the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Posts In Light

The Pink Tutu Ballet Company | Featured Artist


The Pink Tutu Ballet Company will perform for us at our next NYC event, the theme will be LIGHT. This professional NYC ballet company is known for its unlikely combinations of classical and avant-garde forms, and for breaking open the whole idea of ballet. We’re lucky to have them, especially at this very busy time of year for ballet companies. Check them out on their website and at our service on the 22nd.


Steve Giovinco | Photographer


Steve Giovinco is a celebrated photographer whose work is lush and rich, using natural light to create images of great mystery. Steve’s shown his work with The Secret City several times. I’m always delighted to have him and his deep, beautiful work with us and to share it with our growing community. Steve is a New York based photographer whose work has been seen all over the country and the world – much of his work explores the intimate moments in life, between people, or people and nature, it always seems to convey a great silence. Steve’s always looking for the beautiful, unlikely image to be found as he makes his way through the world. Check out his website:


From Our Grand Poobah | What a whirlwind!

What a whirlwind! We were in LA last weekend, celebrating LIGHT, and had an amazing time with friends, artists, community – and, we had The Secret City’s first mini-rave! A fabulous, 6 minute dance jam together. Really good and juicy. What else? Oh, the band was jammin – really great house band, and The Secret City Singers were in rare form, too. They did a Todd Rundgren song called LOVE IS THE ANSWER. The whole day was beautiful and light-filled. Something about California in the winter – the clear skies, the views of the mountains, the sparkling light. I’m so lucky to have this job where I get to travel to LA four times a year and hang out with amazing artists and friends and collaborators.
Oh, also, I bought a disco-ball hoodie, which really sparkles. I think it might become the basis of all future outfits FOREVER. It’s really great to feel like you’re reflecting light and joy into the world.
Now, I’m back in Woodstock – there’s snow on the ground and it’s cold, maybe low 20s? We’re gearing up for the NYC version of LIGHT, which will be Sunday, December 22nd, the day after the solstice. Really looking forward to seeing NY friends, and presenting a great new set of guest artists. Rumor has it that we’ll be having ballet and opera this month – firsts for us. Really excited about that.
So, put on your disco-ball hoodies and join us.


The Secret City NYC | Light


Following a beautiful gathering in LA, we make our way back east to continue our month of celebrating LIGHT, in honor of the winter solstice. Join us for what promises to be another beautiful day.

We’ll have visual art, a food offering, dance, live music, storytelling, the cultural calendar, the Secret City Singers and more – all wrapped up in a delightful bundle of art, community and joy.

Come join us.

The Secret City NYC
Sunday, September 29th
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street

$15 suggested donation
Free Childcare –

Bring something for the refreshment table. And, if you want to volunteer, please email us at – we can always use help.


I’m beginning to see the light


I’m really enjoying living in the woods. Every morning the sun comes in my bedroom – it’s not a harsh light, but these beautiful sunrises through the trees. Living in the city the past 10 years I really became out of synch with the light. Our small one-bedroom was sandwiched between towering buildings on every side, and the apartment was at the back of the building. For 25 minutes each day, like a small, cubed shape sun-dial, the sunlight would traverse the apartment – sweeping through the living room and then into the bedroom and then, poof, gone. It’s as if, for those brief moments, you could see how the place was originally conceived – a house, with windows, allowing the sun to brighten its rooms.

Now, I live in a cottage in the woods and the light is spectacular. Not just the bedroom, but all the rooms of the house have large windows and the light pours in – right now I’m sitting on the couch in the living room and the afternoon sun is bright on the table before me. It’s such a primal thing, the light – no wonder it has such dramatic impact on people’s psyches and moods and productivity levels. Coming from California, I am wired to want the light. And so, now I have it.
We celebrate the LIGHT every winter, in honor of the Winter Solstice, that moment when, once a year, the sun seems to stop and sit low on the horizon and then, voila, reverses its course. It’s all an illusion, it’s our own planet making it’s annual changes in course, but the effect is real – the light begins to come back.
I fly to California tomorrow – I love landing in LA, and feeling the dry air, and those incredible winter sunsets out west. I’m sure it will make me think of this place in the woods, where the cold is just coming on – and our bedroom, with its beautiful sunrises. Connections everywhere. Like our celebration of the LIGHT, even as the darkest time of year approaches.


James Hood | Musician

James Hood is renowned as a vital and versatile musical pioneer, with a lengthy and varied musical resume that includes playing drums in The Pretenders, his ongoing two-decades-plus run as mastermind of the visionary ambient/electronica act ‘Moodswings’ and an expansive array of production and soundtrack projects. His latest project involves the double sided hang drum, which he’ll be playing for us at our LA event on Sunday, December 8th. The sound and vibration of the drum, and James’ mastery and connection with it, create an indelible listening experience. I’m thrilled to have him with us.


Julie Shafer | Visual Artist


Julie Shafer is a Los Angeles-based visual artist who works with photography and video. She’s created large-scale photo installations with her pin-hole camera at historical sites around the country. For our service on LIGHT, Julie will be showing a series of photos documenting the final journey of Matthew Sheppard, the young gay man who was killed in Wyoming 10 years ago. There are a total of 24 images in this series. Each image was created with an exposure that began at the lounge where Sheppard was kidnapped, continues through the duration of the drive and ends at the deer post where Sheppard was found.


Alicia Vogl Saenz | Poet

I’m so excited to present the poet Alicia Vogl Saenz at our LA event this Sunday, December 8th. Not only is Alicia a poet, museum educator and practitioner of Zen Buddhism, but she’s been a friend for over 20 years. So, it’s a thrill to present her to The Secret City and to share her work with you all. Alicia’s poem have appeared in lots of journals and online, like this here:
Alicia’s also a member of Macondo, a writing community founded by Sandra Cisneros and teaches contemplative writing at the Los Angeles Shambhala Meditation Center.  Her work is rich and sexy and often located in the landscape of Los Angeles.


We’re coming back to California!

Upcoming Events

We’re coming back to California! This Sunday, December 8th we’ll begin our annual celebration of LIGHT, in honor of The Winter Solstice. Join us for a beautiful day of music, art, food, community and storytelling. Join us at the fabulous Bootleg Theater at noon – and, remember, we provide FREE CHILDCARE! Here’s the link to the event:



For the winter solstice, WAAAAYYYYY back in December, we had our service on LIGHT. It was a beautiful gathering, and captured some of the stillness and depth of the darkest day of the year, when the light comes back into our lives. Here are some pics from the day, taken by Beth Rudock.

That’s Bobby Lucy introducing the visual art for the day – photographs taken at night by Steve Giovinco.




The food offering being passed out was a cranberry fruit fool – a delicous, light, whipped cream dessert made by Anna Hayman. mmm. Here it us up close:







Here’s a shot from the film clip we showed, Busby Berkeley’s Gold Diggers of 1933. This number is AMAZING – The Shadow Waltz, sung by Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell, and then danced by about a hundred showgirls who, at one point, bust out these neon violins. Incredible artistry.







These are the illuminated wine glasses of the amazing Jonny Rodgers – Jonny plays tuned wine glasses, and composes amazing songs for them, along with guitar and voice. He often loops all of these things, too, to create a beautiful, haunting sound. We’re proud to call him a Secret City regular. He brings magic whenever he appears!!

Here are Jonny’s hands in action:







So, it was a beautiful, light-filled day, the perfect send off for the new year. And now we are in January, heading toward spring. The cycle never ends – dark and light, cold and warm, life and death, and always a thread of beauty streaming through it all. Grateful for all of it.