Saturday, November 21, 2015

Get Ready: Jeff Lynne's ELO

Jeff Lynne's ELO on BBC 2 in concert. Special treat- Richard Tandy from one of the earlier 1970s incarnations of the band on keyboards. A great great show of ELO Classics and some wonderful new tunes.

https://t.co/watch?v=mkfWbJkpfOY&itct=CBsQpDAYACITCPmxk8H-oskCFZRDvgodSMMObDIKd2F0Y2gtdnJlY0jvr8mFyuydtgg%3D

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Real Brooklyn Ghost Story

A true story first posted here in 2007.
Back in the day, well, sometime in the 1980s, when Reagan was as far-out and far-right a reaction to the Jimmy Carter years that the human mind could contemplate, you could still afford to rent your own apartment in Park Slope even though you were neither the employee nor scion of a hedge fund. Anyway, I lived on 7th street between 5th and 6th avenues. It wasn't a fancy hipster neighborhood, and as hard as it is to believe, we were were young once too and were probably the hippest things happening, but there was El Faro and Polly-O and Save on Fifth, and I was just leaving a public affairs and marketing writing job at local hospital (then known as the Park Slope Body Shop), and taking up freelancing for a number of film, engineering and trade mags, so I guess essentially life was good. I was living in the first floor of a brownstone; the owners, an older Italian American couple and their grown sons, lived in the upper floors. The husband of the couple grew his tomatoes and enjoyed his occasional chianti which reminded me alot of my maternal grandfather who had passed away shortly before I moved to this new place.

One day, after I was living in the building for a year or so, the elderly husband himself passed away rather suddenly. My girl friend at the time, the Art Director's Daughter, and I had spoken to the sons earlier in the day. It was the first night of the wake, the family left in the early afternoon and informed us that they would not be returning until much later in the evening. We were planning to pay our respects the following night. Anyway, at around 7:00 PM it started.

Footsteps. Nothing but footsteps, loud and clear, walking the length of the brownstone apartment above. A constant pacing that started near the front door, walked to the opposite end of the house, turned and walked back to the door. Slowly, methodically, but unmistakably. At first, I believe the radio was on, I could hear this strange pacing (they had no dogs or pets of any kind) only intermittently, until it finally made its way into our consciousness as the Art Director's Daughter and I made dinner. I turned off the radio. Then, when it was very quiet, a chill went up and down my spine as I listened to the mysterious, relentless pacing.Finally, I went upstairs to knock on the door, but of course no one answered. I could not see or hear anyone (or anything) through the door. Since it was clear no one was ransacking their apartment, there was nothing much else to be done. But when I returned downstairs, there it was again. We turned on some music. The Art Director's Daughter (who was a Red Diaper Baby) was a big fan of the Weavers and Pete Seeger, so we cranked up some of that beneficent, positive vibe, good time hammer and sickle music, and had another glass of wine.

I guess between the clomping, and the wine, and the Weavers, we distracted ourselves until it either stopped or we took less and less notice of it. A few hours later, when the family returned from the first night of the wake, we decided to throw caution to the wind and mention the strange noises, just in case someone had in fact broken in through a window.

The older son looked at us quizzically but went upstairs first to look around before his mom got out of the car. Nope. Everything was as it should be. "Maybe it was a sound from next door through the walls" he offered good naturedly. We apologized for bothering him, but he said, no, don't worry about it, I am glad that you let me know.

But, just as brownstone walls are thick, and floors in old houses can creak when you walk on them, I was sure that the old man had returned for a final visit, and was looking to see where his wife had hidden the chianti.

--Anthony Napoli --- Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Friday, September 25, 2015

Beyond the Celebrity Sighting

Francis's visit is a moment of grace, of reflection on the dignity of those who are struggling like all of us are struggling in modern society but whose struggle has fallen even more short than our own. Everyone deserves dignity. That is a message for me.
--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Blues: Canned Heat Live

Canned Heat at Woodstock. The now legendary blues band line up with the late Bob "The Bear" Hite on vocals, and sharing a cig with an audience stage crasher. "I believe .. A change will surely come"... And it did. It really really did.




Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Modern Way of Understanding

"Interpretation is not simply the compliment that mediocrity pays to genius-- it is indeed the modern way of understanding something and is applied to works of every quality."
--Susan Sontag
"Against Interpretation"

Walls

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Mothership Touches Down in Brooklyn


PFunk and George Clinton want to funk you up: The Mothership set down at Metrotech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn Thursday afternoon for a little transfusion from the Galactic over soul. The lunchtime crowd was not disappointed.




'(Anybody Goin' to) San Antone': The Late, Great Doug Sahm



Doug Sahm, child musical prodigy, co-founder of the Sir Douglas Quintet and originator of the Tex-Mex Sound, and Band perform 'Anybody Goin' to San Antone' in Austin Texas, 1975.

Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn holds a special and abiding affection for this tune.

Monday, July 13, 2015

How Can We Even Think of Dropping Him from the Ten Spot? 'Hamilton' goes to Broadway

This Founding Father, an immigrant from the Caribbean, whose amazing life encompassed sex scandals, intense political battles, and ended in gun violence, and whose vision led to the development of the American economy, may be dumped from the $10 bill to make way for the first woman. For reasons why there may be other, better candidates to replace (Andrew Jackson on the $20 is a popular choice), Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton', a hip hop retelling of his life will be exploding on Broadway with huge advance sales and lots of critical and audience anticipation.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two Louises at Storm King: Bourgeois & Nevelson Up Close


    
                  Royal Tide 1, 1960
                   Louise Nevelson 
                      (Excerpt below)
     


      


              Number Seventy-Two 
             (The No March), 1972
                 Louise Bourgeois

The two Louises, inhabiting the same space, for the viewer, a moment suspended in time, outside of time, the organic and the found, sacred, but simply one moment of many, of the  magic of the Storm King Art Center,  
New Windsor, NY





Monday, July 6, 2015

"Don't Worry Bout Me. No": The Grateful Dead's Final Shows.. & Legacy

Were they ever here at all?

They came. They saw. They conquered the hearts of generations of fans. With the close of the Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary Shows at Chicago's Soldier Field - site also of the final show where the late Jerry Garcia performed - the Grateful Dead move on into the stuff of memory - and legend.

Lots of parting shots -  

The New York Times on the Final Show:
The Grateful Dead Close Out Their Final Concert With Music and the Words ‘Please, Be Kind’: http://nyti.ms/1KJAkPL


Annotated hyperlinked compendium of Grateful Dead song lyrics via Open Culture http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/#songs

A recent Rolling Stone interview earlier this year with Robert Hunter, GD lyricist, in house poet, songwriting collaborator with Jerry Garcia http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/grateful-deads-robert-hunter-on-jerrys-final-days-we-were-brothers-20150311?page=2

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Grace Hartigan's 'Myth and Malls'at Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz


               Reisterstown Mall 1962 
                 by Grace Hartigan
Grace Hartigan 1922- 2008 was an Abstract Expressionist and member of the New York School of painters. Associated with artists such as Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, and writers such as Frank O'Connor, Hartigan continued exploring new directions in painterly expression parallel to her long career as a professor at the Maryland Institute School of Art.

SUNY New Paltz's Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is presenting a brief but very colorful exhibit on Ms Hartigan's work. Through July 12.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

What is Coding? A little bit of science, a little bit of soul

Great overview in Bloomberg Business Week by writer Paul Ford with interactive demonstration exercises on coding - the bones of contemporary technology and culture. A must read.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Anticipating Dark Futures and What Can Be Done


Nick Bostrum's Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies is an original and unsettling book that explores the possibile scenarios leading to the development of Artificial Intelligence, the risks for society and humanity, and the steps that could conceivably be taken to contain it as a service rather than a threat to our existence. 
 As an example, Bostrum discusses Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, generally conceived as both the first and last word on AI, and describes how these laws written in 1942 fall woefully short of the precautions and logical and philosophical structures that are required to avoid an AI apocalypse once the genie is out of the bottle. A complex, challenging but engrossing read.

--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Her Toys are Broken Boys: Ryuichi Sakamoto - YMO and Beyond

Ryuichi Sakamoto as part of Yellow Magic Orchestra performing "Nice Age"



And his later solo work the trance opera classic Harry to Hospital from Wild Palms a 1993 ABC mini series directed by Oliver Stone and written by Bruce Wagner


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rooftop Films: 'The Wolfpack' - Living Inside and Outside of a Cinema Reality





Director Crystal Moselle and the Angulo Brothers, stars of the documentary,The Wolfpack
 
Opening later this week, The Wolfpack had its NYC premier at Rooftop Films at Industry City in Brooklyn's Sunset Park. The film follows the emergence of the Angulo Brothers from a cloistered family life in their parents' Loisaida NYCHA apartment into what will certainly be even wider celebrity status following the film's opening. Through director Moselle's footage and extensive family home movies we watch the guys stage Batman, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and other films as their homeschooled homebound childhood/adolescence served as the stage setting for a UCLA- USC- or NYU-worthy cinema education. 

Although they were prevented from venturing out into the Mean Streets by their parents they had extensive access to films and videos. But it wasn't clear if they had exposure to mass media as the boys did not have access to computers or presumably the web and only recently learned of Google as a verb.

The limitations of their early lives seemed so extreme that their skillful use of language and art and their film knowledges had me momentarily wondering if this would prove to be some  kind of hoax. But then although they appeared fairly comfortable and adept at handling the post-screening Q & A with their director, what seems like a fairy tale with a happy ending is clearly a more complex and human story as it appears they are continuing to take major and difficult steps toward independence and socialization in the larger world though now with the support of their proud and warm mom.
 
The Wolfpack opens in NYC on June 12. The Rooftop Films 2015 season, off to a bang up start,continues. http://rooftopfilms.com/

The evening opened with a cool and dreamlike performance by Nicholas Nicholas. The band's understated melodic explorations were a great counterpoint as Night fell over NYC and the planet Venus appeared in the late spring sky.

--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rooftop Films summer kickoff with 7 Chinese Brothers starring Jason Schwartzman



It must be summer --- Rooftop Films releases another exciting schedule of outdoor movies. Tickets available online.Tonight - Brooklyn premier of Bob Byington's  7 Chinese Brothers starring Jason Schwartzman .. Later this season The Wolfpack, Welcome to Leith, and many others, scheduled for various Brooklyn locations: Gowanus, Sunset Park and Metrotech Commons. Happy Summer. Details here

NYT: 'Havana' - A Biennial and a New Relationship- & Artistic Freedom?

Holland Cotter in the NY Times:  "If the 12th Havana Biennial has any theme, it is Havana itself. The kind of shop-window viewing favored by more conventional shows is discouraged; so is celebrity spotting."

DITHOB: Nevertheless the hope and opportunity of this new relationship has already been marred by the arrest last week of a Cuban artist for a public pro-democracy performance. Clearly this new relationship with the U.S. may remain  delicate but the support of free speech and artistic expression must remain an absolute condition. If the Administration and the Cuban governent have a vision and an agenda beyond investment and new market opportunities this is the perfect opportunity to express it, on behalf of performance artist Tania Bruguera.


Holland Cotter's report:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/30/arts/design/the-havana-biennial-is-running-at-full-throttle.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Politics Behind the Killing of Osama Bin Ladin

Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books on The Killing of Osama Bin Ladin
And the political jockeying, intrigue and dissimulation that accompanied it 

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden

A Slate interview with Mr Hersh on the LRB article 
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/05/seymour_hersh_interview_on_his_bin_laden_story_the_new_yorker_journalism.html

Friday, May 15, 2015

Museum Days: Reflections on An Institution on Eastern Parkway

A year or so ago I attended, with My Better Half, an evening workshop at the Brooklyn Museum for art educators, as her guest. It was held in the Museum's Beaux Arts Court.

As a special education/art teacher working with emotionally disabled and autistic kids in Bushwick, she seems to achieve an amazing instructional collaboration with her students, who for the most part have deep communication and developmental  issues,  yet they nevertheless continue to win recognition and awards for their art when submitted to student competitions. Given the daily challenge of her work, she is constantly on the search for opportunities to develop her own artistic practice as well as share strategies and experiences with other NYC teachers. Thus her attendance at this workshop, which I attended as a guest.

At one point, a gentleman appeared in the mix of Museum staff and visiting teachers. He was definitely low key and unprepossessing, in height, in appearance, in dress, and, as I recall, in his need of a shave.  He asked what the event was about, and I explained, and we chatted a bit. When he read my name tag, and I asked his, and I realized it was Arnold Lehman, Director of the Museum, I think I went on a verbal tear, expressing my lifelong love for the Museum, having walked here to visit and wander around since as far back as I can recall in my childhood.

I didn't mention that when I first met my wife, she was working at the Museum, as an assistant in one of the curatorial departments. Before we were "involved" we also happened to take a silk screen class together back in the old Brooklyn Museum Art School in the 1980s.  I was a novice, whereas she was working on more advanced projects. While we were dating, I remember renting a car to take a trip with her to the shore. I drove into the driveway in front of the old heavily fortified brick and iron entrance to the Museum to pick her up after work. I think she was a little embarrassed as the only car I was able to rent was a large red Eldorado - sort of like Damian Hirst's shark from the infamous 1999 Brooklyn Museum Sensations Show.

I did mention to Mr. Lehman how I felt that the Museum was so ingrained in my soul and that I was so accustomed to entering the edifice through that same brick and iron fortification since childhood, that now,  I was brought to tears of joy when I first entered the renovated, contemporary entrance.  In reflecting back on it now, those tears were filled with inspiration and happiness, mirth and awe, as the space had been transformed, all glass and joy, echoing, to me, at once, the Louvre, a prism,  the Apple Store, like a glass sculpture harmonizing the delicacy and mystery of the spheres, but also reflecting the delight brought by changes that sing a song that is at once of the sacred, the profane and everything in between.

Mr. Lehman's time at the Brooklyn Museum, while it may be remembered more for battling the small-minded aesthetics of a provincial Mayor, was clearly also one of great accomplishment given the very broad range of work that entered its collection, as reflected in the current show "Diverse Works: Director's Choice 1997-2015," a terrific show very much worth seeing and the changes in the Museum with regard to its embracing contemporary, modern and classic art and design, as well as the needs of the communities in Brooklyn it serves. I  was prompted to the above rumination by an interview with Mr. Lehman in the NY Observer. A must read if you are interested in museums and curatorial culture. But also an unexpected reminder that the Brooklyn Museum, while it will continue to move forward in dramatic and exciting directions with the selection of Creative Times' Ann Pasternak as the next Director, but at the same time it will be losing a brave and invaluable work of art, a treasure, with the retirement of Mr. Lehman.

The full interview in the NY Observer appears here  
--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summ-Summ-Summertime: Rooftop Films Schedule Released

It must be summer --- Rooftop Films releases another exciting schedule of outdoor movies. Tickets available online. 7 Chinese Brothers with Jason Schwartzman certainly piques my interest, along with The Wolfpack, Welcome to Leith, and many others, scheduled for various Brooklyn locations: Gowanus, Sunset Park and Metrotech Commons. Happy Summer. Details here

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sakura Matsuri on a Little Street


Reports from the Field indicate the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is jammed for its annual spring event but here in Flatbush, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn, despite the cooler temperatures, we are having our own Sakura Matsuri with the bright pink explosion of soft color in front of our home in Fiske Terrace.
Photos by Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn


Friday, April 24, 2015

Loretta Lynch Confirmed as Attorney General

Despite the political foot dragging of the GOP, the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States, the first woman of color to hold that post, represents another huge step in the long march toward equality and democratic values in this country. Although it should only be anecdote to her impressive record, the fact that this represents a significant step both in both racial and gender equality in the U.S., that the top law official in the U.S. Government is a woman of color, it is as significant as the election of President Obama. And with the hope that in her 18 months in office she can further address her goal of bringing police and minority communities together and fight human trafficking it is another very proud day to be an American.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NYC Art: Light, Dark and Everything in Between


Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I at the Neue Galerie and featured at the heart of Simon Curtis's film Woman in Gold

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Tuxedo 1982 from Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum




Monday, March 30, 2015

"When ev’rything I’m a-sayin’/You can say it just as good": One Too Many Mornings



'Love and Theft' and Art and Reinvention: Bob Dylan and the Band from "The Basement Tapes Raw" (Bootleg Series: Vol. 11)


Friday, February 27, 2015

Critical Knowledge: "What Isis Really Wants" in The Atlantic

Graeme Wood's article in the March 2015 issue of The Atlantic explores the complications and contradictions of the group waging their own 'Crusade' (what else can you call it?) in the Middle East, destroying, enslaving and murdering Muslims and non-Muslims alike, with medieval zeal. Their Islamic beliefs may not reflect those of the more assimilated, law-abiding followers of Islam, but make no mistake, writes Mr. Wood, "The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam."

"The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million." ...

Full article from The Atlantic here

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Solzhenitsyn, Putin and the New Old Russia

In an article in Politico, Peter Eltsov explores the improbably relationship between Russian leader and former KGB official Vladimir Putin and the late author/dissident/KGB target Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

"Indeed, it is one of history’s ironies that the No. 1 internal enemy of the Soviet Union has now become a spiritual guru to a former KGB officer who repeatedly voices nostalgia for Soviet times. For years before his death, the fiercely patriotic Solzhenitsyn suggested that post-Soviet Russia must include Ukraine. Solzhenitsyn did not see the Ukrainians as a separate nation: “All the talk of a separate Ukrainian people existing since something like the ninth century and possessing its own non-Russian language is recently invented falsehood,” he wrote in a 1990 essay, “Rebuilding Russia: Reflections and Tentative Proposals.”

Full article here

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Freedom Now, Freedom Forever: Cui Jian "Nothing to My Name"


Using the metaphor of a young guy talking to his girlfriend, who rejects him because he has nothing, Cui Jian, preeminent Chinese musician, in the 1980s, sang about a generation yearning for freedom.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968



Photos from the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Dr. King Historical National Memorial Site in Atlanta by Tony Napoli
 
While it seems the journey may never be complete, and like the great figures from the Bible he himself did not see the Promised Land, Dr. King moved mountains, and whether it was with his profound vision and humanism, or Divine Grace, he brought America forward, leading Presidents, and the American people, on our continuing journey toward equality and freedom.
--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Thomas Merton: Writer, Mystic, Spiritual Seeker

What's the opposite of an encomium? Poet Thomas Merton explored this in "Hymn of Not Much Praise for New York City"; Merton, a Trappist monk who became an ordained priest, was a writer, mystic, and social activist and philosopher, who died in 1968. January 31 reflects the Centenary of his birth to expat New Zealander and American artists in France.

Thomas Merton

Other work by Merton at the Poetry Foundation website here

His The Seven Storey Mountain, first published in 1948, by Harcourt Brace, remains a classic spiritual autobiography of a modern seeker.

More writings about Merton here

--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Coda: Four Jewish Murdered Hostages in Paris Identified

P4:45 P.M. The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions has released the names of the four hostages killed at the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday: Yoav Hattab, 21, Philippe Braham, in his 40s, Yohan Cohen, 22, and Fran├žois-Michel Saada, reportedly in his 60s. According to reports, Hattab is the son Betto Hattab, the rabbi of La Grand Synagogue in Tunis. (Haaretz). 

Further reportage from Haaretz here Paris shooting updates

After Paris, Time to Drop the "T" Word

Tired of seeing the portraits of the three murderers of Paris -- let's see portraits of those killed. The innocent folks killed in the kosher supermarket just because they were Jewish - now the world can see the true identity of Al Qaeda-allied terror. It's not just about "Zionists"-- their targets are all Jews and opponents to their self-styled regimes. But as Haffner described about Hitler -- it's hate and murderous anti-Semitism at the dark heart of their actions, not defense of some imaginary realm or leader.

 Tired of hearing the words "terror" and "terrorists"-- Jean Baudrillard long ago, after 9/11 discussed the new forms of this word that gain strength by playing on the use of violent gestures magnified by the global media spectacle as political tools. "Terror" implies that we in democracies are afraid or terrorized. We are disturbed and outraged, angered and hurt, as humans and humanists, as democratically free peoples who choose to live under the rule of law and justice, not under the whip and the beheading and medieval codes of violence. So let's dial down on use of the words terror and terrorists that have already become almost meaningless labels and descriptors that reflect more on the presumed impact of these actions on us, democratically free peoples in whose societies these criminals are sadly able to operate with greater freedom. Let's just recognize all of these villains as the criminals, law breakers,  kidnappers and murderers that they are.

Though it will take time, they will no doubt eventually be destroyed as was Hitler and in turn will destroy themselves. But democratic nations must be resolute and never surrender to the evil of theocratic extremists. 
 
Sure, #JeSuisCharlie, #JeSuisAhmed. But also let's never forget "#JeSuisJuif". And while we are at it, JeSuisDemocracy, indeed.

--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Friday, January 9, 2015

Brother Francis - traces, words, images

On a windy and snowy Friday, up the marble steps and in the distinguished chambers of Brooklyn Borough Hall, a remarkable event is underway. For the first time in 700 years, a collection of hand-written, 13th century manuscripts concerning St. Francis of Assisi have left Italy and, following a stop at the United Nations, they are on public display at 290 Joralemon Street, the seat of local government in Kings County. 

The exhibit constitutes a variety of manuscripts and documents that directly and indirectly provide information and evidence about the life of Francis, including Francis' personal note to another friar ("Brother Leo..Health and peace!...), a papal instrument on the  founding of the Franciscan order, and the text of the saint's Canticle for the Creatures, for which he is well known, among other treasures.

As Borough President Eric Adams, who agreed to host this unique and special event, noted: "St. Francis, one of the most venerated religious figures in history who abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to charity, love and serving the poor. We have an opportunity to reflect upon the messages in these texts, including love for all creatures, and compassion for the less fortunate in our society." 

Frate Francis: traces, words, images is indeed an inspiring and timely exhibit.

Accompanied by an occasional speaker series on the manuscripts and the life of St. Francis, the exhibit closes next Wednesday, January 14. For further information, visit the Brooklyn Borough Hall website here

--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

"We Can Talk"



The Band performance at Woodstock, 1969.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Chris Ofili at The New Museum



British artist Chris Ofili is probably best known for his Painting The Holy Virgin which included clumps of elephant dung and which led then NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1999 to threaten to defund the Brooklyn Museum which included the painting as part of its memorable "Sensations" exhibit. 

Well the Museum's director Arnold Lehman who will be retiring in the new year stood up to the Mayor and the contretemps passed.

A major retrospective of Mr Ofili's work is on display in a show at the New Museum on the Bowery that will be closing later this month. From his more well known earlier works combining layers of paint and multi media - including elephant dung-- and later works such as Afronirvana (above), and the infamous Holy Virgin Mary (below) and other engaging works created in the early 2000s while he was living inTrinidad, Mr Ofili's Night and Day at the New Museum is a not-to-be missed show of an exciting contemporary artist whose work remains spiritual, provocative, and inhabiting a world palette that is at the same time distinctly British.

-Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Current Reading

  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War- Tony Horwitz
  • A Sultan in Palermo - Tariq Ali
  • Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens
  • Negropedia- Patrice Evans
  • Dead Funny: Humor in Nazi Germany - Rudolph Herzog
  • Exile on Main Street - Robert Greenfield
  • Among the Truthers - A Journey Among America's Growing Conspiracist Underworld - Jonathan Kay
  • Paradise Lost - John Milton
  • What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Thinking the Unthinkable - John Brockman
  • Notes from the Edge Times - Daniel Pinchbeck
  • Fringe-ology: How I Can't Explain Away the Unexplainable- Steve Volk
  • Un Juif pour l'exemple (translated as A Jew Must Die )- Jacques Cheesex
  • The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
  • Pale King - David Foster Wallce
  • David Bowie: Starman bio - Paul Trynka
  • Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen
  • The Future of Nostalgia -Svetlana Boym
  • Living in the End Times - Slavoj ZIzek
  • FIrst as Tragedy Next as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Daniel Wilson
  • Where is My Jet Pack? -Daniel Wilson
  • Day of the Oprichniks - Vladimir Sorokin
  • Ice Trilogy - Vladimir Sorokin
  • First Civilizations
  • Oscar Wilde -Andre Maurois
  • The Beats - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • SDS - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • The Unfinished Animal - Theodore Roszak
  • Friends of Eddy Coyle
  • Brooklands -Emily Barton
  • Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahme-Smith - Entertaining and historical
  • Dictionary of the Khazars - Pavic
  • Sloth-Gilbert Hernandez
  • War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy
  • Charles Addams: An Evilution
  • Life in Ancient Greece
  • Time - Eva Hoffmann
  • Violence - S. Zizek
  • Luba - a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Great Apes - Will Self - riveting and disturbing
  • Lost Honor of Katherina Blum - Heinrich Boll - could not put it down
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed (author deserving of new wide readership)
  • Living in Ancient Mesopotomia
  • Landscape in Concrete - Jakov Lind - surreal
  • 'There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby'-Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - creepy stories - translation feels literarily "thin"
  • Mythologies - William Butler Yeats (re-read again & again)
  • How German Is It ? - Walter Abish
  • The Book of Genesis - illustrated by R. Crumb - visionary
  • "Flags" - an illustrated encyclopedia - wish I could remember all of these. Flag culture
  • Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ubik - Philip K. Dick
  • Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
  • Hitler's Empire - Mark Mazower
  • Nazi Culture - various authors
  • Master Plan: Himmler 's Scholars and the Holocaust - Heather Pringle
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
  • Living in Ancient Rome
  • Traveling with Herodotus -R. Kapuszynsky
  • Oblivion - David Foster Wallace - Some of his greatest work
  • Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace - still wrestling with this great book
  • Netherland - Joseph O'Neill - staggeringly great read
  • Renegade - The Obama Campaign - Richard Wolffe
  • Mount Analogue - Rene Daumal
  • John Brown
  • Anathem - Neal Stephenson - love Stephenson but tough slogging first few chapters
  • 7 Deadly Sins
  • ALEX COX - Alex Cox
  • FIASCO by Thomas Ricks
  • I, Fellini - Charlotte Chandler & Federico Fellini
  • Best of 20th century alternative history fiction
  • Judah P. Benjamin - Eli Evans - Confederacy's Secretary of State & source of the W.C. Field's exclamation
  • Moscow 2042 - Vladimir Voinovich - Pre-1989 curiosity & entertaining sci fi read; love his portrayal of Solzhenitsyn-like character
  • Gomorrah - Roberto Saviano - Mafia without the It-Am sugar coating. Brutal & disturbing
  • The Sack of Rome - Celebrity+Media+Money=Silvio Berlusconi - Alexander Stille
  • Reporting - David Remnick - terrific journalism
  • Fassbinder
  • Indignation - Philip Roth
  • Rome
  • Let's Go Italy! 2008
  • Italian Phrases for Dummies
  • How to Pack
  • Violence - Slavoj Zizek
  • Dali: Painting & Film
  • The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Jimmy Breslin
  • The Good Rat - Jimmy Breslin
  • Spook Country - William Gibson
  • A Blue Hand - The Beats in India - Deborah Baker
  • The Metaphysical Club - Louis Menard
  • Coast of Utopia - Tom Stoppard
  • Physics of the Impossible - Dr. Michio Kaku
  • Managing the Unexpected - Weick & Sutcliffe
  • Wait Til The Midnight Hour - Writings on Black Power
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed
  • Burning Down the Masters' House - Jayson Blair
  • Howl - Allen Ginsberg
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Palace Thief - Ethan Canin
  • John Adams - David McCullough
  • The Wooden Sea - Jonathan Carroll
  • American Gangster - Mark Jacobson
  • Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Gawker Guide to Becoming King of All Media
  • Jews and Power - Ruth Wisse
  • Youth Without Youth - Mircea Eliade
  • A Team of Rivals - Doris Goodwin
  • Ghost Hunters -William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death - Deborah Blum
  • Dream -Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy - Stephen Duncombe
  • Love & Theft - Eric Lott
  • Exit Ghost - Philip Roth
  • Studio A - The Bob Dylan Reader

Current Listening

  • Alexi Murdoch Wait
  • Wilco Summer Teeth
  • Wilco The Album
  • Carmina Burana - Ray Manzarek (& Michael Riesmann)
  • Polyrock - Polyrock
  • 96 Tears - Garland Jeffries
  • Ghost of a Chance Garland Jeffries
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Mustang Sally Buddy Guy
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Black and White Years
  • Together Through Life - B. Dylan
  • 100 Days 100 Nites - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
  • DYLAN: 3 disc Greatest...
  • Glassworks - Philip Glass
  • Wild Palms - Soundtrack -Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Dinah Washington - Best of..
  • Commander Cody& His Lost Planet Airmen Live at Armadillo