First, my beloved C215. I found all of these just by cycling around Amsterdam and keeping my eyes open. Always remember to keep your heads up, munchkins! There is so much wonderful art in your city and you’re missing it!
Now some Space Invader! So technically, I photographed this piece last year, but it was a crappy shot with my iPad, so I found it again and photographed it properly. I was shocked how I found it again, this is literally buried within a series of winding and interlocking streets in a community-housing project. I wasn’t looking to find it again, I just stumbled upon it, and was like NO WAY NO WAY NO WAY!
This was on Overtoom. I was lucky to spot this, because I was bombing north on my bike, going really fast and not paying attention to walls, I just happened to look up. ALWAYS LOOK UP!
This Invader looks like he’s wearing a mask!
I think this was on Bloemenstraat near the Prisengracht.
Finally some Curtis Kulig. YES CURTIS, I SWEAR I LOVE YOUUUUUUUU.
Curtis AND an A.S.V.P.! Lucky day!
After my last post about A.S.V.P. I managed to get in contact with the elusive artist. He was very appreciative of my blog and showed me some photos of his work that have been put up as far away as India! Wicked, bruv. High five!
So I was going through my stash of NYC photos, and found some more of his work that I photographed around Brooklyn. The above “Down to Earth” was in Williamsburg, and this below “Protection” was in Bushwick.
I tell ya, dear munchkin readers, I have been blogging the graff photos from my NYClusterfuck for THREE WEEKS now, and I’m not even close to being done yet! I took over 1000 photos, so this stash will clearly take time to go through. I hope you’re enjoying the amazing work NYC has to offer. I promise to return to Toronto graff once I get through all of these!
I’m enjoying this so much, I have a little secret to reveal: I’m applying for my Green Card as we speak. Fingers crossed, if all goes to plan, the coming years could see me spending a helluva lot more time south of the border. Wish me luck!
Shhhhhhh! Don’t jinx it!
the last time i was in NYC, i photographed a few A.S.V.P.’s around manhattan. and literally, you cannot walk past a lamp post or street sign without seeing one of his stickers, tags, or wheatpastes. the dude is prolific, determined, and is really great brand-awareness. it only took one day for me to realize that he was a major player in the NYC street art scene.
upon returning to NYC, i made an effort to photograph as many of his pieces as possible, with epic results! i took this above photo of his “Future Cop” series on Rivington street near Bowery in the LES.
then i found another example of it in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on North 4th near Wythe. sorry for the bad angle, it was really high up, and i’m a pipsqueak.
this balaclava’d man was up on Spring Street in Soho.
i don’t know if that ‘scumbags & superstars’ sticker was added purposefully to one of ASVP’s stickers on the back of a street sign, but it is an accurate description of many people in the graff and street art scene.
found this on Mulberry Street in Soho.
Spring Street, Soho
this was on Bogart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. As you can see so far, he thematically weaves in classic imagery of the 1950’s with more socially-conscious and anti-authority subversive messages.
ooh! an ASVP right below the Mussolini diktatr wheatpaste that i blogged about yesterday! this was either North 2nd or North 3rd in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (that was a crazy night for photograffiti’ing, so forgive my hazy memory!)
April 5th was officially
the SIX YEAR anniversary for The Spadina Monologues!
i am a powerhouse. that’s dedication. seriously, i hope half you bloggers out there have the stamina and staying power that i’m displaying up in hurrr because it’s hard out here for a blog-pimp (“blimp?”)
over the past 6 years, there’s been travelling, there’s been love affairs, there’s been heart-break, there’s been moving-to-the-other-side-of-the-planet, there’s been reality TV shows, there’s been hollywood movies, there’s been starfucking, there’s been global notoriety, there’s been more love affairs, more backpacking, more heart breaks….there’s been money and theatre and writing and successes….there’s been disasters, epic failures, major embarrassments, and friends-turned-to-foes….and it’s all here documented.
i live in public.
here’s to another six years! and to kiboshing all the competition.
i’m still in New York City and it’s like i’m doing a graffiti tour of this amazing city. my eye is trained now to find what everyone else just walks past and ignores. it’s even on the subway, and damn is it good.
this moustache guy is everywhere.
i found out the other day that my Masters Thesis has been put online
by either York University, the National Library of Canada, or Google Books (no clue which one of these hosers actually took to the time to scan all 300 pages of this bitch). i wrote this monstrosity in 2006, and at the time, the university said i was on the cutting edge of this type of research in Canada and thusly nominated me for a university-wide graduate thesis award …
i’ve got intelligencia coming outta my academic-tuckus. i double dare you to read it. I TRIPLE DARE YOU.
while i was still in toronto a couple weeks ago, i did a whole bunch of test blogging for a health and wellness publication (you can read some of the articles i wrote in my online writing portfolio
), and then they invited me in for an interview where i met the CEO. this particular publication is a female-run & female-targeted with offices both in Toronto and NYC. so when i told them during the interview that i was headed to NYC for a couple weeks, they suggested i meet up with the editors based there as well. so last week, a few days after arriving, i headed to their Broadway offices and met with the editors. we had a lovely chat about the trajectory of the company and other publications they have on the horizon and what not.
the next day, they called me and offered me a full-time staff writer position. if i accepted, i’d be based out of toronto, but there were a few hints here and there that after a year of employment, there would be the option to transfer me to NYC.
i asked them to send me the contract so i could give it a once over and ask some questions….and then thought about it over the weekend.
then promptly accepted the position early monday morning.
it’s so funny because as early as february, i was lamenting (read: bitching) to a colleague of mine how poorly freelance writers are treated and that staff writers usually get all the garlands. while i LOVE freelancing, don’t get me wrong, and will continue to freelance whilst in this company, it’s great to be STAFF.
plus, as you all know, i’m all about fostering women’s voices and stories, so to be with a by-women-for-women company is the epitome of awesomesauce.
this opportunity also just kinda fell into my lap. a guy that i had a fickle fling with last year knows the CEO and knew they were looking for writers, so he thought of me and sent me a message letting me know about it.
which was nice of him, considering the last time he was in toronto in january, he caused a shit-storm (you all remember that blog post). he has since atoned for his bad behaviour several times over, so i can’t hold anything against him. i’ll forever think of him fondly as a top lad.
speaking of fickle flings of the past, it would now appear that every single one of my ex’s has a girlfriend. all of ’em! from the helper-monkey i mentioned above, to the butt-munch who broke my heart over the holidays, to my old london and NYC ex’s, to even the dudes i just casually see… fucking hell, when did everyone start pairing off?
at present, i don’t have a love life to speak of.
not even a crush!
i ain’t complainin’ mind you. it’s kind of nice to be man-free. who needs a man when you have a life?
IF YOU HAVIN’ BOY PROBLEMS, I FEEL BAD FOR YA HUN
I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT A DICK AIN’T ONE
over the weekend i went to go see a staged reading of the canadian play SIA
, produced by Bridge Theatre Company,
which was brought to my attention by fellow film critic Glenn Sumi
who suggested i attend. i had heard about this play last summer when it went up at the Toronto Fringe
, but i didn’t expect to see it in NYC! i was pretty excited to have a slice of home right in the heart of Broadway (well, 54th and 8th, more like)
Sia tells the story of a liberian brother and sister struggling to stay together before the war broke out, whilst simultaneously telling the story of a canadian traveler kidnapped during the war, and how both narratives intersect and affect one another.
and lemme tell ya, all my fellow theatre-addicts, this play, albeit brief (60 minutes? damn you fringe time restraints!), was THE BEST 60 MINUTES OF MY LIFE.
twas LOADED WITH BRILIANCE!
it was relevant, timely, moving, poignant, heartbreaking, funny, clever, and for a mere staged reading, it was superbly acted by the performers.
also, layne’s daughter charlotte
was reading the stage directions! i hadda email him and scold him for not telling me she was in NYC at the same time! also, i found out from running into her that he’s coming back to toronto next week. WAIT, WHAT? layne’s like one of my best friends ever, and he didn’t tell me!
he received a double scolding for that.
but hey, i get to see layne again next week!
last name WIN, first name EPIC.
huge crowd at the reception
the theatre was on the 13th floor of an old art-deco manhattan building, classic new york. the space was a large studio with floor-to-ceiling windows, so it kinda felt like we were experiencing theatre in the clouds. such a great atmosphere!
stop being so gorgeous, dammit.
there was a great talkback after the performance, and everyone from the performers, director, playwright, producers, and the audience had brilliant insights for the play and where it should go. i really hope this gets remounted soon because i would maim and mangle my own sister to see a full production of this play.
and you would too. trust me. you so would.
back to graffiti talk! this is why i’m in NYC to begin with, to research and explore street culture and graffiti art, and in my research i had stumbled across details and stories about an entire warehouse building in Queens called 5Pointz
, so i knew i hadda check it out, and this was probably one of the single greatest discoveries of my time here. it’s one huge massive converted school (i think) that INVITES popular street artists to come and decorate their exteriors (and interiors). it’s almost like curated graffiti. and some of the stuff is so lovely and vibrant, that while i was there, wedding photos were being taken next to music videos that were being shot.
i was so giddy being here, look at this photojaculation!
awed at street level
it just goes on and on
it don’t matter where ya from!
hahaha rules were made to be broken
i read online that 5Pointz has been sold and will soon be turned into….wait for it….gentrified CONDOS!
people, if you’re in Queens in the near future, get yo’posterior to 5 Pointz before it’s gone!
i don’t know what ASVP is but dude’s stickers and posters are EVERYWHERE in new york! i can’t turn a corner without seeing a trace of him somewhere!
you KNOW i hadda get myself in on the action
i didn’t drink those brewsky’s on the steps but they sure add to the ‘tude i’m displaying in the photo
if my hip-hop album debut were about to drop, this would be the album cover, surely
blurred for her pleasure
what the hell was i doing here, sniffing the wall?
no no no, i retract that earlier statement…THIS would be my hip-hop album cover. nicely done, estima
seriously, let me help you with that.
i mentioned in my last blog post that Jake Dobkin
graciously let me interview him for research purposes. a few days later i found out that he was a panelist on the discussion of NYC street photography
over at Union Docs
in Williamsburg, so i headed over there to their cramped and over-heated space to attend the hotly-debated panel.
it was actually fricken brilliant. three vastly different modes and approaches to street photography were explored and discussed and debated, but I think i preferred Jake’s approach because he was asking questions about systemic problems with street photography, rather than making hard and fast rules about what he thinks it should be.
there’s jake with his powerpoint presentation, well thought out.
… and ethnicities and the poor and the elderly and the disabled…and it goes for the cheap visual joke that isn’t always that funny…..
i took pages of detailed notes and thoughts during this talk that ended up lasting over two hours. i love how i’ve just really thrown myself into the scene here in NYC, you really gotta get your hands dirty if you’re going to discover anything about a counter-culture or sub-culture. you have to climb up a long ladder on your knees. you have to strike out for deep waters without drowning.
as i was leaving Union Docs, i walked past this amazing new piece that i didn’t see at first. it’s so powerful, and really draws your thoughts toward the socio-economic politics it’s portraying. it’s by street artist DOLK
and whoever added this dog with the shotgun is everywhere as well, cuz i’ve seen this exact same piece in soho!
speaking of soho….when you’re walking through soho…or along houston….or through alphabet city…or the east village….remember to keep your eyes averted to the north. specifically, don’t walk by any lamp post or sign pole without inspecting it….what’s so great about this one, you ask? look closer..
these posters and stickers are SO
hard to find now because most of them have been taken down….street art in general has such a short shelf life, so finding something like this is a real find. a coup, if you will. if you don’t know the infamous Shepard Fairey by name, you definitely know his work. remember this poster?
of course you do. well, guess who was behind it!
omfguy no way, there’s TWO stickers on this pole. BRAINGASM.
you shoulda seen me when i found these stickers. i literally squealed out loud, rushed to find my camera, and started jumping up and down giggling like a school girl as i got happy-snappy with the point-and-shoot. you’d think i’d just won the lottery or something.
speaking of winning the lottery, as i walked through alphabet city, i looked up to see ANOTHER rare rare rare find on the wall. see it?
IT’S A SPACE INVADER!!
again, most of space invader’s work has been taken down or has disappeared, so finding one still lurking about is a real treat!!
GIDDY, I TELLS YA!! i actually didn’t want to walk away from it, i just wanted to stay next to it like i was in an afterglow
haw haw haw!! get it??
and the east village have all kinds of these hidden gardens (open to the public) where former occupied space is turned into reclaimed nature.
i’m cute as a bug.
but street artists have cleverly melded some messages even in the gardens. LOVES IT.
i should put this sticker on every bad boyfriend i’ve ever had
yo i’ll put it blunt if that’s what you want, yo i am a cunt
and that’s what you want, you take afront, just shake ya butt, just shake ya butt New York City!! WHAT?
why did i take a photo of this comic book store? remember this episode
? it’s kinda my favourite episode of the series…of all time.
‘s been getting a lot of press lately….but his stuff is taken down before i get a chance to see it!
this was a massively HUUUUGE mural off of Bowery….i know i’ve seen this artist before, can someone fill a sister in?
this piece off of Bowery as well was fresh, done in the past few weeks, i reckon. it was on the wall of hotel, so surely they’ll remove it soon. but it’s so lovely….same artist as above i think
seriously, who did this? I LOVE IT.
how embarrassing it would be if you knew what i was thinking of.
found this buried in a deep dark alleyway off of bleeker.
i love you too, random small sticker on a lamp post!
is taking guitar lessons, and her dorky-hot guitar teacher was playing in a live jazz band at 55 Bar
in Greenwich Village, so we went to check him out…..is listening to jazz in a musky bar in the village just a little too precious? yes.
was it awesome? also yes.
we’re so smiley cute.
now we’re sexy
now we’re cute again!!
i had just gone for a run in the Cobble Hill
area of brooklyn earlier in the day, so i couldn’t stay too long in the night (was exhausted from all the beauty in Cobble Hill more than the run!), but i’m glad i checked out the gaybourhood jazz of greenwich at least!
i’m now crashing on a friend’s couch in williamsburg, and since i’ve been there, i’ve already bought myself a great pair of cheap second hand Chuck Taylors (fuck you The Public Butter
!! trynna charge $20 for beat-up Chucks? kiss my ass!) AND i’ve gone for a run through the area which is populated mostly by hasidic jews….
hasidic jews are a weird bunch. technically they’re not allowed to touch women, but they wouldn’t get out of my way as i was barreling toward them in my running shoes and sweat shirt. seriously, the street was LOADED with them, i felt like i was in 1930s Poland…or a Russian shtetl
….except they were on cell phones….or behind the wheel of their SUVs.
i think the hasids were staring at me because i was wearing tights and running which i guess could be considered unladylike to them. whatever, it’s a free country (wait…is it?). just cuz hasidic jews occupy the area doesn’t mean i can’t jog through it.
although i had to suppress the urge to slap one of them on the ass as i sprinted by. that woulda been hella-funny and loaded with WIN. i didn’t though, sorry raibbis!
why yes. yes you do.
look at the size of an extra large Timmy’s here!! no wonder americans are so fat, it’s like a litre of coffee!! what is this, a Big Gulp?
it’s bigger than four hands!
today is my last full day in NYC, tomorrow i return to Toronto.
being in NYC these past two weeks really has been something. I have done so much, seen so much, met some really cool people, and i feel like i’ve achieved something. a working holiday in the true sense of the word, my writing has definitely been given a shot in the arm. i am so inspired. in fact, i kinda already feel like a new yorker. i know my way around, i know where everything is, and i’m rejecting all the tourist-y bullshit-y things that people generally do in NYC in favour of a more local experience.
i could live here.
wait, let me retype that.
I (could) live here.