Summer Roams+Reads=flower girls, gypsies, head busters and beatniks.


Your image in the dictionary
This life is more than ordinary
Can I get 2 maybe even 3 of these
Come from space to teach you of the

Can’t stop the spirits when they need you
This life is more than just a read through

(thx…Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Chinese astrology says I am a wood rat and my genes say I am Romanian, of dark, fortune telling gypsy blood. Like a rat I am scrappy and fit, always on the move, finding and creating solutions every time. From a young age I would often run away, hit the road to get back on track with a dive into the unknown. A clairvoyant rat in a bandana headscarf, who climbs the rafters for the bigger, pulpier read. My scrappy, ratty survival tendencies are always operating in bespoke or illuminated sense surround to help others in times of need, transcending situations via my vivid dreams which often portend the future, or thriving via my lust for freedom, passion and shiny bits put together as life boats.

Like proverbial lovers on their quest, running through starry fields towards each other in a Rorshach test, our surfing and searching networked culture’s physical boundaries are being scrapped, stripped and re-made whole.

We are now all migratory Global nomads on roam looking for a home, refugees from earthquakes, divorces, corporate cages, Eating and Praying Lovers or Stars of our own Holy Grail search for self and sanity. They can be seen as divine comedies, starring all of us, modern cartoon Ulysses, ala my favorite Coen Brother’s movie, O Brother Wherefore Art Thou?

“O Muse! Sing in me, and through me tell the story…”

“Roam, if you want to, roam around the world, the trip begins with you.” (B 52’s)

Here, one Summer weekend, adventure, the streets, the subways and the rooftops of NYC called. New places and faces I’ve never seen just like that before, some one block from my home. Flower Girls, Head busters and Beatniks. Juxtapositions of stone, bone, plant, woman and man. From downtown halfway-house experiments like The Highline to the rooftop of The Met to cafes and Farmers Markets…Home is in the heart. Every step marks our pilgrimage for truth and love…be it fantastical leaps or exhausted shuffles…we will get there because there is no there.

We’re here. Like Crazy, Man.

To be filled, one’s everything must be empty on a walk, taken apart like Osiris and planted in that black fertile field of deeply felt space, as the strides gradually take over the brainwaves, stimuli rushes in and eventually re-orders all to a new poetic pulse.

Street Find, Head Busters #1, was the above Baby Basquiat painting by a nameless child artist hanging in an impromptu grade school class’s outdoor art show to beautify a construction site.  I saw it as a universal head like a constellation soup of stars and airplanes. I like the painter’s palette this blockhead seems to have in hand and in honor of any journey’s serendipitous gifts, here is what happens when your camera goes on the fritz (which mine did at the end of this journey, and so timelessly, like a confounding gypsy, I put the end at the beginning.)

But before it did…”Come with me thru word and sound” to the words of the unstoppable Anthony Keidis’s song and a little house track to take you Home:

The Leon Levinstein street photographs I saw in my pilgrimage to The Metropolitan Museum of Art on this day seemed to bestow a mantle of YES on my own street snapping. The fact that this flowered damsel marked the transition for me back unto the “civilized: street” from my hybrid city/field trip to the Highline, one of New York’s green Utopias, and seemed to be the modern version of Leon’s photo, taken before ever seeing the exhibit…I felt beyond Sartorialized and Sanctified.

Can’t stop the spirits when they need you
Mop tops are happy when they feed you

The world I love, the trains I hop    To be part of the wave can’t stop

The world I love, the trains I hop    To be part of the wave can’t stop

J. Butterfly is in the treetop
Birds that blow the meaning into bebop

Next Stop…The Highline, a former railway line turned into a park, that mystically floats us mid-belly of the beast of Gotham and mid-brain between our linear Manhattan minds and our wildflower libertine Souls.

White heat is screaming in the jungle
Complete the motion if you stumble
Go ask the dust for any answers

The dust on this day included peeking at treasures of the Past in the Met on the way up to the roof for my pilgrimage to the Starn brothers’ Big Bambu installation. On the way, I passed Salome’s seductive smile as painted by Henri Regnault in the late 1800’s, considered a masterpiece of contemporary art in its day. Interesting that the notes that say he painted from an African woman and then changed the skin tone, indicative of the Orientalism fascination of the time, as “darker” immigrants from Europe and African descendants migrated and integrated. Here, from the same time, George Bellow’s “Roumanian Girl.” I began to realize that the art my instinct drew me to affirmed my wandering gypsy ways as a kind of dance, symbolically taking off my head (mind), as Salome did with the head of John the Baptist…and wandering all the way out into Space.

Kick start the golden generator
Sweet talk but don’t intimidate her

Can’t stop the Gods from engineering
Feel no need for any interfering

Come back strong with 50 belly dancers.

Rita Hayworth’s Mata Hari-ish strip tease in “Gilda” among other key Screen Siren acts projected large woke me up at The Costume Institute’s American Women exhibit. It was much more engaging than the rote artfully preserved garments in idealized painted settings on faceless people so small and so white it’s spooky. Although I admire curator Andrew Bolton’s romping feel via the categories I confess I am always bored when “The Chosen People” are just reflective of the gilded lily upper crust, “The Heiress”, “The Bohemian” “The Flapper” or “The Screen Star,” not ever reflecting on the influence of every day street culture which we know to be equally shifting culturally, if not the very root of the change itself.

Flappers? Bohemians? In our Great Gatsby fantasies they originated at art salon parties however I am quite sure the ladies of Harlem jazz boites and Prohibition secret places shimmied way before an heiress did. Perhaps the abrupt ending of the exhibition in the 30’s and 40’s signifies just when these color and class style boundaries began to come crashing down. Thank you for Josephine Baker and Grace Jones in the montage of many real woman in the end to represent what could easily be a whole other exhibit. The Anna May Wong inclusion was much appreciated in the screen stars section, however the Thud of the invisible sign at the exhibit’s end, “No Coloreds Allowed” left me with a funny taste.

I am grateful to curators such as Valerie Steele at FIT who present costume in a scholarly but non-sterile, even thrilling way (think flying Ralph Rucci gowns.) In her book, The Black Dress, the designers of classic black head to toe gowns are venerated, such as Hayworth’s Gilda gown and Anna May Wong’s golden dragon dress worn in the films, which actually did give me chills to see on display in the Bolton survey.

Upon leaving the anti-climax antechamber filled with all the style-influencers not shown, I decided not to wait for the costume exhibit I always see in my visions and vowed then and there to produce it.

A sensory stew of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Perseus and Sekmet, the Lioness Egyptian Goddess of War and Hunting on the way up to the roof to see the Starn boys exhibit confirmed my vows. Nothing like a journey to instill inspiration for new paths beyond the caves and dusty corners in our minds.

Can’t stop addicted to the shindig

Chop top he says, “I’m gonna win big “

Choose not a life of imitation
Distant cousin to the reservation

Defunk the pistol that you pay for
This punk the feeling that you stay for

In time I want to be your best friend
East side love is living on the westend

“The word Bohem-ian is also an Egyptian word. The verb-stem of this word is Bohem/Bahm, which means to be/make obscure or dark/black/mysterious/mystical. Bohem-ian will thus mean mystical, which describes the mystical nature of the Hispanic Romany religious practices.” Bahm is a A Balm.

Knock out but boy you better come to
Don’t die, you know the truth is some do
Go write your message on the pavement
Burnin’ so bright, I wonder what the wave meant

“…Eventually a cresting wave…,” is the Starn Twins explanation of their Met rooftop installation, “Big Bambu,” in the interview you can listen to via the digits 212.457.8727 on your mobile.  This colossal monument to the temporary, the play on the brand of rolling papers and Cheech and Chong’s 1972 pothead album, little fluffy cloud orbs, headbuster Sean Lennon’s “Spaceship”” on the Ipod…and un-winded people winding in and out of the bamboo maze…all fit my wood rat on the rafters sensibilities to a “T.”

and now my eyes have opened
I watch the stars glow
The sky is like an ocean

The world I love, the tears I drop

To be part of the wave can’t stop

Ever wonder if it’s all for you

The world I love, the trains I hop
To be part of the wave can’t stop

Here is where the Starn wood rats do their thing in Beacon NY.

Come and tell me when it’s time to

Yea, though I walked through the valleys and peaks of art…I had enough of the dust of the museum, the flowers, sky and stars, it was time for being a beatnik and cafe hanging. I headed for my favorite simple, luxe spot with arcane but snappy Euro fare, Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie, where Otto Dix’s portraits of the Weimar cafe society were on exhibit. Here I could sit, fixate on food, coffee and the people parade before me.

I’ll get you into penetration
The gender of a generation
The birth of every other nation
Worth your weight the gold of meditation

This chapter’s going to be a close one
Smoke rings, I know your going to blow one
All on a spaceship persevering
Use my hands for everything but steering

Meanwhile, back on Earth, after a simple delicious meal and esoteric chain smoking, I spyed Sevag Mazakian, Manager of Cafe Sabarsky, with his back to some of NYC’s best desserts as he became suddenly fixated by something out the window.

After I showed him the picture, he said “It’s not so penetrating”, he said he was actually just stalking “The Better Sweets Outside Sabarsky” aka, the new Ice Cream Truck and its Vendor that replaced the one from last week. (see what happens when you sit in one place too long? The body, the details take on weight.)

Sweetheart is bleeding in the snowcone
So smart she’s leading me to ozone
Music the great communicator

Use two sticks to make it in the nature

Popsicles on a stick are one summertime street buzz and the real high green buzz of NYC is all about Green Markets with fresh farm organic vegetables and fruits…astral-bodybuilding gold indeed. After my meal at Sabarsky, I finally made it to the one 3 blocks up from me and for $23. I brought a stash that lasted a week and a half of color and bursting dirt flavor on my plates.  The week before, at the Union Square market, a took home a Vietnamese cilantro plant and herb advice galore from devoted shoppers for my indoor herb garden I am building as my headboard for my bed.

I’ll get you into penetration
The gender of a generation
The birth of every other nation
Worth your weight the gold of meditation

So just why is NYC so damn sexy in the Summer? Let me put my own Beatnik poet hat on and venture that all the metal mental power of the Phallus rockets are a bit chop-topped, soothed by Miss Green, rounding out edges of steel and slicing sunshine. Buildings look a little more strip teasing, we are a little more belly-dancing in the Beast somehow when the green is pumping in our veins. The heat shimmer shakes the City and Planet, pulsing like a spaceship quivering, knowing the journey is a joke, and caring even more because of it.

This chapter’s going to be a close one
Smoke rings, I know you’re going to blow one
All on a spaceship persevering
Use my hands for everything but steering

The world I love, the tears I drop
To be part of the wave can’t stop
Ever wonder if it’s all for you
The world I love

Come and tell me when it’s time to

Can’t stop the spirits when they need you
This life is more than just a read through

written by Jade Dressler

“Star House Episode 01” House mix from Claude Serieux (listen loud on the phones)

image of Black Sea swimmers from Romanian photojournalist, Petrut Calinescu, on a journey documenting the people and cultures around The Black Sea

5 Responses to “Summer Roams+Reads=flower girls, gypsies, head busters and beatniks.”

  1. ROCK ON, JADE!!! I love this meandering journey through my Second Hometown! Stay amazing, keep observing and savor it all :-)!

  1. 1 Man-Hattan Musings « The Dame Game
  2. 2 Cafe, cigarettes, les belles et les bad boys: Fashion Week NYC 2011 « Jade Dressler
  3. 3 uptown/downtown winter weekend in nyc « Jade Dressler
  4. 4 Man-Hattan Musings | Soul Style

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