Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring! at McCarren Park

Here are a few shots I took this sunny Sunday at McCarren Park in Williamsburg. Now that it's warmer I've been spending a lot more time here running, reading and hanging out with friends, which made me realize how important and underrated public parks are. Public spaces and parks is something I'd like to research further... so hopefully there will be a post soon. As for the pics, I'm not typically an effects type of person but I can't help the color boost--it's SPRING!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dave1 of Chromeo @ One Step Beyond

Last night, I attended the One Step Beyond live music series with Dave1 of Chromeo at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth & Space. Seeing Chromeo was a reason why I decided to go, but the real reason was I wanted to party in a planetarium! It's been years since I've been back to the AMNH and last night reminded me how awesome the Rose Center is--it's literally an Apple Store with a solar system in it. Doesn't get any better. While the music wasn't as loud as I wanted it to be (understandable since the place is HUGE), I had a lot of fun dancing to Heads Will Roll, Barbra Streisand and Fancy Footwork. I brought my junky point & shoot with me, so none of my photos came out but I jumbled them together to try to catch the spacey ambience of the night. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is the NHL Marketing Hockey to Hipsters?

Sure seems like it to me. If you live in or have been to hipster-central Williamsburg Brooklyn recently, you may have noticed the NHL playoff slogan "History will be made" stenciled on Bedford Ave or outside the Lorimer L stop. Initially I was confused at the logic of promoting the NHL playoffs to hipsters, because why the hell would hipsters care about hockey? They have better things to do like farm their own tomatoes or take hipstamatic prints of their favorite chai latte... I'm kidding. Most people probably think Versus, the channel dedicated to airing the playoffs, is better off stenciling Stanley Cups in frat-central Murray Hill; however, I really think Versus is onto something in trying to expand the NHL fan base among the hipster audience.
Here's why I think Hockey will grow in popularity among hipsters:
1) According to Wikipedia (yes, Wikipedia), "While the NHL does not hold one of the largest fan bases in North America, it does hold one of the most affluent fan bases." Perfect. Most Hipsters look like they have money.

2) Hipsters love vintage fashion (this includes the 90s) and what is more iconic than vintage NHL hockey jerseys. The NHL has embraced the throwback jersey in lots of big-stake games, so if hipsters aren't watching hockey for the fighting they can watch it for the fashion.

3) MUSTACHES. Dude, hipsters love their mustaches (FuckYeahMustaches.tumblr.com) and so do playoff hockey players (NYT covers Boyle & Dubinsky's dirty staches).

4) Happy, Cameron & Wayne were hockey fans:
In Hockey's name, good luck NHL on the "Gain Hipster Fans" mission. I'm on your side!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scrabble Notebook, No Big Deal

YES BIG DEAL! My shopping drought is over because I finally felt inclined to buy something--A SKETCHBOOK MADE OUT OF A SCRABBLE BOARD. My college friend and now neighbor Gabs and I explored Williamsburg's indoor flea market Artists & Fleas and discovered these one-of-a-kind notebooks made out of vintage board games. Darrah/Dara, the shop owner of Another Work In Progress hand makes each book, and she allowed us to customize our books with personalized "Z" and "G" Scrabble Letter keychains. You can visit her Etsy site but I recommend going in person because the stock is different in store. I haven't decided what I'm using the notebook for because I have a few half-used sketchbooks to finish first. A few ideas are: 1) Scrabble Game Scorekeeper, I can document every game I lose, 2) That children's book I've been meaning to write, 3) A NYC scrapbook of all my favorite memories... whatever the use, I can't help but be inspired by the ingenuity of turning my favorite board game into one of my favorite things--a notebook.

The Brooklyn Tea Egg Party

I blame the Bian Dang food truck parked outside my office every Tuesday for my new obsession over tea eggs or as the Chinese call it Cha Dan. My mom recently sent me a care package with some tea egg seasoning so I decided to make myself a home cooked Taiwanese dinner of tea eggs, minced pork sauce and baby bok choi.

The first step is to boil eggs, and surprisingly this is the first time I've ever hard boiled eggs so I had to look up how to do it online. After the eggs are hard boiled you crack the shell with a spoon to allow the tea seasonings to soak in.
 Simmer the cracked-shell eggs in the tea seasoning with soy sauce, sugar and salt for about 1-2 hours
A family trick when cooking Asian vegetables is to drizzle sesame oil in the boiling water when you blanch the vegetables to give it some shine and flavor
I didn't have five spice for the ground pork so I had improvise with star anise, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. I'm sure that doesn't serve as a substitute but it will do. I also didn't have black shiitake mushrooms, so I think the minced pork sauce wasn't winning as hard as it could.
 My friend Jason brought over a Plum Crumb pie from The Blue Stove nearby and it was amazing. I can't think of a better way to end my Asian Tea Egg inspired dinner then with a Non-Asian baked pie.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Greatest Movie Marketers Should Watch About Themselves

I am really looking forward to seeing Morgan Spurlock's--the Director of Super Size Me--new documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Soldopening on April 22nd. It is a movie about product placement funded by product placement... genius idea right? I'm curious to see what angle Spurlock will take, whether he associates Brands with greed or with entrepreneurial passion. As a person who works in media planning for Corporate America, I often see media plan over media plan that focuses on mass reach, impression volume and GRPs (TV metric called Gross Rating Points), forgetting that Americans today live in an overly saturated advertising landscape and have been trained to tune certain ads out. It is not to say that Brand Awareness isn't important, but to stand out, Brands have to think differently--and this is where Spurlock's awesome TED talk comes in.

For anyone in the advertising and marketing industry, I highly recommend watching Spurlock's 20-minute TED Talk about the importance of Brand Transparency and Taking Risks. My favorite quote of the talk is "if you take chances, if you take risks, that in those risks will come opportunity..."
However, if you really just want to see a movie about product placement, then re-watch Talladega Nights with Will Ferrell ("Hi, I'm Ricky Bobby. If you don't chew Big Red, then f-*bleep* you."), especially the family dinner scene where eight brands: Domino's Pizza, Taco Bell, Country Crock, Wonder Bread, Powerade, Budweiser, Coca-Cola and KFC are consecutively shot in the first 7 seconds of the clip below:

Monday, April 4, 2011

One Two Many Asia Dogs at Brooklyn Flea Williamsburg

There maybe one thing I love as much as open air flea markets--hots dogs covered in ridiculous Asian inspired toppings. I ate two hot dogs today from the Asia Dog food stand at the new Brooklyn Flea location in my hood of Williamsburg. I had "The Vinh", the banh mi inspired dog, and "The Sidney" which had a thai mango relish and crushed peanuts on top. The hot dogs aren't huge like what you would get from Nathan's so don't judge me because I ate two; plus, it was 2 for $7 and 1 for $4 (the Asian in me would obviously take advantage of the $1 difference). I'm really excited for the new Brooklyn Flea location and am pretty confident I will be making the market a Sunday tradition from now on, definitely can't make the eating-two-hot-dogs a week a tradition. That would NOT be good.

Sean had "The WangDing" (right), a pork belly covered hot dog
Went back for a second dog with Natalie, she too also ordered the "WangDing"
A sunny but still windy and cold Sunday. Can't wait for the weather to get warmer.

This Post is Dedicated to Marisa Lynn Star

My college roommate and Californian bestie Marisa (aka Marisa Lynn Star) came to town this weekend, and we made sure all the necessary City activities were in place--brunch, dog park, day drinking, dinner parties and dancing. Here's a recap of all the reasons I will be sleeping very very well tonight:
Good Beer!
Homemade Burger, Broccoli Salad & Sweet Chili Doritos (these were not homemade)! Best pre-going out meal ever.
I didn't get the memo about taking off our heels, now I suffer the consequences of looking out of place (pic from Sophie)
Ted cooking his homemade (meat) balls
 Marisa adding feather extensions into Sophie's hair 
 Jersey Shore-style Sunday Dinner--Caesar Salad, Garlic Bread, Spaghetti and Meatballs
Marisa made us ridiculously delicious Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cupcakes, because it's not a Marisa-visit if there aren't any homemade cupcakes involved (pic by Marisa)