Thursday, October 14, 2004
Monday, October 11, 2004
"Light painting" by Sean McCormick, photographer in the last issue of online photo zine, 28MM. Edited by Rachel James, this was an online photography magazine that was published from June, 2002 until October, 2004. Some great photography all in one neat little site.
Update: after some exploration, I also came across this interesting resource.
[via Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting]
Saturday, October 09, 2004
"Context is everything. Dress me up and see. I’m a carnival barker, an auctioneer, a downtown performance artist, a speaker in tongues, a senator drunk on filibuster. I’ve got Tourette’s. My mouth won’t quit, though mostly I whisper or subvocalize like I’m reading aloud, my Adam’s apple bobbing, jaw muscle beating like a miniature heart under my cheek, the noise suppressed, the words escaping silently, mere ghosts of themselves, husks empty of breath and tone."
Lionel Essrog is the narrator and protagonist of what is both a satisfying private eye novel, and a "serious" novel about betrayal, lost innocence and the struggle to make sense of an alien world. One of four orphans taken in by a Brooklyn Mob "wise guy", Lionel and his cohorts move stolen goods and provide other services to the Mob. When their boss is murdered, Lionel alone is compelled to find the truth.
Lethem has created a most unlikely hero for a hard-boiled crime novel, except in a post modern sense. You can't think about Motherless Brooklyn without thinking about Lionel's Tourette's Syndrome. Lionel's Tourette's has been used masterfully to create a frenetic gritty atmosphere, advance the pace of the novel, and to give Lionel a depth and reality that most contemporary characters lack.
Never one to plod along the ruts of conventional literary genre, Lethem has turned the detective story on its head in a way that should satisfy both noir private eye fans as well as fans of Lethem's other novels.
While not everyone liked it, many reviewers liked it a great deal.
You can buy it here.
If you like this one, be sure to check out Gun, With Occasional Music, another satisfying genre bending private eye/SF novel, Lethem's first.
Oscar Leker, gluebook from China.
Blow Your Mind, With Glue
Oscar Leker is a twenty something guy who lives in Lyon, France and glues stuff he finds into books. He creates incredibly varied works with found pictures, paper, writing, trash and things he creates himself. He's traveled extensively, creating works that are deeply influenced by his locale.
While Oscar is an enigma, he is collaborating with two other artists, Feike Kloostra and Linda Zacks who are a bit more accessible. After looking at this troika's work, I'm reminded of FOUND Magazine.
Check out Oscar's site, Blow Your Mind. He's got links to some other very interesting art sites.
Felke Kloostra, gluebook collaborator.
Linda Zacks, gluebook collaborator.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Almost 4 years ago a coworker showed me this. I was blown away by the flamboyance and style.
Coming across his site years later, I'm glad to see that he's still among us. He's won a Webby Award, raises donations for the recent hurricane victims.
Any cute girls who are looking for an imaginative free spirited guy should click here.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Beaverton Fine Dining -- Mingo
Yes, Beaverton and "fine dining" is an oxymoron, but Mingo certainly justifies the term. Opened a little more than a year ago, Mingo has become my favorite business dinner place. Mingo is a spin-off from Caffe Mingo located in the Pearl district of Portland. On several top-10 lists, the mother ship Caffe Mingo is sadly not perfect.
I've never had the pleasure of eating at Caffe Mingo, but I've found Mingo to be consistently good. Mingo is off of Hall Street north of the Beaverton/Hillsdale Hwy, in The Round. With a nice bar, interesting glass partitions, hand made paper lamps and one long wall made up of a few glass paned garage doors. My last visit a couple weeks ago, was Last Tuesday, and a beautiful Indian summer evening with the garage doors open to outdoor seating.
They have a great wine list with a number of smaller production wines. We had a very nice 1998 Barbaresco. My favorite appetizer is a great salad with thinly sliced cured beef and agrugula salad. There are lots of good main dishes, the halibut, and penne with a rich Chianti and espresso-braised beef sauce. My last meal was the lamb steak with roasted vegetables--not quite as tender as a chop, but much more flavorful. The daily special ravioli and risottos are good too. I've had the squash ravioli and it was great. The two best deserts (IMO) are the chocolate mouse and the panna cotta, especially the panna cotta . They also have good gelato.
While some have received less than perfect service, that's not been my experience. Amy was our waitperson on my last visit; she was knowledgeable, personable and efficient.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Sunday, September 19, 2004
L'Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Merlot 1998
Last Saturday we had a special dinner, and cracked open a bottle of Northwest Merlot. A couple of years ago we took a second trip to the eastern Washington wine country and made it all the way to Walla Walla.
The L'Ecole No.41 winery is located in Lowden Washington (east of Walla Walla). Known for their merlot, L'Ecole No.41 is an established Pacific Northwest wine maker (since 1983). Many of the wineries we visited on this trip were, ahem, out of our price range. L'Ecole was no exception. However, the opportunity to grab one of the few remaining bottles in their library (some 1100 cases were made) of a reportedly outstanding year induced a momentary weakness and I bought a bottle.
The wine had an intense fruity nose with a hint of flint. Lots of ripe cherry and plum fruit on the palate with a bit of smoke and leather. There was good complexity and depth. Good structure--not too soft and not too chewy with tannins. The finish was a bit short, with lingering fruit and oak. All in all, a very good/excellent wine.
The bottle was also very drinkable the next day (today). The same nose and taste, with a bit of a herbaceous taste on the palate that was not there last night. The tannins were also a little more forward than yesterday. On balance, still a very delightful wine.
Maybe someone can tell me why some wines fall down completely shortly after the bottle is opened, while others hold up well. With only two wine drinkers in the house (not counting our son who gets his watered down) it is near impossible to finish a bottle at one sitting.
This wine went for $28 back in 2000, according to the Wine Guru; presently $60 at the Italian Village restaurants in Chicago; and between $30 and $40 at the winery in 2002.
This is a great site for planning a Washington winery tour--we've used it twice with great results.
If you're fortunate enough to be in or around Kirkland Washington, stop by The Grape Choice. The proprietor Larry Springer, gives great advice about wineries to visit in both Washington and Oregon.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Sunday, September 05, 2004
This is the Birmingham pub in Navan, more great Guinness. This was shot early, about 8:30pm before dinner. Guinness is known not to "travel well", and in fact the taste and mouth feel of this stout is but a shadow of its true self outside of the Emerald Isle. The texture was so creamy the flavor so rich, like a milkshake.
The 400 foot tall Spire on O'Conner Street, Dublin. Completed July 7, 2003 and known locally as "the Spike" the Spire was designed by the limey firm, Ian Ritchie Architects. Critics referred to it as, " ...a brave and uncompromising beacon, re-affirming the status of O'Connell Street as Ireland's principal urban thoroughfare... It will in effect reinvent the cultural dimension of the urban space of O'Connell Street." Locals called it an eye sore and misspent public funds. The 400 foot Spire cost $4.5 million, twice the initial estimate.
The Spire is a modern replacement for Nelson's Pillar, a 134-ft.-high stone edifice erected in 1808 that, unfortunately, was blown up by the IRA around the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966.
Well as you might guess, the past few weeks have been rather intense. I'm back, with more photos and stuff to follow...
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Sunday, August 15, 2004
"I see you..." Girl and salaryman on Japanese subway. David Crawford's Stop Motion Study.
Japanese Tommy Girl, one of David Crawford's Stop Motion Studies.
Stop Motion Studies
Imagine sitting on a bus or train, entering a trance-like state. You slowly become aware of how the shadows cast by objects outside the vehicle move along the walls, how the people move in sympathetic motion with the train, and how everything moves through space. This is the feeling of watching Stop Motion Studies.
Now consider the people-watching possibilities of public places (or on public transport). Imagine taking slices of time, capturing peoples gestures, to be repeated so they can be studied and amplified, allowing the emotional content of those gestures to hit you repeatedly. There is one more facet to the work, the subjects can see you watching them, and you see their reactions.
David Crawford has distilled slightly disjointed slices of time, capturing people in moments from blissfully unselfconscious to moments full of discomfort, amusement, hostility or nothing. What he has distilled is compelling in its distillation, strangeness and voyeuristic view of other people.
The artist chose subways as the locale because many types of people converge there, resulting in interesting dynamics and interactions.
I won't bore you with a bunch of post modern babble about "probing socio-cultural boundaries within our emerging digital environment" or "the project...not [being] about the transparency of these actors, but about exploring them" or "a stage upon which social dynamics and individual behavior are increasingly mediated by digital technology" (whatever that means). Almost sounds like a grant application, doesn't it?
Let's just say this is all way cool and worth spending some time exploring. My only disappointment is that there's no sound to go with the images.
One of Crawford's studies is like the movie Koyaaniskatsi, presented as series of vignettes focused on micro and macro levels of human activity.
Here is a good one, another one here and here.
To view this project, you’ll need the following free software: Netscape or Explorer 5.0+ & Flash 6.0+
If anyone knows where I can buy a disc with some of these on them, let me know via the comments below.
David Crawford's Stop Motion Study of Japanese school girls on subway.