Brompton US Championship 2013

Drafting a trip report and this one is a doozy! In transit today, but already sorting through photos and ephemeral. Also, came back with something blue and orange.

In the meantime, there is a group on Flickr posting photographs. And here is my Top 10 list of things to see and do in Minneapolis (with a bit a cycling slant):

  1. Walk or Bike across the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.
  2. Cruise along the Mississippi on a Nice Ride (don’t miss the Mill Ruins Park).
  3. Have a Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar on 35th and Cedar. Make sure you bring cash!
  4. Support Kristy and Erin at the Bees Kneez by purchasing some honey at the Kingfield Farmer Market. You can learn more about their story at Kickstarter.
  5. Take a date to Bryant Lake Bowl.
  6. Enjoy a cappuccino at One on One Bicycle Studio & Go Coffee.
  7. Skip the rental car and use Metro Transit. The Blue Line travels under the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.
  8. Wait for a good windy day, after a nice thunderstorm, and stand on the Stone Arch Bridge.
  9. Bike, bike, bike. Minneapolis is ridiculously bike friendly so find the Greenway.
  10. Visit Calhoun Cycle and spend an hour or two with Luke and Company.

Bonus: Visit Big Brain Comics and Glass Endeavors. Have a specific project in mind with the latter.

Weekend 267.0 (Unfinished Symphonies)

How does a bicycling monk spend his weekend? Started Saturday by biking to mass (need to do this more often) and then to a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new bike/walk route:

(1) Like bikes? Fairfield offers new path to enjoyment: Bicyclists take an inaugural ride on the the new Mill Plain Road bike/walk route after its dedication Saturday morning. (Fairfield Citizen)

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, peddled back to town on the ANT to finish some errands. I also stopped somewhere along the way for a scone (blueberry) and cappuccino.

Spent Saturday evening listening to a lecture at Sacred Heart University:

(2) Sacred Heart University’s Henri Nouwen Lecture on Contemporary Spirituality at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit: Roman Catholic Priest Ronald Rolheiser will discuss “Merton, Solitude and Difficulties in Being Present to the Now.”

His lecture was the keynote address at The Thirteenth General Meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society.

(2a) Are You An IDIOT? (Fast Company)

(3) Excited to start a series of 12 books by 12 different authors (each in 15,000 words) celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Tube.

From the ‘Son of a Florist’ files…

(4a) An Artful Arrangement: Floral designer Lindsey Taylor translates a sculpture by the late Ken Price into the language of roses (WSJ)

(4b) Flower Power: Newly restored and reproduced, “The Green Florilegium” shows off the work of 17th-century flower painter Hans Simon Hotzbecker (WSJ)

(5) Le Corbusier’s One-Room Wonder: A tiny summer getaway by the architectural legend proves less can be so much more (WSJ)

Weekend 266.0

Southwest Train“Railways and the Church have their critics, but both are the best ways of getting a man to his ultimate destination.” — Wilbert Awdry

What a great quote to describe my latest sojourn to London since both Church and Rail featured prominently. There were two travel objectives on my free day in London — The cycling café ‘look mum no hands’ (see below) featured in Velo—2nd Gear: Bicycle Culture and Style and the Brompton Oratory on Brompton Road. Visits to both required transit via South West Train (Richmond to Waterloo) and the Tube.

On Sunday I walked to mass at St. Margaret’s in Twickenham. It’s a twenty-minute walk from Richmond, and most of the row houses have carefully manicured flower gardens.

(1) Photos of my visit to ‘look mum no hands’ in London

(1a) The Turbulent Beauty of ‘Salisbury Cathedral’ (WSJ – Registration Required)

“An extensive group of drawings and oil studies shows just how eagerly Constable took this advice. He became obsessed with the view from the meadows, looking toward one of Europe’s finest medieval cathedrals. Devoted to the Anglican Church, Constable was worried about its future.”

(2) Summer by James Thomson:

“With what an awful world-revolving power
Were first the unwieldy planets launch’d along
The illimitable void! thus to remain,
Amid the flux of many thousand years,
That oft has swept the toiling race of men,
And all their labour’d monuments away,
Firm, unremitting, matchless, in their course;
To the kind-temper’d change of night and day,
And of the seasons ever stealing round,
Minutely faithful: such the All-perfect hand!”

Weekend 255.1 (Terra Cotta)

I finally schlepped to Rockwell to have my autographed print from Aaron Costain properly framed. I don’t actually have a scan of the print but you can see it at the bottom of this page as the lead for The Shame That Made a Man Out of Mac. I found this beauty at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival in November.

Not sure why I gravitated to this print but there’s something about the appendages and detritus of a city (or suburbia) that makes me deeply contemplative. In this case, it’s power lines against a flat blue sky with the cleverly angled facade of a building soaked in the creamy hues of a sunset.

The facade also reminds me of Louis Sullivan and some of the books written by Chris Ware.

I also biked this morning/afternoon and really laboured. I have Daft Punk and Imagine Dragons (Radioactive) at the end of my playlist for when I start to tire and need a little oomph but should have just replayed them continuously.

I raise my flags, don my clothes | It’s a revolution, I suppose | We’re painted red to fit right in

*Update: A direct link to the print.

Weekend 255.0 (Content Outline)

On the heels of a rather brutal week at work, two industry-affirming articles from the journal:

(1a) Bordellos for the Brain: The ups and (mostly) downs of conference mania

(1b) At the Side of an Expert Exhibitionist: Museum planner and exhibition designer Melanie Ide starts the creative process with “total immersion” in her subject matter, whether fossils or a former president. (WSJ – Registration Required)

(2) Snap Out of It: As social media changes the way we experience vacation photos, there’s no better time to improve the shots themselves. Lesson one: Focus on the details

(3) The Rise of the Cosmopolis: Four cities that have provided financial and intellectual rocket fuel for the world. (WSJ – Registration Required)

(3a) Wealth Over the Edge: Singapore (WSJ Money)

(4) How To Measure the Success of a Blog (LinkedIn)

(5) The return of Lord British! Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues via Kickstarter

(6) How to Bike to the Airport

(7) Can you call yourself a U.S. soccer fan if you don’t support MLS? (ESPN)

(8) How about some lyrics? I love this little ditty from Anna Kendrick:

“When I’m gone, when I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me by my hair
You’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone”

(9) Bike Pron: Pelago Bristol

Weekend 250.0 (Where Orwell meets Nordlinger)

Art Deco Store Front“Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.”

— Thomas Mann

(1) The Wall Street Journal is publishing most its newest content behind the pay wall but if you have the means find a copy of A Designer Spin on the ‘Grandma Bike’. You should be subscribing to the journal anyway!

(1a) Dutch bike designer Sjoerd Smit of VANMOOF. This is just pure unadulterated bike pron.

(2) ‘Fringe’ Series Finale: A Final Farewell – I’ll never look at a white tulip the same way again. What a fantastic ending. Now I have to find and photograph a white Playmobil tulip as a tribute.

(3) I love this painting by Andrea Mortson. ‘You Are Loved’ is featured in the Oh, Canada exhibit at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

(3a) ‘Arrivals’ by Andrea Mortson.

(3b) Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens

“And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.”

(4) “At the tone, the time will be 26 railroad.”

Holiday Week(end) 2012

A couple of random links as we amble towards 2013:

(1) Samland: Latest Selections For A Disney Fan’s Library (Mice Chat)

(2) New Year’s Resolutions From 10 Top Minds and Makers (Wired)

(3) How Pixle Created Its Clever Cut-and-Fold Papercraft App ‘Foldify’ (Wired)

(4) Visions of Proust: André Maurois not only adored “Remembrance of Things Past”; he married one of its characters. (WSJ)

Limestone Observations (Pronouns and Superlatives)

(1) One of my favorite scenes in Skyfall is when Bond is sitting in front of The Fighting Temeraire at the National Gallery in London.

My love affair with J. M. W. Turner is well documented on Limestone and its inclusion in the film just solidifies the bond (clever).

(2) I rarely get excited about apps but Book Crawler is great. The Limestone Library has now been cataloged!

(3) We’re expecting snow in the northeast which means my normal Saturday/Sunday bike ride is on hold. Also, really struggling to keep my hands warm in these colder temperatures which is threatening to end my riding season.

(4) I’ve been playing Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion on the 3DS XL and have enjoyed it tremendously. This review by Audrey Drake on IGN is stellar. The painted backgrounds are incredible which makes me wonder WHY Nintendo doesn’t offer a screen capture application in their eShop. I regret not meeting Warren Spector at D23 in 2010 but hopefully he will participate this summer (and be featured in a panel).

(5) How long before someone wills their Twitter and/or LinkedIn network?

(6) Quote from John Milton: “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”

Weekend 243.0

Building(1) The art of riding in New York City

(2) The Quixotic World of Connecticut’s Boutique Bike-Makers: Zen and the Art of Bicycle Building

(3) When the Party’s Over (WSJ)

(4) A lengthy quote from 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front by Andrew M. Shanken:

“Some of the bias in favor of monuments over paper architecture in architectural history derives from seeing them as architectural culminations, the end point of so much planning and design. The purest forms of modern architecture, however, are rarely, if ever, three-dimensional, as Ezra Stoller’s photographs show and as these ads demonstrate. So many of the most cherished tenets of modern architecture-flexibility, universal space, functionalism-all become paradoxes the moment they leave the plane of the page. But what if we were to push the possibilities of this plane beyond its borders and consider the architecture of 194X as one building, the way Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc considered the European cathedral as one building instantiated in different places over time. This would not make the gerund “building” useful, but it would also imply a more conceptual development, not unlike the cathedrals of Europe, which culminate, according to this view, with the High Gothic of Amiens or Cologne Cathedrals.

The point of historical arrival, rather than being a building, which is usually the object of the unbuilt, was modern architecture itself. This is, after all, what the cathedral evolution really maintains, the creation of a mature manner of building and thinking about architecture. With the architecture of 194X, instead of a corpus mirabulus, a church or the church, or the Gothic, we find an annus mirabulus. 194X, a temporal apotheosis, one worked out on paper and awaiting the pent-up energies of a war economy to be spent on the deferred dreams of more than a decade.

As architecture manquè, a proxy for actual building opportunities, the ads must be understood as more than forecasts that we could match up with postwar architecture: they are monuments of the war years. Yet as images they are not representations of a far-off building, which entails both erasure and invention. Rather, they are the thing itself in a different form: two-dimensional, but given mass over time, as part of a series, rather than in space, like a typical building. They were buildings pressed into the fold of a page, awaiting the post war boom to blow them up.”

Weekend 242.0

‘First of all, respect your paper!’
— J.M.W. Turner (via Paper: An Elegy by Ian Sansom)

I might start with mum.

(1) Some other quotes from Paper: An Elegy:

“Toys are not only an expression of culture, they are a fundamental means of acculturation, the means by which and through which we teach ourselves about ourselves.”

“Paper, which derives of course from the word papyrus, the Latinised Greek name of a plant called by the Egyptians bublos, which gives us the Greek biblion, and which in turn gives us the Bible, is forever reminding us that we live in the land of darkness and the shadow of death, and that we shall all be changed, for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Is paper art a waste of time? Yes, absolutely. Of course. What isn’t?

“Puzzles, according to Norcia, helped teach generations of British children ‘imperial skills such as discovery, collection, administration, organization and discipline.'”

(2) Epic On the Thames and Over the Thames Ride!

(3) These Walls Can Talk: Every house is a living fossil whose design and layout embody centuries of accumulated history and meaning. (WSJ)

Weekend 239.0 (Cycling Weekend)

Bike Rentals Sign(1) My Orange Brompton: A blog for those who want, own or love Brompton Folding Bicycles.

(1a) This cat has great taste in colour (and he seems to have a tyre fetish). He also rides in and about Richmond, London which is the penultimate in neatness since I occasionally travel there.

Images of Richmond courtesy of the Limestone Roof Photo Archives©

Richmond Cycles
Cottages at Waitrose Place
Petersham Meadows or Buccleuch Gardens

(1b) I was in NYC yesterday [Friday, October 26] to have lights installed on my M3L. The trip to NYCeWheels is always an adventure.

(1c) The Brompton Toolkit from Goodwin Hartshorn.

(1d) This chap could be my brother!

(2) The Philadelphia Bike Expo

(3) Boutique boom: From Bobbin to Voltage – Making and selling bikes used to be simple and unimaginative. Today businesses are changing to access a vibrant market for boutique brands.

(4) Ran errands (post office) on Saturday using my hand-built orange basket bike from ANT Bicycles. Trip ended @ Chef’s Table for Potstickers.

Other Stuff
(5) Spent last Sunday at the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, Connecticut and found some treasures!

(5a) Lindsey’s Quality Water Colors – Manufactured by the Glenn Tint & Chem. Co., in Glenside, PA (NO. 25 – 8 Colors). The print on the tin is very colorful (and the price imprinted on the the lid is 39¢). The patent date is December 8, 1931. I tried to find the the original patent but there are 1,142 listed on that date (need an intern).

(6) Ultra Rare Photos Of Le Corbusier In Color