28 June 2007

a multiple of five.

I just realized that I posted my thousandth photo on Flickr a couple of weeks ago. It was taken at Fada in Williamsburg, during a delicious brunch with my roommate. It's a cute French place that has an amazing menu and a Django Jam session on Wednesday nights, which we have been amusedly curious about. My caption ("looks almost exactly like World Cup"), visually explained:

Isn't that crazy? It looks like the same place, only slightly remodeled. World Cup is one of the many coffee shops in Richmond, Virginia that I would sit in last summer, spending hours trying to get this job.

Anyway, my point: At around Christmastime, Clay very generously bought me a pro account on Flickr, with the hunch that I would use it a lot more if I didn't have a bandwidth limit. He was right, and I am still grateful. Thank you, Clay! Here is to a thousand more.

27 June 2007

Dasepo Naughty Girls

The Korean musical Dasepo Naughty Girls is playing one more time during the NY Asian Film Festival - this Friday [29 June] at 6.50pm. I highly recommend this movie. During the Q&A with director E. J-yong last weekend, I found out that the film was voted one of the worst movies of the year in Korea. How sad! I adored it, and so did everybody else there. When asked about the radical difference between Dasepo Naughty Girls and his previous masterpiece, Untold Scandal, E. J-yong expressed that Dasepo is much more his style. He also told us that we should expect another musical from him soon, similar in campiness level to Grease.

More about the movie. First, watch the trailer:

The movie is exactly how you would expect it to be, based on that. This is what I told one friend...

It was a musical about kinky but very cute schoolchildren. There was a hermaphrodite, a cyclops, a poverty-stricken nerd who became a star overnight via an underground sex den and crossdressing publicist /agent... there was also a sub-plot about a medusa-like monster who tried to become a dragon via doing good deeds (this was a very weird part) in the form of re-virginizing the schoolgirls. I loved it. The colors were wonderful. The girls were cute. The GUYS were cute. It was just... it was great.

The synopsis on the NYAFF site is much more articulate and intelligible than my silly little description here, but you will probably get the gist of it either way. Go see this movie! You'll leave smiling.

I have to start storing my own images.

[This post is dedicated to Charles Frith. Happy Birthday!]

26 June 2007


I think I have to start admitting publicly that puns make me laugh. I used to hate them because they were SO TERRIBLE and ridiculous, but that is now the reason for why I laugh uncontrollably. The last one of this sort was in reference to the film Exte, a Japanese horror flick showing at the NY Asian Film Festival. Here is the trailer (don't watch it if you're squeamish, it's pretty disgusting).

A line in the synopsis says "These divergent storylines are braided together and come to a head (of hair) in a final showdown between a heroic hairstylist and a hungry hairstyle." Come on. Braided together? Come to a head? There were tears streaming down my face when I read that.

So, now that you know this deeply embarrassing thing about me (I know I'm going to regret this confession about five minutes after I hit "publish post"), you can (maybe) imagine my delight at a recent Ironic Sans entry about The Economist. He writes, "As I was wading through this week’s issue, I realized that whoever writes the headlines (the copy editor, I think) has an interesting sense of humor and a penchant for puns and cultural references." He then lists the best and worst of the most recent issues. My personal favorite:

Article topic: The popularity of the Russian royal family
Headline: Tsarstruck


Okay I have to publish this really quickly before I change my mind. That is all.

25 June 2007

WIRED is more articulate than I.

Surprise, right?

A little over a month ago, I was trying to explain the appeal of Twitter to someone who had never used it and didn't understand it - they thought that "with the short sentences there's not room for much substance." I responded with, "If you are Twitterfriends with someone, and you get their updates for a week or so, there is so much substance. You get little snippet insights into their lives: how they think, their habits, etc. You get a feel for the city they live in. What they eat. How their moods affect what they do elsewhere. It is almost like long-term ethnography, because people don't put a ton of thought into when they Twitter - they just do it."

This was realized by my friend Chet at last Friday's Sweet & Vicious thingie. He mentioned something about my penchant for Jameson. I, shocked, said "How did you know that?" "Twitter," he responded. Out of my now 779 Twitters over the last several months, three to five of them have mentioned the delicious Irish whiskey.

The latest issue of WIRED explains this in a much better way that I did (or ever could):

...the true value of Twitter is cumulative. The power is in the surprising effects that come from receiving thousands of pings from your posse.

'...when I get such granular updates every day for a month, I know a lot more about her... I begin to develop an almost telepathic awareness of the people most important to me.'

So why has Twitter been so misunderstood? Because it's experiential. Scrolling through random Twitter messages can't explain the appeal. You have to do it - and more important, do it with friends.

You're creating a shared understanding larger than yourself.

I know people are writing about Twitter to death. I won't again, I promise! Except for my article that's coming out in a couple of days that talks about real time documentation. Okay, okay. I can't stop. Sorry guys.

12 June 2007


Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
I've been really happy about my productivity levels in the past few days, and sometimes I can't believe that I actually know how to do some of the stuff I'm doing. Things are going a mile a minute here though, and it's insanely stressful. Earlier today I turned my head to the side and looked out of our huge windows. And I saw a tiny white butterfly flutter by the fake Ionic column on this off-white building across the street. The headache seemed to vanish instantly and a calm optimism was restored. Yay for nature's battery rechargers?

08 June 2007

Your weekend cultural assignment.

Because I'm going to be working all weekend, the bad news is I cannot make it to CLAMPART to see John Arsenault's self portraits. The good news, however, is that they'll be up until the 23rd of this month. I was really looking forward to it this weekend, though. His stuff looks amazing.

I don't know a lot about photography. My vocabulary is limited to: medium format, lomography, color saturation, aperture, shutter speed and cross processing. But all the photography I love seems to fall within one of those words or phrases. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it's selective learning. All I know is that these previews online look incredible, and I won't be missing this one before it leaves CLAMPART. Here's what the gallery's web site had to say about his self portraits:

Since first picking up a camera, John Arsenault has routinely been turning his lens back upon himself, producing an outlandish and absurd, wild and erotic account of his life as a young, gay artist. Exploring facets of his personal relationships, his sexuality, and his identity, Arsenault constructs varies (sic) scenarios that not only tell the story of his experiences, but also comment upon society at large. With a great eye for the strange, the unexpected, and the laugh-out-loud ridiculous, he is not afraid to poke fun at himself, and thus, is able to comment upon matters of broad cultural import without seeming shrill or pedantic. Arsenault's work is vulnerable and honest. As writer Dan Halm has concluded, "One can learn a lot about oneself through another's eyes."

see? It sounds wonderful! And because I couldn't just choose one of his photos to put in this entry, have another.

Someone take a field trip to Chelsea and tell me how truly great it is. yes?

07 June 2007

After Dark

A couple of weeks ago, I read After Dark, the newest English translation from Haruki Murakami (my favorite writer). It was absolutely lovely. About 9/10 through the book, I wondered "How are there only a few pages left? I would need 300 more to find out about what happens to these people." But when the book ends, it is perfectly clear as to what Murakami did. I can't really explain what exactly it was that he did do, but it's genius. Here are the parts I underlined throughout the whole thing, and they kind of sum the story up quite well. Cliffs notes, Johanna style.

The date is just about to change.

She reaches out at regular intervals and brings the coffee cup to her mouth, but she doesn't appear to be enjoying the flavor. She drinks because she has a cup of coffee in front of her:

"I'm kind of a low-key guy. The spotlight doesn't suit me. I'm more of a side dish - cole slaw or French fries or a Wham! backup singer."

"...it was great. ..The first time I heard it, I felt the scales fall from my eyes."

Music for the middle of the night.

This could be an Edward Hopper painting titled Loneliness.

The two live happily ever after. Love conquers all. It's like: we used to be miserable, but now everything's great. They drive a shiny new Jaguar, he plays squash, and sometimes in winter they throw snowballs.

...crescent moon... Strange that, viewed from one spot in the predawn city, such a big solid object could be hanging there free of charge.

"Historically speaking, it's quite a recent development that human beings have felt easy about going out after dark. It used to be after the sun set, people would just crawl into their caves and protect themselves. Our internal clocks are still set for us to sleep after the sun goes down."

If we could further sharpen our auditory sense, we might be able to hear bicycles on the street or people talking to each other or the weather report on the radio. We might even be able to hear bread toasting.

Benoît Pioulard.

I have talked about Benoît Pioulard before, and I will talk about him again. My friend Soraya put a song of his on a winter mix CD for me last December. It instantly became my favorite track on the disc, and I had it on repeat for weeks. I bought his album (which happens to be on Kranky - excellent) from iTunes; now it's my most-played album (yes, still). I probably annoy everybody at Naked playing this thing.

He's not just a musician; when I was in Ohio for Memorial Day Weekend, Benoît posted a Bulletin on MySpace selling some Polaroid sets he had put together. I was lucky enough to respond quickly enough to get one of my top choices, which is (I am proud to say) the one from his splash page.

I just - much to my nextdoor neighbor's chagrin - nailed it to my wall last night. Now I see it every morning when I wake up. It reminds me of my childhood in Puerto Rico.

Thank you, Thomas.
[ that's Gnocchi sitting in the corner ]

Benoît Pioulard | official site

06 June 2007

Bing Bang

Time for me to rave about Bing Bang, a jewelry company my friend Kevin heads up (he's the Director of Business Operations).

A few weeks ago I placed an order with him for a custom two-finger ring, and he gave me a call last night to let me know it was ready. It's perfect and I couldn't be happier.

I was having a little trouble describing the style of the jewelry; at first I wanted to say it mixed a vintage feel with an urban flair, but didn't think that did it enough justice. The web site says that it "mingles contemporary devices with the charm of curious objects and antiquities." Much better, I'd say. My favorite part is that the company's founder, Anna, studied blacksmithing, welding and fabrication at the Academy of Art in San Francisco - gives a good idea about the techniques they use and the subsequent quality of the pieces.

Bing Bang's clients range from Cameron Diaz to Giselle and Claudia Schiffer, and they have been covered in magazines like Vogue, W and i-D. They were also nominated for the 2007 Swarovski Accessories Award by the CFDA - here is a photo of Kevin with Diddy from the awards show two nights ago (they ended up wearing the same vintage Gucci jacket):

Here's one of my favorite pieces from one of Bing Bang's recent collaborations with Marc Jacobs (click for bigger):

You can find Bing Bang at Barneys. Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff.

[writing this post made me feel like Heron.]

05 June 2007

the places that just exist.

While I love the endless string of THINGS that happen in New York every day (thus rendering me never-bored), my favorite parts of this fair little city are the ones I can discover that just exist.

Last Saturday I forced myself out of bed and went to Whole Foods with my friend Marc. We got a bunch of things (see photo) and went on an adventure. We rode the 6 train up to 103rd Street. I had never been that far uptown before... I think the highest I had ever been was when I went to Cooper Hewitt for the Design Triennial.

We walked a bit until we got to one of the coolest pairs of art nouveau iron gates I have ever seen. We set up at the tippy top of Central Park and were there for a few hours. Marc drew and took photos, I wrote and took photos and played Tetris on my 1994 Gameboy (had to superglue the screen back on but it still works wonderfully). We both had a feast. Looking around the park at the different groups of people laying around, followed by walking down paths and through little secret-ish gardens was the best thing I've done in a long time. Summer is here (and I have also equipped myself with a brand new air conditioner for it YAY).

So. Lately I have been wondering about where to post what. I have this blog, our new Naked site and four other blogs sprinkled around the Net... what I guess I'll do is post most of my comms/brand-related stuff over on House of Naked from now on. Occasional brand thingies might slip in here and there simply because it's part of my life, but you get the idea.
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