Good & Bad News from the Square

Amazing Strangers Wendell iconThis week I got both. Some good news, and some bad news, in videos from the Square.
Which do you want first? The good news? All right. That’s easy. Kameltoe has a new music video out and it’s adorable! It’s a crime that it’s only got 226 views! We gotta change that.

Now for the bad news :( And it’s a crime too. Only, the sad kind.
I woke up Friday the 13th with everybody and their grandmother emailing me the link to this. Jeremy back in trouble again, punching a girl in the face at Times Square for not paying.

People in the comments under his videos were always telling me to try and talk some sense into the kid before he gets out of hand. Shaggy and I did just that. Often! I just didn’t post the videos of it figuring it wouldn’t help his situation any. But it’s almost a year to the day we shot this. We could see it coming before it happened, and couldn’t do anything about it.

God, they even caught the punch on sky-cam, and set it to creepy music no less. It’s not good. If the Chief of Police is having a televised press conference about you, it means you’ve crossed the line one too many times and they’re going to throw the book at you. So I thought maybe showing us with Jeremy last year lecturing him on this might at least complete the picture somehow. He’s not your typical thug. “Hug Thug” one network called him! Christ.

But fact is, if you have someone who can’t help themselves from punching girls (or anyone, for that matter) you can’t having them Free Hugging on the streets every day. They have to face the consequences of their actions.

I’ll let you know as I find out any more on this, and you’re welcome to do the same for me.

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May the Fourth

Jesus Dressup crownhanger logoThey’re here! They’re here! On May the 4th, no less! The second edition of Star Wars Jesus Dressup has arrived and I am not going to post an image of the item in the store for reasons I shouldn’t have to explain outright. But I think I can show it to you here as long as I say they’re only available for non commercial, non profit & non copyright infringement purposes.

The item will be listed as “Jedi Jesus” for $15 and can be found in my store.

Pardon me if I sound a little more excited than usual but I’m not really allowed to celebrate this publically where I live now, so I’m venting it all out here, online, where I’m still understood.

And then there is also this:

All 6 for $66 includes Lady Gaga, Final Justice, BDSM, Halloween & Star Wars Jesus + Mohammed dressup sets!
All 6 for $66 includes Lady Gaga, Final Justice, BDSM, Halloween & Star Wars Jesus + Mohammed dressup sets!



 

 

 

 

 

News from Union

Amazing Strangers

Amazing Strangers Wendell icon

As you can see, I’ve been going through old footage again, realizing that I’ve not only got A LOT of it, but much of it is still very interesting! Quite honestly, there we’re many times at the end of a day at Union I’d go home saying to myself, “Not now, but this’ll be something I want sometime down the road.” So I expect to continue doing this for as long as I keep running across stuff I find interesting. Which reminds me, if you’re a musician and especially if you have music inspired by NYC, Union Square or Amazing Strangers, I’d love to use it in the videos I’m editing. Nothing inspires me to find more of this footage and post it up into creatively edited vids than music. I’ll give full credit and link you up if you got anything. Some of my best music vids were from fans who wrote songs inspired by what they saw on the channel.

Inna
Inna clean & sober April 2016

Big news that I thought I’d never be hearing I heard yesterday! Inna is clean and sober. Including alcohol. And she looks great. She insisted I spread the news that she’s super fucking hot now, and she says she’s never going back. Most of the time I’d take a claim like this with a grain of salt, but Inna’s always been pretty blunt about her drug and alcohol usage (among other things) and never before has she committed to cleanliness like she is now.

It’s been a year, and she told me to tell you “It takes pride to step out of the gutter.” And she’s through “acting bizarre and looking ugly.” I’m happy to hear this, and her latest photos speak volumes. You can see for yourself on her Facebook.

I spoke to Shaggy a few days ago and he tells me Union’s changed. It’s not the crazy madhouse it used to be in springtime. He thinks a lot of the people used to come to get filmed in some way or another, and the others came because of those. I don’t entirely think that can be judged this soon in the year, so I won’t believe it until I hear news like this when summer gets here. If however it’s true, it’s pretty shocking to me.

Jesus Dressup

This week my Star Wars Jesus Dressup (2nd printing) arrive and I’m terribly excited! Because of the sensitive nature of this product the image of them won’t be displayed in the store, and they’ll be listed as “Jedi Jesus” so as not to infringe on any copyright problems they could spark. I strongly suggest not waiting too long to purchase them for yourself, because the first printing of these sold out pretty quickly.

As for anything else, I still have no plans to return to NYC. I might be headed to Philly later this month, so if you know of anything out there I should take my camera let me know.

Why I Left NYC

Union Square NYC
My last year in NYC

I’m realizing I never fully  explained why I left NYC. And it’s 7:30 Wednesday morning and I just woke up from a nightmare that reminded me of exactly that.

I dreamt I was back in Brooklyn and had just been told by my landlord we had to leave our apartment. The television was on, I had food cooking on the stove, and I even had my plans for the day to go to Union and work on art projects. The dream was so vividly real. Then suddenly the landlord was at the door.

He came to explain it was too nice of an apartment for us and he’d been offered more money for it. He told me we could move into the studio apartment that was there adjacent to ours, but we had to be out of this one in 2 weeks. So I began moving all the furniture trying to make it fit into a place 1/4 the size.

The dream concluded with me standing in between the two separate living quarters in a cold sweat, realizing there was no way this could work, and I had to tell my roommates. I was asking myself “how did I get myself into this situation again?” I was looking out the window at the city skyline contemplating going out to wander the streets, but instead I had this nightmare to deal with, again!

When I woke up, which was about 20 minutes ago now, I was in that cold sweat and thanking Christ Jesus it was all just a dream. I thought maybe I could go back to sleep, but no dice. I was haunted. So I might as well write what happened.

My last 8 years in NYC (2007 – 2015) is the window of time it took place in. It was in ’07 that I was leaving a loft apartment I had with roommates in Williamsburg and moving to this nice 3 bedroom apartment in Bushwick. I found two new roommates, and over the course of 7 years I made that place a home. It was the first place I’d ever lived where I actually painted the walls, hung cookware above the stove, bought sofas & furniture and really settled in to stay. Business was good, I liked who I was living with, and I had an amazing view out my bedroom window. We were on the 3rd floor of this building, and my window pointed east, looking out over the roofs and steeples of Brooklyn. I loved this place.

Livingroom – Xmas 2010
Livingroom – Xmas 2010

Then in October of 2013, just around Halloween, we were told the building was being sold and we all had to be out by New Years Day. It completely broke my heart. What hurt even more is it wasn’t a typical landlord/tenant relationship. He was a friend who’d hired me to do freelance work for him in the past. He owned this building, which is how & why I moved in in the first place, and now it made being treated like a number even more spirit-breaking.

In NYC you don’t start looking for a place a month or two in advance to weigh your options, then pack, arrange movers, and simply have the normal difficulties that come with moving. No. In New York moving happens in a panic, and you don’t find the place you’re going to live until a week before your move out date. And when you’re packing you’re forced to pare down to the bare minimum because it’s thousands of dollars to hire movers. Flat out, we were told to cancel Christmas and that’s what we had to do. Looking back I now realize this was the beginning of the end for me.

The three of us ended up finding a new place together, deeper into Brooklyn, slightly smaller, same cost. Not long after we moved in we realized we had a terrible landlord. It was a building owned by a place called “Management Solutions” and they had letterhead with a different name on it “Rental Solutions NY,” and their phone number wasn’t included on documents, and other shady warning signs. Being rude to their tenants was a normality, and when we’d complain about anything they had no problem responding “Hey, I forgot. When is your lease up?”

The place started accumulating, at first roaches, then mice, and my last week there we had maggots crawling up through the cracks in the kitchen floor. I discovered later we were literally weeks away from bedbugs when we finally left. We found out talking to a cleanup crew in our building that the neighbors below us had them in the ceilings. In this new environment we started to each get depressed and on each others nerves.

We’d signed a year and a half lease New Years Day 2014. So when June of 2015 rolled around and we were asked to sign another lease, reality hit. My trips to visit my folks in Michigan had increased over the last year and a half to escape these surroundings. I used to come visit 2 or 3 times a year for a week at a time. Then it started to become 4 or 5 times a year for a couple weeks each visit. In 2015 I was visiting every other month with plans to stay for two months this winter. That’s when I realized I no longer loved living in New York and it was time to leave.

I made very good use of that city in the 13 years I was there. I was productive, adventurous, made a name for myself, and accomplished things I never could’ve if I hadn’t. I met some wonderful people and made friends I was lucky to even meet. But fact is I have nightmares about it now. And when I wake up not there I am relieved.

I’m very content here helping out my folks, and building up my Jesus Dressup fridge magnet empire again and prove it can indeed be a thriving business. I’m quite confident I can do that and have the freedom to pick where next I should go when I’m ready. I’m not sure how long it will take me to get over my NYC-PTSD and feel like visiting again, but I know at the moment it’s not in the books.

Artist, Atheist, Anthropologist