Wednesday, June 25

Bow down before the giant head of Eddie Murhpy

Tuesday, June 24

The Gathering Storm

More great time lapses from the office window, courtesy of Frank's camera:



Monday, June 23

It's Time to Match the Stars!

Hometown Hangover has the scoop: The newly reinvented Match Game has been cast for a pilot on TBS. Let's hope it doesn't suck.

Here's the lineup:

Andrew Daly (pictured with Will Arnett)
Can he fill the shoes of Gene Rayburn? Of course not. But digging up Gene's grave and featuring him Weekend at Bernie's style isn't an option, and the show must go on.






Sarah Silverman
Apparently she's been schtupping the talented Mr. Ripley. Will she unload some jokes that offend everyone? Let's hope so. Brett Somers is watching from heaven.












Bob Einstein (pictured with Larry David)
Marty Funkhouser/Larry Middleman! Wicked.






Scott Thompson
Clearly supposed to fill the lighter-than-normal loafers of Charles Nelson Reilly.














Rashida Jones
Quincy Jones is your dad and Peggy Lipton is your mom? You are cool as shit. Let's hope you're funny too.













Niecy Nash
I've never seen Reno 911! But if JDizzle likes you, that's good enough for me.

Saturday, June 21

Happy Summer Solstice

Two things to note about this article in the Saturday Times about how the summer solstice was celebrated, or (mostly) wasn't in New York yesterday:
- The reporter called the Fire Department press office to inquire whether there had been any bonfires lit to celebrate the solstice.

- It takes the piss out of Wiccans.

"The Wiccan followers, some wearing colorful makeup and long robes and dresses, formed a human circle that was not allowed to be broken, as they received anointing oil and sang ritualistic songs, including one honoring the longest day.

This being the East Village, however, they did not draw much attention.

Ricky Martinez, a Wiccan who works at Enchantments Book Store on the Lower East Side, said he was considering attending a private celebration with other Wiccans. This party, however, was by invitation only; nonpagans excluded.

“The stuff that goes on I can’t really invite you to,” he said. “It’s for the people in the coven. It’s pretty hush-hush.”

Thursday, June 19

Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Shoddy Sequel

I won't say there weren't brief moments of non-suckitude in the new Indiana Jones movie, but sometimes it takes a painfully funny piss-take to make you realize what a piece of fossilized alien dookie it really was.
CATE takes the skull and places it on a THRONE. It then turns into an ACTUAL ALIEN and makes her head explode. The ALIENS pile into a GIANT UFO and fly off into SPACE.

HARRISON FORD

Wow. Considering that the first movie revolved around a magical box made by God that melts faces when opened, it’s really astonishing that this movie managed to be so incredibly stupid by comparison.

JOHN HURT

I can’t believe that the crystal skull wanted you to return it to the city just so that aliens could have blown your head up. Those aliens are total assholes.

SHIA LABEOUF

Seriously, what kind of jerks would intentionally trick people into thinking they were going to get something awesome, but then give them something so awful it makes their brains melt instead?

So that's how they build them


0619_platform-up
Originally uploaded by ftantillo
Great time lapse taken by my co-worker Frank of a building going up across the street. They're adding a few floors a week.

Song of the Day

Perfect song for a sunny summer day. (Ok, I'm in New York not California, but it still works)

Marlena Shaw - California Soul (Diplo/Mad Decent Remix)
from Verve Remixed 4

Oliver Wright of Soul Sides sums up this one perfectly:

Just when you thought Dockers may have ruined this song permanently, trust the folks at Verve and Diplo to pull it back. I admit - I was a little skeptical at first at the idea; Shaw's song is so much a classic that it's hard to imagine what one could do with it but I gotta credit Diplo here - instead of piling on, he pulls back, keeping the audience anticipating - but never quite delivering - the crashboombam they expect, at least until the very end where he brings back those gorgeous strings again. I don't care if you're not from Cali - feel this vibe.


Also, check out the Marvin Gaye / Tammi Terrell version of this song (which is good but lacks that great string section):

Tuesday, June 17

That's one way to take care of rats


IMG_9857, originally uploaded by jakedobkin.

If this ain't a Banksy it sure looks like one.

Friday, June 13

Reny in the park with Isaac


Reny in the park with Isaac, originally uploaded by AdamP.

This was the brief moment where Reny was sitting still as we got ready to listen to Isaac Hayes in Prospect Park.

Wednesday, June 11

New York City is so hot...

How hot is it?



Heat wave in New York. July 6, 1911. "Licking blocks of ice on a hot day." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

Tuesday, June 10

Time Lapsed New York

One of the best things about my job, which is right in the middle of the tourist hell-hole that is Times Square, is the kick-arse view of the Hudson River and New Jersey from the window of my open-plan floor. Last week, I had a front row seat when the "French Spiderman" climbed the New York Times building to "raise awareness of global warming."

(Unfortunately I missed the encore, when some random guy from Brooklyn did the same thing a few hours later, this time to "raise awareness of malaria." As one commenter on the New York Times said: "I was staunchly pro-malaria, but this hero has made me see the error of my beliefs!").

For the last few weeks my coworker Frank and I have been taking some pretty sweet time-lapse photos with a Nokia N82 cameraphone on a tripod. The camera comes with a burst mode that captures a photo at set intervals. Frank then stitched the photos together into movie files. Check out a few examples below.

The building with the green roof is the old New York Times building, before the paper moved into its current, easy-to-climb, home. You can see the new Times building in the middle video -- it's the slate-gray one to the left of the crane.





Thursday, June 5

Docu-music video

Detroit based Hip-Hop artists Invincible and Finale rhyme about the impacts of gentrification on the Motor City. This piece includes interviews with community activists discussing displacement and predatory planning versus sustainable development in the D.


Wednesday, June 4

Dinner at Momofuku Ko

After a couple of months of patiently clicking away at 10 am every morning, I finally managed to score reservations at Momofuku Ko, the newish restaurant from pork belly savant David Chang which has a mere 12 seats and only lets you book a table online. Predictably, even before the place got rave reviews, getting a table was harder than scoring tickets to a [insert your favorite musician here] show.

But once Scott and I got through the unmarked front door (see left), everything was surprisingly chill and casual. The meal started off light, with a succession of small dishes that both had us secretly fearing that we might walk away hungry, delicious as everything was. But two and a half hours and more than a few deep fried short ribs later, that worry was long gone.

Here's a stab at the menu, constructed via memory and (mostly) surfing the Internet for write-ups by other food bloggers. Almost every course, we were each served different dishes, though we usually switched plates halfway.
  • pork rinds / english muffin with whipped pork fat
  • fluke sashimi with buttermilk sauce, yuzu and poppy seeds / kampachi with muscat grapes
  • oyster, pork belly and bok choi in kimchi consumme / pea soup with crawfish and morels in yuba
  • chawanmushi -- egg custard with asparagus, caviar and braised cashews / sous-vide egg with caviar and fingerling potato chips
  • lasagna with escargot, morels, ricotta salata and ramps, and a ricotta foam sauce(x2)
  • brined trout with pickled radish, bacon puree and radishes / halibut in pepperoncini purée topped with diced radishes, bok choy and burnt onion
  • shaved foie gras with lychees, pine nut brittle and grape wine gelee (x2)
  • deep fried short ribs, daikon with mustard seeds and pickled carrots / poulard with morels
  • kiwi, lychee sorbet
  • poached rhubarb over pea "sand" with yellow cake ice cream / cereal milk panna cotta with chocolate slab, cornflakes and avocado
Almost everything we ate was incredibly good, but there were a few standouts, mostly for the better but a few for the worse. Favorites were definitely the fluke, lasagna and trout -- the last of which came with A PUREE MADE OF FREAKING BACON. Not so good were the egg custard and sous-vide egg, which suffered from being at room temperature and of a not appetizing texture.

And although most reviews I've read lauded the foie gras -- which is frozen in liquid nitrogen and then shaved -- I found it entirely too rich and even a bit icky. I couldn't stop thinking: "I'm eating a snow cone made of liver." It was the only dish I didn't finish.

It was an incredibly good experience overall. It definitely wasn't cheap, especially after I opted for the $50 beer-and-wine pairing option, but as a once a year kind of meal it's hard to imagine anything better. And before I left, I got one of the cooks to tell me how to make that bacon puree!

[One side note: Scott came prepared to take lots of pictures of the beautiful food, but they've recently had to ban photographs during dinner, which were apparently slowing down service and -- I suspect -- annoying the crap out of the chefs. Lots of good pictures to be found here.]

Monday, June 2

Wall of Sound

Norwiegen artist Maia Urstad does some very cool stuff with boomboxes.



From her website:
The CD-and cassette radios in the installation have a double, visual and conceptual function. On an auditory level they are mediating the sound image implemented in the installation. Visually they are the concrete building blocks, the obvious function in the wall, but they also reflects issues related to the technical development and our culture of consumption.

The CD players in the wall are playback units for a composition of electronically treated sounds borrowed from radio waves, Morse code, FM- and satellite radio etc. Sound signals that also will be obsolete and forgotten sooner than we might expect.

The CD-and cassette radios in the installation have a double, visual and conceptual function. On an auditory level they are mediating the sound image implemented in the installation. Visually they are the concrete building blocks, the obvious function in the wall, but they also reflects issues related to the technical development and our culture of consumption.

The CD players in the wall are playback units for a composition of electronically treated sounds borrowed from radio waves, Morse code, FM- and satellite radio etc. Sound signals that also will be obsolete and forgotten sooner than we might expect.


Photo: Flickr

More here, here and here