Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More from the photobooth

I have always had a love for vernacular photography. Snapshots and other vintage photos by non-professional photographers can sometimes have such wonderful composition or mysterious subject matter, the result of a happy accident. I really enjoy rifling through boxes and bins full of old photos at antique shows and stores. I've found some really great things over the years; hopefully I'll get around to posting about some of them here in the future.

My last posting, with the old photobooth pictures of my parents and me reminded me that there was an exhibition of old photobooth images a few years ago, from the collection of Babette Hines. Hine also authored the accompanying book and has a gallery specializing in vernacular photos.

cover image via Amazon.com

page sample via Amazon.com

If you're interested, there's also another great book with a history of photobooths as well as a selection of images. I'm sure these are only two of many books out there on the topic!

cover image via Amazon.com

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Photobooth memory

Lately I've been scanning loads of old family photos. This photobooth pair has always been one of my favorites.

Me with my beautiful and loving young parents.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The necklace was worth the wait! Now I want to wear it with every outfit.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Same as it ever was?

Kermit + Talking Heads = awesome. Especially the hand/arm chop.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Over the past two years I became addicted to National Public Radio (NPR) podcasts. I was already a devoted listener to their radio programming on WNYC, my local station. But there are more programs produced by NPR than could fit into any one station's scheduling each week. The podcasts solve this problem. Then the only problem becomes finding enough time in your own schedule to listen to all those you download each week! At my last job I was able to listen on my iPod while doing my work, which was a real treat.

One podcast I listen to is All Songs Considered. The host, Bob Boilen highlights all kinds of new music every week and sometimes has special episodes that focus on discussion of a particular topic with other music critics. They also offer podcasts of many, many live concerts by all different artists, which I find to be a great way to learn more about their music before I commit to getting their albums. Did I mention all of this is FREE?!? There is no charge for any of the NPR podcasts, but it is nice to make a donation to your local station every once in a while, if you can.

Right now All Songs is offering a free (yes, free) download of a 10-song sampler. The songs are all by artists who will be performing at this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. I highly recommend getting this playlist. It's full of varied and interesting music. You must have iTunes in order to get the songs, but I think it would be worth downloading the program for this even if you don't yet have it.

Happy listening!

PS: If the sampler isn't enough music for you, you can also listen to a stream of 100 songs by SXSW artists on the All Songs site!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hey Mister DJ (warning: long post ahead)

One of my favorite websites is Jennsylvania, Jennifer Lancaster's incredibly funny blog. Many of you may be familiar with Jen's books, Bitter is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; and Such a Pretty Fat. If not, you should check them out. They are definitely worth a read (and at least one re-read): funny and sarcastic yet full of warmth and caring too. One of Jen's recent posts was about her friend tagging her for Thirty Random Songs on Your iPod. She made it through fourteen songs and the backstory about each one's existence on her iPod. She told her readers to consider ourselves tagged, so here's my list. I think most readers will lose any interest well before 30, so I've capped my list at half of that.

photo copyright Apple Computer

1. 'The Killing Moon' by Echo & the Bunnymen: This song brings me right back to my sophomore year in college, when a girl in my dorm loaned me their album "Songs to Learn & Sing". There's something about this song and 'Bring on the Dancing Horses' that I've always loved. They may just be 80s new wave-type songs, but to me they'll always be classics.

2. 'Ghost World' by Aimee Mann: I am a big fan of Aimee Mann's music. She has come a long way since 'Til Tuesday of 'Voices Carry' fame. Although that was a good song too. I think this song was either based on the "Ghost World" graphic novel or written for the movie based on the book. Not one of my favorite of her songs, but still pretty good.

3. 'Avalon' by Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music: Classic sensitive 80s music. Again not my favorite of theirs, a bit too sensitive for me. I prefer 'Street Life' and 'Love is the Drug'. But it's on my iPod, so it shows up on shuffle periodically.

4. 'Shiver' by Coldplay: Why can't I even remember this one? I usually don't look at song titles when listening to an album on my iPod. That could be the reason.

5. 'Big Me' by Foo Fighters: I can't hear this song without thinking of the Mentos commercial spoof of a video for it. It also totally reminds me of grad school. Ah, 90s music.

6. 'Your Long Journey' by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: I have been a big fan of Krauss' music for a while now. She has an amazing voice and plays a mean fiddle. She's known mostly for her bluegrass work but has made music in many genres. This album, "Raising Sand", won a load of Grammys this year. It really deserved them. This is a traditional song, very sad, but lovely. (I just found out it was written by Doc Watson, a folk musician, and has been recorded by many artists.)

7. 'Stand and Deliver' by Adam & the Ants: Guilty pleasure. Nothing more to say.

8. 'Sacred' by Depeche Mode: I saw DM live in concert when this album came out. They were IT for me when I was in college. Total nostalgia trip, this album.

9. 'Cry Baby Cry' by the Beatles: One of many Beatles songs on my iPod. No need to explain why.

10. 'Thieves Like Us' by New Order: More 80s new wave. Anyone sensing a trend here?

11. 'I Hate Camera' by The Bird & The Bee: A good walking song from a really fun album.

12. 'Lithium' by Nirvana: Another song that reminds me of grad school. Nirvana really were the epitome of the grunge movement.

13. 'Miss Otis Regrets/Just One of Those Things' by Kirsty MacColl featuring the Pogues: From "Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter". This album is fantastic! From the heyday of compilation albums. U2 doing 'Night and Day', Annie Lennox singing 'Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye', David Byrne doing 'Don't Fence Me In'. Fabulous!

14. 'Dog on Wheels' by Belle & Sebastian. Yes B&S isn't for some folks, but I do like a lot of their music, so I guess it is for me.

15. '19th Nervous Breakdown' by the Rolling Stones. I didn't consider myself much of a fan of the Stones but a few years ago I listened to "Forty Licks" and realized I really liked a lot of their older songs. 'Mother's Little Helper' is really good too, but I think my all-time favorite Stones' song has to be 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'. So true, and such a great song.

As I'm sure is the case with many of you, this is only a small sampling of my musical tastes. I'd love to know what comes up on your player when you hit "shuffle"; please leave me yours in the comments section!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Movie night.

I think I've been on the computer for way too long today. Time to shut it down, shift focus (literally and figuratively), and go watch Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Bless my public library and their DVD collection. And their book collection. And their music collection. And their existence in general.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A rainy day...

...in New York made me think of a rainy day in London several years ago. My friend was studying for an art history Doctorate at Oxford (I know, impressive!) and I was able to visit her for a week or so, traveling into London via the Oxford Tube for day trips. I recently unearthed a CD with some photos from one of those day trips. They were shot with a Canon Elph (anyone remember those?) and scanned onto a disc by the photo lab. It's amazing to see the difference in feeling between these photos and my digital pics. I sort of like the atmospheric quality of these shots. They make me wistful for one of my favorite places on the planet, London. I hope to get back there one day before too long. After all, it has been well over five years now!

Talk about fantastic architecture! Bibendum is housed in the former UK headquarters of the Michelin Tyre Co., built in 1909. Now home of a restaurant, cafe, and oyster bar, founded by Terrence Conran, Simon Hopkinson, and Michael Hamlyn in the 1980s. When I visited, there was also a Conran Shop there, but I don't know if it's still in operation.

A photo of the beautiful details on the exterior of the Michelin Building. I love the carved detail above the window and the fantastic tile work, not to mention the great Bibendum lettering on the window grate. They seem to bridge the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.

A closeup of the entrance to the South Kensington tube station. I love the nostalgic feeling of the architectural details!

More ornate deco tile work. A detail of the entrance to Bluebird, another Conran establishment (that man is everywhere!). This one was formerly an automotive repair garage on King's Road. I'm sensing a theme here...

I'm not quite sure where I took this photo. I just loved the tile work on the exterior of this old building, which looked like it had seen better days. There seemed to be a lot of great tile detailing on the buildings around London. I guess I had a thing for the tile work!

Believe it or not, this is the entrance to a Pizza Express restaurant! The building, known as The Pheasantry, houses the restaurant on it's ground floor. Oh, how I love London!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The awful truth.

Well, the reason I didn't make it to the Calder Jewelry exhibition at the Met last Friday is that I got laid off from work that day and didn't feel much like doing anything other than crying. Posts here may be sparse for a while as I attempt to find a new job. Sigh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Best laid plans

Well, I never made it to the exhibition on Friday due to circumstances beyond my control. Unfortunately it closes today, so I'll just have to get hold of the exhibition catalog and pretend that I saw it in person. I'm sure it will still be great.