Archive for the 'Art' Category

Baltimore’s Unique Crosswalks

Crosswalks are one of those things that don’t get much attention. Other than Abbey Road in London what other famous crosswalks can you even think of? I totally walked across Abbey Road barefoot, in a suit, and holding a cigarette but I can’t think of any other notable time I ever crossed a street before. Well the city of Baltimore is trying to change that. Their Office of Promotion and the Arts is trying to increase the amount of public art in the city and one of the things they’ll be doing is making cool crosswalks like this one:

That zipper crosswalk doesn’t hold a candle to this hopscotch one though:

Yes soon enough in the city of Baltimore you will be seeing people playing hopscotch while doing the simple act of crossing the street. That’s certainly one thing you can do to set your city apart from everyone else.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

Steampunk Convention Comes to New Jersey

One of the most important inventions in terms of how we communicate was invented in Morristown, New Jersey, the telegraph. That was the first invention that allowed people to instantly communicate with one another over long distances in real time albeit in a language of dots and dashes. It is also one of the quintessential things that is reminiscent of the era steampunk hearkens back to. Well this weekend Morristown will be hosting its own steampunk convention and some unusually dressed people will be filling the streets.

If you don’t know what steampunk is, imagine Abraham Lincoln holding a futuristic ray gun. It’s a style that imagines an alternate future where Victorian culture lived on and technology advanced but maintained the same look and feel as the early Industrial Revolution. Instead of the sleek design of today’s innovations steampunk technology is bigger with all of its moving parts exposed. No one knows exactly how this movement started or even has a precise definition of it but you’ll know it when you see it. The people who do it seem to like the nebulous guidelines because it leaves them with a great deal of latitude to come up with some incredibly creative and cool looking designs and costumes. Halloween isn’t coming early in Morristown but if you’re in the area you can see some pretty cool things this weekend.

Yeah it’s kind of like that.

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John Lennon’s Childhood Home is For Sale

In October of 1940 when all of England’s major cities were being bombed by the German Air Force, the residents of 9 Newcastle Road in Liverpool had a baby boy named John Lennon. That boy would live at that house for the first few years of his life until the marriage of his parents crumbled and he moved in with his aunt who effectively raised him. By the time the 1960s came along, Lennon would become one of the biggest rock stars the world has ever known until his unfortunate assassination in New York in 1980.

Now the house where John Lennon spent the first few years of his life is going to be sold at an auction later this month. The house’s current owner has kept the house looking much like it did during the 1960s and wants to sell the house because he wants to live in a house with a garden in his retirement. Though the house is badly in need of modernization, it is still expected to sell for a lot of money because well, there are a lot of rich Beatles fans around the world that collect their memorabilia. The guide price for the home is expected to be about £150,000-£250,000 which translates to about $243,000-$405,000 in US Dollars. I’m all for collecting Beatles memorabilia, but I wouldn’t want to buy something that would require a mortgage and property taxes just because it would be cool to have.

That paint job certainly looks like it’s from the sixties.

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Detroit May Be Bankrupt But Its Art Scene Isn’t

Detroit has had a rough go of it over the past 30 years. It went from being America’s third largest city and the heart of American manufacturing to being the poster child of urban decay and municipal bankruptcy. With the city’s recent bankruptcy filing, the spotlight was once again turned on them and the immense problems they face and there has been plenty of political finger pointing to go around. However bad it their situation seems though, they’re also showing signs that they will eventually come back stronger.

Believe it or not, one of the major drivers of economic growth and revenue in the city is the city’s art scene and that has strengthened greatly in recent years. Despite their issues, Detroit hosts about 20 million tourists each year and the main draw for them is their sports teams and their art scene. Detroit has long been home to the Detroit Institute of Arts which is one of the most impressive public art museums in the world with works from legendary artists like van Gogh, Diego Rivera, Caravaggio, Breugel, Rembrandt, and Picasso. In addition to that, the city’s greatly distressed residential and commercial real estate market has made renting or buying property dirt cheap which is another factor that will bring in artists in droves. Detroit should be excited about this development because artists and hipsters are the first seeds of urban renewal. Cities like Ashville, North Carolina, and Bilbao, Spain have experienced an economic renaissance primarily driven by art and culture and Detroit is now trying to follow in their footsteps.

Also there has been a lot of talk about potentially selling off the priceless paintings in Detroit Institute of Arts as part of the city’s bankruptcy and that would be a most unwise idea. Those paintings are the source of a good deal of the tourism that Detroit gets and selling them off would be sacrificing a reliable long-term source of revenue for local businesses for a very short-term fiscal crisis. Such a move doesn’t make economic sense and it would also be met with strong disapproval among the very people who are going to play a big part in rebuilding the city’s economy.

Diego Rivera’s famous Detroit Industry Murals at the DIA.

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An Interactive Map of Brooklyn You’ve Never Seen Before

New York City’s architecture is a wonderful mix of young and old. The two most impressive buildings on the Manhattan skyline are the Empire State Building and the nearly complete World Trade Center One. Those buildings were constructed 82 years apart and looking at those two buildings side by side from a distance gives you a great sense of where we came from and where we are going. This mix of old and new doesn’t just apply to Manhattan skyscrapers either. Cross the East River and you will find a similar mix in the (shorter) buildings of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx all of which have buildings still standing since before 1825. Thomas Rhiel recently undertook an impressive project to visually illustrate this mix in Brooklyn. After going through the building records of more than 320,000 buildings he has put together a color-coded interactive map of Brooklyn with each building shaded depending on its age. This is a truly incredible project that reveals things that I never knew about Brooklyn in a very easily accessible way. It’s well worth checking out.

No sleep till Brooklyn!

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Free Art Fridays in South Florida

Imagine you’re taking a walk in town on a Friday afternoon and you notice something odd. You see a painting leaning up against a lamp or a small sculpture sitting in a bush. Upon closer inspection you find a little tag that says “Free Art Fridays” That is something that is happening all over Miami-Dade and Broward counties and it’s called Free Art Fridays. The way it works is that local artists create a painting and just leave it out somewhere in public and the first person to find it is free to take it.

This trend was originally started in the UK a few years ago but it has spread across the world and has taken South Florida by storm. Artists do it as a way to promote their work while collectors enjoy the free art. It is a movement that has been made possible through social media. Often artists will post hints of what they’re going to be giving away and where they’re going to leave it. At least in South Florida the competition gets pretty intense among art collectors. They’re constantly checking the social media profiles of their favorite local artists and in some cases even following them to the place where they’re going to place their art. Ultimately though it is a fun new twist on something as old as art and an unexpected perk of living in the Miami area.

There are few things Americans love more than free stuff.

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The Best Places to Visit in 2013 compiled their list of the ten best places to visit in 2013. If you’re looking into planning your next vacation, check out these places and see what all the fuss is about!

  1. Louisville, Kentucky– Considered a “lively, offbeat cultural mecca on the Ohio River.”
  2. Fairbanks, Alaska-The place to be to see the unique & exquisite Northern Lights.
  3. San Juan Islands, Washington– Home to 250 days of sunshine each year plus tons of fresh food and locally grown produce, seafood, and more.
  4. Philadelphia, PA– Philly is quickly becoming the art capital of the world with the renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art and amazing galleries.
  5. American Samoa– Has some of the most stunning & untouched beaches of the Pacific and an awesome national park. It’s US territory too!
  6. Eastern Sierra, CA– An overlooked part of the Sierra Nevada range with other great natural attractions like the Travertine hot spring, the Gold Rush ghost town of Bodie, and more.
  7. Northern Maine-Besides lobster, lighthouses, and a rocky shoreline, Maine’s top half which reaches to the Canada border makes for a true wilderness adventure with moose, white water rafting, and hiking.
  8. Twin Cities, Minnesota-Minneapolis is often called the country’s best bike city. St. Paul is quitter but has an awesome must-see marketplace and the Fitzgerald Theater.
  9. Verde Valley, Arizona-Located between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, Verde Valley is taking off as Arizona’s go-top location. Food, art, and mining lore combine with beautiful green canyons rimmed by red rocks.
  10. Glacier National Park, Montana– One of the country’s wildest, most remote and pristine national parks. Jagged, snow-topped ridges and glacier sculpted horns loom over aquamarine lakes and meadows that are blanketed with wildflowers.

Which one of these places are you most likely to visit? They all sound fantastic to us!

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