And just like that, the whole damn thing was white-washed. The famed city-sanctioned Graffiti Mecca Five Pointz in Queens’ Long Island City that was centered across a 200,000 square-foot building, has vanished overnight.
Developers Jerry & David Wolkoff intend to raze the former water plant and replace it with a 1,000-unit apartment complex, comprising two high-rise luxury apartment buildings, 47 and 41 stories tall.
For the last 20 years, Five Pointz has served as an outpost for writers and artists from around the world. More than 1,500 panels of art by 300+ artists from around the world were painted over November 19, as protesters rallied unsuccessfully to save the landmarked locale.
The nabe there is still pretty shady, but like much of New York, boutiques and creative restaurants have been inching in, likely because of the presence of the mammoth Citibank office complex just blocks away from Five Pointz. Sad, yes, but such is the price of gentrification. Take a look at Manhattan’s Bowery district if you want to see the ultimate gentrification….
I visited Five Pointz for the first time in April 2013, when Ayhan Sahin’s Young Pals Music lensed a dazzling music video for Erica Jacob’s launch single “Run” around the colorful motif. It was, indeed, an amazing spectacle.
Just below: Five Pointz now… Below that, more from April. *
Geez, God certainly aligned the galaxy for artistic creativity on September 16. Three biggies: Blues great B.B. King was born this day in 1925; Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Richard Marx came along in 1963; and vocalist Marc Anthony in 1968. And bringing up the newer generation, Jonas Brothers’ Nick Jonas dropped from the sky in 1992. Mercy, that’s a lot of talent in one blessed day… Let the starfucker photos rain down! *
Monday was like a weird, wondrous flashback to the early 1980s, as I delivered a PR package to Ayhan for his upcoming full-length theatrical rock musical Swedish Style, based on the break-up of super group Opus 10, a quartet in the spirit of ABBA.
After writing a press release, liner notes for an upcoming double-disc soundtrack, a website post, bios and synopsis treatment, I descended upon the Times Square off-Broadway theater where Ayhan and Chris H. were filming a promotional video for the production—complete with period costumes—to serve as photog for the session. The ensemble acted out a number of the musical numbers for Chris’ film, as I snapped away. Ah, the ’80s… If only music were as good now (said Grandpa)…
My ears were flopping gleefully in the wind Thursday as Ayhan recorded a song he wrote with Ghia Gabriella Szwed, “Another + Another,” sung by Karine Hannah.
Today, Ayhan hosted nearly a dozen folks for the preliminary reading of his musical Gods, which was originally heralded in the 1990s as “Turkey’s First Rock Opera.” His new version is a collaboration with Wally Wilhoit, which they have been working on for months.
The millennial incarnation will be more of a traditional musical, featuring a mythological story of tragic love and a contemporary pop/rock score. Ayhan invited a posse of fellow musicians and creatives for the reading, followed by a hands-on critical analysis of this work in progress. Great stuff.
Our good buddy Emre has been traveling between the U.S. and Istanbul to work on his first Turkish single. And now the moment has arrived: “Kaderin Yerine,” which roughly translates to “I owe all my success to Chuck,” is available here for only 1,96 TL (I have no idea what that is).
In fact, I did collaborate with Ayhan and Emre on the latter’s first English single “Only Yesterday,” which, um, you can purchase here. Yeah, man.
A video clip from the recording session for “Kaderin Yerine” is below, along with the stunning artwork for the single cover above and below. Find out more on Emre’s Facebook page here! Congrats to a talented artist who deserves global success.