The Dunk

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Today being the 19th anniversary of “The Dunk”, who better than Dontrevius Wenters to drive it hard down Memory Lane.

7-Eleven is coming for those Bodega Dollars

Our old pal Willy Staley wrote an article for New York magazine about 7-Eleven’s upcoming NYC takeover. I remember 20 years ago when there were no 7-Elevens in Manhattan. They’re popping up everywhere these days giving bodega owners reason to worry.

7-­Eleven is betting that time-starved New Yorkers will come to appreciate the convenience of its more-than-just-­sandwiches spread of fresh food, which has, to 7-Eleven’s credit, expanded considerably from its stoner-pleasing roots. While the company is still talented at making food cylindrical in a way God never intended, and Buffalo-ing things that the Lord might never think to Buffalo, it has also introduced fruit and yogurt cups, salads, and other healthier items.

my living connection to happier days

I did all my email work in that one “legacy” tab, marveling at how much I preferred it to the new-look Gmail that was the only option in any newly opened tab. I carefully “slept” the machine at night rather than shutting it down. I cancelled any software update that required a system reboot. I worried about what would happen if I unthinkingly closed the tab. It was my living connection to happier days.

- James Fallows on resisting the new Gmail for as long as possible, via rc3.

As a guy who rode the old Google Reader until the wheels fell off I can definitely relate to Fallows. On the other hand, as we try to bring a better product with both a website redesign and a new addition to the team, for sanity sake you have to recognize you can’t please everyone and not every opinion is worth weighing. What gets criticized on launch may end up sorely missed by the time the next redesign comes.

The new Gmail is butt though.

Tasha takes the Ghetto Big Mac Test

You might remember Tasha as the young woman who told us she fucks with naps when we randomly interviewed her for Vend Diagram.

It took us a couple of years to have the good idea of bringing her into the fold for more of that magic. But as Dallas says we’re never late – because whenever we show up we’re always on time.

Get yourself some culture!

Attention: New Yorkers. We’re going to be part of a sweet lineup this Sunday night at UnionDocs event “Collaboratively Made NYC Short Docs

New York City has a rich history of artist groups working together in a variety of ways. Exploring local issues as well as the universal, these collectives, collaboratives, and other partnerships utilize unique structures of organization and production.

[Sunday night] we will showcase short docs from a variety of contemporary local groups: the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, Round Robin Artist Collective, Internets Celebrities, Meerkat Media, and Rumur. While their subject matter, tone, and approach may differ, they all offer something exciting and unique to our rich landscape of group production.

This event is Sunday, December 4 at 7:30pm, $9 suggested donation. UnionDocs is at 322 Union Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Aside from screening Checkmate and watching other people’s fresh videos, we’ll be taking part in a group discussion with the other filmmaking crews. It should be fun so swing by if you can. We’d love to see our people there. That means you.

Excursions to Occupy

We’ve done two lunch-break shoots at Occupy Wall Street and we figure to do more as the story keeps developing. Our first visit as a team was on October 5 which happened to be the day that many labor unions and busloads of college students joined the protesters for an evening march of nearly 20,000 people. Shooting hours earlier, the scene was still very exciting and we chose to focus on the props that served as visual repeaters in the crowd: handmade signs and cameras. Among the onlookers, we ran into Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme and Ill Doctrine vlogger Jay Smooth and both were game to chat with us for a bit.

We were back on October 14, another big win day for Occupiers (IC’s = good luck) as it was the day the NYPD was supposed to have kicked them all out to “clean up” the park. We interviewed a number of triumphant but exhausted protesters and made two short videos out of that day’s footage.

The lunch break shoot has been an interesting challenge. Our time is short there so we have to stay focused and remind ourselves to keep it moving from one interview to the next. The great and terrible thing about filming at Occupy Wall Street is everybody wants to talk to you, a lot. Also, trying to be too jokey can be counterproductive — even gently mocking a group of people who are earnestly and collectively putting their bodies on the line to change the world leads to mostly a whole lot of clunkers. But we’re learning and we’ll get this documentarian thing down as we keep going. Occupy still isn’t getting the right kind of coverage from mainstream media so we’re happy to make these visits and join in with an army of amateurs broadcasting history.

Thanks to Corinne Marro for editing the video from the first day’s shoot and to Terrence Elenteny the videos from day two. All music by Bless 1.

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