I got a bit more background this morning on our farmer neighbor, José Rodriguez. I was up early making iced tea and he grows a large plot of fresh mint, so I went down to trade orange juice for some. On his table was a tattered folder of crumbling newsprint and fading color photos, “What’s that?” I asked. I could tell he wanted to show me. Turns out José was a boxer in his day. A proud boxer.
Born in 1937, (he’s 73) by the late 1950‘s when he was 22 he was a regular on the New York boxing circuit... first the Boys Club, later the Golden Gloves and finally ranked with a brief but notable professional career and with all the clippings to prove it. He told me Brooklyn’s famous Gleason’s Boxing Gym started in the Bronx and sure enough, history confirms this.
“It was on 149th Street” he told me, “my home gym, I fought 13 professional fights.” He showed me a scar on his chin.
For a few moments in his spanglish he reminisced about “the fights, the girls, the money and the papers”, a reference to post-fight interviews conducted by the Daily News. He showed me newspaper photo after photo to evidence everything he said. He was a well known fighter in his day.
José is a kind of link..... a window to a Bronx long past, a Bronx we can only imagine before Manhattan cornered the market on glamour. A time when young Hispanic men in their prime held court in the local nightclubs and on the street corners with their shiny American cars. And in the boxing ring. Post war America, when anything was possible.
That New York is gone.
But a guy who was there and will tell you all about it is right across the street if you’re interested. With pictures, even.
The ClockTowerSalon art space smelled of spraypaint and ambition today as the contributing artists arrived, lifted, carried and installed their works for the upcoming opening night, curated by our own Diana Rivera.
LanceLee climbed and hung his vintage lighting in temporary positions pending final art placement while Charles from Carnegie Management, our mentor and spiritual facilitator, looked on.
Every day this week ground must be gained in the salon as the ClockTower ticks towards this Friday night’s opening party, 7pm till Midnight, with refreshments by Let Them Eat Cake and our good pals over at the Bruckner Bar, and with sounds from our DJ Matt Donino.
That’s this Friday the 3rd, at 7pm.
The ClockTowerSalon. Where art lives in the south Bronx.
Everyone by now is aware of the FACEBOOK movie coming out October 1st, “The Social Network”, but just in case you haven’t seen the trailer it’s embedded here. The chorale music behind the dialog is as gorgeous as it is haunting, so I searched for who is doing the singing. The song we already know, “CREEP” from RadioHead's Pablo Honey:
"Creep" is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead, written by vocalist Thom Yorke. Radiohead released "Creep" as their debut single in 1992, and it later appeared on their first album, Pablo Honey (1993). During its initial release, "Creep" was not a chart success. However, upon re-release in 1993, it became a worldwide hit. (Wikipedia)
But I didn’t recognize the female choir so I looked them up.
Scala & Kolacny Brothers is a Belgian girls' choir, conducted by Stijn Kolacny and arranged and accompanied by Steven Kolacny on the piano. Formed in 1996 and winning the Belgian 'Choir of the Year'-contest in 2000, they have made five studio albums, starting with On The Rocks in 2002. (Wikipedia)
Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay so we already know the dialog will crackle. And the projected numbers for this movie are nothing less than astounding.
It seems to me a realistic assumption that most FaceBook users will see this film. FaceBook has over 500 million registered users and a first run movie ticket approaches $20 in many places. Even if $1 Redbox rentals, Netflix streaming, $9.99 DVD purchase and piracy brings that average down to half, that’s still ten bucks per user or a 5 Billion (with a B) return on investment. To give you some idea of the magnitude of a figure like that, TITANIC at $1.84b has been the champ since 1997 until AVATAR just blew it away in 2009 with a collective $2.7b. With a little luck, “The Social Network” has a plausible shot at nearly twice that. Amazing. Networking works.
Enjoy the musical theme if you have not yet heard this, and follow the lyrics, if you like. Couldn't be more cogent.