Saturday, May 1, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

From the NY Post:

On a recent Friday night, just past 10, wild-eyed investment banker Omar is wedged between two blondes in the corner of a booth at the Williamsburg bistro Walter Foods. Clad in a bright Paul Smith shirt and designer jeans, he drapes his arm across the back of the weathered leather seat.

Forget the turf battle between Hasids and hipsters, the artsy young kids who’ve thronged the neighborhood for the last 15 years. Lately, Williamsburg has been invaded by free-spending crowds of Manhattanites like Omar, an entitled tribe that sees the neighborhood as a no-holds-barred weekend party destination — a scrappier, cheaper version of the Meatpacking District.

“I went to Walter Foods, and there was this long table of obvious Manhattanites who were partying with the wild abandon of people who know they won’t run into anyone they know. They were acting like they were in Cancun, doing tons of shots, screaming, falling asleep sitting up. Meanwhile, I’m trying to have a nice dinner with my mom. It was hideous.”

I'm so glad I live in uncool Queens. Please keep this riff raff out of LIC, which is where they'll probably head next.


Kevin Walsh said...

I'd like to see them try invading Maspeth. Let's say they'll be repelled.

Anonymous said...

Countdown until they get jumped by some blacks.

Norwood Nellie said...

I would trade this group for the LI punks mobster-wannabes who invade Astoria every night and act the same way that Manhattanites act in Brooklyn.

Only the style is different. Very different.

Wearing shades at night, driving souped up Mazdas, a beaded greek flag from the rear view mirror, blasting basouski or eurothump from the radio and some trashy looking blue collar chick in tow.

Pissing on the lawns, getting into fights at 4 AM, littering, vandalism, and mindful of their uncles' real estate holdings and political donations, not on the radar as far as Mr. Public Safety is concerned.

Babs said...

Nellie - I agree but are they a Long Island crowd of Greek immigrants - I think most of the idiots live in Flushing and Whitestone.

Ridgewood Mike said...

For whatever reason Queens is still a bridge too far for most of the hipster set. Littered, burned out Bushwick is fine for them, but neighboring Ridgewood, despite lower rents and cleaner streets, they don't like. For which I am grateful.

Babs said...

Trivia question for ya's about Ridgewood:

What very successful record producer purchased the Ridgewood Grove for his father in the late 60s and early 70s?

What very famous person visited the Ridgewood Grove to meet the record producer's father in the early 70s?

Angelica said...

I guess Williamsburg is officially "over."

Ridgewoodian said...

Ridgewood Mike:...neighboring Ridgewood, despite lower rents and cleaner streets, they don't like.

Well, that's not entirely true. If you look hard enough you can see the beginnings of a "scene" in the area. I know of one or two tiny art galleries and performace spaces of the kind that tend to feature bands that make a lot of noise and the occasional poet. A couple of years ago there was an avante-garde theatre troupe that drew its inspiration from the French pornographer/philosopher Georges Bataille occupying a former storefront church on Onderdonk Ave. I didn't even know about it at the time and I'm interested in such things. So far these things are very underground and DIY, which is how these things start. If you rent I'd try to make nice with my landlord.

Ridgewoodian said...

Babs - I don't know the answer to your question but I do know that Genesis P-Orridge lives in the neighborhood, or just over the border in Bushwick. I even helped him/her lug an amp up the stairs at Myrtly-Wyckoff. If you don't know who that is, google the name and you'll understand why my friend and I were stunned to see him/her at Myrtle-Wyckoff. "What the hell is Genesis P-Orridge doing in Ridgewood???"

Deke DaSilva said...

I even helped him/her lug an amp up the stairs at Myrtly-Wyckoff.

C'mon Ridgewoodian, you can admit it to us - you helped out Genesis so that he'd let you touch his pierced scrotum!

(I know who he is, I don't have to "google" his name!)

Babs said...

omg. . . my first thought upon reading about this Genesis character was how the heck can someone like this support themselves . . . I mean . . . . really. How very extreme!

I have NEVER heard of this person prior to this - I also googled info on John Cage who was supposedly his inspiration - another unique and interesting character - hung out with all the top artists of his time - Ernst, DuChamp.

I going to have to check this out some more!

What do you think of him - have you seen a performance?

And YES - not your typical Bushwickian for sure!

Babs said...

I'm glad you are in this thread Ridgewoodian - I think you would find the answers to my questions interesting.

JERRY MASUCCI is the answer - co-founder of Fania Records. Think of Hector Levoe, Cecilia Cruz i.e. Salsa! Ridgewood born and raised - he was a cop first and later became a lawyer. He met his future partner Johnny Pacheco in the early 60s when he handled his divorce. Together they invested $10,000 and made a FORTUNE.

He purchased Ridgewood Grove for his factory-worker and pool-loving father Benny who was a regular fixture there for many years. Benny retired only because Jerry enjoyed sending him and his mother Vera (also a factory worker) on these incredible vacations around the world.

Jerry also was the co-producer of the "Thriller in Manila" and one day he surprised his father (also a major fight fan) by having MOHAMMED ALI visit him at the pool room. He pulled up in his chauffer-driven Rolls Royce and parked in front of the Grove to the delight of all the fight fans of Ridgewood (Ali of course was not YET a legend at that time.)

Ali took Benny to lunch in the city - Benny talked about it for years afterwards - and had the pics to PROVE IT.

Anonymous said...

Crime is up in w-burg.The 90 pct has cops from outside commands detailed because of the increase in street robbeeris.Most complainants are skinny young males named vic&tim.....

LibertyBoyNYC said...

Hipsters love being targets. You have to be wanted by someone, if not your parents. Yuppies, not so much. It'll take a beating or a rape to either freeze the whole thing solid or get more cops on the street. hahahahaha

Ridgewoodian said...

Deke DaSilva: C'mon Ridgewoodian, you can admit it to us - you helped out Genesis so that he'd let you touch his pierced scrotum!

No, I actually thought he was a she. (Ladies don’t have scrotums; if you ever get to see one naked you’ll notice that.) And a not very attractive she, truth be told. I helped him/her for the same reason I often help mothers with baby carriages and others in distress: Because I'm not an asshole.

I'm more of a Beethoven and Wagner kind of guy, actually. I have a few Throbbing Gristle recordswhich I really like and I knew the name Genesis P-Orridge, but I did know what s/he looked like. The actual recognition was courtesy of my friend who I was with.

Deke DaSilva: (I know who he [sic] is, I don't have to "google" his name!)

Well, I guess you're just way cool. Kudos to you, coolboy.

Ridgewoodian said...

Babs: What do you think of him - have you seen a performance?

As I mentioned to Deke, I'm more of a classical music kind of guy. I'm thinking it would be cheaper and less pretentious to just replace my Wagner habit with a nice little drug dependency. I’m seeing Der Fliegende Holländer tonight at the Met, which is fine, but let me tell you, all those Ring Cycles are getting expensive. (Deke, I’m sure, will say he knows exactly what that is and, come September, will perhaps even profess an opinion as to Schenk vs. Lepage, if he hasn’t formulated a very definite opinion on that contentious subject already. But, again, google if you’re not familiar.) That said, I’ve long had a soft, perhaps rotten, spot in my heart for Genesis’ most famous band, Throbbing Gristle.

About a year ago TG, which had more or less broken up in the early ‘80s, played its very first show in New York, at a Masonic Temple in Brooklyn. I was there for it. It was a hell of a show. I’m convinced they were trying to provoke a riot. First of all, the doors didn’t open on time so we had to wait outside for a long time and it was a fairly chilly evening. Then the show started an hour late. The first set TG played a live musical accompaniment to Derek Jarman’s experimental film, “In the Shadow of the Sun.” That was fine. During intermission they set up an autograph table and took their sweet time about it, kind of pissing people off. Then, when the second set was about to begin the house lights were brought down and the auditorium was filled with a droning sound which slowly grew and pulsed faster in time with a flashing white strip of light which was projected on the back of the stage. At first we figured this was just the buildup for the band to come out. But it went on for, oh, forty minutes. People got PISSED and plenty left. Then, suddenly, it just stopped and the house lights went up. At that point if anyone had tossed a beer can the place would have exploded. Another half hour or forty minutes later TG finally came back out again and played a set that peeled the paint off the walls. Afterwards my friend and I staggered out and were like, “Damn, those old guy punk’d us! The were like, ‘we’re going to provoke you and provoke you and provoke you and you’re not going to do a damn thing about it, bitches.’” Kind of brilliant.

THIS is the best fan video of the show I’ve come across yet.

As for the great John Cage, he was one of the most influential American musicians of the last century. You can hear a complete performance of his most famous work, 4′33″, HERE. Although my personal favorite work of his is Sonata V for Prepared Piano, which you can hear HERE.

Babs said...


WELL! That was different! I thought the beat was rather hypnotic - the words though were not clear in the recording. Kind of "Beat" in the way it was presented.

John Cage . . . I don't think I've ever heard (seen ?) anything quite as preposterous before. I also watched the video from his appearance on "I Got a Secret". Cage's arrangement of everyday sounds was surprising and actually kind of soothing to listen to - like some sort of hillbilly New Age composition.

I'm glad I checked this thread tonight - that was very nice of you to send those links. I enjoyed them.

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