Friday, August 14, 2009

My book report.

Recently, I was unpacking some books. As I took them out of the box, I put them randomly on my bookshelf without paying much attention. When I went back to organize them properly, I saw these two books had wound up next to each other.
The universe is one kooky place.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Partly cloudy with a 90% chance of a bargain.

If you live in NYC, you know it's rained a lot recently. You're probably also keenly aware of those ubiquitous $5 black umbrellas that blow apart in the wind, or from the light breeze of a sneeze.
That's why I was surprised to find a box full of incredible umbrellas for five and seven bucks in the back of this Lower East Side pharmacy. These are seriously sturdy, big umbrellas, for the price you'd pay for disposable one. I have to wonder if they're mis-priced. Go get 'em.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I don't think this neighborhood can appreciate the amazingness.

Snapped this in Vancouver two New Years Eves ago. Just re-found it in my camera. Click pic to enlarge.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nice solution.

I like this billboard for Puma stores down by Lafayette and Houston. I'm sure the assignment was to simply let people know where in NYC you can find their flagship stores and running shoes. The addition of three simple words turns it into a fun and memorable message that makes great use of its location. Well done. (Click pic to enjoy the details.)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Shifting gears.

I'm a talker. I talk a lot. Sometimes to the exclusion of listening. I can also fall into the trap of being all talk and no action. Today I shifted gears on both these fronts, putting a project into motion while doing a whole lot of listening in the process.

My friend Kyle and I collaborated on a project which had us doing man-on-the-street interviews in Union Square for a few hours. A few hours of listening to all sorts of people. A question here, a little back and forth there, but mostly listening. I found it changed my interactions with everyone that day, even after we put the camera away and stopped shooting.

In the cab from the shoot, I was remembering how much fun it was to just listen to all the different strangers I met. At that moment, the driver started telling me a very long and intricate story about his family history and aspiring music career. I maybe said twenty words the whole ride, but when I got out of the car, he told me how talking with me "made his day."

Later on, I went to an art/music show at PS1 MoMA called WARM UP. In Jonathan Horowitz's exhibit (which I highly recommend by the way) a woman started a great conversation with me out of the blue. Throughout the day, it was as if the vibe I was sending out was "talk to me, I'll listen." I think it took being forced into listening all day to help me realize the fun, and power, in it.

One of the more visually interesting and participatory exhibits at PS1 was this pool people could gaze at each other through. It was a great show with plenty to see, and of course, listen to.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Stupid camera flash. Red eyes every time.

Obama. Spotted at corner of 6th and C.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Pump. Deflated.

The Pump is a small chain of health-conscious restaurants here in NYC. I've been going to them for years, drawn in by their apparent obsession with providing a healthy diet to all. However, the other day, they really disappointed me.

Below is a screen shot from their website.

As you can see (clicking it makes it bigger), they state: "We use only whole, unprocessed ingredients like fresh vegetables, brown rice, and whole wheat pita."

The other day, I ordered their pancakes, which come with with maple syrup. I wondered how they could afford to give out free natural maple syrup since it's usually pretty expensive. I asked to see the syrup bottle. When they showed it to me, the first ingredient in the list was CORN SYRUP. Corn syrup is not only one of the most processed foods out there, but outside of AIDS, it's one of the worst things you can put in your body.

When I complained, they told me to call their main office. What followed was ridiculous.

They first told me they do only use natural ingredients - in the foods they prepare. I explained that their site, and their stores, boast how they offer only healthy offerings, and how corn syrup doesn't fall into that equation. And, by giving this type of syrup away with their breakfast, it IS an ingredient they are using.

Then they tell me they serve this crap because of how expensive real maple syrup is, and how no one else has ever complained. I explained that when your restaurants are plastered with how healthy everything you guys use is, the assumption is that everything here is natural. And, the fact that nobody has "caught" you doesn't make it okay.

They proceeded to give me a whole bunch of excuses. I told them they should at least offer a natural version of maple syrup to those who'd pay the extra, and let people know that some of what's on their menu doesn't subscribe to their health claims. Instead of even saying "we'll look into it," they tried to defend themselves. Silly.

This really isn't about the maple syrup. It's about a company being trustworthy and standing by their philosophy. There's really no way of knowing if the rest of their menu is full of unhealthy items. No matter how you cut it, they're full of shit. Well, shit is organic. Maybe they're right after all then.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Mmmmm. Doubt in every bite.

Like until we die?
Well, how long do you plan on living?
Is it too late to change my mind?
Why are these fucking question marks all over my wedding cake?