Alex Smetsky: Loving Chaos

Sometimes it’s best to let a man speak for himself: “If you look at almost any one of my art pieces, one thing that I love to do is overlay a ton of graffiti. So if you look at the colors it’s just a bunch of graffiti overlaid, but it still can be found inside this compact little circle. It’s always been that way with me. I love watching chaos. There’s just something about my life, I love watching chaos. I looove watching chaos. I love watching chaos. ..."

Maria Neckam: The Silence of Sound

It’s been called different things by different people. Winston Churchill had his “wilderness years” and John Lennon had his “lost weekend.” Dylan disappeared for awhile, but as with all things Dylan, it’s hard to put a label on what that was all about. Churchill returned to political life to become an iconic World War II figure, Lennon’s lost weekend was actually a hugely productive eighteen months of solo and collaborative output, and Dylan emerged to write Blood on the Tracks following his first tour after nearly eight years of reclusion. Singer and musician Maria Neckam is returning from her own self-imposed exile, arriving with a new sound and a new approach.

Behroush Sharifi, New York’s Saffron King, Delivers Again

As with several millennia of traders before him, Behroush Sharifi specializes in moving spices across borders — specifically fine Persian saffron. Before the embargo was imposed on Iran, effectively closing off his supply chain by executive order, the famed Saffron King established himself as the city’s premier purveyor of this distinguished spice.