Monday, June 28, 2010

Dos Toros Taqueira, Welcoming FANTASTIC California-like Burritos!

Helllllooooooo California Burrito! Dos Toros Taquiera has one of the best burritos I've had in a very long time. This place will certainly give Calexico (one of my favorites in the city) and Chipotle a run for their money. It was started by two brothers, Leo and Oliver Kremer, who came to New York from San Francisco and discovered the city lacked some of their favorite Mexican food... so, wha-la, Dos Toros came to be!

Dos Toro's menu is simple: burritos, tacos, quesadilla, and plato (burrito sans tortilla) served with your choice of filling: carnitas (pork), carne asada (steak), pollo asado (grilled chicken) and basic rice and beans. The cool thing about the tacos is you can either have the shell "hard" or "soft" (get your mind out of the gutter! ha ha). Prices are in-line w/ Chipotle around the corner and Calexico food cart in Soho -- with a protein filling, burritos are $7.35, tacos are $3.67, quesadillas are $5.97, platos are $7.35 and less w/o meat.

Everything on the menu looked great, but I decided to start out with the Carnitas burrito. it was delicious. The pork was succulent and mouth watering. The beans and rice were plentiful and the pico de gallo was perfect - not tangy, not too hot, juuuuust right. :D The burrito is quite big (um, that's what she said) ... so you won't leave this place feeling hungry afterwards. I sadly did not add the guacamole (poor decision), but I would suggest adding it as my friends said it was very fresh and tasty!

Even though I was more than happy with my burrito, I certainly had food envy as I saw my friends with their meat filled to the top tacos and strangers with their cheese-oozing quesadillas. Needless to say, you can't go wrong with anything you order and I will certainly be back to taste the other items! And, seeing how long the lines are at this place, I'm not alone in my thoughts. However, its worth the wait.

Happy eating!

137 4th Ave
(between 13th St & 14th St)
New York
, NY 10003

Neighborhoods: Union Square,

(212) 677-7300

photo taken with a "bad" samsung phone camera

Friday, June 25, 2010

New York City Film Festival: Food Truck Drive-In Reminder

In a previous blog, I talked about the The New York City Film Festival: Food Truck Drive-In Festival and wanted to remind readers it is happening tomorrow.

Where: Under the Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo, Brooklyn
When: June 26, Starts at Noon and ends 10 pm
Tickets: Tickets were free (donations were appreciated) and is currently sold out; however, it may be worth it to show up and see if you can get in!
Proceeds: Food Bank of New York City

For more information see: and
For a list of food truck participants click here:

Michael Jackson: Apollo Theater Memorial from Last Year

I took this picture last year near the Apollo Theater and thought it would be appropriate to share it today, on the anniversary of Michael Jackson's passing.

Did you know that the Apollo Theater has a "side"walk of fame? Among the people listed in front of the theater include Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Little Richard, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Patti LaBelle, Quincy Jones, and Aretha Franklin. The sidewalk was made possible by a Community Initiatives Program grant funded by the Harlem Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation.

side note: this is also the day Farah Fawcett passed away.
past blogs: Michael Jackson on newstands, Worth More Dead Than Alive

Thursday, June 24, 2010

$10,000 Treasure Buried Somewhere in New York City - You up for the hunt?

A friend passed this on to me and I thought, this will be hilarious if found. $10,000 in one dollar coins are hidden somewhere in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Is it true or a hoax? One will only know if you go on the treasure hunt! There will be eight weekly video clues posted on the website leading you to the treasure chest! The first clue will be revealed on August 1. Stay tuned!

Press release below

$10,000 Treasure Buried Somewhere in New York City

New York City, USA (June 21, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — A treasure chest filled with ten thousand dollars in US Mint coins is buried somewhere in New York City, and a new Internet video series will give clues to its location. The currency was hidden by puppets, who no longer remember its secret whereabouts.
Now anyone can find it.

Premiering on August 1, 2010 eight weekly videos will be released, setting off a modern-day treasure hunt in the largest city in America. The Internet series chronicles four puppet pirates and their attempts to retrace their steps and find the lost treasure. Hidden in each video are clues and easter eggs that, if properly decoded, will lead the viewer to the buried coins.

This is not a joke or a hoax. It’s very real. This is not a contest, nor is it a promotion. Viewers can watch all eight videos, find the clues, solve the puzzle, and find 10,000 U.S. coins in a treasure chest.

While the pirates can't remember where they buried their treasure, they do know digging randomly will not get you anywhere. "Don't just dig, ye codfish!" said The Captain in an earlier statement. "The spot be clearly marked! Diggin' at randoms be as pointless as… wait, did I says the spot be marked? BOLLOCKS! Don't print that, ye swab!"

The pirates appear concerned that this web series is exploiting their activities, and jeopardizing the safety of their treasure. But they have shown no opposition to interacting with media outlets.
"Yeah, I'll talks to whoever wants to talk," said Mulligan, the ship's First Mate. "You name it, I'll talk about it. Can we talk about Bill Murray? Wait… what are we talking about?"

Added his colleague Crothers: "I refuse to speak to anyone. Except that I will. An' I prefer to speak to ladies. Of ill-repute, if'n that ain't a bother."

Fellow pirate Tom declined to comment, the Captain having reportedly killed Tom's Japanese translator over a game of pinochle. When questioned, the Captain appeared unwilling to deny the allegation.
"That bloke kept screamin' PINOCHLE in me face. So I handed him tha wrong end of a Marlin Spike, and said 'here's yer pinochle'. If any media-type folk wants anythin' from Tom, they can speaks to me. Now bugger off. I gots no comment."

For more information, go to

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Missed Opportunities: Sotheby's Polaroid Collection Photographs by ABC News

I was there, I should have shot these photos and sent them in. Afterall, I did take time to blog about it as well. Sigh, missed opportunities to be in print and to sell images to Getty Images.

Must be more aggressive than the next person. :D

Worth More Dead Than Alive?

Hmm... Worth More Dead Than Alive seems to be the theme this week, especially with my recent posting of the Sotheby's auction of the Polaroid Collection, where Ansel Adams prints have sold in the hundred of thousands of dollars ($722,500 was highest bid in this auction). But, what is it with being worth more dead than alive that seems to be true? Well, if you look at life, we have life insurance policies that guard a loss one's wages and then we have artist's works that become more valuable after they are dead because we know another will not be produced (i.e. Vincent Van Gogh, Ansel Adams, Elvis Presley). This sounds grim, but after reading an article written in the about Michael Jackson's estate a year after his death, it has some truth to it.

While alive, Michael Jackson was a celebrity; a celebrated individual who was a singer, songwriter, dancer, performer -- an all around music icon. But all of that was soon forgotten or cast aside as he was persecuted for child abuse, plastic surgeries and strange public behavior. However, his public perception changed as soon as he passed away. Once you heard about his death, tears rolled down people's cheeks, vigils were held, his music played everywhere (radio, bars) ... people almost instantly forgot and forgave him for his past -- or soon realized, it was not important in comparison to what he had achieved over his lifetime ... and the music sales soared.

I found a quote by Robert F. X. Sillerman in the article amusing:

"Death changes everything ... There’s something unique about Americans,” he said. “We root against people and look for the negative while people are alive, and then we’re very forgiving, whether they deserve it or not, and we celebrate their success in death.

As the first anniversary of his passing approaches on June 25, the article in the NYTimes says that "the Jackson brand has generated hundreds of millions of dollars, and experts in the management of celebrity estates say that in the long term it might very well equal or eclipse the value of what until now has been the ultimate entertainment estate: that of Elvis Presley, which earned $55 million last year, according to an estimate by Forbes magazine." In addition, "last year Jackson sold nearly 8.3 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan — far more than any other artist." His movie, "Michael Jackson's This is It" also grossed $261 million around the world, according to

Wow! In the last few years of Michael Jackson's life, he was in financial turmoil (at least thats what the news headlines were saying) and was in more than $400 million in debt -- but just in the last year, it seems to be that his Jackson brand has made a comeback. Incredible isn't it? Worth more alive than dead (ok, this is a quick generalization, but the idea is interesting).

But one thing is certain, once someone dies, that is, someone who has made a "brand name for themselves", their work is immediately sold for higher prices (artwork: Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol) than when they were alive or their work is sold in much higher volumes (i.e. Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley).

Sotheby's Rare Polaroid Collection Auction Comes to a Close

After two days of auctioning over 1,200 photographs, the Polaroid Collection raised approximately $12.5 million, which was above the $7.2 to $11.1 million they had expected for this auction. The top 3 highest grossing prints from this auction were photographs by Ansel Adams: (1) Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park - $722,500, (2) Moonrise Hernandez, New Mexico - $518,500, and (3) Aspens, Northern New Mexico - $494,500 (see photos below). If you didn't have a few hundred thousand dollars to spend, some of the prints sold for a few thousand or less. The least expensive print sold was a polaroid by Pirkle Jones for $750 (see photo below).

Photo above is by Robert Rauschenberg, more details can be found below.


300,000—500,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 722,500 USD

38¾ by 52 in. (98.4 by 132.1 cm.)

mural-sized, flush-mounted, framed, 1938, probably printed in the 1950s or 1960s


300,000—500,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 518,500 USD

39¼ by 56 in. (99.7 by 142.2 cm.)

mural-sized, flush-mounted, framed, 1941, probably printed in the 1950s or 1960s




150,000—250,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 494,500 USD

30½ by 38 7/8 in. (77.5 by 98.7 cm.)

mural-sized, flush-mounted, framed, 1958, probably printed in the 1960s


500—1,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 750 USD

each 4½ by 3½ in. (11.4 by 8.9 cm.)

2 unique Polaroid Type 52 prints, including William Westerfeld House, San Francisco and High-Rise Building, each with credit or the photographer's initials, date, and notations in pencil or ink, and number stamps, on the reverse, 1958

side note: Pirkle Jones was Ansel Adams assistant for six years! You'll also see that he also had some of Ansel's work, which was auctioned by Sotheby's in October 2006 (see below)

No matter how much money you had to spend, dealers of this art had to be careful of which prints they bought. In this auction, there were several similar photos produced by Ansel Adams that differed ever so slightly (warmer tones, tiny holes, quality of preservation, size). So, if you were not careful, you may have bought a less desirable print. A few of the same scenic prints included, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (see below), The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (see below), and Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, to name a few.

30,000—50,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 104,500 USD

15½ by 19½ in. (39.4 by 49.5 cm.)

mounted, signed in pencil on the mount, a Carmel studio stamp (BMFA 11), title and annotation in ink, on the reverse, 1941, probably printed between 1973 and 1977 (400 Photographs, p. 175; Classic Images, pl. 32; Ansel Adams at 100, pl. 96; Morgan & Morgan, pl. 63; Examples, p. 40)

Though not entirely comparable, the same photograph and similar size to the $104,500 print was sold in October 2006
for a much higher price of $609,600

October 2006 auction
ANSEL ADAMS 1902-1984


150,000—250,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 609,600 USD

14 3/8 by 19 1/8 in. (36.5 by 48.6 cm.)

mounted to Strathmore board, signed by the photographer in pencil on the mount, matted, 1941, printed in 1948

250,000—350,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 350,500 USD

39 by 50 7/8 in. (99.1 by 129.2 cm.)

mural-sized, flush-mounted, framed, 1942, probably printed in the 1950s or 1960


200,000—300,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 326,500 USD

39½ by 51½ in. (100.3 by 130.8 cm.)

mural-sized, flush-mounted, framed, 'Property of Polaroid Corporate Archives' stamp on the reverse, 1942, probably printed in the 1950s or 1960s

For a list of other prints sold by Sotheby's, see the Sold Lot Archive for the Polaroid Collection.

side comment: Now the question is, when will the public ever see these prints again? I have no idea, but seeing them firsthand at Sotheby's was truly a rare experience... I hope some of these prints will resurface in museums or galleries. Until next time...



20,000—30,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 116,500 USD

21½ by 26 in. (53.9 by 66 cm.)

unique bleached Polaroid Polapan print, mounted to aluminum, signed and dated in silver ink on the mount, in a frame designed to the artist's specifications, a Selections 6 exhibition label on the reverse, 1991

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