Notes from Masaaki


He says  Shibuya,  downtown Tokyo, is the place to be. Masaa as I call him, was making his way to work when he dropped me these two photos.

We go back a long way.

It was Japan’s steady two-hundred-year relationship with Mexico that helped me make the acquaintance of Massaki S. that summer. He went to Mexico City on a four-year personal cultural exchange. Just him, his Yen and his dreams of working less than a 6-day work week.

The homie was in intermediate level three Spanish class with me at the state university back in 2008.

He back on his Japan grind, leaving his home in the country for a courier gig in the big city.

Below, he’s on the 15:30 train on the Hanzomon line. We’ll see how his invite to join him for the Olympics pans out.


Kicked to the curb

Headless weave.

Dear Weave,

I never knew you in your former life and I don’t think I would have wanted to. But, you know; I take that back. You may have been around the right people. The right person probably took you from a rack and claimed you herself.

Don’t be ashamed. You’re out there in the street for the past week. Look at the bright side, it’s not your fault. You may have started out as a horse, some plastic-y stuff or a lovely Indian woman. But, you now rest in between a police station and a 7-11.

You inspired me to write this o’ weave. If never I see you again, just know that there are many of you out there. And if this made no sense — good. It wasn’t supposed to.


1940s State of the J-Mind

Burton Holmes made this movie that talks straight to a youngsters dome and tells ’em what being a journo is all about. You have to work in crappy weather. OK, I get it. You have to be smart. That’s negligible, but OK I get it.

If this film starts to lose its luster with me (a journalist) then it’s when it gets really  propaganda-y around  5:30min.  A woman has trouble competing with a man in the journalism world? Damn, why harp on the negative? Just a few moments later you see something so ancient in the news businesses. A guy pouring hot type, like something out of the stone-age.

And you know what? Maybe it is.

HIGH performance work


I’ve been so plugged in I’ve been neglecting this space. Sorry about that my fair readers. I’m dropping this on your because 1) It’s funny. 2) It’s creative AND 3) Questlove posted it on Twitter…so it must be good, because, well…that dude is paid and hipsters love and he’s still got hair. He must be special.

By the way, I’m not condoning drug use. (Lucy…Sky…Diamonds)


It’s the middle of the end

For me.

It’s the middle of the end of one chapter, which is about to be over. Many more to close. Classes to finish and new jobs to start.

I got my first paid gig the other day and it was something small, but 50xs the trouble.  I got to get close to an icon, some would say.

The president rolled through only a few hours after I snapped this.

It’s SLR, not XLR…

Above, the trailer for Rubber. The news of this film, directed by a French DJ, is like summer 2010 old, but I saw this trailer the other day and haven’t heard of  the movie showing in the states in any theaters, yet.  It’s a movie that really bends the mind when it comes to the concept of character. Can a tire be a character? At the J-School, they’d say no (well, depends…).

Experimental French electro (this time by Mr. Oizo, who directed the movie, and one half of Justice, Gaspard Augé) isn’t my passion, but definitely the music I most like to work to. Thinking about it, from the looks of my work, maybe I need to change soundtracks?

Rubber has some music attached to it that’s definitely worth a listen. It touches on the zeitgeist of electro/industrial/computer noise music that’s been getting mainstream love as of late. Flying Lotus even remixed the lead song on the soundtrack, adding his Lotus-ness to the noise. You can listen to choice cuts from the soundtrack by following this link and scrolling to the bottom of the post. My favorite cut is Tricylce Express, if only because it sounds like a Justice song with that sinister build-up and Daft Punk-like refrain at the top. [Link via ].

Mr. Oizo, who you can read about here, has had his share of mainstream love too. Flat Beat, (I know you remember that sock puppet) put him on the map for us non-electro heads. That song was always on The Box and MTV.

Right now, he’s helped to pioneer the digital filmmaking age by doing his latest feature all using a Canon 5D. I’d be fronting if I said I was a camera expert. I started taking the photo life seriously just last year and have years to go. Studying digital media I came to find out that the Canon and other video SLR cameras like it are necessary tools in the future of journalism. With video a main part of the news cycle the digital SLR cameras not only take the high-quality photos you publish, but also the video narratives you publish on a news site.

In this blog post Mr. Oizo, at a performance last month in New York, geeks out on the benefit of shooting a movie with a Canon 5D Mark II (I have no idea what it means after “Canon”).

There was a time when wanting to make a movie required at the minimum a video camera that could cost you a couple thousand dollars. Now, well…Canons and lenses can still be expensive as hell, but you can buy a lower-end SLR and still do something magical.

The site looks at a few cameras and the results of their video capabilities in telling stories. Roger Ebert was stanning hard on this short video about a snowstorm that was filmed on an SLR. The man compared it with a Russian classic.

Recordando D.F.


As I sit here working procrastinating on my thesis project, memories of Mexico snap on my brain like pop rocks. First thing that always hits me is the memory of one of my best friends on my old Roma Norte block, Beba, above. By some odd measure of Google technology, you can actually see Beba in her favorite spot if you map my old address.


Next up is the Mexican appreciation for street art. In all its vandalistic forms.




Snowdirt: Cat versus Cab on Broadway


I guess my photo teacher Mel was right. Just carry your camera because you never know when you’re going to get a shot of something cool. The “Tom Cat” sign is what I liked about this shot. I got off the bus to hit up a Saturday morning class and this was the scene near the entrance to school. A big ass box truck with a black cat and a cab driver probably pissed his mid-morning was shot. They both had a bit of explaining to do on their respective cell phones. On a side note: blackened, dirty, weeks-old snow is really some of the ugliest stuff in the world.




Cholos in the Bronx

My amigo Carlos Alvarez Montero is a street photog extraordinaire. He left Mexico to study photography in N.Y. and found the Firme Rydaz while still in school. He made this documentary, and shortly after went back home where he continues to chronicle gangster subcultures. He sets the flix bar  high. I asked him is if was okay if I jacked his sources and wrote about the bike crew for the where I’m currently pitching stories. The cool guy he is, he gave me all the numbers I needed to make it happen. So, from D.F. to N.Y.C, I’ll add some more cholo pieces to this blog. Photos below from Firme Rydaz Myspace page.