the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Monthly Archives: March, 2013

Val-Inc performs “Alone” live at The Secret City

Val-Inc was The Secret City’s musical guest at our March 2013 service celebrating technology. Haitian electronic music composer/percussionist/turntablist, Val-Inc evokes the musical esoteric realms of the creative subconscious and self defined as “Afro-Electronica®”. She incorporates her African Haitian Musical traditions into the present and beyond, combining acoustics with electronics and the archaic with the post-modern.


We Celebrated TECHNOLOGY: March Service Videos


See video clips from our March 24th service in NYC featuring dancer Sun Kim, poet Jennifer L. Knox, and Afro-Electronica musician Val-Inc.  The Cultural Calendar follows below too.

First, a video message from The Secret City founder and artistic director, Chris Wells.

A Dance by Sun Kim

A Reading by Jennifer Knox

A Song by Val-Inc


Cultural Calendar March 24th, 2013

cultural calandar


Today is Sunday, March 24th, 2013. It is the 83rd day of the year, there are 282 days remaining until the end of the year. We are in the sign of Aries! Your perkiness is annoying to others.


In 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach premiered his Brandenburg Concertos.

In 1900, Mayor of New York City, Robert Anderson, broke ground for a new underground Rapid Transit Railroad that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In 1913, the Palace Theater opened at 1564 Broadway New York City.

In 1949, at the 21st Academy Awards, Laurence Olivier won the award for Best Actor for his performance of Hamlet.

In 1955, Tennessee Williams’, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” opened on Broadway for 694 performances.

In 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army.

And, on this day in 1960, the U.S. appeals court ruled the novel, “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” was not obscene.


British designer William Morris was born in 1834, photographer Edward Weston in 1886, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle in 1887, poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1919, Italian writer Dario Fo in 1926, comedian Louie Anderson in 1953, Donna Pescow in 1954, and the lovely Jessica Chastain was born on this day in 1977.


Royal Monarch and arts patron, Queen Elizabeth I of England, died on this day in 1603, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died on this day in 1882, and the French novelist Jules Verne in 1907.



Kim Keever is our visual art guest


Our guest at this Sunday’s service is New York-based visual artist Kim Keever. Keever makes photographs of bonsai-scaled landscapes assembled inside a 200-gallon tank that is filled with water and topped with paint pigment and addressed with lights and gels to create convincing effects of clouds and atmosphere. His tropical vistas, sylvan forests, and mountain views openly wear their own artifice while they also display the fine-grained complexity of the real thing. Looking at them can be an otherworldy experience.

In Keever’s Small Mountains 3, orange clouds overtake the sun in this video shot in 200 gallon aquarium filled with water. The music is also composed by Kim Keever.

Visit his website and attend service on Sunday, March 24th to see more.




Val-Inc will be our musicial guest


Val-Inc, will be our musical guest at the next service celebrating technology.

Haitian electronic music composer/percussionist/turntablist, Val-Inc evokes the musical esoteric realms of the creative subconscious and self defined as “Afro-Electronica®”. She incorporates her African Haitian Musical traditions into the present and beyond, combining acoustics with electronics and the archaic with the post-modern. Her “Afro-Electronica” installations have been showcased in New York City at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and internationally at SaalFelden Music Festival in Austria, Jazz a la Villette in France, and the Biennale di Venezia Museum in Italy.


Visit her website and her ReverbNation profile for more music and information. Experience her music live at service this Sunday, March 24th.


Jennifer L. Knox to present the reading on March 24th


The hilarious poet Jennifer L. Knox will be reading at our next service.  Here’s one of her poems:

Pimp My Ride (First appeared in The New Yorker)

Probability, like time, is its own dimension.
The ’86 Chevy Suburban laced by rust,
pocked with bird poop, antenna wiggling
in its Bondo-clogged hole is only one way
the story begins. In another, we never
bought the blue behemoth—we bought
a ’63 Oldsmobile from a lady named Dolores.
In another, Dolores drove into a tree before we
were ever even born; in another, we owned a house
with a garage that kept the rain off, the rust out,
and the paint nice; in another, it was all mine,
we’d never met; in another, yours and someone else’s.
Likewise after the ride is pimped—metallic flames
in red and pink unzipping across its sparkly black
body, blitz of chrome, titanium woofers, enough
silver satin inside to line nine caskets—this
is only one story: another’s bright white
and blinds like an elephant made of sunspots;
another’s plantain-green and full of gold;
another’s purple with a sink in the back,
where we’re arguing; in the back of another, high
and high-fiving; in another, going at it
like two teens made of monster truck tires.

Jennifer L. Knox’s new book of poems, The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway, is available from Bloof Books. Her other books, Drunk by Noon and A Gringo Like Me, are also available through Bloof.

Jennifer was born in Lancaster, California—home to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, the Space Shuttle, and Chris Wells. Her poems have appeared four times in the Best American Poetry series (1997, 2003, 2006, and 2011) as well as the anthologies Great American Prose Poems, From Poet to Present and Best American Erotic Poems. Her work has also appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Fence, McSweeney’s, and Bomb. She is currently at work on her first novel.

Visit her website and come to service on March 24th for more.



Pound for Pound Bakery Answers Your Questions


A message from The Baker at Pound for Pound Bakery, who provided the delicious food offering of chocolate truffles at our February 24th service. Pound for Pound Bakery will also be providing baked goods for after the service on March 24th.

Dear Chris,

I want to thank you for the opportunity to be involved with The Secret City.  Your organization is wonderful and it was a privilege to contribute to the last service.  We hope to do so more in the future.

I understand that some of the people in attendance had some questions about Pound for Pound Bakery.  Here, I hope, are some answers.  I hope these are the questions you wish to have answered.

1) Where are you located?

We are not located.

2) How can I find out more?

Ask Chris.  Or someone else who knows about us. Or go to our website:  Best to ask someone who knows, they will have tried our food and be able to describe what we do.

3) What do you bake?

We bake things we love.  And things that are typically not out there in the world in a meaningful way.  The bakery only makes things which are not well represented. (Why compete? If someone is doing things well – the world has it already! Enjoy!) Everything made is pound for pound better than what is out there or we would not make it.  Right now we are making the following:

Chocolate Truffles (these are what we gave to the Secret City)
Carrot Layer Cake
Tarte Tatin
Raspberry Tarte
Flour less Chocolate cake
Pear Cake
Chocolate Laye cake
Caramel Tarte
Lemon Tarts
Chocolate chip cookies
Rice Pudding

but it changes, check our website for listings.

4) Referral only?


5) Why referral only?

The Baker is tired of serving people who entertain themselves with ‘knowledge’ and some kind of ‘self proclaimed’ pedigree based in finding something or discovering something or generally thinking they are better in any way.  Go find your ‘single roof sourced’ persimmons baked in a wind powered oven and served with free trade organic vanilla made by a person with one leg and a 10 minute explanation elsewhere. That is simply a story to entertain and make you feel good, somehow.  No interested in this in any way. The Baker is not here to feed your head or entertain you with stories.

The truth of food, of baked desserts, is that they are not about sourcing, knowing, or any obscure process – they are about taste, sensuality and experience.  Anyone can source, not anyone can bake; it is skill that makes our food good. The Baker is here to bake and provide to those who love to eat and experience life.  The rest can stay away.  So can those who eat to ‘critique’ and ‘gather’ food ‘accomplishments’ .   If you have a list of places to try in order to tell people you have tried them and how cool you are…if you want to eat food in order to think about it and find what is wrong….if you want to make a 100 point scale and graph what you have eaten: not interested either.  Go find someone who wants to make money through image and not product, do not come to Pound for Pound for food.  If you love food and want to live your life, we will bake for you.

6) How do I get a referral?  How can I get some of your food?

To get a referral you need only to want to appreciate things and eat for love and sensuality.  And know someone who has a referral already. To be ignored forever you need only to want to collect and criticize food in general, say ‘I have a referral’ (with pride and exclusivity), or ask where we source our ingredients and expect to be entertained.   The Baker only bakes for people who want to enjoy food and life for what they are and in the moment.

7) Do you make cupcakes?

Important:  We will NEVER make cupcakes.   They are the result of lazy parenting and contribute to generations who are numb.  Besides, the frosting to cake ratio is all wrong unless you tear off the top and put the frosting int he middle (marginally better) but then it is a whoopie pie.   It used to be that parents learned to make a cake.  Or bought a mix.  Then they spent TIME making a cake which would be for their kid.  Sometimes it was great…others not so much.  Regardless, there was a person making something for another person.  Problem is: you need plates.  And forks.  And…who gets the frosting with the writing? Wait…is my piece bigger? No – I wanted that piece….  All part of the process of growing up.  Even if you bought a cake – you had to do this part as well.  But…lazy parents popularized cupcakes which are self contained, no utensil, equal size, easily portable, blah blah blah.  Lazy parenting.  Everyone gets equal, no clean up.  No fighting.  No chance to share your better frosted piece and give the frosting to the neighbor boy/girl you have a crush on.  Childhood experiences lost! Lazy parenting.  Bad baked goods.  Numb kids. The Baker will never make them.

8) How much do your baked goods cost?  Where is the price list?  If I get a referral how do I pay you?

Any baked goods produced for referral from the Secret City, or Chris, are at no charge; please donate what you feel they are worth to The Secret City to help them continue to thrive and grow.

I do hope this helps answers your questions – please feel free to ask more in the future should they come up.

The Baker

Pound for Pound Bakery



Join us to celebrate TECHNOLOGY

Join us as we celebrate, look at, investigate and revile all things technological. I’m playing with the idea that technology is anything invented to make an organic human function more efficient – does that sound right? Anyway, we’re going to explore it together and see what comes up. Join us as we confront the Brave New World.

Sunday, March 24th
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street

$15 suggested donation

We always need volunteers to help with set-up and strike, and we are delighted when people bring food donations for coffee hour.  Contact us or leave a comment on the Facebook event page if you can help out.

*Free Childcare*

RSVP via Facebook (optional)

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