Whitney Biennial ~ a meaningful surfeit

by Jeffrey Bishop

There was a time when the Whitney Biennial was the much-anticipated barometer of the state of American art…

 

Whether praised or reviled, everyone could be counted on to have an opinion. This year, as has been the case for some time, the Biennial is just another blur in the bombardment of art as excess that is the current art world. Even the term “art world” can bring on nausea and panic. The 2014 Whitney Biennial opened hard on the heels of the Armory Art Fair (over on the piers), The Art Show (at the Armory), the Independent Art Fair, Scope, and Pulse, etc. You get the picture: serious art overload. Who can absorb, much less digest, the onslaught?

 

But let’s focus for a moment. The Whitney Biennial is, after all, a non-commercial group show, meant to deliver some kind of reckoning. And this year’s show is, to me at least, pretty damn interesting. That is, there is always enough provocative work to keep me looking, even pondering.

Seemed to me there was a lot of complex, visually amped up work, more crafted work than usual, but unfortunately very little significant photography, very little overtly political work and plenty of the usual pedantically overloaded stuff where you need to reference the wall labels. However should the Whitney Biennial find better ways to distinguish itself from the plethora of art fairs that surround it? Maybe so.

 

Whitney Museum by Marcel Breuer

Whitney Museum of American Art by Marcel Breuer

 

This will be the last show at the Whitney’s iconic Marcel Breuer Madison Avenue building before they reopen in the Meat Packing district. What was novel this year was the division of labor. Three curators, Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms and Michelle Grabner were each given a floor. So perhaps understandably, this year’s installation seemed a bit more packed than the excellent Biennial two years ago. (Can anyone really remember much further back? The more the present is overloaded the more it crowds out the past.)

The fourth floor, Michelle Grabner’s, was the most packed of all. The consensus was with starting there and working down. The most painting, the most color, the most stuff, some of it sculpture, much of it craft intensive, was on this floor, and it was a pleasure, even if you felt a bit compressed and overwhelmed by so much cramped stimulus.

 

Gretchen Bender and Ken Lum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you enter the fourth floor what immediately impresses is a large wall piece by Gretchen Bender and Ken Lum’s Vietnam war montage of commercial signage called “Midway Shopping Plaza”.

Strong women painters dominated and impressed…Jacqueline Humphries, Dona Nelson, Louise Fishman, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Susan McClelland were all shown to strong effect.

 

Jaqueline Humphries at crowded opening

Jaqueline Humphries at crowded opening

 

 

 

 

 

Dona Nelson

Dona Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

 

 

 

 

 

Suzanne McClelland

Suzanne McClelland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sterling Ruby

Sterling Ruby

 

 

 

 

 

It is reassuring to see such confident visceral and distinctive abstractions on these large walls. All of them collude and collide in the single most convulsive gallery in the show where Sterling Ruby added gaudy giant ceramic ashtray-like containers. I was a little less impressed with Amy Sillman’s contribution here although she is someone I’ve admired over the years.

 

Charlene Von Heyl

Charlene Von Heyl

 

 

 

 

On the Floor curated by Anthony Elms, Charlene Von Heyl showed a striking wall size spread of grisaille collage pieces in a taught grid. Raw photo collage and paint in strong black and whites.

 

Susan Howe

Susan Howe

 

 

 

From the vast to the microscopic then: I had recently heard Susan Howe read at the Drawing Center on the occasion of the remarkable Emily Dickenson show “The Gorgeous Nothings”. So it was a pleasure to see her minute letterpress works again on display here. Poetic texts fractured and reassembled. Deliciously slow thwarted reading.

 

Bjarne Melgaard

Bjarne Melgaard

 

 

Nearby but many miles away, Bjarne Melgaard provided the predictable prerequisite sex gross out room. Fun for teenagers I suppose, but otherwise incapable of shocking, arousing or engaging much of anything. OK maybe a little arousing. Colorful though I’ll say, and couches for the weary! Very popular!

 

Zoe Leonard contributed what should be the tour de force of the exhibition using the building itself and one of Breuer’s iconic windows to make a huge camera obscura. Unfortunately the evening opening yielded only a dark room and a subsequent daytime visit was equally disappointing. Maybe there just wasn’t sufficient light that day or the late afternoon angles were unfavorable. I’ll be back to see it again in hopefully more accommodating circumstances.

 

Leviathan

Leviathan Poster

 

 

 

 

 

Elsewhere the great surprise of the show for me was a film called “Leviathan” (click link to view) by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University. This stunning footage evokes humanity’s obsession with the sea while probing a visceral view into the world of industrial fishing. With no voice over or other narrative direction the film shows a murky underwater of colorful detritus and distorted sound blips. Mesmerizing! The camera seems to have a life of its own as if freed from a self-conscious hand. The documentary medium is undergoing seismic shifts these days as the lines blur between the filmmaker and subject.

I’ll get back to the ocean obsession shortly but first It’s always interesting to see who the curators choose to showcase posthumously as this is meant to indicate some marker of redemptive relevance to the current zeitgeist.

 

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Gretchen Bender, recreated by Phillip Vanderhyden

 

 

 

 

 

Two years ago Robert Gober curated a Forrest Bess room to great effect. This year several deceased artists were honored for renewed consideration among them David Foster Wallace, Sarah Charlesworth and the aforementioned Gretchen Bender who was represented by a 1980 piece called “People in Pain”, once destroyed, here now “remade” lovingly by Phillip Vanderhyden.

 

In this vein I was startled to come across an archive of manuscripts and photographs of Gregory Battcock salvaged from an abandoned factory by Joseph Grigely. Battcock was a critic and prominent art world figure in the 60’s and 70’s having edited the very influential “Minimal Art: a Critical Anthology”. It was a book that we devoured front to back in art school. He was also a prominent gay activist. Grigely reconstitutes the archive in a series of vitrines as a form of story telling. A life recast, the installation includes memorabilia and a lone painting, perhaps Battcock’s only such effort.

 

Gregory Battcock Archive(15)

 

I met Battcock on a transatlantic crossing in 1974 having just won a traveling Fellowship from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A friend had instructed me to don a used tuxedo and head for the first class lounge like I owned it in spite of being booked in steerage. Having dubiously pulled off that feat, I met Battcock, who was a devoted ocean liner enthusiast, (more than 60 voyages!) took me under his wing for the remainder of the crossing. We wined and dined in high style and he introduced me to everyone on board he could lure out for a meal or cocktail. On disembarking he sent me on my way with some letters of introduction for my European art travels. Foolishly I did not remain in touch with him. Later, at the time of my first newspaper review for a solo show in Seattle in 1980 I was shocked and saddened to see his obituary opposite my review. He had been murdered in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I left the opening a little shaken, pondering the memory.

Art comes at you in many ways, mostly unpredictable.

There are many ways you might bump into a fragment of your own history at this Whitney Biennial.

 

 

All photographs (not including Leviathan poster & photograph of Whitney Museum) by Boulevardier, Jeffrey Bishop.

Ironing One’s Shoelaces

by Sally Wilson

Coco Chanel gown, 1938

Coco Chanel gown, 1938

 

Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends…. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. 

~Henry David Thoreau

Vintage has always been at the top of my list, the visual, touch, feel, quality. I would rather spend hours, weeks, months, years amidst the old wood cases of museum costume department than shopping. An annual trek to the ACT costume department for Edwardian Ball specialty pieces is the best part of my January, every year. My desk at work is graced with a tree, a lemon tree, 18 inches tall, made entirely and lovingly in the 1940′s from vintage glass beads, the beads leftover in the aftermath of couturier creations and given to the seamstresses who could then make a little extra cash. I have many vintage glass beaded flowers, and vintage beaded bags, plus a few glorious vintage beaded sweaters & dresses, lucky girl.  Apparently, I’m not as singularly bathed in all things vintage as I feel…

 

Flower making tools, photograph by Estelle Hanania

 

 

 

 

From the New York Times: “When fashion’s Old World specialty ateliers were on the verge of extinction, Chanel came to the rescue. Now it’s ushering them into the future.”

 

 

 

Limewood molds for hat making, photograph by Estelle Hanania

Limewood molds for hat making, photograph by Estelle Hanania

 

“Recently, Chanel moved Lesage and a few of the other traditional specialty handcraft ateliers it has quietly purchased over the last 17 years to the Pantin complex to have them in one place, working in concert. For nearly a century, or more, these various houses — including Lemarié, specializing in feathers and flower making; Goossens, the famed jewelry makers; and Maison Michel, the hat makers were run by their founders or family members. But as the last generation found no heirs to lead them into the future and with fashion becoming faster and more industrialized, these ateliers were on the verge of extinction.”

 

 

 

An unfinished suit hangs from a tailor's dummy in Huntsman tailors in London, England, photograph by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

An unfinished suit hangs from a tailor’s dummy in Huntsman tailors in London, England, photograph by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

 

From Wikipedia: Bespoke is an English word that means a clothing item made to a buyer’s specification (personalized or tailored). While the term historically is applied to only men’s tailored clothing, it now generally includes footwear, fine jewellery and other apparel, implying measurement and fitting. For most non-clothing items, the term build to order is usually used instead, although the term ‘bespoke applications’ is often used to refer to custom software built by a company for its own use by a department other than the IT department.

The distinguishing points of bespoke tailoring are the buyer’s total control over the fabric used, the features and fit, and the way the garment should be made. More generally, “bespoke” describes a high degree of customization, and involvement of the end-user, in the production of the goods. Cad & the Dandy, a modern Savile Row tailor, describes true bespoke as having a full floating canvas, basted fitting and detailed hand finishing.

 

Peter Frew, in his Brooklyn atelier, photograph from Peter Frew

Peter Frew, in his Brooklyn atelier, photograph from Peter Frew


 And then there is Jamacian artisan tailor Peter Frew. From The New York Times: Adam Davidson’s recent column, “What’s a $4,000 Suit Worth?” is about the bespoke-clothing industry and the situation of tailors like Peter Frew, “who makes a modest salary and is struggling to expand his shop — despite selling his suits for about $4,000 each.” 
The follow-up: What Should Peter Frew, the Struggling Tailor, Do?

The follow-up: What Should Peter Frew, the Struggling Tailor, Do?


 

 

 

 

 

 

Now this makes me happy: Ramdane Touhami, is entrepreneurial French-Moroccan “multi-tasker” behind the successful rebranding of Cire Trudon, the French royal wax manufacturer established in 1643.

 

So many Cire Truson scents

So many Cire Truson scents & colours

 

His new brand is an old brand, relaunching of the  “historic” French beauty brand, L’Officine Universelle Buly and builds on the legacy of famed Parisian perfumer Jean-Vincent Bully.

 

Beautiful branding for Buly 1803 Paris

Beautiful branding for Buly 1803 Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I visited about 130 different old apothecaries dating back from the 15th to the 19th century,” recounts Touhami. “I found the Bully archives (at Les Archives Départementales de la Seine) and decided to awaken the past.” “Bully welcomed scientific and cosmetic breakthroughs, invented new formulas and concoctions, which ended up being long lasting successes.”

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Receipt for an assortment of Bully concoctions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I was fascinated by the number of references listed in his catalogue: there were hundreds of lotions, vinegars, hydrating soaps, creams, powders, ointments, perfumes.”

 

 

 

 

Parfumeur_Bully_vinaigre_de_Toilette

 

 

 

 

 

Bully was the character inspiration for César Birotteau in Honoré de Balzac’s Comédie Humaine. A cruel twist of fate, despite the success of his life’s work, and being credited as a master of perfumery, Bully died penniless. Birotteau: “I am not dreaming, my beautiful white doe. Listen. People should always do what their position in life demands.”  My favorite summary…”This novel is the French 19th-century’s great poem of bankruptcy.”

Bully’s name is most famously associated with his star product, the Vinaigre de Toilette de Bully whose recipe is still available. He was also the inspiration behind the character of César Birotteau in the eponymous novel by Honoré de Balzac, Grandeur et décadence de César Birotteau, having experienced a resounding crash towards the end of his career which left its mark on the writer’s imagination.
Read more at http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsalamander/2014/03/new_parisian_perfumery_to_open.html#H8Hu162fz6LBzl19.99

 

 

 

 

Antique, and I’m not quite that, yet, is loosely defined as originating before the 1920s. From the 1920s to 20 years before the present day is considered vintage.

And while we’re on the subject of all things deliciously vintage, from Thought Catalog, only a few from their entertaining 1920′s lost verbiage that we should all find and use…

“Bank’s closed!”: what you tell someone to stop making out

Bearcat: a lively, spirited woman, possibly with a fiery streak

Berries: like “bee’s knees,” denotes that something is good, desirable or pleasing. “That sounds like berries to me!”

Cancelled stamp: a shy, lonely female, the type one would describe as a “wallflower”

Cash: a smooch

Cake-eater: in the 1920’s refers to a “ladies’ man”

Dewdropper: like lollygagger, a slacker who sits around all day and does nothing, often unemployed

Giggle water: liquor, alcoholic beverage

Iron one’s shoelaces: to excuse oneself for the restroom

Know your onions: to know what’s up or what’s going on

Oliver Twist: an extremely good dancer

Pull a Daniel Boone: to upchuck

 

And just fyi, some people/princes do take shoelace ironing quite seriously…

Charles, The Prince of Wales has never picked up his own clothes or undressed himself — he has three valets to take care of his clothes. If he has several engagements in one day, his valet places several ties in the car so he can change en route. He likes to wear the tie of  the organisation or military establishment he is visiting. The record is five changes of tie in one day.

The Prince & his shoelaces

The Prince & his shoelaces

 

A valet’s other duties include ironing the Prince’s shoelaces whenever his shoes are taken off.

 

Vintage French beaded flowers

 

 

Laces of The Boot — Campania, Italy

by The Boulevardiers

 

View from Centola, Campania, Italy, photograph by Kim Steele

View from Centola, Campania, Italy, photograph by Kim Steele

 

The Cape of Palinuro is a delicious slice of timeless travel, it is a sight to behold along the Cilento coast…we hesitate a bit in saying this, as it is sort of a secret…

 

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Santa Maria Li Piani, photograph by Kim Steele

According to Virgil´s ancient legend, Aeneas´ unfortunate helmsman Palinuro fell overboard close to the coast, giving his name to the Cape. It’s always been a destination region, first named by the Romans, who tagged it the campania felix, or “happy land”.

Palinuro is in the province of Salerno, the sixth province in the Campania region of Italy.

campania

 

 

 

 

 

From Wikipedia: The region is steeped in Greek mythology and legends, as in the names of some towns, which is also visible in the remains of the colonies of Velia (ancient Elea) and Paestum (ancient Poseidonia). Velia was also the seat of “Eleatics”, a school of pre-Socratic philosophers as Parmenides, Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos). In the 1990s it was proposed to make Cilento a new province of Campania. This proposal has never come near to implementation; in particular there was the difficulty of choosing an administrative centre.

Campania — From Italy World Club: Originally inhabited by the Ausoni (or Aurunci) and Opici, In the 8th century BC the region was colonized by the Greeks who founded the city of Cuma. In the 6th century BC the Etruscans established around Capua a federation of twelve towns, which fought and defeated the Greeks in 524 and 474 BC. Then in the 5th century BC both Capua and Cuma were conquered by the warlike Samnites. Between 343 and 290 BC three wars were fought between Samnites and Romans, who finally occupied the region. Rich Roman families built villas and gardens in the beautiful Neapolitan Gulf, until the ominous Vesuvius eruption in 89 AD covered in lava the Roman cities of Pompei and Ercolanus.

After the fall of the roman Empire Campania was alternatively under the Goths and the Byzanthines, then it was conquered by the Lombards in 570 AD who established here the Dukedom of Benevento, while Amalfi became a rich independent sea trade center. In 1139 the region was conquered by the Normans, then became part of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Anjou (13th century) and Aragonese (15th century). The Spaniards (1503-1707) were followed by the Austrians (1707 to 1734) until Charles VII Bourbon (1734) became King of Naples. After the unity to Italy in 1860 there arose serious economic problems, among them a cholera epidemic in 1884, events which started a massive exodus of the population to the North of Italy and abroad. During WW2 the Allied Anglo-American forces landed at on 9 September 1943 and the bombings that followed, as well as the destruction caused by the retreating Germans caused innumerable victims among the population.

 

US 5th Army guards at the Temple of Neptune, Paestum, Campagnia, Italy, 1943

US 5th Army guards at the Temple of Neptune, Paestum, Campagnia, Italy, 1943

 

The Campania region of Italy stretches from the southern Apennine mountain range to the coastline between the Gulf of Gaeta and the Gulf of Policastro. Campania is divided into 5 Provinces, including 551 municipalities, with a total population of over 5,700,000 inhabitants. It is a region celebrated for its climate, the fertility of the lands and the astonishingly beautiful landscapes. The territory is mostly gentle hills, apart from the Matese mountains bordering Molise and the rugged Irpinia area. Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples is one of the very few still active volcanoes in Europe. The two beautiful gulfs of Naples and Salerno, separated by the Sorrento peninsula, are world famous for the high cliffs, sandy bays , grottoes and islands (Ischia, Procida, Capri).

 

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Villammare Beach, photograph by Kim Steele

The movie Jason and the Argonauts was filmed in Capaccio, Salerno and Campania in Italy. Other filming locations included Paestum, Centola, Palinuro, Rome and Lazio. Campania recently also hosted Sony’s “Angels and Demons” at the Versailles-like Caserta palace, which doubles for the Vatican and was also used for “Mission: Impossible 3″ and several “Star Wars” installments.

The population is concentrated around Naples and Salerno, while the mountainous hinterland has a low population density. Agriculture is mostly intensive, cattle raising and fishing, and crafts based on coral and ceramics are sill quite important.

Campania is a place to really relax. Hidden private little beaches, beautiful sunsets, places to wander, cool beautiful evenings.

Our amazing adventure in Campania was spontaneous, gracious, and divine. Two words: Tenuta Vanullo. Set in picturesque Capaccio Scalo, near the picturesque Paestum temples and ruins, this farm quickly sells out of production every single day. The lines queued up are lengthy. You really have to see what goes into this artistry to get a sense of it, so here we go, photographs by buffalo mozzarella addict and photographic maestro Kim Steele.

Tenuta Vanullo, photograph by Kim Steele

Tenuta Vanullo, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenuta Vanullo commenced operations in 1902. Today it is home to 300 adult water buffalo, and their offspring. The original water buffalo stock came from India in the 7th century. The water buffalo were brought to Italy to work, they were not river buffalo (the given name for Italian water buffalo in India). The first buffalo mozzarella production in Italy was in Capua, during the 15th century.

Water Buffalo mom & baby (born morning of being photographed), photograph by Kim Steele

Water Buffalo mom & newborn (born morning of being photographed), photograph by Kim Steele

 

The ratio at Tenuta Vannulo  is 2 males for each 75 females. Water buffalo have to stay constantly wet, their care & feeding is precise. All products fed to these water buffalo are grown on the farm: alfalfa, cereal, corn. The water buffalo get massages from car-wash looking contraptions and then are more in the mood to be milked.

 

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Massage, water buffalo style, photograph by Kim Steele

Water buffalo milk is exceptionally rich, hence the unequaled taste sensation, containing 90%  fat per 1 kilo of milk. During each female buffalo’s dry period, they are let out to the fields to graze and take dips in a lake. Female’s near to the date of giving birth are separated to a prenatal pen. The gestation period is 10 months. Water buffalo start giving milk at 3 years old.

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Pepe, water buffalo farm hand, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mozzarella process begins before dawn at 4:00am, with buffalo milk and enzymes. The mixture takes 4 hours to curd, it is filtered, not pasteurized. Heated to 360 degrees, the active enzyme is derived from the 4th part of the stomach of baby water buffalo.

 

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Buffalo mozzarella production, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Buffalo mozzarella production, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After heating, the mixture is put into a large hot water tank, then into a cold water bath.

 

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Buffalo mozzarella production, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalo mozzarella is famous for its “cut” which uses only 2 fingers, the thumb and index finger. The cut is not perfectly round, and is made into 4 distinct shapes.

 

 

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The cut, buffalo mozzarella production, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purists and connoisseurs know that Buffalo mozzarella is never refrigerated. The mozzarella is left in water, packaged and sold…or in the case of Tenuta Vanulla, sold out…every day. If there was an leftover production, it could be left in water for 1 day, after which it is “no good.”

 

 

We had unbelievably savory fresh buffalo mozzarella, 3 flavors of buffalo gelato, buffalo ricotta, and were sent off on our way to Tivoli, and then Rome with a cooler full of scrumptiouness.

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King of the Tenuta Vanullo castle, photograph by Kim Steele

The owners of Tenuta Vanullo were immensely gracious and welcoming to us. We are forever grateful for this uncommon end to our latest Italian journey. There are so many reasons why we return to Italy on a regular basis. The quality of the people, the everyday vistas, the wandering, the ever-present history and the pride in all of this provides solace for our souls. Grazie mille e speriamo di vedervi presto!

Tenuta Vanullo, photograph by Kim Steele

Ruins at Paestum, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

sochi

 

“Жаркие. Зимние. Твои,” Translation: “Hot. Cool. Yours.”

 

OK, Boulevardiers & curmudgeons unite. Enough griping about the Sochi Olympics (scary sad story here from the Atlantic). Of course we are red, white & blue, through & through, and starting tonight, we will be watching with pride. Olympic events give us an opportunity to feature some gorgeous images from photographers braving the issues, a few within.

 

Image: A general view shows the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Sochi Opening Ceremony, photograph, www.ibtimes.co.in

 

Sochi Opening Fireworks, www.ibtimes.co.in

Sochi Opening Fireworks, photograph,www.ibtimes.co.in

The five Olympic rings represent: Passion, trust, victory, fair play and ethics. At the opening ceremony, that last one didn’t work.

 

Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

Olympic ring failure, photograph, Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

One beautiful building!

 

Iceberg Skating Palace, figure skating and short-track speedskating at the Sochi Games. photograph by Igor Yakunin/A

Iceberg Skating Palace, figure skating and short-track speedskating at the Sochi Games, photograph, Igor Yakunin/AP

Some points less discussed:

 

News Shopper:14 fun facts about Winter Olympics ahead of Sochi 2014 opening ceremony, b

1. This will be the 22nd Winter Olympics, and the first to be hosted by Russia.

2. At a cost of around £31 billion, this will be the most expensive Olympics ever.

3. Known as the Russian Riviera, the Black Sea resort of Sochi will be the warmest city ever to host the Winter Olympics.

4. Sochi is thought to be the longest city in Europe, sprawling for 90 miles along the shores of the Black Sea.

5. You’d better clear your diary if you want to travel to Sochi from the Russian capital Moscow. A train journey will take 37 hours.

6. There will be 88 nations represented at the Winter Olympics.

7. Twelve events will make their debut at Sochi 2014, including women’s ski-jumping.

8. The epic torch relay for Sochi 2014, featuring 14,000 torchbearers, went into space via the International Space Station.

9. Sochi, with a population of around 400,000, is the former hometown of tennis star Maria Sharapova.

10. Mascots for the Games are a polar bear, hare and leopard.

 

Sochi Mascots

Sochi Mascots

 

11. With eight gold medals and four silvers, the most successful Winter Olympian of all time is Norway’s cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie.

12. Only one athlete has ever won gold at both Summer and Winter Olympics. Eddie Eagan won the 1920 light-heavyweight boxing gold medal followed by bobsled gold at the 1932 Winter Games.

13. Known more for its fast cars, BMW has built the USA team’s hi-tech bobsleds.

14. The opening ceremony will be held inside the Fisht Olympic Stadium, named after nearby Mount Fisht.

 

US Olympic Team, BMW Bobsled

US Olympic Team, BMW Bobsled

 

CNN: Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics by the numbers, by Richard Allen Greene

Cost: At least $50 billion, including infrastructure work in and around Sochi

Russia’s original cost estimate for infrastructure: $12 billion

How much of the cost that is sports-related, not infrastructure: $6.4 billion

Athletes: About 2,850 from 89 countries — with India being let back into the Games on February 11 — plus 1,650 Paralympians from 45 countries

Sports: 15

Number of events: 98, of which 12 are new

Number of security officers deployed for the Games: 37,000

Number of U.S. athletes, coaches, staff and guests who have booked the services of crisis response company Global Rescue in case of emergency: 375

Amount of borscht (beet soup) expected to be prepared and served during the Games: 265,000 liters (70,000 U.S. gallons)

Average price of lunch for one at the Olympic Park: $15

Number of chefs, sous-chefs, cooks, waiters, bartenders and cashiers working the Games: 7,000

Average temperature in Sochi in February: 8.3 Celsius (47 Fahrenheit), the warmest ever at the Winter Olympics

Number of people the Olympic Park holds: 75,000

Number of volunteers helping with the Games: 25,000

Expected television audience: 3 billion

 

Meteorite Medals for some winners!

The U.S. Olympic Committee pays out a $25,000 bonus per gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. (The money does not come from the U.S.  government — the USOC gets its money from the sale of broadcast rights, licensing and trademark income, and corporate sponsorships.)

 

 Sochi medals for some GOLD winning athletes, containing pieces of a meteorite that fell to ground February 15, 2013,  Image: kremlin.ru.

Sochi medals for some winning athletes, containing pieces of a meteorite that fell to ground February 15, 2013, photograph, kremlin.ru

Spiffy suits for the Norwegian Curling Team! (yup, some Norwegian ancestry for us Boulevardiers)

 

Members of the Norway's Men's Olympic Curling Team, Sochi 2014 suits, lAP/ Cassie Kovacevich, Loudmouth Golf

Members of the Norway Men’s Olympic Curling Team, Sochi 2014~1 of 9 different pants patterns, photograph, AP/ Cassie Kovacevich, Loudmouth Golf

 

GO Team USA–all 230 of you!!!

 

…we hope you get your yogurt (a dispute between Russian and U.S. authorities has halted the shipment of 5,000 cups of Chobani Greek Yogurt bound for the Winter Olympics in Russia due to “improper paperwork”. Chobani is a Team USA sponsor)

 

Chobani yogurt pyramid

Chobani yogurt pyramid

 

 

Gian Lorenzo BERNINI ~ The Great Sculptor

January 26, 2014

Rendering of The Louvre, by Gianlorenzo Bernini

~ Gian Lorenzo BERNINI ~   “He is so adept at imitating, without affectation, what was most perfect in nature that anyone who studied his works was left in doubt as to which was greater, his artistry or his mastery in hiding it.” Domenico An artist of such renown, that Gian Lorenzo Bernini is synonymous […]

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David Foster Wallace — Being A Ghost

January 6, 2014

David Foster Wallace, photograph by Giovanni Giovannetti, Effigie

For the writer, David Foster Wallace, “every love story is a ghost story”, because for David Foster Wallace, being a person was like being a ghost.     David Foster Wallace suffered extreme self-consciousness, day in and day out.  He obsessed about sweating, brushed his teeth and gargled for 45 minutes at a time, mixed […]

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KIM STEELE’S MACHINE AGE

December 1, 2013

C.E.R.N Atlas

~ From ~ The New York Times, Sunday Review, EXPOSURES, December 1, 2013 “MACHINE AGE” by The Boulevardiers Founder & Publisher ~ Photographer KIM STEELE ~ Form and function has always fascinated me.  Turning structure into form has been my goal for almost forty years.  Fascinated by architecture, as well as industry, I am ever drawn to capture […]

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Bell Labs — Our Scientific Heritage

November 11, 2013

Photographing_Sound_in_1884._A_rare_photograph_taken_at_Volta_Laboratory_by_J._Harris_Rogers,_a_friend_of_Bell_and_Tainter_(Smithsonian_photo_44312-E)_i009

In 1880, the French government awarded Alexander Graham Bell the Volta Prize of 50,000 francs (approximately US$10,000 at that time), about $250,000 in current dollars. His telephone was the invention that won the award, which he used to found the Volta Laboratory, along with Sumner Tainter and Bell’s cousin Chichester Bell.         The Volta Laboratory and the Volta Bureau […]

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Skulls & Sarnies

November 10, 2013

Ancient Skull

  I’m an Anthropologist…and a BioArchaeologist. I’ve been all blood & guts for as long as my family & colleagues can remember, in a good way. Pursuing my dreams has been exciting, challenging, and sometimes bewildering. At this time of year, Halloween and all the carnivorous holidays, my truest colors emerge. The evolution of Celtic […]

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“If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution…”

October 28, 2013

Revolution?, ananymous

                I’m no Anarchist…but I do love the title quote of this post, from Emma Goldman, on the right, smoking a pipe on the beach.       From The Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy: The definition of art is controversial in contemporary philosophy. Whether art can be defined […]

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