konichiwa bitches

Everyone loves Polaroids. They're quick and fun, and their imperfections are half the charm. So I was searching the Polaroid website, trying to figure out how to use my Polaroid Land Camera, when I came across the latest addition to the Polaroid family. Apparently, the PoGo was introduced around the time Polaroid announced they were stopping production of all instant film, an implication that the PoGo would replace the old instant cameras. 

The Land Camera I have.

First, I should say what the PoGo is. It's a portable printer a little larger than an iPhone that instantly prints 2"x3" photos from your camera or bluetooth phone. The technology it uses doesn't require ink, so all you ever have to buy (other than the printer) is paper. 

I have mixed feelings about this pseudo Polaroid. It doesn't seem to be as spontaneous or impulsive as old cameras. First of all because it's not actually a camera. It's a printer that you have to send pictures to from your phone after taking them, or go to the hassle of carrying your camera, USB , and the PoGo around with you, plugging in your camera, and then choosing the photos you want to print. But it's definitely more impromptu than sending out to have photos developed, or printing them at home. And the photo paper they use, 2"x3" is just as lovable as the old Polaroid film. 

The PoGo.

Another downfall (luckily not a complete one) of the PoGo is 
the photo quality. The streaks and colour distortion of Polaroids make them distinct and artsy. Today, anyone can take a picture with a digital camera and have it come out looking 100% real, no flaws. In fact, flaws and imperfections are discouraged nowadays. The PoGo however, falls halfway on this issue. The photos it prints are not nearly as faded, discoloured, or flawed as original Polaroids, but they aren't perfect either. It helps that cellphone cameras don't take very good pictures in the first place.

On the right, a photo printed using the PoGo. On the left, a photo printed using a full-sized Canon printer.

Instant photography is dying. The PoGo makes a solid effort to save it, but it's not enough. To be able to take a picture and have it in your hands a moment later is something unique. But nowadays people are so focused on uploading pictures from their cell phones or digital cameras right to their facebooks or flickr, and don't take the time to appreciate them. It could be as simple as making a scrapbook, or hanging up your pictures, but so rarely do people take the time anymore.

The Polaroid PoGo is (hopefully) the first of a new set of digital instant photography products from Polaroid. At $150, it's out of my grasp right now, but in the end, I definitely recommend it for the Polaroid-lover. 

Also, if you're into imperfect photography, I highly recommend the Diana F+ by Lomography ((the girl in this blog's title picture is holding it)). It's pretty bitchin'.

The Diana F+ by Lomography.

Polaroid-esque, no?


Who Knew?

I was recently in New York City, where I ran into this great
store, Muji. They recently opened an outlet in SoHo, and then
in May, they opened a flagship store in Times Square.
The store is a Japanese retailer that sells a range of things 
including a great selection of pens, clothing, and furniture. I 
really go there for the pens. They come in a large variety of colours
and write like heaven. I highly recommend them. Another 
big seller is their toe-socks (below), which are like mittens for 
your feet. They're eco-friendly and very comfortable. 
If you're ever in the NYC vicinity, I recommend checking
it out. 

Also, yesterday I met a friend and some of his friends at 
the Dutchess County Fair. It's a big event where I live, with
lots of rides, fat American foods, and livestock. It's actually 
a lot of fun. My camera stopped working right when
I met my friends, so here's just a couple pictures I managed
to get before. 


Muji's cotton toe-socks. Très cool.

Muji's bitchin' pens, and some of their colours.

The flying swings at the fair. 

The Tilt-A-Whirl, which went surprisingly fast. You should have seen the kid in the car next to us. He looked rather...uncomfortable. 


heroes & thieves

Here's a song I really love, and I think the music video
is also very well done. Vanessa Carlton is known for her older 
songs such as A Thousand Miles and Ordinary Day, maybe
even White Houses and Nolita Fairytale. As an artist, 
she has evolved so much from when she first recorded
songs at just 16 years old. Now 28, she relatively recently 
recorded a new album, Heroes & Thieves, which is 
very beautifully done. Her use of strings makes every song
so great to listen to. It's a very summery album, and 
just generally happy. This is my favorite song from the 
album, so I hope you enjoy it!

Hands On Me


cr8tive recreation

Everywhere you look today, someone's wearing a pair
of brightly colored, shiny, or glaringly white sneakers.
They've become extremely popular, and for good reason -
they look great. So here's a company I don't think many 
people have heard of, selling quality footware.

Creative Recreation is a relatively new brand 
of sneakers specializing in shoes that look sophisticated
and modern, feel good, and can be worn to work. Their 
sneakers vary greatly in style, from upscale to more 
casual. Some of their shoes, like the ones pictured
below, could even be moon shoes. 

I recently purchased a pair of more everyday 
shoes from them, which I am very pleased with. 
They're comfortable and look great, and weren't that 
expensive, at least not compared to other sneakers 
being sold these days. Mine were around $90, but 
they range from about $80 to $130. They also just 
released their new fall collection. Check it out at their 


fred flare

This site has some pretty chill goodies, including the hamburger phone from Juno.

Personally, I've had my eye on this bag. It's just so American with the fries, burgers, and shakes. Maybe I'm just chronically hungry...


booty rockin' show stoppin'

Hey! I haven't had any music-posts yet, so here's my first. Most ((if not all)) of these songs I found thanks to this terrific blog, The Sexy Result. It also has some great music videos and a lot of free downloads for songs and remixxes. Check it out. 

A lot of American music is influenced by European artists, especially tecno / dance tracks. Where would we be today without artists like Cassius, Daft Punk, and Justice ((all three are french duos by the way))? I guess what all of these tracks have in common are that they're in english, even if they're not by American or English artists. Funny how that works.

So, here's my top 10 songs at the moment. I tend to wear out a song when I like it, so these are the songs playing on repeat on my iTunes right now. Check it.

Body Bass by Uffie This song has a pretty phat beat and dirrty lyrics. And Uffie's blatant and vulgar language makes it embarrassingly good. This Miami-Parisian singer is able to drop a pretty rude rhyme and make it catchy. This song just burns my ears - in a good way.

 Hot N Cold by Katy Perry Katy Perry is one of my favorite new artists, and she has a pretty hot blog too. This song has a pulsing beat and catchy, clever lyrics such as "You change your mind / like a girl changes clothes." Katy's first single, I Kissed A Girl, has the same kind of addictive percussion and witty words. This looks like it could be her next single from One Of The Boys.
 Sophisticated Side Ponytail by Natalie Portman's Shaved Head This song is just plain psychedelic. In just 1:32 it talks about Shamu, an oyster-bake, and sexy-violence. The music video is just as random, with indian headdresses, satin capes, and Wall Mart. If nothing else, this is a feel-good song. 

 Cut Me Loose by Sam Sparro Sam Sparro is going to be one of the biggest upcoming artists. Every song on his album is worthy of being a single, from "Clingwrap" to "S.A.M.S.P.A.R.R.O.W." to the title of this blog, "21st Century Life." His deep, bluesy voice creates soothing yet strong vocals for the tracks, an interesting combination mixed with the synth. This album is highly recommended, as are his videos for "Black and Gold" and "Cottonmouth." Check it.
 Cobrastyle by Robyn Bom-diddi-bom di-dang di-dang diggi-diggi. Robyn's new and innocent voice makes this track an easy favorite. Great synth. 

Just Dance by Lady GaGa The title pretty much sums this one up. 

The World Should Revolve Around Me by Little Jackie I just saw the video for this today on TV, and immediately liked it. Little Jackie has clever, honest lyrics that you can't get out of your head. She says what everyones thinking but are too modest to say. A summery song.   

Jerk It by Thunderheist The thick beats and smooth voice ((similar to Missy's)) of the Thunderheist duo fuse perfectly in this catchy song. All I can say is check it out. 

 Beautiful Dirty Rich by Lady GaGa Ahh, don't we all wish we were. This single by Lady GaGa keeps you dancing and makes you want to go to the nearest Gucci store and buy it out. While having chocolate-covered strawberries fed to you. Naked. 

 Lights & Music by Cut Copy This song is what a good track should be: a song that makes you want to dance. After a mediocre start, the song kicks off and takes you with it. This is what I'll remember when I think about the summer of 2008.

Well, that's it. I hope you take the time to at least listen to a sample of these tracks on iTunes, or download most of them for free from The Sexy Result. I know all of these songs aren't the newest, but if you haven't heard them yet, they're worth a listen. More soon.


all my life watching america

Good morning! I know it's early, but I haven't been 
able to sleep lately. I've just come back from a 
trip to Australia and Polynesia, and I seem to be
rather jet-lagged. Anyways, I thought I'd post something.
These are just a few photos from my trip. I didn't have 
enough room to pack my old Nikkormat, so these 
were taken with my Canon Powershot. 

These are all from Samoa, a primitive island in the 
Pacific. Someone had nudged this fruit into a pole on
a platform overlooking this waterfall. You can't
see it here, but just up the river women were
washing clothes. Somoa's main income is tourism,
and yet it's people can't afford washing machines.

This is a third grade class we ran into while
touring the island. Out of these 13 kids, only one spoke 
((broken)) english, though apparently they were all
learning. They were very happy to see us and we could 
tell they wanted their picture taken. They kept eyeing 
our cameras, and when we asked if we could take their 
picture, they immediately posed. I especially like the 
Motorola bag. Their uniforms were cute too: pink 
shirts with green skirts.

Lastly, this is a "fallah" (sp?) on a Samoan beach. They 
have a bunch of these all in a row, and they can be
rented for $70 a night, including three meals a day, which 
is great if you're on a student budget. The beach is 
breathtaking, and the water is gorgeous as well. It would 
be a great place to vacation just to get away from the world, 
and to enjoy nature. 

I hope you enjoyed these pictures. I guess my point with these 
is to show how obsessed much of the world is with America
right now. Almost all of the adults on the island spoke 
english, the economy is based on mostly American tourists, 
and many of the children we saw had American branded
gear. What is it about America that makes it so attractive to 
developing countries? Is it the crass commercialism? Or 
maybe the the fact that American grew into one of the most 
powerful countries in the world after a rough start. What do
you think?


i write mostly on hotel paper

Hello and welcome. This blog is about the
music, style, art, architecture, and goings-on of
the 21st century. I guess the point is to show
you what's going on in my life culture-wise,
what I'm interested in, and what's interesting
in the world at the moment.

So you can get to know me a little better,
I love Andy Warhol, electro/dance/techno
music, and photography. I use my mom's
vintage Nikkon Nikkormat camera a lot,
but I also have a digital point-and-shoot.

"During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what
emotions were supposed to be. And I don't think
they've ever remembered."
-Andy Warhol