Saturday, September 19, 2009

Image of the Day

One of five costumes created by Christian Joy, to be sold in the Where the Wild Things Are Pop-Up Shop opening today at Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles. A a portion of the proceeds will help support 826 Valencia.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Words to Live By

We haven't had HBO since we moved into our place on Capitol Hill in January, but I caught the September 11 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher while I was visiting my parents in Idaho (more on that later), and it was so good it makes me think we should spring for it again. (I realize that I'm probably preaching to a very large choir with this endorsement, but it had been a long time since I'd seen this show and either it's gotten better or I'd just forgotten how good it always was – so bear with me on this one.)

Not only did I get to witness the truly hilarious/disturbing spectacle of a budding romance between Richard Clarke and Kathy Griffin (which you can view on The Huffington Post, here), but it was just nice to see a political show of any stripe (outside of Washington Week, and the Brooks & Shields segment on the Friday edition of The News Hour, that is) that had a greater proportion of intelligent, informed political discussion than spin. Not that it isn't completely predictable where Bill Maher stands on everything, but his guests are no joke.

Here's Bill Maher's final 'New Rule' from that night's episode: Democrats, Get in Touch with Your Inner A--hole. I couldn't agree more:

Image of the Day

Apropos of Matthew's post below....

[ Photo ca.1971 by Ron Allen, via Vintage Seattle ]

On Drink, or, How's Your Glass?

I have been somewhat obsessed by this little book (I wish it were pocket-sized so I could bring it with me when I need it most) and having just finished it and some of the recipes within, I thought to share it with you too. Sir Kingsley Amis (1922-1995) was well known for his writing, his humor, his misogyny, and his love of drink – particularly what he called the English workingman's liquor: gin (what I call crazy juice). This collection of short essays, recipes, hangover helpers and a questionnaire on all things drink-related comes from years of experimenting, dinner parties and mishaps. On more than one occasion I found myself laughing outloud on a plane ride from Albuquerque to Seattle last month. An excerpt:
The Copenhagen
4 or 5 parts Vodka
1 part Danish Aquavit
Blanched Almonds
Ice Cubes

(i) Use a British Vodka, the cheapest you can find, in pursuance of
G.P. 4: For any liquor that is going to be mixed with fruit juices, vegetable juices, etc. sweetening, strong flavoured cordials and the like, go for the cheapest reliable article. Do not waste your Russian or Polish vodka, etc.

(ii) The character after whom I have named this drink would probably make his Clement Freud face if offered one, but he would be among the first to appreciate that its apparent mildness might make an excellent love-philtre to press on shy young ladies, if there are any of these left anywhere in the land.

Proceed as before (making a standard martini) dropping an almond into each glass as you serve. Wondering what the almond is doing there (I believe it is a Scandinavian love token) will keep your guests tongues wagging until the liquor sets them wagging about anything under the sun. Distilled out at 79 percent, Aquavit is a strong drink, so much so that it seems to extend its power over the whole.
Enjoy your drinking and "enjoy it in moderation." For further reading and viewing, Amis' first and most famous book is Lucky Jim. In closing, a joke (NSFW) by the aforementioned Clement Freud, son of Sigmund:

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans


Heart and Mind


The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers is basically the film version of Ellsberg's book Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Cold War – a consummate insider's account of the war (events on Ellsberg's first day of work at the Pentagon include: the Tonkin Gulf Incident; events on the last: leaking the Pentagon Papers), and one of the most inspiring transformation stories I've ever read (those of Malcolm X and Robert F. Kennedy being two others). The Most Dangerous Man in America premiered this week in New York and should hopefully be making the rounds soon (while you're waiting, this is worth another look). More info at

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Image of the Day

The tenth anniversary issue of The Journal, released at the Spring/Summer 2010 Rodarte show on Tuesday, featuring a cover photograph of Jamie Bochert. The Journal, which was just re-designed by Peter Miles, started out as a skate and snowboard zine and has developed over the years into a respectable art mag. Click here to read an interview with the founder, Michael Nevin.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Was Told Desire Had A Sell-By Date


New (I think?) video for my favorite song on Micachu & the Shapes' album Jewellery, produced by Matthew Herbert. I love everything about the song but especially, at about :50, those little static-y drum sounds.

And Here's the Kicker

My buddy Mike Sacks was recently on The Sound of Young America discussing his new book. Click to listen:

More info on And Here's the Kicker: A Collection of Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers On Their Craft here.

Image of the Day

Photograph of Marcel Duchamp, 1958, by Arnold Rosenberg

Tonight from 6–8PM at Francis Naumann Gallery in NYC is the opening reception for Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. At 7:00 Grand Master Lev Alburt (3x US Champ) will play Grand Master Jennifer Shahade (2x US Woman's Champion and author of Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport) on Play It By Trust, the chess board with all white pieces designed by [who else...] Yoko Ono. Among others in the exhibition, open through October 30th, are Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Sophie Matisse. It proposes that "Duchamp's identity as a chess player is so thoroughly interfused with his work as an artist that the two activities are aesthetically and conceptually inseperable."

More information at Francis Naumann Gallery's website.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The High Standard

More pics from our NY trip – I'm kind of going in reverse chronological order, for anyone who cares, i.e. Emily....

Sunday night, September 6th, for wedding anniversary no.12 (wedding anniversary number twelve!!!), we stayed at the Standard Hotel. After we checked in we took a walk on the Highline, which runs right under it.

A lot has been written about the Highline and I'm sure we'll have more to say about it in the future (they still have at least ten blocks to add on to the North end).

The designers (landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting specialist Piet Oudolf) found an impeccable balance, keeping elements of the beautifully rusted, overgrown old structure, but making it into a fun, functional public space, equally beautiful in its own way.

I had this thought while we were up there that experiencing such a space – an environment where every last detail is designed, but allowed to breathe, never forced – is a feeling of pure luxury.

It's an amazing gift for the people of New York City, and judging by the crowds, they seem to be loving it.

Everything in The Standard is also well-designed – all of the rooms have (widely publicized) floor-to-ceiling windows, and ours had a cool little seating area right next to the view. It was a little like an Airstream trailer, with everything in its right place.

A totally schizo panorama of the view. That little bubble of glass in the middle of the photo (click to enlarge) is Diane von Furstenberg's building. Must be nice.

Back to the hotel room. There's no door on the bathroom and the wall of the shower is glass, so that you can see right into it from the main room. I have a pet peeve about people calling inanimate objects "sexy" but it is a "sexy space." Honestly, I kind of prefer the slightly more rustic-feeling Maritime Hotel, but we enjoyed our stay and would go back.

And honestly, at that point, after three days of drinking and catching up with friends and walking around, we would have been happy with anywhere that had a TV and a bed. We're old, god dammit! BBC America delivered for us with an encore showing of one of my favorite Bond movies. Emily made fun of me for taking pictures of the TV.

After that we had a drink in the bar downstairs. The patio is nice – good for people watching.

Then we ordered room service.

Starvation Nation


[From Lily + Mika]

Need vs. Want

Continuing my own little fashion week up in here:
Crescent Down Works shirt jacket, $300.
South Willard already sold out of them, but Crescent Down Works is up the street from the PS. Gotta get me one.

Need vs. Want

Balenciaga sneakers, $595.
Alas, current finances suggest hitting the ol'
Rod Lavers with Spray & Wash again.

Image of the Day

I actually posted this (from one of my black books) last year on September 14th, the sweltering day in Fort Greene when we we loaded our moving truck. Emily flew from JFK to SEA with Inez, and on September 15th at 5AM my brother Sky, Littlejeans, and I got in the Penske and drove to Chicago. The next day, we narrowly missed a hurricane and drove all the way to the godforsaken rockpile that is Gillette, Wyoming. The day after that, we hit Seattle. And here we are.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Image of the Day

Giovanna Battaglia and Mario Testino en route to a Chanel haute couture show in Paris.

Here we are in the middle of New York Fashion Week but I had to post these, from the street fashion blog Jak & Jil, because they both look so classic and I haven't seen anything yet this week that could beat 'em.

Check out Giovanna Battaglia's styling work at Art Department and some of Mario Testino's photography at Art Partner.

Some things I was privileged enough to work on with Mario Testino while I was at Visionaire are here and here and here.


I've been listening to a radio show called Too Beautiful To Live since it started up in early 2008. I always look forward to it and at this point it almost feels like the host (Luke Burbank), the producer (Jen Andrews), and the sound engineer (Sean DeTore) are a part of our family. Well, I'm happy to announce that today TBTL gets even better. Having been dropped by its radio station (KIRO, where the show always seemed like a boozy cousin Ray-Ray to the station's other programs), Too Beautiful To Live is defying its name and switching into DIY-podcast mode. They're actually broadcasting right now, as I type.

Listen live every day at 11:30AM, or download the podcasts, at

Last Exit to Brooklyn

So, yeah, we got back from New York last Thursday and I immediately came down with the worst cold I've had in years. Not the swine, but swine-ish. It's still pretty bad but Littlejeans is doing his best to take care of me while I slog through my projects (Emily, pictured above in all her chicness, is in Idaho for one last trip before diving head-on into school next week).

Anyway – this week I'm going to somewhat haphazardly post a selection of photos from our time in New York. Today's are from an afternoon we spent in Red Hook – something we always loved doing when we lived in Brooklyn. It continues to develop in interesting ways while maintaining its industrial flavor.

The Mighty Gowanus – miniature Duwamish of Brooklyn

[Click to enlarge – artwork by Swoon]

Hope & Anchor was full-up so we had lunch at this new place, Fort Defiance. Emily had a tomato, mozarella, and basil sandwich, and I had a banh mi, and both were delicious. They also have Six Point Apollo Wheat on tap and their cold-brewed iced coffee is maybe the best I've ever small thing, being from Seattle.

More NY pics coming soon, and you are welcome to have a look at my Flickr sets for old ones if you like.

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