Friday, January 29, 2010

T-Rex goes to Tiny Towne

Roar! Today I rode down to visit my girlfriend, Giraffe, in her neighborhood of Gerritsen Beach. It's this really strange neighborhood in south Brooklyn where all the streets and homes get really congested. Basically it's like New York's very own Tiny Towne. 

View Tiny Towne in a larger map

Here is a map of Gerritsen Beach that shows what I mean when I say it's New York's Tiny Towne. When the neighborhood was developed in the 20's it was designed to be a beach bungalow community so all the houses were built on 40 x 45 square foot lots. As a result there are tons of narrow streets. 
Look how crowded the neighborhood is! Every couple of houses there is another street. 
Gerritsen Beach is right on the water, which is nice, so Giraffe and I decided to spend some time together enjoying the view. Oh my god is that a T.G.I.Fridays across the river?! To go there, We're going to need a smaller boat!
Giraffe introduced me to her friend Mr. Tusks, the mayor of Gerritsen Beach. He was really proud of his tiny town and was willing to show us around. 
This is Mr. Tusks' Mayoral Mansion. It sure is big! Roar!
Mr. Tusks took me to see the main strip to see all the shops in Gerritsen Beach. Here is the Ancient Order of Hiberians. I'll never understand mammals and their need to sleep through half the year. Roar!
Here is Big Al's Barber Shop. I guess not everything is small around here!
Next we came to the local pet supply store, Bargain Bow Wow. It's apparently the "Purrrfect  Pet Food Solution," they even have a Twitter feed! Wow!
Roar! Even the fire hydrants out here in Gerritsen Beach are fancy. Look at the pretty colors!
There are lots of old ladies in Gerritsen Beach that like to decorate their homes with all sorts of kooky stuff! Just look at this house! Can you find me in this picture? Roar!
I'm thinking of investing in this fixer-upper. Mr. Tusks says it only needs a little bit of work!
After the tour Mr. Tusks offered to take us to T.G.I.Fridays in his submarine but I decided to go spend some time with Giraffe in the park. 
Giraffe really likes living out here because while everything in her neighborhood is so tiny, right across the street is the Gerritsen Beach Conservation Area where there are plenty of wide open spaces for her to graze. 
There is also this crazy playground with a giant snake! I decided to ride the snake, but unfortunately there weren't any ancient lakes around for us to visit. Roar! 

I had a great time today visiting Giraffe. Gerritsen Beach is an interesting neighborhood and it was really nice to meet Mr. Tusks. Hopefully I'll get to see everyone again soon. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

West Meets East!

Roar! This afternoon was really cool. It turns out you don't need to go to museums or art galleries to see cool stuff, there are lots of great things hidden right under our noses.

I went over to 145 West 57th Street in Manhattan and headed up to the Spink Shreves Auction House where the were previewing the upcoming auction of the Floyd E. Risvold Collection - American Expansion & The Journey West. I got to look at all these old letters and maps from the then new frontier. I really liked looking at all the Oregon Trail stuff. It brought back a lot of memories. Roar!

There were no photos allowed at the auction but I was able to get pictures of what I looked at off of the auction house's website. Here is an old map of Fort Kearney. Maybe I should stop and look around? Y/N Or perhaps I should press return to size up the situation. Roar!

This is the first letter to ever arrive in Astoria, Oregon. It took over a year for it to get there. I guess things were still pretty post-apocalyptic out there in the frontier. I hope Nathan Hale's army didn't try to stop The Postman from delivering this letter!

This is a really great old map of the Oregon territory. It's from the book Horn's Overland Guide, from the U. S. Indian Inside the front cover of the book the original owner had drawn some cartoons and the people at the auction house were nice enough to let me take a picture.

Here is the first cartoon. It's call "A Democratic Speech." The speaker on the left is saying, "Three cheers for luck" and then the top three figure are all shouting "hurrah!" On the bottom two men are fighting while another on looker shouts "hurrah." Meanwhile an unseen assassin attempts to shoot the speaker. I'm guessing the author of this cartoon was a Whig. Roar!

The second cartoon is a lot less political and instead offers us some commentary on frontier living. The pioneer on the left is asking the man at the bar for a bottle of whiskey. I guess they drank a lot of it back then.

Oh my! This pioneer had the same name as me! It looks like he never made it to Willamette Valley, Oregon. Frontier times were tough, people couldn't even spell right! Roar!

Downstairs in the same building as the auction house they were having a preview show for some really cool Japanese prints.

The show was of little-seen prints depicting the industrial revolution in Japan. Unfortunately none of the original art was on display but it was still some really cool stuff to see.

 Here is an amazing picture of an early Japanese train. I wonder what the poem above it says?

This picture was crazy! Look at all the "western" amenities falling from the fireworks! I wish fireworks could do that for real! Roar!

They had a lot of great stuff on display. I definitely recommend coming here while the show is on to check it all out. Roar!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pie Roar Squared

Roar! Yesterday was such a strange day! First, the PS1 museum's Saturday Session was having performances featuring a bunch of "Do It Yourself" instruments that looked pretty cool so I rode up there to check it out.

At the museum I met a dinosaur enthusiast and old college friend from back in my B.C. days. It had been ages since I'd last seen her.

The show was upstairs in the record room. The first performance was by this woman who made a synthesizer out of a sewing machine. It seamed like a cool idea but she just ran a piece of fabric back and forth making sounds to show how it worked. I really wanted to see her sew a dress so I could hear what it would have sounded like.

The next performance featured a cello with a television set built into it. The performer used a magnet to bow the strings and cause the image on the TV screen to distort. It was a very clever effect but instead of playing music she just sat around making sounds to show everyone how it worked.

After all of that free improv I convinced them to let me play this sweet vacuum cleaner powered organ. Time for some Iron Butterfly! Roar!

Next, I headed back to Brooklyn and over to the K&M Bar for the BK Farmyards Pie Contest. 

It was really dark inside the bar and hard to get good photos of all the pies. Here you can make out a bunch of the pies entered in the contest. There ended up being well over 50 pies entered and after judging the pies were given out to the audience so they could try them too.

Everyone was so shocked to see a T-Rex at the contest they decided to let me be a guest judge. My favorite pies ended up being the steak and kidney pie, minced meat pie, and the chicken and leek pie. Roar!

Here I am with a big plate of pies to judge. After all the judging was over I must have eaten at least 3.14159265... pies! That's whole lot of pie! Roar!

Friday, January 22, 2010

T-Rex Aquatic!

Roar! Today I went down to the beach to visit the New York Aquarium!
Before I left to head down to the Aquarium I wrote this message to place in a bottle and leave by the beach. It says, "Help! I'm trapped on an island at 39° 11' N, 96° 35' W. I am surrounded by savages and fear they will soon get me unless help arrives! PLEASE HURRY!" If you look up the coordinates you can find out what island I was trapped on. Roar!

Here is what the message looked like when I put it inside the bottle.

After a long train ride I finally made it to the beach. I tossed my message into the sea! This is what is looked like when it washed back up on the shore. I sure hope someone finds it and comes to rescue me soon! 

Next, I went over to the New York Aquarium. It's suggested donation on Fridays after 3. I gave them a few bones and went inside to check out all the awesome fish!

Woah! Look at all this awesome sea life! I love fish! You could even say I'm hooked on them! Roar!

Oh my gosh! It's a giant walrus! I tried to say the traditional walrus greeting I learned from a Beatles song but I don't think he heard me.

I can make that face too, Mr. Moray Eel! Roar!

Ahhh! It's the "terror" of the jelly fish. I don't want to get stung! I wonder if there's a peanut butter fish?

Ah, the majesty and mystery of the briny deep! Just look at these fine fish swim through the shadows. I bet they taste delicious! Roar!

Look at all these pretty starfish! I thought this was an aquarium not a planetarium!
The undersea world is full of so much color! I thought everything was going to be blue! Roar!
Hey look, it's an old selachian prehistoric friend of mine. It's nice to know these guys are still around.
That sea otter is having a lot of fun with that watering can. Someone should plant him a garden, or maybe he could just share the octopus's! Roar!
Here is another prehistoric buddy of mine. He was so surprised to see a T-Rex it left him speechless!
After I left the aquarium I went back to the beach to watch the sun set over the water. It sure was a fun day at the aquarium!

Monday, January 18, 2010

T-Rex and the Sandman...

Roar! Saturday night was so cool! I went to got see a free concert of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf that was performed by the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra and narrated by Neil Gaiman! It was so much fun! The performance was at the Winter Garden of the World Finacial Center which turned out to be a pretty unusual place to see a concert.
The Winter Garden has all these palm trees growing in the center. It was a strange sight to see! I guess when you're the World Financial Center you can put palm trees whereever you want. All those palm trees also made the accoustics for the concert really bad so they had to mike the entire orchestra and play the concert on speakers throughout the garden. The music they played before the concert was also really strange! It was Vangelis' score to Bladerunner. I hope it wasn't... time to die!
It was also really dark in the garden. I can barely read my pamphlet! Roar!
Finally the concert started. Since the concert was free seats were first come, first serve. I got there an hour early and still ended up near the back. You can see Neil on the left and the conductor of the orchestra on the right. Turns out he's Neil's cousin! Roar!

The performance was really good and Neil did a great job but seeing it made me want to make my own version of Prokofiev's story starring me and my friends. So we got together on Sunday and filmed the introuction to Peter and the Wolf. Evntually we'll make the rest of the story but I think the introduction gives a pretty clear idea of what it will be like. Roar!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Sad" Hoc Closing Party!

Roar! Last night was the closing party for the Ad Hoc Art Gallery. They were giving away all sorts of weird stuff including free art so I headed over there to check it out.

Here I am outside of the gallery. Woah! There sure are a lot of people inside! I guess everyone is really sad the gallery is closing so they came to pay their last respects. I guess all the Ad Hoc regulars will now just have to go to one of the other dozens of galleries in the area. What ever will they do?!

This place is such a mess! People were just tearing the gallery apart. I guess they all wanted something to remember it by.  There is a lot of potential here for some sweet loft art. Roar...

Oh yeah! Now that's what I'm talking about! Free art! Just look at all these sweet prints. I hope there is one of a dinosaur! Roar!

Here is a photo of one of the murals on the wall inside the gallery. It reads "A VISION OF THE FUTURE IMAGINE A BOOT STAMPING ON A HUMAN FACE." Let me tell you I have seen the future and it involves asteroids, not boots!

The actual art exhibit that was on that night was really good. Too bad everyone was too sad the gallery was closing to notice it. It involved these portraits of the human body made by laying objects out on large sheets of photo paper then exposing them. The effect was great and made for some really fascinating images. Roar!