we were fated to pretend

Last Saturday, I strapped a 4.5 foot douglas fir to my backup bike (a 1967 Mercier SS).  Unfortunately I had to walk the bike back, not quite enough space to ride.

Boerum Hill. At least 3-4 cats live in this lot, but they seem to manage to not miss meals.

Erica and Constantine joined Jenn and I for some chicken and orzo over at our place Sunday night, and we managed to burn through a whole, previously-unopened bottle of Jameson over dinner.  Perhaps that’s not as large of a feat as I’m thinking, but it certainly seemed exceptional at the time (and the following morning).

I had nothing to do with this shot, taken of my parents before I was born, but it does happen to be a favorite of mine.  The seventies hairstyles, the composition, colors, crispness, and the general Motorcycle Diaries (2004)-feel seem perfect.

4th Avenue near downtown Brooklyn.

• I did take to trying out a ninja-style balaclava to and from work the other day when the temperature began to dip.  As it turns out, those things are no joke: I actually think they’d enable one to ride a bike around Antarctica even, with how warm they keep one’s face.  However, I’ve got a feeling you’d get arrested for bringing a balaclava anywhere near an airport.

• But speaking of winter riding, someone the other day did say, “life’s too short to not ride what you’ve got,” within the context of riding one’s main, prized steel bicycle throughout the duration of a salted-road winter (as opposed to also possessing a dedicated “ice bike”).  And, while the statement can possibly be immediately dismissed as cliche, I do think it’s the best way to operate, and is arguably more rockstar than trying to be all delicate with your utilitarian items.  Stuff is just stuff, own it.

• My friend (and former classmate) Sharvin got a short writeup in the News & Observer here for a recent job change/promotion.  Big ups on continuing to advance stuff.

• In case you were curious, here’s the full gallery of wedding shots from my friends’ (Kathleen & Tom) celebration a little over a month ago.  The delay is due to the couple finally returning from an island off the coast of India, plus the ordering of prints.

• While unrelated to New York, I doubt Winehouse can make it many more years.  Things aren’t looking so hot these days, and those YouTube clips were several years ago at the point, even.

Pamela and Marta joined Jenn and I to catch Opening Night over at the Harvey, with some crazy, on-stage seating comp tickets I had.  The majority of the audience was in the normal seating area, but we got to sit on a set of seats mixed in with actors, and surprising close to the onstage nudity and such.  The performance was based on John Cassevetes’ film of the same name.  It was a little strange to see a play in Dutch, but subtitles were broadcast in several places.  Afterward, we had a few drinks down the street at Moes.

On Degraw Street, at an area I was told was once a secret spot for rampant prostitution, but has now been significantly cleaned up.

Evidence of the weather turning a little cooler outside. Also, further evidence that littering never went out of style in this town.

kingdom of thailand (part 1)

Outside a car repair shop in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

So I just got in from ten days over in Thailand.  Jenn and I decided to visit my sister who’s been over there since March, and my parents also decided to schedule a trip and have it partially overlap.  Here are some initial general thoughts:

1. Contrary to my previous opinion, just because food is served on an airplane, it’s not automatically “magical.”  Something about being served three different meals while crammed into the same seat starts to lose its charm fast.  I took a picture of nearly every meal I ate during the 10 days, but at the moment it sorta sickens me to look at them, haha.

2. A taxi travelling about 84 miles per hour through dense Bangkok traffic creating it’s own lanes when neccesary is even scarier than it sounds.

3. 7/11s (the convenience store) and motor scooters rule Thailand.  I challenge you to travel anywhere and not see either one every five minutes.  At stoplights in the cities, a large mob of bikes always forms in front of all lanes.

4. Having to negotiate prices with absolutely everything is cute the first twenty times.  Bargaining is exhausting.

5. Spending a year in Thailand is definitely causing my sister to mature fast, she keeps getting smarter and more professional.  Thanks to her for orchestrating everything, and the negotiations for things in Thai, I could barely learn a handful of words.

6. Reconsider street meat.  Back home in NYC, I tend to only trust a handful of Salvadorian and Mexican trucks, but street side food in Thailand is making me reconsider some of my local options.

7. While not Thai, the Mandarin word for “I don’t want any” is incredibly fun to say, especially with the suggested intonation.

8. The woman Dustin Hoffman hooks up with in The Graduate (1967) is super attractive.

9. Hat’s warnings turned out to be very true: far too many middle-aged white guys with hired, super young Thai girls.  Creepy.

10. Don’t use your two year old children to beg naked out on the sidewalk.  It’s 93 degrees in October, and that’s not cool.

Now, let me add though that it’s an amazing place, and is a lot of fun.  I’m not sure why those initial thoughts sound more negative than positive: it was a blast.  Tropical flora and fauna is underrated.

• I’ll upload some more shots soon, a few more from Bangkok, and some from Chiang Mai.  In the meantime, these are from the first few days of the trip: Bangkok and Kanchanaburi.

Bangkok, with two tuk-tuks on the street.


This kid at a roadside restaurant in the middle of nowhere kept wanting to play with my camera.

Kanchanaburi has some hot springs, with a cold river (in the foreground) to cool off.

Walking some tracks near the River Kwai.

My sister lives in fairly modest quarters: she shares an apartment with 5 other people without air conditioning, hot water, phone, internet, or beds.

Ants make quick order of things.  I had never seen ants move as fast as they did.

En route to Bangkok.

here’s to the first thousand

I vote for more than one bike month.

• So it has been a good thousand days. A few years ago, it got off to an action-packed start, with this little quote from Day 2:

“…two of them start beating the dreads guy’s head against a parked car’s door… Blood is running down the faces of at least 3 of the men, several have cuts near their ears that look pretty rough, the dreads guy has blood coming from his nose, perhaps mouth.”

I’ve been debating about it, and I think I may be dropping the “day” nomenclature. At least to see how it feels for a while. We’ll see. In the meantime, here are some recent film scans from an old Canon SureShot 80 I’ve been testing out for a few months.

A concrete factory near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

Timeless Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Maybe one day. Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Spare mountain bike tires. Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Foodstuffs outside of Mama’s Food Shop in the East Village, Manhattan.

• I caught up with Mr. Appalachia, Corey, and Jenn over at that new barbecue place that replaced the old barbecue place (Biscuit BBQ) on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, and the verdict is in: it is somehow equally bland. While the food has more flavor, the lameness of everything being served in Mason jars combined with overpriced meat results in a bland experience.

• I walked to a bodega last night about a block from my apartment for some gatorade and heard no less than three cars rocking the new Lil Wayne album. I mean, I’m certainly not one to hate on him, but it’s no Weezy mixtape. Just saying.

• Also: a goodbye goes out to my dear grandmother. She’ll be missed.

spring green

My cousin Julia has been working in a studio in the Five Points building in Long Island City.

The artists’ spaces are surprisingly locked-down and private, rather than communal.

Most things are green in Central Park now.

Different hairstyle options.

Spring all around.

This one is actually Regent’s Park, London near sunset. Just seemed to fit with the series on urban parks.

No shortage of food on the streets in the East Village. Despite the label, it looks more like beef to me.

• My parents flew in over the weekend, and, with Jenn joining us, we had a chance to finally eat at the Clinton Street Bakery, just a block from my apartment. In addition, I scored some tickets for Cry Baby on Broadway through my office, plus we saw The Visitor for free over at my building as well. Cry Baby has very slick scenery changes and is very fun in general, being in a similar vein as Grease. The majority of the characters had fake tattoos to make them tough. The Visitor is set in the NoHo/West Village area, and ends up becoming a timely piece on immigration laws, in a smart, calm way. It doesn’t point fingers at past events or current administration, but takes the path of a calmer melodrama. Unfortunate title, as about 2.5 horror films per year seemed to share the same name. My parents enjoyed the fact that we had just been walking through most of the areas portrayed in the film.

• I’ve received some emails from people and even a letter from my landlord about a potential water contamination issue. Apparently around 10% of the water at any given moment is from the Croton Reservoir, which has been failing tests for microbial bacteria and stuff (potentially resulting in some not-so-fun symptoms). But, they’ve known about this for years: like in 2003. But then other less-credible sources indicate there’s no issue: 2008. Seemingly, there’s still an argument for some sort of minor filtering via Brita/PUR, etc, at the very least.

• Only a few more days until the famed Five Borough Bike Tour. If you need a registration (they’ve been sold out for a month), a friend of mine has one, for face value, unlike a lot of the scalping in the bicycles section of craigslist.

Upper West Side. Notice how the engine bay is immaculate. Somebody was angry with the owner of this Acura.