~HEATH LEDGER/GRASS ROOTS MEMORIAL/SOHO
. . . HEATH LEDGER FOUND DEAD – IN NEW YORK – TUES – JAN 22, 2008.
. . . one bit of information – gleaned from the many local newspaper reports: HEATH was into skateboarding the streets, especially of BROOKLYN – incognito/grunged out – and apparently, according to one newspaper account – he had a skateboard collection, and not much else – in his $24,000/month Soho apartment.
He was only 28, and, from AUSTRALIA, as everybody knows, and, a makeshift memorial is growing outside his BROOME ST. loft apt – as fans lay flowers and candles.
. . . so, talking about SKATERS, while we were in the CANAL CHAPTER nabe, on the outer fringes of Soho – we decided to check out, that GRASSROOTS MEMORIAL – albeit almost a week later. It was actually pretty quiet. Apparently just that day, Sunday Jan 27, 2008, a storekeeper across the street, told us that the entire memorial had been swept up and taken away. I guess they want to discourage strangers congregating in the tony neighborhood. but in the short time it took to walk back to the site, the beginnings of new makeshift memorial had re-emerged on the street.
his loft building is right next door to the NANETTE LEPORE boutique . . .
whose upbeat, Spring presentation of brightly colored handmade bird houses – made of ethereal paper tissue – somehow, now struck a sad note – on the fragility of life; and the small moments of beauty, it’s easy to take for granted.
a local told us the names of the apt dwellers had been covered with blank cards, since the building became the object of unwanted attention. well that’s an obvious move for the high rent tenants.
and a rather stylish and poetic – tie-dye textile – now covers the glass of the doorway.
fans come to pay their respects and give voice to their grief – the memorial grows again, Sunday night, Jan 27, 2008 – 5 days later.
those teeny tiny bits of colored paper on the street – are not confetti – they are hundreds of tiny hand folded Japanese paper origami cranes !!
the paper cranes were about the size of a Dime – the smallest American coin.
a handwritten, heartfelt message from the TELEBOARD community
fans left handwritten signs – with very personal outpourings
some were almost scary to read – the expressions of loss were so powerful
people, especially young people – would just drive up in cars, often driven by their parents, and pop out – to have their picture taken – next to the site.
instead of looking upon this as macabre – I think its really beautiful – that, in this bubble culture of ours – so many could recognize his talent – and feel the need to express their grief, in a tangible manner. It’s hard to look back at all his films and realize he was only 28.
by this week, THURSDAY, JAN 31,2008 – one bouquet had been freshly placed at the doorstep. that had obviously just been cleared. guess they are serious about discouraging a big makeshift display.
though the police ‘crowd control’ steel barricades remain on the street – and, along with the street’s green growth planters – seem to comprise – an eerie ‘minimalist’ memorial all on their own . .
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH