Weekend 296.0

NYC Cityscape“I hope you are teaching Quality to your students.”
— Sarah to Phaedrus (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

(1) Commuting: The Joys of the Brompton Bicycle

(2) Northampton’s Traditional Shoemaking Revival (WSJ Magazine)

(3) Designer Konstantin Grcic on Dream Cars, Puffed-Up Trends (WSJ)

“My greatest passion today is: bicycles, specifically small-wheeled ones. I have an old Moulton with its so-called “F” frame. The [circa 1960s] design by Alexander Moulton is one of the first modern bikes with front and rear suspension.”

(4) AOC adds wall-hung bicycles and basket-weave flooring to London townhouse (Dezeen)

*Scan is from Cut & Assemble New York Harbor, 1986

Weekend 288.0

(1) These 20 Pictures Of Expo 67 Will Leave You Speechless. There Are No Words

(1a) ‘Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future’ (WSJ)

(2) As City Cycling Grows, So Does Bike Tax Temptation

(3) Horst Brandstätter My Last Meal: The octogenarian head of Playmobil shares lunch at the staff canteen of the company he runs and loves (DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013/14 issue of Monocle)

“If I could eat with anyone it would be [Konrad] Adenauer [first post-war West German chancellor] and I would like to discuss the global economic situation. I don’t understand it because I have a company. At the end of the year I need black figures, not red. The government gets so much money from taxes; I don’t understand why they cannot make their budget work.”

(4) American Gothic (WSJ)

(4a) Iconic Architecture Card Game

(5) Dish Towels to Dry For (WSJ)

(6) Classic Ski Lifts: The best classic ski lifts, from Vermont to Colorado, let you relax, reflect and enjoy the scenery (WSJ)

“As Klaus Obermeyer, founder of ski-gear maker Sport Obermeyer, once observed, it’s much easier to score a date on a creeping double chair than on a sprinting quad. Here are five old-school transports that offer a break from the hustle.”

(7) Infographic: The Selfie Syndrome – How Social Media Is Making Us Narcissistic

(8) First ever Scalextric set from more than 50 years ago is given to inventor’s grandchildren as a Christmas present (Daily Mail)

*The scan is from Here Is New York City (1962) by Susan Elizabeth Lyman and Dorothy W. Furman. Illustrated by Mary Royt and George Buctel

Weekend 286.0

(1) Brompton aims to boost sales in New York

(2) Why bike sharing benefits everyone (even if you already own a bike)

(3) Masdar: the shifting goalposts of Abu Dhabi’s ambitious eco-city

(4) The Tokyo tourist guide

(5) Playmobil Xplory Stroller: They say that it’s the little things in life that make us happy and I can hand on heart say, that my happiness this weekend came in the form of a small box of Playmobil.

*Illustration from Building Stories by Chris Ware

Thanksgiving Weekend 2013 (ISON Edition)

This is a close approximation!

(1) Eastern and Western attitudes about life explained in 18 simple infographics

Credit: Felicia

(2) Drivers Get Rolled: Bicyclists are making unreasonable claims to the road—and winning

(2a) Road safety minister to ride Brompton on tour of London’s danger spots

(2b) The Safest Suburb In The World Did It By Ending The Culture Of Cars (Co.Exist)

(3) Why Japan is Crazy About Housing

(4) German Playmobil exhibition kicks off 40th anniversary celebrations (ToyNews)

(5) Computer Scientist David Gelernter: Can the computer scientist help make computers more intuitive? (WSJ)

(6) Why Productive People Get Up Insanely Early (Fast Company)

(7) A quote from Nicholas Frankovich

“Convents and monasteries are famously clean and spare, attractive because of their poverty, not despite it. When your food, water, medicine, shelter, and acess to fresh air and sunlight are adequate, every possession in excess of what you need to maintain them amounts to a distraction from your pursuit and enjoyment of the one thing necessary.”

(8) Donovan not set for Everton return (ESPN FC)

Weekend 276.0

Nice weekend in the northeast (weather-wise). Was able to bike a bit and noticed that the abandoned Free Spirit at the train station has been robbed of its tyres.

My home office is in shambles but slowly being reconfigured/reassembled. One of the most amazing things about moving is uncovering and re-discovering “stuff” packed and forgotten in bins and boxes. There is NOW a serious backlog of ephemera waiting to be scanned and posted.

(1) Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost

“For though the grass was scattered,
Yet every second spear
Seemed tipped with wings of color,
That tinged the atmosphere.

We raised a simple prayer
Before we left the spot,
That in the general mowing
That place might be forgot;
Or if not all so favored,
Obtain such grace of hours,
That none should mow the grass there
While so confused with flowers.

(2) Office-Friendly Bike Clothing: Don’t Sweat the Commute (WSJ)

(2a) Bike Pron: Bianchi Metropoli

(3) Rethink Chrysanthemums (WSJ)

(3a) Detailed Digital Flowers Radiate with a Magical Glow

(4) All Lift, No Weight (WSJ)

(5) Explore Britain…From Post to Post (WSJ)

Weekend 275.0+

Posting and cycling (sigh) have been sporadic because of the Limestone HQ move (then there were some unexpected technical challenges requiring an entirely separate post) but a return to normalcy is only 6.4 KM away.

(1) Bike blog: Experiments in Speed

(2) Sophia Amoruso Expands Nasty Gal (WSJ Magazine)

(3) The Coveted Halls of the Design Library (WSJ Magazine)

(4) A Point of View: The endless obsession with what might be (BBC)

(5) What Lurks Beyond the Boundaries (WSJ – Registration Required)

(6) The Sun Sets On Fox Soccer – 1997 to 2013 (Forbes)

(7) The Big Ambition of Miniature Art (WSJ – Registration Required)

From the ‘Son of a Florist’ files…

(8) The Rise of Fall Gardening: Summer has its merits, but, as more gardeners are embracing late-blooming perennials, autumn is the hot new season, says garden designer Grace Kennedy (WSJ)

Weekend 274.0 (Baskets Encouraged)

Finished A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line by John O’Farrell and The 32 Stops by Danny Dorling. The latter is a clever work using facts to provide insights into the human geography of London along the Central Line.

Also, finished A Northern Line Minute by William Leith last night. It was like method acting (in book form) in preparation for the lead in a biopic on Woody Allen.

*Updated graphic!

(1) Heathrow’s Future Is Up in the Air: Debate Over Expansion vs. Building a New Airport (WSJ)

(2) Railroad company logo design evolution: 100 logos from American and Canadian railroad companies

(3) That time a giant airship darkened Toronto’s skies

(4) These Bikers Race for Last Place: Cyclists say slow riding is response to hard-core fitness world (WSJ)

“Cyclists who are looking for tough workouts have plenty of company. But for other bikers, that is just not how they roll. Instead, they are meandering over to ‘slow-bike’ clubs that are cropping up around the country. There was even a Slow Bike Race last month in Newburyport, Mass. The last one to cross the finish line won.”

“In 2011, she [Molly Peterson] launched the Slow Bicycle Society on the Eastern Shore, an Alabama club with 100 members and a mission statement: ‘No Spandex needed!’ In Tennessee, the Murfreesboro Slow Ride Cyclists, which formed two months ago, calls itself ‘a never-get-left-behind fun bicycling group’ with ‘baskets encouraged.’

(4a) Orange Bike Pron

(4b) Fluttering About: the Papillionaire Sommer (Lovely Bicycle!)

(5) Bonzart Ampel Tilt-Shift Camera: Fun With Tilt-Shift: The Ampel isn’t the only camera you’ll ever need, but it might be the most entertaining (WSJ)

(6) The Autobiography of George Orwell: The author of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” disdained biographers, so we must rely on his correspondence for insights into his work and life. (WSJ – Registration Required)

(6a) George Orwell from ‘On a Ruined Farm near the His Master’s Voice Gramophone Factory’ (1933)

There, where the tapering cranes sweep round,
And great wheels turn, and trains roar by
Like strong, low-headed brutes of steel —
There is my world, my home; yet why

So alien still? For I can neither
Dwell in that world, nor turn again
To scythe and spade, but only loiter
Among the trees the smoke has slain.

(7) A Writer’s Daily Bread: J.F. Powers made great fiction from the mundane obstacles and triumphs of everyday life (WSJ)

From the ‘Son of a Florist’ files…

(8) A Rothko-Inspired Flower Arrangement (WSJ)

(9) Tidying up loose ends…

(a) You Can Do Anything: Must Every Kids’ Movie Reinforce the Cult of Self-Esteem? (The Atlantic)

(b) The Innovation of Loneliness

Weekend 272.0 (22.2 x 21.5 x 9.8 inches)

Greetings Professor Falken. I love McPharlin’s work. It is like a homage to some of my favorite people and things— Chuck “Chuckles” Bueche, paper, Chris Ware, computers, Harry Beck, music, Cabinet Magazine, miniatures, and the WOPR.

(1) Posters of the London Underground (WSJ)

(1a) One final lengthy quote from Earthbound (The Bakerloo Line) by Paul Morley.

“A 1975 Eno album called Discreet Music of sculpted, formless tones drifting to and from the edge of silence was as uncluttered as Harry Beck’s stabilizing, schematic. Tube map first proposed for the then eight lines in 1933 and updated when necessary. His map dragged the nineteenth-century Underground well and truly into the twentieth century, pragmatically and loftily outlining routes, methods, digressions and connections that would make it all the way through to the twenty-first century without becoming passé, apparently quite capable of looking poised and contemporary in the twenty-second century. He transferred the idea of the industrial Underground into a timeless, streamlined concept with a definite image. Discreet Music and Beck’s map of the Underground both eliminated unnecessary, distracting material, ejected literal connectives, and extraordinarily organized carefully selected, ordinary material into a new reality that was simultaneously diminished and enriched.”

(1b) A quote from A Good Parcel of English Soil (The Metropolitan Line) by Richard Mabey

“The opening of the Metropolitan Line — the world’s first urban railway to burrow underground — occurred in the same year (1863) as Professor Lidenbrock’s subterranean adventures in Jules Verne’s fantasy Voyage to the Centre of the Earth, and one way of looking at the London underground is as an expression of nineteenth-century futurism. It grew out of a brew of pastoral dreams, utopian social engineering and sheer technological daredevilry. And out of classic Victorian contradiction. It was a railway to get you away from the railway system.”

Have finished 4 of the 12 books in the series. My favorite so far is Heads and Straights by Lucy Wadham [strange how a single encounter can so deeply affect your view of yourself].

(2) Eight Surefire Shade Flowers (WSJ)

(2a) A quote from Victor Hugo:

“To observe the city edge is to observe an amphibian. End of trees, beginning of roofs, end of grass, beginning of paving stones, end of ploughed fields, beginning of shops, the end of the beaten track, the beginning of passions, the end of the murmur of things divine, the beginning of the noise of humankind.”

I read that quote and immediately think of the opening sequences in Hayao Miyazaki’s / Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away and The Secret World of Arrietty.

(3) Alarm Clocks That Are the Most Foolproof (WSJ)

(4) Gorgeous ORANGE bike

(5) Battleship (flea market find) and Battleship at Sea (1892-95) by Edward Hopper

(5a) Veronica Schmitt was featured in Bicycle Times #24. She is inspired by Hopper and “le petite reine” (the little queen). My favorite quote: “I love to paint bicycles. Primarily because I love to bike, so it moves me. But also because, to me, it conveys a feeling of freedom. It depicts a quiet and passing moment in life.”

(6) Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX: Disney And Square Enix Offer A Look At The Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix Art Book

(7) Libraries Partner with Local Airports (Library Journal)

(7a) Brian Eno Ambient 1: Music for Airports (Whole Album) (HQ)

(8) Clue #2

Image: Miniatures by Dan McPharlin

Weekend 269.0 (July 4th Weekend)

Waterloo Station(1) The 10 Best folding bikes: The popularity of folding bikes means there is now a huge range, whether you want one for commuting or rugged off-road riding (The Independent)

(1a) Old locomotive flanked by diminutive wheels (Flickr)

(2) A Look at Kinn: the US-Made Midtail (Lovely Bicycle!)

(2a) Cargo Bikes: The New Station Wagon (WSJ)

“Then there’s the expansion of cycling’s popularity in the U.S., with most cities reporting double- or even triple-digit gains from 2005 to 2011, according to the League of American Bicyclists.”

(3) A quote from Earthbound (The Bakerloo Line) by Paul Morley

“I remember once as a nineteen-year-old emerging into the fast, tireless light of what must have been Euston Underground Station, having been met off the Manchester InterCity train by a born-and-bred London friend. The Tube station was sunk under the low-slung, newly shaped and burnished main station, built with stern modernist zeal by Zurich-born architect Richard Seifert, who also designed the unloved, unmissable Centre Point skyscraper, a barely decorated vertical concrete block brutally stamped into submissive central London. Something about the discreetly glamorous setting, the severe, history-erasing glass, metal and stone of a Euston Station built where once there was hardcore but, by the early 1960s, embarrassing Victorian grandeur (boasting a famous classical arch), seemed fairly continental, although I had no way of knowing, having never been abroad.”

(4) The scan is from “Waterloo Station, War, A Centenary of Uninterrupted Service During War and Peace, 1848 – 1948” by Helen McKie

(4a) From the Limestone Archives: Bicycles dwarfed by place and a flock of nuns.

The first is a scan from Round-About Bermuda. The cyclists are descending either St. Anne’s or Lighthouse Road whilst Gibbs Hill Lighthouse in Southampton provides the backdrop. The second is a photo from a day-trip to to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

(5) July 4th Photo (Free Spirit from Sears and Roebuck)

(6) Truly Novel Bookstores: Print lives and thrives at these trip-worthy shops (WSJ)

(7) Three interesting titles from Laurence King Publishing: (a) Battle of the Bikes: A Trump Card Game, (b) Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet, and A Logo for London.

(8) Two from the MoMA: (a) Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes and (b) Cut ‘n’ Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City