Saturday, December 17

A look inside the cemetery across the street

The Second Cemetery, or New Bowery Cemetery is much smaller than it originally was. Burials began here in 1805, in what was a much larger, square plot extending into what is now the street. The Commissioners' Plan had established the city's grid in 1811, but not until 1830 was West 11th Street cut through, at that time reducing the cemetery to its present tiny triangle. The disturbed plots were moved further uptown to the Third Cemetery on West 21st Street. In 1852 city law forbade burial within Manhattan, and subsequent interments have been made in Queens.

Friday, December 16

NBA - Owner's Loss and Player's Gain Not Anymore

Tired and sour-faced owners and players sit with NBA Commissioner David Stern after reaching an agreement to end the lockout.

This year’s NBA lockout, overlapping briefly with that of the NFL brought to light the fact that the inherent differences between ordinary US citizens and professional athletes, exists not only in natural ability but also in compensation for said ability.

The lockout originated when NBA owners stopped work after the expiration of the existing collective bargaining agreement established in order to avoid a lockout in 2005. The existing agreement granted the players 57% of all basketball-related income, it also included new age minimums for rookies (resulting in many top high-school athletes to attend college for a single year in order to continue playing until they were eligible for the NBA draft). The 2005 agreement was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2011, at which time having been unable to reach an agreement with players, the NBA owners ceased work.

Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers is the head of the NBA Player's Union and represented the players in negotiations.

The major issue driving owners to such an agreement stemmed from the enormous financial discrepancy between large and small market teams. Last season alone, the NBA reports that 22 of 30 teams lost money, amounting to a grand total of $300 million lost in a single season. As the owners sought to recompense those loses, they attempted to reduce the percent of income granted to players universally. The players refused to concede their salaries. This created the major sticking point in negotiations causing the NBA to cancel almost half of this season’s games.

The owners desired to so-called level the playing field by imposing a salary cap, reducing the overall spending potential of large-market teams namely those in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. They also sought to create a 50-50% split between players and owners for all basketball-related income.

Michael Jordan, famous as one of the greatest basketball players the NBA has ever seen, and present owner of the Charlotte Bobcats lead NBA owners in demanding money from players' salaries.

Players immediately balked at such a suggestion. Their refusal to accept any deal granting them less than 51% of said income caused negotiations to drag out over months, with the NBA canceling the entire preseason, then the first half of November, then all of November. Negotiations remained stagnant until Thanksgiving weekend at which point a tentative agreement was reached granting the players as much as 51% of basketball-related income and as little as 49$, entirely based on performance.

While the players argued they were the league’s primary attraction, they seemed to neglect the role played by owners in league management and their enormous losses seemed irrelevant, establishing the question, when did they forget that they were at their core, entertainers?

Newtown Creek, Still Disgusting Now Has Hope

Newtown Creek, the infamous waterway dividing Queens from Brooklyn was designated in September of 2006 as a Superfund sight.

According to the EPA, the Superfund is “the Federal Government’s program to clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.”

Newtown Creek has long been rated by the EPA as one of the most polluted waters in the United States. Due to its convenient location, it has been utilized long before the 19th century as a major thoroughfare for industry in and around Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. However, lacking any natural waterflow – meaning that the water entering the stream has no natural paths of egress, creating within it an enormous backlog of filth stemming from general pollution due to water traffic as well as from the unregulated dumping of hazardous materials before any sort of organization existed for such regulation.

The Creek’s geographical location made it an obvious place for industry to establish itself several centuries ago, and to this day it remains as such. In 1870, Newtown Creek counted over 50 petroleum-processing plants along its banks while currently the Long Island Railroad maintains a freight line along the northern bank of the creek, while a liquid natural gas port is under construction along the south bank.

However the greatest source of pollution to the creek to this day came from the Greenpoint Oil Spill – one of the largest oil spills recorded in the history of the United States. According to Riverkeepers, the organization advocating clean-ups along all of New York’s waterways, the spill took places slowly yet consistently over the past century, in which between 17 and 30 million gallons of oil seeped from the ExxonMobile refinery along the creek across 50 acres of undeveloped land.

The spill itself wasn’t discovered until 1978 when a helicopter patrol discovered a massive plume of oil “flowing out of the banks of the creek” according to Riverkeepers. It was then that researchers discovered the full extent of the spill. And with the nature of the creek as lacking of any natural waterflow, the toxic sludge has seeped into the Creek, permeating the surrounding area with such a degree of filth that the very water is in a constant visible state of pollution.

However that is all hopefully about to change. According to the EPA, in 2010 $443 million was spent of appropriated funds to clean up currently existing Superfund sites, and their stated goal is to continue to raise that number in the future. With the new Superfund site, Newtown Creek can begin to expect substantial sums of money being spent on its renewal efforts.

Wednesday, December 14

A Visual Tour of Cecil Beaton: The New York Years

Curated by Donald Albrecht, Cecil Beaton: The New York Years begins with a series of illustrations of portraits in charcoal, gouache, ink, and watercolor. Although many of the portraits were of fashion models, some were of celebrities including Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo.

Portions of the exhibition were dedicated to certain artists and celebrities that Beaton was heavily influenced by or associated with, including Spanish artist Salvador Dali and his wife, Gala. Other portions were dedicated to Marilyn Monroe and Truman Capote.

During World War II, Beaton was given the task to of recording images from the home front. The image of Eileen Dunne, a 3 year-old Blitz victim, clutching her teddy bear as she recovered in a hospital landed Beaton the title of an established and prominent photographer.

During his time in New York City, Beaton decided to get involved in the design world. He began designing sets and costumes for Broadway shows, ballets, and operas. A set of costumes, including a red silk number that opera singer Charles Anthony wore in the 1961 performance of Turandot, showcases Beaton's design talent.

An early sketch of the red silk dress that Anthony would later wear in the 1961 performance of Turandot.

One of many images of Greta Garbo, the Swedish film actress was not only one of Beaton's muses, but a lover.

Andy Warhol had been fascinated by Beaton and for many years, seeking and ultimately succeeding him. The shot of Warhol and members of the Factory taken by Beaton remains a cultural touchstone.

Cecil Beaton: The New York Years comes to and end with an image of Mick Jagger sitting in front of his hotel window with a night view of New York City behind him. Although it may have been one of Beaton's last photographs, the laughing Jagger ends the exhibition in a light, happy note.

(All images were taken by me, except for the September 23, 1940 Life magazine cover, courtesy of and the Mick Jagger photograph, courtesy of Conde Nast)

Cecil Beaton: The New York Years

Cecil Beaton (left) pictured with Truman Capote

Throughout his career, Cecil Beaton did it all. He photographed for Vogue and Life, drew apparel illustrations, designed costumes for My Fair Lady and Gigi, built theatrical sets for Tenderloin and Coco, and mingled with glamorous celebrities including Katherine Hepburn and Elsie de Wolfe. At the same time, the British taste-maker made an impact in the art, design, fashion, film, photography, and even the celebrity worlds. Beaton story was rarely spoken of, but the Museum of the City of New York finally broke that silence.

Entitled Cecil Beaton: The New York Years, the exhibition walks us through Beaton's 40 years in New York City. Beginning with a quick overview by Donald Albrecht, MCNY's curator of architecture and design and then leads to a series of illustrations. Varying from charcoal, gouache, ink, and watercolor, the illustrations of models and celebrities including Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo reveal Beaton's interest in high society.

"Beaton has a snobbish obsession with class and status," Albrecht said to the New York Times.

But Beaton's glossy photographs are probably better referred to as he had a tendency to only capture images of the rich and famous including Salvador and Gala Dali and Marilyn Monroe, with many of them gracing the covers and pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Life. Yet, possibly the most well-known image Beaton captured had nothing to do with fashion or high society.

In a glass case near the back of the gallery, a vintage issue of Life displays an image of a young girl with her head bandaged, clutching her teddy bear as she recovers in a hospital. During World War II, Beaton was given the task of recording images from the home front and the image of Eileen Dunne landed him the title of prominent photographer.

But, the Big Apple continued to offer Beaton more opportunities. He decided to dive into the design world, creating costumes and sets for Broadway shows including Lady Windermere's Fan and My Fair Lady. Colored sketches are pinned against the wall behind a set of dresses including a red silk costume worn by Charles Anthony as Pong in the 1961 opera, Turandot.

Ending with even more photographs including Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, and Mick Jagger, Cecil Beaton: The New York Years may seem to show how obsessed Beaton was with glamour, but Beaton himself was glamorous.

links for alex


Little Skips, Bushwick

Little Skips was the name Linda Thatch and her roommates or as she puts it, her “crazy bunch of soul mates all living under one roof” used to refer to themselves. Now it is the name of the restaurant, café and “fun house” that she co-owns with Henry Gluckroft in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

The block itself is random, across the street is a large Family Dollar store and a block down is a KFC, otherwise there is a church with a misspelled Alcoholics Anonymous sign constantly out front, a tae kwon do/zumba dance studio and some busted-sign bodegas.

However, on the corner of Myrtle and Willoughby Avenues sits Little Skips. The artwork both inside and outside is provided (and for sale) by Abel Macias, a half-Mexican artist from Atlanta. Abel painted the bunnies along the outside over a year ago and feels it’s time to touch them up again. Typical with his minimal, borderline cryptic responses was, “I just like painting bunnies” when asked why he felt the furry creatures were a suitable exterior decoration for the café.

Inside the café has dark wood floors and an assortment of tables and chairs. There are several of Abel’s art pieces on the walls, a series of faces on one side and across from it is a two-part painting titled “Blue Bull”.

The menu itself is influenced by Thatch’s Asian heritage. The sandwiches are all interesting combinations of ingredients, such as the Norwegian, which is an open facing sandwich with smoked salmon on toasted wheat bread with goat cheese, spinach, red onion, avocado, tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette.

Thatch had originally wanted to have a café/bar type environment where people could get “large frothy beers and pretty cocktails”, however after complications with licenses and costs, the liquor permit was never acquired and instead they focus on their espresso drinks.

“I wanted a place with something for everyone that was eco-conscious and environmentally friendly,” Thatch says about her Skips inspiration, “we got as many recycled materials as we could, the wood had a previous life, the paper was mostly recycled, I didn’t want straws…[not being green] is no longer an option in my opinion.”

Little Skips is constantly busy, providing a work and study space for many local students as well as the quality only coffee shop in the area. Opened in 2009, skips has added employees, branching beyond Thatch’s immediate group of friends and continues to exist as a Bushwick neighborhood staple.

The Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting

The New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting doesn’t want to make any money. On their website, the only item that has any sort of cost to it is a NYC Filming Permit, which carries a rather low price of $300 considering the array of features and benefits the city of New York heaps upon filmmakers.

The office’s major selling point is their “Made in NY” incentive program in which film and television productions are given a variety of assistance in various forms. The program offers productions potential exemption from New York City and State tax requirements. It also provides a discount card with an encompassing range of included vendors including hotels, airlines, car rentals and banking services. Additionally, if a production completes %75 of their filming within New York City, the city agency provides free minor marketing exposure, mostly in the form of bus-stop posters and the like.

Not only does the agency provide banking services to New York Film and Television productions, it also offers a concierge service which assists with every conceivable aspect of filming, or as their website states, “expanded service supports the entire production cycle.” The described features include, “story development and tie-ins to NYC agencies, scouting assistance and budget analysis, locations access to premium sites…assistance with global premieres and launches. Basically if you’re willing to shoot in New York City, The Mayor’s Office will do everything necessary to make that happen from – going off of their own list of benefits – financing the piece, writing and casting it through story development support and the ties to NYC agencies, provide discounted living accommodations, and then help launch the film world-wide.

All such services, however, come at a price. In August 2010, New York State passed an item its budget renewing the money allocated to supporting state tax breaks for films. The number decided upon was $2.1 billion dollars over five years, or $420 million a year. This vote closely followed several ongoing film and television productions decision to leave New York City due to uncertainty with New York tax credits. The greatest example of this move was the Fox television show Fringe who moved to Vancouver suddenly after filming their first season in NYC.

While the copy on the Mayor’s Office’s website may sound like it’s begging people to shoot in New York, there are legitimate reasons for such a push. Productions customarily spread money around the Neighborhoods they film in. In 2010, the film Premium Rush with Joseph Gordon-Levitt shot on the Upper West Side and Columbia Pictures donated $7,500 to the neighborhood, which they stated they would used to hire more workers to pick up trash. In an interview with a Manhattan local news source, DNA Info, Gina Liu – a location scout and assistant set manager for Disney, Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures – said Disney gave out $5,000 in donations to neighborhood groups in Chinatown when they filmed Sorcerer’s Apprentice in 2009.

When Premium Rush filmed at Columbia University, the institution did not ask for a donation, but rather requested that the production hire several student filmmakers to work as production assistants. And so while the measurable benefits to location film shoots in New York are minor but better than nothing, the immeasurable benefits – such as city exposure, positive portrayals and the general sense that everything does indeed happen in New York – are great enough that New York continues to apply energy and resources to keep film productions coming to the city.

Are we missing the point? The Consequences of Looking at Societal Issues Deductively

On numerous occasions in my own research I’ve came across the same article, “How Brooklyn Got It’s Groove Back” by Kay S. Hymowitz , in every experience I glossed over the article recounting it as a good take historically on Brooklyn’s transition from a borough dominated by a working class centered around its many industrial factories to a rapidly gentrifying residence..but nothing I hadn’t heard before. A professor emailed me the article one day and after giving it a real read through I finally arrived at its end only to find myself irritated I found it again-- in less than two paragraphs at the article’s end is nod to the part of Brooklyn that doesn’t groove:
“At the bottom, matters are very different. Almost a quarter of Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents live below the poverty line—in the housing projects of East New York, in the tenements of Brownsville, or in “transitional” parts of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, all places where single-mother poverty has become an intergenerational way of life....”
While I have issues with the way Hymowitz paints Brooklyn to be a hipster hothouse  thriving with “culinary hippies” and tech savvy “twenty-somethings” what really makes me itch is the narrow view the article illuminates only explores the glitz of gentrification by ignoring any discussion of its consequences...why highlight the 2.5 million residents that live below the poverty line if you’re not going to talk about how they got there or why they stay there? 
There is a tendency amongst government, media and even amongst members of communities to address complex issues of gentrification, poverty, education, affordable housing and access to adequate social services in a deductive manner that ignores the fact these problems are interconnected and often symptoms of one another. 
“Pedro Noguera executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education said at a New School talk for the series Catalyzing School Change: Contexts and Possibilities, “you cannot address the issues in schools in impoverished communities without addressing the issues of poverty themselves.” 
Noguera’s approach to looking at the learning gap between wealthy schools that do well and schools that fail in neighborhoods with large populations of low income residents takes into account that poverty affects access to adequate health care, engagement and support on behalf of parents working long hours and access to social services such as counseling . 
Looking at the issue holistically addressing the learning gap means a commitment on behalf of the community to demand a better performance when their schools aren’t doing well, an effort on behalf of parents to support their children, an effort on behalf of schools and faculty to articulate the needs of its’ community and an effort on behalf of the Board of Education to provide schools with resources that address their specific needs and encourage collaboration with schools that are succeeding in similar situations. 
In a similar respect one of the fatal flaws in the system of affordable housing for a resident who participates in Section 8 is that the majority of information for Section 8 (the application, the waiting list, and eligible apartments) is electronically accessible , meaning accessed via the internet or a phone system with recorded options and little opportunity to speak to with live representatives; this is an issues of access that complicates the process because tenants who don’t understand the system do not find help easily available.
 Section 8, as noted by Joseph Strasburg the President of the Rent Stabilization Association, is a system that often sends late payments putting tenants at risk of eviction and landlords in unreasonable situations.  Another issue is that 80% of landlord violations are handled through a letter of recognition and thus easy to blow off by meaning that tenants often continue to be exposed to situations where buildings are not maintained and their needs are unmet for suspended periods of time.
The complexity of the affordable housing system for landlords and tenants alike often makes fully understanding their rights and responsibilities in the system difficult, and because the answers aren’t always clear or help to navigate the system isn’t the most accessible many like Harold Shultz, Senior Fellow of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council believe that the best mechanism for getting fair service is to organize. When landlords and tenants are part of organized groups they locates themselves in a network where they can receive information, guidance and outside support to approaching their concerns.
There isn’t of course any simple solution for all these problems but by continuing to approach them in deductive manners not only do we risk mis-representing the individuals involved we often miss the heart of the issues themselves. 

Crown Heights, Interviews on change

....My video from Viemo I can't upload...sorry guys:(

Iron Chef Champion Sells Cheese Made From His Wife's Breast Milk

            This Chelsea restaurant has gone from brasserie to brassiere.
            Chef Daniel Angerer of Klee Brasserie is now serving cheese made from his wife’s breast milk.
            “It tastes like cow’s-milk cheese,” Angerer told the Post, “kind of sweet.”
            Angerer said the flavor of the cheese really depends on what it is served with but recommends ordering a Riesling along side.  
            Since a lack of protein stops the breast milk from curdling, a little milk as to be added to the cheese to balance out the texture.
            Angerer, who once beat Bobby Flay on Foodnetwork’s “Iron Chef,” began blogging about his experimenting with making cheese out of human breast milk a few months back, and customers demanded a taste.
            “The phone was ringing off the hook,” Angerer told the Post.  “So I prepared a little canapé of breast-milk cheeses with figs and Hungarian Pepper”
            Overall many of Angerer’s customers were satisfied, despite some reluctance over tasting the cheese.
            "I think a lot of the criticism has to do with the combination of sex and cheese, but the breast is there to make food," said Lori Mason, the chef's wife.
            Since the restaurant began selling this new cheese, Mason has constantly received “creep queries” she said.
            Some people who clearly have issues have . . . e-mailed me saying, 'I wasn't breast-fed as a child, so can I taste your breast milk?' " she said.
            Mason continued to tell the Post that she declines the offers because she isn’t here to “walk people through their psychological problems.”
            However new creations seem to be in the near future as Mason prods her husband to start making human breast milk gelato as well.
             Is this even legal?  Though there are no department codes that explicitly ban the use of human breast milk in the food industry, the department of heath has told Angerer that he should refrain from sharing his wife’s breast milk with the world.
            “The restaurant knows that cheese made from breast milk is not for public consumption, whether sold or given away,” the city Department of Health said.

Step-by Step 
My Spouse’s Mommy Milk Cheese Making Experiment

(basic recipe using 8 cups of any milk - yields about ½ pound cheese)
2 cups milk (just about any animal milk will work)
1½-teaspoon yogurt (must be active cultured yogurt)
1/8-tablet rennet (buy from supermarket, usually located in pudding section)
1 teaspoon sea salt such as Baline
1. Inoculate milks by heating (68 degree Fahrenheit) then introduce starter bacteria (active yogurt) then let stand for 6 – 8 hours at room temperature, 68ºF covered with a lid. Bacteria will grow in this way and convert milk sugar (lactose) to lactic acid. You can detect its presence by the tart/sour taste. 
2. After inoculating the milk heat to 86 degrees Fahrenheit then add rennet (I use tablets which I dissolve in water) and stir throughout. Cover pot and don’t disturb for an hour until “clean break stage” is achieved, meaning with a clean spoon lift a small piece of curd out of the milk - if it is still soft and gel-like let pot stand for an hour longer. If curds “break clean” cut with a knife into a squares (cut inside the pot a ½-inch cube pattern).  
3. Raise temperature slowly continuously stirring with a pastry spatula (this will prevent clumping of cut curd). This is what I call the “ricotta stage” if you like this kind of fresh cheese – here it is. For cheese with a little bit more of texture heat curds to 92 degree Fahrenheit - for soft curd cheese, or as high 102oF for very firm cheese. The heating of the curd makes all the difference in the consistency of the cheese. When heated the curd looks almost like scrambled eggs at this point (curd should be at bottom of pot in whey liquid). 
4. Pour curd through a fine strainer (this will separate curd from whey) then transfer into a bowl and add salt and mix with a pastry spatula (this will prevent curd from spoiling). Whey can be drank - it is quite healthy and its protein is very efficiently absorbed into the blood stream making it a sought-after product in shakes for bodybuilders. 
5. Give curd shape by lining a container with cheese cloth (allow any excess of cheese cloth to hang over edges of container). Transfer drained, warm curd in the cheese cloth lined container (I used a large plastic quart containers like a large Chinese take- out soup container and cut 4 holes in the bottom with the tip of my knife). Fold excess cheese cloth over top of cheese then weight curd down (with second container filled with water or such) then store in refrigerator (14 hours or so – put container into a second larger container – this will catch draining whey liquid).
6. Take pressed curd out of container (flip container upside-down then unwrap carefully not to damage structure of pressed curd). Rewrap pressed curd with new cheese cloth then age in refrigerator for several weeks (cheese will form a light brown skin around week two – this is normal). Age cheese longer for a more pronounced/sharper cheese flavor.
2 cups mother’s milk 

Robert Moses Built This

Interview with Nightlife Photographer Patrick McMullan

Patrick McMullan

The first night I met nightlife photographer, Patrick McMullan, I had no idea who he was. My friend, a young photographer, was working as his assistant during fashion week and invited me along for a night out of after-parties. Over the course of that first night, I found myself stage side as Courtney Love performed in a gas station, at the opening of the Boom Boom Room where I stood on the bathroom line next Demi Moore, and finally at McMullan's Chelsea office. He and his team would spend the remaining hours of night (morning) editing and uploading the night's photographs. Unlike anything I'd ever experienced before, or since for that matter, I was immediately thrown into a world I'd never known before. His world.

Just as my friend was, I had been McMullan's shadow for that night as he photographed celebrities and party attendees alike. As that first night wore on, I gradually started to realize that he wasn't like the other photographers at the party. He literally couldn't walk 5 feet without running into someone he knew. "Who IS he?" I asked my friend at one point in the night. "You don't understand" My friend explained. "He's a legend."

Andy Warhol once said, "If you don't know Patrick McMullan, you ought to get out more!"

However, as legendary as he proved to be, I never once felt intimidated my him. He was friendly, hilarious, and most of all charismatic. As soon as I got back to my dorm, I spent nearly an hour trolling the internet trying to find out exactly who McMullan was. I saw claims such as 'celebrity photographer', 'Andy Warhol's confidant', and 'figure of Studio 54'. It made me feel like an utter idiot for not knowing who he was.

The summer following that night, I started a job working in a small web development company when, serendipitously, Patrick McMullan was one of our prospective clients. He wanted to bring to fruition his dream of creating an online magazine, not only showcasing his New York nightlife photography, but also interesting people, events, and art. Over the course of a few months, I met with McMullan and his team, and eventually arranged for a casual interview with him in his Chelsea office.

Asking him about a multitude of topics, hoped to not only touch on New York City nightlife from his earliest days, but furthermore his evolution as a photographer, especially in light of the launch of PMc Magazine. I also couldn't help but inquire about his personal tastes beyond the world of photography, such as music and television. 

What was your first night at Studio 54 like?
Patrick McMullan's “So 80s Studio 54”

Well my first night there, I remember it was a juice bar and it must have been 1976. I was still living in Long Island and I used to read Liz Smith everyday in The Daily News. She started talking about Studio 54 and I decided I'm just going to go. I just showed up and I got right in. At the time I didn't know any better that I shouldn't go, or wouldn't get in. It never occurred to me.

It was maybe 10 o'clock on a Monday and when I walked in, it was like walking into The Wizard of Oz, in the sense of color. When you got to Oz, on the other side of the rainbow. It was colorful, there was lights, and everyone was beautiful. Everybody was just so attractive and interesting.

I remember watching Sterling St Jacks and he was spinning Bianca Jagger around off her shoulders, around in a circe. People were dancing and I met a bunch of different people. I was by myself but it was really fun. After that, I started going as a regular.

It was a juice bar which was great, because at the time I didn't drink and the juice was free, so I didn't have to pay for drinks. It was just really fun and I had a friend who used to go all the time, her name was Margie Beck , and she was a scene girl of the time and she would just.

It lasted a long time, it went into the 80's too and had a whole different feel then. It was very glam. 

Who are your favorite musicians?

I like so many different kinds of artists. I have so many varied tastes. Obviously, depending on the occasion. I love The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. There is no question that they are my generation and The Byrds. Even The Turtles. All those rock n' roll groups from the 60's and 70's. I love Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, James Taylor, 'Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young', Carol King and that group is sort of when I was in High School and I just loved them all. But really what I am, is a jazz guy. I love traditional jazz, Billie Holiday, Diana Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee. They're all voice, I tend to really love voice and that leads me to my all-time favorite which is Frank Sinatra. I love cheap sentiment often, the idea of just sentimental songs. I love Bing Crosby. You know the voices that are like butter. Barbara Streisand I naturally liked all through her different phases. I think she's great. Cher, I love her voice. 

There's all different kinds of blues and jazz. I love traditional New Orleans jazz. There's this new movement I've been hearing a lot called "washboard jazz" which is 1930's kind of sound and a lot of the kids dance to it. I don't even know where to find half of it. I have to admit that I've never bought anything on iTunes because I don't really understand how to do it, as crazy as that sounds. I don't want to get addicted to it but I want to try to do that at some point. I also really enjoy old show biz and musicals like Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Rogers and Hammerstein, a lot of the really catchy Old Broadway tunes. I really have a vast interest. Now, another area is the disco of the 70's. Disco to me, is the Barry White, Andrea True, all those old 70's songs bring back so many fun memories of the Studio 54 era. I'm not a lover of rap but I do like Alicia Keys and Jay-Z's song. I like a little bit of everything, anything that's good I like. And of course, lastly Classical Music. I just love any dramatic music and all that. Anyways, I'm also a big fan of collecting photography

What musicians have you enjoyed photographing and in what kind of atmosphere? 

Well, I have photographed so many young musicians. I've always been interested in photographing musicians who are creative and interested in trying different things. I guess the majority of people I've photographed I didn't really sit with them. No specific great story that I can think of. I've met Cher, and Dolly Parton. Frank Sinatra Liza Minellie, Mick Jagger.
One time at a Vanity Fair party I got together Cher, Madonna, Joni Mitchell, and Katie Lang all in one picture and that was fun for me. I like putting people together. I met Stevie Nicks and i liked meeting Carly Simon a lot. It was very exciting to meet her. 

I tend to later on think "oh, wow", look who I met.... Musicians are so fascinating, you know?

Cover Image from McMullan's book
"So 80's"
As far as New York City goes, do you think you could do what you do anywhere besides New York?

Oh, absolutely. I am ultimately more of a "people" photographer, not necessarily a celebrity photographer. I mean, obviously celebrities are people but I'm interested in meeting new people. I love going out and just shooting new people. It's fun to me.

I love attractive people, i love parents with children. Anyone with style always excites me, even if it's bad style. I like people that say " look at me".

What is special about New York?

New York is very franetic. There's ups and downs. There's such movement. You can be in a crowd, you can be by yourself. The stimulation never ends. New York is the quinntessential flow of energy.

Is there anyone today that you would consider a modern Andy Warhol?

Well, I think there are many people that have aspects of Andy. Like many people that have qualities similar to him. Shepard Fairy does a lot of interesting work. The thing that I thought was interesting about Andy was that he set himself up to be a renaissance man. He was involved in publishing, art,  beauty, models,  music, like with The Velvet Underground. Being on the scene was a big part of it. I think Andy was one-of-a-kind. One thing about Andy is whenever you saw him, you knew you were at a really good party. You knew you were at the place to be. 

Andy Warhol and Patrick McMullan
The thing about Andy he had a whole group around him, like superstars, who were known and they had all these interesting personalities. 

We'd talk TV a lot which I loved because i enjoy television. We've never had such good television as we do nowadays. Andy would just love all the TV that's on. He'd love reality shows. I mean, he did the first reality shows if you think about it. 

What are your favorite TV shows?

I have too many favorite TV shows.....  I love The Office and 30 Rock, I love CSI: Special Victims Unit, Criminal Minds, House which my friend Lisa Edelstein is in. I watch Saturday Night Live all the time, sometimes it's good. Mad Men, I'm crazy for it. I've been watching Boardwalk Empire. I really love anything that's on HBO and Showtime. 

Oh, and i love Hoarders. Hoarders is my favorite show! They're always trying to throw away so much nice stuff. I hate when they throw away all that good stuff. Last night there was a woman who was raising rats and they all got lost in her house. I like Hoarders because it makes me feel I don't have the much stuff. 

And wait there's so much more, I could go on forever. I like Jersey Shore....... and I just want to watch every show that's on. Every time I look at something I want to watch it. I hate when I miss the first episode, so I guess the new thing is Hulu. I also love Netflix, you can watch it automatically or you can just get . One of the things that I'm just starting now is that show with the Vampires, True Blood. I really love that. The Good Wife is also great. 

I love South Park, Family Guy, Chelsea Lately.

I could just sit home and watch television and be perfectly happy. We've never had such good TV. I'd love to be a Television writer if I could be.

There's this new show called Jack the Exterminator which I've been enjoying. 

On to the topic of Fashion, I was lucky enough to see a screening of the New York Fashion Week Documentary which you were featured in. You talked about how much you enjoy the behind-the-scenes aspect of photography. What is special the "back of house" atmosphere, particularly during fashion week. 

Well, it's not even just the atmosphere. We have everyone who's focused on their particular job and what they're doing. And then the people are cute, the models are always fun. But there's something nice about seeing all the items and the clothing, shoes, jewelry all laid out.

In the old days, when I first started, I had an all access pass to do everything. I would just find myself gravitating towards backstage. Even helping before the show when things would go wrong. You would get to know all the designers, who were so interesting, creative, and talented. They're true artisans. I met some really good friends. To quote my friend Kourt Felsky, "I never met a model I didn't like". I mean some of them have moments where they're not so wonderful but it's fun to meet the models. They're glamour, flitting around. I just think there's a real excitement, a real drama. If your a drama junkie, which I used to more of. Now I've been to enough shows but i really still enjoy it. The shapes, the colors, and the movement, it's all just great for photography. I just love to run around and shoot everything. 

Having launched PMc Magazine.... What are you most excited for?

PMc Magazine February 2011 Issue
Well, my website is just pictures of what happened. I wanted to do something that added a sense of Who Am I? A lot of people would say to me, because I had a tape recording device on my camera, so no matter who I shoot, I get their name. I often forget people's names, even the ones I know. People would always say " You Know Me", so I have two sections: "Who Am I?" and "You Know Me". "You Know Me" would be people that everybody knows, like Cher for example. " Who Am I?" is somebody who is a little bit more seteric, someone that certain people know but others don't know.

I have another section called "Then and Now" because I think it's fun to see what somebody looked like or where they were at in comparison to where they are now. I mean, I'm not trying to make anyone look bad, more people that look good now. Though I'm sure people would like to see other people who look horrible now. I'm not one of them. There's enough negative stuff to see.

There's a lot of photo slide-show type things. I have a lot of pictures at this point. I must have at least a million (in an Austin Powers way) that are great. You know, we have a team here, a gang that is interested and knows a lot of the images. I just want to share them more, in a different context. 

Is it just going to be your photographs?

No, not just mine. The whole gang's. It's not just me. It may be lead by me and in the way I work but it's meant to be a collective. Everybody's got a lot of talent here. I don't want to have to much reading. We're a photo site, we want to see imagery. I'm not going to have comments as far as I can see. I'm not about comments. This is what it is. You like it, you don't like it. Everyone is welcome to be part of this. I'm hoping people will submit ideas or people that they're interested in. It's another way to be interactive with people and what's going on. I meet a lot of people that I think are very interesting and years later they become well known. I would like to be able to share who I think is interesting 

Was there a break through moment, or shoot that you were on where you thought "I've made it" or was it a slow progression of hard work? 

Well, I'd have to say yes and no. When I did my book "So 80's" and Linda Fargo did my window with all my pictures. I said "Wow", this was really like winning an Oscar for me. To be on 57th street and 5th Avenue, with all my photographs in the windows done so beautifully. It was so fabulous, I wanted to tell everyone "Look, those are my pictures". My name was there, and I thought "I've arrived". Though, there have been a lot of little moments where I thought "I love what I do". I mean, I love photography and not just my own. As you can see, I'm a collector. Few pictures in my whole studio are my own. I started loving photography before I did it myself. I would look at the images from LIFE Magazine, such as the sailor and the nurse and albert eisenstat. 

Do you think you've ever re-invented yourself?

Patrick McMullan and His Photographs
I don't think that I've ever reinvented myself. It's funny, people that have known me since I was, say 12, say "your exactly the same person, you haven't changed at all". I'm a little bit less nervous and more focused. I think that there are always more extensions. Every time you make a new friend, you extend yourself. The day that you don't want to learn anymore, life starts to become less interesting. 

I don't think I ever re-invented myself, so much as I blossomed, because I've always had interests in music, imagery, etc. I'll tell you a funny story, my mother tended to save magazines and I would cut little pictures out and tack them to a board, making huge collages. She had these TV Guides from the 60's, and someone said "Oh, those are worth something". She brought them down to somebody and goes "these would be worth something, but all the pictures are cut out of them". I felt so bad but she laughed. 

Anyways, I just think that I'm a little more fearless in trying things, like PMc Magazine for example. I definitely want to do more books. I mean, I have enough photographs to do 25 more books. Though, I also want to enjoy my life. See, my schedule is such that I always have things I've got to do. There's only one of me. Though, I have successfully cloned myself, which is nice. When I was young, there was nobody like me, in terms of hiring people just off the street or because I thought they had a nice personality. I hire people because I think they have a nice quality first. I want them to have the skills obviously but I hire them because I see a quality in them I like. I wouldn't want to be around a bunch of boring, lousy people. Even if I was making a lot of money. You know I went to business school and i love business but it's not about the money. I've mad a living but I still feel like I can look myself in the mirror and think "I've done it the way that I want to do it".