Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cino Plaque

The plaque commemorating the Caffe Cino, birthplace of Off Off Broadway. The event was hosted by Christine Karatnytsky who is the archivist of the Cino papers at the New York Public Library.

John Guare with Proclamation

Office of the Manhattan Borough President
City of New York

WHEREAS:We are proud to acknowledge those individuals who have long devoted their time and energy to enriching our cultural community and with whom we are lucky to celebrate great achievements; and
WHEREAS:In December 1958, Joseph Cino opened "Caffe Cino" which gave theatrical artists the unconditional opportunity to present their plays at regular intervals to the public for the sake of their art, without the need to make a profit, or consider religious, legal, or critical opinion; and

WHEREAS:Joe Cino's liberality, unprecedented in the annals of theatre history, inspired playwrights and directors to innovations in form and content not before possible on the commercial and state-controlled stages of the world; and

WHEREAS:Joe Cino's example inspired untold numbers of emulators first locally, sparking New York's vital Off-Off Broadway movement, then nationally and internationally, exerting influence as well on music, film, and television;

NOW THEREFORE, I ,Scott M. Stringer, President of the Borough of Manhattan, do hereby commend Joe Cino for his ongoing cultural contributions and proclaim this Monday, April 28, 2008 as"Joe Cino Appreciation Day"in the Borough of Manhattan.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Borough of Manhattan to be affixed.

Scott M. Stringer
President, Borough of Manhattan

MAGIE DOMINIC unveiling the plaque, and MARI-CLAIRE CHARBA reading a poem. Peter Craig watches Magie from the left and Mari-Claire from the right. Those are JOHN GUARE's hands to Magie's right, holding the Manhattan Borough President's proclamation honoring JOE CINO, and that's BOB HEIDE under mari-Claire's arm, in the "Non-Fiction" t-shirt. Photos: Meg Patterson/Dramatic Risks

Outdoor Commemoration for Joseph Cino,
April 28, 2008, by Christine Karatnytsky

In late 2007, this evening was conceived as a simple library talk for The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, given by me, to introduce The Theatre Division of The New York Public Library and The Caffe Cino, the first continuous off-off Broadway theatre. I intended to showcard catalog drawers, reference books, and a selection of memorabilia from a small archive of ephemera that the Village Voice critic Michael Smith salvaged and brought to Lincoln Center after The Cino finally closed in 1968. After a few back-and-forths, the Preservation Society and I realized that our scheduling needs weren’t gelling, so we moved things to the Cornelia Street Cafe.

Somehow, between then and now, mostly in the last month, this talk became an event and a celebration. This is thanks to the ministrations of an angel known as Robert Patrick. Robert Patrick, like so many of those we are celebrating tonight, is a pioneer in the off-off Broadway and gay theatre movement. He is the author of over 60 plays, including Kennedy’s Children, a hallmark of its era, which provided an opportunity for ShirleyKnight to earn a Tony award in 1976. Bob arranged for the commemorative plaque to be placed here, on the exterior of The Po restaurant, which, 50 years ago, opened as a coffeehouse called The Caffe Cino. Bob also arranged for a proclamation to be granted by The City of New York in honor of Joseph Cino, the proprietor of this coffeehouse, and the legacy of new theatre for which he was a catalyst. So, we all owe Robert Patrick our thanks and our love – sent across three thousand miles, because he lives in LA. He gave us a better reason than the one we had before to come together to remember Joe Cino one more time.

There are two ironies associated with what we're about to do.

The first, easily recognized by all of you, is that we’re celebrating a coffeehouse during a time when our City has become suffocated by them. These days, a "coffeehouse" has an endlessly cloned design template, a marketing strategy devised by a corporation, and a grand scheme for worldwide colonization. Fifty years ago, coffeehouses were havens for poets, musicians, and freaks of all stripes. (This is meant in the 'freakpositive' sense.) Coffeehouses were symbols of an anti-establishment aesthetic, where individuals struggled to break free of the oppressive order imposed by the values of the previous generation. This is a far cry from what they’ve largely become -- the distressing epitome of capitalist excess. But, even in a neighborhood like Greenwich Village and an era like the 50s and 60s, both of which were replete with coffeehouses, The Caffe Cino was unique.

The second irony, more likely to be noticed by the Cino veterans, is that it is has been finally, formally acknowledged by The City of New York. Official recognition has got to strike some of you as, well, as ironic, given The Cino’s history of being constantly at odds with any kind of governmental agency, not to mention Actors Equity and Con Edison.

I’ll finish by going back farther than fifty years.

Classical scholars trace the origins of theatre to the leaping dance -- the dithyramb -- of the rite of Dionysus. This was the story of his horrible death, performed by large groups of his followers, in an intoxicated, half-crazed, orgiastic ritual at ancient festivals. Now, between two rascals known as Ken Burgess and Joe Davies, who entertained me for hours while we were putting together the exhibit at Lincoln Center in 1985, I happen to know a little something about the intoxicated, kukaya shenanigans that went on in The Cino after hours. My point here is the communal aspectof what went on with the lights on, so to speak. Theatre, as we all know so well, is not a solitary art. Even Joe Cino, magician that he was, did not put on shows alone. If I may say so, he wouldn’t have wanted to -- and that wasn’t the point. The Caffe Cino was a place for friends to gather and have a good time while they made themselves into a family. Robert Patrick has said that, had Joe Cino decided to open a bowling alley, “we all would have become champion bowlers” -- and the rest of us would be unveiling a plaque at a bowling alley. As we said in 1985, Cino “wasn’t concerned with the future, […] but only with the miraculous present -- the room, the performance, the people watching.” Nevertheless, the recognition that belongs to your friend also belongs to you, his chosen family, who created this theatre with him. For this, we thank you.

Left: PAUL FOSTER and MARI-CLAIRE CHARBA, JOHN GUARE with proclamation, and MAGIE DOMINIC. Right: A wonderful shot showing the weather everyone braved to be at the ceremony.
More Photos HERE!


YouTube Video:




Sunday, April 27, 2008


Sirius Rex, 1984, photograph by Donald

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


For cartoons for today's Shakespeare’s 444th Birthday celebration (“A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!”), go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

At sunset yesterday, I went out to the oceanfront. As I walked along the water’s edge, I saw a tangle of thin ribbons and knew they were tied to a murderous object -- I planted my cane firmly in the sand and bent down to pick up the colorful but deadly item, for dangling from the end of the ribbons was a fragmented balloon.

Through ingesting plastic bags and balloons, approximately one billion seabirds and mammals die every year. I am only one of 6,500,000,000 -- I put it in my pocket, not sure if I made any difference at all, not sure where to dispose of it, not sure of anything.

My time on this Earth is nearly gone -- I will gladly go with the soon to be extinct, rather than weep in the coming storm. It is not someone else that must save our world -- it is us! Balloons and plastic bags? May God help us! There is so much more that is wrong -- take the time to view the following -- Earth Day 2008.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Turning Over an Old Leaf

An Image Is a Mystery for Photo Detectives
, The New York Times, Thursday, April 17, 2008

“The Leaf,” originally thought to have been made around 1839 or later, has become the talk of the photo-historical world. The speculation about its origins became so intense that Sotheby’s and the print’s owners decided earlier this month to postpone its auction, so that researchers could begin delving into whether the image may be, in fact, one of the oldest photographic images in existence, dating to the 1790s.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Gigantic Job for Window Fixers

In the most expensive restoration of stained glass ever undertaken in the United States, conservation is under way on the famous Whitefriars windows of St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. It will require three years and $20 million to renew the splendor of 33 windows, with their 9 million pieces of glass. New York Times article, HERE.


Monday, April 14, 2008


NY Yankees Remove Buried Red Sox Jersey

The New Yankee Stadium

Curse of the T-Shirt?: Red Sox Buried in New Yankee Stadium -- bleacher report, paul salman

So some Boston fan who is working on the new Yankee Stadium thinks he will be the one to employ some new curse for the next say, 86 years, but this time against the Yankees.He felt the need to bury a Red Sox t-shirt in the concrete under what will be the new visiting locker room. For the superstitious, this can go either way.

Either he curses the Yankees with this piece of Red Sox lore in the stadium, or he curses the his own Red Sox by this symbolizing the Red Sox being buried in Yankee Stadium for the next 86 years.

It seems that the long civic nightmare that was T-Shirtgate has finally come to an end. The Yankees finally admitted that there was a Red Sox jersey buried in the bowels of the new stadium and employed a team of jackhammers to find the offending garment yesterday.

Hank Steinbrenner, in his inimitable style, denied the shirt's hex appeal shortly after calling in a construction team on a weekend to work for five hours to remove it. He also offered his thoughts about how to deal with Gino Castignoli, the hardhat who buried the thing in the first place. He didn't however, explain why something that preyed on superstitious silliness bothered him quite so much.

"It's a bunch of bullshit," Hank said. I hope his coworkers kick the shit out of him."

Castignoli may have learned his concrete burial skills from the acknowledged masters of the game. According to the New York Post, truly a shame that the Pulitzers have already been handed out this year, he pleaded guilty to involvement in a Gambino family gambling ring although he probably didn't testify for the prosecution, seeing as how he himself isn't wearing the cement boots.

What have we learned from this ordeal? It's pretty easy to get Lil' Stein's goat, for one thing. Serving him a Boston cream pie would probably land you a broken nose and any Yankee employee coming to work with hosiery in the shade of crimson should expect a pink slip.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

O, Eros!

Eros, Sidney Harold Meteyard

O Eros, the conqueror in every fight,
Eros, who squanders all men’s wealth,
who sleeps at night on girls’ soft cheeks,
and roams across the ocean seas
and through the shepherd’s hut—
no immortal god escapes from you,
nor any man, who lives but for a day.
And the one whom you possess goes mad.
-- Sophocles, Antigone.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cheeta!

Today is Cheeta‘s 76th birthday -- Happy Birthday, CHEETA!

Cheeta, the male chimpanzee most famous for his roles in Tarzan movies of the 1930s and 1940s, also became the longest-lived nonhuman primate on record in 1996 when he turned 64. As of 2008, he is still alive (at age 76 on April 9th), living at a desert sanctuary named after him: C.H.E.E.T.A. (which stands for Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered & Threatened Apes). He is reputedly an enthusiastic painter, and his paintings are sold to benefit the sanctuary.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Joe D'allesandro

Joe D’allesandro in Blue in his screen test cropped and shot by gibfoto -- Click on link here -- Joe D’allesandro Andy Warhol Screen Test



Collage of film clips of D'allesandro -- HERE.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Charlton Heston

The New York Times, Monday, April 7, 2008
Charlton Heston, Epic Film Star
and Voice of N.R.A., Dies at 84

and then click on link below to hear the line from "Planet of the Apes":
"Take your stinking paws off me you damn, dirty ape!"

The Man Who Touched Evil and Saved the World
Manohla Dargis, An Appraisal, The New York Times, Apr. 7, 2008

"What does it matter what you say about people?" Marlene Dietrich asks at the end of that 1958 American masterpiece "Touch of Evil." She’s talking about the dead cop Hank Quinlan, a mound of stilled flesh and lasting corruption given frightening life by the film’s director, Orson Welles. The man who brings him down is Vargas, the upright Dudley Do-Right Mexican detective with a paint-on tan. Lantern jaw set like a vise, this is of course Charlton Heston."
For the full article, go HERE.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Nightmare

The Nightmare, 1781, Johann Heinrich F├╝ssli

“A nightmare is a
dream which causes a strong unpleasant emotional response from the sleeper, typically fear or horror, or the sensations of pain, falling, drowning or death. Such dreams can be related to physical causes such as a high fever, or psychological ones such as psychological trauma or stress in the sleeper's life, or can have no apparent cause. If a person has experienced a psychologically traumatic situation in life, for example, a person who may have been captured and tortured, the experience may come back to haunt them in their nightmares. Sleepers may waken in a state of distress and be unable to get back to sleep for some time.” -- Wikipedia

Saturday, April 05, 2008


The Already Big Thing on the Internet: Spying on Users
New York Times, Saturday, April 5, 2008


Friday, April 04, 2008

Frosty Freeze

Wayne Frost, Pioneering Break Dancer, Dies at 44

In this 1981 photo provided by Martha Cooper, breakdance pioneer Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost executes his "dead man" move outside of New York's Lincoln Center. Frost died in a New York hospital Thursday, April 3, 2008 after a long illness. He was 44. (AP Photo/Martha Cooper)

Tribute Video on YouTube -- HERE.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Crocus in front yard, Long Island

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


April Fool! The Purpose of Pranks
(New York Times article)