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Thursday, July 29, 2010

All Is Not Lost

Much of the art and music world in New York City has disappeared, but all is not lost. In the East Village and the outer boroughs, the arts live on, the product of tenacity and resourcefulness. If you are looking for arts on a smaller scale than the major museums, or for music on a smaller scale than Lincoln Center, then you will have look a little harder and concentrate your efforts in neighborhoods like DUMBO and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and the East Village and Lower East Side in Manhattan.

The East Village still has a substantial number of community gardens, art galleries, music clubs, and other small venues. I have featured a number of community gardens here, and more recently, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. These types of places are virtually nonexistent elsewhere in the city.

The KenKeleba House Sculpture Garden spans an entire city block from East 2nd and 3rd Streets.

Kenkeleba House Garden has an extraordinary mix of large African sculptures as well as local sculptures made out of scrap, or bricolage, a specialty of the Lower East Side art scene since the 1970s. Situated in a large plot, the net effect is that of viewing an outdoor museum with both permanent and temporary pieces on exhibit. Some of the outdoor pieces on loan are from local artists who used to belong to the much beloved Rivington Street Sculpture Garden which had two incarnations in the neighborhood before it was pushed out by a new apartment building.

Double back to Avenue B, continue south for one block, and turn left onto to East 2nd Street. Since the whole garden runs from East 3rd to East 2nd between Avenue B and Avenue C, closer to Avenue B, it needs to be approached from both sides. The separate planted garden area, can be accessed from the East 2nd Street side entering during the designated posted hours when the garden gate is open. At other times, take a look around to see if anyone is in the gallery at 219 East 2nd Street who could open the garden for you. It is worth trying to gain entry to the planted garden, particularly since this also allows entry to the sculpture garden.

All is not lost...


Boy and Girl Downtown said...

this is awesome! I had no idea this existed, and I live just a couple avenues away. Can't wait to check it out!

this too will pass said...

really cool