Friday, September 01, 2006

ODB Mural by Victor Goldfeld

Not sure what to make of last night. I finally got to hang with my old amiga Kirsten, who I haven't seen in a bazillion years. We met Zebulon Cafe, which is in Williamsburg. And actually, I think it's the same bar I met up with her the last time we saw each other. I was glad to go back there cause they have this one great beer called Hoegarden, which is similar to a Corona, but only 100 times better. The overly efficient waitress tried to snatch the my glass away when I put it on the table with a few gulps left in it, but I was like, put that glass back down, Beeyatch! (Not outloud mind you as I make it a habit to be nice to servers.)

Then we left and on the way back to her new apartment, we passed through her old Clinton Hill neighborhood, which, funnily enough, she was recently priced out of. Why is that funny? Well, the part that makes me chuckle is that not long before she moved, she and her roommate attended this block meeting, which was organized by her landlord, who lives in the building in which my friend's apartment was located (Kirsten I hope you don't kill me when you read this!).

My friend and her roommate are white and the landlord is black and here's where it gets interesting. At the meeting, lol, the black landlord was bitching about gentrification and how all the black people were getting pushed out of the neighborhood. She failed to note, however, that not only had she rented to two non-people-of-color, she herself was jacking up the rent of her small, basement level, mold-filled apartment so high that only a (not-very-bright) professional could afford to live in it! I love hypocrisy. So very entertaining.

And then as we were driving out of her neighborhood, Kirsten pointed out an ODB mural, which she said she saw two white, Jewish kids painting around the time she was getting ready to move. We turned around so I could get a better look at it and Kirsten was kind enough to get out of the car and snap some images of it.

The mural is of ODB's welfare card and for all you young'ns, it's a reference to a very famous segment MTV did on ODB way back in the 90s. I think the show's theme was your basic day-in-the-life of a rap star and at one point during filming, the camera crew followed ODB into a check cashing place and showed ODB picking up his welfare money. It was this big scandal and people were buzzing about it for many moons to follow. I guess the big deal was that ODB was a symbol of all things wrong with welfare with the assumption being that he was making a mint as a rap artist--big assumption if ya ask me!

Oh wait, Wikipedia does the story MUCH more justice. Lol. I never knew he went by limo!:

Around this time, Jones gained notoriety when, as he was being profiled for an MTV biography, he took two of his thirteen children by limousine to a New York State welfare office to pick up his welfare check while his latest album was still in the top ten of the US charts. The entire incident was filmed by an MTV camera crew and was broadcast nationwide.

Anyway, if you look at the bottom of the mural, you'll see that the artist, Victor Goldfield, provided the address to his Web site, where I discovered this morning that he painted it for some documentary on ODB.

^^Wondrous photography by my friend Kirsten

^^Another great shot by Kirsten

To the right of the mural, Victor also painted a manifesto about ODB.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
^^The manifesto. Stupid-ass Blogger as usual wouldn't let me upload this image so I had to use PhotoBucket, which did it in two seconds.

I can't make out all of the manifesto because of the way the flash reflected off of it. What I could read, said this:
Dirty came
And in the process
Motivated millions.
His legacy will never die.

What more really needs to be said about the great ODB?

And I don't know if it was the aura of ODB lawlessness hanging over me or not, but on the way to her apartment, we came to an intersection at which there was a great, big HUGE no-right turn sign. To me, at 1:00 in the morning, this traffic directive made NO SENSE at all, thus, despite seeing a police car parked to the right of the intersection, when the car in front of me turned right, I followed behind it.

Natch, I was immediately pulled over by the police, marking the very first moving violation I have ever received in my life. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first because even though I only had that one beer, given the hour and the largeness of the no-turn sign, it would be fair for him to wonder if I had been drinking and who knows what results some dusty old breathalizer that's been kicking around the trunk of a cop car for 20 years might come up with.

Fortunately, he only gave me a ticket, pointing out that the reason for it was 'cause I had made a right turn even though there were "about six different signs saying not to." I didn't think it was a great idea to debate the officer at that point, but the fact is, that was an exaggeration. I'm pretty sure that there were no more than TWO enormous no-right turn signs.

Then I finally got to see Kirsten's new apartment, which is, no lie, like six times bigger than her old apartment and about one-third cheaper. Seriously, using a Manhattan apartment scale, it's a flipping mansion-sized apartment.

And hey! I just found out that today is Kirsten's birthday! Happy Birthday, Kirsten!!


Annie said...

I think I went to middle school with that Victor kid. How random!

Lois said...

The images don't do it justice. It's a great mural. He's a pretty talented fella. Was he artistic back then too?

Annie said...

We went to a middle school where you had "talents". Mine was math, which in the end I did nothing with. But his was art, which obviously makes lots of sense.