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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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.