Ice Cube Celebrates Charles and Ray Eames (and Los Angeles)

In a world full of McMansions where the structure takes up all the land, the Eames made structure and nature one.

(via @gary_hustwit)

The Transportation Building (Chicago, Illinois)

Like a keypunch card it was, in a way. Long. And slim. And punctured.

I lived in it for a couple of years. Strange to say (perhaps), I might have lived there happily for many another year.

But that is a very long story. And it moves both backwards and forwards.

Legendary Cities

I absolutely love these. Atelier Olschinsky’s Legendary Cities.

Afghanistan – touch down in flight

Lukas Augustin:

I have lived from 2006-2008 in Kabul doing my civil service for a humanitarian aid organization. This March I had the chance to go back with my fiancé to show her the place I love and to capture the beauty of this country with our cameras.

Unspeakably beautiful.

(via stellar)

I ain’t a cyclo-facist

but Bikesnob nails it:

It’s fascinating how readily we’ve come accept this notion that we must have respect for a car’s “power,” as though it’s some force of nature beyond all human control. Sure, someone who goes into the wilderness, starts poking grizzlys with a stick, and then gets eaten should maybe have a little more respect for the power of the bear, but that’s a different scenario. Oddly though, if a bear is just doing its bear thing and kills somebody we’ll go out of our way to destroy the bear. Yet if a human being kills somebody with a car we just charge them $42 and blame the victim.

Laura Marling || A Creature I Don’t Know

Via Lauren Stephenson, who has up and absquatulated to Buenos Aires (in truth, the move was a long time in the making) and who sent this video to my friend Charlie, who’ll be Buenos Aires-bound come November.

I love it when my friends from different realms mix and match.

from the archives: April 28, 2006

The Last Hurrah (4.27.06):

I always wondered why Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown decided to visit Israel and hang out with Ariel Sharon. Tonight, while eating Country Fried Kalebone™ at phATLanta’s Soul Vegetarian restaurant on N. Highland Avenue, I finally found the answer.


“Originally when I thought of the idea I quickly realized it’s impossible to even scratch the surface: the forces that shape the city, the challenges, the solutions, the people and their different roles. I knew I was going to fail from the get-go,” says Hustwit. “So the question became how to fail as little as possible.”

From a review of Gary Hustwit’s Urbanized from The Atlantic Cities.

The trailer for Urbanized

Gary Hustwit released the trailer for Urbanized, the third film in his design trilogy, today.

Bill Cunningham New York

Jason posted recently about the Bill Cunningham New York documentary, and we watched it last night. It is beautifully done in a straightforward way, and really the subject is what causes the movie to shine. At 80, Cunningham is still buoyant and exuberant, with a clear passion for what he loves: taking pictures of fashion as it is worn by people on the streets of New York (once you see the movie you’ll understand the awkward phrasing). He is the original Sartorialist. The movie is streaming on Netflix, and is available in various formats on Amazon. Recommended.

He could have set the Guinness World Record for people who wanted to kill him

The story of Edgar Valdez, aka La Barbie, an American citizen who rose to the top of one of Mexico’s prominent drug cartels.

Like many Texans, Barbie grew up right across the border from Mexico, in the city of Laredo. The place feels like something from a Mexican postcard, with cobblestone plazas and picturesque waterfalls – except for the massive, multilane bridge to Mexico that cuts straight through town. Until the drug war, everyone in Laredo saw the two sides of the border as one; many families, after all, had blood ties in both Mexico and the States. As a kid, Barbie loved to visit Nuevo Laredo, a border town bustling with donkeys, food carts, girls in little embroidered dresses, shoeshine boys and the smell of roasting corn. It was like stepping into another world, and all you had to do was cross the bridge.

In high school, Barbie was in the popular crowd, horsing around in the breezeways outside of class and waging egg wars after school. On weekends, he went to keggers on ranches, played elaborate scavenger games and hung out with his steady sweetheart, Virginia Perez, a bubbly, blue-eyed blonde. He grew up in a middle-class development on the outskirts of Laredo, a kind of no man’s land where Burger Kings didn’t begin to sprout up until the Nineties. Even the people of Laredo considered it “Indian territory,” an area rife with dope and illegal immigrants. Barbie’s parents raised him and his five siblings in a tidy, orange-trimmed home with palm trees in the front. “They’re regular Ozzie and Harriets,” says Jose Baeza, a spokesman for the Laredo police department. “They’re business owners, PTA, morning-jog people.”

Here’s a link to the printer friendly version.

(via the browser)

headline of the day

Alaskan woman punches bear in the face to save her dog

“They are tearing out part of the heart of Buenos Aires”

The interior of the historic Cafe Richmond was gutted a couple of weeks ago; a spot once frequented by Jorge Luis Borges and Graham Greene may be replaced by a Nike Store.

The plight of the Richmond has dominated local media since the cafe’s insides were gutted last Monday morning. Apparently to ensure it could not be returned to its former splendour even if the local government rules against the Nike shop, the Richmond was emptied of its historical interior, right down to its grandiosely comfortable Chesterfield wingback leather armchairs, in a 3am raid. The movers took the precaution of pulling down the security camera on the front of the building first.

“It’s against the law,” said Monica Capano of the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission. “The Richmond is one of the city’s emblematic landmarks.”

For a personal view: Oh, no: La Richmond by my friend Charlie.

In Florida, Pedestrians are Cyclists

Metaphorically speaking:

As any pedestrian in Florida knows, walking in this car-obsessed state can be as tranquil as golfing in a lightning storm. Sidewalks are viewed as perks, not necessities. Crosswalks are disliked and dishonored. And many drivers maniacally speed up when they see someone crossing the street.

Then there are the long, ever widening arterial roads — those major thoroughfares lined with strip malls built to move cars in and out of sprawling suburbs.

It is no wonder that four Florida metropolitan areas, led by the Orlando region, ranked as the most dangerous places to walk in the country, according to a recent survey by Transportation for America, a nonprofit safety advocacy organization.

the place where Neil Young was busking 35 years ago

I was taking some reference shots (a few weeks ago) just by the place where Neil Young was busking 35 years ago, just behind the guy with the bicycle.

tweet of the day

Neil Young Busking on the Streets of Glasgow, 1976

This makes me really happy.

(thanks, Wil)

Chris Burden, Metropolis II

You may recall the kinetic sculpture Metropolis II by Chris Burden. The work, which took four years to complete, features 1,500 Hot Wheels diecast cars and a host of electric trains all bustling around a matrix of steel and plastic. If that sounds like a snapshot of your morning commute, you’re not alone.

Burden recently sat down with directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman for a quick chat on what’s behind Metropolis II and what it means to the artist. Those of you in Southern California may be able to see the exhibit in person at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the fall of 2011.

Jason’s been tracking Chris Burden projects for a while now.

A Talk with Blaine Dunlap

In March [Unfair Park] screened one of the greatest films made in or about Dallas, director Blaine Dunlap’s 1973 Sometimes I Run, about Stanley Maupin, who worked for the city’s Public Works Department flushing downtown’s streets in the wee small hours of the morning. Some Friends of Unfair Park said they’d seen it before, in high school long ago or in a sociology class at SMU. For most, though, the blue-tinted black-and-white short was brand new, a riveting revelation — 21 minutes’ worth of downbeat cinéma vérité, Pennebaker rolling with the Public Works Department as his leading man played country Kerouac.

And a couple of weeks ago, Unfair Park’s Robert Wilonsky published this feature on my dear long-time friend Blaine: Sometimes I Direct: A Talk With Blaine Dunlap, Who Once Captured Dallas Better Than Anyone.

don’t park in bike lanes in Lithuania

The mayor (above) finds it irksome.

from the moderated comments

Dallas needs to stop being so lily-livered about the event that defines it. Okay, we’re the City of Hate. Yes! That’s us. We love to Hate. I love how our Roller Derby league calls itself Assassination City. It’s perfect.

You know something, the people this offends are all old and stopping buying anything a long time ago. We need to bring in people with money who are interested in that very colorful phase of our history and cater to it, DAMMIT!

I’ve written articles on this for D Magazine. go to my website and read them

Don’t Forget the Motor City Lawndale

I was looking at pictures of Detroit (from my Flickr friend Jan Normandale and from the archives of the Reuther Library at Wayne State University), and now I have to stop looking for a while.

I’ve visited Detroit a couple of times, and in truth there’s a lot I like about it, but I can’t think about it anymore. This afternoon I’m recollecting a blisteringly hot afternoon in Chicago, late July, when I thought to avoid the expressway and take a parallel route down Roosevelt Road to where I was going.
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if the world’s population lived in one city

(via @mattyglesias)

from the comments

Aaron Winslow:

If there’s any bereaved (but not saps), I hope that they’d get together and have some talks. I’d like my body to get picked over for usable parts and the rest disposed of thoughtfully and with as little expense as possible.

Also, a heroic nude bronze on horseback in downtown Houston. With the penis scaled down appropriately, in the interest of decorum.

from the comments

Daryl Scroggins:

When I think back on those times the image that comes to me is the first views from the air of the Jones compound with the litter of bodies all about it, spilling off walkways, in heaps at the edges of buildings…. Later, when I saw the produced accounts and assembled footage of the history of the cult and its end, I tried to conjure in my mind the mental landscape of the place. How could so many mistakes converge so gradually as spell doom for many people? Memory took me back to a time in the ’60s when, in my mid teens, I lived on the street for a few months on Sunset Strip in LA. The hopes and fears of desperate people make them ripe for a bleak harvest. The radical individualism that sent people to a life on the streets was no match for hunger and pain and a constant bland sense of inescapable anonymity, and the hard swing back to conformity for the sake of survival lacked the benefit, in most cases, of historical perspective or critical thinking. I remember, among those people in LA, just how close everybody was to a sense of the miraculous: suddenly word would get out that 2,000 donuts had been donated to The Digger’s Creative Arts Society over near Hollywood & Vine, and the limping and shambling in that direction would begin. Also, vague news of drug busts in the works and headed for us added a tang of fear to the air, with many quick glances passing between people, and everybody watching for some sign that a rush for exit was about to begin.

Everything is written by the survivors, riding somehow above great tides of loss. Does anybody learn anything in time for it to help them? Perhaps not so often as we think we do.

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