O-Bits: Urban Ghosts Edition

New York’s Lincoln Plaza Cinemas were nothing much to look at—the theaters were plain concrete bunkers below a white brick apartment building on Broadway and 63rd Street. But the movies that played there were something special. Until the Angelica was built on Houston Street, if you wanted to see the latest from Fassbinder, Herzog, Jarmusch, or other movies that could make an NYU film student swoon, you had to make the trip to the Upper West Side. The screens went dark last weekend; New York Magazine’s Bruce Handy remembers them.

A San Diego nursing home gave new meaning to the phrase “death with dignity,”  When Linda Sladwick died, her daughter, Sherri, asked the home to transfer the body to the Dignity Memorial Mortuary, one block away. Instead, KGTV reports, her mother was sent around southern California, eventually ending up several hours later at a cremation center in San Bernadino, more than one hundred miles away.  “They royally messed up ” says Sherri.  “If they had not found her, she could have been cremated as a Jane Doe.”

When British-born artist Thomas Houseago left Belgium in 2003, he couldn’t afford to ship his sculptures, so he broke them down and buried them in a field. Now living in the Frogtown neighborhood of Los Angeles, he describes seeing his works—paintings and sculptures of oversized dead-eyed masks and striding men—installed in museums, he tells W Magazine it’s like seeing a ghost,  “a shadow or echo from my studio in L.A., but also my past walking at night in the city.”

Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS.

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