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April 30, 2008

Supermarket Finds: Blood Sausage

IMG00283.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm starting a new feature with shots of various odd or otherwise interesting items I've found on the shelves and often the meat departments of supermarkets in my travels.

I'm pretty sure this is Blood Sausage and Eric agrees, but I've never seen it presented like this.

Condesa, Mexico City. 2007.

Bicycle Security

Bicycles, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Having just dropped a couple hundred bucks on a brand new bike, I'm obviously hoping to avoid it looking like this any time soon.

The more enthusiastic members of the bike cult tell you never ever to lock up your bike. This is ridiculous to me, since that effectively means you can only ride to places where you've got your bike at all times. This my make perfect sense to some folks, that's not why I got my bike.

So, I'm trying to learn about locks and such. Coincidentally, Clarence Eckerson, a friend of Tammi's and a bike rights advocate filmed a piece for StreetFilms about properly securing your bike. Tammi posted it on her blog, here.

It's pretty useful, but I'm a bit put off by the attitude that anyone who doesn't know what they're telling you is an idiot. It's common in a lot of areas, especially computers. I'm sure I've done it many times, but it's still obnoxious.

Also, for anyone annoyed by my use of the term 'Bike Cult,' please note that one of the people in this film is from something called thebikechurch.org.

Graffiti of the Day: Hope

IMG_7909, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tribeca, NYC. 2008.


IMG_2521 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

As a part of my 'Action Sports' beat, I was sent out to the first annual Moto-X World Championships. The event wasn't particularly well promoted, so there weren't that many people there. All the same, the tricks seemed pretty good to my entirely untrained eye. I got to see someone else finally manage to pull off a double back flip, which hadn't successfully been done in the States since Travis Pastrana did it at the Summer X Games in 2005.

Much more importantly, I stuffed myself with Fish Tacos and local(ish) beer. More on that to come.

Photo of the Day: Decibel by Candlelight

IMG_1281, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Decibel Sake Bar, East Village, NYC. 2008. ::c::

April 29, 2008

Mexico City: Pata Negra

IMG_3408, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

We inadvertently took advantage of the great exchange rate at Pata Negra in Condesa. Even though it was listed as a tapas bar, very few of the dishes we got turned out to be particularly small.

When I ordered 4 empanadas, 2 sandwiches and a lamb skewer we saw our neighbor eating, the bartender warned us that we may want to tone it down a bit. But, given the prices, I couldn't imagine that each dish wasn't going to be gone in 3 bites. Everything was considerably bigger than that.

Having had a number of empanadas in Buenos Aires the year before, I expected a small turnover, smaller than a Jamaican Beef Patty. Instead we got what looked much more like a slice of Sicilian Pizza, a thick square covered with pastry and filled with spinach, salmon or other such things. They were huge, if not all great. We tasted a little of everything to make sure we took advantage of the variety we ended up with.

The winner of the meal has to be the sandwiches, especially the one pictured above, stuffed with juicy red chorizo slices. yummy.

In the end, I think we paid $40US, including a few sangrias that Tammi had and several local beers. All with enough food to feed 4 or 5 people.

Next Trip: San Juan

IMG_7691, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Next week Tammi and I are taking some much needed downtime to spend a few days in Puerto Rico. As I'm digging through whatever notes I have from our last trip, I'll post about it. ::c::

Ramen on the Rise

IMG_6415, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The first time discovered that Ramen was more than the crap I bought at the drugstore in Amherst for 8 pack for a dollar was on my first trip to Hawaii. Waikiki in particular gets a lot of Japanese tourists and among the amenities offered is a good deal of Japanese food.

I totally fell for Ramen there, Udon specifically. I mentioned it in the Hawaii Guide, but it bears repeating.

In any case, I'm pretty psyched to hear about the recent openings of more ramen shops in the East Village. So far I have only been to Udon West on St. Mark's, which I just stumbled upon and hasn't gotten any press that I know of. The other two have been severely over-blogged, so have been packed. I'm hoping that the attention will die down and I'll get a chance to check them out soon.

In the meantime, enjoy this shot of a lovely curry udon with fried chicken that I had at Udon West.

Graffiti of the Day: Herbert Hoover

IMG_0013, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2008.

Artist: US Senator.

A month or so ago, I came across a few US Senator pieces out in Williamsburg. Until then, I had only seen his stuff in San Francisco, under the freeway in SoMa. Despite the name, the paste ups are invariably portraits of US Presidents, usually accompanied by the number president they are.

I'm not sure how many are around. So far, I've just seen this one and one of Nixon (with no number, that I could see).

Photo of the Day: The Long Shot

IMG_5243, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This was one of a group of Missionaries we came across when we went out to see the pyramids. We talked to them briefly after climbing up the smaller pyramid. The conversation was pretty funny. When we told them that we were from New York, one of the guys was blown away. "Oh, wow! New York! Wow! I've never been anywhere like that. New York!"

Of course, I pretty much had the same reaction when I heard they were Missionaries from Utah...

Teotihuacan, Mexico City, Mexico. 2007.

April 28, 2008

Flawed Filter?

IMG_9249, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I've found an issue with the filter on my 35mm lens where bright lights in dark places reflect elsewhere in the shot. The obvious first step is to replace the filter, but I have no reason to believe it's flawed (other than images like this). Has anyone seen this before? ::c::

Photo of the Day: Superior

IMG_1971, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Chelsea/FlatIron border, NYC. 2008 ::c::

Graffiti of the Day: Frida

IMG_9840, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

"We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us." -Frida Kahlo

I'm not sure who the artist is, please let me know if you do.
Chelsea, NYC. 2008

My First Brooklyn Bike Ride

Yesterday, after buying my new bike out in Red Hook, Tammi and I rode around Brooklyn and then back home. Tammi was my 'wingman,' following behind me on her rollerblades. I was really nervous at first, but managed to get home without incident. I wasn't sure that I'd be riding much when I first decided to get the bike, now I'm planning my next ride for later this week.

I'm heavily resisting joining the bike cult. I will be locking up my bike outside occasionally, I won't be going to any critical mass rallies any time soon.

April 27, 2008

Photo of the Day: La NĂ©gresse

IMG_7350, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Several years ago, when I first saw this piece, I was transfixed. Mostly by the intensity in her eyes, but also by the clear African characteristics of her face. That's something you don't often see in museum art.

Later, I was struck with deja vu while standing in a huge open hall at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. "Fountain of the Four Parts of the Earth" by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux depicts this woman, along with four other representatives of the peoples of the world, holding up the globe. It took me 10 minutes of racking my brain to understand why I recognized her.

It wasn't until my recent visit to the Met that I finally understood her expression. According to the caption, the bust is captioned, "Why Born a Slave?"

April 26, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Swoon Hand

IMG_8569, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Rivington Street, LES, NYC. 2008.

Artist: Swoon

Hair Raising

IMG_0800, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

It's been about 6 months since I cut my hair. I guess that coincided with winter hibernation, because I'm suddenly seeing a bunch of people who haven't seen me since then who are _shocked_ at how short my hair is.

Conversely, I'm amazed at how much it's grown since the cut. I'm psyched to have my mini-fro back. It hasn't looked like this since I was 24.

Photo of the Day: Breeze

Bicycles, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I may be getting a bike tomorrow. This will make Tammi very happy. I'm just hoping to avoid injury. Wish me luck.

April 25, 2008

Photo of the Day: Spring is Here

IMG_4315, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Garibaldi Statue, Washington Square Park, NYC. 2008. ::c::

April 24, 2008

Photo of the Day: Hot Stuff!

IMG_3963, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Habana Outpost, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2008. Yeh, it's been a while... ::c::

Pig Butchery!

IMG_4482, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tuesday night I attended a class in Pig Butchery at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. It was led by Tom Mylan, the butcher for Diner, Marlowe & Sons and Bonita.

A dozen of us watched as Tom dissected a 105 pound half pig into it's various tasty cuts.

It was glorious.

When it was all done, we took turns picking out cuts to take home. The only piece left was the kidney, which was cooked right there and passed around on toothpicks.

Tom mentioned a proposed similar class butchering a lamb. I hope that happens, I'd definitely check that out.

Among us in the class was Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore, who also shot many photos of the event. I hope to see them on his site at some point. Mine are posted on Flickr, here.