What's Up For Today?

What Makes New York
Weird and Wonderful

Written by Wendy R. Williams

Photographed by the New York Cool Photographers
  Photo Credit Evan Sung

Note: This article was first published in April of 2006.

The things we look at; what we see when we walk out the door.

Living in this city is a banquet for the soul. You walk down the streets and see wondrous things, some you remember and some that seep into your subconscious, only to come bubbling up late as an idea, a creation. Artists desperately need a city as messy as New York with its polyglot of cultures. It is a place where life will not fit into a frame, a place where the people themselves (with their clothing, hair and tattoos) are walking art. Where else in the United States can you walk into a small clothing shop and see sewing machines in the back creating clothing as art. The graffiti on the walls in the East Village, the parades, the bars, the clubs – these are the things that turn us on and make us alive.

The New York Cool photographers scour the city looking for the seeds of our cultural greatness – the things make us create. Here are some of the many wondrous things we have looked at in the past two years and what they mean to me – my art stars and places.

Boy George - Photo Credit Diedre Kilgore

Amanda Lepore - Photo Credit Diedre Kilgore

Amanda Lepore and Boy George are two fashion/style icons, walking billboards of fabulousness. It takes hours of preparation before they can walk out the door and accessorize this city and I thank them for taking the time to cheer us up just by being who they are.

Designer Sumie Tachibana
Model Adiamond Baker
Photo Credit Evan Sung

Designer Allyson Jacobs Exhibits
Photo Credit Mary Blanco


Designer Hillary Flowers Exhibits at Sol Nightclub
Photo Credit Krisztina Fazekas

New York is a Mecca for fashion voyeurs with designers like the gothic inspired Sumie Tachibana, Allyson Jacobs (a goddess of street creed) and club chick diva Hillary Flowers – they are the yeast that rises to be shown at Olympus Fashion Week.

Times Square Window
Photo Credit Melinda Maclean
Bodies The Exhibit
Photo Credit Melinda Maclean

Then there is the jolt to the senses from the bodies of Times Square and the Bodies Exhibit at the South Street Seaport. Where else but New York?

Justine Reyes Masks

Justine Reyes Masks

And who can look at Justine Reye’s masks (exhibited two years ago) and not wonder if they may have been the inspiration for the masked look at the recent Parisian fashion shows.


New York Film Festival
Photo Credit Evan Sung
The Tribeca Film Festival
Photo Credit Evan Sung

We see films from all over the world, films that would never make it to the multiplex in the heartland of America.

Howl Parade
PhotoCredit Mary Blanco

Halloween Parade
Photo Credit Wendy R. Williams

Lisa Renko at Art Around the Park
Photo Credit Evan Sung

Or who can look at NYC’s parades and festivals, such as the Halloween parade,the Howl parade or Art Around the Park (part of Howl) and not be inspired to at least buy a new scarf?

The Brazilian Girls – Photo Credit Evan Sung

Rappers – Photo Credit Ramon Estevanell

Subway Performer – Photo Credit Angelo Rivera

The New York underground music scene is the source of both cutting edge music and fashion. You see it here first.

Dancers at Crobar – Photo Credit Krisztina Fazekas

And you see it in the clubs.

CBGB’s – Photo Credit Mary Blanco

Life Café – Photo Credit Wendy R. Williams

Taylor Mead and Friend at the Bowery Poetry Club
Photo Credit Wendy R. Williams

Dottie Lux, Veronika Sweet, and Scooter Pie
of the Red Hots Burlesque
Photo Credit Evan Sung

Graffiti – Photo Credit Mary Blanco

The East Village has always been an incubator of art from The Ramones at the soon defunct CBGB’s to Jonathan Larsen writing Rent while sitting at Life Café to the former Andy Warhol star Taylor Mead performing at the Bowery Poetry Club to the Red Hots Burlesque camping it up at Rififi to the street artists who paint both the streets and our lives.

Photo Credit Krisztina Fazekas

Photo Credit Krisztina Fazekas

And when your days is over, you can always go to the East Village’s Yaffa Café at 97 St. Marks Place (also called 8th Street) where the beat goes on twenty-four hours a day. Our lives as a visual feast.

Rock on!



© New York Cool 2004-2014