f*ck art (let’s dance)

Girl takes on New York.
It’s a draw.

What would you give to shoot the moon in the greatest city in the world?

f*ck art (let’s dance) is a chronicle of ten slam-bang years in a very slam-bang part of New York City, and of one young painter's crusade to make that place her own.

This memoir, by a former Village Voice writer and critic, is a cockeyed personal history of the East Village—a place nobody moved to on purpose. This is a short stretch of history, to be sure, framed as it is on one side by the Summer of Sam and on the other by the Tompkins Square Park riots, two notorious incidents that defined an age. The naive protagonist's lies, dreams, and daily blunders, overcome in places only by spectacular acts of will, might remind you of what it feels like to be a beginner in a land of crooks and geniuses. And because there’s nothing everyday about everyday people in New York, the citizens that appear on these pages, whether shy or brazen, upright or felonious, are always new.

Populated by real-life characters named Hoop, Skindle, Snooky, Tish, Dibbs, Lux, Sidecar Lee, and Coatimundi, f*ck art is nothing if not democratic. Fame is not a prerequisite here, and a cushy, I-made-it ending is far from guaranteed. But the views are incomparable, the beer cheap, the borscht and pierogies fresh, the music loud, the paintings bold (and often good), the pants tight. Bad guys rampant, heartbreak on every doorstep, quiet moments crystallizing this long-gone era into a gem of reflection: what’s not to love?

If you were there, you might catch a glimpse of yourself skittering up St. Mark's. And if you weren't, you’ll find a glimmer of youth and possibility in these pages, and a seat at the top of the Ferris wheel in the carnival of dreams.