Sunday, December 9, 2012

At the opening of the The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space last night

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) officially opened yesterday on Avenue C ... EVG contributor Shawn Chittle was there and took these photos. (You may find more here.)










For further reading:
Eden has more photos and video from the MoRUS opening Saturday (Slum Goddess)

New Museum Set to Honor East Village's Squatter Past (DNAinfo)

One more try for the MoRUS opening after storm flooding (The Villager)

East Village Shrine to Riots and Radicals (The New York Times)

17 comments:

Zadie said...

These pictures are beautiful, but they don't capture how crowded the event was, or show all the incredible performances happening in the back space. What a great party! Everyone should support this hub of grassroots activism and community organizing.

Anonymous said...

Great photos! The MoRUS opening party was wonderful, it is an amazing space showing the history of activism in our neighborhood, and featured a great line-up of talks and performances. Not at all a shrine to riots and radicals, but a documentation of all the hard work and struggle that went into creating and preserving our community spaces! Everyone was very happy to see these stories being told in a formal, public way for the first time.

Elise said...

The event was amazing, the turn out was beyond what any of us envisioned. we had a tremendous outpouring of support from the community, some members of the press,and our neighbors. Everyone and I mean everyone that came to the event was incredibly friendly, supportive,and respectful of the space.

Elise said...

The event was a success and the turn out was beyond anything that we envisioned. We had an incredible outpouring of support from the community, our neighbours especially the East Village Tavern and Royale Bar they helped us through out the night with a never ending supply of ice. Everyone and I mean everyone that showed up to the opening was incredibly friendly, supportive and very respectful of the space. overall the event was a success and MoRUS is here to stay :). The pictures look amazing Shawn Chittle did an amazing job.

A Volunteer said...

Everyone at the space worked really hard to make the grand opening possible. We're grateful for all the support! It's a pity the NYT article didn't talk about the collaborative spirit of the museum. A comment above's got it right -- MoRUS is not a shrine to the glory days of activism. It's a celebration of community and what the East Village has contributed to the city through activism and sustainable practices. We hope we were able to communicate this to our guests at the grand opening yesterday. That, and music, food, and drinks make a great party!

The people said...

Someone should spit on John Leland. He should be ashamed of himself for writing that despicable, inaccurate piece, which was clearly driven by corporate interests. What scum.

Anonymous said...

DNAinfo's coverage of the museum is far better than that of The New York Slimes: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121207/east-village/new-museum-set-honor-east-villages-squatter-past

Shawn G. Chittle said...

Zadie you are right - it was packed! Amazing event!

I only had a 50mm prime lens with me, which isn't all that wide so I stuck to portraits of people I know and parts of the exhibit without giving "too much" away. I felt a little funny capturing faces of strangers as people are much more privacy conscious in the squatter community, ya know?

The performances downstairs were amazing, but it was almost pitch black back there, making photography difficult.

I think I saw someone videotaping... hope that surfaces soon.

Brooke said...

As a volunteer since the conception of MoRUS, I am pleased to see the museum open in the spirit of the philosophy, of the people for the people. Too bad the recent NY Times article profiling MoRUS took such a snide tone regarding the history of activism in the Lower East Side. A complete viewing of the museum's exhibits reveals a diversity of responses by neighborhood residents to institutional neglect and disinvestment that led them to take responsibility for their own communities and reclaim spaces for creative living. These struggles certainly continue on even if in other parts of the city. By the way, I am not too young to be writing this.

NMT said...

Shawn, there are links to Peter's videos on the MoRUS Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Museum-of-Reclaimed-Urban-Space/251375721560667?fref=ts

Your pictures of the event are as brilliant as the event itself was. Saturday was a long time coming, and the opening was a beautiful celebration of the East Village and Lower East Side community throughout the years!

Unfortunately the New York Times' portrayal of the space started off by focusing on the negative, instead of celebrating years of hard work by community members in order to make public spaces better and more sustainable for all. Luckily this spirit of celebration was not lost on those who attended the opening!

Anonymous said...

What the Rude Mechanical Orchestra said:

"We had the great honor of playing the opening of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (or MoRUS) in Alphabet City Saturday. The cool kids at The New York Times had a kinda mean piece about it in their Sunday edition – another entry in that paper’s storied “Silly hippies – streets are for capital!” genre, which its editors probably imagine gratifies their One Percenter readers that buy the pricey status symbols from the luxury goods-hawkers that place the ads that pay their salaries. But if you look around the East Village today, the works of the social movements that MoRUS celebrates and commemorates are written into the landscape: in the First and Second Avenue bike lanes that transport cyclists safely through the neighborhood and beyond without pumping crap into the air or oil from the earth; in the community gardens that let one of the world’s densest neighborhoods breathe and give people without a country home a swathe of green and a plot of earth to bury their cares in; in the rich buffet of free arts and events and neighborly interaction you’ll find on most any weekend day in Tompkins Square Park (where, incidentally, the history of police riots goes back well before 1988 – try 1874!). There, too, are the works of earlier generations of radicals, from the First Houses – the first public housing in the US, by most accounts, opened in 1935 and still going strong – to the big high-rise housing co-ops, built by unions six or eight decades back and offering middle-income families a rare perch on an island increasingly of very rich and very poor. What has capital built for us? What have the Very Serious People who move money around on paper and buy bejeweled trinkets advertised in The Times given us? Have they constructed even a single public library since the Great Depression? They sure haven’t been busting ass to exhibit their noblesse oblige since their latest economic clusterfudge. So snark on, Timesmen, and maybe the Masters of the Universe and the pols that serve them will kick you some crumbs from their table. We know which side we’re on. And sometimes, our side orders us pizza from Two Boots when we play for them. Thanks, MoRUS! Pay them a visit, kick them some cash, celebrate the victories for public space we've won over the years here in NYC: http://www.morusnyc.org/"

http://www.facebook.com/rudemechanicalorchestra/posts/10151295817319508

Eden Bee said...

Nice photos! I took several videos and some pics too and will have them up at slumgoddess by tomorrow!
Great night!

chris flash said...

When my sewer line backed up into The SHADOW's underground office space, we found a GREAT use for the NY Slime -- soaking up the shit water. Keep up the good work, NY Times!!

Shawn G. Chittle said...

NMT you made me blush.

Eden, Chris Flash, thanks for posing for a photograph. You people ARE the Lower East Side. And why I moved here!

Meredith Doby said...

Thanks for the great photos! You do an amazing job of showcasing the design and character of MoRUS!

Mind if I post them on my design portfolio? www.meredithdoby.com

EV Grieve said...

Thanks, Meredith. Sure — Just be sure to credit Shawn G. Chittle for the photos with a link!

Anonymous said...

It was an amazing evening. Too bad the NY Times mired themselves in that tepid article. Their writer missed the sense of joy and adventure of The East Village recreating itself. MoRUS has has really captured the spirit of the community and tells a story that can't be forgotten.