I love cars. I’ve owned a Jaguar XK 150S, the model predating the E-Type, a Citroën DS 19, an Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider, etc. I loved them all, especially the Citroën. One time David Byrne arrived late at the studio and had to park illegally. I offered to park his car. He told me nobody knew how to drive his car. I asked what kind it was, he said a Citroën with Citromatic and the button brake, and I said “just give me the keys”. Read More →
In 1973, fresh out of grad school and after an unhappy spell in law school, unable to find a job teaching in American community colleges, I found two job postings on a UCLA international job bulletin board. One was to teach English at a brand new university in Constantine, Algeria. The other was a teaching post at a University in Shiraz, Iran.
What grabbed me about the University of Constantine was the gorgeous futurist architecture of the great Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who has recently celebrated his 104th birthday. He once beautifully stated:
“I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves……the curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of a beloved woman.”
Who could resist this? Plus, I’d lived in Paris before and spoke French. So I applied. Read More →
The world has watched the Olympics in London, now continuing. It’s interesting to go back a ways and see an Olympics from an earlier time, Tokyo 1964. It was the first big international event held in that country since the war ended. You see Olympian runners who weren’t sponsored by international corporations, just regular guys and gals: plumbers, teachers, and so on. Swimming styles were different, track shoes were just regular old Adidas, and the East African marathoners didn’t even wear shoes anyway. The cold war was in full swing, with the Soviet Union and the USA vying for dominance. America was in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. It was just four years before Tommy Smith raised his fist in protest in Mexico City, wearing his gold medal. It’s a fascinating documentary and although a time capsule, it is timeless.