Very Informal Memorial for Neil Smith: Monday, October 1st at 16 Beaver Street

Tomorrow evening there will be an informal, open gathering at 16 Beaver Street in honor of Neil. There will be some food and wine provided, and you are invited to bring more since the crowd might actually be sort of crazy huge, in a manner of speaking.

There will not be official speeches. Instead, there will be an open mic set up so that those who wish to share their thoughts, read a poem, sing a song, tap dance, chant tribalistic anti-capitalist monosyllables, etc. will have an opportunity to do so. You can also just come and chat and spend a while in a space filled with others struck by this untimely loss.

We hope that as many faculty, students, activists, and everyone else who cared about Neil will be able to stop by tomorrow. Please forward this message appropriately.

Date: October 1, 2012
Time: Doors open at 5 pm. Stay for at least two tap dances, until 10-ish, or maybe longer if people feel like it.
Location: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor, New York NY 10004

Sincere thanks to 16 Beaver Group for helping this evening happen.

*** Please note, the CUNY Graduate Center is organizing and planning a formal public memorial service for Neil Smith, tentatively scheduled for early December 2012. Further details will be posted as they are confirmed. In addition, the AAG conference in Los Angeles in April 2013 will likely include something memorial-ish, and there will be a remembrance event at AAA in November 2012 in San Francisco. So if you cannot be at 16 Beaver on October 1st, there’s no reason to feel disgruntled. But, we’d be very, very happy to see you there.***

4 thoughts on “Very Informal Memorial for Neil Smith: Monday, October 1st at 16 Beaver Street

  1. I heard with sadness about the passing away of Neil Smith – who inspired and informed us as we addressed apartheid in various ways in South Africa. His ability to simplify complex issues and concepts in an engaging manner, and his prolific writings shall be remembered. Best wishes Indran Naidoo

  2. Dear Comrades

    It is with great sorrow that I read about Neil’s sudden passing away. As many before me have said – Neil was a gentle giant – a larger than life character – an activist – Gramsci’s archetypal “organic individual”. I was first introduced to Neil through his book on “uneven development”. After corresponding with him for a possible scholarship place for Edward Ramsamy at Rutgers, I then met with him in a larger assemblage of radical geographers at the AAG. Jim Blaut had assembled the group for an informal discussion as to how “geographers could assist in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa (circa 2001). He attended the first South African geographical conference in Durban in 2005. It was during the conference that I learned that both Jim Blaut and Neil Smith were keen bird watchers. We had the most interesting conversation on the question of “nature” sitting on a wooden bench beside a pond on the University’s grounds – the pond had become a sanctuary for bird life. If there is more formal memorial planned, I would like to share this etched memory with friends and family of Neil. I wish I had the presence of mind to have taken a photograph of that twilight scene.

    Go well comrade Neil. Your memory will live in our hearts. Your thoughts and ideas played an important part in our struggle. May your geographical soul find peace in a world where there is “real” and “uncontaminated” nature.

  3. This news has been just devastating, and it arrived on my birthday. Give us even more affinity. Haunting. I’ll think of him, and cherish that last time I had together with Neil, just a few months ago, in our Brooklyn neighborhood. What a lovely few hours we spent together, just shooting the breeze. So so sorry i just couldn’t make it today to the very informal. But i all be at everything else, at least here in the New York area. My deepest condolences are for all those lucky enough to have been even closer to this wonderful person than I.

  4. I can not be there. But here is a poem that reflects all our friendships, including mine. I can hear him say it as he leaves the bar. (Please get someone to read it..)

    Of all the things, that e’re I did
    I did it in good company
    And all the harm that e’re I did
    Alas it was to none but me
    But since it falls unto my lot
    That I should go and you should not
    I’ll gently rise and softly call
    Goodnight and god be with you all.

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