Monday October 1, 2007
Much of the fault for the less-than-ideal experience of going to the Carnival Center falls on the architect, Caesar Pelli. I lamented the selection of Pelli’s firm for the Center over two years ago, and it’s nice to see the dots connected this way.
Saturday September 29, 2007
- Taliban photos.
- Update: The terrorists are laughing at us. (via Bruce Schneier)
- Selections from Matrix-L, including unpublished letters to the Los Angeles Times.
- A bunch of new Ted talks have been released. Check out this one: 10 ways the world could end and what we can do to make it not.
- Stories from Prague: Káva and Pivo.
- We’re forgetting about William S. Burroughs entirely too fast.
- Huh, what is this? Update: It appears to be an archive page from a Japanese blog dedicated to one particular vending machine, and how the items offered by that machine change from day to day, featuring some great diagrams. How we should feel about this remains an unanswered question.
- Motorcycle doctors in rural Africa.
- LOL big lenses.
- This week in “Google’s Plan to Conquer the World,” Google Gears. You know those online apps that Google launched a few months ago? Not so online anymore.
- Those of you who do not understand why Eric Clapton is considered a god of the guitar should watch this video and then you’ll see. (Also: Star Wars Redo)
- At this point i might be delirious, but this is funny. “Question: what has a fruity lining and is approximately six inches long? Answer: a highly inappropriate joke!”
- Hey look, the Onion is producing videos now: ‘Students First In Line’ Program To Offer Job Training At Needy Schools.
- Try to care less about something: Woody Allen is directing an opera.
- The mayor of San Diego, a republican, changed his mind about gay marriage.
- Don’t go to college. Animal Collective told you, Vice Magazine told you, and this guy proved it with numbers.
Friday September 28, 2007
- Congrats to Sweat Records on getting a proper store-front. It opens at the end of November, tonight is the farewell party for the old location, with the gazillion bands you’d expect at a Churchill’s event.
- The aforementioned Miami Hip Hop Project continues all weekend.
- Zygosis and August Sander documentary screenings at the Wolfsonian, 7pm.
- Get rich serving delicious frozen treats: Rita’s Water Ice franchise seminar, 7:30 pm.
- First show in Seraphic Fire’s season, all weekend in various locations (Sunday on Miami Beach).
- Mike Gerber at Jazz at MoCA.
- Today is National Public Lands Day. Get involved improving your stuff at one of several locations around Miami.
- O You, an Oprah magazine event. You people know who you are.
- Rag Trade’s Kraftworks, an open-air market featuring local crafts, live music, classes, massages, a book exchange, and lots of other stuff, 11 am – 5 pm. (Bring your old batteries to be safely recycled.)
- Gay & Lesbian Issues Forum & Artistic Showcase, 4 pm at the Wallflower Gallery.
- David C. Brown discusses his book Little Haiti Then … Little Haiti Now, Books & Books Coral Gables, 5 pm.
- Art Center South Florida has brought in a lot of really interesting artists recently. Check out the latest batch of artists juried into the Center at a mid-show reception of their work, tonight.
- Stomp, all weekend at the Carnival Center.
- Slick Rick, at the Sneaker Pimps thing at the Collins Building.
- Last free day of the year at Vizcaya.
- 305 Magazine “Chop Shop Barbershop” block party. David says “Lots of food, entertainment, giveaways, contests, face painting for the kids (and grown ups who are into that type of thing), models, iceys, deejays, local artist performances …”
- The Divorce, by Don B. Welch, at the James L Knight Center.
- Hip Hop Karaoke.
Thursday September 27, 2007
“They certainly can’t be trying to attract us with confusion, can they? Or with the implication of a vowel movement, which gives a more-than-regrettable connotation to ‘going Downtown.’” Michael Lewis has some fun with DWNTWN MIAMI.
Platinum Condominium has had some trouble selling units, so they decided to try selling 20 units off at a live auction. The results? Well, as Lucas put it at Miami Condo Investments, “the auction was a disappointing failure and Miami condo developers should soon be seeing brown stains appear in their underpants.”
Only 9 units were auctioned, and most came in hundreds of thousands less then what identical units have recently closed for. Luis has more analysis (plus videos of the event), and leaves open the question of whether this is the bottom. Well, folks, it’s not. Reports on the sub-prime mortgage meltdown have that fiasco continuing for about another year, so it’ll be feeding coal to this fire well into next year.
I still say this is great for Miami. The housing crash is nation-wide, and steps are being taken to fix the situation, but because it’s worst in Miami, those steps will do little more then soften the landing a tad. Consider the internet bubble of the 1990’s: one of the results was that insane amounts of fiber optic cable were laid down, much more then it made financial sense to do. The result is cheap broadband for everyone (and a hosing for greedy companies). The result here? Well, a hosing for greedy developers, but cheap condos for everybody! (With fancy lofts and primo stainless-steel appliances, natch.) Workforce housing? Give me a few more months, and I’ll have all the workforce housing you need on tap for ya.
Wednesday September 26, 2007
Miami Light Project, one of my favorite organizations in the county, is opening their season with the Hip-hop project mini-festival, now in its 5th year. Performances, residencies, film screenings, and other events, most free, happen daily tomorrow through Sunday. This is ‘hip-hop’ in the broadest cultural sense, and filtered through an arts/cultural perspective, so nobody should feel unwelcome. Watch the video, and come out for an immersive mini-festival done up right.
Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:00pm
YOUTH EXPRESSIONS’ PERFORMANCE
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- FREE-
Hip Hop Culture can be proud to have given birth to Youth Expressions (YE), a not-for-profit organization (501c3) committed to helping at-risk urban youth develop into self assured, focused, productive and skilled adults. Now in the 4th year of partnership with MLP, members will perform an original work developed during their MLP residency.
Friday, September 28, 2007 8:00pm LIGHT BOX STUDIO SHOWCASE
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- RESERVATION REQUIRED-
This showcase features Rudi Goblen’s Insanity Isn’t and the Nicole Klaymoon’s Into the Fourth Dimension.
Saturday, September 29, 2007, 2:00pm
HIP-HOP: BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES FILM SCREENING AND DIRECTOR Q&A
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- FREE-
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a riveting documentary that examines representations of gender roles in Hip Hop and rap music through the lens of filmmaker Byron Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist. Conceived as a “loving critique” from a self-proclaimed “Hip Hophead,” Hurt examines issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s Hip Hop culture.
Saturday, September 29, 2007, 8:00pm
UNIVERSES- LIVE FROM THE EDGE
Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fl 33139- $20.00-
Miami Light Project proudly presents the seminal NY-based theater company Universes’ in Live From the Edge, an evening that showcases the ensemble’s special brand of fusion theater in a “best of” evening that tracks the evolution of their poetic language from childhood rhymes and community rituals, to poetry and theater, Hip Hop and gospel. Redefining what theater is and who it speaks to, Live From the Edge is a unique performance event that turns the poem into a communal act.
NOTE: as of right now, you can get two-for-one tickets to this event (the only non-free event in the series) by entering the code ‘MPH10’ at this page. No idea how long this will work.
Sunday, September 30, 2007, 11:00am
Jeff Chang Book Signing and Discussion
Jeff Chang has written extensively on race, culture, politics, the arts, and music. His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, garnered honors including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He has also edited an anthology entitled Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, released in February 2007.
The sad result of speeding in Miami — a boy on a bicycle hit by a speeding driver, as witnessed and reported by Asawaa. This is old, but I’ve been staring at it in my browser for over a month and it’s oddly compelling. Asawaa’s photostream is worth investigating, too. He has images that are stitched together from hundreds of smaller photos.
Swimmers in Sunday’s triathlon.
Next Thursday (October 4), the City of Miami Planning Department is having a meeting to discuss plans for the design of Museum Park. No idea what they did to publicize this meeting, but I note that their web page doesn’t even mention the time (it’s 6 pm). Inexcusable. Michelle at Museum Park Forum caught this. It’s at the Orange Bowl Stadium Athletic Club.
Update: The bastards changed the time to 4:30pm! WTF, they’re claiming conflict with a later event, but isn’t this a transparent effort to make it impossible for many people to come?? Why isn’t anyone making noise about this?!
Hey, would anyone be interested in creating a Wikipedia article about Awesome New Republic?
Tuesday September 25, 2007
Get that resume together: the National Hurricane Center’s hiring. Position: director.
Sushi Samba is obnoxious; if you can deal with that, you’ll probably love it. Exquisitely designed by Scott Kester, its shanty-space-pod interior, immaculate black-clad waitstaff, and perfect futuristic-Brazilian music give it a singular retro-modern atmosphere that would be right at home on TV.
Despite living no more than a few blocks of away since it opened years ago, I’d never been; this weekend a friend and I decided to give it a shot. It was Saturday afternoon and SS was fairly empty. We arrived, and . . . immediately had a problem with the hostess. You see, SS has two types of tables — 5 and 6-person booths, and outrageously uncomfortable tables for two. We didn’t like the first table we were offered, and even the second one was less then ideal. There were parties of two seated at booths, but it seems that we’d arrived after some sort of cut-off time after which this was no longer possible, in anticipation of the evening rush. A bit of tension ensued, and we ended up acquiescing to the cramped but not uncomfortable little table.
After that, though, the evening went rather remarkably well. Our waitress (the record will note that she was tall, beautiful, and really, really good at her job) eased our lingering irritation with an introduction the the restaurant’s aesthetic (“Japanese-Brazilian”), and got our waters. So I’ll cut to the chase: the food was great. We had beer, sake, several sushi rolls, edamame, and dessert, and every single thing was spectacular. The secret of their success is that all the portions are a little smaller, and a little more expensive, then you’d expect. Still, after tax and tip, we barely cracked $100 for two people.
The sushi rolls are a cut above. Try the Green Envy (wasabi pea crust, tuna, salmon, asparagus, and aji amarillo-key lime mayo) or the Neo Tokyo (yellowfin tuna, tempura flake, and aji panca), and you may wonder why you’re paying twice what you’d pay for the same amount of food in a regular sushi joint, but only until the first taste. There is substance to this here style.
When the kitchen was out of spoons for our dessert, they apologetically brought out two sets of huge soup-spoons and tiny spoons (then our waitress rushed out with the correct spoons, still warm from the dishwasher), which pretty well sums up how good the service was (but not everyone seems to have had quite this good an experience). I left feeling like quite the elegant slouch — Sushi Samba is style over substance, but only just barely.
Miami Herald Digital. Another in a long series of efforts by newspapers to try to make money by making the internet behave more like paper news. “The electronic editions follow similar launches by . . . The New York Times and Washington Post.” — I’m shocked that this passed the laugh test at chez Herald — the New York Times’ online edition launched in 2001. At this rate, the Herald will open its archives in 2013. (via Herald Watch)
Monday September 24, 2007
It never ceases to amaze me how many frickin blogs there are. Behold Miami Drums, dedicated to . . . well, drums in Miami. You’d think it’s new, but you’d be wrong: been around for over a year. No cheesy blogspot address, either. Update: Also — a list of Miami food blogs.
The Big Squeeze, North Miami.
The Miami Herald comes out in favor of nuclear energy. I agree.
Francisco Goya’s etchings, on view at the Freedom Tower (!) through November 9th (12 – 7 pm every day except Sunday and Monday). I saw these the last time I was in Prague; they’re exquisite.
“Now the debate over gay rights threatens to drive a wedge between members of South Florida’s black community.” Bullshit. The debate over gay rights drives drives a wedge between the same two groups that it always drives a wedge between — rational people and dogmatic self-righteous assholes who have nothing better to do then tell other people how to live their lives.
Saturday September 22, 2007
- This is why I don’t do things like this: because eventually, Google will just come along and make it better (and in this case, I still need some convincing that this is worth any effort at all).
- Jason Kottke’s gems from the archives of the New York Times and first NY Times restaurant review, circa 1859?
- Richard Dawkins: What if you’re wrong?
- Cramming hurts your long-term memory.
- Chuck Klosterman, the Author Photos. In his book IV, Klosterman discusses the outfit in the last photo. He purchased it from a Gap where a mannequin was wearing all three items (shirt, sweater, jeans), because “(a) I assume the kind of people who dress mannequins spend a lot of time considering aesthetics, (b) this eliminated the decision making, and (c) I am somewhat ‘mannequin-shaped.’”
- Famous literary lines and how to use them in conversation.
- Bid farewell to the hyphen.
- Book sculptures. See also the photography of Abelardo Morell.
- William Strunk Jr’s The Elements of Style, pre-White’s additions (but you really do need the full version, with White’s stuff).
- Great History Channel documentary about Freemasonry. No conspiracy theories here, just lots of great history. (Also lots of goofiness — “the concept of the three”? “the concept of the four”??)
Friday September 21, 2007
- Today is National Park(ing) day . . . this started in 2005 when a few artists in San Francisco turned a parking space into a temporary park. Since then, it’s been a yearly thing on September 21, replicated around the country, including two locations in Miami, with support from the Trust for Public Land. U: More about PARKing day at TransitMiami.
- CIFO’s Positions in Context opening reception.
- Samantha Natalie does Miami Unsigned [MySpace all around].
- I try to stay away from flamenco-jazz fusion, but this show has lots of promise, actually.
- Marqui Adora at Circa 28.
- Yom Kippur begins at sundown. Eat a big meal in the afternoon, as you’ll have to last until nightfall Saturday. During that period, also: no leather shoes, no sex, no washing(!), and no lotions/perfumes. (That’s unless you think religion is silly.)
- Miami Short Film Festival Preview at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
- High School Musical: the Ice tour [obnoxious Flash] at AAA. No idea what the appeal of the whole “X on ice” thing is.
- Israel ‘Cachao’ Lopez. Drop what you’re doing.
- A Night in the Clouds charity party for African children, in an old-school place.
- Lanzallamas Monofonica at Transit Lounge.
- The ESCAPE TO MIAMI TRIATHLON.
- I haven’t posted about the Rufino Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted exhibition at MAM because the museum didn’t have rights to let me reproduce the piece I wanted to talk about. But the show is completely worthy (and, note to Franklin: a painting show at the MAM), and if you haven’t seen it, today’s your last chance.
- Fanfare for the 20th at New World Symphony, if you grabbed tickets in time.
- The South Beach Chamber Ensemble plays at the Bass Museum at 2pm. Free with museum admission; anybody know what’s up?
- The South Florida Meditation meetup at 4 pm. Get your OM on.
- These people might have something interesting going on, but you’ll have to call them and ask them to put it on their website.
Thursday September 20, 2007
Well folks, the Kryptolok South Beach Bike Theft Challenge ended this Saturday morning, when I walked outside to find my bike gone! That’s 47 days!! (A much nicer Raleigh mountain bike, which had been parked next to my bike for the past few weeks, was gone too; it had been secured by a very serious-looking Alcatraz chain/padlock combo. The pink bike remains.)
Personally, I’m thrilled — I went out Monday and bought a road bike to replace the mountain bike, getting a much better deal ($150 bike on clearance for $75), a much nicer, aluminum-built bike, and a much more realistic vehicle for practical transportation. I’ve actually commuted to work by bike/bus hybrid twice this week, and plan to do so regularly. (BTW, the new bike is a Crimson Triax)
So . . . what to do now? I’ve been keeping the new bike inside for now, mainly because I have no bike lock at all for now. The case of the Raleigh suggests that merely getting a “tougher” lock isn’t protection enough. So my options are: 1) As ‘I was there’ suggested, get two locks. For example, another Krypto U-lock, plus a heavy-duty chain and padlock from Home Depot. 2) Keep the bike inside at all times.
Having a bike in the apt. is a pain in the ass, although this one is a lot lighter, so lugging it in and out is easier. Another factor to consider is that the bike rack in front of my building, while behind a fence (the gate doesn’t lock anymore) is also behind a hedge; perhaps a more public place to lock the bike is something to look into. One more thing: a road bike is much harder to ride then a mountain bike — more difficult to steer, keep balance, keep an eye on the road, etc. — does that make it less desirable in the underground bike market?
Aquarius, 9 miles off Key Largo and 60 feet under water, is the only live-in underwater research laboratory in the world. NBC6 did a live report from the station today, the first ever broadcast from there, including info on what it’s like to live on Aquarius, and what they’re studying. People who live underwater are called ‘aquanauts’! [Photo courtesy NOAA and UNC Wilmington]
Before you go any further, grab a phone and call 786.735.1945. Ignore the nice recording, and punch in 1-1-#, and you’ll hear what at least one person thought of this piece. I love this because it makes the painting immediate, and it dispels the notion that lay-people often have of contemporary art, which is that you either “get it” or you don’t. (If you’re feeling adventurous, and you haven’t seen the show yet, try also 1-#, curator Ingrid Schaffner’s introduction to the show’s opening gambit, the “red room” installation.)
Karen Kilimnik’s show at MoCA demands unhurried exploration. Strains of meaning and beauty undulate around her paintings, installations, drawings, photos, sculptures, and videos, and they reveal themselves to the patient viewer. Kilimnik is known for her “scatter art” installations, but honestly, those were some of the less interesting pieces in the show. Picture a couple of piles of cartoonishly large yellow and blue pills, a mirror with a white powder, a razor blade, and a syringe. Or picture the most predictable tableau possible based on the Boomtown Rat’s I Don’t Like Mondays (chicken wire, gun-range targets, and a recording of the aforementioned tune on headphones).
It’s all uphill from there, though. Kilimnik’s paintings are genuinely great — she has a feel for gesture, for color, for context, and especially for narrative. They also tell a story. There’s the story of the fenced Stonehenge (above), and there’s the red room installation that front-loads the show with a bombastic show of pure power. A free-standing little room in a large and otherwise-empty gallery contains a circular couch, red wallpaper, and 50 paintings, hung salon-style on all the walls. There is appropriation and anachronism in these paintings (and at least one is left intentionally incomplete), but what drives them is her technique — bold and loose, but extremely lucid. I suspect they would be judged excellent by any painting snob, yet they work extremely well subsumed into this rather playful larger project.
The heart of the exhibition, however, are Kilimnik’s drawings. Employing a single-panel cartoon strategy without any of that format’s smugness or ease, they showcase her love/hate relationship with drawing, and play around with meaning, often leaving it just out of reach. Even after including text (both in the drawing and in the title) and overlapping symbolic references, we are usually left with an intriguing juxtaposition, not an overt statement. They make no attempt to delight the eye the way the paintings do, and often include elements drawn with deliberate clumsiness, stray marks, and a general approach to the surface that recalls the Basquiat school
There is a real magic to most of the pieces in the show. They are beautiful to behold, but their allure goes beyond their visual draw. They are loaded with meaning that walks just the right line of ambiguity — always hinting at a larger truth, but never allowing that truth to be captured and contained (clear-cut meaning is the short road to irrelevance in art).
One installation piece in the show consists of a splatter of red paint low down on a wall, accompanied by four fingerprint-like marks and a hand-drawn “S” in the same paint, all accompanied by a rectangle of pink synthetic fur on the ground and odd playing-card symbols attached to the wall. A nearby (but separate) piece consists of a silk sheet among straw with a black candle and more playing card symbols. What are we to make of this? Did a once-rich person, reduced by some sinister illness (one of the titles makes reference to smallpox), crawl from one space to the other to die, first issuing a vague message to the future? Again, no literal explanation will account for every element, and so the piece(s) play around with meaning without dashing towards it.
The show is rounded out with a couple of large installations, including a large room filled with aquatic objects which is somewhat less satisfying then the rest of the show. The back room collects several pieces that are again quite different from the rest of Kilimnik’s work. A dark photograph of a solitary figure, accompanied by two glittered twigs (arranged somewhat like antlers around the framed print) is especially evocative. Possibly the least interesting element in the show are the five video pieces, which seem to be mostly based on appropriated video. Haphazardly spliced together, they seem like transcriptions of someone experimenting with a collection of tapes and a television remote control, and with the exception of one that features footage from a fashion documentary (which is interesting more for the source material then the treatment), they leave one wondering whether the “meaning” is worth perusing.
The exhibition as a whole is more powerful then the sum of its parts because, while the techniques and media are all over the place, there is a profound and mysterious sensibility that pervades almost every piece in it. It isn’t anything as neatly tied up as “feminism” (though certainly feminist concerns are raised more then once), but rather an approach to the world which is way too subtle to be contrived, but way too distinct and present to be missed.
Wednesday September 19, 2007
Tuesday September 18, 2007
A completely fascinating article about changes in the insurance industry which I haven’t finished reading yet but wanted to get out there.
More, um, very nice police officers acting very nice in this story and video from a John Kerry speech at U/F yesterday. Student Andrew Meyer gets on the microphone and accosts Kerry for not contesting the 2004 elections, asks if he’s a member of Skull and Bones, and generally tries to get all loud and protesty. At this point campus police try to arrest him, and he sort of waves them off and continues his questioning. More police arrive and try to arrest him, and Meyer questions them, yelling “what did I do, what did I do?”
Eventually they get him down, and the, um, six of them have trouble getting his hands behind his back, and I guess they’re pissed that he still hasn’t shut the fuck up, because another cop calmly walks over with a taser. “Don’t tase me, bro!” we hear Meyer yelling, as he’s held down by a bunch of the cops, but bro goes ahead and gives him a good jolt anyway, and we hear Meyer howling in pain.
OK, so a few things.
- What’s most remarkable about this is that somehow Meyer is on the microphone during the whole thing — we hear him clearly, and so does the whole room. Without that this whole incident would have looked very different.
- Is it a crime to “disturb” public events (where “disturb” = not shutting the fuck up when told to do so)? I guess, but this is at best a marginal case.
- We’re pretty numb to seeing absurd police cruelty and violence directed at anyone getting uppity, but campus police? You’d think they’d see this stuff all the time, and shrug it off. Nope.
- What’s up with the rest of the students? They sit there like a bunch of obedient little sheep. Why aren’t they all standing and yelling at the cops?
- And what’s up with dude Kerry? Clearly he sees what’s going on, and he tries to act like nothing’s happing, telling the crowd to calm down, that it’s a good question and . . . WTF, he’s got people’s attention, how about “LET THAT GUY GO, HE’S ASKING IMPORTANT QUESTIONS QUESTIONS!” How about getting off the stage and intervening in the situation (maybe he’s afraid they’ll taser him, too)? What a coward; thank god we didn’t elect this guy president. Geez.
Please call to express your concerns about this horrific incident:
University of Florida Police Department: (352) 329-1111
University of Florida main switchboard: (352) 392-3261
Update: I’ve no idea why the moron editors at the Gainesville Sun took down the story at the original link, but their reporters have been all over this, issuing several stories a day on various angles of the story. They’re pretty easy to find on the website (search “Andrew Meyer taser”), but here’s an overall follow-up.
Monday September 17, 2007
PBS’ Exposé on last year’s House of Lies series in the Herald shows how Debbie Cenziper put the story together, and looks at what’s happened since. Not enough, it looks like, but it’s a very impressive story of reporter vs. corrupt government agency.
Doug transcribes the South Beach architecture walking tour, full of interesting tidbits about buildings I see every day. Just saved myself $15.
For your possible interest: MetaFilter is considering a meetup in South Florida.
Try this experiment: Google a few of the artists that David Castillo represents, and note where the gallery’s page for that artist falls in the search results (#1 for Pepe Mar, a little way down on the first screen for Andrew Guenther, and on the second screen for Wendy Wischer). Repeat for Fred Snitzer (oops, it’s not possible to link directly to his artist list). Nope. Nada. Nothing (note: not even when you add the name of the gallery to the request). Hernan Bas is there right now, but with a broken link and slipping fast.
That, my friends, is why you don’t want a Flash website.
Nasty cuts to bus and metrorail service; several routes no longer run between 9 am and 3 pm, one has been eliminated completely, and wait times have been increased. One rider: “Most folks I speak with are kind of shocked that this was done after the promises associated with the half-cent sales-tax increase.”
Cuchifritos in Miami at Daily Cocaine (his photo, and a huge screen-filling version is available over there). What is it? Well, “a light stew of pig parts (I’m pretty sure I inhaled some semi-crunchy strips of ears, maws, and stomach, and maybe some tongue, too), surrounded by two baked(?) green bananas (con guineo), was perfect for a hot late summer day.”
Jane Feltes’s favorite places on South Beach (she’s from This American Life). La Sandwicherie — yum!
Saturday September 15, 2007
- Pika — fun light-painting animation video.
- Custom fake ATM receipts with your name and any balance you choose. $16 for a year’s supply (one per week).
- How to launder money.
- Amazing robot farming machines.
- 10 amazing churches, plus a bonus dog chapel.
- Amazing dog escape video.
- Goofy new Battles video.
- Think before you click this — do you really want to see a guy lift a 14 pound elephant statue with his eyelid?
- To do: replace your pocket camera’s firmware with a hacked version to give it extra powers.
- Note to the internet: I made you, and I can destroy you if you keep it up with crap like this.
- Esquire magazine: The Falling Man (As in 9/11).
- Anyone cam make a vidoe, put it on YouTube, and claim that it was scheduled to run on the Discovery Chanel and then mysteriously yanked. Who knows: Conspiracy of Silence.
- I’m just not so sure about the map of humanity.
- Inbox Zero at Google Talk.
- A list of the supposedly worst torture devices in history. Somehow not as impressive as I’d have expected.
- You want silly? Ok: Using Deconstruction to Astonish Friends & Confound Enemies.
- “I’m a scientist, so I’m going to do this not with rhetoric, but by marinading you in a little bit of data.” Dan Gilbert talks about happiness.
- How to spend $27,000 on food in one day (plus a bullshit diamond-encrusted cake).
- New Jens Lekman album, 9.0 on Pitchfork.
- Here’s a little something for those of you who think you can watch anything: video of a guy who will eat anything. You might watch the intro bit, but as soon as he bites into that fish eyeball you’ll be out of there.
- Flash game of the week: Mansion impossible. It’s actually Mansion Pretty Easy, but sort of fun. Try to get anything better then 15 years for a score.
Friday September 14, 2007
Awesome New Republic reunite: Sayeth John Hancock in an e-mail five minutes ago: “It’s all official. I announced last night at the show that we’re getting the band back together. We added a real tight rhythm section so ANR will be a four piece. We’ll only be playing once in awhile to begin with until B Rob and his lady have saved up and taken care of business things to move back down to the MIA.”
Not good: Lake Okeechobee continues to set records for low water levels. Expect to see even stricter water restrictions next year.
- Great free shows happening at New World Symphony all weekend, but all the tickets are gone, suckers.
- The Truth (About the Down Low) at the Gusman. It’s some sort of a gospel family musical theater performance thing.
- A celebration of choreographer Roland Petit at Carnival Center.
- Miami Unsigned [MySpace] featuring Blue Man Grove (hmm…) at Soya e Pomodoro, a restaurant of some sort.
- KRS One at Studio A, again.
- Stefan Svensson is doing a series of lectures on photography (scroll way down) starting today. They’re $20 each(!) or $60 for all four, but I suppose if you need a crash course in how to look at pictures, this might be a bargain.
- Not to be outdone, Miami Beach Botanical Garden has a $40 lecture/workshop on building a barrel. (OK, OK, it’s a materials fee, and you get to actually build one and take it home. And it’s good for the environment, so if you have a house go do this. (But you have to RSVP right now.)) Then you can go to . . .
- EarthDance. A neo-hippie extravaganza happening simultaneously at 340 locations around the world, and Miami’s lineup looks pretty great. It starts at 2 pm, and it’s two-for-one tickets before 4 pm (otherwise $20 or $15 advance). Ends ~4 am Sunday morning. Here.
- Violinist Aaron Rosand”:http://www.sundaymusicals.org/calendar.htm at the Gusman concert hall at UM.
- Getting In college planning workshop for high school seniors. Free?
- Blow-Up at Miami Beach Cinematheque. White pants extraordinaire.
Thursday September 13, 2007
Caution on South Beach
Rebecca Wakefield on Florida government budget cuts. “According to the gloom and doom projections of financial analysts, the consequences of years of mortgage fraud and ill-considered sub-prime loans have just begun to hit. In other words, we ain’t seen nothing yet. The budget reductions could last several years. . . It won’t surprise you that Florida ranks 44th out of the 50 states in benefits for workers, such as health-care coverage, and 50th in the percent of private sector workers with pension/retirement plans.”
“To reduce costs, the [Carnival Center] plans to present 60% fewer performances itself next year and offer fewer self-sponsored commercially popular shows such as comedies and pop music artists, leaving open dates for outside presenters — but finding room for those shows on the calendar will be tricky.”
Irène says: “We’re coming in to visit and are wondering if Miami or Miami Beach has a fantastic independent espresso cafe specializing in in-house or local roasts and crafted Italian espresso drinks. Love the Cafe Cubano, but living in FL, I miss the Italianos coffee.” Anyone?
Wednesday September 12, 2007
The trend in cell phone marketing seems to be local flavor (there’s an AT&T ad with four palm trees as signal graphs making the rounds), and Spring comes in with this handsome entry, bearing the headline “Our signal is way caliente.” And featuring a light painting made on South Beach. I dig. But.
See the problem? Let me give you a hint. That’s right — the lifeguard stand in the photo was removed after last year’s hurricane season. I don’t think this particularly diminishes the ad (it does give a glimpse into the time-lines that go into producing things like this). But it sure gives lie to the idiot officials that claim the new lifeguard stands are as popular as the old ones. Picture this in the background of that image. Not so much, eh?
How come this took so long: a new local blog called Daily Cocaine. Apparently not that daily, but check out the post about Camellia Street Grill in Everglades City, with a salad made almost completely out of vegetables grown behind the restaurant, an old house by the water.
When I was a kid, my bike was indispensable to me. I explored the neighborhood, venturing farther and farther from home as I got older, learning about my world. Somewhere along the way I acquired a driver’s license and a car, and for a long time I was a car-only guy. But over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed exploring my urban landscape by walking, and I’ve come to appreciate the perspective that comes from low m/h travel.
But walking is out of proportion as a way to explore our sprawl-based metropolis. And so I’ve come to re-discover areas of my own neighborhood on my bike, and have again begun venturing far beyond. It’s amazing what you notice — how your very relationship to the streets changes — from a bycicle.
This all crystallized for me when I read Mike Lydon’s account of his commute by bicycle from South Beach to his workplace in Little Havana (he works for Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., who are doing Miami 21). He describes, from an urban-planner’s perspective, (and with lots of photos) the experience of riding through the same neighborhoods every day:
Leaving the office in the evening I ride along SW 8th Street, or Calle Ocho as it is most commonly referred. It is the epicenter of Cuban culture in Miami. Urban conditions vary along the corridor, but the particular stretch from our office on SW 25th Avenue to downtown is fairly walkable and presents a mixture of retail, restaurant and cultural offerings. Nonetheless, the street is absolutely inhospitable to the cyclist, which is why the majority of people ride on the sidewalks.
You should read Mike’s entire story, if not because it’s a worthwhile portrait of our city, then because it well documents the perspective of a place afforded by the process of biking through it regularly. It’s a way of experiencing an environment that drivers-only cannot even imagine. (via TransitMiami)
Tuesday September 11, 2007
Dawn over Biscayne Bay.
Oh, so, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s a big custody case going on in a Miami court involving a 5-year old girl and her Cuban father. It seems he wants custody of her back after letting her come to the US . . . well, whatever. But so anyway, yesterday, the father was testifying, and one of the lawyers asked him to name all the women he’d ever had sex with. What type of crap is that? Someone asks me that and I’ll tell him to go fuck himself straight up; from the witness stand if that’s where I’m sitting. Seriously, isn’t that the kind of intimidation questioning they’d use in Cuba? I mean, if there’s a child in the house and you want to know what’s going on, ask for a number or something, but names?
Judge: “If he went out with other women and had sex with them, I don’t care . . . Quite frankly, if you go out and look at everybody who’s had sex with everybody, you are going to have to take a lot of kids away . . . People have sex, and they lie about it, as we all know.”
So the judge had a problem with the it too, but It’s unclear from the article whether the question ever got answered. (Damn you Carol Miller — setting up a question in the first paragraph and then not answering it!) I sure hope not.
This Herald editorial, about the new downtown logo, drops the s-bomb. Sort of.
Monday September 10, 2007
I hereby order you to love the Good News Social blog. Behind every good city there are good people, networking, and making things happen. This is their site.
The state of the Art in Public Places program in Miami is a complete disaster. Many works have been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed. This makes me want to cry, and I want whoever is responsible to be brought up on charges of criminal negligence. It’s time for us to stop putting up with all this neglect and corruption in our government.
Rotund World visits Miami, and gives it the skeptical eye of a former resident (with photos!): part 1, part 2. “Seen a certain way, at just the right distance, the Miami of today is a teeming, sky-high toy metropolis, as appealing as a dream. It looks like a sleek urban pleasure craft for the twenty-first century’s captains of industry, or whatever they are these days: real estate moguls, no doubt, on-the-lam financiers from Venezuela, summering drug lords, homegrown art collector-pashas. But the newness quickly curdles.”
The Herald and others are making a big deal out of the stupid new logo for “rebranding downtown.” Don’t worry people: we’re almost never going to see this. It’ll appear on printed pieces here and there, usually very small, and it’s safe to ignore. Fun to see the choices they had, though. See also: the hated London Olypics logo and why it’s good: 1, 2. Update: Fraud on the Herald’s poll. Talk about embarrassment.
Saturday September 8, 2007
Well, the weird computer infection persists, but it seems to have calmed down enough for me to do some basic computerin’. I might even check my e-mail sometime this weekend. Meanwhile, I just spoke to a friend of mine who’s computer has been taken over, with some remote hacker moving her mouse pointer, going to websites, and even opening a command prompt window. Yikes!
- Best thing to do: use it as an excuse to re-format your system and re-install everything.
- Leo seems like a nice guy. If he’s addressed your problem you may be in luck.
- TigerDirect Unlawfully Restrains And Verbally Abuses Customer For Not Submitting To Receipt-Showing Demands, using my photo! See also, ‘you may not see my receipt’.
- What the internet gets right: an endless stream of striking images.
- Chuck Klosterman on R Kelly. Skip the paragraph that starts “The first 12 chapters” because of spoilers, and you’re going to want to watch Trapped in a Closet, parts 1-5.
- Found photos of a woman tracing her life from childhood to middle age.
- Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya’s gulag drawings.
- Love this: vincentgallo.com contact page.
- Speaking of infections: what you need to know if you’re getting into the adult entertainment industry. This is a 2-hour thing, so feel free to skip around.
- Karl Grobl talks about his camera straps. Riveting. More how-to from Karl.
- Interesting from Lifehacker: Flight simulartor hidden in Google Earth, related to above: wipe your hard drive and reinstall Windows, Windows desktops.
- Hey everybody, Jason’s back.
- Torrentspy blocked in US. Proceed directly to The Pirate Bay, myBittorrent, or mininova. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, well, you’ll need Azureus. Update your virus definitions. Advanced: Stop your ISP from throttling bittorrent speeds.
- Review of State of Fear, Michael Crichton’s 2004 book “about” global warming.
- Look at this. Now read this. Discuss.
- Arm and Hammer Easy-Flush cat litter is now and forever gone.
- 6th element – 碳 – カーボン – 탄소 – углерод flickr pool. I’m through with flickr, but still.
- It’s time to stand up to my e-mail.
- Can anyone be a designer?
- 10 incredible recordings.
- Marilyn Manson on the O’Reilly Factor.
- OK, now please go back to Fimoculous and start again, from scratch.
- Update: I forgot to give you a silly flash game. Sorry; here you go.
Friday September 7, 2007
I just heard the weather prediction for this weekend on the TV: It might rain some. Or not. Maybe a little more on Sunday then Saturday. Not a washout by any means, probably. Sigh. Ok, here we go:
- You have a big art day ahead of you tomorrow, but the opening of Karen Kilimnik’s show at MoCA may be worth a visit anyway (or go Sunday when it’s quiet).
- MAYDAY! at Jazid.
- Critical Mass does Coral Gables. Explain to me the business about getting a bike permit for Metrorail?
- Fred and Ginger, Carefree, at the Miami Beach Regional Library, 11 am.
- Chef Philippe Pinon of Blue Door/Blue Sea at Delano will be doing a cooking demonstration in the kitchen area of the Aventura Macy’s, 1 pm.
- Just the Funny School Survival Guide at the Miami Science Museum.
- OK, so September is officially when the gallery walk picks back up after a grueling summer. Here are the officially recommended galleries for this month (grab a map here [pdf] if you need to): David Castillo, Dorsch, Hardcore Art, Locust, MoCA warehouse (Consortium winners), Diana Lowenstein, Spinello (Susan Lee-Chun), and Bernice Steinbaum. Also a couple of places not on your map: the Moore Space (TM Sisters), and Harold Golen (lowbrow). May also want to read Brett Sokol’s writeup in the Herald.
- State of the Art (Rawkus Edition) ArtOfficial [MySpace] at PS14.
- Maybe today check out the Miami International Wine Fair. A one-day ticket is $75, or $120 if you want to get into the exclusive area where they pour the really expensive stuff. Sure, I’ll say it: “get yo drink on.”
Thursday September 6, 2007
Museum Park Forum. I love the idea of a site like this, and while this seems pretty transparently anti-museum and somewhat wrong-headed (if you give people a list of 23 community-park amenities to choose from, don’t be surprised when it looks like people want a community park). Here’s the plan for Bicentennial/Museum Park. And FWIW, I still support a soccer field on Parcel B — soccer is one of the few things Bicentennial Park is currently used for.
Ye olde charter review update. So far, the panel is shunning major changes.
The CANDO arts neighborhood got a preliminary vote of approval by the Miami Beach city commission yesterday. It establishes a neighborhood (see map, above) in the northern part of South Beach where the city intends to help the arts flourish by . . . well, allowing developers to build condos with smaller units. Specifically: buildings on the Beach normally must have units that are 400 sq. feet minimum and 550 average. In the district, the latter requirement would be waived, allowing buildings of all-400 sq. foot units, for developments where 25% of the units are set aside for artists and those who work for non-profit arts organizations. Qualifying residents would have to make 50% to 80% of the county’s median income (which is $39,100 for one person, $44,700 for a household of two, and $55,900 for a family of four).
The linked article above, and the longer piece in the Sunday Herald, report that it’s 80% to 120% of median income. My information comes from the city’s planning board documents [pdf], which I take to be correcter. Much of the complaining seems to revolve around the fact that the 80-120% is too high, so I wonder where this’ll go.
It’s a common refrain that artists increase land values with their presence and price themselves out over time. And while the specifics of this plan open it to criticism, I think it will actually have a positive effect over time. The map shows that their is a substantial arts presence in the neighborhood already, and indeed rental rates on the beach are sometimes pretty reasonable.
Anyone making 50 to 80% of median income deserves some help with their housing. The argument for giving this help to those in the arts is that they specifically and tangibly enrich a neighborhood. But what will be more interesting to me is whether this really becomes a cohesive neighborhood as a result of this program; that would be a true measure of its success. (thanks to a commenter for suggesting this)
Wednesday September 5, 2007
This little guy, the Mexican bromeliad weevil, has been plowing through the air-plant population of the Everglades and residential neighborhoods. Well, now scientists have discovered species of fly in the Honduras that feeds on these particular weevils, and are releasing these flies here to kill off the population. Really interesting glimpses into the local habitat here.
At NPR, a timeline of the ‘war’ on drugs. Of course Miami features prominently. Great photos, too. This would be interesting to read right before watching Cocaine Cowboys, for some historical perspective.
Tuesday September 4, 2007
Don’t get drunk and hit your 6-week old child upside the head with a beer bottle when your wife gives her a haircut. You’ll get your picture in the paper and end up feeling silly.
People, this does not bode well. This is the Biscayne Boulevard sidewalk in front of the American Airlines Arena, where the fancy improvements are underway to make it a pedestrian paradise. The paving is still underway (half a block there are unpaved sections and stacks of bricks), but the whole stretch in front of the arena has been spray-painted, not by vandals, but by utilities. Here’s a page with the color codes; there were different colors farther up the block.
So . . . what the fuck is going on here? Did they just put all this sidewalk down only to tear it back up? Is there someone who just decided the street will NOT look attractive if they have anything to say about it? Did someone make some idiotic boo-boo? Either way, some right hand somewhere doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, and this does not bode well.
Bob Norman sez you have a better chance of surviving a head-on car crash if you accelerate into the crash then if you brake. Nonsense??
Sunday September 2, 2007
Around Virginia Key.