Eye On Design: Slinky Designed By Richard James

Slinky with Original Box
Slinky Toy with Original Box (Photo By Gail)

Slinky was once just a little old everyday spring on a ship,” read a brochure describing the origins of the popular toy. Speaking about inventory Richard James, it continued, “One day Dick took it home to show his family. His little boy, Tommy, surprised everybody by making the spring walk down the stairs — all by itself! That gave Dick the idea to make this little old spring into a toy. His wife, Betty, named it Slinky!” What started as a chance discovery went on to become an international bestseller that has helped generations of children ponder the principles of gravity and tension.

Richard James, who began his career as a naval engineer, spent a few years perfecting his design before bringing it to market in 1945. It was Betty James, his wife, who brought Slinky its international success, marketing the cleverly named toy with a catchy jingle and playful television ads. When she died in 2008, The New York Times estimated that the number of Slinkys sold since the 1940s could circle the globe 150 times.

This Slinky was Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Value of Good Design, on View at The Museum of Modern Art Through June 15th, 2019.

Jimi Hendrix Mural On Security Gate

Mikey Likes It Jimi Hendrix Mural
Photos By Gail

I spotted this fabulous Jimi Hendrix mural as I was out for a post-snowstorm stroll through my East Village neighborhood one Saturday afternoon. The mural can be found on the security gate for Mikey Likes It, an ice cream shop located at 199 Avenue A. According to their website, Mikey Likes It is the world’s first Pop Culture-inspired premium ice cream brand! I’ll have to make a point to stop by for a cone during their regular business hours!

Mikey Likes It Jimi Hendrix Mural

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, Men and Machine

Stuart Davis, Men and Machine
Photo By Gail

Heralded for his abstract visual evocations of jazz, Stuart Davis‘s art also responded profoundly to the industrial age. Men and Machine (1934) features two men standing before a schematically rendered structure with their backs to the viewer. Likely representing a construction site with the foreman and investor looking on, the painting alludes to New York’s interwar construction boom. Highlighting the degree to which industrialism was associated with masculinity, Davis’s painting, consisting of primary colors on a white background, also testifies to the artist’s respect for Piet Mondrian.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Video Clip of The Week: Jeff Whalen, “Alien Lanes”


<P<

Hey, did you remember to set your clocks forward by one hour last night / this morning for Daylight Saving Time? If not, do that right after you watch this week’s video clip, Jeff Whalen’s “Alien Lanes,” which is all kinds of awesome. To get as obscure-yet-specific as possible, “Alien Lanes” reminds me sonically of the ultra-sublime, bubblegum power pop by one of those late ‘60s/ early ‘70s Saturday Morning Kids’ Show bands, such as The Banana Splits or The Bugaloos. If you know what I’m talking about, great. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter. Everybody knows that I only write this column for myself! If I had to reference a real band that existed outside of TV, perhaps the Bay City Rollers, The Records, Jellyfish, or even the music made by Jeff Whalen’s former band, Tsar, can serve as an appropriate comparison. My point is that it sounds like nothing else you’re hearing right now, and that can only be good thing. As an aside, I was a big fan of Tsar back in the day, and here is a photo of me at a Banksy exhibit wearing one of their T-shirts.

Gail in a Tsar T Shirt

Visually, “Alien Lanes” is, in fact, a Saturday Morning Kids’ Show co-starring an Army Guy who does a mean David Byrne impression (watch for it), a Sexy Witch, and Dracula, all having a fun, otherworldly adventure with Jeff, who I am now in love with. “Alien Lanes” can be found on Jeff’s just-released, very-first-ever solo album, 10 More Rock Super Hits. Enjoy!

Jeff Whalen
I Love Him.

Golden Barbie Street Art Shrine Celebrates Barbie’s 60th Birthday!

Golden Barbie
Photos By Gail

Today March 9th, 2019, marks the 60th Anniversary of the introduction of the world’s most famous fashion doll, known to us simply as Barbie. In honor of this lovely icon of pop culture, I dug up a set of photos I took earlier this year that I have dubbed the Golden Barbie Street Art Shrine, even thought it has less to do with Barbie than it does with the mission of NYC street artist Hispano Man (@hispanoman). Check out his Instagram for more art and information!

Golden Barbie Street Shrine

Golden Barbie Street Shrine was Spotted on Elizabeth Street Near the Corner of Prince Street in the Nolita Neighborhood of NYC!

Pink Thing of The Day: Pig Juggling Balls!

Juggling Pig Balls
Photo By Gail

Can you look at these Pig Juggling Balls without breaking into a huge smile? I dare you.  The box declares that “Pigs Will Fly” — but I bet that depends on how skilled of a juggler you are! Manufactured by Ridley’s, you can buy these Happy Pigs at Wild & Wolf!

Photographed at The New York Now Gift Show at Javits Center.

Frank Ape Goes Punk for Lucky Bar Security Gate Mural

Frank Ape Punk
Photo By Gail

An added upside to taking a walk around the neighborhood on a holiday is that a lot of businesses are closed, so you get a chance to check out all of sweet street art on security gates that are rolled up much of  the time. While I could not find a tag on this piece, which adorns the security gate for the Lucky Bar on Avenue B, it sure does look like a mohawk-sporting Punk Rocker version of Frank Ape, by the artist Brandon Sines.

Lucky Bar is located at 168 Avenue B, East Village, NYC.