katharine hearts links

school and personal issues have slowed my blogging to a weakened, dehydrated crawl. here are some links of interest i’ve bookmarked over the past two months.

the artist’s survival kit by keri smith

bent objects

design police

the dashed line in use

weather report animations

mark live in IKEA

nick bianco – lunch box designer (also designed the Monkees logo)

pictobrowser

vectormagic

interactive art director ’08

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katharine hearts zany night clubs

having visited Pleasure Island at least once a year since 1994, i’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the nightspot. it’s where i met my current boyfriend and most of my closest friends. and over 13 years, i’ve watched it disintegrate.

when the place opened in 1989, it was shiny and full of bright, happy late 80s colours. lots of aqua and hot pink, much like my wardrobe at that time. and for a long time the island remained bright and colourful and stuck in the era of parachute pants and crimped hair (not part of my wardrobe). the design was cheesy and dated, but remained mostly consistent throughout the nine acres. the miami sound machine had long disbanded, but you could go to PI and still feel like the rhythm was gonna get you.

in 2006, PI underwent some construction that resulted in the demolition of two stages, and effectively wiping out outdoor entertainment there. a recent visit revealed most of the shops to be empty, foot traffic to be almost non-existent, and no more bright colours. all pretenses of the island being a series of warehouses and mentions of Merriweather Pleasure have been eradicated, except for plaques remaining in the Adventurers Club. the colour scheme has been toned down. the beige bridges are not beckoning the young club-goer.

architecturally, not much has changed except the removal of outdoor stages and a wider bridge onto the island. the colour scheme for the railings and ticket trolleys is jewel-toned, but it doesn’t read well in the dark. the neon signs have not been updated and retain the hot pinks and aquas of yesteryear.

with the closing of nightclubs–the Rock N Roll Beach Club closed within the past month–and the addition of generic themed restaurants and shops, WDW is allowing their brand to be infiltrated and tarnished. the company is sacrificing personality and coherence for dollar signs. will it be worth it in the end?

katharine does not heart destruction, still hearts internet

while checking my email sunday night, i happened to notice the AP headline “Storm Impacts Alabama Town.” anytime Alabama is mentioned in a headline, i tend to click it to see what nonsense my native state has involved itself in. i was surprised to find that the small town mentioned in the story was my hometown, the town where my family still resides. it was just a couple of hours after the tornado had hit when the story broke, so i clicked over to the Montgomery Advertiser to get more details. photos and snippets of information had been posted and i found that the tornado had ripped a path through familiar roads and right into my family’s neighbourhood up to the Wal*Mart and points north in a matter of minutes.

in the past when tornadoes tore through nearby counties, there would be a minor bit of debris and power outages. which is what my family experienced, although i wouldn’t find out until the next morning (lesson: always have a fully charged mobile device). all that i could see from the photos were houses that were smashed apart and dozens of shots of the broken storefronts in and around Wal*Mart. my family lives just a few blocks from where the destruction took place. and they emerged without a scratch and without property damage.

as of yesterday, it was determined that 800+ homes sustained damage from the tornado and 150 homes were lost. fatalities = zero.

i’ve been looking at photos of the destruction since sunday.  they range from arty to genuinely heart-wrenching, with the inevitable schmaltz (American flags placed just so, dramatic shots of stuffed animals next to a framed portrait of a child). the cynic in me says some awards will be won for those photographs. and those awards aren’t going to rebuild the 150 lost houses or repair the others.

sometimes the wind can be a big German man, other times it’s a force that cannot be reckoned with.