NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

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MaxNY
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NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby MaxNY » November 20th, 2003, 8:59 pm

The New York Magic scene gets a nice write up in the New York Times (Nov. 16, 2003). Page 4 of the "City Lore" section has a nice photo of Richard Cohn, and more Must from Jamy Swiss.
Those quoted are Mike Bornstein, George Shindler, Jamy Swiss, and Doug Edwards.

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Carl Mercurio » November 21st, 2003, 9:37 am

Well, it's a write-up anyway. I supposed it falls under the category of "it doesn't matter what they say about you as long as they spell your name correctly."

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 21st, 2003, 4:19 pm

Sad to say, I didn't think the article was too far off the mark. For stupid reasons I still can't comprehend, the Saturday afternoon group has splintered in two.
Here's a list of the well-known people who used to show up on most Saturdays when I was a kid in the 1970s (in no particular order):
Derek Dingle
Frank Garcia
Harry Lorayne
Ken Krenzel
Russell Barnhart
Gene Maze
Sol Stone
Slydini
David Roth
Darwin Ortiz
Pat Cook
Charles Reynolds
Oscar Weigle
Geoff Latta
and of course there were many more.
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » November 21st, 2003, 6:16 pm

You can find a lot of the same people there currently, minus those who have passed on and/or moved out of the area, and plus some others.

And the reasons for there being two groups are quite easy to understand, if you're aware of the situation. Some people go to one place, some go to the other, a bunch go to both.

I haven't seen the article. Is it online at all? Can anyone summarize it for us?

-Jim

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Pete Biro » November 21st, 2003, 6:53 pm

And when business had me in NY I would check in. To me, one of the great groups was the Willy Schneider Lecturers. :D
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Steve V » November 21st, 2003, 11:32 pm

I'm down with the pizza joint crowd rather than the Maui taco crowd.
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Jamy Ian Swiss » November 22nd, 2003, 11:35 am

A revolting article by a talentless hack. I for one was quoted accurately but not truthfully, entirely out of context(s). And then of course, there's "clubs" and balls. A genius.

There are still some fine guys who hang out down there, men I like and respect like Mike Bornstein and Sol Stone. But ah, yes, Richard's list brings me back to my youth for a moment.

And ... Pete, your post reminded me that the first time I saw you was in my teens or perhaps 20s at the Saturday NY gathering, at the Governor's Cafeteria I believe. You did two things that knocked my socks off. I had never seen a Color-Changing Deck before -- not sure which version you did. And you did what years later I discovered was a version of a trick called "Tweezers," marketed by Ken Brooke. A three-shell game with little caps and the kicker had a next of ever-smaller caps, until finally you pulled the pea out of the tiniest one with a pair of tweezers. But I believe you had had your own set custom made, perhaps aluminum instead of plastic(?), so there were even more caps, if memory serves. And a fond memory at that.

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Steve V » November 22nd, 2003, 11:58 am

It wasn't a complimentary article? I didn't see it but what did it say that would bring such a strong reaction?
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Dave Shepherd » November 22nd, 2003, 1:31 pm

Well, for the morbidly curious here is a LINK TO THE ARTICLE , so you can tell first-hand.

It seems to be a rather sneering screed depicting magicians as socially inept geeks interested in a hobby that is dying.

Not very uplifting at all.

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 22nd, 2003, 2:38 pm

Let's see; a couple of things I didn't like:

I'm certain Doug Edwards was thrilled to be described as "thrusting" and "beak-faced."

I can't help but wonder how accurate Mr. Mindlin's comment about magicians "swapping inaccurate stories about David Blaine" is. (Did he double check each story to be certain his story was accurate?)

I feel that his piece infers that the quality of the eatery in which magicians meet is somehow indicative of the quality of the magicians who meet there.

And Jamy, why were you furious over the calamari? Did you find out what it really is?

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Steve V » November 22nd, 2003, 3:33 pm

I think I can see why the furious squid chompin' Mr. Swiss is miffed. I agree with his statements, poorly written and insulting.
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby MaxNY » November 22nd, 2003, 6:30 pm

So, I did a show today in what was going to be David Copperfield's "Magic Cafe"...(or whatever it was to be called.) During it's construction, I would often find myself walking up Broadway just to see if there was any activity. I read somewhere that he was planning an illusion whereby he was going to levitate the diners. I often poked my head through the scaffolding in order to catch a glimpse of the...sinking stage? There was a deep, deep crater sunk into the floor, I had it pegged as a place to hide the hydrolics. At noon today a magician, Magic By Max (no relation) walked onto the stage and did 13 minutes, but I yearned for more...
---My morning started a few minutes before noon, I was brought up to the Penthouse, and was told this was going to be my dressing room. "Beware Evil-Doers everywhere" I shouted outside on a hidden rooftop, to the buzzing neon. The Penthouse had a dozen or less photographs from a bygone era. The shots were all taken inside old New York Cabaret clubs. Each photo revealed some of the dinning area, and always the center stage. Their names slightly familiar, names like El Morocco, Diamond Horseshoe, New Monte Carlo, Rio Bamba, Casbah, and of course Copacabana. Boy, those days must have been fun.
I met a manager, (didn't say her name), and she also didn't have time to play "Three Questions". She was with the building since it's infancy, and she insisted the crevice circling the stage was not part of a David Copperfield dream, but a "We built the stage ourselves". I'm sure she was sworn to secrecy in early magical plans. She did say that David's "Oculus" was still there, and asking what the..."Oculus" was...she pointed out the distressed iron beams that curved to meet at the center ceiling, above the dance floor. The niteclub is now called Noche, and rents out for parties. There is a distressed look to everything. I thought the the four floor circular rusty metal staircase, encircling the elevator was most impressive.
So now bring this thread into modern day, and I openly ask David to reconsider that lost dream. Not in the same place, but consider bringing that bygone Cabaret dining establishment back to New York. People love live entertainment. So many people came up to me Monday morning (after the piece ran in the New York Times) and asked, "If I knew about Monday Nite Magic.."? If there is one person on this world who could invent, finance, and pull this thing off...it's David Copperfield. The tourists are lining up for hours to board a cut open double decker bus, just to drive around this city. There is better entertainment than that. Your "Oculus" is still standing...but you can build better. Maybe Roy's tragedy is a sign. The end of the Vegas/magician era. I often heard people say "We couldn't get into see Sigfried and Roy, so instead we caught... Blah Blagh" and then I would have to ramble off a list of names in order to trigger the "Yeah that guy, what do you think of him" responce.
---You've been on the road a LONG time... It's time to settle down David, and bring your magic back to New York.

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Paul Cummins » November 23rd, 2003, 4:24 am

Derek Dingle
Frank Garcia
Harry Lorayne
Ken Krenzel
Russell Barnhart
Gene Maze
Sol Stone
Slydini
David Roth
Darwin Ortiz
Pat Cook
Charles Reynolds
Oscar Weigle
Geoff Latta
and of course there were many more. [/QB]
Wow, Richard, what memories! You forgot me and Bill Herz, but of course we were mid-teens and hungrily peeking over everyone's shoulder to see who was going to do what next. Darwin, in fact, was the one guy who befriended us and taught us riffle-stacking and some false table shuffles. Bill and I would take the train back to Larchmont and feverishly attempt to figure out whatever miracles we'd seen. What a wonderful time...

Paul

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Todd Robbins » November 23rd, 2003, 8:18 am

David Copperfield had no money invested in the ill-fated NY venue. He only licensed his name and had creative control over the place.

A live magic venue in NY would be such a major undertaking. To do it and do it right would be so expensive and there are many reasons why it wouldn't work. It's not impossible, but the odds against success are great.

I didn't see the NY Times piece, but I can only imagine how snotty it was. I have a strong dislike for the Times. They have never "approved" of what I do and the writing is so poor. It's sad that this is the paper of note.

Todd

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Chris Aguilar » November 23rd, 2003, 10:20 am

The whole tone of that article is pretty offensive. Take a look at the tag line. :rolleyes:

For magicians in New York, it seems, the best company nowadays may be among the dead.
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 23rd, 2003, 11:53 am

Jim Maloney states that many of the people on my list can still be found there, but that's simply not true.
Here are the people who are dead, have moved away, or simply do not attend regularly:
Derek Dingle
Frank Garcia
Harry Lorayne
Russell Barnhart
Sol Stone
Geoff Latta
Here are the people who no longer show up every single Saturday:
Harry Lorayne
Ken Krenzel
Sol Stone
That doesn't leave many names from my list.
Now, I haven't been to either of the new venues, and in fact haven't been to a Saturday "meeting" in just under a decade, however if you look at my list it would be hard to argue that whoever is attending now, they (and no disprect meant, but this is just the way it is) can never match that group of people for magical talent and expertise, experience and influence. So, to write or infer that the best days of the meetings are behind it (for the time being) is probably accurate. Most of the people who meet now where not there during the 1970s and early 80s when things were really rocking, so while they may view their experiences on Saturday as wonderful, for those of us who where there earlier, we know the difference.
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Steve V » November 23rd, 2003, 3:38 pm

I think we can excuse the dead and the moved out of the area....the rest should go.
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » November 23rd, 2003, 7:14 pm

Well, Richard, I've been there a lot more recently than you have. Sol's there pretty much every week. Ken's there quite frequently. The rest I'll agree with. I spend most of my time talking with Wesley James, and the guys that hang out there.

I won't argue with you that the best days are behind us -- I've only been going for a year or so, so I can't say what it was like in the past. I can say that those of us who are going want to improve it and get more people to come down. So, for any of you folks in the NY area -- stop by!

-Jim

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Steve V » November 23rd, 2003, 9:08 pm

What about the dead guys Jim? Have the dead guys gone at all since dying? THAT is what's wrong with magic my man...it's the dead guys. You watch, when I hit NYC I'll go to the Cafe and all you guys will be over at the Maui Taco's huggin' and making amends.
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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2003, 10:08 pm

All the best magicians are dead. I'm not feeling that well myself.

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Re: NY Magic Scene gets 3/4 pg in SunNYTimes

Postby Brian Marks » November 29th, 2003, 10:20 am

I had been going consistently for 4 years up until a year ago. Still go about once a month.

The reason for 2 locations was quite simple. The last place we met at once location, Reuben's, closed. We first moved to a pizza place but several people wanted a more private setting. I believe Doug Edwards found a chain Mexican restuarant that fit the bill. So half went with pizza place and half stayed the pizza parlor.


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