Monday, July 28, 2014

San Francisco Street Art

Pix from a July 2014 visit to Clarion Alley, Balmy Alley and the Tenderloin...

Balmy Street mural [GMap]
Balmy Street mural [detail]
79-99 Balmy Street [GMap]
79-99 Balmy Street [GMap]
79-99 Balmy Street [GMap]
Carnival - 3195 24th Street [GMap]
"Narcania vs Death" - Clarion Alley [GMap]
"I believe..." - Clarion Alley [GMap]
"Bomb condos" - Clarion Alley [GMap]
"Fear Head" - 56 Golden Gate Avenue [GMap]
18 Sycamore Street [GMap]
~1250 Valencia Street [GMap]
Sirron Norris' "Victorion: Protector of the Mission" - Balmy Street [GMap]
"Victorion" detail
"Victorion" detail
"Victorion" detail
[Check out more pix from August...]

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fixx Pix

Pix from tonight's Fixx concert at the Santa Cruz boardwalk:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Daytime Dispatches - 2014

Today's live-blog (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific) was dedicated to enduring a Friday's worth of daytime television: droning infomercials, shouting confessionals, courtroom procedurals, and tacky gameshows. Warning: This is a high-typo zone. Feel free to post comments! Oh, and don't forget to check out Year OneYear TwoYear ThreeYear Four, Year Five, and Year Six.

8:00 a.m. (NBC) "These fragments I have shored against my ruins.": Yesterday afternoon was dedicated to The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot's disjointed epic of ennui and footnotes. Naturally today must begin with The Today Show (and pork rinds).

8:05 a.m. A group of Tweens are waiting for a group called Fifth Harmony to begin their demonstration of calisthenics (and music), clearly annoyed that there's so much news and weather to cover.

8:09 a.m. What is the best collective noun for tweens? A Twitter of Tweens, perhaps? I'll be thinking about this all day.

8:12 a.m. Walmart steaks: "Heaping forkfuls of joy." And synthetic hormones!

8:22 a.m. Liev Schreiber is talking about his show "Ray Donovan," showing off pictures of his kids' lemonade stand and talking about the family Guinea pig - as Savannah Guthrie's pointy red shoe drifts closer and closer.

8:30 a.m. Fifth Harmony is coming up, but first, our weeklong celebration of chicken. "We're making roasted chicken thighs with Adam Rapoport." I wonder: Is Adam cooked inside the chicken, or is he served as a side item?

8:40 a.m. Great America amusement park commercial gets philosophical: "Connect with whatever makes you happy."

8:42 a.m. Created by Simon Cowell, meet Fifth Harmony... They perform with a message: 'Be strong. Be confident. And be whoever you are.' So get ready to become a Harmonizer!"

8:45 a.m. A "Twoon" of Tweens [thanks for the suggestion, Jay] clap with North Korean precision as Fifth Harmony reminds them to be individuals.

8:48 a.m. Fifth Harmony praises Girl Power: "You guys are literally awesome."

8:52 a.m. "Boss... Michelle Obama. Purse so heavy gettin' Oprah dollas." So there, patriarchy! And a Hashgaggle of Tweens [Thanks, David!] strive for their very own selfies with Fifth Harmony.

8:59 a.m. Feeling suitably empowered, I'm thinking it's about time to change the channel. Let's see. How about?....

9:00 a.m. (CBS) Live with Kelly and Michael!

9:04 a.m. And now a moment of zen from Kelly Ripa telling the story of a mom who gives birth while driving to the hospital: If you think the baby's in your pant-leg, the baby's probably in your pant-leg.

9:07 a.m. Kelly concludes her baby-born-in-car-and-slips-down-pant-leg story: "Women are amazing." And surprisingly the audience agrees!

9:11 a.m. Nicole Smuts is picked for the Summer Sizzle Trivia Challenge and tells Kelly that she's a middle school teacher. Kelly: "You must be in hell all the time." A twitch creases her brow as she thinks about her life.

9:12 a.m. Nicole fails the Summer Sizzle Trivia Challenge, so there's no free trip for her. The right answer to the question (What was Halle Berry's first movie?) was Jungle Fever. Kelly and Michael look at each other awkwardly as the audience titters. Kelly: "I don't know what this audience is on today, but I want some."

9:13 a.m. Nicole's consolation prize? A food processor. That just seems mean.

9:20 a.m. Michael Douglas is talking about his dad's new book of poetry It could be Verse.

9:27 a.m. OK, Michael Douglas is playing a strip poker version of trivia, but all the questions are about him. Amazingly he's not gotten a single question wrong. I'm not sure I get the point of the game.

9:30 a.m. Local library PSA strives for tween relevance: "I'm so excited, I should tweet it!" All over the Bay Area, a Troupe of Tweens [thanks, Anya] roll their eyes in unison.

9:41 a.m. Now Kelly and Michael are squeezing avocados for some reason. The chef assures them that finding a ripe one isn't too hard: "You don't have to despair." Yeah, we'll see.

9:44 a.m. Kelly: "I've been told I have terrible knife skills by no less than 18 celebrity chefs." Instructed to arrange his avocados into a fan shape, Michael manages to mash his into a fine paste.

It's never too early for white wine.
9:46 a.m. Hannah tells me that an infomercial called "Breaking Bald" is airing somewhere. But where? Where? Where?

9:50 a.m. Sad hashtag of the hour: #foodselfies.

9:55 a.m. Pals in Florida and Texas have been asking me to add the Today Show's Kathy Lee and Hoda hour to my list. Problem is, the local stations insist on switching over to Katie Couric. Instead, in just five minutes we'll switch to…

10:00 a.m. (CBS) The View!

10:04 a.m. The Ladies are now debating whether a bank teller was rightly fired for saying "Have a blessed day." Whoopie makes a compelling argument: "In the bank, all I want to here is 'all your money is here.'" Preach it, Whoopie!

10:06 a.m. Now they're debating whether colleges should teach about dating and relationships. Jenny McCarthy helpfully emphasizes, "Well, lesson number one: Don't date your teacher." Whoopie looks like she needs a cigarette (but she sounds like she's smoked twenty this morning).

10:14 a.m. The current question: "Can women have it all?" Right now I'm imagining that recently hired associate producer pitching this idea. "No, wait, listen! A lot of women are struggling with that question! They just don't know it yet!"

10:18 a.m. "There are lots of things to feel guilty about. ThinkThin isn't one of them."

10:19 a.m. Charmin Ultra Strong features a TSA agent waving his wand over a cartoon bear's ass: "You're clean." And on that note, I'm gonna get some pork rinds.

10:30 a.m. Coming up on The View: Gilbert Gottfried. Read that slowly. Out loud. Gilbert Gottfried on The View. Read it again. Now you have some sense of how this morning is turning out.

10:40 a.m. Next: A six-year-old girl who thought she would never walk again. Guess what she's about to do!

10:42 a.m. "Do what makes you happy - at a price that makes you HomeGoods happy." I'm seeing a trend here.

10:45 a.m. And here comes Little Eden, running toward Sherri Shepherd....

10:48 a.m. ... who asks if she can lick Eden's face. Run away, Little Eden! You know you can!

10:58 a.m. Jenny McCarthy is random people around town to share Stories of Strength. Fortunately each one carries their own whiteboard where they've written the names of their Strength Heroes. And guess what? Tylenol wants to you to share your Story of Strength!

11:00 a.m. (NBC) It's time for Rachael Ray - and a sexy southern cheeseburger!

11:11 a.m. OK, I'm waiting for the sexy cheeseburger. But first, Rachael and Dr. Ian are chatting about summer beach tips by analyzing stuff that rolls along a conveyer belt. Booze, flip flops, and sunglasses. An endless conveyer belt of beach fun. Beach fun that I'm not having.

11:15 a.m. Charlie McKenna explains the secret to a sexy cheeseburger: 85 percent top round, 10 percent brisket, and 5 percent pork. "And it's got a great chew," Rachel observes. So do you, Rachael. So do you.

11:24 a.m. Charlie and Rachael goop one of the burgers onto a plate, slathering it with sauces to produce something that looks like a freshly popped zit. Now it's time for an audience member to try a bite. Awkward pause. She smiles, digs in, and is rendered a speechless, dribbling mess. Another awkward pause. Then she flashes a thumbs up. She's OK, folks!

11:35 a.m. Rachel: "I've got two babies. One of them has got fur. The other one is 46."

11:36 a.m. Rachel's now interviewing Hilaria Baldwin, who's trying instructing the audience how to do a yoga pose. They look nervous. "Does anyone do yoga?" she asks. Two hands go up. Hilaria, by the way, married Alec Baldwin a couple years ago. She's 30. Why do you ask?

11:39 a.m. "American Ninja Warrior: All New this Monday" - "Rachael Ray is brought to you by Cold Stone Creamery!" Look, I've been to Cold Stone a few times, but I've never seen a Ninja Warrior there. Not once. Any Ninja Warriors reading this? Do you ever go to Cold Stone? After missions, maybe?

11:52 a.m. Yoplait Whips, a commercial set to Devo's "Whip It." Time for a sadness break.

12:00 p.m. (NBC) It's time for KSBW Action News in HD! Ah... high definition television: Forcing local news anchors to find jobs as infomercial hosts since 1993.

12:09 p.m. "Later in Consumer Watch. 7-11 is serving free Slurpees." Keep 'em honest, KSBW Consumer Watch. That really is Coverage You Can Count On!

12:14 p.m. I'm reeling with the knowledge that I missed Maury today. The local affiliate switched him to 11. Thanks Obama.

12:16 p.m. Coming up: "A father wears a GoPro camera as he drives his pregnant wife to the hospital as she gives birth."

12:20 p.m. Shrieking Mom is pushing in the parking lot: "Get it out. I'm not kidding!" And now his head is coming out. And there's the "censored" sign, which is probably for the best. Oh, and Dad just tipped the parking valet. And look: the GoPro logo!

12:29 p.m. Still thinking about that Collective Noun question I posed on Facebook this morning. So far my favorite is Michael Dechane's suggestion: "A Giggle of Tweens." Show 'em that GoPro footage, though. They won't be giggling for long.

12:30 p.m. The following is a paid commercial announcement for... Luminess Air!

12:31 p.m. Apparently you can airbrush your flaws away. It's like repainting a car, but for people! Rusty, rusty people.

12:35 p.m. Some of the before-pictures could serve as reminders that, really kids, meth is a hell of a drug. But thanks to Luminess Air, you can "Cover All Your Flaws!"

12:42 p.m. "Luminess Air covers your flaws." All of them. Like, remember that one time when you really needed a fix? You'd promised yourself you wouldn't visit that guy behind the gas station. You promised yourself. But you went anyway. You debased yourself, and that bastard laughed. He laughed at you and then dropped some crumpled bills on the ground! But with Luminess Air, your flaws are history. Luminess Air doesn't just airbrush away your wrinkles, it wipes away guilt. Wipes it all away.

12:45 p.m. I just now realized why they showcase the makeup artist from Desperate Housewives in this ad.

12:47 p.m. And now a Celebrity Dermatologist explains how Luminess wipes away contaminants. Which is a good thing. A necessary thing. A thing that's more than worth $29.95.

12:52 p.m. Sure, "results will vary," but if you apply Luminess properly, if you really apply yourself, "you will hide your flaws, diminish your imperfections." The music for this, I should add, is perfect. The kind of instrumental they'll play when you're crossing a mist-covered bridge to heaven, where your parents are waiting. And your childhood pets. All waiting for you. All forgiven. All forgotten.

12:56 p.m. Oh, and it comes with four free gifts. And now for a limited time, you can try Luminess Air for $19.95! Feeling pretty good that you held out, aren't you? Feeling smart for not paying $29.95. Good for you, smarty-pants. But this Miracle Makeup won't be around forever. The seconds are ticking away. "This is your last chance to get the flawless looking skin you've always wanted." This is your last chance!

12:59 p.m. Just in case any imperfections remain...

1:00 p.m. (NBC) ... It's time to check into General Hospital!

1:01 p.m. Katie Holmes-lookalike asks herself, "Why is everything so wrong?"

1:02 p.m. Ooops. Turns out I'm watching Days of our Lives.

1:06 p.m. "What's the matter honey? That tongue getting too many workouts lately, so now you're a mute?" Yow!

1:10 p.m. Green T-shirt Guy is reading a letter: "This editor read my blog and wants to interview me for a job... Maybe I'll be able to make a living doing what I love after all!" Naturally that news comes from the post office.

1:14 p.m. Uh oh. The special guest has called in sick; nobody's there to emcee the gala. Sparkling Snippy Gal is angry: "Thanks to your help, my precious paintings will sell for peanuts!"

1:24 p.m. Oh no! The auction was supposed to begin ten minutes ago! "We can't keep them waiting. They've already eaten all the cup cakes."

1:36 p.m. "Hate to break it to you, Jen, but the moment [Abigail] had sex with my husband, she stopped being your little girl." Maybe Abigail needs some Luminess Air.

1:41 p.m. Green T-shirt Guy is so excited about the job offer. What he doesn't know is that Blue Dress Shirt Guy set the whole thing up.

1:50 p.m. The auction was a success and blandly attractive people are now dancing. Come to think of it, high definition television hasn't been too good for soap operas either.

1:53 p.m. "Rational toddlers don't exist. Luckily, Skinny Cow Dreamy clusters do."

1:54 p.m. Revlon: "Love for your lips." Earlier I was noticing how few anti-depressant ads I've seen today. Then I realized...

1:56 p.m. Sammie: "I didn't do anything but open your eyes to the indisputable fact that your daughter is a whore. And I can tell anyone what happened if chose. If fact, she and my husband probably did it right there on that sofa." Ewwwww!

1:59 p.m. Oh, that awful Abigail. Where we will find justice?

2:00 p.m. (Fox) The People's Court!

2:01 p.m. OK. Audrey is suing her landlord. The apartment is "terrocious."

2:04 p.m. The problem is that Audrey hasn't paid rent in months.

2:05 p.m. Audrey's complaint: The landlord has the temerity to evict her.

2:08 p.m. "Stop taking Belviq and tell your doctor if you have prolonged erections or if your breasts begin to make milk."

2:13 p.m. Audrey: "Let me tell you something." Judge Marilyn Milian: "No let me tell you something. Verdict for the defendant!"

2:15 p.m. And now Alan is suing Sophia for backing into his mother's car. Alan guides his elderly mother to the stand. Mom is blind and deaf. In contrast Sophia rolls a Lexus.

2:16 p.m. But first a McDonald's commercial geared at those poor folks who have to do drink-runs. Can you guess how this case will land?

2:20 p.m. Ohhhhh. We have dueling mothers. Sophia was taking her mom for a medical check-up on the day in question. She gets a couple points for that one, but I'm still guessing that Sophia's gonna go down.

2:27 p.m. Court's in recess! Judge Marilyn Milian is going out to inspect the van!

2:31 p.m. They're back, and the Judge is packing attitude: Speaking to Sophia: "You have some perceived ideas about how it should look - based on zero facts."

2:33 p.m. Sophia's boyfriend is here to help.

2:34 p.m. He's not helping.

2:35 p.m. Verdict for the plaintiff!

2:37 p.m. Next case: Nofisat Odunsi sues because she got bald spots because the hair stylist pulled her hair weave too tight. Junior Breto countersues, alleging defamation of character. But first, a law firm is trolling for lawsuits against the manufacturer of bad bladder meshes and pelvic slings.

2:42 p.m. Paris the hairdresser isn't in the courtroom. Apparently Junior fired Paris for anger management issues. So how is Junior gonna defend his business?

2:47 p.m. Now we're learning that Paris charged extra and pocketed the difference. Problem is, Nofisat didn't get a receipt.

2:51 p.m. Nofisat's gonna take her wig off - after this commercial for Heald College.

2:55 p.m. OK, Nofisat's gonna get the money back for the weave, but no extra damages. And Paris, that scam artist, has gone free!

2:59 p.m. Ready for a Changing Day in Your Life?

3:00 p.m. (NBC) It's time for Dr. Phil!

3:01 p.m. The marriage of Hawk and Francesca is cracking up. And... Wait a second. Hawk? 

3:05 p.m. Hawk claims that Francesca is physically abusive. Francesca retorts that Hawk is a control freak. She adds that he's manufacturing evidence to get custody of their kid.

3:08 p.m. Francesca once threw a pair of stretchy pants at Hawk. His response? He called the cops. There are two sins here. One, of course, is Francesca's choice to wear stretchy pants. The other sin? Someone named this guy "Hawk."

3:15 p.m. Francesca is explaining that she can't allow Hawk to have any personal time with Baby Wayden because the kid is breastfeeding, apparently, every second of the day and night. Hawk is looking a bit less silly now. But still, his name is Hawk. That hasn't changed.

3:25 p.m. Let's catch up: Hawk convinced Francesca to sign a contract in which she promises to stop hitting him. Then Francesca decides she disagreed with the implications of the paperwork. Problem: Hawk locked the contract in his truck and wouldn't let her see it.

3:32 p.m. Hawk's explanation: Francesca is a bully and a sociopath. His counselor explained it to him.

3:35 p.m. Time for a commercial break for Fungi-nail. Coming up: Francesca's mom is on deck to tell her story. Things aren't looking good, Hawk.

3:40 p.m. Hawk faces off with Francesca's mother - and does an excellent job of trashing any semblance of sympathy he'd earned to this point.

3:46 p.m. Dr. Phil on marriage: "The one you talk home and unwrap is not the same one you put out the door five years later."

3:50 p.m. And now Dr. Phil is dropping the hammer on Hawk. "It looks like you are attempting to build a file on her, and that you are inept because you cannot handle your own home and your own child without calling in armed guards."

3:52 p.m. And now Dr. Phil drops the ball - by recommending more counseling.

3:53 p.m. The moral of this story? Never marry a guy named Hawk.

3:56 p.m. Oh, I get it. Dr. Phil needed to sweep Hawk and Francesca off the stage so that Robin has time to pitch home cleaning and food delivery services.

3:57 p.m. And her own brand of lip gloss!

3:59 p.m. At last, there is only one hour to go. There's only one place to turn...

4:00 p.m. (CBS) ... Judge Judy!

4:01 p.m. Mom rented an apartment for her 23-year-old kid and is now suing the landlord for locking him out.

4:03 p.m. Ooops. It was a "handshake deal" - and Judge Judy is now eviscerating the landlord for failing to get a written lease.

4:09 p.m. Judge Judy's advice to the landlord: "Don't rent to anybody." Landlord loses.

4:10 p.m. Next case: Judge Judy's first question to the Mario the defendant whose wrinkled shirt doesn't impress the court. "Do you know how to iron?"

4:15 p.m. Judge Judy bores in on Mario: "You want to explain to me how a man that has three children doesn't think he has the responsibility to pay rent?" Mario's sweating now, which might help smooth out those wrinkles.

4:26 p.m. El Pollo Loco: "Crazy you can taste!": Tagline of the day.

4:27 p.m. Judge Judy finds against Mario: "Whatever he says about working-working-working-working-working, there are only certain parts of him that work."

4:30 p.m. Let's wrap up with one last episode of Judge Judy.

4:31 p.m. Mom is suing her son for failure to repay a loan. He's claiming that she paid those debts without his permission.

4:39 p.m. Son got tired of Mom's micromanaging and accordingly decided he should not pay his debts. Makes sense. What do you think Judge Judy will say?

4:44 p.m. Judgment for the plaintiff!

4:48 p.m. Last case of the day. Two friends get into a deal to refurbish old computers, selling them for a profit. They're not friends now.

4:50 p.m. Something seems fishy. Judge Judy is scrutinizing numbered receipts provided by the plaintiff as evidence of the costs he incurred. Problem is, these receipts supposedly stretch over several months. But the numbers are nearly sequential. Hmmm....

4:55 p.m. Here it comes, the voice of justice and truth... Judgement for the ...

4:57 p.m. ... Defendant!

5:00 p.m. And that concludes the seventh annual edition of Daytime Dispatches.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Europe 2014

This page is a growing collection of digital souvenirs of our 2014 European adventures, which included stops in Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Russia, and Italy over a one-month period. I plan to populate these links (and add new ones) over the summer.

Helsinki, Finland

Suvilahti district street art: Tour artistic creations in a converted power plant

Jyväskylä, Finland

Teaching at JAMK University of Applied Sciences: Photos by Phillip Szeto

Tallinn, Estonia

Old Town and Kalamaja district street art: Highlights include a visit to the V. I. Lenin Palace of Culture and Sport (now abandoned)

Stockholm, Sweden

Underground tour: Visit the world's longest art exhibit

St. Petersburg, Russia

The Hermitage: One of the world's most impressive assemblages of artwork

Soviet relics: Narvskaya metro station, Sergey Kirov monument, "Workers of the world" mural, and more!

Cinque Terre, Italy

Hiking the Sentiero Azzurro: Three days of dining, napping, and hiking

Rome, Italy

Vatican Museum tour: Including School of AthensLaocoön and His Sons, and the Gallery of Maps

Ostiense neighborhood street art 1 of 2: Features Blu's transformation of Via del Porto Fluviale

Ostiense neighborhood street art 2 of 2: Features work by Gaia, Gaucholadri, and Guy Denning

Popped Collar Cool: You may be cool... but are you Italian Popped Collar cool?

Book Project

• Picaboo: These are draft-pages from our hardcover trip keepsake [warning: link may be temporary]

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shameless Plug: The Placeless City

I'm delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Die Ortlose Stadt Oder: Die Virtualisierung Des Urbanen (The Placeless City: The Virtualization of the Urban).

Co-authored with Alain Bourdin (Université Paris VIII) and Frank Eckardt (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar), The Placeless City examines ways in which new information and communication technologies have transformed modern notions of urbanity.

This project emerged from a lunch conversation in 2012 during the “Media of the Metapolis” conference in Weimar, where Alain and I had been invited to speak on our relative approaches toward urban life. And now, thanks to Frank's expert negotiation of the German publishing world, we can share the results of that conversation with a larger community!

Publisher's link: