Saturday, February 28, 2015

Visualize Somerville

Went to Visualize Somerville last and here are some photos. Held at Brooklyn Boulders / Aeronaut Brewery space this was a pretty amazing undertaking. Brooklyn Boulders is a rock climbing gym. For this one night while the gym continued to be open for climbers and non-climbers alike, the place was video mapped and people were able to enjoy projections on the gym's enormous walls. The Brewery and community business space next door also featured an art show. Awesome event! Left with my favorite feeling in the world - I am so lucky to know so many talented people who chose to do really amazing things with their time. Thanks to everyone who made this event a possibility. Special s/o to Jeff Mission on the visuals and Dabu on the sound.

and them some pieces from the Brewery next door

 By Jane Chakravarthy

Friday, February 6, 2015

London Trip 2015

I guess the time has come to write about my London trip, although the more I think back about it now the more depressed I get about my current surroundings. Sometime between Boston's snowpocalypse #637 and snowmageddon #835, I got on a plane and got the f**k outta dodge.

US Airways terminal looked like an evacuation scene from a Soviet WWII movie. There were 5 flights all departing at once from the near gates, children crying, adults pleading their standby cases, old people preparing to make this their final resting case, etc etc. 

I had a layover in Philly that was long enough to leave the airport and see some friends from Seclusiasis. I didn't think that Philly would be the place I'd eat gator, but it was. Do you see the size of this sandwich? I swear they used an entire freaking gator to make it. It was delicious btw. Philly's food game is stroooooong.

Eventually I got to London on a red-eye. Do you know what 45F and overcast feels like after -20 and buckets of snow? Throw in functional public transit system into the mix and it feels like paradise. Now the purpose of this trip was exclusively nightlife. I've been to London before and did all the touristy stuff. This means don't be surprised at the lack of Big Beg and Houses of the Parliament mentions.

First night, Dalston Superstore. Caught a super-chill disco night called White Leather Viper Club. Small place, only regulars there on a Wednesday. Everyone was super-friendly. I ended up chatting with the djs for a bit. It's funny how the moment you say Boston in London, everyone is like "Oooooo, Soul Clap, John Barera, Will Martin!!!" This is so much better than traveling in DR and having locals get all excited over Big Papi.
Second night: I hit up some theater on night two and saw the Merchant of Venice at the Almeida Theater. This wasn't my favorite production. It's a difficult play to do these days because while it wasn't necessarily written with the purpose of being an antisemitic manifesto, it certainly reads this way now. There is an option to just blatantly ignore this issue (kinda like they do in Russian productions) or to focus exclusively on it thus bringing the comedy to a drama with a completely bizarre plot. Also, I am not a huge fan of modernizing Shakespeare's productions. It always makes me wonder whether they just couldn't afford the costumes. This one was particularly difficult to swallow since they brought the plot to Las Vegas and rendered all characters various regional American accents. For whatever reason Portia just sounded and looked exactly like Nicole Sullivan's Vancome Lady character from MADtv. I was slightly amused at first but got kinda tired of it quickly.

<<<<<< Susannah Fielding as Portia

On the other hand, one of the actors was Larry from one of Doctor Who's most famous episodes Blink. You know, the one where weeping angels appear for the first time. A Whovian in me was pretty happy about this.

Night Three - fabric. Oh man... I know that there are some Londoners who are no longer impressed with fabric. It's big and it's filled with random young people who wanna party hard. I get this sentiment; however, I've been to the Boston version of a big club filled with hard-partying young crowd and left fearing for the future of our society. Firstly, the music was awesome, but I knew this prior to going in. I went to catch specifically Divided Love - a bimonthly party curated by Daniel Avery. I got a chance to see sets by Object, Lee Gamble and Kassem Mosse. Jimmy Edgar was in another room. I spent a bunch of time in room 3 as well. Sadly I never checked the lineup. Hats off to boy/girl club etiquette in the UK. 1) Men actually make eye contact with you before they approach you. 2) If you don't encourage someone to approach, they don't. I feel a bit like a fool for pointing this out, but we could really use a great bit of this in the US. Nothing ruins a night out more than unsolicited groping.

John Barera and Will Martin on the upcoming lineup FTW! :)

Night Four - dnb in the hood :) Somewhere on this trip I met a great guy who offered to take me to a jungle night that would be slightly off the beaten path on famous music venues, so we ended up seeing Zomby and Randall at the Bloc. Seeing Zomby again was hilarious. Granted this crowd would probably not tolerate his antics as well as Cambridge did back in the day, so he was well-behaved and didn't flick any cigarette butts at the audience. His laptop has a giant "Miley" sticker on it which was awesomely amusing to me. His set was actually pretty good too. Randall - OG. It was really cool to see him in this environment. Can't wait for him to return to Elements one day :) This night was probably my favorite from the trip.

In conclusion a couple of observations:
1) about 90% of the male population in London under the age of 35 are sporting an undercut. Luckily they haven't gotten into beards. Overall I am optimistic that London will avoid the lumbersexual craze (thank gawd!).

2) wooden disposable spoons are an amazing invention and we suck for not utilizing them more. Cmon 'merka!!! They just make sense!

3) There are some interesting food establishments in London such as the Mississippi Fried Chicken (WTF?) and Indian owned American BBQ joints that serve chicken and lamb burgers but no beef. That was surprisingly the best chicken burger I've ever had I think. Overall the food situation has greatly improved with all the awesome ethnic eateries since my last visit.

Gate 12 anyone? Anyone???
4) You know what hasn't improved since my last visit? Heathrow! It's kinda mind-boggling to end up in that mecca of clusterfuckery after the super-efficient London tube. If you think I snapped this pic at gate 12, you would be dead wrong. No, I snapped this pic in the beginning of my "to the gate" journey while waiting for them to announce my gate with only 15 minutes left before end of boarding. Kinda surprised that with my luck I wasn't leaving from gate 12. No, I was leaving from gate 25 which one would think would be located somewhere between gates 24 and 26, and that "one" would be a complete moron because gate 25 is actually somewhere around gate 22.

Anywaaaaaay, I got out of Heathrow on time, but seriously these WOW Airline flights from Logan to Gatwick can't come soon enough. Although once I actually got to Boston, I had to seriously reassess why I didn't just stay in London cause this is what I came home to and there has been another foot of snow since I took this pic.