Posts tagged graffiti

Buenos Aires Takes Brooklyn

Argentina is a hot destination these days. I should know. It was alluring enough for me to pack up and move my life to Mendoza, whose famous Malbec grape is being celebrated around the world this month. In honor of Malbec World Day tomorrow, Wines of Argentina is taking the sounds, tastes and smells of Argentina beyond the country’s borders.  


New Yorkers can crash the Argentine Cambalache tonight and tomorrow night at the BKB Night Bazaar on 165 Banker Street in Brooklyn from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

You may be wondering what a Cambalache is, and I’ll tell you, because I had to look it up myself. The term Cambalache, which loosely translates to “junk shop”, was made popular in 1934 by Enrique Santos Discépolo’s subversive tango song of the same name. Its lyrics criticize Argentina´s culture and corruption and was subsequently banned by dictatorial governments.


The Cambalache is bringing the soul of Argentina to the Big Apple with a big splash of culture: Malbec, modern tango, empanadas, street art, Fernet cocktails and dance music. Eighty dollars will buy you a bottomless glass with over 120 top Argentine wines to choose from, free flowing Quilmes beer, and as much beef and dulce de leche ice cream as your stomach can handle.  



Argentine graffiti artists will be painting murals, traditional ‘mate’ tea will be served by sexy gauchos, Nuevo Tango will be playing in a mock Buenos Aires nightclub, and lessons in practical Argentine slang will earn you street cred on your next visit. Porteños do love their electronica and DJ Uproot Andy will be spinning Buenos Aires-worthy beats.


This is the closest you are going to get to Argentina until you bite the bullet and shell out over a thousand greenbacks for a non-stop flight to EZE.

You can buy $80.00 tickets for April 16 or April 17, 2014 in advance here:, or get them at the door for $90.00.

(Twitter Tip: Use the discount code “duncan” to get 50% off the ticket price.)

Images courtesy of Wines of Argentina

Hammarskjold Street, Mendoza. #graffiti

Hammarskjold Street, Mendoza. #graffiti

Love, Sex & Revolution in Wroclaw

Venice may be for lovers, but it turns out Wroclaw has the key to romance. Couples searching for eternal love need not look further than the Tumski Bridge, which connects Ostrow Tumski and Wyspa Piaskowa. All you need to do is buy a padlock, color it with your initials, hook it to a steel barrier on the bridge and toss your key into the bottom of the Odra River. You are locked lovers forever after. Easy peasy.



If you are just looking for a good ole fashion steamy travel romp, Wroclaw’s got that covered too. You can grab a can of Black Sex Energy in most grocery stores. We’re not quite sure if it’s labeled black because you turn dark and sadistic after drinking its contents, or it’s just their favorite color. We leave it to you to discover. Isn’t that the fun of travel anyway? 


Wroclaw has a rampant gnome population proliferating like wildfire. You’ll spot around 180 of them throughout the city in public parks, doorways, street corners, alleyways and in local shops. The gnomes were born during the 1980’s as an anti-establishment symbol created by the "Orange Alternative" movement – an underground protest movement against the communist regime, which used absurdity and nonsense to stage peaceful, yet subversive protests.

The gnomes were originally a graffiti calling card, but in the early 2000’s statuettes were commissioned to celebrate the history of the Orange Alternative. Local artists began producing the gnomes, which were publicly planted around town, and shortly after, businesses began displaying the iconic munchkins as a sign of Wroclaw pride. If you find yourself on a geocaching gnome hunt in Wroclaw and are hankering for some helpful hints, check out this website:


Below is a graffiti reference to George Orwell’s infamous communist pig, Napoleon, in his 1945 novel Animal Farm


If you are not securing eternal love, having sex or gnome hunting in Wroclaw, there is always a good reason to start a revolution.

Written by Nora Walsh, Photography by Sarah York Rubin



Biking from Red Hook, BK (Part II)

If there was an award for New York’s biggest cupcake fan, I have no doubt in my mind that Mariana would be a frontrunner. She is highly critical and extremely loyal, willing to risk the possibility of not getting her rental bike back on time so she could pay a visit to one of her favorite bakers.

Here she is at Baked savoring her favorite flavor: red velvet cupcake with vanilla icing.

From Red Hook we had to book it back to Manhattan in 40-minutes max to return the bike to Chari & Co in the Lower East Side.

Brooklyn Heights

Hicks Street

Graffiti near Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn

As we raced over the Williamsburg Bridge and were ripping through traffic at dangerous speeds, I realized my reckless behavior could be construed by some as tell-tale signs of a cupcake addict enabler. (I have, more than once, seen her scoop and savor the remnants of a smushed melted cupcake from the side of a plastic bag with more enthusiasm than a chain smoker puffing her first cigarette after a long intercontinental flight.)

When we pulled up to Chari & Co. they were rolling down the metal door to close the shop, which prompted us both to scream “Wait!”

I could not believe we made it.

With beading sweat and burning muscles I sat on the stoop and waited for Mariana to pay the $40.00 rental fee. Next door there were two women picking at a gourmet spread.

"That’s a nice picnic you got there," I complimented.

"That is the idea. It was put together by the founder of,” she responded.

That was a timely discovery to inspire our next summer outing.

Biking to Red Hook, Brooklyn (Part I)

This weekend I dusted off my bike for its first summer spin. My friend Mariana and I wanted to enjoy the summer weather splashing around in Red Hook’s public pool. We biked the four miles from the East Village to Red Hook in about 45-minutes.

Over the last four years,  New York City has added more than 250 miles of bike lanes, including expanded lanes on First and Second Avenue that make bicycling  downtown much quicker and safer. We used the Google Maps app on the iPhone to get us across Brooklyn to Red Hook.

Canal Street


Manhattan Bridge

Lower Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Smith Street, Brooklyn

Smith Street, Brooklyn

When we finally arrived to the Red Hook Rec Center, we learned that the pool was closed until the following weekend. I wasn’t too surprised because I had read that all public pools in New York City wouldn’t open until June 28, 2012, but I had also found another website for Red Hook Pool that provided contrary information. Since no one answered the phone when I called the numbers listed, we took our chances and rolled the dice.

We of course lost that bet, but as Ralph liked to quip, “life is a journey, not a destination,” so we cut our losses and plopped ourselves down under a shady tree in a quiet park across the street.

(To follow the Red Hook biking journey back to the Lower East Side, read Part II tomorrow.)