The Power of One: A Brief Manifesto + Listings!
All for your weekend!
Twice a year WFUV, an indy radio station in New York, does a “member drive”. God, I hate those things. The DJs play a song, then ask you to donate money or '“become a member” — over and over and over. It’s like, “man, I just want the music; just play the music”, until the situation becomes so tortuous, I break down and give a modest monthly amount: $7 or something. It automatically comes out of my account and eventually the DJs go back to their jobs: playing music I like.
Eighteen years ago, on my first day at Columbia, the professors had a warning: “You will not get rich doing journalism”. Okay, I thought. I just want to do my passion, writing, providing information, giving insight, taking photographs that make other people think or smile or better yet, helping them create their own informed, fantastic lives. Then, the stark reality of being a freelance writer in New York hit. High rents, high food costs, paying for other services, taxes, insurances. Because… I do pay for other services, like mine. I pay for transport around this city. I pay for internet providers. I pay an accountant. I pay someone to cut my hair. The 21st century is a service economy, and I provide a service: journalism. How do I survive if I give my service for free or low rates (5 to 50 cents per word) and pay for others? Well, for awhile I did this. Then, a professor from Columbia wrote: I was making a mockery of the profession, he said. Plenty of people who waited tables and worked two or three jobs until they made it as writers.
I thought, but is that fair? Probably, after all, I made my choice. I started working at the UN as a comms officer and wrote freelance on the side, always keeping an eye open for the ever-elusive staff job. I took more UN/NGO contracts, sans insurance or benefits or any kind of safety net, and wrote on the side. I kept this newsletter going for free; I gave it up for awhile because the work load got too much.
Thing is, I love what I do. I love it. If I write an article and no one buys, I put it on Medium. I have written about pro tennis in Africa, the world’s next greatest roller coaster, the former slave trade of Nigeria, life in Vietnam, tennis clubs in Berlin — all because I believe people benefit from these stories. I have done this newsletter for free for five years. Am I good enough to do this as a staffer? I think so. But our economy isn’t yet set up to pay for information. And sometimes the really good stuff gets shoved to the bottom. Case in point: Trumplandia.
Now, I am faced with a dilemma: no incoming UN contract. And a choice. Do I want to make NY*Confidential and writing a full time go again? This morning, I landed a subscriber and it was… simply mind blowing. If one person pays $5 a month for this information and 1 + 1 + 1 + 1, well, that adds up. It’s revolutionary. It changes lives. It could change mine. Therefore I am asking, with pride in what I do, for you to become a NY*Confidential member. Pay for my newsletter. Help me do my part to pay my bills, pay my taxes, get my hair cut, keep my cat, Norwich, in Cat Chow. Keep the world economy going.
Norwich, the Editorial Assistant.
The website is updated. Open it up. Go to something. Send me feedback. Email me your own event. In response to your generous support, I pledge to you the best information, the keenest insights, the most beautiful photos I can produce. And I pledge to help other journalists launch their careers, too. Together, we all benefit.
As always, What's On: NY*Confidential resides on www.nyconfidant.com.
F everything else in the city. Gotta go see the new MoPA (Museum of Pumpkin Art) in the Hudson River Valley this season. Along with the rest of the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze!
The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze: More than 7,000 pumpkins, with Headless Horseman Bridge, Pumpkin Emojis, and a Museum of Pumpkin Art (MoPA) featuring gourdeous recreations of works like the Mona Lisa and Scream. Van Cortlandt Manor, through 3 Nov.
Books Are Magic presents Cyrus Grace Dunham, A Year Without a Name:Moving between Grace and Cyrus, Dunham brings us inside the chrysalis of gender transition. St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 18 Oct.
Powerhouse presents John Kenney, Love Poems (for People with Children): In the spirit of his wildly popular New Yorker pieces and the New York Times bestseller Love Poems (for Married People), John Kenney presents a hilarious new collection of poetry for people with children. Powerhouse @ the Archway, 18 Oct.
Generator Series, Humanize Policy:Ilana Glazer and the hosts of the Generator podcast talk with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams about his term thus far. The Greene Space, 18 Oct.
Maria Bamford at the Bell House: Stephen Colbert called her his “favorite comedian on earth”.” Maria agrees that she is very talented and may, in fact, have a gift. The Bell House, 118-19 Oct.
Powerhouse presents Keep Scrolling Till You Feel Something – 21 Years of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Acoming-of-age celebration of the pioneering website, featuring brand-new pieces and classics by some of today’s best humor writers, Powerhouse @ the Archway, 19 Oct.
Roosevelt Island, From Abandoned Laboratories to Landmarked Ruins: Roosevelt Island has been home to Dutch farms, rehabilitation institutions, asylums, hospitals, scientific laboratories, and more. Roosevelt Island Tramway Plaza, 19 Oct.
NYC's Tattoo History, from Historic Parlors to Vintage Attractions: Explore the history of tattooing in NYC, starting from the Daredevil Tattoo Museum to the streets of the Lower East Side. Daredevil Tattoo, 19 Oct.
Fort Tryon Park, From Secret Shrine to The Cloisters: Historic 18th-century battles, a shrine with the remains of America's first Roman Catholic Saint, one of New York's most infamous dinner parties... visit the highest point in Manhattan.734 Fort Washington Ave., 19 Oct.
How 200 Years of Death in Greenwich Village Changed America: From hidden cemeteries and memorials to former dueling grounds, learn how tragic events throughout the neighborhood's past have impacted the life of New York City. Rectory, Church of the Ascension (Outside), New York, 19 Oct.
See Brooklyn Glass, NYC's Premier Glassblowing and Neon Art Facility: With a 2,100-degree furnace burning 1,300 pounds of molten glass, one facility in Brooklyn pumps out some of the finest glass blowing, neon art, and lampworking in New York City. Brooklyn Glass, Brooklyn, 19 Oct.
Welding Tour & Demo @ Metal Shop Fantasy Camp: An exclusive tour & demonstration at Total Metal Resource, a metalworking and fabrication shop in East Williamsburg. Total Metal Resource, 20 Oct.
Inside the House of Collection, NYC's Cabinet of Curiosities: An exclusive look inside the House of Collection, which contains a sprawling curated collection of lost-and-found, passed down, left behind, and gifted items to the house. 315 Berry Street, 20 Oct.
Halloween Dog Parade: Pooches let their alter-egos shine, putting on some of the cutest and most creative costumes you've ever seen. Thompkins Square Park, 20 Oct.
Greenlight presents Mark Morris, Out Loud, A Memoir: Pre-publication launch of Out Loud, the new memoir by Mark Morris, an exuberant tale of a young dancer’s rise to the pinnacle of the performing arts world. 3 Lafayette Ave, 21 Oct.
Greenlight presents Meghan Daum, The Problem with Everything: Daum confronts the country’s most intractable problems with clear-eyed honesty, passion, humor, and most importantly nuance. Greenlight, 686 Fulton street, Brooklyn, 22 Oct., 7:30pm, Free.
Radiolab presents Very Biggest Questions: Radiolab‘s Molly Webster hosts historians, journalists and thought leaders to dissect and examine the baggage that marriage has picked up along its over 4,000 years of existence. The Greene Space, 22 Oct.
Thalia Book Club presentsMake It Scream, Make It Burn: Acclaimed writer of The Empathy Exams and The Recovering discusses her new collection. Symphony Space, 95th and Broadway, 30 Oct., 7:30pm, from $39.
After-Hours Tour @ New York Historical Society & Conservation Lab: Step inside NYC’s oldest museum after dark to see its most historic rooms without the crowds. New-York Historical Society, 22 Oct.
Strand presents Andrew Blauner, Peanuts: An unprecedented collection of thirty-two essays and two poems contributed by thirty-three artists and writers ranging from Ann Patchett to Chris Ware. Strand, 23 Oct.
The Art of Wax Model Making @ Madame Tussauds: Learn the art of wax model making from Hollywood A-Listers to famous world leaders — led by one of Madame Tussauds’ most experienced staff members. Madame Tussauds, 23 Oct.
Inside the Secret "Treasures in the Trash" Museum: A behind-the-scenes look inside a curated 50,000 piece collection of New Yorkers' trash dating back to the 1980s. NYC Department of Sanitation Garage, 24 Oct.
Behind-the-Scenes @ Eclectic Props, Largest Film & TV Prop Company in NY: An exclusive tour of Eclectic/Encore Props, New York City’s largest collections of antiques, furniture, and accessories for movies and TV on the East Coast. Eclectic/Encore Properties, 25 Oct.
NY Adventure Club Halloween Speakeasy @ Civic Club Mansion: Step back in time for an intimate and low-key Halloween gathering inside a private mansion originally built in 1899. Civic Club, 25 Oct.
The East River, From General Slocum Disaster to Abandoned Islands: In 1904, more than a thousand people boarded a boat in lower Manhattan, heading for a church picnic on Long Island — only 321 of them would return. A two-part aquatic adventure. Pier 11 / Wall St., 26 Oct.
Underground Manhattan, The History of the NYC Subway System: Explore the oldest subway stations in New York City working up from Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station to Grand Central Terminal. Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, 26 Oct.
Tour of the Loew's Valencia, NYC's First "Wonder Theatre": Wedged between a tiny linen store and discount clothing outlet in the heart of Jamaica, Queens, is a former theater that, just beyond the front doors, is one of the most impressive architectural masterpieces in all of New York. Tabernacle of Prayer for All People, Queens, 26 Oct.
Letterpress Tour & Hands-On Demo @ NYC's Largest Letterpress Studio: A rare look inside Woodside Press, New York City's largest traditional letterpress printing studio, best known for its amazing collection of classic typeface. Brooklyn Roasting Company (Building 92), 63 Flushing Avenue, Building 92, Brooklyn, 26 Oct., 12pm, $25.
Exploring the Origins of Baseball, from Bowery to Broadway: Uncover the origins of baseball, and trace the early history of the sport as it developed in New York. Chef Restaurant Supplies (Outside), 26 Oct.
Explore the Oldest Home in the U.S.: A private tour of the 1656 Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead, the oldest private dwelling in New York City, and arguably the United States. Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead (1656), Queens, 26 Oct.
Interactive Animal Experience @ Staten Island Zoo: Feed grapes to a joey, see Galapagos tortoises roll around on skateboards, or pet a slow-moving sloth. Staten Island Zoo, 27 Oct.
Brooklyn Nets (Barclay’s Center)
v. Toronto Raptors, 18 Oct., 7:30pm
v. Minnesota Timberwolves, 23 Oct., 7:30pm
v. New York Knicks, 25 Oct., 7:30pm
v. Indiana Pacers, 30 Oct., 7:30pm
New York Rangers (Madison Square Garden)
v. Vancouver Canucks, 20 Oct., 1pm
v. Arizona Coyotes, 22 Oct., 7pm
v. Buffalo Sabres, 24 Oct., 7pm
v. Boston Bruins, 27 Oct. 7pm
v. Tampa Bay Lightning, 29 Oct., 7:30pm
Mandolinist Chris Thile's, Live from Here, kinda rocks on radio. See it on stage.
Alicia Keys: 21 Oct., Barclays Center
Steely Dan: 15-22 Oct., Beacon Theatre
Preservation Hall Jazz Band: 24 Oct., Town Hall
Jenny Lewis: 24 Oct., Kings Theatre
Live from Here with Chris Thile w/Paul Simon & Rachael Price: 26 Oct., Town Hall
Sleater‐Kinney: 30 Oct., Kings Theatre; 31 October, Hammerstein Ballroom
Tony Kushner (Angels in America), revives a scorching new version of A Bright Room Called Day, the prescient 1985 masterwork suggesting the possibility of Reagan-era American fascism.
A Woman of the World: Best known as Emily Dickinson's posthumous editor, Mabel Loomis Todd wasn't afraid to expose her ankles in a dress. Now in her 70s, the accomplished journalist regales us with tales of her storied life. 59E59, 24 Oct., through 17 Nov.
Georgia Mertching is Dead: Gretchen, Emma and Whitney have been friends since they were teenagers. They set off on a road trip south to celebrate and mourn a figure from their past. Ensemble Studio Theatre, thru 27 Oct.
Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo: Rakugo is a 400-year-old tradition of comic storytelling in Japan. This storyteller is a blonde Canadian named Katsura Sunshine. New World Stages, thru 4 Jan.
The Michaels: Part of Richard Nelson’s critically acclaimed Rhinebeck Panorama. In the Michaels' kitchen Dinner is cooked, modern dances are rehearsed, and the meal is eaten — all amidst conversations how the world sees our country. The Public, thru 24 Nov.
Fires in the Mirror: Following the deaths of a Black American boy and a young Orthodox Jewish scholar in the summer of 1991,Brooklyn erupted into civil outbreak. Fires in the Mirror was Anna Deavere Smith’s groundbreaking response. Pershing Square Signature Center, thru 8 Dec.
Dr. Ride’s American Beach House: Hundreds of miles from Sally Ride’s historic space launch, a group of women with passionate opinions and no opportunities sit on a sweltering St. Louis rooftop — an intimate snapshot of queer anti-heroines. Ars Nova, 27 Barrow St., thru 23 Nov.
Cyrano:A raw and transporting new version of the classic tale of unrequited love and ghostwritten letters. Daryl Roth Theatre, thru 22 Dec.
A Bright Room Called Day: Agnes, an actress in Weimar Germany, and her cadre of passionate, progressive friends, are torn between protest, escape, and survival as the world they knew crumbles around them. Her story is interrupted by an American woman enraged by the cruelty of the Reagan administration. The Public, 29 Oct. thru 8 Dec.
Hamnet: Shakespeare had a son named Hamnet. He was 11 when he died. A tragedy that passed as barely a footnote in history. BAM Next Wave, Brooklyn, 30 Oct. thru 3 Nov.
The Day: Based on the events of 9/11, The Day isWendy Whelan’s collaborative sensory exploration through two journeys — life and the eternal, post-mortal voyage of the soul. The Joyce, 22-27 Oct.
Today’s subway poster is tomorrow’s museum exhibition. Come see a few Posters of the Japan Red Cross Society at the opening of Poster House, the first museum dedicated to the medium, in Chelsea.
Opening Exhibition, Poster House: Presentingf a global view of posters from their earliest appearance in the late 1800s, to their present-day use. Currently on exhibit “Posters from 2017 Women’s March”, “Hand Painted Movie Posters from Ghana” and “Japan Red Cross Society Posters”. Poster House, thru 5 Jan.
Shona McAndrew, Muse: 9 new paintings and 5 new sculptures based on the idea of women owning their surroundings physically, mentally and emotionally. Chart Gallery, 74 Franklin St., thru 2 Nov., Free.
MoMA reopens with Betye Saar, The Legends of Black Girl’s Window: In-depth solo exhibition exploring the deep ties between the artist’s iconic autobiographical assemblage Black Girl’s Window (1969) and her rare, early prints, made during the 1960s. MoMA, through 4 Jan.
Henry Taylor, Niece, Cousin, Kin, Look How Long It’s Been: Consistent with Taylor’s oeuvre, these new paintings weave together visual references spanning contemporary politics, American social adversity and works created in Senegal Blum and Poe, thru 21 Dec.
Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art: The first exhibition to explore the remarkable career of the influential founder of the Downtown Gallery who supported Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence and Georgia O'Keeffe. The Jewish Museum, thru 9 Feb.
Rachel Harrison, Life Hack: Harrison's complex works — in which readymades collude with invented forms — bring together the breadth of art history, the impurities of politics, and the artifacts of pop and celebrity culture. Whitney Museum, 25 Oct. thru 12 Jan.
Mark Twain and the Holy Land: Using original documents, photographs, artwork, and costumes, this exhibition commemorates the 150th anniversary of one of the best-selling travelogues of all time. New York Historical Society, 25 Oct. thru 2 Feb.
Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet: Presents pivotal moments in the artist's career through portraits, landscapes, and interior narratives that pulse with psychological tension. The Met, 29 Oct. thru 26 Jan.
Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Stuffed takes film buffs into the world of the creator and the collector.
Parasite: Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. These two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. IFC Center, West Village.
Cyrano, My Love: Edmond Rostand has not written anything for two years. In desperation, he offers the great Constant Coquelin a new play, a heroic comedy, in verse, for the holidays. He has only the title: "Cyrano de Bergerac". Angelika, West Village.
The Lighthouse: From Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind modern horror masterpiece The Witch, comes this hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. Angelika, West Village.
By the Grace of God: Alexandre, a fervent church-goer, learns that Father Preynat the priest who abused him when he was a Boy Scout, is still working with children. He decides to take action. Film Forum, SoHo.
The Elephant Queen: Athena is a mother who will do everything in her power to protect her herd when they are forced to leave their waterhole and embark on an epic journey across the African savannah in a tale of love, loss and coming home. Village East Cinema, East Village.
#Female Pleasure: Profiling five women fighting back against repressive cultural and religious traditions, Barbara Miller’s overview of the myriad ways in which women’s sexuality is controlled and subjugated. Village East Cinema, East Village.
Serendipity: Multi-disciplinary French artist Prune Nourry has gained international recognition for her thought- provoking, humorous projects. At 31, Prune is diagnosed with breast cancer. She starts documenting her treatment and its effect on her own body. Quad Cinema, West Village.