|Archived Entries: 2008, 2007, 2006|
Home For the Week
Hi Everybody! I'm home in Maine until Saturday, when Emily, Summer and I will be flying to NYC for some New Years partying. It has been good to see family especially with the various family health problems going on. I would love to see as many friends and comrades while im here, so if you want to see me, stop by Woodman's after 8 tonight (Tuesday).
posted at: 12:23 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Here's my Christmas List from 1988. I was 6, and we had just gotten our first computer, a Tandy 1000TX. I'm not exactly sure what a turbo hoper was, and believe the "HO Train" refers to a H.O. scale train.
posted at: 18:10 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
The results have finally been posted from the Cranksgiving race. I came in 11th place (after counting 5 disqualifications for incorrect routes and checkpoints) out of 50 riders. Pretty good for my first race, especially considering im a recent transplant to NYC. There were two possible routes, and I finished in an official 2nd for riders that started with the downtown route.
There's another race on New Years Eve, but I don't think I'll be able to do it since Allison, Emily, and maybe some others will be in town and we'll be
posted at: 15:05 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Long Lost New Years pics
Last New Years Allison took 144 pics at our New Years Eve party. The memory card was corrupted by my junk memory card reader. Fortunatly I set it aside and cryogenicaly preserved it, waiting a for a future technology to develop that could cure its disease. That future technology came around in June, when our trusty sidekick AJ from IT resurrected the data. These pictures languished on my lappy's hard drive until I moved the web server and felt like putting them online. Here they are! Just in time for the next New Years Eve!
posted at: 12:14 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Return of the Photos
Now that I am no longer hunting for a job I can put my photo section back up. Wanted to look squeaky clean and professional for potential employers doing Google searches. The first photos going back up are from the final party at Penobscot Street. The photo section will have its own header on the site soon, but I'm retooling behind the scenes and that will take some time for all the photos to be updated.
posted at: 21:08 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
"My friend's bikes & others" Art Show
Tuesday December 19th is the opening of a bicycle inspired art show at NYC Velo. The show is called "My friend's bikes & others". Looks cool. If you're in the NYC area and like bikes, check this out.
posted at: 20:01 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Not Really Beginning to Look a Lot Like XMas
Its finally getting cold here in NYC, but no snow yet. Its hard to believe that Christmas is only 17 days away! So much shopping to do. I have the week between Christmas and New Years off from work, so I'm planning on spending at least 5 days in Maine. Speaking of work, that's been going pretty well. I signed a NDA so I don't know how much I can really talk about, but I can say that its pretty fun to work there. The staff is friendly, fun and knowledgable. Its great to be part of something that is recognized internationally, and even better that the job involves doing something I enjoy and am good at. The part of town that I'm in, 40th street and 6th Ave, is pretty cool too. There are some decent coffee shops and places to eat, and its 1 block from Times Square. It also only takes me 30 min to get there from my home in Astoria.
posted at: 20:17 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
New Job @ Dennis Publishing
I've accepted a job at Dennis Publishing. I started Wednesday and I'm the Macintosh IT Specialist. It seems like a great place to work. More details on it soon.
posted at: 17:57 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
A Very NY Weekend
Our friend Anand visited us this weekend. Visitors are great because it gives us an excuse to do all sorts of fun touristy things that we don't get a chance to do. On Friday we went to the Museum of Sex, which is always fun. After the MoS, we went to Zinc, an excellent little Jazz/Blues club on West Houston street. Saturday we went to the MoMA. The MoMA was huge! I've never been, before and it was a blast. So may great art works that we didn't get through it all. If you go, check out Marcel Duchamp's "bicycle fork and wheel screwed upside down onto stool painted white" and listen to the audio commentary on the museum's guide. If you've seen Borat, it sounds like a work of art that Borat would have made. Later on Saturday we met Mila's friend Lola and some more of Lola's friends, and went to a Broadway show. We saw "Avenue Q" and it was awesome. Think of it as sort of like Sesame Street for grownups. Highly worth checking out, its very funny and very well produced. Lola and her boyfriend stayed with us Saturday night, and left early Sunday Morning. Anand treated us to breakfast at the local Diner, then he left in the afternoon. It was a very busy friend filled Thanksgiving.
posted at: 17:02 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Yesterday was feast-tastic. We started the day by going to the Macy's Parade. You know how the saying "Don't rain on my parade" don't ruin something cool? Well, rain on even the biggest parade makes it kind crappy. It was cool to see some the big floats, but they were so low because of the wind that you couldn't see them well over the sea of umbrellas. Still was kind of neat to actually be there.
This was the first Thanksgiving dinner I made on my own away from my family, and I think it came out superb! We had two guests cancel at the last minute, leaving Mila with a 12 pound turkey all to herself as Anand and I are vegetarians. The turkey looked like it came out very well, and the rest of the food; sweet potatos, home made cranberry sauce, homemade vegetarian stuffing, coleslaw, corn, apple pie, and ice cream, was enough to leave us totally stuffed.
Visit to the Guggenheim
Mila and I visited the Guggenheim museum on Sunday. It was our intention to visit the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, but they had all but 1 little room closed. That 1 room happened to have miniature staircases in it, and they were charging $12 to see that... No thanks.
Since we were in NYC, we walked down the street to the Guggenheim and saw some great art by some excellent Spanish artists. They were having a show of
Spanish masters; El Greco, Goya, Miro, Picasso, Dali, etc. While realist self portraits and still life are cool, I'm definitely a surrealist fan. Seeing
so many Picassos in one place was cool. Man, that guy kicked out a lot of paintings! I've always been a fan of Miro and Dali so it was great seeing them
in person. The works by Dali were way smaller then I anticipated, and makes me appreciate his detail even more. Some were about 8x10 inches, something
easy to overlook when used to seeing his paintings in poster size prints. There was one painting missing that had a little inkjet print of the painting,
and the message "Due to events beyond our control, this painting by Francisco de Goya is not currently in the show". Later I saw this article about how it had been stolen and just recovered on Monday.
posted at: 22:33 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Cranksgiving AlleyCat Race
Here's the writeup of my first alleycat race. I got to the Javits center where the race started, and there were about 60 bikers hanging around. I met a guy named Aaron that recognized me by my bike. Turns out he had gone to college with Tony, the builder of my bike. Me, Aaron, and his friend Mattio decided to try and stay together to navigate the race. We got our route map, and it was a sort of figure 8 around Manhattan. You could decide what way to go first, either North or South. You would have to buy a certain food item at a "Gristedes" grocery store then go to the next, so on and so forth. At the Columbus Circle checkpoint you gave your two receipts, they gave you the location of the finish line, and you did the side that you hadn't done yet. Basically there were a few ways you could do the figure 8 around Manhattan, and it was up to you and figure out the best way. Make sense? Play by play is below.
At the start about 70% of people started by going North. The 3 of us went south towards the 1st Ave Gristedes. In retrospect this wasn't a good idea as the food item to purchase there was a 10lb sack of potatoes. Next stop was the Gristedes in Battery Park. I lost Aaron and Mattio somewhere between the 2 stores, evidently they crossed tires and got into a slight crash, but I saw them as I was heading out of the store. They beat me back to the road and lost me as I screwed with my bike lock. I meant to get a key lock instead of my combination lock as the combo lock adds a decent amount of time to unlocking/locking, and I had quite the time in Battery Park with the combination. I took the bike path from Battery Park to Columbus Circle, which seemed like it would be faster then fighting traffic, but was slightly longer then a direct route. There was a brief cobblestone section I encountered when I tried to make a shortcut, but I made it to Columbus Circle and found Aaron and Mattio had just got there. We handed in our 2 receipts and got the location of the finish, 37th street and the East River. This location seemed to favor those that went North originally, but we had to deal with it. I lost the other 2 somewhere on the way to 96th St, and had a hell of a time finding Turkey soup at the store. Must have taken 5 or 6 minutes finding that damn soup. There was another biker there who had wrecked sort of bad and messed up his fork and bars but was still going slowly on. Next I crossed central park and almost wiped out in some sand under a bridge. When I made it to the 84th St Gristedes I found that Aaron and Mattio were just getting there. We'd been making the same time despite losing each other about 4 times. We all left the store and cranked from 84th to 37th St. I made my way through traffic pretty well and made it to the finish ahead of them, despite them kicking my butt on the one hill we encountered. The results aren't in yet, but I think I was somewhere mid-pack. Not bad for a new kid from out of town. Plus I had the added bonus of surviving.
Below is the approximate route that I took for the race. I vaguely remember what route I took for the most part, but the lines are my best guess used only
to tabulate distance, which was about 19 miles.
After the race we hung out for a bit, then went with Steve to pick up his newly pressed Scream-O album (evidently its big in Japan?). The 4 of us thought we knew where we were supposed to drop off the food at, and planned on meeting the rest of the bikers there, then going to the after party at the Lakeside Lounge. Well, we were wrong about the food drop off place, but we found a willing homeless shelter and called it good. We were more successfull in finding the bar.
Not Working at Yeshiva University
The polls are closed and I've decied not to take the job at Yeshiva University. Thanks to all those that voted and gave advice. I'm going to hold out for the job of my dreams, which I guess would be personal bike messenger and beer taster for Steve Jobs.
posted at: 18:11 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Job at Yeshiva University
I had an interview at Yeshiva University yesterday. It went really well, and the job has its benefits. It starts at a very reasonable salary, I get Jewish holidays off, and I would be their Universities head Macintosh person. On the down side, the job is in upper Manhattan (1+ hour commute), the hours are 1pm-9pm mon-thurs, and 9am-5pm Sunday. Pretty much opposite from what Mila works. Also the job is sort of a lateral move, and isn't in quite the creative atmosphere I envision myself in. What do you think? Vote in the poll below.
posted at: 11:50 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Turkey Themed Bike Races
This weekend I have a choice of Turkey themed bike races to enter. There's The 2nd Annual Turkey Hunt, which is a bike/skateboard/foot based scavenger hunt race. Its a team event, and hopefully Allison will come up from PA to join, but that leaves us with one position left on the team. If you want to be that 3rd teammate, let me know. email: gabe 'at' maddfajita 'dot' com
The other race is the 8th annual Cranksgiving race, a classic alley cat style race but one where you buy
food at the checkpoints, that later on gets donated to charity. I'll do this one if I can't find some team mates for the the scavenger hunt.
posted at: 14:52 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Three Months in New York
Its been a few weeks since my last post, but much has kept me busy and away from the terminal to update this blog. I'll start the blog with recent pic of my bike, taken at a playground on Randall's Island. This little island in the East River is a bizarre mixture of mental asylums, soccer fields, bridges, and parks. This picture was taken some time in the middle of October.
The weekend of October 28th saw most of the Allen clan come to NY. My mom and sister stayed with Mila and Me for 3 days and nights. It was pretty fun, we hung out in Astoria, got soaked in the rain, went to Brooklyn to tour the old stomping grounds. One of the mental highlights of their stay was seeing a group of four girls get repeatedly soaked by puddle splash as cabs flew by in the pouring rain and they were stranded in a center island on 1st ave. Does this make me a bad person? I think not, as it was quite hilarious. We had a pretty chill time in general, and spent one night at home just watching Goodfellas, eating pizza, and drinking beer. Quite the traditional NYC experience.
These two pics are from the Village Halloween parade, which took place on Halloween obviously. The parade was 3 hours long, and I left about 1.5
hours into it, because how much of a parade do you really need to see? Also they weren't throwing nearly enough candy for me to snag any of it. There were
some crazy costumes, and tons and tons of people. I estimate several hundred thousand people lining the streets. Tensions ran high in the crowd, and I saw
a redneck almost punch a chinese lady because she kept pushing him to get closer.
Last weekend I went to Pennsylvania to join Emily in celebrating Allison's 23rd birthday. I took the Fungwah bus down, which is only $10 and takes a
short 2 hours to Philadelphia. Allison lives in Collegeville, which is another 45 minutes from Philly. On Friday we celebrated with some Cherry Cola's,
and on Saturday we eventually woke up and went to Valley Forge. It was possibly the best November day ever. It was almost 80 degrees and Valley Forge
looked awesome. We played around on trees and said Hello to Major
General Friedrich Wilhelm Baron Von Steuben. We tried to go out in Philly that night but were foiled by lack of photo ID's. Saturday morning
ourselves at Bob Evans, which I guess is a major restaurant chain that Emily and I have never heard of. Then I went back to a very rainy NYC where Mila
and I again missed a sold out showing of Borat at the local movie theater.
posted at: 15:43 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Gabe's Best of the Boroughs, Soda: Manhattan Special
Espresso Soda. This is a NYC classic that's been made on Manhattan Ave in Brooklyn since 1895. It tastes great, lots of cane sugar and fresh roasted coffee, carbonated. It gets all the things I like, fizz, sugar and coffee, in 1 drink. Its also nice that there's no milk in it. You have to search a bit for a store that carries it. Italian markets and neighborhoods are more likely to stock this drink for some reason. Manhattan Special website
posted at: 13:16 | path: /blog/bob | permanent link to this entry
Gabe's Best of the Boroughs, Photolab: ColorEdge
This is the first entry in my "Best of the Boroughs" series. My pick for today: ColorEdge Photo Lab. Located in Manhattan @ 121 W22 St, I knew this lab was for me when I saw a stream of bike messengers dropping off and picking up bundles from there. Their prices are payable by a semi-pro at $8 for processing and $17 for 24 4x6 prints. They also give you 25% off if you present anything that looks like a student ID. Nice people and they don't treat you like a moron for not knowing all the biz terms. ColorEdge website
posted at: 21:50 | path: /blog/bob | permanent link to this entry
EyeWash VJ Performance
I'm in a van on my back from Hudson N (about 2 hours up the Hudson River from NYC). It was an interesting night and I feel privelaged to have performed with such a skilled cast of VJ's, DJ's, musicians and dancers. Sadly I had my worst performance ever. If I were to compare it to playing bass, it would be the tech equivelant of 3 out of 4 strings breaking and having to continue performing with 1 string hoping nobody noticed. I'll break down the tech difficulties here. Basically a standard video mixer has 4 channels. My rig is set up like this;
1. B/W Live video camera
2. DVD player
3. Laptop running Livid Union software
4. Video feedback
So, we had about 5 minutes from when we finished setting up to when we went live that I noticed my video was not showing properly on the screens. My video splitter, normally the most rock solid piece of equipment, was being flaky. There goes channel 4 of my mixer. It was a small venue, not much in the way of live dancing or audience action, so basically channel 1 of my live feed was worthless. Livid Union, Channel 3, chose that exact time at the opera house to not work. It worked for 2 hours continuously on the way up, and then crapped out as I was setting up right before the show. I managed to get a partial set working on it, but that froze about 15 minutes into my 25 minute set. That left me with a 10 minute solo working only with the DVD player and my Panasonic WJ-MX20. Anyone that knows VJ'ing knows the Edirol V-4 Mixer. You can practically run a whole show with a V-4 and no inputs. The Panasonic is from 1986 and is no comparison to a V-4. The only good thing about my mixer is that it was free and has a retro feel. I managed to get through it, and got some applause, and some compliments after the show. Some of them seemed like they were genuine and not just to be polite. Thank-goodness I had made some original DVD content this week. I also take a little pride in that I didn't project any BSOD's or other errors.
There are 2 options for me as a VJ right now. Step up my personal skills with my ghetto rig, or plunk down some $$ for some more capable hardware.
posted at: 02:15 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Velo Photo Shoot. Calender?
Today was a great day weatherwise. It was sunny, crisp and cool. Perfect day to hop on the bike and take some NY pictures. I picked up some film and headed to Manhattan, stopping along the way whenever I happened upon the right composition. In central park I saw a few super sweet bikes, and what looked like a photo shoot going on. Seems that some other people also thought it was a great day for NY bike photos .I stopped and asked a few questions, and it turned out to be a professional photo shoot for a calender put out by NYveloCity.com. After talking with Alex I found myself posing for photos with my bike. I'm not sure if they'll use me, but it was still pretty cool.
posted at: 22:31 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Track Bike Hits the Track
I finally made it out to the Kissena Velodrome in Queens. It was pretty fun, very different then I expected. The track is about 1/4 mile with about 25 degree banked corners. The surface is way rougher then I expected also. I'll need different gearing and drop-style handlebars if I ever want to race there too. Sadly the problems with my bottom bracket popped back up in a big way. It loosened up and left me taking the train back from Flushing to Astoria. Working with Tony to figure it out. Need to find some mythical double lockring bottom bracket, and some Loctite, and buy some tools so that I can do it myself.
I'm working 2 VJ gigs later this month. Both should be very cool, and hopefully well paying. Someone awhile ago said that you can't convert BNC video
RCA without an expensive converter. You were wrong, $4.99 at RadioShack for a small adapter. Would have saved me months of lugging a CRT monitor if I had
posted at: 22:02 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
72 Hours: NYC to Maine to NYC
Mila and I went to Maine and back over the weekend. It was a great trip filled with adventure, and fun, and friends. We left the apartment at 5:45 Friday morning, and caught the train to Wappinger's falls NY where we borrowed my aunt and uncle's s semi-vintage Chevy Suburban. Our plan was to load it with stuff from Maine and bring it back to the new apartment. Our plan worked well for the first part of the trip. We made it to Maine, stopped to see Andrei and his family, and then made it to my parent's house in Winterport. While on our way to Woodman's for Summer's birthday celebration, the transmission on the van went 100% kaput. Which is where I start my photo captions...
The Hampden police had nothing better to do then keep an eye on us while we wait for my parents to tow us to a nearby driveway.
Mila says Happy Birthay. *Note the excellent cheesecake
Various peeps: Beth, Trav, Emily, Jeff. Gohar, Tamara, Izzy, Matt.
Did you know that Russians love salt?
Chilling downtown with Tracy and Tyler.
Around Orono and Webster Park.
Gabe Allen Photo-shoot.
Around the old neighborhood. Some changes next door.
Ahh, the trestle. So many memories.
Mila's old house. The Houtman's on Elm St.
We'll get home somehow. We rented this snazzy TrailBlazer to replace the dead Suburban.
Some photos from my parent's house in Winterport.
NY is famous for its bagels. I agree they are quite good, but I was raised on Bagel Shop bagels. They aren't as crisp on the outside, and I think are way more fatty. It also was a quasi-weekly tradition to meet on Sundays, so we all did that one more time. Mila and Artem had a tongue sandwich, which sounds naughty.
The return trip home was less eventfull then the trip up, no major mechanical failures. Its nice to be home. I've only been here for 2 months, but it still feels relaxing to get back to your own bed.
In Maine this weekend
Mila and I are going to Maine this weekend. Friday is Summer's birthday! Woo! So get her a gift if you see her, or give her a pinch or something. I'll also be checking in on my grandmother. We'll be in Maine Friday night through Sunday afternoon, and if you want to see me your best bets are Woodman's on Friday night, or Bagel Central at 11am Sunday. Call me too if you want: 347-274-5551.
posted at: 11:03 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Pics of our new apartment in Astoria
Finally busted out the camera and took some pictures of the new place. Its a 1 bedroom, but pretty spacious and very clean. The neighborhood is nice, mostly greek and italian. 7 minute walk to the subway, then a 10 minute ride to Manhattan, but theres some great shops, cafe's and more within walking distance of us. My favorite is a little Italian/French bakery that makes a great cappuccino.
New Apartment (Bye Bye Brooklyn)
Mila and I have moved to Queens. It took much searching and stress, but we've got a pretty big 1 bedroom apartment in Astoria Queens. Now that we have extra space we can have visitors. Email me for rates and reservations. We also need furniture! Donations are welcome. This Friday we'll be borrowing a Suburban from my relatives in Wappingers Falls, and heading up to Maine for Columbus Weekend, my sisters birthday, and to pick up some furniture and appliances.
I'll miss Prospect Park, Park Slope, and the TONS of bicycles in Brooklyn. But I won't miss the little apartment, 4 story walkup, and sketchy
neighborhood. Our place in Astoria is only 10 min by subway to central Manhattan, and much closer to some local shops and services.
posted at: 11:51 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Wired NextFest at the Javits Center
Its been several years since I attended a tech convention at the Javits Center, MacWorld 2000 and 2001. Everyone I know was busy today, so I attended the convention by myself, which is sort of a tradition with me as thats how I attended the MacWorld conventions. It was a pretty good time, $12 after showing my student ID, and I also got a free subscription to Wired magazine. After the subscription, and the free sodas (4 Coke Blaks, which I love) I figure I pretty much broke even on the event and got to have my yearly quota of nerdery filled. NextFest was pretty big, seemed almost as big as MacWorld in its prime, but with less free stuff. I was hoping for some free keychains, buttons, lasers, or something. The displays were cool, and there were lots of robots. The coolest robots were a pair of waltzing robots, and some industrial robots programmed to be DJ's. SpaceshipOne/Virgin Galactic was also there, and a slew of other tech companies showing their stuff. The unsung hero/tech of the show was projectors. There were projectors everywhere, huge expensive projectors showing onto all sorts of surfaces; cars, fog, crazy inside out balloons. As a visualist and projection artist/tech that was probably the coolest part of the show, even though it wasn't exactly part of the official display. There was also a robot game of basketball, and a record player that played music based on colors on the white disk.
Necessity is the Mother of the Haxor
Long story, that is only interesting to me. So, I got a new cell phone last month, a Motorola SLVR L7. Since day 1 it handled voicemails in a peculiar way; whenever I got a voicemail, it would sent me an SMS text message with only the text "^@" in the message. Not too informative, but it worked reasonably well to let me know I had a voicemail. Problems arose on Tuesday when I recieved a voicemail while on the subway. As I was underground, I also didn't get the text message, and unlike normal voicemail systems, it only sends the text once, so I didn't know that I had a voicemail until I checked my voicemail at random on Tuesday. Turns out I missed a very important call, and thus missed two production assistant gigs and about $400-$500. I called T-Mobile, and their official line is that the SLVR is an unsupported phone and thus the random text message is their method of communicating that there is voicemail. Their only solution was to sell me a Samsung T-509 for $99. I like Motorolas, and set about finding a way to make it work. After much googling, pirating, booting into windows, and hex-editing, I now have a SLVR that works with T-Mobile perfectly, and is fully open to sending it my own pics, ring-tones, etc. Next step is getting rid of that stupid HelloMoto startup animation, and figuring out how to make it have an automatic key guard.
posted at: 20:55 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
121 Credits = Graduated
Finally got my last grade in from a May term course. This gives me 121 credits (120 being the magic number to graduate). The grade was an A, which brings my average up to a 3.33. Just enough to make me a Cum Laude graduate. w00t!
posted at: 15:35 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
VJ setup for the DIESEL Fashion Show After Party
I worked the DIESEL after party last night, wicked sweet. It took place in "Gotham Hall" which is a huge converted bank building on Broadway. The party was a theme party (Heaven and Hell was the theme, so original eh?) and featured James Brown (so cool), and "2 Many DJ's/Soulwax" (who also rocked!). Our job, in addition to content creation and VJ'ing, was to hang 2 super big projectors from the lighting rig, difficult due to a quiet feud with the possibly mafia controlled lighting/stage company. Evidently lighting guys hate video guys. We got the projectors up and working despite many setbacks with cables and power. The show was great. James Brown still rocks the crowd. Our visuals (done by Eric Dunlop, Holly Daggers and Tal) looked tight and sweet, and there was plenty of free Svedka vodka. I always feel like I'm going to write more, but there are so many little details, and I need to go have breakfast (Breakfast is now at 3pm, as I got home at 5am).
Interesting Tech Gigs
My internship with Forward Motion Theater has gotten me a few interesting freelance tech jobs. Last Sunday I set up a projector, screen and VJ gear for a private party at Culture Club. It was quite the event. Belvedere Vodka sponsored Colette, a french design/dance troupe, to have a party at the club. I set up the gear and projection stuff for the VJ, and then enjoyed the ambiance, aka free premium vodka and sweet 80's club action. The VJ was french and an intersting guy. His visuals were nice, but he had to play the corporate video loop most of the night and didn't get to mix it up often. He also got tossed out of the club after the show for stealing a bottle of booze from behind the bar. Never do that people, even if you're from another country, its just a bad idea to steal from your hosts.
Tonight I'm finishing setup for the Diesel fashion show. It takes place at the landmark Haier which is a classically styled converted bank. The main entry way, a 100 foot oval room with tremendous vaulted ceilings and gilded trim, is now used for fashion shows and movie shoots. So anyway, I'm working for Eric, and Holly, who are creating content for the show. I'm just hired tech hands, but its very interesting seeing all the different aspects of being a VJ or production group. I'll post back tomorrow with how the fashion show goes, I've never been to one so this will be interesting.
Mila and I are still looking for a new apartement. Evidently you need to see 15 to find 1. We're getting closer, now are finding apartments that
only have 1 or two flaws in price or loacation. We're concentrating our searchs in Astoria Queens and Park Slope in Brooklyn.
posted at: 11:20 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Free Dinner at The Plant
My dad once said to never turn down a free meal. Yesterday Nate Hankla IM'd me and asked if I wanted a free dinner at The Plant. The Plant is a vegan, raw vegetable restaurant in Brooklyn that has a line of juice bars throughout the city, and Nate is good friends with the general manager. Evidently they needed a few extra heads to fill the place to look good for some investors. Mila and I joined and had a quality vegan meal at no-cost. The food was minimal in quantity, but very rich and different. It was nice to go somewhere and not have to worry about the ingredients, as everything was vegan. The whole theme of meal was tomato basil, and was a 5 course meal. One of the highlights was the delicious sweet basil ice cream.
Well, it looks like my grandmother Marion is not doing too well. I just got an email from my dad saying that she has between 2 months and a year to live. She's 85 (I think) and just went into the hospital with a heart rate of 160 (should be 70), she almost got the heart zapped when medication didn't slow it down, but thankfully at the last moment it started going down. Evidently her heart is pumping about 20% of what it should, and she has a DNR order in place. At best she'll be going into an assisted care place for a bit. All in all, not too good, but she says she's comfortable with everything and is being looked after by her husband Al and my Mom and her sisters.
posted at: 17:20 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Water Taxi Beach and Fashion Rocks
Yesterday I worked two interesting shows. Eric got me a "simple" tech job at Rockefeller Plaza. It was supposed to be an easy 2 hour gig, setting up some trick wall/mirror mounted plasma monitors for CBS's Fashion Rocks afterparty, but a series of minor glitches, like taking 2 hours to get me electricty and not having any of the proper cables, made it a 5 hour job. This made me late for my next gig, which was setting up a 30 foot inflatable screen and projector at NY Water Taxi Beach. This week's movie was "The Natural", which was a terrible movie to show at the beach. Its a decent movie, but way too much dialogue and sappyness to watch outside. Last weeks movie was "Spiderman" and that was pretty fun. Lots of screaming kids playing in the sand while their parents drank $2 Schaefers. Last week had a decent DJ, and it was great listening to some decent techno before and after the movie, enjoying a beer while working, and seeing the best view of the Manhattan skyline at sunset. Definitly was a great NYC moment.
posted at: 13:41 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
First Blosxom Blog Post
This is the first post under the new blosxom blog server. Blosxom is pretty nice, very simple and easy to move to a new web server. It lacks a few things like a calender and search, and there is no web interface or comments. What it lacks in features it makes up for in simplicity in security. More posts will be coming soon. Thanks for reading.
posted at: 16:03 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Random Trip to Philadelphia
Yesterday I got a call at 7am from Raphael, asking if I wanted to go to Philadelphia to help with a performance at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It meant rescheduling a few things with my internship, and delaying labor-day weekend plans with Mila, but it was too good of an opportunity to miss. I took the subway to the Bronx, and met Raphael in his red Honda Element packed with VJ gear, and headed to Philly.
We somehow got to the museum on time, 2:30, and setup in under 45 minutes. Most of the other performers were there, with the notable exception of the organizer, Eric (not to be confused with Eric of Forward Motion Theater). He was 2.5 hours late, and he had the screen. The performance got underway 45 minutes late, and had some minor problems like rearranging the set list and general frustration with Eric's lack of preparedness. It was also pretty much the same show on Eric's part as the show last year at the Trinity Center. Anyway, Raphael's projections looked mint, and I got to help him perform a little. After the performance we went to Rona and Neil's place in Ardmore where the fed us and put us up for the night. Its the same place we stayed last year and is very cozy, inviting, and well stocked with food. Below are 4 pics from the show.
Today I got back to the city amidst the remains of hurricane Ernesto. It wasn't
a full-force hurricane, but it made driving difficult and effed with the trains.
It took 2 hours to get from upper Broadway on Manhattan to my place in Brooklyn.
The Q was delayed and ended up dropping 1,000 passengers off mid-run, with
shuttle busses supposed to take over, as there was debris on the track. They
sent 1 bus for 1,000 people and it was pouring and I had 80 lbs of gear worth
about $4,000 on my back and no umbrella. I found another bus that got me almost
home, but it took 2 hours from Philly to Broadway, then 2 hours to Broadway
to Beverly road. Dang! Anyway, its laborday weekend, time for the beach and
posted at: 18:34 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
Things are cool here in NY. Settling into a good groove, but still need a job. I'ver started my internship at Forward Motion Theater and am living the glorious life of an unpaid intern. I met Holly Daggers, and Eric Dunlap seems like a nice guy. Will be nice to push my creativity and VJ skills a bit more. Maybe I'll even get to travel a bit as Holly is currently touring with The Roots. Later today I'm picking up a suit. A grey Claiborne. I originally wanted a black striped Hugo Boss, but that was $400 and the Claiborne was $179 and still very sharp. This will allow me to pick up a decent messenger bag and go out to dinner more without feeling guilty. Plus, I only need the suit for a few interviews, and it will be with tech nerds so I'm sure I'll look fine. Mila and I have had a pretty good stream of visitors lately. Lola was up from DC, and Tamara stopped by on her way back to Maine. Seems like almost every weekend will have someone we know stopping by. I guess if you know enough people then at least 1 of them will be planning a trip through NY at any given moment. In the next few days my website may be unavailable intermittently as I'm moving to a different server and giving the entire site an overhaul.
posted at: 06:25 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
New Cell Phone and Number
I just got a new cell phone. The old one was IT's and is going back to the University. The new phone is a black Motorola SLVR. Its pretty nice, and thin. I really wanted the Motofone F3, but it hasn't come out yet. I really like the F3's extreme small size and monochrome screen, even though its one of the cheapest phones out there. I also think that camera phones are a big waste of time. Data charges and picture quality are a joke. Anyway, here's my phone number: 347-274-5551
posted at: 11:34 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
In NY, Update 1
I'm in NY. Made the trip down ok. Met Tony in Worcester and picked up my new bike. Check it out at Maietta Cycling Getting settled into the new place. My mom is staying at the Days Inn about 3 miles, or 20 min, away. She'll be leaving tomorrow to visit Marge and Gabe in Scarsdale. Here's a photo from last night in Brooklyn Heights where we had dinner.
posted at: 13:18 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry
VJ'ing with Miss Lisa @ Ushuaia
Last Friday I VJ'd at Ushuaia's with the headlining DJ of Miss Lisa. I must say, I had low expectations for the show. Its summer time, school is out, there aren't many people that have attended Ushi's techno shows lately, I wasn't too stoked about Miss Lisa as I had never heard much of her before, and I didn't have a good time the last time I VJ'd with Raphael's equipment. So, I was going pretty much because I said I would.
To my surprise the show was really good! O'Shea started the night off well with his usual loud and full of energy set that I always enjoy. He has a way of bumping up the levels in a way that makes things loud enough that they almost hurt, but somehow sounds really good and satisfying. Fortunately Ushuaia's has the best sound system in the area so it can handle O'Shea.
Miss Lisa came on around 12:30, and she was much better then I had anticipated. The crowd had been dancing all night, but went crazy when she went on. I figured out some new tricks with my b/w security cam to get some good shots of dancers on screen and silhouetted/colorized. I saved some of the better graphics, clips, and tricks for her set and I think it looked pretty sweet. Plus the first hour of VJ'ing is always figuring stuff out again, and by the time she went on I was in my groove. I would say this was one of my better solo sets, and its too bad I didn't record it. Miss Lisa is a good live performer who's not just a pretty face with no talent, check her out if she's in a club in your area.
Here's some pics courtesy of Allison, disregard all the crotch shots of Tyler, I don't
know what she was thinking but I decided to leave them in the album just cuz.
posted at: 10:23 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
3rd Annual May Day Party
Pics are here. Party was sweet. No problems with the police, and plenty of guests all having a blast. Thanks go to Beth, DJ Clarity, for spinning again.
posted at: 07:23 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Bike and Bar 2
Last night we did the 2nd Orono to Old Town Bike rally/booze fest. This time we had a peak attendance of 20 people. We left our house, and Kevin crashed about 100 feet down the street. He was OK, and that was the only incident of the evening so that was good. Our first stop was the Bear Brew, then we went to the Bear's Den. Then we biked the 5ish miles to Old Town, hit the River View, and then did a line of shots at Number 10. We diverted from our bike and bar plan, and stopped by 2 keg parties on Rt. 2 in Old Town. After the keg parties our group was fairly fragmented, but the main part of the group went to Ushuaia's and then to the Staar Club. Next stop was the Blues Cafe, and finally we ended the night at Woodman's. Pics are here.
posted at: 19:54 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry