Tag Archives: nyc

the rise and fall of IEDEI and the death of modern motoring culture.

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(above: NSU TTS rendering source: Virtual R)

I started IEDEI back in 2008 and launched it with the idea of it being an authentic, genuine, and soulful place to indulge in our hobby or motoring as well as everything else gentlemanly and wonderful.  IEDEI continued for many years and i met some wonderful people through the blog.  This blog was cited by much larger websites and media organizations and I continuously received emails from media companies asking me for content or about photos posted or just in general about the site.  I never sold out.  I never put shitty google ads on my pages.  I never tried to sell you anything.  I never wanted to bias anyone about anything all i wanted was a page to share my opinions, share my favourite photos, videos, ideas, designs, and possible future trends as well as lost historical beauties.  IEDEI was a PURE idea and remained pure from start to finish.  Towards the end, the blog had left motoring culture behind as i realised automobiles and motoring were wonderful for me but not something I wanted to write about anymore.

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Motoring culture on the web is completely DEAD AND DECOMPOSED.  When IEDEI was started there were no youtube vlogs, no silly and overdramatic Petrolicious videos, no 50 bazillion versions of Top Gear from every country that nobody watches.  There were some car forums where people shared common ground with other owners of the same cars they had.  There were a few videos around of any car you could think of; but not too many.  There were some mainstream blogs like Autoblog, Jalopnik, Bring-A-Trailer (which was already a propaganda site and has since become a crappy auction site just profiting off opportunistic selling of cars combined with market manipulation).  Back in 2008 motoring culture still had some imagination.  Something to live for…and it wasn’t part of the capitalism landscape it is now.  My friend Bradley, who ran Automobiliac launched at terrific watch company named Autodromo and when he launched it there weren’t scores of watch companies making race-inspired watches.  In fact I remember SCOURING the web looking for race inspired watches that were affordable and they were few and far between.  I used to sit with Bradley sipping on coffees and drinks and daydream about selling gloves and scarves and I remember even contacting a bag manufacturing company trying to find out how much it would cost to make an IEDEI branded racing bag.  It never happened….but it could have.  I used to wake up in the morning, check my friend Drew’s Motoring Con Brio site, check Bradley’s Automobiliac site, the fantastic Blenheim Gang site, check a few random automotive blogs for the latest news, and then go on with my day and move on to music, and science, and news, and art, and everything else i adore.  We went to car shows and meets and not every photo had to be hashtagged and trending.  We were not really involved with social media besides daily blogging.

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Fast forward to 2017.  Things are not pure. If you go to youtube you will find seas and seas of absolutely SHITE vlogs made by piles of NON-car people in order to make plenty of $$$ off subscribers.  I sometimes wonder if their subscription numbers are even real.  These vlogs are so monumentally terrible that i literally cannot make it through 1 minute without cringing endlessly and wanting to smash my laptop under the wheels of an oncoming garbage truck.  Superficial, shallow, gutless, clueless, vile, self-absorbed, useless hosts like Shmee150, Salomondrin, Seen Through Glass, Supercars of London, Joe Achilles, and the list goes on and on and on.  I’m not going to offers links for these clowns as i’d rather you not even watch.  I sometimes click on their videos just to laugh at the state of motoring culture.  How it died a vicious death and was given to the hands of idiots for control.  I recently read somewhere that these are the true influencers of motoring culture these days.  That’s the equivalent of saying that a Gonorrhea infection is the largest influencer on modern sex life.  To me, these idiots have no idea what motoring culture is about.  They don’t know motoring history, they don’t understand the context behind their conversations, and they are simply materialists who feel it’s trendy and profitable to be associated with automobiles.  They will fade away as fast as they arrived.  I will be glad to participate in their demise.  Occasionally i still click on a Harry Metcalfe or Chris Harris video and still find a video worth watching; but they are needles in a haystack of awfulness.  Where are the sites that actually teach you something? Or inspire you? Or have any sense of emotion or enthusiasm?  It doesn’t exist anymore.  Recently Clarkson et al. launched their absurd “Drivetribe” site which was supposed to a social network for motoring enthusiasts.  I joined and was repulsed by the mountains of regurgitated generic nonsense i found at every turn.  Has originality run out?  i believe so.

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Surely these shitclowns are not the only reason motoring culture died.  The manufacturers forgot how to build proper cars.  People became addicted to instagram and facebook and the manufacturers became addicted to making sure they understood that people’s priorities for driving were to be able to take selfies in cars and read the replies to their instagrammed selfies while they drive.  Hence piles of electronic nonsense were added into the car making it a glorified mobile phone; with people criticizing cars which didn’t come equipped with infotainment satisfaction.  Nevermind the driving experience just stuff a bunch of leather with some big screens and an ‘advanced’ torque converted 19 speed automative gearbox and be happy you can afford your $419 a month lease on your 2017 BMW 328 X Drive M-Sport Competition Pack Sport Pack pile of utter shit!   Audi are building, genuinely, some of the most uninspired and hideous crap imaginable.  Mercedes have cut sausages (literally) in different lengths and raise them, lower them, rebadge them, and shuffle them out of the factory.  Who is inspired these days?  Alfa Romeo have come back to the US with cars that look like a new Kia and are desperately trying to convince everyone that somehow they still matter. Y’know 10 years ago i would have eaten a bowl of my own boogers to drive a ‘new’ Alfa Romeo in the US; but now it seems I just don’t care.   Porsche 911 blah blah Cayman blah blah 4 bangers? Blah blah no thanks blah blah.  So how much is a proper Porsche?  Yeah that’ll be a cool $140k.  Utter nonsense.  Mini sells a range of a bazillion models with some of them that are 3500+ pounds in curb weight (what!?).  Saab is now dead.  Jaguar has no identity, and supercars are super super lame.

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I still want a Lancia Fulvia.  I still scream out in love for an Alpine A110 and Alpine A310. I still feel super dirty when i look at photos of an Alfa Romeo GTA-m.  I just recently bought a book about the unmistakably wonderful Lancia Hyena.  I feel that the best motoring culture is gone and in our history.   No I am not interested in your shitty Tesla Model 3X P44d superelectric 0-60 in 3.blahblah seconds with your 20 inch screen and 3000 pound battery.  I don’t want to drive a battery.  I am 41 years old and assuming i haven’t damaged my body too significantly i probably have a few years left.  For that time, i will drive whatever i want and won’t be force fed by the media or vlogs or any other shitty petrolicious video what i should be lusting for.   Elon Musk is a crusty salesman who makes a fool out of everyone with hyping his underwhelming company up every step of the way.  I would rather install bulldozers into my elbows than to drive a Tesla.  You will never see me in a Tesla.

This brings me to the horror show that is “vintage motoring culture”.  When i launched IEDEI there were very few sites celebrating the old school design and stories and photos with others.  I remember finding Petrolicious once, who used to steal my content in the early days and i wrote them an email telling them to fuck off and stop stealing my content.  Fast forward to 2017 and Petrolicious release the most cliched, full of nonsense ‘vintage’ car videos i’ve ever seen.  An abomination of what this culture became.  Did I play a part in this?  POSSIBLY.  I will, however pretend i didn’t because i can.   I can’t watch 20 seconds of a Petrolicious video without wanting to puke at the 3rd rate hollywood cinematography and generic piano music added for “atmosphere”.  Pukealicious more like it.

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(above: photo of BMW 2002 Turbos being built. Source: M Registry)

At this point you may thinking “oh this IEDEI tosser is a real bitter guy”….well bitter i am not.  Opinionated I AM deal with it!  I’m not going to fluff up my thoughts to please others.  My readers were always smart people with independent thoughts. That being said I still love motoring and i love my cars and i have some real great friends who will agree with much of what i think but are too nice to be so blunt about it.

Things i like about motoring culture in 2017:

  • Alpine is back! they should give me a new A110 for all the Alpine hype i generated.
  • Lancia is dead.  Fiat should be ashamed of themselves
  • Chris Harris is still cool.  For fuck’s sake he drives a BMW 1M.
  • My BMW 1M is the greatest car i’ve ever owned or driven.  Many smiles every mile
  • Underappreciated cars will always exist and i will find them.
  • Modern american muscle cars are much cooler than most european cars now.
  • There are still good people into motoring; but you won’t find them with hashtags.
  • Hatchbacks MAY be making a comeback to the US market (finally!)
  • Volvo is back making wonderful looking cars again.  “the new boxy” as i call it.
  • I wouldn’t mind buying a new Lincoln.  They are stunning.
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Will IEDEI ever come back?  yeah maybe when everybody else is gone….

Thank you to all the kind, honest, and interesting people out there.  I do miss interacting with many of you.  I hope you are happy and full of life.  Life is more interesting than any object or ‘scene’.

I still live in NYC and this is my 1M being used as it was intended to be used; as a motor car driven by a madman!

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IEDEI’s new daily driver.

yes a few months ago i picked up a bright Valencia Orange BMW 1M.  740 cars brought to the US market. Mine is #374.

I will be doing a full review and photo-post about the car at a later time.

All i can say for right now is:  It is the most fun car I have ever driven….the best car i have ever driven—and i’m still shocked that i own it and drive the pants off of it every single day.  Worthy of all the hype and more!  Live the dream, my rock and roll people!

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all photos taken by Syed IEDEI.

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Audi S3 Sedan: undecided.

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The jury is out.  I really still don’t know what i think of this new 2015 Audi S3 Sedan which debut’d last week in NYC.  Let me just tell you that I actually have a deposit down to be one of the first US buyers for an S3 Sedan (a deposit i put down last year when the S3 Sportback was first introduced) —-however i am fairly disappointed in the S3 Sedan itself.  The design is nowhere near as interesting as the Concept or as I was hoping.  It is a beautifully spec’d package with 300hp, 0-60 in 4.7s, quattro, and some beautifully trimmed interior and exterior bits—but somehow i feel like Audi has entered a ‘comfort zone’…in which designing a car has become too easy for them.

Don’t get me wrong.  It is a good looking car.  I’m certain it’s a fantastic car, as most Audis are.  I just wish it was a Sportback….OR that it was a bit more unique.  OR I wish that it didn’t look like ‘Audi-by-the-numbers’.

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Promo Video:

NYC debut photos from: MT

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iconic.

it’s that shape….far beyond just a machine..into the realm of pure art….iconic, thought-provoking, timeless, old, new, beautiful, and always interesting.

2001 Audi TT 225 Coupe quattro, owned and driven hard by IEDEI since 2003.

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intersection.

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i really enjoyed looking at these series of nighttime photographs by Navid Baraty of nyc streets and intersections.  many evenings, you’ll find me glaring out of my own window staring at the intersection nearby.  i do think they are fascinating for their motion and for their halt and go premise.

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src: behance

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It’s been a while since I posted some new photos.  I am exclusively using my 21mm Elmarit on the M8 these days….an amazing wider angle lens, and a whole lot of fun to shoot with:

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Have been taking a lot of photos.  It never gets old.  Creating never gets old.

all photos taken by myself using either a Leica M8.1 or Ricoh GRD3 and an assortment of M-Mount lenses.

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nyc subway.

Firstly, i detest taking the NYC subway.  Having said that, I will concede that it is the most efficient way to get around NYC, as well as the cheapest.  But it is dirty, too congested, unpredictable, chaotic, and most of all a deposition of individuals into mass movement.  I am not compatible with mass movements or mini-migrations of sorts.  I will assume that either you think I am (A) looking down upon commuters or (B) am an elitist.  The first is definitely not true, and the second is up for debate.

I did, however, enjoy these photographs by Daniel Zvereff taken in the subway.

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Sandy vs. Taxi.

I spotted this last week while walking around Brooklyn.  A gentleman who walked by told me they had just removed a tree off this taxi as a consequence of Hurricane Sandy a couple of weeks ago.  Brutal.

 

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been a pretty shitty and a pretty busy week!  Yet still, I am a spy of the world

Leica M8.1 + 40mm Summicron

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me and my trusty M8 .1 + Summicron 40mm

 

(below with new 39mm Leitz Orange filter, which i’m sort of in love with at the moment.  Bought it for B&W photos, but am starting to use it for orange tint)

 

 

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“Anti-imbedded-Mossad Party” Cadillac Seville Limousine.

I laughed so hard when I saw this car.  I laughed from far, and then i laughed from up close! Spotted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Apologies for the water on my camera lens, as there is a hurricane outside when I was walking around!

For those who don’t know, the Mossad is obviously the controversial Israeli intelligence agency (equivalent to the CIA in the US government).   “Mitochondrial DNA”, interestingly enough, is generally passed down from one’s mother.  I am still trying to interpret these quotes in full.

 

Here’s my wife pretending it’s her car! (it’s not, obviously….lol)

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This past week, i bought a new 40mm Summicron F2 for my Leica M8.1 (M8u) and man do i love it.  It is considered one of the finest kept secrets in the Leica world, and they are totally right.  The 40mm Summicron is one of the sharpest and most well balanced lenses, and it really makes the 35mm Voigtlander Nokton F1.4 feel more primitive and just not as nice to use.  Everyone with an M-mount camera needs this lens.  It does have a tendency to flare when pointed directly at sunlight, however most Summicrons and Summiluxes have similar tendencies.  All in all, a wonderfully compact and tight lens which is excellent to use.  Highly recommended!

Here are some of my favourite photos i’ve taken over the past week, taken with the new 40mm Summicron F2:

 

 

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all photos taken by Syed IEDEI

(Leica M8.1, CV 35mm f1.4 Nokton)

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Mindrelic vs. Manhattan.

I really enjoyed these 2 time lapsed videos done by Mindrelic.  The fact that he actually chose interesting music makes it even better.  Beautiful! I never get tired of NYC.

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my week in photos through my eyes.

all photos by Syed IEDEI using a Leica M8.1

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streetfoto of the day.

i’m really loving grinding my creative teeth on my M8.  “Hip shooting” is my latest interest….pre-focusing the lens, with delayed shutter reload…..and then creating the distance i need.   There’s nothing quite as interesting as walking around seeing the wicked charms of New York City….with a camera in hand.  I used to think nothing was better than driving around NYC, but now i’ve found something even more interesting.

I usually shoot in B&W, but the colours in this photo were too beautiful so I had switched to colour for it.

New York City, Leica M8.1 with Voigtlander 35mm f1.4

 

 

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Breton.

(09/06/2012, Bowery Ballroom, photo by Syed IEDEI)

Breton are the sound of right now.  We saw them last night at the Bowery Ballroom NYC and they were just mint in every way.  They are the sound of the completely new….futuristic…original….and groovetastic.  Been listening to this non-stop for the past week, and will surely listen even more after last night’s show!

This song is from their EP “Sharing Notes”:

The album is called “Other Peoples Problems” on Fatcat Records.  Go and buy it.

More info at Bretonlabs.com

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Introducing myself to the M8.

My Leica M8 is now fully capable, up and running with a Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 lens.   This is my first time ever owning and using a fully manual camera, and my first time owning and using a Rangefinder.  What a machine—-really find it a fascinating piece of equipment.   I just put it all together last night, and am still playing around with the settings.  Less than 24 hours with it, and these are my favourite photos thus far.   Lots more to come in the future, hopefully!

I have no idea what this Chinese cough syrup is made of…but it sure should looks hardcore:

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sighting of the day. Cougar.

The most desirable Mercury Cougars are the 1967 and 1968 versions (1st design); after which the Cougar progressively became bigger, bulkier, and overall worse.  That being said, sometimes in the right light in Brooklyn, when one sees a ‘lost’ Cougar like this 1973 (i’m estimating)….it looks absurdly large and early 70s in a cool way.  Vinyl roof, chrome wheels, and look at the size of that trunk lined complete with flying buttresses!  Pimptastic….and funky.

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sighting of the day. Murcielago…

…not under its own power; but on a flatbed!

I’d like to think it was being simply transported somewhere, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was simply broken.   It still looked quite fast though…..even though it had an obligatory cheesy supercar license plate.

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