Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
View Profile
« June 2005 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Architecture / Chicago
Architecture / Travel
Food / Chicago
Japan (misc)
New York / Commack
Science Fiction
Site Features
Video Games
You are not logged in. Log in
Thursday, 9 June 2005

Topic: Architecture / Travel
The other day I got around to reading a long article on the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer that appeared in the May 15 New York Times Magazine (my mom takes care of her novakids, and sends me the good ones). Niemeyer, who is still working at 97, was the head architect for Brasilia, the capital planned by fellow Brazilian Lucio Costa, and the only realized Modernist utopian city.

Politically, Modernist architecture was a complicated mess. The ambition to execute new ideas through new forms and technologies led admirable architects seeking opportunities down some questionable roads. Philip Johnson helped organize an American Fascist Party and attended Hitler's rallies in Nuremberg. Le Corbusier joined the Vichy government and was a proponent of something like Technocracy throughout his career. Mies left Germany for Chicago at the onset of war, but made every effort to avoid politics on either side.

Niemeyer, on the other hand, was an avowed Communist during the most politically dangerous times. During the 60s the US government backed a coup that overthrew Brazil's government. Niemeyer's office and studio were destroyed, he faced arrest and interrogation, and spent more than a decade in exile. Brasilia failed, ultimately, as political change, overpopulation, and suburban ghettoization took hold, but it survives. The architect says,

You may not like Brasilia, but you can't say you have seen anything like it--you maybe saw something better, but not the same. I prefer Rio, even with the robberies. What can you do? It's the capitalist world. But people who live in Brasilia, to my suprise, don't want to leave it. Brasilia works. There are problems, but it works. And from my perspective, the ultimate task of the architect is to dream. Otherwise nothing happens.

Niemeyer's Modernism also attempts a sympathetic relationship to with the environment: "We absolutely need to look at the sky and feel how insignificant we are--the offspring of nature."

In other news, a remix of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" is getting play on Power 92.3, the Chicago hip-hop station ("#1 in the Streets"). I don't know what to think about that. But what thenovakids dig about 92.3 is that it promotes a more positive hip-hop culture than 107.5 and expecially Hot97 in NYC, where people are always getting in fights outside, shooting at eachother, or mocking Tsunami victims on air. But 92.3's djs promote discussions on serious issues affecting the community, like AIDS (black women account for 72% of new HIV/AIDS cases among women), poverty, inequality, single motherhood, etc. So, whether you're making buildings, creating cities, or playing music, remember you can do it conscientiously.

? 2005 TAKOTRON Department of Education, Propaganda Division

Posted by thenovakids at 8:12 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:30 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, 4 June 2005
Topic: Architecture / Chicago
Since our last entry, Architecture Day in Chicago has come and gone. It was a'ight. You know TAKOTRON was V.I.P., cuz we're the CORPORATE SPONSOR of bold expression everywhere. So first up was the groundbreaking ceremony for the Art Institute's new North wing, which should be pretty cool, if they get the funding they need--twice what they have to reach their goal, and everyone knows these things can end up costing a lot more than the original estimate. Renzo Piano designed it, and the plan is to have a bridge leading from Millenium Park to a new entrance with a sculpture terrace on the second or third floor of the new wing. Piano explained that the bridge will be "straight, like a knife," forming a dialogue with Frank Gehry's serpentine titanium-paneled bridge over Columbus drive on the park's east side. The new-ish President and Director of the Art Institute, James Cuno, started off the morning with an optimistic speech on Chicago and the Museum's relationship with one another, and their collective place in the world, or something close to that. From what I've seen, he's intelligent and well spoken and a nice guy. He was followed by an appropriate recitation of an excerpt from Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago (1909) and then inevitible speeches by the museum's Board of Trustees and the CEO of JPMORGANCHASEBANKONE, the real corporate sponsor. Yay, mergers. I thought banks were supposed to exhibit an image of stability and permanence. Why do they always merge and buy eachother out, then, and end up with dumb names like JPMORGANCHASE and AMALGAMATED and FIFTHTHIRD? Throughout the whole thing, which involved no actual ground-breaking, the Redmoon Theater had these Spring Nymph people with painted white faces wandering around on stilts with watering cans, sprinkling petals around with branches stuck on their heads. What's up with theater?

Mayor Daley was up next at the podium. His gestural presence was more important than his speech, thankfully, because he had a few slips, like "Renzio Piana," and "Rim Kole-us," which sent an audible shutter through the crowd, especially those in the architecture field (like Frank Gehry and Renzo himself). Then Piano took over and talked about his plan a little bit. He was humble, grateful, and focused, and even made a few funny little jokes, but maybe they seemed funnier or cute (in an old guy way) because if his accent.

Then in the evening, with a flash of the VIP badge, we got up close on the Pritzker presentation in the Pritzker Pavilion (left), designed by 1989 Pritzker Laureate Gehry, in Millenium Park. There were all these starchitects around, so i tried to be the architectural papparazzi, but sort of failed with my crappy old digital camera that kept focusing on peoples thinning hair in front of me. Anyway, I'm posting these images as thumbs, so you can click on them and get a closer look at the stars. How come architects and artists are never targeted for celebrity gossip? No Joan Rivers interviews, or E.T. exposes. This despite the efforts of Dali and later Warhol. It's not like Colin Farrell or Oprah are showing up in limousines filled with cauliflower.

Back to the presentation, it was ok, Daley was there and spoke again. Thom Mayne was a little emotional, and certainly grateful, and gave props to his whole Morphosis team, the wifey, the kids. It was generally pretty formal, of course. I spotted the suave Helmut Jahn arriving on the scene. Up on stage were the big guns, former winners and then the 2005 jury. Now I'm gonna explain who's in on the action in these photos here.

right:(l to r) Victoria Newhouse, architectural historian and author, founder and director of the Architectural History Foundation; Tom Pritzker; The Honorable Archduke Daley; Thom Mayne, at podium; woman in white, oops, forgot her naem; Frank Gehry; Ada Louise Huxtable, author and architecture critic of the Wall Street Journal; another person I forgot, but I think it's the architect Carlos Jimenez

left:(l to r) Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, architect, sharp dresser, planner and professor of Architecture from Ahmeddabad, India; Rolf Fehlbaum, charman of the board of Vitra, Basil, Switzerland; Zaha Hadid, last year's Pritzker Laureate; Renzo Piano, 1998 Laureate; Thom Mayne; Victoria Newhouse; Mayor Daley, looking aloof

Not shown is Lord Palumbo of the UK (that's really his title), who gave a well-spoken, motivational and optimisitic speech at the beginning on the importance of architecture and it's most prestigious award.

Friday, 27 May 2005
Architecture Day in Chicago
Topic: Architecture / Chicago

8:30 AM
The Art Institute of Chicago
North Garden at Monroe and Michigan
111 S. Michigan
Groundbreaking Celebration for the Art Institute's New Building, Designed by Renzo Piano
Zero Gravity Exhibition

6:30 PM
Millenium Park
2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Awards Cermony, to be Presented to Thom Mayne of Morphosis
more info
Morphosis Home

Posted by thenovakids at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:32 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, 24 May 2005
Cruisin' Down
Topic: New York / Commack
A recent paternal visitation to Takotron HQ was characterized by a number of unsolicited comments by strangers on the physical resemblance between father and son. It also marked a continuation of good intergenerational, enlightening conversations. A recurring topic was suburbanism (my origin, immediate family's locale) and urbanism.

Much can and has been said about the development of America's suburbs. A common theme is their underlying sinisterness. I'm not being sarcastic or ironic, and I'm not building off my past as a teenager, sick of the provincial conformity of my environment. Like I've said before, living away from LI has allowed me to even take up a peculiar pride in my suburban background. That said, everyone is familiar with some sort of hidden anger, violence, exclusivity beneath the thin, fragile crust of manicured lawns, good HS board scores, and houses. Whatever suspicions we all have are only confirmed as we look further into the situation.

Fundamentally, the suburbs are a product of decentralization, during which the concentrated populations of our cities dispersed themselves outward, away from the dangers and inconveniences (as well as diversity, culture, and tight communities) of urban life in favor of privacy, space, and personal control. But by the age of American suburban sprawl, urban 'dangers' were on a new, unfamiliar, and unfathomable scale. Not pickpockets and gang-violence, but total annihilation:

...the postwar planners argued that the only effective defense against an atomic attack was to rechannel urban development into a series of "linear" or "ribbon" cities that would, as one planner put it, "produce a dispersed pattern of small efficient cities more attuned to the needs of modern living, modern commerce, and modern industry and far less inviting as potential targets." ...U.S. News and World Report touted "fringe cities" as a counter to the bomb, noting that in New York City, where a million families would be added in the next several decades, "plans are already being made to guide the growth of these centers, so that they will conform with the needs of atomic defense." ...Horatio Bond, of the National Fire Protection Association, went so far as to suggest that "it will be proper for our military establishments to veto further concentrations of urban centers. No more skyscrapers. No more concentrated housing projects. If slums are cleared, leave them clear. Build new buildings in such a way as to keep down the concentration of people." -Tom Vanderbilt, Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America

However, by the time my teenage life in the suburbs peaked, these concerns were irrelevant. The rise and fall of nuclear culture in relation to suburban development and its implications are explored by writer Tom Vanderbilt (and contributor) in his book above.

It was my grandparents' generation who brought their families to the suburbs in an attempt to protect them from whatever global destruction would have begun with those first, anticipated, strategic nuclear assaults on our cities. I was 8 when the Berlin wall came down, marking an official end to the fading Cold War. But my suburban town could only continue building ontop of itself, regenerating its broken down strip malls into new ones adorned with fake stucco and more parking spots to be filled with SUVs, themselves an exaggerated extension of the Cold War paranoid desire for more privacy, more protection, and less outside contact. Not suprisingly, no one saw the historical transition as an opportunity to discard the layout of selfish individualism and paranoia--its results remained and its origins were long forgotten.

And yet, as overgrown, decentralized, private fortresses, the bitter irony is that in the suburbs lots of fucked-up dangerous, violent things still go on, just as they do in cities (and small towns, too). The difference is that cities are expected to contain these, but the people of the suburbs are repeatedly shocked each time it happens, lapsing into amnesiatic denial between incidents--"I never thought it would happen here, in our neighborhood, i moved here (to white America) because I thought I would be safe". As it turns out, a decentralized place like my hometown has its strip malls (and behind them our neighborhoods) built around the region's deadliest road, Jericho Turnpike, according to Newsday. Phil and I proposed a nickname to underplay the dramatic Biblical imagery of destruction ("Ol' Jerry"), but it never caught on. It's layout is designed to accomodate and necessitate the vehicle, (not the teenage pedestrian walking to Taco Bell), which it also endangers.

More danger can be found on the Commack Fire Department's interesting website, which has pages of photographs chronicling gory vehicular accidents, strip malls on fire, and suburban homes burning, their vinyl siding transformed into dripping, molten plasm. And then, last month a guy I knew in junior high and HS, not a good friend, but someone I saw at concerts in the city and talked to every now and then, was beaten to death in a fight outside a strip club, located at the convergence of two commercial highways in my town--all it is is these convergences of commercial highways.

It's easy to bash on the suburbs, and I bet I've been doing it since prepuberty. But the truth is Commack LI NY and other (supposedly) innocuous, typical whitebread suburbs are not such bad places to grow up. By definition they offer proximity to cities. Access is of course a problem, since getting there means you need money and a ride to the nearest station. But it's there. What makes a big difference is who raises you, who you know, and how hard you look for what you want. I was lucky to have a family that emphasized culture and exploration and made regular trips to NYC. At the same time, I grew up with kids that had never been to the city--cultural capital of the world and an hour away. It's also true that suburbs have their own regional particularities. Though there are plenty of similarities, my friends's towns in the Chicago suburbs are totally different from mine in terms of ethnicity and culture (I'm used to much larger representations of Italian and Jewish Americans. Both places are, horifically, plagued with racial segregation).

TAKOTRON loves the city life.

Posted by thenovakids at 9:01 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:38 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, 17 May 2005
PARIS2999 femme bot nation
Topic: Architecture / Travel
THENOVAKIDS RETURN Our experimental research abroad in cheese, romance, and Le Corbusier has come to a close (at least for one of us), and we are happy to report success on all fronts. I love Chevre (goat) cheese, though Takotron Kommander Keichan is not as big a fan. But the best cheese EVA in the universe is "Motin Charentais Fromage au Lait de Vache." You can get these amazing cheeses for just ~2?, which is just a little more than 2 weak little US $s. Then you put it on your amazing 80? baguette, whose price is regulated by the government, and you are eating affordably, amazingly, and authentically in Paris. You can also survive off of crepes, paninis, incredible falafel (introduced by semi-professional, semi-famous Parisian/World explorer Jeff Mok, who we met up with a couple times), croque monsieurs, strong cafe, etc. But even though thenovakids and Takotron know how to live the high life on a tight budget, we also like some fine wining and dining once in a while, which France of course can also provide, in the form of STEAK FRITES!!, saumon, gelato, escargot, etc.

As for the romance, Paris is just that kind of city. Everything is on a human scale, but still bustling. It feels both contemporary and ancient, the Metro is incredibly efficient, but it also seems like you can walk anywhere. And with the right person, it really feels pretty good. Le Corbusier pics are being processed, so more on us and him later. KEIPOPNATION has a photo album page with tons of paris pics, including corbu(bu) ones, so you should check it out: KEIBOOGER'S PHOTO HOME PAGE

Paris has it's PARIS2012 campaign going in full effect. They have my vote. NYC, I love you, but you better STEP YO GAME UP! There's no way NY will get it, since they are proving to be too disorganized, fragmented, and bombastically overambitious to carry out two current grandes projets: the new WTC and a west side football stadium. Allow us to explain the phrase above borrowed from the French, which not one of those uneccesary foreign word insertions to make us look intellectual, like ouevre and wunderkammen. Although, those two words have specific, untranslatable meanings. Hmm. STEP YO FOREIGN LANGUAGE GAME UP, readers. Anyway, grandes projets is a term used for a number of major architectural undertakings commissioned by the national and Parisian governments, initially under former socialist president Francois Mitterand. Among them are I.M. Pei's Pyramids for the Louvre, The Centre Georges Pompidou (Piano + Rogers), La Grande Arche de la Defense (von Spreckelsen), and the Bibliotheque Nationale Francois Mitterand (Perrault).



Posted by thenovakids at 10:02 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:26 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, 3 May 2005
Topic: Architecture / Chicago
So Trump, self-important asshole, fake-millionaire extraordinaire, is having built a bigass tower by the river here in Chicago. They're already clearing the site and maybe started digging for the foundation (left). It's gonna be yooge or whatever, a grand display of everyday nothingness. Included are "472 super-luxury condominiums from studios to three bedrooms and up to seven bedroom penthouses," and "90,450 square feet with exclusive boutique shopping and fine dining along the River." I am quoting from the official "brochure". You can see textually his affinity for superficial, cumbersome displays essentially void of meaning--"super-luxury," "exclusive," etc. The brochure is a goldmine of these claims.

So architecturally, it's going to be really huge. Adrian Smith of the firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill (Hancock Tower, Sears Tower) is the principal for the project, and it looks like the outcome is to be a fourth apex on our skyline (the third being Edward Durell Stone's Aon Center, originally called the Standard Oil Building). The site is right on the river in front of Herr Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe's IBM Building. According to my copy of the AIA Guide to Chicago (2nd ed.), "Mies last American building, and his largest, follows his familiar model. It is sited so as to avoid obstructing Marina City and to capture the lake views made possible by a jog in the river" (52). Isn't that nice, how it purposefully avoids blocking Bertrand Goldberg's famous "corncob" towers? I hope you don't expect Donald to maintain that sort of reverence. No, looking at that picture I took from his little website ("), it looks like he's going to break the chain of love, at least for about 2/3 of the IBM building. You suck, Trump.

Posted by thenovakids at 12:13 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:29 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, 28 April 2005
Topic: Video Games
Ongoing through Sept. 5, 2005 (I think) at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is the travelling exhibit, Game On, a historical retrospective of video games.

It's a huge project with examples ranging from Space War and Pong, to X-Box or whatever the kids have today. The first room is basically a free video arcade of the past, with Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Dig Dug, etc. Then it continues with home consoles, mini-systems, and some side attractions, like video game music, one of those nerdy all text-based role playing games, an interactive game for the blind, a section on Japan including Samurai Warriors where you can be Ieyasu Tokugawa and slaughter scores of lesser samurai, etc etc. Expect manic, unruly school groups, but if you get there early (they open at 9:30) and have a little patience (these brats are basically being rushed through there and have minimal attention spans) you can spend all day playing video games for $5. Plus the kids don't appreciate the time-killing endorphin-releasing magic of the first Beatmania (Master Joe knows), or Parappa the Rapper.

A couple complaints: the graphic design around the exhibit is pretty annoying, but I guess it's supposed to be for the kids (who probably don't really care). A lot of the exhibits at the Science and Industry have these overblown spectaclist installations that obscure the content. Lame. Also, I read that in Europe they had some more violent games like Mortal Kombat that they dropped for the Chicago presentation. In fact, no "M"-rated games. LAME!. Can't I just bust out the MK BLOOD CODE for Genesis: A-B-A-C-A-B-B? My right thumb will remember forever. I will take the BLOOD CODE to the grave.


Wednesday, 27 April 2005
Antoine Predock
Topic: Architecture / Travel
Today architect Antoine Predock gave a lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago organized by the museum's Architecture and Design Society. And TAKOTRON was there. The architect spoke mostly of his more recent projects, including two proposals that recently won their respective competitions: The National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan (below), and The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnepeg.

If you're not familiar with Predock's work, it would help to generally think of it as fitting nicely into Kenenth Frampton's outline of Critical Regionalism. Let's bust out that old book (The Anti-Aesthetic, ed. Hal Foster, 1983) for some good quotes from the classic "Towards a Critical Regionalism":
Architecture can only be sustained today as a critical practice if it assumes an arriere-garde position, that is to say, one which distances itself equally from the Enlightenment myth of progress and from a reactionary, unrealistic impulse to return to the architectonic forms of the preindustrial past. [...] The fundamental strategy of Critical Regionalism is to mediate the impact of universal civilization with elements derived indirectly from the peculiarities of a particular place. (22-3)

Much of Predock's work is in the Southwest U.S. (his firm's office is in Albequerque) where it makes use of local materials and imagery from the inspirational landscapes and their indigenous cultures. He succeeds in creating powerful and resonant spaces while avoiding the pitfalls Frampton warns against, namely "nostalgic historicism or the glibly decorative" and "the communicative or instrumental sign."

Predock's Shadow House in Santa Fe (above) is built to frame views of the nearby Jemez mountains as it resonates with the desert sun through the use of an edge-lit glass prism and courtyard enclosed by two walls that incorporate copper.

Predock accepts the Critical Regionalist label to a degree, but is careful not to be confined by it. He reponds to the idea, "yeah, but it's portable." The National Palace Museum in Taiwan indirectly references a plethora of cultural symbols and ideas, including the distant peak of "Jade Mountain," early scroll paintings depicting rivers and mountains, and lanterns, as well as borrowed "pan-asian" examples, especially for the surrounding gardens. It is approached from two opposite paths that bridge a surrounding canal. The paths are to remain open after hours, so that pedestrians can travel through the space without actually entering the building. The museum is to house some 650,000 treasures secretely salvaged from mainland China's Forbidden City by Chiang Kai-shek, in addition to contemporary artwork and performance spaces and increasing collections of pieces from other Asian countries.

At the end of the lecture the architect took some questions. I posed an architectural problem I had been thinking about for a while. So you know I represent Long Island, but not a setting of beachfronts overlooking the Sound or nice little towns where you can get good seafood and take the old boat out. I grew up between two commercial highways lined with gas stations and strip malls. There's no train station in my town, but from one a town over it's an hour ride to Manhattan. So my setting was nothing special, nothing too nice. I'm not ashamed, and when away for awhile I even find myself feeling just a little bit of home pride. This is all only slightly relevant, and I certainly didn't bring it up tonight. You can read more about my town on the Takotron images page. What I asked, was something like, "is there a way to build a project that resonates with its setting if the setting is a place that's quotidian and anonymous, like some of our overdeveloped suburbs?" Mr. Predock gave an informed, deep, helpful response (I must paraphrase):
In such a situation (and others as well) it helps to think on archaological time. When you look at a roadcut, you see the layers of different eras, and on the top is a thin section of candy bar wrappers and cans and things. So, on this scale it is possible to think of things like suburban developments as a temporary fluttering. Most of our country is now covered like this, but in a way it is only temporary. We live in a place built on genocide, but underneath are rich layers of different cultures and the real essence of the land. So sometimes, especially in a situation like that, you need to look beyond the scatterings on the surface, to somewhere deeper.


Posted by thenovakids at 10:06 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:32 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, 25 April 2005
Clean Your Filthy Records!
Topic: Music
Today the takotron staff will teach you how to clean your records a.k.a. LPs in an easy and effective manner. Our motives remain confidential.

Here's what you will need:
70% Isopropyl Alcohol Solution
Distilled Water
Some string
A soft towel
A Bathtub
At least 1 Dirty Record
At least 1 hand

And here's what you do:
1. Take your string, and hang the record by it's filthy hole in you bathtub area. How you do this is your business. We have suction cups from the dollar store, but you can use your boy scout knots or whatever. Just do it.

2. Mix a 1:1 solution of your alcohol and distilled water in a bottle or something. Pour some onto your record while holding it horizontally (while still strung), if possible. If it's really old and crusty try to avoid getting it on the label, which isn't too hard because of the grooves. Take your soft towel and pass it along the grooves. Do it on the other side.

3. Rinse it with distilled water, wipe with towel, and let it hang there to dry.

That's it. So this gets rid of almost all the dust on there, and supposedly eliminates a lot of the static, as in static electricity. You might also want to clean the turntable mat with the alc/H20 solution, as well as the inside of the dust cover if you have one of those. The pictured Carnivore record still skips during the line "spread your legs, I'll seed your eggs," but otherwise it sounds like new. There are plenty of suitable products available for you to buy, if consumption makes you feel better about yourself. Our instructions above are a simplified version of a number of more serious sources, some of which are listed below:

Record Cleaning Maintenance

How-to: record cleaning devices and fluids

How to Clean a Vinyl Record: Tips from eHow Users

Posted by thenovakids at 12:22 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:32 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, 22 April 2005
Topic: Site Features
NEW CONTENT!!! The whole staff here at TAKOTRON HQ has been busy all week completing our SOUNDS page, for your pleasure. We have been experimenting with various audible textures over the last several years, and after rejecting numerous offers from several high profile record labels, have decided to submit these projects to the public, for immediate consumption, no monetary exchanges or middlemen involved. All files are in mp3 format. Right click and save to download, or click to play (if your browser is into that kind of thing). Please don't reproduce or play publicly or steal any of this content without are consent. you can email us:

Posted by thenovakids at 12:21 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:31 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, 18 April 2005
Topic: Miscellaneous
Next time you're on the phone trying to read your account number or spell your name to some tired customer service representative, and you get to one of those ambiguous tonalities like "V" or "M," you should refer to the follwing rather than emabarrass yourself by exposing your repugnant subconscious or just saying 'uhh...' for a while as only vulgar anatomical terms come to mind. Plus, you'll need this if you end up in that post-apocalytic concrete bunker with nothing but your short-wave and some canned beans.


The "Lima" and "Papa" are pretty lame, and "Uniform" is a bit clumsy. I guess it's pretty cool otherwise.

Posted by thenovakids at 12:15 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:29 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, 16 April 2005
Topic: Site Features


visit our friends!

email us and you can join the linkage party:

Posted by thenovakids at 11:53 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 1:03 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, 13 April 2005
Hot German Model
Topic: Architecture / Chicago
Here is a photo of that model of Mies' original steel design for the Promontory Point Apartments. It looks like this is looking from the west, towards the lake. Lets listen to the song (source:The Free Information Society):


Sie ist ein Modell und sie sieht gut aus
Ich nehme sie heut' gerne mit zu mir nach Haus
Sie wirkt so kuhl, and sie kommt niemand 'ran
Doch vor der Kamera da zeigt sie was sie kannSie trinkt im Nachtklub immer Sekt (korr-ekt!)
Und hat hier alle Manner abgecheckt
Im Scheinwerferlicht ihr junges Lacheln strahlt
Sie sieht gut aus und Schonheit wird bezahlt
Sie stellt sich zu Schau fur das Konsumprodukt
Und wird von millionen Augen angeguckt
Ihr neues Titelbild ist einfach Fabelhaft
Ich muss sie wiedersehen, ich weiss sie hat's geschaft

Posted by thenovakids at 11:20 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 1:03 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, 12 April 2005
Topic: Site Features
New release:

*SU700 and EA1 operated by TAKOTRON Motherboard of Directors

*voices by thenovakids

This was produced as a replacement of the original jarring intro song at We are softening ourselves with your comfort in mind...NUDESEXFATBUTT

Posted by thenovakids at 11:56 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 1:00 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, 6 April 2005
Mies Returns
Topic: Architecture / Chicago
Several weeks ago we made some comparisons between Mies van der Rohe and his contemporary, Le Corbusier. We also described a connection between his Promontory Apartments and unambitious imitations with different aims, specifically Cabrini Greens. I recently visited the Promontory Apartments, and discovered some impressive qualities not immediately discernable. We are so accustomed to Mies' imitators that it sometimes takes some effort or closer observation to understand his true innovation (I would say 'genius,' but I hate seeing its overuse in describing artists and architects. You would think 20-something years of contemporary art theory that questions ideas of 'mastery' and 'genius' would have made us more cautious about throwing around those terms. But go to the arts section of any book$$$$$tore...oh).

Back to our subject, The Promontory Apartments were completed in 1949, as work was underway at 860-880 N. Lake Shore Dr. Both were to have steel and glass curtain walls, but Mies' original plans for the Hyde Park high-rise were ultimately modified. So I walked around the corner and started taking a couple pictures of these apartments. As you can see, the vertical supports taper as they rise, which adds a touch of formal drama and structural efficiency (they need to support a decreasing load as they go up). From the back we can see through the open lobby to the lake, which the building overlooks, right by pretty little Promontory Point. Then I was politley asked to leave the private property by a building attendant. Bonus pics: The first beautiful day of the season spent at the Point--note the melting ice.

Posted by thenovakids at 5:16 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 1:01 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older