February 17, 2014

Mexico City 1883

In 1883, Julius Popper published a commercial map of Mexico City's downtown, which is a jewel.

The David Rumsey Map Collection has it online. It is worth checking this collection of almost 50,000 maps and images, if you are interested in the topic.

The site allows you to download all images in high resolution.

Palabras regias

En 1996, al mudarme al DF, mis compañeros universitarios se burlaban por mi manera de hablar –acento y vocabulario– y por mi forma de vestir (sneakers negros y chanclas: había que usar necesaria y obligatoriamente zapatos de piel). He estado anotando algunas de las palabras que considero típicamente norteñas y que en el DF no se conocen, no se usan o tienen otro significado.

chinola: limpiador de zapatos; procede de una marca gringa, Shinola.
mirruña: algo pequeño
zacate: pasto
manejera: volante
perrón: fregón, padrísimo
calzonudo: valiente o mayor
jale, jalar: trabajar; también: estirar una puerta
namás: nada más
bañársela: exagerar, pasarse cierto límite moral
cucaracho: cucaracha
chaqueta: chamarra

work in progress

February 11, 2014

Chris John DeWitt

It's hard to have a favorite photographer, but after perusing some of the pics of the Brit Chris John DeWitt, I could say that his are my favorites regarding Berlin together with Willy Römer's.

DeWitt's pictures have an eternal beauty, both in black and white and in color. The Berlin pics from the 1980s show the abandoned state of the city, the sadness and its the chilly, indifferent Wall. All this might sound nostalgic today, but life back then wasn't that easy. DeWitt used a lot the red filter to capture the dramatic clouds. He is not only a consummated street photographer, but a witness of the city I love the most and of an era I missed.

"Berlin is a dramatic place, the pivot point of a pretty dramatic century", he writes. Indeed! A city impossible not to fall in love with.

I LOVE that graffito verse on the upper right: Sei schlauer, zerstör die Mauer!

I used to go around this corner for many years, every day

The same here: I crossed this bridge millions of times. One day they closed it and it was substituted by a new one, after many decades. No punks here with dogs asking for money

February 9, 2014

Death in literature and on internet

There have been a few deaths in literature which have been very, very touching.

I just experienced that a couple of minutes ago, as I read how P died in this roman I have been perusing for a few months now. Today's technology makes it even more vivid or authentic. This guy is dying, and his brother sings a spiritual. There I go, and I found it on YouTube. As I am listening to it, I keep reading. Until he dies.

This is a beautiful possibility we now have.

Sartorialist's girls

The Sartorialist's blog is a good place to fall in love with random girls. These are some pics I have downloaded. No blondes!

A couple of female Christs

Two more for the growing collection.

Jacques Richard, Ave Maria (1984)

Jiri Ruzek, Nun's boudoir (2011)

January 26, 2014

"Trellis", by James Merrill

Again, ramshackle skeleton,
You spare the house what is about to happen.

Out of nowhere, up from the bleak ground,
My greedy twinings overcome your frame,

Climb, put blue suns forth, suicidally thicken,
And, spoiled at summer's end no doubt

By so much wooden acquiescence, brag
Of having woken a response in you.

Who can say? A night is coming, I remember,
When I share your body with frost. A second,

And I withdraw into myself for winter.
Never mind. I'll bloom next year.

You only, love's uncomprehending object,
Will be replaced after a season or two.

January 11, 2014

"Aboard the Ship", by Constantin Cavafy

It certainly resembles him, this small
pencil likeness of him.


Quickly done, on the deck of the ship:
an enchanting afternoon.
The Ionian Sea all around us.


It resembles him. Still, I remember him as handsomer.
To the point of illness: that's how sensitive he was,
and it illumined his expression.
Handsomer, he seems to me,
now that my soul recalls him, out of Time.


Out of Time. All these things, they're very old—
the sketch, and the ship, and the afternoon.

November 25, 2013

Klimt, Bethan Laura Wood

Medizin (1897)

Bethan Laura Wood

November 22, 2013

Sexy danger: Siren, Angel

Funerary siren, Louvre (I Century bC)

Adriana Lima at a Victoria's Secret show (2008)

November 13, 2013

Taken from "On Chesil Beach", by Ian McEwan


"She adored his curious mind, his mild country accent, the huge strength in his hands, the unpredictable swerves and drifts of his conversation, his kindness to her, and the way his soft brown eyes, resting on her when she spoke, made her feel enveloped in a friendly cloud of love."

November 6, 2013

Leonard Freed, Enrique G de la G

 Leonard Freed, Waiting at the airport, Amsterdam (1964)

Enrique G de la G, After the fair (2008)
– the story behind this pic –

October 30, 2013

Olafur Eliasson, Fulldome

Olafur Eliasson, Berlin Colour Sphere (2007)

B3, Fulldome (2013)

October 26, 2013

Intelligentsia: Brassaï, Rogelio Cuéllar

Standing: Jacques Lacan, Cécile Éluard, Pierre Reverdy, Louise Leiris, Zanie de Campan, Pablo Picasso, Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir.
On the floor: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Michel Leiris, Jean Aubier.

Brassaï, Paris (1943)

Standing: Tomás Segovia, Gabriel Zaid, Marie-Jose Paz, Alejandro Rossi, José de la Colina, Salvador Elizondo.
On the floor: Octavio Paz, Juan García Ponce, Michelle Albán, Kazuya Sakai.

Rogelio Cuéllar, Mexico City (1975)

October 22, 2013

Robert Capa: 100th anniversary

One hundred years ago, Robert Capa was born.

October 15, 2013

Don't look back: Wyeth, Richter

"But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt."
Genesis 19:26

Andrew Wyeth, Christina's world (1948)

Gerhard Richter, Betty (1988)

October 14, 2013

Art in the street: Joshua Bell, Banksy

Washington subway (2007)

New York City's Central Park (2013)

September 21, 2013

Hands: A history of love

A royal hand, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (ca. 1349–1336 bC)

Michelangelo, Creation of Adam (1511-1512)

Rudolf Bonvie, Dialog 2 (1973)

Rudolf Bonvie, Dialog 13 (1973)

Hands of Nefertiti and Akhenaten, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (ca. 1350 bC).

September 20, 2013

Shadows: Camels, Cyclists

George Steinmetz (2005)

Sebastian Boue (2013)

September 17, 2013

3D printed gun bought by a museum

There has been much uproar –obviously– because of the American guy who 3D-printed a gun and uploaded the design to the internet. There was even an interesting docu film made by Vice.

Now, the Victoria & Albert Museum bought it. Even more uproar. (Look at the aesthetics of the pic!)

The paradox was pointed out by Jonathan Jones:
"What this gun really shows is the human propensity to make the worst of its own intellectual power. Within a few years of the Wright brothers making human flight a reality, war planes took to the air. As soon as nuclear fission was achieved, it was used to destroy cities. Now, as soon as 3D printing opens up a new age of design, it is used to preach the might of the gun."

September 14, 2013

Marylinne Robinson dixit

I am afraid I had never reflected upon the etymology of the word "novel", until now, when Marylinne Robinson draw my attention to it thanks to an interview:

"A novel by its nature is new."

September 12, 2013

Floating: Ophelia, Neil Armstrong

 John Everett Millais, Ophelia (1851-1852)

 Paul Fryer, Ophelia (2007)

 Neil Armstrong (1967)

September 11, 2013

Architecture: Roof triangles

Hans Sharoun, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (1978)

 David Chipperfield, Museo de la Colección Jumex (2013)

September 7, 2013

Vivian Maier's 8mm films

The photographic wonder Vivian Maier shot also 8mm films! This is the first one I just saw.

And please notice how obesity was unknown few decades ago.

September 4, 2013

Kate Moss Christ

It seems that girly Christs have become a trend. Now, photographer Nick Knight presented a sculpture of Kate Moss... as winged Christ: with thorn crown and loincloth.