‘All Business’ Event at the Marketplace Gallery

[tweetmeme] Tonight at the Marketplace Gallery (40 Broadway in Albany) they’re having an amazing show for First Friday. The show features the work of the completely amazing illustrator, Mab Graves. Somewhat reminiscent of Tim Burton, but less gimmicky, her paintings are completely enveloping. The detail work is completely beyond the scope of what I’ve seen before. Just look at the two following pictures.

See that jar in the girl with the red dress’ hands?

There’s bees in it. And they’re even more detailed than I was able to capture becuase I didn’t have the right lens with me.

On the way in, there was a bit of leftovers from the PaperGirl event, with a bit of RADICAL!’s work, which was always great to see.

Of course, in the art world, nothings ready until the very last second, but Samson always gets things done in time.

Bit more RADICAL!

Also, tonight you can pick up this month’s issue of Quintessential Zine at the Gallery.

An out-of-the-ordinary piece for Gregg Dunn.

NYC, Israel and Albany on the same wall. Nuts.

Mab’s also got a bunch of goodies. Paper dolls kits, articulated joint paper doll kits, and ready to go articulated paper dolls. Cheap too!

I won’t ruin the surprise on this, just be ready. Be sure to also check out 4 Central and catch Deep Children who will be playing some nice songs for you all night, in addition to the Existing Artists Group show there. If you can, brave the rain, get out of the house and have a fun time tonight at all the galleries. I’m going to be over in Gloucester, MA shooting for my cycling team all weekend, so do it for me! Oh, and order some TweetzzaPizza.

What exactly is TweetzzaPizza?

[tweetmeme] Maybe you’ve heard. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you don’t care. But there’s been a lot of rumors on the internets about Albany’s illicit, via-twitter, pizza service. Albany is already laden with places to get your pizza fix, but this one, is different for a few reasons. It wasn’t until our all-giving God bestowed the best innovation of the past 2,000 years upon us, twitter, that this anonymous, sketchy and somehow amazingly well received ‘business’ would be able to exist. Seemingly modeled after New York Cities Bread.Butter.Cheese, Albany seems perfect for their own tangentially similar service.

Using better ingredients, including local and organic Champlain Valley flour for the dough, from scratch sauce from local tomatoes sourced from either a recent farmers market or the Honest Weight Food Co-op, you’re getting more than a gimmick. The food is actually better.

It basically goes the same way you acquire any other illicit item. You get the phone number from your friend, shoot off a text, they tell you what they’ve got. If that’s satisfactory, ask how long and give them an address. After an unknown passage of time, you exchange money for goods. Except here, maybe you’ll tip.

Sound up your alley? Follow them on Twitter to get one step closer.

Expect an in-depth behind the scenes look at Tweetzza soon.

How to get a job, move to an awesome city, and not care.

[tweetmeme]I have never been surrounded by such a pervasive horde of happy people than I have in Austin. I have not caught site of a frown, a tear, or even an unsettled face in the month I’ve lived here. Folks go about their days in such a blissful state I thought for a while the government was dumping Zoloft in the water. This likely medicated pack of giddy Austinites hold doors for you, say please and thank you, and would probably blow you on demand if you asked nicely.

And I kind of fucking hate it (though I haven’t tested the fellatio theory yet). What exhilarating phenomenon are these people partaking in to engender these moronic looks of glee? Is there no sorrow or loss here? Maybe they need a good flood or some good ol’ fashioned fire and brimstone, blood in the water, locust in the sky apocalypse.

They’d probably let it slide right off. Might not even notice. I mean it. There’s a man who collects the garbage from the IT room everyday before I leave. He’s pretty old and I think he had a seizure at one point because one side of his face is a little fucked. This man is happier than me. He’s probably happier than you. I make twice an hour what he makes. I have my youth, my health, a full head of hair, and oh yeah, the side of my face doesn’t look like I lost a fight with a bear. And yet he accelerates towards oblivion with nary a look of woe. Some sort of cosmic balance is off here. I want to tell him he shouldn’t be happy. I want to tell him when I look at him I’m convinced nothing will ever work out and happiness is a pretense, a masquerade we partake in, and under our masks we are all scared and alone. But in this Twilight Zone world the words get stuck in my throat.

I miss Albany in a way. I miss being a sarcastic asshole and having that be acceptable. In New York we’re often total dicks to one another because we know the other person, deep down, is a giant dick themselves. It’s great. Really. I love that. This subtle respect and consideration for one another down south makes my insides feel funny.

I’m not sure what I’m missing about this city and the euphoria it apparently induces. Austin is nice but Albany is….. not really that nice at all now that I think about it. It’s kind of a big garbage dump – not like Troy bad (I think a fucking shitbomb went off in that town, seriously) but it’s a far cry from heaven. Strangely I miss that. I mean, I actually miss how shitty it is. Something about me feels at home in its shadow. We fit.

I think people move to Austin because they are happy while I moved to Austin because…. well, I’ll have to get back to you on that. It was for much the opposite reason though. I did make some world record for landing a job upon arriving in a city with zero job prospects. In five days I was working doing help desk and network administration for $17 an hour. Don’t worry, I realize how absurdly lucky I am. Funny enough, Apple gave me a call two weeks after I got here regarding the transfer I had put in for months prior that I was sure I hadn’t gotten.

Telling the manager he should hang up and proceed to fuck his own face was by far my most joyous moment in Austin to date.

My move here should be hailed as a financial success. Yet, you find out far too quickly, that without anyone you care to spend it with or anyone you love to spend it on, money is about as useful as a windshield wiper on a goat’s ass (that’s an old Texan analogy, I think Davey Crockett said it first).

But let me end with a glimmer of light and a whisper of truth, a solitary moment of optimism. Life is not all misery and despair. I see the night fading and the sun spilling over the horizon. The moon will sink and a warm….. nope, I actually have no idea what I’m saying right now. I’m rather drunk at this point in my writing and thought I’d try and end it on an uplifting note. That’s not going to happen. Nevermind. Life is shit. Always has been. Always will be. But you know, I think I’m okay with that.

Albany 2030: A Participants Guide

[tweetmeme]Those of you who are reading this must for some reason be interested in Albany, or at least the surrounding region. With this being said, shouldn’t you be the one deciding how the city develops? Your input is essential to the creation of a fully voiced public opinion based comprehensive plan, the guide and frame for our little beloved city.

To start lets just get acquainted with a hyper brief synopsis of planning in the United States since its early years of land grants from the kings and queens in Europe to popular new High Speed Rail issues the news is currently exploring. Since the 1700s when dense population enclaves began sprouting up all over the new world country side, plans aimed to control the growth of our built environment grew out of necessity and intrigue. As these urban territories expanded so did issues pertaining to health, transportation, safety, public service, etc. Places like Philadelphia and Washington D.C. are some classic examples while we look at Portland, Chattanooga, and St. Paul – Minneapolis Metro as some of the more tangible representations of these structured growth plans. In the 1800s the United States government decided that planning was important thus a federal stipend was allotted to state governments allowing the appointment of officials to direct the growth of developing areas.

With what little history we need to have knowledge of, the simple fact that the City of Albany has never had its own comprehensive plan before is amazing. A fully staffed development and planning department in city hall, yet we have no comprehensive plan for these officials to follow. It is up to us to help write this plan, and with Albany 2030 we now have our spotlight to shine on the issues we feel are the most critical.

As an informed citizen taking the first step at participating may be somewhat daunting, but all that one has to do is think about where they live and explore the ideas that you feel may be beneficial to the area. For example in the College Ghetto, not being a full-time resident, but just a partial weekender to that little place in the city where some of our budding academic superstars end up on textsfromlastnight.com, couldn’t we all agree that a handful of the sidewalks are in less than ideal condition? How about their attempted deterrence of crime with the use of “Operation Safe Corridor”? Wouldn’t you think it’d be almost as smart to increase the amount of street lights so that our long-awaited slow walks home felt just a smidgen safer.  In any case of your opinion these are the types of issues that are spoken to with a comprehensive plan, in a somewhat less pinpoint fashion but nonetheless, addressed.

Some things to consider:

Health – This can range from renovating existing storm water collection infrastructure to the prohibition of further development that could strain an already less than stellar water source.

Public Safety – Manifesting itself in the many different forms, safety can potentially be identified as the concentration of development within a certain fire district, to the visibility of cross walks, and pedestrian/ bike share way signage. The comprehensive plan can be used in an example situation to highlight the use of layout patterns that can begin to lower the amount of unmonitored alleys, and other high-crime places.

Economic Goals and Fiscal Strength – How a city implements the plan we have decided to create has in large part to do with the amount of money they are either willing or not to spend. It is in our best interest to help the city develop a plan that has room and goals associated with economic activity. Plus with more businesses in our city, jobs come to us as a plus.

Environmental Protection and Sustainability – Currently one of the buzzwords in the world is sustainability and for good reason. Protection of places like wetlands, and forests, as well as the increase of public green spaces is one of the key goals in many municipal comprehensive plans. Maybe in your exploration of the issues our city faces should include development patterns that ease the necessity of a car, or the proposal of an Eco-industrial park. IT could also increase the city’s development and promotion of parks.

Think about what you want to see in the community and let your voice be heard. It’s up to you to love where you live, and have your say.

The next public seminar and community forum is this coming Thursday 9/30/10 from 6;30pm to 9:30pm. All are welcome and encouraged to participate. There apparently with be a prize as well at the end.

Photo: Andrew Franciosa