Saturday, April 23, 2011

Remembering the Greats

During my hiatus, the great movie director Sidney Lumet died at the age of 86. His career spanned decades and decades, and he made many classic movies, several set in NYC: 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Prince of the City, The Verdict (and many many more). A number of the actors and actresses in his movies were nominated for and won Oscars and actors like Henry Fonda, Al Pacino, Sean Connery, and Paul Newman gave some of their greatest performances in his films. He was a real New York great, a legend, and he made the cultural tapestry of this city all the richer.

And that's one of the great things about NYC: not only do we have amazing buildings and institutions in this town, we also have amazing people -- characters -- who go on to become what you might call "the greats." Boss Tweed, Fiorello LaGuardia, Groucho Marx, Woody Allen, heck even that nutjob Donald Trump -- people whose personalities and work give this city its edge. The id and ego of this town.

The New York Press this week has two articles about two New York greats that you might not know much about but they definitely rank as greats. 

One was George "Ginky" SanSouci who died last month and who many revere as one of the best pool players this city has ever had. I don't know much about the game of pool but apparently he was a dynamo -- think Tom Cruise in The Color of Money only real.  

Another is Candy Darling, one of the first transgendered New York personalities whose was a part of Andy Warhol's Factory back in the 1960s. Candy was a flamboyant, outrageous figure in the downtown art scene -- the kind of person who knew everybody, went everywhere, did everything (and everyone) and did a whole lot of living in her short life. Candy is the subject of a new documentary and she has become a gay icon over the last several decades. Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground dedicated a song to her called "Candy Says" and she's an important character in the 1996 movie I Shot Andy Warhol. Candy was a real New York great whose spirit still lives on and forms our city today. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.