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.”

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.

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.

gas, brake, dip, dip


A fish near Lake George, New York.

• Riding home from work the other evening, I saw a guy selling ice cream from a reclaimed and converted wheelchair. He had some sort of cardboard coverings over the larger front wheels, and had fashioned a large cooler into the main chair part of it, as if people weren’t going to notice it’s former wheelchair qualities.

• Also food-related, the owner of the Park Slope-based, Willy’s Dawgs, was telling me about the tattoo he plans to get when his shop hits it’s two year anniversary in a month or so.  I’ve become partial to the make-your-own over the recommended specials.  Also, beware of biting insects in the back patio during the summer.  Great food (and of course they have that carrot dog thing too).


Don’t let them tell you otherwise: Rich can grill some mean hamburgers.


We made use of a bar we found in an empty country club building that we gently let ourselves into for exploring purposes, late in the evening.  From left to right: Emily, Jen, Jenn, and Rich.


To be honest: I have no idea why there were heads on plaques.


Yep.

Lake George, New York. Jenn and I took the Amtrak up to Albany, NY this past weekend to hang with our friends Jen and Rich (plus Emily and Erin), who invited us up to hang out at a lake house up on Lake George (an hour out of town) that they were in the process of selling.  While the water was beautiful and inviting (they had floating, anchored platforms for swimmers and such), the swimming was maybe overshadowed a little bit for me by the amount of intriguing, abandoned “family fun” parks and defunct, low-budget theme parks that were sprinked in the woods around the dense, touristy area.  Turns out, they even have a tiki-themed hotel and surprisingly-still-operating, ridiculously spooky children’s theme park called “Magic Forest” (suprisingly, i learned that Clara has wandered through it).  We explored Action Park, and noted the weirdness of a handful of others.  Other highlights included: seeing Albany’s downtown area, the large and slightly-dated New York Museum, Albany’s Egg venue, grilling hamburgers while a large amount of fireworks exploded over the lake, the lake water feeling super clean while swimming, an all-American breakfast at The Lone Bull on Lakeshore Drive.  When Rich was kind enough to let me borrow his car for a day, you better believe Weezy had the Albany airwaves on lock.  I’m telling you: it’s oddly unifying (and yes, I did hear those rumors about a biographical film coming out).


Action Park in Lake George, NY.  It hasn’t seen much action (aside from amateur graffiti) in the past few years.


I didn’t have quite enough time to let myself into the main Opera House.


Some of the other buildings, though, seemed to have some salvageable materials.

My cousin, Paul, demostrates how to achieve Ambrel’s aesthetic with stellar ease.  My brother, Clay, is seen on the right in the shot.  Check out all the rest of the shots from the extended weekend at the beach here.

• Emerald Isle down in North Carolina has been a good annual escape for the past few years with my mother’s side of the family, to get away from work for a few days.  Jenn and I went down to a rental cottage they had for a week to find a large assortment of bikes (my brother’s collection, one of Paul’s, and a handful of others).  We did a thirty mile ride on cruisers (a Schwinn cruiser, and an old British-made Royal) while Clay and Paul rode fixed (Bianchi Pista and Surly Steamroller), and my father joined in on a Trek road bike.

• One thing I love about New York in the summer: the way that little weeds and grasses grow up between all of the cracks in the most desolate of areas, and pepper the asphalt and concrete landscape with some green.

• Happy birthday the other week to my boy Val in Boston.

Jenn and I met up with B.Davis and Sylvia to watch the 4th of July fireworks from the Empire-Fulton State Park area (in Dumbo, between the two bridges on the waterfront) with Sylvia being kind enough to bring beer.  The next day, Jenn and I went over to Esperanto on Ave C for brunch.  Reasonably priced and good bloody marys.


I’ve been riding this thing around as much as possible.  Next step: cut the steerer down to get rid of some of those spacers near the stem.  Thanks to Clay for the black risers.

• The bike arrived last week.  I couldn’t be happier about the fit and the fun involved while riding it.  Thanks to Jeff over at Continuum for some wheel-truing and brake assistance.  This past Friday night, after doing a few laps at Prospect Park (and then picking up burritos at Uncle Moe’s), I caught the free Brazillian Girls performance in the park.  We weren’t close enough to get a great look at the lead singer, but the sound quality was pretty good.

• “My junk is janky.”

an 8-foot replica


Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.


Jenn apparently agreed to be photographed for public advertising several years ago, and The Opera Singer turns thirty-four.


Big Joseph and James make it out to the East Williamsburg loft.

Persepolis (directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi) is a French film set in 1980’s Iran, and is based on a series of graphic novels of the same name. It’s animated, and largely black and white, and some of the richest, most organic animation I’ve seen (well, aside from Miyazaki masterpieces, and a few early 1960’s Disney films). As with Richard Linklater’s Waking Life (2001), it probably deserves two watches, largely because it replaces Waking Life’s over-the-top monologues on cultural theory with intense, lucid, political strife, and, unless you’re fluent in French, you may miss some of the subtleties within the delicate transitions while scanning the subtitles. It’s currently playing at BAM over in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. (also, I caught Loves of a Blonde, a 1960’s Czech film by Milos Foreman, with some coworkers. Definitely felt influenced by the French New Wave).

• On the subject of northern Brooklyn, I highly recommend dining at the Roebling Tea Room in Williamsburg (yes, they rock Cuba, that Andy Heymann used to rep in like 2004). While the food isn’t the cheapest (entrees mainly in the $16-22 dollar range, as opposed to $9-14), it’s well worth it. The baked brie appetizer arrives boiling, and with a tiny salad drizzled in honey, and the half chicken has a large side of mashed potatoes. Also, the “diver’s scallops” can go well with either a draught Kronenbourg or a house white.

• You may have already caught it, but Cadence Weapon performed “Sharks” with Final Fantasy providing an incredible version of the beat. I can’t stop listening to it. Hit up Hype Machine for the track, or drop me a line and I’ll send it over. A great fusion of danceable hip hop with indie rock.

Peter Dinklage (Station Agent (2003)) was in front of me in line at lunch today at Big Dirty’s favorite, The Gracefully.

• Cheers to the intermediate days here and there where its warm enough to bike around without gloves and such. I’ll drink to that tonight. And to Brian and Rachel’s new engagement. And to my buddy Val’s recent promotion. Nice one, chief.