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 273.1

Penguin Underground Lines boxset
Alternative Image

Rain this morning so cycling to church (and the cappuccino right after) results in an audible— car (blah), coffee, and the Wall Street Journal from the home office. Finished What We Talk About When We Talk About The Tube (The District Line) by John Lanechester this morning. This book in the series was the most Tube-centric (needed an excuse to type that). There were also gratuitous mentions of Richmond. The range of subject matter in this series is so diverse that it would be difficult to choose a favorite. Heads and Straights reminds me of a close friend (just like Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: Cuckoo!) and Richard Mabey is the kind of environmentalist / conservationist that could make converts (his tone is so utterly positive and reality-based and devoid of screeching and preaching). Excerpts from Earthbound should be re-printed in Wired and it very neatly complements Buttoned-Up and Heads and Straights.

From the ‘Son of a Florist’ files…

(1) The Secrets of Growing Dahlias: Potter-turned-gardener Frances Palmer shares her tips on raising one of nature’s least ignorable flowers—from the compact pompon dahlias to the gargantuan “dinner plate” varieties (WSJ)

(2) Pool Room at the Four Seasons Is a Designer’s Master Class: The New York restaurant demonstrates how to mix moxie and restraint, says architect Allan Greenberg (WSJ)

(3) Bound to Please: In the age of e-books and print-on-demand, literary publishing remains a personal and instinctive enterprise. (WSJ – Registration Required)

“‘Hothouse’ isn’t a management book; it’s a narrative of large personalities at play. Yet out of it comes a clear account of how to thrive in a tough commercial environment. Focus on your core business. Put your money and energy into content. Avoid outside entanglements: real estate, subsidiaries, foreign offices. Keep operating costs low. Hire and promote young people as you get older. Spend as little as possible on advertising; let big talkers and social networks spread the word. Show up at the office, stick around and watch your competitors pair off or drop out. All the while, keep in mind that yours is a chancy undertaking—that success, when it comes, will come in mysterious ways.”

(4) The Pixel Painter: A 97-Year-Old Man Who Draws Using Microsoft Paint from Windows 95

(5) See The Contest-Winning Cover For “Brave New World”: With his eerie dystopian vision, this year’s winner of a book illustration competition would do Aldous Huxley proud.

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 271.0

Belmont Park(1) Racing to Get NYRA Back on Track: As Saratoga Meet Begins, the Future Remains Muddled (WSJ)

“Belmont itself is no Barclays Center, but it’s hardly the dirty ashtray that is Aqueduct. The problem is that Belmont was built to fit nearly 100,000 people. On Belmont Stakes day, it works. On a regular day, it feels like an airplane hangar. Could Belmont be renovated to be smaller and more modern? Yes, especially with the possibility of a soccer stadium for the New York Cosmos across the way in Elmont, N.Y. But in that case, what’s the point of Aqueduct?”

(2) Brompton boss: The bike-maker who disproved the doubters (BBC)

(3) Best Colored Glass Pitchers: Even the ants will swoon when you set these pretty tinted pitchers on your patio table (WSJ)

From the ‘Son of a Florist’ files…

(4) A Flower Arrangement Inspired by a Gauguin Painting: Floral designer Lindsey Taylor channels the lazy, hazy sensuality of a Post-Impressionist classic (WSJ)

(4a) From the Limestone Archives: Flowers in NYC

(5) American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe at the MoMA from August 17, 2013 – January 26, 2014

(5a) A New Look at American All-Stars (WSJ – Registration Required)

“On Aug. 17, the museum will take a more traditional tack with “American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe,” a 150-work survey of the 20th-century artistic canon.

The curators’ choices, known and unknown, collectively chronicle a nation surging toward factories and skyscrapers even as its people feel ambivalent about doing so. From Florine Stettheimer’s white wicker-framed “Family Portrait II” (1933) to Jacob Lawrence’s more dour 1940s “Migration Series” labor scenes, the panorama remains as complex as ever. The show is up through Jan. 26.”

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 237.0 (Son of a Florist)

Greenwich Park Rose GardenSpent Saturday at Greenwich Park and snapped this little ditty in the Rose Garden. The park (and the area around it) is fantastic and after a little sleep I will post some more photos and a bevy of links.

In the meantime…did you know there is a rose called an Ingrid Bergman?

Also, the Chapel (dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul) at the Old Royal Naval College was the highlight of Saturday’s adventure.