On the Street: Discusses Economics, Sports, Art, Games of Chance, and Other Important Facets of Life That Affect Us Deeply

Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)

#1 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bike Show

From reader Carlos comes this link to a hilarious post from the Bike Snobâ?¦

â?¦ http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2008/10/down-with-gears-or-down-with-gears.html

To quote,

I've long suspected that New York City's seemingly endless supply of overpriced "vintage" bicycles comes from vast crappy bike reserves in the Midwest, and it's somehow vindicating to see this confirmed in print. I only hope that this supply is being mined responsibly, since should the junky bike fields of the heartland run dry it would be a shame to have to go to war with Canada or something in order to keep the urban cultural elite rolling in squeaky, rusty, steel-rimmed, environmentally friendly style.

image: from Bike Snob NYC

#2 Palin as President

The no message emails continue with this link to a hilarious artist's depiction of Palin chillaxin' in the Oval Office.


#3 T.A.F.K.A.M

The artist formerly known as Mantecatron sent us a message from his journey through Mexico as he's given it all away “to walk the Earth.”

“Who needs Chalk It Up" he writes, jokingly, of course.

foto: T.A.F.K.A.M.

With No Dungeon Master to Save Meâ?¦

With no dungeon master to save me, it's been a tough week living in the shadow of a lost opportunity for greatness. Of course what I'm referring to is my decision not to ask Tim Duncan (when I saw him at Jamba Juice) whether or not he actually plays Dungeon & Dragons and frequents renaissance festivals.

image from flickr user: strange botwin

What I haven't mentioned until now is that through my research I've discovered who started this rumor and helped propel it into an international myth, so much now a part of the zeitgeist that when I say Tim Duncan an 11 year old trenchcoat mafioso in Kansas thinks — “you mean, that tall guy in San Antonio who plays Dungeons & Dragons. Oh, and I think he plays basketball too, or something. Not sure about that.”

The upside to all this is that juice is healthy and has improved my outlook on all other things not related to the Pulitzer Prize winning article that I haven't been able to write. As I mentioned, the bioflavonoids of juice mixed with the beta carotene and phytochemicals will pull me through this. No need to resort to mysticism, 7-sided dies, cloaks of invincibility, or other traps. If I have to wait this out, then so be it. Pulitzer prizes don't really come into play in the medical or film world anyway.

Falling Down

Wow, what luck. Just as OPEC realizes that America has less money to pay for oil this coming year, the prices start falling. I suppose this fits nicely with Supply & Demand x-y graphs but it still seems phony to me.

As the 1970s inflated gas prices forced automakers to make more efficient cars in the 1980s (can anyone say Honda CRX HF, a car that in 1987 could get 50mpg on the highway. That was almost 20 years ago!), OPEC responded by lowering gas prices to get us back on the dinosaur bandwagon. This ability to raise and lower gas prices on whim (and keep in mind the theorists who claim Saudi Arabia lowered prices in the 80s as a way to kill off the Soviet Union and help introduce capitalism back into Eastern Europe) makes the gas market seem less like a true market and more a puppet show, or a monopoly.

image from flickr user: jessxr

Bizarrely, in the coming months, as food prices continue to rise we very well may see gas prices continue to go lower. Whereas food is a proven commodity, if Americans can't afford to drive as much, the only relief we may see could actually be at the pump, which reinforces that it is very much a demand market. The flipside is this scenario is almost like a free stimulus package to the wealthy, because it is because of the poor majority that gas prices will fall yet they will be below an optimal threshold to receive that benefit. In that sense, the gulf widens.

We'll see how this develops in the coming weeks and monthsâ?¦

Love and A 12 Guage

On Saturday, when I perhaps should have been supporting the Current at SMARTfair, instead I was across town at a birthday party at a city park known as the San Antonio Gun Club. In short, it's a place for lovers. There were high school sweethearts there one upping each other in a competitive game of trap shooting, as well as older couples in jorts (not that there's anything wrong with jean shorts, my brother wears jean shorts) trying a more competitive game of skeet.

It's true we were there for ironic gunplay but I think most everyone walked away with a deeper appreciation for the skill in shooting trap. In fact, I guarantee that I will return.

Ann Arbor Comes to San Antonio

On Thursday I made it to UTSA downtown to see Professor Raymond screen films from this year's Ann Arbor Film Festival. There was a heavy tilt towards animation and experimental, though within that there was a feeling that this year's work was more commercial than in year's past. By commercial, I think the feeling was that several of the filmmakers would have successful design careers ahead of them.

For example, here one of the films which I had somehow already seen earlier in the year.

Chalk It Up

For some reason I remember going to Chalk It Up and Marfa Open House last year. Yet, for 2008 the two events coincided on the same weekend. The rumors coming out from the Chisos suggested that the Open House was somewhat closed this year, with no free Sonic Youth-esque concert for the masses nor a free dinner on Main Street.

No OTS Insiders have given me results from Marfa so we'll hold thought on that until later time or we completely forget about it.

This year Chalk It Up was quite similar to last year with a few differences. More of the focus, such as the DJs, was moved a few blocks east on Houston Street compared to last year. What that meant was that the middle section was a little bit empty, except for the snow cone stands, which in their defense deserve respect, just like the Turkey Leg guy.

I'm probably the only one who over analyzes the effects of social spacial relationships, except of course when I'm driving through Walmart parking lots screaming “Space is Destiny!”

One artist (off the record) told me he thought the work this year was better than in year's past. Personally, I liked last year better but that is a small point. Anyway, to the fotosâ?¦

The best part this year was the work the kids did on the middle of Houston street. There just seemed to be more of it this year.

It's interesting how the kid makes the shot but also obscures it.

For some reason this was my favorite of the featured artists' work.


This was a very cool performance. The woman on the right may be the "Mia Hamm" of hula hoops.

DJ JJ Lopez provided music for the electric boogaloo.


The only way to be?

Here are more images of what happened that day on Houston Street and that week on the streets of San Antonio.

As always, to be continued...


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