the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Help Support Another Season of The Secret City

Our Season 6 Fund Drive ends on June 27th– just under a month from now. Our goal is to raise $30K and have 300 donors. Right now, we have $1,710 and 19 donors. Last year we raised $28K with 197 people – so the number is not that much higher, but we could really use a bunch more donors. ANY AMOUNT HELPS!!

Please take a moment to check out our Indiegogo page. There you’ll find an inspiring video and message about our work and why we need funds, contribute now buttons, juicy thank you gifts from our talented community members at a variety of donation levels, and buttons to help you spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, email, or your blog. So easy and so awesome. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


MEMORY of May 20th, Cultural Calendar & Reading

Yesterday’s service was a luscious celebration of MEMORY.

  • The cultural calendar was read by Janet Oldenbroek. Happy Birthday Janet!
  • Oliver Ogden shared photos taken with an Kodak Autographic 3A (circa 1910s) and a Speed Graphic (circa 1940s). The dreamy atmospheric photos, though taken recently in Long Island for this service, were evocative of memories of the distant past.
  • The food offering was hummus amuse bouche: creamy, fragrant hummus topped with a  pickle and served on a triangle of pita.  It is a food that reminds presenter Michael Barakiva, who has Israeli and Armenian roots, of family gatherings and arguments over the correct way to prepare hummus. For the record, Michael says the right way is to use the water the chickpeas were stewed in as the liquid for blending the hummus.
  • We played a game where we were challenged to name movies that had to do with memory. One person managed to know the answer to the first question (Vertigo) without even hearing the question. Whoa! What a magnificent crossing of memory and psychic abilities!
  • Mark Rosenthal read Selected Questions from Online Memory Tests.
  • Chris Wells read The Memory Pulls, a hilarious story of his 32nd summer that included distributing cupcakes to a tiny bewildered audience, making a teenager cry, and flying through the air in an inner tube on the Mississippi river.
  • Samita Sinha sang a beautiful traditional Indian song while we created the drone by singing notes.
  • The house band and choir closed with Memory Motel.


Today is Sunday, May 20th, 2012, the 141st day of the year. There are 22 days remaining until the end of the year. We are in the sign of Taurus: you could be self-aware more often.

Today is World Metrology Day, which celebrates the worldwide unification of measurement using the Metric System.


In 1609, Shakespeare’s sonnets were first published.
In 1830, Mr. Hyde patented the fountain pen.
In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.
And one year later, in 1874, the first Levi Strauss blue jeans went on sale, one dozen for $13.50.
In 1895, the first commercial movie screening was held in New York City.
In 1916, The Saturday Evening Post published its first cover by Norman Rockwell.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Island on the world’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landing in Paris the next day.
And 5 years later, in 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland on the first solo flight by a female pilot, landing in Ireland the next day.
And, the Beatles movie, Let It Be, premiered in London on this day in 1970.


Honore de Balzac was born in 1799, Jimmy Stewart in 1908,
Joe Cocker in 1944, Cherilyn Sarkazian, also known as CHER, was born in 1946, Jane Wiedlin of The Gogos in 1958, and Busta Rhymes was born on this day in 1972.

Christopher Columbus died in 1506, the lovely and hysterical Gilda Radner in 1989, and pro-wrestler Randy Savage died in 2011.


  • Our own Raquel Cion is performing her cabaret, Gilding the Lonely, June 1st and June 8th upstairs at the Dixon Place Lounge.
  • Ethan Lipton’s new play, Luther, is part of Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks at HERE Theatre the week of June 20th.
  • Our friend Owen Park, who is 10 years old, will be playing clarinet in Mil’s Trills – a  Dixieland music program for kids, June 2nd at Lincoln Center 11am.
  • Isabel Rose’s show, Straight Up, an evening of Vegas-inspired swing and pop music, will be Weds, June 13th at Le Poisson Rouge.
  • And, Chris Wells and Jeremy Bass will perform their new show, BIG SENSUAL MAN, a collection of songs and stories about the body, this Thursday, May 24th here at Dixon Place at 7:30 pm.


Selections From a Variety of Online Memory Tests

Remember these three words: Apple, Library and Chrysanthemum.
Remember this address: 2426 Linden Terrace, Summerville, Maryland, 21229.
What was the name of the street you lived on when you were growing up?
Do you often misplace your keys?
Do you find yourself returning to the house because you’ve forgotten something important?
What did you have for dinner the past two nights?
Do you have trouble remembering names?
Do you find yourself searching for the right word?
Can you name the past five U.S. presidents?
Would you even want to?
What were the last two movies you saw?
What was the name of your first pet?
What is the color of your mother’s eyes?
Can you name three animals found in a jungle?
Do you remember what a jungle is?
What are two different modes of transportation?
And how did you get here today?
Who gave the Gettysburg Address?
And what was that address you were asked to remember at the beginning of this quiz?
A few random numbers are about to flash upon your screen, try to remember as many as possible.
When you hit the start button, the purple rectangles will begin flashing in sequence, remember the pattern of the flashing rectangles.
How often do you have to replace passwords because you’ve forgotten the original one?
All. The. Time.
How often do you find yourself asking questions like, “What was I about to do next?”
And what were you about to do next?
How often do you have to ask someone to repeat instructions because you can’t remember what was said the first time around?
Or maybe you just weren’t listening.
Who was your first love?
Who was your last love?
What was the first play you ever saw?
What was the first piece of music you ever purchased – and was it a record or an eight track or a cassette or compact disc?
Do you remember what you came to this life to accomplish?
And what were the three words you were asked to remember at the beginning of the quiz?



Our next service is May 20 and the theme is MEMORY

Hey there! Let’s not forget that our next service is this Sunday. It’s our annual celebration of that murkiest of human capacities – MEMORY, slippery, changing, beautiful and sad. Please join us for a deep and joyful examination.

  • Oliver Ogden will show new photos of old places in Long Island.
  • Samita Sinha will sing classical Indian music for us and with us.
  • Michael Barakiva will present the food offering inspired by Israel, his homeland.
  • We’ll watch a movie clip.
  • We’ll play a game that tests the memory of us all.
  • Of course, the house band and choir will perform.
Sunday, May 20th
11:30am to 1:15pm
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street
between Rivington and Delancey Streets
Free childcare will be provided.
See you soon!


View our Money Holder Slideshow

Hello darling! Please check out Sarah Kate Beaumont’s slideshow of our community’s colorful and diverse money holders!

Speaking of money, we just e-blasted our Season 6 Fund Drive. Yippee!!! We hope to reach our goal of $30K and 300 magnificent donors by Tuesday, June 26th. Please help us spread the word and make a tax-deductible contribution, if you can.



Fund Drive for Season 6!

Hey gorgeous! Please contribute to our campaign to raise funds for Season 6 of The Secret City. Your donation will cover operating cost and help us continue to bring inspiration, community, and joy to artists. Our goal is to raise $30,000 and have 300 donors by Tuesday, June 26th. You can help us reach this goal by contributing whatever you can afford (even $1 ) and by spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook (links provided by IndieGoGo right after you donate). Right now, we have $25 from one contributor. We need you!

Check out the AWESOME video appeal on our IndieGoGo fund-drive page!

Also, did you get the email about the survey of participating artists and loyal supporters of The Secret City? “The Secret City has begun to seek support from foundations and public and private funding sources.  One of the primary challenges we face in these efforts is describing the artistic communities we serve and documenting the impact The Secret City has on its participants.  This information is essential in our efforts to secure grant funding.”

Click here to take the survey.  It takes  less than 30 minutes to complete. Thanks Sunshine!

(Update 5/9: We cannot accept donations via PayPal.)




Cultural Calendar April 29, 2013

cultural calandar

Below is the cultural calendar and quotes from artists on money, as read during service. Enjoy!

Today is Sunday, April 29th, 2012. It is the 120th day of the year, with 245 days remaining. We are in the sign of Taurus. You tend to be delusional when it comes to romance.

Today is International Dance Day!

In 1910, The British Parliament passed the People’s Budget, the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the British public.
In 1967, after refusing induction into the United States Army, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title.
Also in 1967, Aretha Franklin released, “Respect.”
In 1968, the musical HAIR opened on Broadway.
In 1988, Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson were married.
Also in 1988, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols were married.
In 1996, the musical RENT opened on Broadway.
And in 2011, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, married Kate Middleton, a commoner.

Duke Ellington in 1899, Filmmaker Maya Deren in 1917, Celeste Holm in 1917, and she’s still alive! Tammi Terrell in 1945, Jerry Seinfeld in 1955. And get this, on this day in 1958, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eve Plumb and Daniel Day Lewis were born. Carnie Wilson in 1968. And, Uma Thurman in 1970.

Ludwig Wittgenstein died in 1951 and Alfred Hitchcock in 1980.



When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money. – Oscar Wilde

It is a sad fact about our culture, that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it. – W. H. Auden

The sinews of art and literature, like those of war, are money. – Samuel Butler

My God! How terrible these money questions are for an artist! – Paul Gauguin

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. WC Fields

I’d like to live like a poor man with lots of money.  – Pablo Picasso

Poverty makes you sad as well as wise. – Bertolt Brecht

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. – Woody Allen

The poverty from which I have suffered could be diagnosed as ‘SoHo’ poverty. It comes from having the airs and graces of a genius and no talent. – Quentin Crisp

All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy. – Spike Mulligan

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. – Andy Warhol

I believe you are your work. Don’t trade the stuff of your life, time, for nothing more than dollars. That’s a rotten bargain. – Rita Mae Brown

Making money ain’t nothing exciting to me. You might be able to buy a little better booze than the wino on the corner. But you get sick just like the next cat and when you die you’re just as graveyard dead as he is.  – Louis Armstrong

I don’t want to make money. I just want to be wonderful.
– Marilyn Monroe

I’ve always found it very sanitary to be broke. – Orson Welles

The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it. – Edith Wharton

And, Maria Callas said – I don’t need the money, dear. I work for art.