Aby Sam Thomas is a writer and a journalist living in New York City. He is originally from Kerala, India, but he was born and raised in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Before coming into the world of journalism, Aby worked as an analyst programmer at Accenture for four years, working out of offices in Mumbai, London and New York. An avid reader, a movie enthusiast and a fiction writer, he’s a typical Gemini who loves to dabble in a number of fields and ideas. He keeps a photo blog, and can be followed on Twitter @thisisaby.
When you walk into Decatur & Sons, you may feel like you’ve entered a time capsule of sorts—this full-service barbershop, located in New York City’s Chelsea Market, has managed to capture the vintage middle Americana look and feel of a similar establishment in the 1950s.
Decatur & Sons is run by Thorin Decatur, a third-generation barber whose eyes light up when talking about the barbershop that his grandfather started in the late 1940s. Decatur, who previously worked at F. S. C. Barber, says that his shop is all about giving customers the best possible barbershop experience. It seems to be working, with Details Magazine recently naming his shop as the best place to get a shave in New York City. (more…)
Every year on New Year’s Eve, an estimated million people come together at Times Square in New York City for the annual extravaganza that brings in the new year. Celebrities perform, fireworks explode and confetti rains on all the shivering souls packed in that brightly lit space. At that moment, most people probably wouldn’t be taking a close look at the brightly colored pieces of paper falling on them—but if they did, they’d probably find a small wish written on them.
Ever wonder what Manhattan would look like if it hadn’t been set up in the grid design that New York City’s visionary commissioners drew up way back in 1811? Instead of the blocks and avenues that we have now become accustomed to, what if the city was configured in shapes that catered to our moods and feelings? The city would then become “a living, breathing creature,” constantly changing, always in flux: a Continuous City.
In his book, Continuous City, Brian Foo, an artist and web developer living in Manhattan, showcases a New York City that is perpetually changing and conforming itself to the state of the lives of the book’s lead characters, Allen and Pearl. As the two navigate their way through their relationship, the city also embarks on a journey of sorts, moving from shape to shape until it reaches its final point of equilibrium. (more…)
At first glance, the above image, which has been plastered on phone kiosks in Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx, will probably make no sense. Is that a Rorschach blot? Not really. Is it a QR code? No, it’s not that fancy. Maybe it’s just graffiti? Nope; it’s actually legitimate art. So then, is it abstract art? Yes—kind of. Take a moment or two to look at the image again, and you’ll realize that it is actually not really that abstract at all—it’s actually a juxtaposition of some very clear, graphic images.(more…)
Every now and then in New York City, one gets to see “union rats”—they are those large, inflatable, grey rats that are put up by trade unions to call attention to some kind of dispute between them and their employers. Menacing and grotesque, these 12-foot rats make their presence felt no matter when they are placed—but did you know that there’s a bronze version of the union rat located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan? (more…)
The experience of walking into the Little Lebowski Shop at 215 Thompson Street in Greenwich Village can be likened to the feelings Alice had when she “dropped” into Wonderland–while it’s fascinating and remarkable in its own right, one can’t help but feel baffled that such a place actually exists. This tiny Manhattan store is a celebration of the movie, The Big Lebowski, and it is the only shop of its kind in New York City.
[In the off chance that you haven't watched The Big Lebowski: drop everything you are doing and go watch the movie now. You can come back and read this article later.] (more…)