved L.E.S. Gauchos baseball team this summer. Good luck to both in their recoveries.
When will we learn? Warren Allen Smith corrects us again! about the spelling of E.E. Cummings. Smith notes that UCONN prof Brenda Murphy in a letter on the Provincetown Playhouse demolition flap in last weeks issue of The Villager, spelled the lowercasing poets name incorrectly as e.e. cummings, and we didnt fix it. While Smith thanked Murphy for championing the cause of saving the theater, he noted that decades ago he successfully campaigned to get the Columbia Encyclopedia to list Cummingss name with caps.