Archive for the ‘photography’ category

Xmas in NYC

December 7, 2008

I wanted to start taking more pics for the blog, and being that I work across the street from Rockefeller Center, I thought that would be a good place to start.   I figured my friends who live abroad would appreciate some pics of the city, so they can see what’s going on around here… so after a long day at work on Friday, I braved the freezing F-ing cold and the massive swarms of annoying tourists and took a few shots of the Xmas decor… strangely enough, despite my frost bitten hands, it was actually pretty fun.

When you live in NYC, there’s so much going on, you’re always kind of a tourist anyway.

Might as well play the part and enjoy it.

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Turkey Pics

December 2, 2008

Small sample of pics from my trip to Turkey in October, 2008.

 

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Between the hair and scruff, this dude is the mold of the young Turk.

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Sunset in Istanbul, from the top of the Galata Tower.

Cappadochia Mountains                                                               A Valley in Goreme, Cappadochia.  Called “mushroom shaped” by the conservative locals.  Called “cock valley” by the not so conservative tourists.

turkish viagra                                          These were all over Istanbul..I gotta go buy me some apricots…

turkish kids                                              Street scene from Balat in Old Istanbul.

ortakoy mosque                                                                                    The overlooked and beautiful Ortakoy Mosque.

aya sophia                                            Cats are everywhere in Istanbul…this  one is appreciating the Hagia Sophia.

basilica cistern                                             View from inside Basilica Cistern.

166-1                                           View of Goreme Village in Cappadochia.  The pillars are made out of compressed and eroded volcanic ashe.

dscf0486-1                                        Vendor selling dolls in the village of Derinkuyu, Cappadochia.

dscf0877                                                               Not sure if this in Ephesus, or in NYC’s Chinatown.  Hard to tell.

A green gift for my new nephew

June 25, 2008

My new nephew, born Saturday.  I’m proud to say that he doesn’t resemble an alien as much as most newborns usually do.

But in a polluted world, he may come to resemble one.  He might breathe in too many exhaust fumes and his two eyes could merge into one big eye in the middle of his forehead.  I think that happened to some kid in Azerbaijan last year, or some other place youve never heard of.  A cyclops baby would have a hard life.  What if he needed glasses? He’d have to strap a monocle to his head.  I dont think his insurance would cover that.  And what if he walks by a cute girl and winks at her? He’d walk into the pole he didn’t see while his eye was closed.  He would be laughed at, mocked, driven to seclusion, and write a book no one would read.

                                                Im keeping an eye on my nephew’s future.

Seriously though, I can’t help but think of him now while I read the news…I wonder what the world is gonna be like for him when is an adult.  It scares me a little. But then I remember that the world he will live in will be the world that WE have created for him, the world that we are creating right now.  What more motivation can we ask for in order to start taking care of our planet…and of each other?

I’ll offer a tip for those of you who need help getting the ball rolling: consume less.  It’s so freaking easy to do.  Buy a sturdy water bottle that you can refill with your own filtered water. That simple task can save you hundreds of dollars a year by avoiding bottled water costs; eliminates the need to dispose of the bottles; decreases the demand for goods in plastic bottles which in turn saves millions of barrels of oil that are used to make all that plastic, increasing the supply and driving down costs so you also save at the pump; decreases our consumption of declining fresh water resources (at least in some cases, because many brands of bottled water get their product from the same sources at public tap water); and makes our world a lot cleaner. 

Of course my brother would not want you to read this… he keeps telling me about the yuppies who come into his store and buy bottles of Fiji water for $4 a pop.  You guys are making him a rich dude. 

But the fact is, in effect,  the real cost is much greater.  I hope it’s worth it to you.

INTERNATIONAL PILLOW FIGHT — NYC!!!

March 24, 2008

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The good thing about boredom is that it inspires people to think of amazing ways to conquer it, and some of those ways are so cool that they catch on and become formidable weapons in the anti-boredom crusade that all the masses can employ and enjoy.  Example No. 1: this blog.  Example No. 2: International Pillow Fight Day.  Legend has it that one day, long ago, two young Canadians were bummed and bored because there were no hockey games on and the Cavs had just blew out the Raptors and the Blue Jays were well on their way to another third place finish in the AL East again, and so they decided that people needed to get together and do fun stuff more often, and just like that, Pillow Fight Day was created and spread like wildfire.  OK it may not have happened exactly like that, but it is as reasonable an explanation as any… you truth-seekers out there can just click the link above for the real story.  Anyway, I heard about it last minute, and at first I thought it’d be stupid, but then I got off my high-horse and realized it could be good fun. 

 And it was, God it was.  I got off the train at Union Square on Saturday and could see the feathers falling through the open grates on the subway ceiling…when I got out onto the streets the feathers were flying everywhere.  The crown of pillow gladiators was tightly packed and amazingly diverse: young and old [ok, more young], and it was true to it’s international creed, as evidenced by the different  languages in which people were shrieking and cursing….I vaguely remember how to say “I’m gonna rip your head off with my Sponge Bob pillow you filthy whore!” in German.   It was great because although navigating was difficult in the heart of the throng, nobody was really trying to hurt anyone else.  Most people were hitting people they knew hard but stuck to playful hits with strangers.  I did see a pair of broken glasses on the floor, but whoever brought those to a pillow fight wasn’t that bright anyway.  There were also a few pillow wielding psychos, of course, but they gravitated to each other seeking real competition amongst their fellow loose-canons.

Seeking a thrill of my own, I jumped into a heated battle with one of the crazies, and after fighting him off, the jam packed crowd seemed to disperse slightly around me…and when I turned around, I noticed a huge Ruben Studdard-on-crack lookin mothafucka lumbering towards me with a giant down sack in his hand.  As if in slow motion, he raised his pillow high in the air, preparing to bash my head in.  But I was one step ahead.  As he lowered his pillow toward me, I unleashed a mighty two-handed uppercut with my pillow that caught his sack by the tail, near his hands, sending his weapon into the air.  In the same motion, I swung my pillow around my head and clocked him in the face, thrusting him back to drown in the sea of bodies that would engulf him.  I was about to grab his shirt and pull him back to get him in position for me to unleash my patented roundhouse kick, but I decided to be merciful. Triumphant, I turned to walk back to my camera wielding compadre, only to be pummeled from the side by a gang of Japanese chicks.  That was the end of my adventure.

I took this short video below from the NYC fight..much more on youtube.

img_0191.jpgThis chick decided to fight the power by attacking a coach bus..and the Asian lady who’s trying to learn English.

img_0179.jpg this poor sap got clobbered

Aside from the fact that it really gets the blood flowin and blows off steam,  I really loved the concept behind the event: reclaiming public space.  People don’t use the public space that is provided nearly as much as they should or could, and most do so only when their is some sponsored event they can mooch off of.  Public means it’s ours.  We should be using it more often to do fun stuff, even it’s throwing around a football, having a picnic,  getting a tan or reading a book or…whatever. Something.  It doesn’t take a ton of organization, just a little motivation.  Kudos to those two Canadian dudes for reminding us of that.

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BILLARY EXPOSED!

March 17, 2008

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I swear this is how Billary looked during her last press conference I asked her if she was trying to brainwash everyone into thinking she was human when she was really the devil’s wife and she said “yer darn tootin i is” in the fake southern accent she mysteriously picks up when she’s campaigning in southern states and then I told her to reveal herself and then she morphed into her true self and i turned and looked at the other reporters and was like WTF why arent you taking pictures of the devil woman and they didnt answer and just stood there hypnotized with blank eyes and then she swung her pointy devil’s tail to try to knock the phonecam out of my hand but I caught it with my left hand and then pulled her closer and round house kicked her in the face and she said arRrGH and blew a fireball at me but I ninja flipped over it and took a pic on my phone cam and escaped and posted it online so you ppl could see the truth and NOT VOTE FOR HER you hear me pennsylvania dont do it or seriously I will come over there and round-house kick all of you retards in the face and take a pic of you crying and post it so America can know who is responsible for it’s destruction if BILLARY is victorious. Don’t test me Im serious and deadly.

OK I know this post is childish and shoots down whatever credibility this blog has regarding politics, but since this blog never had any credibility regarding politics I guess it is not much of a setback.  This is also a manifestation of how I get around election time, and I’ve heard enough campaigning and my decision is made and Hillary is a buttface and I want my opinion to be known.  If you close your eyes and listen to her closely during debates and then open them again you will see what I see.  Try it, it’s true.

La Ville de Vent

March 17, 2008

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Just back from my long weekend in Chicago. Being that I am scouting cities around the world as possible near-future residences, I was amped about visiting chi-town for the first time, and it did not disappoint. Chicago is a beautiful city with a lot to do and see, and really laid back, friendly citizens. As a NY’er I wasn’t used to it… I had to learn not be so skeptical of ppl who stop you on the streets to pass out flyers, ask questions or advertise events. I found myself checking my pockets way too many times… not that I had any good reason to other than my innate paranoia of being jacked. But never fear, travelers – you can leave your box cutters at home. South-side Chicago is definitely rough, but as long as you don’t venture too far out you should be straight. The Mile was Magnificent and I spent an entire day walking around, taking pictures, and being an annoying tourist. I met some great ppl and made some new friends in a city I’d like to visit more often. I also stayed in a baLLer apartment in Streeterville procured by my bigshot companion for the weekend..the above pic of the view was taken (amazingly, on my usually shitty credit-card rewards gift camera) from the terrace outside the bedroom. I done moved on up, biatch. Well, at least for a weekend.

Tips/Notes:

¤For skyline views, go to the one at the Hancock Observatory. The view is beautiful, you can see the Sear’s tower, and admission is quick and hassle-free. I can’t stress how important that is. Skip the Sear’s Tower at all costs! It sucks cuz you can’t see the main thing you wanna see in a Chicago skyline – the Sear’s Tower itself. Worst of all, the lines are craZy because the security there is airport-like. There was only ONE working metal detector and the line was out the freakin door. Then after you get cavity searched, you go to a separate line to buy tix [buy online if you can..thank God we did]. THEN you go to a room where they make you wait for 15 minutes before they herd you into a screening room where they make you watch a crappy video about the tower’s construction which they stole from the History Channel (I’m gonna check to make sure that they have fulfilled their copyright obligations…if not, they’re going down). Only then can you cram into the elevator that takes you up to the skydeck…the elevator pressure kills your eardrums, worse than any flight Ive ever been on. Oh, and not only do they keep you locked up forever in lines and rooms, they don’t provide cell reception either, efefctively cutting off any lifelines. I felt like a freaking hostage. What a waste of time. [I could go on but I am now remembering that this post is supposed to be about how I loved Chicago…but angry rants are so much more fun.]

¤ I went in March cuz I wanted to go with my friend who had an important obligation…otherwise try go in April or later, when theyre are so many more events and the weather isn’t nearly as cold, and getting around is so much easier (the outdoor trolley runs, the free walking tours, the boat trips around the city, etc). Plus you can make use of the beach that borders the city in the north.

¤ Deep dish pizza is good, but this chicago-pizza-is-better-than-new york-pizza crap I’m hearing needs to be put to rest, cuz it ain’t [see, ranting is easier].

¤ Where are you, Chicago arabs? People there were friendly, but I still felt deserted. I went to two shisha places, and the first was blasting reggae music, and the second had pop music. No arabs in sight, only brownies (desi ppl) and the occasional eclectic white posse. WTF? Where were the TVs showing music videos of Nancy Ajram hand washing laundry in a bucket between her legs, Tamer Hosni wearing tight leather pants and pretending to ride a motorcycle, Rubi in a red-dental-floss-and-sequin outfit doing her seizure-like belly dance in the middle of a bustling street, Hisham Abbas attempting to bhangra in front of a cutout of the Taj Mahal, or some random heavily made-up arabic chick singing a pop song while feigning exercise on an elliptical machine while the camera zooms in and out to capture all the glorious, supposedly-seductive angles? Where were the rude and spacey waiters who take your order and never come back, then overcharge you before making up some excuse about how things always cost extra on Wednesdays between 5:56 and 7:42pm? And where were the all the chubby old arab men alternating shisha pipes with camel cigarettes, chest hair protruding, bitching about politics and how business is at the store, and competing with young wannabe arab casanovas with overly gelled hair and freshly threaded eyebrows [and chest hair protruding as well..we re all hairy bastards] for the attention of the band of young arab girls who all told their parents they were going to a friend’s place to work on a project for school so they could get out of the house and away from the watchful eyes of their moms whose only goal in life is to preserve the freshness of their daughter’s flowers? If I move to Chicago, I’m opening up a shisha bar, with the full array of arab-isms intact.

Thanks for a great weekend, Chicago. We shall meet again.

Share you thoughts on Chi-town!

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My BACK-FROM-HIBERNATION Top TEN List

February 26, 2008

Sorry loyal patrons [which last time I counted meant..no one]. I havent posted anything in a while, it’s been a busy winter. I’ll give you a top-ten rundown of blog-worthy items that I wouldve written about if I wasn’t busy being a lazy bastard, in random order:

1. I went to Montreal in October with mon cheri..what a great city. Everyone is really laid back, there’s anactive night life, very scenic…of course I went before the usual 50 feet of snow fell, but whatever. Plus the Quebecois accent is really cool. One question: why do they smother their fries with that thick nasty gravy??? Even my turkey sandwich was covered in that mess. I think they call it poutine. I call it retarded. Freaking Amazon tribes that live in trees know that you eat fries with ketchup. One minus for an otherwise stellar town.

montreal-building.jpeg                                                   amazing building near McGill Universitymontreal-trees.jpeg                                                         the trees in late fall were gorgeousmontreal-sign.jpeg                                                                 this place was pretty empty..I wonder why? I know plenty of biker lesbians with short hair. 

montreal-fries.jpg                                                      blaaaaah

2. I had only the second fun new year’s eve of my life, hanging out with some frenchies: first pregaming at M&V’s pad [the red house], then the historic Lenox Lounge in Harlem for a Jazz jam session, then central park for a smaller but just as impressive [and way less crowded] fireworks presentation. Then back to the red house to get trashed. Good times.

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3. Movies/Netflix — don’t remember everything I saw but here goes:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was an interesting film about a dude who suffers a stroke and tries to find meaning in his life despite being 99% paralyzed…it’s slow, but no snoozer.

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Across the Universe was only mildly entertaining as the movie-musical that bring The Beatles songs to life..I love the beatles but c’mon, the lyrics are cheesy and making a movie based on them is pretty lame…good acting, but this one was doomed from the start.

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NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN— holy crap this movie is awesome and deserves all the acclaim. Tommy Lee Jones and the psycho Euro guy were straight up BADASS.

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Ugly Betty, Season 1: I tried hard to like it cuz the main chick is from Queens, but borough-based allegiances only go so far. The writing and acting is weaK; it tries way too hard to be diabolical and the punchlines are too obvious. Plus the show is based on the chick being butt ugly while working with supermodels, when its obvious that she’s not even too bad lookin..they just give her huge braces and dress her like a dork. Put some Sean Jean velour on her, get her hair did by a Dominicana, and strap on some clear braces, and I know plenty of dudes that would tap that. Anyway, the show is boring.

ugly-betty-1.jpg     <see?>                                                               ugly-betty-2.jpg

Rome, Season 2: I just finished season 2 and this is one awesome show. It’s like No Country for Old Men meets Braveheart. Violent but not pointlessly, with plenty of suspense. But damn it is gory. Me likey.

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Deadwood: Another BADASS WESTERN theme done great. I’m a few episodes into season 1 and this shit is cold hearted drama. I read negative reviews from ppl who didnt like the show because, “OMG, why do they have to use such foul langauge?” or “there is so much violence, I couldn’t watch this with my kids.” Uhh, NO SHIT dumbass. This is the Wild West in the 1800s, gold miners clawing through Native American territories, outside the realm of the law, trying to make some change by mining in mountains for gold theyve heard of but never seen. This isn’t little house on the prairie, and if I was digging all day and didnt find any gold, Id get wasted, curse someone out, and go to the whorehouse for a little consolation too. It’s called being realistic. Put the kids to bed, grow some stones and enjoy the damn show. Oh, and if you haven’t noticed the trend, HBO produces some kick-ass TV shows.                                                                 deadwood.jpg

Next on my list of shows to watch on Netflix: I heard Dexter wasnt all that great but I’m curious so I think I’ll give it a shot [plus the main role is played by the guy from 6 feet under, which was an amazing show]. Plus it’s a Showtime production, and Weeds was so good that I’m hoping it meets the standard. I also got into watching Law and Order SVU, which is great because every show is so freaking suspenseful and well crafted, and you can watch it in any order because their is so little character development that you won’t ever be confused..each episode is completely dedicated to solving the latest crime mystery. I love no-commitment entertainment [Netflix related and, apparently, otherwise]. Btw…the Asian psychologist guy on SVU is a total closet case. Btw#2…How the hell does Ice-T [IceD-T?] have a job? He is a ridiculously bad actor. I think the producers mustve realized that he actually sucked to the point that he unwittingly provides comic relief, with his wannabe badass one-liners. That they partnered him with the other weird guy who wears sunglasses all the time only enhances the funny-by-accident theme. Those producers are clever ones.

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4. WTF is up with those damn selfish lazy writers! I miss watching The Office and 30 Rock! SEE, I don’t watch TV for years and then I commit to watching those shows, and then they stop writing midseason. This is why I’m so emotionally screwed up! And the strike’s been over forever now and still no new episodes till April? They knew it was gonna get resolved eventually, so couldnt they just keep writing and hand over the scripts when this thing got resolved? The unreliability of TV is reason No. 346 why NETFLIX is awesome.

5. I went to DR to visit my friend who lives there as a Peace Corps volunteer. I stayed in her camp in Moca, which was gheTTo but quaint and friendly, and we traveled all over, thru Santo Domingo and into the beaches of Bayahibe. I’m not into the resort thing or hanging with crazy spoiled underage spring-breakers intent on winning the race to cirrhosis; it was cool to meet the locals and live in their shoes for a short while. The local food wasn’t anything to write home about, but beware of TOSTONES, which are fried carB-Bombs that taste best covered in salt and ketchup. Dangerous stuff.

Bayahibe Sunset                  Bayahibe by night

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6. 3 amazing frenchies in my life have fallen victim to ridiculous American visa laws and have to move back to Europe. I am thinking about following them out of spite for America. Oui, c’est vrai! My next post might be in French.  Or English with the occasional french curse word. That option is most likely. Merde!

7. THE GIANTS WON! THE GIANTS WON! THE BEST GAME IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS! TYREE MAKES THE CATCH! MANNING AVOIDS THE SACK! BURRESS PUTS THE G-MEN AHEAD…FOR GOOD! 18 AND 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

tyree.jpeg game-score.jpeg                                                                                  I took a picture of the TV I saw the game on in the Hard Rock Cafe in Santo Domingo

Perhaps my proudest day to be a New Yorker ever.

8. NBA trades galore!! Holy Crap! SHAQ, KIDD, MARION, GASOL!!?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Why couldnt the Knicks package their crap players in a deal? [oh yeah, because none of their awful contracts are expiring this year]. If Kobe’s pinky holds up, he gets his first championship sans the newly dubbed “Big Cactus” — believe it. That squad is nasty.

9. Mets + Johan Santana + determination after a terrible ’07 collapse = championship. Write that shit down, biatch [wow I missed saying that word].

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10. YES – WE – CAN! O-FUCKING-BAMA for president. BILLARY should be one of the whores that the angry gold-miners dig out every night in the saloon in Deadwood. I don’t mean that in a derogatory/misogynistic way…I’m just taking a page out of her campaign strategy book by thinking of anything I can say to make her look bad.obama.jpg

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Oh, and, I’m writing all this at work, so yeah, I’m still at the same job and thus have tons of free time to ruminate. Lucky y’all!