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The Miraculous

The Miraculous: New York

66. (Brownsville, Midtown Manhattan, Tribeca)

The New York years of this “sound artist” as he sometimes calls himself (declining the monikers “musician” or “composer”) begin in Brooklyn, the borough of his birth. He remembers how when he went to high school he was advised, “don’t tell them you’re from Brooklyn, they will think you’re an idiot.” Musically gifted and growing up in a Jewish community in the Brownsville neighborhood, he begins to sing in synagogue choirs, often during services that run for hours at a time.

The Miraculous: New York

67. (Harrison Street, Tribeca)

On a Saturday afternoon four weeks before her solo exhibition is scheduled to open at one of the most prestigious galleries in New York—it will be her first show with this gallery—an artist decides she would like to start some morning glory flowers in the window boxes outside her third-floor apartment. As she steps onto one of the window boxes it gives way and she falls three stories to a parking lot below. Immobile but still conscious, she wonders whether, as a tough New Yorker, her predicament justifies screaming for help. She decides it does, and calls out. “We’ve already called an ambulance,” someone tells her.

The Miraculous: New York

68. (60 Hudson Street, Tribeca)

As the third wave of a deadly pandemic crashes through the nation, a painter sets up a storefront studio in a landmarked Lower Manhattan building that has served as a communications hub for nearly a century. Surrounded by stacks of folded cloth, she is visible through the window to passersby as she works with a pair of scissors and a sewing machine, cutting up and stitching together fragments of curtains, bedsheets, dish towels, women’s suits, embroidered tablecloths, brocade upholstery, scarves, men’s long sleeve shirts, knitted blankets and countless other remnants from the realm of everyday textiles.

The Miraculous: New York

69. (Lower West Side)

On an overcast day in 1993 an artist arranges some scraps of wood and bits of water-logged litter next to a concrete Jersey barrier being used to block off an empty expanse of asphalt on Manhattan’s West Side. In the photograph he takes of this casual-looking arrangement, which seems to rise from a puddle left by a recent rainstorm, we can see in the distance a swath of the New York City skyline.

The Miraculous: New York

70. (Corner Lispenard & Church Streets, North Tower of the World Trade Center)

It’s early on a Tuesday autumn morning and a sixty-two-year-old painter is standing in front of his home conversing with a neighbor and some firemen who have arrived to investigate a reported gas leak on the block. About a mile away a thirty eight-year-old sculptor who was working so late the day before he decided to spend the night in his studio on the ninety-second floor of a skyscraper is probably still asleep.

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The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2021

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