Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

Peace and genuine joy to the world and to New York, to the SoBro art community, to the management and especially
... to our ClockTowerTenants. 
Happy Holidays, all.

Friday, December 24, 2010


FALLINGWATER is a private home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1936-37 in western Pennsylvania. It’s an icon in the world of architecture.

I’ve visited there and photographed the house several times. It’s easily worth another trip.
An ambitious young couple in Provo, Utah recreated the house this year in gingerbread to enter the Gingerbread Festival in Orem, Utah. 

You can read about it here:

Happy Holidays!

all those shopping days

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Earlier Tonight

Rockefeller Center

Break the door down, if you must

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1:02 of Pah rum pah pum pum

I’m not particularly a fan of PeeWee Herman but you’d never know that by the coverage he’s been getting here. 
But I AM a fan of Christmas and Grace Jones, disco diva from the 70‘s. She and Dolph Lundgren used to work out at a gym I designed and belonged to back in the day, and it’s good to see her here.

But man, how surreal. So oddly Grace.
PeeWee even gets it goin’ a bit at about 40 seconds in. Weird. lol

technical wizardry for sure

Plagued with injury and an opening pushed back 27 days so far, the hottest ticket on Broadway just got hotter with another injured stunt man this past week.
Julie Taymor’s SPIDERMAN at the Foxwoods is the most expensive show in Broadway history, spending up to $70 million so far to bring live spidey-leaps to the masses. And spidey-leap they do, but is it enough?

I took our resident SPIDERMAN expert, my buddy Leroi, to a preview last Saturday night in hopes of answering that question. 

Leroi knows his Spidey-lore. So first, the good news.

The $70 million is apparent.

You can see it in the remarkable sets and lighting effects, the incredible play on perspective, the very impressive flying rig that literally launches actors in spider suits from a standing start to a frightening zZZZZiPP high over the audience’s head. 

Spidey lands on specially built platforms hung on the front of the mezz and the loge where he pauses before leaping out into the air again, high over the orchestra seats, shooting goo from his wrists and zZZipping to another part of the theatre. For awhile, it’s very cool.

Taymor also staged the LIONKING, a huge and enduring hit for Disney, so naturally she was on the short list for this cartoon. But where the LIONKINGS’s stagecraft is zen-like in its simplicity and movingly beautiful for that clarity, the effects in Spiderman are muscle bound and busy, full of heavy breathing and exhaustive effort. The show literally labors to impress you.
Worse, the LIONKING score by EltonJohn and TimRice sounded like a Broadway show as if the composers understood that the pop hits for which they were famous would not work here. Broadway has its own sound, and when the older Lion lifts baby Simba high into the air and the harmonious “Circle of Life” fills the auditorium, only the hardest heart can fail to be moved. That’s why it’s such a hit.
In SPIDERMAN, Bono and the Edge from U2 don’t seem to get that, churning out ho-hum “melodies” (if you want to call them that) that not only fail to inspire, there isn’t even a catchy passage for the audience to hum on the way out of the theatre. For a 70million dollar Broadway spectacle, I think that’s a fatal omission.

So at the end we have a familiar “story” such as it is, tee-shirts to sell, competent but not particularly memorable performances, insanely great settings that will boggle your mind, an abrupt and lousy ending and that trick, the flying trick. The show is a one trick pony.

Leroi loved it. He stood and clapped again and again as the Spider and the Green Goblin grappled in their harnesses, flinging themselves around the airy volume of the theatre. But me? Not so much. Silly me wanted an actual Broadway show; technical wizardry for sure but also powerful rock songs and swoony ballads and character development so I could be moved by them in the end. Never happened. Nothing even close.

Beyond the mesmerizing stagecraft, the thing that makes Taymor’s LIONKING so satisfying is the emotional wallop it packs. It can literally move you to tears. SPIDERMAN Turn Off the Dark has a $70 million dollar computerized flying rig where its story and its heart should have been. Turn off the dark?

Turn off the lights, if you ask me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For those who missed it, it takes 2 minutes

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Time lapse video of Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse on December 21, 2010 from 1:10 AM EST to 5:03 AM EST from Gainesville Florida. Music is Claude Debussy Nocturnes: Sirènes.

Economic Engine of the WesternWorld

The New York Stock Exchange, last evening.

Monday, December 20, 2010

inches is *so* last week

It’s finally stopped snowing in California, but the past three days has brought over nine feet and incredibly, in the upper elevations they saw over eleven feet of fresh powder.

Yes, feet. Global storming for the moment has supplanted Global warming. The blue areas in the satellite map below are the storms. See the outline of Texas on the right? These storms are….huge.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Several feet of new snow had piled up in California's mountains by Sunday afternoon and it was still coming down, meteorologists said. reported Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort said it had received 9 feet of new snow since Friday at its peak elevation of about 11,000 feet, and at the 8,000-foot level, there was 6.5 feet.

"Measuring snow in inches is *so* last week: we busted out the yardstick," the Los Angeles Times reported @Mammoth Mountain touted on its Twitter page.

Photos from the Mammoth Mountain home page
This just in from MSNBC 8:18Eastern, Bill Karins, meteorologist just reported that sections of Mammoth Mountain have now topped out over 15 feet of new snow. Skiers and joggers rejoice.

Sunday, December 19, 2010