Amoeblog

Grand Tour of the Northeast and Quebec -- a snapshot of Philadelphia

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 2, 2014 09:11pm | Post a Comment
Eric Brightwell in Elfreth's Alley
The author in Philadelphia (image courtesy Una Zipagan)

I recently visited Philadelphia for the first time as a stop on a sort of Grand Tour of the Northeast and Quebec, which I undertook following my sister's graduation from Princeton. To date, the only states that I haven't visited in the lower 48 are located along the East Coast... except for North Dakota. Even those East Coast states that I had previously visited are not states in which I've spent much time. I'd been to New Jersey just once, New York just once, and Miami a few times. I've also been informed by several Northeasterners that Miami does "not count." I respond with a quote from Posdnuous, “Characters have the tendency to con themselves/ To think the East Coast is only New York and Philadelph.”

Suspense - Radio's outstanding theater of thrills

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 23, 2014 01:36pm | Post a Comment
AND NOW, A TALE WELL CALCULATED TO KEEP YOU IN SUSPENSE
 
Lurene Tuttle (left) and Rosalind Russell in "The Sisters" (9 December, 1948)
Lurene Tuttle (left) and Rosalind Russell in "The Sisters" (9 December, 1948)

On 17 June, 1942, the anthology Suspense debuted on CBS Radio. The long-running series, which anticipated television programs like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone, concluded in 1962, an occasion now usually cited as signalling the end of radio's Golden Age.

The formula of Suspense was similar to that of another excellent anthology of the day, The Whistler. In most episodes a crime occurs shortly after the program begins. Suspense is heightened as the drama unfolds. In the end justice prevails and the program concludes. Suspense succeeds where lesser anthologies often failed through good production, usually-taut writing, and the presence of some of the biggest names in Hollywood including giants like Bela Lugosi, Cary Grant, Charles Laughton, Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Joan CrawfordJohn Garfield, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Lena Horne, Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles, Paul Muni, Peter Lorre, among others -- who were often cast against type (especially in the case of actors mostly thought of as comedians like Jack BennyLucille Ball, and Red Skelton). 

A map and snapshot of Los Angeles

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 17, 2014 01:26pm | Post a Comment
Los Angeles County map of neighborhoods and communities
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's hand-painted map of Los Angeles County communities and neighborhoods

Yesterday I finished painting a large map of Los Angeles County. On it I attempted to depict every Los Angeles County community and every Los Angeles neighborhood. It was also important to me to include the two Channel Islands that are part of Los Angeles and to depict them where they actually are in relation to the rest of the county (and not shrunken and stuffed into a box in the corner -- a fate with which Hawaii and Alaska are intimately familiar). 

I first started writing about exploring Los Angeles neighborhoods in October 2007. I began writing about Los Angeles County communities a month later. I expanded to Orange County in 2010, in defiance of ignorant protestations based on stereotypes which, as with those leveled against Los Angeles, have a increasingly little resemblance to reality. I tagged all of my pieces California Fool's Gold in homage to the late, great Huell Howser, a fellow immigrant from the Upper South and explorer of the real California. I'd love to be able to map and explore other countries, cities, and neighborhoods too though and there is literally nowhere that I won't go. Have easel, will travel.

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COME IN! S, M, L, XLA -- A new exhibit at the A+D Museum opens this Thursday

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 16, 2014 09:22am | Post a Comment
On 19 June, a new exhibit opens at the A+D Museum called COME IN! S,M,L, XLA. 


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S, M, L, XLA logo designed by Andrew Byrom


The website's description follows: 

Historically, Los Angeles as a city has been a site of inspiration and exploration for architects and designers alike. The city has been developed around and defined by a variety of large-scale urban planning projects as well as medium and smaller sized residential and public work including housing, product design and technological innovations. Through these various architecture and design projects, the city has nurtured experimental pursuits and critical inquiry and today it continues to expand in the contemporaneous city. 

Projects are currently being developed at various scales all over L.A. from miniscule to monumental and everything in-between. Small, medium, large, extra-large Los Angeles takes Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Maus seminal text as a departure point and more importantly as an organizing principle to examine the production and discourse of architecture and design within today's city of L.A. bringing coherence to the body of work of an emergent group of Los Angeles based designers that span across disciplines from architecture and graphics to digital media and sound art, to jewelry, landscape, lighting, product, and textile design; the show highlights the ways in which young practitioners are currently thinking and making in Los Angeles in addition to their impact on the present-day city and its future.

The exhibit highlights the work of artists and designers, including Fieldwork (Maya Santos and Rani de Leon), On The Road Project LA (Jonathan Louie and James Michael Tate), Jae Won Cho of J1, Laurel Broughton of WELCOME PROJECTSNatasha Bajc, NO RELATION (Steven and Mads Christensen), Grey Crowell of the Foundation for Architecture and Design, Bijan Fahmian of the Los Angeles Arts CollectiveNONdesigns (Miao Miao and Scott Franklin), Cellular Complexity (Julia Koerner, Kais Al-Rawi, and Marie Boltenstern), Andrew Kovacs, Jonathan Louie, Evan Mather, Alison Petty Ragguette, M-Rad (Matthew Rosenberg), Lisa C. Soto, Maxi Spina, T8projects (James Michael Tate), limilLab (Filipa Valente), and Eduardo Viramontes.

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Tea for all -- 10 June is Iced Tea Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 10, 2014 11:27am | Post a Comment


(Image source -- Tikiyaki)

It's Iced Tea Day again! When people grouse about so-called "Hallmark holidays," Iced Tea Day is rarely if ever mentioned and I've never seen an Iced Tea Day card... maybe we can do something about that. 

Norman Rockwell Tea Time

According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans consume 85% of their tea iced. Tea was first consumed on ice in the 1860s, when it was regarded by some as a curious fad. By the 1870s it appeared in cookbooks including Estelle Woods Wilcox's Buckeye Cookbook (1876) and Marion Cabell Tyree's Old Virginia (1877). According to Wikipedia, "Its popularity rapidly increased after Richard Blechynden introduced it at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis." I began drinking it -- either hot or iced depending on the weather and my whims -- when I was about eight -- both for its taste and because I hoped to stunt my growth a bit (and thus hopefully not stand out so much).

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