/ DeCentral / DeGate / DeSchool / FLEX Experience
I share an email I just sent to bk:
I remind you:
I ran FLEX from 39 Claremont in 1970, Etta in Geneva
from 305 RSD once we moved there
and from Hells Kitchen once some guy there called FLEX and asked me if I wanted a building on 53 St West of 11th.
It was hell on wheels, and the beginning of the end:
my Olivetti was stolen, Noreen’s bicycle was stolen
the worst was coming into my office one evening and find the Free Food recipients dumping FLEX files onto the floor to use the file cabinets to haul free carrots away.
No, maybe the worse was having two phone bills to pay out of Hilary’s $5/hr: and there was the expense of traveling to 53 instead of just rolling out of bed and walking to the kitchen. Noreen pedaled till the theft of her wheels.
Hells Kitchen came up apropos of Netflix offering a movie of DareDevil (which I’d never read nor seen). The DareDevil characters is a guardian of Manhattan’s Hells Kitchen neighborhood.
The reader should know:
Hilary was pk’s wife: FLEX’s (and pk’s) only source of income!
The public was of course always invited to pay for their own institutions; the public declined. I and my dozen volunteers failed to raise enough to pay the phone bill let alone dump governments, universities, schools … replace kleptocracy with open cybernetic data bases, non-coercive.
Etta was Hilary’s mother, an economist at the UN whose Claremont Avenue apartment we’d apartment-sat for her 1970 year abroad.
Noreen was FLEX’s original volunteer. She worked for years without so much as a subway token for payment.
Hells Kitchen is a famous (infamous) west side neighborhood: ask Sylvester Stallone.)
I’d worked in Hells Kitchen the summer bk was born (scheduled to move to Waterville Maine to teach at Colby College come auturmn), employed at Outrider Motorcycles (where I’d bought my little Yamaha). FLEX’s disastrous free building was the next block north.
FLEX had the main floor. The top floor was occupied by a very hostile women’s group: who thought that their group was The group, their revolution The revolution; not seeing at all that FLEX was The revolution: women’s liberation is at biggest a lesser part of everyone’s revolution: transform all human relations and women’s role would also transform. Typically, they had their priorities backwards.