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April 2008 Archives

April 7, 2008

The Best Cirque Du Soleil Show...

I've seen so far is . One of Nick's clients recommended this show, and it is fantastic. I've seen Mystère, which was impressive, but KÀ is probably the best I've seen so far. The stage rotates, so the dancers look like they are climbing a wall while dancing at the same time. The set design, and tech is amazing (which took approximately 2 years to develop), but what makes KÀ better that some of the other shows is the story. It kind of has a manga look, and it's a story about a brother and sister who are separated. This is the newest of the Cirque Du Soleil shows, and is playing at the MGM Grand. I also recommend getting the documentary, which isn't sol on Amazon. It's about the making and production of this show.

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This will probably be the next one I see. I hear it's in water. Btw, we saw poker pros Daniel Negreanu (@ Bellagio) and Phil Ivy (@ The Mirage).

Flamingo

I would skip the Mirage (since they're renovating), and stay at the Flamingo. If you get a gold card, you can bypass the long registration line (probably about a 20-minute wait) and get a free upgrade to their spacious suite on the highest floor, which had a view (approximately ~600 square feet).

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We paid $150 for this room, and it came with a king-size bed, and a queen-sized sofa bed. The redesign reminds me of the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles, where you would have a unique experience. For instance, the neon pink lighting in the bathroom. There's even a television embedded in the bathroom mirror, so if you want to take a bath while watching your favorite movie, you can do so here.

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There were two flat screen televisions (rarely used) and an empty refrigerator for cake or BYOB (for college students on spring break). Prior to staying here, we stayed at the Mirage, and incurred a $40 charge just for opening and closing the fridge 5 times, and we didn't drink anything. We just used it to store our cake. Anyway, I really like how their rooms are catered for the youth, and how they thought very hard about who would stay there. I can visualize a bachelor party or spring break, f-u-n!

April 8, 2008

Speakeasy Bars in NYC

My friend just took me to a speakeasy bar, which is a term they used during Prohibition.

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We went one that was a hot dog joint, where you make reservations for the bar in the telephone booth. Inside is really classy, and the menus are have white leather covers. You can get sophisticated drinks that mix various alcoholic spirits with egg whites.

All the drinks are pretty good. If you order food, there's a selection of tater tots and hot dogs served on plastic plates. We shared a hot dog with a kim chee topping (sounds gross, but it is pretty tasty).

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Check out the rules in the glamorous bathroom (mirrored mosaic).
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One Stop Framing Shop

is where to get reasonably priced frames in New York...

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I was hesitant to try this place that I found on Citysearch, but after reading 15 positive 5-star reviews, I decided to take a chance and try it.

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When I first met Mr. Shah, he had a lot of questions about the layout, but I left it in his creative hands. He did a fantastic job, and even when I had a quiver of doubt, he still accommodated my worries by emailing me photos of the comp. We were very satisfied with his works.

269 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 869-7040

Vending machine for recharging cell phones

For $3.00, you can charge your phone for 30 minutes. Found this kiosk/vending machine at the airport in Vegas. I've seen free chargers at LAX advertised by Samsung or Sony. Owned by the company renting out luggage carts.

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New Airport Security via Pneumatics

So eager to not wait in line, we were escorted to the non-traditional security line. The way this machine works is that it blows air at you, and explosive debris/residue is also blown off. Never seen this before, but it's at the Las Vegas airport.

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Armory Show Favorites, Part I

Here are the pieces that caught my eye. My friend made an observation that I like the technology and process of art, which is somewhat true.

For LED light lovers, I like this for it's optical illusion appeal. Although it's art, I imagined as a cool floor for a shower, so when you step in the depth of the floor is infinite.

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More LED art. This is a man that is more than life-size. You can see lots of processors and components on the peg-board like background, all painted black.
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Walked by this, and liked the texture that these layers create.
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I like the construction of this sculpture...
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I like that this is silkscreen and acrylic on canvas, and both media using black...
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By Elaine Sturtevant, Warhol Black Marilyn

Armory Show Favorites, Part II

This set was all from the same gallery. These first two pieces use yarn and thread to create art.

Close-up:
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Entire painting:
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Close-up:
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Entire painting:
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This piece looked ephemeral. I was really interested in the media, which is Plexiglas, acrylic, and mixed media. Artist name is Kibong Rhee, and the piece is titled Wet Psyche.
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This piece looked effortless (made out of nails):
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Armory Show Favorites, Part III

I took a ceramics for two years, and was amazed with the different techniques used on this vase:

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This was my absolute favorite painting by Jason Martin, titled N-Bulu, oil on aluminum. I took three photos that don't really give it justice...
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Interactive Musical Installation in 34th Street

At 34th Street where the N train runs, there is an interactive musical installation (green). If you wave your hands over certain parts, it plays music.

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Cai Guo-Qiang at the Guggenheim

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This is a pretty amazing exhibition, just by sheer scale of each piece was a delight to walk around and experience. My favorite piece(s) were the clay figures of peasants during Communist China. I also liked all the gunpowder drawings. I wonder how long it took to perfect.

Art Forum Magazine

My photo was one of three selected to appear in this month's Art Forum magazine. I think think this is the photo they used :)

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The photo is of Jeff Koon's Diamond (Blue) in front of Christies, and is on page ~310. The cover of the mag is of Damien Hirst's Diamond Skull.

April 11, 2008

NYPL Live

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Lately I have been trying to find new ways for finding books that aren't mainstream or related to "how to do... design" books, and I think I may have found my answer. Typically, I've use Amazon's "Friends that like this book may also like this book..." but it's great for books about technology (i.e. you're friend might recommend a book about that type of technology you're looking for). I read in Utne that people tend to search for new books by attending readings at indie book stores, but how to get onto a mailing list of that sort is always skeptical. I found a solution, which is attending some events to NYPL LIVE. I've been to three so far, and they've always been excellent. The first event I attended presented Chris Anderson and Lawrence Lessig, which featured Anderson's book The Long Tail: Future. Last year, I attended "Part 1: Propaganda Then and Now: What Orwell did and didn't know" which featured George Soros and Orville Schell. In both cases, I knew at least one of the speakers (Lessig and Soros), which drew me in. Yesterday, I signed up to attend event based on the title of the program, Against The Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob(which is the title of the book being promoted) and really didn't know what to expect. The speakers were Lee Siegel (the author of the book and former journalist), Nicholson Baker (author of various books about libraries), and Heidi Julavits (editor of Believer magazine). All three had great points on the differences between bloggers and journalists, user-created/user-generated media, echo effect and internet culture. I wondered where Mr. Baker was when I was doing my thesis last year. Mr. Siegel also mentioned futurists Stephen Johnson (seen him speak in Red Burn's class) and Malcolm Gladwell (author of Tipping Point and Blink). I ended up picking two books from this talk.

The next event I bought tickets for is in June, where Salman Rushdie is going to promote his new book The Enchantress of Florence. NYPL LIVE sells tickets first-come-first-serve basis, so I was able to get a ticket today.

April 19, 2008

Spamalot

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I just recently watched Spamalot. I think I probably watched a couple of Monty Python movies in my life, and wasn't privvy to the storyline. Anyway, this was okay. Clay Aiken plays Sir Robin, and there were some lines relevant to American Idol and ex-governor Spitzer to make it more current. The set design wasn't as sophisticated as some of the other musicals and Broadway shows I've watched, and the atmosphere was like watching a high-school play because the humor appealed to a grand group of high schoolers (sitting next to us) that were hee-hawing at every boob and camel-toe joke.

But in the end, my overall opinion was that I like it, probably because of the "Find Your Grail" medley, some snarky bits, and it's originality. I would definitely watch this before seeing Wicked, and/or KA. I watched this after, so my expectations were higher.

Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 1

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This is the first time I have ever been to Comicon. It was crowded and pretty fun. There are a lot of kids dressed in character, you get to see the latest games, and see how marketers promote these blockbuster movies coming out this summer (will talk about these later). I even saw a Christie's booth (?!?), but most of the exhibitors are from publishing, gaming, toy, and film industries.

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Wonder Woman...

merits her own post.

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I'm not sure who the artist is of this painting, but it's probably one of my favorite illustrations of her. Found in Comicon at Javitz this year.

She was my favorite character while growing up. I think every girl wanted to be her. They marketed Wonder Woman underoos when I was in grade school, which was the tank and bikini underwear that made you feel like a super hero, or Diana Prince. Anyway, a movie is in production, and slated to be released in 2009, but I wonder, who will play Wonder Woman? Lynda Carter played her in the 70's. Heard through the grapevine that either Catherine Zeta-Jones or Angelina Jolie would play her. I don't think Angelina Jolie should play her, since she's already Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. And Catherine Zeta-Jones should've played Elektra instead of Jennifer Garner. Anyway, we're do for a heroine blockbuster movie soon! Crossing my fingers.

Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 2

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Speaking of blockbusters... all the film and gaming people came out to promote they're movies. Let's see... Robert Downey Jr. is going to be Iron Man, Edward Norton plays the Incredible Hulk, Star Wars and Indiana Jones sequels will be coming out this year.

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Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 3

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So in November, a group of us were playing poker in the lobby of our building. Along came this 16-year old who asked to join us. He was playing very aggressively, and beat out all of us. Later that evening, he claimed that playing Magic was the reason why, since all the "battles" he was involved in forced him to read the state of the opponent with speed. Of course we had no idea what this game was, and what it entailed. It's beyond trading pogs or baseball games. There are a complex set of rules with characters, and you go to these underground places (think Rounders), and play real people with real cards a game similar to the card game "war." So this kid went upstairs to retrieve his duffle bag of card characters, protected in vinyl, organized neatly in a binder. As he gave us a demo and explained the cost of each card, I could make the connection of him playing poker to Magic. Some cards are word $150, and can range into the thousands. When I asked him about the honor system of purchasing some cards online, like Ebay, he said he never bought any counterfeit cards. Some cards, like the older edition which prove to be more valuable, can look Photoshopped, since they don't have a special seal or watermark on it. Interesting... maybe this community believes in integrity, which is what he mentioned several times throughout the night. These cards are made out of paper, but I think the value of the card is determined by the illustrator and character.

Anyway, I saw this game again at Comicon, and other copycats, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft are following suit.

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April 20, 2008

Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 4

There were some people who dressed like their favorite characters. I guess everyone wants to be a super hero/heroine. Anime costumes were more popular. Some of these I know, but some of these I don't know.

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A couple of Japanese companies were promoting Victorian fashion.

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Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 5

Interesting exhibitors at Comicon...

Record/audition your scream at the Spiderman booth.
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Get an autograph by your favorite comic illustrator at DC Comics (though I saw a guy bring in a case of comic books to sign, so the line may take awhile).
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Try out My Beating Heart at Android8, which is designed by ITP alum Yury Gitman. It is strangely meditative. I ended up buying one to test. Reminds me of MIT robotic seals. Android8 has other cool toys and characters that are new.
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So many people visiting this booth selling LED-lit samurai swords and ninja stars.
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Play video games.
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Win prizes (there was a really long line for this).
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Find a job at TokyoPop. They were interviewing and reviewing portfolios of illustrators and writers.
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Watch this guy finish this illustration.
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Character facelifts, manga style

DC Comics and other publishing companies want to tap into the manga market. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Vertigo all have th manga look now.
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So do Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.
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April 27, 2008

Amy Tan on Creativity

About April 2008

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in April 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2008 is the previous archive.

May 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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