Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Staycation.

STAYCATION. That word rolls off the tongue like the hiss of steam in a sauna bath, and dedicating one night to do so surely felt like being in one. Thanksgiving weekend entailed a mass exodus among New Yorkers. My family doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving ("not our holiday," says dad) so I had no reason to go home, and my best friend Jess just decided to stick around this year. I was too lazy to wake up early and brave the cold for the Macy's parade (maybe next year), but we cooked and wine drank our hearts out during our orphan dinner. So that happened and then what? Day off and the weekend, might as well keep the vacation vibes going.

... can Blackberry please make better built-in cameras?

For work, Jess checked a night in at Midtown's Grand Hyatt, located right above the Grand Central Station and just a body roll away from Time Square, and she invited me to tag along. Wine me, dine me, hotel room me - I'd be crazy to say no to that. Our dining experience at New York Central, located next to the bar of the hotel, consisted of rounds of deliciously dry Ruffino wine, breads ranging from raisin to wheat, and a main course to let my mind sprawl out in gastronomy heaven. Jess got a very juicy burger with fries, and I got the apparently popular, according to the manager, scallops dish. I'm having a hard time remembering the spice mixture and overall flavor. I recall telling Jess that it did not taste like scallops at all. There was a slight toast on top of a hint of sweetness, in which the chef succeeded by throwing in chestnuts and golden raisins.

The hotel recently went through millions of dollars worth in renovations for a more modern, Midtown club look thanks to the architect house of Bentel and Bentel. They have even added a lounge which you can enter for $100 on top of your general hotel expenses. (Good one, no thanks.) The good and bad thing about the overhanging windows of the bar and restaurant area is that it overlooks 42nd street, and thus giving the feeling that you're dining al fresco. Bad, however, because I'm a major people watcher, so I'm sure Jess was a little annoyed when I stared off into the streets while she chatted away.

Jess and I retreated to her room soon after, and I proceeded to disband everything on hand and commence my hotel rituals: dive and belly smack onto the hotel bed (this hotel's comfort grade: B+), and open up the blinds to check out the view - in our case, was the side of another building and a small triangle of 42nd Street. Somehow in the heart of this city's postcard picture - the bright lights, tall skyscrapers, a bum rush of the world's people making a living - we managed to find our getaway. In my case, even if it was for a few hours (had to peace out and her boyfriend took my place), it was nice to be away from Brooklyn and just relax.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trust me on this one.

Toronto's Trust supported Balam Acab's NYC show last Thursday and I gotta say, they were the headline of my night. Submerge yourself into some dark electronic dance by listening to "Candy Walls" and the Bulbform LP, both released by Sacred Bones. "Candy Walls" is a crooning sway that'll rock your body back and forth, while "Bulbform" whips the hips with a foggy techno sound that's abrasively hypnotic.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Download at

Get in on the "trillwave" and download ASAP Rocky's mixtape. NYC born and bred, this man converges all of hip-hop's familiar sounds, but the execution is done so well that your ears will take it in as something new. I cannot stress how good this mixtape is - hell, it's been on loop since I have downloaded it. Not only are the songs pure quality, but ASAP Rocky doesn't shy from his love of fashion and great menswear designers who are near and dear to me. "Raf Simons, Rick Owens, usually what I'm dressed in." That I can back hard.

I found out about the ASAP mob's Halloween show the day that it happened and waited too long to RSVP. (List was closed by then.) Huge fan. ASAP Rocky: if you're reading this, make sure I can attend your next gig. Guarantee I'll show up wearing all black and going ham.

"The only thing bigger than my ego is my mirror."

Great tracks: "Palace," "Wassup," "Trilla," "Bass," "Out of This World"

BEST TRACK: "Brand New Guy, feat. Schoolboy Q"**

**: heard this song drop for the first time at Terry Richardson's exhibit after-party thanks to GHE20 GOTH1K's Venus X. Girl knows how to mix it on the turntables and she's one of the few legit NYC DJs keeping parties going these days. Impending rant aside, almost dropped my drink because I was so elated.

And speaking of that party: boom shaka laka boom.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Animal Group by Carsten Höller

I stumbled upon a preview article on Carsten Höller's "Experience" exhibit at the New Museum and had to check it out. For those who don't know, Höller is a Sweden-residing German artist whose extraordinary works converge his doctoral background in biology with the arts to turn his works into mice mazes to expose the nature of humans. In order to properly approach this exhibit, however, I had to succumb to the role as a lab rat.

Meticulously scattered among the four floors of the museum's studio spaces are the Mirror Carousel, Untitled - a.k.a. the three-stories slide, Experience Corridor, and Giant Psycho Tank (to name a few). Maggie, Rosie, and I wrestled with various sensory ranging from pains to curious pleasures. To slide down Untitled, no bags and cameras were allowed on the slide and you had to wear a helmet. Untitled started off calm as the first turn gently cradled me like a rocking hammock, but by the second a sharp increase of momentum whipped out of nowhere and forcing my hands against my chest became difficult. I managed to hit the padding and leaving unscathed, but some unlucky few have whacked their head or hands against the tube - during which you'd hear uncomfortable gasps echo among the neon lights. In the Experience Corrider, a certain chamber prickled my arm, and I wasn't too sure if it was right for me to giggle like a schoolgirl in this sterile environment.

Höller may be the first artist who made me feel a little more comfortable screaming, laughing, and acting in behaviors usually uncouth in a museum setting. But for others, doing so "on display" may have been nerve-wrecking. As Höller's lab rats, we are revealed of our own foolery, but also facets of happiness through curious explorations.

And the pill that goes with this? Taken by Rosie.

Mirror Carousel

I found myself checking out my looks with each passing mirror. Most visitors stared into their reflection in each direction. Nothing makes vanity more heavenly than doing spinning round on a lightweight swing.

Maggie and the singing birds


Rosie was the last of the trio to take on Untitled. Harmless as it may look, when Museum security warns that you should keep your hands crossed on your chest they weren't jesting. Momentum really picks up after the second sharp turn, and I've heard sounds of felt pain and pure joy coming through the slide on the second floor.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

11_5. The Rival Mob "Tough Love" @ Acheron, NYC

The Rival Mob performed at the Acheron in BK last night/tonight/right before the mindfuckery that is the end of daylight saving. This band is hard to catch live unless you happen to be at some major punk fest or live on the East Coast, but luckily I've arranged my residency to fix that problem.

I'm not going to talk too much about the band's set because every word I'd have for it is best exemplified in the moving visual above. I will say that the unusual blur adjustments throughout the video makes it look extra ominous as if this was my POV after getting punched in the eyes. Keeping it tough.