I was in Hermosa Beach in August, and I was amused and charmed by this. Cali punk graphics used to decorate a municipal utility.
It reminded me of my mis-spent youth, and I’ve seen all the bands listed on this carapace.
Seriously good fun.
I set up a VIMEO channel for a particular subgenre of films I very much like, “city” films
It’s got some of my films on it and links to others.
Since its inception, cinema has engaged with the phenomenon of the modern city and the varied experience of urban life. Even the earliest films manage to show the freedom and energy of the city, such as Dziga Vertov’s ‘Man with a Movie Camera’. Cinema has also captured the city’s liminal zones, urban decay and human anxiety. Through film, we can follow each period’s key debates around architecture, urban planning and globalization.
This channel was create din the spirit of László Moholy-Nagy’s great unrealised film Dynamic of the Metropolis | (Sketch for a film) – 1921/1922
Moholy-Nagy’s ‘Gross-Stadt Zigeuner’ 1932 and ‘Impressionen vom alten Marseiller Hafen (Vieux Port)’ 1929 are also key moments in the “city film:” slices of life seen through the camera’s eye.
[NB: Moholy-Nagy’s films are FINALLY AVAILABLE – http://shop.moholy-nagy.org/%5D
Other significant city films of the silent era include “À propos de Nice” by Jean Vigo and “Études sur Paris” by André Sauvage and the stunning “Berlin Symphony of a Great City” by Walther Ruttmann.
Later narrative films also embody the “city film” ethos – Jim Jarmusch’s early “Permanent Vacation” is one example. Need I mention the brilliant Julian Temple’s “Detroit Requiem” and “London the Modern Babylon”, or St Etienne’s “Finisterre.”
The purpose of this channel is to collect and showcase “city films” as part of my ongoing research and development of this peculiar and particular film sub-genre.
Every place that used to be something or offer something has turned into a place for swilling endlessly.
The bookshop now serves food. The library has a cafe; in fact the cafe is much busier than the library. The urban garden does coffee and sandwiches. So does the supermarket just in case while you are shopping for food you are overcome by hunger and need to eat.
Even the bicycle repair place is also a coffee shop.
What is going on? Why is every second shop a restaurant or café? Some streets, such as Broadway Market, used to have actual shops, but now it is just one whole street of food (with 3 bookshops which, so far anyway, mercifully don’t serve food).
Why do people eat all day long, even in the street? Can nobody just live for a few hours without grub?
I mean, for sure sometimes you do have to grab a bite when you’re out all day long, but I can’t understand why and how, overnight a hardware store for instance shuts down, then in 24 hours it becomes a café and is immediately full of people all stuffing themselves like they have never had access to food before.
It’s not like people are using the cafés in the old-school way, to meet with friends and have, like Surrealist meetings like Andre Breton used to in the Café Cyrano, or Sartre and de Beauvoir in the Deux Magots. No they are just sitting there alone swilling very expensive coffee and chunks of cake bathed in the blue glow of their Macbook Pros.
It’s all a bit – well, not depressing exactly, but perhaps dispiriting.
Swill swill swill, nothing else to do.
you could just wait till you get home 🙂
It has come to my attention that one of the key urban trends these days is “hating hipsters”.
This phenomenon is caused by the disgust felt when whole swathes of neighborhoods suddenly experience an explosion of the following:
expensive “gourmet” coffee shops
ostensibly organic “natural” supermarkets
Cool Bars with “art galleries” attached
energetic hyper-networking 20-30 somethings with substantial parentally-derived incomes, talking loudly about postmodern drivel
followed shortly afterwards by a viral nuclear level explosion in the rents of shops, studios, flats and pavement inches.
Now, I can’t say that I personally hate hipsters. In fact I find the very word itself to be suspiciously retro enough that the hipsters themselves no doubt revel in it. I suppose the only difference between me and then is that my parents don’t support me at all and never have and I am too old to give a crap about being trendy. In fact even when I was not too old I took a sheer delight in being off trend.
I digress. What I wanted to show you was a photo of the worst cup of coffee, ever. I had it in a hipster joint on Mare St near to Space Studios. It was weak and cold. I complained and was told it was supposed to be that way as it was a gourmet blend. It cost me £3.50 /$5.74 US / 4.24 euros
I have lived in this hood for quite awhile and I remember the days when you could not get a coffee for love or money (only Nescafe from workers caffs – till about 3 pm in the afternoon). I don’t wax nostalgic for those days. They were actually shit. But there is a limit and we have hit it….
I do hate postmodernism though., But that’s a whole other blog post.
The area around Brick Lane teems with life most of the time.
I took these photos one Sunday on a wander. From the hectic market to the quiet of the Christchurch churchyard, this little neighbourhood is a source of endless fascination. I have been coming regularly to Brick Lane since my first trip to London , and I never tire of it.
I don’t have much to say about it all, I’m just inviting you to look.
WHEN I was growing up in Vancouver the city had a remarkable amount of neon signs. These highly colourful signs advertised everything from diners to dry cleaners. Driving through the city at night in the back of my parents’ car was like vising fairyland. It was amazing.
As I got older I noticed the neon slowly being removed and being replaced with ordinary backlit plastic signage. Much more boring.
I was surprised to find, on a visit the Vancouver Museum this summer, that some of the old neon has been saved and here it is, a glorious display in the museum – which is well worth visiting in any case. I tok these pics at the museum, but it’s better to see it for yourself, if you can. http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/
The Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret was a well known jazz club in the 50’s and I heard rumours that Hendrix jammed there in his youth (he lived in Vancouver for a while) but I have no idea if it’s true. It was a legendary punk club in the late 70s.
The Blue Eagle cafe was on Hastings St. I ate there quite often – stuff like French toast.
The Owl drugstore at 41st, I used to pass it every day going to high school and university.
This auto repair sign is just too good.
The museum display. I spent ages in here, sucking it up. I LOVE neon. Real neon not the crap that “contemporary artists” put out.
AND here’s two more that are still in situ:
You can see more on this great site: http://www.vancouverneon.com/index.htm