Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Big Apple Mysteries

This issue's secrets will thrill and chill you to the bone!

Scouting New York explores the Mystery of the West Village Camper!

Jeremiah uncovers a secret porno theater in the Case of Times Square's Missing Past!

Ephemeral New York asks Who Watches You on the Streets of New York?

The Bowery Boys want to know: Is Mayor Mike Taking us Back in Time?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

NYC Comics

“There’s this kinetic energy that, if you have a dream and ambition, and you want to make something, you come here. The minute your foot hits the ground it’s in this groove and you’re doing and meeting other people who are the same vibe. It’s so easy to make something here if you want it, and if you want to do the work for it.”

Chris Irving of Graphic NYC checks in with an excellent look at graphic novelist Christine Norrie. The interview covers many topics, including Christine's views on the city and romance:

“Is there such a thing as real romance?” Christine poses as she adjusts her maroon scarf. “Its just drama, 24/7. I feel like romance and love, which I’m all about, is also one of the beautiful and crushing things we do to each other. It can be so hurtful and painful, also wonderful and uplifting, except there are no rules, no formula, and so many, many variables. I know everybody goes about it differently, and there’s great love out there, but there’s also such great sorrow.”
(Norrie's "Cheat", from Oni Press)

Irving also has a piece in New York Magazine exploring some of the comic book landmarks of New York City. The article highlights locations with additional fictional histories (such as the George Washington Bridge, where the Green Goblin killed Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacey), and also places of historical significance to the comic industry, which has roots deep in NYC (including DeWitt Clinton High School, alama mater of Will Eisner, Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Stan Lee, amongst others).

Also at NY Mag is a brief list of the top New York comics, as selected by some of New York's many comic writers and artists. The attempt to call the list a canon is charming in its pretension, but there are some great works included.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The People in Your Neighborhood.

It has been an interesting few days. I got together with DJ Belladonna at The Quays this weekend to discuss the state of nightlife in Astoria. Her regular Subkulture and Grooveskool nights at Hell Gate Social have been growing every month. She's also a Queens native, which made me feel a bit less self-conscious about wanting to see my kind of nightlife in Astoria. There is always this sort of fear that working in that direction would make me one of those transplants. An interloper who ruins what's good about a neighborhood. Having first-hand confirmation that there are people who've lived here all of their lives want a stronger nightlife makes me less wary about working towards that.

We discussed a lot of the positive growth seen over the last year or so. Why Leave Astoria?, a social networking site for the neighborhood, run by Ran Caycraft, has played a key role in connecting Astorians with others in the community who are interested in the same things. The site seems to largely cater to the 20s to 30s crowd, but it does so very well. They've recently introduced a Perks Card, which gives access to discounts throughout Astoria.

I think the part I like most about WLA is that it is building community amongst the people who haven't lived here all of their lives. It is very easy to live in a neighborhood like Astoria, enjoy the restaurants and shops, and never really know your neighbors. But that leaves out crucial parts of the Astoria experience. You're not really a part of the neighborhood if you don't participate. You just live here.