Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the diving bell and the butterfly

to be honest, i didn't even know what a diving bell was. i just read this book, after coming across it at work and remembering very acutely how much i wanted to read it after i saw the film when it came out. i was so touched by this story, and by his conviction to write it, and the grace with which he wrote it... i think it's a real contemporary classic, a beautiful testament to the power of the human spirit under circumstances that we can barely begin to imagine. i recommend it to everyone. it's a fast read, but in it brevity is a deep-down soul, and the beauty of this memoir is extreme.

jean-dominique bauby, in the mid 1990s, was the editor-in-chief for french elle magazine. He suffered from a massive stroke which paralyzed almost his entire body, excepting his ability to swivel his head and use his right eye. he suffered from a neurological condition called "locked-in syndrome," in which he could think and interpret clearly, but his entire outer shell was useless and in constant pain. by merely blinking his eye to inidicate letters of the alphabet, caregivers and friends wrote down -- very slowly -- every word he wanted to write and compiled this memoir during his months at a hospital in northern france.

Monday, September 28, 2009

united oil station in los angeles.

via arch daily

kanner architects out of santa monica designed this united oil gas station in los angeles. okay. there's that, but did you catch the part about it being a gas station? it's unexpected, but i love it! the sweeping futuristic shelter roof over the pumps and the glass cylindrical part of the convenience store are so reminiscent of mid-century california commercial architecture, and yet it's very forward-looking. i love how the car wash has a ramp that gives the whole thing a king of hot wheels racetrack feel, which, i suppose, psychologically amps up drivers, as it's a gas station after all. they can fuel up and go, go, go! anyway. took me totally by surprise today, and even though in my mind i'm thinking, 'but it's a gas station!' it's still pretty awesome.

it officially feels like fall outside, and has for the past couple of days. it's been cold, and dreary, and rather windy. but altogether, fall is my favorite season of the year. i love shopping for sweaters and scarves, and like that the humidity dissipates. i try not to think about how it leads into my least favorite season of the year... ;)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

milwaukee does warhol. or does warhol do milwaukee?

warhol! went down to MAM today to see the first day of andy warhol: the last decade, which was EXCELLENT. a really well-put-together show of a wide range of his works... eggs, ads, rorschachs, collaborations with basquiat, and more. it really was quite excellent. i plan to go again and spend a long while, with an audio guide. i'm that big of a freak.

no photos were allowed in the exhibition itself, but the chairman maos (always a favorite) are in the permanent collection, and i was just as excited to see them again.

and below, a little MAM calatrava action for you on the east end of the building.

also, if ever in milwaukee, check out beans & barley. perfect, hip little cafe and market on milwaukee's east side. reminded me a lot of a market in arcata, california where i used to shop called wildberries, except smaller, and with a cafe. :) had a really wonderful chicken quesadilla there with friends. yum!

Friday, September 25, 2009

september 2008.

someone sold us a stack of magazines at the bookstore yesterday, and i found this one, from a year ago, with a couple of entertaining articles in it. a) what your stuff reveals about you, and b) the style imperative.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

finally, paris.

i promised to post them... paris in three shots. haha. right. these are all my own, taken in the spring of 2006. :)

copenhagen. (it's just fun to say.)

via copenhagen street style

...and they wear awesome clothes in europe! i'm feeling like a fashionista this morning because a splurged a little bit at tjmaxx yesterday and bought a pair of black leather boots, a cinch-neck tunic, and a green drape sweater. oh, and a mod little white dish for my new apartment to display beach stones i picked up a couple months ago...

i check street style out in different cities all of the time. you should see me when i'm visiting a city -- i probably pay more attention to the people walking by me than where i'm going. i'm always getting inspiration, and the one pictures above was the one i've most recently found that really strikes my fancy. one, she's wearing almost all black. i love black. i wear it daily, sometimes nothing but. sometimes i wish i could do street trendspotting for a living. that would be rad.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

rebecca - daphne du maurier

i picked up the book 'rebecca' by daphne du maurier a couple of weeks ago when i was shelving carts and carts full of fiction at work. i don't read romance as a rule, but i do enjoy classic literature, and not to mention british period pieces. and all because years ago, maybe 1997? (i was about 12) my mom and i watched pbs's masterpiece theatre version of rebecca with diana rigg as mrs. danvers. ohhhh she was so creepy! really, the only thing i remembered about the entire production was that eerie mrs. danvers. so when i saw the book come in, i snatched it up. and i don't regret it one bit. generally speaking, i've had anywhere from two to five books going at once, a mixture of genres. this was the one i finished first. :)

also, cooking has been a great joy lately. and it's a wonder that a newfound joy of cooking, or all-around food enjoyment, really, has come with a diet. yes, i said it. a diet. a naughty word in my book, always, but since in my mind i look at it as a "project," it seems to hold a little less negative clout. my mom learned from a friend about the fat belly diet, prevention magazine's new big thing. we just started it about three weeks ago, and bought the cookbook a few days ago. my, my, my. since it's all healthy food, you feel guiltless about eating things like olives and blue cheese and pasta... as long as it's in healthy portions. of course! we've loved all of the recipes so far... last night we ate tenderloin steak with roasted potatoes covered in melted blue cheese and walnuts. my other favorite was a whole wheat pesto rigatoni with tomatoes, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts... or the cioppino! anyway... can't wait to try the chicken pad thai. :)

...and the best part is, i've actually lost about 8lbs already, much of which i'm sure is water weight, but the scale doesn't need to show me twice that it's making a difference. and the jeans are just a little less snug. i'm officially on the healthy bandwagon... and loving it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

neate stuff.

via uk street art

i should really be getting away from the computer right now, and starting dinner, but i just had to post about adam neate before i do. this guy. yeah. he's got a show coming up at elms lesters painting rooms starting 9 october - 21 november. adam neate: a new understanding. it's in london, of course. my favorite hub for street art of any kind -- this is installation art and multimedia right here. adam neate, i've just discovered. i want to see it in person. the above work, family circle, is one in particular that i would love to study.

the cubist influence is striking, as is the palette. i want to reach in and given them all a hug, and cry with them. neate seems to havean innate ability to emotionally reach out from his surface, grab you by the collar and yank you into the work. on his page at the elms lesters site, check out the concert pianist (2009), or coffee (2008). they're moody and exhilerating. incredible!

henning mankell's kurt wallander.

henning mankell.

my story with this swedish crime author begins with, unsurprisingly at least to me, masterpiece mystery on pbs. i am absolutely smitten with british crime dramas. i'm smitten with most crime dramas in general (we're talking law & order, some csi, etc.) but british ones... to die for. the camera shots, the length, the mini-series. i'm a sucker for all those agatha christie adaptations of poirot and miss marple! but something altogether different was on several weeks ago... kenneth branaugh starring as kurt wallander. i'd never heard of it.

there are nine kurt wallander novels by henning mankell in print. he's also written several other novels, but i haven't read any of them (yet?). right now i'm half way through the above pictured one, and it's amazing. it's just that the barren-seeming, wind-whipped scanian landscape is perfect for ghastly murders and crime with a real international flair. it's fast-paced, it keeps you hooked, and i feel as though it's been translated pretty well, save only a couple times when i've had to kind of decode sentences in which i think "electric" meant "electronic" or something silly. regardless, it's fun.

since i have an hour of lunch time at my job at the bookstore (you can imagine the stacks of books i acquire for myself and hopelessly stare at in yearning to read them all, if only simultaneously!) i get a lot of reading done. so i'll probably be posting books here quite a lot. all the merrier!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

eco children's center in thailanddd.

via archdaily

this is the coolest place ever!! doesn't it look like something straight out of never never land? designed by
24h > architects, it has an auditorium/cinema, library, art room, music room, and fashion room -- all with an ecological sensibility that's super awesome. it's geared toward visiting children -- connected somehow to a hotel that's nearby on the island of koh kood, thailand. anyway. i wish i had had a place like this to hang out when i was seven years old... they did such an awesome job. i want to go. :D

paris, je t'aime!

after watching the film paris, je t'aime again the other day -- found a copy at work, how cool! -- i've been in the parisian spirit, i guess. not to mention the last movie i saw in the theatre, julie & julia, also was, almost needless to say, parisian. ;) if you haven't seen paris, je t'aime, you should. eighteen directors craft their interpretations of love in the city of love, or so it goes. and all in about five minutes each! well worth it... gus van sant, wes craven, the coen brothers, gerard depardieu, and more... huge. i love it. check it out.

and in the parisian spirit, i'm just going to pop in a little mention of how much i love european style. and french capital style. a quick look at summer weekend street paris via refinery 29 ...

maybe i'll throw a couple of my own photos from paris up here when i get a chance. soon. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

sol lewitt installation: complete!

via gothamist

the 59th street / columbus circle station in new york city has a newly completed sol lewitt installation. looks like a party, doesn't it! it's called "whirls and twirls (mta)." i love station art, having first been turned on to it on the london underground. new york just got a real gem of a work here. check out the link above for more information about the project, and other events involving sol lewitt going on right now in nyc. :)

and speaking of london...

i've been there twice now within the last three years. the first time i studied there for college and spent about three months hanging around the west end for the most part. i just went back this past may with a friend and a little bit by myself, basically revisiting old sites, but exploring quite a bit more too. but OH! how i wish i was going to be there on the 19th! september 19 - 27 is the 2009 london design festival with everything from trafalgar square installations to museum shows, student exhibitions and craft sales! this is DEFINITELY something i'm keeping in mind for next year, and years to come...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

marcio kogan.

via contemporist

it's basically the haute couture of modern residential architecture. marcio kogan's paraty house in brazil, on an island between são paolo and rio de janeiro. basic structure is two concrete boxes, one on top of the other. the above link has some spectacular photographs of both interior and exterior. i just can't get over the stone. i love the stone. this house is practically a modern museum. check out mario kogan's website (it's an awesome site). all of the projects are seriously to die for, plus, there's some other funky stuff to check out on there. i feel like i'd practically exist in an alternate universe if a place like this was my home.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

vote for your favorite shelter...

the design it shelter competition, which partnered with the guggenheim museum, is a contest which challenged participants to design a shelter for different geographic locations around the world. all the submissions are in, and voting started today. participants used google sketchup to design their projects. voting runs until october 20 here, and the winner will be announced on october 21! this is a great idea. i love it.

the london police.

if you haven't heard of the london police, then i'm going to tell you about them. chaz and bob, two "geezers" from London collaborate on both canvas and street art to make the above -- freaking awesome! -- work. they started back in 1998 in amsterdam trying to spruce up the city streets. opening THIS THURSDAY (september 10, 2009) in los angeles at the carmicheal gallery, their show brothers in arms will be a sure treat. below is a video introduction to these gallant brothers in arms... it's good for a laugh if nothing else. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

cultural center in lille, fr.

via yatzer

i think community arts and culture centers are so important to neighborhoods and cities. i don't have much of one here; at least not a central one like some places, or like this one above in lille, france. lille 3000, designed by franklin azzi architects, they turned an old railway station, gare saint-sauveur into an arts center and cafe. it is totally rad! i had to show the photo above because my favorite part about the cafe is the fluroescent lighting, and other photos show it elsewhere too. Gallery space, theatre, outdoor pavement... how much cooler can you get? i would practically live in this place if i was in lille.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

jesus was a crossmaker // frida hyvönen

frida hyvönen
. her site.
jesus was a crossmaker" pitchfork review and listen.

take a listen. gorgeous. pitchfork reviews it well, mind, so i'm just going to have to go with that. frida has a talent and style that i think kind of went out with the 70s, which is when this song was written originally. anyway, a beautiful voice for a beautiful song, and her piano accompaniment is fantastic and moving. i recommend checking out all of her stuff; i had
until death comes in my car stereo for a couple of weeks this past spring. good stuff.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

wolfe den by mj neal architects

via contemporist

WOW! 2,400 sq. ft. in austin, tx. by mj neal architects. i love this house. love it. it's my favorite combination of contemporary modern with serious pokes at mid-century. the boxiness reminds me of the eames house. the sand-brick walls are so 1950s i can hardly contain myself. that outdoor fireplace and the wall that the tv hangs on... looks like straight out of an old ranch or something. i'm also big into the wood on the exterior of the house. they took care to construct it out of recycled or responsible materials. a little information is at the link above, or, check out mj neal architects. the ramp house and the twin peaks house projects are two others in their online portfolio that i like quite a lot.

le fotos

via behance

came across some photography today. this photographer, luca privitera, has a small portfolio on, and i couldn't help but share. a lot of it is really atmospheric. some is more journalistic, some is more fine art (like above). the above photo is part of a series he titled 'how long a memory?' it's all very mysterious, and some of it very culturally-packed. if that makes any sense whatsoever.. ;)

and while i'm sharing photography, another:

also via behance

kim erlandsen has a couple of collections of architectural photography that i totally dig. these are the kinds of photos i usually take on trips. the symmetry is really fun, and the atmosphere in some of the cityscapes is well-pulled-off. the above photo is from the tokyo collection.