fresh starts.

Posted: January 8, 2011 in life, photography, travel
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the fresh start of 2011. or so the psyche thinks. san francisco is still a beautiful place.

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

today, more than any other day, i am ready to die.

there’s no place like gnome.

Posted: December 23, 2010 in life, things
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2010 was the year of gnomes. greetings in gardens, on doorsteps and around various corners of shrubbery…little smiling men in pointy hats with rosy cheeks, saucy jokes & superstitious beliefs. oh how i’ve come to love these little men. wishing i could rub noses. gnome is where the heart is.

i was finally able to wrap my head around the amsterdam segment of my trip…it’s only been 3 months. thick, thick brain mud is to blame. looking at these brings a certain wave of sadness; of how i want to return, of how i want to keep running, of how i want to journey on around the world and yet also the heartbreaking reality of having noone to share the adventure or memories with. a semi-saving grace could be the parallel wave of excitement that also creeps in from a mixture of accomplishment, lessons learned and eye opening experiences.

bikes, bikes and more bikes! amsterdam was also full of character. not what i thought it was going to be exactly. charming as it was, there was also a sense of sketchy amongst dutch safety, a sense of wholesome amongst whore, and a sense of crankiness amongst calm. with their own dry humor, it was funny to find out how amsterdammers are somewhat a culture of complaint. all in all, i felt an odd impression of peace. it was definitely cool.

After randomly snapping some of his wall pieces in London last month, I discovered the Belgian street artist ROA had a pop-up show on the other side of my LA tracks at New Puppy Gallery. What was enticingly different about his installation compared to big throw up pieces on city walls was its’ interactive 3D effect. The simplistic images of animal forms become a more complex mortality ponder, with a personal experience of transformation as you walked, turned and flipped shutters from whole animal to hearts, bones and brains. At first glance, a mound of rats. At second glance, a harrowing pile of skeletons.

ROA was a cool dude too, happy to casually talk about his work and his next appearance @ Art Basel Miami while rolling a cone. The LA show closed last week, but his rats may still be painted on the outside of the building; adding much needed flare to the neighborhood. Click here for a better collection of photos…

too many of our hearts are bleeding after the tragic loss of a kindred soul yesterday. only 28 years young, nick fetchko was wildly gentle and gently wild, he was both. the cherished best friend of someone very dear to me and the adored friend of many, he seemed to live with adventure and laughter in his bones and a mellowly sweet and deep fire in his heart. prayers of strength and courage go out to his family, friends and bmx community. rest in peace nick ; you will be forever loved, adored, cherished and missed. oxo.

keep walking on water…and shine on you bright, crazy diamond. ♥ ♥ ♥

super sweet surprise spending the night in LA’s chinatown. on top of its general radness, strung lanterns & neon lights illuminating the way to chung king road, i got to peep dethkills shades of grey show at the POVevolving gallery. stark genius typography painting wizardry. awesome photozine. buzzing crowd. all wrapped up with wonton soup at master chef. do jeh!

optical illusions were caught by more eyes than mine…now need to stumble upon some of their street art.

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epitome of fall.

Posted: November 8, 2010 in photography
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it’s official. darkness at 5pm is depressing. but i do love how Randy Torcom epitomizes the beauty of fall….

Back in the day my friend Jen and I haunted this place called The Turf…now framed in history as the mecca of early Midwestern skateboarding. All I knew then was that instead of being one of the girls gripping the chain link fence from the outside, I wanted to be on the inside where the boys were, ripping lines through the Cloverleaf bowl at a frenetic pace. My mind blown by loud grinds and high hip airs. At best I cheered them on while jukebox favorites like Iron Man blared through the speakers or I played pinball…Earthshaker! Afterward we’d all pile in the car 8 or 9 deep, head to The Cliffs and create chaos around the bonfire. Oh the days of youth.

Luckily I was able to realize the lasting inspiration from being exposed to this unbelievably talented crew, who shredded with fury, marched to the beat of their own drum and looked at the world differently than all other ho-dunks around us in that town. They just had this unique vision of how life could be. I was definitely on the same train. Ultimately I harnessed this inspiring energy and vision into snowboarding, where I was able to shred mountain ranges around the world, and in the process brought it full circle by learning to skate a few years later. Now if only I could skate that Cloverleaf once damnit…Save the Turf!

Deep love and respect for these roots and the Mil-town hesh crew: Sam Hitz (lil’ Sammy Slasher), Al Partanen, Jay Iding, Rob Owen, Pete Burnside (Robot), Shawn Keeling, Charlie Brown, Christian Brox and The Beaudoin Brothers (RIP Zill) among others. 20 years later and these boys are still making miracles happen.

Peep Al’s new Creature board and Nike SB signature shoe combo. So ill. BELIEVE IT!

epic thunderstorm outside. overwhelmed sorting 2,000+ photos…                                                                     london part two and amsterdam in the works. here’s one snapped while walking the red light district.

somebody rode off into the sunset with all my dreams.™

Rincon, Puerto Rico 2009

aside from being extremely hassled at the UK border & and being kicked out on on the curb of a snooty hotel i was invited to stay at…LONDON WAS AH-MAZING.

i was fortunate to have one ms. erin penn-ah meet me my first night and make things uber delightful after we found a carpeted ceiling basement club selling teapot cocktails with a debbie harry look-a-alike DJ, playing classic british punk & ska tunes…what one envisioned london to be in the early 80’s. after dancing the night away, the rest of the days entailed mary poppins adventures with nanny penn-ah, late night carousing with a fine english lad & his friends, an east end street art tour and the quintessential sight seeing of central london, complete with fake police hats and standing guard.

ps. londoners are the most fashionable people on the planet. heart them.
—>>> part two

envy & the unnamed snake

Posted: September 27, 2010 in people
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Maybe you’ve seen her cruising the streets of the LES or in Tompkins Square Park on her BMX bike. There’s just something different about her. A distinct sense of style, flair and self-assured confidence that oozes into the air. Meet Anastasia Akulinina…amazingly talented artist, designer and street culture queen.

Hometown: Stavropol, Russia
School: Academy of Architecture and Art, Rostov-on-don, Russia.
Travels: Paris, Berlin, Belgium, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, New York

At 23, Anastasia has already had 8 years of focused art studies , makes up half of the Russia design crew called LAB261 and keenly notes how her new hobby of BMX inspires her work. “I like BMX flatland tricks because they’re like magic. It’s more like a philosophy with having to feel your balance and the bike. It opens my mind up and I think of new and cool things. It’s inspiration for my drawings and for my future projects.”

Apparently having passion, determination and talent equates to looking like a natural even though she’s only had a BMX bike for 3 weeks!  In reality she’s been dreaming about freestyle BMX for 5 years but didn’t have the the money for a bike until now. Instead she ‘substituted’ her dream with skateboarding since 2006, becoming one of the first females to skate in Russia with features in regional videos. How do you like them apples? When she borrowed someone’s board on the sidewalk and landed a kickflip first try you knew it was no joke. Yet, she modestly smiles and amusingly declares she just wants to draw, design, and meet more creative & inspiring people.

As for her current in-store installation at Zakka in Brooklyn (photos below), Anastasia simply asked the store owner with earnest aplomb, ” I see you have a big white wall and it’s like a dream for me. Can I draw?” The 2 wall piece was drawn in ‘real time’, where people could see the progress over a month time span and was completed this past week. Last year she was invited to collaborate with 6 other artists at the Lucky Gallery in NYC, where she produced amazing work and clinched her love for New York with a vow to return. She’s back. Take definite notice!

found something cool to do in east london thanks to my london savvy friend penner. pronounced penn-ah.…notice the stolen blog theme. haa, just kidding. more london posts to come!

in the meantime, classic photo of a london bloke at the tube…