Saturday, March 22, 2008

Save Sunset Bowl

Please watch this short video—then go here and download a petition, and have everyone you know sign it. The goal of the petition is to require Sunset Bowl's new property owners, Avalon Bay Communities Inc., to include a bowling facility in their new proposed multi-use building. I would prefer to just keep the building as-is, but it appears that this is the next best possibility at this point. Development is inevitable and can even be a great thing—but as the scramble continues to put condos on every block, it is imperative that Seattle residents who care about the city's personality take action to demand that the development is sensible.

Photo courtesy Flickr user tessbrianna

Photographic Evidence

This photo wall is up right now on 7th Avenue just off Flatbush. Not like it's the the coolest thing ever, but definitely worth a look if you find yourself in Park Slope, possibly for that region of Brooklyn's best brunch, at Flatbush Farm. I like the way they have colored washes and little drawings on a lot of the photos.

Now I'm hungry for brunch. Brooklyn's top five brunches are, of course, in no particular order,
Hope & Anchor
Flatbush Farm

But I digress. Also in the Slope on any given day:

Friday, March 21, 2008

With the Sea Air In My Lungs, I am Home

Some pretty amazing detail shots of snowy shipyards by Brooklyn-based artist and musician J. Ralph Phillips. More info soon as the work unfolds.

A little music to go with your viewing:
Bonnie Prince Billy
Is It the Sea? My Home is the Sea (Live in Edinburgh) MP3

Don't Front:

Hi, welcome to Don't Front, the ongoing series in which I tell you stuff you've probably been fronting on that deserves a second look.


You can't be a fan of Pharrell's production work and at the same time be too cool for the love zone.
Also, look at his suit. It's attractive.

As the man himself says, together we can live and learn. Don't front.

Billy Ocean Love Zone MP3

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Spring Again

Raymond Pettibon is on the op-ed page in this morning's New York Times. Nicholas Kristoff also has a good piece, starting with these words: "Barack Obama this week gave the best political speech since John Kennedy talked about his Catholicism in Houston in 1960."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shoplifters of the World

When I was going to school at Parsons I spent a lot of time in the library. I learned a lot from my instructors, but I learned just as much from the library's truly astounding collection of old books and magazines. The thing is, the place is not that big—so every year they would have a sale and get rid of duplicates, damaged copies, and things they felt were outdated or unneeded. I found a ton of good stuff there—so much that I would often have to take a cab back to Brooklyn with all my loot. This book, Shopfronts, by Bill Evans and Andrew Lawson, is one of the stand-outs (and a steal for 25 cents). Published in 1981 with the intention of recording "a threatened tradition of English shopkeeping," it is chock full of inspiration for designers and junkhounds alike. My favorite spread is this one documenting "and sons" signage. Click any of the images to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Magical Realism

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”–Arthur C. Clarke

In weird coincidences, I used images from "2001: A Space Odyssey" in the post below, and it has come to my attention that science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke died today at his home in Sri Lanka. I haven't read the book—I never really got into sci-fi—but the movie is one of my favorites of all time.

Second Hand News

In addition to 800 other projects, personal and professional and in-between, I have also been taking classes at the School of Visual Arts this winter. Monday night is Flash, and Tuesday night is PHP/MySQL. I am definitely no web developer, but there is something I love about writing the very basic code that I can write. It gives me the same satisfaction that building Legos did as a kid. Not the fancy kind where you build what they tell you to build, like some crummy pirate ship where the Lego men have little mustaches and bandanas—i.e., not making web pages with Dreamweaver—but the kind where you start from scratch and make something up.

But I digress. Tonight I learned something about computers that I never knew. The way computers tell time is by Unix time—basically they count the number of seconds since midnight GMT on January 1st, 1970. The people who developed the modern PC had to decide on what the dawn of time would be as far as computers are concerned, and they chose: January 1st, 1970. Now that I type it, it doesn't seem like that big a deal, but there's something about it that seemed crazy to me when I learned it, that the beginning of time to your computer is midnight, the dawn of 1970, and on an ongoing basis, it knows what time it is by counting the number of seconds since then.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

From Russia with Love

I've been on a soundtrack kick off and on for the past several years so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the writing on this record I found says Muzika Iz Kinofilmov or "Music for Films". (I guess I could have figured that out from the illustration, but I sort of thought it was a building or a space station till I looked more closely.) My dad did the translating for me—he learned Russian in the Air Force. In the '60s when the cold war was in full swing, he was stationed in Pakistan, Crete, and a number of other places, listening in on Soviet radio conversations for pieces of useful intelligence. Not surprisingly, he has some crazy stories. That's him, below left.

Unknown from Muzika Iz Kinofilmov MP3

Story of an Artist

Today's issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine has a short feature on Brooklynite (by way of Seattle) David Alhadeff, owner of the Williamsburg design store The Future Perfect. (Side note: Alhadeff is a long-established Seattle family name best known, at least by me, because Morris Alhadeff ran Longacres for 41 years.) Here's one of the things they mention in the article:
Seattle is one of Alhadeff’s favorite hunting grounds. His most recent designer find is Diem Chau, who creates her "Storytelling" crayon sculptures ($199 each) using a woodblock carving knife. "I’m fascinated when everyday objects become works of art."
Diem Chau has been doing great stuff for awhile now—but it's nice to peer over your morning coffee and see her getting some much-deserved attention in the country's paper of record. I love her work and was bummed to be on the wrong coast to catch her most recent show at OKOK Gallery in Ballard.

Check out her website for more images and information.

Storytelling Crayons image courtesy Howard House and Diem Chau