In New York City if you do not have a balcony, you can always use the fire escape. Mariella and I thought it would be nice to hang out on the steps before we spent our day cruising round Brooklyn with takeaway Margaritas. I find the vintage shops in Brooklyn are always fun and I don’t think I ever leave a store empty-handed, so I rocked a vintage look but kept it rather casual.In God We Trust Blue Oversized Sunglasses Gold Necklace from Beacon’s Closet Rare Strapless Black Dress with split Urban Outfitters Grey Distressed Asymmetric Top Aldo Rise x Libertine Platforms
Entries Tagged as 'New York'
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
In New York City even something as small as taking the dog round the block can be a chance to strut your stuff and for me I wanted to show off my Lower East Side style mixed with my London boy roots.
New York’s Meatpacking District is the place to shop, eat and hang out, if you have a few bucks that is. Mariella decided to work the 90′s chic when walking those cobbled streets.
Monday, May 28, 2012
These images are the first of our New York style images. Walking around the city, just taking it all in can be so inspiring, which is why I chose to use the everyday city as the theme for my spoken word piece Provocateur with SIRPAUL. CLICK to view video.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
As I am off to New York in just over a week, it’s becoming quite hard to concentrate and think of anything else. NYC is my second home and I have a tendency to well up when the plane starts to land, and that famous skyline comes into view. So I thought I’d share with you my favourite all time movies set in that magical city. Not only are these films based in Manhattan, but the city is like a character, one so enigmatic and all-consuming, it almost makes you feel as though your there.
New York, I Love You
Of course this movie makes the list, as the film itself encapsulates this blog post entirely. Made up of entwined short-films directed by the likes of Joshua Marston, Mira Nair and Natalie Portman, who also wrote and acted in some of its segments. With its all-star cast of actors such as Bradley Cooper, Rachel Bilson, Hayden Christensen and Shia Labeouf to name a few, there is a story that touches every heart, some much more gripping than others. The tale with Labeouf is definitely my favourite haunting moment of the whole thing. If I’m every feeling second-home sick, I put this on and it feels that void. Slightly.
There’s no way you can talk about New York films and not discuss Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. It’s one of my favourite all time movies. So sharply neurotic, you can argue it’s Allen at his best. Plus with all the androgynistic fashion whats not to love. Dianne Keaton is such a babe. It was this film that made me want a Volkswagen Beetle as my first car, however I settled with a Mini instead.
New York Minute
The last of the Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, its definitely a classic. Two twins, that couldn’t be further from each other personality wise, running around New York trying to escape a truant officer as well as a chinese mob, what’s not to like. Oh and don’t forget the cameo from Simple Plan (oh that’s embarrassing). Mary-Kate’s grunge style here influenced most of my teen years. The baggy jeans, rock tee layering and red hat, oh yeah I wore that outfit many a time.
Breakfast At Tiffany’s
This film needs no explanation.
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
This is one of those silly teenage flicks, but it still holds a special spot in this list due to its story. When a group of kids finish high school one Friday night, they head into the city in search of their favourite band, they go all over, to every cool venue NYC has to offer. Caroline the drunk friend, who never sober’s up, is amazing; “I was kidnapped by a bunch of guys, saying they wanted to go balls deep. Yeah, not fun!” Adapted from the novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, it stars Micheal Cera and Kat Dennings. If you haven’t seen it, you really should.
I discovered this film in my first year of University, and I can’t say it didn’t influence my style for the next year. It was this film that made me fall in love with Sienna Miller, her portrayal of Edie is amazing. Edie Sedgewick was one of Andy Warhol’s muses and the first New York ‘It’ girl. She epitomised the phrase ‘poor little rich girl’ as she was troubled to say the least. I have a thing for a damsel in distress, and this movie is right up there with Girl, Interrupted and Gia.
The first time I went to visit my uncle in New York by myself I was 16, and he decided to take me to the theatre to see Rent. As soon as the lights went down and the band began to play, I knew the song, although I didn’t know how. To this day I still don’t know how I was singing along to songs I had never heard before. It wasn’t long after that I had tears in my eyes too. When the film came out, I was so excited. Made up of six of the original cast from the Broadway musical, this is a New York classic. I can’t even count how many times me and my brother have sung along to each note. The film is directed by Chris Columbus, and the play was written by Jonathan Larson, based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Boheme. The sad truth is that Larson, never got to see his creation in practice, as he died just before opening night.
What are your favourite New York Movies?
Thursday, June 2, 2011
When I was in New York last summer, I was lucky enough to get to see Andreas Anastasis in action. The music video director is creative, visual and an artist in himself. Each one of his videos is a piece of art; carefully manipulated and sculpted around the musician and around his own visions.
In such a niche field of work, Andreas looks to New York City, his friends and the creative people around him for inspiration, justification and recognition. When watching him work, he channels all the greats, doing anything to get that shot. Visualising and seeing the image he wants, he knows just how to get it. When I helped out on set of Devlinelle’s video ‘XO and Such’ we were still up at 5am on Brooklyn Bridge with no one around us. Many of the high-flying, expensive to hire, music video directors have huge budgets, where they can shut off the bridge if they wanted to, but with Andreas, things just work out his way. Taking a look at his work, you would never guess that all of these are done with a budget close to zero dollars. It takes a true artist to turn nothing into a masterpiece.
I managed to get the busy man to answer a few questions for me.
M. When did you discover you wanted to make music videos?
A. My first Video Camera [I had] was when I was 8, handed down by my
godfather. It was a huge VHS cassette recorder (laughs). I would round up all my cousins – or who ever would let me bully them in to making a movie – and shoot short dramatic movie clips … I wish I kept those videos! Then in 2001 I was styling a video shoot but the cameraman didn’t show up for the shoot, so I took over and the rest is history. 18 videos and 1 short later.
A. Discovering Devlinelle and shooting her ‘Chin Above Water’ & ‘XO and
Such’ videos and of course SIRPAUL ‘Thrust’ video, for obvious reasons .
M. What influences your choice of videos?
A. The music, the artist, a situation, an experience, its usually very organic.
M. What is your favourite music to work with?
A. Any type of music. No discrimination. Oh except religious music [jokes].
M. Who would be your ultimate artist to work with?
A. Tough one… GAGA of course, Bjork, N.E.R.D, She & Him, The White
Stripes. I have such a crush on Fiona Apple. And any new, up and coming,
sexy, in your FACE artists with HUGE balls, that likes to take risks.
M. Do you find that New York City is the perfect backdrop for creativity?
A. There is so much energy in New York City; just walking through the streets
inspires me. Moby “After” is my New York montage.
M. Do you see yourself making feature films?
A. I would love to make movies; they would have to be underground indie
style, [I’m] not into Hollywood productions.
M. What advice would you give to young filmmakers out there?
A. Keep shooting, never stop. Always have a project to work on. Take on
challenges and approach artists and document everything…then
upload your work for the world to see.
To watch Andreas Anastasis’s work click here…
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
This book was sent to us at WG News & Arts and so being a little bit (understatement!) of a book worm, I read it for a possible review in my column. I was not expecting to like it, let alone love it and it’s absurdities. This is how my review went…
Caesar Pink’s novel “The Murder of the Holy King” evokes an explosion of emotions and feelings. It is the philosophical mutterings of an artistic soul. It describes the journey across America of a man, who sets off with the hopes of finding himself, but in which he ends up losing himself, in his own creative dynamism. This non-linear memoir makes you reminiscent of times not experienced.
“To be an artist is to be cursed,” sums up Pink’s mantra. His life experiences are poetic, insane and utterly New York; however, like many that call themselves artists, he basks in the creative and zealous down times, and focuses very little on his successes. Saying this, those down times where Pink found himself homeless, living in an old car did bring on new bouts of life. They gave him justification, almost, that what he was doing was meant to be. Mixed in with his biographical writing are spouts of ancient mythological musings, spiritual awakenings and facts about Eastern religions brought to the book in a Chuck Palahniuk way (author “Fight Club”) that those with susceptible eyes and minds should weary away from. Even though he states in the novel he does not want to thrust his ideas onto his readers, there’s an underlying insecurity to these words that make you believe he is looking for like-minded individuals to jump on his band wagon. Pink’s novel is also very Jack Kerouac-esque; an “On the Road” for our contemporary and confused times.
American history also takes part in this story (as Pink and The Imperial Orgy have a way of throwing America back in its face), juxtaposed with what it meant to be a New Yorker just after 9/11. As well as being a novel about all this, it is a (non-)love story where throughout we learn of his lusts, his mourning’s of infidelity and most graphically his sexcapades, which leave nothing to the imagination.
Written with raw empathy for himself ‘The Murder of the Holy King’ leaves you with a desire to create, violate and rebel.
Caeser Pink is the founder of The Imperial Orgy, a community of artistic types and front man of the band with the same name. Residing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn he contacted WG News + Arts with this book and a record (Four Legs Good, Two Legs Baaad!) on vinyl that has also just been released.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I wrote this last November in Cyprus, up in the hills of Pathos…
She sat there, hidden in the tall flowers. Each one separated, isolated in its own windswept motion. They smelled sweet, innocent almost, and by comparing herself to them, silently the tears began to fall. Unable to control them she delicately wiped them away, so that no one would see. She needn’t to; no one was watching her. Continue reading “An (Un)Pretty Picture” »
Sunday, February 20, 2011
As New York Fashion Week ends and London’s begin, I wanted to discuss whether there is a difference in style. Not on the Catwalk, but on the streets of these two amazing cities. The only way to answer this question is to say that yes there is, and no, there isn’t.
First of all you have to deduct the oh so unstylish tourists from the mix (not forgetting that yes, some can have style, and be fashionable, but let’s face it, you tourists are dressing for comfort, not ‘la mode’). Once you have taken away the tourists you can get a glimpse of a Brooklynite or Carnaby Streeter’s style. The trends do not seem to vary much; I saw the same granny cardigans, over-sized and unnecessary glasses and denim trends in both cities. What did vary however was the attitude of the person wearing it. And it is, I find, the attitude behind an outfit that causes us to say “well, she pulls it off!” Not everyone can get away with this seasons trends, and most of us know that. Granted there are those unfortunate few who don’t. Hence the array of people getting it wrong transcends continents.
I believe that personal style is a reflection of one’s personality; a commodity that allows outsiders to judge what sort of person we are by what we wear, what music we listen to or what vocation we have chosen. This idea that people can assess our music choices from our dress-sense I feel is connected to my big question. The two big music scenes in both cities are very different at the moment. New York City is a fluster with new age indie rock, whereas London is beating out great dance music. If I ignore the chav-tastic outfits I sometimes see, I think the way in which the music-fashion fusion of the two cities meets is somewhere around hipsterville. It seems as though the hippies of the 70’s have found their souls stuck inside the wardrobes of the young festival goers in London and late night gig-takers surrounding the Lower East Side and Bedford Avenue.
One thing I also noticed is that ink is much more predominant state side. Again, I leave this down to the music scene. The fashion magazines are full with beautiful photography selling the same designers collections, which only furthers my suspicions that the slight variations in clothes are down to the different songs stuck in our heads.
So what it comes down to is that the accent they speak in and the music blasting from their headphones differs, the clothes, not so much.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
“I try to tell the truth,” confesses Frankie Leone, a local writer. I personally have a different approach, I like to play with the truth, distort and regurgitate it, that’s what I love about fiction writing but Frankie believes otherwise. “The truth is really elusive, I think, and that’s what I try to find in my writing.”
I discovered a piece of fiction on FreeWilliamsburg last week entitled ‘Ponce Funeral Home’, intrigued by the title I clicked the link and was taken to a website with an online-book-look to it. After reading the four page short story I had to read more. The great thing about today’s society and the Facebook-era is that I was able to find the author of this enigmatic piece of writing within five minutes, and also other pieces of work. ‘Christ on Kent Avenue’ depicts a way of turning a rather menial incident or event into something alluring, which shows skills crucial to good writing; “[it shows] how you can turn someone, even a stranger into an idea or symbol.” Frankie uses his own poetic justice, which can be a little shaky at times, but the raw emotions are evident, he places himself completely into his work. “I am the narrator of the stories; I don’t know how to write from other people’s perspectives. When I started seriously writing I wrote a lot about my experiences…I write about meaningful connections with other people, and more often than not, they tend to be with women.”
I met Frankie in his usual hang-out; The Black Bird Cafe, where he goes to get his creative juices flowing. I wanted to get to know a little bit more than the usual Name, Age, Relationship Status and Religious Views that Facebook gives us, but witnessing him in his usual habitat, I found him to be more guarded than I had anticipated. His writings bare all, they are the raw descriptions of the life he is experiencing and because of that I thought the real life counter-part would be the same. He gave me just enough information to write about, not the complicated undertones I expected. When asked to describe himself a little, he replied; “I’m a narcissist that desperately wants not to be one. That’s who I am. Sometimes I tell the people the truth about myself. That’s why I think the people that listen to me do. I don’t have use for social inhibitions. They’re a tragic waste of time.” I found that he would touch the surface, but never really delve into the depths of an answer, giving me rather confusing responses. But what more can I expect from an artistic writer, with a hipster-matic flare that I had only just met.
Frankie’s aspirations to become a writer, stemmed from his mother, who was a well-respected journalist. Those aspirations have taken him to Craig’s List and more localised, the Missed Connections page, however, at first he never even signed his name. “It wasn’t really about myself as a writer. I really liked reading people’s responses, especially when I had something nice to say.” For someone with a rather unique, yet familiar way with words, I would have thought the sky to be the limit, yet I got the feeling Frankie is quite content with posting his poetically worded ramblings online and “moving other people’s shit.” Maybe he is able to be a man-with-van, when he has to be, to be able to be faithful to his writing, so as to not sell himself short. Maybe there is some truth in that.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Bar Matchless on Manhattan Avenue, a rather intimate converted garage-space-turned-performance-area was taken over by Jackpot, Tiger. They are the musical styling’s of Eryck Tait, Colby Cecca, Claire McGinley and Kevin McGinley, who not only is the newest member of the band, introducing drums into the mix but he is also Claire’s younger brother. They have been making music together for nearly a year now but can put on a great show.
They make music that has a certain bounce-ability to it, songs that make you toe-tap along. Mixes of cheerful songs with cleverly put together compositions that cause you to realise you are staring straight at four very talented musicians. As they all are from different cities it’s amazing that they were able to find each other and collaborate; that’s New York for you. “We have so much fun together,” states Claire, “we all love music, so it’s great!” they do not take themselves too seriously but that is not to say that what they do is not impressive, they all believe in their sound. Their song Bicycle is my favourite and shows off their skills. “I wrote the song a while ago and brought it to the table,” explains Colby. “One of us will write a song about a certain feeling, how they felt that day and then we will all add layers to it instead of a collaborative process.” They use melodic keys, intricate guitar, powerful drums and harmonising voices to make the fun-filled up-beat noise that we call great music.
On stage they play a game of musical instruments (even a ukulele!); alternating which they play and not only that, they all except Kevin show off their vocals. Separately they all have very different voices. Claire has a very sweet, high-pitched voice that I feel gives the music its light-hearted feel, Eryck has a soothing voice that brings a folk element to the band and Colby’s voice is haunting and when she sings it is hard to take your eyes of her. They are also all very creative people, “me, Claire and Colby are also in a Theatre company together, called Five Flights” explains Eryck. Colby is quite the busy-bee as we say back home as not only is she in the band, in the theatre company, and works part time but she also has her own solo project were she calls herself Devlinelle. Not only are her solo songs entrapping, touching and soul-touching but they are beautifully put together and show off her amazing voice. I was lucky to sit-in on the recording of her last song Chin Above Water; the mood was demure, the lights were in place and voice at the ready, Colby sat at the grand piano with a 50’s hair style and whiskey in hand. The look she was channelling was paralleled in song, a raw heart-felt ballad that will move anyone with a heartbeat. The video to the song has just been released and was directed by Andreas Anastasis.
Colby’s music is her way of finding herself, not only in this busy city we call New York but in the world. “You write songs about what [emotions] you’re going through. Doing theatre you’re trying to be someone else, but if you don’t know who you are, you can’t put truth into that so when I started making music, I was like, let me figure out who I am.” After being forced to self-reflect, and go on a healing journey, Devlinelle is her way of expressing such a journey and turning her feelings into music. All the songs written so far are hers, but she has set up the foundation and wishes to find people to collaborate with, which is why she called it Devlinelle and not Colby Cecca. When asked if she thought the music will change when collaborating becomes the norm, she replied, “their input will push what I’m trying to do, out there. It’s like starting a relationship; it can be very fragile because you not sure what it is yet, but you know [that it’s right].”
As mentioned earlier, Colby was in a theatre company and actually graduated from university with a degree in drama, but it was her first performance on stage with Jackpot, Tiger that has placed her on her musical journey. “It was my first time playing with music, I had been on stage tonnes of times before but this was on such a different level, not realising that this kind of happiness existed.”
Colby believes that her music will be most appreciated in the U.K. Wednesday night was the first time that she has played in Brooklyn and although that was with Jackpot, Tiger and not as Devlinelle she said that she felt intimidated; “the indie scene has migrated to Brooklyn and that hipster vibe can sometimes come out. I think a lot of it is bullshit, but some of it isn’t. There is a reason why people want to move [to Williamsburg]; it’s a trendy area that calls out to people with a creative/artistic ability. But I think the U.K. has a genuinely honest appreciation for music…To have people come and see my music and appreciate it, that’s the goal.”