One thing people like to do is reminisce about “old” New York and how much better it was seven/ten/20/80 years ago, or whenever they first arrived. And it was! New York is objectively bad now. But there’s an art to reminiscing, if you will, a good way to do it and the way Edward Zipco just chose. Oh, you don’t know Ed? Yeah, you’re about to.
Our friends at Gothamist bring us the touching story about Zipco, the owner of a new Greenpoint gallery called Superchief, who’s just thrilled about the recent beating death of a man named Michael Sapp. Sapp’s murder reminds Zipco of when New York was just like, really raw and real.
Sapp was a 33-year-old bagel store employee who was left brain-dead and comatose after a fight at a neighborhood bar called the Charleston on the night of June 13. Sapp, the father of a 16-year-old girl, died in the hospital this week. It’s still unclear what spurred the fight; Sapp’s sister told Gothamist that police told her that her brother was “the verbal aggressor” in the incident that led to his death. Anonymous police “sources” are telling the New York Post that it’s unlikely the person who beat him to death will face criminal charges, and telling DNAInfo that he was “known to police as a troublemaker,” which, when last I checked, was not a personality trait punishable by a mob beating death.
All of which is terrifying and sad and not a little baffling, but more importantly for Zipco, it’s just sooooo #oldschoolBrooklyn, as he said in a recent Instagram post that we suspect may disappear soon:
In case you can’t make that out, the caption reads:
Soooo #allegedly our block on the block party has been keeping it VERY #oldschoolbrooklyn and word on the street is that #allegedly late last night after the block party event was over- an #allegedpatron at the Charleston got into a big ol fight, as he left he threatened to bring back a gun, and then he showed back up and was beaten by a mob and now he’s dead. #Allegedly#SUPERCHIEFGALLERYNYC
#superchiefgallery pop up at #williamsburgwalks / #northsidefest will now be located on the corner of N7th, the corner of N8th, the corner of N9th- its all still happening!its another bright and sunny beautiful Brooklyn Sunday!
Come hang out from 12-5!!!
What a perfect time for self-promotion! What a great time to make a funny joke about a man who died a painful, lonely, terrifying death in the street! Cool choice, Ed.
Zipco doubled down when Gothamist’s Nathan Tempey gave him a call, telling him that “in a weird way,” that murder was like, very cool. Tempey asked why his Instagram post was so, um, cheery and glib; Zipco responded:
Hm. Why was I so glib? I think I was kind of just in shock that the whole thing was happening. This was something we’d worked really hard on, to get that whole thing set up, and then to show up and have it all just covered in police tape was a bit surreal. And, yeah...
That and that’s the Brooklyn I kind of fell in love with over the last 15 years. So it was a little nice, in a weird way, in a really fucked up way, but a weird way to see it on Bedford. We all know how different it is now. So it was kind of, in a weird way, nice to see a bit of Old Brooklyn. It seemed like somebody really fucked up and, I don’t think those people beat that guy for no reason. So it was nice to see some intense Brooklyn, in a weird way.
Among the comments on Zipco’s post are two from people who say they’re relatives of Sapp. They are, understandably, not happy:
I’m the family member of the victim and I just wanted to tell you what an un compassionate sleezzy piece of shit you are or just sound like have some respect for human life. My cousin was an intelligent protective kind human being and most of things the media is posting is not true. I hope nothing like this happens to anyone you love you wouldn’t even believe the pain and hurt my family and I are going through right now and by the way the gallery you worked so hard on the art sucks
You are a terrible person. That was my cousin. Michael was a father to a 16 year old girl, and a HUMAN BEING. What’s wrong with you? I hope nobody you love is ever beaten to death.
Be better, Edward Zipco. Try, at least.
The Charleston, where the fight involving Sapp took place. Photo via Google Maps.