It was New Years’ Eve 2011 and New York had, just days earlier, witnessed the worst snow storms in over 100 years. This day, the sun came out, the snow ploughs had cleared most of the streets, and the world was getting back to normal. I went walking to Washington Square, one of the great [...]
Before street skating took off in America’s east coast, the mecca of skateboarding was Southern California. Starting in 1975, a young photographer named Hugh Holland captured what is now possibly the greatest collection of images of that era, featuring empty swimming pools used as skate bowls, the Venice and Huntington Beach boulevards, and suburban streets – all set against the Southern Californian sun.
When I was a kid, I remember my mother reading me an Oscar Wilde book, The Selfish Giant. I wasn’t much interested by the story, but I was fascinated by its pictures of a giant’s beautiful gardens set within the walls of his castle. Last year at the end of the English summer, I found the real life equivalent: a child’s fantasy land of 55 of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.
I don’t have the concentration to read books or watch many movies. But I love contemporary photography, architecture, and the idea of the ‘land of dreams’ America was in the 1950s. Julius Shulman has captured perhaps the greatest collection of modernist architecture from 1946-60 in Case Study Houses (Tashen), many of them set in the Hollywood Hills. These photographs inspired a number of The Invicible Summer’s songs, including To the Sky, written with the view out over LA from Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House #22 in mind.
Every two years, the romantic city of Venice transforms with a wave of creative types wearing black for the Architectural Biennale. This year’s event, which runs until November 25, is directed by the iconic British architect, David Chipperfield, and features National Pavilions exhibiting the best works from a variety of countries, as well as from selected universities and individual architectural practices.
Those who don’t like America haven’t been to New York, and those who don’t like American food haven’t been to Freemans. Located at the end of a once disused alley of The Bowery, Freemans is a charming and cool place to relax, have brunch, and, yes, drink breakfast cocktails. Featuring old world furniture, paintings, plants and some signature antlers, try some smoked trout, a hard boiled egg with horseradish cream and The Devereaux – a light mix of Bourbon, St. Germain, mint, lemon juice and champagne.
I spent the summer of 2011 in the US, mainly in Santa Monica. It reminded me of being a kid, of movies like The Lost Boys, and of sitting on the beach watching the sunsets. Our first single, Runaway, is really about knowing that it’s time to leave your childhood behind and take on the [...]