Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It's Thanksgiving!

This week is Thanksgiving! Get ready to be thankful and gorge yourself on all kinds of delicious foods. If you are travelling then be safe and we will see you when you get back!

However if you are staying at Ludlow we have two events for you:

1) Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with RA Naysha. Meet at 6:30am in the lobby to go see the parade in person and be in awe at all the gigantic balloons.

2) Thanksgiving Dinner. Meet in the basement at 2pm for a feast.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Union Square Holiday Market

Today is the beginning of the Union Square Holiday Market. It is the 20th season of the European style market on 14th street that will be there until December 24th. Here you will be able to find unique gifts for your friends family for the upcoming holidays! 

Venue details
  • Cross Street:
    between Broadway and Park Ave South
  • Opening hours:
    Mon–Fri 11am–8pm, Sat 10am–8pm, Sun 11am–7pm
  • Transport:
    Subway: L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St–Union Sq
  • Categories:
    Shopping. Things to Do
  • Good for:
    Lively scene. Take a tourist. Kids
  • Event type:
    Markets & fairs. Seasonal traditions

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Coffee Pot Cooking

There's food in the fridge, a growl in your stomach, but no pants on your body. You've already plowed through your snacks and now you're faced with the need to cook. Panic consumes your entire being once you realize in order to go cook, you must put on your pants to face outside world...until you realize... You have your coffee maker! Continue on, pant-less food maker!

That's right, your coffee maker. After a soldier away from home complained enough about the less than appetizing options in the mess hall, his mother decided to investigate the alternative uses of the classic coffee maker. It was the only appliance her son was allowed to have in his room and it turns out you can steam, poach and even grill food with it!


Steam: The basket at the top is a great place to steam vegetables. You can throw in broccoli, cauliflower or any vegetable that cooks in about the same time as those.

Poach: The carafe at the bottom serves as a simple vessel for poaching fish and chicken. You can also use it to hard-boil eggs or make couscous and oatmeal.

Grill: This technique is a bit more advanced — and time-consuming. But if you're really itching for a grilled cheese sandwich or a cinnamon bun in a motel room, the coffee maker's burner can serve as a miniature grill.

For more ideas and recipes, click here

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to Get Free Tickets to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Recently, I had the opportunity to go to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and I got great seats for free. Here are the ins and outs of getting free tickets to a great live show. Getting free tickets is a process but it is worth it if you are a fan of the show.

1) Go to the Daily Show website and click on the link for Tickets. This is the site where they post their available tickets. If it says there are no tickets available at this time, check back at a later time. Also you can follow their twitter and they often tweet when they have tickets available.

If they do have tickets available sign up and you can reserve up to three tickets. They will send you and e-mail with instructions. The instructions ask you to confirm your reservation. Also, you will be notified that even though you have a reservation it does not mean you have a guaranteed ticket. They overbook their studio to make sure there is always an full audience.

2) On the day of your reservation, print out your email confirmation or make sure you can access it on your phone. Go to the studio on 11 avenue between 51st and 52nd street (There are signs it's hard to miss). The line grows quick and often people at the end do not get tickets. I arrived at 12:30 and the line was relatively short. So, get in line anytime between 12:30 and 1 pm for a guaranteed a spot (although the sooner the better for better seats). Bring something to do otherwise waiting in line will be boring. At 2:30 they distribute the tickets and you need to show the email confirmation. I was given a ticket with a number. Because I got there early, I was able to get a smaller number (smaller numbers are good in this instance). I was also holding a place for Allie and she was assigned a ticket with a number as well. However, she had to get to the studio before 4 pm in order to get the ticket. Otherwise they would have filled her empty spot at 4pm. For people who have their tickets you are instructed to return to the studio at 4:30.

3) You can find a restaurant to hang out in on 6th avenue while you wait for 4:30. Alli and I found a really cool burger place that makes all different kinds of burgers called Island Burgers and Shakes. It is on 9th avenue between 51st and 52nd street.

4) Return to the studio at 4:30 and get into your designated area. You are asked to get in line according to the number on the ticket. People with smaller numbers are let in first. They let you in and immediately as you enter there is a bathroom to her left. Make sure to go to the bathroom at this time because it is the last chance before sitting in the studio for 2 hours. They ask that you do not leave the studio once seated so not to disturb taping. It takes about half an hour to get everyone through security and seated.

5) Before the show starts they give you the opportunity to take pictures of the set. After that time, they ask you turn off and put away your cell phones if they catch you using your phone outside this time they will take your phone away and return it after the show. A warm-up comedian comes out and talks to the audience and instructs everyone to get really loud when the cameras are rolling.

6) After the warm-up comedian, Jon Stewart comes out and answers a few questions. Stick to non-complicated fun questions, because anything serious and he will answer in a joking manner. After the questions Jon gets behind the desk and they start taping immediately. I've heard sometimes they do retakes of segments but when I was there they shot the entire show once. After the show, Jon will thank  everyone for coming and then you are released. We were out by 6:30.

The whole process is pretty seamless and it is free. I hope this information is helpful and gives you an idea of how it all works.

Allie and I on the set of the Daily show.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Of the Artist

It is the charge of the artist to be detached from rudimentary understanding. The artist cannot create under any circumstance other than misunderstanding. The artist understands through the act of creation, of bridging the gap between what is presented and it's visible outcome. Why the fuck do you think y'all can't stop making work about feelings? Because no one has feelings figured out. 

Virginia Wolf's book-length letter to a lawyer who queried unto her; "why war?" (which I am reading a meta text about by Susan Sontag, currently) contains generous dissections of war photographs  which Wolfe received in the mail. Because of her inability to understand them as simply "photographs of dead children", she sought to create a bridge through her writing. If you think people have these ideas outside of the act of creating work, outside of the act of congealing thoughts into a linear pattern then you're straight wrong.  Because nobody's thoughts make any sense. Ever. If you think the raw material of your thoughts makes sense then head on over to Charles Xavier's school for Gifted Youngsters already. 

Anyway, we make this stuff because we don't understand anything and we can't even communicate our thought process toward understanding. So you know what? Embrace your misunderstanding. Try to look at everything as painfully alien and worthy of inquiry. Be weirded out by plastic bags and subway cars and trees and bouncing itunes icons (seriously when will it stop) because you will be be giving people something to relate to (shit everyone else seems to understand) and doing something healthy for yourself (understanding things). 


Saturday, November 16, 2013


When I have a really shitty critique in class or my day has just been crappy, I love to crawl in bed and browse the internet endlessly. Somehow I start by watching a tv show and then end up in that weird blackhole part of YouTube watching cat videos and babies. However there's that awesome feeling when you come across something really fun and inspiring that makes the two hours you thought you 'wasted' into a time well spent. I think the internet is definitely becoming this great platform to share creativity easily so more people are eager to create and make stuff as it's so simple to get it out there. 

This video called 'Dogboarding' I found a few years ago and I still watch it occasionally as it just makes me feel so happy. I'm not sure if it's the music or just getting to watch cute dogs transform but it doesn't make me feel angry or depressed; it makes me feel glee. I also admire how much effort probably went into it and the actual execution is top notch. Someone definitely worked their butt off to make this look good as it easily could've come out shit. This is in my inspiration folder on my desktop and whenever I feel like my work is coming out shit I just look at things like this and think 'damn I can do that'. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Yoga - Your Practice

There are many reasons people do yoga. Some people may do you yoga to find peace within themselves, where as others might to do it strengthen their body. There are so many good reasons to do yoga. The great thing about yoga is that you put your own body to work and you make it part of your practice.

When I do yoga (Vinyasa) I find it that it is very important to find yourself within your breath. You must deepen your concentration and stay focus within your inner-self. That's why in the beginning of a yoga class it is important to find a flow with your breath. Your breath is the most important thing that will help you get through the difficult times. 

I invite everyone to try yoga, over the next month I'll be doing a yoga program where we can all take yoga.

There's an amazing organization: Yoga To The People. 
One of their locations is in the East Village on St. Marks Street between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave. 
It is donation based, so any money you can give at the end of the session is fine. If you can't give anything is fine also. Just be sure to bring $2 to rent a mat or just bring your own mat.

I invite everyone to also try it outside of my two programs and to invite your friends. It is an amazing thing to practice. 

My next two yoga programs are Sunday Nov. 24th and December 8th at 6:30pm. 

-RA Irving

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Instant Gratification Done Right

It's almost on a daily basis someone somewhere is complaining about our generation's current addiction to instant gratification. We don't like to wait for things, work very hard for them or harbor a single ounce of patience. Emails, texting, instant messaging, you name it, we got it....NOW.

Well you know what else you can (almost, soon enough) have right now??? PIZZA. That's right, PIZZA. Domino's pizza, to be precise. 

Currently in its beta testing phase is the PiePal, a device with a button and dial that you simply set to how many pizzas you want and BAM! Order made. Happiness and cheesy goodness delivered. Of course, the temptation and ease of the device has posed itself as a double-edged sword. What if you "accidentally" bump into it? What if the dog knocks it over? There's never a bad time for pizza, except when you aren't expecting it and have an empty wallet... As a precaution, iStrategyLabs is designing an acrylic case with two key locks to prevent too many compulsive button pushes or accidents.

You can sign up to be a potential beta taster (that's right, taster) at or just stare at this video with a hungry, hopeful glimmer in your eye.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The return of figurative painting.

Short soundbite regarding the eventual [next 10-15 years] return to classical painting aesthetics.

While paroozing Chelsea galleries, it would not be strange for me to tell you I've seen an abundance of conceptual artwork which, by association, often lacks the "artists hand" and much of a sense of craftsmanship. Artists who's work is concerned with the figure, with rendering in acrylic and oil, and allowing the stroke to tell the story, have never been more profoundly overlooked as they are now.

With the advent of Adobe Illustrator as well as various other digital rendering technologies, the "art consumer" wants little to do with the figurative painter. In fact, if they are concerned with paint at all, they are buying up abstract works or heavily illustrative, workshopped paintings by people who are selling a schtick.

Though this is the direction of the world at large, without a doubt. Moving away from tactile aesthetics and toward the digital-cerebral is the trend of our age. Negative or not, it is the trajectory. Though in my opinion, just as the pendulum swings one way, it will also swing back the other.

The generation that is growing up now, never having not known touch screens, etc, will seek something foreign when the time comes for them to purchase artworks. And that foreign entity will (in my opinion) be the tactile and emotional response from the painters hand.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Managing Your Time and Stress

In college, sometimes it is difficult to juggle our different responsibilities. Classes, homework, work, internships, social lives and not to mention eating or sleeping can be very over-whelming. Here are some time managing and de-stressing tips that work for me.

1) Keep a schedule. 

Our phones can be quite useful when keeping our lives straight. I personally like to use iCalendar just to help me keep track of my work hours and appointments throughout the week. It works best if you enter the change in your scehdule as soon as it happens. That way you can go through the rest of your day knowing your phone will remind you if you are missing something. There are lots of smartphone apps that can help you do this. Also, if you're a more traditional person, keeping a planner to let you know when important projects are due, can help a lot. 

2) Make a to-do list. 

Sometimes we get so busy we often forget about the little things that need to be done. Keeping a to-do list can free up your mind so that you can focus on other tasks. If your to-do list is a long one, then focus on completing a few things on the list a day. Remember, you are human and you need to allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete important tasks. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can get everything done in one day and don't make the mistake of thinking you can get everything done an hour before it is due. Pacing is key. A to-do list can also help with sleep. I know how easy it is to lay awake at night thinking about all the things you have to do. Keep your to-do list next to your bed and write tasks down as you are falling asleep. Once it is on the list, you won't think about it anymore. Pretty soon you'll have nothing left to think about and you will doze off into that much needed sleep.

3) Exercise and eat healthy.

This may seem like a great way to waste time, but forcing yourself to go to the gym or just taking a walk around the block can actually help with focus. Once you sit down to work, your brain is ready to work and you can get more done with less time. Also, taking time to eat your vegetables instead of settling for fast food, gives your brain the nutrients it needs to function properly. If you have difficulty getting healthy food, vitamins can also help. 

4) Avoid all-nighters at all costs.

Going to bed the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning can help your head and body shake off that constant tired feeling. Did you know college students need as much sleep as infants? With adequate sleep, your brain is more likely to be there for you when you need it. Part of establishing a sleep routine means you also have to make time to study in order to avoid those all-nighters. Making a study schedule will give you an indication when you should study and when you have time to relax. Just knowing is half the battle. 

5) Remember to have fun.

With all our responsibilities it is difficult to remember to have fun. Having fun can lower stress and help shake off feelings of isolation or depression. So text a friend and see if they want to grab a bite to eat or see that movie everyone has been talking about. Make time for the things you enjoy and you will be ready to go back to class on Monday.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


It is that time of year when New York goes canned food crazy! Canstruction 2013 is here.

Don't know what that is? City Harvest organises an exhibition each year to feature sculptures made out of canned food donations. This year there are twenty-five teams made up of students, architects and designers competing to win. There are some crazy sights such as mermaids, Mr. Potato head and more! Each year is different depending on what canned foods have been donated thus far. 

Admission to see the exhibition is free, however you are invited to bring some canned food as a donation as they want to reach a goal of 50,000 pounds of food for the holidays. 

Canstruction 2013 is on display until 11/13/13 at Brookfield Place (right by the Freedom Tower).