Art Murmur

Oakland, California

The Art Murmur First Friday art walk was one of my first bonding experiences with Oakland back when I mostly lived and breathed in Berkeley, and it remains one of those things I keep meaning to do more often. Tonight I dragged some people out and it was a success. We found: A vintage car show to wander around in; An improv metal band playing my favorite kind of noise, even though I know no punk/metal scene will ever take me back; Very spicy homemade tamales; Two prints to buy for $10 each; Sprawling chalk art, which I felt obligated to take pictures of because I’m sure it will be washed off tonight.

I have never had such a blast at Art Murmur before and I hadn’t gone there looking for any of the above. It’s grown a lot.

150 Years of Coney Island

New York City, New York, USA

Coney Island, the strip of land at the southernmost end of Brooklyn, is one of the most nostalgic places in New York City. The amusement park, which has been around in some form since the mid-1800’s, has been revitalized quite a bit in my lifetime. But it still has a run down old-timey quality to it that defies the modern steel rollercoasters and refurbished boardwalk.

Throughout the 20th century, the park has been threatened with demolition, re-zoning, and flagging attendance as beaches further out on Long Island became more accessible. But generations of Brooklyn residents have always come to its defense. On hot summer days in 2014 the boardwalk is as crowded as the old photographs from the 20’s.