Archive for February, 2009

Moving on out

My parents are on their way out to the motherland. Where does that leave me? Well, searching for an apartment while my folks sell our house here in Queens.

A lot of my friends of Indian origin have already made the move or are on their way out. And several others are taking on jobs in places besides NYC.

Is this a mass exodus or just a few people on their way out? All I know is that NYC will not be the same as it is today in just 2 years from now…probably less than that.

Things to do this weekend – Kids Film Festival

Sita Sings the Blues - one of the entries this year

Sita Sings the Blues - one of the entries this year

As soon as I saw the posters pop up for this event, they caught my eye. This year (2008) in movies was horrendous. I saw maybe 4 movies at the theaters. Mainly because most of them didn’t capture my attention or intrigue.

The Children’s Film Festivals features movies for kids ages 7 and up. All of the films selected for this year’s festival give an age recommendation and will let you know if it can or cannot be enjoyed by adults.

Check out the screening schedule that start today, February 27th and go until March 15th. Enjoy the films.

365: AIGA Annual Design Exhibition 29

aiga365AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts) is extending their annual  365 Annual Design Exhibition 29, which I saw yesterday and highly recommend, until this Friday, Feb. 27th. The annual competition presents the winners in their gallery at 164 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The exhibit can also be viewed on AIGA’s virtual gallery and is published in a “substantial” (their word for a big mo-fo coffee table adornment) book.  The selected works also becomes part of the AIGA Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado.

AIGA National Design Center, 164 Fifth Avenue at 21st St. Manhattan; Mon. – Thu. 11 AM–6 PM; Fri. 11 AM–5 PM.

Store Closures Hit Home

The entire gloom and doom scenario….of the tanking economy, had not been felt in NYC as much as it was all over the US. That is of course if you dont count Wall Street.

However, its slowly showing up in more visible ways, with the closure of commercial establishments. Below are some pics from a CNN ireport.


What’s the scene in your nabe ?

A New Yorker returns: MoMA and Walter Foods in Williamsburg

MoMA was buzzing yesterday. We went to see the Vik Muniz Artist’s Choice exhibit. Artist’s Choice is a program at the Modern that allows an artist to take on the role of curator and select works from the museum’s collection for an exhibit. Muniz chose the organizing principle of a rebus– ” a puzzle in which unrelated visual and linguistic elements create a larger deductive meaning,” according the MoMA brochure.

Over 80 works by Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, William Wegman, Tony Oursler, Gordon Matta-Clark, Martin Kippenberger, John Baldessari, Nan Goldin, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Eugène Atget, Massimo Vignelli, Dieter Rams, Edward Ruscha, Sigmar Polke and others are included.

walterfoodsLater on, it was off to Williamsburg for dinner at Walter Foods– a deliberately anti-Oscar activity. It was empty when we arrived around 7:30 PM, but diners slowly trickled in, other Academy Awards ignore-ers that seemed to share a bond of cheery indifference for the glitzy trappings of Tinseltown, and when we left almost three hours later the place was about 3/4 full.

For those of like minds when it comes to awards shows, Meghan Daum, one of the very few reasons remaining to read the LA Times, weighs in with her anti-Oscars lifestyle.

Photo: Walter Foods, Williamsburg; by CP

Momofuku Ko

My friend Maryanne loves food. She always makes food for her friends and loves going out to restaurants and eating stuff. When her Facebook, Gmail and all other “away” or “status” messages started talking about Momofuku Ko, I was confused. Why is she talking about this restaurant? What is so special about it that she’s as excited as I would have been if I went to the final Conan O’Brien taping at 30 Rock.

Well, what I’ve said time and again to my clients is that marketing is all about setting up a mystery and creating an experience. What Momofuku does is it creates a ritual to attend a meal. With only 12 bar stools available for seating and charging $100 for dinner and $160 for lunch; their online reservation system reflects an experience that is a little more complicated than booking a flight online. All of these aspects will make anyone against the whole snooty culinary scene twitch with anger – but for fans like my friend Maryanne – this is the ultimate reward.

Unfortunately, the restaurant seems as though it would not be friendly to vegetarians – one of their specialities is an animal-cruelty nightmare; foie gras shavings.

But this restaurant shows that certain businesses will continue to do well, despite the economic hardship.

A New Yorker returns: Art in Chelsea

pace2Hey, I’m in NYC, visiting from Los Angeles, where I write for LA Metblogs. I  used to live here for a couple decades, moved to LA five years ago– jury is still out on that move but I get back to the city for a shot of cultural stimulation now and then. In LA there is very little of either unless your idea of culture is shopping and talking about how great the weather is.

I’m holed up with the boyfriend in London Terrace for a couple weeks. Yesterday we stuck around the neighborhood, art peeping and such.

Top of the list was the Manzoni exhibit at Gagosian (555 W 24 St.) It was curated by Germano Celant and is displayed chronologically with a time line for each year of his short life (he died at the age of 29), placing Manzoni in context artistically as well as historically. Holland Cotter’s review here. Highly recommended.

The other notable exhibit I saw was Robert Irwin at Pace Wildenstein (545 W 22 St.) Appealing in a visceral sense, monumental in size and if you like Dan Flavin, this will work for you.

Photo of Robert Irwin exhibit @ Pace Wildenstein by CP.

Dirty Glass of Water – OK’d by 311

Dirty glass of water

Dirty glass of water

This dirty glass of water was OK’d by 311 when we called them this morning, to drink.

My dad found out early that all the water coming out of our taps in Queens was soiled. Apparently there’s some “work being done in your neighborhood, but all the water is OK to drink.”

Really, NYC Helpline? Really?

Take a freaking look at the muddled water. What the heck is OK to drink about that? Also, once I drank the water, I passed out for 2 hours. JK! I didn’t drink it. Anyhow, it smells strange too. A bit metallic, a bit like watered down waste . . . too graphic? Well I hope they fix it soon because otherwise I’ll be roaming the streets unshowered. And that’s a hazard in itself to New Yorkers.

Possible Boycott of Israeli Food at Park Slope Food Co-Op

It will be interesting to see if the proposed boycott of Israeli products goes through at the Park Slope Food Co-Op. Read this article in for the full story. New York City’s largest and longest-established food co-op is frequented by various segments of the population, both Jewish and non-Jewish. And among Jews, shoppers run the gamut from Orthodox and Hasidic to Reform and even non-observant secular Jews.

It is not unusual for the co-op to take a political stand, reflecting the tradition of the community in which it is situated. This latest proposal would be in protest of Israel’s recent activities in Gaza.

Persimmons are one of the products from Israel sold at the Park Slope Food Co-op

Persimmons are one of the products from Israel sold at the Park Slope Food Co-op

A local Brooklyn rabbi believes that the proposal will not pass but, if it does, it will seriously impact the co-op’s membership.

Man arrested for taking a photo of NYC subway

In a world with increasing police involvement in everyday activities a man was arrested in the Bronx for taking a photograph of an MTA train. Ironically he was an off duty MTA employee who knew his rights. Read the full story on Photo District News Online, or the NY Times. As a photographer myself, I am constantly enraged by misinterpretation of laws that result in regular people getting hassled and arrested. It’s one thing to be a law enforcer, and another to know the laws. I truly wish that a man did not have to get arrested after trying to explain to three officers why he was not breaking any law. “Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted…” This is from the MTA rules and regulations 1050.9 (c). This was also the rule stated as the reason he was arrested, stating the complete opposite. I don’t mind the police, as long as they act justly. This was an unjust act by the police and he would not have been charged with disorderly conduct if it was. May all his charges be dropped.

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