For Rent: 178 Sq Ft Apartment in Clinton Hill

Click for a slideshow of 178 sq ft of beautiful brooklyn studio wonder. Careful you don't topple over the stack of untouched national geographics.

It doesn’t upset me that this guy is paying $900 for a studio in Brooklyn, or that he lives in Clinton Hill, or that his apartment is 178 square feet, or that the apt is filled with all sorts of pack rat crap, or that he looks like a douche.

What annoys me is this guy landed a junior designer position in a NYC architecture firm without any knowledge of CAD or design or architecture just cause he took pictures of the interior of his apartment and sent it in with his resume. You just mocked and ridiculed my four years of undergrad cause you know how to put a model plane next to some ironic salt and pepper shakers. DOUCHE


Proposition 8 and Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill’s Bay Area Connection ~ UPDATE

If this wasn't a brief sojourn between marches and speeches at an anti-gay conference in Uganda, I would have thought it was a double date with a 5th wheel...

From the SF Chronicle and NY Times: the link between anti-gay American evangelicals (two in NorCal) and a bill in Uganda that would make homosexuality punishable by death. Did I ever tell you how much I love them hate-filled evangelical bible thumpers? If this bill passes, will you be executed if you hold a person’s hand in public? Or do you need actual proof from the bedroom? HATE!!!

In other news, the SF Chronicle is reporting that the upcoming lawsuit to challenge Prop 8 will be broadcast (after its over) on YouTube’s United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s official page. Awesome, cause the hateful folks who will be testifying have to deal with the repercussions of their actions (ie, anti-gay artists makin’ money paintin’ drag queens won’t be testifying).

UPDATE: Justices Block Same-Sex Marriage Trial on YouTube.

Yipsters: The New Wave of Gentrification

As a trained urban planner from some very very far left schools, I am taught two major lessons: gentrification with displacement is bad but investments in infrastructure and development in poor neighborhoods is good. So I am fully aware that the very places I love to hang out are the very places that are getting gentrified (sometimes with displacement and sometimes without). We’re talking The Mission in SF, Silverlake in LA, Temescal in Oakland and wherever there’s an art show in Brooklyn. So as I’m sitting there at some new bar filled with skinny jean fitted, thick black glass wearing, Catcher in the Rye poking out of the back pocket perpetual grad students, I am fully aware that the bar just opened up where a vacuum shop once thrived 40 years earlier. And that the taco truck outside, Ritmo Latino store next door, or Chinese herbalist across the street may not survive the onslaught of graphic designers, children’s book writers, and post-docs that will soon overtake said neighborhood. So it troubles me greatly (while I’m sipping on my lychee martini, Miller High Life, or Kettle One Grayhound).

Highland Park: The York Pub (where AzN once dropped $230 for a round of 18 Jager Bombs) vs. Elsa's Bakey (I think Elsa is standing with her arms crossed, cut off by the photo)

Highland Park in LA: The York Pub (where AzN once dropped $230 for a round of 18 Jager Bombs) vs. Elsa's Bakey (I think Elsa is standing with her arms crossed, cut off by the photo, see arrow)

So the point of this blog post is really an apology to the folks that were living in these neighborhoods before urban planners paved the way for these yipsters (hipster yuppies). Yipsters are folks that have the money and youth of a yuppie, but the aesthetics and tastes of a hipster. So they might roll around with a Maclaren baby stroller, but they’re also willing to step into a Mexican bakery for some steaming fresh pigs in a blanket.

While the profession looks down on outright gentrification with displacement (can someone say China Basin or Japantown?), urban planners laud the yipster takeover. The kind that occurs when a really cool bike shop (like Manifesto near MacArthur in Oakland) or a damn good bakery (Bakesale Betty in Temescal Oakland) opens up in a really really bad neighborhood. There is no redevelopment investment or even a Starbucks. A few daring few yipsters (maybe they’re really damn smart people that made a lot of money on some business and wanted to follow their lifelong dream of opening up a hip comic book shop *COUGH* Secret Headquarters in Sunset Junction *COUGH*) decide to put a good business in an area with not much else.

I’m not sure if this phenomenon is an entirely good thing or an inherently bad thing, but I know eventually the neighborhood will turn, and the turn will be towards gentrification. Whether or not that leads to displacement is another thing (or if the residents that stay enjoy the economic benefits). But one thing is certain, urban planning folks love it cause yipsters not only spend a shitload of money on old timey bikes and fair trade coffee and furniture with tons of Umlauts, they also like the ethnic spots that were always there. And if you want proof, check out a little rag called the New York Times or a no-name nobody named Bill Fulton (planning God) writing about the next yipster neighborhood in LA: Highland Park. Fulton actually uses the term HIPSTER in all its academic glory. The End is near.

Echo Park. Check. Silverlake. Check. Highland Park? Hmmmm...

Echo Park. Check. Silverlake. Check. Highland Park? TBD.

Thu Tran: Hipsterist Foodie in Brooklyn

This is for Sherdizzle who thinks I ain’t into Vietnamese girls cause I’m one of those self-hating Vietnamese chaps. Not true! I hate Tila Tequila, but I’m digging Thu Tran, who just hit the bigtime with a mention in the NY Times Television section for her show Food Party , soon to be leaping from the internets ( to IFC

Cooking up sumpthin just before the Prom

Cooking up sumpthin just before the Prom

So what exactly is the show about? It looks like a crazy, shroomed out Pee Wee’s Playhouse, with puppets themed around food. Here’s the show according to the Times: “Ms. Tran can be seen enjoying a romantic dinner with a mustachioed French baguette that smokes cigarettes and wears sunglasses; cooking with kitchenware delivered to her by toy helicopters; and breaking into song as she picks doughnuts from a doughnut tree.” Here’s the first episode or check it out on IFC, Tuesdays at 11:15 pm: 

For more info on Thu Tran, peep the NY Times article to find info on her background (Vietnamese immigrant family from Cleveland/Cleveland Institute of Art graduate), who’s she dating (fellow alumnus Dan Baxter, founder of Kreepy Doll Factory), and the maturation of her hipster-ness (Brooklyn resident, from Williamsburg —> Bedford-Stuyvesant —> Greenpoint).

Thanks to the Arex for hooking this up.

Who the F Reads USA Today?


Hmm, I think I'll check out USA Today to see if my favorite baseball team won. Or if a war broke out anywhere.

Hmm, I think I'll check out USA Today to see if my favorite baseball team won. Or if a war broke out anywhere.

Seriously folks. Who reads this rag? Every time I see it, I’m reminded of skeezy business hotels, cheap suits, “Continental Breakfasts” with stale croissants and even more stale coffee, and dental/optometry/dietician conferences. If the NY Times were the most accurate, well written, articulate and concise newspaper in the world, USA Today would be the opposite: poorly written and so general, you can replace entire city or country names with one another, and it don’t matter much. Its basically worthless now that you can get sports scores on the phone and yes/no questions regarding international politics answered via Google mobile searches – also on your phone (did Israel fire missiles into Beirut? For $0.50, USA Today, please tell me: yes or no).

Cause back in the day (pre-internets), that’s all it was good for. Waking up in a Best Western in Tallahassee, Florida to see if the Warriors beat the Bulls the night before. If you want anything more, or God forbid, you want commentary that is worth something more than what you’ll get from the local yokel sitting at the hotel lobby waiting to pay off his “additional room charges” (PORN), then please, buy the national edition of the NY Times. Cause if the USA Today you’re reading ISN’T a copy you found on the ground while sitting on the toilet in the men’s room of a hotel lobby at a Des Moines, Iowa Holiday Inn Express, then you have ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO BE READING THIS.