Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Best Mysteries of the Ancient World

Recently I saw The Mummy, the movie, the original one from the 30s.  It was actually pretty good . . . creepy, beautifully shot, and DEFINITELY better than the original Wolf Man (which I saw the same night).  Watching the Mummy reminded me of that time a few weeks ago that I went to ancient Egypt with Andrew . . .

I don't think I'd ever notice rabbit hieroglyphs before.

Or goose.

Ha ha!  Guess what?  We didn't really go to ancient Egypt.  We went to the ancient Egypt part of the Met!  I'm sorry for pullin your chain but I just couldn't resist.  You should see the look on your face!

It is very important NOT to read these pages outloud or else you will bring all the mummies at the museum back to life.  That is what I learned at the Mummy movie.  Really they should have a sign that warns you about that, but actually that would probably just encourage the skeptical to try and see if it really would happen.  The mummy problems we'd have on our hands if they did that!

The form of the hippo is something that has captivated man for millennia.

As well as posing in front of statues.  Lady, your hands should be out, pretending to hold bowls like the statue is.

This pose, however, it is best to not try to replicate.

Golden finger coverings.  These were interesting.

Again, a hippo!

Then we entered the area with this temple, and area I'd long been told to visit at the Met.  An area I finally visited after so many years of not visiting.

Lonely sphinx, totally out-shined by the stacks of old rocks.

There was a big line . . .

To stand in the doorway of the temple.  I think most people in line thought they'd be able to walk around inside, nope.  You just go in a little bit and then have to come out.

I took one photo and was like "Dude, you blinked.  Keep your eyes open!" and then THIS happened

And this, here, is a baboon.

Next I'll show you some not-Egypt stuff at the Met.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Best Neighborhood Get Together

Low flying airplanes, must mean I'm in Brooklyn again.*

*So yeah, maybe in that post I was actually in Queens.  Whatever.

In East Williamsburg, as the real estate agents would say.  Bushwick, really, as everyone knows.

I went out there to check out the Bushwick Block Party Roberta's (the tremendously popular pizza parlor/much more than a pizza parlor/neighborhood keystone) was throwing.  Here's a video they made to promote the party.  Only watch this if you like over the top awesome. Actually, you might not be able to handle all the awesome of this video.  But it really is the perfect clip to make you want to go to a block party.

Even from blocks away the block party had the neighborhood buzzing with energy.  This stranger just jumped in front of me and said "Take my picture!!" so I DID!.

Easy to get distracted on our way to the party.

When we got to the party and I was Like Whoah . . . did not know it would be such a draw, I mean, I should have known.  I just didn't comprehend what an institution Roberta's was, the effect it had on its neighborhood.  I used to think of it as an out of the way outpost, now I comprehend it is the charismatic and powerful leader of a serious movement.  I guess you could say I felt like Jim Gordon discovering Bane's massive sub-Gotham operations.  That's exactly how I felt beholding the block party.

People were Tiki Disco dancing in the street.

And down the block from the block party this dude with a minivan soundsystem was throwing his own rival party.

Well enjoyed by its own revelers.

What I'm trying to show here is that this guy was swinging around this telephone pole on that wire, but my shots where he was swinging the biggest were completely out of focus.  I was manually focusing at f/1.1 on a swiftly moving object!  It was tricky!

Back to the block party proper.  The taco people only had veggie tacos left, in other words, they were totally out of tacos.

I said I was there with Chaunte, right?

We went into the food and live music and people watching area. 

Rooftop spots for the neighbors and VIPs.

Additional internet research shows that the first band we saw was called Wild Yaks.

Brooklyn Fashion Report: Falling apart t-shirts full of holes are super in.  You'll see another one by the end of this post.

It's funny, kind of, when you're at some strange block party and there's a band you've never ever heard of but so many Brooklyners totally have and love them.  I usually don't go for that thing where people are all like, "Sheesh, kids these days." Or "Man, get a load of all these hipsters" but let me be straight with you: At this block party I felt like the absolute biggest square in all of New York City.  It seemed like all I did was step on toes and bump into people, my trusty and compact M8 suddenly the largest, heaviest and most cumbersome piece of equipment on the planet.

Wild Yak drummer was so Brooklyn.

And I said I was there with Chaunte, right?

Just two besties, tellin' stories, laughin, and watchin' some rockin'.

For STAFF everything was going well . . . 

And then BAM!, crowd surfin.  What did STAFF decide to do?

STAFF tensed for a moment and then Eh, just let the kids go for it.

After having enough music, it was time to look at the food tents.  Oh, also we looked at the food tents because the band finished.

A real hip thing to be able to say is, "Yeah, I went to that restaurant before it burned down."

Amongst the tents?  A genuine hut, selling vegan Ethiopian food.

But the tent for us?  Crif Dogs, running brisk business.  And how did they keep all those hot dog orders straight?  Ingeniously, actually.  They'd write your order and your name on a paper plate and slide them over to the dog cook who'd take your plate, put the appropriate hot dog on it, then call your name and hand you your food.  Good job, Crif Dogs!  Let's see more of this kind of ordering in the world!

Planes in the clouds.

We ate our hot dogs right by the stage as a new band was setting up.  From their drumkit font we thought their name was either "Naah" or "Naan", turns out they were called "Naam."

Activate wizard powers!

The patient, difficult to impress fans of Naam.

Sound tech figuring out some sound problems.  Their sound check nearly blew out our eardrums, we retreated to a sonically safe distance.

Another t shot full of holes!  It's a Mickey Mouse with Chanel ears, if you can't exactly tell.  Very stylish, sushi salesman.  But I'm sorry that your fancy shirt is falling apart.

One last cloudjet.  A few minutes later we decided we'd had enough awesome and went and got nachos at a nice calm Mexican place.