Volume 77 / Number 50 - May 14 - 20, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Villager photos by Nick Brooks

Oh, no!
House of Yes, scene of hot hipster parties, is toast
A burned piece of bread in a toaster sparked a fire that gutted the House of Yes, a hive of creativity, scene of frequent all-night parties and home to a unique performance-artist collective in Ridgewood, Queens. Most of the Troutman St. building’s inhabitants were a group of women who specialize in aerial performances — such as hanging upside down suspended by silk-cloth strips or dangling gracefully inside human-size birdcages — and make their own costumes. Although no one was hurt in the April 22 early-evening conflagration, it forced the occupants to relocate. Lost in the blaze were three sewing machines, 100 costumes, 30 bolts of fabric, 100 yards of loose fabric, several dressers full of notions, two aerial silks, a drum set, loud speakers, D.J. equipment, three theater lights, 95 percent of the residents’ clothing, four laptop computers — which they used to plan their events — and a cat named Pilgrim. The place was commercially zoned and not up to code for residential use. On this page, Anya, the “house queen,” posed for photos the day after the fire. At bottom of opposite page, another woman posed for an artistic post-fire shot. The other photos are of singed liquor bottles and laptops and a partially melted sewing machine. A recent benefit performance helped raise money for a new home for the House of Yes.

Retrospective of James Nares, No Wave’s subtlest filmmaker

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