The High Line hosts the PEN Literary Festival parade

The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature held their opening procession on Monday with the Parade of Illuminations on The High Line. It featured puppets designed by the Processional Arts Workshop group and constructed by volunteers in the group’s West Village studio. (The Workshop also produced the i of the Beholder pieces in the 2011 Village Halloween Parade.)

Processional characters included large paper mache visions of Patience and Fortitude, the lions outside of the New York Public Library. Scattered throughout the procession were marchers carrying hand-held projectors displaying text from the authors included in this year’s PEN festival. The text was projected onto large magnifying glasses, scrolls and participants dressed in white. The act was designed to symbolize how, in the age of digital text and tablet devices, words are floating all around us and we catch them as we move past.

Patience or Fortitude? Every lion looks the same at night.

See more photos from the parade on Flickr.

Guggenheim Lab mixes up some Warhol history

thinking caps and smarty pants

Kinda like a big tent circus for intellectuals, the Guggenheim Lab is parked on Houston Street in NYC until October 16. They bill their set up as “A mobile laboratory traveling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life.” (Dream big, people.)

I went to a Sunday Salon Series, hosted by local artist Clayton Patterson, to hear playwright Jeremiah Newton discuss the life of Candy Darling, his late friend and the subject of his new play.

Never heard of Candy Darling? Me neither. But she hung out with the Warhol crowd and was a famous transsexual actress in the 1970’s.

Actually, I’ve heard references to her in The Velvet Underground’s song Candy Says and in Lou Reed’s song Walk on the Wild Side. So it was nice to make the connection to the real Candy.

The jury’s still out on the inspiration and innovative ideas I hatched at the Lab, but there are worse pop-ups to visit on Houston Street. Go while you can.

Yarn bombing and Fox News invade Wall Street

Don't steal from the public, says the yarn bombardier
Don't steal from the public, says the yarn bombardier

As the American economy continues to suck ass, Wall Street’s being invaded by yarn bombers and Fox News. Still, the general mood on the asphalt of Wall Street is apathy (and gawking tourism).

Probably because the stock market doesn’t have the same physical hold on the neighborhood as it used to, things here are pretty quiet during the morning of August 12, 2011. But also because the country’s not as angry as it needs to be. We don’t need the riots London saw earlier this week, but we need something.

At home, we have a generation of college graduates crippled by student debt. Abroad, we owe so much money to China that they’re about to demand our proverbial first born, despite their one child policy.

So get with it America. A country this lazy can’t be expected to grow its own food, but I have the feeling that pretty soon we’re all going to have to remember how to make a victory garden. Are we up for that? We’re going to have to be. The only alternative is for the government to grow a pair, and that’s as unlikely as increasing the voter turnout rate.

fox news + wall street = we're so fucked

Estria International Graffiti Battle = fail

classic new york. the line, not the bridge.

Yeah, I have an easy life. But I gotta mouth and a blog and I bitch. Today, let’s focus on the crowds. The masses of NYC draw the famous and the infamous here for us to ogle. Perfect. Until it comes to the lines, the crowds, the sold out tickets, and the hordes of sheep with the biggest Canon that will fit around their neck.

Most of the time, I go with the flow, but sometimes, say, when you turn the corner in Dumbo on your way to the Estria International Graffiti Battle and you see the line stretch down the street, you just give up. Which is fine, because it’s not like you had to wait in that line for clean water or HIV meds. And besides, there’s probably another festival on the next block.

But on the Estria International Graffiti Battle I gave up. Instead I took pictures of the graffiti outside of the ticketed area, listened to the music that traveled through the chain link fence, ate some ice cream, and took in the city skyline with the wedding parties getting their picture taken. Like I said, an easy life.

thank god lego man knows the street art from the crap on a wall