Next Stop Go


Residence Hall Rock

IMG_2584-small

By Dean Stattmann

On a quiet Monday evening, a muffled cry emanates from the closed door of a New York University dorm room in downtown Manhattan. It’s the penthouse floor of Lafayette Street Residence Hall – one of the furthest from campus – where the university hides its Greek life. Echoes of grueling Guitar Hero solos and epic beer pong bouts bounce off these walls after hours. But amidst the Halo, hot wings and all the other accurate stereotypes, one student is ripping through the mold.

Matt Golubjatnikov, a politics major at NYU, has been playing guitar for seven years and is finally getting some attention. He spent his freshman year with NYU abroad in Florence, Italy, before finally moving into Palladium Hall on 14th Street. During his sophomore year, he pledged the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and kicked off his junior year with a spot in the frat’s spacious eight man duplex. But while most musicians with his talent move on to decked out studios with fountains in the lobby, a floundering economy has caused this junior to seek out alternative facilities, like his dorm room.

IMG_2511-small

“Home recording has become incredibly accessible relative to past years,” he says. “If you have the patience and experimental interest to overcome the often steep learning curve that is inherent in today’s music software, then you can do basically anything.”

IMG_2575-small

In 2008, Golubjatnikov, 21, got curious and decided to see where his music could take him. Working with a tight budget and a demanding schedule, he eventually opted for home recording equipment and slowly began to acquire the pieces of what would become an impressive home studio. One year, a semi-acoustic guitar, two effects pedals, professional recording software and a studio microphone later, he has filled his room with everything short of a waiting room, and he can still afford food. “It really surprises me what you can do with a thin wallet,” he says. “My whole recording rig from cables to software comes to a grand total of about 250$. I know more resourceful people that can even shave the amount to less than half of that.”

IMG_2598-small

Starting out on Haight Street in San Francisco, C.A., with just his busted Crate amplifier and suave midnight wine Fender Stratocaster, Golubjatnikov found influences in early grunge bands and the better part of the 90s punk scene. He has since added to this list, finding a renewed appreciation for bands like Black Label Society, Incubus and Alice in Chains. He doesn’t know how to label his own music, but pegs it somewhere between hard and alternative rock. The stuff he finds himself playing traverses genres, he says.

IMG_2487-small

But despite the unlikely evolution of Golubjatnikov’s dorm rock, he admits that recording in his makeshift studio – which he shares with a roommate – can sometimes present unusual problems. “You do come across unique obstacles when recording in a dorm versus a studio,” he says. “But all it takes is the creative mind that is a prerequisite anyway. When recording vocals, if I can’t get a good natural reverb or echo, I just record while standing in my shower. The ceramic walls provide a clean, non-manufactured effect. Problem solved.”

IMG_2653-small

Golubjatnikov has released several tracks online under the name Spareluck, choosing social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to bring his music to his friends and whoever else wants to listen. The reception has been outstanding, he says, and one of his tracks was recently featured in a beat by fellow New York-based producer Erik Michael.

Golubjatniokov may not have an album in the record store just yet, but he pays little mind to this. For him, the real pay-off is in the music. “I harbor no shame in saying that some days I will just put my own material on repeat on my iPod,” he says. “I mean, you make what you want to hear, so it’s natural to be your own biggest fan.”

Photos by Dean Stattmann



NY Press Editor Jerry Portwood Visits NYU Journalism Class, Discusses Freelancing and the Future of Print Media

A lone paper waits on a West Village doorstep

By Dean Stattmann

On Thursday March 26, New York Press editor-in-chief Jerry Portwood stopped by Betty Ming Liu’s beat reporting class at New York University to discuss the state of print journalism, the future of the neighborhood weekly and most importantly, what today’s journalism students can do to grab a thread in this business.

Portwood, a graduate of Oglethorpe University, came to the New York Press in February 2006. He has since served as managing editor and arts and entertainment editor at the Manhattan Media publication, and in 2008 he took over as editor-in-chief.

But today, with print journalism in its current state, it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to put out the weekly paper with a minimal staff and freelancers whose voices often don’t match that of the publication. “It’s a difficult time in journalism,” he says.

Portwood, who admits to only taking one five day vacation in the last three years, is one of just two staffers on the paper’s masthead, and relies on freelancers for 90 percent of the paper’s content. But when asked about the future of the publication, he’s confident that we’ll be seeing a lot more of the New York Press.

And better yet, he’s confident that journalism students can hold off on changing their majors for a little longer. It’s a demoralizing time for seniors, with papers and magazines falling around them like graduation confetti, but Portwood believes that the freelance gigs are still out there. Here are Jerry’s tips for bagging a byline:

– Have realistic expectations

– Be passionate about your work

– Don’t feel entitled

– Pitch stories via email (wait a week to follow up)

– Include your nut graf in the email. Make them want it.




Fly Like Paper, Get High Like Planes
April 1, 2009, 1:17 am
Filed under: College, New York, News, NYU, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Paper WingsBy Dean Stattmann

So you think you can throw a good paper plane, huh? Ok. What about the best paper plane in the world?

Whether in class or just for fun, we’ve all folded a piece of paper and thrown it at some point in our lives. But this year, the good folks at Red Bull are taking the other national pastime all the way, and searching for the world’s best paper plane pilot.

As one of many qualiflyer rounds taking place around the world (yea, qualiflyer), Red Bull will be at Coles on Friday, April 3, seeking out NYU’s most talented pilots.

Registration starts at 6pm and the event will run until around 8pm with all materials supplied on site.

Judges will assess each throw with three criteria: Distance, hang-time and acrobatics. So even if you suck, a totally unintentional triple backflip barrel-roll mctwist could land you a spot in the finals. Just go with it.

And if you do happen to make it through, get ready because the competition doesn’t end in New York. Red Bull will fly the best US pilots, all expenses paid, to Salzburg, Austria, where they will compete with the cream of the paper-tossing crop for the number one spot.

So for now, your job is easy. Get to Coles by 6pm on Friday April, 3, throw a paper plane and await your destiny.



All University Games Photos in the Paper
February 19, 2009, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Clips, NYU, Photography, Sport | Tags: , , , , , ,

Front Page Page 4

On Tuesday, two of my photographs from NYU’s All University Games made it onto the pages of the Washington Square News. While the photo on the front page was cropped a little more than I would have liked (Original photos here), it’s been great to have two front pages in two weeks, and the fact that they included an additional photo on page 4 is just gravy.

Print may be dying, but there’s just something different about seeing your work on paper that evokes a certain kind of pride that pixels cannot produce.



Land of the Free
February 19, 2009, 6:58 pm
Filed under: New York, News, NYU, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Promo Shwag

By Dean Stattmann

New York is an expensive city. And that’s if you have a job. So for the hordes of unemployed college students that roam the streets of this metropolitan labyrinth each day, bargains of any shape and size rarely go unnoticed. And when New York University hosted its bi-annual Vendor Fair last Thursday, the masses were out, and they were hungry.

The fair, arranged by NYUCard Services Campus Cash and Ticket Central, invites vendors from all over the city to the lofty Rosenthal Pavilion on the 10th floor of NYU’s Kimmel Center to promote their businesses and encourage students to take part in the Campus Cash program. Campus Cash allows students to effectively turn their NYU ID cards into debit cards that can be used at participating vendors throughout the city. The vendors in turn pay NYU to be a part of the program.

This semester, students were presented with the full spectrum – from the Museum of Jewish Heritage to the Blue Man Group – but beyond the 30-second elevator pitches and foldable chairs lies the key to what has students lining up for this event time after time: The free food.

“It’s like a pillow of ice cream,” exclaims one man with a mouth full of Australian Homemade ice cream. He is Kyle Graham, an NYU Steinhardt graduate currently working in the CAS admissions office. He is at the front of a line that stretches halfway across the room’s width. Australian Homemade, sharing a table with Pizza Mercato, is handing out free ice cream. Pizza Mercato isn’t. No one even notices them.

“People never say no to free stuff,” says Australian’s manager, Jonathan, who declined to give his last name. “Especially when it’s good stuff.” Everything is a sales pitch here.

Along the south side of the room is where the real crowds are. Mao Noodles, owned by Chris Johnson and Chris Andrews, is giving away free shrimp and papaya salads, while Peanut Butter and Co. is doling out jars of peanut butter and pretzels by the double digits. “People are usually hungry around noon,” says Johnson with a subtle grin creeping across his face.

Less than an hour in, the room is booming. Students, hopping from vendor to vendor, fill up complimentary promotional bags from the various tables until the their knuckles are white and can tolerate no more weight. A man carrying seven pizzas enters the room and heads straight for the Pizza Mercato table. He goes unnoticed for about three seconds. Passing a heap of glistening red apples, piled up at a table whose name no one will ever remember, he sets the pizzas down on Mercato’s table. He turns around to a newly formed line of ruthless bargain hunters, this time extending beyond the room’s width, out the exit and into the foyer. The words “Pizza Mercato,” can be heard echoing down the line like a game of broken telephone.

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch!

Photo by Dean Stattmann



NYU’s All University Games in Photos

CAS

Rebound

Umpire

There Was Nothing They Could Do

Lawyerlings

Foosball

Score

Tisch High Five

Net

Stare Down

Referee

Team

Gallatin

Basketball Courts

Fight!

Placed

Cooperation

Blue Spike

Tabled

Smackdown

Photos by Dean Stattmann



The Direction

Dean StattmannFirst of all, I want to thank everyone who has kept this blog alive by checking back to see what’s new every day. I have been a lot better about posting recently and you can expect far more frequent posting as of now. I’ve received some great feedback and criticism and that is precisely what keeps me motivated and inspired so please keep it up. And leave comments!

While I am a photographer, and this blog was originally set up as a photography blog, I want to start posting written stories too (The response to And the Interns Shall Inherit the Earth was unbelievable). One thing I want people to understand is that these will not be your stereotypical “today I saw a plastic bag floating carelessly in the wind” blog posts. I am a journalist and I intend to put my skills to use right here, on Next Stop Go. That said, while you will see some newsy pieces, I am going to try take a more magazine-oriented approach from now on. That’s my focus and I will be posting a lot to get as much practice as possible.

However, photography will not depart from this blog in any way, shape or form and I intend to up the volume in that area as well. I take photos at least five days a week and there will be a constant stream of new material right here.

Also, WordPress.com blogs make it virtually impossible to customize stuff but there is always some room for improvement. So, if you ever have a thought or idea on how this blog could be better, please dont hesitate to let me know.

I currently have several projects in motion and they will all appear here on Next Stop Go over the next couple days so watch this space!

That is all.

Next stop go!

Dean Stattmann