Monday, May 31, 2010

A T-Rex Jamboree or A Visit to the New Luna Park!

Roar! This Memorial Day weekend was the grand opening of the new Luna Park down at Coney Island. The original Luna Park was one of the first amusement parks and it opened in 1903. It had some really amazing rides and was the playground for both celebrities and chimps alike. It unfortunately burned down in 1944 and was never rebuilt. Eventually new amusement park were built in the area. Astroland was the most recent amusement park to sit on the property but that went out of business 3 years ago. Now they've opened a new Luna Park which has 14 new rides, many of which are throwbacks to the original rides that once resided there.  It should be a fun trip!
Here I am out side the gates to the new Luna Park. I can't wait to go inside! Roar!
Here I am in front of the Tickler, a remake of one of the original roller coasters that used to be housed here.
The Electro Spin is another classic inspired ride. It looks so shocking! I'm sure I'll get a real charge out of riding it! Roar!
Glad to see the classic Teacups made a return! Next time I'll be sure to bring plenty of milk and sugar!
There were a lot of other cool rides including an homage to the Parachute Drop from the 1939 Worlds Fair, a sweet surfing ride, and let's not forget the Happy Swing! Roar!
Not everything was finished for the opening weekend and there were a number of rides still under construction. These included the Log Flume ride inspired by the original Shoot the Chutes ride, which was a real shame because that was one of the ones I was looking forward to riding!
Not all of the rides at Coney Island are part of Luna Park. The Wonder Wheel which has been around forever is park of Deno's Amusement Park, a much smaller, and more child oriented park.
Then, of course, there is the Coney Island Cyclone! This is a classic roller coaster that has been around since the original Luna Park days. It was built in 1925 and designed by Vernon Keenan. To me the Cyclone represents the pinnacle of classic wooden coaster design. It is an absolute must ride! Roar!

Hanging out at the park was fun, but I decided to head over and check out the beach and walk on the board walk.
Here I am over on the boardwalk. You can see how busy it is here above the boardwalk, but I wonder what is going on underneath it? In the background you can see the original Parachute Drop from the 1939 Worlds Fair in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. It was moved to Coney Island when they renovated the park for the 1964 Worlds Fair. Roar!
The beach was so crowded! It wasn't at all like that when I came down here to visit the aquarium back in January.
Here is the Coney Island Museum, it's a really cool place. They are having an amazing science fiction film festival this summer. I definitely plan on attending at least of few of the movies they are showing! Roar!
I was getting hungry so I headed over to the famous Nathan's for some famous hot dogs. Nathan's has been around for almost a hundred years and has some of the best hot dogs in the city. The stand opened in 1916 and is the second hot dog stand in the United States.

Today was a pretty fun trip to Coney Island! It was great to see the new Luna Park and check out the all the great rides. But next time I come back I'll make sure its a weekday so it isn't so crowded. Roar!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Roar! Today was Manhattan Henge, one of the two days during the year when the movement of the sun lines up with the grid system in Manhattan. It's a really cool phenomenon! Normally it happens around May 28th but this year it occurred on the 30th. So this evening I rode up 1st Ave and watched the sun set at a bunch of the major through streets!
Here I am at 14th Street. Roar!
Here I am at 23rd Street. Roar!
Here I am at 34th Street. Roar!

I think it's strange that Manhattan Henge happens on on and around the 28th in the spring and then again around the 12th of July. It also happens for sunrise on December 5th in the fall and then again on January 8th in the winter.  Those dates line up to some strange occurrences in world history! Apparently in 1644 the Boston Massacre took place then in 1804 Alexander Hamilton was shot and killed by Aron Burr in a duel! Not to mention, Christopher Columbus set foot on Haiti plus George Washington himself delivered the first State of the Union Address at Federal Hall right here in New York City! Oh my god! All those events lining up is just too much of a coincidence for me to over look! The layout of the Manhattan Grid must be  some kind of crazy conspiracy! The grid was first proposed in 1811 and a decision was made not to run the streets geographic north-south so they must have wanted Manhattan Henge to line up with these dates!  I'll never look at Manhattan the same way again! Roar!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Late Night at the Whitney!

Roar! The Whitney is celebrating its biennial this month and as part of the celebration the Museum is staying open 24 hours a day for three days. Best of all if you go after midnight it is suggested donation! So last night I went over to the Whitney to check out all the sweet art on display.
Here I am outside of the Whitney. They even changed the sign for the biennial. I wish it was open all night all the time! Roar!
I’m overlooking the Whitney’s garden. There is some sweet looking art down there!
Photography wasn’t allowed in the museum so I had to be quick to get a couple of shots. Unfortunately, I was too quick with this one and forgot to write down what it was! Roar.
Here is another quick photo. This one was on a bone cloth line that looked really neat! I love bones and fully understand the need to dry them! I wish the photo had come out better but I’ll guess you’ll just need to swing by the museum and see the exhibit for yourself.

There were a lot of other great things on display at the Whitney, including a ton of video art, some wild installations involving projectors, and, of course, the permanent collection. The Whitney is a great museum and is absolutely worth visiting. Roar!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Visit to English Kills

Roar! Today I rode over to check out English Kills, an offshoot of Newtown Creek that runs into my neighborhood of Bushwick. It can be found at the end of the train tracks that cross Morgan Ave. It’s a pretty neat place visit even though it’s pretty polluted and a little bit shady.
Here I am on the bridge overlooking English Kills. There is a ton of sweet graffiti out here. I guess this is a really good spot to put up some art. Roar!
The train tracks are closed during the day, so I’m just going to enjoy all the scenery while I can.
Well, maybe not all the scenery. Roar!
Newtown Creek was recently declared a Superfund Site by the EPA. A lot of the pollution feeds into the creek from offshoots like English Kills. There was a story a while back about a great detergent leak under Bushwick. All the detergent leaked into English Kills so at least Bushwick is trying to help clean up the creek!
I threw up a sticker on this box. Maybe I’ll do some painting later as well. English kills is a pretty cool site. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re walking down Morgan Ave.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Box Full of Wasps tells some Harmless Stories.

Roar! Yesterday was a bit of an odd day. Tonight I went to see a preview of a new play some friends of mine have been working on called Harmless Stories. The play was great but before I went to see the play I was hanging out in Washington Square Park where I ran into none other than Donald Trump! He was filming something in the park so everyone had crowded around to watch him try to act.
Security was pretty tight so these are the best photos I could get of Mr. Trump. You can clearly make out his slick blond hair. Nobody else in the world has hair like that!
Here I am with the film crew. They were all taking a break for dinner. When Mr. Trump retired for his supper they rolled this 5 course, gourmet meal on a silver platter across the park. It was really quite ridiculous. Roar.

Next, I headed up to Theater Row on 42nd Street to see the Box Full of Wasps theater companies new play, Harmless Stories.
Here’s a scene from Harmless Stories. The play was really good. The acting was superb and the script was really tight with a ton of great jokes. Ultimately the only criticism I have is the ending left me wanting more.
Look out! It’s the T-Rex in the moon! I promise I won’t take anyone away with me. Roar!
Here I am with Anne Richmond, one of the actresses in the play. She did such a great job. During the play her stuffed animal, whose name was Boobs, was killed. It was so sad! I had to keep reminding myself he was only a stuffed animal and not real like I am!

The play was so good it’s a shame it only ran for 3 nights. I’m eagerly awaiting Box Full of Wasps' next production. Roar!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Down at the Arcade!

Roar! There is a great art exhibit over on Alan Street right now called the Deluxe Fluxx Arcade. It’s by Faile and Bast and it’s a graffiti inspired look at arcade culture from the 80’s. It s a really cool exhibit: basically they built a bunch of abstract art games into these old arcade cabinets that have been repainted in this great graffiti style. All the games have been designed by the artists and feature original music. It's a true multimedia exhibit! 
 Here I am outside the arcade on Alan Street.
Here is the inside of the arcade. Check out all these sweet games, I can’t wait to play them! Roar!
This game is called Heartbreak Brooklyn! With a name like that I'm all about it! Let’s check it out!
Oh no! She shot the head off that poor bunny! I just wanted to put it back in the box! Roar.
Here I am playing this nifty driving game where you spin the wheel to control a video that essentially looks like spin art. It’s a very cool concept.

Here I am playing this light gun game where you shoot tasty sheep! Boom!? Oh no! That sheep exploded, now I won’t be able to eat it! Roar!
Wow! Look at all these attractive ladies painted on the side of these arcade cabinets! It sure makes me want to play more games! Roar!
There was also this sweet black light back room with a painted foosball table. I love all the posters Faile and Bast made up for this room. It really is some incredible art! 
Woah, check out my pearly white teeth! They’re glowing in the black light! Roar!
Anyone care to play some foosball?

Overall, this is a pretty fun arcade and an amazing art exhibit! I appreciate any piece of art the forces its viewer to interact with it and Faile and Bast's Deluxe Fluxx Arcade succeeds at it brilliantly! I definitely recommend checking it out. Roar!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Real Metropolis

Roar! Today was great! I went to see the newly restored and near complete version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis that is playing over at the Film Forum. I haven’t seen a complete version since its 1927 premiere in Berlin. After the premiere, Metropolis was heavily edited and after World War II as much as a third of the film was believed to be lost. That is until 2 years ago when they found a complete 16mm print in Argentina. It took almost two years to restore the footage but now the new restoration is playing here in New York City, the very city that inspired the movie!
Apparently, Roger Ebert has called Metropolis the film event of 2010! I couldn’t have said it better myself. Roar!
Here I am inside of the Film Forum. They have all sorts of great information on the movie as well as some sweet posters for sale!
I can’t for the movie to start! I should have gotten some popcorn! I wonder if they have any meat flavors? Roar! 
Here is a still from one of the newly restored scenes. This is some of the lost Thin Man footage where he spies on our hero, Freder Fredersen. It turns out the Thin Man is freaking awesome! It was so cool to see all the scenes back in the movie. Roar!