Back in the New York Groove

I'm back in the New York Groove

Storm King art center is an open air sculpture park 1 hour north of NYC in the hudson valley.

The maturation of a flower

Every Sunday for 21 years Marjorie Eliot has opened her apartment to Jazz musicians for 2 hours of jazz in her Harlem apartment on Edgecombe and 160th street.  She even gives out juice and cookies during intermission.  There are only about 50 seats or so and if you come late you will have to stand in the hallway.  Due to the internet and blogs like this it seems like a ton of people know about this hidden jem now.  We stood for a while, ended up getting a chair in the hallway and ended up leaving after 30 minutes because there was no way we were going to get a seat inside to even have an eyeline with the musicians.  I guess you have to come early if you want to even be inside the apartment.  Will try again sometime.

55 Bar on Christopher street in the west village.  Very cool place, great barman and great music the 2 times we have been so far.  First it was an "exotica" band, think the theme song of Ren and stimpy and tiki and hawaii and the 50s.  After that it was an avant guarde sax, drum, and bass trio that wailed.

the exotica band

James Chang trying to fix his direct tv

party at one of the Otte stores

14th street A,C,E station

inside the New York Times at the art department

Billy Murray and Rhapsody United Inflight First Class

Perhaps my favorite actor, Bill Murray.  This is a nod to Groundhog Day, The Life Aquatic, and Moonrise Kingdom.  Prints are available here
The original pencil drawing is available here

Double page spread and a spot for the Inaugural issue of Rhapsody, United Airline’s in-flight magazine for First Class. The story is about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s battle with Ravi Suria, an analyst that wrote bad things about Amazon and almost made them crash back in the early days when they were mainly a book seller.

Jason Pan's Tights Get A Little Too Tight

As I wrote in the last post Jason Pan's tights got a little too tight and he returned to roost back in New York.  After 5 years on the road I realized you can't be Peter Pan forever.  The adventures will continue in New York, just at a much less frequent pace because lets face it, I'm from America and have lived in New York for so long that I am jaded and don't find life here as eye opening and new as it was when I was moving to a new country every year.  That's just the way it goes I suppose.  The good news is I will be able to focus more time on my artwork and career because I won't be spending as much time exploring a new city by foot or bike and taking photos all the time and partying all the time and making new friends and eating new things and experiencing new things every day.  Sounds like the life right?  Try it for 5 years and your tights will start to get a little tight in the thighs too, mr/ms potential Peter Pan.

Continuing French things.  Using that Opinel folding knife I got at the market in Paris.  I have searched for the best Baguette in New York and have failed to find one that come even remotely close to what they have in France.  I have heard many theories including the water is just different here.  I suppose it doesn't help that the bread is only baked once a day in the morning here as opposed to twice daily in Paris.

playing my Peter Pan flute.

Pool at Fat Cat, and then some Jazz

Chicken and waffles at good old Amy Ruth's.  A liter of gross wine

Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Outside Jonathan Bartlett's studio in Greenpoint.  Time to visit some illustrators and be part of the illustration community for real in person instead of just online and oceans apart.

view from his studio window.  Pas mal

Jonathan Bartlett in his studio.  What a nice F'ing guy.  Although he looks maniacal here.  Who's he gonna choke with that USB cable?

some of this stuff

James Bascara's studio in Bushwick

Chi Birmingham in his studio, they call it "Brushwick Studios".

Ok New York, more NY posts coming at you soon.  I wish I could look at New York the way my friend's from other countries look at New York.  Everyone wants to live in New York and think everything is amazing here.  That's how it felt when I lived outside of America but I don't think that feeling can return but I can delve into other aspects of life here and embark on different types of adventures.  Fellow New Yorkers, if you are feeling down and wishing you lived somewhere else, just remember that everyone else in the world wants to live here.

Until Next Time, My Paris

My last Paris post for a while.  I have moved back to New York and am writing this in a cafe, drinking un café as we speak, missing France.  Peter Pan is hanging up his tights. 5 years and 4 months and 20 days ago on June 1st, 2008, I left the USA for Beijing and started down a long road that saw me living in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Barcelona, London, and Paris. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago. I have evolved, mostly for the better. Thoreau, Whitman, Emerson all have amazingly true things to say about what traveling does to a person and it has definitely shaped me into a better Jason. Today I am officially back in New York, and I live, guess where, Brookyln, off the Lorimer L stop. There are too many things to say about living abroad in 6 countries for 5 years. So many adventures, triumphs, follies, and experiences. I saw the Olympics in Beijing, traveled the remote southern mountains, cruised down the Yangtze river. I went to Japanese language school in Tokyo everyday for 3.5 hrs for a year. I experienced the big earthquake first hand and fled to Korea. I was hit by a taxi and had a broken skull and woke up a day later in the hospital remembering nothing. I fell in love with Korea again. I hung out with North Korean defectors. I soaked in the Barcelona sun for a whole summer. I got the most drunk I have ever been in my life and may or may not have run with the bulls. I saw the London riots, I drank an uncountable number of pints. I learned Britishisms.  I learned how to relax in Paris. I rode all the streets of Paris on my French bike. All food has been ruined for me after eating the finest cheese, bread, meat, misc French cuisine for a year. I made lifetime friends. I have a million crazy stories. I learned 5 languages enough to have basic conversations (all forgotten now, sad isn't it). When I left New York in 2008 it was still unsure if I was going to make it as an Illustrator, but here I am 5 years later having lived off the strength of Illustration. I have explored the world, I have no regrets, I went and did it all. I did it my way more or less, and because of this I have no regrets and will forever be changed for the better. Will this Peter Pan look over longingly at his green tights hanging on the wall from time to time? You bet, but it feels good to be back in New York. Thanks to all my friends and family for humoring Peter Pan all these years and letting him fly around for a while (aka thanks for the support). Just kidding New York, I'm back after that 5 year distraction. Now the question is, what's stopping you from doing what I did? If you're just tuning in you can see all of my misadventures on this here travel blog the Best of France/conclusion and afterthoughts post will come soon.

I had this plan to photograph a bunch of cafes on these obtuse angled corners at night with my tripod and timer.  Time was running out in Paris so I only had a chance to go out for one night.  Only 3 out of these 8 cafes I did manage to shoot are actually on these obtuse angled triangle corners and the other 5 are on normal 90 degree corners.  The obtuse corner cafes are a unique thing to Paris and look cool.  This is the cafe that sparked the idea, right next to Hemmingway's old apartment, but by the time I got to shoot it they had changed their lighting from green to this.  Le Descartes off of Rue Mouffetard.  I never actually got the chance to go here.

Le Saint Regis on Ile Saint Louis.  Touristy but good for people watching since it's at the foot of the bridge connecting the two islands.

Café Louis Phillipe.  They shot gossip girl here if you care about that.  I tried this place once.

Chez Julien, is not a café actually and across the street from Café Louis Phillipe.  Supposed to be good but didn't get a chance to try it.

Le Conti in St Germain, I've been here a few times.  This is the first thing I sketched in Paris from Le Buci, across the street.

Le Buci across the street from Le Conti.  Been here a few times as well.

Bar du Maché in Saint Germain.  Been here a few times, seems like a mix of tourists and Frenchies, nice people watching spot.

La Palette, the coolest of the cafés featured here in my opinion because the tourists are few and the locals and Frenchies are many and it's off a side street in St Germain that doesn't get as much foot traffic, especially tourist foot traffic.

yet another RATP ad via Publicis Conseil by the awesome Japanese Illustrator Tadahiro Usuegi

Did I post this already?  I have to get so many new tubes and a new tire on my bike over the summer.  Popped two in one day even.

Will always remember the summer of working and watching the Tour de France, wishing I could be out on my bike.  What a summer full of friends visiting and picnics and wine and bike rides!

summer canvas and leather shoes by French brand Shmoove

pretty awesome toy car playground thing in Parc Montsouris.  I must say the playgrounds in France a pretty sweet.

My one regret.  This is still in Paris.  The color comp and sketch is all done it was just waiting to get painted on.  My bike is still there too.

brought this back and it was awesome.  Their normal Chablis is awesome too

Why?  The day before I leave my favorite wine store in our neighborhood tells me about their wine tastings they have every Saturday.  It would be interesting to see where I would be in another year in Paris after learning more French.  I'm already pretty friendly with people and they in turn are friendly with me.  This is the guy's explanation of Burgundy grapes and how the grapes get better as you move up in elevation.  The decent grapes are on the plains but the Grand Cru grapes are higher up.  I thought Burgundy produced mainly red pinot noir grapes but the Chablis region is in Burgundy also and they make loads of white Chardonnay grapes too.

how many times have I done this in the last 5 years? This is the 7th time packing up my whole life and moving to a different country.  But this time the loop is getting closed.  The good ship Jason Maru is returning to port (Japanese ships always tack on a maru at the end of their ship names because maru means circle so the boat will always safely return back to port, there will be a pic of that coming up in the future from NY).

last sunday market to pick up a special Opinel folding knife.  They sell them in the US for 3x the price

Awesome view of the wing, it's almost like what's the point of having this window?  I'll take what I can get though.  Flew Air Europa to Madrid then New York, had a 3-4 hour layover so I hopped out of their airport to meet my good pal Marco for one last time.  When is the next time I'll see him?  When is the next time I'll see anyone?  I've already seen people from London, Paris, and Beijing.  The world is a small place, and when you live in New York you're gonna see your international friends again.  Now world traveling is instilled in me and I will be back to these countries again for sure.  So for now, all I can say is à la prochaine, mon Paris.  I'll be back (and I have to because I had to leave a bunch of my stuff there because it was going to cost 400 euros to ship it via the post office).  Ok readers, I'll see you back in New York!