Monthly Archives: August 2008

I Spy: Pedestrians

WALK you animals

WALK you animals

There are many ways to get around the streets of Manhattan. Five points for each one you Spy!

  • The Gaper. Hapless in shorts, the foreign and the naive amble and pause, pointing pocket cameras at the Chrysler building from three blocks away, flash plinking feebly.
  • The Commuter. Roll-sleeved shirts and ties move in straight impatient lines, juggling Blackberrys and maintaining optimum viewing distance from the flimsy sundress walking ahead. Commuters suffer from animosity toward Gapers.
  • The Hailer. One arm urgently aloft and the other heavy with expensive shopping bags, the Hailer demonstrates her greater need to be somewhere, chin high and confident. Note: Manhattan only. Cab drivers understand that the Brooklyn bridges are made of wet papier mache and lead to a grim land of flesh-eating zombies, and will sooner sauté their grandmothers’ kidneys than take you anywhere off the island.
  • The Shuffler. The downtrodden and homeless shuffle slowly. Loose, worn knitwear and battered sandals. An ancient walkman looping something through earphones shorn of foam. Without destination or focus they make their steady, glassy progress, foot, over foot, over foot, like wind-up toys.
  • The Trolley. Bent with weight into their shopping cart, sisyphean. Bags full of the recycleable and dubious. Grim with apparent purpose.
  • The Batshit Loonball. The truly mad travel less; the consistency of a neighbourhood some measure of comfort given wild internal weather. On my block, the Japanese lady asks questions angrily of the sidewalk, sharp foreign consonants and a baffled lack of response. She moves off toward 10th Avenue, carefully walking using her right knee instead of the foot; a loping, unnecessary, uncomfortable tribute to John Cleese.
  • The Courier. Heralded by the hated blast of car horns, the brakeless courier careens across the junction through another red. No problem, no worries, no fear.
  • The Scooter. Mothers on Xootrs wait carefully for the crossing signal and push off, leading their line of helmeted ducklings on wobbly toy-wheeled Razors home.
  • The Inliner. Muscle-topped and tanned, the gay ‘liners power their olympic way around the greenway circuit, legs sweeping out, side to side to side.
  • The Skater. The hipster hat and sunglasses glide along behind the row of parked cars. The tarmac growls loudly of skateboard wheels. Dogs follow the unnatural noise and bark taut against the leash. On Union Square, the skaters take turns passing up and down in front of the steps like mediaeval jousters, stretching out manuals, kickflipping, cashing in their hours of practice for short-lived glory.

geekness 3, sleep nil

So the original plan was to upload all my photos to flickr and write up something about the trip to Chicago and Lollapalooza, and of course the nightmare journey/adventure getting back to NYC.

Instead I just blew a bunch of hours finishing version 1.0 of my next pixel-based project. It’s called ‘Peggy’. Say hello to her over on pixelpusher.

Now it’s officially midnight so that’s it for now.

Basquiat Geekout

My friend Emily bought me a book on Basquiat for my birthday. One in truth I already had because i’m a complete Basquiat nerd but anyway, it prompted me to read it rather than just look at the picters. Turns out he had his first ever solo exhibition at the Fruitmarket in Edinburgh. Goodness me.

Cool wee story here about him leaving a painting behind. I wonder how many people in Edinburgh are sitting on an original, maybe some without knowing how important and rare his pieces are. Made me smile.