This is a picture Nick took while we were exploring the Met - the Metropolitan Museum of Art - this weekend. I love reviewing the camera roll, and a) rediscovering things I looked at and b) seeing things I never noticed at all. This includes the above.
The Muppets, the movie that is, is funny enough, but it gets off to a great start with another animated short featuring the Toy Story characters. Small Fry involves Buzz Lightyear getting trapped with a support group made of abandoned Happy Meal-like toys, with a tiny Buzz determined to be played with. It's a hoot, with more sight gags and jokes (my favourite toy: Tae Kwon Doe, a deer that does martial arts) than many full-length features. Here's a taste.
Here is something you don't see every day: a replica of the AT-AT walker from The Empire Strikes Back, crafted from bits and pieces of metal scraps.
This is from a small shop in New York called Metal Park, located at Bryant Park. To call it small would be an understatement: it's like walking into a small storage room. The shelves, though, were filled largely with pop culture icons, particularly from Star Wars, all made from various bits of metal.
Here's what a metallic Yoda looks like:
And here are C-3PO and R2-D2 - the large versions, making for quite an investment!
An album track from Some Girls, which the Rolling Stones have recently given the deluxe reissue treatment. I don't know if they were reacting deliberately to the pared-down sound of punk and new wave in the air at the time, but it worked.
One of the things Nick enjoyed most during our trip to New York was a stand that made crepes in Bryant Park, particularly a chocolate crepe. To call it delicious is an understatement. I shot this short video, which shows the delight Nick got in receiving, and topping it up with a few (OK, more than a few) sprinkles of extra chocolate powder.
I don't get the appeal of Black Friday. I understand why pople might be drawn to sales - but only if they're one of a very few number who go. Getting up before dawn to save something on an overpriced item while competing for a) standing room and b) oxygen? Don't get it.
Today, two full days after Black Friday, we ventured into Macy's, the eight-floor behemoth on 34th Street in New York. I bought Martha something special, and yes, it was worth it, but it meant being more than uncomfortable. I won't whine, but it's not something I'd want to do again soon. Nonetheless, we got out of there and enjoyed the rest of the day.
We had an interesting experience yesterday on Fifth Avenue as we were walking to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The stretch of "museum mile" near Central Park not only connects several museums but is notably home to a variety of street vendors who will gladly sell you cheap reproductions of famous paintings, photographs and magazine covers.
Here's the story.
We saw one vendor who sold a variety of parodies of the "Hope" poster featuring Barack Obama. Some were funny, so I took my phone to take a snap. The vendor got aggressive. "Hey, hey, hey! This is my work!" he yelled at us, protecting his $5 products with his arms.
Now, of course, I found this instantly ironic. I pointed to the reproduction of the "original" Hope design, the one made by Shepard Fairey during the 2008 U.S. election campaign. "You made this? You actually own the copyright and trademark on this image?" I asked.
Well, that made him a little, um, upset. "Get outta here!!" he screamed. We left, and couldn't help but laugh.
Let's review the case: the fellow was not only appropriating the design of someone else (and, as someone reminded me later, Fairey himself ran into trouble because he used a copyrighted photograph owned by someone else), but a host of copyrights, including the owners of characters such as Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin.
Moreover, it's not like the fellow had come up with something remotely original. Parodies of the Hope design are rampant, and you you can easily make one yourself on the internet, right here for instance.
The lesson for our son, apart from those involving intellectual property and fair use, moreso pointed to a particular type of vendor: the raging idiot.
I snapped this in Central Park yesterday afternoon while we were out for a stroll, and before we headed up to see Andres (Martha's cousin) and his wife Michelle and their friends. We had an incredible feast.
I loved what someone had left behind with chalk on the path.
One of the highlights of our trip to New York, hands down, has been skating at Bryant Park, a little oasis in midtown Manhattan with a decent-size rink. Gliding around while they play Ella Fitzgerald, surrounded by tall buildings and the smell of warm food? A pretty special moment.
It was, by the way, the first time I've been on skates in a few decades!
We liked it so much we're going back tonight. The theme is reflected in today's pick for song of the day: see below.
I just heard this in the coffee shop where I'm tapping some notes, and made the impromptu decision to pick it as a song of the day. What's Going On - I always found it interesting Marvin Gaye didn't put a question mark in the title - is almost picked as one of the best or most influential songs in pop history, and for good reason; few other songs cut to the bone of the personal and the political. Forty years later, it's also still relevant, even if the circumstances have changed.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.