Sunday, December 12, 2010

30 @ 30

I turned 30 years old last month, and I decided that this year was going to be about doing a lot of things I'd never done before but always wanted to. Some of them are probably shared by a lot of people (read "War and Peace"), some are kind of kind of dumb (get a spray tan), and some are kind of awesome (bike a century). I am a far from frequent poster, but I plan on documenting most of the activities as a way of keeping myself honest, and I look forward to your feedback.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Though I detest the East Coast winter, I love the East Coast fall. Images from a recent hike at Bear Mountain, NY.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Images from the 2009 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

A few weeks ago I braved the seemingly endless summer rain to see the (in)famous Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Running the range from the mildly eccentric to the truly bizarre, it was pretty awesome. Combing through my shots I found a few that are relatively appropriate. Next year hopefully I'll be able to post some shots of me in the parade.

Away we go!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recent photos

Image from a giant pillow fight I participated in on Wall Street last week. More images available online here (among other places). I inhaled so many feathers in the course of the fight I was coughing for about two hours afterwards. Imagine a mosh pit filled with 500 people but rather than filled with pent up aggression they were filled with whimsy and armed with pillows. Good fun.

"The Professor" - the only chocolate bunny approved for graduate students. Alas, the bow tie proved inedible.

What happens when you challenge an NCAA-qualified sabre fencer just enough that he shows you how fast he can really be.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

St. Patrick's Day in NYC

Corn beef and cabbage (with a distinctly American side of macaroni and cheese). The soda bread was a surprise arrival that made the meal complete.

Some nice drum and fife corp work, courtesy of the Ancient Order of Hibernia.

Flag twirler in black sequined jumpsuit with flag.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I fail at spelling

On Monday a friend and I competed in the locally infamous Williamsburg Spelling Bee at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn. Pete's is a really nice space, much like the kind of bars I imagined hanging out in when I moved to Manhattan before discovering they'd all been forced out by the high rents. The Bee was held in Pete's back room, a space which resembles nothing so much as a totally pimped out subway car interior. It's a great alternative to a quiz night, catering to the people who played more Scrabble growing up than Trivial Pursuit. There were about 20 participants representing a range of spelling abilities and backgrounds, from erudite hipsters to academic types complete with leather-patched tweed jackets. Somehow I missed the chance to participate in a spelling bee growing up, so I went into it really excited at the chance to show off my spelling chops. Then I realized, as the rounds progressed, how much years of relying on spell check software and writing nothing more involved than bullet point-based sentence fragments had atrophied what skills I might once have had. I survived a couple of rounds but was eventually undone by "prestidigitator," "antiphonal," and "intaglio" (the bee uses a "3 strikes and you're out" format). All in all, good times, though I will probably not be making a return visit until I've had a chance to brush up on my spelling skills a bit more.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Plays on a photo my sister snapped of me posing in Doug Wheeler's "Eindhoven" installation at the Hirshhorn Museum of Modern Art. Wheeler's light installation was definitely a fun work, but there were a number of other interesting pieces. Whenever I pass through D.C. I try and stop in to see what the revolving exhibit is, and I am rarely disappointed.

Another standout in the exhibit was a work by Larry Bell, a minimalist who plays with shape and perception with free standing acrylic sculptures that, as you walk around them, challenge your perception of both them and the surrounding environment through witty twisting of light and reflection.Without much knowledge of his work, I've always disliked De Kooning, perhaps due to the apparant crudity of his technique and a lack of emotional resonance with the work I have seen. However, the museum had on display a number of entries in his "Woman" series, and maybe it's an indication of where I am in my life right now, but some of them really struck me. He strips away preconceptions with female figures that are simultaneously horrifying, beautiful, fertile, angry, desirable, and hideous. That they (referring to both the paintings and women in general) can be all of those things, simultaneously encapsulating multiple contradictions, is amazing.
Finally, I was struck by James Rosenquist's "The Light That Won't Fail." It's a much more conventional work, reflecting Rosenquist's origin as a commercial painter, but the color scheme and interesting juxtaposition of images makes this work. To be honest, my reaction probably is driven at least in part because the '50s are so "in" right now (thank you Mad Men and Amy Winehouse), but whatever the reason, it's a striking though ultimately depressing painting. Interesting contrast on female depiction to de Kooning's "Woman."