A Rainbow Interlude

As I was biking down South Street Bridge, I happened to witness a little slice of perfection, being in just the right place at just the right time. South Street Bridge is known as one of the best places to view the Philly Skyline, so I stopped to capture some fantastic evening sunlight highlighting the skyscrapers beneath a dark sky pregnant with late spring showers.

As I kept shooting away, however, I was granted with a rare sight indeed—a perfectly framed rainbow forming! And not only that, but soon it was a clearly visible double rainbow. The intensity of the primary rainbow was truly breathtaking, as was its sheer size and height. This was one of the few times in my life I was able to clearly make out ROYGBIV. Even though no photos can do the scene justice, I’ll let the images speak for themselves. As with everything in life, the moment was fleeting, so I soon hopped back on my sweet ride and headed on.

Philly Skyline double rainbow Philly Skyline rainbow

And for a bonus, here’s a shot I took on a gorgeous day about a month ago that I’ve been meaning to post. Enjoy!

Flower & Sky

Philly Auto Show 2008

The following is what you get when someone who has no interest in automobiles (other than their help in getting from point A to point B) goes to an auto show.


me_in_fortwo

 

This first one is just silly, but so unique that it deserved a looksee. The Smart Fortwo is touted as an übereconomical city car. It lacks back seats, and has only a motorcycle engine or something silly like that. If I want a motorcycle engine with barely any room, I’ll get me a damn motorcycle.

I really just skipped through most of the exhibits since, again, I had no particular interest in most of the same old shiny plastic crap on display.

orange_oldie

 

But even my blasé self couldn’t resist the classics. For example, why aren’t manly metal road tanks with pumalike curves and couchy seats made anymore? The guy who owned this beast was there buffing it and he said he got the original with only 5000 miles on it, then replaced & rebuilt much of it, and now he drives it every day. Cool beans.

million_dollar_car

 

The pimped out oddities like this so called “Million Dollar Car” also caught my attention, since I enjoy seeing what people with way too much time and money can do with automobiles. I don’t know what specifically made this one so special, since we couldn’t get close to it, but it does look like a spaceship, which counts for something.

me_in_porche

Wandering through another room, some more bright yellow caught my ADHD eye, and, well, who could resist getting inside a Porsche? Frankly though, I don’t see the appeal. Where can you go to actually enjoy this car? Not the mention the fact that your view is incredible constrained by the minuteness of the interior combined with its sporty frame. The rear window is like a badly placed porthole. I like wide fields of view.

If I was to go for a mantoy car, I think I’d have to go convertible….

me_in_mb-sl55-amg

 

…Speaking of which, this $130,000 Mercedes-Benz definitely caught my eye (my sociopathic eye that was overshadowed by my huge neanderthalic brow—jeez convention center lighting is scary).

Anywho, the sexy curves and sexier “capri blue metallic” color drew me in, but I came to a realization: I don’t like luge. What I mean is, why do fast cars have you sitting so far back that you’re almost lying down? If I was going to be in a fast and powerful vehicle, I’d want the sensation of Supermanlike flight—lean me forwards like a good white boy driver should be positioned!

me_in_fitAh, finally, the only car that I really wanted to see—the Honda Fit. I never really cared an iota about cars until recently, when my ancient ’88 Accord started to betray its mortality. Even then, at first I had no idea what I was even looking for in a new car.

I wouldn’t want to get a Civic, despite my love of Honda reliability, handling, and build quality, since everyone has a Civic already. Then my dad told me about the Fit. Talk about love at first sight. This car has everything I didn’t even know I wanted in a car—great mileage, super-compact for city driving, yet with reconfigurable seats that can fit an entire surfboard or even a bike standing up.

Actually, what I really want is the “Sport” model [now, the EX] out later this year, which is more powerful, roomier, gets a purported 46(!) mpg on the highway, has a nice 6 speaker w/mp3 player setup, has an optional “moonroof”, and it looks sleeker than the 2008 version to boot. Oh, and it’s cheap!

So there you have it.

Creativity & the Great Quentini

This past Friday I decided on a whim to just get out and check out the monthly Gate To Moonbase Alpha (GTMBA) experimental, ambient, and electronic music night at the Rotunda. I’ve been there once before, two summers ago, and was pleasantly surprised by the variety and vitality of the performing artists, the quality of the music, and the extremely chill atmosphere of the event. I liked what I heard so much that I bought all the CDs that were being sold there, and it was well worth it—not only because $10 CDs at concerts are cheap and directly benefit the artists, but also because I discovered my favorite song of all time (so far, that is) on one of those random albums (“Trinity” on Adam Johnson‘s debut album Chigliak). It was quite an experience, and it renewed my interest in electronic music more than ever.

This time around, the night was as chill as before, and the artists just as intriguing and talented as before, yet vastly different. That is one of the coolest things about GTMBA and the experimental/underground music scenes in general—especially when compared to the lifeless, canned, and repetitive bilge that constitutes “popular” music today, this stuff and other fringe and niche genres like it are verdantly, vibrantly creative, not to mention interesting, enjoyable, and thought-provoking.

The most fascinating part of the night, though, was my first experience of The Great Quentini‘s performance art. He came out twice, doing various spoken-word, prop acting, found-sound music, and comedic acts. I had no idea what to make of him on his first appearance, as he performed the miracle of popping popcorn. I played along with confused patience until the next act (Ace Paradise) comforted me with a much more familiar and expected one-man ambient electronica set that was actually quite relaxing and immersive.

But then The Great Quentini returned, and, now in a more receptive state of mind, I soon realized that I was being entertained by a true rarity today: a holistic performer with multiple artistic talents, refreshing ingenuity, and a disarming comedic flair who had the audience deeply involved and invested in his performance, making us laugh out loud, applaud with awe, and deeply ponder his messages and meanderings all at once. He challenged our societally atrophied ears with a novel, avant-garde keyboard performance and he engaged our eyes with elaborate and original costumery and numerous props.

Most of all, though, he broadened our minds with tongue-in-cheek yet profound spoken segments about the religious superiority of gravity, and the “special purpose” that each of us has in life, and he closed with a soundly amusing and eye-opening segment about the rule of plastic today, intermixing found-sound music and dialogue with some old toys….

…But I don’t want to give away too much detail, since,
A) I’d encourage you to be on constant lookout for future performances by The Great Quentini, to go, enjoy, and see for yourselves, and also
B) things like this can never be fully brought to life with language or writing—words are merely abstract representations and are always open to the vagaries of subjective interpretation.

This leads me to my closing point:

Truly original creativity, as well as truly great art, (both embodied in the performances of The Great Quentini), are disappointingly and disproportionately lacking in the world today. Why is it that people are so drawn to complete unoriginality and lack of inspiration? Is it laziness? The fear of leaving the comfortable yet stagnant mental spaces we each create? Or maybe it’s our unconscious desire to converge on societal norms, rushing like lemmings willy-nilly to our own intellectual destruction in the seas of banality; drowning in a deluge of force-fed fad, fashion, and popular media graciously provided by monopolistic, monolithic corporations….

Or maybe none of this matters at all. Whatever. I had fun.

Until next time, dare to think a new thought!