27 October 2009

So much good music, can't stop posting!

Really enjoying 'Butterfly Nets' from Bishop Allen's 2007 album, The Broken String. And, the album title...for some reason, 'broken' is a word that grabs my attention. Maybe because I'm a klutz. 

The melodic quality of the song brings to mind 'Two Doves', a soft deviation from The Dirty Projectors' recent album, Bitte Orca, with its ironic layers of sound. Really good stuff.

Also, let's not forget the wonderful Madeleine Peyroux...dazzling. Listening to her every once in a while seems to be good for the soul.


Gray day. Even so, somehow, it seems nearly impossible for anything to detract from the native loveliness of this autumn, and its brave complexion. Every morning, my car is clothed in a new blanket of leaves; as the day begins here, I don't mind leaving the house so early.

SNEAK PREVIEW/REMINDER TO SELF: next post will be about the Cave of Perpetual Snow! and the snow hole phenomena.

Til next time..

26 October 2009

Win! Photo Club Prompt: Missed Focus

Was very excited to win this week's photo contest for the photo club! The prompt was "missed focus." Took this image while I was in Bruges, Belgium about 10 months ago. The only post-processing was the change from color to sepia. Shot with a Canon Powershot A590, not a terribly versatile machine.

24 October 2009

Berlin Block Tetris from Sergej Hein on Vimeo.

No better time to listen than now.

There is so much good music out there. What better a time to listen than today?

Fell in love with this video by Sigur Ros (from Iceland) when I saw it a few months back (great song, also):

The Littlest Birds, by the Be Good Tanyas, has been one of my favorite songs for years, but only discovered the music video recently:

OK. Have a ball. Au revoir!

19 October 2009

Hear here!

I can't say enough positive things about Jaymay...so rather than going on and on, I'll instead invite you to listen. Saw her in Gramercy about two years ago, opening for Jose Gonzales. Phenomenal show, and very small. The following songs are really spectacular: 
  • Sea Green, Sea Blue
  • Sycamore Down
  • Grey or Blue
Ciao amici, a dopo..

12 October 2009

Hmm, Machova...

This is a street view of where I stayed when I lived in Prague (is it appropriate to call it 'lived'?) ...was there from June to August 2008. That is the door of my building!

I thought to look this up on Google Earth because I'm meeting up with my friend Carly this weekend, and we were there together...we had a phenomenal time. So I guess nostalgia set in, and there I was, looking up 'Machova 12.' The area of Prague where we lived is called 'Vinohrady'...literally, "vineyards." The street we lived on was where all the poets used to live (or so a taxi driver told me). We lived across from a 'Herna' bar run by the Russian mafia, notorious for slot machines, hookers, and tinted windows. You can identify the place by the opaque blue awning, door and window (rotate the Google street view 90 degrees to the left and go up the street). Interestingly enough, a google search for 'herna' returns very little information... 
Our metro stop was at Náměstí Míru, literally 'Peace Square,' the deepest station of the Prague metro system.

Also, we were not too far from this:

Žižkov Tower

Look more closely, what are those little black spots on it?

Yes, those are enormous babies!

You may hear different stories, but I understand that this tower was built by the Soviets in the mid-late 80s, and one of its prime purposes was to intercept radio and television signals from the West so they could not reach the east. Interestingly enough, the tower was still not completed in 1992, the year the Velvet Revolution occurred. (If you don't know, this was when the Communists lost power in the Czech Republic) It is amazingly ironic that the city of Prague completed the tower and now uses it for broadcasting... In 2000, artist David Černý installed the babies temporarily; they were returned in 2001 by request of the people of Prague.

Love the not-so-subtle ridiculousness of Czech culture. 

With our beloved Czech named Pavel, who played us Don Giovanni on the piano! We were wooed. 

Děkuji, zbohem!

Happy Thanksgiving--to my Canadian friends. Curious, Americans?

09 October 2009

Looking Forward To...

Number one:

The First Days of Spring could shape up to be a really good film. The music is great--by Noah and the Whale, hailing from Britain. Hopefully the story line is as dazzling as the aesthetics.

Number two:

© Robert Gullie

Modern surrealist photographer Robert Gullie has a show opening in Cohoes on the 16th...I can't remember the name of the gallery, but will post that eventually.


Also, if you haven't caught The Moth yet, get on that!

The Moth podcasts are storytelling crack.
The Moth

Some of the best stories you'll ever hear in your life, recorded live, and neatly packaged and delivered to you in podcast form. Thanks to my friend Julia's amazing team over at LitDrift for the suggestion!

Bon weekend!


It would be difficult to find a place as drop-dead-gorgeous as the Adirondacks right now. Last weekend was the official peak of leaf season, but this weekend looks just as promising. I've been going on evening drives to see new parts of the area, regardless of how BUSY the last two weeks have been!

Last Sunday, I found myself in South Corinth...a little hamlet. I instantly had a good feeling about the place...in the center of 'town', the main attraction was an old general store. I was half glad/half disappointed that the place was closed on Sunday-glad, because it is refreshing to find a business that actually takes a break, but disappointed that I couldn't go explore.. 

I went home and did a little research on the town. It was originally settled around 1775, and prior to that was part of Greenfield. A general store was opened by a guy named Hiram Chapman in 1826--possibly the same store I came across? 

In spite of the glaring piles of work, I went back to try to find South Corinth on Monday. Making a wrong turn, I ended up in Corinth--equally fascinating. The whole place is pretty depressed, but obviously thrived at one time. A big Baptist church made of really nice old red stone (I don't know the type?) from the late 1800s is pretty suggestive of prosperity at some point, and a good deal of the architecture is pretty spectacular (although in need of some good lovin'). I drove around for a little while just checking it out...came across streets with names like "Mill Street" and followed them, to find no mills at the end. I did find a pretty awkward but cool one-car-at-a-time tunnel made of a round tube of corrugated metal. One of the most fascinating parts of the town was the giant brown chimney protruding out from the low roofline...I drove in its direction until I got there. Sure enough, it was in the middle of a residential neighborhood, blocked off by a pretty menacing gate system. The factory said 'Indeck' on the side. Hmm...

Sure enough, like so many of the other towns in the capital district, it IS an old mill town (how else would they have made money?). The first Baptist church was built in 1795, and main industries developed shortly thereafter--a lumber mill in 1800, and a clothing mill in 1805 on Kayderosseras Creek! RIGHT up my alley. Also, the 'Indeck' factory is actually a plant that generates alternative fuel, a 'combined cycle' powerplant. When heat engines operate, they only make use of 50% of the potential energy of their fuel source; a combined cycle plant combines multiple sources of thermodynamic energy, resulting in improved efficiency. Can't wait to go back and check this area out again when I have more time. 

Oh, by the way, congratulations, Obama

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