June 13th, 2009 by Sara
Just a quick little teaser of the images of the space. Some video clips of the panel and more photos of last night coming soon.
(Update: My book was found! Some kind soul had hidden it away, perhaps my very own “Unseen Hand”?)
June 12th, 2009 by Sara
…and a feast of food.
“The only thing in life I like is music. Outside of music I don’t care about anything. I love to eat though, I adore to eat.” - Little Edie
No Grey Gardens celebration would be complete without some hot-plate boiled corn, wonderbread and pâté. It’s true that combination can often fall a little flat but Miriam Bale and the folks at Society of the Crumb (whose artistic sensibilities are right up our alley) have taken the basics of Grey Gardens cuisine and created the perfect menu for the day(s). All that on a tight Grey Gardens-type budget, to boot. I simply can’t wait for the Wonder Bread pudding!
Planning your own feast…
“You better take your protein. You’ll look like an old hag if you don’t. ” - Big Edie
Some of the other foods eaten at Grey Gardens during the filming included lots of roast chickens, cheese whiz (pronounced chiz wiz), carr’s crackers, saltines, rice crackers, quiche-lorraine, caviar, lobster, kentucky bourbon hard sauce (though they never quite figured out what to put it on). Of course large quantities of ice cream were consumed: maple walnut, fudge royal, chocolate-mint, strawberry, coffee, chocolate, vanilla… Jerry brought over fresh squash, corn, and pineapple. For health, only plain old raw onions would do for Little Edie, raw garlic in the winter.
Jerry served the drinks when he was around - his specialty: Rum and Coca-cola with two slices of peach (thus the popularity of that song at Grey Gardens). I like to call it “The Marble Fawn”. Otherwise Vodka and lemon with water for Big Edie, Miller High Life for the boys, or alternately Tab, and plenty of Vichy water or Perrier.
And if you want to imitate Grey Gardens circa the late 1950’s you can always attempt to recreate the Tom “Tex” Logan Aspic Mold Salad, mentioned in the book, embellished in some way with Edie’s name on or in it.
Just remember to be careful not to get too carried away:
Little Edie: I didn’t feel so hot this morning - see I mixed too many things. The champale with the pâté with the mint ice cream with the butterscotch sauce with the caviar with the…
Al: I brought some more groceries this time [laughs]
LE: You were terrific. I hid all your water from the Marble Faun. Your bottles, you know, because I don’t want him to cultivate a taste for spring water - it would happen in a minute. Mother would get him to cultivate a taste for spring water. You know, by teaching him and soon he wouldn’t be drinking the tap water, he’d always be taking the Vichy. So I had a very busy day - now I have everything hidden in different places and everything. And I’ll never remember where I put them. So I’ve been walking around all day in that house, just fit to be - I never get anywhere, you know.
But then again…
“You can eat anything if you have the right mind. Just say this is not gonna make me fat and it’s good food and I’m gonna eat it.” - Big Edie
June 11th, 2009 by admin
June 12-14th 2009
Curated by Rebekah and Sara Maysles
We decided to get in the act and bring it all back to the house that Grey Gardens built. STAUNCH! is a tribute to the documentary film and most of all, to its many, many fans. Hang out in our living, breathing diorama of Big and Little Edie’s bedroom as recreated by artists and designers, with ephemera, specialty foods and sound booths with outtakes of dialogue from the two ladies.
Friday, June 12
@ 8pm: Screening of Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (1976) 94 min.
@ 9:30pm: Unpacking Grey Gardens Panel
Michael Henry Adams, Author of “Harlem: Lost and Found”
Jerry Torre, aka The Marble Fawn, Grey Gardens documentary
Scott Frankel, composer Grey Gardens Musical
Mr. Mickey, Paper Magazine
Albert Maysles, Grey Gardens documentary director and cinematographer
Rebekah Maysles, painter and illustrator Grey Gardens book
Sara Maysles, editor Grey Gardens book
Saturday, June 13th
@ 1pm: Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (1976) 94 min.
@ 4pm: Book signing of the new Grey Gardens book-authors Rebekah and Sara Maysles with the one and only Albert Maysles!
@8pm: Live cabaret and burlesque show, sing along contests, prizes! Come perform, join in or sit on the sidelines. Grey Gardens Revolutionary costumes encouraged. Linda Simpson MCing with performances by Bambi the Mermaid and Miss Clams Casino, DJ Ben Brunnemer on the turntables!
Sunday, June 14th
@ 2pm: The Beales of Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (2006) 91 min.
@ 5pm: Grey Gardens, Dir. Albert and David Maysles (1976) 94 min.
At the Maysles Cinema
343 Malcolm X Blvd (between 127th and 128th St),
New York, NY 10027
*Limited number of early reservations available. Call (212)582-6050 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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June 11th, 2009 by Sara
A musical feast…
After the cabaret on Saturday night, DJ Ben Brunnemer, will be setting the mood for us all to expose our inner Edies. Here’s one of Ben’s mixes from 45s: part 1 and part 2 I think it’s perfect music for a rainy day like today… or any day, for that matter. Ben often DJ’s for fashion shows which I have to say I find that rather appropriate - considering Little Edie’s own constant fashion show that was Grey Gardens.
“Unless the man’s a dancer or understands music, there’s no point in my even meeting him. I found that out.” - Little Edie
It is well known that the two Edie Beales were solidly versed in the classics of the Musical stage. However, because copyright issues kept certain songs out of the original documentary, what few people know is just how diverse the Beales’ musical appreciation really was. On the one hand they listened to opera, 1950’s crooners and WWII era songs like the Andrew’s sister’s Rum and Coca-cola, but on the other Little Edie often remarked on her belief that the Rolling Stones were the best music group; showed avid appreciation for Carlos Montoya, Neil Young, the Beatles; and did a wild dance to Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”. Big Edie also enjoyed the modern classics of 1973; while listening to Blood, Sweat and Tears she proclaimed that that’s what she’d to dance to, if only she could get up. If there was good music playing on the radio, you could be sure the Beales would appreciate it.
“You know what singing is, don’t ya? Just breath and brains, that’s all.” - Big Edie
And here’s Big Edie singing a strange song from her youth “The spider and the fly“, a song I could find no documentation of anywhere on the internet - anyone know where it comes from? (again, this is completely unmastered)
And while I have no rights cleared for Big Edie’s own singing of “Rum and Coca-cola”, someone kindly uploaded my favorite non-Beale version of that song:
June 10th, 2009 by Sara
We’re getting ready for the STAUNCH! festival, here in Harlem on this gray Wednesday.
Yesterday Rebekah and the wonderful set designer Anne Koch went to a prop house and found wonders such as this taxidermied cat to the left. Our collection of Grey Gardens inspired miscellany is growing exponentially. I have to say Anne is a dream to work with - seeking out the odds and ends of our Grey Gardens environment for the festival and sending us fantastic sketches of her conceptualizations of the space. I’ll post more pictures when we set to work, piecing this all together.
“I feel so strongly about mementos and everything because of Mother…”-Little Edie
Rebekah and I also went to my apartment after the radio show yesterday to pick up a few items - a birdcage, sea shells, a Buddha or two, a Spanish fan, one maraca, a bedside table… Looking over my room and my own various altars of miscellany I suddenly realized just how much Little Edie has inspired my interior design choices. Particularly the scene in which little Edie goes through all her “memerobale-ia” and re-decorates her brothers’ old room (which Little Edie also called “the animal room”, as though just one room in that house were an animal room).
Then again, the comments in this VBS interview with my father indicate that my own mother’s interior design sense might have a little something to do with it, too. (e.g.: anonymous writes “his house is like an antiques store on crack. i love it.”)
June 10th, 2009 by Sara
(The above links to - unmastered - audio of one of many of Little Edie’s theories on marriage, this one perhaps a little more befuddling to me than most)
And here’s a link to the East Village Radio radio show, Andrew Andrew’SoundSound we were on yesterday.
During the show, one of the Andrews brought up the relationship between Grey Gardens and the gay community. I forgot to mention that we intentionally planned this festival as a part of pride month, followed by Homo Harlem, a celebration of the many incredible gay people who worked, lived and loved in Harlem including James Baldwin, Dorothy West, Audre Lorde, amongst others. As many know, a crucial component of the original Grey Gardens‘ core base is gay men and women. Many people have their own theories on just why there is such a deep connection. I like the theory that my father, Albert Maysles, likes to expound upon: Grey Gardens is the ultimate “coming out” story - two women neglected by society, living fabulously (in their own way), finally get recognized and loved for whom they are by the world at large.
Michael Henry Adams, a long time Harlem resident, writer and the curator of the Homo Harlem series, will also appear on our Unpacking Grey Gardens panel Friday night. A full schedule of Maysles Cinema’s roster for the month can be found here.
June 9th, 2009 by Sara
And this is me hard at work listening to audio for that cd:
June 8th, 2009 by Sara
New York Times’ T-Magazine “The Moment” posted an article about our book wonderfully titled “The Perfect Book for the Day” ! My father, Albert, for decades hoped to get Little Edie’s response to Walter Goodman’s negative review of Grey Gardens to make it into the Times, and now it’s finally found its way there. The letter and review also appear in the second half of the book that features documents related to the making and aftermath of the documentary film.
A house on the ocean in the middle of nowhere
“We actually lived in this house on the ocean in the middle of nowhere and we’re like these two crazy sisters,” Rebekah explains. “The house was supposedly haunted,” Sara says, adding, “But we had only one cat.”
In case you were wondering where near the Hamptons we were working on the book (which one online article misidentified as East Hampton itself), it was Fishers Island, New York. Fishers Island lies between New London, Connecticut and Orient Point, Long Island. Like East Hampton, during the summer it’s populated by summer vacationers and in the winter the population dwindles down to around 300 year-round residents including our wonderful friends Cynthia Riley, Ed Riley and Aaron Rice. Cynthia, Ed and Aaron in particular made sure we kept our sanity by making us get out of the house or dropping by unexpectedly to check in on us. While we were there, Rebekah wrote about her dreams and posted photos on her stream of consciousness blog “dangerdanger-dangerdanger“.
The “one cat” was Rebekah’s Danger (thus the name of the blog), who is mostly a danger to herself. This is one of Rebekah’s posts from last fall when we were editing/creating the book.