This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


Slide the City will be coming to Park Ave. as part of Summer Streets celebration

Slide the City will be coming to Park Ave. as part of Summer Streets celebration

Park Ave. & 72nd St. to Foley Square
Saturday, August 1, 8, 15, free, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

Now in its sixth year, Summer Streets takes place the next three Saturday mornings, as Park Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from 72nd St. to Foley Square and the Brooklyn Bridge from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, encouraging people to walk, run, jog, blade, skate, slide, and bike down the famous thoroughfare, getting exercise and enjoying the great outdoors without car exhaust, speeding taxis, and slow-moving buses. There are five rest stops along the route (Uptown at 52nd St., Midtown at 25th, Astor Pl. at Lafayette St., SoHo at Spring & Lafayette, and Foley Square at Duane & Centre), where people can stop for some food and drink, live performances, fitness classes, site-specific art installations, dog walks, bicycle workshops, and other activities, all of which are free. Below are some of the highlights.

Foley Square Rest Stop
Slide the City (advance preregistration required,) “ICY SIGNS” by Steve ESPO Powers, Free Style Soccer with NYC Flo, Historical Reenactors with Ben Franklin, and The Mantises Are Flipping W.3 by Bodystories: Teresa Fellion Dance + John Yannelli with members of the SLC Experimental Music Ensemble, 10:00 – 10:35, 10:55 – 11:35, 12 noon – 1:00 (August 15 only, 26 Federal Plaza)

SoHo Rest Stop
Fitness Classes, Free Bike Repair by Bicycle Habitat, Bike & Roll Bike Rental, Honest Tea, Waterfront Alliance Table

Astor Place Rest Stop
American Kennel Club Dog Park, Department of Design and Construction Arts & Crafts Workshop, Therapeutic Arts by Wheeling Forward, Guided and Self-Guided Walking Tours

Midtown Rest Stop
Whole Foods Market Summer Camp, CitiBike Information & Education, live music and dance performances, juggling, and tai chi demonstrations

Uptown Rest Stop
DOT Safety Zone, “The Postcard Project” by Connie Perry, Parkour Fitness Demonstrations, Serious Fun Children’s Network Workshop, Central Park Sightseeing Bike Rental, Bronx Museum of the Arts: Arts & Crafts with Artist Educators, live music, dance, and comedy performances


grove alley silent disco

Grove Alley
Grove Pl. & Hanover Pl., parallel to Fulton & Livingston Sts.
Friday, July 31, free with advance RSVP ($5 for headphones), 5:00 – 11:00

Following in the tradition of Grove Alley Makers Nite, Grove Alley Paint Nite, and Grove Alley Game Nite, Grove Alley Silent Disco promises one wild and crazy evening in downtown Brooklyn. Admission is free with advance RSVP; once you’re in, you lay down five bucks for a pair of headphones and get to choose among three channels with which to get your groove on, with live spinning by Talib Kweli, DJ Beto, DJ Chela, and DJ Joro Boro. The four interactive DJ booths will feature multimedia installations by Taezoo Park and animation from Sticky Monger. Brooklyn Brewery will be supplying some tasty beverages, while such food trucks as Kimchi Taco, Sweet Chili, Morris Grilled Cheese, and Coolhaus will be on hand as well.


Joe Strummer documentary is part of Julien Temple sidebar at Sound + Vision series at Lincoln Center

Joe Strummer documentary is part of Julien Temple sidebar at “Sound + Vision” series at Lincoln Center

Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St. between Eighth Ave. & Broadway
Saturday, August 1, 3:30
Festival runs July 29 - August 7

Director Julien Temple, who has made two outstanding documentaries about the Sex Pistols (The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and The Filth and the Fury), turns his camera on Joe Strummer of the British punk group the Clash in The Future Is Unwritten. Temple collects remarkable home movies of Strummer, from his early days as young John Mellor, a career diplomat’s son, through his time as the leader of one of the most famous and controversial bands in the world and his death at the age of fifty from a congenital heart defect. Strummer’s friends and family gather around a campfire in Brooklyn’s Empire St.-Fulton Ferry Park and talk about Strummer’s life and career, sharing keen insight in a format that the musician loved; his campfire get-togethers came to be known as Strummerville, a place for people to assemble and discuss life, art, and anything else that came to mind. Temple adds lots of footage of the Clash in action, as well as clips from Strummer’s earlier band, the 101ers, made up of squatters fighting the power, and his last band, the Mescaleros. Temple also brings some of Strummer’s drawings to life, animating them in humorous ways. Strummer essentially narrates the film himself, as Temple includes audio excerpts from Strummer’s “Last Call” radio show and interviews he gave over the years. Temple, a close friend of Strummer’s, paints a fascinating portrait of the complex man, featuring stories from the likes of Bono, Johnny Depp, Flea, Mele Mel, Courtney Love Cobain, Martin Scorsese, Steve Jones, John Cusack, Matt Dillon, Steve Buscemi, Damien Hirst, Roland Gift, Don Letts, Mick Jones, and many others. And there’s lots of music as well, of course, including several versions of “White Riot.” The Future Is Unwritten is screening August 1 at 3:30 in the “I Was There: The Music Docs of Julien Temple” sidebar of Lincoln Center’s annual “Sound + Vision” series, which also includes The Filth and the Fury, The Clash: New Year’s Day ’77, Dave Davies: Kinkdom Come, Ray Davies: Imaginary Man, Glastonbury, Never Mind the Baubles: Christmas with the Sex Pistols, and The Liberty of Norton Folgate, with Temple on hand for various introductions and Q&As.


The Braata Folk Singers will help celebrate Caribbean Heritage at Brooklyn Museum on August 1 (photo © copyright Braata Productions)

The Braata Folk Singers will help celebrate Caribbean Heritage at Brooklyn Museum on August 1 (photo © copyright Braata Productions)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, August 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00

After taking last month off because of the July 4 holiday, the Brooklyn Museum’s free First Saturday program is back August 1 with a celebration of Caribbean Heritage in preparation for the annual New York Caribbean Carnival Parade on Labor Day. There will be live performances by BombaYo, the Braata Folk Singers, Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca, and Klash City Sound System and Supa Frendz; a printmaking workshop; a pop-up carnival with poet Arielle John; a book club talk with Naomi Jackson about her new novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill; and screenings of Black Radical Imagination shorts, clips from Taboo Yardies hosted by director Selena Blake, Jonathan David Kane’s Papa Machete, followed by a Q&A with Kane, and Cecile Emeke’s webseries Ackee & Saltfish, followed by a talkback with Emeke. In addition, you can check out such exhibitions as “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,” “The Rise of Sneaker Culture,” “Kara Walker: ‘African Boy Attendant Curio (Bananas),’” “KAWS: ALONG THE WAY,” “Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence,” and “FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds.”


ZIGGY STARDUST concert film will have a special free screening in Morningside Park on July 27, along with a look-a-like contest

ZIGGY STARDUST concert film will have a special free screening in Morningside Park on July 27, along with a look-a-like contest

Who: D. A. Pennebaker, David Bowie fans and wannabes
What: Outdoor screening of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (D. A. Pennebaker, 1973), introduced by the director, preceded by Night of 1000 Bowies’ Dance Party and Look-a-Like Contest with DJ Cosmo Baker
When: Monday, July 27, free, 6:30
Where: Morningside Park, 113th St. & Morningside Dr.
Why: A few weeks ago, a young woman we work with had no idea who Ziggy Stardust was. Well, she’ll know all about the David Bowie alter ego if she attends what should be a wild night July 27 in Morningside Park, which begins with a dance party and Bowie look-alike contest, followed by a screening of Pennebaker’s 1973 film, with Pennebaker on hand to talk about the work, which documented the July 3, 1973, performance of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. Bowie’s record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, came during a particularly fruitful period, right in between Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane. The soundtrack features such Bowie greats as “Moonage Daydream,” “Space Oddity,” “Cracked Actor,” “Changes,” “Suffragette City,” and “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide” as well as the Bowie-penned Mott the Hoople hit “All the Young Dudes” and covers of the Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and the Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat.” The evening is presented by Maysles Cinema and Reel Harlem: The Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival.


(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

You can relax with a wide range of poetry at fifth annual festival on Governors Island (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Governors Island
Colonels Row
July 25-26, free (donation suggested), 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
new york city poetry festival slideshow

The fifth annual New York City Poetry Festival, which continues Sunday on Governors Island, honors Gotham’s literary heritage with three stages named after a trio of iconic landmarks, the Algonquin, the White Horse, and Chumley’s. Poets from dozens of publishing houses, university presses, and nonprofit organizations read their works, in addition to the open mic Ring of Daisies and other places where poetry just pops up. There are lots of booths, a food truck, and a beer garden that declares that “the psychiatrist is in.” Walking across the big field, you can listen as one poem from one location morphs into one from another and then one from another in a kind of audio rainbow of words and expression. You can make visible poetry with Rachel Ossip’s interactive “to touch” installation, add your own epitaph to Christine Stoddard’s “Word Graveyard,” get a word as part of Maya Stein and Amy Tingle’s Tandem Poetry Project, and hang out with Karl C. Leone’s “Dionysia: A Bacchic Ode” (featuring art by Alexis Myre, music by Larkin Grimm, and live performances by Daniel Benhamu, Aron Canter, Nettie Chickering, Jochem le Cointre, Eli Condon, Mateo d’Amato, Hailey Kemp, Rafeh Mahmud, Siever O’Connor-Aoki, Olivia Porter, Vanessa Rose, and Michelle Rosen). Be sure to also check out building 407b for the Children’s Poetry Festival, Amy Bassin and Mark Blickley’s “Dream Streams,” the analog participatory “Typewriter Project: The Subconscious of the City,” and the Poetry Brothel, where you can get an extremely private one-on-one reading for a small fee. As an added bonus, stop by LMCC’s “(Counter) Public Art, Intervention & Performance in Lower Manhattan from 1978-1993” exhibition at the Arts Center at Governors Island to see video of John Kelly’s Love of a Poet piece from 1990.