And you, who swell those seeds with kindly rain

{ Adam Purple, Legendary Guerrilla Gardener, Died Monday }

‘now available in black: rainbows!’ —‏@lady_products


“Water fountains have been disappearing from public spaces throughout the country over the last few decades,” lamented Nancy Stoner, an administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency’s water office. […]

By 1930, Chapelle says, bottled water had become “low class,” used only in offices and factories that couldn’t afford plumbing.

Attitudes began to shift in the 1970s, when Europe’s Perrier set its sights on the American market. In 1977, the company spent $5 million on an advertising campaign in New York, selling itself as a chic, upscale product. Yuppies lapped it up. “It was a lifestyle-defining product,” Chapelle says. By 1982, U.S. bottled-water consumption had doubled to 3.4 gallons per person per year. […]

U.S. consumption of bottled water quadrupled between 1993 and 2012 (reaching 9.67 billion gallons annually). […]

Today, 77 percent of Americans are concerned about pollution in their drinking water, according to Gallup, even though tap water and bottled water are treated the same way, and studies show that tap is as safe as bottled.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

art { Roy Lichtenstein, Girl in Water, 1965 }

You can be a millionaire… and never pay taxes!


The flat white coffee drink was $4. A suggested tip was $3.

The cashier at Café Grumpy, a New York City coffeehouse, swiped the credit card, then whirled the screen of her iPad sales device around to face the customer. “Add a tip,” the screen commanded, listing three options: $1, $2 or $3.

In other words: 25 percent, 50 percent or 75 percent of the bill.

There was a “no tip” and a “customize tip” button, too, but neither seemed particularly inviting as the cashier looked on. Under that pressure, the middle choice — $2 — seemed easiest.

American consumers are feeling a bit of tip creep.

Leaving 15 percent for full service (the former standard tip at a sit-down restaurant), and less for quick transactions, is considered chintzy by some people. “We recommend 20 percent absolutely,” said Peter Post, managing director of the Emily Post Institute, which offers guidelines in etiquette.

The very concept of tipping is expanding beyond the service industry, with new platforms that enable Internet content creators to receive Bitcoin tips that reward their creativity rather than a simple thumbs up (or “Like”).

And in many situations, merchants as varied as cab companies and beauty salons rely on the ubiquitous touch screen or mobile app to push higher and higher gratuities.

New York City taxi riders paying with plastic are confronted with buttons for 20 percent, 25 percent or 30 percent tips. Anything less has to be manually entered (and calculated by the passenger). […]

In December, an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, Alimento, took a different approach. It added a second gratuity line to diners’ checks — “tip” (for the server) and “kitchen” (for the traditionally untipped workers in the back). […]

In March, a Silicon Valley company opened ChangeTip, a platform that allows people to send small Bitcoin payments through social media, email, Skype or text to show their appreciation for content creators (or anyone) on the Internet.

The service has been growing about 30 percent a month and now has about 60,000 users who have collectively tipped over $250,000, said Nick Sullivan, founder and chief executive. The average payment, he said, was a little over $1.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

photo { Nobuyoshi Araki, Untitled, 1994 }

‘Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are.’ –Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1825


Galleries owned by Larry Gagosian, the powerful and well-connected dealer who has spent his career goosing the prices of contemporary art higher and higher: 14.

Restaurants owned by the chef Masayoshi Takayama, who has spent his career charging more for Japanese food than anyone else in the United States: five.

Restaurants the two men own together: one, Kappo Masa, in the basement below Mr. Gagosian’s Madison Avenue gallery. […]

Now three months old, Kappo Masa is not the most expensive restaurant in New York. That distinction belongs to Mr. Takayama’s home base, Masa, in the Time Warner Center. (Price of dinner for one before tax, tip and drinks: $450.) Still, it is expensive in a way that’s hard to forget either during or after the meal. The cost of eating at Kappo Masa is so brutally, illogically, relentlessly high, and so out of proportion to any pleasure you may get, that large numbers start to seem like uninvited and poorly behaved guests at the table. […]

Stars I am giving it: zero.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

‘Comme je me sens vieux. Comme je me sens peu fait pour l’être. Jamais je ne vais savoir être vieux.’ –Georges Bernanos


“Find your sugar baby,” the site exhorted its users.

This year, Paul Aronson, an 84-year-old from Manhattan, contacted a 17-year-old girl, Shaina Foster, through the site and took her out to dinner. On a second date, Ms. Foster brought along her twin sister, Shalaine.

For a few hours on Oct. 1, the evening looked as if it might turn into an old man’s fantasy. The three dined at an expensive restaurant in Midtown. Then Mr. Aronson invited the teenagers to have a drink with him at the four-story brick townhouse he owns on East 38th Street.

He bought a bottle of raspberry-flavored rum from a liquor store on the way, a defense lawyer said. But instead of receiving caresses or whispered flirtations, Mr. Aronson ended up tied to a coffee table for 20 hours. […]

Prosecutors say the two girls bound him with zip ties, took $470 in cash from his wallet and went on a spending spree with his credit cards, buying makeup and clothes. […]

Before he was tied up, Mr. Aronson had given the teenagers a tour of his townhouse and let them play with his tiny dog, a Yorkshire terrier named Muffins, Mr. Kennedy said. Then he poured them glasses of rum and asked them about their sex lives. […]

“He asked to do things I wasn’t going to do,” she told Detective Darryl Ng at the 17th Precinct after the girls were arrested on Oct. 21. “He is ugly, old and disgusting. I tied him up. I took his money and left. He was starting to creep me out.”

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

‘I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it all started with a mouse.’ –Walt Disney


“There’s as much biodiversity in the soils of Central Park as we found in the soil… from the Arctic to Antarctica” […] almost 170,000 different kinds of microbes. […] The team also found 2,000 species of microbes that are apparently unique to Central Park.

{ NPR | Continue reading }

Six feet of land was all that he needed


She also learned an old cop trick: If you’re recovering a body in an apartment building, ask every tenant to make coffee — it covers the smell. “Oldest trick in the book,” one officer told her. […]

She began, as all autopsies do, by inserting a needle into the side of each eye to collect fluid — a delicate procedure Melinek perfected after once popping out a cadaver’s glass eyeball. […] Then she removed Booker’s testes, took a samples from each, and put them back in the scrotum. […]

There was the subway jumper at Union Square, for example, whose body was recovered on the tracks of the uptown 4 train with no blood — none at the scene, none in the body itself. She’d never seen anything like it, and only CME Hirsch could explain: The massive trauma to the entire body caused the bone marrow to absorb all the blood. […]

In one case, a man was shot in the chest, but the bullet was found in his liver.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

photo { Hiroshi Sugimoto }

‘He who never bluffs never wins; he who always bluffs always loses.’ —Daniel Dennett


{ Oscar Murillo has recreated a candy-making factory inside a New York gallery }

related { In 1963, Spoerri enacted a sort of performance art called Restaurant de la Galerie J in Paris, for which he cooked on several evenings }

Bruda Pszths and Brat Slavos

{ Base Jumpers Leap Off Of One World Trade Center | Police used surveillance footage to track down the men in a six-month investigation. }



{ Jordan Wolfson’s Animatronic dancer doll on view at David Zwirner Gallery }

Lol yup no nudes yet



{ The Statue of Liberty under construction in Paris | more photos | Wikipedia }

This is what Zarathustra had told his heart when the sun stood high at noon


{ Carefree baby seal suns itself on Queens beach }

Col. Sherrell has issued an order that bathing suits at the Wash[ington] bathing beach must not be over six inches above the knee


{ Two women arrested for defying a Chicago edict banning abbreviated bathing suits on beaches, 1922 | Another arrest | Policeman measuring the distance between knee and suit }


{ New York Times, 1919 | PDF }