Friday, 23 September 2011

fontastic friday: revolutionary road

IMG_1214 IMG_0304

I was having too much fun in Toronto to take more pictures.

I've always loved how each neighbourhood gets it's own name and sign. Rather than segregating, it creates a real sense of community. There are signs for Little Italy, Chinatown, and even rainbows for the "gay district" around Church Street. For me, the street street signs represent that great Canadian phenomenon of "ethnicity" vs. "visual minority status". The latter is something other people choose for you, where as the former is a label you choose for yourself.

In the case of the "Africanisches Viertel" (african area) in Berlin, the street names later determined the cultural flavour. In the 1800s, names like "Togostrasse" or "Senegalstrasse" were given to streets to "honour" Germany's colonial past. There was even the idea to create an African themed park/zoo in the area, complete with animals (and people) that you would see on the continent.

It never happened. One hundred years later, immigrants from places like Ghana and Camereon heard the street names and wanted to live there. They invited their families to join them, and now the neighbourhood in Berlin's Wedding district is the only place I can find Afro Shops and grocery stores selling plantain.

Friday, 16 September 2011

fontastic friday: Jesus of Montreal

la maison

artisanal quebecois

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The most vibrant, melancholic, romantic city in which I've had the privilege of being misunderstood.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

colour mix

When I bought my first dirndl, the shop lady insisted on bringing me one size smaller than I usually wear. "The breasts don't go in the dress," she explained. Then she asked me if I were single or taken, which I thought was a bit forward after all this talk about my bosom. Turns out she just wanted to know whether to tie my apron bow to the left, or to the right.

I don't live in Bayern, where it is common to wear a dirndl for everything from farm work to a wedding reception. If I did, I would be adding this to my collection:

Noh-Nee_FAZ_9_11-1

Sisters Darouiche and Rahmée Wetterich started the brand NOH NEE in 2010. They were born in Cameroon and now call Munich home. What I love about the brand is their whole philosophy of "colour mix" - to hear the sisters talk about dresses makes you want to vote them into German Parliament: “(Colour mix) will be of great importance in the days to come....people will get to know each other, they will innovate, and they will see their own traditions in a different light."

In Germany, people talk more about "integration" than they do about "multiculturalism". This dress gives me hope for something in the middle.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

favourite font

I wasn't sure if I am a huge fan, or seriously scared of Tyler the Creator. The video for his song "Yonkers" is self-written and directed, and he apparently also came up with the scenario for the video for "She"...but the upside down cross imagery and candid talk of violence and suicide in his lyrics kind of got to me...

Then I found out he has a favourite font.

cooper_black

Thing is, Tyler wants to scare us. He's 20 years old, stuck in his own world with his skateboarding, marginalized friends. He talks about all the things rumbling in the back of our heads, only he just turned 20 so he hasn't yet programmed himself to ignore it like the rest of us.

Honestly, I don't think I could choose my favourite font. That's what is so great about being 20-year-old like Mr. Creator...everything is so black and white.

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