Monday, May 6, 2013

The Secrets of Death Avenue Walking Tour!

What do you get when you get a room full of environmental activists who happen to be creative, performers, artists, writers, historians and shake it up with a dash of march, dash of education, dash of history and mystery? A New York City theatrical walking tour, of course! 




We sat in a meeting one night deciding our next course of action for educational outreach for this summer since Con Ed will be digging under the new Whitney Museum to start connecting itself to the Spectra Pipeline. Do we march? Not quite effective enough. Do we flyer more? Sure, but we need something with a little more pizzazz. Our wonderful partner George Pingeon is an actual bicycle tour guide in the city of NYC, so JK Canepa and Eric Walton suggested, "Hey why not a walking tour?" Denise Katzman then informed us about Municipal Art Society's event called "Jane's Walk"   So we decided to get to the drawing board and suss out a walking tour designed to be fun, educational, provocative and hard-to-forget.

We had some facts lined up: 

1. 10th Avenue used to be called DEATH AVENUE Why? Well, I don't want to spoil it for you since we are going to be doing this tour hopefully each month coming up, but to give you a little hint: It involves trains killing people and COWBOYS that took matters into their own hands to protect the people.
2. That the Meat Packing District was once home to meat packers that hung carcasses from its awnings over the sidewalks
3. That the restaurant Florent was the *it* spot to hang after late nights for subcultures of society which paved the way for hip designers and artists to come round and give birth to the ritzy place it has turned into today (love it or hate it, it's there)
4. That Jane Jacobs (who is the woman of honor for MAS's "Jane's Walk") used to live in the hood and created a movement to fight Robert Moses' horrible plans to turn lower Manhattan into a huge highway
5. That the Spectra Pipeline carries the torch up 10th Avenue for the previously nicknamed Death Avenue
6. That we had a wicked hurricane (Sandy) that drown the neighborhood just 6 months ago
7. That we have the choice for renewables if we encourage everyone to be the "Jane Jacobs" of their time and stick up for the people, and what is right for our healthy, clean future.

So we sculpted a script around it and here is what you get. I hope you enjoy the pictures and JOIN US for our next tour!


George Kicks Off our tour! Great crowd!
No Walking Tour would be complete without the harassment of the NYPD who decided to trail our tour with several officers for the entire duration! Let's hope they learned something about fracking and this dangerous radioactive pipeline is coming into their precinct.  
One of our favorite Cowgirls, Susanne, who rescues the people when the city's train puts them in harms way.
Photo by Stacy Lanyon

Pitstop at one of our ol' fave dives, Florent
Jane Jacobs , played by Monica, reading to spar with Robert Moses over people's rights to a healthy environment
Robert Moses, played by Joe Therrien, gittin' his arse kicked by Jane Jacobs. Phew!
photo by Stacy Lanyon

We get to meet Joan Baez along the way with all the other West Village artists
And wow! It's Dylan Thomas!
photo by Stacy Lanyon

Uh oh, and then Owen gets a mouthful from Greg Ebel, the CEO of Spectra Energy (played by Marina Tsaplina).
photo by Stacy Lanyon

And then Kim asks "Who's ready to be the next Jane Jacobs and fight this fracked gas pipeline!?"
photo by Stacy Lanyon

We meet Hurricane Sandy, played by Morgan Jenness, 

And we learn about renewables like solar and wind power that are ready to go!
We just need our government to hop on them as fast as they are hopping
on natural gas extraction that is endangering our entire future.
 

Many folks are ready to look into the future toward renewables.

Thank you to John Duffy, Stacy Lanyon and Erik McGregor for documenting our day.

Video to come soon. Stay tuned!





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