The ramshackle wooden tower has loomed over Avenue B for more than 20 years, drawing curiosity–both the morbid and awed ilk.
The Toy Tower at Sixth Street and Avenue B was the 65-foot tall, toy draped wooden tower creation of Eddie Boros and the the garden’s quirky and controversial centerpiece. The creator of the monolithic sculpture? installation? disaster? was Eddie Boros–who lived in the same E. Fifth St. and Avenue B apartment in which he grew up in. He died recently at the age of 74 after receiving poor care at the V.A. Hospital in which he was recouperating from the double amputation of his legs.
“NYPD Blue” featured the tower in its opening credits and a half-size replica of it graces the stage of “RENT,” the East Village rock opera. “NYPD Blue” would occasionally return to the garden to get a fresh shot of the tower to stay current with its ever-changing appearance.
Born the middle child of Hungarian immigrants, Boros followed the family trade of house painter, but also had a consuming passion for art.
His tower came about after he joined the then-two-year-old garden — around the corner from his house — in 1985. He began carving big wood sculptures in the middle of the garden, but this was taking up space and the wood chips were flying everywhere. Founding member of the garden, Joanee Freedom explains that “each gardener only got one 4-foot-by-8-foot plot…We told him, ‘Put it on your plot.’”
So Boros picked a plot–and built up. In the end, the Tower’s base grew to engulf eight plots.
But while tourists loved it (a Japanese town wanted to purchase it), Boros found both his creation, and himself, the source of much chagrin and contention. This, of course, could be due to his penchant for climbing to the top of the Tower at two o’clock in the morning to beat on his drum or toot his horn. And some gardeners felt it was dangers–and bitched that the Tower blocked sunlight to several plots. Every year votes were taken on whether it should be torn down, but each time it narrowly survived.
“A forerunner of today’s recycling movement, Boros felt much of what was discarded as garbage had beauty and told the story of the neighborhood. Early on, he decided to decorate his tower with refuse that he found both on the streets of the East Village and sometimes farther abroad.
Many of the things he collected he gave to neighborhood children. He made bikes and airplanes for the kids. He never married or had children of his own, though it was as if the whole neighborhood was his family.”
He was also renowned for his attire — or lack of it. He walked around the neighborhood with his size-14 feet bare, without a shirt, wearing black cutoff jeans shorts and always a string of pearls around his neck.
But in the end, despite media coverage and narrow support, the Toy Tower was dismantled last Tuesday [May 20, 2008] after the city deemed it structurally unsound.
Cristal summed it up the best, though: ” I just liked how ugly the thing was. When you walked down Avenue B, it was like, “Ooh, have a delicious Kir Royale at Rue B! Try an organic, grass-fed burger at Back Forty! Eek! Shit-covered toys hanging from the sky!”
Links: NYTimes Week in Pictures | The Villager | New York magazine
A home with a pedigree. Several real estate opportunities have opened up on the market to own a piece of property once owned by Fame…a generation or two removed ago.
Frank Sinatras penthouse apartmen,t at 530 East 72nd Street, is a 3,000-square-foot, four bedroom co-op with 2,000 feet of terraces on two levels and a conservatory that Sinatra built on top of the apartment.
The apartment is being sold by the estate of Denton Cox, who was Sinatra’s doctor and kept much of the apartment just as Sinatra had designed it, including an original 1960′s kitchen with a hidden stove that pulls out and black and white quilted lining on the walls of a closet in the master bedroom. However, time and renovations started but never completed by the owner have taken their toll on the property.
The properties real estate agent estimates that this $5.295 million listing will require about $2 million in renovations, but such is a small price to pay for Ole Blue Eyes place.
“For thousands of years, Afghanistan was a crossroad for trade from India, Iran, and Central Asia. As a result, many treasures and artifacts have been discovered and collected. The Kabul Museum, housed the most comprehensive record of Central Asian history. Many of its pieces have been dated as far back as pre-historic times. One of the museum’s largest displays, was the magnificent Bagram Collection. Discovered in 1939, by archaeologists excavating a Kushan fort, it contained an amazing 1,800 pieces from India, Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Central Asia. The Kabul Museum also had one of the largest displays of Greek and Roman coins found near Kabul. This collection was a historical treasure, as it contained coins from numerous civilizations dating from the 8th century B.C. to the late 19th century.
These treasures and many others were tragically lost when the Kabul Museum was bombed in 1993. At first, only the upper galleries suffered losses and looting. The remaining artifacts, were transferred to lower leveled, steel doored vaults. In 1994, the United Nations attempted to stop the looting by repairing the doors, and bricking up the windows. Disappointingly, these attempts failed, and looters continued to plunder 90% of the museum’s collections. Both private collectors and antique dealers from as far away as Tokyo, have purchased stolen museum pieces. Looted artifacts have shown up all over the world, and they bring in large sums of money to the criminals.
In early March 2001, the Taliban decided to destroy all pre-Islamic statues and objects in Afghanistan, after an edict was announced by their leader Mullah Omar in late February. The Taliban destroyed numerous statues in the museum which survived the previous looting and destruction as a result of war. The Taliban also destroyed the two giant Buddhas from the 5th century in Bamiyan, and other ancient historical statues in Ghazni. One of the Buddhas in Bamiyan was the world’s tallest standing Buddha.”
“But isolated acts of preservation and some lucky circumstances also prevailed. In 1988 a small group of the Kabul museum’s staff hid crates packed with about 600 of its most precious artworks in the vault of the presidential palace. No one was sure how these crates had fared until 2004, when they were retrieved with their contents intact.
Around 200 of these works are in “Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul,” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. At once revelatory and heart-rending, this show, making a four-city American tour, has much to tell about Afghanistan, past and present.”
An ancient gold cup mysteriously acquired by an English scrap metal dealer is expected to fetch close to a million dollars at auction after languishing for years in a shoe box under its current owner’s bed.
gave him the 5.5-inch high mug to play with when he was a child, back in 1945.
Assuming the golden cup, decorated with the heads of two women facing opposite directions and crowned with knotted snakes, was simply made out of brass, imagine Webber’s surprise when he found out last year that the cup is actually a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure. The cup is actually beaten out of a single sheet of gold hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
Experts said the method of manufacture and the composition of the gold was “consistent with Achaemenid gold and gold smithing” dating back to the third or fourth century BC.
The Achaemenid empire, the first of the Persian empires to rule over significant portions of Greater Iran, was wiped out by Alexander the Great in 330 BC.
Webber revealed that as a child he used the cup for target practice with his air gun.
What can you say ?
Who made ‘em ?
God must have been
a fuckin’ genius.
The hair – They say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls…and just wanted to go to sleep forever ?
Or lips – and when they touched, yours were like… that first swallow of wine… after you just crossed the desert.
Tits ! Hoo-ah ! Big ones, little ones, nipples staring right out at ya…Iike secret searchlights.
And legs – I don’t care if they’re Greek columns…
or secondhand Steinways. What’s between ‘em, passport to heaven.
I need a drink. Yes, Mr Sims, there’s only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearing: pussy. Hah! Are you listenin’ to me, son? I’m givin’ ya pearls here.”
Israeli photographer Adi Nes, best known for his photographs of Israeli boys and Israeli Defense soldiers, is also widely known for his “Last Supper,” and its homoerotic challenge to Israeli machismo and the Christian message of looming betrayal and death; which has made it one of Israel’s better known pieces of contemporary art.
To further his subversion of the stereotype of the masculine Israeli man, Nes regularly uses dark0skinned Israeli models, who are often the subject of discrimination in Israeli because of their close resemblance to Arabs. The models’ poses often evoke the Baroque period, and are often purposely depicted while sleeping, evoking a sense of vulnerability. Nes has said that the inspiration for his photography is partially autobigraphically.
“My staged photographs are oversized and often recall well-known scenes from Art History and Western Civilization combined with personal experiences based on my life as a gay youth growing up in a small town on the periphery of Israeli society.
Nes’ “Last Supper” is currently features at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem exhibit “Real Time: Art in Israel, 1998-2008,” one of six exhibits to be featured in the upcoming months, one for each decade of the state’s existence and each in a different museum across the country.
Cornell Capa, who founded the International Center of Photography in New York after a long and distinguished career as a photojournalist, first on the staff of Life magazine and then as a member of Magnum Photos, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 90.
Capa had three important incarnations in the field of photography: successful photojournalist; champion of Robert Capa, his older brother, among the greatest war photographers; and founder and first director of the International Center of Photography, which, since it was established in 1974, has become one of the most influential photographic institutions for exhibition, collection and education in the world.
In Capa’s nearly 30 years as a photojournalist, he steadfastly adhered to a code of professionalism that is best summed up by the title of his 1968 book, “The Concerned Photographer.” He used the phrase often to describe any photographer who was passionately dedicated to doing work that contributed to the understanding and well-being of humanity and who produced “images in which genuine human feeling predominates over commercial cynicism or disinterested formalism,” he said.
Link: NYTimes–Cornell Capa
Doesn’t this make the irchy-witches’ heart boil like bubbling brew. From designer Tord Boontje and hand-carved by an artisan community in Guatemala, Witches’ Kitchen is a set of 6 utensils: “dagger”, “spoonchela”, “point”, “sprunk”, “spork”, and a serving/tasting spoon. Price: $770.
Boontje’s new works, of which these works are a part of, for manufacturer Artecnica is part of the company’s socially and environmentally responsible Design With Conscience collection, which employs production methods that are humane and environmentally friendly, and promotes self-sustaining communities of skilled artisans in undeveloped countries.
The salad server “hands” are also hand-carved and made from sustainable wood. Price: $330.
This pot-and-kettle-black goodness of stacking pots are hand-made from earthenware with leaf prints and are oven safe. The set consists of one low pan and lid, which can also be used as a cooking vessel and can be reversed for use as a serving bowl. Price: $1,150.
“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve all others at whatever cost.”
Arthur Ashe (July 10, 1943–February 6, 1993), born and raised in Richmond Virginia, found fame as a prominent tennis player. During his playing career, Ashe won three Grand Slam titles, becoming the first African-American male to do so. Perhaps more importantly, Ashe is remembered for his efforts to further social causes, especially that of anti-apartheid movements in South Africa.
Let the whip cracking begin as the fight to claim ultimate cultural relevance goes head to head. Fan’s will decide. Will it be Indy or Mr. Potatoe Head’s Taters of the Lost Ark as both doll and movie are released.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull official movie site
Mr. Potatoe Head’s Taters of the Lost Ark official Hasbro site
“Iranian Atom” by Sigalit Landau is part of the Israel Musuem in Jerusalem exhibit, “Real Time: Art in Israel, 1998-2008,” one of six exhibits. Each exhibit is a feature of each one of the decades of the state’s existence, and each will be featured in a different museum across the country.
Landau’s work features humans stripped of their skin following a nuclear attack.
More of Landau’s dreamlike sculptural installations are currently on exhibit at the MoMA.
“1780: In the midst of the Revolutionary War, darkness descends on New England at midday. Many people think Judgment Day is at hand. It will be remembered as New England’s Dark Day.
Diaries of the
preceding days mention smoky air and a red sun at morning and evening. Around noon this day, an early darkness fell: Birds sang their evening songs, farm animals returned to their roosts and barns, and humans were bewildered.
Some went to church, many sought the solace of the tavern, and more than a few nearer the edges of the darkened area commented on the strange beauty of the preternatural half-light. One person noted that clean silver had the color of brass.
It was darkest in northeastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and southwestern Maine, but it got dusky through most of New England and as far away as New York. At Morristown, New Jersey, Gen. George Washington noted it in his diary.
In the darkest area, people had to take their midday meals by candlelight. A Massachusetts resident noted, “In some places, the darkness was so great that persons could not see to read common print in the open air.” In New Hampshire, wrote one person, “A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes was equally invisible with the blackest velvet.”
At Hartford, Col. Abraham Davenport opposed adjourning the Connecticut legislature, thus: “The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause of an adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty.”
When it was time for night to fall, the full moon failed to bring light. Even areas that had seen a pale sun in the day could see no moon at all. No moon, no stars: It was the darkest night anyone had seen. Some people could not sleep and waited through the long hours to see if the sun would ever rise again.
Professor Samuel Williams of Harvard gathered reports from throughout the affected areas to seek an explanation. A town farther north had reported “a black scum like ashes” on rainwater collected in tubs. A Boston observer noted the air smelled like a “malt-house or coal-kiln.” Williams noted that rain in Cambridge fell “thick and dark and sooty” and tasted and smelled like the “black ash of burnt leaves.”
Without railroad or telegraph, people would not know what grand catastrophe was responsible for this darkest of days: No news could come sooner than delivered on horseback, assuming the whatever thiswas that was happening was even near any European settlements in the vast wilderness.”
“I’m not hungry, really. In a group of gobies living in a coral reef, there is one alpha couple, a male and a female. The rest are nonmating females, which have a definite social hierarchy; each is 5 percent to 10 percent smaller than its next higher rival. And when researchers tried to give the smaller fish more food to eat, the gobies would not bite. When a subordinate fish grows closer in size to the next larger fish, a fight ensues, usually ending with the smaller fish’s expulsion from the group. And without the protection of the coral, the expelled fish usually are eaten by a predator. Thus, the preferred option is to not eat too much and not make any waves.”
See, another product of nature that just proves that the female kind knows only one way and such is the natural order–flock around one penis and subvert all females around you. Bitches are not meant to be friends with other bitches…females of one’s own family is debateable.
as it began its
first eruption in
(pictured on May
3rd). Cases of
erupting volcanoes are well documented, although scientists differ on what causes them. The storm pictured is the mingling of lightning and ash; possibly a “dirty thunderstorm.” (More: “Volcanic Lightning Sparked by ‘Dirty Thunderstorms,’ Study Finds” [February, 2, 2007].)
The little-understood storms may be sparked when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in the plume collide to produce static charges–just as ice particles collide to create charge in a regular thunderstorm.
Link: National Geographic
For the baby or cute kiddie in mind, or for the little girl inside who loves to wear her charm in her all-grown-up hair, Clips 4 A Cure has some of the most adorable, and noble, hair accessories around.
Started by a Mom and cancer survivor who wanted to contribute to cancer research, 10% of Clips 4 A Cure’s proceeds from the sale of their handmade hair accessories goes towards cancer research through the American Cancer Society and Komen Breast Center.
Link: Clips 4 A Cure