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Posts Tagged ‘Only in NYC’

Two weekends ago was the annual Bushwick Open Studios. Since it’s inception, it’s become a big deal in the NYC art scene. Not as huge as getting a VIP pass to The Armory Show during NYC Art Week, but you get the idea.

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Although it was late September, the temperatures still felt like summer beach weather. Which made it perfect of House of Yes‘ block party. House of Yes had parties both outdoors and indoors, waving its admission fee as a thank you to the community.

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I didn’t have much time this year to check out a majority of the studios or events, but I managed to cram a little bit in. It should be noted that this upcoming weekend, it’s not only New York Comic Con 2019 (NYCC) but also the first year for Ridgewood Open Studios, the next door neighbor of Bushwick, Brooklyn. I have a Pro pass for both NYCC and a painting at Lorimoto Gallery, located in where else – Ridgewood, Queens. Lorimoto Gallery is having a group art show with local Ridgewood artists.

Here’s a few photos from the House of Yes party. Since it still felt like summer, I was thankful that the club had the AC on inside.

Back outdoors, there was drag/performance art. (IG: @only_atnight)

Walking around the immediate Jefferson Street area, I went up the stairs to a former factory space, now used as artists studios. Many of them welcomed the public.

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Walking around back outside, this sighting reminded me of footage from the 1960s. When Hippies traveled around in discarded, then refurbished school buses:

Last stop on the one day BOS tour:

Here’s some street art, dated September 2019:

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Till next year.

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https://hyperallergic.com/518718/9-highlights-from-bushwick-open-studios-2019/

https://patch.com/new-york/bushwick/bushwick-open-studios-what-you-need-know

https://hyperallergic.com/518278/bushwick-open-studios-2019/

https://fineartshippers.com/getting-ready-for-bushwick-open-studios-2019/

*Any artist who wants their work credited, please email me: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. My apologizes if I missed your name.

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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 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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One of my favorite places in NYC is Coney Island.

Who doesn’t know about Coney Island? It’s been an iconic part of NYC for who knows how long. When I was growing up in NYC, Coney was in a state of decline and disarray. Now it’s having a resurgence somewhat. Even though most of Brooklyn’s character has been wiped out by the current gentrification, there’s still elements of the old NYC coming through. For example – last time I visited Coney, three people wearing tee shirts with the word “fuck” could be seen. Two of the shirts read “fuck you you fucking fuck” and “fuck you I have enough friends.” Stay classy Coney Island.

I took some photos of the ever changing Coney, once inhabited by rabbits. I’ll break these posts into two parts, since plenty were snapped. Without further ado, here’s part one.

Refurbished Parachute Jump. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Refurbished Parachute Jump. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Upclose shot of the refurbished Parachute Jump. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Upclose shot of the refurbished Parachute Jump. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Carousel ride now open in Steeplechase Park. Coney Island, Brooklyn NYC. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Carousel ride now open in Steeplechase Park. Coney Island, Brooklyn NYC. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Entrance to the carousel ride. Coney Island, Brooklyn NY. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Entrance to the carousel ride. Coney Island, Brooklyn NY. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

One of the horses from the carousel ride in Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

One of the horses from the carousel ride in Coney Island. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Ruby's Bar and Grill. Serving customers on the Coney Island boardwalk since 1934. First discovered this place after attending the Coney Island Mermaid parade. Survived Hurricane Sandy. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Ruby’s Bar and Grill. Serving customers on the Coney Island boardwalk since 1934. First discovered this place after attending the Coney Island Mermaid parade. Survived Hurricane Sandy. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside Ruby's Bar and Grill, located in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Old photographs line the wall behind the bar. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside Ruby’s Bar and Grill, located in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Old photographs line the wall behind the bar. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Saturday night inside Ruby's Bar and Grill. Coney Island, Brooklyn. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Saturday night inside Ruby’s Bar and Grill. Coney Island, Brooklyn. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

One of my favorite places in Coney Island. Lola Star is an awesome little gift shop selling stylist souvenirs. I suggest purchasing one of their tee shirts. Still have mine from 2004. Brooklyn, NY. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

One of my favorite places in Coney Island. Lola Star is an awesome little gift shop selling stylish souvenirs. I suggest purchasing one of their tee shirts. Still have mine from 2004. Brooklyn, NY. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

No post about Coney Island can be complete without a photo of the world famous Wonder Wheel. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

No post about Coney Island can be complete without a photo of the world famous Wonder Wheel. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Entrance to the world famous Wonder Wheel. Brooklyn, NY. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Entrance to the world famous Wonder Wheel. Brooklyn, NY. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside the entrance to Coney Island's Wonder Wheel. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside the entrance to Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Good old fashioned mechanical fortune telling. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Good old fashioned mechanical fortune telling. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

More of that good old fashioned mechanical fortune telling. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

More of that good old fashioned mechanical fortune telling. There’s a few of these Zoltar contraptions around. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Haunted house dragon in front of the Deno Wonder Wheel. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Haunted house dragon in front of the Deno Wonder Wheel. August 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Up-close of the dragon from the haunted house. Coney Island, Brooklyn. August 2013. Photography and Photoshop manipulation by Michele Witchipoo.

Up-close of the dragon from the haunted house. Coney Island, Brooklyn. August 2013. Photography and Photoshop manipulation by Michele Witchipoo.

Stay tuned for some more Coney Island photography part two.

Links:

http://rubysbar.com/

http://www.lolastar.com/

http://www.coneyisland.com/

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Been meaning to photograph all the graffiti and street art that can be seen around the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. Then the annual BOS, short for Bushwick Open Studios rolled around. For those who don’t know what BOS is, it’s when artist around and from the Bushwick area open their studios to the general public. Sponsored by Arts In Bushwick, the audience can see various paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, etc., by various artists. The public can explore different parts of Bushwick, particularly on the L subway line. Stops such as Morgan Avenue, Dekalb Avenue, Jefferson Street, and continuing up to where the borderline crosses into Ridgewood, Queens.

Last year I participated in BOS 2012. This year, I was content just checking out places around the Jefferson stop on the L line. After stopping in a few scattered studios, and coming across some real pretentious artist who advised me to “create the problem, then solve the problem…”, I snapped these photos.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

The early summer sun was already in full blast. This started to remind me of some of the street art I had seen during my visit to San Francisco during April 2000.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

The street art below reminded me of contemporary artist Kenny Scharf. Maybe this was his work.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art/graffiti in Bushwick. Late May/Early June 2013. Photography by Michele Witchipoo.

Suddendly me and two others stumbled upon this car wreck. Actually we discovered this wreck a month earlier. Happily this wreck was not removed, making it a perfect photo opp.

Here in my car I feel safest of all I can lock all my doors It's the only way to live In cars Here in my car I can only receive I can listen to you It keeps me stable for days In cars Here in my car Where the image breaks down Will you visit me please? If I open my door In cars Here in my car I know I've started to think About leaving tonight Although nothing seems right In cars

Here in my car/I feel safest of all/I can lock all my doors/It’s the only way to live/In cars   – Cars by Gary Numan. 1979. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

A few pop culture references came to mind. The song by Gary Numan Cars, Warm Leatherette by The Normal (later covered by Grace Jones, Giddle and Boyd, and countless others), the novel Crash by J. G. Ballard, and the pretend car accident scene in John Waters’ flick Female Trouble. So a little bit fun was had as we joined the car crash set.

See the breaking glass In the underpass See the breaking glass In the underpass Warm leatherette Hear the crushing steel Feel the steering wheel Hear the crushing steel Feel the steering wheel Warm leatherette Warm leatherette Warm leatherette Melts on your burning flesh You can see your reflection In the luminescent dash Warm leatherette A tear of petrol Is in your eye The hand brake Penetrates your thigh Quick - Let's make love Before you die On warm leatherette Warm leatherette Warm leatherette Warm leatherette Warm leatherette Join the car crash set

See the breaking glass/ In the underpass/ See the breaking glass/ In the underpass/ Warm leatherette – Song “Warm Leatherette” originally recorded by The Normal in 1978. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Warm leatherette, Feel the crushing steel, Feel the steering wheel. Warm leatherette melts, On your burning flesh, You can see your reflection, On the luminescent dash

Warm leatherette, Feel the crushing steel, Feel the steering wheel. Warm leatherette melts, On your burning flesh, You can see your reflection, On the luminescent dash. – Warm Leatherette. Song originally covered by The Normal, 1978 on Mute Records. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013. 

Onwards we continued out quest for more street art, graffiti and more BOS festivities.

Traveling onwards in my quest to capture the street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn near Jefferson Street. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Traveling onwards in my quest to capture the street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn near Jefferson Street. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Disgruntled texting woman among the Bushwich street art. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Disgruntled texting woman among the Bushwich street art. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Lots of arty revelers were out in the streets of Bushwick. Spoted a topless woman walking around with a drawn on mustache. Out of respect I didn’t take a photo of her. This other lady caught in the middle of street texting was caught in the digital crossfire instead. The heat was beating upon us cynical folks. Therefore it was onto to Cobra Bar to cool off.

Cooling off at Cobra Bar with an iced coffee and good tap brew. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Cooling off at Cobra Bar with an iced coffee and good tap brew. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

At the Cobra there was tri-hawked artist Antoinette Johnson showing her paintings and photos of her hair sculptures. The battery was dying in my digital camera at this point, so this was the best I could come up with.

Painting by artist Antoinette Johnson, who showcased art  paintings and photos of her hair sculptures. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Painting by artist Antoinette Johnson, who showcased art and photos of her hair sculptures. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Artist Antoinette Johnson, who exhibited paintings and photos of her hair sculptures. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Artist Antoinette Johnson, who exhibited paintings and photos of her hair sculptures. Photo by Michele Witchipoo June 2013.

Cause the weather was getting too hot, we stayed at the Cobra for a few rounds. Bringing us to the end of this blog post. Hopefully next year I’ll tale part in the next BOS fest.

FYI…if anyone knows any of the artists, whose work is shown in the street art photographs, please send me an email to Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. I’ll update this post with the proper info asap.

Photographs may not be used without permission. Again, please email me if you wish to use any of the above photography. Thank you.

Links:

Bushwick Open Studios

The Cobra Club

Kenny Scharf

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Mercury in retrograde’s about to hit this month, starting from July 14th and ends Aug. 8th,2012. For those who believe in astrology, it works a bit like this;  it’s both a time of reflection, and ‘Murphy’s Law’ in full effect. In other words, communication lines get crossed, so what can go wrong will.

Sometimes, right before merc in retrograde hits, you just might get a preview. Plans interrupted arguments and fights relating to misunderstandings, sometimes outright catastrophe. Yet it’s not all negative. As I’ve said before, during this time it could be used to reflect. Don’t be surprised that out of the blue, you’ll come into contact with someone from the past who you haven’t spoken to in years. Also, some of those unsolved conflicts that have knocked on your door have a chance to be resolved.

Enough of this mini-lesson. What this crash course about mercury in retrograde leads to is a chance to you show some of my relics. Not only does it bring back my personal teenage memories, they’re also pop culture artifacts. These buttons exhibits a part of NYC that is now long gone.

Back when I was growing up during the 80s, many teenagers flocked to the NYC area of Greenwich Village. West side, east side, 8th Street, Broadway, it really didn’t matter. It’s still the case now, but the popular shopping sites are significantly different. Back in the 80s, the trendier retail places gave away free buttons with every purchase.  Hell, sometimes you didn’t even need to buy anything. Just go to the counter, stick your hand in the small hard plastic transparent box, and grab a handful of these badges. Afterwards, you would display your coolness by pinning these items onto your over-sized vintage overcoat, or on your army schoolbag. You would arrange these pins right along with your pop and post new wave band buttons. This was exactly what I did back in my freshman year of high school. This didn’t last long, as I progressed the next year into a full-fledged Siouxsie clone. My badges went from store promotion to the bands like The Cure, Specimen, etc.

Before I bore you with details, here’s a photo.

1980 promotional buttons from NYC retail stores, Greenwich Village area. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The stores listed before are no longer around. I’ll give you a brief breakdown about some of these places.

Flip was a clothing store located on west. 8th street. They specialized in selling new wave, punk, goth and glam rock threads. In fact, one of my first ever punk tees was purchased right here at this location.

Postermat was more of a novelty place. They sold all types of buttons, posters, tees, gag items. A bit like that Spencer’s chain store you see in the local mall nowadays. The buttons and pins were sold in the front of the store. They were stored behind glass counters as if they were precious goods. Two tiny black round controls when pressed, slowly spunk around the shelves inside. An army and navy store has taken its place.

Canal Jeans Co. survived for years, but eventually they shut their doors as well. This business was so successful at one point, they had two locations. The location on Canal Street is now one of the cheapest art supply stores known as Pearl Paint. The bigger store, located in the Soho area of Broadway sold both new, vintage, upscale and bargain merchandise. They shut down, very briefly re-opened for a hot minute on Broadway and Astor, and then closed for good in the early 2000s.

Canal Jeans Co. buttons had their iconic checkerboard background, in a variety of colors. Check the photo below:

Promotional buttons from Canal Jeans Co. Photo by Michele WItchipoo.

Zoot was a vintage clothing store. Zoot wasn’t around that long, but it’s competition, Andy’s Chee-Pees, hung around for a while. Zoot was located on Broadway, Andy’s on West 8th street.

Unique hawked its wares all throughout the ‘80s, going out of business in the early ‘90s. Also known as Unique Boutique, the large space had a variety of different departments. You had graffiti artists spray painting on clothing, vintage duds, and when it was extremely fashionable, a huge selection of bright neon attire.

As for some other shops that’s been around for a while. Enz have opened and closed, and opened again. They’ve moved around to different locations so Enz doesn’t count. Ditto for Andy’s Chee-Pees. Even Patricia Fields moved from its prototype home on 8th street to the now trendy Bowery area. Probably the only store left from that era is Trash and Vaudeville. Still at the same location since the 1970s, and still going strong today.

Keep in mind, I didn’t even touch upon all the numerous record stores open around this time. I’ll touch upon that in another post.

Other types of businesses got into the badge marketing act. Check out this photo here. There’s MTV when they were known as a video music channel.  WLIR was a Long Island based radio station that specialized (at the time) in New Wave, a tiny bit of Post-Punk, and imported UK Pop music. Then there’s the original Hard Rock Cafe. The first location in NYC was on West 57th, before they moved to the current location at Times Square. All three are still around today.

MTV, WLIR FM, and Hard Rock Cafe. 1980s promotional buttons. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

It’s a different time now. There’s the revitalized Brooklyn to contend with now. Trends have changed. Yet the ‘80s memories still stand.

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After re-reading yesterday’s blog, (https://witchesbrewpress.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/a-night-of-art-takes-times-square/) I wondered if I had come across too cynical about everything. I probably did.

Just opened my email. Received one from the Artists Wanted company. Found out through their email that the Art Takes Times Square event which happened this past Monday was covered on NY1, ABC news and New York Times. Check out the link: http://www.see.me/june18th/

My illustration on a 9 x 12 digital billboard in the middle of Times Square. Art Takes Times Square event, Monday June 18th, 2012. Illustration and photo by Michele Witchipoo.

So perhaps I should do another blog entry, posting the rest of the photos from the night of June 18th, 2012. I had taken these pics with my cellphone. Unfortunately, my cell frizzled out on me yesterday afternoon. Which meant I couldn’t upload any more pics from that night.

Without further ado, here’s more photos from the Art Takes Times Square event, Monday June 18th, 2012.

The crowd gathers to check out art from the Art Takes Times Square event. Monday June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Right in the middle of the world famous Times Square of NYC. Art Takes Times Square event, June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo

Marching band. Art Takes Times Square event. Monday June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Art Takes Times Square. Monday June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The after party. Art Takes Times Square, Monday June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Some things never fade. Art Takes Times Square after party. June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Party person. Art Takes Times Square after party. June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

DJ. Art Takes Times Square after party. June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

People love open bar. Art Takes Times Square after party. June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Dancer. Art Takes Times Square after party. June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Even the devil needs to cool off. Art Takes Times Square after party. June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

People get under something. Art Takes Times Square after party. June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Just right when my artwork pops up on the screen again during the party, this guy gets into my shot. Rude. Monday June 18th, 2012. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Here is the original illustration I had submitted to the Art Takes Times Square contest, below. Done with pen and ink, completed December 2010.

Untitled Jan. 2011 by Michele Witchipoo.

 

 

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