Welcome parents, friends and students to the graduation of the DREAM SCHOOL Class of 2014!
Issues. There are a lot that can be found in this episode, from staff to student, that reflect today’s educational system.
Chuck D (Public Enemy) introduced the students of DREAM SCHOOL: NYC to Urban Word to open up their eyes to the power of finding their own voice. Scout was particularly moved by the assignment, and the result landed her a performance at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City’s East Village. Read the poem from her performance and watch the clip below.
Screenwriter Cliff Dorfman (Warrior, Entourage) returns in the premiere for season two of DREAM SCHOOL as the NYC students’ English teacher. Dorfman talked to us about what made him come back, his own bad school behavior, and which celebrity he’d want as his own mentor.
SundanceTV’s DREAM SCHOOL: NYC premiering Wed., Oct. 1 at 10/9c takes on a new class of students who have dropped out or been expelled from the conventional school system and offers them a real chance to graduate.
Article: ANNIE HALL's New York, then and now
In December I shined some SUNlight on Nick Carr, who chronicles his interesting discoveries as a film location scout on his blog. Now he brings us a terrific post featuring Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL (which happens to be one of my favorite films). Many of Allen’s most iconic films were shot years before I ever stepped foot in New York and a lot has changed since then, but nonetheless the lens through which he captured the urbanscape, pace and experiences of the city still resonates with me. It’s one of the reasons I love this film, as well as MANHATTAN and HANNAH AND HER SISTERS.
The Bois and Gurls over at Heritage of Pride felt it appropriate to use the theme “Spread the Love” for New York City’s 43rd annual Gay Pride parade. It was the first parade for New Yorkers since same-sex marriage became legal, which charged the air like it was the summer of love. For the singles in the crowd, it was nothing short of a miracle the way organizers and participants made monogamy look sexy. Check out our full report and more pretty pictures than you can shake a stick at:
Previously we shared 10 facts about director Stanley Kubrick you might’ve not known. As an addendum to that I want to add that did you know that prior to his film career, Kubrick worked as a staff photographer for LOOK Magazine? LOOK was a bi-weekly, a la LIFE, magazine, which ran from 1937 to 1971. Kubrick completed over 300 assignments between 1946 and 1951. As a New York City resident, the one that fascinates me the most is his gig covering New York City subway straphangers in 1946.
Over the past year or so I’ve observed haikus, that “less is more” form of Japanese poetry, making a quiet stealthy encroachment and presence upon online pop culture through a variety of means. Some of these I’ve mentioned around these SUNfiltered parts, which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing an emergence of haikus and a comeback for the genre of poems in general back into something possibly more mainstream or at the least “meme-stream.” I had written earlier about a reader of the New York Times online edition who has gained some small measure of fame for his comments left in limerick form. The best recent example of the merging of pop culture with poetry occurred when Salman Rushdie tweeted his thoughts on the Kim Kardashian divorce in limerick form. In fact, the latest issue of New York Magazine’s Intelligencer focused on the poets or at least on the tough economic realities of that noble profession (Walt Whitman had a second job as a government clerk). If you’re not convinced of my thesis on the pop emergence of poems, but specifically haikus, I turn your attention to the following exhibits.
Article: Tales of a NYC location scout
One of my favorite, little joys of living in New York City is having my way blocked by a film shoot. Sarcasm aside, there’s something pretty wonderful about walking down a random street only to suddenly remember a scene from a movie that was shot in that exact location. It’s a sensation that makes living in a somewhat difficult city (but one which has had an iconic role in countless films) worthwhile. And after living here awhile you occasionally come across an interesting street or building and you start thinking “This would be an awesome location for my theoretical rom-com about the pedicab driver who falls in love with an uptown girl” – in other words, pretending to be a location scout.
Article: First Olympic marathon athletes
The other weekend, my neighborhood was teeming with runners from all over the world who were in New York City to race in the world’s largest marathon, for which I woke up in time (no small feat for me on the weekends) to witness the thrilling come-from-behind-victory for the women’s race by Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia. (Even more impressive to me than her win was the fact that Firehiwot Dado has the word “fire” in her first name.) Her winning time of 2:23:15 and, for the men, Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai’s record-setting time of 2:5:5 compelled the television commentators to remark that the marathon had now become a sprint at the elite level and it won’t be long before the 2 hour mark is beaten…
Article: Vintage missed connections
I’ve previously mentioned the enjoyment I get from Craigslist’s Missed Connections, the forever alone (meme definition here) corner of the Internet. It seems that New Yorkers’ desire to seek out the stranger who caught their eye is timeless, as evidenced by these missed connections submitted and published back in an 1872 when our existence was a mere glimmer in the eyes of our great, great grandparents (yup, I just put that image in your heads)…
Article: Illustrated missed connections
Since 2009, artist Sophie Blackall has been illustrating very artful and charming depictions of submissions on Missed Connections, one of my favorite time-wasting features of Craigslist. If you aren’t familiar with this subsite because you’ve been quarantined from the Internet in the past decade, it’s basically a message board for the hopeless romantic-optimists who were too shy to ask out a person when they initially saw them. Or as Sophie poetically describes: “Every day hundreds of strangers reach out to other strangers on the strength of a glance, a smile or a blue hat. Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I’m trying to pin a few of them down.” This is nicer than what I like to tell them, “You’ll all be FOREVER ALONE!” Kidding.
Class up your next poker game and pay homage to some of the artists, writers, thinkers and provocateurs who injected New York City’s DNA, either directly or indirectly with their creative genius with these casino quality playing cards from Shipley & Halmos. Who said gambling can’t also be both inspiring and educational?
Article: Twin Tower movie cameos
Just in time for the tenth anniversary this Sunday of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Dan Meth created this impressive mash-up video that pays homage to the fallen twin towers by stitching together scenes from various films from 1969 to 2001 that featured the World Trade Center “prominently in the foreground [and] sometimes lurking in the distance.” The accompanying soundtrack with songs from these decades is also pitch perfect. Watching this made me feel sad for all the human loss and destruction, as well as a sense of nostalgia of my youth that some of these films (HOME ALONE 2! WHEN HARRY MET SALLY!) evoked for me. However, I’m looking forward to and hopeful for One WTC’s completion, which, I anticipate, will serve as a similar anchor of downtown Manhattan and symbol of New York City in all the films yet to be made.
Article: Hurricane Irene short film
Nothing says a good filmmaking opportunity like a hurricane bearing down on your city, or in this case a Manhattan-bound Hurricane Irene for a couple of filmmakers from Buffalo Picture House, who created this short black and white film during the storm. They were a lot more productive than the rest of us New Yorkers who took the chance to stuff our faces with our “emergency” rations (two pizza pies may or may not have been consumed by yours truly). However, Irene also served to remind us “that perhaps life should not fly by in a New York minute.” This sentiment seems to be echoed in their inspired film with shots of closed and empty subway stations, shuttered storefronts, and deserted streets.
Article: #BikeNYC photo series
Flickr’s official blog highlighted Dmitry Gudkov’s photo project titled “#BikeNYC” that was inspired by his own personal transformative experience with how he engaged with New York City after he purchased a bicycle. He became curious about his fellow bicyclists and reached out to them, first through Twitter (hence the hashtag origin of the photo series’ name) and began snapping portraits of New Yorkers with their bikes along with an accompanying profile. He explains:
Article: Photo series of people texting
Joe Holmes snapped this amusing photo series succinctly titled “Texters,” which focuses its lens on various residents of New York City texting. [Via]
Article: Green tech finds (6/30/11)
A car designed by teenagers that gets nearly 2000 mpg, white roofs for New York City, and how your DVR is jacking up your electric bill… this week’s green tech finds.
Puma’s “clever little bag” is biodegradeable: We mentioned Puma’s alternative to the shoe box back in April of 2010; PSFK reports that the bags will also be compostable (or, if you’re impatient, they’ll dissolve in water in a few minutes). (via Environmental Leader)
The 2000 mpg car? OK, not quite… this design by students at Kingdown School in Warminster, UK got a mere 1,980 mpg. That was more than enough for it to win the Mileage Marathon Challenge at Mallory Park track near Leicester. (via Inhabitat)
As an enormous fan of candid street photography (discovering Cartier-Bresson and Weegee née Arthur Fellig years ago was a revelation for me), I was blown away by both the background story and photographs of Vivian Maier or as Mother Jones described her: “the best street photographer you’ve never heard of.” Maier lived a relatively obscure and anonymous life as a nanny in New York City and then Chicago from the 1950s through 1990s. Never married, her constant companion through her life was her Rolleiflex camera which she used frequently, but apparently she never shared her work with others. It wasn’t until 2007 when John Maloof, 26, purchased a box of Maier’s negatives at an auction house that they came to light. Taken with the quality, he sought out others and ended up collecting more than 100,000 negatives as well as a few thousand rolls of film.
Article: New York's changing face
James and Karla Murray’s New York City storefronts project is now a book. It took them 10 years to complete the project and in that time 1/3 of all the shops photographed have shuttered. It’s a visual documentation of the loss of Mom and Pop stores across NYC. From the couple: STORE FRONT is a…
Article: Hipster trap
A redditor came across a culture hacker setting up this “hipster trap” in New York City (presumably LES or Williamsburg?) bearing the irresistible lure of PBR, American Spirit cigarettes, bike chain, and lastly Wayfarer sunglasses. It appears the trap has been successful in the past by the looks of the blood. Spoiler alert: The “trap”…
Article: Weegee disguised as an ice cream man
I love this photo of Weegee. It was a revelation when I first came across Weegee (Arthur Fellig) when there was an exhibition of his photography at Brown University’s David Winton Bell Gallery. Although I couldn’t articulate why at the time, I distinctly recall the feeling of: Finally! Art and photography that for some reason…
From their historical collection of menus (among the largest in the world), the New York Public Library, in honor of this beloved American author’s recent birthday, posted the dinner menu for Mark Twain’s 70th birthday celebration which was held in 1835 at Delmonico’s in NYC. Mark Twain is enjoying a resurgence as his recently published…