Tag Archives: city life

HAIRY: WHEN YOUR PERSONAL MODE OF TRANSPORT NEEDS A HAIRCUT

You are looking at this photo and you’re thinking “WTF?” Maybe you’re even mouthing the letters as you think them, a just barely audible sound escaping between your lips.

Maybe you’re vocalizing the question with the actual words instead of the initialism: “What the F*ck?!?!” with an emphasis on the last word. (Assuming you’re at work, your co-workers are glancing towards you for a half-second after you utter this.)

All of these are proper, reasonable responses to the subject of the photo pictured here: A hairy, furry beach-cruisey bicycle parked at the bike rack at the popular Superba restaurant in Venice, Los Angeles.

This hirsute bicycle is either a large fashion accessory, a sartorial lifestyle statement piece extended to one’s transport and/or an art project. Perhaps there’s some functionality — the ride is somehow “softer” (?).  Perhaps it’s all these things. In any case, it looks as if Chewbacca took the form of bike and sprayed Sun In all over his over-follicled body. Amaze.

Bicycle-Shaped Bicycle Rack

There must be a word in the English language for when a thing is designed to look like another object with which it’s associated in some practical way, but we can’t find a suitable word. Take for example, this bicycle rack in Silver Lake, in Los Angeles. The rack is shaped like a set of bicycles. It’s a nice touch that makes an otherwise mundane, utilitarian piece of street furniture into an amusing part of the urban landscape. The bicycle shape of the rack communicates its purpose, making the rack easier to visually identify at a distance and thus the search for it that much easier. As for a suitable word, we suggest creating a new, more applicable word. Our suggestion: “resembladinger.” It’s a portmanteau we mashed up from the the words “resemble” and the old Germanic word “ding,” which means thing. We added an “-er” suffix for effect and to suggest it having a practical, tool-like quality. Any other suggestions? Let us know.

DIY Taco Stand Architecture

This taco stand popped up at the biannual Echo Park Craft Fair in Silver Lake this past weekend. It seems you can’t drive a block in Los Angeles wihtout seeing either a small taco joint, truck, take-out window or improvised stand. But this one is unique in a couple of ways, most notably in its architecture and construction. The do-it-yourself quality to the construction and use of materials is clever. Long wood boards have been slotted into the gaps in a stack of wood pallets. These pallets form columns and the boards function as shelves and a counter. The menu items are written in chalk on the side of the pallets. White fabric has been thrown over the contruction to form a roof. Then there is the decor. There’s a Tibetan Buddhist-style string of colorful flags strung along the top of the stand. Woven Mexican bowls on the columns add color. Potted plants accent the facade and rest on heavy wood blocks that help support the columns. It’s brilliant, though one wonders how structurally sound it is and whether it’s “up to code,” as they say.


On the Scene at Menotti’s Coffee Shop in Venice

The cafe at Menotti’s Coffee is a third-wave espresso joint and a friendly little hub for the legion of caffeinated locals and a certain stylish subset of Silicon Beach worker bees in the heart of Venice in Los Angeles. The baristas are serious about their coffee game but with zero pretension, in spite of the smattering of hipster accoutrements. Sure, there’s a skateboard and fixed-gear bicycle propped against a wall inside the cafe, and there’s beautiful, curated art photography on the wall, but its presence seems more a natural byproduct of taste than strategic. Across from the cafeteria is the famous, epic-scaled Venice “Touch of Evil” mural. On a slow day, we’ll cruise over to Menotti’s on our bikes for a long break and a flat white cappuccino.

Menotti’s Coffeeはロサンゼルスのヴェネツィアで “Silicon Beach”で働くスタイリッシュな若者やカフェ、親しみやすい小さなエスプレッソバーです。 カフェバリスタはコーヒーについて真剣です。 彼らにはプレテンションはありません。 しかし、彼らはヒップスターです。 もちろん、カフェの中にはスケートボードと固定式の自転車があります。 壁に美しくキュートな芸術的な写真があります。 これはメノッティスタイルの例です。 カフェの通りを渡って、有名な、壮大なサイズのヴェネツィア「Touch of Evil」の壁画があります。 私たちが忙しくないとき、仕事から休みを取って、メノッティに自転車を乗せて、美味しいフラットホワイトのカプチーノを飲むことにします。

“Can’t Steal Our Vibe” Sign at Lone Wolfs (sic) Surf Shop … Venice, Los Angeles

We love this … The Lone Wolfs (sic) surf shop on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice, in Los Angeles, was recently robbed. The perpetrators smashed one of the shop’s glass doors. The Lone Wolfs responded with this witty, spray-painted message on the plywood they put up to cover the broken door: “Can’t steal our vibe.”

Scenes from a Snow Day … New York City

As the pix below show, Tuesday was a “snow day” here in New York City due to the massive winter storm, dubbed Juno, that started hitting the city Monday afternoon.

But while the blizzard started out big, blustery and with very heavy snowfall Monday, the second wave of the storm that arrived later that night and on Tuesday morning was fairly mild and didn’t live up to the epic snowpocalypse (or snowmaggeddon, if you prefer) that was forecast for the city.

We were surprised how little snow had piled up in a bowl we had left outside on our balcony overnight. Still, NYC effectively shut down Tuesday and most of us spent most of the day at home with an official day off from the office, if not from the work itself (we still managed to hold two conference calls with our clients in Europe in morning).

With conditions milder than expected, we took some time out to wander around and go for a long walk in our downtown Manhattan neighborhood, enjoying the relative tranquility that comes with much of the city’s business being shut down on such an occasion. We made some stops along the way for Chinese steamed dumplings and a coffee, too.

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On the Scene … At the Beautifully Minimalist Nezu Cafe in Aoyama, Tokyo

The cafe in the garden of the Nezu Museum in Aoyama, in Tokyo, is a striking example of minimalist architectural design and contemporary Japanese aesthetics. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls on three sides of the rectangular space give a full view of the garden and spectacular autumn foliage. A Japanese washi paper design is part of the ceiling material and allows diffused light into the space. This is one of more contemplative spaces in Tokyo and a fine place to while away an hour in reflection, sipping a coffee or tea.

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The “Don’t F*** It Up” T-Shirt

Awesome dude Hiroshi shows off his “Don’t Fuck It Up” graphical t-shirt at the rooftop BBQ party in New York York City this past weekend. It was one of the fashion-style highlights of the evening. Love it.

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Where to Stash a Surfboard in Chinatown

Usually we keep our surfboards stored in a board bag somewhere more sensible and indoors, but after a recent DIY fiberglass repair of some dings, we planted our surfboard outside to dry out on the fire escape turned balcony of our NYC Chinatown apartment.

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On the Scene … At the Painting of the Beastie Boys “Paul’s Boutique” Mural, New York

Pix here at the scene of artists putting the final spray-paint touches on a mural honoring punky New York hip-hop greats the Beastie Boys and one of its late members, MCA (Adam Yauch). The graffiti artwork is at the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow streets in the heart of New York’s Lower East Side, and at the site of what was once — long before the neighborhood was gentrified — a low-rent clothing shop called Paul’s Boutique. A photograph of the store appears on the album cover of the Beastie’s classic 1989 album titled “Paul’s Boutique.” The shop has long since closed, and a series of cafes and restaurants have occupied the premises over the years with the subsequent waves of gentrification.

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Urban Life … Mexican “Mariachi” Band at Rooftop Cinco de Mayo Party, New York

In celebration of the annual Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, our ad agency threw a rooftop party complete with a mariachi band atop its global headquarters building in New York City. Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!

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City Life … On the Scene at a Chinatown Protest in NYC

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We stumbled upon this political-labor protest this morning outside the Grand Street subway station in Chinatown while on our way to a meeting at our offices uptown. What really struck us was the style of the the placards and signs, especially the hand-drawn illustrations depicting restaurant delivery men on their bicycles.

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On the Scene NYC … At “That Surfboard Condo” …

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We spent part of our weekend surfing (and checking out a lot of art and drinking a lot espresso, too, of course) at New York City’s Far Rockaway Beach. Some friends invited us too an après-surf Korean BBQ B-day party at a condo across from the beach, where a group of people have rented the condo exclusively for the purposes of storing their surfboards so they don’t have to schlep them from Manhattan and Brooklyn. The living room has been turned into essentially a very large and comfortable closet to keep a quiver of some twenty boards. Clever. Love it.

“Last Night I Got So F’d Up That Now …”

Last weekend this chest of drawers was left out on the sidewalk at the corner of Mulberry and Prince streets in Nolita, near SoHo, in New York City. Somebody who had been partying too much the night before got creative and wrote “Last night I got so f*cked up that now I’m here” with a gold marker pen. We like how the writer used each drawer for placing his words. Brilliant. Funny. Silly.

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