The Liar Show Review by Jester Journal

Liar, Liar

Themed night of storytelling and stand-up blends the tragic and comic in an involving way
By Gabrielle Nash / Jester correspondent
The Liar Show, a high-concept blend of comedy and storytelling seen at the 92Y Tribeca on January 19, blends funny moments with serious ones as five performers try to convince the audience that all their stories are true. (In this performance, two of the five had fictional tales).
Picking the fake stories among those delivered by this group of skilled performers – the Liar Show has run in different venues around New York regularly for years, usually with different storytellers every time – was actually a challenging task on this night. Comedian Colin Dempsey’s true story of the perceived origin of a pair of shoes he bought, and the luck they may or may not have brought him, while living in Australia was artfully constructed in a way that made it seem false. Monologist Leslie Goshko told her story, about where a pet mouse ended up, in such believable fashion that many were convinced it was true.
Jim O’Grady, an author and reporter, gleefully told a tale that was more obviously a constructed fiction, in which he unwittingly donned attire while interacting with black children living next door to him that made it seem as if he were getting a thrill from acting like a Southern plantation owner.
Writer/director Tracy Rowland and author Kambri Crews told personal stories with serious focus and resonance, but still managed to play up certain comic aspects. Rowland, recounting what a character her father was – and not always in a positive way – talked about how his actions over the years didn’t exactly inspire them to get extravagant in his funeral arrangements, which included empty seats, a cardboard box of ashes and music played on a boombox. Crews recalled how she lived a real-life version of the movie “Sixteen Candles,” where everyone in her family forgot about her 16th birthday, only her house was far over on the “other side of the tracks.”
It was inspiring how those with serious stories could find humor in the face of adversity. At the same time, the silly stories in the show had their own solemn overtones. A nice mix of the range of human experience comes out through the structure of the Liar Show’s storytelling and performances. The Liar Show will also keep you talking about its tales long after it ends.
The Liar Show returns at the Cornelia Street Cafe on February 4.

Newtown Creek Bike Trip

Every weekend I go for a bike ride in order to remind my body what moving around and being healthy actually feels like. Today I decided to skip my usual route which normally includes the Noguchi Museum, Sculpture Park, 5Pointz and Williamsburg for somewhere I had been putting off for sometime. I read about Newtown Creak on Radiohead’s website and via the Newtown Creek Alliance, or at least the environmental disaster there. It is the location of America’s worst ever oil spill, three times in fact the size of The Exxon Valdez spill which dumped close to 750,000 barrels of oil in Prince William Sound in 1989. 
The creek separates the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. I’ve biked over it numerous times and explored some of the sections on its north side. I had heard that there was a Newtown Creek Nature Walk which had been built pretty recently. Today I decided to pay it a visit but not before getting lost first. 
What I thought were abandoned tracks were in fact part of the Montauk Branch line which runs from the city to Montauk at the end on Long Island (Montauk is my favorite part of New York but more about that another time).  I obviously did not know this as I stood on them taking pictures with my camera phone listening to my iPod.   
Wrong turn and abandoned tracks/active freight lines apparently.
Another wrong turn and more abandoned tracks/Montauk Branch lines.

I eventually found the entrance and noticed that it lined up perfectly with the Empire State building. The road was deserted except for three people and a car. This gem was well and truly tucked away.

Looking back from the entrance on Paidge Avenue.

The entrance is wheel chair assessable which meant I could cycle in like I owned the place.

Great for looking like you own the place or people in wheel chairs. 
There was a long interesting walkway to get to the water. I loved the exposed bright layered concrete walls and steel railings. The surrounding area is incredibly old and industrial so it was a welcome relief to be around something so new. 

Approaching the rotunda bend.
Looking back.
Looking forward

Newtown Creek and Queens beyond.

Steps to the water.

The creek and the BQE beyond.

My trusty steed/Trek Bicycle.

Information on local wildlife.

Good idea.

NYC beyond. Nice at night I’m sure. 

 Small triangles were cut from the concrete to let the local vegetation take seed and grow.

Seating area.

Willow Tree

The nature walk ran along the river and then turned right to follow Whale Creek, another section that branched off. This area was heavily populated with trees and shrubs. I was in heaven.

Willow Tree/Pre-evolved Human

Okay, so I like to take pictures of trees. I’m a little obsessed with them to be honest. Maybe it’s an Irish thing as they play such an important part of our culture. Did you know that Irish people used to believe that humans evolved from trees that uprooted themselves and learned to walk on land? Well you do now. Trees are awesome. Fact.

Another Willow Tree – don’t judge me!

Boat Dock.

Sewage treatment facility tanks.

Educational old school first aid.

The nature walk is a dead end as I found out. This gate was locked and seemed to lead to a building several feat above.

End of the line in whale creek.

Looking back from the end.

Barrel/Trash Can

The local area was famed for barrel making for years so when the nature walk was designed they incorporated that fact when designing their trash cans. A nice touch methinks.

Returning to the entrance I really began to appreciate the industrial architecture of the nature walk. It neither blended in nor stood out. It was simply it’s own thing amongst an ugly landscape.

Surrounding area.

Returning home over Newtown Creek

Newtown Creek & NYC

The one thing you could probably work out from the photographs was that there was no one at the nature walk, I was totally alone. A beautiful sunday afternoon and not a soul. It is a peaceful oasis in the heart of a pulsing city, especially in such an industrial area. It is a little out of the way but I’m surprised that being so close to Williamsburg, Greenpoint and LIC that more artists have not exploited this hidden gem. I plan to return, alone with my guitar and notebook or with friends and a bottle of wine or two. It’s not often that in such an overcrowded city you can find your own space like this. They are slowly turning an environmental disaster area into something very beautiful.

In Short:

  • Newtown Creek Nature Walk: Paidge Ave & Provost Street, Brooklyn, NY11222.
  • Open dusk till dawn.
  • Wheel Chair assessable.
  • No biking (*cough, cough)
  • No pets.
  • 1/4 mile long or 1/2 mile walk round trip.
  • Totally empty.
  • It’s in the heart of industrial NYC so strange smells and sounds may occasionally drift your way. 
  • It’s very educational. The area sings with information on everything from the original native tribes, old maps of the area, local history and the flora and fauna.
  • Walk to LIC or Greenpoint and grab a beer afterwards.  
  • It’s free.
  • Getting here: 7-Train to Hunters Point Ave, G-Train to Greenpoint Ave…or a bike.
  • Check out the Newtown Creek Alliance