Mycroft Masada is a queer trans faith leader who moved to the Washington DC area of Maryland’s Montgomery County from their lifelong home of Boston in 2014. Mycroft co-chairs the MoCo Pride Center, is a TransFaith National Council member, a TransEpiscopal Steering Committee member and former Congregation Am Tikva board member. Mycroft is particularly called to pursue justice at the intersections of LGBTQI+ and fat communities, and is an advocate, organizer, consultant, educator, trainer, writer and artist. They are partnered with Julia McCrossin, the massculine fatshion blogger, and with her co-parents a dogter. Their central online home is MasadArts.blogspot.com.

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THE MOCO PRIDE CENTER'S LAUNCH PARTY IS OCTOBER 25TH! Facebook Event | EventBrite Site


Monday, November 28, 2016

Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire -- 74th anniversary (1942 - 2016)

Tonight is the 74th yahrzeit of my paternal grandparents and great aunt – they died on November 28th of 1942, in the fire in Boston’s Cocoanut Grove nightclub, which killed almost 500 people (and injured more than 160 others); may their memories be a blessing.

When my father's parents Adelaide (Levin) and Theodore Wasserman (pictured, probably on their honeymoon in Bermuda) and her sister Sadie (Levin) Levin (yes, she was a Levin who married a Levin!) passed on, they were significantly younger than their youngest grandchild my brother is now; their son my father was two, and his brothers were in infancy and seven. My great-uncle Benjamin Levin, Sadie's husband, survived.

Another of Adelaide's sisters, Lillian, and her husband, came down with the family party from Maine, but as usual that couple opted to go to the Symphony instead.  They began to find out about the fire after they left the Hall and saw all the emergency vehicles.  They adopted their nephews, my father and his brothers.

And I do believe that this is a social in/justice story -- though I also believe that all stories are – especially as the fire was so much the result of corruption within and between the club ownership and the city, and the deaths and injuries largely due to the club’s furnishings becoming extremely toxic when heated.

And I think that that is the primary reason why there has been so much silence around the Grove.  And as usual, even with the positive changes that resulted, the corruption and silence has led to the forgetting and thus repetition of history -- for instance, the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island.  However, the 70th anniversary of the Grove fire has inspired more acknowledgement and even some action, including the formation of the Cocoanut Grove Coalition -- though I'm not sure how active they've continued to be.

In 2013, there was an official ceremony and reception at the site, and I attended with my father; it included the unveiling of a street sign saying “Cocoanut Grove Lane”, which joined a plaque in the sidewalk that took many years to install and had long been the only marker.

In January 2014, I moved to Maryland after a lifetime in the Boston area, to begin living with my partner of what was then four and half years, Julia (she has always lived in MD or DC, and needed to remain here to care for her parents).  I have been missing my usual annual visit(s) to the Grove site, where I would leave flowers and/or other small gifts.  My father has continued the visits, and was there this afternoon, though he saw no sign of other visitors.  Here are his photos of the plaque and its context today (rather conveniently, he is a professional photographer).  

And I am sorry to hear that luxury condos have been built on the site -- and how much more so that their management, some tenants and others have added insult to injury by complaining about having to remember the Grove fire, and managed to remove the plaque and move it down the street.  But, I am glad to hear that this drama prompted the mayor to announce that he supports the installation of a full-on memorial.

And speaking of drama, there is a new play about the Grove fire -- James Hansen Prince's "Inferno : Fire At The Cocoanut Grove 1942" (Prince, who both wrote and directed, had a relative at the Grove that night); I have heard some good things, and hope to at least read it soon.  Too, I will continue to work on a fuller piece about this part of our family’s story -- though I think a truly full version may need to wait until after more people pass away.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Aunt Pat, a professional artist in Boston, gives art lessons


One of my maternal aunts is Patricia Trapp, a professional artist back in Boston. She offers art lessons, prints and stationery of her photography (of her flowers, rainbows from her sun-catchers, and other things) as well as other crafts (including hand-painted eggs), and takes commissions for paintings and possibly other artwork.  I help her with her PR, especially because she's not online at all; this is her permanent ad, and a new one goes up on CraigsList (Boston) each week.  My artwork is here (and via the "My artwork" link in this blog's header).

Patricia Trapp, a professional artist in Boston, is offering art classes for individuals and small groups of all ages. She is also available for freelance mural work. She can be reached at 617.522.2046.

Classes include:

- Basic instruction in the fundamentals of painting

- Beginning through advanced techniques

- Brushwork 

- Color, light and shade / shadow, and perspective

- Describing form, how to build a painting

- Illustrating animals, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes

- Creating natural textures, such as foliage

- How-to's of students' requests

- Ink, watercolor, acrylics and pastels -- no oils

There is a shopping list of basic required materials, which are to be purchased by students. 

Patricia is a native of the Boston area, and has been a professional artist here and in Europe for many years. She is currently a professional freelance muralist, for the decorators of the Boston Design Center and private clients. 

She attended Boston's Museum of Fine Arts' School, and received her BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Theatre Design from Boston University. She was the resident designer and head of the painting department at Decocitel in Brussels, Belgium. She has also been a designer and instructor at the University of Massachusetts / Boston, the Boston Conservatory, and the Boston and Brookline Public Schools (through a grant from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts), and currently teaches art in a Cambridge school. 

Please call her at 617.522.2046.

The above image is one of Patricia's commissioned paintings, done entirely by hand -- the original is 6 feet by 8 feet.  The below is a dragon t-shirt she made for me -- an iron-on transfer of a scan of her original 8”x10” painting, additional iron-on transfers of scans of her original painted framing corners, hand-applied 3D gold glitter t-shirt paint, hand-sewn beads.



Mycroft Masada ~ MasadArts ~ my artwork

These are some of the options for my sushi stationery sets -- little kits for creating offline mail that look like boxes of takeaway sushi.

Shana tova, happy 5777, and welcome to the MasadArts art department.   

I’ve updated my artwork portfolio, and made it into 3 albums: 
  • Stationery (greeting cards in several formats, gift tags / ornaments, keepsake books, sushi stationery sets…) 
  •  Jewelry (earrings, pendants, friendship pins…) 
  • Miscellaneous (wrapped pomegranates and candles, juice bottle cap tea-light holders, eyeglass cases…)
My work is mostly handmade, and made mostly of vintage / recycled / found / thrifted / gifted etc. materials; and I do take commissions, personalize, customize and so on. 

I invite you to enjoy, Like / +1, comment, share, shop, etc.

Also, my Aunt Pat back in Boston is also an artist, and offers lessons, paintings, photography, stationery and more