Lee Govatos Slightly Off-Kilter Since 1972.


New York City.

Empire State Building, Instagrammed

(This post will be updated several times. I have more to add, but I'm super busy, and I didn't want to leave it as a draft.)

I had a brilliant time in New York. Well, Manhattan, really. I did want to see Jay-Z in Brooklyn's crazy new Barclays Center, but tickets were hard to come by, and I only had so much time.

At its source, it was a business trip to SMX East (Search Marketing eXpo), but my bosses let me stretch the trip into the weekends, giving me eight days total. The conference was great, but as this is my personal blog, we'll just say that I learned enough to keep me busy for the next month and just move on.

I haven't been to New York since the 90s, and I've wanted to go back for a long time. I didn't make too many plans on purpose, and it worked out pretty well. Traveling solo has a distinctly different quality then with a significant other, or a group. You can do whatever the hell you want, whenever you please, but it's also kind of lonely. You trade the shared experience for freedom.

Highlights, in no particular order:

The MoMA. I enjoyed the Museum of Modern Art immensely. I knew that there were several important pieces there, but I had no idea just how many. My MoMA photos are here. I know that some people look down upon others for taking lots of pictures in museums. Until I can walk out of the MoMA with the $300 in books I would need to have the same images, the camera will do just fine for me, thankyouverymuch.

The Met. Big. Big big big. Staggeringly big. Excuse enough, all on its own, for me to go back to New York. The place requires serious time, and I wish I had at least another day. My Met photos are here.

Things I'll go back to see, in no particular order:

The High Line.

One World Trade Center, and the 9/11 Memorial.

Things I wanted to see, but won't get to, in no particular order:

Discovering Columbus. The Tatzu Nishi transformation of the 75 foot Columbus statue by Central Park. Basically a temporary building with a penthouse for Christopher to live in. Kicking myself for not going to see it.

Tatzu Nishi's "Discovering Columbus"

Tatzu Nishi's "Discovering Columbus" (photo from publicartfund.org)


Löwendenkmal, or the Lion of Lucerne


"The most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world." - Mark Twain

One of my favorite things about the internet is the pleasant surprises. I had never heard of or seen the Löwendenkmal (or Lion of Lucerne) before today, but a couple of clicks through random mode on Imgur got me to the quote above, and the picture below. Sculpted by Lukas Ahorn in 1821, it (according to Wikipedia) "commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris, France."

I've never read Twain's A Tramp Abroad (1880), but it's long been on my "I'll get to it eventually" list. In it, he writes:

"The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.

Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is."

It's an impressive reminder of why I need to both travel and read more. More importantly, it's motivation to do so at a time when I kind of need it. Thanks, internet.


Löwendenkmal, or the Lion of Lucerne

click to enlarge


Texas License Plates (or, I Get Bored Sometimes)

Texas License Plate - Texas A&M - Derp

So, Texas has this rather snazzy website for designing your own custom license plates, including ones that businesses and institutions can create themselves. I was bored. These happened.




Jesus vs. Fezzik

From El Pais (Google translated): "What began as a spontaneous arreglillo a work of art in disrepair that decorated one of the walls of the Sanctuary of Mercy, a small church situated in a sixteenth century inn, owned by Hospital Sancti Spiritus, in the town of Borja (Zaragoza), has ended in a real blight that caused the stupor of the City and its neighbors. The architect of the mess is, as Juan Maria de Ojeda, Culture councilor of the consistory, an octogenarian neighbor who acted spontaneously and 'without asking anyone's permission,' although 'with good intentions.' When he realized that 'he had gotten out of hand' warned the head of the cultural heritage of the municipality to admit the damage he had caused."

Personally, I think he kind of looks like Andre the Giant now...


Fine, I’ll play.

Start Over

Okay, so I'm going to try blogging again.

Content from my old blog still exists, but I'll be purging bits of it from time to time. Links, pics, videos etc. will go away entirely, replaced by things like Tumblogs or Media Channels. Anything worth a damn that I wrote on the old blog will be backdated and added to this one.

This blog will primarily be long form written pieces from now on.

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Ignore everything before this point.


Seriously. It's just a dead stick from here down. Everything will be purged.

Okay, maybe not purged, and maybe not everything. I don't know yet. We'll see.

Actually, this might end up being the inspiration for a whole post about the trail we leave online defining who we are. I know, it's probably been done to death, but I bet there's an angle out there somewhere that hasn't been used, or al least used properly. Hmm. We'll see.

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World’s First Billion-Dollar Home.

"He will employ 600 staff at the property and his family will live in the top floors, where they will enjoy a panoramic view of the country’s financial capital, including its slums, and the Arabian Sea. It was built to withstand military-grade explosions and an magnitude-8 earthquake, Indian media reported."

via Mukesh Ambani, India’s Richest Man, Builds World’s First Billion-Dollar Home | TheBlogIsMine Dot Com.


I Just Can’t Get This Blog Thing Right…

Giving a serious rethink to how I share content through this site. I do far more "look at this" than "look what I did," so I want to do some restructuring. I think I'm going to split the site in half, with interesting online content auto-posted and unfiltered on one side, and original content on the other. Need to learn some new tricks, though.

Anyway, 2011 is gonna be a big year for unifying and improving my myriad web pages into a more cohesive whole. Let's see how it goes...

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Comix Friday – The Infinite Vacation.

Nick Spencer's new book. Gotta admit, I'm intrigued...


Music Monday – Mick Foley And Tori Amos.

Photo cropped from a signing at Waterstones, C...
Image via Wikipedia

There's an article in Slate magazine about wrestler Mick Foley's fascination with Tori Amos.

"Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens," she sang. "Wipe my nose, get my new boots on." If there is such a thing as love at first listen, I fell helplessly, hopelessly in love from that very first lyric.

That rocks so hard. Yet another reason to love Cactus Jack.