WAKE UP – stop sleepwalking!!!
I see how much the city is changing …. not necessarily for the better in many cases, but change nonetheless. Commercial overdevelopment of what should be upheld as valuable cultural landmarks appears the norm throughout many New York neighborhoods like the Lower East Side, the Village and parts of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx. All the snapshots and video footage may capture a moment but why wait until a place loses its heart and soul? The way we’re headed these days, NYC will be a shell of itself sooner than you think.
Things like this become more clear as yet another art venue or dance space shuts down or gets sold to the highest bidder … something which recently happened in the case of an art exhibit I’m featured in this week that would have been in the Bowery. Just a quick walk down memory lane of NYC nightlife makes me shake my head … what was once the infamous Limelight is now an overpriced, pimped out mall; CBGB stands glossed up as a designer boutique; Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City awaits its fate in the hands of developers, while its incarnation at South Street Seaport tentatively is being transformed into a beer garden. Even the future of Five Pointz , another NYC landmark and graffiti mecca in Long Island City, remains uncertain and grim.
As for underground house culture in the city, I remain hopeful despite seeing the spirit of a community slowly being chipped away or commercialized and watered down. I never felt so adrift than witnessing this year’s Fifth Annual Dance Parade without the powerful presence of a vibrant float filled with faithful househeads sharing our love and joy for house music in the streets with crowds of smiling faces.
I am thankful for every ounce of creative energy that’s still within me regardless of the winds of change. Here’s to recognizing the gritty, unpolished, rough-around-the-edges New York we all knew and loved is too priceless to lose. Gonna keep doing whatever I can to improve the situation and wake up the zombies.