June 29, 2009

The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour

POST #    2975

Way back in early June, Shannan and I went on a tour of the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel in Brooklyn Heights. The tunnel, built in 1844, is the oldest subway tunnel in the world and is a half mile long. It was originally built to accommodate LIRR trains that lacked breaks good enough to run above ground.

The hour and a half long tour, which is led by Bob Diamond, goes deep into the history of the tunnel and all the research and work that Bob did to find the long abandoned tunnel in 1979. The tunnel is an impressive piece of work and it's almost hard to believe that it's in perfect condition to this day (gotta love those Sandhogs).

I would recommend making a reservation with the BHRA for its next tour of the tunnel.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 6:31 PM



June 15, 2009

Stumbling Upon the Hare Krishna Parade and Festival of Chariots

POST #    2972

Apparently the parade (Festival of Chariots or Rath Yatra)culminated with a vegetarian feast in Washington Square Park. Of course, I had just left Madison Square Park where I, and thousands of other people, were gorging themselves on pork and cow at the Big Apple Barbecue. New York City is random like that.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 1:58 PM



November 19, 2008

Richard Serra at Dia:Beacon

POST #    2901

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 6:37 PM



November 17, 2008

Shannan Outside Dia:Beacon

POST #    2899

I took this picture Saturday outside Dia:Beacon. It was my time there and I must say that it was very cool.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Friends/Family, Photos at 3:59 PM



November 5, 2008

And The Winner Is...

POST #    2892

It felt really good to open The Times this morning to this cover.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 11:27 AM



October 13, 2008

More From Banksy's Village Pet Store and Grill

POST #    2876

In the top photo, chicken nuggets are dipping themselves in BBQ sauce and a just hatched nugget is drinking egg whites. On the bottom, a rabbit is grooming itself in its display.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:45 PM



October 9, 2008

Now Open in NYC: Banksy's Village Pet Store and Grill

POST #    2874

Banksy recently opened a new exhibition up in the West Village at a storefront he's named The Village Pet Store and Grill. Pictured is fish sticks in a fish bowl. Brilliant!

See the full gallery over at Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:38 PM



July 3, 2008

P.F.1. at P.S.1

POST #    2808

The winner of the 9th annual young architects program from MoMA/P.S.1 was WORK Architecture Company. As winners, they got to do the summer installation at P.S.1. They called their winning entry is called P.F.1 (Public Farm 1) and has live chickens and is constructed with large cardboard tubes.

From MoMA/P.S.1:
P.F.1 (Public Farm One) is an urban farm concept that evokes the look of a flying carpet landing in the P.S.1 courtyard. Constructed from large cardboard tubes, its top surface will be a working farm, blooming with a variety of vegetables and plants. The structure will create a textured, colorful, and constantly changing surface in contrast with P.S.1’s angular concrete and gravel courtyard. P.F.1 will work as an interactive bridge between outside and inside, creating multiple zones of activity including swings, fans, sound effects, innovative seating areas, and a refreshing pool at its center. The installation will be a living structure made from inexpensive and sustainable materials recyclable after its use at P.S.1.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 5:33 PM



July 2, 2008

Olafur Eliasson's Take Your Time at MoMA

POST #    2807

Pictured here are parts of Olafur Eliasson exhibit at MoMA: I only see things when they move, 1 m³ light, Room for one colour.

I only see things when they move: Bright light shines through rotating color-effect filter glass panels, creating shifting prismatic bands of colors on the surrounding walls.

1 m³ light: In a dark room filled with fog, the beams of twenty-four spot-lights articulate one cubic meter of space.

Room for one colour: Monochromatic bulbs emit light at such a narrow frequency that they affect your normal color perception, making the contents of the room appear in yellow or shades of black.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 11:07 AM



July 1, 2008

Olafur Eliasson's Take Your Time at P.S.1

POST #    2806

If you really did take your time, you probably missed the Olafur Eliasson exhibits at P.S.1 and MoMA. I'm happy to say that I got off my ass and made it on the final day.

Pictured here are the Inverted Berlin Sphere and Take your time, both at P.S.1.

Inverted Berlin Sphere: Light radiates out through the lamp’s reflective components, altering your experience of the space.

Take your time: A large circular mirror affixed to the ceiling at an angle rotates slowly on its axis, destabilizing your perception of space.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 8:01 AM



April 3, 2008

At the Tom Otterness Workshop, Broken Feet

POST #    2752

Gotta feel sorry for this little dude. His feet are broken off his body!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 5:52 PM



February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year's Feast for the Year of the Rat

POST #    2711

It's a Chinese New Year feast fit for a emperor! A king! A prince!

Last night, my mom did her yearly Chinese New Year cooking and as usual it was extremely delicious and filling. From top to bottom are: peanuts, jellyfish, chicken and something to wrap in lettuce, lion's head meatballs, eight vegetable dish, a shrimp dish, vegetables with dried scallops, a whole fish, and glutinous red bean rice cake.

Welcome, Year of the Rat!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 4:53 PM



January 10, 2008

Fuerzabruta at the Daryl Roth Theater

POST #    2691

Over the weekend, Shannan and I went to see Fuerzabruta, the new-ish performance by the people behind De La Guarda. The show consists of the same dancing, yelling, and some similar aerial tricks as De La Guarda, but I didn't think it was great like the older show. Fuerzabruta also featured a random story line of a guy running on a treadmill and getting hit with foam/cardboard walls (I found this kind of boring). What is cool is the water pool that drops down from the ceiling of the theater, the energizing music parts, and the dance club feel at points (not that I like dance clubs).

I would say that the Times review summarizes the show pretty well. I would say that it was good, not great, and not nearly as good as De La Guarda.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, Culture, NYC, Photos at 3:27 PM



November 28, 2007

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

POST #    2663

Last night, we went with my parents to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. With my new, youthful haircut, it made sense to sit in a crowd with all the other children. But seriously, The Rockettes were amazing. But I could have done without the dancing bears, the Santa Claus mumbo jumbo (though the dancing Santas were entertaining), and the Jesus story. Just make the show 100% Rockettes exhausting themselves for an hour and I think you've got a hit!

Then again, they've been doing it for 75 years, so they probably won't listen to me.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, Culture, NYC, Photos at 3:50 PM



November 13, 2007

CPH Experiments at the Storefront for Architecture

POST #    2652

Currently on exhibit (through Nov. 24th) at the Storefront for Architecture in NYC is the CPH Experiments. The exhibition shows 5 different examples for high-density living from BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group from Copenhagen.

It's almost like watching all those futuristic movies where people live in huge towers, but in model form. The coolest model has to be the one that is made entirely out of Lego.

See also: on Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 1:23 PM



November 1, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center IV

POST #    2643

Okay, I said that I was done with Storm King photos, but I just saw this one in Lightroom and I had to share. Hopefully you like the photo of Storm King Wall as well.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 1:56 PM



October 24, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center III

POST #    2636

Here's the last set of photos from inside Storm King. I'm sure it's going to be crazy beautiful this weekend.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 11:13 AM



October 23, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center II

POST #    2634

Pictured are parts of Richard Serra's permanent installation at Storm King called Schunnemunk Fork. The last photo was taken between the pieces of Schunnemunk Fork.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 10:39 AM



October 22, 2007

A Fall Visit to Storm King Art Center I

POST #    2633

There's nothing like a Fall trip to upstate New York. This past weekend, we went up to Storm King Art Center on what was a less than Fall-like day. While it eventually turned pretty cold, it was pretty mild when we first set out. As you can see, the leaves are starting to change colors, but there are still plenty of trees that are green. Last year I went to Storm King in May.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 10:59 AM



June 4, 2007

Richard Serra at MoMA

POST #    2503

These photos don't really do the new Richard Serra exhibit at MoMA much justice. You can't see how large the steel sculptures are, how they lean or open up over you, and how grand each piece is.

Anyone in New York City through September 10th should really take some time and head to MoMA and check it out.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 8:26 AM



May 29, 2007

Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale

POST #    2494

A week from today, if you've got lots of money to spare and some storage space, you can bid on Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale through Christie's. Lot #0311 was built in 1950-51 and is a prototype by French architect and designer Jean Prouvé. Be sure to save your pennies though - Christie's estimates the house to go for $4-6 million.

Prouvé thought that the Maison Tropicale would be a perfect house for French colonies in Africa, where the mass-produced houses could be easily shipped (this one fit in six containers) and assembled. Only three of the houses were ever built in the late 40's and early 50's, with little interest from the colonialists the houses were meant for. The house for auction next week was in Brazzaville in the Congo. The house - 16' tall, 59' long, and 32' wide - comes wired for electricity, but with no plumbing. All you get is a one room designer house. The house has been restored (removing bullet holes and evidence of squatters) to its original form except for one bullet hole.

A second Prouvé house is on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, while the third house will be a traveling Prouvé museum financed by the sale of this house. If you're in NYC anytime soon, you should definitely check out the house before it's sold.

I wonder what a more beautiful backdrop for the house is - the jungles of Africa, or the industrial settings of Long Island City with Manhattan in the background.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 9:16 AM



April 18, 2007

Hachikō Statue in Shibuya

POST #    2454

Just outside the Shibuya Station, there's a statue of a dog. It's not just any dog, but Hachikō, an Akita so loyal that they made a statue for him. At the start of the day, Hachikō would see his owner off and at the end, Hachikō would meet his owner outside Shibuya Station. Even after his owner's death, Hachikō would wait at the station for his owner. He did this for 11 years! Apparently, they found yakitori skewers in the dog's stomach after his death, so his daily appearance may not have been out of loyalty alone.

The original statue, erected in 1934, was "recycled" for WWII, but this new statue has been there since 1948.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:22 AM



May 30, 2006

Storm King Art Center

POST #    2143

Saturday, Shannan and I took advantage of the wonderful weather to head up to the Storm King Art Center upstate with Lauren and Kaoru. Storm King is a mostly outdoor museum that features several huge sculptures, which are mostly on its 500 acre site. Currently on exhibition are works by Mark di Suvero in addition to works from Alexander Calder, Richard Serra and Isamu Noguchi.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 7:53 AM



April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

POST #    2102

The Easter Bunny apparently has a really large birthing canal or is actually gigantic.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 10:01 AM



January 19, 2006

The Perfect Treadless Shirt for Me?

POST #    2020


I must say that I love Threadless. Maybe I love them too much as I seem to have a closet full of their t-shirts. But hey, I've got to wear something, right? The shirt they came out with earlier this week though might be the perfect shirt for me though - The Communist Party. It's so good that it is already sold out and I didn't even get one. That's okay though because I already have the Honest Tee which is perfect for a New York native, yes?

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 8:03 AM



January 11, 2006

American Museum of Natural History 3

POST #    2011

One of the coolest things I saw during my trip to the Museum of Natural History was their Christmas tree. Instead of regular ornaments, they decorated the tree with origami! How beautiful is that? It's a good thing we left from the main entrance as they made us enter through the entrance under the Rose Pavilion.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 8:09 AM



January 10, 2006

American Museum of Natural History 2

POST #    2010

With so many people visiting the AMNH when I went, I had to take at least a couple of pictures, right? All I seem to have gotten was a couple of mullet shots and a guy lying on the floor under the gigantic whale.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 8:04 AM



January 9, 2006

American Museum of Natural History 1

POST #    2009

Sometimes when you live in New York, you don't take advantage of all the culture that's here. So right before New Year's, we took a trip to the American Museum of Natural History. We wanted to see the Darwin exhibit, but it was sold out until late in the afternoon, so we were going to just wander the halls of the museum. The problem with that was that the lines were insane! So we decided to become members so we could cut the regular line, get free Darwin tix for a future showing, and come back as much as we want. We didn't go away from the first floor too much and decided to leave when we finished our brief walk-through because, well, we could go back at any time! Membership does have its privileges.

The great thing about the museum's first floor is that it's like visiting a zoo, but better. Well, kind of better. The animals aren't alive, but they are so close and realistic and they are placed before a backdrop of their natural habitats. The AMNH does need some work though. The Hall of New York State Environment needs a serious makeover as it looks like a bad 70's tv set.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 8:03 AM



October 8, 2005

Sneaker Pimps 2

POST #    1903

Here are some more photos from the Sneaker Pimps show. So the funniest thing about it was that everybody was looking at your feet to see what kind of sneakers they were wearing. I kind of do this a lot in my everyday life. It was Nike Dunk here, Nike Dunk there, Nike Dunk almost everywhere! Little ole me, I just had my green Epics on. Nothing special.

- Sneaker Pimps 1
- Sneaker Pimps set on flickr

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos, Sports at 8:56 AM



October 7, 2005

Sneaker Pimps 1

POST #    1902

You might have noticed that I have a slight obsession with sneakers. Well, last night was kind of like a dream. I was surrounded by tons of sneakers and with like-minded people at the Sneaker Pimps show. The only problem was, I couldn't really walk away with a pair of my own.

- Sneaker Pimps 2
- Sneaker Pimps set on flickr

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos, Sports at 12:39 PM



June 15, 2005

Futura's Nosferatu

POST #    1760

Over the weekend, I went to the opening/unveiling of Futura's latest figurine, Nosferatu. There were limited edition versions of Nosferatu available at the show for $350 and you can pre-order the "normal" ones for $125 or $150. Futura was nice enough to sign things for people and post for pictures. He even said he would contact me for an interview...but we'll just see about that.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:59 AM



June 11, 2005

Dinner and Dancing with the NYCCC

POST #    1754

Last night, I went to New York Chinese Cultural Center's annual fundraising banquet to eat a little and watch some dancing. All the dancers were excellent, but there was this exceptional 10 year old fan dancer (apparently she was award winning). She was snapping the fans like nobody's business.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 10:18 AM



January 28, 2005

An Interracial ofoto?

POST #    1541

So is this e-mail from ofoto culturally aware, or the most targeted e-mail ever? And, is this the first time ever that you've seen an Asian man with a caucasian woman in the media? I can't say I've ever seen it before.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 8:36 AM



January 26, 2005

Please, Just Speak in English

POST #    1539

Why do people that have taken Chinese classes or think they know Chinese think they can say "how are you" to people of Chinese decent? Do these same people find out someone is Hispanic suddenly break out their Spanish to someone they have never met?

Is saying one phrase in Chinese supposed to impress me? Don't these people realize that billions of people speak the language? Wake up, you're not so special. Or is it that they want to connect to me? If that's the case, come over and say, "hi, how are you" to me...IN ENGLISH. Or, "how about those off season moves by the Mets?" That's more likely to draw me into a conversation than saying one common phrase in Chinese. What's more, I don't need to hear your lousy Chinese accent that is actually about 10 times worse than mine.

Please, just hold back next time. Unless that is, you know how to say, "hi, I'm a jackass." Then, I will be impressed.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Rants at 7:53 AM



January 1, 2005

Virginia Beach Holiday Lights

POST #    1497

Last night, we went to the Holiday Lights at the Beach in Virginia Beach. It was a strange mix of lights - jumping fish, surfing Santa Claus, attacking sharks, American flags, the 12 Days of Christmas - all viewed from the comfort of your vehicle. I wasn't expecting much, so I thought it was better than I expected. I'm not sure that I would ever pay $10 for the show though, but there is something oddly entertaining about hearing the ocean crashing while listening to Christmas music.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 11:14 AM



December 31, 2004

Sex Appeal

POST #    1493

For all men this New Year's Eve, something you apparently will want is Jovan Sex Appeal. It attracts women...at will! Splash on a lot of it - the more you use the better - and you won't even need that many fake ATM receipts.

Of course, I don't need sex appeal...I was born with it. Bwahahahahahaha.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 12:23 PM



December 9, 2004

Mulling it Over at Jill Platner

POST #    1457

Last night, I went to the Jill Platner store in SoHo as Masako invited a few people for a little party. I'm not sure if it was a holiday party or just a party. Not that you need a reason to party, but 'tis the season. There was champagne, mulled wine, San Pellegrino, and some very tasty cookies. Mmm...tasty cookies.

A lot of the jewelry at Jill Platner's is made of silver and really quite beautiful. Too bad I'm a tad light in the wallet these days, or I might buy a piece. Then again, I'm not much of a jewelry guy.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 7:50 AM



November 23, 2004

More From MoMA

POST #    1427

Some more images from MoMA on Friday, this time from my mom. Maybe I should set her up with a photoblog. She, apparently, was able to go to the sculpture garden, unlike me. Curses to work again!!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 7:56 AM



November 20, 2004

The "New" MoMA

POST #    1421

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to check out the newly renovated Museum of Modern Art, which had a member's preview before the official re-opening today. I went to the preview first thing Friday morning before going to work. There was a line in front of the entrance that seemed to included mostly retired people. Almost making up for the early opening was the free breakfast food and drinks.

I think the space is beautiful. So open, so clean, so simple. After two and a half year of renovations, there is now 630,000 square feet of space, almost double the pre-renovation space. It was almost an overwhelming collection of art. It's a shame that I had to breeze through the collection, especially since they say this is the "most extensive display of the collection ever—showcasing work from each of the Museum's collection departments", but I plan on going back another time when I can view all the items at a more leisurly pace. Too bad the sculpture garden was still being worked on when I left.

My previous trips to MoMA QNS and P.S. 1.

More information:
- About the new MoMA
- NY Times: Special Section on MoMA
- NY Times:Racing to Keep Up With the Newest (art review)
- NY Times: Art Fuses With Urbanity in a Redesign of the Modern (architecture review)
- New Yorker: Outside the Box (architecture review)

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 9:32 AM



November 19, 2004

The New MoMA Card

POST #    1419

New space, new card, classic image. Well, the old drab MoMA membership card has a new look. It's also thinner and attractive as the accompanying letter states. Maybe they are trying to say something?

But the thinner is good because, like the letter says, it takes up less space in your wallet or pocket. And the image? Apparently it will change each time you renew with another image from MoMA's collection.

I'll be using this today to get a special member's preview of the renovated MoMA. Breeze through, take some pictures, and return to visit some other time.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC at 6:50 AM



November 15, 2004

Stupid Woman Escapes Charges

POST #    1414

Back in August a woman tried to use a $200 bill to buy things at a Fashion Bug in Pennsylvania. The charges were dropped today after the woman paid for the goods with real currency. The store was in Hempfield Township, which might explain the whole situation. Apparently, the woman didn't know that the bill was actually fake and neither did the cashier as she gave the woman more than $100 in change.

Some signs that the bill might have been fake? The serial number was "DUBYA4U2001", it was signed by Ronald Reagan instead of the Secretary of the Treasury and with the title "Political Mentor". The back of the bill had the White House and signs on the lawn saying, "We Like Broccoli" and "USA Deserves A Tax Cut".

Brilliant! There needs to be some control over intelligent people like these. Maybe they should lock her up. I mean, really, $200 bill? A sitting President, let alone George Bush, on the bill?

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 6:44 PM



November 1, 2004

Trick or Treat Chumps

POST #    1382

This Sunday, it seems like a lot of the merchants on Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint were in the Halloween spirit. They had candy and were distributing it to the kids that were going door to door. A nice gesture if you ask me.

There were, however, some children who were taking advantage of the kindness and making a mockery of everything good about Halloween. One boy, probably as old as 14 wore wore nothing but a ski mask and an all black outfit as a costume. He came into the pizza place I was in and asked for candy like it was his right. After getting a couple pieces of candy, he shook his bag demanding more. A few more pieces to his collection and he still asked for more. Now, wearing all black and a ski mask on a day where temperatures neared 70° is admirable, but it hardly counts as a costume.

If that wasn't bad enough, two girls (me thinks they were sisters) came into the same pizzeria sans costumes! All they had were bags for trick or treating (the first kid had a black grocery bag). I'm not sure if the guy behind the counter was ignoring them, was busy, or didn't even think they were trick or treating because of the missing costumes, but the two girls left without candy. They didn't even say "trick or treat." Perhaps they were simply too embarrassed to ask for candy without actual costumes. It should be noted that they had little candy in their bags.

Yeah, Halloween is all about the candy (at least it was to me), but these chumps shouldn't make a mockery of it and expect candy when they put all of 1 minute into their costume or don't come up with a costume at all. The least they could have done is come up with the fun political costumes.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 6:44 PM



October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

POST #    1380

Instead of the more traditional scary halloween pumpkin, we opted for a funny pumpkin...with handlebar mustache. At the cost of one pumpkin, there exists tasty pumpkin seeds.

I should have invested in pumpkin futures like Homer Simpson, but sold them before Halloween, unlike Homer.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 12:12 PM



October 29, 2004

Last Minute Halloween Costumes for the Politically Minded Youth

POST #    1376

Just in case you're into that whole Halloween thing, Jeannette sent me a link to The Stranger, who bring us some scary costumes that are economical too. From a voting machine, to a detained protester, you can't go wrong with these costumes. I think my favorite has to be Jenna Bush, because not only do you have a great costume, but you're a friend of the environement too!

Jenna Bush's Liver
Dive inside President Bush's rowdiest daughter with this ingenious re-creation of Jenna Bush's liver. Use old newspapers to stuff a Hefty bag to create the liver, then affix two or three paper-stuffed white bin liners for "diseased" spots. Rifle through the help's recycling bin for an empty Bud can and bottoms up!
Total cost: Under $5.
Total time: Under 30 minutes.

Alas, if the Nancy costume would have come with some out of style glasses, it would have been my choice for best of the bunch.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:51 AM



August 25, 2004

Checking Out 5 Points

POST #    1237

Conveniently located across the street from P.S. 1 is 5 Points, a group of buildings that is a canvas of sorts for graffiti artists. Anyone can paint there with a permit. It's impossible to take pictures of all the artwork at 5 Points, so I just took a few. Not necessarily the most representative, but just stuff that I thought was fun.

Seeing "Queens" now makes me think "Queens is in the house represent, represent, A Tribe Called Quest represent, represent." Thats just me though.

Also, I watched Style Wars over the weekend, which is a 1983 documentary about graffiti in the NYC Subway system. Quite excellent, if you haven't seen it, check it out.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 7:43 AM



August 24, 2004

More From P.S. 1

POST #    1236

Oh, modern art. So crazy, so strange. I mean, really, what is art? There were a lot of things at P.S. 1 that were cool, most of them strange, but does strange make art? Then there are those pieces of art that just seem normal. I remember a set of photos of New York that were nothing special except that they were black and white. I almost feel like I could do the same thing if I were armed with a huge bottle of alcohol and an SLR with a flash.

It's a lot like the episode of The Simpsons when Homer becomes an artist, pawning off his crap as art. But if people buy that crap, is it then art?

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 7:52 AM



August 23, 2004

Canopy at P.S. 1

POST #    1235

Yesterday, I took advantage of the beautiful weather by making a trip to MoMA's P.S. 1 with Janelle and Michael. Ordinarilly, you don't spend a nice day in a museum, but at P.S. 1, there is an outdoor installation of art that I wanted to check out - nARCHITECTS's Canopy installation. Besides, when you spend most of Saturday playing video games, a museum counts as outside.

Canopy was made with freshly cut green bamboo with a budget of $60,000 and includes the canopy, a small pool, mist, a beach and a bamboo forest.

From the P.S. 1 website:

nARCHITECTS will cover P.S.1s courtyard with a canopy of freshly cut green bamboo, which will change color from green to tan by the end of the summer. Pinches in the bamboo lattice will produce a range of shadow densities and patterns across the courtyard and throughout the day. Dips in the canopy will define rooms open to the sky, each with a distinct climatic environment for different modes of lounging: Pool Pad, the largest outdoor room, incorporates a wading pool; Fog Pad consists of fog nozzles that will spread a cool halo of mist; Rainforest features a sound environment and water misters that will provide intermittent rain showers; and Sand Humps half open ellipse orients itself to maximize exposure to sun and shade.

Canopy is on exhibit at P.S. 1 through September 5th and you should check it out if you get a chance. Even better, go to Warm Up 2004 on Saturdays through September 4th.

More information:
- nARCHITECTS photo journal of Canopy
- MoMA/P.S. 1 on Canopy

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Photos at 7:36 AM



August 20, 2004

"Party in my Panties!"

POST #    1231

Last night, I walked over to Williamsburg to check out the "Party in My Panties!" party. It was put together by Nichelle, GirlyNYC/Hottpants with lingerie by Vicars Vice. It was a good display of vintage lingerie at the Tainted Lady, a bar with many, many breasts.

I think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:44 AM



July 16, 2004

Tall Buildings at MoMA QNS

POST #    1158

Last night, I went to a member's preview of the Tall Buildings exhibit at MoMA. (Insert expected pun about membership privileges here.) The exhibit featured 25 buildings from around the world that are either built, in the planning or construction phase, or remain conceptual. There were large-scale models along with some drawings and photos. All the buildings were designed within the last decade and "redefine the genre for the twenty-first century."

I thought it was a very interesting exhibit. All of the buildings were wild, crazy designs that seem to stretch the laws of physics. Several of the designs for the site of the World Trade Center were on exhibition (the "Dream Team" plan from Meier, Eisenman, Gwathmey Siegel, and Holl, United Architect's design, and the plan from Sir Norman Foster) as well as the winning NY Times Building design by Renzo Piano as well as Frank Gehry's losing design.

Other buildings were from around the world, including the Jing Mao Tower in Shanghai, 30 St. Mary Axe in London (pictured bottom right), Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweeden, and the CCTV Tower in Beijing. The architects for the buildings on exhibition was almost who's who of architects.

There's nothing quite like seeing scale models that are so intricate and detailed up close. It's almost like playing Sim City or something. While I enjoyed the exhibit, I think an architect or a building buff might enjoy it even more. That said, there might not be enough details or sketches to please that crowd.

More information:
- Tall Buildings at MoMA
- Tall Buildings Flash Exhibit
- Gothamist Arts+Events on Tall Buildings
- NY Times: "Skyscraping Around the Urban World"

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:23 AM



July 6, 2004

Get Me My Jesus Gear!

POST #    1141

I don't even know what to say about this article in yesterday's times. It's very strange. Those crazy Christians are selling t-shirts with slogans on them. As if having Southern Baptists crawling around New York wasn't bad enough, Christians are having rock concerts and selling catchy t-shirts.

Slogans include, "Hardcore Christian," "Hetero-Boy," "Jesus Freak," "Do the Jew," and "Religion Is Dead. Jesus Is Not." Um...hate to break it to you, but last time I checked, Jesus is dead. Hetero-boy? Yeah, way to breed acceptance. I wonder how Christians feel about those "Jesus is my homeboy" shirts.

Possibly even more disturbing is that they sell hacked-DVD players at the music festivals. The DVD players skip racy material on DVDs. Are they nuts? Skip the racy material? That's the best part! How about a DVD player that skips the crap in movies and just plays the racy material? If said DVD player was to play an adult film, it would skip the fluff and go directly to the action. Now, that's an idea.

One person at the show bought a bunch of stuff (CD's, t-shirts, posters and bibles) and said, "This is our biggest purchase for the year, so I knew exactly what I wanted to buy." Food for thought, no?

- NY Times: At Festivals, Faith, Rock and T-Shirts Take Center Stage

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 8:34 AM



June 30, 2004

What is the Deal With Bathmats?

POST #    1114

I've determined there are two types of people - those that like using bathmats and those that don't. I myself is one that does not. I'm an in shower dryer and always have been. I find the feeling of the wet bathmat very strange. The carpet/rug thing absorbing water as you exit soaking wet after cleaning yourself. Aren't those things a haven for germs? Sure you're clean as you emerge from the shower, but still. The only benefit I can see from having a bathmat is that you don't have to deal with the cold floor.

I'm just not a fan of stepping on a wet bathmat. Does anyone else find this to be a strange feeling? Being the second person to use the shower and then stepping in someone else's pool of water? Or just being in the bathroom and stepping on that wetness? That's something I'll never get used to. I'll live with the cold floor and pass on the wet rag.

As an aside, what's with the mat right near the toilet? Now that is throughly disgusting. Pee can be uncontrollable at times, and there is no knowing what happens early in the morning or during those late night trips to the bathroom.

Aside number two - during college, I lived in this house that had a carpeted bathroom. That was the most disgusting thing ever. College guys with carpeted bathroom, I'm not sure what the landlord was thinking.

So to sum up, there are two types of people, those who use bathmats and me.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:32 AM



May 13, 2004

He Family Loses Custody Battle

POST #    1031

In an update on an earlier entry, it looks like the custody case of Anna Mae has been decided. The biological parents, from China, lost their custody battle to a white-Christian family who adopted Anna Mae. Five years ago, the Hes were going through a difficult time and turned to an adoption agency, who found the Baker family. The Hes thought the adoption would be temporary, so they went through a four year legal fight, which ended with a victory for the Bakers yesterday.

Clearly, it was a difficult case for both families, and like I said last time, there is only one loser - Anna Mae. But one has to wonder how the case would end up if the Hes had every resource available to the Bakers. Sure, the Bakers had to sell their home because of the mounting legal fees, but the Hes had to work in Chinese restaurants. To me, the whole case stinks of xenophobia - fears of Anna Mae moving to China and living in close quarters with relatives, Chinese life being a hardship, etc. Also troubling is that, according to the Bakers' lawyer, the judge had taken into account the character of the Bakers. I read that and think, "Bakers, white. White is better. Bakers, Christian. Christian much better."

After the trial, Mr. He said, "We are convinced that in Memphis, Tennessee, justice does not come easy, especially for minorities and immigrants." I'm convinced of that too, but I think that applies to many places in the United States. Man, equality is great, isn't it?

- NY Times: Chinese Parents Not Tricked, Judge Says in Custody Case
- Previously on the He/Baker Case

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 9:53 AM



April 10, 2004

Times Like These

POST #    930

Yesterday was Good Friday and also part of Passover, leading the roads and subways to be very empty. Many people were either off or left work early. It's days like yesterday that make me want to be religious. Never mind the fact that I don't believe in god whatsoever. So I was there, sitting in the office, waiting patiently until it was time to leave, while everyone on my buddy list was gone.

I would gladly do one day (not that whole week) of Passover or sit through one 2 hour mass to get that day off. I think I'm missing out. As an Atheist, I've got nothing. Maybe now is the time to find god? Nah, I'll wait until Hanukah or Christmas. What the hell happened to Festivus? That really needs to get off the ground. You think that would be an acceptable holiday to celebrate and take off from work?

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:00 AM



March 30, 2004

Details Magazine: Gay or Asian?

POST #    903

(click to see full version)

Uh...okay...Asian males tend to be skinny, and tend to be thinner, and some of us (present company excluded) tend to dress well. Does that mean that we're gay? Well, Details Magazine seems to think so. Not that there aren't gay Asian people, because there are, and not that they aren't entitled to wonder if there is a difference, but the way Details went about it is all wrong.

Classified as "anthropology", which must have any real anthropologists up in arms, Details goes all out in their Asian stereotypes. Apparently all Asians do the following: cruise for chicken, are into shrimp balls, uses chopsticks, drink tea, are samurais, have sashimi-smooth chests, and have soft and long fingers. If that's not fucked up enough, apparently these things make for someone being gay. It's really absurd the way Details went about it. While it may be difficult for non-Asians to understand, I'm sure if any magazine did a "Gangsta or Black", "Tribe Leader or Indian", or "Drug Trafficker or Latino", nobody would question whether it was wrong or not.

Yes, Asian people tend to have smooth skin, but I'm not sure how that makes us gay. And really, if you were to carry this "guide" around New York City, you would end up with maybe 25% of the male population being gay, with all the metrosexuals. I'm not sure why Details chose Asian people. Idiots.

Thanks for sending this along Jen.

More information:
- Halo's take on this crap
- Asian Media Watchdog
- Petition Online

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 3:39 PM



March 16, 2004

She's So Hot!

POST #    855

Those that know me, know that I say that a lot of women are "hot". For those of you that don't know, this is my general term, and I throw it around often. Hell, if you're female, I might think you are hot. Well, maybe. Anyway, obviously, not everyone I see is actually hot, I just overuse the word, so it loses meaning. Or does it? Is it me? Society? Who knows?

The NY Times briefly reports on a bunch of sex studies today, which are pretty interesting. A researcher at Emory said, "One reason for the powerful response to visual stimuli in men, he said, could be cultural." Other experts believe that men became more dependent on sight than women over time because of evolution and that women may be more inclined to account for other things like how well a mate might provide for them. Other studies covered include a study recording male brain activity during orgasm, a study on sniffing T-shirts, and a study using pornography.

- NY Times: Sex and the Brain: Researchers Say, 'Vive la Diffrence!'

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 2:10 PM



March 15, 2004

The Armory Show

POST #    849

Yesterday, I went over to Hell's Kitchen (screw that Midtown West/Clinton crap) to check out The Armory Show at Pier 90 and 92 (at 50th and 52nd Sts.). The Armory Show bills itself as the "International Fair of New Art, is the world's leading art fair devoted exclusively to contemporary art." The show featured work from about 175 art galleries from around the world.

There was an insane amount of art, some of which was insane. $17 to get in, with what had to be the most art for the buck in the city yesterday. It was packed, but cool to check out nonetheless. I'm no art critic, but there were plenty of pieces that were really nice, and some that were really confusing. But that's modern art for you, no?

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:14 AM



March 2, 2004

Culture Clash with Only One Loser

POST #    803

In a child custody case in Tennessee, two couples fight over the future of a 5 year old girl. The He family and the Baker family. The He family is Asian, the Baker family is white. The Hes are from China, the Baker family is from Tennessee. Five years ago, when their daughter, Anna Mae was born, the Hes were in poor financial shape and unable to care for their child. Now, their finances have improved, and they would like their child back. If it ended there, it would be too easy.

The Baker family doesn't want to give Anna Mae back. In 1998, they entered into a temporary custody agreement with the Hes. Through this agreement, the Bakers would care for the child until the Hes could care for her. The agreement was never fully explained to the Hes, and required the Bakers and a judge to consent to the return of the child. It doesn't stop there. The Bakers argue that Anna Mae has and will have a better life with her them in the United States than the Hes can provide in China. While this may be true, is it fair for them to decide the future of this child? Do the birth parents not have the right to raise their child? They should be allowed to. The Baker family has no right to assert that the He family is less capable in raising Anna Mae just because they are going to raise her in China.

Never mind that the Bakers wanted to adopt a child and raise them in a Christian home. That's a whole other issue. On a positive note, the Bakers have had to sell their home to pay for their lawyers.

- NY Times: Chinese and American Cultures Clash in Custody Battle for Girl

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 2:17 PM



February 27, 2004

Handshake Etiquette

POST #    791

Exactly how are you supposed to shake someone's hand? Firm or soft? I know that a firm hand conveys power, but do you really need to convey that all the time? But then sometimes you shake firmly, and the person you are shaking with is shaking softly. Other times, you shake soft and the other person is firm.

And what's up with the people with the crushing handshake? Do they think that I'll respect them more if they can crush my hand? It's just interesting to me. What kinds of people choose one handshake over the other? And do they change their handshake depending on who they are in contact with and the context of the shake? These are the crazy thoughts that run through my head.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 1:09 PM



February 26, 2004

Since When Did Marriage Become So Sacred

POST #    788

On Tuesday, President Bush threw the weight of his White House behind an amendment to the Constitution regarding gay marriages. He said:

The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honoring — honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.

Government, by recognizing protecting marriage, serves the interests of all. Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife. The amendment should fully protect marriage while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.

Later, Bush said, "Our government should respect every person and protect the
institution of marriage." Hmm. I'm trying understand how our government can respect every person, if you clearly want to treat some people different than others. Can Mr. Bush honestly say that making an amendment to the Constitution that bans marriage between two consenting adults is respect? Does he also believe that only a man and a woman can "love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society"? That's absolute bullshit. Don't all people have the ability to love the same? And how does a "traditional" couple help the stability of society any more than a gay couple? Men and women get married all the time and over half end up in divorce. I mean, even Britney Spears couldn't work it out and she's perfect, no? J-Lo's been married twice and almost got married a third time. Why not let gay people marry? Are people afraid that they might get it right? Some studies show that they are just as susceptible to divorce as straight couples, so it's perfectly normal, no? Marriage is not what it used to be. If one out of two couples can get married and divorced, marriage is clearly not something that should be protected by the Constitution.

- NY Times: Bush Backs Ban in Constitution on Gay Marriage
- NY Times Editorial: Putting Bias in the Constitution

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 8:41 AM



February 20, 2004

Women and Adult Entertainment

POST #    777

These two are now in "the industry."

Good news for women, more women are selling sex (no, not prostitution) in the form of adult entertainment. From directing sexy videos to selling various merchandise, women "behind the scenes" are increasing.

The reason for this, of course is the rising number of women that are shopping for adult items. One adult entertainment company says that women account for 40% of their video sales. Nielsen/NetRatings says that women account for more than 25% of visitors to adult sites.

This begs the question, "do women actually like porn?"

- NY Times: Women Tailor Sex Industry to Their Eyes
- More porn at Fleshbot

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 9:29 AM



February 18, 2004

Yikes, Cults Disguised as Churches

POST #    772

A church? All white people? Sounds like a cult to me.

Okay, so I might sound a little anti-religion and everything, what with my anti-Babtists in New York post, and here I am with another anti-religion post. It seems like there are some new "hip" churches that have adopted some new prayer methods. The Times reports that several hundred of these small evangelical churches have opened up around the country and are luring a lot of young people into their congregations.

A member of one church said, "We're talking about Jesus. We're taking communion. We're just doing it together, as a journey." Yeah...a journey...right...just watch out for that kool-aid when you're taking that communion.

- NY Times: Hip New Churches Pray to a Different Drummer

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:32 AM



February 14, 2004

Happy Commercial Love-Fest Day

POST #    765

"Happy Valentine's Day," says Hershey's.

I've determined that Valentine's Day is the 2nd most commercialized and fake holiday, maybe even the 3rd. It comes close with Christmas, but I guess there is some sort of religious mumbo jumbo associated with that day, at least there used to be. Number 1 on the most commercialized and fake day is Sweetest Day.

It seems like Sweetest Day had good intentions when it first started during the 20s. A Cleveland man started Sweetest Day with the idea of spreading cheer to those less fortunate, showing those people that someone cared for them too. From Cleveland, Sweetest Day spread around the Great Lakes Region. Now, Sweetest Day just gets a bad rap from the greeting card companies that try to pawn it off as another Valentine's Day. Sweetest Day is the 3rd Saturday in October, which is the 16th this year. Despite going to school in Michigan for four years, I never knew the Sweetest Day origins until today, but it seems like a good thing.

Maybe Sweetest Day is now the 3rd commercialized and fake holiday, behind Valentine's Day and Christmas.

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

- Lycos Top 50: The Sweetest Day (a nice summary of Sweetest Day)
- Sweetest Day: A Worthless Holiday (a rant about Sweetest Day)

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 10:08 AM



February 13, 2004

Vagina, vagina, vagina! Bi, bi, bi!

POST #    763

In a shocker, China has decided to cancel a performance of The Vagina Monologues. It was supposed to premiere in Shanghai on Valentine's Day, which is also V-Day. (V-Day is an organization/movement that works to stop violence against women and girls. Much more worthy than Valentine's Day in my opinion.)

It's unfortunate that they won't be showing "Monologues", but The NY Times reports that another term for vagina might be the reason for the cancellation. That word? "Bi." It's pronounced more like the letter "B" or the words "be" and "bee" and not like the "bi" in bi-sexual.

- V-Day
- NY Times: Offended by the V-Word, China Mutes 'Monologues'

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 1:07 PM


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