Thursday, October 29, 2009

How do you like

THESE apples?

Custom made for me by Vitor at Recycled Bicycles Amsterdam. Single speed, blue old school frame, backpedal brakes, drop handlebars, red grips and rims, white mud and chainguards, built to my size and specs for €225.

London, prepare thyself for Amsterdam town bike in blauw, rood and wit. All hail Vitor's (exportable, if you're interested) customs.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tottenham Fancy Stadium

They're still working on the title, but I think that the above would be pretty good.
Yes, Tottenham Hotspur are getting a new stadium - a planning application was submitted today and Spurs should be playing there by 2012. In case you haven't already gathered, this is a bit of a special interest story.
SO it's 56,000 seats and has a single-tier stand (like the world-famous Kop at Anfield) - so what? Well, the point is that it's something to match Arsenal's stinky stadium just a few miles south and, frankly, any positive or expansive plans for any sports team you love can only be a good thing. I can't get my season ticket on because they cost a fortune and it's hell of a commitment, but if I could then... well, then I would.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fashion finger puppets

Following the success of Karl Lagerfelt at NYFW earlier this year, a whole array of fashion finger puppets are now available at Liberty.

Get a boxset of your favourite fashion city: Milan, London, New York or Paris. Giorgio and Donatella have been knitted out of orange wool (excellent attention to detail), and the Victor & Rolf body comes with two heads. Of course it does.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The World's Greatest Flag

There was no messing around in The Benin Empire. If you went there, you went there with RESPECT OR LOOK WHAT HAPPENED:

The Benin Empire (1440-1897) was a pre-colonial African state of modern Nigeria. This was its flag. It depicts a man solemnly and very cleanly decapitating another man, who had just started to toprock.

Remember: the citizens of Benin LOATHE b-boying.

2008 Presidential Election Poster

Now THAT'S a memento. From Marbury.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

McDonald's Map

Strange Maps this week features a map plotting the position of every McDonald's in America.

There are over 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the US - just 1 for every 23,000 Americans, which I actually found surprisingly few. Is that wrong?

In any event, this market penetration doesn’t mean that McDonald’s is everywhere: somewhere in South Dakota is The McFarthest Spot, the place in the contiguous United States geographically most removed from the nearest McD’s.

The Golden Arches are seemingly packed onto every street corner in the east half of the States, while out west, you gots to go the distance for yo fries (except the for heavily populated coastal areas). And in the McFarthest Spot, you gots to go a full 145 miles to gets yo PATTIE on. Fortunately, South Dakota is home to literally 2,213 Taco Bells, 439 KFCs and a singular Pret a Manger. So probably no going hongry after all.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diamonds, Buttons and Butterflies

Awesome image at the impeccably stylish ddo's posterous. How easy would this be to make? $1 stamp pads, a diamond stamp and a button stamp. BAM!

"Diamonds & Buttons. It's what life's about."

Copycat version soon to be seen in the lobby of my new theatre. Alongside a copycat butterfly punch collage from Livingetc a few months ago.

If people say they're girly, then I can just say:

      1. No no no - they're my girlfriend's! God, I hate them!
      2. I'm putting on a fairylit romance - you think this is girly?
      3. Do you like my T-shirt?

Sorted. Hand my my hole punch and stamp.

Ruined Theatres

Check out these ruined theatres from model's own's excellent blog.

I have already contacted the curators and asked them to drench the theatres in fairy lights in advance of my BIG BUDGET STAGING OF A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM this autumn, starring Mr. Christopher (all the male parts), Audrey Tautou, Natalie Portman, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Scott-Thomas (some of the girl ones). It's going to be really, REALLY good. Tickets available from my head, nightly. 50p.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Berlusconi and Michelle Obama

A picture speaks a thousand words. Silvio Berlusconi greeted the First Lady at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh this week, much to Barack Obama's disapproval. The Italian PM seemed to looking for a little more than a formal handshake.
"Come to Papa!"

The 5'6" lecherous lothario, recently described by his own staff as sex addict and currently undergoing a divorce from his wife following a string of affairs with young women, was strictly despatched by America's first couple with a polite handshake and series of backpats. Not that the Obamas are cold - other world leaders were greeted with far more affection. It's just that... well... would you?

UPDATE: On his return from the G20 summit yesterday, Berlusconi spoke at a rally and, clearly failing to learn from the outcry that followed similar comments last November, said: "I have to bring you some greetings, greetings from a man, what is his name, what is his name - just a minute it was someone with a tan - Barack Obama."

He then added: "You won't believe it but they went together to the beach to get a tan because even his wife is suntanned." What a smart, savvy and sensitive guy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

London 2012 Stamps

First class stamps for the London 2012 Olympics were released this week. Much better than the crappy bid-win stamps, the ten new stamps each represent a different sport and have been designed by a leading artist. I'm all for London-branding, Olympic-branding and cool design, so these are A-OK by Mr Christopher.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mad Mr Christopher

Just a quick one today: a photo of me at work. Looking pretty good. I like to dress smartly for the office. Look at all those other guys in lounge suits... HEY, MAKE AN EFFORT GUYS (I said earlier today). Also notice I'm the only one drinking (= party man) and with a newspaper (= well-informed man). I'm both good for morale and a damn fine worker too.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Bolt and Berlino

It was a year to the day since Bolt broke Michael Johnson’s 200 metres record in the Olympic final, and at the World Championships in Berlin yesterday the Jamaican felt it was time to give it another go. Another day, another earth-shattering world record.

Legs pumping furiously, Bolt pounded across the line in just 19.19 seconds, shaving 1.1 tenths off his previous record. Incredibly, he even ran into a slight headwind (-0.3 m/s).

The result was never in doubt. It doesn't need to be said that Bolt was in a race of his own: he had passed bronze medallist Wallace Spearmon within five strides. It was Bolt against the clock. Despite the pre-race doubts as to his preparation and the toll taken by previous races, Bolt won. "Tonight I can definitely say I didn't expect it," Bolt said after the race. "I was tired but I thought 'what the heck, let's try'. I ran hard and now I'm really tired! Next time perhaps I shall just run the 100m or 200m alone. I wasn't running upright - it wasn't a good race... but it was a fast one."

Indeed it was. The plaudits flooded in immediately. Steve Cram: "That is wrong. That is just wrong. 19.20?!" Michael Johnson: "Unbelievable. A ridiculous race. The bend is unbelievable. No one has ever run a bend like this ... this is the most incredible bend ever." Darvis Patton (100m finalist): “It’s like he’s created a game person. He’s like a cheat code. That’s how good he is.” Two races, two gold medals, two World Champion titles, two world records. Roll on the relay.

In related news, Bolt was seen before the race rocking an "Ich bin ein Berlino" T-shirt, a pun on JFK's famous misquote in reference to Berlino the Bear, the 9 foot foam mascot that appears to be the only creature capable of upstaging Bolt at these World Championships.

After Melaine Walker won gold in the 400m hurdles, Berlino picked her up, popped her on his back and careered headlong into a stack of hurdles, dropping the Jamaican in the process and sending millions of hearts into millions of mouths (remember Tony Adam's 'jovial' celebration after the 1993 League Cup Final? He lifted the winning goalscorer onto his shoulders, dropped him and broke his arm). No such problems here though – both Berlino and Walker were fine afterwards, the bear even larking about with Bolt after the 200m final. What a job...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alexey Titarenko

Alexey Titarenko is a Russian photographer famous for his ghostly depictions of downtrodden masses flowing through bleak, moody cityscapes (see shots from City of Shadows, below).

These haunting portrayals of a blurred, streaming populace have rightly earned Titarenko acclaim. The subject matter and composition of photographs in his other series make also make for romantic, elegant or fascinating viewing (see below).

However, the technique has its limitations. The long exposures leave some shots blandly monotone; flat, low-contrast and powdery. But this is the exception rather than the rule. If you like brooding and charismatic, post-Soviet urban imagery - and who doesn't - then Alexey Titarenko is well worth a look.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Revisiting Brideshead

Last night I finished watching the 1981 Brideshead Revisited TV adaptation. I read and wrote on Brideshead at university but, slightly embarrassingly, seem to have been more affected by the TV adaptation than the novel itself.

The tortured outpouring at the fountain from Diana Quick's beguiling, brisk and conflicted Julia and the tremendously painful return to the estate evoked by Jeremy Irons' insular, mournful Charles have played on my mind all day. Unfortunately the book is at home, but if I had it with me I would break my rigorously-applied rule and plunge into it again. As it is, I'm sating myself with tales of the inspiration.

If you haven't read or seen Brideshead, put one or the other at the top of your To Do List and prepare to be enthralled.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MJ Memorial Shoot

Today I stumbled upon Mykromag's shoot by Dutch duo Petrovsky and Ramone on location outside the uniquely surreal Michael Jackson memorial service in Los Angeles last month.

While the shoot is not entirely impromptu, with the model's poses among the shrines, fans, police and general chaos of the day attracting seemingly little attention, no credit is given for the outfits or styling, making me think that the intention veers closer to photojournalism than to glossy style. The result is a series of striking images that are part fashion shoot, part documentary – a blurring of the line between reality and fiction that is particularly appropriate for its setting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Mysterious Hills and the Baffling City

Today I have been trying to understand MTV's smash hit series The Hills and its equally bewildering sibling, The City.

For the blissfully uninitiated, The Hills follows the lives of hip young things living in LA, while spin-off series The City documents the move of one of the things to New York to work for a fashion designer. Now, you ask, what's so hard about that?

Firstly, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? They're actors, right? The premise is that both shows are reality TV, but this is patently untrue. Each episode is packed with drama, heartache and a suspiciously neat story arc, like a serialised chapter of a Dickens novel only with high heels, beach parties and rows over the layout of Teen Vogue. Whereas if it actually were reality, each episode would be packed with searching for keys, arguing with customer service hotlines and walking into a room and forgetting why you were there.

So which is it? The best explanation I can find comes from (where else?) Wikipedia: "the cameras follow [characters] daily and capture whatever unfolds." OK, so it's reality. Oh, hold on - there's more: "There is 'structure' provided to the program, as real life develops day-by-day and most dramatic events generally occur while being filmed."

Bear in mind that this is the best explanation I've found. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? What the hell is meant by "structure"? Structure like a storyboard, script and director? Because that's not really "structure", I'm afraid – that's "how you make TV shows."

Wikipedia also explains that one hip thing has confirmed that she is "joining the cast" and "has inked a deal with MTV to appear as a series regular throughout two seasons." How can you 'sign up' to appear in someone's life? Did she have a bit part as a passing acquaintance, only to act so deliciously and indispensably that the producers demanded the cast befriend her? God, I hope she knows. We don't want her going all Truman Burbank on us and flipping out when she finds it's just for the cameras.

And what about this 'job' business - does the City star actually work for the fashion designer? Did she get the job on merit? How close were we to having a series about a spin-off Hills character who spends all day flipping burgers or photocopying? And does the designer not get a bit ticked off with her employee's constant breaks for angsty Dawson's-style summits with her on/off boyfriend, explosive latte-fuelled clashes with bitchy rivals, or requests to be promoted as this season's storyline kind of counts on it?

I DON'T UNDERSTAND. And yet everyone is very excited about these shows and Heidi and Holly Montag are apparently very important people and don't you know, it's like reality but like also really cool? DON'T YOU GET IT? Sadly I do naaaht. So I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist, sit under a rock and wait for The Apprentice to come round again.
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