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Art of the State

Guerrilla artists, emotion of the month, Tiki-Tiki on Patterson Avenue, and more.


Fiji Via Patterson
If you have been unemployed exactly six weeks, and have spent the first bit of the afternoon reading erudite Op/Eds in The New York Times — all of them about how the economy is screwed — and you've also been brooding over how you haven't been on a plane in a very long time, the place you must go is the Tiki-Tiki on Patterson Avenue. Order a fog cutter or love potion, the navy grog or Tonga punch. Any of these will serve your purpose in the venerable old theme-bar dive. Slouch down in your booth. Watch the smoke curling along the tassels of the lanterns. Find yourself slipping into a lovely dream. You're 12 years old, a boy, and it's the 18th century. You leave the cruel family farm, run off to join the crew of one of those magnificent clippers. The ship is bound for Papeete, Nueva Zealandia, the Republic of Texas. The exact where hardly matters. 8917 Patterson Ave., 740-7258. — Catherine Baab

Flip Books Are Also Popular, We Hear
The Young Adult Library Services Association has selected artist Noah Scalin's book, “Skulls,” as one of the Top Ten 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. The book compiles a year's worth of art skulls rendered in various media and captured on his blog, The list includes books that kids ages 12-18 are likely to pick up and read for pleasure; it's meant as a sort of anti-venom for all those “Old Man and the Sea” assignments. Not bad for a book that's all pictures — reading apparently has gotten so uncool that looking counts. — C.B.

Outdoor Clothing
If you've seen a T-shirt or hoodie printed with “I was lost, but now I'm fresh” on a hanger made of sticks and string, or just lying about loose somewhere in the city, it's part of a project launched in mid-February by the guerrilla artists of There Once Was a Rebellion. The clothing is intended for homeless people, so be sure to slap away the hands of any hipsters who might be loitering, shark-like, around the goods. — C.B.

Celebrity Emotion of the Month: “Saddened”
Saddened over your recent arrest, positive drug test or public-office ouster? You're not alone. Those who've lately claimed to be saddened for one reason or another include distinguished characters such as Chris Brown, Rod Blagojevich and virtually everyone quoted on the A-Rod steroids thing. And now, I'm saddened to say, folks, I feel an aphorism coming on: Don't trust a word you ever encounter in only press releases or coming out of publicists' mouths. — C.B.

Weirdest Metaphoric Marketing Campaign
Stuff standing in for other stuff is a common game plan for marketing campaigns, but a recent clever little viral ad really captures the absurdity of our non-sequitur age. Witness the Pomegranate Phone (, a cute infomercial of a site that takes you through the amazing features of said phone. It has a coffee maker, electric razor and voice translator in one contraption. But of course the thing doesn't exist, so what's it really selling? You guessed it: The whole thing's a tourism ad for none other than Nova Scotia. State of Confusion. — Brandon Reynolds


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