oral history

A facebook posting from HB West:

Did you know: In 1968, Twyla Tharp created a dance in the gymnasium of Wagner College? It was called “Generation” and featured a young Sara Rudner and Ms. Tharp herself, among the cast. Lighting by Jennifer Tipton. #StatenIslandDanceHistory #StatenIslandDanceProject #oralhistories

Generation consists of five simultaneous solos, each dancer in her own separate orbit. The dynamic ebbs and wanes as the movement changes tempo and quality; actions build until the dancers are moving so fast or so slow that the integrity of the original phrases disintegrates.

Continue reading

In 1885 the YMCA built their first branch at 222 Bowery to keep “not yet hardened” young men aged 17-35 from getting sucked into sin. In this fascinating article, Ephemeral New York‘ founder Esther Crain explores the history of the building, including its later life as a home to a veritable who’s who of artists and writers like Fernand Leger, Mark Rothko,and William Burroughs.

Learn more about the “bunker” and the history of NYC’s most infamous thoroughfare on Esther Crain’s “The Historic Bowery” walking tour which meets at Eldridge Street this Sunday.

Buy tickets online and RSVP: http://www.eldridgestreet.org/…/the-historic-bowery-a-walk…/

Continue reading

from The West Side Rag:



Focus Festival

Bard Graduate Center’s inaugural Focus Festival, April 8-9, 2017, brings thinkers and artists together for a weekend of interdisciplinary programming that draws inspiration from the key themes of our two spring Focus Project exhibitions: Design by the Book: Chinese Ritual Objects and the Sanli tu and  New York Crystal Palace 1853.

Claudia Rankine, 2016 MacArthur Fellow, poet, and essayist, will join Garnette Cadogan, essayist, in the keynote conversation “Ways of Seeing the City” on April 8 at 7 pm. Additional programs include a talk by Michael Puett, author of the New York Times bestseller The Path (April 9, 5 pm); walking tours of the Seneca Village site in Central Park with archaeologist Cynthia Copeland (April 8, 3 pm) and “Branding Fifth Avenue & the Other NY” with Jack Tchen, co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in America (April 9, 12 pm); and performances of Aaron Landsman’s critically acclaimed Love Story, a theatrical piece about a disappearing city, two people navigating it, and a fidgety, obsessive follower (April 8, 5:30 pm and April 9, 3:30 pm). Curators will offer spotlight tours of the exhibitions (April 8 and 9, 12 pm). Family-friendly workshops will be a special treat for kids (April 8 and 9, 1 pm).

For information, tickets, and the full schedule of events, click here.

Wendy’s Subway Reading Room
In conjunction Focus Project exhibitions, Brooklyn-based literary organization Wendy’s Subway has curated a Reading Room in the ground floor of the Gallery at 18 West 86 Street.

Wendy’s Subway Reading Room at Bard Graduate Center promotes engagement with artists’ books, periodicals, and other publications selected for their relationship to the spring exhibitions and public programming. A series of readings and writing workshops that gather together some of the boldest voices from poetry, literature, and performance will accompany the installation. Over the course of the installation, visitors are invited to drop off books they would like included in the Reading Room. Admission to the reading room is free, as is the wifi. It will be open during all public hours. Book suggestions may also be offered via a feedback box in the Gallery.

Wendy’s Subway launches the first of its monthly Reading Series on April 26 with an evening reading of works by Layli Longsoldier, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, and Wendy Xu. Read more.

Continue reading

Hosted by The Bronx County Historical Society 3313 Bainbridge Ave, Bronx, NY 10467-2835

Join Bronx authors Robert Gumbs and Fordham University’s Professor Mark Naison as they present their book Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s, along with the research that was done during the process. The authors will have copies of their book for sale and signing and there is a maximum capacity for up to 40 people. First come, first served.

This lecture will be held at The Bronx County Archives located at 3313 Bainbridge Avenue, The Bronx, New York 10467. For directions, call (718) 881-8900.…

Continue reading

Errata: I heard that he actually died while in the hospital. Anyone who has the correct information, feel free to come forward/write in. I attended his funeral.

from silive.com:
Poet, preservationist John Foxell dead at 72; restored landmark cottage

Diane C. Lore | lore@siadvance.comBy Diane C. Lore

on December 08, 2016 at 3:34 PM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Poet and preservationist John Foxell has died.

Mr. Foxell, described by his many friends as a gentle “renaissance man” who enjoyed music, literature and the arts, died Dec. 4 at home. He was 72.

Learned and unassuming, he eschewed modern technology, preferring to live among older things, which he often said made him feel more evocative of a simpler place and time.

Mr. Foxell earned the respect of preservationists for lovingly-restoring his nostalgia-stuffed, quirky-colored city-landmarked home on Port Richmond’s Cottage Place.

Born and raised in Troy, N.Y., Mr. Foxell moved to Staten Island with his family in 1952. After graduating from New York University, Mr. Foxell traveled the country, living in 13 states and Canada, holding down various jobs, from button factory worker to census taker.

He moved back to Staten Island in 1981, bought a home on Congress Street in Stapleton, and became active in the community. For 15 years, until 2005, he commuted to work as an administrative assistant in Manhattan Family Court.

Meanwhile he shopped for houses across the Island until a real estate agent unlocked the doors to 29 Cottage Place.
Tour the Port Richmond Landmark home

The original saltbox small home, measuring 1,122 square feet, was built around 1848. It was once a stagecoach stop on the New York to Philadelphia run. Its Greek Revival and Craftsman details made it one of the North Shore’s few surviving saltboxes, a roofing style popular in the Colonial period.

When Mr. Foxell bought the home it had drooping ceilings, crumbling walls, and mice and birds nesting in the attic. He set about a painstaking rescue and restoration.

“I felt I had to rescue it,” Mr. Foxell told the Advance in a February interview. “It was very important to try to restore as much as possible to retain the atmosphere of that time, and the atmosphere of the house.”
“I felt I had to rescue it,” Mr. Foxell told the Advance in a February interview. “It was very important to try to restore as much as possible to retain the atmosphere of that time, and the atmosphere of the house.”

Mr. Foxell removed wood-shake shingles and installed cedar clapboarding in their place, cleared overgrown shrubs, and restored porches and sidewalks. He added 29 antique stained glass windows and put up tin ceilings on every ceiling.

There is a small shrine in honor of Dorothy Day — the founder of the Catholic Workers Movement, who had ties to Staten Island — and a meditation house, floor-to-ceiling bookcases and artifacts he collected from his travels, including a collection of African wood sculptures and skeletons

In keeping with the time period of the house, he kept few modern conveniences, save for electricity and indoor plumbing.…

Continue reading

from pulsd:
Join LES’s Most Famous Bars & Essex Street Market For A Discussion, Along With Tastings
120 Essex Street |
6:30PM – 8:00PM

The Lower East Side has undergone so much change in the last decade, and is arguably the only neighborhood in Manhattan where Jewish fabric stores and mom-and-pop shops stand next to trendy boutiques, hair salons, and hotel bars. Join Essex Street Market and proprietors of the neighborhood’s most famous bars and clubs, such as Max Fish, Lucky Jack’s and Hair of the Dog, for a discussion of the changing retail landscape. The discussion starts at 7pm, but come early for the reception at 6:30pm with complimentary tastings and drinks.

Continue reading

from The New York Times:

World-Class Photojournalism, at Home in the South Bronx


When Eugene Richards opens his next exhibit, it will not be at a Chelsea gallery or a major Midtown museum. It will be at a location that he much prefers: the Bronx Documentary Center.

It is a fitting location for an exhibition of images of poverty in America from the 1980s. If the show were in downtown Manhattan, he said, the audience “might not be that interested and see it as ‘urban archaeology’,” he said. But at the B.D.C., poverty is not an abstract concept, since it is in Melrose, a South Bronx neighborhood that has been among the country’s poorest urban communities.

“The audience in the Bronx will come in and have a different read to the pictures and many will have a closer relation to them,” Mr. Richards, 72, said.

His exhibit, “Below the Line: Living Poor in America by Eugene Richards,” (slides 1 – 4) on view Oct. 1st through Nov. 6th, marks the fifth anniversary of the B.D.C., an unlikely institution that combines exhibitions of famous and emerging photographers, film screenings, community-based educational programs and free photography workshops intended to create the next generation of documentarians from diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Mr. Richards may be one of the best-known photographers, but he is a fairly solitary figure who is not a member of a collective, or a photo agency. He tends to keep to himself and his family when he is not exhibiting his long-term projects or teaching workshops.

But the B.D.C., where he often speaks with students, is where he finds a much-needed sense of community that reflects the city’s diversity.

“It’s the total opposite of the usual photographic experience,” he said. “It’s like getting into a room full of friends. It’s important to me because it’s the only place I can go in New York that is diverse and where we’re all there to talk about photography and issues. It feels like a homecoming.”

The B.D.C. was born out of long conversations between two close friends, Michael Kamber and Tim Hetherington, both of whom were experienced conflict photographers. They yearned to create a space that would feature the kind of serious, long-term, issue-oriented photography that was anathema to galleries in SoHo and Chelsea, while also educating new visual storytellers.

Mr. Kamber saved money from his many years of covering the Iraq war for The New York Times and purchased a renovated 19th century landmark brick building on 151st Street and Courtlandt Avenue in the Bronx in 2010. Mr. Hetherington, who was also an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, was killed while photographing in Libya four months later.

Mr. Kamber was devastated, but continued to work on the B.D.C., maxing out five credit cards to buy supplies as he and a group of volunteers laid down floors, built walls and installed wiring. Danielle Jackson, who had been in charge of exhibitions at Magnum Photos in New York, helped found the B.D.C.

Continue reading

Where were you on September 11th, 2001?

New York Adventure Club would like to encourage a casual, open dialog around your stories, experiences, and reflections from the events that unfolded on 9/11 exactly 15 years ago. Participation is encouraged, but not required. No charge, but there is registration. Ticketing through eventbrite.com

Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket as we’ll be sitting on the lawn.

*In case of inclement weather, new location will be determined

Washington Market Park – Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007 – View Map

Continue reading

Special Access Tour @ the Morris-Jumel Mansion

Tickets: $19-24

Join New York Adventure Club for a special access tour at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s oldest residence (1765) that has witnessed the evolution of northern Manhattan from rural countryside to a dynamic multicultural community.

Our experience will include:


• A tour throughout the mansion

• A discussion around the house’s role in the American Revolution

• An exclusive preview of artifacts from the upcoming September 2016 exhibit, “Encamped on the Heights,” which focuses on the military strategy during the American Revolution

• Artifacts that haven’t been seen by the public for over 100 years.

• The docent’s personal stories from when the Queen of England visited the Mansion in 1976


After the tour, we’ll head to a local eatery for some food and drinks!


Date: Sun, April 10
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Morris-Jumel Mansion

65 Jumel Terrace
New York, NY 10032 United States

Continue reading

Copyright © 2011-2017 Bygone NYC - All Rights Reserved