There is a new Museum of Mathematics in Manhattan, and it’s wonderful. I went last Friday on the first of monthly field trips with the Atlas Obscura team. It’s one of the few museums I’ve been to that created interactive displays which appeal to both children and adults equally. Lots of pictures over at Atlas Obscura!
Look! I’m on a square biked sized for children! What fun!!
Spent reading and watching Star Trek here:
almost winning this game with about 300 pieces:
working on my marksmanship:
and hanging out with this guy:
Whew, it’s been a busy few months! Besides a slew of freelance work, I’ve started shooting an exciting new project with my good friend Jessica. I can’t talk too much about it yet, but I can say that it is getting me away from the computer, mercifully. Here is a sneak peak from our stop-motion shoot this weekend!
I have a deep fondness for this lavender and pink beetle.
Jessica and Jae spot Dylan as he adjusts our very professional camera rig.
Jessica and I blow tiny hairs and dirt specs off our set.
We’re gearing up for a big day tomorrow – an Obscura Day walking tour of Dutch Kills at 10, an exploration of Staten Island’s forgotten beaches at 3, and at 9, my 30th birthday party, featuring big group games like pictionary and charades. Because what are your art school friends good for, if not a rousing bout of pictionary and charades? I am especially a fan of blind pictionary – the handicap is important because most of my friends are too good at drawing to pose a challenge. Non-writing hand pictionary is also a favorite.
Here is a poster I designed for Obscura Day – sadly, we didn’t get the printing order in on time, so for now it exists merely in the realm of the digital, but I’ll probably have my own printed at some point, as I’m pretty proud of this one.
I’m very excited to announce the launch of the Obscura Day website for 2012. I designed the site and badge this year, and am really pleased at how it turned out. If you don’t already know, Obscura Day (hosted by Atlas Obscura) is an international celebration of unusual places. On April 28th, people all over the globe will attend hundreds of curious events – backroom tours, private collections, and unique expeditions.
Dylan and I will be at as many NYC based events we can cram into one day. I’m especially looking forward to The Forgotten Beaches of the Forgotten Borough, hosted by Underwater NY. They always find the most incredible places to explore.
This Saturday, I’m looking forward to the opening of Observatory’s first group-curated show, Lunation. Observatory is the art/lecture space in Brooklyn that I co-run with a group of artists and writers – with 8 curators, the show promises to feature a wide range of work inspired by the moon, including a piece of my own.
(I also designed the press image below, which didn’t take too much effort with such an incredible photograph to start with, by Noah Doely. I highly recommend clicking on his link to see more of his awesome work.) Join us for the opening if you’re in the area – there will be free wine aplenty.
This Sunday Atlas Obscura hosted a cemetery symbolism walking tour at Greenwood in Brooklyn. Allison, our tour guide, carries a wealth of knowledge about one of my favorite places in the world, and I highly recommend jumping on her next Greenwood tour. We learned all about the monument of the horrible Brooklyn theater fire, under which the charred remains of an unknown number rest, and about the meaning of inverted torches, hands, shrouds, anchors, and many other headstone symbols.
We walked around the cemetery to tales of rich guy mausoleums, Egyptian pyramid tombs with Christian symbolism, public lots, Civil War battles, poisonous zinc monuments, family plot fences melted down for metal during the war, the meaning of different hedges and shrubs, and the history of Greenwood itself until we were so cold our toes were numb.
I was on hand to take photos for AO, here are a few of my favorites. The rest can be seen at Atlas Obscura’s Flickr.
Dylan and I have been bursting with excitement these last few months as we awaited the grand opening of our very own ferry. The brand new East River Ferry service will stop in Long Island City, Midtown, Williamsburg, Dumbo, South Street Seaport, and little old Greenpoint. The shiny new Greenpoint pier is literally 2 blocks from our apartment building, so, like I said, our very own ferry. It opened yesterday, and for the first two weeks our very own ferry is free, because sometimes NYC is awesome. This morning we decided to take a boat trip and see if the ferry lived up to our exceedingly high expectations.
The ferries themselves are super nice and accommodate bikes. The Brooklyn Roasting Company will have coffee for sale, and when we hopped on at Greenpoint, we were greeted with two free iced coffees, whoohoo! The views of Brooklyn and Manhattan are amazing – it’s a whole different way to see the city. From the river it all feels so much smaller and you realize just how close together everything really is. And after countless hours sitting by the East River at the ends of Greenpoint’s streets, it was really cool to see our beloved neighborhood from a whole new vantage point. Plus the ferry takes you under all three bridges, the Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
We had lunch in Dumbo, whose waterfront has had the most incredible transition over the past few years – it is all green and park-y with waterfront views and lots of places to get ice cream. By the time we pulled back into Greenpoint, we were both exclaiming how wonderful New York is. Because sometimes…it is.
East River Ferry coming in for a landing
Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges
Under the Williamsburg bridge
Domino Sugar factory sign
One of Greenpoint’s watertowers from the river
Huxley – Envelope sign in Greenpoint at the end of Heron
Here are a few shots from a tour of decomposing ship carcasses at the Coney Island Creek, led by the always wonderful Underwater New York for Obscura Day. They cannot be removed by the city for fear of the immense amounts of toxic sludge they would likely set free. Oh New York, only fear of toxic sludge could result in the preservation of some pretty eerie and fascinating history.
Travel to wondrous and curious places on Obscura Day 2011.
On April 9th, I’ll be doing my darndest to attend three, count em, three Obscura Day events. If you don’t already know, Obscura Day is put on by the Atlas Obscura, and aims to be a day of expeditions, back-room tours and hidden treasures in your own town. With over 86 events all over the world, Obscura Day 2011 is shaping up to be an epic celebration of the curiosity seeker.
My own Obscura Day will start off racing with Dylan off from Brooklyn to East Shoreham, Long Island to tour Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Laboratory, (Nikola Tesla’s only remaining research facility), then we’ll book it back to Brooklyn in time for the ghost ships of Coney Island tour led by the folks from Underwater New York, and we’ll end the night at the Coney Island Spectacularium. The Spectacularium – run by friend and Morbid Anatomy’s Joanna Ebenstein, and the amazing Aaron Beebe of the Coney Island Museum – sounds like it’s going to be nothing short of incredible. From the exhibition’s website,
At the end of the 19th Century, Coney Island was the pinnacle of an astonishing era of live attractions – pre-cinematic spectacles that brought millions of people to the shores of the Atlantic to see things that were completely unique in their experience. The Great Coney Island Spectacularium will be a live exhibition and experience exploring that momentous age, bringing you sites, sounds, and immersive experiences that can’t be seen anywhere else on earth.
I’m incredibly excited and I’ll be back on April 10th with pictures and full reports from each event. I just hope my lazy self can actually make it to all three events without collapsing!