Recap: First Street Green Opening Day Celebration

Posted on: April 24th, 2012 at 10:28 am by

Despite a chilly, soggy day, many folks in the neighborhood turned out on Sunday afternoon for First Street Green’s opening day of the season.

Jonathan Kuhn, Director of Art & Antiquities for the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, officially unveiled the welded steel sculpture, “First Street Iron,” by Robert Sestok.

Afterward, we had a very interesting chat with Sestok about his work and also about his recollections of living on the Bowery in the mid 1970s. He talked about how, as an artist, you can’t be too nostalgic for the past, yet you must remember your history, while looking forward.

We also noted that a small rat toy made a special appearance at the base of the sculpture for the afternoon, “honoring” his or her non-plastic cohorts, who were evicted from the site, when FSG got involved in cleaning things up.

Providing local color on a dreary day was balloon maker “Pete Balloon,” aka Pete Waldman, who not only wowed the kids in attendance, but impressed the adults by making them bracelets, hats and even light sabers (yes, those were for the adults!). And by the way, our favorite rain hat award goes to co-organizer and umbrella-wrangler, John Bowman.

A small tent provided shelter from the rain and also protected delicious beverages supplied by favorite local haunts such as Veselka Bowery, Prune, and Joe Doe.

Next weekend’s events are as follows:

April 28 – May 20, Sat/Sun at 3:15pm
Downtown Art presents
The Bowery Wars – Part 2

April 29, Sunday 4-5pm
Sergei Tcherepnin Transmigration of Sound
performance/exhibit with AVA Gallery
a solo concert in which the artist plays everyday objects “prepared” in
various ways, transforming them into musical instruments.

The park will have an ongoing schedule of cultural and community events (head to the FSG website and Facebook page for details).

Writeup and photos by Lori Greenberg

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