In 1980, Jane Dickson (b. 1952)and her husband, artist Charlie Ahearn (b. 1951), moved into a loft near New York’s then seedy, but glittering Times Square where, two years earlier, she’d found work programming the first Spectacolorbillboard. Attracted to the neighborhood’s brilliant nighttime signage, she began working with oil stick against deep-black backgrounds to evoke the gleam of the nocturnal scenes she witnessed. Traveling to Florida in the mid-1980s, Dickson happened one night upon a carnival filled with amusement rides. She eventually created Big Oval (1985) from pictures and sketches, painting the roller coaster’s arc of blazing lights stretching up into the night.
Photographed in The Museum of Modern Art in New York City
Welcome back, Earthlings. In this week’s Video Clip, The Shins draw on their finest influences of the ’80s British New Wave (see The Human League, Heaven 17, Gary Numan) with an enchanting stop-motion animated video for “Cherry Hearts.” The Stefano Bertelli-directed clip, made entirely out of folded paper here, takes place inside an amusement park, so enjoy the ride!
“Cherry Hearts” can be found on The Shins’ fifth album, Heartworms, which is available everywhere now via Aural Apothecary/Columbia Records. Check them out on tour (dates below) right now! Enjoy!
The Shins On Tour:
10/08 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
11/02 Washington, DC The Anthem
11/03 Brooklyn, NY Kings Theatre
11/04 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
11/05 Port Chester, NY Capitol Theatre
11/07 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
11/08 Columbus, OH Express Live! Indoor Pavilion
11/10 Dallas, TX House of Blues
11/11 Houston, TX House of Blues
11/12 McDade, TX Sound on Sound Music Festival
11/14 New Orleans, LA Civic Theatre
11/15 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
11/16 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
11/17 Atlanta, GA Coca Cola Roxy Theatre
11/19 Ciudad de Mexico, MX Corona Capital
11/30 Auckland, NZ Powerstation
12/04 St. Kilda, AU Palais Theatre
12/05 Brisbane, AU QPAC Concert Hall
12/08 Newtown, AU Enmore Theatre
12/12 Honolulu, HI The Republik
The Parachute Jump is a defunct amusement ride in Coney Island, whose iconic open-frame steel structure remains a Brooklyn landmark. Standing 250 feet tall and weighing 170 tons, it has been called the Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn. Well, I’ve never called it that, but apparently some people have.
Parachute Jump in the Shadow of the Thunderbolt Roller-Coaster
If you Google “Photos of Coney Island” you will see that it is arguably the single most photographed landmark near the Boardwalk. Originally built for the 1939 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, the tower was moved to its current site, then part of the Steeplechase Park amusement park, in 1941.
Seen from Inside a Burger Joint on The Boardwalk
It is the only portion of Steeplechase Park still standing today. The ride ceased operations in 1964, when that park shut down for good. How old were you in 1964? I was 3.
The ride was based on functional parachutes which were held open by metal rings throughout the ascent and descent. Twelve cantilevered steel arms sprout from the top of the tower, each of which supported a parachute attached to a lift rope and a set of surrounding guide cables.
Riders were belted into a two-person canvas seat hanging below the closed chute, then hoisted to the top, where a release mechanism would drop them, the descent slowed only by the parachute. Shock absorbers at the bottom, consisting of pole-mounted springs, cushioned the landing. Each parachute required three cable operators, keeping labor expenses high.
The tower lights up at night, and colorful the patterns change constantly. It is quite mesmerizing to view.
I love how my hair looks in this photo. I cropped Geoffrey out, because he said he looked fat. Which, not true. But whatever.
2010 has been a great year for seeing some of my favorite stand up comedians: Ricky Gervais, Demitri Martin, and just last night I was lucky to catch Daniel Tosh – certainly one of the most wildly popular comedians on the circuit right now – at the first of two shows he played at New York City’s Beacon Theater. I’ve been an avid fan of Tosh’s Comedy Central show, Tosh.0, since I discovered it accidentally about a year ago. As soon as I heard tickets were going on sale for his Tosh 2010 tour, I made sure I grabbed a pair. Continue reading Must See Comedy: Daniel Tosh Tour 2010→