Archive for January, 2009

Birdhouses flies out West (Portland)

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Horse & Buggy Press project on January 30, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

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Birdhouses, the 2007 H&B fine press collaboration with photographer Rob McDonald, is now being exhibited at what looks to be an exciting gallery in Portland, Oregon.

23 Sandy looks to have a nice physical viewing area, and online you can get a glimpse at some interesting work being done in a variety of styles in the field of books. Wonderful to see that our collaboration is in good company.

Birdhouses has actually been selling well and may go out of print this year. (we welcome a mainstream trade publisher stepping in for edition two!). It’s nice to know the work is getting out and about and interacted with, and that there are still people in the world who think books, and fine press books, are things worth purchasing and taking home.

Greensboro!

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Bikes/Cycling on January 29, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

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from the Greensboro newspaper…

 

“Organizers in Greensboro are excited that they made the cut as a possible home for the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame after the North Carolina city made a late entry in the contest.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported Wednesday that 11 cities had made offers to the cycling group, which is moving from Somerville, N.J. Greensboro task force leader Neil Belenky says the city made a late start in November and was happy to make the cut.

A former hall official said Greensboro is in the top four cities being considered.

Belenky says organizers want the hall located downtown and have identified three potential sites.

Officials say the hall of fame preserves cycling history and honors people who have had a positive impact on the sport.

 

Hot dam, that’d be great. We are officially jumping the gun and I’ve got Bella pouring over maps, working on planning the best riding route to get from here to there. (assuming there will be downtown, advice for bicycle friendly roads between Durham and Greensboro welcome, especially if they include some local color or good scenery)

Does anyone know what the other three cities being considered are?

Museum Catalogue

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Horse & Buggy Press project on January 28, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

The catalogue I designed for Thomas’s exhibit at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design is back from the printer and out in the world.

 

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Seeing as how Thomas’s works are so tactile, and “earthen” in nature and inspiration, we thought it made sense to put it on uncoated paper for its more tactile and intimate nature. Rolland Enviro is made by Cascades, and is not only FSC certified (meaning only pulp created from sustainably managed forests is used) but the paper is also composed of 30% post consumer recycled content and it was extremely cost competitive to virgin fiber piper. (there is also a 100%pcw line).

The exhibit will be up through May 10 at the Gregg. More info here at the Gregg website. Note that Thomas will be speaking on Thursday, Feb 5 at 7pm as part of their Artists and Objects Lecture Series. This event is FREE. 

One of the nice things about the Gregg is their hours.
Weds-Fri 12 – 8pm  and Sat & Sun 2 – 8pm. 

Fellow Durhamite Roger Manley wrote a great essay and I think this catalogue is going to be something that has a long life in folks’ library as a result.

A glimpse at a few spreads below. I’ll have the catalogues here on display at our open houses here at the BCAC (that is pronounced bee-cack, we like the hard consonants) on the Third Friday of each month. If you would like to purchase a catalogue, please contact the Gregg, they cost twenty bucks. Cheaper than movies and popcorn for two and it lasts longer as well.

 
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Yes!… to Urban Hens in Durham.

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Durham on January 26, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

 

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All of us at H&B (even Bella) are united in our support for allowing hens—not roosters mind you, just hens—in backyards. Fresh local eggs are the way to go. If we want to raise hens, shouldn’t we be allowed to do so? This is a free country, yes? 

Durham’s city council is taking this measure up Monday, Feb 2. If you want to lend your support please consider attending. Bonus points if you dress up as a chicken and shake your tail feathers (rumor has it the San Diego Chicken mascot may be in attendance lending some West Coast support).

Can’t make it? Consider calling or writing your city council to ensure they make the right call on the vote.

Below is detailed information from Chris Crochietere (this is a letter she sent to her neighborhood listserv), a friend who is one of the folks leading the charge to allow this…

Some of you know that Frank and I have been working with a group that’s trying to get an ordinance passed that would allow us to raise a small number of hens in our backyards (something that every other city in the state allows already!). 

Our group–Durham HENS (Healthy Eggs in Neighborhoods Soon)–evolved out of efforts by the community garden group SEEDs (www.seeds.org). We have been researching how this is working in other cities for several months and working with the planning department in drafting an ordinance that will honor our desire to grow fresh, truly local hens and eggs without any adverse effect on our neighbors.

The city council will hold a hearing on Monday, Feb. 2nd (7 pm at City Hall) to hear from citizens and will likely take a vote that night, up or down on the issue. We would love for interested people to come and speak or at least be counted. [FYI: We are selling Durham HENS t-shirts at Barnes Supply on 9th St. and at SEEDs, so I hope you’ll pick one up and wear it at the hearing!]

And honestly, I feel kinda weird saying this, but, among other things, Howard Clement’s support for this ordinance is contingent on him seeing a lot of turnout by African-American homeowners. We have active members of our group who fit that profile and we reached out months ago to neighborhoods that fit that demographic, but apparently we haven’t done well enough to suit Council member Clement. If you want to better understand his position, I guess you could ask him at the hearing or send him an email at city hall.  EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM DAVE: Really why is this long-winded, really long-winded, do-nothing guy still on our city council?! okay, back to the program.

We feel that allowing backyard hens has broad appeal and that this ordinance will protect the interests of neighbors who don’t want hens themselves. Below are a few facts that may be of interest: Continue reading

B grade event in a second tier town

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Bikes/Cycling, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft on January 23, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

car-show

Oh, great… a car show is coming to town in the big new fancy convention center.

What was all that talk about creative class and downtowns bringing culturally interesting stuff around?

thas right, talk. We can’t even keep up with frickin’ Indianapolis, look what they’ve got going on next month…

Indy event

Now that is an event worth getting excited about.

Check out the Exhibitors Page ….a grown man could spend MANY hours looking at that kind of eye candy.

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Hopefully there’ll be a lot of folks signing up to order bikes and we can grow the amount of craftspeople in this country getting paid to do the work they are committed to kicking out. I mean, does that mean anything to folks anymore?

Or are we all content to buy the cheaper mass marketed stuff made in God knows where by God knows whom and shrug our shoulders when the customer service rots, and the product is less than stellar.

It’s Friday, I’m on my soapbox.

Oh did I mention there are three brewpubs within walking distance of the Indianapolis Convention Center? Good luck finding that in downtown Raleigh. I sure hope Fullsteam ends up opening their brewpub here in downtown Durham.

UPDATE: The wife saw something in the paper this morning that Natty Greene, the Greensboro brewpub, is going to be opening up something in Raleigh this fall. Good deal.

Friends: Evan Lightner

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Friends on January 20, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

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Evan Lightner is a good friend who lives and works in Raleigh. A talented woodworker and furniture designer/maker, Evan has a new website up and running.

“All custom furniture and cabinetry is designed and handmade with a trust in traditional craftsmanship, a respect for the clarity of modernism, and a consistent commitment to environmental sustainability.”

That is actually the closing paragraph from a little brochure I designed for Evan last year. We worked a trade and the wife and I are excited about getting a custom bed later this year.

Besides working for architects, interior designers, and contractors…

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…Evan also does a healthy amount of work for individuals who want custom furniture or cabinetry and are looking for an enjoyable, collaborative working process, knowing they will end up with a top notch piece to last a lifetime and more. 

Back in the day Evan used to be my boss. (This was a helluva long time ago.) He co-owned Vertigo Diner and I was one of the cooks. I enjoyed working with him (okay that’s a lie, I enjoyed the free drinks after the shift ended and that he let me have more curatorial control over the kitchen stereo than Thor and Ricardo). I certainly don’t miss working every Friday and Saturday night (*and the inevitable and God forsaken Sunday brunch*) in a kitchen without air conditioning. Personally, I knew it was time to get out of the food service business when I made the best damn cornbread this side of Texas for a Cinco de Mayo themed brunch… and not a single person ordered it as a side, everybody opting for grits or toast. Philistines.

More “progress” ?

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Durham on January 13, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

The billboard companies are lobbying your planning commissions and city council members while you work. Digital billboards are poised to become the new highway litter (at markedly higher profit margins no doubt).

Tell your city council to tell the Fairway Advertising Companys of the world to hit the road, unless you like the idea of seeing this all over the place….
digital-car-billboard

Thankfully this part of the country has less billboards than most. Let’s hope it stays that way. Please write your city council and planning commission to stay focused on more important tasks (like fixing a few decades of negligence and backlogged maintenance).

 

Here’s what I sent…

 

Dear leaders of Durham,

Please do what is smart and good for the citizens of Durham (and our visitors) and DO NOT allow any electronic billboards anywhere in these parts.

They are ugly, distracting, and create unsafe conditions (and we’ve already got enough of these things in Durham!)

I hope you all will quickly strike down this issue so the city can get to work on our long overdue problems, like…

–re-surfacing our roads in substantial quantities and fast!!,
–getting the bike and pedestrian plans’ recommendations turned into physical realities,
–increasing greenway miles and connections,
–getting a linear east-west bus connector route running from the west end of Main Street to East Durham with 12 minute cycles or better,
–getting benches and shelters at bus stops.

With the new stimulus plan and new NC DOT leaders coming around, is the city getting some shovel ready projects online to address our long overdue backlog of maintenance issues?

With the exception of the 35 years overdue East End Connector, no new roads please, fix the broken ones first.

Fix the loop and the one way mess of non-connective speedways running through the center of town. Bi-directional travel, it’s the wave of the future. Now that the state DOT isn’t doing maintenance there’s no reason for the city not to take matters into its own hands.

Isn’t this federal stimulus program with its emphasis on spending money to put people to work and address our nation’s infrastructure problems ideally suited for these kinds of languishing Durham needs?

This would be something that would make everyone across Durham happy.

The citizens of this town are looking forward to seeing progress on long overdue issues. We don’t want to see digital billboards, no matter how many freebie messages and boards they give to non-profits, or how many palms get greased.

Sincerely,

R.G.