dyno with the black mags


A few months ago Taschen decided to re-release some books as a celebration of their anniversary of something or other.  Having been priced out of owning a first edition, I was able to snag this reprint of Terryworld from Spoonbill and Sugartown for super cheap ($20!).  Very great staff and selection over there, and of course, big ups to T-Bone.


I had never heard of this complex “brining” process.


So Jenn and I hosted a few friends for a hearty Thanksgiving at our South Slope headquarters.  I’ll give you a rundown of the food, counterclockwise from left: 11.5 lb turkey (prepared by Jenn and I), vegan sweet potato casserole (prepared by Big Joseph), more turkey, fresh veggies with hummus and homemade pesto dip (prepared by Sarah), rolls (purchased by Big Joseph and James), regular mashed potatoes (prepared by the group), vegan mashed potatoes (prepared by the group), two kinds of canned cranberries, gravy (prepared by Jenn), and boiled spinach with garlic (prepared by Jenn).  Not pictured: pumpkin pie cookies (prepared by Sarah), cider and rum (prepared by Jenn and I).


Jenn (right) and I (left) like to ride that bike path near Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.


Sometimes you can’t go for a ride without seeing tons of dead rats.

• It this moment of cycling in the fall/early winter, 50 degrees seems super warm, 40 seems normal, and below 40 requires gloves.  In another month or so, the thresholds may have to be adjusted down.

• So I was initially very disappointed when that bar, Safe Haven, opened up in the old Barbeque spot here in South Slope. However, upon going in there a few more times recently, Jenn and I determined that it may be just the local spot that everyone needs afterall.  The owner Patrick and his business partner, Noel, seem to be doing everything right so far: having a small and excellent (plus affordable) food menu, stocking solid standards on tap and some obscure bottled malt liquor options, handing out free shots to the locals, getting our input on their in-progress photo montage installations, remembering our (and others’) names, and planning for a live music stage area.  By all means support this local business.  A good (but not over the top) rock and roll vibe in there, located on 6th Ave and 20th street.

• Last week, Jenn and I met up with Jesse & Jessee to utilize some free tickets to a Cirque Mechanics show on Broadway, then over to a late dinner at Café Maison (a decent French place in a permanent tent structure near Times Square).  While the show was geared toward a young audience, the acrobatics were still engaging enough for all to enjoy (especially a massive trampoline and tall rope tricks, to name a few).

• Last night, my office rented out Southpaw (that music venue on 5th Ave in Park Slope that used to have slightly better booking) for their annual holiday party.  In open bar settings, as long as you can stay slightly more composed than a handful of other coworkers, you’re in the clear.  Even sipping on gin and tonic number eight.  Speaking of my office, I’ve been running into Ethan Hawke a lot in the elevator and in the hallways, and the man does not seem to age.


The Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island.


“100% Weight Lost or Gain.”

kingdom of thailand (part 2)

• There are portraits of the king and queen everywhere in the country.  The king looks kind and smart, the queen on the other hand, well, nevermind, let’s change the subject.

• I thought I had felt heat that 4th of July a few years ago playing basketball on hot asphalt in Atlanta, but Bangkok, even in October, is in the 90s.  And it’s super humid.

• Thailand felt safe the entire time.  No pickpocket attempts, no weird late-night run-ins, nothing but smiles for the most part.  The two issues with relocating permanently might be the language barrier and the job availabilities in the creative realm.  But that’s certainly not a completely prohibitive scenario.

• In terms of the world economy, surprisingly the dollar has been sharply getting stronger against British Sterling (£) and the Euro (€), but not making any headway against the Japanese Yen.  The Thai Baht stayed at about 34:1 against the dollar during our trip.


Wat Jedee Luang in Chiang Mai.


Fishing in the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.


My sister in Chiang Mai.  Sometimes when we went places, her mohawk/fauxhawk was a conversation starter.


Bangkok.  I really like the way some things are sorta left to decay seemingly because there’s just not a lot of effort and energy put into fixing things that don’t really require use.  Also, it seems like you could leave a bicycle against a tree somewhere and come back in a few weeks to retrieve it.  It’s a far cry from the need to throw a bodega lock on anything for even a 20 second bathroom stop in a park in NYC.


Sometimes you have to eat like a king.  That’s lobster on the left.  That’s my sister and Jenn in the top of the frame.  Chinatown in Bangkok.


There’s probably a healthy and unhealthy number of dead animal photos one can possess.


Dogs like this one were everywhere.  Some were in pretty rough shape.  It was sad at times.  But there were also many dogs that were cared for as pets.  People didn’t seem to neglect these guys completely, but it did look like they lived a tough life.


No derailleurs allowed in Thailand, it seems.

• In addition, here are a few more shots.  If you’d like larger versions of anything, as usual, drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do.

personal mausoleums


I can’t seem to emphasize it enough: riding a bicycle unlocks so many new neighborhoods. Though yes, urban exploration easier in October than February. This trainyard is down in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The misting rain at moments only made the afternoon even more enjoyable.

• I’ve been discussing the current economic freefall situation with Republican Rob and some others recently. According to his advice, it’d be best to take inventory of your possessions and get ready for things to get real out there.


Green-wood Cemetery. I’ve actually been to a lot of cemeteries this year, though on rather somber terms. This one is rather ornate in places (though cannot hold a candle to some South American beauties). I live beside this 478-acre giant spread in the middle of Brooklyn. The photo to the left shows the entrance on 24th St. and 5th Avenue in Sunset Park where many bright green parrots have made large nests in the spires. I’m not positive where the flock came from, but they have permanent residence, and make a lot of noise during the daylight hours. The photo on the right shows one of the older, personal mausoleums, a little deeper inside. I was surprised to find out the hyphen does exist in the official landmark’s name.


The extravagant (see: decadent) homes Shane and I passed on the Escape New York Bike Tour the other week were shocking, just outside of the city. The home pictured here was one of the few without a large perimeter wall and electronic gates.


Another film shot (on the left) from the half century. On the right, I’ve maxed out my bag again, this time with a 30-pack case of high life. (I suppose this is possibly also a shoutout to the van runs up to the Bridgewater IGA in the 1990s.) I may have to get some strap extensions for grocery runs.

Jenn and I met up with Mike & Elizabeth Mararian one last time before they relocate up to a Victorian/turn-of-the-century house up in Buffalo, NY.  We first went to The Hideout in Fort Greene for some Absinthe, then over to a great, newish Italian place on Myrtle in Clinton Hill (I’ll have to get back to you on the name).


Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

danger falling bricks


South Slope, Brooklyn.

• Speaking of South Slope, if you’re in a 25-block radius or so of 26th Street and 3rd Avenue, I’d highly recommend riding your bike to Rossman Farms .  I was shocked initially the other week when I filled a basket with produce and assorted prepackaged items and the total was a mere $15.  In several return trips, I can’t seem to get the total over $22 (though my physical limit is what I can carry on my bike).  I mean, limes were 12 for $.99 last night.  Oh, and the junk is 24 hours .  Alright, that’s all, just wanted to put it out there once.


Roosevelt Island tram, on 59th Street in Manhattan.

• I rode my first official Half Century two weekends back, through the NYCC’s Escape New York .  Shane rode with me, up from Sakura Park in Harlem across the George Washington Bridge, up 9W in New Jersey to Piermont Pier, in New York on the Hudson.  After I fixed another flat (I’m not sure what to say about multiple staples being in my tires in the past few weeks), the route headed back through some stunningly decadent homes set into super steep terrain (specifically Church St. and Walnut St. beat us into submission).  But regardless, it felt good to be able to say I did 65 miles fixed, at the end of the day.  I still have yet to get the photos processed from the voyage, but hopefully soon.


South Slope, Brooklyn.


A livery cab.  I feel like NYC possesses 96% of America’s black Lincoln Town Cars and Crown Victorias.

• Happy birthday to my father last week.  Things seem to be on the up-and-up in North Carolina from what I gather.

• Thanks to D.LISH and B.Davis for continuing to host great italian feasts over in Greenpoint (now relocated from Bed-Stuy: Do or Die).


There are blocks and blocks of unmarked factories and warehouse complexes.  A security car followed me for a while around this area.  Many, many stray cats.


While the R train might be the most 1980s due to the fake wood grain, I do think they did something right with the wallpaper pattern.  It’s the NY state seal in positive and negative, effectively rocking the “all over print” before the junk was even in style.

• This past Saturday night, the party I’d been helping with (identity, print and digital promotions, printed collateral, etc) seemed to be a big hit.  TAKEOVER was this past Saturday night at BAM from 9PM until 4AM.  Brad (crashing with us, in from Seattle), Marta, Moses, Jenn, and I ate ceviche over at Coco Roco before meeting up with B.Nasty and some others for the event.  The two highlights for me were: when Sufjan Stevens came on stage to perform a cover of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” with St. Vincent, and when The Warriors (1979) started playing at 2:25AM, and the overflowing crowd, beer in hand, was cheering at the on-screen NYC gangs.

• Lots of drinking lately, with some time over at Lakeside Lounge in the East Village and some time at Metropolitan in Williamsburg, plus some standard entertaining in one’s apartment.


Brad visited from Seattle for the past four days. Jen and Rich were also in from Asheville, NC for a while too.

thiscity turns three


Moses is an excellent host over in Red Hook.  We’re all jealous of his backyard.  That’s Cory and Holly’s tent on the right side.  Moses’ neighbor brought out some additional food to add to the barbequed chicken, roasted tomatoes, pineapple, garlic, mushrooms, and sweet corn.  The prior course was french bread with parmigiano-reggiano and balsamic vinegar-based greens.  Lastly joined by homemade cookies.  Certainly a cemetary meal is long overdue already.


Thanks to Tod for the heads-up about the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea (plus props on the successful photography opening the other night at the Heist Gallery).  The Switchback group put on a series of performances over the past few days at the Deitch Gallery space, in Long Island City, to provide a capstone for living on these homemade rafts/boats over the past few months.  Jeff Stark (the host of some Bluestockings events) was part of it as well, plus some Black Label representation.  The sheer beauty of the ships interconnected with planks and ropes during the performance was kinda breathtaking.  Very memorable.


Swoon’s work (on the left) was accompanied by Dark, Dark, Dark‘s ghostly melodies (accordion, banjo, and other timeless instruments).  Not to oversimplify, but they sound similar to The Decemberists (similar instruments and songwriting) but perhaps with a little more youthful naivety (amidst faux-nostalgia) than Colin Meloy’s more-aged cynicism.  Check out a track called “Junk Bones” if you get a chance.


Due to rain, Ed Zipco‘s Chief Mag party started off in a loading garage, but was eventually relocated to the warehouse rooftop, as scheduled.  I spoke to Ed and also to Elizabeth Weinberg super briefly, but they both seemed very nice.  Jenn and I are all for free, BYOB events.


So, thiscityi$mine turns three years old today.  This is a shot from a trip Big Joseph and I took down to Staten Island back in 2005.


Marta and her roommates were nice enough to offer up another brunch feast out in Bushwick.  As Welles (not pictured) mentioned, the table is certainly “boardroom size.”  And speaking of Brooklyn brunches, thanks to D.Lish and B.Davis for the great food and tour of the new Greenpoint place as well, the previous day.  We’re evenly distributing the crew through the neighborhoods.

• Also, Jenn and I helped Nick and Sarah and some other people make some background props for Nick’s upcoming film, to be partly shot in a school out on Long Island.  They’re currently living over in Astoria, Queens, until Nick takes off for out west, and Sarah goes over to Japan for a while.


Sometimes night rides are the best.

to the south side


Red Hook, Brooklyn has some strange tropical moments.

• A few weeks ago, my cousin Paul was in town, so Jenn and I met up with he and two of his friends, Jane and Chrissy, to hang at Prospect Park, then Soda Bar over in Prospect Heights (good atmosphere, bad service) and then across the street to Zaytoons (great food and service, some of the best Mediterranean food in BK).

• Also a few weeks ago, I ended up meeting some friends of Mike Morarian’s at Katja’s going away party at the grossly-fratty, Spitzer’s, in my old neighborhood (the Lower), named Steve and Dave.  We also checked out one of those dark, soul bars, and eventually wound up at the Parkside Lounge.  Good times.


“Better red than dead.”


Earlier this year, upstate, NY.


I ended up getting some Mavic CXP22’s laced to Formula 32H hubs on my bike. While they look pretty similar to the stock wheels, they’re considered the strongest in their class.


South Slope/Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I moved a week and a half ago, and we’ve been getting adjusted to the new neighborhood daily.  A big “thanks” goes out to D.Lish and Moses for aiding in the U-Haul move.  Very cool.

Jenn and I ended up running into F.Trainer over near the cemetery the other evening, and he had positive things to say about the area.  He’s always doing good things (ie: the 1058 post).

• The Escape New York ride is right around the corner (Sept 20), but there’s still time to register.  Could be good.

fish jerky


A mysterious package arrives.


A variety of seafood-flavored items explode out — a little preview of late October, courtesy of my sister, Hillary, who’s living in Thailand.  Everything, except for some of the cuttlefish jerky, was consumed within the first 24 hours.  Don’t sleep on the shrimp chips and hot sauce combo (or squid-flavored peas, or even beer pretzels, good times).

• Happy birthday to Pam this past weekend.  Johnny Juice, Marta, Chris Griggs, Lou, Jenn, and I celebrated over drinks and mexican corn.  Not just any corn, this crap is phenomenal.  It’s grilled with mayonaise, kojita cheese, cayanne pepper, and lime juice.  $2 at Habana Outpost.

• The next day, Jenn and I met up with Steve Nghe, Will Hall, Frank, and a few others for a painful (location-wise) Midtown Dallas BBQ experience.  Good to see everyone, but no way it’s going to happen again in the center of all that is Midtown.

• On Sunday, Jenn and I met up with Marta and Pam again in the main fields of Prospect Park. Luckily, this was before my rear hub spontaneously stripped on my bike, hopefully we’ll be back in business within a day or two.


Albany, NY.


100% custom Schwinn in Midtown.

• A quick work-related mention: one of the largest projects I’ve worked on has reached fruition (last Thursday): bam.org.  Represent BK.

All quiet on the southern front.

defend brooklyn


A stray cat hangs out in the lot that might unfortunately become the prohibitively-expensive Whole Foods near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

Speaking of being eco-friendly, Jenn and I made it out to the monthly Brooklyn Critical Mass, at Grand Army Plaza on Friday.  It was decidedly higher profile than normal, with the widely-publicized police brutality at last Friday’s Manhattan ride.  The entire, enjoyable 2.5 hour police-escorted cruise through Park Slope, Dumbo, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed Stuy, Bushwick, and some other remote neighborhoods went successfully, without tickets or much police harassment.  The vast majority of onlookers cheered and waves, though a handful of drivers and pedestrians shouted some funny things: “I thought the Olympics was in China!  Yall is the Special Olympics!” and, “Are you the Bike Squad?”, “There goes the Gay Marathon!” plus, “Communist bastards!” Haha, near a bar, some guy walked out with his beer and asked “What are you riding for?” and someone responded “Yes!  What are you drinking for?”  We met a few nice fellow cyclists, including some people active with TimesUp and a Dyker Heights guy on a black and white Langster named Mike (who reminded us of a younger and slightly more Brooklyn Mike Morarian).  Great fun, check it out next month.

• This past Tuesday I made it out to a small group ride for some training laps at Prospect ParkHenri, Lewis, and (damn, drawing a blank now on the other name), were super nice, and very fast.  I’ve got a little ways to go before I can power through that many laps at a decent clip again.

• Speaking of keeping active, in very unfortunate news, my super-active British uncle, Peter, died unexpectedly the other week.  He was a well-respected physician and marathon runner based out of Richmond, Virgina.  He’ll be missed.


Under-appreciated South Slope, Brooklyn.

• So as of August 1, I officially became a Brooklyn resident. I’m living out of a suitcase on 9th street in Park Slope until I move into South Slope (on 23rd St) on September 1st.  But no, to get “BROOKLYN” on one’s knuckles is certainly more than a little preemptive.  Though, I did get this on my left arm a little over a month ago (though it’s a homage to a small place in South Carolina, not the NYC area):


Carroll Gardens side of the Gowanus Canal.

• The new Five Guys Burgers & Fries on 7th Ave in Park Slope does cook great burgers.  The normal ones are double patties, and the smalls are single patties.  Their interior space and identity do seem to be a laziness-driven cop-out, but the food is certainly worth checking out once or twice a month (though, go easy on the arteries).

• Last night Jenn and I caught I’ll Come Running (2008) as part of the Rooftop Films series over at the American Can Factory on 3rd Street.  The passion-into-freak-accident plot reminded me a lot of the poorly-named Japanese Story (2003).  A 2-person band called “Bell” opened for the film, and drew upon Bjork inspiration to layer vocals, keyboard, and electronic drums, sounding like a cuter and decidedly less catchy version of Cassettes Won’t Listen.


Defend Brooklyn.

• Thanks to Jason & Kirby for throwing a good, old-fashioned cookout in the backyard of their 8th Street apartment, in the heart of the Park Slope brownstones.  Filled with many of their triathlon friends and coworkers.


Remnants of an alleyway pool party in the Lower while I was moving out.