Friday, October 16, 2009

Image of the Day

. Georgetown, Seattle... A message for the weekend.


Somehow I missed the sad passing a month ago of the inspiring Richard Merkin, an artist and professor I had the opportunity to meet during my bid at RISD. I'm not going to go into too much detail about who the man was or any experiences I had with him; he said and did many memorable things in classes and left a strong impression on all of us. As a young'un in school I was barely aware of his sartorial gifts, although his look remains in my mind's eye more than that of any other professor I had there.

One thing I remember him saying to me, which had a sort of existential ring to it and pops in my head every so often: after looking at a drawing I had made, he said, "be careful when you draw a line that runs off the edge of the paper because that line will go on forever."

Here's a selection of his famous pastels and works on paper:

Read The New York Times' obituary here.

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans


We call this "sleeping like a little man."
Further documentation of this behavior here and here.

Littlejeans of the Hills

The day before Emily started school a few weeks ago, we hiked up to Rattlesnake Ridge. This little dude welcomed us to the top of the mountain:

Rattlesnake Ridge is about a half-hour from downtown Seattle, near North Bend (where Twin Peaks was set). You just take I-90 to the second North Bend exit, but instead of going left to go to Mt. Si, you go right and follow the signs.

Just in case anyone wants to pay a visit to our friend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Image of the Day

The Reindeer Yasha, 1941, by Ukrainian WWII photographer Yevgeny Khaldei (1917–1997).

I got a postcard with this image on it when we were in Rotterdam several years ago and I look at it all the time. (Rotterdam: coolest city ever. Maybe more on that later.)

Yevgeny Khaldei was obsessed with photography from a very young age, inspired by a picture he saw in a magazine. He made his first camera out of a cardboard box and his dead grandmother's glasses.

In a 1995 interview with The New York Times, Khaldei said that "I have just always wanted people to know what really happened in their time. I would have to say that many times my heart was broken. But I also witnessed greatness."

[That being said, Khaldei actually composited three different photographs to make the image above. Probably none of the images on their own (the reindeer, foreground and background; the exploding bomb; the airplanes) would have captured the feeling of being right there, but combined, I think they do achieve the goal and emotions Khaldei discusses in that quote.]

That Sinking Feeling


"Ryan's Song" by the Athens-GA band Venice Is Sinking – one of my songs of the (glorious, long lost) summer. Video directed by Jason Miller and Ethan Payne. More info at

Put it in your pocket:
Venice is Sinking Ryan's Song mp3 [via Team Clermont]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Image of the Day

Artwork by Belgian designer/illustrator Géraldine Georges.

Please don't worry, the PS has not devolved into a blog about my dreams (yet). B
ut last night I had a memorable one that I want to mention just this once, if just so I will be reminded of it when I look back at these. Here it is: I was walking home from work in the middle of the night (actually that part is all too often real, lately), and I passed a gray cat sitting under a tree. As I leaned down and scratched the cat's head I realized there was a large, light gray crow sitting behind it. The crow and I looked at each other for a long time. The crow seemed like it was going to say something, and then I woke up. It was nice. On the way to work today I paid closer attention than I usually do to the crow population of Capitol Hill. There, that was it, done.

See more of Géraldine Georges' work below and on her website, and read a recent interview at


It's An Exciting Time


(Untitled), a movie about the art world directed by Jonathan Parker (Bartleby).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Martin Margiela may no longer be part of the Maison, but his years at the forefront of avant garde fashion will live on in the pages of a new book:

Looks pretty great...adding it to the list.

More info:

See also:

Gallantly Streaming

The May 1968 and December 1967 issues of Ramparts

Following The New York Times' review of Peter Richardson's new book A Bomb In Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America, the magazine's ground-breaking art director, Dugald Stermer, discusses some of his most significant Ramparts covers with the Society of Publication Designers. Click here.

Cities Need To Act Like Cities

First & Columbia, Downtown Seattle, 1901 [via Vintage Seattle]

This morning on KUOW, Weekday featured a 20-minute convo with Bruce Katz, the VP and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, which "seeks to redefine the challenges facing cities and metropolitan areas by researching major demographic, market, development and governance trends." Katz's comments regarding Seattle – the 19th largest city in the country and growing quickly – are particularly interesting. Here's one:
You just built this transit system...I think what now has to happen is you need to change the land use and the zoning along that corridor so you really can achieve the potential, the benefit, of having a world-class transit system.
Listen to the podcast at (skip ahead to 4:35 if you've already donated to public radio and don't want to hear the seemingly endless fundraising chatter).

Katz is also speaking at 6:30 this evening at the University of Washington's Kane Hall. Read one of his recent speeches, at University of Minnesota, here.

Image of the Day

Most of these adaptations of Shepard Fairey's Obama poster are beyond lame, but I am powerless to resist this one of Clay Davis.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Keep You Straight, You Keep Me Straight

One evening not long ago, we were sitting in the Eastlake Zoo tavern, and noticed a poster on the wall for a 1992 film, American Heart – directed by Martin Bell, with Mary Ellen Mark (one of the all-time heroes of this blog) listed in the credits as associate producer. Now that we've seen it, it's no wonder they had the poster up – many scenes in the film were shot at the Zoo and other recognizable places around Seattle. Turns out American Heart is essentially a different, fictional angle on Streetwise, the documentary Bell made ten years earlier with Mark (his wife) and Cheryl McCall. Click to see the trailer:

You get enough of the basic storyline from that, so I will just say: if you haven't seen it, see it. It's sort of the anti-Sleepless In Seattle.

If you haven't seen Streetwise, though, you might want to see that first. Inspired by Mary Ellen Mark's photo essay on street kids in downtown Seattle, Bell and co. made a documentary film on the topic, and it ended up being nominated for an academy award. I don't think it's on DVD though, so you have to be on the hunt. Here's a little excerpt:

One thing I kind of forgot is that it seems like there are influences on My Own Private Idaho throughout Streetwise (rollerskating in the abandoned building comes to mind, in addition to larger similarities). Whether you live in Seattle or not, it's a great movie – crushingly sad, but also crushingly beautiful, in a latter-day, tightly focused Robert Frank or films-of-William Eggleston kind of way. Or Harmony Korine, for that matter. Good for a cold and/or rainy fall day.

For more info, go to and click around. If you go to the books section and scroll down to Streetwise, then click the cover, you can read all kinds of stuff about it and see some photos.

Need vs. Want

. Voyageurs Jac-Coat from Bemidji Woolen Mills. Man cannot live on the shirt-jack alone, but damn, it's getting cold in Seattle, and this one is really nice. It should probably remain a want but we'll see how cold it gets.

Image of the Day

Signs of the Times, an exhibition of 1960s photography and paintings by Dennis Hopper at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in NYC. Click here for images and info.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Interrupting All Programs