Thursday, June 29, 2006

First Rule of Video Delivery Club...

Taped to the window of the recently shuttered Blockbuster video on 1st Avenue and 86th Street..."ask at the fruit stand for a flyer"..I'm not sure what the big idea behind having the fruit stand guy do your sales is but maybe I'm out of the loop. Maybe fruit stands are a good place to find out about new movie releases. "I'll take 3 bananas, some strawberries, an avocado, and a recommendation for a suspenseful thriller with a female lead set in Paris in the '70's please".

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Estex Dynamite

Boom goes the dynamite. Taken somewhere in the Rug District (maybe Broadway?).
For your viewing pleasure...the original- boom goes the dynamite trainwreck:

category: nyc_

Monday, June 26, 2006

Extreme Sport in Central Park

Well I was originally going to write these people I saw in Central Park off as crazed yogi Hari Krishna hippie cultists but upon further investigation it turns out they are participating in an interesting martial arts sport called capoeira. Capoeira Angola (the derivation seen below) seems to be like slow motion karate timed to music emphasizing technique and strategy over speed and force. Very interesting. Almost reminds me of that scene from Roadhouse where Patrick Swayze practices outside the barn by himself in a zenlike trance while the "I'm upping my skill level for the big climax" montage music plays.

Note the 4 stages of Michael Jackson represented; (l to r) future, '60's, current, 70's.
category: nyc_

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Jazz in Washington Square Park

Here's a short 1 minute video of some jazzy street musicians in Washington Square Park.

category: music_ nyc_

Saturday, June 24, 2006

West Village Fans

Any place that needs 6 fans in the front door is too hot for me. Christopher Street in the far West Village (which should be a hotbed of activity with the Gay Pride Parade this weekend.)

category: nyc_

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bada Bing Chipwich

Marketing synergies have geniusly aligned as Chipwich has decided to create an ice cream sandwich named after the Bada Bing strip club on the Sopranos. It's hard to believe this is an actual food product. Who exactly is the target audience for this thing? It's located in the supermarket right next to the Disney Incredible cones. "Mommy I want a Bada Bing ice cream". "Fuhgedaboudit Junior".I would have loved to have been in the meeting at Chipwich headquarters in Chiptown, TX when this idea was proposed some marketing exec who was surely hepped up on a Chipwich sugar rush because you just know that the conference rooms at Chipwich Inc. are fully stocked with mounds of chipwiches for the taking. Best ice cream product since the Cadbury mini-eggs McFlurry.
category: food_ tv_

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tom Petty & Trey at MSG

On Tuesday Tom Petty's tour rolled in to the world's greatest arena- Madison Square Garden for a stop on the Heartbreakers 30th anniversary tour. Trey Anastasio (of backpack fame) opened.

Trey's stripped down 4 piece plus 2 backup singer band sounded terrible- literally. MSG's sound system must have been geared for Tom Petty or something because Trey's vocals were difficult to hear and the sound was just muddy in general. It was fine for Petty. Trey played to a mostly indifferent and small crowd of TP fans and his generic sounding jamband-lite songs didn't do much for anyone- fan or no. Some of his older songs were ok, but it seemed as if they did not flow into the endings- the ends of songs were sort of just tacked on. Overall a mediocre show for Trey in a tough opening slot. The final song- First Tube was pretty rocking with a fakeout drum ending, but it was too little too late. Trey seemed enthusiastic though, jumping all over the stage.
Tom Petty came on to a pumped up, young, drunk crowd. You would think he would draw a middle-aged crowd but it's mostly high school age. Tom plays a straight up greatest hits show. He threw in a few new tunes but it was 90% singalong hits from Refugee to Free Falling to You Don't Know How it Feels to American Girl. If you can think of a Petty song, he played it.

Petty is completely incoherent with his between song banter... I think at one point he said "actigrayo eobvi you weptung city", clearly referencing some Bob Dylan banter from Bob's famous '74 MSG shows.
Halfway through his set, Tom brought out Stevie Nicks to sing with him for their hit Stop Dragging My Heart Around, as well as a few other tunes. Like a white winged dove, Stevie overpowered the Garden with her enchanting voice and impressively ornamented microphone stand. Every Tom Petty song seemed to have a crowd clapping section in the middle and a grand this-might-be-the-last-song style ending.
Overall, it was a fun show. Trey played like shit, and Petty played his hit, with Stevie for a bit. Good times.
category: music_

Monday, June 19, 2006

Flying Trapeze in Central Park

On Saturday there was some sort of environmental extreme outdoor sports festival in Central Park that I'm too lazy to look up specifically but it featured a huge flying trapeze setup courtesy of Trapeze School New York. It was pretty cool to see daring young people flying through the air above the park with the greatest of ease, although I'm not sure how "extreme" it really was with all those safety ropes and harnesses. Is there any other type of trapeze besides the flying one? What's the difference between a trapeze and a swing? Can you trapeze without wearing spandex? Is trapeze even a verb? How many times do you have to see the word trapeze before it starts looking weird and you internally question it's spelling?
Did you know...the song "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" was written back in the 60's? The 1860's! Specifically in 1867 and it was inspired by Jules Leotard who was the first man to somersault on the trapeze as well as the first to jump from one trapeze to another. Let me be the first to call it the Who Let the Dogs Out of the 19th century. Did you know that Jules Leotard also invented...wait for it.. the leotard? Of course, Velvet Sea's fashionista contingent already knows that the leotard is back.
category: nyc_

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dosa Man in Washington Square Park

The dosa man in Washington Square Park is probably the best street cart vendor in all of New York City. I'm not a big falafel fan, so apologies to the falafel guys on 46th. Anyway...dosas are essentially stuffed Indian crepes. The dosa man serves up an awesome vegan menu of inexpensive South Indian items from his busy cart on the south side of Washington Square Park.
The dosa man pours the batter onto the grill and then fills it per your order. You tell him the level of spiciness you desire. I got a masala dosa inbetween medium and hot or "medium plus" as he called.
The $4 dosa comes with a small cup of amazing spicy vegetable soup and coconut chutney. The coconut chutney had a deliciously refreshing flavor but I was not a fan of it's almost gritty texture. The masala dosa was really good. The dosa man makes them quite thin and slightly crispy and with the filling concentrated towards the middle, so you can fold up the bottoms and eat it like a burrito with your hands. The spiced potato filling inside it was flavored nicely. I also ordered a $1 samosa which was crispy and tasted great dipped in the green chutney. $5 total: The dosa man is very friendly, cheap and delicious. An unbeatable combo.
category: nyc_ food_

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Two ladders I will not be climbing anytime soon. East 34th street and the Hudson River around 25th Street.
category: nyc_

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

moe. Central Park- Just Okay Alright

moe. played Central Park's Summerstage last night. The show was a typical moe. hard rock jamfest. The clear highlight was Don't F&ck with Flo, which was loud, heavy, and nasty. They played a few older fan favorites that were just ok, very typical, good but nothing special- Moth, Meat, Spine of a Dog. The jams just didn't seem to be go anywhere, meandering aimlessly. I've seen moe. about twice a year for the last 10 years (wow.. I can't believe it's been that long- I feel old now) but admittedly I'm not the best person to completely judge this particular show due to circumstances I'll detail below.
The great thing about the Summerstage setup is that it's loud and clear to anyone in the park, so you can go sit on the lawn and listen to any shows for free. The sound directly behind the venue area is very good (pic below) but there are woodchips on the ground, so you need a blanket and it's not the most comfortable- the grass on the side is real nice (pic above). The lights make interesting shapes in the trees. You can pull up a blanket and bring some food and mix up your own drinks instead of paying $5 a beer inside. You can't see the band though.The bad part is the bathroom situation. All that drinking makes one have to go. There are bathrooms behind the stage, down the steps by Bethesda Fountain. The problem is that it closes well before the shows end (10p), leaving you no option but the woods. If you can't go in the woods, or are with someone, not naming any names but they who they are, who can't go in the woods, you're SOL, perhaps literally, and you'll have to leave the park and attempt to find a Starbucks on the Upper West Side. This is an easy task if you already know where one is, but just walking blindly makes it harder. Eventually we found one on all the way on 71st and Broadway, and proceeded to head back to the park having missed Timmy Tucker and Paranoid Android. So therefore I can't fully judge the show but I have learned a valuable lesson about Central Park bathrooms. Go early, go often.
category: nyc_ music_

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chelsea Pumps

category: nyc_

Monday, June 12, 2006

NYPD Surge Drill in Chelsea

Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Two NYPD posts in two days. One more and we've got a theme week going on. Today in Chelsea, the NYPD conducted another surge drill, where they send a boatload of cars streaming to a single location in a massive show of force, scaring half the city into thinking that something horrible has actually happened. But alas it's just a drill- I think. Check out the video- this was one of four groups of cars that surged past one after the next.
By the way, I'm not sure if they're still around but Inner Circle puts on a fun show; cheesy as all hell but fun. Go see them if they're playing cheap. Remember, they've got more than just Bad Boys....girl I'm gonna make you sweat, sweat till you can't sweat no more...a la la la la long, a la la la la long long li long long long.
category: nyc_

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ice Cream Cop

I probably should have saved this one for July 4th because a cop with a gut buying ice cream from a truck on the street in New York just screams out "America- I am everything you stand for. America, I am you. America, I am free, and therefore thanks to the transitive property-America you too are free. America, do you want a cone or a cup?". This was taken on Essex Street near Stanton on the Lower East Side.
category: nyc_

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bouncy Castle

Street fair season is upon us. Most of them have the same crappy booths selling greasy food and imitation colognes and socks and gyros and mozzarepas but some have unique aspects like this bouncy castle thing at the kid oriented St Joseph's Street Fair on E 87th Street.
Alt: The city's housing crisis reached new heights today as a rich European Prince has paid for the rights to build his castle right in the middle of E 87th Street. Local residents are outraged.
category: nyc_

Friday, June 09, 2006

People in Doorways

Beautiful sunny day out today. It would be a great day to just stand on your graffitied stoop and wait for someone or something to come along from your right.

Lower East Side/Chinatown.
category: nyc_

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dude Where's My TV?

The last few weeks have been some sort of TV black hole. The May sweeps are over and the networks haven't started airing their summer shows yet. There's nothing on these days. Even cable hasn't come in with many new shows. Someone should be taking advantage of this down time to put on something new-anything really.

The whole sweeps concept is stupid; all the good shows are on at the same time and then all of a sudden the viewer is left with total crapfests like So You Think You Can Dance 2 and Celebrity Game Show Marathon. Rickki Lake, you're no Bob Barker. CBS has somehow managed to scrape the very bottom of the C-list celebrity barrel to find contestants. Even VH1's Surreal Life had bigger names. You know you have problems when one of your only 6 celebs is a third tier Baywatch babe and another is Tim "no for real I was on SNL for 5 years, don't you remember any of my skits? no Tracy Morgan plays the short bus zoologist- really you don't remember me?" Meadows. At least we have Last Comic Standing to fill up the TiFaux once a week.

In the spirit of crappy TV, I bring you piss poor cellphone pictures from my new A900 Blade. Still working on stealth photo skillz, this was my first attempt:
Ok that's a lie, that was like my 5th attempt, but it was my first that came out with any degree of clarity. Check out the awesome truck logo below.. Icee baby! Actually a decent picture considering it's low light at night.
category: tv_

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

HBO Curves

Not sure of the name of this building but I believe it's the HBO building. Maybe it's not but it's near the HBO building, which probably has an actual name and you can bet it's not "HBO Building". Whatever, it's across from Bryant Park and from any other angle than this, the building is ass-ugly. It looks like a lucite napkin holder- wider at the base. But from up close, the curves are sexy. Sorry to bore you with all my 3rd year architecture school technical descriptions and lingo.
Anywho, I'm not sure which angle is better, so ya get both. The curves appear more subtle in the first shot. That's right, I wrote anywho, so what?
category: nyc_

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Meatpacking Shell

Building shell in the Meatpacking District. It's really cool that they saved the facade. I'm not sure what the plans are for this but I have a feeling it involves lots of glass.
category: nyc_

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sprint Store Cattle Call

I am a loyal Sprint PCS cellphone user. Since I've had this POS PCS Sanyo phone for over one year now, Sprint offers me $75 off a new phone. And since I'm tired of repeating myself because the Sanyo phone doesn't seem to have a working microphone, I decided to head to my local Sprint store to pick up a new phone.

Being diligent, I researched the available phones and deals online and picked out the Samsung A900, which is also referred to as The Blade. It's similar in size and slim styling to the Motorola RAZR and the upcoming Sanyo Katana. I'd like to digress here and suggest some future slim phone names: LG Butter Knife, Samsung Pancake, Sanyo Steamrolled, Kyocera Crepe, Motorola Kate Moss, Sony Ericsson Smooth Edge, Nokia Notecard, or the Audio Vox Sliced Lox.

Arriving at the 23rd Street Sprint store in the point of the Flatiron Building at around 2:15 on Friday, I gave my name to the host. She entered it and the big TV behind her said I was number 12 on line. The host told me there were 5 people working, so I figured I wouldn't have to wait long. 15 minutes later, I was still number 12, so I said screw this- the line at the Shake Shack across the street moves faster than this- I'm getting lunch and heading up to the 86th Street store closer to home.

Belly full of a Quiznos TBG, I walk in to the 86th Street Sprint store and am glad to see very few customers in the store. Then the host tells me that they can't do anything at all because "the systems are down" and maybe they'll be back up in 10 minutes, maybe 1 hour. I come back late the next day- systems are still down, the next closest store is 56th Street. This time I ask about the Sprint store directly across the street but apparently that one is still sort of mostly Nextel only or something. Now I'm getting annoyed- I just want to buy a phone- they are making this very difficult.

I come back the next day- Sunday and the systems are still down. I ask for the exact address of the 56th Street Sprint store and am told it's not open on Sundays! The next closest store is 42nd Street by Bryant Park. I head down there, see a few people being helped by the employees and get my name put on the list on the big TV- #2. As I sit in one of the 2 seats in the store waiting, the list grows to 9 behind me. 45 minutes later I am helped. After receiving my awesome new Samsung Blade A900 phone, the woman says it will take 3 hours today to transfer my contacts from the old phone to the new phone or 30 minutes on a normal day.

Screw that I say to myself; so today I go to the 86th Street to transfer the numbers. This is my 6th visit to one of 3 Sprint stores in 4 days. It's a total cattle call in there since the store's been out of commission for a few days; lines for everything. Mine moves fast. I get to the front and 5 minutes later, after a process that seemed to only involve plugging in 2 phones and clicking the mouse twice, my new phone is loaded up.
So what does this mean for you, the reader? Stealthier, more spontaneous pictures. Like the one above of an unsuspecting burger from the Shake Shack where the line today was literally shorter than at the Sprint store across the street. All those cattle call Sprint store lines got me in the mood for a tasty burger. Yum.
category: nyc_

Sunday, June 04, 2006

RIP Vince Welnick

Vince Welnick died over the weekend. Vince was the keyboardist for the Grateful Dead during the 90's and a member of The Tubes prior to that. With his death, he becomes the 4th Grateful Dead keyboardist (aka the world's most dangerous job) to die following Pigpen, Keith Godchaux, and Brent Mydland. You can hear some of his work here (streaming or dl). Below is a picture I took of Vince from the Jam on the River show last May in Philly. He seemed to be in a great mood and I found him to be an energetic performer putting on a very fun show. Vince seemed intent on keeping the positive spirit of the Grateful Dead alive. Plus he took an audience request for Shakedown Street, which is just awesome. RIP Vince.
category: music_

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Strolling Scorpions in West Chelsea

This was taken somewhere between the seminary and the High Line in Western Chelsea in money making Manhattan in the great state of New York, kickin' it in the Northeastern United States of America. Note to hipsters: the anti-stroller sentiment is probably not to be taken literally.
Album cover for the new Scorpions album or construction sign? America, you make the call. First correct answer gets rocked like a hurricane.
category: nyc_