Bob Holman: Its morning! It’s time for a poem. Bob Holman here on WNYC.
From the window of the Bowery Poetry Club I’m watching the extraordinary changes....
We’re in a three crane zone right now on the Bowery. Brenda Coultas is a young poet from the Lower East Side who has taken a different view. She has set up a table, where she talks to people, lets the city roll by and even investigates the dumpsters. For her bowery project which is part of her new book, A Handmade Museum.
Excerpt from "A Handmade Museum" by Brenda Coultas
The Bowery Plan goes something like this: there are explosions and condos arise Las Vegas-like from the smoke. There are floodlights and fireworks or helium balloon races or ribbons cut or ground broken with ceremonial shovels or trees wrapped in yellow ribbons or butterflies, freshly hatched, flying out of boxes. That is the mayor's plan, however mine is different, mine includes group- ings of tables and chairs and hanging plants, all portable, public gardens and open houses and a faux suicide reenactment by 5 bungee-jumping squatters at
McGurk's Suicide Hall.
Flowers and graffiti at CBGBs for Joey Ramone.
A tour guide was standing in front, he was saying that it was better to tear down a building than to allow the residents, artists and writers, to live in it paying below market rates. He said that this was his personal opinion and did not represent the views of the Bowery Tour Guide Service.
What had been an empty lot, then a plant nursery, is now a building site for NYU dorms. Across the street another one is going up. I’m not sure what its to be. Old Capital Silver, a restaurant supply house, is being remodeled, so at least the building is saved. The night they emptied it, we were going to a reading and saw the big dumpster. Graciously they had left out a small oak desk, we con- sidered it (needing a desk) but it was dry rotted and the wood came away in our hands. By the time we returned, there was a man on top pulling out what he could, and it was dark.
(April 21, 2002, 2nd st. & Bowery)
Holman: For WNYC, I’m Bob Holman.