The High Line is an old freight rail line repurposed into a public park set above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. I think it sets a wonderful standard for reconfiguring urban spaces in creative, constructive ways. Instead of tearing down old structures, why not give them a new lease of life while retaining their historic value? It’s great that the marks of a railroad e.g. converging tracks, bars on the tracks and side railings are preserved to some degree, as a reminder of its heritage and for interesting aesthetic effects. The gritty, industrial feel of the original structure and its surroundings (the historic Meatpacking district) is harmonized with natural elements like plants, water and grass patches for a truly unique urban experience.
There’s been much buzz surrounding the film Black Swan lately, but I’m not sure if these posters have garnered much attention. The graphic design is brilliant. They have the feel of vintage movie posters, which is fitting given that Black Swan references the ballet tradition and the age-old myth of an artist suffering for his or her craft.
Talking about old movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and 8 1/2 by Fellini are my favourites. I confess to a weakness for films starring Audrey Hepburn. She’s just so luminous. I also loved Anouk Aimee in 8 1/2. She commands such presence as Guido’s long-suffering wife Luisa.
I admit- I sometimes ‘eavesdrop’ on other people’s conversations on the bus. Not intentionally, of course. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that I’m having my hearing invaded against my will.
One observation- what is it with youths and the F-word nowadays? They frequently drop it in their conversations as if it’s the epitome of cool. A bunch of youths sitting right behind me on the bus one day started on a long rant ‘F***ing’ everything, culminating in God and religion. Boy that got me mad. Thank goodness I alighted soon after. Maybe I shouldn’t be calling them youths because I’m about their age myself. But I just don’t associate myself with such people.
However, one day I caught an interesting snippet of the exchange between two guys, about graffiti as an art form. I’d dismissed them as typical bad boy types with rough speech, but the insight I gained surprised me. One of them said, “What astounds me about graffiti is how a simple four-letter word is transformed into a work of art. It’s given an abstract quality yet remains legible at the same time.”
It struck me that he was talking about graffiti in very much the same manner as I do for works of art, design and literature that I admire. That certainly taught me not to judge by appearances. Uncouth, seemingly uncultivated people can actually harbour artistic sensibility and appreciation. I derived from their conversation that the pair are graffiti artists. How fascinating. Given his passionate tone, I’d love to see someday what sort of work he produces.
It was a week-long extravaganza held at Suntec City Convention Centre, featuring fantasy gardens, floral arrangements, orchid displays and a marketplace selling gardening supplies and produce. Landscape design is not something I frequently encounter in land-deficient Singapore. Awed by the creativity shown, I took tons of photos.
I loved the neat little rooms created by Japanese designers for showcasing innovative plant displays. They were a great example of how to incorporate greenery in modern homes, including high-rise apartment units. The numerous inventive details really captured my attention.
Mini plants (bonsai) are a cute, space-conscious, more manageable alternative to large potted ones.
Plants in drawers! How ingenious and adorable!
The dual-function bamboo shelves/ planters are a striking touch.
A more traditional Japanese room with tatami mat and minimal furniture. The plant wall/ window shade complements the clean aesthetic while adding some interest. It’s a rather clever way of keeping out some sun too.
Of course, why stick to window shades when one can have plant-filled veranda doors? It allows for greater user control and lets in more of the view.