How you see it and how I see it

Yesterday I met up with a long time friend and Brooklyn business owner and a commercial  real estate developer pal. My friend is looking into expanding his business in Philly so I tagged along with them to scope out neighborhoods talk to other business owners and get a general  feel of  Philadelphia. We had some pretty interesting conversations regarding gentrification, the inevitable boring cloud that will roll over nyc due to pricing out creatives, and we also talked about our various  view on what the future holds as far as urban development.

If you ever want to really get the lowdown on what's to come in your neighborhood, make friends  with a real estate developer and members of city council. So much of the conversations about what will be allowed to go where are are determined  by those two entities...with supposed input from the community residents. The part that was so startling to me about many of the views of the developer was how much money and aquisition of it seemed to be a primarily concern. For examples, the proposed plan to build a gated high rise luxury apartment building in an area of row houses. The community  was completely  against it. The developer  was for it stating that by bring in higher earning residents the city could have more tax revenue. My concern is that property taxes are done based on average  area incomes so that would inevitably push out old tenants by the tax increase. He argued  that the schools and public  facilities, such as parks would get more funding from that and get better...but better for whom? My concern was primarily  for the residents  that currently live in the neighborhood not the rich ones he hoped to invite.  I understand that change is inevitable and cities are constantly in a state of flux. One thing that became very apparent in that conversation is that there is a huge gap in  perspective in how residents  view where they live and developers view that same region. I truely feel that most folks just want a decent roof over their head in a safe and neighborhoor. There are so many people in the business of shaping what that means to potential buyers, often done in a way that doesn't support diversity in age, backgrounds and socioeconomic position. Doing that isn't generally as profitable. So that gap in perspective of what the future of the neighborhood could be is so large that folks are often not even speaking the same language.

I don't think that all developers are bad folks and there are some beautiful examples of valuable developments such as Crane art and the teachers lofts on philadelphia. It's just that so much of the positive development is rarely enjoyed by people of color and old neighborhood residents. I'm sure alot of this has to do with the limited participation and involment if those parties with city planning, funding and development.

That limited involvement sounds like the same problem with every other sector (with the exclusion of activism) of business, from art, fashion, music, finance, tech, entertainment etc. At the end of our conversation I had a series of mixed emotions and thoughts.

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On Saturday, December 17, 2011, the LADIES LOVE PROJECT presents its third POP-UP SHOP at the West Village Brecht Forum, 451 West Street from 12pm – 8pm. The PROJECT, a brainchild of renowned street artist TOOFLY and sound sensation PattyDukes of the Circa95 duo, highlights some of NYC’s most creative underground artists and designers.  The one-day-only holiday event boasts an intimate, yet extraordinarily colorful market experience designed to familiarize consumers, media and tastemakers with established artists. The large group of talented designers will be exhibiting one of a kind, limited edition, handcrafted goods just in time for the holidays! Featured market designers and artists Toofly, Good Wood NYC, Junkprints, Vanilla Medallions, Marka27, Antonio Kel 5MH, while several other brands will be in attendance. Music across all genres will be provided by iPod DJ’s Rephstar (of Circa95), Ben Ferrari, Jacina Love, and Slik Nik The Ruler. A live broadcasting of the event will be streamed at, while complimentary holiday treats by Jenny Kinns Cupcakes and Mi Isla Coquito by Millie will help promote the holiday cheer! Exclusive event photography will be taken by Samantha Morales with video by Barrio Media. Location: The Brecht Forum 451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets) New York, NY 10014 Date: Saturday, December 17, 2011 Time: 12PM-8PM Pop-Up Shop Vendors: junkprints: Circa95 Toofly NYC Dahlia Soleil Pink Eye Marka27 PaperSoul Lipstick Manifesto Shirley Rodriguez Vanilla Medallions Good Wood NYC El Salonsito Barrio Media

December 17th from 12-8pm Brecht Forum: 451 West Street (West Side HWY), New York, NY 10014

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The promotional campaign is officially on!!! I Love, I really love music. In a time like this, when hipsterism and the fear of being a hater have tainted our judgment on the music we like, I have decided to make ya'll a lil mix tape. I swear if I hear one more person say "I love all kinds of music and have 8 terabytes of everything including songs that don't even exist yet" or something along those lines I'm going to puke! C'mon son, we all know you have like 10 songs that you play on repeat...don't be ashamed, it's okay to have a preference. I have preferences and want to share them with you (like I always do ;). So here's the story of the EP, some of the tracks I kinda begged for, and some were inspired by a retarded long list of songs I was really feeling that month. I distributed the list to my super talented musician pals, kinda made them work together under the direction of Mr. Tough Dumplin and they returned with this.  This project was filled with many late nights on the roof of an undisclosed Red Hook building, a stuffy Kensington Bedroom Room, coast to coast chit chats,  jokes, tears, new friendships and old ones. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do and tons of love and thx to all the musicians on Junkyard Radio! Junkprints Radio Vol. 17

The following is the track listing and here's a link to the whole thing! Now ya'll know that this project wouldn't be complete with nifty packaging and a collection of merchandise including apparel, skate decks accessories and shoes inspired by the ep. This limited edition Cassette tape USB is free with selected online purchases. 1. Two Weeks by Earl Greyhound Vocals: Matt Whyte & Kamara Thomas Guitar: Matt Whyte Bass: Kamara Thomas Drums: Chris Bear 2. Brooklyn Breeze Lyrics & Vocals: Dana Athens Production: Brian "Raydar" Ellis & Lee Turley for The Faculty Enterprise 3. Let It Fly Lyrics & Vocals: Raydar Ellis,Tough Dumplin Teen Beats, R.ME George Reefah Production:  Brian "Raydar" Ellis & Lee Turley For The Faculty Enterprise Bass: Lee Turley Additional Keyboards & Sounds : Lee Turley 4. JunkYard Radio Lyrics, Vocals & Production: Brownbird Rudy Relic 5. Toro Toro Toro - Remix Vocals & Lyrics: Lisa Marr Original version appeared on the EP "Soda and Lisa Sing You Some Songs" Remix Production:  Shahab Zargari 6. Rolla Skatin' - Remix Lyrics & Vocals: Manchilde feat. Tough Dumplin & R.ME Production: Think Twice 7. Fighting Discrimination Lyrics & Vocals: A very nice guy Production: Tough Dumplin 8. Kate Goes to Jail Lyrics & Vocals: Teen Beats feat. Eliki Production: Teen Beats 9. Brooklyn35 by Tough Dumplin & TBD Production: Tough Dumplin
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Art Installation: Luke Jerram’s “Play Me, I’m Yours”

At my old school sometimes I would study in the student center which featured just about anything a college student would need including a Starbucks, food court, a lot of seating area, a game room, and a lone piano on the second floor. Sometimes a brave individual would play a medley of songs that could be heard on multiple floors. It often reminded me of the Nordstrom department store where you could always find a pianist performing while you shopped. One day I went to study in the center and was able to score one of the coveted tables on the second floor. Just as I was getting into the groove of studying somebody begins to play the piano on the second floor. It would have been lovely because I like to study to the sounds of contemporary jazz anyway, but this so-called pianist was horrible. I almost began to feel embarassed for him because people began to shout at him, but then I remembered I had two finals to take the next day and he was distracting me. Cue imaginary laser beams of disgust from my eyes. I was reminded of that time recently when I read about an art installation in New York by artist Luke Jerram. Luke Jerram is a British artist who works through a variety of mediums including sculptures, live art, and installations. If you are in the New York area between now through July 5th  be sure to check it out "Play Me, I'm Yours". For this installation Jerram installed sixty pianos around Manhattan and its surrounding areas for anyone to play from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Even Cyndi Lauper has performed at one of the locations. If you are interested in tickling the ivories yourself in public then click here for piano locations.
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Come join Younity and friends for some hip-hop style community building. Fostering local economies for urban artrepreneurs with a conscious mindset, it’s time for Younity’s 2nd annual Urban Arts Markit! One-of-a-Kind -Limited Editions – Hand Crafted – Flavor Curated by the infamous Toofly, and homegirl Yvey Hidalgo this open air markit pays homage to market life around the globe as a staple of community life and celebration where makers, fans, and collectors come to shop and mingle – 2010 style. Featuring live DJ sets, live painting, break dancers, vendors, Hondurian Valiadas, Empanadas, & American hot dogs, in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side Junkprints will we’ll be in the fantastic company of some of NYC’s finest! Don’t miss this one day event. 12-6p 213 Stanton St. F train to Delancy.
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Last night I took a stroll through the New Museum. Boy was I glad that i did not pay an admission fee. It sucked big fat hairy balls. There were a few pieces that were good but overall it was a bunch of art school type art...expensive to create and mediocre (to say the least), not much amazing, not much to think about just blah not good not bad, not relevant, just a waste of materials. It was the kind of work that makes getting the every day person to wrap there head around spending some major cheese on art impossible. Just like how hip hop has the term 'hater', art also has a wonderful build in defense mechanism that makes the viewer un-refined, un-educated or un-sophisticated if you call it out.

photo by Stephanie

I try not to give too much shine to things that don't do it for me, but I am really intrigued with how great the museum is packaged. The building  itself is a fun obstruction to the surrounding structures, the 'hell yes' neon type totally does it for me, even the green elevator is lovely. The new museum also boasts a great bookstore and fantastic website. All of this makes me wonder if all we really care about is the packaging.
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Etsy HQ Wall of Records

Yesterday we (me and Mr. Tough Dumplin) completed the installation of the Etsy HQ wall of records! Rockin it it rockin it yes we are rockin it. Now I can truly say I have incorporated a Milli Vanilli image into a professional project I’ve worked on. Girl you know it’s true!

plan your work, work your plan.

'Stay Handmade' created from laser cut backs of album covers filled with 12" vinly. Etsy letters cut from 12" LPs over orange arcylic circles on square clear acrylic panels.

Desk features 12" and 45 vinyl.

Each record is linked with 1" binder rings through upcycled white grommets from the close down belt factory.

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Yesterday was a crazy day! I was up at the butt crack of dawn to meet with my new pals at the BX Museum. It takes over an hour and a half to get there and the trip reminded me of when I use to commute to fredflare. Biking is such a better way to get around here. I wonder how long I'll be able to hold out on biking to the studio (before if gets too cold/wet/snowy etc.). After that I called my special man friend and after a bit of convincing took a stroll to the law firm he works with. They pretty much reminded me how awesome he is and I thought to myself 'I know! He's the nicest person I ever met' I know law firms have a reputation for being stuffy but all the peeps I met were super fun. Then I was off to the Lower East side to meet the amazing Jen and Claudia photographers extraordinaire! We ate fantastic burritos made by slow hipster, had a heart to heart about all kinds of stuff personal and business. Then I was off to visit my pals and surrogate creative parents Rachel and Carlo the masterminds behind Transit Culture and they filled my mind will all kinds of of new wisdom. As if the day wasn't fantastic enough While I was waiting on the bus to Red Hook I spotted a lady rocking the Monitor Mania Jacket!

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