Saturday, August 2, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

I know I contradicted myself
Look, I don't need that now

The Blue Angels. I really don't get why people hate on them so much. Yeah, it's loud—that's kind of the point. When I was a kid, before they passed laws about how you can't hit the speed of sound above residential areas, the Blue Angels came so close to buzzing the top of our house (we were sitting on the roof, I think I was about 3) that a big branch just snapped off of the gigantic evergreen tree in our yard. I get that they are a symbol of our military might, which has inspired only complex, conflicted feelings in smart people since [arguably] Dien Bien Phu. But pardon our noise, motherfuckers, it's the sound of freedom.

Really amazing photo by Winners Circle, which is apparently some store next to the old Anne B.

Oh yeah, one other thing. I used to work at Martha Stewart, in the Starrett-Lehigh building on 26th at the Hudson River. In the days right after 9/11 there were F-18s flying routines down the river, so close that the building – a beautiful, strong old building by the same architect that did the Empire State building – would shake. Right at that point, I don't mind saying, I was glad for it. It's really complicated, the admiration you feel for these things, and the hope that we'll never have to (or decide to) use them again.

Say hello to my leetle friend:

Just picked this baby up on eBay. It is clear I am regressing. Soon I will be 11 years old, taking my new steed off sweet jumps in the terrain park under I-5, four minutes' ride from our apartment.

Don't Front:

I've been sleeping on Don't Front for a minute—but it's a cold world out there, and the frontery never seems to cease, so I'm bringing it on back. Welcome once again to Don't Front, the series in which I tell you about something that you may think sucks, but it's actually one-hundred bucks, sucka.

#1: Billy Ocean "The Love Zone"
#2: Beef Jerky
#3: Phone Cameras

This week:
#4 The movie Tombstone

Yes, it's historically inaccurate, ultra-Hollywood, and filled to the brim with over-acting by Kurt Russell and company—but the story moves along nicely and it's a very satisfying Western that fits comfortably somewhere between the Johns (Ford, Wayne) and The Unforgiven. Val Kilmer is thoroughly entertaining as Doc Holliday, Billy Bob Thornton has a funny cameo, and there are great lines galore, one of my favorites being "Law don't go around here, lawdog." Comes in handy when your wife is an attorney.

More than anything though, it's a good movie about friendship and camaraderie in this crazy, mixed-up, front-happy world. Cases in point:

1. A riverside post-mortem after a big gunfight in which Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) charges out into a hail of gunfire, taking out all of his would-be killers and walking away miraculously unscathed. Doc Holliday, who should be housebound on account of all the consumption and bourbon-fortified blood he's been coughing up, stands strong in helping Wyatt avenge the murder of his brothers.

2. Many years later, Wyatt is broke and aimless, and pays Doc one last visit on his deathbed.

It ain't a documentary, and nothing tops Deadwood, but for my money, Tombstone is one of the better westerns out there. Don't Front.

Cowgirl in the Sand

.Gisele in the desert with Mert & Marcus and Alex White, W, August 2008.

Veruschka in the desert with Francesco Rubartelli and Giorgio di Sant'angelo, Vogue, July 1968.

Travelin' Man

Some random images from my travels through Brooklyn yesterday.

Listen while you look:
Stanley Cowell Travelin' Man mp3

Fort Greene

Fort Greene

Brooklyn Heights

Read God's word, the Holy Bible, daily.
Read God's word: The Holy Bible Daily

I had the random thought walking past this empty lot that parts of Seattle are a little like Williamsburg, but without the dead-rat smell.

Chad & Lily at the biergarten. If you know a female that's down with the Lench Mob, watch your step 'cause the gat is kept in the purse like my homegirl YoYo.

Max Bill, Chadrobot, J.Ralph Phillips

And finally, the cat at Duff's in one of its less-violent moments.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A billboard grows in Brooklyn

Spotted in Dumbo this afternoon on a trip to Wax Poetics.
[click to enlarge]

Fresh Air

The Bronx-based band Air released only one album in its short tenure, a self-titled collection produced by Herbie Mann and released on his own Embryo label in 1971. The music is hard to categorize, occupying a space somewhere between jazz and folk (Other Music's Duane Harriott put it well: "If you can imagine Soft Machine jammin' with Weldon Irvine, you're almost there"), but the real draw is the unique soul in the voice of frontwoman Googie Coppola. There are definitely some more upbeat jams, but here's the one I always go back to:

Air Jail Cell mp3

The vinyl is tough to find (I traded for mine at Sound Library several years ago and I think the price tag was $45.00). Luckily you can snap up the CD, re-issued this week by DBK, for a cool soundtrack to the last few months of summer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Houses of the Holy

I found this book at the Hell's Kitchen flea market a few years ago.

This scenery reminds me of the end of Sequim Bay, where there are (or were, when I was a kid) a bunch of old fish shacks and abandoned wooden boats lined up on the beach. It was one of my favorite places in the world. Now if there had only been a boat-shaped outhouse there....

Somewhere in Idaho (this looks like the McCabe & Mrs. Miller set...yes, I am obsessed).

Somewhere in Wisconsin.

Somewhere in Texas.

Somewhere in Tennessee.

This dude seems pretty excited about going to the bathroom.

Surf and Turf

The T blog is currently featuring a short profile of David Selig—eco-innovator, die-hard surfer, Red Hook resident, owner of the restaurants Rice and ñ, special man-friend of my former boss-lady Cecilia Dean, and one of the more interesting and laid-back dudes I've met in New York. Above, from a previous article in the Times, David is shown filtering used cooking oil for use as fuel in the Rice delivery van.

He just opened a solar-powered taco stand on the beach at Rockaway...looks like our weekend plans are taking shape.

Click here to read the interview.

Photos by G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Massive Moves

We're moving.
There, I said it.
Employers have been told and all stops have been pulled out. Our lease is up September 14th and we're headed west, to Seattle. There was a chance we were going to stay here because I was very honored to be considered for the art director position at Vogue. I had two interviews but it didn't ultimately pan out. We were planning to move anyway, so it's no big deal, it was just one of those things where if you're asked to interview for a job like that, you have to do it, and if I had gotten it we would have stayed a bit longer. Since I didn't, we're on the move.
We already bought a place: a condo in a 1967 building on Capitol Hill, at the corner of Melrose and Harrison. We got it through Redfin last October and have been renting it out since then.

One whole wall is windows, and the view is pretty sweet.
(And no, jerky, those are not our decorations.)

It sits above the freeway but the glass is very thick, so it's not loud.

There's a little stairway/park right next to it. Littlejeans and Inez will be able to look at pigeons down below and think their violent, murderous thoughts.

We'll miss Ali, Muhammad, et al in our corner stores here in Brooklyn. Honestly, our new one in Seattle (above) is a better store overall, but they could learn to make a fricking sandwich.

We are dangerously close to Top Pot Doughnuts.This place is good too (Artemis). It's just down the street.

There are some little galleries and studios in the neighborhood (some of which were there when we lived at Summit & Thomas, before we left for New York in 1999).

I took all those photos last fall when I went out there to sign the closing documents. I picked up the keys on my birthday, October 31st. It's rented out through the end of the year, so we're going to stay with my mom for the first few months, in Madison Valley.

So there it is—I've been beating around the bush, but now it's official. Not surprisingly, this blog will be obsessed with the transition from Brooklyn to Seattle in the next several months, in between the regular flow of gritty and pretty. I expect it will be quite an adventure.

The Science of Sleep

For whatever reason I have not been sleeping well lately—this is the second night in a row I've gotten up at 4. And it's not like I'm going to bed early. Anyway, in addition to finishing up the next issue of Wax Poetics (no.30, The Rock Issue, with a double cover of Bad Brains and Elvis, sadly without the foil stamp and metallic inks I wanted—rock issue...metal—but a great issue nonetheless), I also changed the format of the blog so it only shows the last ten days' worth of posts. There have been some complaints about the time it takes to load, so this should be better for everyone, hopefully. Yawn.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More from the vaults...

[click to enlarge]