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FEUILLES de CHOUX / NUMERO 1


paranoïa nom féminin délire interprétatif construit sur une perception faussée du réel


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Return to Luna Park

The city, magic and fantastic from afar, now appears an absurd jumble of straight lines of wood, a cheap, hastily constructed toyhouse for the amusement of children. The monotonous hissing of the arc lights fills the air, the sounds of music, the cheap notes of the orchestrions, and the thin, continuous sputtering of the sausage frying counters. Everything round about glitters insolently and reveals its own dismal ugliness. Maxim Gorky, “On Boredom” an account of a trip to Coney Island, New York, 1907

When it gets too hot on the island of Manhattan, when clamoring guitars in Washington Square make the eyebrows twitch like beading sweat, and the circumambulation of Colombus Circle is as grim and foul a prospect as sitting in one’s room; when your thousand dollar studio is made a terrarium wherein you slouch low like a lizard clutching at a pitcher of icewater, when watching Seinfeld reruns you find yourself saying the lines like a script editor who knows he’s been fired, then you know it is high time to take the F train to Coney Island. It will do me good, you tell yourself, to see some people, some of my fellow citizens in the brave metropolis, at leisure. You get on at Second Avenue. The subway car is full of cool orange plastics, a welcome frigidaire. Some kids shriek and yell at each other as they stare into their phones, but mostly things settle into the subway’s rhythmic, pneumatic, grumbling-mechanic jive. You forgot to bring a book. You read the advertisements for the Kindle. Hot downloads. The F train pulls into Stillwell Avenue Terminal, one of the largest elevated train terminals in the world. When the doors open you smell the ocean. The jointed arcades are slatted and you emerge into a thousand shadows. The Lenape Indians called this place “the land with no shadows” because the beachfront gets sunlight all day. They would have come here to collect and fashion wampum, jewelry made from the channeled whelk shells of the Atlantic; now the remaining Lenape live in Oklahoma. You step out onto Surf Avenue across the street from the giant green and yellow advertisement for the original Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs: inventor and purveyor of the Hot Dog since 1916. They are the ones who have those eating competitions people like to talk about: “you’d never guess, it’s this small Japanese guy who wins every year.” It will be the centennial soon. How will we celebrate a hundred years of the Hot Dog? You stand in line. “Can I help the next customer!” There are so many formulas for ordering a hot dog, it looks like the stock exchange. You hesitate. The attendant in her yellow Nathan’s polo is wearing a headset; she is pretty in a common sort of way, her accent tells you she’s from the Ukraine, possibly Moldova. Should you ask her where she’s from? Would she like that? You glance around. “Two corn dogs to go!” The lines are long, the heat and the smell of frying grease is incredible. The slavic attendant is sticking to a weak smile but her eyes are full of spite and simmering hatred. Outside, you try and adjust the balance of your toppings.


There’s a little too much ketchup and not quite enough relish. When you bite into the near end, a pulpy little avalanche squirts out the back and lands square on the sidewalk. You feel a terrible need to see the ocean. There’s a wooden pier, it goes out maybe a hundred feet into the water. From the end of the pier looking back, you can see some of the local landmarks. The parachute jump is a tall, red, steel needle pancaked toward the top. Sometimes known as the “Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn,” it is a defunct amusent ride. You see the humps of the Astroland Cyclone roller coaster, and the neon radii of the Dreamland Wonder Wheel. Around the parachute jump there are forlorn terrain vagues littered with trash. The whole area is surrounded by massive housing projects that block it off like the walls of a vast prison. A group of potbellied hispanic and black men with coolers stand along the pier monitoring their fishing rods. An old man flies a red kite. Children go clopping back and forth, squatting between the planks and looking up to ask the fishermen if they’ve caught anything. There’s a very attractive black girl standing in her boyfriend’s arms. His diamond earing flares in the sun. The sand of the beach below is greyish, but you can hardly see it there are so many bodies sardined along the water. Thousand and thousands of people and here you are: invisible, anonymous, nobody. You enter the “New” Luna Park. It’s privatized now, so it costs an arm just to go in and see. The carneys operate in suits. They want to put it under glass eventually, like the shopping malls in the suburbs, make it more “familyoriented.” They want it to be a New York City theme park without drugs or transvestites or grifters or goons: as if Brooklyn could offer any better entertainment. The arcades haven’t changed. The halls resonate with twee pinging and fizz, the smell of sugared popcorn, ringing bells and rolling skee balls, the nineteen eighties preserved in row upon row of joysticks with the tilted stencils for Space Invaders and Pac Man, the cry of pixels and dissolving electronic bloops, the click and clacking of fifteen year olds reloading pink and blue video guns. You walk the boardwalk. Those Elysian herringbone boards, wafted over by the smell of fried dough and sugary trash, where the gulls cry and pick at the nasty spills, and you can buy crack or win a teddy bear, or sit with a boombox and turn your body orange, slathered in oils, watch every shade of toenail polish known to man parade before you, feel the salted breath of the ocean bite your neck. Green and red boats fly in the air on mechanical arms, everything rocks and roars and bellows and turns the heads of gawking people. You can still see a good freakshow. Impish children shriek, and press little electric buzzers with glee. People’s souls beam with contented ennui, their nerves racked by an intricate maze of motion and dazzling fire. The ennui, which issues from under the pressure of self-disgust, seems to turn and turn in a slow circle of agony. It drags tens of thousands of people into its somber dance and sweeps them into a will-less heap, as the wind sweeps the rubbish of the street. You find an amusement ride: it is Hell. Hell is constructed of papier maché and painted dark red. Everything in it is on fire - paper fire - and it is filled with the thick, dirty odor of grease. Hell is very badly done. You feel a kicking, flowing upsurge of disgust. You should never have left home. Who are these people? What do they want? What kind of a sick person would come here, on a day like this, as if there were nothing better to do in life? 15


she has her father’s eyes.


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m e r ci p  04-05.

Tom BÜcher / tombucher.com

p  06-07.

Josquin Gouilly Froissard / imago.net

p  08-09.

Julien Sens / cargocollective.com/losercollective

p  10-11.

Makis Malafekas / makismalafekas.blogspot.com

p  12-13.

MILO

p  14-15.

Jesse Mac Carthy / jessdmccarthy@gmail.com

p  16-17.

charlotte ménard 

p  18-19.

Franck Bohbot / franckbohbot.com

p  20-21.

laurent gillot / cargocollective.com/losercollective

p  22-23.

Sarah Kahn / sarahkahn.fr

feuilles de choux

numéro 1 - mai 2012 un sujet + 10 visions + 24 pages feuillesdechoux@gmail.com

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Feuilles de Choux #1  

1 thème + 10 visions + 24 pages

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