New York City
There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless. —Simone de Beauvoir.
Broadway this past summer, in the eyes of photographer Patrick Romieu.

New York City

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.
—Simone de Beauvoir.

Broadway this past summer, in the eyes of photographer Patrick Romieu.


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New York City

During a brief break between the snow and cold of this brutal NY winter, Brooklyn based painter Rostarr braved a scant, sketchy scissor lift to adorn the recently installed scaffolding around Ace Hotel New York. 

My name is Romon Yang also know as Rostarr, I am a painter & calligrapher and I live and work in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. I was born in South Korea and moved with my family to Washington D.C. in 1972, I arrived in New York City in 1989 to attend the School of Visual Arts and have called NY home ever since.

Standing outside the whole day watching you paint the mural was pretty great. People crowded around and asked a lot of questions about you, who you are, where you’re from, but the number one question was, “is it some ancient Arabic script?” Tell us about the forms, your inspirations, how this style came about.

My approach to calligraphy is abstract & gestural, similar to asemic writing, and often times iconographic and pictogram like. As a young boy up until art school where I studied Typography and Iconography design, I’ve always appreciated the beauty and forms of calligraphy from China, Korea, Tibet, Thailand and Arabic calligraphic masters, and similarly my appreciation of hand styles by graffiti writers such as Phase II, Rammellzee, Futura, Keith Haring, etc., it was a natural transition for me to go from abstract painting to abstract calligraphy and vice versa. I will forever be a student of the brush & pen.    

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Everyone was amazed at how quickly you worked, you did half of the scaffolding in one day. You don’t appear to make mistakes either, it’s crazy. You’re clearly a pro at this, how long have you been doing this kind of work, these kinds of murals? 

Yeah, it’s a bit crazy to think that I painted a 4 foot high x 350 foot wide mural in 2 days (to be exact 10 hours, but who’s counting). I’ve been very fortunate to have been invited to make murals and large installations of various types, indoors/outdoors since 1998, around the time I joined the NY art collective Barnstormers. Making public art is giving love, plain and simple.

What inspires you, excites you, puts you your totally chill and creative zone?

I find the most pleasure in the moment of painting where I get in the zone and start laying my lines and shapes down, almost like building a visual sculpture. I get inspired by visualizing a location or wall and its surroundings and try to solve the problem with what style will make the right impact. 

With this painting commission for Ace Hotel, speed was an important factor as I wanted this mural to convey the energy and flow of commuters passing by 29th street & Broadway, similar to the way a computer motherboard looks with routes, destinations and intersections.

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Seems like one of the benefits to being a successful artist such as yourself, is that you get to do some traveling. Where’s you’re favorite place you’ve travelled to and what made it special?

I feel so lucky to have travelled a lot for my art, some of my favorite places have been: Tokyo, Paris, London, Venice, L.A., Mexico, Puerto Rico and especially Seoul Korea. Being that I left Korea when I was just 1 years old, Seoul holds a special place in my heart and is a place that I’m so curious about getting to know better, in a short amount of time I’ve met so many talented individuals and good friends out there, Seoul is definitely the place to watch out for!

As with any scaffolding in NYC, Rostarr’s work could be up for 3 months or 2 years. We recommend checking it out soon if you don’t want to miss it: 29th & B’way.

Photos by Lauren Coleman. 


United Artists Theater — the site of the soon-to-be Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles — during a parade photographed for the cover of the 1936 Los Angeles City Planning Commission Report. On the marquis, Piccadilly Jim starring Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans and Frank Morgan, and Star For a Night with Claire Trevor.

United Artists Theater — the site of the soon-to-be Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles — during a parade photographed for the cover of the 1936 Los Angeles City Planning Commission Report. On the marquis, Piccadilly Jim starring Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans and Frank Morgan, and Star For a Night with Claire Trevor.


Harold Lloyd isn’t trying to stop time in this famous scene from the 1923 silent comedy, Safety Last. The reason he’s hanging from this clocktower involves a convoluted tale of trying to make good in the big city, impress the true love he left back in Smalltown and make a quick bundle by scaling a 12-story building so that the fictional DeVore Department Store on the ground floor can generate some buzz and ideally move the merch — all that Horatio Alger stuff that doesn’t really change quite as much as it stays the same. The minute hand Harold’s holding onto over Broadway belongs to what is now the Sparkle Factory, owned by our good friend Tarina Tarantino, and stands across the street from the future Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. The marquee you see in Harry’s background is for the former Majestic Theatre. By all accounts, it lived up to its name until it was demolished in 1933. While it’s too bad the Majestic couldn’t make it to the present in its physical form, we’re glad Harold’s literal take on social climbing managed to stop the clock and preserve its memory forever.

Harold Lloyd isn’t trying to stop time in this famous scene from the 1923 silent comedy, Safety Last. The reason he’s hanging from this clocktower involves a convoluted tale of trying to make good in the big city, impress the true love he left back in Smalltown and make a quick bundle by scaling a 12-story building so that the fictional DeVore Department Store on the ground floor can generate some buzz and ideally move the merch — all that Horatio Alger stuff that doesn’t really change quite as much as it stays the same. The minute hand Harold’s holding onto over Broadway belongs to what is now the Sparkle Factory, owned by our good friend Tarina Tarantino, and stands across the street from the future Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. The marquee you see in Harry’s background is for the former Majestic Theatre. By all accounts, it lived up to its name until it was demolished in 1933. While it’s too bad the Majestic couldn’t make it to the present in its physical form, we’re glad Harold’s literal take on social climbing managed to stop the clock and preserve its memory forever.


PART III : LINDA GERARD & DJ DAY

Dear faithful readers — if you know us and love us at all then you know who Linda Gerard is. And you know that we love her beyond reason. And you know that she is currently facing off with the asshole named cancer — and we’re hoping everyone can chip in to help her out. Coin, vibes and kind words all matter.

Above, you’ll see Linda’s brief chat with Andrew Andrew during Desert Gold 2010 — the fifth edition is fast approaching this month. And below is part three of Linda’s interview with DJ Day — you can grab Linda’s Sissy Bingo t-shirt and her latest record, a compilation of greatest hits, Fabulous Selections, on our shop — all proceeds go to Linda’s Kick Cancer’s Ass Fund.

Read on for more from this right-on woman — you can also catch up on parts one and two while you’re at it. Light a candle, sing a show tune and dress everyday as though for paradise, in her honor.

Next up in our interview series: Ira Glass!

Can we talk about Funny Girl?

Well what happened with Funny Girl — I was with William Morris, and the pianist for Funny Girl was a guy named Peter Daniels. Peter Daniels was my accompanist. He was also Barbra Streisand’s accompanist and Lainie Kazan’s. He worked for all three of us and when Funny Girl opened, I went to opening night with my husband at the time, and I remember nudging him and saying, “It’s going to be me up there someday.” I knew that role was written for me.

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Have you ever wondered what an EGOT is? Marvin Hamlisch was one. In his time on earth, he won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, not to mention a Pulitzer and two Golden Globes. We lost him to the other side this week — an enormous talent in American Broadway and film scores who will be greatly missed. We dim our marquee lights a moment in his honor, and offer this short clip of him mischievously canoodling with Carly Simon.


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