vignettes of the nite LVIV: memories, moms, and mentorship

Last nite I had the first of several dinner parties to celebrate my 20th anniversary living in New York before it ends (early September). Its a milestone I’ve wanted to mark but I burned out on big parties (esp. in my apartment) so decided to organize a small impromptu gathering. 13 of us in a newish Italian restaurant in Greenpoint, Adelina’s, distinguished by wine barrels and street art (owner is the son of graf artists from EV scene in 1980s). Some of my friends recognized their old friend, Ken Hiratsuka’s Ken Hiratsuka work hanging on the brick wall. A stele-like slab of sidewalk carved with Haring-esque hierolgyphs. A happy coincidence, I enjoyed. It was all rather ad hoc, but random is how I roll these days, as I’m too busy to really plan much else.

Speaking of busy, on Friday as I covertly put up posters for my Artist Statement workshop at Pulse (including the men’s bathroom), and saw someone lock in on the QR code w/their phone, I followed behind them to see if it worked, and it did! Between that, and my getting my first smartphone ever this week, i’m feeling like a 21st century fox! At the dinner party, I used my new phone (Samsung via MetroPCS) to google everyone’s website so people could see each others’ work, and it was such a nice moment of sharing:)

Walking home, a guy from the new BRC shelter in the nabe started a song and dance that included the price of the turkey sandwich he bought, his calculations as to how much he needed for a bed that nite being $11. As someone who’s worked professionally with the homeless – as a caseworker and public advocate, as well as a street outreach-volunteer – I knew he wasn’t lying, so I gave him $6. He told me his name and said, should I ever need anything, to remember it, just in case. Then he asked me for my name. A sincere hustle is always one to empathize with.

So too, the email from California Against Slavery that appeared in my inbox just now, honoring foster moms on Mother’s Day, tugged at my heart. Go to their FB page, and you’ll find another post about how the foster care system has been integral to the human trafficking network in this country, the implication being good foster parents are rare as so many exploit those in their care, but posting that on Mother’s Day would be too gruesome for most. I swear if I’m ever able to handle the responsibility of parenting in the future, I will try to foster. I honestly don’t understand why more of those do decide they’re up for parenthood don’t consider it.

One of my friends who came tonite, Hunter Reynolds, took in a young woman who was part of this amazing program he’s fundraising for again now called Arts in the Woods, a camp in the Catskills for homeless queer youth. Please donate. Its the kind of org that works miracles with so little. I’m going to donate in honor of my Mom on Mothers Day!