September 30, 2009

Jive Turkey Credo

An important public service announcement from the helpful graffiti writers of New York City as seen on 23rd Street.

September 29, 2009

Fever Ray at Webster Hall

I didn't really know what to expect at a live show from Fever Ray after many multiple viewings of their simple, but visually splendid videos but since they were in town for two sold out shows at Webster Hall there was just no way I was going to miss seeing them live. Like I've been saying recently, some things are just impossible to imagine if you don't see them with your own eyes. With that being said, for some silly reason I delayed getting a ticket even though I knew I had to see what the buzz surrounding this Swedish group was all about.

I've been wanting to go out to get Chinese food since Sunday night and when that strangely never happened I missed seeing Fever Ray on Monday night. But I knew I was definitely going to get down to see Fever Ray no matter what happened. I especially wanted to see them perform live since I've been listening to their utterly entrancing self-titled record all summer long on my extended bike rides around Central Park.

Here's what happened:

Earlier this evening and semi-spontaneously, my friends Matt and Allysa invited me out for Chinese food. Thus, my plan to go out and get Chinese food sort of worked out, but not quite the way I planned. Anyway, after a delicious and very filling meal, I was on my way in a taxicab down towards Union Square. Much to my immense chagrin, when I got there I quickly found out that the show was totally sold out and no tickets were available for sale. The scalpers were out in force on all the corners repeating their mantra, "Tickets, tickets," and I heard two girls complaining about how they had just bought fake tickets. I knew I should have bought a ticket in advance. When I asked one of the bouncers at the door about tickets, he told me not to buy any from scalpers since their were scamming people on tickets. I have to say that one of the things about going to see a really hot band playing in New York City (or any cool cultural event) is that the shows are almost always sold out. Plus I seem to have a innate sense for picking the shows that attract every downtown music scene-ster. I was determined. After hanging out in front for 10 to 15 minutes, I was just about to give up and call it a night when some random-bearded-flannel-shirt-wearing-guy calls me over and says, "Hey, do you need one ticket?" Ummmmmm....yes! $30 later, we're both walking away with actual tickets and are streaming inside with the crowd. It's packed inside and I manage to squeeze myself into the 5th or 6th row of a very full venue. 10 minutes wait and the band is on the stage.

The show itself was unusual for two reasons. (1) The band wore these awesome elaborate costumes that were highly theatrical and (2) the stage was so totally obscured with fog that you could barely see anything resembling a traditional stage show for most of the set. However, despite the obfuscatory elements, what did set the show apart from some other recent shows I've seen was a terrific stage design. There were 10-15 or so large floor and table lamps scattered about providing a blurry illumination through the dense fog to the musical festivities and a great laser light show that bounced off the walls in vivid green and purple colors for the hour-long concert. The band played all of the songs off of their record and a couple others that I didn't recognize. After a very precise set, they finished up and left the stage as the crowd cheered and clapped for more. They didn't come out for an encore which was more than fine by me since it's always best to leave the fans wanting for more.

All in all a totally fun night.

Charlize Theron's Graffiti Truck

When she's not acting in award-winning movies or posing for photographers to appear on the cover of the September issue of Vogue Magazine, Charlize Theron can be found with a big broad smile behind the wheel of this stylish and fun graffiti truck zooming up 6th Avenue at lunchtime. Obviously, this is one girl who knows how to get around the big city in a hurry.

UPDATE: It's a joke people! I can't believe that some people actually think that Charlize Theron drives this around the city. I mean, it would be totally cool if she did, but c'mon, celebrities don't really drive graffiti trucks.

September 26, 2009

Honk If You Don't Exist

Start honking. It's noisy enough in the city already though.

September 24, 2009

Bradley Cooper's Graffiti Truck

I saw Bradley Cooper, the star of the summer's hit movie The Hangover, getting out of this colorful graffiti truck on 5th Avenue the other day.

We all know Brad's a stylish chap and his wildly festooned ride of choice in the Big Apple comes as no surprise. It seems all the celebrities are really starting to get into the Graffiti Truck thing. You just know Ashton Kutcher is looking for the perfect one for him and Demi Moore. Of course, wherever Bradley is, Renee Zellweger can't be that far behind!

UPDATE: It's a joke people! I can't believe that some people actually think that Bradley Cooper drives this around the city. I mean, it would be totally cool if he did, but c'mon, celebrities don't really drive graffiti trucks.

Captain Kirk's Guide To Woman

If you needed a guide to women, this is it. It's available on the corner of Broadway and 64th Street.

September 21, 2009

Maya Lin in Chelsea

I went to a few art galleries in Chelsea in the late afternoon on Saturday and I liked the Maya Lin exhibition at PaceWildenstein. Her work has always been good and I especially enjoy her environmental work, but these were really excellent. This piece pictured above is called "2 x 4 Landscape" and brings the artist's vision to life through an architectural rendering of nature. It's made out of over 50,000 vertical two-by-four pieces of wood and resembles a wave or small hill. It rises like a wave to nearly 10 feet high at its peak and occupies a total of 1,900 square feet. Too bad it doesn't fit into my apartment. It would look really good. Some smart museum or collector with a huge exhibition space will definitely buy this piece.

This is definitely a work of art you have to see in person to fully appreciate the majesty of it. That's the thing about art, it's not always possible to experience it virtually. Like many things, there are some things in life that are meant to be seen in person or face to face. You just can't enjoy them any other way.

September 18, 2009

Bootleg DVDs

I don't think you should, but if you wanted to buy completely illegal bootleg DVDs, the best place to find them is down in the subway. I knew this dude would be completely pissed off if he knew I took his picture so I waited for the right moment and snapped away.

(Smart Tip of the Day: Try not to take pictures of criminals as they may not take too kindly to your photography and the possibility of being posted on a blog.)

What I liked best about this illicit salesperson is that he had a DVD player so you could see the quality of his wares before purchasing. The criminals in NYC are technologically savvy! I would much, much rather see movies in the theaters than on DVD, but if I had to buy any DVDs right this second of movies in current release, I suppose I would take a copy of Jennifer's Body, The Informant, Paris, Bright Star, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and The Other Man. $5 is way cheaper than $12.50 at the theater and for lots of people this is a viable alternative since they have been priced out of going to the cinema.

Granny's Lost Jewelry

That's a pretty big reward for a bunch of jewelry. It was lost in the vicinity of Park Avenue so it's a good bet that these gems are probably worth way more. When I find these missing jewels, I'm gonna hold out for 100 $100 bills. Cash only.

September 16, 2009

Late Night Duane Reade Neon

The best thing about Duane Reade is that they are open 24 hours. This makes it convenient when you realize you are totally out of cat food at 11:45pm and Mr. Orange isn't happy since he hasn't eaten since lunch time.

But what really sucks is when you belong to their Dollar Rewards Club and then you forget to use the $5 coupon before it expires. I hate the way you can't use it at the same time that they issue the coupon. They give you two weeks to use it, but I forget to use it more often than I would like. I'm sure they totally count on this happening.

September 15, 2009


Parking available nearby. No excuses for not stopping by with those freshly baked cookies.

September 14, 2009

Afternoon Soup

A typical Manhattan deli. This one is tucked away on 58th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. Not sure what's going on in this picture, but I gather they are discussing the finer points of Chicken Gumbo.

September 13, 2009

YSL Girls

On Saturday afternoon two girls wearing white YSL raincoats stood under a large fashionable umbrella in front of the Yves Saint Laurent store on 57th Street handing out the latest news about the upcoming collection.

Rainy Saturday Afternoon

Lots of colors come out when it rains. I need a ladybug umbrella.

September 12, 2009

Grace Kelly Lived Here

The Manhattan House on 66th and 3rd has as long a history as any apartment building in the city, but is perhaps best known now for being a place where Princess Grace lived in the 1950s.

In 1997, The New York Times described her apartment: But by some accounts, despite her increasingly glamorous life, Grace Kelly’s furnishings at Manhattan House were, alas, quite plain. “The living room was without charm, character or gender,” Ms. Quine wrote. “It wasn’t ugly; it was utterly bland. Furniture, fabrics and colors alike were all resolutely practical. Everything seemed brown.”

I guess it just goes to show you that with some princesses things aren't always what they seem no matter how spoiled they might be.

September 9, 2009

Preparing for Water Lilies

Workers install the signage at the Museum of Modern Art for the upcoming Water Lilies exhibition by Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) who devoted the last twenty-five years of his life to the portrayal of the Japanese-style lily pond on his property in northern France.

This forthcoming exhibition of important paintings by Monet were created from 1914-1926 and it will feature the entire set of Water Lily paintings together with other related paintings loaned to MoMA from various museums around the world.

Two in the Bathroom

I ran into these two hip hop fashion plates in, of all places, the bathroom at the AMC 25 movie theater on 42nd Street and just had to take their picture. It's sort of an 80's Yo! MTV Raps show/De La Soul look they're sporting which is obviously about to make a huge comeback. Notice: the homemade cassette necklace on the one and the old school beeper in the hat on the other (you can see it better if you click the picture for the larger version). Also worth mentioning is that they both, totally unprompted, spontaneously flashed some sort of gang symbols as I was taking their picture.

Remind me to invite these two to my Halloween party. Word up!

MoMA Cafe Lunch

I went to the Museum on Monday and had lunch in the very cool Cafe 2 restaurant. It's located (obviously) on the second floor of the museum and serves delicious and seasonal foods including panini, handmade pastas, salumi, artisanal cheeses, salads, and soups, and desserts.

You wait in line and then place your order and pay for it at the counter. Then they give you a flag with a number to place at your table and you wait for your food to be served. The tables are long communal tables and after a relatively short wait a waiter brings you your food. They include the tip (10%) in the price of the food so you don't have to worry about that. The food is really good. I had a Panini with prosciutto cotto, arugula, provolone cheese, and spicy mustard. It also comes with olives and pickled tomatoes. Delicious.

September 8, 2009

End of Summer Flowers

It seems like just yesterday that summer started. And now as Labor Day passes, it's the symbolic end of the summer -- vacations are over and everyone grudgingly returns to work.

It sure seems like A LOT has happened over the past four months since I posted this picture. I'm hoping that people come to their senses and the fall season brings lots of good things for everyone, myself included. Especially me.

The Business of Art

The selling of art at the Museum of Modern Art. Artwork by Angus Fairhurst (1966-2008).

It Must Be Something

It's love. Slogan for the 2009 US Open Tennis Tournament seen on a tour bus headed uptown on Monday afternoon.

Tickets are still available.

September 4, 2009

Have A Safe Trip

Even Jimmy Fallon is excited for a $2 tip. I thought his show was doing OK, but I guess everyone needs a second job right now.

September 3, 2009

Here Comes Halloween

Can you believe it's already September? I have to remember to change the calendar to the new month. I always seem to forget for a few days and I think it's bad luck if you don't change the calendar right away.

It's amazing how quickly the weather dropped a few degrees. I've been going for bike rides in Central Park every day and you can feel the weather changing ever so slightly. Of course, Indian Summer (my favorite season) will be coming along soon enough. It looked like a full moon today when I was riding in the park which would probably explain my incredibly odd day, but I looked it up and the full moon isn't until Friday.

Like many things in life, such as crazy New York City girls, cell phone bills and dry cleaners, you can never really figure out the weather so I shouldn't even bother. However, one thing you can predict is that as soon as September hits, the Halloween marketers will be out in full force. I'm not always a huge fan of Reese's, but I've got to give them credit for getting these new packages out right away. Obviously they were anxious to get them into stores all summer. Halloween is the biggest candy selling time of the year next to Easter.

September 1, 2009

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Meet Miss Universe Day

I was going out today and ran into the lovely Miss Universe from Venezuela, Stefania Fernandez, at the elevator. She doesn't speak a lot of English yet, but she told me that her new word for today is "interview." I tried to teach her another word, "neighbor," as I pointed to my door, but I'm not totally sure she understood.

She was very nice to pose for a picture for me. I think I would have been better off teaching her to say, "freshly baked chocolate chip cookies." It doesn't matter what language you speak, everyone understands that.

Hot Dog Days

It sure got chilly in the city all of a sudden, but it's definitely still hot dog weather out. Nothing wrong with an airedale every once in a while.