Daily Marauder


THIS WEEK: GRAFFITI NYC & LONG LIVE THE IPO by Marauder

THIS WEEK: GRAFFITI NYC & LONG LIVE THE IPO

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LA Artist Retna at the corner of Bowery/Houston

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NY artist Wane along Kent Ave in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Kent Ave under the Williamsburg Bridge/ Brooklyn, NYC

Photo Credits: Daily Marauder

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This past week, I spent some time in NYC. During my walking trips around the city, I took a few snaps of some incredible street art from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Street art holds quite a bit more worth to me than anything hanging in a gallery because of the circumstances surrounding its viewing. Much in the way Bill Cunningham chronicles street style in the NY Times to show what real (or somewhat real) New Yorkers are doing with the latest runway pieces, street art is built for everyone. Cunningham remarked that “The best fashion show is on the street” and I would add that the best art show is in the same place. No admission fee. No thoughtful head nodding or crowds of people. Just art. Unexpected and there whenever you want it.

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It still strikes me as incredibly odd that LA brought the first street art exhibit to creation at the MOCA Los Angeles, while NYC snubbed its nose in Brooklyn. Between the two cities, street art certainly has its place where it is fostered. In NYC, that’s usually the outer boroughs and in LA that’s Hollywood or downtown LA.

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I tried to track down the artist behind the bottom piece in Brooklyn but wasn’t successful. If anyone has the information, please leave a comment or email me.

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This past weekend, I also watched the 1980’s film Wild Style all about graffiti art culture in the South Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop. It’s not a well-acted film by any means but it’s got a realness to it that’s fascinating.

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In other news, Facebook’s IPO finally goes live and experiences some growing pains, the Zuck gets married, the queen and king of disco, Donna Summer & Robin Gibb, passed away, and Pinterest continues to show strength in pushing e-commerce.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

The Anti-Gravity Ball



THIS WEEK: TRANSMISSION LA & 1 WORLD TRADE NYC by Marauder

THIS WEEK: TRANSMISSION LA & 1 WORLD TRADE NYC

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Outdoor Bar & Tables (Mike D-curated KOGI truck across the street)

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Mike D, from the Beastie Boys, calls his curated exhibition at MOCA LA, Transmission LA, “an amusement park for adults.”   I think that aptly sums up the experience. I took a spin to the Museum of Contemporary Art this past Saturday to take a look myself. From the Roy Choi/Mike D collaboration on the menu at the KOGI Truck to the art nestled inside, It was a feast for the senses. Here’ a few pics. If you’re in the LA area, you have until this Sunday to take a spin of your own.

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The sponsor, Mercedes, gets quite the gold chain

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Coffee bar surrounded by a moat filled with mechanical boats

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Miscela d’Oro Coffee from Sicily

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Surrounded by projectors and an open road, Ben Jones/Road Trip

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“Pinwheels” by Jim Drain & Ara Peterson

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In other news, Instagram passes 50 MM users, viewers love a little Zooey & Samuel L. in those Siri ads, 1 World Trade reclaims the NY skyline, Apple beat analysts’ predictions with its Q2 results and Viddy receives a serious boost in users and investment.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

The Jumboltron: One Big Happy Nerd Family with iPads



THIS WEEK: OVER VAGINA’D HBO & INSTAGRAM GOES INSTABOOK by Marauder

THIS WEEK: OVER VAGINA’D HBO & INSTAGRAM GOES INSTABOOK

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Lena Dunham in HBO’s Girls

© Jojo Whilden/HBO. All rights reserved.

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The new series, Girls, comes to HBO this Sunday and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I watched the first two episodes in Austin at SXSW spawning my lady crush on its writer/creator, Lena Dunham. The show follows a group of NYC Williamsburg hipsters through their daily machinations focusing on the somewhat unglamorous side of their romantic transgressions. I spent my 20’s living in NYC, the latter half in which I was working at HBO, and hence, was especially excited to see this story unfold.

I’ve been watching the critical reviews come across the internet wires and they all boil down to one thing: sex. The sex in Sex & the City was glamorous Jimmy Choo-laced fantasy, thick with witty Samantha-isms and adorable recaps from Carrie. The sex in Girls is uncomfortable to watch and ‘real’ in a way I’ve never seen on screen before. Slate Magazine describes this realness as the “chronicling of bad sex” whereas New York Magazine raves that the sex “isn’t a reward, it’s a revelation.” So which is it? Lena Dunham writes, stars, and partially directs this series. She plays Hannah, a post-collegiate brutally torn from the parental financial purse strings to go out on her own for the first time. The first sex on screen carries out between Hannah and her sex buddy Adam, and while not ruining anything, I’ll just say, that I would never tell a friend about sex that bad.

That said, it wasn’t only the sex that I found so intriguing. It was the comfort level by which these girls interact with each other and by which Dunham herself is comfortable exposing the world to. There is one scene in particular that I have obsessed over, obsessed because I think it indicates some lack of cool on my part and therefore has been a conversation piece for weeks. Dunham’s character, Hannah, takes a bath with her towel-clad roommate Marnie chatting about their lives, a pastime which in most respects would be done over breakfast or perhaps, any other place with clothes on. I’ve obsessed because I’ve wanted to know if this happens in real life. Do women get together naked and talk about what’s going on in each other’s lives? I don’t even like to look people in the eye in the women’s locker room, let alone sit naked in a bathtub and talk about my sex life. Does this make me uncool?

Lena Dunham, as Hannah, with actor Adam Driver.

(Photo: Jojo Whilden/HBO)

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Back to the sex. The attempt to categorize this show at the ‘everygirl’ story would be dangerous. In the same way that Sex & the City did not translate to the lives of most American women at the time it debuted, I don’t think Girls has the intention of direct translation. How many women buy Jimmy Choos on a Monday and Monolo Blahniks on a Tuesday? In the same respect, how many women catch up on their day with their best friend sitting naked in a bathtub and then have discussions about how maybe they really do want AIDS at the doctor’s office? Here’s where I had to reel myself in. Being that you, the viewer, are presented with a woman (Dunham) who looks more real than the skinny plastic surgery-disfigured faces of so many Hollywood actresses, the viewer immediately thinks that what happens on screen will look more similar to their own world. In my case, even though I spent some time living in Williamsburg, the attempt at direct correlation was lost in translation. Frankly, that’s not the point. I think Dunham’s intention is to entertain with her own story and hope that each viewer draws inspiration in whichever way makes sense. Whether that’s making one person feel less embarrassed about their own bad sex moment or more comfortable in simply sharing something with a friend, so be it. So, I’ll attempt to stop thinking about how uncool I am for my lack of bathtub friend time…but seriously, does this make me uncool?! Maybe not, but quotes like this one, make Lena Dunham fresh to death.

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In other news, Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 Billion (scaring the sh-t out of this Instagram user right here and this one over there), Google busts out some augmented reality glasses which sadly bring on the Star Trek jokes, and Bravo announces plans to bring a Silicon Valley reality series to screen.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

Architecture Meets Outdoor Art Projection

Photo Credit: Designboom



THIS WEEK: THE DESCENT OF SXSW by Marauder

THIS WEEK: THE DESCENT OF SXSW

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This week, SXSW descends over Austin. If you’re unfamiliar, SXSW is a three-in-one conference encompassing interactive, film, and music. SXSW has launched a few innovative companies in its midst including Foursquare and the now-acquired Gowalla. In my opinion, it’s a nerd fest reunion with some music folks on the back end. Once a year, all of my digital nerd friends from all across the US get together to drink, party and possibly hit a panel or two. This week, I had a conversation with an ad agency executive in NYC about the merits of SXSW.

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While this particular person had never attended SXSW, he felt that the information which returned was never of value. The thought was that SXSW was simply a drunken booze fest without value.

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I thought about this argument and sat down to read an article in the New Yorker about Davos. Davos, as contrasted to SXSW, rounds up the top world leaders with the hope of igniting inspiration at the highest levels. I’m sure cocktails are shared but I’m guessing no one ends up at the Driskill Hotel at 2 in the morning passed out in a hotel lobby arm chair. That said, my argument in defense of SXSW centered on the simple physical aggregation of start-up folk, programmers, product people and marketing experts alike. Primarily, in the past four years that I have been attending SXSW, this has included an audience under the age of 35. We are young, we are innovators, and yes, we like to drink. Let’s face it, a cocktail or two lowers our fears and in many cases, allows creativity to flow. Steve Jobs referenced LSD as “one of the two or three most important things [he had] done in [his] life” as he considered the experience principally one which opened his eyes to creativity in ways he did not think possible.

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Now, I’m not condoning alcoholism or drug use. I’m simply pointing out that discounting SXSW because this particular audience parties or drinks heavily,is simply disregarding it based on unfair terms. It may be Spring Break for digital folks but don’t we all need a vacation from reality every once in a while? If you’ll be at SXSW, I’ll be speaking on a panel entitled, “Are We Killing Social with Social?”  Stop by and share some thoughts, cocktail or no cocktail.

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In other news, Pinterest is surging while Google + is puttering, Lady Gaga becomes the first person to hit 20MM followers on Twitter, newspaper revenue tanks shocking no one, smartphone owners now outnumber other mobile users in the US, Yelp shares surge on their first day of trading, and co-founder Naveen Selvadurai is leaving Foursquare.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

The Lowline: Underground NYC Park Life



THIS WEEK: HOUSTON, WE HAVE LINSANITY by Marauder

THIS WEEK: HOUSTON, WE HAVE LINSANITY

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Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images / February 18, 2012

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Whitney Houston’s funeral Saturday drew more star power than the Grammys the weekend before including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keyes, R Kelley, Bobby Brown, and Aretha Franklin. Wait, those last two weren’t there. Bobby Brown left because of a “seating incident” and Aretha Franklin had leg issues even though she performed in concert that very night. [raised eyebrows] I thought Kevin Costner’s words concerning his work with the star on the Bodyguard were intriguing. Not only were they clearly heartfelt but they demonstrated the challenges of being a worldwide star. Incidentally, both the Grammys and Whitney Houston’s funeral both clocked in at 3.5 hrs.

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After being in NYC for 10 days, I attempted to mimic that city’s RIPocolypse love. From snow storms to Whitney’s death, everything on Foursquare is a RIPocolypse in New York City. I also wanted to see if a location of this nature would trend in Los Angeles like it trends in NYC. One problem. It never showed up in search results. I contacted one of the co-founders of Foursquare who told me the search results take a bit to update. 3 days later. Same issue. I know we’re on the opposite coast and a little bit farther south than where digital hearts show their affection, but damn it, we Angelinos are digital nerds too. Where is the love?!

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Apart from the digital snafu, I also noticed how polarizing Whitney Houston was when I asked friends to check-in to my newly dubbed WhitneyHoustonRIPocolypse. Some were eager to jump on and some simply flat out said no, not because they didn’t want to break out Foursquare, but because they didn’t “feel the love” for Ms. Houston. I do find it intriguing that certain folks feel so negative towards the pop singer because of her demons with drug abuse. I certainly don’t condone it. That said, entertainers, while making a ridiculous amount of cash, are owned by their audience, incapable of living away from prying eyes. Entertainers have the ability to inspire so many but they are human beings like all of us. Let’s be honest, we all have our demons. So, with that, I will continue to want to dance with somebody and yes, my love is your love.

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Along with the pop star’s farewell, the din of Linsanity, an homage to the popular NY Knicks player Jeremy Lin, has been reaching fever pitch. Unfortunately, ESPN made the mistake of running a racially fueled headline on Friday bringing Lin fans to punches. Thankfully for the fans, the Harvard alumnus finally joined the social network and took the dive into his first public Facebook page.

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In other news, a warmer winter has slowed sales of typical winter purchases, gossip surrounding the coming iPad 3 announcement on March 7th has erupted, and Twitter gets yet another boost from Apple, this time with the release of the Mac operating system Mountain Lion. Take that, Facebook overlords.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

Beauty on the Go: Pop-Up Shopping Wall



NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND: THE ART BELOW by Marauder
September 6, 2011, 11:04 AM
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , , , , , ,

NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND: THE ART BELOW


Photo Credit: Subwaysigns.com

As a former New Yorker and daily commuter on the New York City subway, it never dawned on me that the transportation system itself could be a form of art.  In the daily grind that is a work commute, the act of observation is not a highlight.  Since leaving New York City and re-locating to Los Angeles, a city lacking a well-used public transportation system, the subway I used for eight years started to have more shine. 

After learning more about my grandfather’s work as a change agent and then a motorman on the NYC subway beginning in the 1940’s, I decided to seek out a vintage subway sign. I poked around for a bit and settled on one of the only remaining signs still available from Manhattan.

Photo Credit: Subwaysigns.com

The sign above used to live on the R9 train, a train that ran along the IND or Independent line. I located the sign on Subwaysigns.com, the first and largest online store for vintage signs from the subway system. This particular sign was on the original 8th Avenue line. Before the current system we enjoy now, complete with the 1, the 9, the A, and my most traveled L, the lines were the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), the BMT (Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit) and the IND (Independent Subway System). The remains of these lines still exist today with the BMT trains & IND trains translated to the lettered trains and the IRT trains translated to numbered trains. The original subway lines (BMT & IRT) were independently owned and operated while the IND line, which came along in 1932, was owned by the municipal government. The first subway fare was only 5 cents.

My grandfather, William Giegerich, worked on the IND line, from the time he returned from World World II till he retired in 1974. The R9 trains were retired from service in 1977. As it turns out, the sign I purchased could have lived on a train my grandfather operated. This was a fact that I did not come to know until after purchasing the sign and learning more about my own family history from my father. It’s hard for me to imagine the stories my father tells, of my grandfather picking up my father on the train and taking him to Coney Island. The weight this sign will carry in my home will be palpable.

Gramps and I 1981

As the world progresses and our family histories are transpired over social networking pages and email to each other, what physical reminders will we leave behind for our grandchildren? If one of mine is reading this some day, I suggest an L train sign. While I personally loathed getting on the train at 1st Avenue for my daily commute, I will never forget the 4 years I spent coming home along that line.

I will never forget my favorite waiting spot or the many ridiculous moments that transpired over the pathways of each train. I will never forget the moment I heard that a friend fell between two cars at a station in Soho and the train severed her leg. I will never forget the day World Trade fell or the city blacked out and every New Yorker was forced to find a new way home. I will never forget the day I sat mesmerized watching dancers back flip flawlessly while the train was in motion. I will never forget the day I saw a woman step in front of the train and take her own life.

Every moment while along the subway system, either within the underground or on the platform, is an instant I will try to hold on to as long as I live. This connects me to every moment my grandfather must have shared along the same tunnels I traveled every day. The subway system is a living, breathing memento of our lives, each train and pathway a reminder of those seconds, minutes and hours shared. The next time you step onto the platform and wait for that train, think about all the moments you’ve spent throughout the tunnels in NYC and the ways these have defined you. Art, after all, is a reflection of our own subjectivity. Reflected in this vintage subway sign hanging on my wall is a collusion of histories: my grandfather’s, my father’s, and my own. From New York City to Los Angeles, from the 1940’s to today, the sign continues to transport.

If you’re looking for more on the history of the New York City subway system, also check out Steve Duncan’s trips underground.



SANTACON: DON’T MAKE SANTA MESS YOU UP by Marauder

SANTACON: DON’T MAKE SANTA MESS YOU UP

Downtown Los Angeles

Photo Credit: Daily Marauder


Over the weekend, the Santas converged, ready to get their drink on. Santacon began in 1994 in San Francisco when a group of 30 Santa’s converged on downtown SF and caused a bit of Kris Kringle mayhem. That spontaneous coordination of Santa fun has progressed into an international phenomenon. Saturday, Santacon dropped in on NYC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The crowd descended on a Santa-infused pub crawl bringing chaos and fun in its wake. Did you happen to catch the red and white tide? If so, here’s a few pics to catch you up on the fun you missed.


Los Angeles

Mariachi Square, Los Angeles “Sado Masachristmas”

Photo Credit: Daily Marauder

We were in attendance on this one and it was truly an interesting array of creative holiday spirit. Locations were communicated either through traditional means (shouting) or through more digital means (Twitter).   As this is a driving town, I was relieved to find that the flask-bearing crowd took the subway from location to location.


And who knew Santa had beef? In this shot, clowns show up to protest Santa’s progression through the streets. And yes, it rains in LA.

La Perla Los Angeles

Photo Credit: Daily Marauder

Here the singing Santas take over the subway. Yup, I didn’t know LA had one either…


New York City

Washington Square Park, NYC

Photo Credit: Sdavisk


San Francisco

Castro, San Francisco

Photo Credit: Jon Bauer


For more information on Santacon coming to a city near you, check out this calendar of events. Happy Holidays from one Santa to another.

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