NYC: June 2006 Archives

27th Street, Chelsea

When I first came to New York in 1989, I found it hard to believe that artists -- whether visual artists, actors, dancers, etc. -- could afford to live here. Given the real estate prices of today, those seem like the cheap halcyon days. I worry very much about the ability of NYC to remain an arts capital when it is so expensive for people to live within 3 subway stops of Manhattan. Those patrons and collectors that support new art are unlikely to venture out that far unfortunately. Williamsburg is so close, and I still hear people talk about it like it's Kansas.

From Crain's New York I learn that Williamsburg's Galapagos is trying to do something about this.
In an effort to keep up and coming artists in New York, Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg plans to meet with the Department of Cultural Affairs tomorrow to begin lobbying for government aid for emerging artists.

Executives at Galapagos, which presents 140 performances a month attracting an average of 8,000 people, say New York City is at risk of losing its status as an international cultural capital because beginning artists can't afford to live here anymore.

"There's not the inflow of young artists moving in the city like there used to be," says Robert Elmes, director of Galapagos. "The conversation at this point isn't whether or not there's opportunity in New York, but just what other city they should go to."

Mr. Elmes says his theater has already seen a significant drop in proposals from college students or recent graduates to come there and present their work.

Instead, young artists are heading to places like Pittsburgh, or even overseas to Berlin, which has been aggressive about promoting itself as an affordable hub for emerging arts.

When we attended the Whitney Biennial press preview, I was struck by the fact that the curators travelled to Berlin to visit American artists' studios. I know a number of people that find it cheaper to live and work there part of the year, while still showing with a New York gallery. One example is D-L Alvarez, who shows with Derek Eller Gallery.

On a related note, James and I are troubled by our ability to see as much emerging art as we once did, since we don't own a car. Many interesting Brooklyn galleries are increasingly spread far away from each other, and from a convenient subway stop. As an example, check out this map from WAGMAG. Visiting VertexList, Klaus Von Nichtssagend, and Outrageous Look in one day is quite a trek.

Gustavo Artigas

Gustavo Artigas, Rules of the Game, 2000-2001, video still

I think this has already been mentioned on Artnet, but I just now realized that Roebling Hall is closing its Williamsburg location after the next show. From the press release for the show:

Celebrate the Final Gallery Opening at Roebling Hall, Williamsburg! This Saturday June 3, 6-8pm preview party


This portion of the show is the last exhibition at Roebling Hall’s Brooklyn gallery.

This makes me almost as sad as when Schroeder Romero left. It's the end of an era. I fear Williamsburg is turning into a yuppie playground, but without anything like the public transit of much of Manhattan. I'm sorry my schedule and the crappy weather discouraged me from attending William Powhida's eulogy tonight.

I didn't get around to adding these two things yesterday to my previous post. First, the excellent New York Post cover from yesterday:


Second, the ABC news blog reports that part of the funding cut was justified by explaining that New York has no national monuments or icons.

I often see arguments that New York needs to work with the GOP, since they control all three branches of government, and it's the only way to get anything done for New York. Bullshit. The only sane thing to do is work to defeat every Republican we can. There is no reason why New York State should have any Republicans representing us in Congress. And once we've done that, we can launch challenges from the left for politicians like Hilary Clinton and Chuck Schumer who are pro-Iraq War and pro-PATRIOT Act.

NY1 reports:
Local politicians are slamming the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday for its decision to slash New York City’s counter-terrorism funding by $83 million this year, a nearly 40 percent cut from the previous year.

The Department of Homeland Security today announced its new national distribution plan, which divides a total of $740 million between 46 cities. DHS say the cuts will help spread funding to other communities facing threats.

The new funding formula shows the Big Apple will have to make do with $124 million in federal homeland security grants for the 2006 fiscal year, down from $207 million last year.

New York State is also taking a cut of just under $115 million this year, despite promises from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff earlier this year that his department would be distributing money based on risk.


While New York is facing cuts in funding, the DHS has decided to increase funding for cities including Omaha, Nebraska; Louisville, Kentucky; and Jacksonville, Florida.

Funding was also cut for Washington, DC. Let's be realistic here. If a terrorist wants to set off a dirty bomb, it's going to happen in a dense city like New York or DC, not some place like Omaha with less than 500,000 people.

Who is the head of the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee? Peter King, a Republican congressman from Long Island. If this is what "working with Republicans" get us, I can't imagine a better reason to work on throwing them all out.

There is a post on this subject at Daily Gotham, with a link to the Act Blue page for New York congressional races if you would like to donate some money.

Also from Daily Gotham, Liza Sabater points out that the state Democratic party fears bloggers and finds them a bit harsh. Good luck with that, coming from a party that couldn't prevent charisma-free George Pataki from being governor for eight years. As she says,

If things stay the course, they're going to lose the 2008 elections to a pet rock.

On a somewhat related note, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets in the press for railing about the NRA and illegal guns, but that doesn't stop him from donating money (up to the maximum amount) to pro-gun politicians. Steve Gilliard has the text of a New York Times article on the subject.

This page is an archive of entries in the NYC category from June 2006.

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