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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Take That, Banksy

My boy Dave turned me onto well-known British graffiti artist Banksy this year. After I saw a book of some of Banksy's work at Dave's house, I bought it for my niece and another friend a short time later.

Then last month there was some excitement about a scheduled Banksy visit to New York to help promote the opening of his new movie, "Exit Through The Gift Shop." But since he's an anonymous street artist, you could walk past him on the street and not even know it.

I don't know if I've ever walked past Banksy, but I did go spend a few minutes to look at one of his latest New York hits, on the north wall of a building at the southwest corner of Jay and Water streets (pictured above) in DUMBO Tuesday morning. Dave sent me a story from Gothamist.com last night that reported Banksy was leaving behind evidence that he's still in New York. By the time I hit that DUMBO location to photograph it today, however, a rival named Poster Boy had tagged it, as you can see if you click the image to enlarge it.

An updated Gothamist story points out that there's "a massive graffiti/streetart beef" happening around town. Banksy seems like the guy who likes to get the last laugh; perhaps he'll strike again in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The L Word

I came across my birth certificate today and ended a years-long mystery in my family.

It turns out there is only one "L" in my middle name. On the rare occasion that I had to fill out a really important form that required the spelling -- not just the initial -- of the middle name, I used to either order a reprint of said birth certificate or call home to mom.

It's funny, for some odd reason, mom just brought it up out of the blue last weekend and claimed she was confident there were two Ls in Phillip. Now that I just typed that, I remember some rule of thumb that says there's one L in the first name that is singular, and two Ls in the last name that is often plural. Makes sense.

So rest easy, everybody. I now know how to spell my full name.


Monday, May 10, 2010

This Just Happened

Not that my Fort Greene neighborhood that I've called home for 13 months is Brooklyn's answer to Gross Pointe, but I figured if I was going to encounter any unsavories on my journey home Monday night, it would have been closer to Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Because the MTA is the most disorganized government-run agency in America, I never know if I should hop on an A train (typically express) after the evening commute because sometimes -- not never, but not always -- it makes local stops in place of the normally local C train on the same blue line. C trains run far less frequently than the A, so I hopped on the latter when it pulled up moments after I strolled into the High Street/Brooklyn Bridge station.

What's odd is that the A train's first three express stops in Brooklyn are the same three local stops the C makes, and because you can never hear the conductor's announcements, you really never know that you've stepped onto the wrong train until you see the Lafayette signs flying by.

So the A train finally stopped three stations after Lafayette, and I figured I'd allow myself an interesting 30-minute, after-dark walk home from the Nostrand Avenue stop in Bed-Stuy.

But it wasn't until after I'd walked a mile and gotten just a couple blocks from my home that I was asked by the most cracked-out-looking excuse for a grown man if I wanted to buy a pet taxi for $5.

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