5 Pointz

Some cool filed lawsuit images:

5 Pointz
filed lawsuit
Image by Forsaken Fotos
In a welcomed decision by Federal District Judge Frederic Block, 5Pointz artists were handed another win on October 28, when he made a ruling that extended the existing temporary restraining order (TRO) he issued, as reported here at The Huffington Post. Judge Block scheduled the hearing on November 6, 2013, at which time he will also address the artists’ allegations that the property owner, Jerry Wolkoff, violated the existing TRO over this past weekend.

In the lawsuit filed, 16 nationally- and internationally-known streets artists, alleged violations of the Visual Artists Rights Act ("VARA"), and seeks to preserve Long Island City’s cultural heritage by preventing Mr. Wolkoff from destroying 5Pointz — and the artwork it contains — to build a proposed luxury apartment complex. Under the terms of the TRO, Mr. Wolkoff is required to halt all demolition-related activities that may harm the works of art at 5Pointz, but now the plaintiffs in the case are saying that that TRO was violated. This issue will be addressed in a hearing on November 6, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 10C, and will continue, as necessary, on November 7 and 8, 2013.

The 5Pointz evidentiary hearing is open to the general public. The federal district court is located at 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. It is a short walk from the Borough Hall and numerous other train stops.

With the good fortune of getting the extension, the artists involved in this case are calling out to the famous English artist Banksy to join their cause to stop the demolition of 5Pointz which is known as the graffiti Mecca of the world. In the Guardian, Jonathan Cohen ( also known as Meres1) spoke out and believes Banksy should offer support to 5 Pointz. He said "We’re not asking you to give us money, but your words could help," Meres said. "Why don’t you put a comment out?" Banksy who is also known as a political activist has created his art on the walls of the buildings of New York City every day for a month and has achieved great notoriety through his commentary. If he used his art to try to save 5Pointz he would be a hero to many.

The use of art as a political weapon is not new. Through history, the role of the artist as a social commentator has been invaluable and engrained in our culture. Art and its creation as a response to social and political issues can become powerfully influential in raising public awareness that results in positive change.

It is hoped that Bansky reaches out in time to support us and help our cause to preserve 5Pointz.

The Heart Attack Grill
filed lawsuit
Image by gwilmore
I once told my former dance instructor, Miss Angie, that she had something akin to the Midas touch, in that anything King Midas touched would turn into gold, whereas anything Angie touched would just become goofy. Something like that seems to happen whenever I am with my friend Lowell Bunker, except that I don’t believe he generates the goofiness himself; rather, as when certain chemicals are mixed, it’s simply the usual reaction whenever the two of us get together. A couple of examples of this (and I could cite many more): In France in May, 1981, we were visiting some World War I battlefields when we took a wrong turn and ended up in a village whose name, in French, means "sleepy." Few towns on earth, I believe, have ever been more aptly named, and that wrong turn has been a joke between us ever since. Whenever my wife expresses astonishment at me for never having visited Paris even though I’ve been to France, I respond by pointing out that apart from Lowell and myself, few Americans have ever been to Sleepy, at least not since 1918. (It is located roughly halfway between the Argonne and St. Mihiel.) And Lowell played a role of sorts in one of the most ridiculous episodes of my life, which happened that same month and is recounted here. I still get teased about that from all quarters.

Today we were out looking for a particular Italian restaurant when we happened to drive past this place, which I had never seen or heard of before, and I told Lowell that I simply had to stop and take some pictures. (Given our long history, I do wonder if this would have happened at all if I had been with anyone other than him.) It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I realized the ambulance was there as a prop. A very effective one, I might add, as it certainly looks real. (Note the website address indicated on the side.)

We had lunch elsewhere today, but this place definitely appealed to my wacky side. I laughed and laughed about it, much the same way I did in 1981 when, once again accompanied by Lowell and his wife, I spotted an auto-repair facility just inside the border in Luxembourg, which ostentaiously proclaimed itself to be the "Grand Garage de la Moselle." Today, with the permission of the manager, I took a couple of pictures inside the restaurant — just as I wish I had been able to do at the aforementioned Grand Garage de la Moselle — then returned later for some more, this time with my flash equipment. The house specialty appears to be something called the Quadruple Bypass Burger, which sells for .95 and apparently deserves its name. I don’t see how it is physically possible for anyone to eat one of those, as it is perhaps eight inches tall and its main ingredient consists of four very thick beef patties. Additional aspects of the restaurant’s motif and atmosphere will be explained with the other images I will be posting here over the next day or two.

I am creating a photoset for this place, largely for the benefit of the management and staff. I told the manager I would be posting some of these images online, and that if he wanted to use any of them for advertising or publicity, he could feel free to do so. (That permission does not extend to anyone else, however, so don’t start getting any ideas!)

It occurred to me while I was processing some of these photos and laughing my head off that the owners of the place probably named it as they did in order to minimize the possibility of a lawsuit. At the very least, nobody is ever likely to file a credible false-advertising claim against them!

(Update: Since posting this image, I have learned that CBS Sunday Morning once featured a segment about the Heart Attack Grill. The fifth comment down contains a link to the story, which was reported by Bill Geist. I watched it with a mixture of humor and morbid fascination. For reasons that will quickly become apparent to anyone who views it, the story was obviously filmed sometime in the summer or early fall. The video includes a riveting description of the Quadruple Bypass Burger, which, not surprisingly, contains 8000 calories. Bill Geist ate one for the show, and I can’t say I envy him for the experience. I weighed myself this morning and noted that I was about 1/2 pound heavier than I was yesterday, and I suspect that might have come from merely LOOKING AT A PICTURE of the Quadruple Bypass Burger!

Thanks to Illusive Photography for providing the link.)

Myself, Michael Jackson and Jimmy Safechuck
filed lawsuit
Image by Alan Light
Shot #2 of 2 – Michael’s eyes open this time

This is the second shot. In the first shot Michael’s eyes are closed. After the first photo, Michael turned to me and said he thought his eyes were closed, and suggested we take another one. Sure enough, when I later got the film developed and prints made, his eyes were closed in the first shot. I’m glad he was kind enough to say something and suggest that we pose again for this one.

This photo was taken around the pool area of the Kahala Hilton Hotel, early February 1988. This was two years after he was diagnosed with vitiligo, a skin condition, and just one month before he bought the land for what would become Neverland. The small boy dressed like Michael is Jimmy Safechuck, who had appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Michael and was traveling with him. This evening he had ventured out alone with Jimmy to see the hotel animals – dolphins, turtles, etc.

Michael Jackson was staying there for 3 days and I saw him 8 times during those 3 days, around the hotel. For a supposed recluse, it got to be funny how we ran into each other around almost every corner.

Michael was extremely sweet and nice to us, and we talked to him for about 15 minutes. When I saw him and asked for a picture he said "Okay, but let’s go farther away from the hotel. They don’t know I’m out here and I would be in trouble if they knew." At the time, I assumed "they" meant his security people but maybe he just meant people in general.

I’ve met hundreds of celebrities and would call Michael Jackson the nicest of the bunch.

Note: In May, 2014 James Safechuck filed court documents stating that Michael Jackson sexually abused him.

Scanned from the original 35MM film negative.

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