Dec 18, 2014

organic sound

big band in the air, at approximately 13 bell street, NW1 5BZ, followed soon after by diligently layered fiteer just a few doors down. adequate hydration was not a problem.

Dec 14, 2014

beneath the pavement lies the beach


commune, in goodhood; 151 curtain road.


"the longest party table in the world," priestmangoode; 150 great portland street.


birthday celebrations at mother's milk; 124 little portland street.


green serpentine and portland stone (perhaps), langham house; 32-33 gosfield street.

Dec 9, 2014

in the west

chepstow crescent, w11.

Dec 7, 2014

the awfully pleasant scooter association


246 great portland street, london.

Nov 25, 2014

questions

I find it very precarious for a culture only to be able to measure performance and never to be able to credit the questions themselves ... As the questions go up, the performance level goes down—and that's natural, since people don't yet know how to act on those questions, they're stumbling around in a fog—whereas when performance goes up the quality of the questions tends to go down.

Nov 24, 2014

sandcast




the door at 77 wimpole street.

Nov 23, 2014

what to read and why

... it's good when your conscience receives big wounds, because that makes it more sensitive to every twinge. I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.

Nov 20, 2014

the benefits of pouncing




above—autumn: the pig slaughter; below—the numbering at bethlehem. pieter brueghel the younger, in "the bad shepherd," until 16 january 2015 at christie's on new bond street.

Nov 14, 2014

an incomplete list of nearly perfect meals

[november 2014]
new: several places in london, most recently 40 maltby street.

what is a nearly perfect meal? it is an idiosyncratic confluence of elements, the sum of parts. it has almost nothing to do with expense, other than that special dinners draw people together and place them in a suitable and shared frame of mind. this can be done anywhere, which is why this is not a list of restaurants but a list of meals. this can also be done for nearly any price, which is why some of these meals involve pancakes.

i now realise what everyone who opens an ambitious restaurant knows: it takes a tremendous amount of effort to reproduce reliably what sometimes unexpectedly and serendipitously materialises when people get together to cook or eat.

in most of these cases, the food was confident and made with care, the beverages appropriate (but often not exalted), the company incomparable. some of these places i've been to many times, some only once. in every case, the particular perfection of the meal has not been reproducible in other places and at other times. your mileage may vary.
london
10 greek street40 maltby streetotto'sst. john bread and winekandoo

tokyo
shunsui; gesshinkyo; tsuru ni tachibana (with updates from our japanese correspondent)

las vegas
chada

san francisco
kissquince; minakogreensfood inc (for their tuna niçoise sandwich on either a sunny day or a rainy one); pagolacchapeau!; firefly; jackson fillmore; pancake sunday 5.13.07

berkeley
chez panisse; the cheeseboard

cambridge
hungry mother; bondir; cooking with fire and clay; morning coffee at hirise

malden
biryani park

palo alto
bay leaf cafe (yellow lentil sambar soup, on a wet day); homma's (outside on a warm summer night)

new york
shopsin's

lenox
nudel

boulder
the kitchen

marfa
cochineal

new orleans
galatoire's, the parkway bakery

osaka
hon-kogetsu

kyoto
mo-an

singapore
green pasture; fuli seafood

copenhagen
frederiks havekødbyens fiskebarnoma; ved stranden 10

järpen
fäviken magasinet

washington dc
minibar

Nov 13, 2014

aesthetic value

Theorists are apt to vex themselves with vain efforts to remove uncertainty just where it has a high aesthetic value.

Oct 26, 2014

groups and individuals

The concept of intelligence is ambiguous when action and learning occur simultaneously at several nested levels of a system ... [s]ince experimentation often benefits those who copy successes more than it does the experimenting organization, managerial illusions of control, risk taking, and playful experimentation may be more intelligent from the point of view of a community of organizations than from the point of view of organizations that experiment.
barbara levitt and james march, "organizational learning" p335.

Oct 24, 2014

a morandi in the living room


among the several highlights of frieze masters was helly nahmad's booth. this consisted of a lavishly detailed art collector's apartment over-full of the many accumulations of the pursuit of what is currently very premium art—a fabrication that required a long list of prop rental facilities and the services of a very good set designer. it brought to mind tibor fischer's the collector collector, which is worth reading.

lonesome cowboy


richard tuttle, 1988. at sperone westwater.

blue brownie


john chamberlain, 1979.

Oct 23, 2014

chuck close up close



a small self-portrait, in acrylic, at pace london; frieze 2014.

Oct 9, 2014

Oct 6, 2014

after dinner


the mayday rooms. 88 fleet street, across from goldman sachs.

late in the east midlands

Sep 28, 2014

on the dalmatian coast

chez bob de tunis

10 rue richer, paris 75009.

Sep 1, 2014

klub bakalar



bakalar is croatian for bacalao, which is spanish for dried salt cod—a health food.

this is the split klubhouse of a secretive invitation-only organisation of cod aficionados which maintains its own network of cod fishermen and bacalao makers so that the bacalao it has access to can be made to the most exacting of specifications. it owns a share of a private croatian bacalao-making island where a luxury resort has recently been completed that offers cod-themed vacations (members and cod fishermen get a discount). klub bakalar's members use the klub's own currency—the bakalar—to buy and sell cod-related foods, accessories, and financial instruments. the only way to earn bakalar is by eating bacalao.

they would not reveal their initiation rites but just visible in the photo, at the foot of the stairs, is the tip of the dorsal fin of a cod outfit that would accommodate a girthy croat.

Aug 6, 2014

Aug 5, 2014

Jul 28, 2014

darnicle hill



an old pumping station still in the process of being converted into a home. upstairs, a temporary yurt surrounded by crayon drawings illustrating various functions of elimination. a kitchen garden provided lemon mint for the drinks. by the time i arrived, all the cooking had been done. the day before, they had smoked a lamb shoulder then cooked it overnight in a crock pot, finally flinging it on a blazing charcoal fire. a vast tray of pork had also been pulled to shreds by an assortment of naked and partly clad children. when the irish terrier arrived, the chickens went back behind their electric fence.

Jul 22, 2014

british summer time



when you say it is "cherry red," what exactly do you mean?

Jul 19, 2014

transformations



charles harlan's concrete sacks at max wigram's group show ice fishing. mcarthur binion's crayon panels in the same show are denser than might be expected and worthwhile.