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The penis graffito is probably the oldest symbol in the world.

BTW, This is a close runner up: ({}).

There are many, many examples of the penis graffito, but for the sake of space (and sanity) we’ll just look at two from the Clinton-Washington G train stop. Both of them seek to impose sexual power on the person in the poster, and the only difference between the two — and it’s a slight one at that — is the gender object of the power.

Poor Moonshadow! He looks happy, but size of that member cannot be very satisfying.

Is it pornography? If it is, what can a concerned citizen do about it? Public decency is absolutely necessary — no one would argue it is OK for men to walk the streets wagging their membri viri at passersby. But how can you stop someone from stamping a symbol of male power on a poster in the subway? You could have the cops check everyone’s bag for Sharpies. Giuliani introduced paint-proof trains to get rid of unsightly graffiti. One rider took the matter into her own hands and attacked the vandals on their own turf:

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From the Clinton-Washington G stop (Queens bound track):

Blacked out teeth are easy but not always funny. It looks like Marvell meets the Beverly Hillbillies. This person, however, has a good eye for humor. (heh heh.)

Walleyed pin-up girls are always funny.

It’s erotic and scary. Gives you that fun tingly feeling all the way to work.


My friend and I went to Kenka, a Japanese restaurant, on Saturday night (23/05/08). Though there was a twenty minute wait to get a table, I enjoyed hanging out on the sidewalk. Last week was Fleet Week in Manhattan, and the streets were jammed with sailors looking for a good time (and maybe a tattoo?).

Urban density means street life. We sat on the steps in front of Kenka watching the constant flow of people on the sidewalk, listening to conversations and soaking in the richness of the city. Some xenophobes and paranoiacs may feel short of breath on a crowded New York City sidewalk, but there is nowhere safer per capita in the U. S.! Though we were surrounded by different nationalities, ethnicities, and languages, the possible friction from those differences are overwhelmed by the sheer diversity of the street. Not even the scary Japanese mole-monster scared off diners!

Kenka has great food, and as far as I know it’s very authentic. Either that or the Japanese (Chinese and Koreans) that crowd the restaurant enjoy the Epcot vibe more than the “authentic” KFC you find all over Tokyo and Shanghai. Best of all, Kenka has a cotton candy machine just outside the front door, and they serve a little plastic cup of flavored sugar with your bill instead of fortune cookies. Use a chopstick to capture the cotton candy, and walk away with yummy desert!


Some friends and I ate lunch at Habana Outpost on the corner of Fulton and South Portland St last Friday. It was a beautiful day to sit outside and have a margarita.

The decor is fantastic. I love the combination of Southern Spanish / North African elements with Catholic, Central American and bricolaged pieces.

Habana Outpost is an “eco-eatery,” which is displayed in several design elements. In the bathroom rainwater runs through copper pipes to feed sunflowers and other green plants. In the back rainwater is channeled to rows of herbs that patrons are invited to smell and identify.

Habana Outpost is a perfect example of the New Urban Aesthetic that seeks to enhance the already ecologically advantageous elements of urban dwelling with environmentally conscious architecture. And the food is delicious.

This is from the Lorimer L stop on the Manhattan bound track.

Obviously Kathy Griffin is laughable. That’s why they chose her to host the show. The question is, is a Hitler mustache always funny, never funny, only sometimes contextually funny? It is the easiest form of graffiti, but it must be offensive to the many, many Jews living in Williamsburg. Or is it? The “Void” stamp on her forehead critiques both Griffin’s imbecilic smile and the black smudge on her upper lip. (Could they be the work of the same hand?) The entire picture says “American TV is liberal fascism ultimately void of content.” If we were going to place this on the political spectrum, is this the kind of thing Jonah Goldberg would say? Or Jello Biafra?

The G train from Metropolitan to Hoyt-Schermerhorn is a laboratory for individual artistic interventions in corporate advertising. This one is on the Smith and 9th street bound track at Clinton-Washington. Notice also the name on the helmet.

Welcome to Cultural Capitol. This is the view from inside the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo.

This is what they were looking at: