Developer guilty of destroying graffiti

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Me at the Wynwood Walls, Miami.

I live near Wynwood, the Miami arts district, so a story I read in the NY Times caught my attention.

A Queens, NY developer was found guilty by a jury of destorying graffiti.

There was a graffiti filled complex called 5Pointz that consisted of almost 50 spray-painted murals. For 20 years, the Long Island City building was a collaboration between the developer Jerry Wolkoff and graffiti artists, very much like Wynwood in Miami. Then
in 2014, Wolkoff had it torn down and turned into high-end apartments, which is what Long Island City has become these days.

Wynwood is a while neibhborhood covered in Graffiti, there is one section called the Wynwood Walls where they are literally painted walls inegrating with each other. This Queens desecration is almost as if someone came in and knocked down or white washed the Wynwood Walls.

The artists sued Wolkoff for violating what they call the Visual Artists Rights Act.

What’s interseting is that the murals in both locations – Long Island City and Wynwood, change often, they are painted over with new murals, so just the fact that there was a lawsuit and that the artists won is something, because in all honesty, the last set of murals would have been painted over by other artists eventually.

The jury awarded damages to the artists. I don’t know how much.

Here are some more murals from Wynwood in Miami.

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Charles Schulz’s house burned down

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Charles Schulz, courtesy Charles M. Schulz Museum.

As the fires burn Santa Rose, CA, I couldn’t help but think of Charles Schulz, I think he made Santa Rosa famous for me. Sadly, his house burned down yesterday in those massive wildfires taking over that region of California.

His wife, Jean, got out safely, but the house is gone.

According to Monte Schulz, Charles’s son “All of the memorabilia and everything is gone.”

But the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, which is also located in Santa Rosa, says that the work that is there is safe and not damaged. Most of the original art is there. That’s the good news, if there is any good news out of this.

The Mooch speaks colorfully

I did a Mooch comic, regarding Anthony Scaramucci’s Tweet saying that he admits to speaking colorfully. That was in regards to his filthy language in this New Yorker magazine interview (NSFW). Actually, he didn’t know he was on record, so it wasn’t an interview, it was just Scaramucci being The Mooch.

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Did I tell you about the time I had dinner with OJ?

20155878_10154667819107541_3257643844984361583_nSo OJ Simpson will be back on the streets October 1, he received parole from the Nevada prison where he has been incarcerated for the past nine years. This reminds me of the time I had dinner with OJ.

Well, it wasn’t really dinner, but we sat at the same table at a bar/restaurant in Miami many years ago. It was a neighborhood place and very crowded,  there was a big football playoff game on and I guess that is what drew the crowd.

There were the usual tables around the place and the bar and at the back, there was one very large table, which consisted of a bunch of tables pushed together. There’s were we sat together. I was with a friend or two and we ate and drank and sort of across from me, maybe one person over, was OJ.

He just acted as if everything was normal. This was of course, after the murders, so I’m not sure how he would show himself in public, but there he was, cheering his team on. I wanted to talk with him, I never spoke to an alleged murderer before.

At one point, they turned to the weather channel, so I asked OJ why they changed to that from the game. He said, “We want to see what the weather is in Philadelphia, that’s where the next game is.” Then he explained some things about the current game that was going on.

20245465_10160282648890206_8744458707930521646_nThat’s the extent to our conversation. At one point he got up, I guess to go to the bathroom and all these fools in the restaurant were falling all over themselves to get to him, he shook hands as he slowly walked to the bathroom, with is head up. No guilt, no shame. Just another OJ day.

The next day, my friend Victor who was with me said, “That was smart of you to agree with what OJ was saying, he knows what he’s talking about.” I looked at Victor and said, “Did you think I was going to disagree with him?”

I had seen him off and on a few more times when he lived in Miami. I saw him driving out of a school once, his kids went there and another time I saw him at the post office. After he left, the clerk at the counter said, “People are so excited. I guess they like seeing a murderer!”