June 2002 Archives

Seagulls from the ferry.


It was not the nicest day in April. It rained, it was windy and cold. But there were friendly visitors in town and we were on the Staten Island ferry. The Seagulls followed the boat. There was a swarm of them and they were quite close. It was a bit too dark, I was shooting against the . Had they taken pictures of me, they would have probably been well lit and bright. For me they appear as mere shadows in the sky. Quite majestic shadows.

Avoid eye contact


We were almost alone. The little ones were around there too. She did not like me where I was, even though I was in the dark. I was really avoiding eye contact. I did not want to upset her in any way. She liked me less and less. Shortly after this brief look, she disappeared into the back.

a haircut from gruzia

The replay of the World Cup final sounded in the background. One of the barbers was asleep on a chair by the window. Left from me somebody was getting a haircut by this older guy who looks like a movie star from the 50’s. He and my hair dresser had interrupted their game of backgammon to deal with us. It was the Spanish station. Goooooooooool, gooooooooooooooool, gooooool... I was getting a haircut much shorter than ever. My hair is now so short that I barely recognize myself in the mirror. Probably not quite as bad as the one time in Toronto, but pretty bad. Gooool, Goooooooooooool, goooooooooool....
The left side of my head seems to be smaller than the right side. I had no idea. Maybe it grew this way over the years. No wonder I am all left sided. Left handed, doing the things I do. My vision is still pretty blurry. My thoughts are too. My Barber was from Gruzia. He gave me his haircut. I appreciate it.

Left eye tired

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I can barely see with my left eye. It will probably take hours to go back to “normal”. I only managed to draw a few jades using the camera lucida. I used the corrective lenses to make it easier on the eye, but it did not really help. It is strange to rest my eyes by typing. Typing is so much easier than drawing. Tried drawing jades using a special extension on my praktina. It was not really possible because I had to use both eyes to see the drawing and the object. I could not stop my eyes from misaligning. I might have been able to set some tracking points first and then trying to draw the plants. Maybe next time. The advantage of using a modern camera as a camera lucida is the possibility of zooms and distortions in perspective. The Tripod needs to be one that allows access to the paper. It might really be very necessary to use a grid. I will probably prepare a ground glass with a grid.
It might be much easier of course to use a large format camera and vellum as a medium. Just thinking.

My on smoking

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My warned me extensively. He made sure I listened, it was probably during a walk. He told me that once I started to smoke I would become very addicted. Before I knew it, I would be looking for unfinished cigarette butts in the cracks of the sidewalk, just to have a last smoke. And I would never know who smoked this stuff before me. And I would not know for how long this stuff had been on the floor. It would be like smoking dirt. Really bad. I simply agreed. I thought that maybe this could be why he did not smoke. I am not quite sure what I thought. I was only five or so.
I was reminded of this talk with my dad because of this lady today who looked for cigarett butts in the cracks of the sidewalk.



What a game. Watched the entire game with my , in Germany. I was watching the game in Spanish, and he was watching the game on a muted television with the commentary coming from the radio. Nothing beats my ’s commentary. Good stuff. ; )

Super taxi


I was not quite sure if I should trust my eyes. Did I just see a cab make police car sounds? Did a cab just stop in the corner of 96th and Broadway. Did the driver and a passenger just abandon the car to run to the near supermarket? There was a seemingly abandoned yellow cab in the middle of Broadway. With the s off, it seemed like a regular New York taxi.
Until the two men came back. The short driver and the tall passenger both got in in the front. When the driver turned on the s, a red rotating police lit up on the dashboard. It was quickly turned off. The sign on top of the Taxi went on. 2*63 (altered for good reasons). The car is now on duty. Who knew that some of the Police cars in New York City look like regular cabs. I wonder who’s voice they use to remind passengers to buckle up?

Just taking more pictures


Is it the heat?, the humidity?, the sun? It is almost impossible to write anything for the blog. I went out today. Took pictures. Birds, people, objects, ...
Even this post is hardly a real one. I probably just need more sleep.
Tomorrow will be a grand day. For sure.
Below a picture of me with the setup I used today. It is my old Praktina FX and the Sonnar 4/300, a beautiful, beautiful lens.

another war lost?

A Quote from a spam this morning:

Your Immune System is the Guardian of Life!
ABC News Reveals Revolutionary Biotechnology Product
Our Immune Systems are under SIEGE!
Do you have the "Weapons" necessary to support your Immune System in this WAR?

Let’s forget the war on terrorism for a minute. Reading the spam above, I have the feeling that not terrorists, but Idiots are the clear winners of a war that has never received any media attention. What is going on here? Is the entire world weaponized? I will now take a surveillance walk in the park. It is a beautiful day.


The Turkish team scored in the very first minute of the game. Maybe even the first touch of the ball. Fascinating.
Then, about 8 minutes later... An incredibly precise shot by the Koreans. This is fun soccer. Both teams are fast and want to score. Plenty of good pressure.
As I was typing this, the Turkish team scored another one... This is a crazy game.

magic in the park

There was magic in the park tonight. The fireflies were a bit like fairies. Shakespeare in the park when listened to from the Castle sounds backwards, very abstract. Two men asked me for the location of the Rambles. One of them did not really want to go this late at night. The other one really wanted to. An Italian couple asked me to take a picture of them. A hobby broker was giving investment tips, his racing bicycle parked on the hill. I watched the turtles in the pond by the big lawn. They looked like a really slow rain, grasping for air on this hot summer evening.

Friday Five

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For the first time here, five questions from the real Friday five

When was the last time I have...

1. ...sent a handwritten letter?
My got one little one about a week ago. It was almost a real letter. It was written on the inside of a ’s day card. It included the translation of the English text on the front of the card and some additional fun facts. The last letter that was solely written as a letter, was to a long time friend in Germany. It was written on airmail paper and used a Japanese envelope designed to send money. I am really bad with letters of any kind though. There are at this point (let me check) 2398 emails in my in-box that I have failed to reply to. There are 20586 emails in total, so it is a bit more than 10% that just go unanswered. And no, it is not spam that I am collecting here. It is about 1GB of real email in total.

2. ...baked something from scratch or made something by hand?
I try to draw every day. I guess that does not count. Last baking adventure I remember was probably about 10 years ago. I used one of those Dr. Oetker mixes.

3. ...camped in a tent?
Oh boy, maybe 20 years ago? I think we had this tent in Poland and we camped out in Koszarawa Cicha, a tiny village where we also had a cabin-house.
I might be off by several years here.
I just never had a tent. I used my car instead (I only owned old, roomy Mercedes-Benz cars. One model, 5 cars.). I do not have a car here in New York, so my last camp out was probably some time in 1995, I think in Paris.

4. ...volunteered your time to church, school, or community?
Another embarassing one. I am a mentor with the AIGA and the New York board of Education, and we had a picnic on Saturday. I am not sure if this counts as volunteering. I enjoy this so much, it is more of a time well spent experience. I see how I might have to volunteer more.

5. ...helped a stranger?
This is New York. No day passes without strangers helping strangers. I feel bad writing about any of these activities. If I write about them then they somehow do not seem to count anymore. Not sure if this is part of my Polish Catholic upbringing maybe? I somehow feel that I should do good things and NOT talk or write about them. It feels better to help someone and just to walk away than to talk about it again and again and then write about it in the blog and so on. I wanted to get breakfast for this homeless lady this morning, but I think she was embarrassed or not hungry, or something. I got her a pizza the day before yesterday. She was having a beer and I did not want her to have that on an empty stomach.
Actually. I feel much worse for not having helped the woman I saw sleeping on the sidewalk yesterday. I really just walked by. She must have been cold. I feel so bad. I know this will sound strange, but I have a much better memory for the moments when I have not helped strangers than for those when I have. I do not feel good about this. The only way to change it, might be to help more, do more. Starting now.

Last post for today...

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For some of the finest advertising, with a great sense of humor, I always return to one place: Fallon. Oh, advertising-superheroes.

There are gifts waiting for you.


Habbo Hotel has this promotion going on. I am not sure, but I think you just need to log in with your habbo ro receive a gift. It is a limited offer. This post is temporary. Meet me@habbo hotel. I am witold212, which is also my AIM how much more do you need to know, my little stalker friend? ;)

this makes sense, new york

Neille pointed me into the direction of this exciting little website: Nonsense NYC. It is a good looking little site, with some interesting information for those who live and work in New York. At least the ones who care about independent art and special events and do not mind putting themselves on a mailing list about these events. I think I will join and keep ypu informed about the outcome. I have a good feeling about this project. All will be good. And interesting.

Switcheroo ZOO

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turbanhead IM’d me with an intersting little link today: Switcheroo Zoo it is sly disturbing, harmless fun. THe morphing is done so well. I am definitely adding this one to my bookmarks.

Winding down.

There was a celebration in a bar in Hells Kitchen today. Fancy happy young professional people, large format boxes on the walls. Photography. A turtle the size of an SUV. Beautiful. They were out of “Czechoslovakian” (wow, sounds a bit like Soviet...) beer. I had a Hefeweizen (Some Brooklyn brand). Good that the people I had the drink with were nice and down to earth. I am not crazy about the place itself. Saw my first homeless person on a cell-phone on my way to the Subway station. I know this sounds strange. It was this lady with a cart, on a motorola phone. Then there was this lady who slept just in a T-Shirt, like a baby, in the middle of the sidewalk, about 200 yards from the Nasdaq sign on 43rd street. She had her dry spot in the middle of the concrete sidewalk, but only because she must have been there before the rain. She looked so peaceful. I almost stumbled into her. On the train there was a girl who built her bag entirely out of duct tape. She was chewing gum with such energy, as if it were a workout. I had Taco-Bell for diner tonight. In front of me in line was the young blind woman whom I have seen so many times here. Her boyfriend was with her. He had some fancy shorts on, silk. Her white walking stick was worn out and dirty. The first time I met her was on 96th street. She wanted to cross, but nobody wanted to touch her. She screamed. She cursed. Her face is so severely slashed. Her cheek was clearly taken from some other area of her body. It looks almost greenish, compared to her complexion. Her left eyelid is collapsed. We walked across the street quite quickly. She lives around here, she just wanted to cross. They ordered three tacos. I had some other special. The signs are up on what used to be the Latin Quarter across the street. It now says CHASE on a red blue banner that marks the corner. We are gentrifying here. I am in no way bitter, just winding down, having my “quesadilla” with a glass of Coppola merlot. The rain is heavy outside. Let me take a look at the links I came across today. There will surely be plenty to blog about.

A very special off-broadway show

The restaurant was packed. I somehow knew that there would be a spot for a single person at the bar, so I squeezed through and got a seat. Right in front of a ceramic cat. next to it, freshly cut flowers. Behind the flowers, an open kitchen. Flames, grease, boiling oil, 5 chefs, each one of them specialized in a particular dish. I was squeezed between an older man to the left and a young urban professional with his financial times to the right. The ceramic cat smiled at me. Its six whiskers covered with a thin layer of airborne grease. Around its neck, a large plastic tag. “I love you!.” It was a beautiful composition. The cat, the flowers, the cats in the background, three bottles with oil and sauces in front of me at the counter. I ordered my food and stared back at the cat. Looked at the heart. Looked at the freshly cut flowers. The cat moved. It seemed to have moved. A tiny bit at least. Maybe a whisker? The eye? It took a split second for me to realize that it was not the cat that was moving, but a small, male Blattella germanica, maybe around a centimeter in length. It was interesting to see one right there, at noon, in a relatively bright restaurant, with all the movement and all the excitement around, the noise. The little roach explored the face of the ceramic cat in front of me. It was very interested in the whiskers, performed little tricks on them. All in a high level of professionalism. As if he were all by himself looking at this interesting cat sculpture. My appetizer arrived and I asked the waiter if he knew about the bug. The waiter took a napkin and moved it as if to touch the bug, not to hurt it though, so our little actor went behind the scenes for a little while, continued the exploration on the kitchen side of the gigantic white ceramic cat.
I was not even half done with my appetizer and our protagonist arrived on the glass of the old cooling unit which was part of the bar in front of me. He walked down on the glass quite graciously, decided to explore the bottles with the oils in front of me. The bottles must have been delicious. The brownish liquids in them had various degrees of transparency which made the insect’s camouflage work well or not at all. It was the colored one on which he wanted to reach the top. It was impossible. No matter how hard he tried to walk up the slippery glass, it did not work. The legs would move yet the body would stay in one place. The antennae moved wildly back and forth. I guess after a while this stopped being fun. The bug decided to explore me now. We looked at each other with a smile, and the cockroach started walking towards me just to say hello as it seemed. It was a bit as if we had not seen each other for a long, long time and now he finally wanted to shake my hand. I was not quite as excited as he was though. I blew him back towards the bottles. Once, twice, three times. He finally understood that our conversation would not take place today and trotted away towards the kitchen. I wished him luck. I know that for every one of these bugs we see, there are several who actually follow the protocol of their species and do not come out during the day.
I am sure there are many of them in the counter, in the kitchen in many places in the restaurant. I will probably not go back there. Not really because I saw the little guy perform his little tricks. It is the summer, the temperatures are unbearable and so is the humidity. I can not blame the little artist that he was out to stunt around the statue of the cat.
I am just worried that he will be discovered. There will be trouble, poison, death. The food will certainly not improve though all the chemicals.
I will just avoid the restaurant for a while. I have not seen one of these little guys in years. It will probably be years until I see another one of them again. I hope.

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Movable type is giving me an Error 304 when posting... this post is a test. (And... yupp another HTML 304 error...) grrr...

Dis-Information Architecture


Came across this exciting little website today: The New World Trade Center 2002 :: Proposal for a new beginning. Ideas that used to live and die on napkins now make it to the public, dress up as serious projects, flash and soundtrack and all. Impressive amount of work went into this project. The “new” design somehow, reminds me of a different futuristic building that has been around for 30 years. Does the proposed project remind us in any way of the BMW administrative building in Munich, designed by Karl Schwanzer? Hmm... What can I say. While we’re there, let’s not forget the BMW museum next to the Verwaltungsgebäude. It also could be an inspiration (it is a huge BMW logo when seen from the air. Take a tour of the BMW-Museum. (requires QuickTime VR)

Liebe Deutsche Leserinnen und Leser dieses Blogs.
Einige von Euch haben mich gebeten eine Deutsche Ausgabe dieses Blogs, oder auch einen anderen, eigenen, für Deutsche leser zugeschnittenen Blog zu schreiben. Momentan kommen anscheinend nur etwa 5% meiner Leser hier aus Deutschsprachigen Ländern. Könnte es aber sein, daß viel mehr von Euch an einem deutschen Blog interessiert wären? Könnte es sein, daß viele von Euch gar nicht in deutschsprachigen Ländern wohnen? Könnte es sein, daß ihr gerne öfter her kämt wenn ich bloß nicht dauernd auf Aminikanisch schriebe? Will jemand meine deutsche Seite kennenlernen? (Die kühlere, allradgetriebene, schnittig schnelle, dichte Denke?)
Der Blog hier ist natürlich ein halb privater Ort. Ich schreibe vor mich hin um Augenblicke meines Lebens im Netz und ausserhalb der Netzes festzuhalten. Ich freue mich über jegliche Reaktion von freundlichen Menschen aus der ganzen Welt. Jetzt liegt es an Euch, meine lieben deutsch-sprachigen Leser, Kommentare zu hinterlassen und mir einwenig zu helfen. Soll ich nun einen neuen deutschen Blog starten?, Soll ich es lassen?, Soll ich nur ab und zu eine kleine deutsche Zusammenfassung herausbringen? Lasst mich wissen was ihr denkt. Seid mutig. Eure email adresse bleiben geheim. (Falls das ein Problem sein sollte.)
Alles Beste aus New York -Witold

That did not hurt a bit, did it?

Apez and Monkeyz

Who knew that the excellent Gorillaz videos are available for viewing in their screeningroom on their gorillaz.com site. Today you can be one of the first to see a new one. Spacemonkeyz V Gorillaz single "Lil'Dub Chefin" The single is taken from the new Spacemonkeyz V Gorillaz album "Laika Come Home" (Laika never came home, as we all know).

Reservocation 012

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Jarrett Kertesz does it all over again. Excellent each time. Fernando Ramirez is buring small fires, Gavin Twigger and Rachael Heapps participate, pointing out their opinion about online advertising, Paul Prudence of , reservocation #012. wow.

New York City SEX

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Sex in the city. 1001 nights in Manhattan, and beyond. NYCSEX. Nice flash. To say the least.

1:0 !!!!!


Watched the game in Spanish today. Switched to ESPN only once just to see if it is really the commentary that made the experience a bit slower last time around. It was right after the goal. The commentator on Telemundo screamed: Goooooooooooooooo... I switched channels to a “and Ballack hits the ball a second time, to score”, which made me switch back to the rest of ...ooooooooooooooooooool, Gooool, Goooool, Gooooooooooooooool.... I think I like the enthusiasm more. It helps the game experience.
Nice site (in German)....ZDFonline WM2002

Hot and green and small.

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An interesting article in the New York Times today brings the comparison of two Supercomputers in Los Alamos. One of them large (Called Q), hot and fast, the other a bit slower, but much smaller and much, much more efficient, named after a Green Destiny. (A name straight from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.)
What will the future of supercomputing bring? For all of us?

more might seem less


Note to self. Take a series of pictures of New York streets, exposed consecutively longer. One second, two seconds, three seconds, and so forth. All of the images will need to be adjusted, so their values appear equal, or at least similar. What will change however will be the presence of life in the streets. The images will select their target. The images will record a longer and longer attention span. The images will appear sharper and sharper and they will be seemingly emptier and emptier. Only seemingly, of course. Because of their longer exposure they will actually record more, yet they will seem to have recorded less.

subtle glows

A hot, humid day, too hot. The sun pulled hidden strings today. It hid again and again behind clouds. New York, a Sauna with 8Million users. I chased shadows on the façades of buildings in midtown around noon. The lunch eating office workers looked at me suspiciously as I stood motionless in front of a seemingly unimportant wall between 48th and 49th street, waiting for the shadows to emerge. They appeared out of nowhere, their glow increased and then they just disappeared. The Rockefeller Center guard smiled. He walked by and away. I guess I was not supposed to take pictures of New York buildings here and now. It was obvious. I was hunting shadows. Or was it ?

Guggenheim, a work in progress

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A visit to the Guggenheim, on a hot Sunday, in a city abandoned by the MoMA, felt a bit like a stroll through a body during open heart surgery. The museum is “half-open” to the full steam of international tourist-public even during its preparation for the upcoming Moving Pictures show. It is possible to walk through portions of the museum, using obscure staircases and following numbers and arrows made out of blue two inch masking tape, names of artists printed on letter sized sheets (in Times New Roman) and the help of the friendly museum-staff (Most of them Russian?). There are 7 floors in the museum, most of them closed at this time (more or less secretly). The main spiral-ramp is in the process of being repainted. The black of the last exhibition (Body&Soul) is now gone, at least in most places. There is a huge crane right in the center of the museum, ready to lift heavy items. There are plants in large boxes everywhere, probably part of a Nam Jun Paik installation. The 20 or so boxes with SONY monitors ready to be planted seem to make this the most logical explanation.
Some of the photographs of the upcoming show are already in place. Some are expected by empty boards marked with post-its. Some contain names, some obscure numbers.
Areas around the staircases look a bit like installations by Fischli and Weiss.
The show so far appears to be dominated by the Bernd and Hilla Becher, students Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer and naturally, Andreas Gursky (The show’s information architecture gives each artist a logo based on their initials. Andreas Gursky gets an AG, which is coincidently the term used to describe publicly traded companies in Germany. Quite appropriate.). Reading the Moving Pictures about page shows that the spectrum of the show will widen, as more floors open. A hand picked selection of work owned by, or promised to the museum will be on view again, making it a very Guggenheim show. It will probably be another blockbuster and will then travel to the other branches of the excellent empire. Is the Museum worth a visit now?, in a pre-show construction phase? It certainly is. It is actually quite refreshing to see making of an exhibition, which in itself is somehow a piece of art created by curators. (It was interesting to see two experts of the Guggenheim Staff prepare the Nan Goldin area of the exhibition with incredible care.)
There are currently also some highs of the permanent collection on view.
The Seventh floor holds two large scuptures by Rachel Whiteread and spending some time with them, in a museum not as crowded as usual, was by itself worth a visit.

hardly an accident

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On the south west corner of Broadway and 96th there is something that used to be a red grand am. The airbags deflated, the front now just a sculpture, not an engine compartment anymore. Both airbags hang deflated. The ambulance just left, a truck is here by to scoop up the remains of the car. I did not hear the hit, I did not hear the ambulances, I do not see the other party. Maybe the car was all by itself? Traveling alone with a high speed, until it hit one of the concrete barriers that are built to protect the pedestrians who cross Broadway? Cars usually do not travel alone, of course. All seems to be peaceful now.
I remember seeing a car hit one of those barriers once. It was in full speed, maybe 5 years ago, in the evening, around 74th street. A man was crossing Broadway near the Big Apple Bang building. I was walking towards Fairway. (North, on the west side of Broadway.) A car came down Broadway, at pretty high speed. I do not know why the driver decided to aim at the pedestrian. I do not remember if the driver used the breaks at all. The man crossing the street did not see it coming. I happened to look at him as the car hit the barrier just a foot or so to his right. The front of the car collapsed in an instant, the back rose for a split second. There was no slow motion There was no replay. All that there was, was a completely totalled car, a shocked driver and a pedestrian who did not even jump. He just looked to the right, noticed the accident, looked at the stunned driver, looked ahead again, to make sure the said walk. It was, as if somebody had combined these two scenes on an editing table. The car was now ready to be recycled, the pedestrian had other things on his mind. He just crossed the street and went to get some food. The driver was staring straight ahead. He probably watched a replay of what just had happened. Over and over again. The Police arrived just seconds later. Fairway was packed that night. When I came back out with my groceries, the car and the driver were gone. It was just the same Broadway, same traffic, same pedestrians crossing, some too slow for the s, waiting in the middle of Broadway, to cross in two installments.
There is no sign left of the red grand am, on Broadway and 96th. Nobody is looking at the little oil spill which marks the spot of the accident car.
I think I will go back to sleep now. My right eye never woke up anyway.

an almost visit

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It was not pleasant returning home in the summer. The summers are hot in New York and they are also incredibly humid. I did not have an air conditioner. I did not want an air conditioner. Air conditioners just eat energy, they are just there to make a certain time of the year artificially more bearable, but they just create a virtual environment in the house that somehow denies the true location of the house. If New York was hot in the summer, I wanted to know that I am in New York in the summer, not in some humming refrigerated space. I would even leave the window in the bedroom open, to get more of the good New York air into the room. My window in the bedroom was facing a backyard with gardens and trees. It was the fourth floor in a brownstone and I had a terrace. It was a beautiful terrace. The entrance to the terrace was a window. The window had a steel gate with a special security lock. The lock would not allow anybody from the outside to open it, and so it was save to leave the window open during the day, even when I was not there. There was no possibility for anybody or anything to enter my apartment. Or so it seemed.
It was not pleasant to return home on this summer evening. The houses of the city collect all the heat they can get during the day and then they release it all night long, waiting for the sun to heat them up again. The stairway of the brownstone smelled warm and musty. The stairs had been falling apart for years. The paint on the walls showed deep open cracks. The Building was moving slowly with the others on the block. It was a fall that would probably take another hundred years. By that time somebody would probably replace the entire building by some other piece of real estate and the game could begin anew. Until then it was possible to charge quite substantial rent for the small apartments created by dividing the narrow brownstone floors into front and back. The apartment smelled much nicer than the hallway. It faced north, so the was always sly dimmed. The window in the living-room was much bigger than the one in the narrow bedroom.
The bedroom was so narrow I could touch both walls at the same time. This was a “junior one bedroom” a studio into which the landlord managed to squeeze a dividing wall.
I discovered the head by accident. The futon was folded, so I could sit on it and have access to the window that lead to the terrace. My bedroom was as wide as an open futon. The head was on the futon cover. It did not move. It was just there. It was one of the big ones. Two large eyes, a shiny greenish front, there was almost a smile on this little face, almost features, it somehow felt like a gem, a thing from another world, the entire thing was almost a cubic centimeter in size. It was just there. There was no clue on how it came into my bed. It took a while until I found the other pieces. The body was on the floor, in parts. All greenish, bluish, shiny. Quite beautiful really. Pretty long. The wings were closest to the window. They were just beautiful. I put everything onto a white sheet of paper. There she was in front of me. One of the many New York Dragonflies. These huge insects that live around here, predators, incredibly skilled pilots, fast, beautiful, in many sizes, colors, shapes. Mine was now in pieces. It was there in front of me. All of the pieces came from my bedroom. Why were they there? What had happened? I can not be sure, I can only speculate. I thought for quite some time that maybe the dragonfly had made it onto my bedroom, past the gates that were so impenetrable for humans. She might have been chased by a hungry bird. My original theory was that the dragonfly made a mistake when escaping. I now think that the insect never entered the room in one piece. She just fell apart trying to come in. The maneuver was too difficult, the speed must have been tremendous. The parts must have just burst into the room. It was a very quick death for the beautiful animal. Just a split second, a blink of an eye.
I kept the wings the longest. The were large, looked so fragile, but were quite strong. I kept them in a little envelope I had made for them. I think they are lost now. Or maybe the envelope is here somewhere, part of the “permanent collection”? I had two sets of dragonfly wings in Germany. My friend Robert brought them once with a full collection of books and objects.
I now live in an apartment with large integrated air conditioners in all rooms. (I use them wisely.) The windows face Broadway now, there is no terrace. No insect can enter this apartment. There are strong mosquito nets in the windows I tend to open. Sometimes an insect will land on the net and rest. So far there was no Dragonfly.

Pigeon power

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There are two cell-phone antennas on the building across Broadway. A pigeon landed in front of them, on the corner of the building, facing them. It looked at them as if they were a free pay per view transmission of a formula one pigeon competition, or maybe a surprisingly unscrambled pigeon adult entertainment channel. The bird observed the antennas thoroughly for a really good while. But eventually there was a commercial break, I guess, the pigeon looked distracted, glanced back over its right shoulder (wing) several times, as if somebody had called her name. She eventually spread her wings and joined the other pigeons on 96th street.
I wonder if pigeons can listen to cell-phone conversations and if they know much more than we think. Was there maybe an interesting information being transmitted? Maybe pigeons will be the new agents in some not so far future. Silk goats are here, will there be pigeon homeland security consultants soon? Pigeons are certainly good as advertising carriers too. I recently saw a pigeon that looked like a black nike sneaker. There was a white swoosh on both sides. Wicked.

a big picture, one pixel at a time.

There are some friends in town. They came in separate planes, some of them left without seeing me. There was an email or two. Some I met. For dinner, for lunch. How is such and such?... Oh, he is now with such and such. And he is now doing this and that. They all move along on fine orbits.
Pulled Max Frisch from the shelf. He writes in 1968 that the question Americans always ask their first time visitors is something along the lines of “how do you like it here, and what impresses you most.” As if the grandeur of the place came with the eyes of the European visitors. Then, upon the second visit, the question is “What do you feel has changed since your last visit?” New York is a living thing. It is different every day. Is the question asked because we New Yorkers do not see the changes, because we are too close to them? Are we looking for praise for the accomplishments of the large powerhouses of the economy?, the small businesses?...
It is interesting. We did not talk about the changes in the skyline this time. It was more about how we survive in these times. And how we can help the ones around us, who are less fortunate. (Friends, strangers..)
I found out about two quite unpleasant events in the lives of two unrelated friends. Life is filled with surprises. The current situation brings people to decisions they would have never made before.
Boy, plenty of abstraction here.
I thought about writing more about the times past as well. Some of the memories are so faint, that I will not be able to write them in the first person. Forgive if some of the descriptions will put me into the seat of the observer even more... There is just so much more to tell. Things much more clear than this current post.


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THis statistics talk was most distracting... one minutre left...

watching and hören

Sorry, I can not handle the American commentary. I had to call a friend in Germany to get some of the German commentary. She screamed too loud for me to hear the ZDF commentary though. And then another strange detail. She saw things a second or so sooner than they were shown here on ESPN. Now I am back to the “conversational style” commentary on ESPN. Two buddies giving each other statistic trivia. 20% of the goals were shot from this position. Again Baseboccer commentary. I am getting far too emotional here... (I am going to be late for work, for sure.)

will the ball be round again?

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This is crazy. Espn is reporting about soccer in the same way they report about Football or Baseball, it seems. And now for the first time I realize that the american way to report about sports completely transforms the game. Wait a second. The game has not even begun and all of the natural excitement has been taken out and refilled with some sort of pre-fried excitement of some reporters and some prepackaged excitement of . It is a bit like making french fries or something. First you get the water out of the potato and then you fill it with some beef fat. Wow.
And the details that are brought together around the game here make me smile. A bit as if German television reported on Baseball. “Will they play a three base game today?” “Yes, I think Hans, the players will attempt to get around all the bases today and I think they will try to hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

this was Fantastic!

Good morning... I am much too tired to properly blog right now. Just one more thing. THe event: Tremble, he will do it again, live! was fantastic. I have laughed so hard at times that my jaw found itself in a strange position at times. It was an incredible evening. The entire lineup was great. It was really great. Boy. It was really funny. (more later.. promise)

take the subway to the tube

We have the subway, they have the tube... we blog, they blog (a little less maybe?)... Well, now there is a map similar to the one on NYC bloggers... Take a look: tube. Thanks Tom. : )

Flash Forward 2002 with Max Weber

Max Weber, the group of incredibly talented people from Wroclaw (in Poland) have been nominated in the Typography category of the Flashforward2002 NYC festival. I am very happy for them.
I really hope that Max Weber will win. Take a look at the entire list of competitors and pick your favorite... YOU can vote here and help Max Weber win in the People’s choice category.
The absolutely insane thing for me personally... Max Weber chose me (little me!!!!!!) to represent them, to *accept the award*, shall they win.
I feel incredibly honored.

Eat like it’s 2002, or 3002

The summer starts tomorrow. And June 24th will be the beginning of the 10th restaurant week in New York. What does this mean? There will be lunches for laughably cheep $20.02 and dinners for unbelievably inexpensive $30.02 in some of the finest restaurants around the city. (Whom are we kidding here? This is still a lot of money!) OK, so the wekk of June 24th - June 28th will not be cheap. But boy, the food in some of the places is truly outstanding. So if you feel fancy and yet thrifty and happen to be in New York and would like to try some of the places... Make reservations, call ahead, here is the List of Restaurants participating in the 2002 New York Restaurant week. I still do not understand the $30.02 dinners... is it the year 2002 during the day 3002 in the evenings?

The Illustrated letters

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Emails are nice. Attchments are nice. Blogs are pretty cool. But how beautiful is it to receive a real letter in the mail, written on real paper, with real ink? And how beautiful is it to receive a letter that includes a little illustration, made just for this letter, just for you. I can not send you a real letter right now, but I would like to share this link (discovered by Shu) GETTING THE PICTURE, the art of the illustrated letter. It is from the Smithsonian, it is good. Let’s click.

Your own New York skyline

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An interesting little feature in the Times this morning, led me to a site of Ryan Hoagland, who wanted to have a New York skyline view and because he lives too far from the city to have one, made one himself. It is a very nice little projects and he also provides an illustrated tutorial. Check it out: The Cityscape Project.

Embracing the idea of a tree.


The plaza of the building I currently work in, (which is called world-wide-plaza) is being repaired. The workers have built a wall around the area of their activities, so nobody can watch them, or maybe so they do not get distracted by all the interesting people who work in one of the companies in the complex and spend their lunch hour in the not yet renovated areas of the plaza. The wall is made out of cheap wood planks, painted on one side, the outside, and untreated on the inside. As I took a break in the afternoon, my vanilla ice-cream somehow brought me to the only plank in this particular wall which was somehow attached against the “rules”. The wooden side was exposed and looked almost framed by the otherwise sky-blue wall. There were some marks on the wood, indicating that the piece must have been on the floor for some time. The dirt marks looked as if somebody had walked up the wall. In one place there was a circle left over by a bucket that somebody must have left there when the plank served as a bridge between two places perhaps. The piece was about a yard and a half across and two and a half yards in height. The piece of wood was not only framed, it looked like an interesting piece of art, one with a hidden logic one with a secret, a story perhaps? It was obviously one piece of wood. There were no cuts, there were no seams. The branch holes were distributed in a beautiful harmonious way. How did nature manage to create this elaborate piece? How long did it take to make this 1.5x2.5 yard piece of wood. I looked at the remains of one of the branches and counted the year rings. There were 16. The other branch, much further below. 16 as well. Now this did not mean that the tree was 16 years old. The branches were 16. The tree was most likely much, much older. How was it possible that the wooden area was so continuously large. How could 16 or so branches just have grown out of this large flat surface? The piece looked beautiful, but I just could not find the answer looking at it, or I had forgotten the answer I once knew. The piece did not want to tell me how it had been created. There were no visible symmetries, no visible traces of foul play. All I saw was a large veneer surface and a very skillful arrangement of branch circles. Some of them large and dark and with 16 year old branch medallions, some missing, some dark and surrounded by fantastic shapes and symmetries of what seemed to be year rings gone wild.
I walked over to the entrance of the construction area. I looked on the inside of the open door, which was also made out of wood, not as beautiful, but quite interesting. What immediately became visible was a symmetry in the branch holes. There was a repetition. Every 9 inches or so there would be a branch hole that looked very much like the one to the left and to the right. I looked at them, measured the distance... And this is when I remembered how veneer is made. This was when it all became very clear. All of it. In order to get large wooden pieces, the wood is cut thinly in a spiral. The Tree is first cut into pieces that are the height of the final product and then a large saw shaves the tree very thinly while a machine spins the tree trunk. This is why the branches would repeat this obviously on the inside of the door. The tree used here was apparently relatively young. The branches were smaller. I walked back to the large piece and tried to find the repeating pattern. When I looked at the piece again I realized why I it was not possible for me to remember the process from the get go. The tree must have been so large, that the branches would repeat only after exactly a yard and a half. So there was no visible repetition in the piece, unless the observer knew how to look for it. I was looking at all sides of a tree at the same time. The tree was there in front of me, the full circumference of it. It had been opened and I could see each side of it at the same time, all branches at the same time, I was everywhere around the tree. I made a round shape with my arms just to imagine the size of the tree. I found myself standing in front of the wall, hugging the idea of a tree that had been shaved into parts in order to make a wall for construction workers to work behind. I knew that if the tree were still there, I would have probably not been able to embrace it, because of all the branches. Embracing the idea felt quite warm though. (Try it. It is is a good flow of energy.) Understanding the process of the last moments of creation of a beautiful object was quite satisfying too. I had a big smile on my face when I walked back to the office. A really happy day. I wonder why the workers attached this particular piece in this particular manner. I have the feeling that somebody must have seen the beauty of it?, or was it pure coincidence? It is a good piece. If you are in the area of 49th street and 8th avenue, take a look at it. It is on the eastern wall of the construction area, facing towards the west entrance of the World-Wide-Plaza. I think I am going to take a picture tomorrow?

Thank you AtomZ


Wow, I have just received a very friendly email from Atomz. They have visited the site, understand my problem and have upgraded witoldriedel.com to a 1000 page account. Life is beautiful. The sun shines outside. Let me go and index the site right away. Thank you very much AtomZ!

From A to Z in more than 500 pages


The search is “back”. It used to be possible to search the site some time ago, back in the day when I was using blogger and when there was a giraffe picture in the sidebar, back in January maybe? The search is now back. You can type in a word into the field on the right hand side and you will most likely be able to find what you are looking for. Most likely, because only 500 pages of the site are indexed at this time. Five hundred is the limit of free at the company which makes this search possible, the superbly mighty Atomz. (A-tom-Z) Their solutions are really cool, you should give them a spin. Well, witoldriedel.com has reached the size of 890 pages (891 including this entry). I know this, because I had Atomz index my site and this is a piece of trivia they provide for free. I contacted the sales department at atomz, in the hope that I will not be charged the same fee as their other clients like Macromedia, Sharp, Betty Crocker, CBSNews, .ing, the McGraw-Hill companies and Palm to name just a few. This is a personal site. It has my name on it. I hope I will be able to afford the little search box on the side of this blog. Have a wonderful day. Oh, and try to find yourself... Not even necessarily here.

Another unstoppable day.


The left eye is fully awake and stares out the window. The right eye does not even think about waking up. There are dreams to be dreamt, there is still time to rest. The street sounds have barely changed since last night, yet the birds are back. There is a chirping now and then between the breaths of traffic. The is back too, the colors are not yet.
The guy by the wall between Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds on the west side of Broadway is sitting with a bright white cup in his hands, waiting for the pedestrian traffic to pick up. He might be in his 60’s. His old friends walk by, they wave their hellos. The Circular delivery men drop of their bundles and pick up their coffees. The old man just grabbed two of the heavy packages and carried them to the newsstand. I have seen him sort the sections of the Times before. His black Milk-crate, his seat on Broadway, is waiting for him now, one empty cup and one with a plastic lid. It might be his morning coffee. He goes in to Dunkin Donuts. What might he be picking up? He comes out with more bundles, more papers. I do not quite understand.
It is 6:04, the heavy looking New York Times truck arrives. The young helper of the Newspaper-stand man takes out more packages. Now it is more clear. The men were handling yesterday’s paper. The packages go back to the New York Times. The old man now leans against the wooden wall built to protect the entrance to what used to be Latin Quarter and a Gap and now will be turned into a Chasse Manhattan bank. (Was supposed to be, by tomorrow, but is far from finished from what I see.)
The sun- just hit the tips of the taller buildings. The colors went on. The is bright now, even brighter against a gray and dark blue sky. The birds are louder.
The old man carries the bundles with today’s paper, one by one, towards the front of the News-Stand. He is now done and with one hand in his pocket he returns to his Milk-Cart right underneath the large Dunkin’ Donuts sign. The News-Stand man in his heavy whitish shirt comes out to talk to joke and point around.
The old little lady with her bags just arrived, making her early her rounds. She goes straight into McDonald’s.
The workers are arriving at the Chase Construction site. Another unstoppable New York day has begun. A long, long time ago.

would like to stay up all night

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The temperature is perfect. The sound of cars on Broadway sounds almost like waves clashing against a coastline. The breaks of the trash truck sound a bit like the call of an undiscovered insect. It would be nice to wait up all night. Watch the sun come back to turn everything bluish and and golden and bright again. I would love to stay up. I will close my eyes now. Will need to find some sleep, hold on to it for a little while and then let go of it soon, very soon.
A black car is blinking with four orange lights right next to the mailbox on Broadway and 96th. A couple is kissing next to it. She just picked up one leg. There must be joy in their faces right now. A long kiss.
They stopped. Entered the car. Turned on the lights. Drove away. The corner is empty now. For a few seconds only. It is 1AM. Good Night.

Tremble, he will do it again, live!

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The readers of this blog certainly know tremble.com, the great site not called a blog by the one and only Todd Levin. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the real, real Todd Levin in real reality? You could see him speak, finally attach a voice to those words on his site. Maybe even hear something you never read. Well, now you can. Todd will be performing in the “historic and sexy” Gershwin Hotel. Todd will not be alone. You will have the chance to see other real people as well. The lineup includes real people like: Jon Fisch, Jon Corbett, Becky Donahue, Ophira Eisenberg, Marta Ravin, Todd Levin (yes, him!), Sean Conroy and Bryan Olsen. The show will be hosted by Allison Castillo. Do you know all of them?, good, then you know also what to expect. You do not know them at all?, excellent, it is time to get out of the house and see some real people perform in a real hotel in a real city, not just these websites, all day, all night...
So you are ready to come to the city and see these performers perform things you might not have ever seen before?, Would you like to know where and when and how much? The hard facts are here:

The (“historic & sexy”) Gershwin Hotel
7 east 27th St. (5th & Madison Avenues, both famous for various reasons)
Thursday, June 20th 2002 (this week, this month, this year)
10pm $5 BYOB (go for the water, or how about a carrot-orange juice?)


I will be there, just in case you wanted to know that too.

Look at it, but do not copy it.

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Just came across an Australian site that seems to be a collection of quite interesting street and graffity art from hmm... Australia? It is called (what else): Clean Surface
Please enjoy the content, just do not get too inspired or carried away. Defacing other people’s property is illegal. Build a website instead, collect street art from your city... do something productive kids. ; )
I used to spray (Did not inhale.) No seriously. I sprayed once, a long time ago, in Germany. Stencil work. Not worth the trouble. It is usually dark, you can not see what you are doing, the results are not as good as imagined. Build a website instead. Write a blog or something good. (Do I sound like your ?)

Let us help this fellow blogger


NYCbloggers is quite an excellent source for blogs around the city. There is really great work out there. Some bloggers truly put their love where their browser is. (Oh, bad writing.) And then there are the not so experienced ones. There is one blog out there that especially caught my eye. It is the highly customizable minimalistic blog by a New Yorker, who is an uneployed writer ( I wonder why, his writing is not all that bad). He is not curretly in New York. He blogs from Reno, Nevada. His mom and dad are there too, making some dinner. I have visited the blog many times now. The colors can be adjusted and the fonts and there is even an option to make new links pop up in a new window... Except there are no links. Pay a visit to the minimalist blog of the day:
AYELET LIKE IT IS : my funny motto : )

Quite an Elegant Hack indeed

I was about to write about the Elegant Hack, but guess what, the link says it all: Information architecture, usability and interaction design issues, plus the odd thought. A simple, nice site, built for larger screens and open minds. Good stuff, fun links. All fresh from Palo Alto. Thank you Christina.
(I like the logo too.)

They might be good songs

Special thanks go out to Christina, from Elegant Hack for the link, the boys from The Chopping Block for the design and those who sing, because They Might be Giants for this fun destination of DIAL A SONG. Freshly squeezed from New York.

The other stock photography

Imagine this art project: You use stock photography which is not really stock photography. It is a hidden message, a piece of art created to look like stock photography. The photography includes pictures of a k10k man. Can you make the project reality? Who is the artist? Are you the artist, because you used the tools given and have used your large corporate client to perform a little dance in your secret performance?, Or is actually k10k the artist collective that just made you the tool of their self loving prank? I have the feeling the latter is the case. I also wonder if k10k ever worked with really large clients and if they are aware of how serious and painful the image selection process can be. Especially after 1999.
So while there will probably be plenty of semi big projects with semi real clients, I doubt there is a “real” project with a real Agency and a real client on the horizon here. For this, one might need a tiny bit more stealth and a bit less self-love, my dear k10k friends. Good luck though. ; ) And... keep taking pictures.
Kaliber10000 { The Good Vibe Provider %u2122 }

Walking home

It is raining now, but the weather was quite spectacular around 7PM, when I walked home from 49th street. There is The wonderful thing about New York is that it is new every single time. It reinvents itself with every walk, every investigative look. My walk lead me through Hells Kitchen at first, with the backdrop of the new skyscrapers rising on Broadway in the 50’s. The Sun made the World Wide Plaza complex look like a sandstone mountain peak.
These large guys stopped me on 58th street. They were quite loaded with happiness. They wanted to have a picture taken. I took a picture and they got so excited that this really skinny old looking guy wanted to join them He was obviously not part of the group, but the situation was so amusing for everyone involved that they included him in a second group shot. When we were done with shooting, there were New Yorkers with fear in their faces looking at me. It was a bit as if I just wrestled with a lion and walked away from it. The situation must have looked dangerous, because the guys were big and loud. They were definitely not dangerous though. The situation was not bad at any time.
Not remotely as bad at least as when this kid with two box-cutters came up to me on a subway. This was maybe five years ago, there was this huge box-cutter scandal, and there were just kids out there who obviously needed to belong to this televised excitement. The train was packed, the kids were loud. This one boy with a girl next to him pulled out two box cutters and came up to me wiping the short blades against each other, right in front of my face. “You will just mess up the blades doing that,” I said, which was just not the answer he expected. “Yeah, this is really bad. You need a stone or something.” I think we both laughed (really... Or at least he put them away.) It was a pretty bizarre situation. I was too tired to react in any other way. I did not want to play the game of knife and fear with him, I just wanted to get home.

I took a stroll on the campus of Fordham University. It is a real oasis right in the area where the historical West Side Story might have taken place. There is a beautifully landscaped, elevated park (Robert Moses Park?), with very interesting statues, paths and benches. I think the place is for students only, but mothers and some older people also discovered this secret oasis where birds are much louder than cars and where grass is greener, because it is being watered even during the current New York City water-shortage. (The sprinklers use recycled condense water only, if we want to believe the posts on the booths of the security wards.) I spent some time in the park taking pictures and watching the sun move further towards the Hudson river.

Amsterdam Avenue is really turning into quite a restaurant-mile. There were so many new and packed restaurants on the way home, I almost wanted to just stay in one of them. Organic, Tibetan, at least two new Japanese places, and there is still room for some of the original Dominican shops, bodegas, launderettes, votive candle stores. I love this neighborhood. There seems to still be a good mixture of various groups. I shot two rolls of film during the walk. Will post pictures later this week.

My Dentist has a musical site


Boy, was I late for the dentist this morning. There must have been some inner voice that kept me from going. Who would like to go to the dentist? The place is about 10 blocks away but first there was no bus, I did not run fast enough, then there used to be an awning in front of the dentist building, and it was now missing, so I was seriously late. My teeth were still cleaned, all still worked out. The hygienist just did not have time to “measure my pockets”. Oh, this is what hurts every time. I think she just sticks a metal piece between my gum and the tooth until I squint my eyes, or make some painful sound. It is a bit like torture. So we left this out today. Am I glad we did. I will need to come back in three months though. To measure the pockets.
My dentist is actually pretty nice, and the hygienist is maybe the best I’ve ever met. It was not such a bad experience after all. Check out Dr. Silverman’s romantic site: Keith's Teeth (Turn on the sound please.)

He is actually much, much better than Dr. B. in Hanau, Germany. This guy was truly an explorer of sadistic paths. Physical and psychological. “You should stop smoking, my friend”... “Buth I do noth fmoke”... “Yes you do, admit it. You do.” “Ouch... I hont” (I was 14)
“You have teeth of a 50 year old man”. He really said that. I was 16. Not the nicest guy, this Dr. B. in Hanau.

Hello Nigeria


My logfiles indicate that this blog had a visitor from Africa for a second time since May 1st. The User came from Nigeria, vie Prodigy International. Hello. Welcome. (I hope...) Was it a real user?, or should I be worried after reading this: Scam o Rama. If you are the Nigerian user, please leave a comment, or a dot on the Guestmap, please... : )

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This is EXACTLY what I was looking for. An Enlgish Dictionary. (You can get your Enlgish dictionary too. (You will just not get the saywinks).

According to one of the searches that guided a user to my site you are looking at the number one blog of new york. It is certainly temporary, but this blog is ranked higher than NYCbloggers. This is simply unbelievable, but take a look: Google Search: new york blog wow.

one more picture from atelier Elegant

As I am slowly discovering the inside of the old Christmas Cookie Box, some of the photographs can be organized by people, photo studios and photoshoots. The two pictures from Atelier Elegant were obviously part of one sitting and now I came across the third image in the series. The little girl is here again, this time with an adult lady, possibly her mother?
The back of the Photograph, which is sly bigger than the ones shown here before has the same inscriptions and addresses.

Vintage print on gray cardboard. Front stamped in gold Atelier “Elegant”, Berlin, N. Schönhauser-Allee 114. Jugendstil design on verso. (ATELIER “ELEGANT” I. Geschäft: BERLIN-LICHTENBERG, Frankfurter Allee 160. II. Geschäft: BERLIN. N. Schönhauser-Allee 114, am Ringbahnhof. Aufnahmen auch ausser dem Hause zu jeder Tageszeit. Vergrösserungen nach jedem Bilde in den feinsten und modernsten Ausführungen bei billigen Preisen. (Studio Elegant, First location Berlin-Lichtenberg, Frankfurter Allee 160, Second location Schönhauser-Allee 114 at the Ringbahnhof station. Pictures also taken outside of the studio, at any time of the day. Enlargements from any picture in finest and most modern executions at cheap-prices.) Below, Platte bleibt für Nachbestellung aufbewahrt, L. Zimmer-Friedman, Berlin, S. 14 (The Plate is being kept for reorders. L.Zimmer-Friedman, Berlin, S.14)
Portraits shows great Detail. Here a close up of “Mother” and
girl. Photograph is in good condition. (Size to follow)

Got Silk? or Spidergoats.


There is a fascinating article in the New York Times Magazine this morning, entitled: Got Silk. The Article is a report on a goat farm in Canada, that specializes in breeting goats which have been genetically altered, (They are now 1/70,000 Spiders!) to produce Spider silk. (I am not kidding.) Spidersilk is about 5 times stronger than steel, and so it is the perfect material for, let’s say, bullet proof vests. (Hmm). The spider silk is part of the milk these goats produce and is not really detectable until extracted from the milk. (See Slideshow) The goats are part of a new trend in genetic Engineering that tries to farm products produced my animals, rather than harvesting the animals themselves. (Moving away from the featherless chickens with four legs, towards the spidersilk producing happy African Goat.) So the goats are treated much better than your average goat and they are not killed in order to receive their product. Let’s hope this trend leads us back to times when duck-breath used to heal too, and not just chicken soup.
This here is a temporary post. I will write more about the article later, once I get back to my library at home.

One more Berlin link

Not sure how I found the link to tillintallin but i like his Scout-Ranzen icons among other interesting things. It is one of those quite pleasantly complex sites.
Oh, there was free cut-out coffee on the site last week. And now it is cut out pizza. What will be next? Enjoy. Viel Spaß. Viele Grüße nach Berlin...


There is this interesting link to a series of interesting flash movies titled: KINGYOJIN (I guess). And I just watched one of them (so if they get really weird later on, I do not take any responsibility for it.) They are just all in Japanese. I do not understand Japanese. Do you? Can you help me understand the stories? Is it one big story? I do not understand, wakarimasen.

Saturday Trainspotting

Going to Port Washington again. It will be a quiet Saturday with birds and trees and water. We will take the train. From end to end. From Penn Station to Port Washington. So I will write no more right now. But you can read more. There is a site that investigates the state of the route between New York and Port Washington. It is an interesting read. (It is OK to do some trainspotting on a Saturday morning sometimes.) Have a wonderful day. New York is a bit cooler and less saturated than usual today.

Two portraits from Berlin


Two of the Photographs in the box were taken in Berlin. The Photography studio was called “Elegant”. The Address was Schönhauser-Allee 114. The Address still exists (pdf), however it is a Video rental store now, so I guess the original plates for these photographs are gone. (If you can find out otherwise, please do.) The young lady in one of the photographs does not seem to appear in any other picture in the box. The little girl will reappear in many. It seems that the girl lived somewhere in the South western part of Germany. The images seem to be more recent than the Lady from Saarbrücken.

Two vintage prints on gray cardboard. Front stamped in gold Atelier “Elegant”, Berlin, N. Schönhauser-Allee 114. Jugendstil design on verso. (ATELIER “ELEGANT” I. Geschäft: BERLIN-LICHTENBERG, Frankfurter Allee 160. II. Geschäft: BERLIN. N. Schönhauser-Allee 114, am Ringbahnhof. Aufnahmen auch ausser dem Hause zu jeder Tageszeit. Vergrösserungen nach jedem Bilde in den feinsten und modernsten Ausführungen bei billigen Preisen. (Studio Elegant, First location Berlin-Lichtenberg, Frankfurter Allee 160, Second location Schönhauser-Allee 114 at the Ringbahnhof station. Pictures also taken outside of the studio, at any time of the day. Enlargements from any picture in finest and most modern executions at cheap-prices.) Below, Platte bleibt für Nachbestellung aufbewahrt, L. Zimmer-Friedman, Berlin, S. 14 (The Plate is being kept for reorders. L.Zimmer-Friedman, Berlin, S.14)
Both portraits show great Detail. Here a close up of The Lady and The Girl. Both Photographs are 8cmx17cm (3 1/8"x 6 5/8"). Both photographs are in good condition.

Perfectly framed


When we bought an Alex Katz Black Pond (1989) woodcut from PARKETT last year, we certainly wanted to frame it right. The piece looks incredibly simple and stunningly complex at the same time, it is a woodcut on Goya paper, 11 3/8 x 18 1/8", printed by John C. Erickson, New York. The paper is woven and it is so thin that it appears transparent. The piece is not flashy, it is printed in one color. It is not the most popular piece among the Parkett editions. I think it is still available. So how does one frame a piece so complex and so simple? We needed the help of an expert. One of the editors at Parkett made some recommendations and we decided that the best man for the job might be Yasuo Minagawa. Minagawa Art Lines is a real favorite of many artists. He is a true master of his trade. We are talking master, framing for more than 15 years now. I read somewhere that he uses Maple only and that his finishes are based on secret formulas. His framing style is one that supports the artwork, instead of overpowering it.
I got an appointment eventually and showed up months ago to present him with the Katz piece. I also had a Pottery barn frame with me, just to show a s direction in color and style. (A bit like showing a custom car maker a bicycle in order to explain the function of the wheels.)
The office was not large, but it is packed with (beautifully presented) pieces in various styles. They all seemed like gifts, because of their size and variety. On a chair in the corner was Minagawa’s dog, one of William Wegman’s puppies.
The master was quick and professional. He knew the Alex Katz piece, as he must have framed many of them. He immediately pulled out a wooden corner out of a drawer and explained to me what he is going to do to make it look the way it should. I had a sly different idea however, pulled out the pottery barn frame and explained that I would like some sort of dark wood for the piece. He laughed at me, as if I just challenged him for a wizard match using a plastic ring and told me that he did not use cheap stained wood. He pulled out a darker corner with a quite beautiful texture and offered use it for the piece. I asked about the matting, and I should not have had. There would be no matting on the piece, he decided. I hoped I could argue, but he explained to me the nature of this particular paper, and how it would never work with a mat. (Silly me.) He explained exactly how he would hinge it, so it would float freely and be able to breathe pick up moisture from the air and then to release it without getting out of shape. The piece is alive and it can only be handled in certain ways. I was learning. We were done, I felt that I was supposed to leave.
I did not want to leave, because I had one more little question. I had made an ink version of one of the camera lucida lilies. I actually made it into a drawing that just sly touches a second pane of shikishi paper. A tiny diptych, completely off center. I wanted to know how Minagawa would frame such a piece, so I could maybe give more educated instructions to a framer. I did not really think I could frame the piece with him.
Minagawa seemed to love the drawing. He liked the paper, he liked the flowers, he smiled in a more friendly way for the first time. I was really proud now, announced that I was the draftsman. I asked how he would frame it. He pulled a completely different piece of wood out of a different drawer and explained to me exactly how the piece should be framed. I was amazed. It sounded all like a really good idea. He then gave me an offer that was just perfect, and I decided to have the drawing framed by him. We spoke a bit about the way I came to the drawing. I told the story of the camera lucida, how I got it, how it changed the way I see things sometimes. We spoke about inks and that I should use fast inks. He showed me his color inks which he brought from Japan. He told me of a shop in Tokyo that has the colored inks I might want to use. A few seconds later I knew that it was time for me to leave again. I said good bye to my little drawing that was put on top of the Alex Katz print and next to a huge package that just said A. Warhol. I left happy.
Today was finally the day to pick up the pieces. We had to move several heavy packages that said G. Crewdson on them until we got to two neatly packed brown objects. The framing is stunning. The job is fantastic, I did not expect the pieces to look this great. The frames are much deeper than I had anticipated and so the Katz print and my drawings have their own little rooms behind glass, with just the right amount of space around them. The woodwork looks a little superhuman. It is perfect. I wish I could show what the pieces look like, but I will need to take pictures first. I am very happy.
I had brought my camera lucida this time and we drew some paper cups.
This time I really had to leave, but it felt a tiny bit better than the first time. I went to take a brief look at the Gregory Crewdson show, now with the knowledge that all these perfect frames were by Minagawa Art Lines. I looked at the wrapped two frames under my arm. I could not see the name on the bigger one, because it was covered, but the smaller one had clearly the same writing as on all of the packages in the Art Lines studio. My little package said W. Riedel. I felt a tiny bit more special. It is OK, isn’t it?

The unstoppable corn-cabby

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I had to go from 49th street to 25th street to pick up a framing job at Minegawa Art lines. The place is on 11th avenue, I was on 8th avenue, so a cab seemed like the fastest way to get from A to B. (8-11/49-25) There is even a cab lane on 49th street, so I just stood there and hailed a cab from 8th Avenue. A cab drew by and stopped about 100 yards behind me, a bit as if we were on a highway and I were a hitchhiker. I got in, told the cabby the directions and waited for us to go. The tape went on, reminding me buckle up if I wanted to go for the gold medal, I buckled up, cabby pressed the taximeter, a red 2.00 lit up on the display and he opened his door. He leaned out and looked, as it seemed, under the cab. For a good New York 10 seconds or so. He then closed the door and asked me where I wanted to go.
“we can still go to 25th and 11th avenue if you want. Is everything OK out there?”. I said with a full smile, because it was quite funny So he presses the taximeter button again, realizes that he must have pressed it some time ago, looks at me, as if I had pressed it somehow secretly while he was not looking, and off we go. He took a good route 11th avenue. The ride was a few minutes, so I could take a look at the man behind the wheel. He was a heavy man in his late 30’s. Probably somewhere from the Bahamas? He was listening to this frightening radio station. The monotone voice on the radio seemed to come from another dimension and the things that the voice was saying were all about God, and how God will be good to us, but not really, only under certain circumstances. Es followed a song. We arrived on 25th street, I told him to pull over to the left and gave him $6. I asked for the receipt. He took the money, slowed down, but kept driving. I saw my destination go by, we were turning the corner. I leaned into his compartment. “It is fine, you can stop right here, on the left, if you don’t mind? Could you just stop?.” “It is corn”, he answered, showing me a half chewed off piece of corn. “That is very nice, but we are here, you can stop, let me out, I just gave you the money too, by the way...”
He was quite surprised. He looked at his other hand. He was holding the money. (He drove using the corn hand.) We stopped. We were in the middle of 24th street block. He had stopped so abruptly, that the cars behind us barely made it. I heard the sound of tires and many, many curses. He gave me some of his receipts. I wished him good luck. Boy, he needed good luck today. Hope he is fine and got some sleep by now. It was not looking good. The corn did not help.
(It was probably his third shift in a row, poor guy.)

Pucca *Funny Love*


There seems to be an animation company in Korea that makes these really cute little animations. Take a look at Pucca (Funny Love) very smooth animations and a Korean sense of humor (I guess). Hope you do not mind that I took the link from your site frostymoss

The lady from Saarbrücken


Most of the photographs in the box are portraits. The box is a bit of a fmaily album with pictures taken in Photo studios in various German cities. The picture here was taken in Saarbrücken, in Studio Rembrandt. I am not sure what it is, but I really like this picture. I think this young woman might be my favorite in the entire collection. I could not find a second picture of her. I think she looks quite beautiful. The picture is also about 8x4", also mounted on a hard grey cardboard.

Portrait of a young woman. Original vintage print mounted on grey cardboard. Inscription: Atelier Rembrandt, (Crest- S-G/ST-J), St-Johann-Saarbrücken, Bahnhof Str. 67.

A box filled with pictures 01


It must have been about 10 years ago. I found this old cookie box filled with photographs in the street in Frankfurt. Somebody had thrown out the memories of an old family. The photographs are about one hundred years old. Some are quite beautiful. I would like to share them with you. First here, and later in a special section of the site. (Click to enlarge)

Original Print on grey cardboard. Inscription on the right Atelier A Herla, Elsenborn Truppenübungsplatz. (Studio A. Herla, Elsenborn Military trainingsfield.)
Image of a bridge in a Military zone. about 1903.

the world according to josh

A great find. Josh Parsons seems to be more of a philosopher than an art critic, but hey, this is the internet, so each one of us puts it to use in one way or another. Josh looked at the world, looked at the maps of countries around the world and decided to give them grades. Some he liked, some he did not. There are various criteria. A blinking Christmas tree icon stands for a flag that he finds too busy, there is a category for too many stars, flags that make him nauseous, you get the idea, he just went out there and had an opinion. Is this whole system fair?, nah. Is it an educated commentary? Of course not. But it is funny, and he is very subjective, and sometimes what counts is any point of view. Take a look at the flags and what he thinks about them.

Mozilla crunched this blog


Things are not looking good on this page when seen with a Netscape browser, or with opera... or basically anything but IE5 (on a mac?) This is a clear problem, I clearly caused it by poking around in the MT code, and I do not know the solution to it.
Do you know more than I do?, would you mind helping me out to find a way to fix this annoying mozilla display thingy? Thank you so much in advance. May the force be with you.

hi?, where in the world are you?

This is a test. I am not sure if I am going to keep this thing on the site. As you might probably have noticed this site is supposed to be simple and easy and simple and about content, not some fancy interfaces and distracting stuff. But how could I resist this exciting little extension, that allows you to show me (and others) where you are. It is fun. And you do not need to submit your email address, or picture. Just leave a little square. I am not sure if I will keep the map. It is just a test. Do you like it? (comment please)

souvenirs, souvenirs.

The souvenirs were basically a flop. Nobody has used them to link to the site. I made 49 but it was probably too difficult to code them into the pages. Now things are super easy:
1. go to the souvenirs page
2. grab the code at the bottom of the page
3. paste this code into the code of your page...
4. (optional) change the name of the number in the name of the file to anything from 0001 to 0049
and voilá, you have a tiny souvenir on your site. It is pretty easy, isn’t it? I even host the pictures for you. Why am I doing this? not quite sure, i just know that I want to give away so much more, but do not have time to make more right now.

this is not a blog

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A blog is short for web log, a list of hyperlinks buffered by personal stories maybe, very subjective but still pulling at the resources of the web to tell the story. An online Journal is something sly different. It is a series of life experiences, written in a way blogs are written, shared with an invisible audience of web-surfers. Here the sources seem to be anchored more in the real world.
And then there is the genre of online Autobiography. These are websites which might contain a blog and an online journal but they attempt to see the bigger picture, not just the daily grind. My favorite Autobiographical site right now is probably Miles Hochstein’s Autobiography: documented life. Once you see the homepage, you will understand, we are dealing with a real (friendly and intelligent) person. I really like this site. It divides life into chapters of 7 years, allows for easy comparison of our own lifes to his, uses a lot of photography in just the right way, looks very straight forward, honest, real. It is what it is. A real life. You should definitely also take a look at Miles’ link section. He has been around the web for quite a while and has a really nice collection of good links. Some of them point to other online autobiography sites. A whole new layer in the world wide web for me. For you?


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New York is as far south as Rome, and it can get as steamy as a roman bath sometimes. It is that time of year again. We can swim home through the air. Spreading our fingers as wide as we can, so they do not touch anything. The clothes on our bodies just decide to become all damp and heavy. The humidity hits 100% and we are all covered in our own sweat, or so we hope.
It is also the time of those guys without shirts. They have roller blades on or running shoes, just no shirt. Some are hairy, some look like cheese, some are weird, all of them are disgusting.

Punch me baby one more time


IBM will leave the Hard-drive business within the next three years. So sad, it seems. Their little Travelstar drives are so cool. There is a 48GH one in my PowerBook right now. (I think it is, because I can not hear it at all.)
They will give it all to Hitachi. Why would they do such a thing?
There is obviously something on the horizon that goes beyond the spinning discs of Hard-drives. How about Punch-Cards? Yeah baby! Soon Hard-drives will be about as cool as floppy discs, (the big, soft double sided kind.)
The future is back!

let’s mini

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guimp: world's smallest website. Another one found by Tom today. It is so tiny that you will wish for a smaller monitor. It is a full fletched brochure site though. I think I even saw some soccer advertising. HTML and Flash versions available. Cheers.

Modern buildings

An interesting selection of articles about 19 modern buildings titled: From Here To Modernity, found by Tom. Certainly worth a click.

And now something completely different

And now something completely different...Sockmonkey photo-story

Vincent Borrelli has excellent books

It is not easy to find a great selection of out of print and rare Photography books. The best publications sometimes barely hit the market only to disappear into libraries of first edition collectors or special dealers. I always hoped to find somebody who would be a photographer, understand the passion for photography, and somehow manage to track down these rare books and make them available to others who are interested for realistic prices, not some lottery winner specials.
I was really lucky to run into Vincent Borrelli a few years ago. He is not just a Bookseller for out of print, rare, used, antiquarian and hard to find books, he is a Photographer himself, a quite excellent one, I might add. He had his work exhibited in the MoMA, among other places. He lives and understands the Art so well, that each purchase turns into an adventure and educational experience.
It was Vincent Borrelli who expanded my horizon when I was looking for a catalogue of one of Andreas Gursky's exhibition catalogues. He told me more about the class around Bernd and Hilla Becher, the couple who's students now dominate what we know as Contemporary German Photography. Their other students were Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth and the stunning Candida Höfer. I had never heard of Höfer's work, but the recommendation was coming from somebody with a very refined taste. I really agree.
If you are looking for any special or rare photography-book, try contacting Vincent Borrelli and ask him about it. Be ready to widen your horizon. And yes, it is quite possible that he has this out of print book you were looking for. I just found Candida Höfer - Zoologische Gärten, a book I could not find for quite a while. I also found another superbly rare limited edition book, Candida Höfer's Zwölf - Twelve , Limited Edition (with print) There are only 100 of these books out there. And so we have another full circle.
I will place a permanent link to Vincent Borrelli in the links section of the site later. I am really glad I found him.

I feel like such a #1.5


Oh my God! According to Google, I am now the Number *ONE* “witold” in the world. (Probably for 3 minutes, but hey!) Wow. Stardom in a search engine. Who knew. ; )
Thank you so much, my friends. You all know that I am certainly not a #1, just do not tell Google. ; )
(What was I doing searching for my name on Google on a sunny sunday anyway?, oh boy.)

Win-Win-Box (WWB)


Is there such a thing like a fair box fight? Can a boxing match have two winners, even when there is a knock out and blood everywhere and some serious pain right there in the face, not even talking about the long term damage? The Lewis-Tyson fight last night was quite a spectacular event. The two fighters needed to be separated, because they would have probably ripped each other apart, bit off their heads, crunched their sculls? There was biting long before the fight started.
Both boxers were let at each other like two Roosters in a Cockfight. There were actually a line of security guards in the ring, wearing yellow t-shirts separating the fighters before the event.
Once the fight was on, it took Lewis about a round or two to win dominance and shortly after to draw blood off Tyson’s face. The fight was over in the 7th round. Tyson, who was shorter, er of the two, his punches never really hit Lewis. (Well, maybe once or twice.)
I never really thought Tyson could win this one, until the after fight interview, in which Tyson wiped sweat off Lewis’ face and thanked him for the “great payday”. Seriously. In front of Cameras. He was ready to do it again. “I want to do this again”. And there it hit me. These guys were separated all the time, because, in fact, they are long time buddies. Didn’t they use to be roommates? They know each other, talk, hang out. Probably share recipes or something. When they came to fight in Memphis, they rented houses on the same block not by accident, but to hang out together, to watch the MTV music awards, or the World Cup, maybe to have some X-Box action.
So here we go, all around winners. One less santa to believe in. And the world looks a bit more like Kaiju Big Battel!!! (Thank you for the link, Todd.)
P.S. I really think Lennox Lewis is cool. He can not be made look evil because he probably is not. And he has some brains. Oh, and did you hear his reggae entry song? “No-one cross this maan.”
P.P.S. My favorite sport is chess.

Kicked the Calendar


“Kopnac w kalendarz”, - “to kick the calendar”, is a slang expression for dying where I was born. I am not dead yet. It is just that I kicked out this pretty Calendar that used to decorate the sidebar of this blog. I write something every day. Actually several times a day, so the calendar was pretty useless. I know that there are fantastic ways to deal with a calendar in Movable type. (See superbe Dawn-calendar), but I am far from being skilled enough to do crazy great things like that. So for now, whatever seems more urgent made it to the top. The seven last entries, for lazy scrollers, and the archives are now officially above the fold. You want better stuff than what I have to offer? Start scrolling. Cheers.

German soccer!

A cute little soccer game for all of us who feel like playing right here, right now.Einwurf für Deutschland!
Use the IKJL keys to controll your player. and space to kick (B is a softer kind of kick). Good luck. (Viel Glück)

Advertising, even for huge brands, can be quite different in Europe. Take a look at this Mercedes-Benz (Quicktime Movie) example. For our non German speaking readers, or those who would like to click more carefully, here a translation: “Why does it take 500 Million sperm-cells to fertilize one egg cell?”
“Because men just never ask for directions.”
APS, Auto-Pilot-Systems by Mercedes, now also available for the A-Class. Mercedes-Benz, the future of the Automobile.

I got rhythm, I got issues.

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Dancing baby. I was born with rhythm in my bones. Really. My mother forgot to turn the radio off one time when she left me alone in the carriage. She found me next to the carriage when she came back. I danced so hard, I fell out. Next time I was bucked up, radio was on, my mother not in the room. Upon arrival she found the carriage on top of me. I was still wiggling my behind. Yeah, I was a wild dancer. Always have been. Nothing could stop me. The music could not stop me, my dance partners could not stop me. I would just go. Fred Astair was my favorite step-dancer. I was more creative though. My body would become absolutely electrified and I would shake wildly, each body part following a different instrument in the track. I was a dancing king. That was in Poland.
When we came to Germany, I knew that dancing would be my universal language. This would be able to communicate with the natives. At the first dance of the Tümpelgardenschule in Hanau, at a dance organized for the 6th grade, I got the chance to get my first dance with Melanie Hartmann. I had a crush on this girl, and I knew that even though she did not understand a word I was saying, I would be able to jumpstart the chemistry by just doing my creative dance-moves, my shakes, my throws, my head-bangs. The song that came on was something by Elvis. I was ON!, my head was doing the guitar, my hips were doing the percussion and my feet could hardly keep me upright, because my hands were expressing Elvis’ voice. Boy, I was at my best. Melanie did some weird air kicking. And so did all the other kids in the room. At least until they saw me. Because this was when the dancing stopped, at least for them. I was on a high. A dance-solo baby! I was the center of gravity in the room. And just as their stares landed at me, so did their laughter.
I did not know this air kicking thing. I had my own rules. They had some special Swing thing going on. I had my own thing. They laughed. They all laughed. Melanie laughed too. And I could not explain. I was the Polish kid, who did not know the language. And now I was the fool.
And I swore to myself to never dance again.
I did not dance at any school-dance, I did not dance at my graduations, I did one dance at my wedding. That was it. Whenever the music went on I would just remember Melanie Hartmann and the others... (I danced to the Charlatans, don’t get me wrong, I danced whenever nobody saw me, or in the dark, just never those “formal dances”, with a partner.)
Today is a special day indeed. We just came back from a “dance lesson”. An introduction, in a dance school. On 61st and Broadway. The teacher was nice, there were four couples. There was some partner switching for the dances and nobody laughed. Nobody really knew what they were doing, except maybe for this one girl, who was doing something extremely right. Oh, and there was this lady in her 50’s maybe, in a flowery dress. And she was so happy to dance. It made me happy to dance with her. I kept my special dances to myself, did no head banging, shaking, just the simple stuff. We had plenty of fun. I think. And nobody laughed, except for joy. Oh well... It might be finally the right time to learn that stupid swing.

Madelon Galland

There were searches from Google hitting this site. They were for the artist Madelon Galland, yet her name misspelled. (They were for Madelon Galant, and I am writing this wrong spelling here only to attract these lost searches and inform them otherwise.) So I corrected the spelling in the original post, and have to add a link to her outstanding public Stump Project as a placeholder for now. I have to leave the house, but once back, I will have to write more about this Brooklyn artist who focuses on art as a healing process.

one in 12 by Candida Höfer

The twelfth and last Copy of Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais was given to the city of Seoul. The City of Calais then asked the German photographer Candida Höfer to document the twelve copies of the sculpture at their twelve locations in Paris, London, Kopenhagen, Washington, Basel, Tokyo, Mariemont, New York, Philadelphia, Passadena, Seoul and Calais. Candida Höfer was the perfect artist for this commission, being the probably most sensitive of the great German Photographers of our time. She traveled around the world and created a masterpiece in twelve parts, as she clearly shows that a sculpture is in a constant dialogue with its surroundings. There is a Book called “Zwölf-Twelve” that was published to document this project.
Because Candida Höfer is also one of the Documenta11 artists this year, and because Burges of Calais is part of the show (I assume), edition schellmann, a high end editions house from Munich, published an edition of 50, of the Sculpture in New York, at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The piece is one of my favorites in the series. It is one of my favorites not only because of the location of the sculpture. The conditions in the Photograph are not easy. The statue is shot against a wall of . The shadow of the sculpture allows us to see the parquet floor of the museum more clearly. The outside enters the room just faintly. There is a second sculpture in the image, it is cropped however, so it does not interfere with the main subject. Even though there is a second sculpture, there are enough compositional elements on the right hand side to balance the composition, enhancing the serenity of the picture. The crop shows a great level of intimacy. The parallels in the image are corrected and all angles appear natural. A true Candida Höfer piece.
All elements in the image seem approachable, of human size. The piece is a reflection of Rodin’s intention to create a piece of human proportions, celebrating a famous act of human heroism that took place 1347.
The 12 Burghers of Calais, is definitely one of Candida Höfer’s conceptually outstanding works.
It is quite likely that as I am writing this, the edition is being sold out. You can inquire about the piece at edition schellmann. When I spoke with the representative today, there were about 7 prints left. The Work went on sale the day before yesterday.

Friday Five

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Found these Five Questions on Meredith?s page.
Let me see if I can answer them just for fun.

1. Did your school system require you to take foreign language credits to graduate? What languages were offered, and what did you choose? Did you keep up your skills in that language after you left school? Also, if English is not your first language, what is, and what does your family speak at home?

Wow, there are about 5 questions right there.
Yes, the School I went to in Germany offered foreign languages. The School was Hohe Landesschule in Hanau and the Languages offered were: English (required), French, Russian, Latin (one of the three required), Spanish, Italian and Esperanto.
I Chose English, Russian, Latin, Spanish. I kept some of the skills in English and Russian. Abandoned Latin and Spanish.
My parents and I speak Polish and German, I speak English and Russian in my home in New York.

2. Language is a critical element for all communication, but some people are "languageless" - they never learned a language, or developed aphasia and have difficulty expressing themselves. How might you get by if you couldn't easily communicate with people around you?

I found myself in the situation without language several times in my life. I then just use body language or draw. It works.

3. Studies are showing that babies can use a form of sign language many months before they are able to speak verbally, giving them the ability to make simple requests and statements earlier than children ever have before. Some critics, though, feel that babies who learn Baby Sign will be reluctant to make the switch to speech once their vocal cords have developed. If you were the parent of an infant, would you choose to use sign language with your baby? Why or why not?

I will try to use sign language with my baby. It is never a bad idea to know one more language.

4. Over the centuries, there have been many attempts to develop a "world language" to supplement native tongues - Esperanto and Interlingua are the best-known, but there are many more. Instead of one of these becoming successful, English is becoming the world's favorite language for communication, with many people learning it as a second language. How do you feel about international languages, and would you ever consider learning one?

I started learning Esperanto for fun. It was not so bad, except it used various Elements of languages I was using anyway, so it was just a sly strange experience. I think that we have many more universal languages than fit into dictionaries and it is a good idea to learn these too. Be kind to people.

5. Have you ever played with language for your own purposes? Do you have any secret codes for private use or that you share with friends? If you and a friend both speak another language, have you ever used it in public so nobody will understand you, or so strangers will think you're not from the country? Would you ever consider doing any of this? Why or why not?

Oh, I do this all the time. I know it is rude, but it is just so necessary sometimes. It is a nice backup strategy. I use Russian for that. New York is not easy to trick though. Most people here understand much more than they seem to.

two visitors last week

Weekly Statistics For Previous Week
Account number xxxxxxx, witoldriedel, had a total of 2 visitors last week.

Visitors for last week divided per weekday:
2002-05-31: 0
2002-06-01: 0
2002-06-02: 1
2002-06-03: 0
2002-06-04: 0
2002-06-05: 1
2002-06-06: 0

I feel like such a star. Thank you for coming by. : )
The counter has not been on my site for quite a while now, but it is still counting. But what is it counting exactly? It is not installed anywhere. The beauty of the internet. (It is obviously not an exact science after all.)

Netscape 7

There are little bulges on the interface of the window I am am writing this post in. So much going on. I have not managed to simplify the interface yet. Is it possible at all? Oh, and the post appears in front of me as a single line of copy. There are no up and down scrollbars in the window, just one ever smaller one that allows me to sroll left and right. I am in Netscape 7. The future of the 10%? Very interesting. But it renders the blog really well. So if the elements on this page fly all over the place for you, because you love netscape, and because you use a Netscape browser to view this page, please go ahead and download the Version 7 preview and take a look at what things were supposed to look like here. Boy, I really hope this post does not appear as a single line of copy once I post it.

The artist Tom Friedman is definitely a superhero of “scientific contemporary art” right now. High concept, simple materials, spectacular results. His art, created out of simple every day materials and objects uses these in such stunning and inspiring ways, that one really needs to laugh sometimes, simply out of happiness that such genius is somewhere among us. Really, the work is sometimes just incredible, fantastic, fun.
His self portrait carved in an aspirin is definitely mind boggling, as are his lists of words, the entire dictionary on one single sheet of paper, written with a ballpoint pen. His master piece in art school was his signature signed in an outward spiral so often until the ink of the ballpoint pen ran out. (Many signatures.) He cut cereal boxes into tiny pieces, just to assemble them to a larger box, that feels oddly blurred, and he has cut one box of cereal and made four distinguishable little boxes out of it, also a bit blurry, just lower resolution. He uses his hair to build life like insects, flies, spiders, dragonflies. They look so incredibly real and are conceptually connected to his other work so well, that it is no wonder that the MoMA bought one of the flies for something like 50K. (or more?)
You can imagine our excitement when we heard that Tom Friedman will be one of the contributing artists to the summer issue of Parkett Magazine, this quite brilliant bilingual publication from Zürich, which offers a fantastic forum for contemporary artists. Each issue features several artists, who’s work is somehow cosmically or thematically connected. Renown experts and fellow artists write about them, talk about their work, interview them, and at the end of each segment there is a rare opportunity to purchase a special limited edition of a piece of Art that was created by the participating artist. Artists who participated are serious heavy weights of contemporary art at times, and so Parkett give their readers the rare chance to buy paintings by Gerhard Richter, Photographs by Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Demand, Jeff Wall... And in the current issue work by Olafur Eliasson, Rodney Graham and the superbly talented Tom Friedman.
(Oh, and all the editions have “affordable” pricing. It is actually possible to buy these works, not just think how many cars would fit into that pricetag.)
Enough said. We were very much looking forward to the Tom Friedman piece. Really. What was he going to do? What could he do that would somehow fit into his body of work, yet be a bit lower key? Press a marker through 100 sheets of paper?, make little Flies out of his hair? Carve animals out of Viagara?, would he make 100 little every day objects out of play doh? (About 1000 of those were part of his recent show at the new museum.)
We preordered the piece, blindly. I did not care what it was going to be. It would be probably small and it would be probably pretty cool. This is how I got a Thomas Demand piece, which is now sold out. A wonderful positive surprise.
The Tom Friedman piece was a bit of a surprise too. It is a wonderful piece indeed. The piece (of which there is not image online yet) is an “Unntitled” and it is 75 Styrofoam cups painted by hand in a progressively darker shade of blue stuck one into the other. The finished piece is 2" in diameter and 40" high. Edition of 75, signed and numbered. Genius. There is no way we are getting it. Really. Tom Friedman is a genius, but we live in New York, I do not have a Gallery here in the south wing of my ranch, this is an appartment here. There is no way for me to store 75 Styrofoam cups, even if they are glued together and painted with blue acrylic paint in 75 shades. The object is fantastic. If you have room, you should definitely contact parkett NOW, so you get one of those. I guarantee that they will be worth a multiple of their $1600 issue price the second you buy them. I would love to get a Tom Friedman piece, but it seems that I will have to wait. Oh boy... 40 inches high... That is pretty darn big.
You can read an interview with Tom Friedman in the current issue of in magazine, by Shu Hung.
I certainly recommend getting a subscription to Parkett, starting with the current issue perhaps? I have been collecting Parketts for several years now and they are just a real event every single time. Parkett might be the best art magazine in the world. (No?, convince me, send me copies of yours.) Good night.
Tom Friedman is represented by feature same gallery as Jerry Phillips.

Simpler feels better sometimes

Sorry for posting things about this site over and over again. I have other posts in draft mode, so there is more exciting content coming to this screen, later. I think i need to make this site much simpler than it is now. It is all about content. I really do not want to distract with fancy interfaces. It is all about content. If the content is not good, no fancy interface is going to help it. If the content is good, why make things complicated? I know that there is an unlimited amount of solutions to any problem. I just want things to be simple. Be it all like 1997, as long as it is easy to navigate, yet still intimate enough to encourage interaction. Hmm... just thinking out loud... I will now shut down this machine and maybe just rest for a few hours. But I will be back. (Oh, and the menue from the homepage?... I will remove it in 3 minutes.)

The greatest little menue


See the menue on top of this page? I just tried to install ULTIMATE DROPDOWN MENU v3.4.1 by Brothercake and it just does not want to work in IE5 on mac, for some odd reason. It works fine in Netscape, but the rest of this blog looks pretty scary in netscape, so I do not recommend. Is the menue working for you? What am I doing wrong? I will try to look at it tomorrow. For now... good night.

eMac for everyone


I almost thought I got an old issue of the Wallstreet Journal this morning. Apple - eMac was in the news. Now that is old news, no? Apparently the eMac is available for all of us now. Nifty. I am sticking to my old G3 Powerbook for now. (And to my Apple shares. I believe in Apple.)

Mylayne on Kairiciforms* and drawing.

There are drawings and then there is photography, it seems. Both media flirt with time, yet seemingly in such completely different ways. I was very deed this morning to find quotes from Jean-Luc Mylayne on page 131-132 of Parkett 50/51. Mylayne writes about drawing and time. Oddly enough, he is a photographer who takes weeks to complete a picture. Photographs filled with magical energy. He is the one who takes these stunning portraits of birds.

Here are the quotes:

We are probably the first Kairiciforms*. Life evolves in at least four different dimensions. One of them is time, which has yet to be precisely conceptualized. Humankind has a special relationship with this dimension… which leads to isolation in a condition of paradoxical ambiguity: a vertiginous, intoxicating acuity is pitted against an insidious otherness.

*Kairiciforms: from Greek. Kairos, i.e., time as a qualitative phenomenon.


Drawing is a fundamental link with time,
The stimulating intrigue of rebellious dimension
Contracted unexpectedly by compelling subterfuge;
The silent drawing, indelibly impressed on memory, writes towards eternity.

From an unpublished collection, L’écrit vers l’éterel – Les premiers Kairiciformes
(Writing Towards Eternity – The First Kairiciforms)

From Parkett 50/51 1997

Can’t wait to send these quotes to Jerry Phillips A master of the pencildrawing.

not very PC


Nas just pointed out to me that this blog looks *horrible* when seen on a PC. And it does. I am just looking at it with a vaio and it is scary. The entire sidebar is just somewhere underneath the whole text. Oh boy. I need help...



Who knew? My freshly placed wanderlust button teleported me straight to the high quality site of Dan Benjamin, the mastermind behind Hivelogic, and because chances are that the button will bring you somewhere else, I mean to a completely different corner of the web, just feel free to click on the just mentioned link. Oh, and have you heard of Jet Propulsion Labs or Infinite Machine? Well, he rents these domains... and works on POSTMASTER, which is supposed to combine the best of blogger, Radio and movabletype. And all this from one man? Wow.

Veery interesting.


Just got a new little catalogue in the mail. It came from Veer a new Stock place? It seems that their selection is not the largest around, (at least for the 3 keywords I typed in, which might just have been boring), but the site looks stylish, seems fast, and they give away free desktops. Why am I not giving away free desktops? It is about time. Let me think about it a bit more.

Almost Satan by accident


Almost forgot the funniest quote of the conversation between the three. The woman from DC said the strangest thing:
"And so I almost signed my email with Satan, by accident, several times now."
"So your name is Sarah?"
"Yeah, and the R is next to T and the H and N are pretty close too. So yeah, several times now."
Wow. It looks so scary written out. It was actually really funny, when she said it with a nasal voice, eating her green curry chicken loudly, her mouth somehow never shutting completely. It must have been the allergies. It was really funny. How come I can not make it as funny as it was?

In the Family

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I managed to get one of the seats by the window in this mainstream Thai restaurant on 50th street. I had to squeeze by this young family with this large boy. The street was moving as before but it was completely muted by the glass. The window must have made me invisible. A Policeman stopped his bike, parked it right next to me and stood like a huge blue shadow with NYPD written on it next to me. I could hear that his radio was on, but I could not hear the messages. I opened my book to draw.
The conversation at the table next to me had an interesting dynamic. The relationships between these three people developed, as they revealed more and more of themselves. The boy asked his parents about the spiciness of various colors of curry. The , whom I now only heard, tried to give an educated answer but started shooting blanks. "It depends. It depends how you want it." The mother did not say anything. Then the asked: "So what is it that you do in DC?" falling out of the role of the , turning instantly into the New York host, who was taking a Lady and a boy to Lunch? Or was the Boy visiting all by himself? He seemed strangely grown up and a boy at the same time.
"I work for this Non-Profit organization for Women, mainly dealing with junk mail," said the boy and he instantly turned into a maybe 26 year old woman, dressed in an interestingly boyish outfit, visiting from DC. My assumptions were changing from minute to minute. It really seemed that the Man was from New York, but he seemed to be new to this neighborhood. He might live in Chelsea maybe? From what he said it seemed to make sense. His companion, the woman friend next to him, seemed to try to get a Masters in psychology, but needed to sign up for a strange program to do so. The boy-woman’s boss’ name was Jane. "And I’m like, Jane, I do not feel comfortable with us taking these addresses from the site and using them to send unsolicited donation requests to people, even the Exxon wives. And she, like, did not fire me for that." Did she have a Ph.D.? because this seemed to be what the other woman mentioned once the boy-woman had left the table. She was saying how wonderful it was for them, and that her family had a lot of money. The man left for the bathroom. The hands of the women met in an almost instant clinging embrace. So they were a couple. Now the woman went to the bathroom and the man started a conversation about his mother and how he still gets her mail, even though she was, passed away for three years now.
I looked out the window again. A WWF poster with a group of women arranged and designed to look like "Sex and the City." was placed on the side of a phone. Somebody used a fat black marker to cross out the women and wrote in large letters "Sexism still exists!"
A different couple sat right in front of me. The woman pulled out her new sunglasses and asked the man if he likes them. "They are sexy", he said, in a way that made me assume that they have not yet kissed. But what do I know. I just continued to draw and had my tea.

From Amsterdam to Broadway

Wow Amazon is really going local. I have a cheese omlette at the Broadway Restaurant & Coffee Shop every Saturday and Sunday. (The breakfast special.)
One of the owners used to prepare food at a place called “Amsterdam Restaurant”, just a block or so away where I used to live, on 73rd street. He then moved back to Greece, or at least this was what the new owner wanted us to think. The prices went up, the look of “Amsterdam” changed. We soon moved away, but still kept coming back to “Amsterdam Restaurant”. It was a few weeks after our move to 95th street that I walked up broadway and thought that I might have seen the good old Chef in one of the windows. And there he was. Not only him, but also the other chefs who would prepare the food at “Amsterdam” whenever he was not there. Turns out that they were Cousins and that they had the Broadway Restaurant since maybe the 60’s or so. The place on 73rd street was just a sub-project for one of them.

Amazon is going local


Talking about food... Amazon is a river. A River is filled with fish. So why not take a look at the Menue. In my Neighborhood. Or yours... ; )

Hand Attack


Woke up in the middle of the night with a cold, relaxed hand grabbing my face. A very scary moment. The hand of a dead man, cold and motionless, right there in my face. I grabbed it and wanted to throw it away as a reflex.
While I was asleep, my entire right arm had decided that it was not asleep enough and went into the ultimate asleep state. My right hand, being at the end of my now asleep arm, was probably almost knocking on heaven’s door. Good thing that it decided not to entirely walk towards the but was nice enough to come back to give my face a good cold good bye shake.
The feeling of this foreign, cold hand reminded me of one of Oliver Sacks’ reports, in which a patient throws out a dead leg out of his bed, just to realize, in surprise, that he is attached to this particular limb.
So what was I to do? Finding myself talking to my own hand in the middle of the night? I immediately got up and began to wake up my hand, by hitting it against things, the wall, the floor. My Hand thanked me by hurting me back. Each nerve in my arm decided to call home at the same time now, which translated into great, unavoidable, swelling pain. I knew that I had to jump start the circulation, so I kept hitting a little more, hitting the cold stone floor in the bathroom with the back of my hand, making quiet sounds of pain, i must have looked like Frankenstein’s monster in the dim lit Bathroom.
My hand eventually came back. I got up from the floor, looked into the mirror to make sure that the man inside there was still me. I had not changed the color of my skin to green and there were no screws protruding out of my forehead, otherwise, there was this blurry me, sly annoyed for having been woken up. We brought my right hand to the mirror and shook it one last time, before returning to bed.
My hand is still not 100% this morning. (My head is the wooden kind too.)

Late Night Painter Photos

David Gallagher shot a late night painter in Soho on 5/31/2002. Three pictures. Very nice. The first one might be my favorite.

INK•TREE editions from Küsnacht (in Switzerland) sent me a little catalogue of their upcoming editions. This by itself would probably not be too much of an event, however one of the Artists featured is one of my absolute favorites, the photographer Jean-Luc Mylayne.
Mylayne takes pictures of small wild birds in their habitat. He takes portraits of these birds Birds. Each picture is a well crafted character study. Mylayne knows his subject very well he does not use Telephoto lenses, he befriends the birds. (I am not kidding.) Mylayne travels mainly through France and it often takes him several months to shoot a single picture. He takes great care to study the personality of the birds he chooses to take pictures of. He then wins their trust, befriends them, gets close enough to use his bifocal lens. And shoots pictures from a distance that must be in the range of just a few inches. The Images feel private, the birds have an immense dignity in them, it is amazing work. He has so far shot less than 200 Photographs.
Mylayne apparently spent the last two years taking pictures of The Great Titmouse and of himself, in an Ultimate Mirror Project challenge. The edition offered by ink•tree are four diptychs. Each Diptych shows one panel with a portrait of a Great Titmouse and the second panel with a self portrait of the Artist himself as a reflection in the retina of the bird subject. What extreme closeness of the artist and model. Recorded with Lenses built by Mylayne himself.
The Edition offered are 4x2 Photographs, mounted on 1mm Aluminum 100mmx50cm, in a yellow cloth-bound box, Edition of 12, signed and numbered.
The Price CHF10,000.-/€6,890.-, somewhere around $7000.-
I love the portraits of the birds Scroll down for an example of a sparrow. The Mirror project part of the Diptychs does not intrigue me as much however. I hope there is a way to find a print somewhere that is just a simple print of a bird, no self-portrait of Mylayne included. I hope Barbara Gladstone Gallery has a tiny, simple print available maybe?. I missed my chance to purchase a piece in Parkett, as seen here and even as a QTVR.
Oh, and it is quite difficult to find information about Mylayne, so here is at least a Jean-Luc Mylayne Biography. Thank you.



I do not know what to write today. I am here on the bed in the bedroom with the Powerbook on my lap, and I do not know what to write. I put two batteries into the computer, it is nice and toasty, I have still 3:55 to go, with the display staring at me with its brightness. Outside is Broadway. The window is open and the sounds of the passing cars and the particles of conversations remind me that the city is thinking, talking, walking, living. 8Million parallel thoughts second after second. Some Brilliant, some a bit less than brilliant. Now that is quite a brainstorm, isn’t it? I somehow can not blog. I can not draw, I can not think straight. Will probably do something that stimulates the left side of my brain. How about some filing on this fantastic Sunday afternoon? It is time that I clean some of the electronics from under my bed. The collection of vintage think-pads is probably not the most inspiring one I could have started. But I just wanted to fix this one, this one old one. I ended up with three broken ones. (And a 486 upgrade!)
What am I talking about? Has the sun done something to me?, I only took a short walk down west-end avenue, down to 73rd street, where I used to live when I came here. Used to live in this 4th floor walkup. I had a deck. I could only enter the deck through a window in my Bedroom. My was so narrow that I could easily touch both walls. At the same time. This one broker had shown me apartments that were like this. The whole apartment was so narrow, I could have climbed up to the ceiling by just touching both walls at the same time. Maybe as Spiderman I could. Oh, yes, finally saw Spiderman. Wanted to do stay in the neighborhood, went to the theater on 100th street. It must have been a tiny Theater that was there long before the pictures moved. The addition for the projector was a clear ad on. The air conditioning was turned from stun to kill. The screen was tiny and very dirty. I felt like Spiderman, sticking to the floor. Great fun, great fun. Bloggersblock. Will now go and clean. I am an Earth Rooster. I am supposed to be really organized. I do not think I am. (But maybe this is part of the trick.)

Sunday morning

not enough sleep, need coffee now... can’t think. my had has been replaced by a wooden replica. Can’t write, please forgive. Need to get some fresh air... (Come back later... please)

What happened with this blog?


Hello, how are you today? Yes, this is still the same blog, I just tried to simplify certain things. Add other things. No, I do not know how to code. I have no idea how I got this far.
Things that bothered me:
- this stretching of the blog. Fixed width is much better and more predictable.
- site navigation. It was buried somewhere under the archives, now it is on top.
- the header. The photograph of my plants just did not quite make sense anymore... I remembered that some time ago I wanted to use one specific drawing as a theme throughout the site. The full drawing might be a bit too much to be used as an illustration, but fragments might work quite well.
I keep the drawing on the bookshelf next to the table here (it is blue-black ink on shikishi paper).

The changes on this page here are not quite over yet, so please come back. And let me know if something does not work for you. I will see what I can do. I know that the page looks horrible in Netscape. Hmm... I should probably just go to sleep now.



One of the visitors of this page today, came straight from here, a page that allows you to look at images of Birds. Fascinating.


Missed the first four goals, watched a bit, went back to bed. Missed the last four goals.
Saudi Arabia - Germany 0-8 (wow)

C-41 on flying in Colorado and Kansas.

The pictures here were taken during a cross country trip in 1994.
The boy in the first picture was shot flying behind the house of my father's old school-friend, Jan Krajewski.
The Plane in the second picture was shot a few days before, over Kansas.

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