ilume for sale — presumably to raise equity for second phase of Cedar Springs development

An artist’s rendering of ilume when it was in the planning stages

The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that the ilume building on Cedar Springs Road is for sale. A brief story in the newspaper mentioned this fact without much supporting information, merely that another company had it listed for sale.

This would be surprising, though there may be an explanation. On Wednesday night, I spoke with Luke Crosland, owner of the property. Crosland has long promised Phase II of the ilume development, slotted to go up on the lot catty corner from the current building (across Wycliff from the Kroger).

Crosland told me that they would be breaking ground “soon” on the new development. I had previously heard as early as May. Crosland said he was in the process of arranging the equity financing — in the more than $100 million range — for a series of ilume developments across the country. Perhaps sale of the building is part of the package raising that equity?

We have left messages with Crosland seeking more info and will update this post as soon as we have more information.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Snap shots: ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ turns the camera on fashion’s most influential paparazzo

LENS ME A SHOE | The Times photographer documents foot fashion in ‘Bill Cunningham New York.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

Maybe Project Runway’s to blame, maybe The Devil Wears Prada, but for the past few years there has been a surplus of documentaries about the fashion industry, with profiles of designers like Valentino (Valentino: The Last Emperor), Yves Saint-Laurent (several in fact), even young designers (Seamless) and Vogue magazine’s editor (The September Issue). (By contrast, I can only recall one fashion doc from the 1990s: Unzipped, about a young designer named Isaac Mizrahi.) Is there really that much to say about dressmaking?

Maybe not, but while Bill Cunningham New York fits broadly within the category of fashion documentaries, its subject is unusual because he eschews the trappings of haute couture even as he’s inextricably a part of it — a huge part, really.

If you don’t read the New York Times, you might not recognize Cunningham’s name, and even if you do read it, it may not have registered with you. For about, well, maybe 1,000 years, Cunningham has chronicled New York society with his candid photos of the glitterati on the Evening Hours page. At the same time, however, he has documented real fashion — how New Yorkers dress in their daily lives — with his page On the Street, where he teases out trends (from hats to men in skirts to hip-hoppers allowing their jeans to dangle around their knees). Anna Wintour may tell us what we should wear; Cunningham shows us what we do.

“We all get dressed for Bill,” Wintour observes.

What makes Cunningham such an interesting character is how impervious he seems to the responsibility he effortlessly wields. He loves fashion, yes, but he’s not a slave to it himself. He scurries around Manhattan (even in his 80s) on his bicycle (he’s had dozens; they are frequently stolen), sometimes in a nondescript tux but mostly in jeans, a ratty blue smock and duck shoes, looking more like a homeless shoeshiner than the arbiter of great fashion. He flits through the city like a pixie with his 35mm camera (film-loaded, not digital), a vacant, toothy smile peaking out behind the lens, snapping the denizens of Babylon whether they want it or not.

One of the funniest moments is when strangers shoo him away as some lunatic paparazzo, unaware how all the well-heeled doyens on the Upper East would trade a nut to have Cunningham photograph them for inclusion in the Times. Patrick McDonald, the weirdly superficial modern dandy (he competed as a wannabe designer on the flop reality series Launch My Line a few seasons back), seems to exist with the hope that Cunningham will shoot him. And shoot him he does.

Many artists are idiosyncratic, even eccentric, but Cunningham is supremely odd by any standards. He lives in a tiny studio near Carnegie Hall filled with filing cabinets cluttered with decades of film negatives on the same floor as a crazy old woman, a kind of urban variation on Grey Gardens. He knows tons of people but most of them seem to know very little about him. By the time near the end when the filmmaker, director Richard Press, finally comes out and ask him outright whether he’s gay, Cunningham arches in that prickly New England way, never really answering outright, though he says he’s never — never — had a romantic relationship. Things like that were simply not discussed by men of his generation.

In some ways, we never really know any more about Cunningham at the end than any of his friends do, and perhaps even him. Cunningham comes across as defiantly non-self-reflective. He lets his work do all the talking for him. And that work has a lot to say on its own.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Watch: Julianne Moore Appears in First Ad in HRC Series of New Yorkers for Marriage Equality

Moore

In July I posted about a new effort by the Human Rights Campaign toward marriage equality in New York. The Campaign for New York Marriage, headed by Brian Ellner, has just launched the first in a series of ads intended to lobby public support for the issue.

The NYT reports:

"The timing of commercials is deliberate, and revealing: With the front-runner in the governor’s race, Andrew M. Cuomo, the Democratic attorney general, pledging his support for same-sex marriage, and the Legislature in Democratic hands, advocates are pushing for a new vote early next year. 'We want to build excitement and momentum in advance of that,' said Ellner…As part of that strategy, the Human Rights Campaign and its allies are spending heavily to oust three New York state senators — all Democrats — who voted against the marriage bill last year and who face opponents in the primary on Tuesday: William Stachowski of Buffalo, Shirley L. Huntley of Queens and Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx."

Along with Moore, the ads will feature  Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,  Rev. Al Sharpton Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Whoopi Goldberg, Fran Drescher, Tom Colicchio,  and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the widow of Arthur Ashe.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

HRC: Following The Money – part 1 of series on the organization’s finances

For the past 30 years the Human Rights Campaign has been presenting itself as the official voice of Gay America. It has developed the ability to raise very substancial financial contributions from LGBT Americans and their friends and allies. This is the first installment in a series of articles that will examine that money. It will look at what it is being spent on and most importantly just what results are being accomplished with it.

HRC has followed a very deliberate marketing and political strategy of presenting the gay community as mainstream middle class Americans with an above average level of disposable income. They have aggressively pursued the cult of Washington beltway political insiders. They would have us believe that our money is buying political clout and influence. Their organizational style is characterized by glitzy fund raising dinners featuring political and entertainment celebrities.

 


 

 

Influencing the politicians with decolletage:

 

 

HRC is a web of interlocking corporations with different boards of directors. On its tax forms it lists over 20 related organizations in addition to its three main operating units. Most of these are state level political action committees or PACs which it has incorporated separately. The three principal operating corporations are:

  1. Human Rights Campaign, Inc.
  2. Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  3. Human Rights Campaign PAC

These are all registered with the IRS as nonprofit corporations. As such they are required to make annual filings of their financial activities. These documents are available online. This series will be using the data from the reports for 2008 which is the latest available year.

  • HRC Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 corp.
  • HRC, Inc. is a 501 ( c ) 4 corp.
  • HRC PAC is a 527 corp.

These three categories progressively increase in the level of political activity that they are permitted to engage in under the tax laws.

 

Since 2005 the HRC empire has operated under the leadership of Joe Solmonese.

 

 

 

According to the reports that they filed with the IRS this is the money that HRC took in in 2008.

 

 

Now when you compare this with the kind of money that gets tossed around on Wall St. this might not look like such a big deal. However, for most of us in the LGBT community 42 million dollars qualifies as big money. All of us can think of many practical things that could be accomplished with it. This series is going to take a close look at what HRC did with this money and then ask some questions about just what they have accomplished.

The articles planned for the series will include

  • Salaries and compensation
  • Fund raising cost and proceeds
  • Political campaign contributions
  • What did we get for all the money?

 

 

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright