Astor comes alive at fest

Sporting cool camo on Friday, William Kelley, the executive director of the Village Alliance BID, was the Astor Alive! Fest’s cool emcee. Photos by Tequila Minsky

Dazzling local talent was on display on four stages on Astor Place and Cooper Square on Friday and Saturday to celebrate the area’s newly expanded pedestrian plazas. 

   In a real showstopper, the first night saw Alan Cumming belt out Adele. Saturday featured more song, dance and theater, plus a “Cube”-making workshop inspired by Astor Place’s iconic “The Alamo” sculpture a.k.a. “The Cube.” The landmark artwork is still having the final touches put on its renovation before its return. 

Talk about a twofer…Alan Cumming sang Adele on the fest’s opening night.

   Saturday’s entertainment ended with a parade through the plazas from E. Ninth St. to E. Fourth St., then around through the neighborhood, passing performing-arts hot spots, and back up to Astor Place for a rousing finale, featuring members of “Blue Man Group” pounding on a giant drum. It really pounded the message home — the plazas will be a great space!  

   One of the “Mosaic Man” Jim Power’s mosaic poles was unveiled, but there will be a formal dedication at later date when “The Cube” returns. The festival was sponsored by the Village Alliance business improvement district. 


It was hardly square to sport a “Cube” during the festival. Anticipation for the famed sculpture’s return keeps increasing with each — ugh! — new delay.
It wasn’t a tall order for these folks from the Bond Street Theatre to add to the merriment.
The powerful beat of Brazilian drums helped propel the parade finale.
Let’s just face it — the new plazas will be a great space for events and enjoyment.