Saturday, September 23, 2006

The MTA Is A Typographer’s Dream

A couple weeks ago, as the doors of a 6 train were opening, I was struck by the typography on the outside of the train. Of the lit line signs, most are either LCD-like a crude calculator, or LED-looking like the crosswalk. But here was an LCD that had this beautiful criss-cross of lines that enable the train to change lines and maintain nice smooth typography.

Based on photos, they appear to be a variation of R142 or R143, and not new enough to be a R160. There may have been some sign revision among R143s.

It recalled the wonderful typography in Paul Pope's Batman 100 series, as done by Jared K Fletcher and John Workman. Below is a detail and larger portion of the credit page.

Here are text samples

And other line signs... Even though the 5 is in dots, the directional text would be like those above.

Bonus points for those who caught the Adam Bock/Clubbed Thumb reference in the title.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Lot of Beliefs in One Magazine

I'm kinda in the midst of jury duty now. After being selected on Tuesday, I went to court on Wednesday without much reading, expecting to be in court all day. I was wrong and without much reading until my lunch break when I picked up the latest issue of Believer. There's a lot of pieces in this issue that I connect with of late.

First of all, I owe it to Scott for bringing it to my attention a couple weeks ago. His partner Peter Bebergal has a review. Peter is also the close childhood friend of Jason, who just moved to Providence to teach at Roger Williams.

Jason got me back into comics this spring. The cover artist is Charles Burns, who did the beautifully creepy Black Hole, which I read early in the summer. Great intro, but not so satisfying ending in my esteem, nonetheless, the art is killer.

This issue is on games, which I love. The lead article is Paul LaFarge's profile on Dungeons and Dragons, and meeting one of the creators E. Gary Gygax. This closes out my LaFarge obsession, having read three of his novels in 3 months. The piece has a lot of good nuggets for novices and playas. I've been pushing LaFarge's The Facts of Winter to all my bilingual friends. Including my 18-year old cousin Max who is staying with me this month. He's got a one way ticket to Paris. Until then, he's exploring the City as a bike messenger.

Nick Hornby has an essay. I read his Fever Pitch before going to London and World Cup madness. Then Brian McMullen has a piece on how Zidane's headbutt was wikied in wikipedia.

Lastly, Georges Perec writes on crosswords and other word games, which I've been doing more since the spring, including seeing Wordplay with Joe's dad.

Of course there's more in the magazine, and there are other interests going on in my head, but this was a lot of overlap.

My trial doesn't start until Monday, and who knows how long it will last. But two days in, I got a lot of reading in and not much court time.

Labels: , , , , , , v. La Nano

The bright light emininating against the sillouette, the tiling of monochromatic sheets... who's flattering whom?

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sik Muniz

Vik Muniz: Atalanta and Hippomenes, after Guido Reni (Pictures of Junk) 2006

Fall has returned, not because were in mid September, but that the calendar of things to see quickly filled up.

Friday Jen and I saw People Speak at 45 Below. People Speak is a staged presentation of Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History of the United States and is part of the Impact Festival.

Saturday I met Joe and Gretchen to catch a few gallery shows. First I wanted to make sure Joe saw Richard Serra's show at Gagosian: Rolled and Forged. I posted a few pics in Flickr.

Then we caught the show I was really looking forward to: Vik Muniz' Pictures of Junk. Last year I met Muniz when he gave a talk about his book Reflex. In the back room were his equally astonishing pictures of pigment. Though his art speaks for itself, there, was some icing: a time lapse film of Pictures of Junk being composed. This series took up area the size of a basketball court, requiring the photograph to proportionally higher. Leaving, I just shook my head, this stuff is just sick.... it's that good.

Then yesterday, I took in the Atlantic Antic with Gretchen. I met some folks who dig up old glass and other stuff from old Brooklyn cistern wells. Jen and Denise also had a table and scored an early long sleave Raeburn Ink tee.

Max and I went to Heathers for a 78 RPM Sunday, where Ethan spun some shellaced jazz from the 30s and 40s. I learned about Slim Gaillard in particular. Max, my 18-year old cousing from Rockland County, is staying with me this month to work as a bike messenger before heading off to Paris to do the same.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, September 15, 2006


This is how I spent my morning, geotagging my Flickr pictures. I didn't get it until I tried it, but this was really easy and amazing. Check out where my pics came from, particulary the Hay Lake photos.

Labels: ,

Learning a New Camera

Four months after a failed camera purchase, I'm trying again, and so far with better results. Check out my Flickr page for the test results...

These are (occasionally candied) fennel seeds from Hurry and Tasty Curry, my office Indian joint. The fennel aids digestion and tames breath if you didn't know.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


After a few weeks of rooftop yoga, I finally got on the ball to look up some of terms that whiz by me. In particular, "namaste" (na-mas-tay). I was thrilled to learn means, "I bow to that of God in you." How amazingly Quaker... appreciating the light within. Though we speak of it in meeting, we do not greet each other as such, but if we acknowledge it more in each other, perhaps individually we'll exhibit it more.

As I think more about it, some talk as if it is easier to kill or otherwise devalue other human we feel are godless, infidels and the like... but what would/does it mean to a being that has part of God in them? Frequently Genesis is cited how God made humans in God's image. Being the dawn of humanity it means all humans, regardless of Jew, Christian, Muslim et al, has God in them. So for every human we kill and maim, we do unto God, whether directly or indirectly.

Labels: , , ,

Bahn Mi Oh My, An Explanation

Clint asked that I explain what bahn mi is, besides some cheap food that I seem to like.

Bahn mi are Vietnamese sandwiches. The standard is on a French baguette (8in). Then a few slices of fatty roast pork, with some pate spread on, then filled with daikon radish, pickled carrots, peppers, cilantro and mayo. In the end, it's balanced between sweet and savory, gooey and crisp, rich and bitter, hot and cool. They also have meat balls (usually with some fish in it), and more of a pulled pork.

Josh put it best three bites into his first bahn mi, "Say what you will about colonialism, but this is a darn good sandwich."

They usually go for about $3, though around 4.25 in more gentrified neighborhoods. You can usually get SE asian beverages (lychee juice, durian shakes, White Birds nest, tamarind) for and dollar or two, for a complete meal for $5. A couple of the better known shops split their store front with jewelry shops or other business ventures. I'd look for it anywhere with a significant SE Asia population.

Labels: , ,

Pent Up Miscellany

Thus opened a flood gate to spew forth pent up miscellany...

I was struck by Maggie Gyllenhall's blonde job in Sherrybaby... if for nothing else that it echoes, but not quite captures the poor-rural-bottle-blonde that some of my cousins have sport... though with severe roots.

I'm reading Paul LaFarge's Haussmann, Or The Distinction, where there is something to gnaw on for urban planners, students of LeCorbusier or Moses, and even those obsessed with the Atlantic Yards project. Plus there's a great passage that made me a bit more cat-allowing..
(p56) "And Madeleine loved most of all that which was catlike in herself, in other words, that which achieved freedom without struggle and independence without loneliness, and for all that never had to go long without food."
Between him and Amy Hempel, I might yet turn out to be an animal lover.

David Foster Wallace's profile on Roger Federer put me over the edge, so I went to my first US Open. Highlights include seeing the unseeded Misha Youzny upset #6 Tommy Robello, he then beat #2 Nadal then lost to Andy Roddick in the semis. Also, I saw eventual champion Maria Sharapova in her third round match. All tennis related DFW writings are magnificent

I've graduated from AM New York and Metro's crosswords to the Times. Thursday is possible in collaboration. Wordplay is what really put me over the edge.

I've been listening to... a torrent of new music. The hottest track this summer is Lily Allen's Friday Night. I'll zap it anyone who's curious. There's also a sharp cut from Talib Kweli with HiTek, Slim Thug and Snoop Dog called This is How We Do It. Also the new Dylan is as good as reported.

I had my best trip to MoMA since I saw the Bonnard show eight years ago. Mariani was back from Providence, so we met at MoMA where Karen was leading a gallery tour of MoMAs new show, Out of Time. After coffee in the sculpture garden, we did a quick tour of the Dada show. Having gone once, it was great to have two art historians and crafty lady to go through and chat with.

Cherimoyas are in season... such a narrow window for such a creamy delicious fruit.

Mariani, Josh and I went to the Scott McCloud book release party at Rocketship. He signed my copy of Understanding Comics, and I got to chat with him about how much the book has occupied my attention in the rest of my work. It's one of the best books on aesthetics, not just of comics.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,