In Japan you might be safe sleeping in the streets

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The homie Masaaki continues to send me photo dispatches from Japan.

Here is a shot taken some time after party hours at the Ueno St station.

Masaa tells me in Spanish (because he’s still learning English and my Japanese isn’t so good): “Aqui en japon nunca pasa robar su pertenencia aun que persona durmiendo en la calle somos seguro.”

Basically, he says that Japan is so safe at night that you can become slouched somewhere in public and chances are slim to none that someone will run your pockets.

Nice.

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Why can’t we be down with big robots, too?

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It’s almost an injustice that our society doesn’t respect giant robots as much as the Japanese. I mean, would you see  a display like this in front of the local mall in New Jersey? Probably not. Ever. Like in a million years. This photo was shot recent in Shinjuku.

We just don’t like big ass robots, and I don’t know why. It killed “Pacific Rim” at the box office this summer and it made a really dope movie like “Iron Giant” a flop at the box office when it dropped some 13 years ago.

Long live big ass robots, yo. The Japanese can’t be wrong.

Photo by: Masaaki S.

Officer Big Mac

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It’s the little things you remember when you were growing up. For instance, there was a time when there was no McDonald’s on the Garden State Parkway. I remember when this quasi-rest stop was new.

It had a vibrant Mickey D’s display with a bunch of characters. I thought it was ironic that the law enforcement character was behind bars, but I know it was probably for his own protection.

 

Even though I go here almost never, the McDonald’s near exit 142 on the GSP will always hold a special place in my heart.

I just hope they keep the caged Officer Big Mac forever.

For Chris

 

When I heard the song that plays in this clip recently, I cried on some “I hope nobody notices” type shit.

One of my youngest cousins died last month. You probably didn’t know him, but  I swear he was a special kid.

Barely into his 20s.

A bad turn on a foggy highway near dawn was all it took to end his life.

Chris was the kind of young dude who kept you in his world. What’s that mean? It means he was engaging without forcing it and made you laugh without even trying. He was a genuine spirit and I’ll always miss him.

 

 

Free ¨Lucha Libre NYC¨ Presentation

See the rest of the site at http://www.luchalibrenyc.com

It´s going down Ralph McDaniels style at Columbia University this Tuesday evening, May 17. Come out and show support for the best new website that reports on the Lucha Libre scene, an underground wrestling spectacle, right here in Nueva York.

Go to 1:22 in this video to see one of the first examples of a superstar luchadore in NYC:

Drop a comment below, if you want to know exact place and time.

CAN’T IGNORE ‘EM, YAHHHH!

There’s something about a millionaire doing these low-budget viral commercials.

A few weeks ago, while sitting in a hotel room, candle waxing with my girlfriend. I happened to see a late night talk show, probably Jay Leno, maybe it was Letterman, that featured a performance by Soulja Boy and Sammy.  They did a non-stirring rendition of whatever his ring-tone, top 10 tune is right now. Maybe I’m being negligent in paying this dude little mind, but he does seem to have the attention of critics and tweeny-bopper fans world wide.  I figured I’d chip in a few minutes and a post on the phenom that is Soulja Boy.

I remember how kids in the hood were doing the Superman dance like it was really the business back in ’07, 106 and Park really wouldn’t leave that video alone for months that summer.

Little did I know that Keisha’s little brother, showing me this ridiculous dance was actually first-hand education in a piece of pop culture history.  See the critical breakdown of Soulja Boy Tell’em by LA Times/LA Weekly critic Jeff Weiss and former rap mag editor, New York Times critic Jon Caramanica — in the paper he co-wrote for the Experience Music Project.  You see in those works that the kid is more than just a passing teen and pop fixation. Still, at this point, and with said critical looks, I’m waiting for son to get his own SWPL listing.

THAT’S SOME BULL

DEADLY POETRY: This ran in the El Pais newspaper yesterday. On May 27th, Bullfighter Israel Lancho, 30, took a brutal loss to a bull he was about to kill.
DEADLY POETRY: This ran in the El Pais newspaper yesterday. On May 27th, Bullfighter Israel Lancho, 30, took a brutal loss to a bull he was about to kill.

Although you can see the full-color version of the photo above (or even video), I scanned the newspaper this appeared in, Spain’s El Pais, because of how majestic this looks in black & white.

Bullfighting is already filled with a lot of fluffy pomp, and this photo captured that, as well as Israel Lancho’s horror at having several inches of bullhorn up in his chest. Extensive lung damage was feared when Lancho was being carried out of the ring, but he’s said to be recovering in the ICU. Occupational hazard that’s an unfortunate possibility for every  bullfighter, or torero.

Poetic justice? Maybe, if you’re on the bull’s side. But according to reports, he got put down anyway.

You can see more bullfight pics, here.

Perhaps a trip to Mexico City’s Plaza de Toros is in store.

ESCAPE FROM FLU CITY: Gangster’s Paradise


TAKING A BREATHER: Deseo is a boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen. It’s unusually quiet in these post-swine flu days.

I’m not a gangster. I like to see how they might live, though. After a week and some change of swine flu ravaging my psyche and my ability to sit down and drink a cup of coffee and surf the nets while in Mexico City, I’ve decided to hitch a ride with the Chilangabacha to the pristine shores of the Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

It’s quiet here. Flu-scare quiet. Not everyone had the idea to take a swine flu vacation. We flew out of Toluca, just to avoid any madness at Mexico City’s main airport. Before we even got to the metal detectors we had to fill out a short medical evaluation. A form with those “Yes” and “No” medical questions.

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SWINE FLU JUMPS THE SHARK

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Chilangos will be happy when they can go back to their favorite cafe and plug in their laptops or sit around babbling about Freud and smoking a pipe on a Roma streetside. Everyone would agree, swine flu and any of its derivative paranoia has jumped the shark.

  • There’s nothing like waking up to the nightmare that you can’t even kick back in you favorite cafe. Losses are mounting, but for some reason, things won’t be back to business as usual until May 6, or later.
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  • I’m not sure if cubrebocas will ever be officially trendy. But surgical masks as fashion seemed to be the most boring story of the outbreak.
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  • Cinco de Mayo celebrations (what’s it all about, really?) should be in full swing in most parts of North America. Some folks might be celebrating during the plane ride from China.
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    Continue reading “SWINE FLU JUMPS THE SHARK”