the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein

What's Happening Hot Stuff?

Phew! It's been a few days since I've added any new info. Life has been crazy, as I'm sure its been for you. Here's a quick and random list of stuff Ive been up to:

  • As I write this I'm finishing up watching An Inconvenient Truth. Heavy. I don't know if I would run out and buy a Prius, but "the solutions are in our hands". Check out the website for actions you can take.
  • Bella-dog is whimpering in her sleep. That freaks me out.
  • Finished up work at school, and am now on vacation. Tight!
  • Celebrated the holidays with 'manda yesterday. Dinner at Schillers, gift exchange, and a midnight showing of The Dark Crystal!
  • Ian was in town last week - had some eats at Lil' Frankies and hit up 2A with a good crew.
  • Celebrating Xmas tomorrow with my family-friends the Guarinos.
  • Taking off on Tuesday for a week in Texas. Lemme know if you have any tips on where to go in Austin!
I won't be adding too many posts while I'm gone. In the meantime check on how the birds are coming along at my friend Rebecca's 30 Birds in 30 Days project and look for an onslaught of updates after the new year!

Happy holidays all...


A Picture's Worth: New Word Posted

Just because today this particularly Sunday is Xmas eve doesn't mean the work stops over at A Picture's Worth... This week's word has been posted and it is:


Fire up them cameras, dig in your photo archives and submit some shots!

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The Best There is: Difara's Pizza

Went earlier this week to the famed Difara's Pizza in Midwood, Brooklyn. Difara's has been named best pizza in NYC by practically anyone worth asking It really is an experience.

Dom Demarco has been working with pizzas since the old country in Italy. He's combines some of those authentic flavors and techniques, not to mention an incredible work ethic , to make signature made to order pies. There are no ingredients pre-chopped. Everything is made right before your eyes.

After rolling out your dough, and dousing it in his magic tin can of extra virgin olive oil, he'll apply the homemade sauce with juicy chunks of tomato. The he'll break apart a piece of mozzarella sparingly over the pie. Then with the application of your selected toppings it goes, via his bare hand, into the oven.

When that baby pops out, he snips some fresh basil directly on it and give it a last sprinkle of Parmesan-Romano cheese. Whomp there it is.

Needless to say this exercise is time consuming - we were there for 2 hours for 2 pies.

We went for two pies: the classic plain for true flavor critique, and a sausage/porcini mushroom combo. Damn. I mean damn. They were both cooked to perfection.

Check the photoset from the night
, and watch this short movie of:

Dom Demarco at work on a Difara's Pizza

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A Bird a Day...

My friend Rebecca has started a really cool project.

She calls it the Drawing Challenge Game where she is drawing 30 birds in 30 days.

Her birds are super cute and would look great anywhere on your computer. Each bird is being scanned and posted to her blog devoted to this project,
check it out.


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A Moment in Time : 11 Spring

*To see the full set of photos from the 11 Spring event, head over to the photo page*

As mentioned a few days ago right here on this very site, and elsewhere, this last weekend hosted possibly the largest and most diverse showing of Street Art to date.

The abandoned building at 11 Spring Street (on the corner of Elizabeth Street) in Soho has been a touchstone for Street Artists for years. This mega-canvas has hosted work from international street art stars and local graffiti artists alike, with its walls covered in the good, the bad and the ugly .

The mysterious building has been bought recently and the developers will be turning the location into condos - no surprise there. However, the new owners are aware of the buildings artistic significance and wished to celebrate it.

After collaborating with Street Art aficionado group the Wooster Collective, a one weekend only show was conceived, setting up works by artists inside the empty building.

With camera in hand, I went to experience this moment in time.

When I arrived at 11:30 am (the doors opened at 11) the line had already snaked down Elizabeth, clear across Spring, and was about a quarter of the way down the Bowery. I lined up behind a large group of students with a few chaperones. In all, it took about two hours of shuffling along before entering the threshold to the building.

It was nice having that time to appreciate the building and its architecture from the outside - 11 Spring is huge taking up about half of that entire city block. From my starting point there were only traces of Street Art to be seen - a few tags here, some stickers there. But as I worked my way around the building the art started to creep closer. This was due, in part, to the continuing stream of artists who were installing works on the building as we waited.

The air was filled with excitement. I began chatting it up with some of my neighbors and exchanging predictions of what we would see once inside. Crowds were forming in, around and across the street. Before long, I was at the entrance. TV crews and reporters started to show. Free water was being given out. A real sense of community had developed in that short time.

Right before I passed through the entrance, a blind man and his assistant asked if they could come in and see the show. The guard let them through - and I got to catch glimpses of him as he felt his way through the show.

The first floor was overwhelming. The space was raw - wooden boards on the floor, no heat, jacked up lighting to allow some vision. Large panels covered the interior walls with imagery , painting and graffiti. I spied a larger than life version of the Street Art campaigns that cover the Walk/Don't Walk signs with miniature people that light up from the mechanics of the sign (see inset photo). I found long colored rubber bands, strung together sneaking between the floorboards above me (I would find later these extended up the fifth floor where you could still pull on the and feel their elasticity through the building. ) There were also gigantic letters that covered most of the ceiling which read: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

There were still a ton of people inside on the ground level, but many were on yet another line to go up to the above floors. The guard only let the same number of people come up that would go down, which maintained a low number of attendees on the higher floors, which was great after being shoulder to shoulder for the past few hours!

As opposed to talking through each floor and the works they contained I'll leave that to the photos. I'd rather concentrate on a feeling.

As I ascended from one floor to the next, taking my time to absorb the works that were covered everywhere (literally everywhere - stuck in the rafters, underneath the staircases, painted on the windows), I was overwhelmed with that feeling. That feeling one gets living in New York City, being a part of something that will only happen once, in this town at that time.

This is an age where there is corporate sponsorship of just about everything you can be a label on, and a city hellbent on squashing creativity in the interest of raw profits. This special "it can only happen in New York" feeling is becoming more and more rare.

On a grander scale, this was a moment for street art - a celebration for a medium that has existed outside of the law, outside of galleries and traditional methods of distribution. This is art for the people.

This is art for you.

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New Weekly Word

Surf on by A Picture's Worth for the week's new word which is:


Get creative and submit some shots Ace!

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Street Art : For a Limited Time Only

There is only one thing you should do this weekend. This is the most important Street Art exhibition in the world, and it's only happening for the next 3 days. I'm basically freaking out.

The following is from the Nonsense weekly email (where you can get all the good dirt on what to do in NYC). Also check this New York times article (thanks Darren).

Wooster on Spring

Three-day street art mega-installation. The Candle Building on 11
Spring Street in lower Manhattan has been an ever-changing and
evolving canvas for graffiti and street artists from around the world
for decades. The new owners of the building have decided to respect
and celebrate the history of 11 Spring by allowing artists to create
work inside on all five floors, as well as the exterior. They
enlisted the help of Marc and Sara Schiller of Wooster Collective,
who have rounded up artists from around the globe for the event.
Artists have spent the past weeks creating work on all five floors
and the exterior.

The exhibition will take place for three days only after which the
building will be turned into condos. The interior work will be
entombed and the exterior blasted clean.

Also, don't forget that the SoundLab will be placing "Sonic Tags"
inside 11 Spring, so if you are in the area set you from Dec 15-17
set you transmission frequency modulation to 100.1

All weekend long we Soundlab will be broadcasting sounds live at the
event. Don't forget that we need you to help us make up the
soundsystem. Dig out your Boomboxes and handheld transistors; tune
when at the building to 100.1 on the FM dial.

Panel discussion at 3p on Sunday.

11 Spring, Manhattan
11a-5p; $free
Continues SATURDAY and SUNDAY 11a-5p

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Peter Boyle, RIP

Peter Boyle passed away yesterday at the age of 71. While most will remember him for his recent work in Everybody Loves Raymond, I will always maintain his finest work was in Young Frankenstein.

Although his roll as the tough cop in Turk182 was pretty awesome too. That was a great flick, it just made me think of The Last Starfighter. Damn...they don't make them like they used to. Am I becoming my parents?

Wow - this really strayed from Peter Boyle. Rest In Peace Abby Normal. Watch the tap-dancing Frankenstein right here.

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Holiday Party at Lucasfilm

This is almost better than you could imagine it.

View this slideshow of photos from the Lucasfilm holiday party and then submit your resume to work there.

There's even a photo of Darth Vader pulling the raffle tickets. I can't imagine what the winner gets!

Link originally from BoingBoing

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The Best of the Best

Said the Gramophone is an amazing MP3 blog that I check regularly. This is the second year they are offering their 2006's Best Music Songs list - the best part is that the lists all have downloadable MP3s to accompany the critiques.

I swore by the 2005 list for the past 12 months so I am overjoyed that
they decided to make it a tradition.

Head on over and have a listen. They also offer two .zip files containing all 35 songs!


Sing your heart out, and help yourself to a sip of courage...

This Saturday, 12/16 I'll be participating in the annual Hinkle Christmas Carroling fest in Brooklyn Heights. I've done it for years, and it really is a wild time. Think holiday spirits mixed with partying. There will be wassail served- so good.

You should come along - Yes, YOU!

Email me for more info.

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New Word Posted

Over at A Picture's Worth, a new word has been posted for this week (as it is every Sunday).

This week's word is : twist

Get inspired and submit some photography!

Shown here is a shot featuring yours truly and D Lils.

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Form or Function?

Went last night to a Design Within Reach store to see a few of the short Eames design films. Overall the movies were great - inspirational, beautiful, and just an overall cool asthetic.

The few that stood out were:

Tops (1969, 8 minutes) Tops – many, many tops. In the words of a child who was asked to describe the story of the film: “Tops are born, they live, and then they die.” A gem, with a beautiful Elmer Bernstein score, Tops is the second in the unfinished trilogy of toy films (Shipswould have been next).

Toccata for Toy Trains (1957, 14 minutes) Vintage toy trains journey through a world of toy people, props and scenery–Toccata for Toy Trains gives a feel of immersion into the visually rich painted sets. On another level, it addresses the honest use of materials, a critical theme in the Eameses’ work, demonstrated by the clean lines and forms of the molded plywood furniture. Toccata for Toy Trainswas used to conclude the Norton lectures.

(Abstracts taken directly from the DWR Press Release)

I had some trouble tracking down footage online, but check them out if you can - the film series is travelling all over the country.

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Buying Guide

I've been trolling trough this great holiday buying guide focused on interesting Design products. For instance, check out this tool that turns any 2 liter bottle into a pitcher with a handle! Only $11 - cheap!

77 Design Gifts under $77 from Core

And check this out


Proof is in the pudding

If there was ever any doubt that Elvis did drugs - this video should end all speculation. This footage is total crap-candy (a term coined by my friend Julie meaning when something is both awesome and awful at the same time. It's almost unbearable to watch an American icon go through such an intense drug-induced tailspin (on stage no less). It's almost harder not to watch.


Last year I participated in two different "alternative" (whatever that means anymore) holiday events. I won't be free to do either this year, but want to encourage you to check these out. Both made my last December very special.

Santacon - December 16th, 10am, NYC (other dates for othe cities)

Quite simply this is where you and 500 other folks dress up like Santa Clause and go wilding in the streets of New York, not knowing where your next destination will be. It basically gives you free license to do whatever the hell you want. It is as debaucherous as you want it to be - and is non-stop fun.

Check my photos from last year's Santacon here.

Unslient Night - December 16 7pm
NYC (other dates for other cities)
This is an event where you take over the streets of manhattan and blast instrumental music on boom boxes. It's all composed by this guy Phil Kline, and many of the tapes are slightly different. It makes for an amazing sound scape that sweeps therough the streets (and shuts down traffic!)

The straight dope below:

2006 Unsilent Night

Every year since 1992 I've presented Unsilent Night, an outdoor
ambient music piece for an INFINITE number of boom box tape players.
It's like a Christmas carolling party except that we don't sing, but
rather carry boom boxes, each playing a separate tape (or CD) which is
a “voice” in the piece. In effect, we become a city block long stereo

In 2006 the New York event will happen on Saturday December 16th. We
will meet at the Arch in Washington Square at 6:45 pm, begin at 7 pm
and proceed eastward to Tompkins Square Park, where the piece will end
around 8 o'clock.

It would be really cool if you could join us and bring a boom box. The
more tapes we run, the bigger and more amazing the sound will be. This
past Christmas we had several hundred boomboxes and well over 1000
people total, it was really spectacular... If you'd like to do it but
don't have a boombox, I have several dozen and you can grab one...and
if you want to come and just listen, that's cool, too. Help us make a
BIG (and joyful) noise.

Questions can be directed to

This year there are Unsilent Nights in LA, San Francisco, San Diego,
Santa Barbara, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, Asheville NC,
Milledgeville GA, Vancouver BC, Banff Alberta, White Horse Yukon,
Middlesbrough UK and Sydney Australia.

Also, this year for the first time we have an Unsilent Night MySpace
page and have Mp3s available on my website for folks who have iPods
with speakers.

Hope to see you all there,

Please support your alternative scene, and most of all have fun!

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Creativity Breeds Creativity

Some people are really working on some great stuff. Artisst Pete Goldlust has done intricate carvings into wax crayons. Check it all out here on his website.


Design that will bring a tear to your eye

This post taken directly from: TOKYOMANGO

The Kokuyo Design award winners were announced a week ago, and this awesome post-it pad won the grand prix. The theme was "leaves." Each layer looks slightly different from the one before it, and the translucency and texture make it really feel like you are peeling off thinly cut layers of the onion.


Fresh From the Oven...

This past Friday we tried a new
Pizza joint on the LES called Cronkite. I went in with very high hopes after a tight review over on Gothamist. Here's how the deal went down.

Ambiance: Very nice and cool downstairs eating area. Went at about 8 on a Friday night and the place was compfrtably full by the time we left at 930.

Wine and beer only, none of the hard stuff which was a bummer - I was
in the mood for a cocktail. They did have a unique beer list though,
and I treated myself to a Sammy Smith Oatmeal Stout. It was
delightfully delicious.

Appetizer: Antipasti platter. Really tasty, although the sopresetta was a little meaty - for meat. The mozzarella was just right though, and the eggplant crostini was the perfect consistency

Ok let's get down to business

We ordered three small pizzas to get a sense of what they could do. On our
menu was the classic Margarita DOC, a Sausage & Broccoli Rabe number and lastly a veggie.

Margarita: Very Good. Crust and dough were just right, cheese could have had more flavor but was still respectable, but the sauce lacked that special flavor you need to go over the top.

Sausage & Broccoli Rabe: BITTER! The broccoli was just too damned bitter to make this pie enjoyable, regardless of how tasty the sausage was.

Veggie: Pretty good.

So overall the pizza was good to pretty good. Here's the curve ball, desert was awesome! Tiramisu in a sundae glass, chocolate hazelnut & strawberry gelati. And then they kicked in a free cotton candy. Yup, you heard me. Fancy-ass cotton candy. In a restaurant. It was delicious.

With the deserts it brought my rating of Cronkite up to:

Pretty Tight, but not the Bomb

*Pizza pictured is NOT from Cronkite!

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