Archive for March, 2008

You see, I’m spending the weekend in the exurbs of Philadelphia, but the folks behind Main Street at Exton would want you to believe that we’re actually somewhere in England:


You see, the sign says “TELEPHONE” but what’s this?


Hey developers:  why are you turning this lifestyle center into A HOUSE OF LIES?

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Arial is not Helvetica;


Guthriesville PA, March 21, 3:30-ish PM.  And yes, that is a honest to God phone booth in the Croppers shopping center.

 Ugh, I’m visiting my parents and I’m totally emo right now.

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            Anthony Minghella passed away yesterday at the too-young age of 54, thanks to a brain hemorrhage.  This is terrible news on many accounts:  he leaves behind a son who seems to be following in his father’s footsteps and who is probably about my age, if not a little younger, he was in the midst of direct Jill Scott in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency for HBO and apparently deemed her a great talent, not to mention he was a talented fucking director.

             I first saw The Talented Mr. Ripley with a friend in the theatre when it was first out—in retrospect, he might have been trying to come onto me, but the homosexual undertone of the film rattled his mojo too much, which was probably in the end a good thing, because at the time I wasn’t interested.  Instead, the film was one performing the primary seduction:  the vibraphone permeating the soundtrack, that first glimpse of Italy that we share with Tom Ripley, the amazing 1950’s expat wardrobes of both Marge and Meredith, the slow overall pace of the film that simply sucked you into that world, that despite its treachery and ominous overtones prevented you from ever wanting to leave.

            It came out in late 1999, when I was a senior in high school and visions of graduation danced in my head.  It was also around the time that I had started slowly integrating jazz into my musical repertoire, a process that had started two years prior and that received a much-needed boost thanks to this film.  The amazing amount of vibraphone, both in the score and continued with Sinead O’Connor’s “Lullaby for Cain” and Miles Davis’ “Nature Boy”, also prompted me to then successfully lobby for a vibraphone when I matriculated to college and play in the jazz band for all four years, despite the fact that my talent was eclipsed by those much, much better than me.  It was also partially responsible for recently purchasing a set of huge headphones to listen to all of this music thanks to one of my favorite scenes that have Dickie and Freddie in a record store listening booth.           

             So this weekend, when I am trying to fall asleep in my old bedroom as I “celebrate” Easter, this will be accompanying me on my trip.  I’d watch it on the train while drinking a glass of wine, but need dictates me to slog through I-95 traffic instead.

             At least I’ll have a place to make a daydream escape to, and for that, I thank Mr. Minghella.  RIP.

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Arial is not Helvetica;


Yes, it’s another font post, but it’s so much more than that:

An exhibit devoted to linking science, art, design and even commerce?  I am so there–the website alone is profiling some 300 projects (50 not featured in the exhibition itself) across various categories.  Between this and the color exhibit I previously mentioned, expect many future posts featuring highlights of each.  And it looks like my next MoMA outing will be a very long one.

To wit, per the website:

 Over the past twenty-five years, people have weathered dramatic changes in their experience of time, space, matter, and identity. Individuals cope daily with a multitude of changes in scale and pace—working across several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, and being inundated with information. Adaptability is an ancestral distinction of intelligence, but today’s instant variations in rhythm call for something stronger: elasticity, the product of adaptability plus acceleration. Design and the Elastic Mind explores the reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world by bringing together design objects and concepts that marry the most advanced scientific research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations. The exhibition highlights designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history—changes that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior—and translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use. This Web site presents over three hundred of these works, including fifty projects that are not featured in the gallery exhibition.

Curious?  Check it out here.  And stay tuned for a detailed dissection in the coming months.

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In the never-ending debate in choosing between visiting Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, the decision just got easier:

Foxwoods 1, Mohegan Sun -10.

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            The last few days have been rather loathsome, to varying degrees—either the weather has misbehaved, or Daylight Savings Time has kicked in, or my sleep schedule has been off, or I’m still recovering from a whirlwind three weeks with much traveling involved (including an unexpected weekend in beautiful Oak Brook, IL—but more on that later)—actually, it’s a confluence of all of those factors—but this week has not had an auspicious start, at least in reference to my mood.  I’m also surrounded by grad schoolers who are all enjoying splashy spring break vaccaciones, and due to the upcoming wedding, I have absolutely no time to spare to get away myself (save, of course for Italy, but that’s so far away yet), so there’s much self-pitying going on.  Which ultimately leads to me shopping, with a mindset of “oh, that’s going to be perfect in Italy!” as a justification of sorts.

             Perhaps this isn’t the best idea.  Regardless, the next time I venture into New York with Michael (which will be soon), I’m not going to care a whit about shopping and instead focus on taking pictures.  And then I can post them here!  But I digress. 

            As for what I have been buying as of late:  a mixture of high and low, including indulging in one of the few delights of wedding preparation—finding the trousseau.  Plum Sykes wrote an article about this in the July 2006 Vogue on the cusp of her wedding day, and while I’m normally not a fan of her work (Bergdorf Blondes was only good to speculate on exactly who she was profiling based off of society pictures), I was absolutely smitten by her search for lingerie exciting enough to haul along on her honeymoon, and therefore resolved to do the same when the time came for me.  Though I got engaged only a few months later, we took the long-road in planning and only now does it feel remotely appropriate to start scouring.  Though I do not have the resources to venture all the way to Paris to visit the various shops along the Rue Cambon, the glory of the internet (along with some old-fashioned foot stomping through some shops) has allowed me to find a few…interesting pieces.  I tend to be sartorially schizophrenic when it comes to lingerie—I love clean, sporty pieces, albeit in soft fabrics (hence the American Apparel obsession) but I can also veer towards the side of the coquette, mostly when it comes to negligees and nightgowns.

             So what will be packed?  Like I’m going to say!  My fiancé reads this (I think).  But I will mention this—a bra from a Berlin-based lingerie company that finally came in yesterday is a starring piece in a new imaginary French Vogue photoshoot, that includes an escritoire by the living room window (that sadly doesn’t exist…yet), a 1920’s typewriter (that does exist in said living room, thanks to a 20th birthday present) and me perched behind it with smudgy eyeliner (I can’t help it!), hair down and curly, and this bra.  I’d have to listen to Camille’s “Mon petit vieux” and I’d be snubbing out a Djarum Black into my vintage ashtray (currently housing three of my four stolen pool balls).  And yes, I know this is only my second IFVP and once again I am lolling about in my underwear, but can’t you see I have lingerie on the brain?  Besides—Carine would completely understand.  She understands the need for nipples to make a veiled appearance every once in a while.

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Arial is not Helvetica;


Portland, OR, February 29, midafternoon.

 Photo courtesy of Timmy.

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Damn you, MoMA, for tempting me with your endless exhibits on things I like–first fonts, now color?


(Color Chart:  At the MoMA until May 12)

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Christian–I give you many, many kudos for creating sexy without reverting to vulgarity.  And I want to buy this immediately, if not sooner.

(Also:  all three designers brought their game in the finale–this will be the episode I save of this season on my DVR).

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