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NYC

  • “The circle doesn’t just form itself — we form it, […] is there a machine that can probably make it? I mean, yeah … But this is just the way it’s been done.”

    […] “It feels good thinking and knowing that they’re in the park, and kids are using it,” Valenti said of the handmade rims. “A lot of great basketball players that came out of New York played on these hoops, so that’s pretty cool.”

  • Kwon is best known for capturing the burgeoning New York hip-hop scene from the late 1980s to the late 2000s, featuring iconic figures such as Notorious B.I.G., Method Man, and De La Soul​.

  • Tough decisions

    It’s hard to reconcile tough decisions.

    I often have to find a quiet place when I’m facing a tough or difficult challenge. It can be pretty difficult to find a quiet place here in NYC. Even my own apartment can be filled with noises from the street, sidewalk, traffic, neighbors and loud TVs.

    Luckily, I live nearby a park. I recommend going on a long walk or jog to clear your head. Though, not all are blessed with a quiet oasis in this loud urban jungle. Nowadays noise-cancelling headphones are abound. Couldn’t recommend them more. Even if you live in a quiet spot, I guarantee you’ll get some mileage out of a good pair of headphones in a coffee house or while traveling.

    Get to a quiet place. Breathe. Turn off notifications, and take your time. Don’t fret if you need to come back and repeat another day (or at a later hour). Dissect the issues and problems bit-by-bit. Challenging problems normally present themselves like an overgrown tree. Trim and tease out the simple problems first, then tackle the complex. I like to use a simple text editor like Visual Studio Code or iA Writer to compose little tables or lists.

  • I’m a big Oneohtrix Point Never fan. Those who know me well, know that. Now, you dear reader, know this about me as well. Welcome to the inner circle.

    I was listening to Age Of the other day, and it stuck me that cover art is really something else. It really drew me in to inspect it a bit closer. At first glance, kinda witch-y, kinda cult-y, cool! I dug in further. A quick Google revealed the painting featured on the cover of Age Of is by an artist who’s name is Jim Shaw.

    Age Of Cover Art, Oneohtrix Point Never / Warp Records. 2018

    I kept digging and found some details of the original painting at artresearchmap.com. Check it out:

    Jim Shaw, The Great Whatsit, 2017
    acrylic on muslin, 53 x 48 inches, 134.6 x 121.9 cm.
    Jim Shaw. Installation view, 2017. Metro Pictures, New York.

    Some of Jim’s other work is pretty spectacular too. Check out the rest of Jim Shaw’s 2017 exhibition. This fleshy acrylic Head is just a marvel to look at. It’s haunting, disturbing and just glistens. Can’t look away.

    Jim Shaw, Head, 2017
    Foam, aqua resin, acrylic paint, and synthetic hair with metal base
    34 1/2 x 12 x 12 inches, 87.6 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm

    Shaw’s artwork seems to simmer in dense crockpot of American pop culture. Ripe with metaphors and symbolism, the musical motifs are certainly interesting to behold. Simon Lee Gallery has a great excerpt that captures Shaw’s penchant perfectly:

    Shaw’s ongoing project Oism contains a narrative core and ironically challenges the norms of an artwork. Marking Shaw’s attempt to create a functioning religion, complete with its own history, totems and traditions, Oism is drawn from profound and far-reaching research initiated in the early 1990s into the history of American religious practice and finds inspiration in the messianic cults active in America’s Bible belt. The creation and study of Oism has fuelled a wide range of artworks-cum-artefacts, and includes, amongst others, paintings, photographs, sculptures, collages, posters, films and musical instruments.

    Whoo. I’ll say! The Great Whatsit, is certainly effective pursuit of his Oism narrative. The Sunday school hymnal-esque illustration of singing women, bathed in MacBook sunbeams perfectly evokes the Warner Sallman white Jesus brand, with a hint of psychedelic vibes. If you ask me, Shaw hit the nail on the head. American culture on a spectrum. Both searching for a messiah, burning the candle at both ends.

    If we want to go deeper, Daniel Lopatin’s string choice for the title track, is a Hapsichord. Apart from snapping so fucking hard as an intro (it’s so good), it really sets the tone as a meditative album from the get-go. I just love the marriage between Oism and 0PN. It’s almost like they’re teasing a sort of recommended set-and-setting for this album. Such a strong connection that can’t be ignored, between these two artists. It’s perfect.

    Furthermore, Lopatin’s MYRIAD sets were literally mind-bending, world shattering Oism concerts. I mean just look at this. These fellas know exactly what they’re doing. Building myths, stories and tales forged in music and wonder. One of a kind stuff here. Excelsior.

  • I love interactive stories like these. This story, was written by Antonio de Luca and Sasha Portis at the New York Times. It begins here:

    In 1979, responding to complaints from riders that the subway map was difficult to use, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority hired the Manhattan design firm Michael Hertz and Associates to create a new map.

    That map. The problematic Massimo Vignelli (RIP) subway map designed in 1972, and it was cool-looking but wow, was it unusable:

    No wonder Vignelli’s map only lived 7 years. It’s pretty difficult to find these lying around anymore, but you can find them for sale on eBay. You used to be able to even find them at old subway stations, still plastered up on waypoints or platform corkboards.

    Portis and de Luca did an outstanding job on this interactive Times story. If you enjoy trains or even New York history, you’ll love this story. Read it here.

  • Lorri Cramer, is a New Yorker who re-habilitates turtles in her Upper West Side apartment. The last Cuban-Chinese restaurant (La Caridad 78) in Manhattan. The best Jazz in NYC can be heard in Marjorie Eliot’s apartment in Harlem every Sunday. New York can be a tough place for the birds — meet the city’s only bird clinic called the Wild Bird Fund. Lastly, NYC can be lonely, Mr. Jones Supper Club aims to solve that problem.

  • New York has an entrenched and somewhat mystical entanglement with waste management over the course of its history. For the past 34 years, Nelson Molina, a former DSNY worker has collected and maintained an incredible (but unofficial) museum of 45,000 collected objects that were thrown out to the curb by New Yorkers. The short which follows Molina, offers us a glimpse of the collection. The short is titled, Treasures in the Trash and is directed by New York based filmmaker, Nicolas Heller.

    My favorite line from Molina is so poetic:

    Before you throw something out, think about. Everything can have a home.

    Since the museum resides inside an active garage for the Department of Sanitation, it’s not open to the public. But, that could all change with your help! From the video’s description:

    The collection is not open to the public since it is in an active garage, but our hope is to get a proper space with the help of this film. Please visit nycstrongest.org/future-museum to donate!

    According to Atlas Obscura, you can also email tours@dsny.nyc.gov to schedule a private tour of the MANEAST11 garage’s collection.

  • Cugurt

    I’m especially proud of this one. I was honored to be one of the production assistants on set for this short film. In fact, one of the shot locations happened to be at my old apartment in Brooklyn! It had a particularly remarkable set of stairs. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I was thrilled to be part of this (thanks Rico!).

    If you ever get a chance to work on a short film, take it. It’s so rewarding to help make a script come to life.

    Now, onto the main attraction. Cugurt is directed by Rico Turrubiarte, produced by Kaitlin Scott and the Director of Photography is Rachel Anne Klein — all dear friends of mine. A brief synopsis:

    After the death of his only friend, a lonesome man finds happiness in a mysterious pizza delivery.

    Enjoy the show!

  • Twitter surfaces some of the strangest things. Behold, the original movie poster for Road Trip emerging like Han Solo from carbonite. 20 years of subway ads, rail dust and grime.

  • John Surico for CityLab writes:

    The big magnet to the Westchester County town is its Metro-North Railroad commuter rail station, which provides a 45-minute connection to midtown Manhattan. Although Harrison has had a steady population increase since 2010, Belmont is thinking about the future: namely, a younger generation that prefers the bustle of urban life to the quiet of suburbia. The community needs more to make them stick around, he believes. “What I’m trying to do is attract Millennials, so eventually they want to buy here in Harrison,” he said.

    That is what inspired Harrison’s Halstead Avenue project, a $76.8 million mixed-use real estate development built in collaboration between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which oversees the Metro-North, and developer AvalonBay Communities. It is the first time ever that the Metro-North will sell a parcel of its land for transit-oriented development (TOD); in this case: 143 apartments, 27,000 square feet of retail space, two pedestrian plazas, and a 598-space parking garage, most of which is reserved for the public and commuters.

    That is kind of mind-blowing. Metro-North/MTA is selling a parcel of land to a real-estate development company at the benefit of Harrison residents. Harrison, for residents outside of New York, is a Long Island Sound shore-town in Westchester just north of New York City.

    Essentially, the Transit Authority has taken on additional duties as a real-estate developer. The soon-to-be built apartments however convenient to the residents, are likely to be mostly luxury apartment units. Only seven of the apartments are earmarked for affordable status. I’m sure this will be fantastic in the long-run but, I have the feeling that only reason this is really kicking off, is because it ensures the certainty of Harrison’s nearby real estate valuations as impending tumultuous financial times loom. The lack of affordable housing aside, it’s interesting to see the MTA dipping their toes into real-estate development. Not sure that is the best idea, but it is literally a slide taken directly from the MTA’s latest plan to maximize use of commuter rail capacity.