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Archive for September, 2013

The kick-off party to the Astoria Art Festival was last night. I attended the event at the Hellgate Social last night, but couldn’t stay long. Being that I was up since 6am, exhaustion took over. Anyway, for those curious, here’s a map of the entire fest.

http://astoriaartfestival.com/2013/09/25/astoria-art-festival-2013-map/

 

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How fitting that on the 23rd, I would be featured on the artist spotlight for the 2013 Astoria Art Festival.

http://astoriaartfestival.com/2013/09/23/featured-artist-michelle-witchipoo/

 

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Here’s the poster and more details of the art fest I’ll be a part of starting September 27th, 2013. Already it’s gotten good press in Papermag and NY1.

Poster for the 2013 Astoria Art Festival.

Poster for the 2013 Astoria Art Festival.

My art will be shown at the Hellgate Social, located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd  Long Island City, NY 11102. Times: 9:00 pm- 12:00 am.

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Labor day weekend 2013, we decided to check out Gotham City Lounge. The bar was actually recommended to me over a year ago by a fellow Ridgewood neighbor. Since Ridgewood is next door to Bushwick, why not check it out?

Outside Gotham City Lounge. A superhero theme bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn NYC. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Outside Gotham City Lounge. A superhero theme bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn NYC. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Superman guards the entrance to Gotham City Lounge in Bushwick, Brooklyn NYC. Labor Day Weekend 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Superman guards the entrance to Gotham City Lounge in Bushwick, Brooklyn NYC. Labor Day Weekend 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Located right underneath the M subway line, Gotham City Lounge is a dive bar for all things superhero. When I say dive bar, I mean it as the highest compliment. Greeting us were the DC characters Superman and Batman.

Before allowed access, we had to ring the buzzer. I think this was due to more Bushwick being formerly known as a rough part of Brooklyn rather than a secret superhero hideout, but it can work either way.

S.H.I.E.L.D. and various rules enforces proper behavior. Front entrance to Gotham City Lounge, located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Labor Day weekend Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

S.H.I.E.L.D. and various rules enforces proper behavior. Front entrance to Gotham City Lounge, located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Labor Day weekend Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside both the patrons and the bartender were really super friendly and nice. The bar’s clientele consisted of long time Bushwick locals, neighborhood artists to various hipsters moving into the area. Surrounded by collectable figures and original comicbook art, I ordered a suggested Dr. Freeze cocktail while Ben had a Red Bull. The drink menu was definitely heroic.  Prices ranged from three bucks for a PBR to eight bucks for a comic book themed booze. Most of the drinks were five dollars.

A Dr. Freeze drink at Gotham City Lounge. Bushwick Brooklyn, NY. Labor Day Weekend, 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

A Dr. Freeze drink at Gotham City Lounge. Bushwick Brooklyn, NY. Labor Day Weekend, 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

At the bar we had a conversation with a female geek, who certainly knew her stuff. we discussed the upcoming New York Comic Con, and Harry Potter. Ben chatted with her about more of the superhero characters. I had to bow out of this one, since I was raised on more of stuff like Fantagraphic Books. A guy approached Ben cause he nailed the source of where one of the framed original comicbook page was from.

I took a few photos, but right before doing this blog post, I discovered this YouTube clip. I think it explains Gotham City Lounge much more better than I ever could.

If you’re in NYC, and want to check out this place for yourself, the address is 1293 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221. Just take the M subway line to Central Avenue. The lounge is just right underneath the train station. The perfect place after attending this year’s New York Comic Con.

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Just letting everyone know that I’ll be part of the 2nd annual Astoria Art Festival. The festival will be from Friday, September 27th thru Sunday, October 6th 2013 in about twenty local venues from over thirty different artists. Details forthcoming, so stay tuned.

"Ms. World" Watercolor, pen and ink illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Completed Jan. 2013.

“Ms. World”
Watercolor, pen and ink illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Completed Jan. 2013.

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“Just the two of us
Here on a blanket of love
Writing love letters in the sand
As long as there’s sand
And as long as there’s the sea
You’ll be my Coney Island baby” – Coney Island Baby, The Excellents. 1962

“Ahhh, but remember that the city is a funny place
Something like a circus or a sewer
And just remember different people have peculiar tastes…” Coney Island Baby, Lou Reed. 1975

What hasn’t been said about Coney Island? It’s been an urban escape for many generations of New Yorkers, and part of the Brooklyn folklore. My parents first took me to the rabbit land during the ’70s. Back then it was a gritty, diminished former shell of itself. There was Astroland, the Cyclone, Nathan’s, and your average amusement park rides. In my pre-teen ’80s years, my buddy found her first boyfriend. An Hispanic guy in his late teens or early twenties. While I was too busy trying to copy Boy George’s style, she ended up losing her virginity to him. Later on as the ’80s progressed, I more or less forgot about Coney. Except for one time me and my other friend cut school to visit Coney in the winter. It was dead, dead, dead, as some wretched hag made fun of my Siouxsie hairstyle.

Coney slowly started its resurgence during the late ’90s and early 2000s. First there was the Coney Island Freakshow. Later I discovered the Mermaid parade, and followed the celebrants to Ruby’s Bar and Grill. Then there was talk of property being brought, and rumors of assorted changes. Throughout all of this, memories continued to be created. Some fond ones: me, one of my oldest friends along with his girlfriend shucking down raw clams and beer one fond September night in 1998. Discovering an ex-boyfriend’s hidden racism when a young African American boy asked him for spare change in 2004. Seeing Squeeze, Joan Jett and assorted ’70s Disco acts for in concert for free last year. The list goes on.

For me no summer in NYC would be complete without at least one visit to Coney Island. Although I only managed to visit Coney twice, I could still spot some of the sandy magic. Like watching the 1980 film Fame on an inflated big screen while locals sat on the beach. The sun was going down, the ocean was to my left, and my cynical self was reminded of what dreams were made of. Sounds corny, no? Even when switching Astroland back to it’s original name of Luna Park, Shoot The Freak was replaced by a pricey tourist shop, and Applebee’s with its cruel shark tank, there’s always going to be the core gem which is Coney Island.

Neon letters of the famous Coney Island Wonder Wheel. Aug 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Neon letters of the famous Coney Island Wonder Wheel. Aug 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Williams Candy. Long time candy store in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Williams Candy. Long time candy store in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Yummu display and for sale in Willaims Candy. Coney Island, Brooklyn NYC. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Yummy display and for sale in Willaims Candy. Coney Island, Brooklyn NYC. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Organ animation next to haunted house attraction. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Organ animation next to haunted house attraction. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Williams Candy display. Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Williams Candy display. Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Carny game. Try to throw the ball through the toilet seat. Coney Island, Brooklyn. New York. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Carny game. Try to throw the ball through the toilet seat. Coney Island, Brooklyn. New York. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Entrance to the Coney Island Freak Show. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo

Entrance to the Coney Island Freak Show. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Coney Island Freakshow. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Coney Island Freakshow. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

No photo essay on Coney Island would be complete without one or two things. First one: the Cyclone. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

No photo essay on Coney Island would be complete without one or two things. First one: the Cyclone. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Long time bumpercar ride in Coney Island. Never tried out this attraction. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Long time bumpercar ride in Coney Island. Never tried out this attraction. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

As with all things of life...always bump your ass off. Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

As with all things in life…always bump your ass off. Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The other thing Coney Island is known for. Nathan's. Many like the hot dogs. I like the thich fries that come with a pitchfork. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The other thing Coney Island is known for. Nathan’s. Many like the hot dogs. I like the thick fries that come with a pitchfork. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The original Nathan's location in Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The original Nathan’s location in Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Site of the annual Coney Island Hot Dog eating contest. Happens every Fourth of July. Always wanted to go, haven't done it yet. Only in America is gluttony a sport. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Site of the annual Coney Island Hot Dog eating contest. Happens every Fourth of July. Always wanted to go, haven’t done it yet. Only in America is gluttony a sport. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

In 2013 a few new businesses opened. Here's two of them. A Rainbow clothing store, and Brooklyn Rock, a tee-shirt/used book store. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

In 2013 a few new businesses opened. Here’s two of them. A Rainbow clothing store, and Brooklyn Rock, a tee-shirt/used book store. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Entrance to the Coney Island subway station. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Entrance to the Coney Island subway station. Aug. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

See you next summer Coney Island.

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