Australia!

The dock’s boney legs, skinned by peckish barnacles and constant tides, stick out at unnatural angles, like a corpse picked at by vultures. The sun’s golden belly rests in a milky white blanket. She beats down on Earth, bleaching the outline of marine crustaceans onto the ravished pillars. She is impartial and, in the water, sears the blue fabric and leaves orange scorch marks. Tic-toc goes the clock. She kisses the birds, the clouds, the planes, the satellites, the carbon dioxide good night. As she hides her yellow paunch, pink and purple light soften the air. And then we are mooned and she says good night.

Sam’s Boyhood

The boy’s noodley hair swings in his top bunk bed where he most likely thinks about wasps. The girl with bangs and two pony tails wields a pillow. Upon release, the heft disrupts the bowl of noodles on top of the boy’s head.

“Oops…” squeaks the girl, eyes still fixated on his eyebrows.

“…I did it again! I played with your heart, got lost in the game. Oh baby, baby…”

Hands clasped on top of her head, tommy button exposed, hulla thursts dare her brother to fight back.

So begins the 12 year time lapse.  Here, 163 minutes feels desperately short.

The plot doesn’t matter. You have seen a movie and you know how movies work. Teens get drunk and fling ciraded metal blades at a wooden plank, a plank held up by the scrawniest member of the gang. A child shows up to his house twisted and late in middle of his mother’s party. The father runs off to Alaska and swears he’ll come back but he just needs some time to think.

The onscreen only possessed first names. Thus, each audience member betrothed the characters, giving them a last name, and making we, the sea of strangers, in-laws. The theater transformed into a family reunion watching very lengthy home videos. I may have gone to the theater by myself but I didn’t see this movie alone.

I liked the girl a lot. Some mix of me being a girl and her sharp dialogue. At the beginning, the girls says goodbye to the mailbox, the door, the furniture her mommy wouldn’t let them take but that she still loved, and not loving her mommy as much since she was making them move. We laugh because she is sincere but we think we know better and that she won’t actually end up too sad. Years later, the girl says “once you leave for college, your parents don’t really have any control over you”. This time there is an awkward pause since we don’t know whether this is meant to be something thought by students in college or a truth of society.

Go watch it.  I think you’ll like it.

Bushwick-Bushwhack

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Giant beaters churn the yolk of Bushwick into cement, a useful material.  A painted tiger guards the factory from his nearby ivory tower.  The hieroglyphics of a King’s grave, burnt into the brick wall, wait for Howard Carter and the Rosetta Stone.

Inscribed in the sidewalk next to the Jefferson Street subway stop is the following decree: “Don’t litter. It makes finding drugs on the street so much harder.”

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In the surrounding area, the decaying walls are newsprint where artists practice old, learned technique and new style. It’s an exploration of everything that could go wrong, making you understand the beauty of everything going right. Here, paint smacks the eyes, a sharp, hard, consistent punch.

In Bushwick, local authorities require shops and factories to maintain unmarked walls (cleaned on the businesses’s dime).  However, the neighborhood appreciates the lettering and applies for “gimme graffiti” permits from the city.  20 years ago nobody hoped to still be in this area in 20 years.

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The red stop sign sports a green, crotchet, Seussian thneed with 2 leaf-wings.  You really do need to stop and smell the flowers.

Our 30 or so group of camera wearers and bottled water drinkers play tourist in what is not Times Square.  The ice cream truck toots past in 5 minute intervals. The minstrel music mixed with jarring animations sends us in a confused Pavlovian frenzy for money for ice cream and for the nearest Miyazaki showing.

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The sun reflects off shards of glass and drained spray cans.  Latex gloves and fresh paint impregnate the dry air.  A stencil of a girl lays abandoned.  She patiently waits for the moon.

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Here is some (useful/not useful) info:

If you are interested in a wonderful (and did I mention FREE?) public art walking tour in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, Tours By Foot offers this amazing journey (a tale recounted above).

The above pictures were taken by a friend and by myself on iPhones (hence the 8-megapixels quality) and then edited by me.

An ode to Cream

CREAM, home of sugar-coma ice cream sandwiches at $2.15 a pop. It’s the perfect snack to accompany you on the way to the library. An icey surprise after a sweaty I-am-10-minutes-late sprint to class. Enough sugar to replace the coffee of little sleep and lots of Professor Hilfiger. A blanket to swaddle the body and soften the mind.

My freshmen dorm, being freshmen, and thus wise, immediately grasped the greatness of the institution. We first used to journey to CREAM celebrating a birthday or a finished round of paper writing and midterms. Soon, our trips became the consequence of every other plan falling through on a weekend night (a bi-weekly affair). We then started going when it was a floor member’s family member’s birthday.

From dorm bed to CREAM door is about 2 minutes. The queue of 50 only adds to the experience, providing yet another opportunity to play “hippy, homeless, or professor”.

Freshmen year I was 2 blocks from CREAM. And this year, I’m 1 block from CREAM. The only question left is where am I going to move next year?