The Brooklyn Bridge 1899

This is an old film taken by Thomas Edison in 1899. It’s a trip across the Brooklyn Bridge.

But this week, there is a documentary opening in New York about W. Frank Brinton who took films of the era including the Brooklyn Bridge, also in 1899.

Brinton was from the midwest and he traveled around the the midwest in the late 1890s, early 1900s, showing his films. The Brooklyn Bridge was the tallest structure in the country at the time. Historians are guessing at the year of his film, but are using the advertisements on billboard shown, as a clue. You can see that here at Time magazine’s site, where they also explain the find of Brinton’s old lost films. Brinton’s film is much clearer and easier to view than Edison’s.

It’s interesting how people just run across the tracks. And I love how the same light poles are there today and the feel is the same today if you’ve ever taken a trip across the bridge walking or on the train.

It’s amazing that the film is still around since so many of that era deteriorated over time. Mr. Brinton passed away in 1919 and for almost 100 years, his films were lost with time.

The films were found in 1981, stored in a farmhouse basement.

A new documentary called “Saving Brinton” opened this week which tells Brinton’s story and shows some of his work.

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The Cafe

cafe

The cast in front of Cyril’s Cafe.

In a previous post, I was mentioning that Babu cafe episode of Seinfeld, which is called The Cafe. What’s interesting is that I was at an Indian restaurant with a friend maybe 10 years ago in New York City and it reminded me very much of Babu’s cafe. They had just opened and the place was sparce. They didn’t have their liquor license so the owner, as he was waiting on us himself, said we could run around the corner and buy a bottle of wine at the liquor store and bring it back. I don’t think we did that. But the place reminded me so of much of that Seinfeld episode.  In life, a lot of things remind me of Seinfeld episodes.

I’m happy to say, all these years later, that the Indian restaurant is still there in Greenwich Village, and flourishing.

Another reason I liked The Cafe mention is that I love a British sitcom, a Britcom, called The Cafe, which I watch on one of our local PBS stations.

Like so many  British tv shows, there are only a few episodes over two seasons, only 13, which is sad because the show is so great. Another sad thing is that there must be commercials on these because you don’t see the commercials on PBS which makes the show only about 20 minutes long. So you get into it and it’s over!

But it’s so charming and sweet and quirky. It’s about this cafe called Cyril’s, on the ocean in Weston-super-Mare, which is in on the Bristol Channel. It’s a real cafe in a sort of octagon shape, that was built just for the show and plopped right on the boardwalk in that area.

The scenery and place is as much a character as are the characters. A mother runs the cafe with her daughter and her mother (the grandmother) sits around and makes wisecracks, and the characters from the town are in and out.

The writing is so great. The mother says, “Talk of the Devil,” every time someone comes in, even though she wasn’t talking to them. When people leave, they all say, “Laterz!” And when people first see each other, there is a around of “All right?” They all say one at a time, “All right?” “All right?” “All right?” It’s really charming.

Check it out on YouTube here.

Awkward lunch

There’s this new restaurant in the neighborhood, it’s a casual place. You walk up to the counter and order and they bring it to your table. It’s a sort of Asian bowl place, but you can get many things there, they have a large menu.

Well, it’s always empty. I’m usually the only one there when I stop in for lunch. There are maybe four or five employees behind the counter and some preparing the food in the kitchen and my $12 lunch probably doesn’t cover one of their salaries for the day.

babu

They have a few locations in Miami and I don’t know if they are a large chain around the county or just have the few locations here. The food is great at a great price, but no one is going. I’ve told so many people about it, too.

It used to be a Quizno’s and that place was always full, so it’s not about the location.

It reminds me of that Babu, cafe episode of Seinfeld.

As you enter, before you are even in the door, they are greeting you from the front counter, I guess they are so happy to see a person arrive. Then when your food is being prepared, you don’t know where to look, they all just stand and stare at you and when you look at them, they smile. Very weird.

I do hope they make it. I like the food very much and it’s a great place for lunch.

Black t-shirt insecurities

tom-falcoI normally dress in a t-shirt and jeans, unless I’m going to a meeting or wedding or something a bit fancier than just every day stuff.

And that is how I want to dress daily – black t-shirt and jeans. Didn’t Steve Jobs dress like that? I think he did it because it was easy to just wear the same thing and not think about what you wear, although when you wear jeans and a t-shirt every day like I do, there really isn’t much to think about – green, red, black?

I like the black.

The only reason I don’t do it is because I don’t want people thinking I’m wearing the same shirt every day, even though I have so many black t-shirts and they are fresh when I put them on. I’m not sure why I care, all they have to do is sniff me to see the shirt is clean.

I literally have my finger on an Amazon order now, ready to hit “send” for a package of black t-shirts, but the thought of being seen as dirty is stopping me. The ironic part is that I wash my hands 20 times a day. I’m not neurotic, it isn’t that. I just do it when I enter the house or when I throw out the trash or before I eat, you know, things like that.

I do love my Batman/Starry Night shirt, so I’ll wear that once in awhile and I have plenty of other t-shirts that I like. When I go out to dinner or meetings, etc., I wear a dress shirt. But I like the black t-shirt and jeans look as my every day uniform. What do you think?

It’s funny, after I wrote this post I came upon this story on the CBS website called, “Should you wear a work uniform?” referring to wearing the same thing every day. It’s a growing trend where people voluntarily wear the same thing every day! The lady in the CBS piece says she was exhausted every day trying to figure out what to wear, I don’t feel like that I just feel like wearing the same thing because I like the look. No other reason.

Going into Town with Roz Chast

roz2I finally got around to reading the “Going Into Town” book by cartoonist Roz Chast. My cousin had handed it to me one day in November, she said she thought of me when she saw it so she bought it. She knows I love New York and cartooning and this book is perfect for both.

She asked me if I had ever heard of Roz Chast and I had to laugh because I found one of my favorite museums in New York because of Roz Chast. A few years ago, The Museum of the City of New York had an exhibit featuring Roz Chast’s work. There was a lot of original cartoon art from her New Yorker magazine work and so much more.

I had never been to that museum so I took the subway up to 103 Street and fell in love with the area. It’s sort of a Latin neighborhood with bodegas and lots of people and activity and then you walk over to the 5th Avenue end, where the museum is, right across the street from Central Park and it’s a different world. Thanks to Roz Chast, I have visited that neighborhood and that museum numerous times over the last few years.

Anyway, I finally got around to reading the book and it’s hilarious. It’s written in Roz’s hand, literally. It’s not typeset, it’s spelled out in her handwriting. It’s all about New York City in a truthful and funny way with the cartoonist accompanying the narrative. I think it’s for tourists but it’s funnier if you know the city yourself, like where she explains that the sidewalks of NYC are a think shell covering a vast honeycomb of pipes and tunnels which is something you really don’t want to think about.

Roz explains the city’s street system – the grid system and uptown and downtown and she seems to like the random buildings in New York that have different businesses on different floors, you know, like very busy buildings with a dentist on one floor, a shoe store on another, a hat store on another and they are all displayed in the front windows as you look at the building from top to bottom.

She prefers cities to nature and she really gets into the city. It’s a funny book, and great for a person who loves New York City. You can see more about it here at Amazon.

roz1

Going to Town with Roz Chast

I thought I had written about it but guess not  . . . I am talking about the “Going Into Town” book by cartoonist Roz Chast. I finally got around to reading it. My cousin had handed it to me one day, she said she thought of me when she saw it so she bought it. She knows I love New York and cartooning and this book is perfect for both.

She asked me if I had ever heard of Roz Chast and I had to laugh because I found one of my favorite museums in New York because of Roz Chast. A few years ago, The Museum of the City of New York had an exhibit featuring Roz Chast’s work. There was a lot of original cartoon art from her New Yorker magazine work and so much more.

I had never been to that museum so I took the subway up to 103 Street and fell in love with the area. It’s sort of a Latin neighborhood with bodegas and lots of people and activity and then you walk over to the 5th Avenue end, where the museum is, right across the street from Central Park and it’s a different world. Thanks to Roz Chast, I have visited that neighborhood and that museum numerous times over the last few years.

Anyway, I finally got around to reading the book and it’s hilarious. It’s written in Roz’s hand, literally. It’s not typeset, it’s spelled out in her handwriting. It’s all about New York City in a truthful and funny way with the cartoonist accompanying the narrative. I think it’s for tourists but it’s funnier if you know the city yourself. Like where she explains that the sidewalks of NYC are a think shell covering a vast honeycomb of pipes and tunnels which is something you really don’t want to think about.

Roz explains the city’s street system – the grid system and uptown and downtown and she seems to like the random buildings in New York that have different businesses on different floors, you know, like very busy buildings with a dentist on one floor, a shoe store on another, a hat store on another and they are all displayed in the front windows as you look at the building from top to bottom.

She prefers cities to nature and she really gets into the city. It’s a funny book, and great for a person who loves New York City. You can see more about it her at Amazon.

Venice in the Gables

Coral Gables has a new art installation called Venice in the Gables where 30 local artists are designing Venetian columns to celebrate the completion of the redesign of Miracle Mile. Miami has had many installations like this from the Peacock Tour in Coconut Grove in 2010 to roosters in Little Havana, Manatees in South Miami, dogs in Pinecrest and Coral Gables had flamingos at one time, too.

It is to celebrate the completion of the Miracle Mile renovation.

Eight foot tall replicas of Venetian mooring posts will be placed around the streets in Coral Gables. My friend Eileen Seitz is part of the painting group, I stopped by the storefront on Miracle Mile where they are creating the columns. 100 artists submitted images and 30 were chosen for this project.

On May 18, there is a sort of unveiling party at the Museum of Coral Gables, then the plaster painted poles will be placed on the streets. Say that 10 times fast.

Here are a bunch of photos and stories on our Coconut Grove Peacock Tour in 2010 which I was a part of. I didn’t paint, but I helped promote it, plan it and distribute the peacocks. I was supposed to emcee the auction at the end of the peacock tour but luckily it ended up being an online auction so I didn’t have to do that.