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


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.

Jul 6, 2014

Jul 1, 2014

the illusion of mechanical reproduction

many of bridget riley's stripe paintings are currently on show at david zwirner. riley directed the installation of the entire gallery space and this is the first time i have seen her paintings installed in a way that gives the viewer enough space to see them correctly. the lighting, some of which is natural, is mostly excellent. her work is often interpreted as being about creating optical illusions because it is apparently mechanical and banally decorative—in fact, it is distinctive, thought-provoking, and manually intensive. to produce something by hand is to be exposed to the minor modulations and irregularities that characterise hand work (and which are usually absent from work executed entirely by machine)—a topic on which david pye was eloquent and penetrating. producing work whose effect on the viewer is almost entirely dependent on the perfect execution of precise spacings is one thing. combining that apparent mechanical precision with the liveliness and particularity of manual application is another.

at david zwirner in london, until july 25.

Jun 17, 2014

english summer

more than enough

the life of affluence and pleasure requires exact discipline and high imagination.
alan watts, does it matter?

May 28, 2014


3, boulevard des filles du calvaire

May 24, 2014

May 18, 2014

Apr 26, 2014

coulée verte

above street level in the 12th arrondissement, the promenade plantée runs for 4.7 kilometres along the disused track of the vincennes railway from the bastille to the bois de vincennes. it has done this since 1993, when it first opened to the public. workmanlike benches abound, under arbours of rose and ivy, between stands of peony and under the canopies of surprisingly large trees. where stairs descend to the street, sometimes there are quiet intermediary squares of open space filled with geometric arrangements of shade plantings. some people sit and read. other people are carrying their shopping. there are very few people with big cameras. there are regrettably few dogs. in the jardin de reuilly, above which the promenade vaults, there is a pick-up rugby game, a swarm of kindergarteners playing ghost, sunbathers, snoozing folk of all ages, and a water-pipe party. this is not the high line format of urban linear park, but it is just as good.

Apr 19, 2014

high contrast

kattenburgerstraat, amsterdam

Apr 7, 2014

loan fruits

c/ benet mateu, 62.

Apr 3, 2014

thorn hedge

To sit in the sun and read Columella on how to plant a thorn hedge is a pleasure I had to teach myself. No, I was teaching myself something else, and the thorn hedge came, wisely, to take its place. They're longer lasting than stone walls and have an ecology all their own. Birds nest in them and snails use them for a world. Hedgehogs, rabbits, snakes, spiders. Brier rose, dog thorn. There are some in England still standing from Roman times.
"the hunter gracchus," guy davenport

Apr 1, 2014

stacking spaces

on two visits, we met two different halves of the cøffee lab and shop on passatge sert in barcelona. but we only found this out by accident.

the first time we visited, jordi mestre, owner of nomad coffee productions made us a v60 out of a prototype roast of colombian beans from la esperanza—the profile was light as is the mode these days, but sweet too, with red fruit. on our second visit, kim ossenblok made us a chemex from kochere roasted by nomad (intense blueberry, as is sometimes the case). as he poured, one of us asked if he was a partner in nomad. of course not. turns out, kim runs a cupping and training studio. in the same space, during only partly overlapping hours, nomad roasters also has a retail space and coffeeshop. kim tells us it is "like a coffee coworking space," but it isn't really coworking.

we don't have a good word or phrase yet to describe an arrangement in which multiple businesses occupy the same space at different times of the day or week (or even the year). so i'm going to coin one: let's call them stacked spaces. kim says, "it is a good way to have a physical space to work. for me, a space to teach about coffee. for jordi [from nomad], a place to show his coffee. it's not always easy to find people you can share a space with, but we are lucky. it works. i have what i need, jordi has what he needs. the cafe doesn't even have to be so profitable because we've all got something else going on ... it is more efficient to use the space this way."

stacked spaces reduce rental cost and operational risk for the businesses that occupy them. many east asian and south-east asian cities have acquired stacked spaces purely out of a combination of laissez-faire regulation, high rents, and dense population—and in cities like singapore or tokyo, stacked spaces contribute to urban vitality and adaptability. similar patterns are now emerging in manhattan, london, and paris, mostly in the interstitial spaces that are not carefully managed or regulated in conventional ways. this is the shape of one type of urban innovation.

it is fair to say that city planners, city governments, large property developers, and property managers are not yet in on this game—but they should be.