Craigslist: the Future of Online Art Markets? (Jesters, Belly Dancers, and Cats!)

Could Craigslist, that long-standing haven for apartment-seekers and Missed Connections, be the future of online art commerce? Well, to put it bluntly: No. No way. No how. But every now and then some intrepid soul makes us wonder if this could be the case — a D.I.Y. Craigslist art economy to rival the likes of Artspace, Artsy, and other flashy outposts!

When a friend started circulating a link to a Staten Island-based artist selling ornately framed paintings of cats, belly dancers, and weird jesters cavorting on village rooftops, I wasn’t sure if it was all an elaborate joke. The paintings in question, for instance, are being hawked for a mere $10, which can’t be much more than the cost of the materials needed to make them. (And it’s certainly a better deal than this Marc Chagall gouache, at a whopping $285,000, currently available to ‘add to your cart’ over at Amazon’s new fine art wing).

This anonymous, self-marketing Craiglist painter had some very specific instructions for prospective buyers: “I will not discuss the weather, the quality, the government, manicure, Chinese food, and French Terriers. If you want to buy it — just give me your phone number.”

I emailed the artist (making sure not to include any mention of politics, atmospheric conditions, or MSG-laden dinner entrees). Why, I asked him/her, such an eccentric list of conversational topics to avoid?

“I wrote that part because I’m tired of people with nothing better to do wasting my time,” Tinga Rebus responded. “If you want to, you can write about my pieces… I’ve had so much written about me that it doesn’t matter anymore. If you want to interview me, keep in mind that my English is as good as your Russian and we’ll have to use a very bad-mannered translator. If this doesn’t bother you, call me.”

I didn’t take Rebus up on the offer, but these works are still available (and that jester would pair nicely with this similarly minded Picasso woodcut, a steal at a mere $50,000.) And if this isn’t your style, the artist also makes dolls.

The Cronut Creed: Dominique Ansel’s Top Five Rules About The Cronut

Since launching the croissant-donut hybrid known as The Cronut on May 10th, Dominique Ansel has never been the same. Instantly, the famed French pastry chef’s namesake bakery in Soho has become the hottest New York venue between the hours of 5:30am and 8am – and it’s not even a nightclub. 

Folks from as far as Dubai and Australia are flying in to get a taste of the flaky, creamy, sweet phenomenon. This week, I sat down with the chef who – like Madonna and Cher – has now been most commonly referred to as simply "Chef," to discuss The Cronut Creed: his top five rules about baking, devouring, and loving The Cronut.

1. The Cronut Shalt Not Discriminate.

While only 300 cronuts are made a day, and only the early-birds can snag ’em, The Cronut feeds a worldly crowd that’s, according to Dominique, "half tourists, half locals, including people who have flown in from Taiwan, Japan, South America. You name it."

2. The Cronut Shalt Not Be Scalped.

Now that scalpers are flooding Craigslist with under-the-table, expensive cronut offers, food has for the first time become a Craigslist scalping commodity. "And I don’t like it," says Dominique. "It’s why we limit the number of cronuts people can get in the store to two."

3. There Is No Wrong Way To Eat A Cronut.

"You can cut it in half," the chef says. "Just bite into it, take it apart layer by layer. But everyone has their own way. Whichever way you have the most fun eating it, is the best way. My favorite is to cut it in half."

4. The Cronut Must Be Eaten Within Six Hours.

"It takes three days to make, is fresh for six hours, and eaten in 30 seconds," he says. "Eat it while you can."

5. One Shall Be Selfish With Their Cronut.

"A lot of people come in early and alone, and come just for a single cronut for themselves with their coffee. And that’s very okay."

Get the inside-scoop on Dominique Ansel Bakery, & follow Bonnie on Twitter here

The Cronut

Possible Wedding Date Doesn’t Like Murder, Likes Photoshop

Weddings can be really hard, you guys! They’re hard when you’re the person planning them, but often can be just as trying is merely attending the affair. There’s the out-of-town arrangements, the booking of hotels and flights and rental cars because they decided to get married on a ranch in East Jesus Nowhere, Georgia, the nagging cognitive dissonance that comes with supporting the worst parts of the wedding-industrial complex and, of course, trying to coordinate with a date, if you’ve got that going on.  

The team at Gawker found this simple, but kind of trainwreck-amazing Craigslist ad of a twentysomething D.C. man looking for a date to a wedding. Things got bad (we do not speak of her name), so he’s crowd-sourcing a stranger with the help of a simple list and some bad but also amazing Photoshops of him on a horse on a lion. Also, he “doesn’t like murder.” So, you’re okay.  The ad reads as follows:

“Due to a last minute cancellation (we do not speak of her name) I’m resorting to the powers of Craigslist to help me find a date for a wedding this weekend in Lexington, VA (i had to google it as well). If you’re still reading here are the facts and why you should come:

  • you only yolo once
  • you get to wear a dress
  • open bar & food all night
  • you get to pop n lock it w me on the dance floor (see pic 2)
  • i can fly (see pic 3)
  • I tend to ride a lion on top of horse (see pic 4)

more fun facts about your potential date:

  • I have a degree
  • I have a job
  • I am a clean man
  • I have never been arrested
  • I don’t like murder

Looking for a well-rounded young lady that is educated, can dance, and is at least 21.

if interested you should please provide:

  • a selfie
  • brief resume
  • your favorite color”

He looks like he has some pretty solid dance moves, and there will be an open bar, so it doesn’t sound like the worst option, really. So if you feel like high-tailing it to Lexington, Virginia this weekend, you know who to call. You may even get to ride a lion on a horse.

[via Gawker]

How Not To Find Love In New York

Nobody said dating in New York—let alone online dating—would be easy. In fact I think there are probably a couple billion words floating around the Internet on that exact topic. But surely putting out a Craigslist ad for an “Online Dating Surrogate” won’t help. Or will it? (Answer: still no.)

To explain a bit further: this weekend a self-described “successful entrepreneur” whipped up a job posting, as he “needs” a “discerning woman to handle online dating communications for him for roughly an hour per day.” That’s correct: he is so busy entrepeneurializing that he cannot even procrastinate on eHarmony now and then. The employee—who must be a “pretty, thin, educated female in her 20s or 30s”—will survey dating sites, picking favorites and exchanging messages on behalf of this visionary young go-getter. Pay: a cool $100 per week.

Kind of interesting that he’s basing this work hire on more or less the same shallow criteria he’d use for actual romantic involvement. I’d be too scared to show up for this interview lest that turn out to be a date itself. And if he’s for real about this “position,” doesn’t he see what’ll happen? The Surrogate will accidentally fall in love with whomever she’s messaging, and the two of them will run off to Canada to start a new life. Sometimes they will think about the clueless manchild who brought them together. But not often.

[To find a place to impress the pants off your your next date, visit the BlackBook New York Guide; More by Miles Klee]

I Have A Lot of Questions About This ‘Missed Connections’ Map

If the romantic comedies of yesteryear and songs of James Blunt have taught us anything, it’s that our soulmate could be walking down the street or sitting across from us at the Starbucks across from our Starbucks, and every moment is an opportunity to fall in love. For those who wish to pursue these chance encounters on a hunch or out of some quiet desperation, there are Craigslist Missed Connections. Dorothy Gambrell at Psychology Today has put together an infographic that’s been circulating this week, showing, based on a sample size of the 100 most recent "Missed Connections" by state, where they are most likely to occur. Those around the age of 20 hang around ice-cream shops; 40, adult bookstores (the future, y’all). Illinois, New York and Massachusetts offer no surprises: missed connections are most likely to happen on public transit—the subway or the train. "Supermarket," "bar" and above all, "Walmart" are also popular options. 

Ultimately though, I feel like this map brings up a lot more questions than it answers. Although seeing a lot of states with "Walmart" as a top location makes sense as Walmart is a big part of the everyday experience for a lot of people, it still is kind of mindblowing to see that many states where it’s the top-ranked "Missed Connections" site. Does Walmart know something we don’t? Is Walmart covertly working on some kind of plan to steer the love lives of unsuspecting Americans, subliminally creating a deeper level of brand loyalty?

And Georgia, when you say "The Car," do you mean you looked over and saw someone driving and found them attractive? Shouldn’t you be driving though? And does that mean now, as a state, Georgians who wish to attract alluring strangers must all proceed with caution when driving and be sure to cut it with the lip-syncing along to Steve Winwood or the nose-picking at stoplights, lest your soulmate leer over and see it? And fitness is important, but are people really going to gyms between 2 and 4 a.m.? And perhaps most importantly, Indiana, what the hell does "At Home" mean? Are you looking into people’s windows? Because that’s gross and a huge violation, don’t do that. Are you courting the person delivering your pizza? Are you just imagining human contact after being cooped up indoors for so long? Either way, Indiana, you should probably consider some hobbies. I would say, "go home, Indiana, you are drunk," but you basically need to do the opposite of that.

What To Wear When You’re Meeting Someone For A Casual Encounter On Craigslist

Even if we’ve never actually gone through with it, I’m sure many of us have read the Casual Encounters section on Craigslist. How can our curiosity keep us from it? It’s not only a look into how people behave when they can hide behind the walls of the internet; it’s also a chance to see what efforts (or lack there of) people will go to get laid. For the most part, the ads tend to be not just sexually explicit; they also introduce us occasional readers to fetishes that we didn’t even know existed. Why, yes, there is a man in Queens who just wants to come over and casually sniff your dirty underwear. And yes, you just sent that link to all your co-workers because you have nothing else better to do with the last hour of your workday.

There are, of course, those who have the desire to fulfill a fantasy they may not be able to communicate to their partner, so they feel safe in the anonymity that comes with sniffing some stranger’s undies. And then there are those who straight up want to fuck. There’s a world of orgasms to be had, and they want to pick the ripest one from the tree and enjoy it with someone besides their hand or battery-operated best friend for a change.

Casual encounters go way past online dating. There is no bullshit to cut through and before you even set up a place to meet, you’ve already laid down exactly what you want to do and you didn’t even have to make small talk over a shared appetizer. You’re going to score; end of story.

But how does one broach the Casual Encounter scene with the skill of a seasoned regular? Is there a technique? Is it an art form? Can we at least get a how-to handbook on the topic? My friend, who’s been doing this “thing” for a while now, gave me some tips as to how to present myself if I were, hypothetically speaking, going to make the rounds on Craigslist. You know, just in case I’m craving to be banged by a stranger tomorrow afternoon someone around the time I usually have tea and crumpets.

Pretend it’s Opposite Day. You’re not looking to date this person; you’re looking to fuck them NSA-style then leave. If you’re usually preppy in your attire, go hipster; if you’re normally a t-shirt-and-jeans type, wear a suit. This should actually carry over into your hairstyle and bags, too. Yeah, we all have a Strand tote bag, but on this night, you all of a sudden have a backpack instead! You’re playing a role, and that role is someone who’s on a mission to get laid.

Play into the fantasy. If the email banter between you and your new buddy has suggested things like thigh-highs, a jock strap, or a studded collar, live up to it! Show up entangled in a leather whip and nothing else if that’s what you promised. It’s not just Opposite Day; it’s about sticking to your guns and not disappointing the games that are about to take place.

Avoid wearing anything sentimental. This is a very important piece of advice. If you have an article of clothing or a piece of jewelry that has a deep meaning to you, make sure you leave at home. Let’s be honest—you are putting yourself on the line to get some, and if something should go a bit unplanned, you don’t want to not be able to wear you grandmother’s pearl necklace again just because the guy you fucked gave you a pearl necklace of his own all over it. You’ll never look at grandma’s gift the same way again, and you don’t want that.

Remove your heart from your sleeve before heading out. As with all NSA situations, sex is sex and love has no room in the equation. While a lot of people go out to screw not long after a break-up as a means to somehow move on, it’s important to remember emotions should be kept in check. If you’re someone who constantly wears your heart on your sleeve, leave that shit at home. Pin it to the towel in your bathroom and you can put it back on when you get home—after you’ve showered off that aforementioned pearl necklace.

Wear comfortable shoes. Why? Because you never when you may end up with a Ted Bundy or Aileen Wuornos on your hands and you’ll have to run like hell. But hey, that’s the risk you sometimes take when going the anonymous sex route. Although, statistically speaking, you probably have a better chance of being hit by a cab than ending up in 100-gallon drum of acid, but proceeding on the side of caution is never a bad idea. No one wants to go down at the hands of a serial killer for the sake of an orgasm they could have achieved at home with some wine and a Bernardo Bertolucci film.

Follow Amanda Chatel on Twitter.

“Craiglist Joe” Documentary Follows Man For 31 Days Living Off Craigslist

Craiglist Joe, a new documentary about a man who tries survive for 31 straight days soley off the kindness of strangers on Craigslist, sounds like it might involve a fair amount of penises and dented IKEA furniture. But no! And gosh, I’ll be darned if I didn’t tear up by the end of the trailer.

Zach Galifanakis executive produced the flick, in which director/star Joseph Garner does away with his money, friends and family in order to live entirely off Craigslist for an entire month: food, shelter, transportation, everything. There are days of grumbling bellies and tears. There’s some cash earned by helping clean up a house that appears to be lived in by a hoarder. But there are also kind offers of warm beds and food and more than a few delightfully quirky weirdos. Mostly, though, it seems Craiglist Joe reveals America is far more generous and less disconnected than modern life might make it seem.

Of course, the fact that Garner is a white male — especially one trailed by a camera crew! — will have impacted his experiences. Shit’s probably a little different when you’ve literally got nothing because you’re a naive 15-year-old girl trying to get out of an abusive home, you know?

But hey, I’ll watch this. And yeah, I’ll probably cry.

‘Dark Knight’ Fans Have Officially Lost Their Minds

Christopher Nolan’s third and final film following the dour life of a renegade crime-fighter heads to theaters next month, and people are, as expected, freaking the fuck out. But at what cost? Well, tickets to midnight screenings of The Dark Knight Rises are already going for hundreds of dollars on Craigslist. Is this why the economy is tanking? I’m not sure (I haven’t even read Freakonomics, much less understood anything about business and such), but it certainly shows that there are enough people in this world who truly don’t understand how value works.

Take a look at the range below, with ticket holders asking for anywhere between twenty and 150 bucks for the chance to be a total idiot and see a movie at midnight:

I can’t decide who’s the bigger asshole here: those who are scalping tickets to see a movie, or the dummies who’d spend that much money to see a movie on opening night instead of waiting, say, twelve hours. Because, seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?

Are You The Guy Who Fathered a Baby at a Megadeth Concert?

There are things you expect when you see Megadeth and Motorhead in concert. Being covered in the sweat of strangers, maybe; tinnitus, definitely. But a baby? That’s no good for anyone involved. When the bands rolled through Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom back in February, a woman supposedly got pregnant during a chance encounter with a strange in the restroom. Now, she’s posted an ad on Craigslist asking for the new daddy to come forward. Considering the Aragon’s palatial bathrooms, it’s a more than believable story, and a hell of a meet-cute if there ever was one. Check out the full ad after the click, as reproduced by Fuse.

Me: Blue hair, silver tube top, fishnets, Knee high black biker boots.
You: Red mohawk, black pentagram gauges, viper piercings.
I was grinding on you in the pit, then we went to the bathroom, and got f***** up. You had a nice c*** and I was wasted so I let [you] raw dog it in the stall. You were really good and you had to gag me so I would make too much noise.
Anyway I’m pregnant. It’s yours. contact me if you want to be part of your child’s life.
The last part is kind of heartbreaking, especially when you consider the ad’s already been taken down. Email if you have any leads — try to refrain from humor, as astonishingly short-sighted as the sequence of events may seem. Who goes to a metal concert without carrying protection?