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Guido e Luisa;

UPDATE: To see the meal we enjoyed while watching 8 1/2, click here.

As I mentioned last week, on Saturday we decided to base our meal around the movie we were to watch that evening, 8 1/2. For anyone struggling in the creative process, it’s a fantastic film to indulge in, as the lines between Guido Anselmi’s memories, fantasies and reality were so thoroughly smudged as to make a very strange narrative that anyone who appreciates A Christmas Story would instantly love.  While not as immediately comedic for anyone not fluent in Italian, the frustration of its main character are immediately apparent to anyone of an artistic disposition.  To write with authority on this topic requires more than one viewing of the film–one of the reasons why it’s now on my media shelf as well as why I am not trying to expound on its deeper themes.

The visual style of the film struck a more primal aesthetic reaction from me, both in how Fellini filmed his surroundings as well as how he dressed his actors–it’s immediately stylish in a haute way, but it is inspiring in embodying an impossibly cool mid-20th century European “look”.

You look at these screenshots and say you don’t want to recreate them in your mind (or in your wardrobe):

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I’d like to mull more over this film and its more cereberal aspects–but that is another day and another viewing (which will be soon).

As for the food we enjoyed, well that will be revealed in good time.

I heartily enjoy anyone who can offer a scathingly hysterical send up of how marketers target women, so Sarah Haskin’s series on Current TV called, appropriately, Target Women was one I immediately took a shine to, and for anyone out there who needs a five minute brain break, I highly reccommend you check them out.  Fortunately, my friend Nicky over at XSquaredCurve has so conveniently posted all of them as they become available, so check it out!

Just don’t laugh too hard at your desk…

In the five years I’ve either lived or visited New Haven, I had never found an opportunity to visit Louis’ Lunch, the famous, teeny joint whose claim to fame is having served the first hamburger.  It’s right across the street from BAR, which is one of my favorite restaurants thanks to its delicious, cheap pizza and delicious, cheap house beers, and usually when we’re in that part of the city it’s to go to get pizza instead of hamburgers.  But while we were out on Friday celebrating a good friend’s successful thesis defense, our buddy C proposed a quick trip across the street for no other reason other than none of us had been there, and it’s a piece of New Haven’s culinary history.

Care to check it out?

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Front façade of the building, which is charmingly small and is the establishment’s fourth location after having a lunch wagon in two parts of New Haven and a tannery which has since been demolished.

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For many who do any work with quantitative data–specifically, having to display quantitative data, doing it in a way that is interesting, relevant to the audience, and yet is more creative than just a standard table or bar chart is a ceaseless quest.  I own several of Edward Tufte’s books as he is considered one of the biggest names in this kind of thought, and one of my personal goals is to attend one of his day-long seminars one day to hear the man himself speak on how to creatively display quantitative information.  The illustrations in his books are completely staggering, but are also beyond the abilities of any presentation software I’ve encountered–so alternatives need to be considered as well.

Enter Nicholas Feltron, a designer who has created his own visual “annual reports” for the past few years and recently co-founded Daytum.com, a site that encourages users to start tracking their own habits, consumption, and activities–really, anything that could be remotely quantifiable.

Here’s a screenshot of the homepage, to give you a taste:

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I submitted my email to gain an invite to submit to the site–once I do, I’ll keep you posted on any interesting charts that come my way…

(article found via swissmiss)

Arial is not Helvetica;

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New Haven CT, July 1 2007, 3:12PM.  During the week or so that New Haven was turned into the city of Bedford for the Indiana Jones 4 shoot a few summers ago.

Tuesday afternoon while reading swissmiss I learned that the MoMA has recently installed a temporary exhibit in the Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street (I love those street names, by the way) station in Brooklyn called MoMA Atlantic Pacific:

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It’s meant to add art to a subway station for a monthlong period, but it’s also clear that it’s meant to drum up new memberships, as clearly shown by the $75/Become a Member! hot pink bubble near the top of the page.  Naturally I cannot fault them for trying to drive interest in their museum among a key local demographic–young, often creative or creative-minded professionals who are close enough to Manhattan that a subway ride isn’t that much of a reach–but I do wish that they would do projects like this more often, especially in subway stations that tourists might encounter but aren’t the most obvious–even at the one closest to the museum, itself.  It could serve as an extremely effective advertisement, of course, but also as an art-minded amuse bouche, with the focus naturally shifting to the eye.

Hopefully this will be the first in many of these kinds of installations–dare I suggest that perhaps a few could pop up along the Metro-North as well?

Here are some of the artworks on view through March; you can also visit the whole exhibit here:

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Tw Cen MT is not Futura;

Probably the creepiest usage of Futura ever.