The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Tadasky Wins SL6 Great Artist Award!!!

Tadasuke Kuwayama aka Tadasky aka Teru's dad wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for being a great artist.

I was walking around Williamsburg, NY passing out s.2913/hr.5889 (o works) fliers and I came across the wonderful paintings of Tadasky. I love the these paintings because of the opitcal illusions they create and their technical brilliance. They are like modern mandalas. Luckily, I made it in the door of the gallery, Sideshow, just as his show was to close.

Coincidently, Tadasky is the father of the great photographer Teru, of lightstalkers His cute mom brough this to my attention as she gracefully promoted both her husband and son's achievements. The current show at Sideshow Gallery, Battlespace: Unrealities of War, is curated by Teru.

Sideshow Gallery
319 Bedford Avenue
Willimasburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 486-8180

Hours: Friday- Monday 12 to 6 PM and by appointment

1965-2008 Tadasky

For Sale:

Tadasky Bio:,+KUWAYAMA)+

Battlespace: Unrealities of War

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A. M. Richard Fine Art Wins SL6™ Cool Gallery Award

A. M. Richard Fine Art Gallery wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for being a cool gallery. I love this gallery; it's in an apartment in a Brooklyn neighborhood. I haven’t seen any other galleries like it. If you are in New York go check it out, it's the place be.

Interestingly enough I have a connection to two of the artists represented by A. M.

Derek Stroup, the person who introduced me to the gallery and another 6 Gold Star Award Winner™ (see November 7, 2007 post) grew up less than a mile a way from me in Connecticut.

Jill Freedman is a photographer I interned for the first time I lived in New York. I was student and I actually learned a lot about photo editing from her. She is very good at putting pictures together. We sat together in her living room and she would show me photos and ask me what I thought and then we would try to match them with other photos. The experience was a significant influence because it was one of my early exposures to photo editing. Are sessions were short lived because she called me out of the blue one day and wanted to pick up her dry cleaning or coffee or something. I said, "No, I don't that.” She didn't like it and told me to not to come anymore. I said, “fine” and continued on with my life. She wasn't paying me. I was there to do photo stuff not her laundry. I always had a strong sense of self and you need to if you are a professional artist. Jill was a character. She hung out with firemen and cops and made books about them. It strange looking back at that time because I was a student trying to be a professional photographer and wasn’t sure I would be able to do it.

Jill struggled with the business side of photography a lot. I also interned for Mary Ellen Mark at the same time, she was much better at business. It was interesting to observe, how these two women were of equal talent but Mary Ellen was more well known and making a lot of money. Mary Ellen was doing commercial work and some celebrity stuff. Jill was more of a purist when it came to her photography......I think. This was a long time ago and I'm not sure what went on in the subsequent years. Mary Ellen was a good self-promoter, she was shadier as well. She was fine with me but I heard a ton of horrible stories about her. She wasn’t a warm person. Neither woman really cared about helping to educate me. They didn’t have any feeling for me as a human. I was this sweet young guy. They could careless, it was all about them. Because of this and many other experiences, I tend to overcompensate with people and try to help them. Hence the award……..

Sorry for the digression A. M…………..

A.M. Richard Fine Art
328 Berry Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Tel: (917) 570-1476

Gallery hours:
Friday through Sunday, 1 - 6pm
L to Bedford
J,M,Z to Marcy Avenue

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wood's Pit BBQ Wins SL6™ for Best Ribs I Ever Had

Who would of thought.... right here in a tiny Connecticut town the best ribs I've ever had. Congratulations Woodie! you are a Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award Winner™.

These ribs are good, they are worth a special trip. Woodie is a player in the world of big league barbeque. This is not a joke, he should be on that on that show All Star BBQ Showdown (Outdoor Life Network).

Coincidently, I discovered this place after watching Vicky Christina Barcelona, a WOODY Allen film.

Wood's Pit BBQ
123 Bantam Lake Road, Rte. 209
Bantam, CT 06750
Phone (860) 567-yumy or (860) 567-9869

Open for Lunch and Dinner Tuesday - Sunday. Closed Mondays

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Julie Henderson Wins SL6 Hottest Woman On Planet Earth Award™!!!!

Uhhh! Julie Henderson is just too smoking hot! She wins The Steve Lehman Six Gold Star Award™ for being the Hottest Woman on Planet Earth ™. She goes beyond supermodel status, I created a special title just for her. If it was up to me, I would put Julie on the cover of Sports Illustrated next year.

Good Luck and run with it.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Emile Hirsch Wins SL6 for breakout performance in Into The Wild!

Emile Hirsch wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for his performance in Into the Wild directed by Sean Penn. This is a breakout role for the young actor and I think it’s of historical importance. He is one of the only Hollywood actors to be able to hold the big screen alone. It’s an almost impossible feat and he did it. Bravo!! Tom Hanks and Will Smith were not able to succeed at this in the way that Emile did. Be proud Emile, You are a rising Star. Hopefully, this award helps you gets some more great parts.


Actress Kelly Macdonald Wins SL6™'s First Entertainment Award

Kelly Macdonald wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for her role as Carla Jean Moss in No Country For Old Men. Kelly is an incredible actress with a rare gift. I saw her on TV speaking with a Scottish accent and a completely different personality, I was really surprised. She is one of the few actresses that can truly change her persona and transform themselves into a different person, in this case a rural Texan. I think she should get more parts. Kelly is very beautiful as well, she’s sexy.

I gave this award because I think she should get more recognition and she is in an incredible competive profession.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Great Michael Oatman Wins An Unprecedented Second 6 Gold Star Award™

I was looking at some of Michael's work online and I must say I was so impressed I spontaneously gave him his second Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™. This one is for outstanding achievement in art.

He has a major exhibit opening at MASS MoCA this Fall. Check it out.

MASS MoCA is located in Western Massachusetts at 87 Marshall Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. Need more info? Call the box office during business hours at (413) 662-2111.

Visitor's Information to MASS MoCA

Miller Block Gallery

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Joe Pizza Wins Award For Best Burger!!!!!

It was late, I was hungry and in Canton, CT. I asked a woman at the bookstore if she knew of a place to eat. She told me go to Joe Pizza down the street, they have great hamburgers. I go into a strip mall, ordinary looking place and I find the best burger I ever had in my life. This place has the best hamburgers in all of America, who would of thought. It's worth a special trip.

That what this award is about, recognizing the achievements of people who might go unrecognized. They were closing, they had paper crayons and I whipped up an award on the spot.

Joe Pizza
(860) 693.1265

140 Albany Turnpike (Rte. 44)
Canton, Connecticut 06019
(860) 693-1265

Monday: 4:30pm - 9:00pm
Tues. - Fri.: 11:30am - 9:00pm
Sat. & Sun.: 12:00pm - 9:00pm

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Eric Rochow Wins Media Pioneer Award

Eric Rochow wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for being a media pioneer. Eric is the first person I know who went out with a camera and a laptop and made his own TV show. It incredible to witness how many changes have taken place in communications over the last several years and Eric is right there on the wave.

Check out Gardenfork TV and Real World Green, Eric's been working hard on them. I must say I enjoy real world green because I am very interested in sustainability issues and I had a very similar idea.

Green House TV

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Mark Bailey and Michael Oatman win the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for the creation of Nobody Liked Duckfoot. Duckfoot is a hidden gem in the world of cartoon characters. Never published in the mainstream press, only a few rare copies of this cult classic still exist.

I want to recognize Oatman and Bailey as pioneers in the realm of dark cartoons. They were creating weird dark stuff before South Park even existed. But you know how it goes…..”first on the beach often gets shot.”

The Great Michael Oatman has gone on to have an amazing career as a professional artist and professor. Mark Bailey has moved onto bigger and better things and is a rising star in the world of Hollywood screenwriting.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dave Lefkowitz Wins SL6GS Music Award!!!!!!!!!!

Dave Lefkowitz wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for a lifetime of achievement in music. Dave, a mogul in training, is the Bay Area go to man for music. If you need to know anything about music find Dave. He manages Les Claypool and Primus along with heading up the new Golden Voice venues. What it comes down to is I've never met anyone more knowledgeable about music than Dave.

Yes, these awards are somewhat biased…….Dave and I go way back to Hanes House days. We were next-door neighbors our freshman year at Duke…….those were the days hanging out, partying with computer science majors Mike Abert and Melinda Gates. Well, the Melinda part is a stretch but Mike knew her and the word is she is also a distinguished Hanes House alum. No, it's not true we didn't date. No, she didn't invite me to a Kappa formal. However, I'm pretty sure we used to say hi to one another in the hall.

From the day I met him, Dave was into MUSIC. There are people who are into music and then there’s Dave. I mean Dave is into MUSIC. Other than professional musicians, There's no one more into music. I just pop in a CD and listen but Dave collects them, memorizes the backs, produces them, knows all the songs, studies the history, manages bands, the works………his almost photographic memory for the stuff makes it almost other worldly.

I was at his wedding and his mom recounted a story from when he was a baby, “When we were driving, songs would come on the radio and Dave would point and say, ‘mu, mu, mu. He was only one." He couldn’t even pronounce music yet but he was already listening. Incredible, I love the story.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Larisa Olson Wins All Around Creativity Award!!!!

I want to recognize Larisa for her all around ability in creative endeavors. We go way back to 1173 North Ardmore days.... It's not well known but our building has great tradition of producing talented artists.....the casting director for Dancing with Wolves, the actor Bill Wintersole.......

It is there that I was able to bear witness to her unique abilities as an artist, set designer, costume designer, interior designer, writer, etc.... she even photographs some and does cool things in Photoshop. She has a unique sensibility and sees things differently. She even helped me some with The Tibetans: A Struggle to Survive and is the one who turned me onto this blogging software.

You go Larisa.......

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Famous Russian Novel Wins Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award!!!

I am excited to announce that the Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov has just received a Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award. This brilliant Russian novel written from 1928 to 1940 has always been a favorite. Banned by Stalinist authorities for 26 years it was posthumously published in 1966 (in the video I made a mistake and said 1960).

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was one of post-revolutionary Russia's foremost authors. In the 1920's his work was suppressed by the Stalinst authorities; only with his rehabilitation, beginning in 1962, was much of it published. His other works include Heart of a Dog, The Fatal Eggs, and The White Guard. (This brief bio is by Grove Press, Inc.).


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sweet Peas Chef Wins Award


I am proud to announce that Paul J. Panettiere has won a Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for his hard work and being an excellent chef / proprietor of Sweet Peas. Paul Panettiere started in the restaurant business as teenager washing dishes and then went on to train at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. His goal is “to have people leave the restaurant feeling better than when they came in.”

Set in a beautifully restored 1880’s Victorian Colonial, the restaurant also doubles as an antique gallery. The food is excellent, the decor is beautiful and the prices reasonable. One of the patrons described Chef Paul Panettiere’s creation as “unique, metropolitan cuisine in a hometown setting, right next door.” If you are looking for a great meal in beautiful surroundings come to Sweet Peas of Riverton, CT.

I highly recommended the rack lamb. If you go for lunch, they offer an excellent steak sandwich. The bread is wonderful and the salads tasty. Check it out!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sweet Peas is well worth the trip.

There are theme nights on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday:

Tuesday is a “Complete Dinner Night”, a full meal for $20.00.
Wednesday is “Pasta Night” which is a pasta dish with soup or salad for $10.00.
Friday is “Burger Night.”

Sweet Peas also does take out. They have full liquor, and wine tasting. They also are available for catering, luncheons, private parties, baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, and rehearsal dinners. I feel this is a fantastic place for small to medium size events.

Sweet Peas is located in the foothills the Berkshires at 6 Riverton Road (Route 20) in the heart of Riverton.

Sweet Peas
6 Riverton Road (Rte 20)
Riverton, CT 06065
Phone: 860-379-7020.

The hours of operation are:
Lunch: Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 2:30 PM – 8:00 PM

This video is a spoof on the Burger King commercials. I'm not a big fan of commercials but I must say I think BK ones are really funny. I wipped this award ceremony together in about 20 minutes. Paul needed to get back to work and I had some other things to do so I couldn't perfect it. It is filmed with a Treo 680. I'm very proud of it because I am acting and filming at the same time, it's very hard to do. There is no editing involved, I do it all in the camera. The sound quality is poor because I am wearing the mask and there are limits to cell phone microphones. The script I wrote while I was waiting for my lunch is attached below.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Clarence Williams Wins Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ For Just Being Clarence!!!!

Clarence!!! That’s all I can say.

I was at a dinner in New York and heard Alan Chin, the famous raconteur, recounting the tale of Clarence's New Orleans travails………. It sounded so horrendous I thought Alan was making it up.

Clarence, I’m glad your safe. Even though this happened a while back, I hope this award cheers you up.


There's our man^ (The photo above was taken in 2002 as Clarence spoke to a Master class at Temple University / Photographer Unknown.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Anthony Parenti of Savory Thymes Wins Award for the Best New Sandwich and Being an Excellent Chef!!!!

Savory Thymes Breezy River Café is a great Northwestern Connecticut lunch spot. The proprietor, Anthony Parenti, has developed a unique style of cooking that makes it well worth the trip. My favorite is the Tuscany, a chicken sandwich with pesto sauce, roasted peppers on focaccia bread. Of course, this sandwich has won the Best New Sandwich Award. The café also offers wonderful dinners to go along with full catering for weddings, events and banquets. Anthony is a really hard worker and a great American character. If you are looking for a good chew, this is the place for you.

Savory Thymes and Breezy River Café and Catering.
896 Main Street (Route 44)
Winsted, CT 06098
Phone (860) 738-4963
Closed for the winter, reopens April 1, 2008.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Todd Berton of Tech Auto Wins Award For Being An Honest Mechanic and Saving Me $700 On My Cracked Catalytic Converter.

Quick Tour of Hamden 1/11/08 (That's me! driving, talking and filming myself with my cellphone!)

Award Ceremony 1/11/08 (filmed with cellphone)

I have a 1996 black, Honda Civic that has held up very well. However, it’s starting to get up in years and recently the engine developed problems. I brought it in to Todd Berton of Tech Auto, whose shop is in Hamden, CT. Hamden is town where I grew up. I left the car for Todd to check. He called me around noon with the bad news, my catalytic converter was cracked and it was going to cost $700. It was painful!!!:( However, he told me he wanted to check with the parts distributor to confirm the cost. He called me back and with great news, this converter was under an extended warranty and if I brought to Honda, they would replace it for free. I was so happy :) because I needed to spend the money elsewhere!!!!!

This was a situation where a dishonest mechanic could have easily taking advantage of someone because there would have been no way for the customer to know the part was under warranty. For this reason, I have awarded Todd Berton, The Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award ******. Thank you Todd!!!

Interestingly enough, I brought this car from the famous Josh Hammer, A.K.A. “The Hammer.” He was based in L. A. as the Newsweek bureau chief. Josh received an overseas posting and needed to unload his car quickly. I had recently totaled mine so we were a match made in heaven. I was a little bit nervous because "The Hammer" kept bragging how great the car held up when he was speeding around the L. A. freeways at 80 miles an hour. It turned out to be one of the best deals of my life. I’ve owned the car 9 years and have had only a few problems.

If you are in Connecticut and looking for a mechanic you can find Todd at
Tech Auto
55 Connolly Pkwy
Hamden, CT 06514
Phone: (203) 281-1799

Additional Reviews: