Archive for the Personal Experiences Category

♥ G i n a S a c h i C o d y ♥

Posted in Art, Nightlife, Personal Experiences with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2010 by thefrogge

It’s been a week since Gina Sachi Cody has left us and though I wish I could say that “I’m okay,” I’m not. The truth is, my heart is broken. I remember the first time I met Gina. I was being photographed for Good Night Mr. Lewis, a nightlife column written by Steve Lewis in Blackbook Magazine, and she was the photographer. We were in the basement of the post-Plumm, pre-Darby space and Steve introduced us. She told me where to stand, and began to click away as I did this & that… I remember feeling very at east in front of her camera. There was something about her… Perhaps it was her beautiful, big, brown eyes… I knew right away that I could trust her.

How It All Began / October 2009 / Photo by Gina Sachi Cody.

After the shoot, we exchanged numbers and a new friendship began. We started to bump into each other everywhere, as most of us creatures of the night tend to do… I was always happy to bump into Gina. She had one of the best smiles I’ve ever seen & lots of good energy that I could always feel when I was around her.

Our Bright, Beautiful Girl...

A few months after we met, my birthday rolled around. “I made you something,” she said so proudly into the phone, “When can I give it to you?!” We met up in the East Village and I unwrapped a flat, rectangular shaped object… What could it be? Of course… It was  the picture she had taken of me for Blackbook, except she had done something really interesting to it. Certainly Gina could explain the technique much better, but I think she had it printed on some sort of special photo paper, and then she peeled away the top layer of the photo, which made the photo look sort of distressed, “vintage-ish.” She had it framed, and I immediately hung it up in my apartment by the staircase which leads up to my lofted bedroom.

The last time I saw her was on Thursday, October 28th, just a few days before she passed. We were at Mick Rock‘s opening at the Morrison Hotel on the Bowery. It was completely packed. I was just wandering around, taking in the people and looking at Mick’s photos when I heard my name being called. I turned around… It was Gina… She looked so beautiful, so full of life… She grabbed my wrist and held my forearm tightly as she spoke to me a mile a minute about the magazine she was starting. She was so excited, she was so proud, her eyes were so wide, like a child… She was telling me something about going to Japan and how much she loved The Frogge… that when her magazine was started, she wanted me to be a part of it… that she wanted me to write for Prescribed Mag. I said that of course I would and that we should talk about it  more specifically when she had more details. We walked next door to John Varvatos to see Jamie Burke’s new band, Delilah & Adam Green. Gina & I stood right up front… We danced wildly, hand in hand, and she took lots of pictures with not one, but two cameras…

That is how I will always remember her. Beautiful, glowing, excited, full of life with endless possibilities… I only wish I knew it was the last time that I was going to see her… She took a Polaroid of my friends & I that night… She made me promise to upload it… “Don’t forget to upload that! Promise you won’t forget?” she said. “I won’t, I promise, I won’t.” And here it is… The last picture of me taken by Gina.

 

Morrison Hotel / October 28th, 2010 / Photo by Gina Sachi Cody.

The best thing about that Polaroid is that is has her handwriting on the bottom. “Get Prescribed,” it says, to promote the magazine she was so excited to start. It’s sort of ironic to that our friendship started and ended with a photograph. Isn’t is sort of strange that I know the exact first and exact last picture she ever took of me?

I don’t think I can write anymore, as my heart is literally aching… But there is one more thing that I want to say. We are organizing a memorial for Gina. Larry Santos, Dave Delzio, Nia & Steve are also involved. We don’t have the exact date picked out yet, but we are working on it. It will be held at Santos Party House. We are doing this because we know there were a lot of “city people” who wanted to attend Gina’s wake but couldn’t get out to Jersey for this reason or that… If you are reading this and want to be involved in anyway, please don’t be a stranger. Feel free to email me directly anytime at TheFrogge@gmail.com. When I know the exact details, I will do my best to spread the word, and I really, really hope that you all attend.

Until then…

Love your aching friend,

The Frogge ❤

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Remembering the Dead to Keep Them Alive.

Posted in Personal Experiences on July 23, 2009 by thefrogge

I had been planning on writing todays post about the semi-new club in the Meatpacking District called Griffin (where P.M. used to be.) I wanted to write about Griffin because for a club that is so beautiful, I don’t understand how the people inside could be so horrific (think ho’s and eurotrash.) 

However, yesterday in the evening, right before I was about to go out, some unfortunate news struck my family. I got a call from my father who said, “What are you doing tomorrow at 11 a.m.? Can you make it to a funeral?” Naturally, I said of course I could make it, and I immediately cancelled my plans for the night. Last night was the first night that I hadn’t gone out in roughly fifteen straight nights (It takes a lot to keep me at home.) 

While I was sitting at home on the couch, trying to distract myself from the news I had just heard by catching up on missed episodes of True Blood, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would write about today. Nothing seemed of enough importance… how could I write about a club, or a band, or a fashion show when I just found out that someone I had known my entire life passed away? I realized that I couldn’t write about anything else because everything else just seems so trivial at the moment. So I am writing about the only thing that is on my mind at the moment: Klara Horowitz’s funeral. 

IMG_0760

I know that writing about a funeral may come off to some of you as a little strange, but don’t think of it that way. Think of this as a tribute to Klara Horowitz. After all, Klara did not have any children and her husband passed away 43 years ago (in 1966!) She only has 1 blood relative left, a woman by the name of Este, who lives in Israel and who is fighting cancer. That being said, there were only 9 people at Klara’s funeral, 5 of those people were my family members.

So, how do I know Klara Horowitz? It’s actually a pretty amazing story. Her husband Josef Horowitz (1908-1966) was my grandfather’s grade-school math teacher in a small town in Poland called Podwoloczyska pre-WW2. But, when the Nazi’s invaded Podwoloczyska during WW2, everyone had to flee the town, and Podwoloczyska was destroyed. In fact, it no longer exists. 

A memorial to those who perished in Podwoloczyska, Poland

A memorial to those who perished in Podwoloczyska, Poland

My grandfather was fortunate enough to escape from Poland. Somehow he ended up in Russia where he joined the Russian army in order to survive (they gave you food, shelter, clothes, ect.) Had my grandfather not been literate, he would have died in the Russian army. How do I know this? Because one day, the troop that my grandfather was in went out on a mission, they walked through a field that had been planted with mines and every single person in the troop died. But, on that day, someone in the army office needed help reading a letter, and then writing a response. Who did they ask to help? My grandfather. So instead of walking through that field with everybody else, my grandfather spent that day in the office reading and writing letters. My grandfather may have been Polish, but on that day, he had the luck of the Irish. 

During that time in Russia, my grandfather Izak met my grandmother Anna. They were in some kind of place where people gathered (I guess that I could call it a bar, because you know how those Russians feel about their vodka, but its not a bar the way we think of a bar.) Apparently it was so cold out the night they met, that my grandmother was literally sitting on top of the oven in this ‘bar.’ My grandfather said that the heat of the oven made her cheeks rosy, and he fell in love with her (I know, I know, its beyond adorable, but listen, my grandma was a babe.) 

Naturally, my grandfather wanted them to be able to have a better life. He heard that a lot of people who had been displaced during the war were moving to Israel. I don’t know how they did it, this part of the story gets a little fuzzy, but Izak and Anna ended up in Israel where my father and my aunt were born. (Actually, that is not true, my aunt was born in Austria, in a refugee camp, on the way to Israel.) After 14 years of living in Israel, when my aunt was 14, and my father was 6, my grandmother (the hustler) made them move to America because she knew America had the most opportunities. 

My grandfather Izak with my father and my aunt in Israel

My grandfather Izak with my father and my aunt in Israel

When my grandparents, my dad and my aunt arrived to America, they moved to Brooklyn, Bensonhurst to be exact. Somehow my grandfather found out that his old math teacher Josef Horowitz was living in the Bronx. Now, you have to understand that both of my grandfathers parents (my great grandparents) were killed by Nazi’s in WW2, so hearing that his math teacher was alive, and living in the Bronx, was like hearing that he may have some sort of father figure… someone who had known him since he was a little boy. My grandfather found out his address and took my grandmother, father and aunt to meet him. 

The bond that they had after they were reunited was incredibly strong. After all, only a very small amount of people survived from their small town in Poland. My grandparents Izak and Anna would go visit Josef and his wife Klara in the Bronx all the time. But, when Josef became ill in the mid-1960’s, he knew he was going to pass soon, so he asked my grandfather to look after his wife Klara, especially since they had no children. Of course my grandfather agreed and when Josef passed in 1966 we always went to visit Klara and spent every holiday with her. 

Klara always thought that she would pass before my grandfather being that she is 14 years older than him. But, that wasn’t the case. In the year 2000, my grandfather passed away after being sick for a long time with stomach cancer. Before he passed he asked my father and I to continue the tradition of taking care of Klara when he was gone. And that was exactly what we did. I remember Klara at my grandfathers funeral, she couldn’t believe he went before her. She kept on saying, “But he was so strong, he was strong like an ox.” 

Klara Horowitz made it to the age of 99. On January 9th, 2010 she would have been 100. She wanted to make it to 100 so badly, but she will, because she will be alive in my memory. Today, during the grave side service, the Rabbi said something very beautiful. He said, a person can die 3 times. 1. When they close their eyes and their heart stops beating. 2. When they are burried. And 3. When they are forgotten. That is why I have written this post. To share this story with all of you so they won’t be forgotten. I will keep them alive in my memories.

So, what’s the ribbit of the day? The ribbit of the day is: RIP Klara Horowitz, Josef Horowitz, Izak B, David Jacoel, Richard Bailey, Paul Monka, Perry Monasebian, Harry Selzer, Rachel Wichalevski, Miriam Klopukh… and all others who have passed before us.

Love your friend,

                              The Frogge ❤

When You Look, Make Sure You See…

Posted in Art, Personal Experiences, Travel on July 19, 2009 by thefrogge

When The Frogge was a first year acting student, she was sitting in class, wide-eyed, so excited, not knowing what to expect. Her teacher walked in, a tall, strong, serious man, the kind of man you know not to F with. At first glance, he looked very intimidating, but when The Frogge looked into his eyes, she knew he had a good heart… and a lot to offer, so she paid very close attention. He stood in front of the class looking us all up and down, sizing us up, making his predictions about who could hack it and who would crumble under the pressure of the harsh world known as The Theatre. I was waiting for him to speak, I was just dyinggg to know what the first words out of his mouth were going to be… and then… he kind of shook his head, nodding it this way and that… then he pointed his finger at us and said… “When you look, make sure you see.” 

Now, I am sitting there in the first row with my notebook and pencil in hand, and I am thinking to myself, What The F? I just paid X amount of dollars to be told to “see” when I “look.” What did that even mean? Obviously everybody “sees” when they “look,” right? Right? WRONG. 

Most people do not see when they look (I know this now, but it is not something you can learn overnight. I know this now thanks to many hours of acting classes and many hours spent literally just observing people.) Most people run around this world with their head up their butts because they are too afraid to really see what is in front of their face. “What if it is scary? What if I don’t like what I see?” these people think to themselves. So they walk around only half alive because they are too afraid to experience ALL it is that we as human beings can experience. In the end it is their own loss… if you are too afraid to experience the ugly, you will miss out on the beautiful. 

During that first year at acting school, we all had to read this book called The Spoon River Anthology. In the book one of the characters says, “One should be all dead when one is half dead. Nor ever mock life, nor ever cheat love.” This is something that I think about every single day… 

So why am I telling this all to you? Hmmm?  Of course I have a reason. The Frogge always has her reasons. Well, yesterday The Frogge did a bunch of things… as usual. I met up with some friends, went over to The Siren Festival in Coney Island… played on the beach… tried to burry my friend in the sand… then I headed over to (gasppp!) another bar! However, I specifically went over to The Trash Bar in Williamsburg because my friends band (The Party Death) was playing (along with 9 other bands… isn’t that great? 10 bands in one night for only $7 bucks… ya can’t beat that! So if you like Rock N’ Roll check out The Trash Bar. 256 Grand Street @ Roebling.) But anyway, while I was at The Trash Bar, I started to feel really sick (The Frogge has a sensitive tummy and is borderline suffering from exhaustion.) The loud music was making me feel even worse, so I had to leave. That said, I woke up this morning, or shall I say afternoon, with nothing that really inspired me from yesterday to write about. And I would never write about something unless I was truly inspired by it. I know you guys are all busy people, and if I don’t give a crap about what I am writing about, why should you? But I wanted to write a post, so to get inspired I started looking through all my pics on Iphoto and this is what I found. 

"The Settlers" by Romanian artist Nova Mihai Popa

"The Settlers" by Romanian artist Nova Mihai Popa

What is that a picture of, you may be wondering? It is of a huge, HUGE (I want to call it a sculpture, but I am not sure if that is even the right word? … so I am just going to call it a piece…) piece by Romanian artist Nova Mihai Popa. Where is this piece located, you may be wondering? Well, The Frogge is here to tell you everything.

A few weeks ago, I believe it was the weekend of June 20th, The Frogge went out to the Hamptons to share a house with a bunch of crazy kids. On the way, I saw this market with a big sign outside that read, “Fresh Strawberries For Sale.” I turned to my accomplice and said, “Lets stop and get some strawberries, I bet they are amazing.” She said okay, so we parked my car in front of the market and went inside in search of some goodies. Now, this is a little bit difficult to explain, so bear with me, the market looked like a barn (it probably used to be a barn, and you know how barns have huge doors.) Naturally, we walked in through the front… but the back of this market/barn had the huge doors as well, and they were open. So, I am shopping around: Strawberries, check. Jam, check. Guacamole, check. Pita chips, check. When all of a sudden, I look up and through the back of the market/barn’s doors, I see the most interesting house I have ever seen in my life… and I think to myself, “What the F is that?” I NEED to know. 

Nova's Ark: The house built by artist Nova Mihai Popa and his partner Tundra.

Nova's Ark: The house built by artist Nova Mihai Popa and his partner Tundra.

I go over to the checkout line to pay for my stuff, and I ask the girl at the counter, “What is that amazing blue house over there on the other side of the road?” She says it is a house built by the artist Nova Mihai Popa… I ask her if anybody actually lives there… she says, yes, there are people that live in the house. I pay for my stuff, grab my friend, and drive to the front of this house. Low and behold… there is a phone number to call posted on a sign! I was so excited, I give my friend my cell phone, and I am like, “Call the number!! Call the number!!” (I couldn’t do it myself because I was driving, and I currently have 2 tickets that I still have to deal with… yeah, yeah, The Frogge is a badass.) My friend calls the number, and a lady picks up, but we don’t know who she is… turns out it was Tundra, Nova Mihai Popa’s partner! We tell her we are in love with the house and that we don’t come to the Hamptons very often… we ask her if we can see the house. She agrees (because, as we found out later, she is amazing.) I turn my car around and start driving back towards the house, I park in front, she lets us in.

Inside of Nova's Ark

Inside of Nova's Ark

And this is what we walk into. Pretty much the coolest house on the planet Earth. The whole house is made of wood and was built by Nova and Tundra. If you look at the picture of the house (from the outside, 2 pics above) you will see that it is kind of shaped like a circle. This is so the house has a very small footprint on the soil, it makes the house more green. Also, the house was made from all recycled materials (all the wood came from an old church… you can read more about the ‘greenness’ of Nova’s Ark at http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/01/elliptical_hous.php)  The other building, next to the blue house was Nova’s studio.

Then Tundra tells us that Nova had recently passed on March 28, 2009. I started to cry, I just couldn’t control it… I was so moved… this was the most interesting house I have ever seen in my life, and it was green (as you probably know by now, from reading previous posts, I am vegan, so the fact that this house was green really resonated with me) and I am just standing there, in the middle of it all, with Nova’s lifelong partner Tundra (they met when she was very young in Central Park… I know… so cute) and she tells me that he just passed. So, I started to cry, and then she started to cry, and then we were hugging each other, and then she said, “I am so glad that you decided to call the number and come by.” And I said, “Don’t people call this number EVERYDAY and ask you to see the house?” And she said no, and I just couldn’t believe it. She said, “Either people do not really see the house, they just kind of drive by it, and don’t notice, or they are too afraid to call the number.” 

To drive by such an amazing thing and not even see it is just so sad. Or, to see it, and be interested in it, but too afraid to call the number is also sad. And that is what I was talking about! Seeing when you look… actually seeing… and taking things in and letting them affect you… being a human being… not just walking around like some zombie who solely communicates with other human life through text messages and facebook wall posts. Don’t get me wrong, I like facebook, and text messages… but there has to be more for our generation… there has to be more… and there is… if you let yourself experience it. 

So anyway, I am standing there, and crying, and hugging, and were talking, and Tundra is showing me all the newspaper articles written about Nova, and she is telling me his life story, how he had to escape from Romania (because it was communist… and the government did not allow Nova to leave Romania even though he wanted to come to America to pursue his art.) Nova ran away from Romania with NOTHING except a small backpack and the clothes on his back. He survived on his journey by eating random things that he found along the way, he was starving most of the way… finally he ended up in Italy… he had to swim some crazy distance, apparently he almost drowned… and then from Italy he eventually came over to the states (Tundra explains this story much better than I do, by the way.) 

THEN, she says to me… “If you like this house get in your car and drive to the gravel driveway down the road. Go up the driveway, and when you see a little house, park your car… then walk up the gravel hill, and you will be there.” And I am like, “I’ll be where? Where will I be?” And she goes… “Just do it, just go… find the gravel driveway, go in, and walk up the hill, you will see.” So, I thank her for everything, for letting me into her home, for the tour of the house, for her time, for telling me the whole story, we exchange numbers… I get in my car, and I find this driveway that she is talking about. I park my car, get out, and walk up the hill… and I was just blown away… this is what I found…

"The Soldiers" by Nova Mihai Popa

"The Soldiers" by Nova Mihai Popa

 Those are “The Soldiers” … but wait… there’s more… 

"The Astronauts" by Nova Michai Popa

"The Astronauts" by Nova Michai Popa

These are “The Astronauts” …

"The Settlers" by Nova Michai Popa

"The Settlers" by Nova Michai Popa

And these are “The Settlers.” There are more… including, “The Bell,” “The Galaxy,” “The Sun,” ect… and they are all beautiful, but the ones that I have posted are my favorite. All these statues are in an open field, and when you see them all together at one time, its breathtaking. It looks like aliens have come to Earth and left behind these huge, metal, amazing things… the field which they are in is also surrounded by horses, which makes for a really interesting effect. Its like man+art+nature all together in perfect harmony. 

That leads me to… THE RIBBIT OF THE DAY:  YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO FIND OR WHAT YOU CAN DISCOVER ON ANY GIVEN DAY (I went to the Hamptons that day with completely superficial intentions, to go swimming, to lay out and to party at Georgica and Dune… but clearly, the universe had bigger plans in store for The Frogge.) SO OPEN UP YOUR EYES, AND WHEN YOU LOOK… MAKE SURE YOU SEE. 

Love your friend,

                              The Frogge ❤

Introductions are so lame…

Posted in Personal Experiences on July 13, 2009 by thefrogge

Introductions are so lame and usually quite… “fake.” Think about when you meet someone for the first time… (I see your fake smile from here)… enough said. So I am going to keep this intro short, and then we will get on with The Frogge! (And incase you were confused, it is just pronounced “frog.”) I am fancy, but not that fancy. 

In a nutshell, here’s the deal: I, The Frogge, LOVE going out (some would say that perhaps it is an addiction of mine) but now that I have successfully completed my college education (summa cum laude, bitches) I feel that I should make my going out useful. Enter, The Frogge.

The Frogge is designed to combine my passions (New York City Nightlife, Fashion, Music, Art, and sometimes Food. Vegan Food to be exact.) with my degree (Creative Writing.) Because of The Frogge, I will no longer feel guilty about staying out until 6 a.m. on a random Monday night (or, shall I say morning?) while I should be searching for some kind of a job. After all, I only finished school four days ago… so what’s the rush? 

With that said, tonight I will be at Pop Burger on 58th between 5th & Madison for the Popconic Party and then onto Greenhouse for the best weekly Rock N’ Roll party in New York City. (Last week Mad Juana played live with Sami Yaffa, a former member of the beloved 80’s rock band Hanoi Rocks.) 

Tomorrow I will have all the juicy details so stay tuned… 

Love Your Friend,

                         The Frogge ❤

 

RIBBIT OF THE DAY: AS MY WISE FRIEND JACLYN DIAMOND HAS POSTED AS HER STATUS, “PEACE, LOVE AND MJ.” AMEN, JACLYN, AMEN.