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My own Private Grand Budapest Hotel

7 Mar
2-(13 unread) - vardisellistm - Yahoo Mail - Google Chrome 372014 72605 AM

My own Budapest..The Painted Lady

It seems all the buzz this morning is about the Grand Budapest Hotel. Well let me tell you about my own hotel. I am obsessed with miniatures, can’t explain why I just am, models fascinate me. Ever since I was a child I have been building models you name it I’ve built it. I had every building set available as a child, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Erector Sets, Girder and Panels, AMT 3 in 1 car models, Lionel trains everything! I am fortunate that my parents recognized my passion early on, despite their worry about my somewhat anti social attitude. I simply preferred to be alone living in a fantasy world of architecture and auto engineering, in retrospect, playing out “The Fountain Head” scenarios where I was in control.

I’m no different now, in fact I’m more like the I was as a child than ever, due to age as Picasso so wisely understood, It takes a long time to become young. Back about 30 years ago I ran across a miniature kit that captured my imagination in a big way. A house kit, little did I understand where it would lead me. The “Painted Lady” has grown continuously ever since. The perfect winter project every February and March she gets an update. This year was ideal for nesting, its been a long hard winter so the Lady is getting an overhaul. Bare in mind she’s old and [just like me] in need of maintenance. The electric system was failing and she was really dusty. Over the last week I tore into a revamp, re-wiring, replacing bulbs, restoring pieces that have fallen off and making a few decor changes.

There is nothing that I savor more than rising very early and throwing myself wholly into a creative pursuit. As we grow older it becomes harder to find time to do anything creative due to this crazy world we live in where distraction has become a constant companion. I will say that advanced age has its advantages, I no longer allow myself to be pulled down by the daily stream of problems, I now make room for that “oneness” that can be found in doing exactly what you do best, they are precious moments and time has a way of growing short. The Painted Lady and I are the best of friends she is the embodiment of all things I am now and those things I have always been.

A bit of everything I am

A bit of everything I am

The Grand Budapest Hotel speaks volumes to me, especially the model making aspects of the film. Messy Nessy, Wes Anderson and I are kindred spirits. Take a look at the latest post from my favorite blogger Messy Nessy,

http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/03/06/the-real-life-hotels-and-miniatures-from-wes-andersons-grand-budapest-dream/

I am so down with this its hard to express.

I am so down with this its hard to express.

Now take a look at my own Budapest Hotel “The Painted Lady”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vori52/9655683434/in/set-72157635342081073

Wendy Houses

7 Dec
Messy Nessy just posted a wonderful collection of children's play houses.
Including this one, that's the future Queen Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret sitting in front.
 
 

Mr.Repurposed, Alex Calderwood Dies at 47

17 Nov
 
Alex Calderwood founder of the Ace Hotels has died of undisclosed causes. He was an early proponent of the repurposed look that has become widely accepted in restaurants, retail stores, and home decor. His Ace hotels boasted in room turntables, Industrial fixtures and other “cheap chic” before the more widely accepted and cross generational term “repurposed” came along. Calderwood was right on time with his concept, the recession changed everything. calderwood was offering an alternative to the drop dead chic of hotels like the “W” chain. Appealing to a broader clientele, those with money who want to appear edgy and those who are really “edgy” but without the funds. A brilliant move.
 
Follow the money, the post recession retail scene has divided retail into two camps. The “haves” and the “have nots” On the right we have the designer brand driven retail stores popping up everywhere the likes of Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Coach, Henri Bendel, Restoration Hardware and Anthropologie are in every A class suburban mall. Some like Anthropolgie are disguising products made in China as “vintage” throw backs to exploit the trend in order serve a clientele that would never step foot in a second hand shop and need the security of spending too much for brand recognition. Ace Hotels transcended the cost of being “hip” he referred to them as Art projects.
 
On the left we have hundreds of dollar stores and the owner operated consignment and “vintage” shops. Twenty years ago vintage was called “thrift” and only the more Bohemian boomers (like myself) scoured them for cheap mid century. Repurposed has become the new chic, one can claim that recycling is due to a social conciousness, but behind it all is the diminished buying power of the middle class customer.[the thirty somethings with children] We are also are in the midst of a generation shift, todays millennials working for a minimum wage have no choice, but to shop H&M, Old Navy, Target or the last resort, Walmart.
 
The road to success can be a dangerous ride, for some the trip is short.
 
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Norman Bel Geddes

6 Nov
All the talk yesterday of Raymond Loewy,reminded me that during the same timeline Norman Bel Geddes was as large, if not larger than Loewy.
A street intersection in the City of the Future; detail of the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair
Spectators flew above a model of  “Democracity” the world of 1960
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Bel Geddes began his career with set designs for Aline Barnsdall’s Los Angeles Little Theater in the 1916-17 season, then in 1918 as the scene designer for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He designed and directed various theatrical works,[3] from Arabesque and The Five O’Clock Girl on Broadway to an ice show, It Happened on Ice, produced by Sonja He also created set designs for the film Feet of Clay (1924), directed by Cecil B. DeMille, designed costumes for Max Reinhard and created the sets for the Broadway production of Sidney Kingsley’s Dead End (1935).
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Set and Costume Design, a talented guy.
norman bel geddes costume - Google Search - Google Chrome 1162013 63338 AM
I might add that he also had among his clients department stores, He did window display as well.
A design for an seaplane that was a flying ocean liner, complete with a games deck.

The ocean liner he envisioned has in many ways become a reality.

Bel Geddes opened an industrial-design studio in 1927, and designed a wide range of commercial products, from cocktail shakers to commemorative medallions to radio cabinets. His designs extended to unrealized futuristic concepts: a teardrop-shaped automobile, and an Art Deco House of Tomorrow. In 1929, he designed “Airliner Number 4,” a 9-deck amphibian airliner that incorporated areas for deck-games, an orchestra, a gymnasium, a solarium, and two airplane hangars.

His book, Horizons (1932) had a significant impact: “By popularizing streamlining when only a few engineers were considering its functional use, he made possible the design style of the thirties.” He wrote forward-looking articles for popular American periodicals.

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norman bel geddes 1939 worlds fair - Google Search - Google Chrome 1162013 54131 AM

Bel Geddes designed the General Motors Pavilion, known as Futurama, for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. For that famous and enormously influential installation, Bel Geddes exploited his earlier work in the same vein: he had designed a “Metropolis City of 1960” in 1936.

Bel Geddes’s book Magic Motorways (1940) promoted advances in highway design and transportation, foreshadowing the Interstate Highway System (“there should be no more reason for a motorist who is passing through a city to slow down than there is for an airplane which is passing over it”). His autobiography, Miracle in the Evening, was published posthumously in 1960.

norman bel geddes - Google Search - Google Chrome 1162013 53725 AM

Model of teardrop-shaped automobile designed by Bel Geddes

The case for the Mark I computer was designed by Norman Bel Geddes. IBM’s Thomas Watson presented it to Harvard. At the time, some saw it as a waste of resources, since computing power was in high demand during this part of World War II and those funds could have been used to build additional equipment. The United States Postal Service celebrated the First-Day-Of-Issue for a commemorative U.S. postage stamp honoring Bel Geddes as a “Pioneer Of American Industrial Design” on June 29, 2011 at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC.

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He Saw the Future
 norman bel geddes 1939 world's fair - Google Search - Google Chrome 1162013 54427 AM

Remembering the 80’s…Mall Life

4 Nov

The 80’s seems like a far off land in the following photos. The the suburban mall for many was the “Main Street” that developers built to destroy small town commercial strips that were abandoned for the “glamour” of air conditioned pleasure domes of commerce. Big hair, big shoulders and big credit limits made them a mecca for teenage liaisons and retiree “walk and eat” diversion. Look closely I have strange feeling that the next BIG thing might be the 80’s we’ve exhausted every other decade.

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124205 PM

Planters, benches fountains and Ficus trees were the standard decor.

Rental agents had not yet realized that carts could produce more income.

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123541 PM

Big hair, tie dye and skin tight stone wash denim.

Note the diagonally laid planks, a 70’s design feature.

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 114612 AM

Gold chains, Branded Tees and a mall strut attitude.

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124051 PM

Hi tops were the thing, notice they are all white.

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123721 PM

The oversized bomber jacket with Hi tops she inspects the Leopard prints

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123832 PM

Tube grew in size but still operated on broadcast.

No internet connectivity

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123649 PM

Your typical Mall crawlers

No clue

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123940 PM

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on VCR cassette

No Netflicks

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123906 PM

Lots of fake snow.Lots of white lights

No originality

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124025 PM

And NO CELLPHONES, what a novelty!

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124133 PM

Artificial plants, Sears and a motorized Shopping cart, How modern, What will they think of next?

Cellphones

Sears, Honor Built Homes

31 Oct

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I’m posting this to make amends for my previous piece that tore to shreds Sears merchandising practices. Many of you may not know that many of our older suburbs contain hundreds of Sears “Honor Bilt” prefabricated homes. Sears Roebuck was the first company to turn homes into pre-cut kits. They offered every type of home imaginable, from cute “craftsman” bungalows to elaborate southern mansions

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One could order from a catalog, a house that fit your regions vernacular. English Tudor for the Eastern seaboard, craftsman for the Midwest or Spanish revival for the south western states,
even Prairie style adapted from Frank Lloyd was available Anything was possible due to Sears ability to merchandise on a level that was unheard of in the early 20th century. Each kit came with instructions for the assembly of the numbered pre-cut components. One could customize by choosing hardware,lighting fixtures,exterior cladding and roofing. Sears also offered easy payment plans so that the average middle class owner could obtain the house of their dreams. Need I make any comments about our current middle class?

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Next time your cruising around the neighborhood, look around these homes are still with us. A testament to the organizational, design and merchandising ability of the Sears Roebuck Company

Facade Slips Down

8 Oct
Great concept

Great concept

I really have to hand it to this town, really a brilliant concept. Not an easy project to articulate, but they did, and did it beautifully. The top story left in its original state was a sacrifice worth making to realize his concept. I do wonder how they maintained its stability, while installing the new facade  . A temporary Art installation, funded by local arts council, it’s a wonderful example of a community pulling together to resurrect the towns slipping popularity.

Take a look at the article…http://www.dezeen.com/2013/10/01/from-the-knees-of-my-nose-to-the-belly-of-my-toes-by-alex-chinneck/

Steampunk to the Max

7 Oct

This has to be the best Steampunk I’ve ever seenAwesome Steampunk Interior Design At Truth Cafe In South Africa  Bored Panda - Google Chrome 1072013 73514 AM Awesome Steampunk Interior Design At Truth Cafe In South Africa  Bored Panda - Google Chrome 1072013 73647 AM Awesome Steampunk Interior Design At Truth Cafe In South Africa  Bored Panda - Google Chrome 1072013 73709 AM Awesome Steampunk Interior Design At Truth Cafe In South Africa  Bored Panda - Google Chrome 1072013 73732 AMAll I can say is WOW.

Take a closer look……                          http://haldanemartin.co.za/truth-coffee/                                                                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sagrada Familia to be Finished by 2026

3 Oct
Without a doubt the most extraordinary structure ever built.

Without a doubt the most extraordinary structure ever built.

 

Spain has been building The Sagrada Família for 131 years.

The church was meant to be Barcelona’s crowning monument from famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, but  construction on the Neo-Gothic building has taken longer than anyone expected.

And although it’s still being built, The Sagrada Família is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and major tourist destination. Pope Benedict XVI even consecrated it and proclaimed it a minor basilica.

The church is schedule for completion in 2026, a whole century after Gaudi’s death. For an idea of what it will look like then, the church has posted a time-lapse video showing what the Sagrada Família will look like 13 years from now (which we first saw at Fast Co.Design).

Take a look below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcDmloG3tXU

Urban Outfitters brings Lifestyle Concept to the Burbs

3 Oct

This is huge! URBN Inc. (Urban Outfitters) will unveil a “lifestyle experience” development in the Main Line town of Devon. According to Main Line Media News, the development will comprise a boutique hotel, two restaurants, a specialty foods market, a health/spa facility and/or a boutique fitness studio, a Terrain garden center, and an Anthropologie store. “When you see a lifestyle center you often see a Chico’s, a J. Crew, a Cheesecake Factory. That’s not what we’re about,” explained Dave Ziel, the chief development officer for Urban Outfitters, at a township meeting Tuesday night.

A garden center concept, Terrain (which has existing locations in Glen Mills, PA, and Westport, CT) will be especially fitting for the site, as the development —whose working title is Devon Yard—will be built upon the 6.5-acre site that formerly hosted Waterloo Gardens, an indoor/outdoor home decor and garden nursery store.

2013-10-waterloo-rendering.jpgImage credit: Main Line Media News/Devon Yard

Keeping with URBN Inc.’s Pinterest-worthy aesthetic, construction for Devon Yard will make use of reclaimed materials and found objects. What’s more, Terrain’s Devon store will house an in-store cafe, so you won’t have to drive to Glen Mills to Instagram your breakfast. The project is still in its infancy, but construction is slated to finish by April 2016.
· Urban Outfitters unveils ‘lifestyle experience’ development at site of former Waterloo Gardens [MLMN]

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