By Robert Kroll
The fate of local community newspapers is, ultimately, in the hands of the reading public. When the public supports its local paper it thrives and the community benefits (and by support, I’m talking about subscribing). WestView News is a paper that is valuable to our part of New York: interesting, well written, informative and feisty. But it is not well-enough subscribed to, and it may not be long before the West Village is without its local voice. On the 50th anniversary of Gay Pride our WestView News, along with its gifted staff and publisher George Capsis, is taking the bull by the horns and going directly to the neighborhood with a fundraiser to keep the paper afloat! We’ll be raffling off valuable and (in many cases) locally produced items and celebrity fare to qualified ticket holders. And, when we say qualified, we mean those who are subscribers. You have to subscribe or make a donation of any size by June 30th to win. Donations may include raffle items. Examples of raffle items: art objects, high fashion clothing, collectibles, house tours, meals (safely prepared and served). Winners will be announced by name in the July issue.
Artists, television and movie notables, musicians, and vodka moguls, among others, will be offering their products, their merch, their time, their energy and creativity to the cause of local journalism. Vive la WestView News. Roll the presses.
Here are the items that will be up for grabs in the June raffle:
A Stolichnaya Vodka Limited Edition Harvey Milk Tribute Bottle
Stolichnaya Vodka, a product of Lativia produced with the raw ingredients from the original Russian recipe, has issued an edition of vodka bottles honoring the late Harvey Milk—an LGBTQ icon—on its label.
This collectible bottle was released on Harvey Milk Day 2018, to commemorate 40 years since Milk was sworn into office, at an unveiling of a mural in San Francisco’s LGBTQ district with the identical work of art. It will be an immediate collectible during Pride Month, as this is the LAST of 25,000 one-litre bottles and 25,000 750ml bottles that were issued, all signed by the renowned Paraguayan artist Oz Montania, and individually numbered.
Milk was already a well-known gay rights activist when he was elected to the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors in 1977, the first ever openly-gay public official in San Francisco and California. Tragically, he and his friend and colleague, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, were gunned down by a political adversary in November, 1978. (Full disclosure: as a reporter for the Berkeley Daily Gazette, I covered the news of the assassination in City Hall). Milk was the protagonist of a feature-length film about his life starring Sean Penn as the late supervisor and gay rights activist.
The bottle label art-work, featuring Milk holding his iconic bullhorn emblazoned with his motto: “Hope will not be silenced,” was reproduced as a mural in the Castro District of San Francisco.
Manhattan bartender Yusef Austin of the Boom Boom Room will supply his special cocktail recipe using the vodka, and will present a personal Zoom class on preparing it to the winner of the Milk bottle. He has created CBD, health and wellness, and mocktail recipes to elevate and sharpen people’s minds. He uses ayurvedic spices and herbs for unique-flavored cocktail recipes.
2 oz. Stoli
1 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
3/4 oz. Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup*
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Pink Peppercorn Dust
Shake all ingredients and strain into a Martini glass. Light dusting of pink peppercorn as garnish. *NOTE: Take 10 cardamom pods and 5 star anise to 16 oz. of simple syrup and let simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. Strain. (Simple syrup is equal parts of sugar to water. Get the water boiling. Add the sugar. Mix until it’s clear and all sugar is dissolved.)
Sarah Jessica Parker—Her Shoes Could Be Yours
Long-time very ardent WestView News subscriber and supporter, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, has donated a pair of her SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker line shoes to the WestView News raffle. The winner will be able to pick any pair from the Evergreen line.
Ms. Parker has said that she reads WestView every month, cover to cover, and cherishes the value it provides to creating a community in the West Village through shared information and memories. She is also a supporter of LGTBQ causes.
Private Bach Cello Suite Concert Performed By A Founder Of The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, a highly talented co-founder of the Knights chamber orchestra, will perform the Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, first movement, in a special Zoom performance for the winner of this raffle.
Jacobsen and his brother Colin Jacobsen, first chair concert violinist, founded the Knights orchestra soon after graduating from the Julliard School in Manhattan.
The Knights have performed and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Bela Fleck and Gil Shaham. Recently, they have performed at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and the Vienna Musikverein. Their talents are voluminous and prodigious and cover every medium of entertainment and musical style.
This live performance will be inspiring and provide a long-lasting memory of a musical event that will dazzle.
Bruce and his Handbag
By Karen Rempel
Mixed media ink on canvas with sparkles—32”x 24” framed in black and silver—by artist Karen Rempel.
WestView News fashionista Karen Rempel is not only a photojournalist and videoblogger, but also an accomplished photographer and mixed media artist. She produced and donated a fascinating image entitled “Bruce and his Handbag” with neon tones, curved chairs, and stark outlines that evoke a simpler time.
Her work has been on solo exhibit in Vancouver in 2015 and in March, 2020 in the West Village. Her photos have been published in Ripe Magazine (2000), Circles of the Mountain, and other publications.
“Lifetime” Marble Sculpture
By Rose M. Ray
Local sculptor Rose M. Ray has produced a sculpture, Lifetime, a white marble piece suitable for a shelf or cabinet.
Rose Ray is a visual artist who works in drawing and sculpture. She uses paper, pencil, and ink to create documentary sketches of her daily life. Stone carving is her primary sculptural medium. Current interests include incorporating mathematical themes and tools, which she has used in her 40 years of work as an applied statistician, into the subject matter of her pieces, and creating a visual expression of the kinesthetic sense that she experiences while creating her with her hands. Her goal is to create works that are meant to be touched, picked up, and handled. In this way her audience will experience the work through their own kinesthetic sense.
Dr. Ray has studied stone carving at the College of Marin and at the Compleat Scupltor in NYC, 3D design at Berkeley City College, experimental drawing at Cooper Union, and basic drawing at the Educational Alliance in NYC.
Robert Kroll, contributing writer for WestView News, is a journalist, retired lawyer, and Japanese woodworker