“It’s hard to believe that after 7 years of working in all the domains possible as an artist in NYC, I could see the threads then that have bread Elevtrtrax. But what isn’t a mystery is the work, the failure, and the successes in small steps, have ultimately brought wonderful people into my life. I wanted to personally thank everyone who has supported me when my company was Elevator9 in the early 2000’s and our 2015 transition into a fully operational music/video blog documenting the music scene i’ve been lucky to have inherited by begin born here! I’d like to believe everyone has a story and that everyone should at least have a fair shot at creating something beautiful. As a life long New Yorker, born in Flatbush and raised from a father who bussed tables, a mom who was a nurse and raised three kids in Park Slope, I really have a strong emotional connection to New York, irregardless of life’s gravity for me, it will always be my Polaris, my true north star. It’s why when I reflect on 2015, and think of all the good, I also think of the challenges this city has faced. To the venues we’ve lost, RIP, the list of which i’m pouring my electronic 40-ounce for.”
The Hit Factory
The Living Room
Death by Audio
The Party Expo
& all the rest
(corner of 10th st and 4th ave where I was born and raised in Parkslope)
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have grown up in one of the most artistically and culturally vibrant places on earth. Sometimes I lack insight into how I went to one of the most diverse school’s in the Country, growing up with all walks of life, all races, and a broad mix of classes. While I cannot say it’s enough to throw the culture of the world in a pot and expect alchemical reactions that automatically result in a harmonious brew, but a city of millions of tales with millions of equally diverse people, it can create great odds for shared experiences that create bonds. The brew fosters empathy. And I know a lot of artists and musician’s like to wax poetic about the 90’s and early 2000’s era New York, but nostalgia can be dangerous too sometimes. Back on the music front, i’d like to say yes, we’ve lost some great venues. But the energy is regenerative. Do not demand of love, nor respect my father used to say, and I’ve come to understand it’s because you lose both when you do. Forgive, do not wallow friends, give of your love freely and treat respect like seeds you plant that you don’t expect to enjoy the beauty of; the stench of a spring lighting up honey suckle bushes, or the shade of a tree, that’s the kind of respect we need to foster for one another, the kind we won’t always get to enjoy the fruit of. Becoming bitter will only empower them and weaken us. I’m not fully sure if musicians or the music will pass the laws we need, but here are some places we can try to show face and lend a hand for, or hell, if you’re the mega-busy, donate to. Organizations that are trying everyday to fight for leveling the playing field.
Of income inequality, I’d like to note, that we see this problem echoing at home from across the nation, in NYC, “In a city where almost 70 percent of residents are renters, one-third of tenants pay more than half their income in rent. Between 2000 and 2012, rents rose much faster than wages historically — 75 percent rent increases compared to 31 percent raises. a minimum-wage earner would have to work 139 hours per week to be able to afford the average apartment in NY.” (Jacobin referenced study by Samuel Stein: teaches urban and interdisciplinary studies at John Jay College and the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies.)
“For a city of extraordinary wealth, New York is terrible at housing its vast low-wage workforce,” says Stein, and for a country with the MOST wealth in the history of ANY major industrialized nation, we are also the most unequal and it has only gotten worse. Think about this more than anything else when you go to vote next year, America is the richest country in all of history. We have the largest economy and the largest number of millionaires and billionaires. At the same time, we lead the developed world in economic inequality.
In 1965, CEOs received $20 for every dollar earned by the average worker. Today the gap is $354 to $1. As a muslim American and born and raised Brooklynite, I could care less about the 20% of this country who Trump is rallying up in his hate speeches, because his values are not in line with where this country is or headed despite the horrible blemishes on our past by the people who these folks hold some sorry ass nostalgia for. We need to come together irregardless of race and religion and form our movement against greed and boycott corporations, hold city officials accountable. Nostalgia can be dangerous, I too talk about the good times, but as long as I’m feeling like the way I did then, free, inspired, with some true people around me, i’ll be content sippin whatever, wherever, in this city. I hope you join me next year, I just know that it’s going to take more than a disgruntled shrug, eventually they’ll force us off the island all together, and I know for certain that I just can’t let that happen to me and my loved ones.