Friday, June 29, 2012

Classic Cars (Oldtimers) - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 113)

American Classic Cars (Oldtimers) - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 113) [HD] from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Classic cars and antique cars (or Oldtimers as we call them in German) are something I always like to admire for a moment. There's something that reminds me of adventures, the open road and all the stories that must have taken place in and around that car. You also know that whoever owns it now must care for it deeply.

Classic Cougar XR

Old cars are not as common in NYC as they are in climates with less snow, because of issues with rust from salt and snow. But as I've been walking around in the last few weeks I happened across several and thought to bring you a minute of classic cars. 

The song "Opus Waltz" is by Jason Matherne

Steampunk Car in Brooklyn

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Must-See New York - In Just One Day! - Moving Postcard (extended version)

This is the extended version of the Must See New York in just one day video. Still just one day - but compressed to a little longer than one minute.

Must-See New York - In Just One Day! - Moving Postcard (Extended Version) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Because my exchange sister Lisa, with husband and kids, is coming into town today from Florida (I lived with her and her parents as an exchange student in 1989 outside Orlando), I thought this morning about the "NYC Must-See In A Day - In A Brooklyn Minute" video I made when Margaret was in town (also from Florida) a few weeks ago.

It occurred to me that, since then, I've put together an extended version as part of a series I'm calling "Moving Postcard" instead of "In A Brooklyn Minute"... and I had never posted it here... until now.

The recommended locations are the same in both videos. The items in the brackets we saw, but didn't make it into the video.

Manhattan Bridge seen from Brooklyn Heights

Start in Brooklyn (bagels near Grand Army Plaza + Prospect Park)
Brooklyn Promenade with Manhattan skyline + Statue of Liberty + Brooklyn Bridge + East River views
Street Food (Mango Flower!)
Walk across Brooklyn Bridge (w/ views of Empire State Building, Manhattan Bridge + Dumbo)
street acrobats
[City Hall]
[St. Paul's Chapel]
9/11 Firemen Memorial
National 9/11 Memorial and World Trade Center seen from World Financial Center
Freedom Tower
Winter Garden (World Financial Center)
Hudson River
Statue of Liberty
Mexico Festival
[Fort Clinton]
Battery Park with sunset views over New Jersey
Subway Ride
Little Italy (with Cannoli)
Times Square
Empire State Building lobby
East Village (St. Marks Street)
street musicians + awesome kid dancer (my dad rocks!) on Astor Place
[Tibetan dinner at Tsampa]
[beers at Lolita in Lower East Side where a woman wore the Honey Badger Don't Care shirt]
Yellow cab across the Manhattan Bridge back to Brooklyn

I probably should add that we didn't get really started until the afternoon, so if you have a full day you could also add in the top of the Empire State Building or the High Line Park (which was the subject of last week's video).

The soulful groovy song is called "Soulwalk" by The Mirrors (Jason Matherne's band).

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Duke Spirit - This Ship Was Built To Last (MusicMonday)

Leila Moss and a disco ball - The Duke Spirit at High Line Ball Room
I promise that I won't make a habit of this, but today's Music Monday post will be just another live video I shot.

A lot is going on right now and instead of trying to find the video of my favorite song of the week, I thought it would be appropriate to just very quickly share one of my long-term favorite songs that I happen to shoot this past week at the show of the amazing British band The Duke Spirit.

As a matter of fact, the lyrics even seem fitting right now (not only because in times of stress I like to remind myself "at least I'm not bored").

Thank you, Erica, for taking me to the show! 

Leila Moss of the Duke Spirit at High Line Ballroom 6/16/12
Last week I also saw Laura Marling + Michael Kiwanuka, whose song "Born Again" is one of my favorites of the year, and then the next day: Jens Lekman + Of Montreal. Both those shows were free outdoor shows. You've got to love all the free concert during the NYC summer!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

High Line Park - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 112)

NYC High Line Park - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 112) [Manhattan]

The High Line Park in Manhattan is the coolest park in the world! And I don't mean the temperature, because when I filmed here on Wednesday it was the first day of an intense heat wave.

As I walked along the High Line Park in Manhattan I thought once again that there's just no place in the world I love as much as this city. The High Line Park, which is a fairly new addition to the city (first part opened in 2009, with an extension opened in 2011), is a perfect combination of what creates the NYC visuals: the old, the new, the organic: the run-down old buildings, rusty rail lines, modern high-rises, views of traffic, Hudson river, art, offices and living spaces, and people running, people reading books, people talking and flowers, trees, grass, bees and birds...

High Line Park
Manhattan, New York City
Ever since moving to New York City I've had an eye on the High Line from below - then just abandoned elevated rail lines. There were rumors of grass and apple trees... one day there would be a public park... Hoping that the city would get this one right.

High Line Park
Manhattan, New York City
And they sure did! If you ask me they did everything right about this place - the way they mixed the old with the new, the inanimate with the organic. Both interact with each other in a constant dialogue.

According to Wikipedia page, the park was designed by the James Corner's New York-based landscape architecture firm Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with planting design from Piet Oudolf of the Netherlands and engineering design by Buro Happold.

Even when you get annoyed about the billboards popping up around it (as I did), take a closer look and realize that some of them are actually art work made to look like advertisement to turn that back around. 

High Line Park
Manhattan, New York City
Can you tell how much I love this park? Is there any other place like this?

Definitely try to fit this into your next New York visit. 

High Line Park
Manhattan, New York City
Today is my mother's birthday. She's the most talented gardener I know and I can't wait to sit in my family's garden again soon. So I would like to dedicate this video to her. (Although I think my dad, who is a great photographer of roadside wild flowers, would appreciate the park just the same.)

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, Mutti! 

The lively yet relaxing song is called "Little Voices" and is by none other than Jason Matherne of Goonygoogoo Productions

If this video is too fast and short for you, you can check out the longer, slower extended version: “My favorite NYC Park: High Line Park (extended version)”.

Monday, June 18, 2012

All Button In: Mädchen, du siehst aus wie 30 (MusicMonday)

All Button In is a new band from Berlin. They're about to release their first album; and to get you in the mood for their witty German-language post-garage-pop-punk-awesomeness, they just published a video I made for them.

This video was shot with three different cameras (Scott Solary helmed the iPhone 8mm app) during a renegade live tour of Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg during the Fete de la Musique. Seeing them roll up with an amp in a shopping cart promised that this would be a fun day. All Button In definitely delivered! 

As far as I know this has been their one and only public live performance - and as you can see from the video they drew an impressive crowd. 

If you're in Berlin, don't miss them playing at the Fete de la Musique this year... as always and all over the world: June 21st! 

They plan to have the album for sale at the show. And yes, they'll be roving again! To keep tabs on where they are, I'd recommend following them on Twitter (and hope that someone will be tweeting updates).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pigeons of the World - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 111)

Pigeons of the World - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 111) [HD]

Pigeons are everywhere! That's what I've learned in the two years of traveling down the street and across the ocean to bring you 1-minute videos from around the world. You always hear that no matter where you travel to, you'll meet some Germans. But I know for a fact I saw more pigeons...

This week I'd like to present you with some of the pigeons (and doves, which are also a kind of pigeon) I met throughout the world... some of them just this week.

I did not catch any of the domesticated roof top pigeons that show their beautiful dance following their owner's waving hand - also I avoided the victims of car tires and the one-legged pigeons. However I did include a wide shot of an unusual pigeon death under the Unisphere in Queens. I have some more detailed close-ups of that - but I'll spare you.

The pigeon-head-bopping music is by none other than Jason Matherne and is called "Super Omega". Thanks, Jason.

Pigeon steals from Ghost House in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Monday, June 11, 2012

Joan Jett and Against Me! cover "Androgynous" by The Replacements (MusicMonday)

Against Me! at Terminal 5 - June 8
A slightly different Music Monday post because this is not a regular music video, but a live performance I was lucky to witness (and record) myself.

Amazing moment when Joan Jett + Laura Jane Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel) with all of Against Me! play The Replacements song "Androgynous" at Terminal 5 in NYC on June 8.

Wish I had also recorded Laura Jane Grace announcing that she was going to sing a cover song because "First of all I'm a transsexual" and the whole room erupted in cheers. Such a wonderful moment! (The second reason was because she loves The Replacements) The performance of the song was such a beautiful celebration of gender liberation and kick-ass music!

Slightly unrelated: Not recorded was the pleasure I got from standing in a NYC concert venue and hearing a band originally from Gainesville, Florida play a song against those anti-abortion white crosses that appear in Gainesville and other places on a regular basis. It's fascinating how good it feels when you experience that sense of connection over space and time with complete strangers. 

It also felt like that a little bit as well when Joan Jett came on stage and I thought: hey, haven't seen you since 6/6/6 at South Paw. Sometimes life just seems to be a collection of special memories - most exciting when you're in the midst of creating such a memory.

If you want to hear, watch and read more, I had just written about Tom Gabel becoming Laura Jane Grace and the music of Against Me! a few weeks ago HERE. By the way, they did play all my favorite songs. Thanks!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Space Shuttle Enterprise Lands on the Intrepid - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 110)

Kathleen Pushes Enterprise

Wow, I know I'm spreading myself too thin and doing too many things if I actually overlooked posting my weekly 1-minute video here on my blog. This has never happened in over two years of weekly posts.

So now as bit of a bonus, I'll go ahead and post two videos: the 1-minute "In A Brooklyn Minute" version and an extended version, which will now officially kick of my "Moving Postcard" series (slightly less regular extended versions of my minutes). Also, only slightly official, because I haven't had the time yet to build the website... or put up a temporary page. Oh time, why won't you be my friend? 

This week the space shuttle Enterprise sailed up the Hudson River and was hoisted onto the Intrepid Museum (an old aircraft carrier). I happened to get a front row spot and suddenly had the crazy notion to spend 4 hours in the blazing sun to film how every little screw was attached.

Here you see the whole event squeezed into one minute:

Space Shuttle Enterprise Lands on the Intrepid - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 110) 

The music featured is a classic musical experiment by Jason Matherne called "Time Space Scrootle Doottle":

The longer version is without music: 

Space Shuttle Enterprise Sails + Lands on Intrepid - New York from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All's Well and Fair - continues...

Instead of posting here every single episode of the documentary web series All's Well and Fair as it's released, I will post a bundle of them every once in a while to keep those of you who read this blog updated.

If you want to watch and engage with each episode as soon as it comes out (Mondays and Thursdays), I highly recommend signing up for the RSS feed listed on the right side of the All's Well and Fair website or subscribing to the GHWP YouTube channel.

And if you don't want to wait for all parts to come out, you can always purchase the DVD

You can find all released episodes HERE - and all response videos HERE

These are the latest episodes:

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Mynabirds - Generals (MusicMonday)

So far I haven't been able to find a video for this fantastic song "Generals" by Omaha band The Mynabirds. And I have some rules about waiting until there is a video for a song, after all, I'm a filmmaker, not a music critic. 

But I just can't wait. And there's a very promising album trailer for the album Generals I can post, which gives you a glimpse of what might be an upcoming music video. Of course, the band being from Omaha the album Generals is on Saddle Creek Records.

"Generals" fits so perfectly with my documentary series All's Well and Fair, which is pretty much all I can think about right now. The song is a great motivation for me right now as I keep pushing the series and hope for people to get engaged.

Download "Generals" from Spinner HERE

'Generals' is a modern protest song. It's meant to remind us that despite what we're up against (a whole system that invests billions of dollars in destruction and war while our health and education fall apart), we've got the power to turn it around. It's meant to get people up on their feet. It's the new 'whistle while you work' -- it's 'dance while you're gettin' it done.'" -- Singer Laura Burhenn

Also very inspiring is the photo series initiated by the Mynabirds singer Laura Burhenn entitled "The New Revolutionists". Beautiful black and white photographs of strong, inspiring women. From Huffington Post: Laura Burhenn's new collection "The New Revolutionists" takes inspiration from Native American soldier portraits, portraying women not as breakable objects but imbued with strength and beauty from the inside out.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Governors Island - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 109)

Governors Island, nestled snugly between Brooklyn and Manhattan*, is one of those magical unreachable places that you get to see from afar for years and then finally you find a way in (or it's opened to the public with a ferry on summer weekends only).

Governors Island - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 109)

And there you discover a place full of abandoned buildings, wild birds, the spirit of all the stories that must have taken place here... and a bunch of New Yorkers yearning for sunshine... oh and really overpriced sad food. That's the only thing: bring your own food!

Memorial Day weekend was the first weekend for the free ferry from Pier 6 in Brooklyn, which together with the amazing, but still-not-quite-finished Brooklyn Bridge Park will from now on be one of my favorite sunset places... anywhere! I got some great shots from there after we left the island that didn't fit into this video...

Throughout the summer they will also open the mini golf, the tree house and eventually (I believe) the larger park that they're developing in the center of the island. Already it had changed a lot since the last time I had been there, which was pre-Berlin in 2009, I suppose.

If you're a New Yorker: definitely make a day trip to Governors Island part of your summer plans. And if you're so inclined: head to taxi beach an hour before the last ferry when the crowds have gone and sip a beer while enjoying the Manhattan and Jersey City skyline vista right before sunset. (Earlier in the day I'd recommend the less crowded and shady Brooklyn-facing side.)

The music featured is yet another beauty from Jason Matherne and his band The Mirrors called "They Don't Know".

* For the record: Governors Island is part of Manhattan, even though it's closer to Brooklyn. Until just a few years ago it was a military base, which explains the variety of empty buildings. Today more and more buildings are filled with art.

Brooklyn seen from Governors Island
New York City