Archive for the 'New York' Category

Old J-Pop

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

During lunchtime, I stopped by BookOff in midtown to pick up some old second-hand (who knows, might even be third-, fourth- or tenth-hand) Japanese CDs.

miho nakayama わがままなあくとれすMiho Nakayama’s Wagamamana Akutoresu [わがままなあくとれす] (1993)
I owned this but it’s sleeping at my parents’ house. Believe it or not, it’s only 3 bucks, why not? 3 bux to buy and rip, it’s so worth it. It’s hard to believe that this album is 14 years old! This is crazy.

eisaku yoshida 少年のいた夏“A”saku Yoshida’s 少年のいた夏 (1990)
Another 3-dollar CD. I bought it just because it’s there. I’ll probably listen to it 3 times, and I probably won’t even bother ripping it. This one was released 17 years ago. I kid you not. I recently saw a picture of Yoshida, and sure he looks old now. He used to have such a young cute face. Not anymore, and he’s now an old man.

Talk at the colloquium at BMCC

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Last night I was invited to speak at the colloquium organized by the Multimedia Programming and Design program at the BMCC. Along with Eric Socolofsky, we talked to students about what we do in the industry. I showed them some of the projects I’ve done to give them a brief idea of what it’s like to for me to work in interactive. I focused on the web and interactive voice projects, contrasting my non-profit and commercial work. I also tried to give them an idea of how I strive to separate my client design work with my bookart, something that keeps my creative juices going.

We both showed an array of projects that have user-generated content, and we both think that it’s the next (or current, rather) big wave.

Eric, a game designer, showed a few great projects that he did. One of them is QuickComic, in which users can drag and drop comic objects into a 2×2 grids and type in dialogs. Users can not only send their comic strips to their friends, but also embed them into their sites with an EMBED code.

Nefés

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006


Photo credit: Stephanie Berger for The New York Times

Nefés at BAM was awesome. This is my fourth Pina Bausch performance, and I think this is probably my favorite of all. The bubbles, the water, the shower, the hair-slapping, and of course, the gorgeous dancers, are all unforgettable (without revealing too much here).

As usual, the piece is full of repetitions. What would be Pina Bausch without repetitions? Elements are repeated not only throughout the piece, but across the pieces as well: the tiny Ruth Amarante is tossed around again; Nazareth Panadero screams and maks people laugh; male dancers fly onto the table, collapse over a chair onto the ground; female dancers play with their long hair…

The best part is when the female dancers are moving back and forth the stage with an overlay of lighted screen, they move ever so gently, they are barely visable as they are hovering around the stage. The finale is memorable and breath-taking. All the dancers line up on the floor and move along… repeating the same movements for which seems like forever.

By the way, it was the Next Wave Gala tonight, people were all dressed up and everything. And I spotted Claire Danes, with her super-skinny bare back and long blond hair, chatting away with everybody…

A few reviews: review on Bloomberg.com, review on New York Times, Newsday.

Nefés

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Pina Bausch - Nefés

From Brooklyn Academy of Music:

Pina Bausch first brought her incomparable brand of dance to BAM in 1984, establishing herself as a master of transformative theater. With the stunning Nefés, Bausch channels impressions of Istanbul—a city where ancient is juxtaposed with modern and West converges with East—into a vibrant, ephemeral whole.

Originally conceived in 2002 as an ode to the city’s historically resonant din and brilliant colors, Nefés (Turkish for “breath”) quickly became a life-affirming response to Istanbul’s bouts with political upheaval. But rather than echoing the violence, Bausch invests her signature humor and emotional pathos with an acute sense of calm. And she does so by focusing on pure movement, on the body itself. The contemplative mood also extends to Bausch’s typically eclectic music and striking staging, featuring massive video screens with which the dancers interact. Istanbul is surrounded by water and that element plays a crucial role in Nefés, culminating in one of Bausch’s most unforgettable stage images—one we wouldn’t dare spoil by revealing here.

Approximate running time: 170min, including 20min intermission.

Set and video design by Peter Pabst
Costume design by Marion Cito
Musical direction by Matthias Burkert and Andreas Eisenschneider

A co-production with the International Istanbul Theatre Festival and the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.

Nefés will be playing at BAM from December 8th – 12th at the Howard Gilman Opera House.

Photo: Ursula Kauffman

X’mas Tree Getting Ready

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

The X’mas tree at the Rockerfeller Center is getting ready. Another Holiday…

Where will (can) you get your Wii?

Monday, November 13th, 2006

WiiI have absolutely no idea. I am kinda disappointed that I missed the pre-order at Toys R Us this past Sunday. I read about it around 11am that day, but I figured by the time I schelepped into the city it would be all sold out anyway. Why bother even trying if I wasn’t camping out the night before. This is such a joke. And of course there is no way I am going to buy a receipt for over 600 dollars on eBay…

It’s all madness. It seems like the Target in Target in Gateway Dr has the largest quantity of Wii available at the launch. They have 210!!! Maybe I should consider camping out at Target’s parking lot overnight?
http://wickedsick.org/wii_finder/index.php?str=(718)

And here is a Google-mapped Wii spotter. Truly seriously absolutely maddness. Madness!
http://www.ps3seeker.com/wii/index.php?p=10001

Of course, I definitely don’t need it right away (who does “need” it right away, anyway!?), and I am sure that there will be plenty on the way and the holiday is getting closer. What a fucking marketing hype the big N pulled…

Celebrity Sightings

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Well once in a while I would see a number of celebrities in a row by being in the city. I was walking down 7th Avenue towards the village, and right at the intersection, a familar face brushed by. No it’s not Tim Robbins (not yet, be patient), it’s Bobby Flay. Boy, does he have a big double chin!? He was not as tall as I would imagine. Well, though he is definitely not one of my favorites on the Food Network, he does a great smile, which I can credit him for. My favorite Food Network start is still Tyler Florence, whom I have met on the subway once sitting right across from me and looking right at me.

tim robbinsAnyway, back to last night. Shortly then, I arrived at Joe Jr. Restaurant on 6th Avenue, greeted MG at the bar while he was finishing his coffee and a piece of coconut cake before we could head out for a proper dinner. I took the stool next to him. MG was acting weird. He said quietly, “I’ll tell you later.” I thought something must be going on with the mama hostess and the daughter or something like that. Fine. I figured she must have given him that piece of coconut cake, because, why the hell would he order a piece of cake right before dinner? That’s just absurd.

Then a huge plate of stuffed-cabbage-meatloaf-with-mash-like food arrived at the patron next to MG. “It was a huge plate,” I thought. And then I started looking around. “Wait, it can’t be him, can it? That profile…” I thought the guy sitting right next to MG looked like Tim Robbins. He was wearing a green shirt. He has an adorable yet aged profile. And he turned to me and smiled (well I don’t think he was exactly smiling at me, he must be smiling at the hostess’ daughter who was talking loudly right next to me). It’s definitely Tim Robbins! His adorable face!

So with this, I have encountered Tim Robbins face to face twice!