30 January 2011

27 January 2011

25 January 2011

great white

me with the great white caught in Montauk, 1986
if you watch the video at the bottom you'll see my cousin and I at 1:55
ABOARD THE CRICKET II OFF MONTAUK, N.Y. — The sun was high and the ocean flat; only the flies were biting. The biggest thing the Monster Man had reeled in all morning was an egg sandwich from his cooler and a couple of landlubbers to listen to his shark-hunting stories.
      Suddenly, one of the poles set in holders off the side of the white 42-foot fishing boat doubled over as something strong down there pulled the line out fast.
The reel screamed and so did the Monster Man: Frank Mundus, 81, the legendary Montauk fisherman who is widely recognized as the inspiration for the movie “Jaws,” and its memorable grizzled shark hunter, Quint.
            “Somebody take the pole,” Mr. Mundus barked. Somebody did, and soon a nine-foot thresher shark was splashing off the stern. Its long narrow tail slashed through the water and smacked Mr. Mundus on the shoulder, sending him reeling backward.
But the Monster Man struck back, planting his large gaff — a giant fish hook on a pole — through the shark’s back and hauling it into the boat. As the decks ran scarlet with the blood of the flopping 150-pound shark, Mr. Mundus seemed happy for the first time all morning.
Yes, Frank Mundus, who officially retired more than a decade ago, still has a taste for shark blood, and has not lost the knack for hooking what he calls monsters of the deep.
In the 1990s, Mr. Mundus sold the Cricket II and retired to Hawaii, where he tends a small farm. He was persuaded to return to Montauk this summer by Sean and Brooks Paxton, brothers from Florida who are shark enthusiasts and are in discussions with New Line Television productions.
            They want to make a reality show out of a summer with Monster Man aboard the Cricket II, which was in dry dock in a North Carolina boatyard.
“Frank is great entertainment, and we think it could make a compelling show,” said Jim Rosenthal, president of New Line. “All three of them are larger-than-life characters, and it’s a cool story, from Frank’s history to them getting the boat back and on and on.”
The three men are not exactly living like television stars. They take out daily charters and sleep aboard the Cricket, with its lumpy cushions and cramped quarters, surviving off sandwiches packed in ice in a small cooler. Once Mr. Mundus returns to Hawaii next month, the brothers plan on turning the boat into a shark-research center, from which they can preach responsible fishing and conservation.
“When we tell people this is the real-life ‘Jaws’ boat and Frank’s the real-life Captain Quint, they’re very interested,” said Sean Paxton, 41.
One recent morning, as the Cricket II stopped 11 miles south of Montauk Point, Capt. Tom Huffman (Mr. Mundus let his captain’s license expire) called to his 16-year-old son, Tommy, “Start chumming.”
           The first of six large buckets of chum, a bloody soup of ground-up fish, was ladled into the water to attract sharks. The belly of a four-foot long brown shark was slit and its dripping carcass strung on a rope with a half dozen striped-bass bodies. The rope lowered into the water.
Soon there was a mile-long slick of meat, blood and oil — Mr. Mundus calls his special mixture monster mash — whose smell in the water attracts sharks. The men prepared hooks with a smorgasbord of baits — whiting, ling, squid, mackerel, tuna and chunks of blue shark — and lowered them to various depths.
           Mr. Mundus’s stories are as incessant as the lapping of the waves, most circling back to “Jaws” and how in the 1960s he repeatedly took out the author Peter Benchley, who loved the way Mr. Mundus harpooned huge sharks with lines attached to barrels to track the shark while it ran to exhaustion.
He said Mr. Benchley was also fascinated with the 3,000-pound great white the Monster Man harpooned off the bathing beaches of Amagansett, N.Y. in June, 1961, sparking fear along the shore. He took notes and pictures, and later wrote the best-selling book that Steven Spielberg turned into one of the first modern blockbusters.
Mr. Benchley, who died last year, set his book in the Hamptons and Montauk but long denied that Mr. Mundus was an inspiration.
“If he just would have thanked me, my business would have increased,” Mr. Mundus said, clearly still irked. “Everything he wrote was true, except I didn’t get eaten by the big shark. I dragged him in.”
          Mr. Mundus wears a gold hoop earring in his left ear and a shark tooth on a gold chain around his neck, taken from a 3,427-pound great white he caught in 1986, the heaviest fish of any kind ever taken on rod and reel. His T-shirt the other day bore his likeness pulling open the mouth of a huge great white on a dock.
Little has changed on the Cricket II, where all these huge sharks were landed. Only there are few if any monsters for Mr. Mundus to catch. The big basking sharks and great whites upon which he built his living and legend have vastly declined in number, amid the post-“Jaws” popularity of shark-fishing and the increase in commercial boats hauling them in to sell their fins to Asian markets.
            There is also a ban now on killing the several-ton pilot whales that Mr. Mundus used to tie onto the boat to attract sharks.
              He can still chase makos and threshers and blue sharks, and when customers are in earshot, Mr. Mundus still calls this good sport, though privately he dismisses it as child’s play. Today, shark tournaments can be won by a 300-pounder, a puppy in Mr. Mundus’s heyday.
So now this man long hated by conservationists is talking like one. He sounds less like Quint these days than the eco-minded shark sympathizer “Jaws” character of Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss.
           Mr. Mundus said he was an early proponent of shark-tagging programs, catch-and-release shark fishing, and the use of special circular hooks that catch a shark in the jaw rather than the gut, increasing its chances of survival upon release.
         As if to prove the point, Sean Paxton caught two blue sharks after the thresher was caught, only to tag and release them.
Back at the dock at the Star Island Yacht Club, onlookers beseeched Mr. Mundus for autographs, and one, Cris Kiszka, asked — again — to buy the fish-fighting chair bolted to the deck of the Cricket II.
         Mr. Kiszka, who lives in Middletown, N.Y., claims to have the world’s largest “Jaws” memorabilia collection. Mr. Mundus shooed him away, and someone asked the old shark hunter how the fishing was.
“We got a few bites,” he responded. “Of course, on a real shark trip, you lose count.”

Doug Kuntz for The New York Times

23 January 2011

don't look back

music video for Don't Look Back
by She & Him
(aka Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward)

I have loved both for a while, and this music video was just released a few days ago!!


This song is a direct reference to the story of Orpheus which appears in one of my favorite favorite books by Ovid, The Metamorphoses... The story where Orpheus goes to save Eurydice from the underworld...  Orpheus obviously journeys there.  Persephone, aka the queen bitch of the underworld, will not let Eurydice go. So Orpheus plays music for Persephone-- which surprisingly melts her heart a little.  Because of this, Persephone lets Orpheus take Eurydice, but on one condition: that during their  journey to the upper world,  Eurydice travels behind him, and Orpheus can NOT look back at her. So, you know what happens... The two make the long ass journey to the top and just as they reach it, Orpheus just looks over his shoulder and boom, Eurydice is gone. Forever.

the story:

Hymen, called by the voice of Orpheus, departed, and, dressed in his saffron robes, made his way through the vast skies to the Ciconian coast: but in vain. He was present at Orpheus’s marriage, true, but he did not speak the usual words, display a joyful expression, or bring good luck. The torch, too, that he held, sputtered continually, with tear-provoking fumes, and no amount of shaking contrived to light it properly. The result was worse than any omens. While the newly wedded bride, Eurydice, was walking through the grass, with a crowd of naiads as her companions, she was killed, by a bite on her ankle, from a snake, sheltering there. When Thracian Orpheus, the poet of Rhodope, had mourned for her, greatly, in the upper world, he dared to go down to Styx, through the gate of Taenarus, also, to see if he might not move the dead.

Through the weightless throng, and the ghosts that had received proper burial, he came to Persephone, and the lord of the shadows, he who rules the joyless kingdom. Then striking the lyre-strings to accompany his words, he sang: ‘O gods of this world, placed below the earth, to which all, who are created mortal, descend; if you allow me, and it is lawful, to set aside the fictions of idle tongues and speak the truth, I have not come here to see dark Tartarus, nor to bind Cerberus, Medusa’s child, with his three necks, and snaky hair. My wife is the cause of my journey. A viper she trod on diffused its venom into her body, and robbed her of her best years. I longed to be able to accept it, and I do not say I have not tried: Love won.

 He is a god well known in the world above, though I do not know if it is so here: though I do imagine him to be here, as well, and if the story of that rape in ancient times is not a lie, you also were wedded by Amor. I beg you, by these fearful places, by this immense abyss, and the silence of your vast realms, reverse Eurydice’s swift death. All things are destined to be yours, and though we delay a while, sooner or later we hasten home. Here we are all bound, this is our final abode, and you hold the longest reign over the human race. Eurydice, too, will be yours to command, when she has lived out her fair span of years, to maturity. I ask this benefit as a gift; but, if the fates refuse my wife this kindness, I am determined not to return: you can delight in both our deaths.’

The bloodless spirits wept as he spoke, accompanying his words with the music. Tantalus did not reach for the ever-retreating water: Ixion’s wheel was stilled: the vultures did not pluck at Tityus’s liver: the Belides, the daughters of Danaüs, left their water jars: and you, Sisyphus, perched there, on your rock. Then they say, for the first time, the faces of the Furies were wet with tears, won over by his song: the king of the deep, and his royal bride, could not bear to refuse his prayer, and called for Eurydice.

She was among the recent ghosts, and walked haltingly from her wound. The poet of Rhodope received her, and, at the same time, accepted this condition, that he must not turn his eyes behind him, until he emerged from the vale of Avernus, or the gift would be null and void.

They took the upward path, through the still silence, steep and dark, shadowy with dense fog, drawing near to the threshold of the upper world. Afraid she was no longer there, and eager to see her, the lover turned his eyes. In an instant she dropped back, and he, unhappy man, stretching out his arms to hold her and be held, clutched at nothing but the receding air. Dying a second time, now, there was no complaint to her husband (what, then, could she complain of, except that she had been loved?). She spoke a last ‘farewell’ that, now, scarcely reached his ears, and turned again towards that same place.

Stunned by the double loss of his wife, Orpheus was like that coward who saw Cerberus, the three-headed dog, chained by the central neck, and whose fear vanished with his nature, as stone transformed his body. Or like Olenos, and you, his Lethaea, too proud of your beauty: he wished to be charged with your crime, and seem guilty himself: once wedded hearts, you are now rocks set on moist Mount Ida.

Orpheus wished and prayed, in vain, to cross the Styx again, but the ferryman fended him off. Still, for seven days, he sat there by the shore, neglecting himself and not taking nourishment. Sorrow, troubled thought, and tears were his food. He took himself to lofty Mount Rhodope, and Haemus, swept by the winds, complaining that the gods of Erebus were cruel.

Three times the sun had ended the year, in watery Pisces, and Orpheus had abstained from the love of women, either because things ended badly for him, or because he had sworn to do so. Yet, many felt a desire to be joined with the poet, and many grieved at rejection. Indeed, he was the first of the Thracian people to transfer his love to young boys, and enjoy their brief springtime, and early flowering, this side of manhood.


22 January 2011

they know not if it's dark outside or light

I knew Sherie a while back, when she was in the Elton John/Tim Rice Musical "Aida." Her performance of this Elton John song during a benefit always stuck with me.

From Aida: I Know the Truth 

21 January 2011

evidence and st. barths

Funny how things come around full circle. When we got back from our trip, I took the time to look through our old family photos from St. Barth's since I missed it so. I surprisingly found more than a few pictures that looked familiar to pictures we took on this past trip... eerie.

(L) dad and my sister alicia, gustavia, 1987
(R) dad and myself, gustavia, 2011

(L) Alicia at the cross 1987
(R) Myself at the cross 2011

just some pictures from the trip:

18 January 2011

only son - searchlight

I am so so so proud of my friend Jack of the band Only Son. I remember the first day I met him-- Jack spoke to me about his plan to record a second album. Since that day, he has poured his heart into writing, recording and releasing this new album, which he decided to call Searchlight (which is also the name of one of the tracks of the album). Upon listening to the album and reading the track listings, I was surprised to see quite a few of his very talented friends and fellow artists who took part in the recording: Regina Spektor, Of Montreal, Binki Shapiro of Little Joy, and members of the Strokes.  Once more, Jack's lyrics are extremely smart, and make you want to listen to them a second time. This is perhaps one of my favorite things about his music.  Finally-- having gone to plenty of his shows and hearing these songs performed live (which I love to attend as Jack and his band's sound are consistently on point), it was so magical to hear the them magically come to life even more after being layered, experimented with,  and produced in the studio!!

Along with the record, Jack worked on a series of visually cool music videos. As of now, only two have been released: Magic (above), which was directed by my new Sarah Lawrence buddy (who is too wonderful to put into words), Adria Petty, and It's a Boy (below), which was directed by Peter Sand.

This Thursday, January 20th, Only Son will be holding a concert release party at the Studio at Webster Hall. Please stop by! Opening for him will be the ever talented band The Candles, along with The Yellowbirds!

15 January 2011

st. barth's mix - from the beach


1. All I Have to Do Is Dream - Everly Brothers
2. Glow Girl - The Who
3. Sea of Love - Phil Phillips
4. Cheeseburger in Paradise - Jimmy Buffett
5. Beyond the  Sea (la Mer) - Helen Shapiro
6. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - Brian Hyland
7. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow - The Rivingtons
8. Sky Pilot - The Animals
9. Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um - Major Lance
10. Sweet Nothin's - Brenda Lee
11. I'll Follow the Sun - The Beatles
12. From Home - The Troggs
13. I Think We're Alone Now - Tommy James & the Shondells
14. Postcard - The Who
15. Ugly Girl - 100 Monkeys

10 January 2011

favorites from pre-fw11, thus far...


Why is fall clothing so much better than that of summer?

Knits, coats, tights, boots, layers I love it all...

And, smack dead in the middle of the Pre-FW11 season,

I am in St. Barths.

Had the chance to look at it tonight.

If this is a splash preview of the fall's main season,

well, then, I'm quite excited.

A few favorites below

proenza schouler

looks like a continuation of the pre-ss11 baja ponchos and shorts, but better! ikat and fairisle in prettier colors (<3 blue and yellow). the mixing of patterns, yes.


looks like worldly royalty to me... 

united bamboo

Easy breezy, super super classic fall- the classic wool coats-- which comes in the most classic red might I add (not shown). Fairisle pants, floral corduroy, and a chunky sweater coat with a detachable waxed cotton cape (love).  In person this collection was even better.

08 January 2011


mom, st. barth's 1984

dad, st. barths 1984

me and dad, st. barths, 2009

chrissy and me

au revoir!

02 January 2011