Friday 16 May 2008

Boogie boogie boogie

Pretty cool event happening on the streets of new york citay tomorrow afternoon. Arresting to see a statement by Michael Bloomberg on the front page of the website, tho... (aren't these things in the life of New York city supposed to be heavily underground and utterly unsupported by any state or city office? Isn't that how it goes in New York?!)

This might be the opportunity to make like it's 1980, you're at the High School of the Performing Arts, your best friends are called Coco, Ralph and Leroy in those shiny blue shorts, and the streets are there for the taking (as long as you're tightly synchronised on those yellow cab roofs).


Interesting perspectives on New Orleans

Like any natural disaster brought to the peak of media attention for a period, you don't hear about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina very much. But this is a comic-style serialisation of the events of august, 2005 and what happened afterwards. The story of New Orleans exists now for most of the world in the realm of history and tv memory. Here's a little insight into some of the reconstruction that people are trying to do down there, on their own. Click on the neighbourhoods to see the videos.

Green and concrete

This article reminds me of when I first lived in New York city in 2003. I loved the little community gardens of the East Village, and subsequently discovered some in Brooklyn, too. Kind of mythical to hear of secret gardens in Guantanamo Bay, and of course this article was published at the height of that.

Oh this year I'm off to sunny Spain

Interesting story here about drought in Spain, and the revelation of a medieval village from the dry depths of an erstwhile reservoir. It's interesting to me because when I was in Spain in the last couple of weeks, I made a trip to Tortosa, a smallish town of 30,000 a couple of hours on the train south of Barcelona. There, I heard that their local reservoir was threatened with being pumped out north to Barcelona, to hydrate the city, leaving the Tortosans dry. The local community were up in arms, particularly when they heard that some of the designated uses were for a waterland theme park and hotel.

When I spent a couple of weeks at a renewable energy plant in west Denmark a few years ago, one of the engineers joked to me over dinner one evening that Ireland was soon going to be making a lot of money from exporting its rivers and lakes to countries that are drying up fast. We still complain endlessly about the rain here, and take to sunny Spain in droves, seeking heat, seeking sun.

Latest in: A lonely heart in Singapore, Singapore found Lucy Takes Off yesterday, upon googling 'discreet spanking'.

The mind does boggle, though.

Google search terms

Continuing one of my "occasional series", this time: How People Find Lucy Takes Off From The Great Unknown of Internet Chaos. Well, yesterday, the search term 'kind porno' brought someone from Hungary home to the sweet meadows of Lucy Takes Off, and today, someone from Hackensack New Jersey felt their heart beating to the drum of 'cats with small heads', and found sanctuary here. As always, a certain once-quoted Beatles tune (hint: from Revolver) seems to bring people here several times a week.

It's like a Brooklyn streetcorner around here sometimes (um, only with fewer people, and no bodegas, and only a couple of people picking up their dog's poo. Some similes fly, others drop out of the sky like crisp carbonny meteorites.. oh.)

Would anybody like to see a picture?

Thursday 15 May 2008

A coat that was killed because it was so alive

Have you heard about this?

(if you're not subscribed to the ny times, you'll have to join up to see this article, but it's free and quite fast..)

Review of two hours of this evening

The band gives the gig the same energy level as a bored cashier in a supermarket, scanning the songs perfunctorily, throwing in a few good-for-a-laugh basically unfunny jokes for the sexually nervous. And then they play some shit games and take 3 minutes between each heavily synthesised cover version to fart and bollock around, and noodle and just let the dead air tumble by. And mumble into the microphone to each other. Nothing they sing or say is actually audible, nor does anyone really care. Their audience is determined to have a good time regardless of the shitness of the surroundings, which is a very good strategy tonight.

A couple leaps up spontaneously, together, at once, when "easy like sunday morning" strikes up. They slowdance through the lot of it. They are in their forties, utterly enraptured in each other. The most inspiring thing I’ve seen in days. Intensely sweet. She is older than him by about 5 years; smiles shyly at him, utterly girlish. His hands move over the bottom of her back where her arse starts, like a too-early weaned kitten. The band stops after the song, the couple continues to move together, oblivious. The band strikes up some heavy metal song. The couple’s hips start to move faster, then they jive. This sweet thing just rocks harder all the time, then softer, then harder. Softer.

In this place where 20 year olds totter around in too-short skirts and silvery sandals in winter, parading for the sake of the parade, this couple is fucking REAL. He dances with her like he means it, like he’s trying to get her into his bed and make her fall in love with him all at the same time. She smiles shyly and responds to his moves. These people are my heroes tonight. I want to write love songs to them. I want to tell them how much I think they ROCK but I don’t want to freak them out, or disturb their intimacy. The band plays Shoot that poison arrow through my hea-aaa-aart. He strokes her arm and puts his other arm on her chair protectively as he leans toward her, like he expects every other man in the place to try to steal this 45 year old woman from him. Clearly he knows he’s got a treasure sitting beside him. They converse like grown ups. They drink a pot of tea.

Somebody just bought me a drink. The pretty Indian boy brings it over to my table, shyly. He doesn’t know how to present such a situation. I blush. The red lights flash, indicating last orders. I think, bollocks, there’s going to be a chatting up scene. Oh the hell with it. I’m a young woman in the prime of my sexiness and strength and about as bullshitless as I’ve ever been. This sort of shit is going to happen.

When it comes to being chatted up, however, I am a dilletante. Rather, I am not highly skilled at cooing fakely when a man comes over to try his luck, and I'd rather do without the intrusion a lot of the time. Luckily, the two men I chatted with tonight turned out to be friendly, and good fun. The couple danced, and finished their tea, and left.

Love came to my door with a sleeping roll

I've seen a lot of press for a new book about Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Carly Simon, over the past couple of days. But this review was interesting, particularly this paragraph:

"Only in retrospect is it clear that the ultimate demise of traditional pop romanticism actually began later than is commonly thought. Today’s erotic pop ethos of cold heat didn’t begin to coalesce until the emergence of Madonna. Desire without passion and celebration of the body as a machine engaged in sexual competition replaced rapturous surrender in love songs. As melody, the primary vehicle for love songs, has diminished in importance, so have the number and intensity of those songs."

Nicely put. Pithy.

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Uhm... (cough, shuffle, gaze at floor)

We humans sometimes can't look other people in the eye without words to push out our mouths at the same time. We like to have things to do.

(I recommend turning the sound off for this one)

Another kind of bike, another kind of rider

I want to link to this because it's so lovely. Also because when I was in Barcelona last week, I was sharing a flat with a motorcycle designer, who I'm sure would love to see this.

I think three and a half years in Denmark changed my relationship to design, by osmosis. Not in terms of a particular aesthetic, but to make me find something like this interesting at all.

This is a gorgeous photographic archive of a moment in time in the seventies in sarf London, and of course even the taking of such an archive would probably be subject to far higher scrutiny these days. This picture, for instance. Its pure brute beauty of a teenage black boy being photographed by a teacher would surely cause suspicion in the boy, his parents, the school governors, and anyone else who heard about a teacher taking pictures of his charges today?

I still feel that this kind of thing can get done, this guy was obviously very visible in the community as a photograph taker. The shift is obvious: now everyone has become 'the photograph taker' and yet somehow the kind of engagement and frank boldness implicit in the job of taking these particular pictures is still rare to meet. There's a lot more to taking this kind of photograph than getting the light and composition right, and even the gift of seeing the moment you're in. There's the business of being accepted as the photograph taker of intimate moments, by the subjects of the picture. THAT is a rare gift.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

So we began the day with nature sex, we end it with nature war

Here's a highly improbably story of a plucky little baby buffalo having the worst day of his life, who, if he was human, would be turned into some kind of Che Guevara figure. Anyway, despite the fact that lions have to eat, and the fact that there's a kind of realness and honesty in the taking and eating of meat in the wild that you don't quite get in Fairway or Tesco or Netto, well just feel your heart surge in the last couple of minutes of this movie anyway. And for what it's worth, my money on the real nature documentary is (where it usually is) on the human narrative behind the camera ("you can probably sell this video for lots of money!" say the humans in the wild, witnessing a raw display of animal instinct).

Green porn(o)

This is the kind of porno we like around here, though this is pretty softcore compared to the real thing (though the real thing is slower, and without the affecting narrative). The good news is that actual insects have no inhibitions about being watched up close. Find some dirt! (You could also begin here)

Monday 12 May 2008

Ba boom