Sake Commando

 Sake Commando

According to this Japanese mural, one of the keys to making fine sake is
the removal of your pants.


Displayed outside of the SakeOne distillery in Forest Grove, Oregon


One More (Mantra) for the Road

nirvana in a volvo los angeles california One More (Mantra) for the Road

Sometimes, we’re lucky enough to find so much enlightenment,
it takes a Volvo to hold it all.


Spotted in the Kaiser Permanente Hospital parking lot in Hollywood, California


The Call of the Open Road, Vol. 2

lyle nichols jeep sculpture utah The Call of the Open Road, Vol. 2

Like a dog with a bone — or in this case, a dog on a bone –
sometimes only a road trip will quell a traveler’s wanderlust.

Happily, I think I’ve found just the vehicle for the job.


This piece of automotive artwork by sculptor Lyle Nichols
is permanently parked  at Hole ‘n the Rock, in southwestern Utah


Art By God

 Art By God


And here you had wondered where God sold his artwork.

Well, look no further than Miami.

According to Creationists, God made the world 6,000 some-odd years ago, with man and dinosaurs existing alongside one another from the beginning.

Surprisingly, though, this here business wasn’t founded until 1987. Seems to me that in this case, the human evolution of basic entrepreneurship has taken a long, slow road.

A road paved, that is, with wildly mis-dated fossils.


Art By God, 60 Northeast 27th Street, Miami, Florida, (305) 576-2476


A Liberal Map of the World

a liberal map of the world europe sandow birk A Liberal Map of the World

Detail from A Liberal Map of the World. One of my favorite pieces of artwork, it’s a snark-filled collaboration between Los Angeles visual artists Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet.

This unique (and exquisitely apt) traveler’s take on Europe is a mere sliver of the piece, so I encourage you to check out the entire glorious map.

Please enjoy…and don’t forget to renew your passport.


Plastico Fantastico

 Plastico Fantastico

I love Miami’s vibrant art scene. Each December, the city hosts Art Basel, one of the world’s greatest art fairs, but year-round it’s home to a metric slew of exciting galleries.

This here random tableaux was once featured in the window of the ArtCenter/South Florida on Lincoln Road. In a few short action figures, I feel it captures the humor, splashy colors, creativity, Latin-focused culture, slightly menacing attitude and high-toned tackiness of Miami itself.

Well, except for the madly grinning cyclops guy. I don’t know what the hell’s going on there.


A Real Man-Eater

 A Real Man Eater

This subtle statue depicts the enormous and sometimes murderously rampaging Kumbhakarna, a Balinese Hindu rakshasa, or man-eating spirit. Renowned in Bali as a mighty warrior, he’s incongruously memorialized as a tower of terror amidst the Kebun Raya Botanical Garden, a tranquil showcase for the floral bounty of Indonesia.

A Southeast Asian cross between Rip Van Winkle and Gulliver, the giant Kumbhakarna was accidentally enchanted into a deep sleep for six long months, only to be harshly awakened and ordered to go all medieval on a batallion of violent monkey soldiers.

And really, it was only after this military melee that he started eating people. Chances are, you wake up to that sort of zero-to-sixty adrenaline rush, and you’d find yourself pretty darn hangry, too.


When Worlds Collide, Vol. 1

 When Worlds Collide, Vol. 1

At a crowded little curio shop in the Xinyi district of Taipei, Taiwan (next door to the famous Lao Zhang Beef Restaurant), you can find just about every piece of Betty Boop merchandise ever made.

I choose to interpret this fraught little scene as a wary expression of Taiwan’s co-dependence on the manufacturing and export of cheap Western goods, as well as its uneasy attitude towards the lingering post-occupation influence of Japanese culture.

You, on the other hand, may choose to read this scene as a funny cartoon character from Depression-era America swathed in a polyester kimono and making “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis” eyes at Maneki Neko, the official feline of good fortune.

Whatever. Your way is good, too.