Monday, December 01, 2008

Save the Spur!

The High Line is an amazing strip of elevated rail line built in the 1930s that used to be used to transport goods from Midtown down to the Meatpacking District. Over the course of the century, it fell into disuse and was close to being torn down. Fortunately, the local community fought to protect it, and in a couple months, a section of it will open as a brilliant elevated walkway/park.

I'm going to a forum tonight to help save the last part of the High Line still left unprotected. It's called "The Spur." (When you see a map of it, you'll understand why.) "Friends of the High Line" want as many people as possible to show up at this meeting to demonstrate public interest in keeping this fascinating part of NYC history alive.

If this moves you as it does me, try to attend tonight.

Mon, Dec. 1, 6:30–8:30 PM 520 West 49th Street

More info here. Be sure to RSVP.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Interesting Words from Elton John

"We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.

I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off.

You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

Full story here. Interestingly enough, I just purchased my first Elton John record (unless you count The Lion King) a couple weeks ago. It was about time.

The Real Hate of Prop 8

I'm not sure who's actions are more upsetting: the disrespectful protesters, or the newscaster summing it all up with "hate on both sides." It looks like a pretty one-sided attack to me. Then again, this Christian woman could have had a hate-filled message on her sign. Let's hope not.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Now what?

After many months of speculating what an Obama presidency might look like, we can now stop wondering. Like it or not, change is here.

After an emotional victory speech, Obama hit the ground running Wednesday by asking Rahm Emanuel to be White House chief of staff. While we obviously can't expect complete bipartisanship in all of Obama's selections, it's difficult to see how Emanuel will be able to help the president-elect fix or unify our broken government. Emanuel is known as a fowl-mouthed, highly-partisan Washington insider. While this in itself isn't necessarily an offense, his connections to Freddie Mac are.

What you probably won't hear reported in the news is that, like Obama, Emanuel has been heavily funded by this corrupt government-sponsored agency that played a role in our current financial crisis. (McCain also received money, but not nearly as much as Obama.)

Now, for some reason, when it was discovered that McCain's top advisor was receiving money from Fannie and Freddie, it was big news at the New York Times. Don't expect the same scrutiny for this new leader of Obama's "post-partisan" reformation, though.

The news media helped elect Obama; now they have to do their best to keep him popular.

Read more about Emanuel and Obama here and here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Only in Harlem

Says a solitary young man holding a picture of Obama above his head as he walks down Lenox Ave.:

Change! Change! We're gonna change this!
Woman walking by:
We aint gonna change s***!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Late last night

Monday, October 06, 2008

Video Explosion

Election Day 2008 is now officially less than a month away, and both major candidates (and their followers) are on the attack. I've posted below a variety of videos (mostly of the anti-Obama persuasion) that I find especially interesting. Topics range from anti-Obama African American sentiment, the quasi-religious fanaticism of Obama-mania, and the roots of our current economic crisis. The views expressed in these videos are not necessarily my own. Please enjoy, and also, please feel free to enlighten me with your views on our economy. I think it's key to understand where fault lies in order to understand how to to prevent another situation like this from happening. For a rather unexpected analysis of the crisis, check out this article from the Washington Post. What do you think?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let's be honest

Photo by Associated Press

While I am finding this election season to be particularly entertaining, I have to admit that the lying, stretching, distorting, and omitting is really getting to me. John McCain appears to be the worse of the two major candidates on the integrity front, but Obama aint no saint either.

This chart put out by TIME magazine paints a detailed picture of the legions of lies put out so far by both campaigns.

For those who really want to get down to the bottom of things, I recommend for detailed analysis of each and every claim made. While "change" is the mantra of both campaigns this year, so far all I can see is "more of the same."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Attack of the sugar people

Check out my nephew Samuel in this newscast about Utah children creating books for the less-privileged in Peru. The person you don't see in this video is my sister Sasha, who is spearheading the project. Way to go, Sasha!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today was one of those days that made me want my camera so badly I almost decided to shell out the $150 it would cost to fix it.


I woke up early to get a good spot outside the metal barricade protecting the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony downtown. After being moved several times by cops while getting serenaded by a Mennonite choir, the event finally began. I could see it pretty well from my spot, but I was only able to make it halfway through the letter "B" in the reading of the victims before I started to get restless. I wandered over to Trinity Church to sit in quiet for a moment before making my way to a more secluded vantage point where family members were entering the ceremony. I wanted to stay longer but work was calling me. Fortunately Hillary Clinton walked by before my time was up.

After work I made it back downtown just in time to sign one of the steel beams that will be used for the foundation of the new WTC memorial building. It will be a time capsule of sorts. I also got to write a note to be catalogued for access once the memorial opens.

From there I made it to the Staten Island Ferry to see Tribute in Light from the harbor. (This year could be the last for the lights.) Back in Manhattan I couldn't resist finding the source of the giant beams. It turns out they are projected from the rooftop of a parking garage south of the actual WTC site. Who knew? Once back in Harlem, I got on my rooftop to see how well I could see the tribute from afar. It felt much closer than I thought it would.

Today I was able to better process the events of 9/11. I was also able to better imagine what life would be like having the towers back as landmarks. They may be seven years gone now, but for me they've never felt closer.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer Streets

Friday, July 25, 2008

Julieta Venegas @ Central Park Summerstage

My favorite thing about going to Mexican concerts is that I can always see over the crowd. (And what a view it was.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama in the Office

There is a generally-accepted rule in American corporate culture that says not to bring politics into the workplace. Certainly political posters fit into this category of "off limits" material for the office.

But for some reason with Barack Obama things are different. It seems the rule is now politics = bad, Obama = good. A few months ago I was surprised to see the Shepard Fairey-designed Obama "Hope" poster up in an office down the hall from me. And now the cubicle a few spots over is sporting the Obama Rolling Stone magazine cover shot.

This brings our grand total up to two--a number I can only assume will grow as November nears. It's got me curious to know what things are like in other parts of the country. So, how many Obamas in your office?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tragically, my camera stopped working.

Insert photo here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Caption. Caption. Caption. Blah. Blah. Blah.

And here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kid's Television Celebrity Sandwich

Yesterday I had our producer call in Steve Burns do the voice-over talent for an animatic I'm working on. In case you don't know, Steve was the host of the popular kid's show Blue's Clues from 1996-2002. I'm more of a fan of his career as a rock musician though.

As luck would have it, Roscoe Orman was also called in to help out yesterday. Roscoe has played Gordon on Sesame Street since 1972.

I thought I would be the one who was most star-struck. But when Steve realized who Roscoe was, he was more than a little excited himself. It was a priceless moment in kid's TV history.


This weekend I snuck off to Utah to see my family. It'll be a while till we're all together again, seeing as that my brother and sister-in-law are moving to Munich.

Our visit also coincided with a big Lunt family reunion. (That's my grandma's line.)

Family history gets more and more interesting the older I get.

Three Cheers for Stringer!!!

It's no secret that small business is suffering here in Manhattan. So I was elated when I found out that Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer wants to do something about it. Last week I went to his small biz forum where he and a panel answered questions and took suggestions from the locals. It was heartbreaking to hear the stories of many long-time business owners who are struggling to survive in our new "strip-mall city." It's nice to know that someone cares though. First order of business: stop national chains from getting local subsidies here in Manhattan!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Reagan

Franklin Place

Learning to Row with Harlem River Community Rowing

The Moving of Hamilton Grange

In 1802, Alexander Hamilton had this house built in upper Manhattan. He lived there for two years before being killed by Aaron Burr.

Two weeks ago, Hamilton's house was moved for the second time in its 206 year history. I was proud to be in attendance for the event. Read more about it here.

Playing the Building by David Byrne

Music visionary David Byrne has done it again. This time it's an interactive exhibit at the Maritime Building downtown. (I'd walked past this building a while back and tried unsuccessfully to get in, so just having it be open to the public was a treat.)

Once you get to the second floor, you find an old organ with several cords attached, stretching to the farthest regions of the auditorium. As you play the organ, the cords actually use parts of the building to create sound. Pipes whistle and metal clanks--creating an eerie sonic blend. Brilliant.

Outside the event were my friends from the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream company. I met them in line for the Regina Spektor concert months ago before they were open for business. As promised, their truck is now packed full of gourmet ice cream and hitting the streets. I must say, the ice cream is fantastic. The packaging is eco-friendly. And could their ride be any sweeter? Nope.

Congratulations to the Musical of the Year!

The Center of Something by Chris Rubino

Times Square is filled with NYC-centric souvenir shops, but never has there been one quite like this. "The Center of Something" was a two-week exhibit by artist Chris Rubino that sold merchandise highlighting a great irony of our city: that the NYC charm that tourists crave (and that feeds our economy) is actually being destroyed by NYC itself.

This NYC charm I speak of is precisely what Times Square souvenir shops advertise with their trinkets. Yet sadly it is in danger.

How is it in danger? Skyrocketing rents due to out-of-control development. Where luxury and working class once coexisted in Manhattan, the balance has long been thrown out of whack.

This imbalance is seen in Rubino's work. Above we see the storefront, featuring a cockroach contrasted with the stiletto. I'll leave the interpretation to you.

Here we see the ugly new face of the Meatpacking District: a designer purse.

The "neighborhoods" of Manhattan as designated by developers and real-estate agents.

One of the last fries sold by Florent, a 23-year-old diner going out of business next week.

Me with the artist

Birthday Bridge

Last month the Brooklyn Bridge turned 125 years old. They threw lots of festivities for the occasion, like movies in the park and this cool light show. It's not everyday you see the bridge decked out in neon.

The Müllers

Last month my friend Stephan and his family came to visit NYC from Germany. Check out their adorable daughters. We had a great time. I took them to eat at Florent down in the Meatpacking District before it closes it's doors forever. Now that Simon is moving to Germany, maybe it'll be my turn to visit them next over in Frankfurt. I need to learn German.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


One day I found a little art gallery by my office. One of the pieces in it was a giant heart made out of a rusty pipe covered in burning candles of various colors.

A few days later I saw some guys loading the installations into a truck and asked what was going to happen to all that wax. It was my job to save it from the trash.

I think the Saatchi Health + Wellness neon green makes a nice backdrop for these unusual scraps.

Kinda reminds me of when my brother and I melted crayons on the kitchen stove. Our technique wasn't quite so good though.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Tower of Toys 1985-2008

This decrepit piece was one of the first things I fell in love with in New York City. It was a glimpse into the bohemian spirit of the East Village of yesteryear. Last month it was taken down for safety reasons. (You can't tell from the photo, but it looked like it was going to fall over.)

As with most losses to the city, I am saddened by its passing. But hey, at least this time wasn't a victim of condos or Starbucks or anything. In fact, I was told by an insider that the artist himself would have wanted it taken down. Rest in peace my beloved sculpture of trash.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

w/ Erick and Reagan, May 10, 2008

Yes, this is Brooklyn.

Half-Handed Cloud

@ Cake Shop with Adrienne and Christina, May 6, 2008

Freeman Alley

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wanderlust finds me in Queens

If you haven't seen it yet, the new Bjork video for 'Wanderlust' is fantastic. A couple of months ago I got to see the premiere at the Deitch Studios in Queens. The free screening came complete with a gallery full of props from the shoot and sketches from the creative development. The actual video is in 3D, so they handed out glasses for us to watch it. Check out the Times report on the making of the video here. Watch the actual video here.