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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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.

Monday, November 30, 2009

FREE! Open Mic Series at Barnes & Noble in the Village

Open Mic Night With Stu Richards

Special Event

Come out and share or listen to original poetry.

Our floor is open to all poets. Participants may

read up to three poems.
Friday December 04, 2009 7:30 PM

Greenwich Village

396 Ave of the Americas at 8th Street

Sunday, November 29, 2009

FREE! Bach Vespers at Upper West Side church

DOG STAR enjoys classical music in small doses.  That means we do not sit at home listening to Mozart and Bach, among others, but will go to a live performance.

For those among us looking to expand our exposure to the arts - and develop a greater appreciation and understanding of world cultures - then classical music must be a part of this adventure.

Johannes Sebastian Bach (died 1750) was a German composer who created spectacular music for church choirs.  He is usually referred to simply as "Bach" and his music is performed all over the world in churches and in orchestras.

We are fortunate to have a well-known Bach singing / performing group here in New York City.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Central Park West & 65th Street has a program of Bach vespers - vespers is an evening church service and Bach wrote music for these kinds of services.

You do not have to be religious or Christian to enjoy these performances.

Enjoyment will come from being in the presence of fellow humans who have practiced and brought their special gifts in a performance of one of the greatest composers to have ever lived.

Bach Vespers

December 6, 5:00PM
Morten Lauridsen - 
Ave Maria
Johann Bach - 
Herr, ich warte auf dein Heil
Andreas Hammerschmidt - 
Meine Seele erhebt den Herren
Johann Hermann Schein - 
Ich bin die Wurzel
Heinrich Schütz - 
Ich bin eine rufende Stimme in der Wüsten

On the 2nd Sunday of Advent Bach Vespers presents Motets for Advent. Join Cantor Rick Erickson on his birthday as the Bach Choir sings some of the great early motets for the Advent season.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is at 65th Street & Central Park West

Saturday, November 28, 2009

You can't always get what you want

DOG STAR asks:  Do these lyrics from another time speak to you?  Does this Rolling Stones song have anything to say to you?

Read the lyrics and then watch the 1968 video performance.

I saw her today at the reception
glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man

No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you find
You get what you need

Here for the complete lyrics 

Watch a 1968 performance at 4:20 in this video (drag the timer to 4:20 on the video)

Then watch the same group perform the song 40 years later 

Link to hear song on YouTube 

(Mostly) FREE! Enjoy Ice Skating at The Pond at Bryant Park

DOG STAR grew up ice skating on a REAL pond in the woods.  Fell on the ice many times.  Fell THROUGH the ice on a very warm day (ice had melted a bit) and nearly froze to death...well, it wasn't fun, anyway.

DOG STAR likes the city options we have now.  Consider taking friends to Bryant Park - directly behind the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue (the library is on 5th Avenue).

A few things to know:
  • Admission IS FREE.
  • Bag check is $9.00
  • If you do not bring your own skates rental cost $12.00.
  • Bring a lock for your stuff.
  • Hours:  Open Daily Nov 6-Jan 24, 2010, Sunday-Thursday:  8am-10pm, Friday & Saturday:  8am-Midnight

To truly make this a free activity you MUST bring a lock AND your own skates.  DOG STAR found skates a slow as $20.00 on ebay.  If you plan to go ice skating just twice here it's cheaper to buy used skates!

Here for link to The Pond at Bryant Park 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Weekend Movie Picks!

DOG STAR knows some of us will be swallowed up by marketing machine for "2012" and "Twilight:  New Moon."  DOG STAR has a few "big budget" Hollywood alternatives; our picks for the holiday weekend:

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson has rounded up an all-star cast (George Clooney, Meryl Streep) to perform the voices for his stop-action film based on a Roald Dahl story.  Not really a kids movie at all, it has mature humor and sequences and is filled with all kinds of sweet surprises for the attentive movie goer.

The Road
This film was supposed to come out last year but got delayed by the studio when ti couldn't figure out the best time to release it.  Now they have and fantastic performances are set against a post-apocalyptic United States.  It is the scary real film that "I Am Legend" should have been but that wilted into a silly zombie movie.

Law Abiding Citizen
Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler star in this big budget flick but it does get a DOG STAR stamp of approval. Intelligent, funny and great action for those who want entertainment and don't have to think too hard for their movie enjoyment.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

FREE! Open Mike Every Sunday Afternoon at Lower East Side's ABC No Rio

DOG STAR knows there are poets and spoken word artists among us.  One place welcoming teens is the Lower East Side group ABC No Rio on Rivington Street.

From the ABC No Rio website:
SOS: The Sunday Open Series
Every Sunday at 3:00pm
Poetry and spoken word have been an important part of ABC No Rio since its inception. Our Sunday afternoon open poetry readings have become an institution and attract a dedicated and loyal cadre of poets and poetry lovers.
SOS: The Sunday Open Series is known for its welcoming, open, and spontaneous vibe, and for the absence of stiff, formal trappings. No sign-up, no time limit, no b.s.

ABC No Rio is a collectively-run center for art and activism. We are known internationally as a venue for oppositional culture. ABC No Rio was founded in 1980 by artists committed to political and social engagement and we retain these values to the present.

We seek to facilitate cross-pollination between artists and activists. ABC No Rio is a place where people share resources and ideas to impact society, culture, and community. We believe that art and activism should be for everyone, not just the professionals, experts, and cognoscenti. Our dream is a cadres of actively aware artists and artfully aware activists.

Directions to ABC No Rio
ABC No Rio is located on New York's Lower East Side at 156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton Streets. It's easy to get here by car, bus, plane, train, subway, PATH, skateboard, bicycle, and foot.
By Subway
Take the F Train to Delancey Street or the JM, or Z Train to Essex. After you get out of the subway, walk one block north to Rivington Street and turn right. ABC No Rio is located between Suffok and Clinton Streets on the north side of the street, at 156 Rivington Street.

Here for ABC No Rio website 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

High School Student Visits Art Gallery and Gets a Free Painting by Andy Warhol

DOG STAR has sent teens to visit art galleries so we know just what kind of teacher these girls had in high school.  A teacher at High School for Art & Design sent two students to an art gallery to write an article for their school newspaper.

At the gallery they met the director and he sent them to meet Andy Warhol at his studio and offices on West 47th Street called "The Factory."  Warhol never gave the interview to the girls but did hire them as receptionists.  Later, Warhol gave one of the girls a self-portrait as a gift (above).

She will auction it off next week and expects to get around $1.5 million dollars.  The painting has been sitting in her closet at home for over 40 years!

Read more here at ArtDaily! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shaping the Future: See how one man's vision shaped design in America

DOG STAR remembers a black/white photography book found at a yard sale on a sunny day in August many years ago:  the gray photos of New York City included  strange images of the TWA terminal at JFK Airport.

The futuristic look and the fact that it was a real place people could actually walk through inspired my little farm boy imagination:  I had to go there - like a visit to Oz.

Little Dog Star would not get to JFK for many more years but the photo of the terminal and other images of New York City held a magnetic power and ultimately pulled me off the farm and into the city.

This photo book was an early part of DOG STAR's education in art, architecture, photography and design.  Not yet a teenager, DOG STAR found great things to see and appreciate in the way people re-imagined the world around them.

DOG STAR readers have so much more available than little farmer DOG STAR ever did:  the museums and galleries of NYC offer opportunities to get away from the computer screen, get off the couch, grab friends and find out what life can be like in all kinds of ways.

The TWA terminal is just one example of Eero Saarinen's design output and the Museum of the City of New York offers a great chance to learn more about him
and his great designs.  Do not miss it!

Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future
Nov 10 through Jan 31

Presented at the Museum from November 10, 2009 through January 31, 2010, Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future is the first retrospective of this architect’s career, which was one of the most prolific, unorthodox, and controversial in the history of 20th-century architecture.

From the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport and the St. Louis Gateway Arch to the Pedestal Chair for Knoll Associates, Saarinen (1910-1961) created some of the most potent expressions of American identity after World War II. 

Saarinen’s clients constituted a who’s who of the era’s most prominent industries and institutions. For them he designed buildings that advanced the expansion of higher education to the promotion of automobile culture and air travel, popular forms of entertainment like television, and the newest information technologies. 

Featuring sketches, working drawings, models, photographs, furnishings, films, and other ephemera, the exhibition examines the architect’s career from the 1930s through the early 1960s.

EASY TO REACH:  Museum is located at Fifth Avenue & 103rd Street

By subway:

#6 Lexington Avenue train to 103rd Street, walk three blocks west, or #2 or #3 train to Central Park North (110th Street), walk one block east to Fifth Avenue, then south to 103rd Street.

Admission:  The Museum charges students $6.00.  They also invite you to walk up the admissions desk and say, "I'm a neighbor" to get free admission! (It is a policy to encourage visits by residents and workers in the neighborhood!)  DOG STAR tip of the day:  You're a neighbor!  Do not be shy about this - you are in high school and should not have to pay!

Monday, November 23, 2009

FREE! Watch the Thanksgiving Parade Balloons Get Inflated in Central Park!

DOG STAR enjoys the Thanksgiving Parade - as a child we would be tuned in on our lazy little Black & White television propped up on the end of the coffee table.  The parade would be our big-city background to our own little country dinner.

Later, after DOG STAR moved to the city, we would see the parade in person.  It is still a lot of fun to see LIVE and a special experience - especially for little kids and photographers - is to watch the balloons come to life the day before the parade.

We liked the old balloons featured on The Bowery Boys NYC History site (see link below).  This year they will have a few new ones.

Consider going to the park to watch the balloons get inflated and see how they grow right before your eyes (okay, that was corny but it's for the little kids, right?)

The balloons for the parade are inflated the day before (Wednesday) on both sides of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The balloons are split between 77th and 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

The inflation team consists of various volunteers from Macy's as well as students from Stevens Institute of Technology, a local university in Hoboken, NJ where the balloons and floats are designed and built.

The inflation is open to the public the afternoon and night before the parade.

Here for STRANGEST BALLOONS EVER at the Bowery Boys NYC history website 

Here for Wikipedia page on the parade 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

FREE! See Richard Serra's incredible 20 foot high steel "rooms" at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea

DOG STAR knows Richard Serra's giant steel sculptures from a gallery show years ago and the recent show at MoMA.

The photos above do not give any sense of the true size and power of what it is like to be standing INSIDE these "rooms" of steel.
The sculptures fill the entire gallery and you WALK THROUGH them - look closely and you will see two men inside the sculptures in the photo.

Get to West 21st (between 10th & 11th Avenues) before Christmas and see these incredible pieces in person.  Bring your friends.

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present two important sculptures by Richard Serra. Related in both form and scale,Blind Spot (2002-2003) and Open Ended (2007-2008) entail similar concentric structures, each consisting of six weatherproof steel plates. Open Ended was recently exhibited at Gagosian Gallery in London in 2008. The upcoming exhibition brings both sculptures together for the first time. 

Google map shows location of Gagosian Gallery

Here for cool video of Richard Serra sculptures at MoMA

Here for Gagosian website

Here for a video on Gagosian website

Here for more on Richard Serra

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Caught by the Papparazzi

LEFT to RIGHT:  Brandon, David and Steven at Lincoln Center before going into the show "Broke-ology"

Take a Closer Look & Then Go! An Update on Recent Posts

Tim Burton at MoMA
Tim Burton ("Edward Scissorhands," "Batman") show is now open at MoMA
Read a review in today's New York Times here

"Juan & John"
The Public Theater has posted a video preview of Roger Guenveur Smith's new show opening on December 1-20.  ALL tickets at ALL times are only $10.00.  Here for the video of Roger!

High 5 Tix offers more events for coming months
Blue Man Group performances - more tickets available (here)
Toxic Avenger - special performances for Thanksgiving vacation (here)
Skirball Performing Arts Center at NYU (here) includes dance, theater and live music

Photo by flatbushnelson (here)

Friday, November 20, 2009

FREE! See Andy Warhol's large-format Polaroids of 1970s sports stars at Danziger in Chelsea

DOG STAR knows some of these faces (Ali, top, and Pele the soccer star, bottom) and others in the show are not so recognizable to us now.

As an iconic member of the pop movement of the 1960's, Warhol gained fame and recognition for his depiction of recognizable objects and faces, from brand names to bananas to faces of the rich, famous, and powerful.

In 1977, Richard Weisman, an art collector and a friend of Warhol's, commissioned a series of paintings of ten great sports figures of the era, now known as the "Athlete Series". 

The group of athletes was selected by Mr. Weisman, and included stars of a variety of sports: Muhammad Ali (boxing), Pelé (soccer), Dorothy Hamill (figure skating), Tom Seaver (baseball), Jack Nicklaus (golf), O.J. Simpson (football), Chris Evert (tennis), Willie Shoemaker (horse racing), Rod Gilbert (ice hockey, NY Rangers), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball).

Four additional sports portraits taken later are also included in the show – Ron Duguay, John McEnroe (with then-wife Tatum O'Neill), Vitas Gerulaitis, and Wayne Gretzky.

While Warhol may not have selected the ten athletes for the series, their status as champions in their respective sports, with faces and names that are recognizable decades later, coincides with Warhol's interest in images of celebrity and greatness.

Taken with Warhol's favored "Big Shot" Polaroid Camera, these images were used by Warhol to be silkscreened on to canvas as the basis of each painting. This show provides a look at this process by displaying three different takes from each sitting, shedding light on Warhol's willingness to experiment and interact with his subject within his planned conception of the final image. For this reason each Polaroid is unique and different and there are only three complete sets of the original 10 athletes.

In recent years, Warhol's Polaroids have gained attention and respect in exhibitions and books, both for their centrality to his portrait practice and as works in their own right. While Warhol is not best known as a photographer, he loved the medium, and it was an apt one for the artist due to its repetitive, mechanical nature and its ability to confer a sense of star-power on its subjects.

Proving that the simplest tools are no impediment to creativity, Warhol's Polaroids of athletes are both a celebration of greatness and an intriguing look at the cleverness behind the façade Warhol so often used to disguise the intelligence and innovation of his work. 

Here for Danziger website 

534 West 24th Street
Telephone 212.629.6778

Monday & Tuesday by appointment
Wednesday-Saturday 11-6

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FREE! See new paintings by David Hockney - So large they fill entire rooms!

DOG STAR likes David Hockney's paintings - the first ones we ever saw were his famous pictures of swimming pools in Los Angeles.  This British-born painter left L.A. a few years ago and moved back to the seaside towns of Yorkshire.

TWO new shows - the first gallery shows in 12 years - will present David's paintings from the last few years and they are a MUST for anyone who wants to be in the presence of room-sized paintings.

If you have never seen paintings on such a large scale, you'll enjoy David's candy colors and landscapes that look so inviting you'll want to climb inside.

Both shows are open NOW until December 24!

First location:  PaceWildenstein Gallery in Chelsea - 534 West 25th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenue)
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm

Second location:  PaceWildentsein Gallery in Midtown - 32 East 57th Street (just off Fifth Avenue)
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm

Art Gallery link here 

More on David Hockney here 

Here for the New York Times article 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spoken Word Workshop & La Bruja Performs at Museo del Barrio this Saturday!


OH, SNAP! Young Powerful Voices at Work

Saturday, November 21, 2009
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
El Taller
Admission: Free

The Peace Poets, a community based arts collective
from New York City, facilitate a two-hour spoken
word workshop for teens. Right after the workshops!
Participating youth will share their work with the
public as part of El Muse... more >


SPIC UP/Speak OUT! Emanuel Xavier SPICS UP!

Saturday, November 21, 2009
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
El Café
Admission: Free

A night full of soul and powerful, moving, words!
Emanuel Xavier, one of the most significant voices
to emerge from the neo-Nuyorican poetry movement,
brings together for one night the lyrical talents of
Mahina Movement, a... more >

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Free performance by La Bruja at Museo del Barrio


11/21/2009 7:00 PM
at Spic Up! Speak Out!
Open Mic
El Museo del Barrio 


Cost: free

SPIC UP! SPEAK OUT! Every third Saturday of the Month, Sep–Nov and Mar–May, 7:00-9:00pm 

Recognizing the power and influence of the Latino spoken word in New York City, El Museo del Barrio provides established and emerging poets with a platform for expression and El Museo’s audiences with some of the hottest word wizardry in town.

Each evening is organized and hosted by a guest poet. After the performance, the audience is encouraged to grab the mic and speak up! Emanuel Xavier hosts and spics up! Guest poets: Mahina Movement, Edwin Torres and Caridad De La Luz “La Bruja”

La Bruja is a Bergtraum graduate!



#6 train to 103rd Street station, walk one block north to 104th Street, then two blocks west to Fifth Avenue.
#2 or #3 train to 110th Street and Lenox Avenue, walk one block east to Fifth Avenue, then south to 104th Street.

Monday, November 16, 2009

FREE! See fresh, new art from Swiss artist Urs Fischer at New Museum

DOG STAR knows Urs Fischer from other gallery shows.  He is a Swiss artist who likes to play games with traditional ways of showing art.  He also has a great sense of humor and always wants to have a good time even when he makes a point about something.

New Museum on the Bowery presents three floors of Fischer's art including sculptures and installations.  

For his first large-scale solo presentation in an American museum, Urs Fischer has taken over all three of the New Museum’s gallery floors to create a series of immersive installations and hallucinatory environments.

EASY TO REACH:  F train to Broadway/Houston - walk to Bowery & Prince Street.  Also 6 train to Prince Street and walk east to Bowery.

Open Wednesday through Sunday 12-6 and until 9pm on Thursday and Friday.


Here for link to New Museum 

Here to see images from the Urs Fischer exhibit 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FREE! See/Hear Classical Music by Mannes College Students in Two Locations

November 18, 2009 8:00 p.m.
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, op. 30
     Jialiang Wu, piano
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, op. 14

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues)

 Pick up free tickets at the Alice Tully Box Office, 212.875.5050
Also concerts to be held at Mannes Concert Hall on 150 West 85th Street and at Mannes Downtown at the New School 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Here for Mannes College events calendar

Saturday, November 14, 2009

FREE! This MONDAY night's reading on (Not) Eating Animals!

DOG STAR has struggled over the years with vegetarianism.  We say "struggled" when we really mean "dabbled" since we have never fully committed to vegetarianism over being a meat eater.

Writer Jonathan Safran Foer reads and discusses his new non-fiction book "Eating Animals" at Barnes & Noble, Union Square.  We hear from DOG STAR staff members that the book is pretty convincing in making the case for vegetarianism.  

The best-selling author of Everything is Illuminated takes a look at his dietary choices with his new work of nonfiction, Eating Animals. His quest required him to make factory farm visits and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

Monday November 16, 2009 7:00 PM

Union Square

33 East 17th Street, Manhattan