Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide






Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.


DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's content.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Upcoming FREE Concerts First 2 weeks in July!

You will find links to these shows in the toolbar at left under "Summer in the City 2009."  This post is a reminder of upcoming FREE shows to take advantage of what's happening around the city!  So, grab your friends and get to this free music!

Ledisis / Esperanza Spalding / Jonathan Batiste (Central Park Summerstage, 6/28)

Afro Punk Festival - various acts (Skate Park at BAM, 7/4-6)

Toshi Reagan (Metrotech, 7/2)

Oumou Sangares / Les Nubians / Asa (African singers), (Central Park Summerstage, 7/5)

Juana Molina / Curumin / El G (electronica dance from South America), (Central Park Summerstage, 7/8)

Rebirth Brass Band (MetroTech, 7/9)

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (Latin rock band from Argentina) / Eric Bobo (Puerto Rican hip hop artist), (Central Park Summerstage, 7/11)

Keyshia Cole / Lyfe Jennings (Wingate Field - Brooklyn, 7/13)

Anthony David (MetroTech, 7/16)

Creedence Clearwater Revisited / John Sebastian (classic rock), (Coney Island, 7/16)

Q-Tip / Chester French / Little Dragon / Benji B, (Central Park Summerstage, 7/18)

Slick Rick (East River Park bt Grand Street & Jackson Street, City Park COncerts, 7/23)

Afro-Punk Festival '09 in Brooklyn!

Live rock bands!  Skate park!  Block party!  Girls!  (This one is definitely for Alberto!)

I have seen Terry Kennedy skate and Saul Williams perform!  If you are in the city July 4th weekend, get over to Lafayette and Fulton Streets to Brooklyn Academy of Music for a skate park, live bands and block party!


For the second straight year, the parking lot by BAM will be transformed into a killer skate park, complete with live music, skating and biking demonstrations, and more. For full details on the Afro-Punk skate park, the Nike SB skate clinic, and the URBANX Battle for the Streets BMX/skate competitions, Go here.


From July 4 to 6, the Afro-Punk Festival presents free concerts in the skate park. For full information, visit

Live music by Whole Wheat Bread, Pure Hell, Game Rebellion, American Fangs, The Objex, Funk Face, oOohh Baby Gimme, Jesse Nobody.

Live music by Earl Grey Hound, Tamar Kali, The London Souls, Apollo Heights, Sabatta, Sweetie, Peekaboo Theory, Blackie.

Live music by Saul Williams, Janelle Monae, Elevator Flight, Millsted, Chewing Pics, Echo Jinx, Blackie, The Freshman.


(Clinton Avenue between Myrtle and Willoughby)

The fifth annual Afro-Punk Festival culminates with the Afro-Punk Block Party, featuring live music, DJs, and DIY fashion, food, and craft vendors. Not the usual street fair, the block party features the best underground and local artists and artisans. Featured musicians include Jon Forte, Joya Bravo, Shinobi Ninja, Maiysha, Hard Hittin Harry, and Rich Medina. For additional information, go here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

See the City from the Met's Roof

On a recent sunny afternoon I went up to (FREE!) Metropolitan Museum's rooftop garden to see Roxy Paine's sculpture "Maelstrom." Do not miss it! Glorious views of Central Park ofver the tree tops, east to the buildings on Fifth Avenue, off in the distance to the west is Central Park West.

As you can see in my pic above, the sculpture "mimics" the twists of tree branches and looks like several trees have crashe don to the roof during a storm. DO walk around it, through it and touch it. Look for the odd place where the sculpture comes out of the roof top walls.

Here for a link to the Met's site and a video of museum staff installing this massive sculpture.

Sept. 11 Memorial Exhibit Opens at Architecture Center in the Village

A Space Within: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum
June 25 - September 14, 2009

On September 11th, 2001, what had been one of the world’s most densely developed business districts became, for many, hallowed ground. Soon after, questions emerged. What comes next? How could one site serve the needs of victims’ families, survivors of the attacks, members of the surrounding communities, business interests, and visitors?

The answer required a clear separation of the sacred and the secular; a defined, eight-acre space, serving as a tribute, would be created within the larger development. A Space Within is a public showcase of the memorial and museum that are now taking shape at the heart of the World Trade Center site.
The exhibit is FREE and open every day EXCEPT Sundays.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Latin Cultural Events this Summer Around the City

You don't have to be Latino to attend one of these terrific free summer events!

All our Boricua brothers and sisters might try something new, too!

So get out there and meet new people, try a new neighborhood, enjoy great music and food!

2009 / 06 / 27
Saturday June 27, 2009

Manhattan NY International Immigrants Day Parade 6th Ave. (Avenue of the Americas) between 35th and 59th Streets

2009 / 06 / 27
Saturday June 27, 2009
12:00 noon - 7:00pm Brooklyn NY Boricua Festival “Salsa at the Waterfront” 58th Street Pier, First Avenue and 58th Street, Sunset Park

2009 / 06 / 28
Sunday June 28th, 2009

Bronx NY Bronx Week 3rd Avenue Fair Bronx, Third Avenue, 149th Street to 153rd Street.

2009 / 06 / 28
Sunday June 28th, 2009
10:00am-6:00pm Queens NY Peruvian Festival Food, Folklore, Music Free entry: 29-40 Northern Boulevard, Long Island City

2009 / 07 / 12
Sunday July 12th, 2009
Stickball in the morning; food, music and dancing in the afternoon.
Manhattan NY 111th Street Salsa Street Party and Old Timers Stickball Game El Barrio "Spanish Harlem", East 111th Street (Calle Tito Puente) between Lenox and Lexington Avenues (history).

2009 / 07 / 19
Sunday July 19th, 2009
12:00 noon - 4:00pm Bronx NY Annual Great Bronx Dominican Parade Grand Concourse, East Tremont Ave to 166th Street.
2009 / 07 / 19
Sunday July 19th, 2009
10:00am - 6:00pm Queens NY Colombian Independence Day Festival Festival Site, Flushing Meadows Corona Park; info: 718-699-4833.
2009 / 07 / 19
Sunday July 19th, 2009
10:00am-6:00pm Queens NY International Peruvian Fair of NY Dutch Kills Park, 37th Avenue and 27th Street. Info: 1-646-283-2025, 1-718-207-9996, 1-516-868-2134.

2009 / 07 / 26
Sunday July 26, 2009
11:00am Queens NY 9th Annual Columbia Parade of New York Northern Boulevard between 69th and 90th Streets.
2009 / 07 / 26
Sunday July 26th
2:00pm Queens NY Second Annual Festival of the Columbian Parade Tropicana Musical Review After the parade at Junction Boulevard and 32nd Avenue.

2009 / 08 / 09
Sunday August 9, 2009
12:00 noon Manhattan NY
6th Avenue, 36th-56th Street.
27th Dominican Day Parade

The Dominican Flag

2009 / 08 / 15
Saturday August 15th

Manhattan NY Dominican Sunday Community Services Fifth Annual 108th Street Dominican Cultural Festival Info: Chantal Poulard, 1-212-749-0781.

2009 / 08 / 23
Sunday August 23, 2009
All day Brooklyn NY Brooklyn Dominican Day Parade and Festival Graham Ave and Broadway [MORE INFO]

2009 / 09 / 26
Sunday September 27th
10:00pm-6:00pm Queens NY Junta Hispana Flushing Meadows Corona Park

2009 / 10 / ??
(Usually the first weekend in October)

Manhattan NY Hispanic Day Parade Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd Street.
2009 / 10 / 04
Sunday, October 4, 2009

Queens NY Second Annual Queens Dominican Parade Northern Boulevard from 69th to 94th Street.
2009 / 10 / 18
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Starts at different locations 8:00am–10:00am Bronx NY The 15th Annual Tour de Bronx Different routes, from 25 to 50 miles. Registration required.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sean Paul in FREE Concert

Sean Paul will play a free concert in Central Park on Friday, July 24 for Good Morning America.

Arrive at the park by 6am for best chance to be admitted for the concert.

Performances are usually at 8:30am.

Remember! It is in the park so even if you do not arrive in time to get admitted you can still HEAR the show just outside the fence!

Here for Good Morning America link (Third Eye Blind also added to schedule!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Former Lady Blazer to Turn B-Ball Pro

Current Rutgers basketball star and former Lady Blazer Epiphany Prince will leave the university and go to Europe to play professional ball for a year. She will then enter the 2010 WNBA draft.

Link to news story here.

Link to sports comment on whether or not this is progress in women's sports.

Do what you love!

This brief story shows just another example of regular people - not superstars, not celebrities, not art stars - making art they love and personal to them.

Man builds toothpick city
Scott Weaver used over a million toothpicks to build a San Francisco model. And he rejected Ripley's $40,000 offer.

Here for CNN link!

Howcast Videos for Teens

Howcast Videos have useful information and the visuals are hilarious. The peer pressure video link below is particularly funny. Check out the links I have included here or just explore the site on your own.

How to deal with peer pressure

How to get rid of acne

How to write a fool-proof college application essay

How to make homework less work

Friday, June 19, 2009

Brooklyn Boro Prez Announces Free Summer Concerts

Brooklyn residents and those who don't hesitate to get on the train or bus: Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz has announced free summer concerts at two locations:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Concerts at Wingate Field in Crown Heights (here): Robin Thicke (8/3), Ruben Studdard (8/10) and Keyshia Cole on July 13!

Seaside Summer Concerts at Asser Levy Park in Coney Island - right next to the boardwalk (here): Lineup includes Donna Summer, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Gladys Knight! Now, if you do not know these names or their music, look them up and plan to attend.

Go ahead! Make it the summer you discover new music!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival THIS Saturday 6/20

Jay-Z, Biggie, and Talib Kweli are just a few of the great rappers who call Brooklyn home. So it's no wonder that hip-hop lovers from all over attend the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, which features three days of parties and music.

Saturday, at Empire Fulton Ferry State Park, is the main event with a lineup that includes dead prez, Grand Puba, Pharoahe Monch, DJ Premier, and Styles P. 

Founder Wes Jackson says Brooklyn is the stomping ground for innovative artists looking to bend the genre: "I have noticed that hip-hop artists from around the world are flocking to Brooklyn to get their career started. Like country singers have to be in Nashville. Now hip-hop lives in Brooklyn."

The Fulton Ferry State Park is directly underneath the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side.

Mermaid Parade Saturday 6/20 in Coney Island!

Annual parade features King Neptune in an open convertible and lots and lots of "mermaids" in home-made costumes. Here for more information!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Farm Grows in Brooklyn!

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is a popular novel from the 1940s by Betty Smith (here), who grew up in German-immigrant Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  A 1945 film based on the novel (here) is also popular.  Now, a farm grows in Brooklyn, too.

This post originally on Brooklyn Based:
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
Launched by GoodeGreen and run by farmers Ben Flanner and Annie Novack, the 6,000-square-foot Eagle Street Rooftop Farm atop a former bagel factory in Greenpoint just began yielding its first crops: tomatoes, spring onions, and salad greens. Volunteers and droppers-by can purchase produce or attend gardening workshops most Sundays and Mondays, and the roof has also begun supplying local restaurants like Marlow & Sons with spring mixes for a “rooftop salad.” Expect regular “farm stand” hours soon, along with workshops on pickling and green roof issues.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Doc on Low-Key Art Collectors!

HERB & DOROTHY tells the extraordinary story of Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means.

In the early 1960s, when very little attention was paid to Minimalist and Conceptual Art, Herb and Dorothy Vogel quietly began purchasing the works of unknown artists.

Devoting all of Herb's salary to purchase art they liked, and living on Dorothy's paycheck alone, they continued collecting artworks guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Within these limitations, they proved themselves curatorial visionaries; most of those they supported and befriended went on to become world-renowned artists including Sol LeWitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Robert Mangold, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Lynda Benglis, Pat Steir, Robert Barry, Lucio Pozzi, and Lawrence Weiner. 

After thirty years of meticulous collecting and buying, the Vogels managed to accumulate over 2,000 pieces, filling every corner of their tiny one bedroom apartment. "Not even a toothpick could be squeezed into the apartment," recalls Dorothy.

In 1992, the Vogels decided to move their entire collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The vast majority of their collection was given as a gift to the institution. Many of the works they acquired appreciated so significantly over the years that their collection today is worth millions of dollars.

Still, the Vogels never sold a single piece. Today Herb and Dorothy still live in the same apartment in New York with 19 turtles, lots of fish, and one cat. They've refilled it with piles of new art they've acquired.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Artist Installation Mixes with Nature in Madison Square Park

MAD. SQ. ART 2009:


MAY 1 - AUGUST 15, 2009

The Madison Square Park Conservancy continues its 2009 season of Mad. Sq. Art with Flooded Chambers Maid, a site-specific multimedia installation on and around Madison Square Park’s Oval Lawn by genre-bending sculptor, painter and installation artist Jessica Stockholder.

Madison Square Park is on 23rd Street and Madison Avenue.  

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Photo Exhibit at United Nations - Make the Trip!

Come see the beauty of seals and other wildlife

 "from Africa to the Arctic" at the UN.

Dear Friend,

Please be our guest at a special photography show

being held at the United Nations through July 12.

Nigel Barker, world renowned fashion photographer

and judge on "America's Next Top Model," is

collaborating with environmentalist and

photographer Luo Hong for

"Shared Destiny: Wildlife from Africa to the Arctic."

This free exhibit celebrates earth’s animals and

works to educate the public about harmful human

acts such as exploitation of nature, irresponsible

dumping, and unsustainable hunting -- including

the poaching of animals in Africa and the annual

harp seal hunt of the coast of Eastern Canada.

Through July 12, 2009 
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Northeast Gallery of the Visitors' Lobby
1st Ave. between 45th St. and 46th St.
New York, NY 10017

I hope you can join us!


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

Friday, June 12, 2009

Recycle! Renew! Refresh!

House above is one example of incredible re-use:

Teenagers in Annapolis, Maryland have created commercials promoting recycling:
Here for a link to the story and watch the winning teen video!

Sometimes efforts at "recycling" and "re-use" cross the line of human decency.
Here for a link to Green Daily story on teens who dug up a skull to use as a weed bong.

Here for the link to the Dallas Morning new story on the three grave-robbing teens.

Not funny and very disturbing!

Be sure to check out these GREEN sites, too! Green Daily here and HumaneTeen, too!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hip Hop Generation Next - This Saturday!

Cipher at Hip Hop Generation Next 2008 (c) Martha Cooper, 2008


2-6 PM at Visitation Place, bet. Dwight and Richards Street go for directions

BLOCK PARTY hosted by Brandon “Peace” Albright

Teen Diagnoses Herself in Science Class

Sometimes the real world learning that can happen in a classroom makes all the difference. CNN reports on a teenager who discovered the cause of her long-time illness from looking at her own tissue slide in her high school school science class. Before then doctors have been unable to tell her what was making her sick.

Here for the CNN story.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The High Line Opens Today!

After years of renovations, an elevated railway on Manhattan's far west side has opened today as the High Line Park.  For teenagers looking for something really different - not a museum, not an art show and not related to hip hop - consider a group outing or a date on the free High Line.

Rather than tear down this old train track the city has turned it into parkland.  Paris has something similar - the likely inspiration for High Line - called "Viaduc des Arts."

Here and video here for more information on Viaduc des Arts.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Jason Villanueva is profiled in a NYTimes slide show.

He is the owner of alife on Rivington Street. Sneakerheads will know.

Sexual Violence in School is a Real Issue!

We often hear of casual touching - inappropriate, unwanted, harrassing - of males toward females in school hallways and the cafeteria. All kinds of bullying happen and some of it is so grotesque and dangerous that it boggles the mind that nobody speaks out about it.

This week a judge in Florida had this case in front of him: Four teenagers repeatedly sodomized a 13-year old classmate in the locker room of their school. Several times. Over two months. What makes this case particulalry strange is the high degree of silencing that went on about the abuse:

1. Screams by the boy could be heard outside the locker room - NOBODY CHECKED and spoke up!

2. Multiple witnesses in the locker room - other teenage boys saw and heard what was going on multiple times - NOBODY SPOKE UP! (I mean tell a teacher, for god's sake!)

3. Several teenage boys were involved in holding the victim down, restraining him - NOBODY SPOKE UP!

4. Four teenage boys directly assaulted the victim - not one of them said anything over two months - NOBODY SPOKE UP!

5. Finally, the victim himself - out of fear of parents, fear of retaliation from the assailants, out of trauma - could not, would not speak up for himself.

Consider the ways we look the other way when we KNOW something is happening.

Here for the CNN link to the story.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brooklyn Museum FREE this Saturday!

It's that time of the month again - Target First Saturdays on June 6!

Theme of this Saturday's event is "Illuminating Islam"!

By the way, did I mention that the museum has a very large ice block from the Arctic kept frozen in a special viewing area - powered by the sun!

View the installation of Tavares Strachan's Arctic Ice Project.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Puerto Rican Heritage Music Festival & Parade

Saturday, June 13, 2009 - 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm
Brooklyn Musical Festiva
McCarren Park (corner of Lorimer & Driggs Streets) in WilliamsburgBrooklyn

Sunday, June 14, 2009 - 11:00 am
2009 National Puerto Rican Day Parade
Along Fifth Avenue (from 44th Street to 86th Street)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Two FREE Shows this Week at the Brooklyn Public Library

Thursday, June 4, 3:30PM
Central Library

Outdoor Concert: Care Bears on Fire

SUMMER READING KICKOFF Sophie, Izzy and Jena of Care Bears on Fire are punk meets garage, straight out of a Brooklyn basement. The young band has become a favorite on the New York City club scene, winning over audiences with their authentic punk spirit and songs that capture the experience of being a kid with attitude and humor. As the song chorus goes: "nanananananana, I don't want to be like everybody else!," it's become quite clear, Care Bears on Fire aren't like everybody else. They're the real deal! (


Saturday, June 6, 2:00PM
Central Library

Outdoor Concert: Katia Cadet

Katia Cadet, also known as Baby Kat, is a singer and aprolific songwriter and a vocal producer. haitian-born Cadet delivers Zouk Soul and R&B in French, English and creole. She earned a Grammy nomination for her song 911, which Mary J. Blige recorded. She has also written songs for Wyclef Jean. Her jazz tune "L'amour Une Aventure" was featured in Rush Hour 3.