Spec Boogie | Bed Stuy
In these photographs, you will not see the common images of black Americans — downtrodden rural or urban citizens. Instead, you will see a people of great pride and fascinating beauty.
it felt like i knew you…, 2012 - ongoingI ride the NYC subway trains, usually in the evening when the seats are full. I focus on the shape of the space between the person sitting next to me and myself. I attempt to mentally and emotionally re-sculpt that space. In my mind, I reshape it- from the stiff and guarded space between strangers to the soft and yielding space between friends. I direct all my energy to this space between us. When the space palpably changes, and I completely feel like the stranger sitting next to me is my friend, I rest my head on that person’s shoulder…
Supernat and Smif-n-Wessun freestyle over Gangstarr’s Code of the Streets in the Kiss FM studio as they watch a New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers game on the box. As you’ll hear, ‘Knicks Killer’ Reggie Miller is bodying the Knicks with his 3 pointers as Nat and the Clik get emotional.
Never knew what show this was off, but it was 98.7 Kiss FM in New York.
At a guess it was Spring ‘94 but any help with an I.D. truly appreciated.
jose james’ tribute to a native New York son
We were beefing with these guys called the Puma Boys. It was 1976, and I lived in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and these guys were from my neighborhood. At that time I was running with a Rutland Road crew called the Cats, a bunch of Caribbean guys from nearby Crown Heights. We were a burglary team, and some of our gangster friends had an altercation with the Puma Boys, so we were going to the park to back them up. We normally didn’t deal with guns, but these were our friends, so we stole a bunch of shit: some pistols, a .357 Magnum, and a long M1 rifle with a bayonet attached from World War II. You never knew what you’d find when you broke into people’s houses.
So we’re walking through the streets holding our guns, and nobody runs up on us, no cops are around to stop us. We didn’t even have a bag to put the big rifle in, so we just took turns carrying it every few blocks.
“Yo, there he goes!” my friend Haitian Ron said. “The guy with the red Pumas and the red mock neck.”
When we started running, the huge crowd in the park opened up like Moses parting the Red Sea. It was a good thing they did, because, boom, one of my friends opened fire. Everybody scrambled when they heard the gun.
I realized that some of the Puma Boys had taken cover between the parked cars in the street. I had the M1 rifle, and I turned around quickly to see this big guy with his pistol pointed toward me.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” he said to me. It was my older brother, Rodney. “Get the fuck out of here.”
I just kept walking and left the park and went home. I was 10 years old.
Gilles Peress. Breezy Point, Queens. The Day After.
Way back during Postcards IV, Gilles was heading to Florida when Hurricane Sandy struck the New York area. Florida, as a symbol of escape, took on a new resonance as he toured the battered boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and the fierce presidential election playing out scanned differently when viewed against the abandoned streets of the Rockaways.
On October 30, The Rockaways will be released in book form, for free, by the Concord Free Press. Readers will be asked only to make a donation to a charity of their choice, and to pass the book along to a subsequent reader. The New York Times has the details.
Disasters today are captured by a million cell phones, but Gilles does something else: He uses the temporary halt in the American messaging machine caused by the hurricane to reveal an underlying social structure, always present but difficult to see amidst competing narratives, and to make larger points about class, history, and the construction of the urban landscape.
Check out the book. It’s free, and more than worth it.
The Sweet Science Suite premieres at BAM this Friday. Illustrator Nathan Gelgud took a look at Muhammad Ali, the chief inspiration for Fred Ho’s latest work, by reading David Remnick’s excellent biography of the great fighter, King of the World.