Howl: The Second
Annual Festival of East Village Arts
Written by Wendy
Photographed by Evan Sung
New York Coolies: Jessica Cogan, Brianna Leigh Hansen,
Josh McLane & Annika Sundin
As everyone knows by now, New
York was invaded by the Republican hordes. The city
was overrun with men wearing kahki pants and pastel
polo shirts and women with frosted blonde hair and
Dooney and Burke purses - as horrifying a group
of Southern-Baptist-Mothers-in-law as I have ever
seen. We were overrun by rubes who could not even
define existential angst. We had collective nightmares.
And they walked three abreast on the sidewalk.
Before they arrived, I really
needed a party to fortify myself, so on Saturday
August 24th, I headed to Tompkins Square Park to
celebrate Howl, The Festival of East Village Arts.
With me were New York Coolies Jessica Cogan, Josh
McLane, Evan Sung, Annika Sundin and Brianna Leigh
Hanson. Our intention was to photograph Art Around
the Park. Huge sheets of white paper are draped
over the park fences and they are then painted by
local artists. Art Around the Park was scheduled
to start at 9AM, so we were running, thinking we
were late, when we arrived at 11AM.
Surprise, surprise! There were
huge sheets of paper, but no paintings and very
few painters. Well duh, who's the numb nuts here?
This is the East Village and it was 11AM, which
qualifies as the middle of the night in some bars.
Silly me! I asked a slightly official looking guy
sitting on a stool when the painting would start.
He said, "Now, sign in here." Well I don't
know if we qualify as painters (it's the East Village
afterall and the rules are loose) but we certainly
had no paint, so we declined. (See the great photos
Evan took of the finished paintings when he returned
Howl is like that. It is a huge
boiling cauldon of psychedelic color, everything
that is wonderful about the East Village: the art;
the music; the people; and the disorganization.
They don't call it a Counter Culture County Fair
for nothing. But it works the same way the East
Village does. Howl embodies the same spirit that
allows a down-at-the-mouth pizza parlour to exist
next door the trendy boutique. All day long, wherever
we went, we were eumphemistically asked to "paint"
and if we had some paint we certainly would have
from Top Left Anika Sundin with "Joe Strummer",
Taylor Mead, Reverend Billy and some interesting
We were wondering around the park and had stopped
in front of Chico's painting (he did the Howl poster)
when a cute young girl walked up and asked us if
we would please march in the Howl Parade. Well,
I love a parade so I accepted for all the hung-over
hussies I was shepherding around the park. Off we
went to the corner of 8th and First and when we
got there, there was another surprise. A very nice
lady issued huge pink prom dresses to the girls
and gave everyone banners to carry. (Photo note:
That is Lisa Renko in the top right corner of the
photo collage below.)
It seems the Lower East Side Girls
Club wear pink prom dresses as their symbol and
they had more prom dresses than they had girls that
morning. I certainly hope those Girls Club girls
had a better excuse for not showing up then some
of our missing New York Coolies, who I am quite
certain were just hauling their hung over asses
to bed at 11AM.
Howl was incredible and next
year we will be back with buckets of paint and
this time we will bring blue tutus, so the men
will have something cool to wear.
Rock on! - Wendy
Howl is co-produced by the Federation
of East Village Artists