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Posts tagged "Street Art/Theater"

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Brooklyn Students Paint the Pavement

In what is being called the first ever of its kind in New York City, Livable Streets Education teamed up with Community Roots Charter School and PS 67 and got a helping hand from New York Cares and The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership to paint a magnificent street mural on St. Edwards Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The project, which was designed by art students, was done with the blessing of NYC Department of Transportation under their new Urban Art Program initiative. These short term, art projects on city assets under their purview are now referred to as "Arterventions" by the DOT.

As you'll see the students, teachers, volunteers and neighborhood residents all pitched in to bring the street to life, courtesy of tweleve vibrant colors. And as the event was wrapping, trucks from a Million Trees NYC appeared and started planting trees on the block. How's that for good karma?

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The Prospect Park Youth Advocates

The Prospect Park Youth Advocate Internship Program is Transportation Alternative's first youth led campaign focused on making Prospect Park car-free.  Four talented Brooklyn high school students worked hard all summer to rejuvenate the car-free Prospect Park campaign while learning first hand about advocacy and community organizing. They blogged (check out http://youthforcarfreeparks.org/), performed street theater, met with New York City Council members, appeared on television, recorded cars breaking the speed limit in the loop drive, and gave out free lemonade and ice tea to park goers.  On September 15, 2008, the Youth Advocates, joined by supporters from Freedom Academy High School, the Brooklyn Academy for Science and the Environment and the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to rally at City Hall and hand deliver more than 10,000 signed postcards asking Mayor Bloomberg for a car-free Prospect Park.  Simply put, these young Brooklynites are awesome.

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Park(ing) Day NYC 2008

Transportation Alternatives reports during this year's foray into PARKing Day there were over 50 parking spaces temporarily reclaimed throughout the city, nearly doubling last year's total. I'll say this: that's a lot of freaking sod!!

As usual for these things, the fare ran from the wildly creative to the calm & soothing. There was a meditation garden in Williamsburg, origami being folded at The Open Planning Project's spot, and a bevy of spots with an advocacy theme. But the strangest time-continuum alternative-universe event occurred at Peter Frishauf's spot on the Upper West Side where I filmed him following the live blogging on Streetsblog about PARKing Day! And finally, although my work comrades had an amazingly elaborate spot, if I had to vote this year's winner it would be the Lower East Side Girl's Club. Again. You guys rock.

This year my travels took me to four of the five boros: biked 43 miles, filmed 22 spots, spent 11 hours outdoors and had one bike crash - while I was walking my bike through Times Square. Go figure!

Related Linkage: ReBar, PARK(ing) Day NYC site, PARK(ing) Day NYC 2007 video, Park(ing) Day SF 2006 video. And a big hug to Ditto Ditto who let us use their bouncy-fun tune for this piece.

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Figment* 2008 on Governors Island

This weekend, FIGMENT 2008, a free, non-profit art project, drew upwards of 10,000 people to Governors Island for a three day festival of performance, music and participatory art. Partnering with Governors Island, the producers of FIGMENT hope to increase the enjoyment of art by placing it in an under-utilized public space just minutes from downtown. Streetfilms was there to cover the event and speak to one of the creators on what it's all about.

StreetFilms
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Lounging & Lollygaging in Wodonga

David Engwicht is a livable streets philosopher and author. Creator of the Walking School Bus, Mental Speed Bumps and many other innovative ways of taming traffic and increasing pedestrian safety, he has taken on "the challenge of a lifetime" to revitalize the downtown district of Wodonga, a small city in Australia often referred to as "Struggle Town" in comparison to its sister city Albury just across the Murray River.

Watch the video to see great placemaking in action. Engwicht has initiated the successful Lounging on High Friday night series. The diverse programming features giant versions of board games and an eclectic range of seating options, the goal being to encourage residents to take back their streets and re-imagine what is possible. To create a more human pace, on these Friday nights Wodonga closes one street and removes two lanes of car travel on another to encourage relaxation and fun.

David Engwicht (left): "If we can do this here...any city can take back their public space."

StreetFilms
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NYC Bike Move!

Inspired by a previous Streetfilm from Portland, Oregon, filmmaker Nicholas Whitaker decided to answer the challenge and bring you, Bike Move Too!

When his girlfriend Jes Schultz was priced out of her Fort Greene Brooklyn apartment, they decided to call a few friends with bikes and move her out, futon and all, to a new apartment in Crown Heights. This film illustrates how with a little ingenuity, determination, and friends, it can be done without creating a huge impact on your environment.

It also may be the first New York City bike move movie. (An hour scouring the web, calling friends, and searching YouTube tags turned up nothing in NYC.)

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Astor Playa 2007: TOPP at Burning Man

In the summer of 2007, friends, colleagues and employees of The Open Planning Project traveled to Black Rock City Nevada for the annual Burning Man Festival, bringing with them a piece of New York City re-imagined. Astor Playa, was a radical re-imagination of the historical Astor Place freed from the constraints of traffic, commercialism and city planning that favors cars over people.

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Clowns Liberate Bike Lanes

Last weekend on their way to celebrate the new physically separated bike lane on 9th ave, the Time's Up! Bicycle Clown Brigade set out to playfully educate car drivers who were illegally parked in bike lanes. Those who refused to move out of the bike lanes, received mock tickets for violating NYC traffic rule Section 4-08(e), which explicitly prohibits stopping, standing, or parking within a bike lane, and carries a fine of up to $115.

Driving in bike lanes is actually a serious issue. Check this out.

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Tykes Take the Streets: Kids Art Bike Parade

This past Saturday, over 100 children, along with parents & advocates rode their beautifully adorned bike machines in the first annual Kids Art Bike Ride For the Lower East Side.

The event was hosted by The East Village Community Coalition in cooperation with Transportation Alternatives, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Bike New York, The Lower East Side Girls Club and a slew of other amazing groups too numerous to name. Many public and elected officials turned out to join the festivities.

Following a bike decorating workshop and a bike helmet give away by the NYC DOT, the event took participants on a 30 minute ride through the streets of the East Village, including a trip down the 2nd Avenue bike lane! With spirits high and smiles wide, children, some who had never had the chance to ride NYC's streets using pedal power before, got a glimpse of what a more equitable use of city streets could be like.

StreetFilms
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PARKing Day Redux in Park Slope! (2007)

Continuing the PARKing Day excitement this weekend was the original Parking Spot Squat crew who took to celebrating a few weeks late after being shut down prematurely last month by Park Slope's 78th precinct.

StreetFilms was there talking to organizers, neighbors, passerby, City Councilmember Letica James and even drivers(!) - who didn't seem to mind the concept of taking back a parking space for public alfresco use. We love the little girl who says, "I've never sat in a parking spot before."

Related: PARKing Day NYC 2007

Music: Alexander Blu

Creative Commons License

StreetFilms
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One Night of Fire

This falls a bit outside of our typical coverage sphere, but this weekend the very mysterious and enchanting "One Night of Fire" beckoned and StreetFilms produced this video essay of the gathering. I can frankly say I have never been in a subway car jammed with so many energetic people or had so much fun walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with thousands of people. It was a beautiful night.

Anytime people gather in public spaces it is a healthy sign of vitality for a city. In a related matter, this summer The Open Planning Project is sending a team to Burning Man to construct a full scale replica of Astor Place in Manhattan. But our version will include public seating, art, expanded sidewalks, greenery and many other amenities we'd like to see spring up to make the asphalt expanse there become more of a public plaza.

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Brooklyn Critical Mass: Feel the Love

Here's an anomaly that runs counter to the trend in many major U.S. cities: a Critical Mass bike ride, without incidents or arrests. And in Brooklyn it has been going on for three years!

Why? No one really seems to have a solid answer. But it was nice to see the NYPD getting along with about 150 cyclists venturing out to celebrate their right to the road. I mean come on, it's only for a few hours per month.

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Make Music New York

For your enjoyment here are some of the sounds and melodies from over 500 musical acts on the sidewalks of Gotham yesterday. We were one of 300 cities celebrating the longest day of the year enveloped in sound.

The first annual Make Music New York is based upon France's Fete de la Musique, and was organized by Aaron Friedman.

Yesterday, I lugged around my video equipment by bike, rode nearly 30 miles and endured two nasty thunderstorms. It was so much fun. Next year, ride a bike. Trust me on this.

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Intersection Repair

Ever dreamed of making the streets outside your abode more livable, pedestrian-friendly, and community-oriented?City Repair in Portland, Oregon hosts an annual Village Building Convergence where hundreds of people come together to build diverse projects for the benefit of their communites and to take back their streets via a process known as the Intersection Repair.This involves painting streets with a high-visiblity mural that creates a public square for residents to gather and one which gently encourages drivers to slow down when approaching these spaces. Over time the neighbors further enhance the transformation by adding amenities like benches, community bulletin boards, and introducing gardens & art. As you'll see, the possibilites are endless.StreetFilms visited three of the Intersection Repairs and spoke with Mark Lakeman co-founder of City Repair, Greg Raisman, the Portland DOT Liason, and scores of residents & volunteers about why they were doing it.

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Why I Ride

Bike Month continues with a great 30-day exhibit called Why I Ride: The Art of Bicycling in New York. Many artists are featured at four sites in Manhattan, including The Lower East Side Girls Club. There is also a diverse on-line gallery to experience.

StreetFilms stopped by the gala opening to ask people why they ride.