Saturday, September 17, 2011

Urban Design Week at the Queens Museum of Art

The 10 winners of the Institute for Urban Design's By the City/For the City competition were announced on Thursday.  Check them out here.  Maura and I made it to the Urban Design Week launch party at the new/temporary BMW Guggenheim Lab, at Houston and 2nd Avenue, where all of the entries were looped on big screens overhead, as well as published in the brand new Atlas of Possibility for the Future of New York (available for $35).  Of course I'm a little biased, but it's a great-looking book, especially considering that the competition ended a month and a half ago and it includes 150-some entries. Nice work by the IfUD.

Anyway, while I wasn't a winner, I have been asked to present my project at the Queens Museum of Art tomorrow.  From 2:00 to 4:00, 5 of the competition entrants will be speaking as a lead-in to the opening reception for the QMA's new photography exhibit: Detroit Disassembled, by Andrew Moore.  It's a haul (Flushing Meadows/Citi Field area), but could be fun.  Hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turn the Beat Around: By the City/For the City

While the winners for the Institute for Urban Design's By the City/For the City competition have yet to be announced, I just discovered that my entry was used for a profile of the competition for The Architect's Newspaper.  Winners will be named at the Urban Design Week Launch Party, to be held at the BMW Guggenheim Lab next Thursday evening, 9/15, from 6:00 to 8:00.  

The gist of the competition: in stage one, residents of NYC were asked to submit ideas--of any shape or form--for improving the urban environment.  These ranged from the ambitiously pragmatic ("Wouldn't it be great if there was an easier way to get from Brooklyn to Queens?") to the whimsically impractical ("Wouldn't it be great if there was a slide from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Brooklyn Bridge Park?"). Stage two asked designers to respond to specific ideas.  

My proposal answered a mash-up of two calls--one for half of the city's advertising space to be given over to NY artists, and one for more outdoor museums in the city.  The new hypothetical: Wouldn’t it be great if 50% of the surface area on existing NYC billboards were given over to artists, turning the city into a massive urban gallery with ever-changing installations?  

The proposal in its entirety follows...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trailer Park

More from our friends at WORK Gallery, which is now hosting a roaming garden created by Kim Holleman, aptly dubbed "Trailer Park"...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Montero's is a Brooklyn landmark, and a favorite of ours on Friday nights--both for karaoke and general atmospheric delight. So it is with great sadness--but also vicarious excitement--that we must soon bid adieu to our favorite Montero's mavens, Bryan and Mari, who will be heading to Prague in short order. 

I'm not sure anyone could express my sentiments right now better than the late, great Eddie Rabbitt...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cross-post: FXF Blog

My first post is up on the FXFOWLE Blog, on underutilized (not vacant) space in the urban fabric.  An impetus for the post was the recent film night hosted in the parking lot across from our apartment by WORK Gallery:

TRUCKS I film night in Brooklyn

Stay tuned for upcoming film nights... I'll try to stay on top of it.

UPDATE: The program curator, Eric Corriel, has posted links to all of the films on his website, along with links to photos of the event.  One of my favorite animations of the evening was ClikClak, by Aurélie Frechinos, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin and Thomas Wagner.  It's a bit sad...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Side Project: Tuna Day

A few weeks back, following my White Stripes post, I created a separate space for music: tuna day.  One song a day--no rhyme or reason, except that it's a song that I like--for as long as I have the stamina.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)

The White Stripes are still gone.  I realize I'm nearly two months late to the mournfest--an oxymoron, I guess, unless you think of it like a Second Line or an Irish wake... which I do.  Anyway, I would have eulogized sooner were it not for my exams.

A music critic I am not.  I'm merely a fan who considered them refreshing, relevant and raw.  So I'll just say a few things.  One, I need to choose a new favorite band (see future posts on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio).  Despite what various killjoys might say, the White Stripes were the best band I have ever seen live.  U2 might have been the best show I've seen, but it was more of a performance.  The White Stripes rocked.  In Madison Square Garden.  With two people... which I sometimes forgot.  Maura and I went, and it must have left quite an impression, because I was sketching my recollection of it the next day (and still talking about it now).  The sets were exceedingly simple, but thoroughly effective.  Red everything (of course)--stage, backdrop, stairs, clothing... with hints of white on the guitars and drums.  Lighting was spare--at various times Jack and Meg were hit with spots from the front of the stage, which cast enormous black silhouettes onto the red backdrop.  On a couple songs, a disco ball was employed to fling red and white specks of light around the stadium.  I loved it. 

Jack and Meg had such a wonderful rapport, verging on telepathy.  Everything they played seemed to be a natural extension of their selves and their extraordinarily long (by rock 'n roll standards) and intimate relationship.  Even when they were off, they were on.  And they rocked.  Particularly on ''Hotel Yorba'' (not coincidentally my favorite White Stripes song).

But the highlight of that concert just might have been their indelible take on an already legendary song.  This recording is from a performance at Blackpool Lights.  Enjoy.

For Maura, this was the high point of the show:

Buy the White Stripes' albums here.

Sketchbook: 8 Million Characters (#2)

Colombian enthusiast in Union Square

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New and Improved:

The website for Dan Ruhland Designs (my first website design client) has received a fresh and quick makeover.  While the changes may be barely perceptible, it's a bit smoother now.  Two additions: announcements of Dan's recent published work, and a facebook "Like" button.  Word. 

A few images of Dan's site:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011