DoomsDay vs SwayzeDay

With the economy in a total 1929-style meltdown (even Wamu’s ‘woohooo’ cries are falling on deaf ears), Sarah “I Shoot Moose” Palin poised to snowmobile herself into the White House despite being a totally ignorant book-burning creationist psycho, and Galveston residents left to wrestle packs of wild dogs in pools of their own sewage, I was feeling particularly gloomy this morning with the national outlook. Then I accidentally opened this picture on my desktop, sent to me by my friend Amanda last week with a simple “Happy Friday” message attached.

And I instantly knew that we’d all be ok.

Happy Tuesday!


Sun, Gulls, Crabfest

I played hooky yesterday and took the Saturn chariot down to Rockaway Beach with my friend Chris. I highly recommend doing this if you get the chance before summer ends. I spent many a childhood day there, shoving tiny fistfuls of sand into my mouth as a baby and nervously taking on the ‘giant waves’ and deadly rip currents as a little girl. (I have pretty vivid memories of being repeatedly slammed and dragged through shell shards while attempting to bodysurf.)

Aside from the three pruned old-timers doing laps (one called us cowards, or ‘cowaads’ in Queens-speak, for not swimming) and some brawny guy doing push-ups on his beach chair, it was just us and a thousand nosy seagulls. Like this little guy below, who planted himself by our towels, eyed up our sleeve of Ritz crackers and slowly inched his way closer each time we turned our backs.

Yeah, we see you. Jerko.

In keeping with the ocean/beach theme, friends and I had reservations that night at Back Forty for their weekly blue crab boil, where they sit you down at communal tables covered in newspaper, hand you little wooden mallets and literally dump giant trays of crabs onto your laps. Our waiter offered us a proper-method tutorial when we all started wildly smacking the shell tops like idiots. Then we set to work inhaling crab. I was completely overwhelmed for a few minutes and totally covered in a thick paste of brownish, wet crab/spice residue, but the dim lighting and jovial crowd kind of helped me forget that I was de-shelling and sucking on fifty dead crustaceans.

Messy, intense and sort of exhausting – but deliciously so.

If any of the following quotes kind of gross you out, maybe avoid this place. Otherwise, go for it.

“ahhh! you just sprayed crab juice directly into my eye”
“just scrape out the lungs i think they’re poisonous”
“suck on the leg, there’s good stuff in there”
“shit i think i just ate lung”
“shit i think i just ate intestine”
“i dare you to scoop out…wait, are those brains?
“you have yellowy mushy stuff on your lip. guts…it looks like guts.”

Bon Appetit!

art & design, nights

Octopi & Gold Bars

We tried to get into this opening on Thursday night to support a few friends involved with the project, but were met by a ridiculously long line that wasn’t moving and a sweaty, sardined interior. LOTS of loud skate kids and the ladies who love them though.

Dejected, I followed friends to GoldBar. Now, I’m waaaay too lazy & ignorant to make a full effort to end up at places like this, but with a friend of a friend waitressing inside, we got past the apparently psycho door girl (people seriously loathe this lady, some reviews are pretty hilarious) and settled in for a few rounds of free drinks. Creepy gold skulls, bar prices that made me feel like a common pauper and crappy music abounded. My favorite pieces of overstated decor were the ironic, baroque-y oil portraits hanging about. (I got yelled at for taking this photo.)

Jess was convinced they had something to do with Adam Wallacavage, but upon further investigation…in fact, did not. This did lead me to explore more of Adam’s work and sites (there are a few). A Philly-based photographer, sculptor and all-around curator of the weird and the fringe, his photos cover everything from skate and art culture (Jim Houser, Steve Powers, Mark Gonzales and Ryan Dunn make appearances) to music documentary (Ween, Slayer and a sick picture of Andrew WK among the best) to random odd shots of melted baby doll faces, mullet-ed bystanders and flea market misfits.

Just missed him and his insane octopus chandeliers this summer at the Jonathan Levine gallery, but hopefully he’ll be back with another ornamental oceanic art explosion sometime very soon.

art & design

Sneaker Monster Letters

Alex Trochut is a graphic designer from Barcelona who has some awesome type illustration up on his portfolio site. Check out his page if you have some extra time and want to feel really shitty about your artistic abilities, cause that’s what I do. When I was little I wanted to be an architect, professional basketball player, re-enactment actor or a graphic designer. Now I help make spam. Ahhh, c’est la vie.

He’s done work for huge Clients like Nike and Budweiser & cover design for Beautiful Decay, but some of my favorites are from smaller or personal projects:

Also, check out the work of Jethro Haynes for some equally cool illustration work. Plus he does these miniature, apocalyptic sneaker sculptures with crazy monsters wreaking havoc. I want to live in them.


Vivian Girls @ Death by Audio

Last night I walked over to the smoky art den Death by Audio to check out the Vivian Girls, the much-blogged-about and much-loved NYC trio who’s singles I’ve been a little obsessed with the past few months. With spooky, echoing girl harmonies, meaty basslines and simple, driving backbeats, they’ve definitely got the whole low-fi pop-punk thing working in their favor.

Comparisons are all over the map, from bands like Black Tambourine and the Vaselines (pretty apt) to the Shangri-Las and JAMC (stretches I think). To me they’re like a stripped down, lazier version of a more mature band like Electrelane or even the Breeders, which may offend the die-hard Deal fans out there, but oh well. Bottom line is that no current act is doing what the Vivian Girls are doing. The warm, noisy sound wave the ladies rolled out more than lived up to the hype and would soak out the stiffest of cynics.

Vivian Girls: Tell the World

Electrelane: On Parade

Before the good stuff began, we had to bear witness to the painful rap-prance posturing of Hawnay Troof, the spazzy by-product of way too many alternative art classes. Imagine if Dan Deacon, Beck, Har Mar Superstar and the Beastie Boys took a bunch of methamphetamines and had sex with JD Samson. Orgy-style. The resulting spawn would be Hawnay Troof. And the kids were loving him.

But don’t take my word for it when there’s video:

the streets

Soggy Stromboli

I was eating a salad on 51st and Park yesterday when I noticed more than the usual lunchtime puff of smoke wafting from the nearby pizza truck. Turns out Jianettos Pizza & Catering cart was ablaze! Midtown bystanders looked on with their classic “wow that looks bad, hope someone does something” poses.

Fortunately NYC’s finest arrived in moments and set to work drenching and smashing the shit out of the cart.

Here, they pause for a meatball sub order.

I was genuinely impressed with the response time, considering all the recent hubbub over the FDNY letting things like this go down. Fallen grannies verses burning pizza wagon?

Pizza wagon wins.