Peformance Space 122. The year is 1995 or it might be 1996. I was the Box Office Manager, then Director of Communications. One warm summer night, Min Tanaka, a Butoh inspired dance company from Japan was scheduled to perform. As the Box Office Manager, I stood right in the doorway over looking dirty, filthy, sublime 1st Avenue. Elizabeth, the 40 year old marijuana dealer waltzed up and down the avenue; she specialized in dime bags of mediocre weed. She was someone you could always depend on. The usual suspects began to arrive; East Village boys and girls with mohawks, black shit-kickers, tattered T-shirts, red lipstick, the occasional gray hair, the occasional straight couple. When out of the blue, a long stretch limousine appeared, framed by the red doorway. Out popped Sean Lennon and his mom Yoko. That's Ono.
Sean took the lead, bounding ahead of his mother and another man (bodyguard? boyfriend?). He said, We have reservations. And handed me a hundred dollar bill for $20 in tickets. His mom hung back, eyes downcast. She wanted so desperately to not be recognized. As if. Her son, however, was a big aggressive. A bit entitled. I waved them in. As if they would pay. We all knew they were coming. We were all agog but b/c we were also jaded New Yorkers, we didn't say a word. They glided up the steps of the hundred year old school house--- definitely leaving the luxury of the stretch limo, incongruously parked--- waiting---- alongside Elizabeth, the drunks, the trash and the stink of the city.
Image: Chinese Malaysian dancer, Lee Swee Keong. Xinhua Photo, 2008