On Saturday, May 11, Atlas Obscura will present Ascend Ascend with Janaka Stucky at the San Damiano Mission Catholic Church (85 North 15th Street) in Greenpoint.
Written over the course of 20 days coming in and out of trance states while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church, Janaka Stucky‘s new book ASCEND ASCEND is rooted in the Jewish mystical tradition of Hekhalot literature, which chronicles an ascent up the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to witness the “chariot of God.” Equal parts Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” this long poem documents the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.
Janaka will be presenting this new work in its entirety as an immersive, multidisciplinary performance involving light, scent, and sound to create a visceral interpretation of ritual that invokes mythography across cultural and corporeal boundaries.
Atlas Obscura and Third Man Books will be taking this on a seven-city tour with D.C. up next. The May 11th Brooklyn appearance will kick off the tour with a special appearance from Mark Korven playing an instrument of his own creation, the Apprehension Engine.
Tickets, $38 each, include a copy of Stucky’s book, with an option available to acquire a deluxe, limited-edition only available on this Atlas Obscura tour. Tickets available for purchase here.
ABOUT JANAKA STUCKY Janaka Stucky is a mystic poet, performer, and founding editor of the award-winning press Black Ocean. In 2015 Jack White’s Third Man Records launched a new publishing imprint, Third Man Books, and chose Janaka’s full-length poetry collection, The Truth Is We Are Perfect, as their inaugural title. He is the author of four poetry collections, is a two-time National Haiku Champion, and has taught or performed in over 60 cities around the world.
Governor ‘Amazon’ Cuomo held a surprise press conference in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon to announce last-minute changes in the two-year-old L train shutdown plan that was scheduled to start in April 2019. The plan for a full shutdown of the L train’s Canarsie tunnel has been scrapped in lieu of a new engineering plan (PDF) to keep the tunnel in operation during reconstruction. The announcement has a profound impact on Brooklyn residents working in Manhattan and the real estate developers with local interests, who are some of Cuomo’s largest donors.
Without offering many specific details, Cuomo said that L train commuters can expect service disruptions on some nights and weekends during the coming 15-to-20-months of construction on the Canarsie tunnel.
Cuomo didn’t talk about the MTA’s former plans to create express bus lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge and across 14th Street in Manhattan. Cuomo also continued to deny his control over the MTA: “No, I am not in charge of the MTA…Yes, I did ask this group, I convened this group, I got them access, I facilitated their research, they came up with their conclusion, they presented it to the MTA, and the MTA said it’s a better way to do it.”
The Canarsie tunnel was damaged way back in 2012 from the salty, corrosive floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy. The MTA announced its mitigation plan in 2016, and since then dozens of meetings in North Brooklyn have been held by local activist groups such as the L train Coalition and NYC Council Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso.
Cuomo’s team of Ivy League engineers drafted a new engineering design “never used in the United States” to supplement the full shutdown, Cuomo explained during Thursday’s press conference:
To make a long story short: They have proposed a new design to use in the tunnel. It is a design that has not been used in the united states before to the best of our knowledge. It has been implemented in Europe. It has never been implemented in a tunnel restoration project. They came up with that design suggestion that uses many new innovations that are new to, frankly, the rail industry in this country. But the MTA has gone through their recommendations and gone through the new design, and the MTA believes that it is feasible, it’s highly innovative but that it is feasible. Long story short, with this design, it would not be necessary to close the L train tunnel at all, which would be a phenomenal benefit to the people of New York City. There would need to be some night and weekend closures of only one tube, so service would still work because there are two tunnels, but it would be a major, major breakthrough, and that’s what we want to discuss with you today.