The Unknown Hipster

In Conversation with the Central Park Coyote

Posted in Whereabouts by unknownhipster on March 18, 2010

A few nights ago, I was crossing the Central Park. There was a school party at the ice skating rink, and in the distance you could hear the booming music. It was on a lonely path just by the pond that I saw the coyote, standing very still, and looking straight at me. I had read about the coyote in the park in New York Magazine, but thought it was an hoax aimed at making their readers believe in urban magic while they’re in line at Whole Foods.

–       Hi, said the coyote.

–       Man, I thought you were an hoax ! But now I can see you’re for real, and you even speak !

–       Dude, do you like Indian music ?

–       … ?

–       I mean, do you believe in reincarnation and all that shit?

I always thought reincaranation was an hoax as well, but I didn’t tell the coyote, not to hurt his feelings and beliefs.

–       The last time I was born, he went on, was in the middle of Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field. Until I was a grown up I thought it was genuine Nature, and then somebody told me it was Art. From that moment on, the landscape lost all its mysteries. I thought about moving to L.A., but finally decided to walk all the way back to NYC. I first went to the Bowery, where I was a cool cat in the Fifties, renting a studio next to de Kooning, and advising Robert Frank on « Pull my Daisy ». I was on and off through the sixties, and became a regular at the CBGB where I replaced the Ramones drummer for a set once when he was too drunk to play. But in 2009, the Bowery was no more a place for me. And I took the 6 train – which in the early eighties, I had tagged entirely –  up to Central Park. Here I can hide in the bushes  and get Smart Water from the pond. I also study Uptown people, since I was more familiar with the Downtown crowd. Of course, there are loads of tourists, but the whole town became touristy anyway. Well, NY is no more what it used to be. It’s all fake and loud,  a big shopping mall mainly populated by self-obsessed dogs. Only the architecture remains.

Seeing him becoming bitter, I asked him if the Joseph Beuys coyote in « I Like America and America Likes Me » was a relative.

–       No, but I knew him, he replied. He was such an asshole (meaning the coyote, not the famous artist). He certainly was not qualified for the job, totally illiterate with Art, and besides that a real wimp. But he had a strong drive for celebrities, and schemed to be cast for the role. In fact, another coyote, a true wild one, had been selected, but he went on the loose a few days before the performance started, and had to be replaced by this phony at the last minute. I’m glad he got hit by the cane a few times. See, being locked in a cage with Beuys was not like being in an hotel room with Jeff Koons.

–       Have you seen the Abramovic show at MoMA ? I heard it’s really impressive.

–       Not yet, I hope they’ll let me in. I was refused at the Whitney Biennial.

I wondered if he ever gets bored with monotonous days in the park ?

–       I have lots of activities. Escaping from the cops. Stealing sandwiches  from uptown kids while their crews of nannies gossip together. Aboriginal art with dirt and stones. African wood carvings. And on Wednesday nights, I perform Native American dance, right by this oak. Free admission, no photos.

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22 Responses

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  1. Martine said, on March 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Totally genius.

  2. Shantel said, on March 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

    A lovely existential post, he’s like a character in “Le Petit Prince!”

  3. lorita said, on March 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    The Nagual of central park is an art critic, I love it! As always, when reading your blog, I smile in appreciation. Thanks.

  4. Moi Preciado said, on March 20, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Uknown Hipster you turned my frown upside down… I had a very hard week, back stabbing coworkers and finding out that I might be one of what seems millllions to be unemployed soon… I was in bed with my dingo (chocolate Lab) and I hit your icon on my home screen and read the coyote short, dude you made me laugh!!! Thank you!!! Look forward to more…I think I might stand at my window and howl…

  5. Melissa said, on March 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Wonderful post. Such a cool cat, that dog. I’ve seen him a couple of times (see NYC Coyote Dream: worlds within worlds) But he didn’t give me the time of day, let alone spill his life story. Lucky you.

    Whatever happened to the Joseph Beuys coyote anyway? Love your pictures. I’ll be linking to your post soon.

  6. Sapnux said, on March 21, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for sharing the magic!
    Take care Little Prince!

  7. kyle said, on March 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    what a great post

  8. Nora said, on March 23, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Phenomenal reading. I’m in love.

  9. Berenice said, on March 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Great post! Did you choose to face the naked woman or the naked man when you had to pass between them at the Abromovic show?!

  10. Melissa said, on March 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Dear Central Park coyote, is it you that was caught tonight in Tribeca? Or are you still safe in the Park?

  11. Conscious_ness said, on March 26, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Wicked read! Thanks for interesting vivid imagery. My admiration is continued.

  12. Conscious_ness said, on March 26, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Wicked read! Thanks for the interesting and vivid mind imagery. My admiration is continued.

  13. Randall said, on March 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Un sogno…

  14. jason said, on March 29, 2010 at 9:21 am

    We saw a relative of yours in Berlin, inspecting a lump of ice for frozen fish in the Tiergarten

  15. Emma JCR said, on April 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you I smiled all the way !

    “Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and numbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me – I am happy.”
    Hamlin Garland

  16. Lullu said, on April 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Great post, as usual

  17. haapi said, on April 15, 2010 at 4:36 am


  18. leila ninunina said, on April 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Fantastic posts, i cant get enough of this site.
    thank you!


  19. Cami said, on April 18, 2010 at 1:36 am

    I haven’t commented before but this made me laugh and want to come to NY (even more than usual) to meet the charming coyote.
    Your pictures and your writing always amuse and inspire. Bravo.

  20. jadedressler said, on May 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    this painting of central park at night can make me cry as much as the coy coyote. penetrating. I hope the coyote takes to roller-blade dancing with the other crusty smiling oldsters when the weather gets warm

  21. […] influenced by Joseph Beuys’ 1974 Action piece where he went from plane to ambulance to a gallery space where, swathed in grey felt, he spent 3 days with a coyote. His feet never touched the ground and […]

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