the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Monthly Archives: October, 2013


Laura Breen returned to The Secret City with her child vampire/ghoul for the theme of MONSTERS last Sunday. Laura first presented her beautiful and creepy serial for the theme of FEAR two years ago.
She said that when I first asked to make another series using her menacing child character this season that she had thought that she had no more to give, but soon found herself re-inspired. Her new series is gorgeous, beautifully colored, compositionally complex and emotionally deep, sad and upsetting.
Thank you , Laura, for creating this fabulous, original work for The Secret City and helping to make MONSTERS such a rich and compelling theme.


Another great gathering of The Secret City

Another great gathering of The Secret City yesterday – the theme was MONSTERS, and it was fun/scary/creepy and deep. The community continues to amaze me in how it grows in size and strength – another full house of interesting/interested people, and a lot of new folks. Our special guest artists BROUGHT IT – Sxip Shirey tore it up with microphone, sampling, a great story about his ancestors and a song about a backroom at his grandfather’s barber shop where he wasn’t allowed to go.
Rachelle Garniez tore it up, too – and took us on a creepy odyssey about frogs and regeneration and then killing and addiction. By the end the audience was rapt, horrified, saddened and moved by her artistry.

Laura Breen’s ghoul series proved the perfect visual art for the day – KINDERTRAUMA 2: Urban Prey. We’ve got one of her pieces up here on the site now and we’re going to share more over the course of the next month.

The wonderful Julia Pearlstein read the Cultural Calendar, and Micia Mosely had the reading of the day and brought the house down with her rendition of Where The Wild Things Are.

The choir – under the leadership of our dear Stephanie Summerville – sang two great songs – BOOGIE MONSTER, a Gnarls Barkeley tune, and Thriller, as the closer. They threw in some great choreo, too.

Oh, and did I mention that the band was SLAMMIN yesterday?? Jeremy Bass and the guys really delivered – sexy and rockin.

Thanks for a wonderful service, everybody! Now, a little rest before we gear up for November and, TRASH!


The Wild Side


After yesterday’s service on MONSTERS, at the coffee hour, with a really lovely gathering of community and friends, we sang happy birthday to our own Bobby Lucy, co-founder of The Secret City and the visual arts curator. Alex Avans made THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER. Damn.

Anyway, while we were all chatting, chewing and charming, someone said, “I think Lou Reed died!” And everyone said, “What?” “Lou Reed is dead…yes, it looks like it…” They were reading their facebook thread, then a lot of other people were, too. And, as we all know, it’s true. Lou Reed died over the weekend. What a huge loss to the culture of New York City, Rock and Roll and American Music. Last year, for our service on New York, the choir performed, Take A Walk On The Wild Side – one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever.

Here’s an amazing video of the song, featuring Andy Warhol and a lot of the original Superstars. Art matters. Life is beautiful. And, fleeting.


Cultural Calendar October 28th, 2013


Today is Monday, October 28, 2013. It is the 301st day of the year. There are 64 days remaining until the end of the year. We are in the sign of Scorpio. Watch the sarcasm.


In 1793, Eli Whitney applied for a patent on his cotton gin.

In 1858, Macy’s Department store opened in New York City.

In 1886, in New York Harbor, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty.

In 1893, Tchaikovsky conducts the premiere of his Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathetique, only nine days before his death.

In 1915, Richard Strauss conducted the first performance of his tone poem, Eine Alpensinfonie, in Berlin.

In 1954, N Richard Nash’ Rainmaker, premiered in New York City.

In 1954, Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel prize for literature.

In 1959, Jean Genet’s Les Nigres, premiered in Paris.

In 1961, “Fiorello!” closed at the Broadhurst Theater New York City after 796 performances.

In 1965, construction on the 630 foot high Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen, was completed in St. Louis.

In 1971, John and Yoko recorded Happy Xmas (War is Over) in New York City.

In 2011, Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater reopened after a six-year renovation, restoring it to it’s pre-Soviet opulence.


Edith Head, American costume designer in 1897. Elsa Lanchester, English-American actress, in 1902. Evelyn Waugh, English author and journalist, in 1903. Francis Bacon, Irish painter, in 1909. Cleo Laine, British singer and actress, in 1927. Joan Plowright, English actress, in 1929. Suzy Parker, American model and actress, in 1932. Jane Alexander, American actress, in 1939. Andy Bey, American singer and pianist, in 1939. Telma Hopkins, American singer and actress, in 1948. Bruce Jenner, American decathlete and actor, in 1948. Tracy Reed, American actress, in 1949. Annie Potts, American actress, in 1952. Daphne Zuniga, American actress, in 1962. Julia Roberts, American actress, in 1967. Brad Paisley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, in 1972. Joaquin Phoenix, American actor, in 1974. And, Frank Ocean, American singer-songwriter, in 1987.



Ted Hughes, English poet, in 1998. Porter Wagoner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, in 2007. James MacArthur, American actor, in 2010.


Cultural Calendar October 27th, 2013

cultural calandar

Today is Sunday, October 27th, 2013. This is the 300th day of the year, there are 65 days remaining until the end of the year. We are in the sign of Scorpio: don’t confuse pathology for depth.



In 1904, the first leg of the New York City subway line opened. Today the subway delivers an average of 5.4 million rides a day.

In 1947, You Bet Your Life, with Groucho Marx, premiered on ABC radio.

In 1960, Singer Ben E. King recorded, Spanish Harlem.

In 1964, Sonny and Cher were married, Cher wore bell-bottoms.

In 1975, the covers of both Time and Newsweek featured Bruce Springsteen.

In 1987, Peter Shaffer’s, Lettice and Lovage, starring Dame Maggie Smith, premiered in London.

In 1988, ET was released on home video – with 14 million presales.

In 1988, Larry Flynt offered a hitman $1M to kill Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione and Frank Sinatra. The deal was never closed and the hitman died shortly thereafter.

In 1992, Tipper Gore admitted to covering the clock on her VCR with black tape so she wouldn’t have to watch it blink.

And on this day in 1997, Microsoft argued it should be “free from government interference.”



Isaac Singer, known for innovating the home sewing machine, was born on this day in 1811. American painter, Lee Krasner in 1908. Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas in 1914. Actress Teresa Wright in 1918. Artist Roy Lichtenstein in 1923. Miss Ruby Dee in 1924. Poet Sylvia Plath in 1932. John Cleese in 1939. Fran Lebowitz in 1950 and ladies and gentlemen, Miss Marla Maples was born on this day in 1963.



Author James M. Cain in 1977. Bandleader Xavier Cugat in 1990. French director Jacques Demy in 1990. And actor Morey Amsterdam in 1996.



  • Anthem, a play based on the Ayn Rand novel, is currently running off-Broadway at the Jerome Robbins Theatre in the Baryshnikov Arts Center on W. 34th St. through November 1. Our own Stephanie Summerville is the moderator for the talkbacks sessions following the show and has a pair of tickets to give away after the service. See Stephanie for details, or visit

  • Rebecca Leigh Silverman is appearing in A Mind Bending Evening of Beckett, 3 short plays running at The Irish Repertory theatre through December 1st. Visit

  • Anthology Film Archives presents The Golden Age of Spanish Horror Cinema, Showcasing eleven classics of the genre. Multiple dates and times from 10/30 thru 11/10, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave, NYC. Visit for details.

  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, starring Jefferson Mays, opens November 17th at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

  • And, The 40th annual Village Halloween Parade will kick off on 6th Avenue between Spring and Broome Streets at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 31.


Two Terrifying Musicians!


Tomorrow at Dixon Place, we will celebrate MONSTERS, with a bunch of wonderful artists, including two fantastic musicians, who make amazing and weird sounds with instruments, voice, body and found objects. Sxip Shirey will create an original sound performance, and Rachelle Garniez will play her accordion and sing for us. SO EXCITED to have them with us. We’ll also have folks visiting from Brooklyn Grange (@brooklyngrange) presenting the food offering. Come get monstrous with us.


Laura Breen | Featured Artist

Artist Laura Breen terrified us for the theme FEAR, and now she is back with her child vampire/ghoul for the theme of MONSTERS this Sunday October 27th. Come see how the creepy visual story has developed, what the red-hooded mister has been up to since we left off.


The Secret City Monsters


Our next service is this Sunday, October 27th at 11:30 at Dixon Place. The theme will be MONSTERS, featuring live music, visual art, food, community, The Secret City Singers, storytelling and more. It’ll be scary to face the monsters all around us, but we’ll be together. Join us – there’s
strength in numbers.

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