LIC: CAUGHT IN THE CULTURAL COCKFIGHT
Yesssss, LIC . It Ain’t Yuh Grampa’s Queens No Mawwr
2016 Long Island City reminds me of what Soho USED to be in it’s preBloomingdales heyday — a motley stew of mysterious, grey, tough-guy warehouses peppered with color; eruptions of stick-it-to-duh-man art bubbling over onto it’s sidewalks.
Making art here isn’t a hobby, or big business. It’s an act of claiming ownership. It’s planting a flag on the moon.
All of these New York City neighborhoods, while still in their pioneering, pre-gentrification (or in this case, mid-gentrification) stage are populated by two groups our culture has recently tried to polarize — like we Americans are engaged in some sort of cultural-cockfight…
In dis cawnuh — the Salt Of the Earth! (mostly white, mostly male, wholly hetero, manual laborers)
And in DIS cawnuh — the SASS Of The Earth! (largely LGBT, multi-ethnic, multi-gender, multi-media, mural-lovin’ artists)
I don’t know what the two disparate groups REALLY think about each other underneath it all, but I don’t much care either, because THEY don’t seem to care.
They don’t dwell on it. They mind their own business and they make it work. And it’s the contributions of BOTH groups that make it the distinctive, interesting community it is.
No billionaires allowed!
Corporate interests keep out!!
They’re all just trying to make ends meet and have a good time.