July 29, 2009
Still working... so just a quick post. I found this the other day via BuzzFeed. A great art installation by 555 Rubik at the Galerie der Gegenwart in Hamburg. They projected onto the facade of the building, creating multidimensional planes where none exist. Its fascinating to watch. I wonder real the illusion seems if you're there in person, but judging by the reactions in the video, it must to at least some degree. The name of the piece translates as "How it would be if a house was dreaming." Enjoy.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:39 PM
July 27, 2009
There are a lot of impressive buildings that I've been in that didn't have the impact I expected they would. But occasionally an unexpected on sneaks up on you. Union Station in St Louis turned out to be one of those. As soon as we walked in we couldn't help but let out a 'whoa.' The elaborate stained glass, surfaces and ornate treatments are not what you'd expect from the exterior. But what also is impressive is what a huge dark space it is with bright light streaming in from all angles. When it opened in 1894, it was the world's largest and busiest railroad station, and it expanded to be even larger for the 1904 Worlds Fair. The last train left its massive trainshed in 1978, and in 1985 it was converted to a hotel and mall. If you ever get the chance, be sure to take the time to wander through. You can't help but wonder about the days when it was in its height and the impression it made on travelers, though it still does that.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:45 PM
July 26, 2009
July 25, 2009
One of my favorite movies as a kid was 'Tron'. I don't know why, cause it was, well, kinda bad. It was a huge flop for Disney, but it has always maintained some sort of cult following. Last week Disney released a viral marketing campaign around the upcoming sequel to Tron that is a case study in viral marketing done right. Who'd have ever thought Disney could get that right? The link below from AdFreak has details on it, but the buzz it created on Friday - a year before the movie - was huge. And a little surprising considering what a flop the first one was. It led me to the trailer below showing the famous lightcycle race reenvisioned for the upcoming 'Tron Legacy'. I heard a radio interview once with the production designer about how much they had to low-tech and bring down the special effects quality in the movie, because video games weren't capable of graphics and effects that good at that time (the movie is about the inside of a video game). Its pretty exciting to see what they can do now that games have advanced so much, eliminating that limitation. The soundtrack by Daft Punk sounds great too, but I hope they still have some of the riffs from the old one. I still have the album. (yes, album. Shut up.) I'm looking forward to this one....
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:35 PM
July 23, 2009
This week has been slammed. Pretty much since getting back from St Louis, I've barely even left the house - which isn't a complaint, just an explanation of why I've been so quiet lately. Yesterday while pluggin away, I saw the Marked5 truck tweet that they were in El Segundo. El Segundo borders El Porto, and isn't very big, so they had to be close. I hadn't tried them before, but they're one of the slew of gourmet food trucks making a huge splash around LA right now. I managed to catch 'em before they left, got in my order for a Katsu Pork and Curry Chicken along with some shrimp chips, and took it back home and walked down to the beach for a lunch break. They were greasy, but pretty tasty. I expected slider size sandwiches, but these were close to full size (it ended up being dinner too). I definitely liked the curry chicken best. The most interesting and unexpected (and filling) thing is that the "bread" is a freshly made rice patty. Nom! Another food truck down... we'll see whos next!
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:41 PM
July 21, 2009
July 20, 2009
July 19, 2009
If you happened to be following my tweets on Thursday as I made my way home from St. Louis, you will already know that when I arrived at the airport, my flight was delayed an hour. In the course of events, it was delayed even further and was maybe two hours late once we left St Louis. Of course, I was connecting in Minneapolis with a one hour connection window, meaning I would arrive more than an hour too late for that connection. I called in to Delta/Northwest (I don't know who they are anymore - they kept calling it Northwest, but the gates and everything on the planes all said Delta), to ask an agent if I needed to rebook - she said there were no more flights out of Minneapolis that night and offered to put me on one the next morning. Not wanting to get into details about if that included a hotel, and not knowing if my connection might also be delayed, I opted not to. So I flew on to Minneapolis not knowing what would happen. What happened next shouldn't be a surprise, but it shocked me. When I got off the plane, an agent was at the exit waiting. I said I was connecting to LA, he asked my name, and handed me a group of papers among many that he had stacked there, saying they had booked me on a flight in an hour leaving from this same gate, that my boarding passes and everything I needed were attached. Wow. That was easy. I didn't have to go wait in some customer service line to try to figure out what I had to do. No standing at a desk while someone hunted to find some convoluted way to get me back. No arguments, no questions, no hassle. Handled. Just the way it should be. As often as I moan about airlines on here, it seems only right to give credit for something done right. Points to Delta (or Northwest?) for doing it right.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:22 PM
July 17, 2009
Myron and I spent our last hours in St Louis getting in a last taste of what we had missed of the city. We discovered the neighborhood of Lafayette Square, which was surprisingly stunning. What took us there was the listing of Park Avenue Coffee as having one of the city's best Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, a local tradition. We were expecting a big cakey thing with some sort of liquidy inside - instead we discovered them to be almost like a brownie - and that they came in many flavors - though we decided we both preferred the traditional the best. We also loved a fun shop there called 'Four Muddy Paws' - I would have stolen their golden retriever if I could have. With a little time left, we swung by the old courthouse and caught some exhibits on St Louis history and the Dred Scott decision, which was decided there. But then our time was up. Thanks St Louis, we had a great time.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:27 PM
July 16, 2009
When I was here a few years ago for the World Series, I asked around about local foods and flavors, and the only thing anyone mentioned was Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (inventors of the Concrete - copied by Dairy Queen as the Blizzard after unsuccessfully trying to uy the rights to it). But a little research beforehand taught us there is a lot more to taste in St Louis. Wednesday included sampling the St Paul Sandwich (fried egg foo young as a sandwich) and crab rangoon (rumored to have debuted at the 1904 Worlds Fair, but also claimed to have been created by Trader Vics in the 50s) for lunch. And Dinner took us to Imo's for St Louis Style Pizza (who knew?!) made of extrememly flat crust and with Provel cheese (not Provolone, Provel), circular, but cut in squares; as well as toasted ravioli. And of course, a stop at Ted Drewes to cap off the night. Still to taste: Gooey Butter Cake. On our way for that now...
Posted by Jon Berry at 9:24 AM