Saturday, March 10, 2012

Inspiration Overload. Brought to You by East Village Street Art.

Corner of 10th & 1st Ave, NYC

Kind of funny all the inspirational messages this block provides, including my go to plant store pictured here. 

And lest we forget, there is also signage that reminds one to: Be Yourself.  Bee Yummy.  Live.  and Love.  Got it.

Pretty bossy block.  Instruction overload here...

Though, I suppose we all need reminding sometimes.  For a little inspiration in your life, take a stroll through Alphabet City. 
You'll be glad you did.

  And while you're here, check out this store.

Only 99 Problems? You Lucky Duck.

 Street Corner, East Village

Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Did Warhol Really Shop at Bloomingdales? And What was his Beef with Pittsburgh?

Because he is depicted here in Union Square, the location of his famous studio, carrying a medium brown bag.  Well, in any case, I know where he probably DIDN'T shop: anywhere in Pittsburgh. As a matter of fact, even though he grew up there, apparently, he hated the place and shunned being associated with it. Come on, Andy...who doesn't love America's steel city???    Were you too good for it after making it bigtime in the Big Apple?  Not to mention that Pittsburgh has an entire museum with 5 or 6 floors dedicated to you and your life's work on it's North Shore.  So please, quit being a hater already, and never forget where you came from.  The motherland of black and gold in western Pennsylvania. 

Dance with the one that brought you, as they say...
And then repeat after me:
"Here we go we go"  Clap, clap.

A final very important step for attonement: listen to the following Steelers Superbowl fight song while waving a terrible towel, and we will be all good in the hood. 

Dog is my Co-Pilot

Serious Question: Are Dogs Secretly Taking Over the World?

May seem like an odd question to pose at first blush, but it dawned on me today what a high level of influence dogs are now having on our collective relationships with the opposite sex.  I have a number of reasons for coming to this realization.  First and foremost, how many times have you pondered getting back together with an ex because you missed the dog?  I’d like an honest answer here.  My guess is that you’ve at least considered it once or twice.  I, for one, am guilty of this line of thought on occasion.  Or, conversely, how many times have you simply not been able to stand your girlfriend’s pet, and said something along the lines of “it’s me or the dog”.  At which time she probably chose the dog and you were out in the cold.

Second, how many times have you considered adopting a puppy to assist in your ability to pick up proverbial “chicks” (or “dudes”, I suppose, but pretty sure this works better for picking up the ladies)  I bet it’s crossed your mind at one point or another.  Again, be honest.  How many have actually followed through with this ill-conceived plan?  Did it work?  If I were to bet, I’d say, it probably did.  And upon the inevitable breakup, who kept the dog?  Was it a bitter fight? Did she get the dog, even though it was ultimately your idea and motivation to get the dog in the first place?  Again, I’d say the most likely answer is, unfortunately, a resounding yes.

Given this backdrop, now assume that most couples have one or more pets that they collectively share responsibility for in cohabitational living situations.  They are, in most respects, modern day children.  We walk them, we bathe them, take them to doggie day care, read their report cards, brag about them to friends and family.  We socialize them with play dates.  We speak to them like they are able to understand what we are saying…Who knows, maybe they do…But who cares, they provide unlimited amounts of love and affection, appreciation, understanding and did I mention, love?  These little creatures have captured our hearts and souls, folks.  Their unconditional acceptance of us as human beings is what I believe is behind our love affair with these furry animals.

However, the downside to this dynamic is that they now wield much more power over our relationships then they had in even the recent past.  They really have moved up the totem pole in terms of importance by leaps and bounds in recent years.  We make decisions based not only the relationship dynamic with our significant other, but also the dog!  We can’t leave our dysfunctional relationship because <insert dog name here> would miss us too much, or we’d miss them too much.  Maybe both.  As the American population has more and more chosen to opt out of having children, we’ve replaced them with dogs.  And they’ve become just as important in our decision-making processes.  When meeting someone who might be a potential love interest, you now have to consider not only if you would get along with said person, but also if our dogs would be compatible.  Would there be competition?  Would they fight?  Would there be an all-out brawl to reach alpha dog status?  If the answer is yes, this might be cause to give you pause in continuing down the path with the person in question.  Why?  Because we want our dogs to be as happy as they make us on a daily basis.  We consistently put their needs before our own.  They have captured our hearts and minds, our very souls.

So, the question now becomes, is this inordinately high level of “dog power” over the common man an accident, or by intelligent design?  At this point, the answer remains a mystery. However, some food for thought is one thing that I hadn't even mentioned yet, which is the fact that DOG spelled backwards is GOD.  Coincidence?  Doubt it.  So the next time you kiss and hug your furry friend, you might want to consider the fact that one day you’ll be following them around the streets with plastic bags picking up their “sh@*t” off the sidewalk…Oh wait, we already do that...The takeover of the human race is more advanced than previously thought.  God speed.  Or maybe a more appropriate parting phrase, in the parlance of our times, should say “DOG speed”.
All I can say is that I, for one, am definitely going to hedge my bets by affixing the following bumper sticker to my car ASAP.

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Life's Too Short". A Game. Here I go, next you try.

Eden Gallery, 49th & Madison
To wear uncomfortable shoes  
To drink cheap wine
To not shop at Saks
To eat fast food
To listen to country music
To put up with mean people
To never go to Paris
To take yourself too seriously
To ever be bored...

...the list goes on and on.

Okay, now it's your turn. What's life too short for? 

Post your comments below for a fun
 game to occupy the remainder of your Friday afternoon.  And go.

Daily Rant. Autocorrect = Enemy #1. I am SERIOUSLY

SO OVER autocorrect. Never, ever "corrects" to what I'm trying to say. Ever. Should be renamed "Nevercorrect". Thank you, Apple, for making texting a seriously more time consuming process than neccessary. Steve Jobs is laughing at us all from beyond the grave. 
The Story Behind Today's Rant:  In case you're wondering where this came from, I have a friend whose use of nevercorrect is WAY worse than even my own. I am, therefore, on the receiving end of the brunt of nevercorrect's wrath, and am forced to decode what message said friend is attempting to get across.  For example, every time she wants to say "lame" it comes through as "lake". Got 3 texts in a row that said "lake", and I lost it. 
Serenity now, serenity now.
End of rant. Had to put that out there. Thanks for listening.  Feeling much better now.

You're Daily Dose of Reality: Just going to throw this out there...

Got a feeling that the Karma police are hot on the trail...

Storefront in Midtown West, corner of 57th and Avenue of Americas. 

...and are close to making an arrest

(insert ominous music here). 

So here's my suggestion. 

Now might be a good time to go through a
mental checklist of recent good karma deeds. 

If you're coming up short, feel free to
share this blog with your friends :) 

And while you're at it, please enjoy this video, from a Radiohead concert in Glasgow performing "Karma Police" and turn up the volume.
Sounds like the whole world is singing the chorus.

"....this is what you get, when you mess with uuuuuuuuussssssss...."

It's Friday, I'm in Love!

   The Cure was really onto something with this song.  Happy Friday!

Quintessential New York City Landscape. Lady Liberty's Finest.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What will YOU do with this gem of a 70 degree day in New York City?

Ice skate in Rockefeller Center, of course. 

Wouldn't top my list of outdoor activities, but who am I to judge?

Do Yourself a Favor and get Tickets to "Sleep No More" An Unparalleled Interactive Theatrical Experience.

Sleep No More. @ the McKittrick Hotel, Manhattan.
A Review of Tonight's Performance.
5 stars!!!  Two thumbs up!!!  Broke through the "fourth wall" with flying colors!  Imagine being in a movie that combines Stephen King's "The Shining" with "Eyes Wide Shut" and you're pretty close to the actual experience of wandering the halls of "Sleep No More".

The Setup.
The venue is an old hotel in Chelsea that is no longer in service and probably looks just as it did back in it's heyday in the 1920's. You enter into a speakeasy style bar where they serve shots of absinthe, among other things, and wait for your number to be called.  Bar area reminded me of the movie Midnight in Paris when Owen Wilson travels back in time (great flick BTW).

Interactive Theater. 
The hotel contains 5 floors of fabulous bone chilling themes and actors, each containing multiple rooms and tons to explore.  No blood or gore, just old fashioned creepiness. Rooms included: A maze of trees. A graveyard. An insane assylum right out of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".  embalming studio, funeral home, ballroom, lounge, bedroom, bars, taxidermy, operating room, the list goes on and on.

My Comnentary.
Hands down one of the coolest experiences I've had.  Everyone was anonymous and free to roam.  You really got out of your own head and just went with the flow.  No rules (except for no talking), you really had the run of the place.  All guests were given masks upon entering and were instructed not to speak while going through the hotel.  We all wore the same white mask with a beak and couldn't tell one person from the next.  I went with three friends and didn't see them all night. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"We're Bobbing on the Surface..."

The Lever House, Midtown East, always has interesting displays in the lobby.  This one's no exception, with an odd looking fish tank surrounded by plants.

Side Note: This post is yet another outcome of trying to utlize a photo and not having much in the way of commentary.  My go to solution has become the following: Insert cool Phish song lyrics & video 

 "...And the shadow glides below...They say she feels my heartbeat, Oh, but how I'll never know..."
"...That it’s the ocean flowing in our veins, Oh..that it’s the salt that’s in our tears, Oh..’cause we could have come so very far, at least as many years! Take the highway through the great divide, I’m building you a pyramid, With limestone blocks so large, I drag them from the mountain top, You’ll need a two car garage, And it’s the ocean flowing in our veins, Oh..that it’s the salt that’s in our tears, Oh..cause we could have come so very far, at least as many years, Take the highway through the great divide." 

Phish: The Wedge.  If you're not familiar, this song is great! A video is provided below for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!

"Patience, Grasshopper" (This is what happens, Larry: when I want to use photos of Buddist statues in a blog but have no idea what to write)

 Kung Fu lines?  Why not...
"Ha, ha, never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?"

"I hear the water, I hear the birds."

"Do you hear your own heartbeat?"

"Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?"

"Old man, how is it that you hear these things?" 

"Young man, how is it that you do not?"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste...

I've been around for a long, long year...

...Stole many a man's soul and faith.
Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste.

Took the liberty of adding the soundtrack to this random Oreo Cookie birthday bash in Union Square.  Because really, is there anyone you'd rather celebrate your 100th with than Sir Mick?

Confucius Say: "Sunshine on Money Tree Bodes Well for Business"

 My office window needed some good luck.  Pretty sure the money tree was a solid addition to the decor.  Time to make it happen, Captain!
Who says money doesn't grow on trees???

Monday, March 5, 2012

New York City Lights = Equation that Needs No Proof Statement.

Park Avenue +

+ Dusk + Clear Sky = Pretty. 

Breaking news: the above equation may hold up better than Einstein's theory of relativity and Newton's three laws of motion combined.  However, further hypothesis testing is currently underway, the results of which will be recorded in relevant scientific journals.  But only after the double-blind testing phase is complete.  Tune in for updates.

So True.

Your Daily Dose of Culture. Brought to you by Smithsonian.

Compliments of the Native American Museum:  Can't go wrong with this museum.  Really interesting displays and surprisingly good food court.
Native Americans are into rainbows...

Concentric circles...

The interplay of light and dark...
 And beautiful wood carvings.  So am I.
Compliments of the The Freer Gallery, which has a world-renowned collection of art from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Near East.  Very cool.
 These were used in Buddist temples.  Represent North, South, East and West.  Each are standing on demons, representing the Buddist's triumph over evil.

BI were Jade funeral objects used in China.

 Well hello there.  Some cool cats.                       

This guy: (right) was a guardian at the gates of some fine establishment in Asia.  Looks pretty imposing.  He really just wants to party. 

DC Blitzkrieg

No better way to spend a Sunday afternoon...

....than hanging on the National Mall with good friends...

...and cherry blossoms

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Haven't we met somewhere before?

Alligators at an Irish bar in the Village...

...are out of control.