Avenue, Aven-Who?

Last night I did something amazing and you need to do it too! I went to Milk Studios (15th bet 9th & 10th ave.) to check out their new exhibition that just opened. No, I did not just go for the free beer and wine (although that was a nice perk.) Anyway, I have to say that I was initially interested in this event because it is sponsored by HBO, and there is nothing that The Frogge sweats more than HBO (Six Feet Under, True Blood, Entourage! I get excited just thinking about On-Demand channel 300!) Lets face it, HBO does not F up, so I figured if this event was sponsored by them, it would be great, and it was.

The exhibition is called The Beauty of the Fight by photographer and director John Urbano. It is a collection of photographs that were taken over the course of four years in two towns, Barraza and El Chorrillo, located in Panama. There is also footage that is projected onto one of the walls.

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The photographs are incredible. I can honestly say that I was moved. There was this one photo of this elderly man, the look in his eyes took my breath away. It was as if his eyes were made of glass, you could see right through them, and for this one second I caught a glimpse of another human-beings soul. It made me want to find John Urbano, grab him, hug him, and thank him.

The photo below is my absolute favorite. I looked at it and became transfixed, like, that girl in the photo could be me. What is she looking at? Who is she waiting for? I think we all feel this way from time to time… we all ask ourselves these questions. That is why this is good art, because it made me feel connected to a little girl in Panama that I have never met nor will ever meet in my life. This collection takes the barriers down between ‘our culture’ and ‘their culture’ and simply gets down to the humanity that we all possess, no matter where we are from or how much money we have. 

John Urbano

John Urbano

Anyway, the exhibit opened just yesterday and it will only be up until July 22nd so hurry up and go see it cause its over in a week! If you like the photographs, on July 30th (4:30 pm @ Chelsea Clearview Cinema) and August 2nd (12:00 pm @ Visual Arts Theatre) there will be screenings of the film, which won best documentary at the Athens Film & Video Festival. For more information on this project, visit beautyofthefight.com. 

 

Excerpt of writing by John Urbano

Alright, that got deep for a second, moving along, after I got my daily fix of culture, it was obviously time for more debauchery and reckless behavior. My taste-tester (I’ll explain later) Ms. Cassidy Gard and I headed over to Hudson Terrace to meet up with the gracious Scott Hockins for the LMFAO release party! It was a beautiful night and nothing could have been better than sitting outside and over looking the best city, New York City. 

Food and drinks were ordered, including teriyaki chicken wings (not vegan,) tuna sashimi on pita with cream-cheese (not vegan,) and sliders with BBQ sauce and guacamole (not vegan.) This is where Cassidy comes in. I have pronounced her as my official taste-tester. The verdicts were in and things are looking good over in the kitchen at H.T.

Official taste-tester Ms. Cassidy Gard

Official taste-tester Ms. Cassidy Gard

 Cassidy reported that all the food was yummy, her favorite thing being the teriyaki chicken wings. She said that they were “the perfect balance between tender and crispy and not too sweet but just sweet enough.” So for all you wing lovers out there, if you want to eat wings in the utmost style, you know where to go (not that I really advocate consuming flesh, but hey, to each his own, right?) She also said that the sliders were really good… but that they needed some lettuce and tomato. You hear that, Hudson Terrace? Add some damn L & T to your sliders, please! Ms. Gard also said they were quite spicy… so for those of you that like it hawttt… check out the sliders. 

Mr. Scott Hockins digging into some tuna sashimi

Mr. Scott Hockins digging into some tuna sashimi

As we were patiently waiting for LMFAO to get on the decks (being fashionably late can get irritating, okay LMFAO?) I spotted something fabulous that definitely deserves mention. The young lady in the picture below is Emily Corney and she was rockin’ a fabbb earring (yes, just one) made by her friend, a young L.A. designer, Kate Thompson. Kate makes feather earrings and… headdresses! (I want! I want!) Her website is not up yet, but apparently you can find her goodies on Etsy.com (for those of you who have never heard of Etsy, do yourself a favor and check it out STAT, it’s great.)

Emily Corney rockin' a lovely feather earring by L.A. designer Kate Thompson

Emily Corney rockin' a lovely feather earring by L.A. designer Kate Thompson

By 1:30 LMFAO still did not take their place at their special designated turntables and we were getting frustrated. There was only one thing to do, head over to Avenue. For those of you who haven’t heard of Avenue yet, it was recently opened by Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss the two gentlemen who brought us Marquee. This is a little bit difficult to write because I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy, but honestly, I was not impressed.

In the film Almost Famous, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character, Lester Bangs tells Patrick Fugit’s character, William Miller, that in order to be a successful writer you need to base your career on being “honest and unmerciful,” and that is exactly what I intend to do. 

That said, back to Avenue… I am not going to lie when I say I was excited to go there, because I was. After all, its what all the kids have been talking about these days, and supposedly, its ‘the tightest door in town.’ I also saw photos of it somewhere (maybe on blackbook.com?) and in those photos the ‘gastrolounge’ (as they are calling it, aka, they are not calling it a ‘club’) looked UNBELIEVABLE. Turns out the only thing unbelievable about those photos was the photographer! (Can you do my head shots, please?!) 

In my opinion, and I have seen many a club (or shall I say gastrolounge?) Avenue was completely one dimensional and fell flat on its face. It reminded me of when I lived in (hold your breath) New Jersey (I know, I know, eww) and in 7th grade my girlfriends and I used to go to these horribly cheesy ‘dances’ at this place called The Elks Club. I think The Elks Club had better decor than Avenue… seriously. The floor is gray concrete (can you say… recession special?) and it is covered by these really atrocious carpets that already look like crap. The walls are okay being that they are wood (which is nice and warm) but the problem is, the walls are brown and so is everything else in the club… oh, I’m sorry, I meant to say, ‘gastrolounge.’ Quite frankly, I don’t think they should have called the gastrolounge Avenue, I think they should have called it The Turd or maybe Poopies. The only thing I did like about the decor was the lighting fixture above the bar on the first floor, but the funny thing about them is they don’t even match the rest of the decor, they are just cool on their own. Also, they look extremely similar to the lighting fixtures in The Gramercy Park Hotel (can you say… unoriginal? I can.)

Lets talk about the music. Oh wait, there is nothing to say. Why? Because it wasn’t great. Don’t get me wrong here, it wasn’t horrible either, but this is supposed to be “the best place in NYC,” so why wasn’t the music anything short of mind blowing? The highlight of the night was when the mediocre DJ played “Kids in America” by The Muffs because it reminded me of my undying love for Clueless (I love you, Cher!) I am not even going to get into the fact that the DJ did not know how to mix the songs… Was she playing them off of one Ipod? Because thats how it sounded.

What else? Oh yeah. The people were completely pretentious which made the energy in the club stale. It was like one big fish bowl, every fish checking out every other fish, so on and so forth. There were only a handful of people who were dressed in an interesting fashion… You will see better fashion walking around on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg than you will in Avenue. 

Here is the bottom line: The most exciting thing about Avenue is getting in the door and that my friends, is Pathetic with a capital P. 

RIBBIT OF THE DAY: Just because Avenue supposedly ‘has the tightest door in town’ and just because ‘all the kids are talking about it’ does not mean it is actually good! Do yourself a favor and ALWAYS remember to use your OWN eyes and your OWN ears. Come to your own decisions about these things… come to your own decisions when it comes to anything! Do not be persuaded by some BS propaganda… and as Lester Bangs said, “Always remember to base your career on being honest and unmerciful.”

Love your friend,

                         The Frogge ❤

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5 Responses to “Avenue, Aven-Who?”

  1. loved the blog and the ribbit particularly

  2. Mary Ann Tachco Says:

    Hey there,

    The young lady with the single earring is my daughter – There are more pictures with Kate’s work including head dresses and feathered bathing suits. I need to contact Kate but you might want to display them…

  3. thank you uncle stevie 🙂

  4. Hey you! Well, it’s 5 AM and I’m awake…I bet you’re still out and about! (ribbit) haha hope you had a lot of fun!!!

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