Photo courtesy by BangOn! NYC (cc)
“In 2011, America held between an old generation that believed a person achieved their dreams through hard work and a new generation that was all about the alteration. In 1995, the Internet entered into the public consciousness; it was something new, something that has never existed before. An Axis Mundi weapon, with the power to change thoughts and minds, not just the physical body. In 2011, the new generation actuated the arm and shifted the global awareness to a new age: The Age of Consciousness!” Said Ariel De Lion, noted Intellectual and community personnel I met for a series of articles about the shift from the Lower East Side to the creation of a new independent cultural sector in New York, Bushwick.
- Lower East Side, New York, June 2011: The Ludlow Studio
For almost two decades, Marco Megira operated (on the down-low) an old grungy rehearsal space on 177 Ludlow Street, under an organic market called "Earth Matters," across from "Max Fish" and "The Pink Pony." To get in, you must be in excellent shape. Walking under dripping pipes and through an L-shaped tunnel, narrowed by parked zombie bikes and worn raw food. The last place you will ever imagine to see a whole camera crew sneaking in on an early afternoon.
Inside, vegetating on a pile of velvet pillows was a ‘space Phantom,' Mosh Susser. Having a ‘space Phantom' used to be a common practice in most respectful places in the Lower East Side. Not aware of anything, Mosh open his eyes to an excited Lady Gaga!
"This place used to be known as 'The Ludlow Studio.' Dirty, grungy, smelly rooms. One of Lower East Side's long forgotten Myths." She saidto her crew.
- Lower East Side, New York, August 2011
Shortly after that, Marco became eager to reopen the Ludlow Studio and fortuitously met Ariel De Lion, an Israeli subculture pioneer and touring musician. Marco took Ariel down the dark stairs telling him the ‘Lady Gaga story' for what seemed to be the millionth time. As they stepped into the void of the L-shaped tunnel, Mosh was on his way out pushing aside zombie bikes and mess, but there was no room for a ‘two-way movement.' As a result, Mosh went back to the studio and stayed there, as the last of the Phantoms, to help Ariel revive the Ludlow Studio into what appeared to be, one of the last Dirty, Grungy, Smelly endeavors in the Lower East Side.
Ariel De Lion. Photo by Ian P. Clifford
Ariel was not excited about opening another rehearsal room in a neighborhood under heavy gentrification. He had hoped to open an Internet radio station, like the East Village Radio, but talk radio with live music. Marco liked the idea and funded it. In three weeks, LES.FM, Lower East Side Radio, was ON-AIR!
- Bushwick, New York, August 2011: House of Yes
Meanwhile, in Bushwick, House of Yes established in 2008 by Anya Sapozhnikova and Kae Burke in a former ice-house on Maujer Street in Bushwick industrial area. Venue to Make Fun costumes, with a music studio, event space and an aerial circus school known as Sky Box with classes six days a week. By summer 2011, it evolved into a center for creative culture events and began hosting fashion shows, movie screenings, events of all sorts, aerial theater shows and circus spectacles. Will Etundi and James Arthur Vogel of The Danger, threw huge parties next door at Third Ward attracting people from the city, and few exclusive events at their loft space.
BangOn! NYC Photo by Daniel Leinweber at Razberry Photography
From another angle, BangOn! NYC, founded by Brett Herman, and Timothy F Monkiewicz started with monthly events at The Living Theatre in the Lower East Side, and House of Yes, and quickly reached the status of festivals and holidays only. Their events in Bushwick passed five thousand people, international D.J's, craft bazaars and art spectacles.
- Lower East Side, New York, September 2011: THE SHIFT.
Equipped with a new Radio station and a record deal with Universal Music Group, Ariel De Lion felt the sky's the limit but befell to realize, the unfavorable trade being new to New York. Ariel had to find a way to keep it real, especially when Marco, the radio owner, is in an irritable mood sitting on his famous piece of sidewalk, smoking one tick of the clock until a flash from a camera woke him up to Clayton Patterson. Clayton is the LES folk historian, exclusively documenting the Lower East Side. With Clayton's guidance, it was only a matter of time before the radio will attract the attention of the neighborhood, but nobody expected that a grand political movement will begin that same month.