Archive for May, 2010


the new NYC subway map…


more Manhattan to love…


Next month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will unveil a resized, recolored and simplified edition of the well-known map, its first overhaul in more than a decade. Manhattan will become taller, bulkier and 30 percent wider, to better display its spaghetti of subway lines. Staten Island, meanwhile, will shrink by half. The spreadsheetlike “service guide,” along the map’s bottom border, will be eliminated, and the other three boroughs will grow to fill the space. A separate, stripped-down map will also be produced, to be displayed only inside subway cars. Neighborhood names, parks, ferries and bus connections will not appear on this version, making for a less cluttered composition that may be easier to read over a fellow rider’s shoulders. Indeed, the current map, and its imminent successor, are direct descendants of a 1979 version, introduced when the authority did away with Massimo Vignelli’s abstract design because its right-angled routes and nondescript background left riders puzzled. Central Park, for instance, now a green rectangle, appeared as a grayish square. At the time, the authority wanted geographical accuracy so that passengers would not be confused upon ascending back to the street. Hence, subway lines that wiggle and curve, reflecting the exact route of the train, and a simple street grid that highlights popular attractions and neighborhoods. Over time, however, the map acquired new elements like ferry routes and obtrusive balloons showing bus connections. The authority now concedes that the map became overcrowded. For the latest iteration, Mr. Walder decided that the service guide, which purports to show a weekend schedule, was theoretical at best. The guide was removed, along with a growing list of handicapped-accessible stations that had begun to dominate the bottom right corner. Small wheelchair symbols will continue to denote those stops. To improve contrast, the taupe background took a lighter tone, and subway lines gained a gray border. The bus balloons stayed, but they have been made smaller, making room for geographical features like Rikers Island, which will now appear in its entirety. The maps that will be inside subway cars eliminate the balloons. The authority has ordered 1.5 million copies for distribution in June, with 6 million copies a year expected to be printed.

(NY TIMES  5.27.10)

the predecessors… maps from 1968, 1972, 1979 and 1998…

read the entire article here




a nine year old cop just doing his job…


Bugsy Malone may have won the Golden Palm in 1976, but the real deal, the true gem in kids-masquerading-in-adult-clothes-and-shooting-each-other films is “Hawk Jones” — think Serpico on training wheels! When a local gangster turns our fair city into one of blood feuds and despicable violence, the only shred of light in the darkness is not unlike Shaft, John McClane and the kid from Cop And A Half all rolled into one tough nine-year-old package, one who won’t stop until the mobster’s head is served to him on a cafeteria tray, with a Capri Sun to wash it down. To make matters worse, he’s teamed up with the most vile of creatures — a cootie-coated dame! This unlikely pair have no choice but to sweep through this rat cage of spoiled brats, young ruffians and floozies (acting just a little too sexy for comfort) until it’s left spotless. Be prepared to watch a whole bunch of kid gangsters die graphic, yet adorable deaths.

“HAWK JONES” 1986 directed by Richard Lowry

screening saturday 5.29 @ 10:30 pm as part of the “Fucked Up Kids’ Movies” program at The Cinefamily, Los Angeles — plus a Q&A with Richard Lowry after the show…


1927 Studio Map of CA…


location, location, location…


This 1927 Paramount Studio map of California’s geographical facsimiles for feature films was used by the motion picture industry as a basis for bond financing. Who knew that the New England coast could be found in Santa Cruz?

(SLASH FILM  5.24.10)




the seminal skate-horror film “Blood Shed” will screen this weekend along with assorted shorts that include loads of unseen Andy Kessler footage…

films start at dark @ Mollusk Surf Shop in Williamsburg — a 9’9″ longboard and other stuff is being raffled, all funds raised will benefit the Andy Kessler Foundation

“BLOOD SHED” 2010 directed by Rick Charnosky and Buddy Nichols




more waves from Macro Sea


For David Belt, a developer who created a stir last summer by installing do-it-yourself swimming pools made from Dumpsters in a semi-secret location in Brooklyn, the answer was once again in trash.

His latest project, called “Glassphemy!” is billed as a psychological recycling experiment. The idea is to make recycling a more direct, visceral experience and to purge some New York aggression simultaneously. The installation, set like the previous project in a private space along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, is a 20-foot-by-30-foot clear box, with high walls made of steel and bulletproof glass. People stand on a high platform at one end of the box and a low platform on the other. Those on the higher platform take empty glass bottles and just chuck ’em into the box — aiming, perhaps, at their compatriots across the way, who are safely outside the onslaught zone. The bottles smash fantastically, artfully designed lights flash, and no one is harmed.

With bottles donated by neighborhood bars, “Glassphemy!” will officially open on May 20 to invited guests. The shards of glass collected will be recycled onsite. To finish out the project, ReadyMade magazine will run a contest asking readers for their best recycling ideas, and Mr. Belt’s company, Macro Sea, will make the discarded glass into the winning design. A few potential reuses have already been explored: designers from Hecho, a Brooklyn company, developed a DIY glass polisher out of a cement mixer that is powered by a couple of bikes chained together; the smooth, colored shards created after hours of pedaling are pretty enough to become part of lamps that light the space. Another machine will pulverize the glass into sand for use in the beer garden that Mr. Belt plans for the site, the sort of add-on that helped make the Dumpster pools a must-know-about spot last summer.

The immediate and visible reuse also helps counter the widespread suspicion that recyclables are just thrown out anyway. Though for logistical reasons, “Glassphemy!” will not generally be open to the public — the lot where it sits is hidden from the street — people who send good recycling ideas to the Macro Sea Web site,, may earn an invitation with the address, Mr. Belt said.


Belt (left) and Weyland…

Macro Sea, the company Mr. Belt formed with author Jocko Weyland and creative director Alix Feinkind, has a history of turning loopy ideas into cutting-edge coolness. Their Dumpster pools caught on in unexpected ways: Hollywood party planners came calling, as did TV show hosts, Mr. Belt said. Macro Sea is now working on a mobile version of the pool, which is expected to be used as part of New York City’s Summer Streets program this year. What started out as a lark in industrial Brooklyn has gone legit.

Mr. Belt, a successful developer and construction consultant and manager — his main company, DBI, has a spacious loft office in SoHo, and works on commissions all over the world — said he viewed his Macro Sea projects as a creative mission, to help turn underused objects and areas into covetable destinations. It makes things on the cheap so people can copy and improve on them. (The Dumpster pool, a concept borrowed from a musician in Georgia, cost barely $1,000.)

J.W. and Danny:Macro-sea Pools:June 2009 by D. Belt

Tinneny (left)…

Danny Tinneny, the 64-year-old owner of the industrial space, gave it to Macro Sea rent-free. “To tell you the truth, when they first came here, I thought they were nuts,” he said of Mr. Belt and his partners. But the success of the Dumpster pools and Mr. Belt’s belief in his own ideas persuaded Mr. Tinneny to welcome “Glassphemy!”

At the preview party a few dozen of Mr. Belt’s friends and colleagues donned safety glasses and drank beer kept on ice not in a cooler but in the shovel of a backhoe. Heavy metal blared from a boombox, and Mr. Tinneny operated the scissor lift to get people to the top of the installation, which has a twinkling view of the city beyond. The inaugural bottle was thrown at Mr. Belt by his wife, Antonia. She really seemed to enjoy it.

“Ideally, people will think it’s interesting, and they’ll want to do something with the broken glass,” Mr. Belt said. “If not, it’ll be fun, and we’ll just break some glass.”

(NY TIMES  5.12.10)




this week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts is presenting a 35th anniversary screening…

with an all new digital cinema presentation and the original quintaphonic soundtrack — Ken Russell will be on hand for a panel discussion with Who documentarian Murrary Lerner and editor Stuart Baird…

“TOMMY” 1975 directed by Ken Russel, starring Roger Daltry, Ann Margret, Keith Moon, Elton John, Jack Nicholson, Tina Turner and Oliver Reed

May 21 @ the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, L.A…




to commemorate the 101st birthday of John Fante, the City of Los Angeles has designated the corner of 5th and Grand as John Fante Square…

the square is located at the foot of the Bunker Hill neighborhood where Fante lived, adjacent to the Central Library where many years later a young Bukowski discovered “Ask the Dust” and was inspired to become a writer…

see the old neighborhood brought to life — tunnel, Red Car, Angels Flight and all — in Robert Towne’s film adaptation of the novel, where Towne turned a South African rugby field into ’30s L.A…

“ASK THE DUST” 2006 directed by Robert Towne

check out a deconstruction of the film’s version of old Bunker Hill…

and for more information from LAVA — the organization behind the inception of John Fante Square — go to the Los Angeles Visionaries Association


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