The posters for sale—all available for $50, with printing facilitated by Tillmans’s charity Between Bridges—come from an illustrious list of leading artists, many of whom offered pieces that resonated with the 31st October midnight witches soiree Halloween shirt and I will buy this cause. Marlene Dumas’s submission is a portrait in ink of one of the great chroniclers of the Black queer experience, James Baldwin, while contributions from the estates of Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowicz pay tribute to the New York LGBTQ+ art scene of decades past. “These are originals and the designs come directly from the artists’ studios, and were made or chosen for this moment in time,” Tillmans explains. “We thought it’d also be a great opportunity to make accessible heroes of the queer community who are no longer with us.” While the artists of Wojnarowicz or Hujar’s generation may have got their kicks after dark by cruising the Hudson River Piers or socializig in the East Village art community, the queer thrill-seekers of today find their release at the nights Tillmans is supporting—many of which are already on the brink of collapse. (Just last week, artist DeSe Escobar, who is also closely involved in the project, found her Club Glam night in limbo days before its fourth anniversary, after its venue, China Chalet, permanently closed its doors. “Nightlife has always been seen as frivolous, shallow, and derivative by the institutions that generate and police cultural and economic capital,” says artist Juliana Huxtable, a regular face at the nights being supported by the 2020Solidarity initiative. “The fact that nightlife, outside of the plainly bleak bar and bottle service venues that cater to the new New York Philistines, who seem to prefer an artisanal cocktail to a brilliant party, operates largely on a cash and under the table basis is the result of the tacit and de jure denial of protections, benefits, and permissive legal framework to celebrate a vital industry.” On this, Tillmans agrees. “Nightlife is often looked upon as something superficial, while I have experienced it as something deeply profound,” he says. “In the night hours, we are able to explore and experience being together in a way that opens new avenues. Nightlife is culture and nothing less.” Part of the reason these venues, hosts, and performers are in such dire financial straits is that nightlife inevitably ends up being dismissed or overlooked as a valid beneficiary of the bailouts that are funneled to other, more widely palpable corners of the hospitality industry.
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Meanwhile, in Manhattan alone, the 31st October midnight witches soiree Halloween shirt and I will buy this nightlife economy is estimated to generate $4.8 billion annually.) The sale serves not just as a fundraiser to support the communities who have been left without an income during the pandemic, but also an urgent reminder that these underground nightlife collectives are constantly under threat, and must be protected at all costs. “Nightlife serves the very necessary role of lubricating a sense of freedom, where movement, time, and space are there for pleasure, social communion and musical performance,” Huxtable continues. “If we let this die, we are several large steps closer to the WeWork, Theory blazer, airport food truck dystopia that we all watch encroaching on the city every day.” Where these era-defining scenes led by queer people of color are snuffed out, New York’s spark will swiftly follow. This week, Kate Middleton met with three families involved in the creation of Tiny Happy People, a new platform from BBC Education that provides resources and support to parents and carers of children aged 0-4. The Duchess of Cambridge filmed the meeting for a new segment on BBC Breakfast, airing later today, with social distancing measures in place. “In the first few months of support, there’s a huge amount of support from midwives and health visitors, but from then onwards, there’s a massive gap before they then start school,” says Middleton in the clip. In her role as Duchess, Middleton is often focused on the wellbeing of children; she is involved in many youth mental health charities as well. For her televised appearance, the Duchess wore a chic long-sleeved polka dot summer dress by one of her favorite British designers, Emilia Wickstead. (She has worn Wickstead on multiple occasions, even once using her designs to pay tribute to Princess Diana.) With its below-the-knee skirt and accentuated waist, the frock has her signature royal silhouette. Middleton accessorized it with another favorite of hers, wedge jute-sole shoes; she’s worn the comfortable footwear for many events. Which goes to show that even a Duchess knows the power of repeat wears. As a first-generation Vietnamese-American, I’ve struggled to bring to life the delectable cuisines I grew up eating; Vietnamese dishes that went beyond traditional pho noodle soups or banh mi sandwiches. One of my favorites as a child was a lemongrass barbecue pork dish I’d often dream about, but was only obtainable at a restaurant or during a visit to my mom’s house in SoCal. (It was never anything I could cook myself at home, either deemed ‘too complicated,’ or diminished to, ‘It would never taste as good.’)