Thursday, July 2, 2015

Street-art in NYC (Part 1)

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares. 
Art outdoors (street-art in NYC). Photos & text by K.K.W

In a city known for great street-art & graffiti, much of it is vanishing as the city becomes more posh & clean. And of course, urban development [or over-development] is advancing the process. However some daring individuals are keeping the tradition alive, sometimes at great risking to themselves.    
East village, Manhattan - 2014.
Artist unknown
Smith street, Brooklyn 2014.
Artist unknown
Bowery Mural wall, East-Houston, Manhattan
[near corner of Bowery],
2014. This is a wall where artists are allowed
to exhibit their work [it changes every few months]
Crosby street [@ corner of Grand St], 2015.
Even though its torn, its still great. 
Wooster Street, Manhattan [I think. 2012]
Brooklyn [I think. 2012].
Brooklyn [I think. 2012].
Brooklyn [I think. 2012].
Morgan Street, Brooklyn 2012. This is near the L-train stop.
 It may have been better to move my bike. 
Morgan Street, Brooklyn 2012, This is near the L-train stop.
If you have time, 
and the art is still there, check it out. 
Beverly road, Brooklyn [across from
the train station of the sam name].
2011 or 2012
Beverly road, Brooklyn [across from
the train station of the sam name].
2011 or 2012
Beverly road, Brooklyn [across from
the train station of the sam name].
2011 or 2012
If you would like to know more, go to:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_art. 'Art is reason, art is the way'.



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Brighton Beach Memoirs (part 1)

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares. 
Away from "The City", and along the water. Photos & text by K.K.W

One of the most amazing things about NYC, is that we have a few beaches. They give us something of a sea-side escape, from our never-ending concrete jungle. Even today, Brighton beach area is like another world to many. Populated by those from Ukraine & Russia (some are Jewish - orthodox & non, others Orthodox Christian), its a charming-strange area, with ruff-patches, problems, gruff characters and friendly people. For me, its a place of fond memories, small adventures with old friends, late night excursions on the beach and first taste of passion & love. 
View from the Q train-station platform.
Even today, there's a thrill & excitement
to riding the train to Beach.  
Near Brighton 6 or 7 - you turn right
at the corner and walk to the Beach.
From late Fall - early Winter 2009.
Kodak 400 film 
From late Fall - early Winter 2009.
Kodak 400 film 
From late Fall - early Winter 2009.
Kodak 400 film. Most of my high school
lived in Brooklyn, & we would hit the beach
for a smoke & fade into the sunset.  
April 2015 - digital. 
Walking along the shore was always
calming; the sound of the waves,
scent of salty-sea water. 
As my first girlfriend was from Kiev,
there were many moments spent walking along
 the shore, & under the summer sun.

It always felt like I was leaving everything
behind, for someplace free of aging buildings
and cramp city streets. 
From late Fall - 2009.
Kodak 400 film. The faded memories
were always with me, like wisps of smoke
from a warm bong.  
April 2015 - digital. 
With the right music & a few pocket-size
bottles of wine, its a rugged version
of someplace perfect. 




If you would like to know more, go to:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_Beach. Sometimes I wonder, has it been 10, 15, 20 years? Seems like a lifetime, riding on a never-ending roller-coaster. The waves like memories lapping at my soul; a sound I forget but its never really far. Wild days with friends long gone, and lonely nights on the beach with great music & Mary-Jane. 'Art is the reason, art is the way'   

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fear & loathing in NYC

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
N.Y.C: the good, bad & the ugly. Article & photos by K.K.W

I think everyone comes to a point, living in an urban center, where they begin to detest certain things about it. What truly seemed like an oasis, has become a center for chain-stores, apathy, corporate thugs, inner-city thugs,  hipster-thugs, post-grunge thugs, cycle-thugs, and the near soul-less consumers who can only be satisfied like junkies on the prowl [the chemical junkies are gathering spare-change for a lawsuit]. Therefore, I'm listing my reasons for the decline of NYC. 

1. Cost of living is too high. Its hard to believe there was a time when living in New York city was either cheap or very affordable; not just 50 years ago, but 10-5 years ago. The cost of residential living has risen sharply, while most salaries didn't. And while most are feeling the pinch - they are content to seek pleasure, after occasionally bitching [if only most had the testicular fortitude to take action]. The commercial sector may be even worse; many businesses aren't making enough to pay rent [fickle consumers always looking for the next trendy thing doesn't help either]. The store "Pearl River" will be moving after Dec 2014, from 477 Broadway due to rent its new rent: $500,000. Between North - Brooklyn [along Flatbush Ave] into  Manhattan, many store's are closing, and the people don't seem worried. 
Decaying street-art from West 14th,
near Washington street. I think the "cost"

prints are by Adam Cost. 
2. Freedom & anything goes? But at the price of being held in contempt & excluded by those who don't agree; which creates more emotionally-scared, urban outcasts. Oddly enough this is what created the Hippy's & the Beats. Normally this is just life, but these day's each tribe or social-gang believe their way is right [which is poppy-cock]. I think most of us are closet fascists, bitching about a lack of freedom. 
Street-art from Mercer street [artist(s) unknown]
3. Great culture? Yes, there's all the culture stemming from museum's, galleries, art-spaces, plays, films, street-art and music performances.  There's all the history of NYC, the rest of the country, the circumstance's that led to where we are now [yet most of us could-a-shit]. All on low-levels & high up as well; and yet, its drowning in a sea of collective ignorance & apathy. Too many would prefer shopping & entertainment. 
Bushwick Brooklyn 2014.
4. Diversity aplenty?  What good is diversity when many are still too primitive to enjoy it? Okay, perhaps that was a tad-bit-harsh. While there are still too many, unwilling & can't deal with diversity, many more thrive on this aspect of our culture, further improving it. Although with every new social-group, lone-nut and tech-counsuming youth, those of us who knew low-rent NYC before starbucks are becoming afraid.  
Image from a print @ a cafe on Bushwick Ave near,
Montrose in Brooklyn [artist unknown]
5. Ethnic melting pot? Blah, blah, f...ing-blah. Well... Not exactly. We melt in moments...on certain days, holidays and because we dress in a similar way. Together we buy products from the same companies that compete for our loyalties, though often can't or can barely look each other in the eye.    
@ Saint Patrick's [during the renovations]
6. Scruffy-bearded, tattooed young men & women with flannel shirts, tight pants, 20-30 keys hanging from their waist & full of attitude. Not sure what it is that makes so many of them hold people like me, and many others, in social contempt. Perhaps its the solid-color, button-down shirts and a clean-cut, non Hip-Hop, gangster Rap look confuses & makes them angry. They prowl NYC as if they embody the cultural sprit, when almost all of them moved here from the mid-west [with little originality, and a deep belief social prejudice].  
Madison Ave, Manhattan, NYC.
I understand that things changes, people change, as-do-cities. And yet, it seems too awful to comprehend; something out of a Hitchcock film. Or maybe I'm just getting old.  'Art is the reason, art is the way' 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer-tunes [for Litha] #2


This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Music now: the summer-list (for Litha/summer solstice) Part 2 By K.K.W


Spring came late this year and summer is already here, as we move towards Litha, turning us right-round and cleansing our troubles. And what better compliment to the glorious season then fine music [aside from good booze, food, friends and a reasonable supply of cash or credit to ensure one hell-of-a-great ride!]?

So, in the Spirit of Apollo, Aten, & Juno, we give you a list of music to guide you towards, through & past Litha:


Life Recorder. Image courtesy of the artist.
https://soundcloud.com/life-recorder
nd_baumecker. photo courtesy of the artist.
https://soundcloud.com/ndbaumecker 
Bastille. Photo courtesy of the artists.
https://soundcloud.com/bastilleuk 
Abe Ana Choveche. Photo by K.K.W
https://soundcloud.com/v-g66/solitude-ana-hristova 
https://soundcloud.com/parussion/butterfly
Tropical Rock. Image courtesy of the artist.
https://soundcloud.com/tropicalrock 
http://www.perfectwave.org/tropicalrock
herMajesty. Photo courtesy of the band. 
https://soundcloud.com/hermajestyny
Michael Vincent Waller. Photo courtesy of the artist.
http://michaelvincentwaller.com 
Hopefully some of the music will strike a cord in you,
and you'll buy it. 'Art is the reason, art is the way'



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Russian Oil & The Republic of Macedonia

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares. 
A Russian oil pipeline & VMRO falling? By K.K.W

You don't have to be an energy expert to know that every country, its cities and economy depend on it. And when it comes to oil & natural gas the U.S may not care for the influence on Western Europe from Russia. And, that the Republic of Macedonia stands to gain a great deal financially from part of a Russian pipeline through their country. "...several countries in southeast Europe, including Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and to some extent Austria, remain enthusiastic about obtaining a direct feed of Russian gas through the South Stream pipeline, which Gazprom proposes to build across the Black Sea. They think the pipeline would reduce risk of cutoffs by bypassing Ukraine, while most other European countries, plus Brussels, lean against it because it would largely remove a key card that Kiev has in its duel with Russia." [1]
Photo by Ognen Teofilovski. 
However, the "South Stream" pipeline project was abandoned in December [because of an EU rule that forbids one entity from owning the pipeline & the gas it carries through EU territory] after which, "Turkish Stream" was conceived. And seeing no alternative, Moscow has agreed to relinquish its shares in the pipeline given that Gazprom is a state owned company. 

The pipeline would go through Turkey, the Balkan's [The Republic of Macedonia & Serbia], possibly Greece then under the Adriatic sea to Italy. Aside from avoiding further disruptions from Ukraine, given the current situation & those in the near future, the pipeline would be yet another stable source of energy to Europe. The current leaders of Macedonia [especially Gruevski, who is on record as such] are against sanctions imposed on Russia, and in favor of the "Turkish Stream" pipeline. The pro-western opposition in Macedonia clearly feels otherwise, and most recently released recordings [& transcripts] of mass- illegal wiring-tapping by Gruevski's government. 

Sergei Lavrov. Photo courtesy of Business Insider. 
The recordings [giving evidence of murder cover-up, bribes, etc] led to major protest's, international intention & social media backlash. All of this causing Russia to wonder about the situation in the country, and some to speculate that outside forces may have helped in causing all this. Russian news service Tass, quoted Sergei Lavrov as saying "the Macedonian events are blatantly controlled from the outside". [2]  Vladimir Choizhov, Russia's ambassador to the EU, agreed; "I don't have any hard-line facts, but its a logical suspicion" [3], he told Bloomberg TV. 
"Well this is a result of the fact that the opposition leader was served these transcripts by foreign intelligence services and he admitted that". [4] "What is very interesting is that this unrest, the latest terrorist attack took place on May, 9 - precisely at the time when the Macedonian PM was only one of the few European leaders in Moscow attending the Victory Day parade". [5] 

Photo by Ognen Teofilovski.

The West is pushing for its own pipeline, TANAP [ shipping gas from Azerbaijan & maybe Turkmenistan as well] which would not only eliminate Ukraine from the equation, but Russian gas into south eastern Europe, and reduce their exporting into western Europe as well. If "Turkish Stream" is implemented and goes through The Republic of Macedonia, it could be a serious catalyst for the economy, leading the country to a new era. And provided the profits are used wisely, many of the country's problem's could be greatly reduced. 


Partisan Blvd, Skopje [The Republic of Macedonia].
Photo by K.K.W
If you would like to know more, go to:http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Macedonia-Caught-In-East-West-Pipeline-Tug-Of-War.html, or:http://rt.com/op-edge/259541-macedonia-unrest-west-russia-pipeline/


1 - N.Y, Times, David Buchan. A senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. 

2-3 from the article Macedonia caught in East -West pipeline tug-of war, by Andy Tully of Oilprice.com. 

4-5 Srdja Trifkovic, from his interview with RT.com