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fade into me, i disappear into you : manhattan (2008)
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Image by torbakhopper
apartment hunting in new york city is a passionate loathing for most people i know. unless you have good income, good credit, good reference and lots of cash.

during my stay here, since i’m only here for a year, i want to live in several places so that i get exposure and life experience in as many neighborhoods as possible instead of just one. the only drawback is, of course, going through the passionate loathing.

why the loathing? well, there are a lot of strange folks in new york city. and there are a lot of strange folks that come to new york city. pair these two generalized facts together and you have the "coalition of the doomed". so my first rule is that if you are interviewing for a place and someone tells you a horror story, fire back with one of your own — but notate the incident as a red flag moment. if any other red flags emerge, quickly disengage yourself and create dismissal lines and excuses asap. pretend your phone is vibrating and you have an emergency…

on this round of hunting, i met some really wonderful young people out in brooklyn
and while i really liked their spirits and their vibe, it just wasn’t a match for several reasons

my second favorite line during that visit was in reference to the penned-in, over-excited chihuahua and his relationship with the five other cats that lived squished into the tight pre-war floorplan: "he’s back there cuz he pees everywhere when he gets excited" in advance, their ad suggested that they had one friendly housebroken dog and ONE cat. i ended up meeting one named somel, but they called her mama. one was named ginny weasley and two other really great cats with awesome personalities.

as i was making my quick exit, i passed the fifth cat who was sitting in the center of the stove perched between the four rings. my hostess cried out gleefully, "she likes it there because the pilot light underneath her keeps things nice and toasty."

i smiled helplessly, reaching for my cell phone which i could swear was vibrating…

but my favorite line of this visit had to be when i was told that one of them smoked cigarettes out on the balcony, but it was cool that he went through my room since i always had to walk through his room to get to mine anyway.

hahaha i was busting up with internal laughter, even after the 45 minute journey off the island to the land of the cold war people… it helps explain that look of desperation that seems to be in the eyes of all the folks who are still on the L train when i get off at first avenue, the last stop on the island. it is the look of those returning to hades or some other land of semi-darkness and isolation

well, it was the only "off-island" place that i visited. one visit and i knew that for now, life is happening here, not there

will keep you updated on the moving process

still waiting for our eviction notice to be pinned on the front door. been waiting for three days now. but at this point i’m just a guest in stuy town. have a place lined up for a thursday move. many stories to come soon, plus, all the down and dirty on what my first four months of city life have been like and the amazing saga of my landing and the unhappy tales of mia’s ascending despair

Ken, S.R. 12, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
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Image by Ken Lund
A spectacular viewpoint just outside of Boulder, Utah. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument contains 1.9 million acres (7,571 km²) of land in southern Utah, the United States. There are three main regions: the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Canyons of the Escalante. President Bill Clinton designated the area as a U.S. National Monument in 1996 using his authority under the Antiquities Act.

The Monument stretches from the towns of Big Water, Glendale and Kanab, Utah on the southwest, to the towns of Escalante and Boulder on the northeast. It is slightly larger in area than the state of Delaware.

The western part of the Monument is dominated by the Paunsaugunt Plateau and the Paria River, and is adjacent to Bryce Canyon National Park. This section shows the geologic progression of the Grand Staircase.

The center section is dominated by a single long ridge, called Kaiparowits Plateau from the west, and called Fifty-Mile Mountain when viewed from the east. Fifty-Mile Mountain stretches southeast from the town of Escalante to the Colorado River in Glen Canyon. The eastern face of the mountain is a steep, 2200 foot (650 m) escarpment. The western side (the Kaiparowits Plateau) is a shallow slope descending to the south and west.

East of Fifty Mile Mountain are the Canyons of the Escalante. The Monument is bounded by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the east and south. The most popular hiking and backpacking area is the Canyons of the Escalante, shared with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Highlights include the slot canyons of Peekaboo, Spooky and Brimstone Canyons, and the backpacking areas of lower Coyote Gulch and of Harris Wash.

The Hole-in-the-Rock Road extends southeast from the town of Escalante, along the base of Fifty Mile Mountain. It is important in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the settlements of southeast Utah, including Bluff, as well as providing access to the Canyons of the Escalante, and to the flat desert at the base of Fifty Mile Mountain that is actively used for grazing cattle.

The Monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management rather than the National Park Service. This was the first National Monument managed by the BLM. Visitor centers are located in Cannonville, Big Water, Escalante, and Kanab.

Since 2000, numerous dinosaur fossils over 75 million years old have been found at Grand Staircase-Escalante.

In 2002, a volunteer at Grand Staircase-Escalante discovered a 75 million-year-old dinosaur near the Arizona border. On October 3, 2007, the dinosaur’s name, Gryposaurus monumentensis (hook-beaked lizard from the monument) was announced in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. G. monumentensis was at least 30 feet (9.1 m) long and 10 feet (3.0 m) tall, and has a powerful jaw with more than 800 teeth. Many of the specimens from the Kaiparowits Formation are reposited at the Utah Museum of Natural History.

Two ceratopsid (horned) dinosaurs, also discovered at Grand Staircase-Escalante, were introduced by the Utah Geological Survey in 2007. They were uncovered in the Wahweap formation, which is just below the Kaiparowits formation where the duckbill was extracted. They lived about 80 million or 81 million years ago. The two fossils are called the Last Chance skull and the Nipple Butte skull. They were found in 2002 and 2001, respectively.

Humans didn’t settle permanently in the area until the late Basketmaker period, somewhere around AD 500. Both the Fremont and ancestral Puebloan people lived here; the Fremont hunting and gathering below the plateau and near the Escalante Valley, and the ancestral Puebloans farming in the canyons. Both groups grew corn, beans, and squash, and built brush-roofed pithouses and took advantage of natural rock shelters. Ruins and rock art can be found throughout the Monument.

The first record of white settlers in the region dates from 1866, when Captain James Andrus led a group of cavalry to the headwaters of the Escalante River. In 1871 Jacob Hamblin of Kanab, on his way to resupply the second John Wesley Powell expedition, mistook the Escalante River for the Dirty Devil River and became the first Anglo to travel the length of the canyon.

In 1879 the San Juan Expedition crossed through the Monument on their way to a proposed Mormon colony in the far southeastern corner of Utah. Traveling on a largely unexplored route, the group eventually arrived at the 1200-foot (400 m) sandstone cliffs that surrounded Glen Canyon. They found the only breach for many miles in the otherwise vertical cliffs, which they named Hole-in-the-Rock. The narrow, steep, and rocky crevice eventually led to a steep sandy slope in the lower section and eventually down to the Colorado River. With winter settling in, the company decided to go forward, down the crevice, rather than retreat. After six weeks of labor, including excavation and the use of explosives to shift rock, they rigged a pulley system to lower their wagons and animals down the resulting road and off the cliff. There they built a ferry, crossed the river and climbed back out through Cottonwood Canyon on the other side.

The Monument was declared in September 1996 at the height of the 1996 presidential election campaign by President Bill Clinton, and was controversial from the moment of creation. The declaration ceremony was held at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, and not in the state of Utah. The Utah congressional delegation and state governor were notified only 24 hours in advance. This was seen by many as a transparent political ploy to gain votes in the contested state of Arizona. That November, Clinton won Arizona by a margin of 2.2%, and lost Utah to Republican Bob Dole by 21.1%.

Local officials and Congressman Bill Orton (D – UT) objected to the designation of the Monument, questioning whether the Antiquities Act allowed such vast amounts of land to be designated. Monument designation also nixed the Andalex Coal Mine that was proposed for a remote location on the Kaiparowitz Plateau, and promised to generate jobs for the local economy.

Wilderness designation for the lands in the Monument had long been sought by environmental groups; while designation of the Monument is not legally the same as Wilderness designation, for most practical purposes it is very similar. Bill Clinton significantly improved his standing with environmentalists by designating the Monument.

There are contentious issues peculiar to the state of Utah. Certain plots of land were assigned when Utah became a state (in 1896) as School and Institutional Trust Lands (SITLa, a Utah state agency), to be managed to produce funds for the state school system. These lands included scattered plots in the Monument that, critics claimed, could no longer be developed for the sake of Utah’s school children. The SITLa plots within the Monument were exchanged for federal lands elsewhere in Utah, plus equivalent mineral rights and million dollars cash by an act of Congress, the Utah Schools and Lands Exchange Act of 1998, supported by Democrats and Republicans, and signed into law as Public Law 105-335 on October 31, 1998.

A more difficult problem is the resolution of United States Revised statute 2477 (R.S. 2477) road claims. R.S. 2477 (Section 8 of the 1866 Mining Act) states: "The right-of-way for the construction of highways over public lands, not reserved for public uses, is hereby granted." The statute was repealed by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, but the repeal was subject to valid existing rights. A process for resolving disputed claims has not been established, and in 1996, the 104th Congress passed a law which prohibited Clinton-administration RS2477 proposed resolution regulations from taking effect without Congressional approval. As of 2005, dirt roads in the Monument are highly disputed, with Kane County officials placing Kane County signs on roads they claim and occasionally applying bulldozers to grade claimed roads, while the BLM tries to exert control over the same roads. Resolution of this dispute is unlikely in the immediate future.…

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Image by Viktor Hertz

This is my most ambitious, and maybe also the best, personal work I’ve done so far. I decided to pick a few bands and artists from the rock genre and make pictogram posters for them. Instead of just putting one single pictogram in each poster, like in my previous ‘Pictogram music posters’, I made as many as I could possibly come up with for each artist, and jammed them into one single poster. There is a total of 234 song pictograms in these posters. I started this project Jan 15th 2012, so I’ve been working on this for about five months. I am really happy and proud to be able to present them now.

The bands and artists that I chose are: David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. I’m aware of the absence of female artists in this list. I’m sorry about that, and I will try to make up for it in future projects.

A big thanks (as always) to The Noun Project ( This is where all the original pictograms come from, and I could not express my gratitude enough to these guys!

If you like them, please make a pledge over here:

I am crowdfunding the printing of these posters, so please, make a pledge and spread the word! I am really hoping to be able to print them and make them available for sale, so I appreciate all kind of help doing this, whether it’s buying a poster or share the link online.

Thank you so much in advance, I hope you like my new project!



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