I’ve been in New York for seven months now and it’s true what they say about staying in your Burrough and never venturing off. When I first landed, I was like a fat kid at a bakery; I wanted to touch everything that New York had to offer. Overtime though, I became set in my ways and the thought that these sites and wonders would always be there began to sit in the back of my mind. Currently, there’s a three-mile radius that I spend the majority of my life in. If I do venture off, it is out necessity. I go to Manhattan because my job is there. I visit Queens because my girlfriend lives there. I have no need for a Long Island or for a Bronx. In all seriousness, why would I want to go anywhere but Brooklyn? Yeah, I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either, but it happened today and it was a pleasant surprise.
I had to venture off to Harlem to see my tax lady because it is that season again. Since it was my day off, I decided this was a perfect time to get back to my
tourist taurist-y self. I can say with much assurance that Harlem is the next best place compared to Brooklyn. To all you non-new Yorkers out there, Harlem is not one of the five Burroughs. It is a subsidiary of Manhattan, much like a Soho or a Greenwich, but at a much larger scale. The diversity of the city is breathtaking. Of course you’ve got Spanish Harlem and a high Asian population, but there’s also an elevated level of Africans that call Harlem home. The importance of this last fact correlates with my sudden urge for West African food. I’ve been deprived of any home cooking since I’ve been in New York so the ability to eat white rice with peanut soup was a blessing from the heavens. I raise my hands to the sky with thanksgivings.
I tried to take a few photos of this touched-by-an-angel culinary experience, but sadly my camera didn’t have an SD card, so I was shooting blanks.
I plan on taking more trips to see Harlem. It has a bad rap for being dangerous and I don’t want to be naive and say its not due to one visit, but I’m a fan of culture and Harlem represent the melting pot that that New York so famously represents.
As you can tell, I’ve become a gif fanatic. This is a warning to prepare yourself for more visual porn in future posts and obviously I’m not talking about nudity–get your mind out of the gutter. Today’s visual extravaganza comes from the men of Animal Collective and their under appreciated 2012 album Centipede Hz. The Gasper Noé directed video takes us through a journey of watching a girl consume some sort of fruit while she gets attacked by an array of colors. In other words it is visual food porn.
It’s best to play the video in the dark because it enhances the experience, but if you don’t happen to possess the power to turn day into night you can still enjoy it during the sunlight hours.
I would have never thought of myself as a Goth kid growing up. In fact, I was—and still am— the totally opposite. As a kid, I was forced to wear polka-dotted bowties and to tuck my shirt into my pants and on top of that wear a belt to ensure that even through the deadliest of tornados my shirt would stay securely inside of my slacks. Church was a place that I didn’t go to just once a week, but twice.
So my love affair with Crystal Castles would shock my elementary and high school friends, but good music is good music and I’ve never felt the need to discriminate. I had an earlier post about their dark “Plague” music video, which may or may not be truly authentic, but passes creeptastic qualifications for a Crystal Castle video. Their latest visual for “Sad Eyes” mixes their live performance with some eerie street masquerade ball.
*WARNING* Beware of you Pupils Exploding *WARNING*
It is embarrassing to talk about your heroes; those that you admire and look up to. I’m a firm believer in looking within yourself for the fire and brimstone that can change the world, but sometimes you have to stop and look at what others have done before you to give you an extra boost of motivation and steam to power you through sleepless nights of creativity.
Kanye is one of those people to me.
Before I begin with what I do admire of him, it is important to note what I don’t admire. The cockiness is overkill. It is important to be your biggest fan because the world will try to snipe you on your way to the top, but you don’t have to wave a red flag and blow a trumpet on your way up. You’re an easy target. I also don’t admire his taste in women, except for the extraordinary Alexis Phifer, but I digress.
Work ethic and passion. Those are two qualities that I believe Kanye has mastered and has put him on another level than any other 21st century artist (sans M.I.A.). His belief that one day he would be one of the most critically acclaimed artist is what pushed him to stop producing beats for others and start making music for himself. It is what pushed him to rhyme for superstars like Jay-Z, just for the hopes that one day Jay would like one of his rhymes and miraculously sign him to Roc Nation. It is scary putting yourself out there. Asking for help from already established entities. Trust me, I know.
The fear of denial.
What if you do get turned down? It hurts for a few minutes to maybe a day, but you get over it. The thought, “At least I tried,” runs through your head and it is now time to pick yourself up and keep going. Because right now, you don’t have it. You have nothing, but a dream. That dream though is the most powerful tool you have. It forces you to chase after whoever has what you want.
This clip that I uploaded here is from the Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, a documentary about none other than rap music. Here Kanye is rhyming for his life. You might recognize it as being the verses of Gorgeous from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy because it is. In it Mr. West pours his heart out about everything that is bothering him from the conspiracy theory of the government giving a certain minority AIDS to an American Apparel “model” being objectified for a small amount of cash that she’ll use to pay for school. My favorite line come sat the end though. You’ll know it when you hear it.
Anyway it is an amazing film and I suggest that all music fans watch it. It’s on Netflix for your convenience.
I often go to museums to escape, to get lost in paintings, sculptures and other artwork. I could stair at one painting for hours trying to connect with the emotions of the artist who created it. Embracing the colors—or lack there of—and concocting some sort of meaning behind the broadness of each brush strokes.
The MoMa is a museum meant for getting lost in. With what seems to be an infinite amount of galleries, experiencing the MoMa is not a multiple day even. One day is not enough.
Inspiration is all around. From west Asian artwork, which decorates the top floor to minimalist paintings, which I naturally gravitated to, there is literally an exhibit for everyone. If you want to forget, even for a moment any “problems” that may be plaguing your life, I suggest the MoMa for a new form of meditation and enlightenment.