Updated: Sep 21
It was a scene out of Georges Seurat's most famous work “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”.
The last time you saw us, I had convinced Indie R's most elusive members to participate in a hare-brained idea. Assemble at a park in front of the Google building, a few blocks from a mustering BLM riot in SOHO to practice Krav Maga with a Martial Arts expert.
It was a giant middle finger to the lockdown and anarchy in Gotham. As cathartic and empowering as that event was (click to see), Corina took the initiative to host a more relaxing and humanizing exercise to tamper Indie R's martial vibe.
How about a picnic by the Hudson on the Upper West Side?
We found a spot under two large willows, right on the Hudson on the Upper West Side. The ladies traded in their MMA accessories, Death Wish series, for their Arcadian outfit. And thanks to everyone in the pics who tolerated my prying camera.
Let's take a survey of the individuals who are committed to calling Manhattan home by adopting a different mindset. The individuals here will be referred to by their aliases and circuitous description of their professions to maintain their anonymity. I hope their stories will convince many of you to end your isolation and build similar social stations and geographic communities in Manhattan. The DIY spirit lives on. Indie R is not a club. It is a society of creative outlaws. Uncluttered by the labels, unencumbered affiliations prescribed by mainstream and establishment politics.
JM (alias) is a professor at a landmark university in Manhattan. She has in her own way stood against the conformity of masks. Not uncommon for many Manhattanites from abroad. Her family in Cornwall, England. When travel restrictions are lifted. And as a teacher, the prospect of not being to interact with her students. Ground zero of the culture war.
Off camera. A busy thoroughfare garnering approving, perplexed and disdainful looks from the fearful and compliant.
Corina won't mind me saying this but she's one of the people I know that stood in a Soviet breadline. Consequently, she shares my aversion as a fellow immigrant who has been affected by communism. Her greatest challenge was an ailing father in Romania who was hospitalized for Coronavirus but has since recovered.
She reminded more than once that her people are descended from Thracians, the hardy ancient stock which the Romans used for gladiators and in their legions. But her resilience and threshold comes from our similar experience with communism. She lived under the Romanian soviet puppet. But that is a story for another issue.
JM has the distinction of being the first new member to join our association back in June, during the height of the riot and ensuing lawlessness...in our improvised outing at Bryant Park. A designer and developer of interactive sites for high end brands. A Brooklynite who lives near ground zero of the mayhem at the Barclays center.
EV and Tilly (r) have been with Indie R for six years now. She has assisted our Speakeasy events as a greeter, setting the welcoming tone that sets us apart from other organizations. I won't tell you what she does but it involves April 15th and the 16th amendment.
C.B. and Garth, his partner of over twenty years, are the heart and soul of Chelsea. A veteran of the punk scene on the Lower East Side, the couple have seen Gotham's previous cycles of boom and bust. Patriots first, gay second, the couple's unique style and outlook is the highlight of our association.
Katie Miller (alias) is an award-winning author of children's books. I used to work at ad agencies where 'award-winning' is thrown around. No, seriously. She has legit awards and a series of commercially successful books to her name.
I have the links to prove it but you'll just have to take my word for it.
Like many creative industry, hers is a casualty of cancel culture. KM has taken to living the Indie R ideal. A Manhattanite by day, a guerilla graffiti artist by night.
Exemplifies the DIY spirit of our association. Yes, shit is going on. But this is how we respond to it. This is how we interact with our environment.
What is the opposite and antidote to systemic deception, suppression and destruction? As New Yorkers and creative types, our response is truth, expression and creation.
You didn't read it here.