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Tag Archives: Long Island City
When we exited the subway station at Court Street in Long Island City in Queens, we could already hear music bouncing and echoing from down the nearly empty street. The music lured us closer, until I saw the painted letters PS1 looming over a courtyard, and realized that was the other dance party in the neighborhood, put on by the MoMA offshoot. (As one person put it later in a text, “How many giant parties can one neighborhood have??”) We we turned around and went back the other way and found what we came for: The Palms.
Inside the fenced yard, under strings of lights, revelers lounged in a hammock, gossiped on towels crowded under striped beach awnings, played volleyball and ping pong, and nodded to the heavy bass electronic of Small Black. Up on a high deck, more partiers frolicked in dumpsters retrofitted as pools. Beach balls bounced around, and glass office buildings rose shining around us into the fast-fading summer sky. We grabbed a couple PBRs from the bar and set about the party taking pictures.
The crowd was…different. With Electric Zoo, Burning Man, and one other party going on in Brooklyn whose name escapes me, along with the fact that it was Labor Day weekend, the party was almost free of the usual interesting characters who usually stock the Danger/Third Ward parties. It was packed with photographers, all taking pictures of people and each other (we may have been in Queens, but it was a Brooklyn party at heart.) One big self-referencing fest. We met a woman when she snapped several photos of me–she takes trend reference photos, and also does modeling for painter Philip Pearlstein. We also met another pretentious photographer. He was pretty insufferable (“Oh, I have 130 lenses, it’s hard to keep track.”), but he pulled out his Netbook and showed me all his photos from the September 2010 Danger Party, including pictures of the naked hot tub from above. Ooh la la! There were also some pretty people, but also a lot of nerds too, including what looked like somebody’s pot-bellied uncle with a Hawaiian hat jamming out to the music. He looked pretty happy, though, so it was OK.
Meanwhile, as it grew dark, the debauchery started. Two young ladies climbed up on top of a wooden box and shimmied about in their underwear. (Don’t be disappointed you missed it, they weren’t exactly Victoria Secret models.) The smell of pot drifted around us as we sat in chaise lounges and talked with acquaintances. Up on the deck, there was some terrible “synchronized swimming” which consisted of women in crazy costumes doing interpretive dances not quite in time with each other.
We missed Luke’s Lobster, but the Jamaican Dutchy truck pulled in, and offered up jerk chicken and curried goat to hoards of hungry partiers.
Around midnight the music started inside the building, which resembled a small-town event center. Amateur break dancers showed off to old school rap in the center of the dance floor and in the corner friends crowded around a jury rigged photo booth, whose shots were projected on another wall.
As far as Danger Parties go, it was pretty tame. I expected a rager, but the crowd peaked around 11pm and then thinned out from there. We rolled out around two, satisfied that it probably wouldn’t get much more interesting.
We had a good time, though, and it was a fitting, low-key end to a New York summer.
Also, you may be wondering what this has to do with sustainability. Um, recycled dumpsters? Honestly, the party could have used recycling bins. We couldn’t find a legitimate place to put our spent beers. On the other hand, it’s more sustainable than going to Meatpacking! And much more pleasant, really. I’ll be looking forward to their next collab with 3rd Ward.
Check out the rest of the photos by Trevor Wilson in the slideshow below:
The PS1 Contemporary Art Center is an offbeat offshoot of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. It’s housed in an old Public School (hence the name) in Long Island City, only a few stops away from the hubub of upscale commercial activity by 5th Avenue. But it seems to inhabit its own world of quiet thought.
Nothing is pretentious, everything is beautiful – or at least interesting. A couple weeks before Christmas, I found myself with a free day and a free ticket, and decided to venture over. The day was cold and overcast, like a wet blanket laid across the sky, so I bundled up before I set out.
Even as Manhattan teemed with gawking tourists and cranky Christmas shoppers, this industrial-ish area was empty and quiet. I picked my way around some workers putting up a new installation in PS1′s courtyard (something to do with felt) and up the steps. After I bought my ticket, I set off through the white-walled renovated classrooms, my footsteps echoing. So different from the main MoMA, where I had to elbow my way through the Tim Burton exhibit.
Downstairs were various student pieces (gorgeous). I took a couple pictures, until I got fussed at by a guard. There’s also a piece called “Swimming pool,” by Leandro Erlich, with a twist. That’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to ruin the surprise!
The next floor took me through a several rooms filled with modern conceptual pieces from 1969. It was like taking a trip back in time and having a conversation with artists who were influenced and inspired by the Vietnam War, campus protests, and the Civil Rights movement.
But the top floor, oh, that was my favorite. Well, it’s a bit of a weird setup. Most of the rooms are just art classrooms or administrative offices. It seemed like I could have wandered right in and had a conversation with the curator.
The room that took my breath away – or rather, gave it back – was the open air room. As the door opened and another visitor came out, I was caressed by a breeze of cool air. I walked into the small, spare space and sat down on a teak wood bench that hugged the square wall. Others sat quietly as well. And we all stared up at the sky.
You see, there was a square hole in the ceiling. There was no molding or trim. For a moment I wondered if I was looking at a window, or a picture of the sky. But it was just the sky itself. The light was slowly fading, and I sat there, silently watching the sky turn blue and purple. Sometimes a seagull would wheel into the frame and I would contemplate it as it moved in and then out of my view.
I would never sit and watch this on a TV, or a computer monitor. But I was entranced by the sky. I thought back to my childhood, when I would lay on my bed and watch the clouds move past through my skylight. I lost track of time, and when I left, I felt peaceful and happy.
When I got outside, I checked my phone and saw a missed call from Ogilvy. They were calling to say I got the job.