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Chappelle Block Party at Quincy and Downing

BAM theatres is currently showing Dave Chappelle's Block Party, which occurred September 18, 2004 at the intersection of Quincy St and Downing St in Clinton Hill/Bed Stuy. Starring more than a few seminal intelligent hip hop bands like Dead Prez, Blackstar and the Fugees, this 103 minute film is an ode to all that is great in hip hop today.

An unlikely star in this movie are the owners of the Broken Angel, a rundown house at the concert site, owned by two hippies (for lack of a better word). Having driven by this intersection before, we were curiously piqued by what was in this house. A reader sent us the link for the house, shown above.

From the Standard Deviance blog, they have an interesting tidbit about the owners of the house.

The Broken Angel is actually an interesting building and somewhat of an icon in Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy neighborhood.

The building is owned by a couple, Arthur and Cynthia Wood. You could see Cynthia from time to time doing odd things around the building during the performance. I think I have a shot of her waving her hands out of a weird chimney structure that was just over the stage.

Both Cynthia and Arthur are artists and the building has been an on going project. I kind of see it as a funky tower of babylon. I can see the building my bedroom window and every now and then I see Arthur building an addition to the structure.

Arthur is from Pratt University and most likely the people you saw on the building were Pratt students who had befriended the couple.


At March 13, 2006 8:41 AM, Blogger esm said...

There's a decent picture here:
I used to live about a block away (13 years ago) and am moving back into the neighborhood. While visiting open houses we stumbled on this building, which I could see from my bedroom window previously. Thank goodness for the internet which offered insight into what was previously just a complete mystery!

At March 13, 2006 10:56 PM, Blogger ltjbukem said...

thank you for the link!

At October 29, 2006 9:37 PM, Anonymous christopher wood said...

Update Broken Angel 10/29/06
On 10/10/06 Broken Angel suffered minimal damage from a fire at the top of the structure. The cause of the fire is unknown and still under investigation. Broken Angel has been an active project of construction by my family beginning in 1979. Major construction was finished in 2002, and all work done thereafter has been for the purpose of maintaining the building. The fire brought the attention of the Department of Buildings (DOB), previous interactions had occurred in 1986, and 2002 with no action taken against the building. During the course of building and maintaining the structure there have been no accidents or complaints. Compared with most modern construction projects, such as the Time Warner building in NYC, this is an excellent record. It raises questions as to why large developers are allowed to continue construction when they pose a risk to the community, whereas Broken Angel, which has no history of construction problems, has been singled out as a danger. My mother and father, the legal guardians and owners of Broken Angel were threatened with eviction for 6 days. On the 7th day they were vacated by the police without a court order or engineer’s report. We question the necessity and the humanity of this action. They were told that this was done for their safety; however action was taken prior to any inspection of the interior of the building by an engineer. Furthermore, we were told that the building would be demolished in 3 weeks if an architect did not submit plans to bring it to code. We have been compliant with this request. We are thankful to the firm of Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture for all of their help and support. On Thursday (10/26/06) an engineer from the DOB toured the structure, and the next day the DOB released a different story. A DOB spokesperson recently commented to the Daily News (10/27/06) that any demolition orders, if warranted will take approximately 3 months to begin.


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