Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dorothy Marie Miner
Morningside Resident & Preservationist

New York has lost one of its sharpest minds, iron wills and gracious hearts. Our dear friend Dorothy Marie Miner passed away Tuesday night.

Dorothy served as the counsel for the Landmarks Preservation Commission for two decades, furiously protecting the integrity of the Landmarks Law and guiding the Commission through some of its toughest legal challenges. She played a critical role in the 1978 Penn Central case, which upheld not only the designation of Grand Central Terminal but also the constitutionality of local governments to protect historic buildings.

After leaving theCommission in 1994, Dorothy continued to be active in the preservation worldoffering her expertise to many non-profit and civic organizations. She was a dedicated and inspiring professor at Columbia's Historic Preservation
program, Pace University School of Law, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Dorothy was an integral part of the Municipal Art Society, serving on all four of its professional committees (Preservation, Planning, Law, and Streetscape) for years. Dorothy's dedication went well beyond her extraordinary work on those committees. She was a mentor to so many on the MAS staff. While demanding and rigorous when it came to work, she was a warm and sweet friend to so many of us. She is irreplaceable and will be sorely missed by everyone at MAS.

Dorothy M. (O'Driscoll) Miner

MINER Dorothy M. (O'Driscoll), 72, of New York City, died October 21, 2008. Survived by her brothers Robert Dwight Miner, DDS and his wife Virginia of Montvale, NJ and Richard Thomas Miner, J.D. and his wife Gail of Sparta, NJ. Loving aunt to Jeffrey Miner, Cynthia Kadelke and Catherine Hartenstein. She was predeceased by her husband James E. O'Driscoll in 1993. Dorothy graduated from Smith College and Columbia Law School (From 1975-1994).

Dorothy was Counsel to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. Since 1995, she was an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University teaching Historic Preservation Law.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 9:30 AM at the Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, New York, NY. Interment, private.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Historic Districts Council, 232 East 11th Street, NY, NY 10003 or The Dwight C. Miner Scholarship Fund, Columbia College Office of Alumni Affairs, Suite 917, 475 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10115 in her memory would be appreciated.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amateur Night at the Apollo
Obama/Palin Photo Exclusive!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the Village Drum: A Righteous Sister
Donna Brazile on the Election

Barbara Jordon, Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisholm and Rosa Parks.

If you're on the e-mail list of my brother-in-law or some other chronic blasters of African American humor, news, and rumor, you may find yourself either deleting their messages, unread, or placing them last in the que for review. However, on occasion, there are some that make you take notice.

The other day, the subject heading, " Donna Brazile speaks her mind" grabbed my curiosity. Upon reviewing her Youtube commentary I was reminded of several other direct speakin' and plain talkin' professional 20th Century sisters, who like herself, have helped to shoulder our advance, and to whom we owe a great debt. Though pioneer political women like Barbara Jordan, Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisholm and Rosa Parks are no longer with us, Ms. Brazile's spirited remarks remind us "win or lose" from wens we've come.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Harlem's Social Diary: 9.24.2008
An Uptown Fundraiser For Obama

Photographs by Tony Savino
Giving Obama a leg up!

Host Committee members John Reddick, Barbara Alleyne, Hellura Lyle, Richard Cummings Jr., Dale Dobson & Smantha Fennell. Guest Speaker, Dave Pollak, Obama for America NYS Director (below)
The Beaumont, 730 Riverside Drive

It was a wonderful evening at the Beaumont... joyfully reminiscent of the days in the 1950's when Ralph Ellison, Marian Anderson and other unique individuals resided there.

A gathering of Harlem folks, and an extended following, had come to "730" and the home of Ann Dobson and her daughter Dale. A festive spirit dominated... sparked by the fact, that all in attendance where there to support and contemplate the liberating possibility of Barack Obama as America's president!

The evening's Jazz was provided by the Loren Schoenberg Trio, featuring famed trumpeter Joe Wilder, a local Riverside Drive neighbor.

The Host Committee Members Barbara Alleyne, Richard Cummings Jr., Hon. Inez Dickens, Ann Dobson, Dale Dobson, Michael John Downie, Samantha Fennell, Hellura Lyle, Alma Rangel, John Reddick, Beatrice Sibblies and Katrin Zimmermann with the support of their guests raised over $20,000 for the campaign's Obama Victory Fund.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Realism: Classical Black & Magical White
Artists Kehinde Wiley & George Tooker

Snap, vogue, pose... "realism" is alive Uptown!

On 125th Street, at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977), one of museum's former Artist-in-Residence, is presenting an array of larger then life portraits of African men. While, along the northern reaches of Fifth Avenue's, Museum Mile the portraits of isolated New Yorkers by artist George Tooker (b. 1920) are on display at the National Academy Museum.

As one moves through these exhibitions the technical talents of both artists are abundantly evident, even to the untutored eye of an Alaskan governor.

However, amidst the conveyed realism of these everyday figures lurks a definably "queer" energy. I'm certain, t
o many viewers, the mesmerizing stares from these paintings are setting off all sorts of psychological alarms. On the street, or in a public gathering, such looks might elicit diverted eye contact, a knowing nod or smile, and possibly, a blistering, "what the f.... are you looking at!" However, for another knowing audience, the unflinching male gazes are setting off what might amusingly be referred to as the "gay-dar" alarm.

It's this energy, strongly felt, that makes the similarities between these two artists, bridging very different generations and cultures, immensely fascinating. In exploring their biographies, both artists conveyed a certain comfort between their homosexuality and their art. Tooker for example, who termed his paintings, "magical realism," had a long-term relationship with artist, Bill Christopher and a supportive circle of like minded artist friends, which included Jared French and Paul Cadmus, both of whom greatly influenced his work. It's easy also, to reflect in the Kehinde Wiley video below, a similar gay camaraderie between Wiley and his African models.
A spirit, reminiscent of that displayed between
artists like Andy Warhol or David Hockney and their gentlemen posers.

The unique opportunity to concurrently cruise the work of these two artists should not be missed!

George Tooker (Left) with painter friends Jared French and Monroe Wheeler.

Video: The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar
Kehinde Wiley's (b. 1977)

Jul 16, 2008 - Oct 26, 2008
Kehinde Wiley:
The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar

Studio Museum in Harlem
144 West 125th Street

Oct 2, 2008 - Jan 2, 2009
George Tooker:
A Retrospective

National Academy Museum
1083 Fifth Avenue