One of the biggest cults of them all….
(via unimportantbullshit)Source: mymodernmet.com
Over Thanksgiving weekend I flew to New York to add my voice to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in Zucotti Park Manhattan.
Inspired by the news reports and especially the Stephen Colbert interview of Ketchup, a self-proclaimed “autonomous person” or non-leader of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I set aside the whole day to protest whatever OWS was protesting….
“In fat times and in lean times, Billionaire Bloomberg swings his budget ax at poor people with AIDS. This year we join forces with the 99 percent who are rising up to demand economic justice. People want to live in a society where health care, housing and support services for people with AIDS are considered a priority over bankers’ investment portfolios,” said Housing Works New York City Director for Policy and Organizing Kristin Goodwin. (via Video and Photos: Thirteen “Robin Hoods” Arrested at World AIDS Day Wall Street Protest — AIDS Issues Update — Housing Works)
When Gino Francesconi arrived in New York to study conducting in 1974, one of his first stops was Carnegie Hall. “Because this was where I was going to make it. I wanted to see this hall,” he recalls.
But when the San Francisco native entered the lobby, he was sure he was in the wrong place. “It was dark, it was dingy, there was litter on the floor, and it was small. I didn’t realize that it was bigger than most Broadway lobbies,” he says, laughing, “so I walked into the box office, and, talk about green, I said to the guy, ‘Excuse me, is there another Carnegie Hall around here?’ And he said, without missing a beat, ‘How many Carnegie Halls do you want, buddy?’ And it’s just kind of funny, because there it was, it was all you needed to hear. I didn’t know what it looked like, but I knew what it meant.”
Francesconi has since become intimately familiar with nearly every nook and cranny of Carnegie Hall. Its first and only archivist, he is the concert hall’s walking encyclopedia, a catalog of everything from encounters with legendary artists and landmark performances to obscure facts about the building and behind-the-scenes trivia. But the position is one that he never would have envisioned for himself when he came to New York with dreams of performing on the stage.
One beautiful autumn day in New York, Brandon and Pattie, (I will call them Brandon and Pattie), and I walked down the streets of SoHo visiting art gallery after art gallery and stopping at bars for cocktails. The Boom was our favorite hangout. As we walked down the street we passed a street vendor who was selling colored chalk poster size nudes. Seated on a stoop in front of a brownstone was a woman holding an even larger poster that said “this porno must go”. I asked her “how much are they discounting them?” and she said “oh no I’m protesting the pornography, my sign says they must go as in they must stop selling this filth right now!”. I was disappointed that the artist wasn’t having a fire sale.
Next we passed The Dolce & Gabbana, the flagship store. Brandon looked in the window and said “it’s no Ralph Lauren!” All Brandon wore was Polo at that time.
We sauntered on down the sidewalk and Brandon suddenly stopped and dropped to his knees. “What’s wrong Brandon”? Pattie and I queried. “That’s Madonna he said, that’s Madonna up there getting out of that chauffeur driven Mercedes-Benz. Pattie and I strained hard to see all the way down the block. There were two small looking women emerging from a black Mercedes-Benz with tinted glass. Their door was being opened by their chauffeur for them. “That’s not Madonna” I said “don’t be ridiculous.” Brandon would not move. He said “that’s Madonna I tells you”. “Oh Brandon shut the hell up you don’t know what you’re talking about” Pattie said. Brandon let out a heavy sigh and then returned to his feet. “Okay but I’m just saying that that’s Madonna right there!” he said as you pointed furiously.
“Brandon you’re crazy now, let’s go” I said. As we traveled towards the end of the block we saw two small women wearing track suits walking towards us. As we passed them we all got a very good look and by God it was Madonna.
Without saying a word we entered the boutique. It was a large space and most of the clothes were on racks along the perimeter. There were big open spaces in the middle. We fanned out ahead of Madonna and her friend in the store and tried to look casual. There was hardly anybody else in the store. We pretended to be looking at the couture on a rack and we waited for Madonna to approach us. She approached Pattie and gave her a knowing look. Pattie gasped. When she approached me she stopped to look at a jacket just 1 foot away from me and I stared at her. She stared back at me and pulled her sunglasses down to the end of her nose and said nonverbally “you know who I am, now don’t say a thing you fucking little shit”.
I shuddered. I let out a little cry like a little girl.
Brandon had had enough. He was overwhelmed. He marched out of the store. I slowly followed him skipping as not to be conspicuous. Pattie remained and watched Madonna’s friend join Madonna as they descended the stairs to meet with a personal shopper.
Outside of D&G on the street we all huddled in a doorway shaking. “What are we going to do now ?!!!!!, what are we going to do now ?!!!!! Pattie screamed.
Brandon and I were hyperventilating.
“Okay, okay let me think Brandon said. Then he spied flowers on the street being sold at a deli. He reached into his pocket and shoved money in Pattie’s face. “Go buy her some flowers, go buy her some flowers! He said as his boy voice shrieked and cracked.
I jumped up and down with joy.
Pattie ran across the street. Brandon and I looked both ways up and down the street and then we crossed. We followed Pattie from doorway to doorway and pillar to pillar approaching as if we were a Navy SEALs team.
Pattie was flustered trying to buy the flowers. Brandonl intervened. “Oh my God, oh my God she’s coming he said!” “We don’t need the greens, we don’t need the fucking baby’s breath he told the vendor as he snatched the flowers out of the frightened Korean man’s hands and handed them to Pattie.”Go give’em to her” he said barking his order.
I was speechless; all I could do was violently shake my head in agreement. As Madonna and her friend approached us, now all dolled up in their D&G Brandon and I hid, huddled in a doorway.
Then casually, as casually as she could, Pattie approached Madonna as she walked back to her limousine and slowly, gingerly she handed Madonna the flowers but Madonna didn’t break from her cell phone conversation, instead she tossed the flowers in the arms of her friend barely acknowledging Pattie. As Pattie passed Brandon and I, I snatched her and held her tight as Brandon held me tight from behind in a three-way fetal spoon. We rocked back and forth nearly paralyzed.
Finally Brandon sprung up “go follow her, go follow her!” he said to Pattie. And Pattie obeyed as Brandon and I followed her in SWAT team fashion, stopping to pretend to tie a shoelace or pretend to speak on Brandon’s cell phone, or we would hide behind strangers as we creep closer.
When Madonna and her buddy reached the limousine the chauffeur helped them put all of their packages in the trunk. Then he opened the doors for them and seated them in the back seat.
Pattie drew ever closer with Brandon and I in hot pursuit.
Just as Pattie was reaching the Mercedes-Benz they started to pull away. Then there was this moment when time stood still. The car suddenly screeched to a halt and went into reverse creeping towards where Pattie stood. Brandon and I reached an ungodly level of hysterics.
As the limousine backed up ever so slowly down came the tinted rear window with Madonna’s face sticking out of it. The car stopped. Madonna opened her mouth as if to say something to Pattie. She was looking directly at Pattie face to face…in that moment I became a hyper-hypo who could not contain himself. I leaped forward 10 feet and then threw myself 4 feet into the air and twirled around like Baryshnikov.
At that very moment, the edge of greatness… Madonna saw me. She couldn’t help but see me a 6’1” man performing Swan Lake in the air in front of her car window. That’s when the window with back up and the car peeled away from the curb.
“Andrew, Andrew what the hell did you do?” screamed Pattie. “You just fucked up Pattie’s date Madonna” Brandon angrily shouted.
It took us hours to calm down and for Brandon and Pattie to forgive me.
We had to drink a lot of drinks before we felt normal again.
The next day photographs of Madonna and her galpal (who turned out to be Ingrid Casaresa nightclub owner with a club called Liquid in Miami), dressed in all of their D&G was splashed across page 3 of The Daily News…