Monday, August 8, 2011

Confronting Comfort

Saturday night, a group of activists led by John Penley, protested gentrification in the LES/EV. 

The first stop was at the Economakis 'mansion' on E 3rd Street.  You can read up on some of the controversial history of the building here.

Protest against gentrification

The highlight of the evening was stopping at the BMW/Guggenhaim Lab on E 1st Street where there is an exhibit called Confronting Comfort.  It's purpose is to "...explore how urban environments can be made more responsive to people’s needs, how people can feel at ease in an urban environment, and how to find a balance between notions of modern comfort and the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility."

Protest at the BMW/Guggenheim Lab

The protesters feel the exhibit fails to address or meet the needs of the community.

Protest at the BMW/Guggenheim Lab

It's best to hear the speakers in their own words, so here are some video excerpts from the Lab:

Mr Penley and crew confront the comfort of the Lab staff by smoking...

Direct YouTube link

Explaining the Tompkins Square police riots of 1988 and some history of the neighborhood.

Direct YouTube link

Caveman's take on things...

Direct YouTube link

More coverage of the event can be found on these sites:
EV Grieve
Neither More Nor Less
Marty After Dark

You can see more photos of the protest on my Flickr page.


  1. I heard so many accounts of the night... but there's nothing like having video highlights, of course. Thanks for being there to document this, Goggla.

  2. I agree with EV Grieve, great documentation, Goggla. Nice work!

  3. Great post Goggla! Almost like being there!

  4. hi,
    now the fucking lab is in berlin, but not welcome...

    police says: its to dangerous in berlin/kreuzberg.
    politicians says: shame on kreuzberg.
    people in kreuzberg: we say Yeah!
    a great and funny success for the anti-gentification movement in berlin and all the citizens with low income.
    at the time, the lab is looking for a new place to stay, possible they go to another district (prenzelberg), but they dont now and time is running out...

  6. by the way:
    check out the article against the lab...german language...

  7. kind of not right and not wrong:
    article about the smashed lab in berlin (english):