31 October 2005

The art of coffee

The intertwining of coffee and art go way back in my experience - back to when Midnight Espresso, DeLuxe, and Insomnia were it in terms of late night espresso destinations. When the entire ceiling of Midnight was adorned with an ever-expanding Debra Bustin universe, and CubaCuba featured sporadic painting attempts by it's wonderfully creative inhabitants.

Cut to present day, and I'm again engaging the art displayed in cafe's and restaurants around wellington - although now because it's just got so bad.

Picture, if you will, a very fine cafe/bar the other night in town - jazz band playing cooly, decor suave, clean and contemporary, food good, wine better, and the walls decorated with a selection of loud and extremely crudely executed Roy Lichenstein rip-offs not only at odds with their environment, but totally at odds with the general realms of taste. So bleak was it that we left after entrees and went elsewher for mains (which sounds really pretentious, but it wasn't).

There's possibly even an opportunity here, for a small company that seeks out lifeless retail situations and complements them with carefully selected works of art, that both add something to the venue and promote the works of good emerging artists. I'll put it on my list of things to do one day...

25 October 2005

Well come home

I'm back in Wellington, and thank goodness that's over.

Not really. If anything it's whetted my apetite for more travel, whipped up wanderlust, and got me planning an escape should the painful contract negotiation process go awry.

It's good to be home - with all our nice things (which I'm secretly more attached to athn I care to admit), and all the nice people we know.

Wellington's not all bad at all. It's just that Florence is nicer.

19 October 2005

Tate Modern. Modern.

The tate modern absolutely blew me away - a lot more than I anticipated. The scale is just phenomenal - they've been brave enough to leave a lot of empty space.

It was good - we're headed back tomorrow to finish looking at the actual art.

18 October 2005

London Bridge. Still there.

London is really just a familiar big city - everyone speaks your language, dresses a little better but essentially the same, and the currency makes sense (even if the sizess of all the coins is screwy).

But it has some pretty cool stuff - generated no doubt by the 8 odd million campers here. Like the national gallery - and standing in front of a Duccio panel that almost made me cry.

My current project is scouring bookshops for the Dada Manifesto. I saw it in Italy, but in Italian.

Fingers crossed.

12 October 2005


We're staying in this really cool little Tuscan town just outside of Lastra a Signe, just outside fo Florence.
It has 2 bars, a pizzaria, the smallest bank in the world, a bookshop in someone's lounge, and the best deli I've ever seen, stocking pretty much only local food and wine.

I could stay here for quite some time.

08 October 2005


5 observations on Singapore airport:
1. Sushi.
2. Cool tech toys.
3. Warm and tired.
4. Compressed by airline seats.
5. Means to an end.

06 October 2005

One more sleep

Tomorrow we depart these fair shores for a fortnight of art, culture, coffee, catching up, chianti, and other global experiences. Florence for a bit, then Venice, then London, then home again, just in time for a long weekend.

Things have been a bit busy of late to get too excited - what with that election thing, an opening at the gallery tonight, and lots of people about to take off on bigger journeys that we've had to catch up with before either they go or we go, and a couple of minor side projects in the art and mountain bike industries to keep mentally occupied.

I have managed to get excited about Singapore airport and it's duty free opportunities. And seeing Renata again before she buggers off to Rio, as you do. And the Venice Biennale - mostly to see the NZ pavillion, but also to see what else is going on. And the bike show in London. And if we can swing it the Frieze art fair also in London.

There may be updates, or not.

(And Ms Harland - I haven't forgotten the tyres...)

05 October 2005

Outrageously Fortunate

Last night was the final of the series of Outrageous Fortune. It's a shame, as I'd come to look forward to it's weekly insight into the demonically alluring West family, almost as much as I looked forward to some good locally made telly. But the good news is there's a second season in the pipeline.

I've been watching a bit more tv lately - C got me a Soduku book, which has been robbing me of evenings with an almost maniacal regularity, but I'm almost finished it, so hopefully that and work calming down a little, will enable me to reclaim a life, and do a bit more biking, go to a few more openings, and see a bit more of friends.

But back to Outrageous Fortune - I really enjoyed it. Gold star for all involved.

04 October 2005

[Maybe Spam] You can decide right now to develop the same libido.

A silent mouth is sweet to hear.
The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.
A little wonton money, which burned out the bottom of his purse.
Youth is something very new: twenty years ago no one mentioned it.
In difficult and desperate cases, the boldest counsels are the safest.
I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
After the greatest clouds, the sun.

Honestly. I'm supposed to buy viagra after reading that?
Not even ow!
(Yay for bro town series 2!)

03 October 2005

[Maybe Spam] Evil-wishers are always around to spread rumors.

M I C ... K E Y ...

Today is the second mornign in the last week I have woken up with the Mickey Mouse Club theme song in my head.

It's scaring me. Please make it stop.