Wouldn’t you love to live in a time where all advertisements were still in black and white? Outdated? Only in print? And sexist? No? Me neither, but would it be nice to see what these advertisements looked like back in de mid 1800 until the early 1900? Yes, of course it would! Luckily some people just love old advertisements, collect them in abundance and share their collection online! Guys like Jay Paull give us a great insight in a certain era of advertisement (and thus life). He just saved you a trip to your local library archive. So check it out here:
70’s and 80’s New York City was nothing like the Big Apple as we know it today. Much grittier, more dangerous and a real urban jungle. Some are happy the city changed, some miss the good-old-days when the city was not yet turned into a big theme park and housing was still affordable. Some are just happy it’s save now.
My grandparents went to NY in the 70’s, 1976 to be exact. I know the exact date because they took a picture of a street with an adult cinema in it where they were playing movies including an ‘adult comedy’ (Ha!) named: Dear Pam (4.2 on IMDB, 14 people rated it) which they only played in 1976. (see picture above)
My grandfather used to write everything down (except the date on this trip, obviously) and he did not really like New York that much. ‘Too dirty and too many hobo’s’, he wrote. And to think that everything got worse with the 80’s recession (and crack). Anyway I would like to offer an original picture from my late grandfathers collection before you can check out the great work by Steven Siegel and other artists who captured NY (and the subways) in the 80’s. This is how I imagine how this (quite sad) picture went. ‘Look, a dirty hobo!, quick take a picture and make his misery last forever *click*’
See the pictures by Steven Siegel and more here:
Got a spare 30 minutes? Yes? Great, because this is one of the best short documentaries about a city I have ever seen. Imagine an apocalypse, the end of days and then some. Murder City, empty houses, lost glory, Motown, Eminem all of those have something to do with – or are – Detroit. Once the poster city of the American Dream, now has to be reinvented. And who can do that better than a bunch of young people? Right, no one! Take a look at this great insight on Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.). In the midst of all that is wrong and broke great opportunities appear for those who have the right mindset to make things happen. And just WOW to old and abandoned buildings! Amazing stuff. And we didn’t even have to wait for an apocalypse to happen to see this. Thanks to the guys from Palladium Boots who made this!
I love the small things. But then again, who doesn’t? Come to think of it it’s an empty phrase, isn’t it? It’s similar to saying: I enjoy happiness. Or I enjoy good food, hanging out with friends, stuff like that. Because who doesn’t? You could say life is an enormous chain of occurring and reoccurring moments, but all new and once in a lifetime. Some moments prettier, sadder, sweeter or nicer than others. And some more important than others. It’s weird to think about what you remember and what you seem to forget instantly. First memory as a child? A weird one? … Mine is about walking hand in hand with what I thought was my father from judging his legs (I was still small then), but then all of a sudden my world collapsed when the guy I was holding hands with said: ‘I have to go the other way here’. I panicked and my father – who was right next to me – was my safety zone so I grabbed his leg and never wanted to let go again. More than twenty years later I still remember that vividly, while the other man probably found it a funny moment. So, no clear rules on what you must do with a moment. Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I love to remember those small things that mean something to me, but probably seem totally unimportant to you. So when I am going home from a day at the office I might be thinking about mundane tasks, workload and deadlines, but when a girl passes me by with a flower in her hair and she smiles at me, I’m glad my mind is made up in such a way that that image cancels out all the work related stuff. Why is she wearing a flower in her hair? Why is she smiling? Is it a special day to her? Does she really love flowers? Did she miss her connection to San Francisco? Questions like that. I like to – none violently – occupy my mind with such questions that come from the small things people do. The guys from Everynone made a great video about (such) moments. Check it out and see what sticks with you.
It’s somewhat of a hipster statement, but I do enjoy watching old movies. They didn’t come up with the sentence ‘those oldies but goodies’ for nothing. Yes, they are slow, yes they are often in black and white and yes they seem a bit outdated. Well, actually some of them are really outdated, moralistic or racist even, but so are many movies these days. It’s all about choosing the right movies to watch. And with decades to choose from it’s like a treasure that you have finally found (on X). Watching them is a bit like going back in time and seeing what people were mad and passionate about then. That without the sex, product placement and CGI (computer-generated imagery). But hey, that’s why god invented porn, James Bond and Avatar, right? So you might think where to start. Good, that’s where I come in. I would love to present you five great oldies to start with (in random order) from different genres.
I really, really love the band Bright Eyes with singer/songwriter Conor Oberst. They make the most beautiful and thought provoking songs. And because this blog is all about sharing the good stuff, I believe you should really listen to (and watch) this. I remember the first time I heard First Day Of My Life… (nice romantic cliché, isn’t it) It was during an interview with writer Jonathan Safran Foer, he told about this song as a song that really captures the beauty of love. And he knows what he is talking about. Anyway, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a simple song and the video is too, but those can be the strongest. The lyrics are just breathtaking too. The song is from the album: I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning (2005, my Bright Eyes favorite). Get it before the world ends! Maya’s would approve.
This is the first day of my life
I Swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain
Suddenly everything changed
They’re spreadin’ blankets on the beach
Some ideas are just great. Or awesome even! The site 1000 Awesome Things is a direct result of one of those ideas. It’s a simple idea, a blog that celebrates the little joys in life – in a countdown from #1000. So it all comes down to the content of the things that are great. And the content is very refreshing and you can say that Neil Pasricha – who created the blog – is a master in enjoying the small things in life. And more importantly describing them. 1000 Awesome Things kicked off in June 2008 and is updated every weekday, which means the countdown is now at #67, the awesome thing of today is: ‘When cats do stupid things.’ A classic, if I might add. Something YouTube thrives on. Who doesn’t love cute kittens? Well, maybe butler Edgar from the Aristocats, but that’s about it. So when you need a cheer me up, for whatever reason, it’s a joy to go through all the awesome things. Enjoy!
Just had to share this Great work ant1mat3rie!
There are lots of ‘life changing’ video’s on YouTube. The site is one of the great inventions for the digital community. Right know it’s just mind-blowing to think of the amount of (digital) film that is available on it, but that’s a whole different story. This post is about video’s that give you a new perspective and make you think about things you always took for granted. For example: ‘sneezing panda‘ changed my outlook on panda’s completely. I just thought of them as cute-looking bears who will steal your bamboo when you’re not looking, but now I know they are almost as cute as hello kitty and are able to sneeze (quite loud, I must add). But on a more serious note – this post is not supposed to be about short and funny YouTube video’s, the opposite actually – I recommend you to watch a rather long and serious documentary about the origin of poverty. It’s a real eye-opener and definitely worth the 105 minutes of your day (or life). It comes highly recommended by quite a few well known people like Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) and Stephen Fry and is narrated by Martin Sheen. You can watch it instead of the new Ashton Kutcher ‘romantic’ ‘comedy’ I know you were just about to rent (busted!). It’s the right thing to do and you don’t even have to occupy something!
‘The irony would be that we know what we are doing’. – Kurt Vonnegut