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This Week's Various

Friday, November 18, 2011

Po-Boy Fest this weekend in New Orleans!
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I've never been a fan of the late Prophet Royal Robertson's art (get over Adell leaving you!); the NYT did a short write-up of his first big exhibit in NYC, Roberta Smith saying "There’s definitely a fingernails-on-chalkboard quality to Robertson’s sensibility that is part of its allure and perhaps a limitation. But as an introduction, this is a memorable show that whets the appetite for further exposure."

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Last weekend's Slotin Folk Art Auction registered a high for sale of a Purvis Young work: $25k.

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FLW's son, Lloyd Wright (who designed Lincoln Logs) is known for his own architecture, especially in Southern California -- and one of the homes he designed, the Samual-Novarro house, is on the market for just over $4MM.  Beautiful.

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There's a FLW mausoleum. "The 24 crypts within Blue Sky Mausoleum represent the only opportunities in the world where one can choose memorialization in a Frank Lloyd Wright structure." and then it gets overdone: "Whatever your intent, your purchase of a crypt at Blue Sky Mausoleum ensures that your name will be joined forever with the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, a cultural icon widely proclaimed as the greatest American architect of all time." And there's more of that, too.

There was someone who advertised in the B'ham News a few years ago (I think I wrote about it here) that they were selling their plot at Elmwood Cemetery, with a big selling point that with their particular location it you could spend eternity so close to Coach Bryant.  I like that one better.

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One of the three FLW-designed homes in Washington state is on the market.

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Forcing Paperwhites

Paperwhite Blooms

If you like paperwhite blooms at the end of the year, now's the time to start forcing the bulbs.

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Missing the maitre d' in New Orleans and elsewhere, from the Times-Picayune.

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Mississippi's late 2012 car tag design.

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The NYT T Magazine, Travel: Raising the Bayou about the dining scene in New Orleans...

Nothing causes New Orleanians to wake up in night sweats like the prospect of their beloved city turning into a Houston or an Atlanta or some other well-adjusted city. Of course, there is little to be gained by becoming a quaint still life, either, and it is this tension — between adopting from the outside and holding on to what makes New Orleans what it is — that has governed the past six years of recovery. While the city itself is still trying to find the balance, a wave of new cocktail bars, gastropubs and hotels are striking it in their own way.

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There are at least three airlines that serve Krispy Kremes: Volaris, AirAsia, and Jetstar.  One even put the logo on one of their planes.

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The text, the pics, the whole thing from the Nov '11 Bon Appetit magazine feature on John Currence and Billy Reid.  Creamed collards.

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"In Queso Fever: A Movie About Cheese Dip" from Nick Rogers on Vimeo.
According to the World Cheese Dip Championship website, "Cheese dip, as we know it today, was introduced to the world and restaurant menus in 1935 by Blackie Donnelly, a Central Arkansas restaurateur and owner of Mexico Chiquito. In 2009, local attorney and filmmaker Nick Rogers researched the history of cheese dip in Arkansas and why it’s so beloved, and it all led back to Donnelly. “In Queso Fever: A Movie About Cheese Dip” soon followed and instantly went viral."  Right.  Arkansas.  Oh, and cheese dip predates nachos, btw.  Apparently cheese dip is incredibly prevalent there, in most any type of restaurant (it's been a little while since I've been to Arkansas, and I guess I just didn't pay attention).  Who doesn't like cheese dip?  The original recipe is rumored to be this one.

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The Tennessee State Museum has on exhibit, "Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster" now through January 15, 2012.


To accompany the exhibit, the State Museum has produced an original documentary film entitled, Visual Voices of the South, which will have its debut in November. The film, which will serve as an orientation for visitors, includes one of the last-known interviews with Finster. Tennessee’s acclaimed self-taught artist, the late Bessie Harvey, is also shown. Many of the artists in the film are represented in the museum’s permanent collection.


A 152-page hardcover, full color catalogue with essays by Jim Arient, N. J. Girardot, Phyllis Kind, and exhibition curator Glen C. Davies, will be sold along with other folk art items in the "Paradise Garden" Gift Shop. After viewing the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity shop in the special store which will only be open during the run of the exhibit.
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The Historic Park Inn, the hotel FLW designed in Iowa, went under a $20MM renovation but the interior design hurts.  Someone go help it.

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One of the newer food creations on the state fair circuit this year: red velvet funnel cake...and...Ben & Jerry's makes red velvet cake flavor now!?!

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The Historic Women's Exchange in Baltimore fed people for decades (supported women and their crafts in various ways for decades), then closed almost ten years ago.  A new project on Kickstarter is to raise $10k so that the project can begin once more as the Women's Industrial Kitchen.

The Woman's Industrial Exchange opened 130 years ago to provide a forum for women to showcase and sell their domestic arts. It was a place where war widows went to make extra money to support their families by capitalizing on the talents that so many women have never been paid for. Since then the Exchange has been a place that galvanized our City around the central notion that the feminine arts are fabulous. Handcrafted objects have VALUE.


People went to the Kitchen for an honest meal served by a feisty but motherly woman. The food was a celebration of homecooking and the environment was reminiscent of the very best memories of one's own home kitchen. It was a place where regulars were thankful for the consistency of great food and tourists sought out for the experience. This vision ended in 2002. I want to bring it back.


I want to restore the flavor and feeling of the Woman's Industrial Kitchen. We will offer the very best of home inspired comfort food. You will be served by the sassiest mothers I know. You will sit seeped in the history of famous and average women who have triumphed in the home, work and communities. We will celebrate home economics and the power of positive thinking.


Your contribution will help us restore this amazing, historic restaurant. It will help us tell the her-story of Maryland women. It will hire cooks, waitresses, bussers and hostesses. It will help us rebuild a legacy that Baltimore has missed sorely.

Love this.  Bring back the tomato aspic, here.
The NYT reported last week on other restaurants getting started via Kickstarter as well.
...and the NYT also ran a story about a town in up-state NY opening their own general store based on $100 shares purchased by citizens, since after the Ames store closed in 2002 making many household sundries a fifty mile drive away.

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The NYT Sunday Review has a large slideshow collection from Shelby Lee Adams' new book (release date: 11/30), Salt and Truth, which has 80 photographs he's taken over the last eight years.  If you're familiar with his subject, this set is very familiar.  From a gallery's press release on their Salt and Truth show:

In the introduction to his latest book, Adams helps to explain the title “Salt and Truth”, which is also partially inspired by a passage from a Cormac McCarthy novel. Adams states, “Today, it is becoming more difficult to find actual salt-of-the-earth people. They are disappearing as we are overrun by a more sugarcoated society… The families that have always lived here, many for more than a couple hundred years, are being dispersed by a new breed of Appalachian. There are land developers driving Hummers and Escalades, owning odd-shaped swimming pools and mansions built into the mountaintops after the coal is removed and the mountains reshaped… It is a more varied world now. Salt preserves wholesomeness and prevents decay. Salt lasts. And these hard-formed people from earlier times are still here, even as their population declines.”


“Adams recognizes the there is also an implied connection between truth and salt, which relates directly to his work and to his Appalachian subjects. Truth, as a state of mind and matter, is an aspiration for Adams in making his photographs and it is also reflected in the honesty and integrity of the individuals that he chooses as subjects. They see themselves exactly as they desire the camera to see them, which is without exaggeration or distortion.” (James Enyeart, Mutual Transcendence, “Salt & Truth”, 2011)


Adams states of his own approach to photographing his subjects, “Although I am working within a single culture, a culture in transition, I am also collaborating with unique individuals, families, and communities. I must know, understand, and be accepted by a range of people. Often these relationships have developed over a period of years, so that, before I make my photograph, I have established a strong rapport with my subjects. I sometimes visit without the intention of taking a picture, only to have the idea of a particular photograph emerge in the moment or later as I reflect on what I have observed. What makes my work unusual is that the hours of traveling and visiting are just as important as the photographs, which are expressions of my love for these people and this place.” (“Appalachian Lives”, University Press of Mississippi, 2003)

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The largest WPA mural in the SE is at Woodlawn High School in B'ham, and restoration of it will resume thanks to additional funds.

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Dear Georgia Power, even if you 'own' a historic cemetery to shore up property around one of your plants, it doesn't mean you can go out and take flags down from people's monuments, even if you're feeling particularly politically correct.

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Thanksgiving Tree
A Thanksgiving Tree.

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Stanley Saitowitz, an architect based in San Francisco, whose firm Natoma Architects designed the New England Holocaust Memoria, also happens to be an artist.  His works, exhibited as "Stanley Saitowitz: Judaica" runs now through October 2012 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.  He says of the items he designed, "These objects are the instruments of ritual and I designed them to be stripped of sentiment, which I don't believe provides much comfort anyway."  I find that statement a little odd, but the rimonim especially are interesting in a very spare way.

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"Folk Art Everywhere (FAE), a public art project of the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM), is seeking new art to exhibit in its 25 locations throughout Los Angeles, beginning in mid-December. Folk Art Everywhere promotes the unique cultural and artistic landscape of Los Angeles by bringing art into unexpected spaces and celebrating all folk. We're in restaurants, markets, community centers, libraries, workers' centers and beyond—25 locations total, for a period of 4 months at a time. Our exhibitions and programs serve as a catalyst for the exploration of art and ideas that reflect our ever-changing community."  This kind of project should go on...everywhere.  They're at libraries, cafes, produce markets...

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In case you don't like the usual Mason jar lids.

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16 minutes of pimento cheese.

Pimento Cheese, Please! from Christophile Konstas on Vimeo.

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