NEXT STOP? LARK STREET Well, well, well. Funny how time slips
away, isn’t it? Christmas Day is creeping ever closer, friends:
Are you ready? You can finish up your shopping and have fun
as if you yourself were a jolly old elf this Saturday afternoon
at the Winter WonderLark. The 4th annual festival celebrates
the holidays in that special Lark Street way: with shopping,
eating and drinking, family fun and a half-naked street race.
The latter is the 5th Annual Santa Speedo Sprint, in
which “Santas” in Speedos race at 2 PM from the intersection
of Madison Avenue and Lark Street; race registration begins
at noon at the Lionheart Pub and Oh Bar. The
will be free trolley rides; an outdoor winter market along
Lark offered by neighborhood merchants including Elissa
Halloran Designs; a Gingerbread House Fun Shop
at Upstate Artists Guild (247 Lark St.) from noon to
4 PM; ornament making at the Albany Art Room (457 Madison
Ave.), also from noon-4 PM; a “performance” art sculptor,
Rich Koons, working his magic on blocks of ice from
noon to 2 PM at State and Lark streets; and there will be
traditional Oaxaca Mexican Pottery
at El Loco (465 Madison Ave.) from 12:30 to 4 PM.
And you can also vote in the neighborhood window display contest.
Winter WonderLark will be held Saturday (Dec. 11) from noon-5
PM on Lark Street in Albany. For more info, visit larkstreet.org.
ITALIAN, AMERICAN, RADICAL Being an advocate for radical change
will get you sent to prison. That’s one of the lessons in
the documentary Freeing Silvia Baraldini, which
will be screened on Saturday night at the Sanctuary for
Independent Media in Troy. Baraldini was convicted and
sentenced to four decades in Federal prison in 1982 for her
help in freeing Black Panther Assata Shakur from prison; this
documentary is about her journey to radical activism, and
then her journey into the Federal prison system and international
attempts to secure her release (Baraldini was born in Italy.)
Filmmakers Margo Pelletier and Lisa Thomas will
be on hand for a Q&A following their film; I recently
had a chance to chat with Pelletier by telephone.
came to New York City to be a painter. . . . and I landed
in Brooklyn,” she said. Pelletier explained that she moved
smack into the middle of one of then-New York City Mayor Ed
Koch’s gentrification programs—“people were being thrown out
into the street”—and that effected her political awakening.
She became acquainted with the May 19th Communist Organization,
which is how she came to know Silvia Baraldini, who was one
of that group’s national leaders.
was a time period when lines were drawn, and a lot of people
were passionate about doing the right thing.” It was also
a time when the FBI was making a dedicated effort to dismantle
what was left of the American radical movement. At the time
Baraldini was arrested, Pelletier was doing carpentry work
in Baraldini’s apartment.
The film is a fascinating document of its time, but it’s more:
Some of the punishments meted out by the Feds on Baraldini
are being employed in the war on terror. And they are not
Silvia Baraldini will be screened Saturday (Dec. 11) at
8 PM at the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Ave.,
Troy). Tickets are $10, $5 low income. A Q&A with the
filmmakers will follow the screening. For more info call 272-2390.
EXPERIMENTAL ACADEMY The must-attend art event of the weekend
is Reverse Vertigo, the Rensselaer Electronic
Arts graduate studio show being held Sunday (Dec. 12)
in West Hall. This represents the RPI EArts
and iEAR studios, which, they aren’t shy about pointing
out in the program notes, “have courted contention and praise
as leaders on the forefront of electronic arts, mixed media,
video, performance, bio-art, design, engineering and emergent
technologies.” The artists in the show will be Heidi Boisvert,
Alejandro Borsani, Sena Clara Creston, Yehuda
Duenvas, Anna Lindemann, Ellie Markovitch,
Joshua Thorson and Clara Tomaz. The works will
range from “experimental game design, to living installations
to live broadcasts of camp burlesque.” Reverse Vertigo
will be held from 4 to 7:30 PM in West Hall (Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, Troy) on Sunday (Dec. 12). Admission is free. “Legendary
snacks and drinks will be served.” (Woah. That’s a big promise.)
For more info, Google “RPI iEAR” and see what comes up.
CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS Big things are doing over at the Williams
College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Mass. Beginning
Monday (Dec. 13), the museum will close its galleries and
shop through Feb. 3, 2011, “to prepare for the exciting reinstalltion
of its collection.” The project, which is “museum-wide,” will
consist of eight exhibits in 10 galleries which will be on
display for three years. For more info, visit wcma.org.