via Flickr Autumn Farmers’ Markets
via Flickr Autumn Farmers’ Markets
One of the interesting things about having my photos available for use under a Creative Commons license is that they can be used on someone’s blog or picked up by a major publications. I’ve had my photos used on such sites as Huff Post Travel and Discover. Now I can add Prospect Magazine to the list of publications I actually knew about prior to my one of my photos showing up.
October was another good reading month and I’m well on my way to meeting my goal of reading 30 books this year.
I re-read Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. I had originally read it shortly after it first came out at the end of 2009. I remember, at the time, not being too thrilled by it, but I wanted to read it again because the film is coming out in December and I wanted to remind myself what it was like. Although I wasn’t initially taken with the novel, I was excited when I heard Paul Thomas Anderson was going to direct. On reading it a second time, I enjoyed Inherent Vice quite a bit. I’m thinking I was disappointed the first time around because it came after Against the Day, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Against the Day is a big, fat, dense novel one comes to expect from Pynchon. Compared to that, Inherent Vice felt insubstantial. But a second reading with fresh eyes revealed that Inherent Vice stands quite well on it’s own. I am looking forward to the movie even more now.
The second book I finished in October was Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood, which I’ve been wanting to read for quite a while and finally got around to picking up a copy at our local used bookstore. I am very interested in the time period between the two world wars and Barnes expatriated to Paris during this time. The novel is known for being one of the earlier novels focusing on a lesbian love story. But what’s most notable about Nightwood is Barnes’ unique writing style. The majority of the novel relies on the long-winded ramblings of one of the main characters. The tragic love story occurs mainly in the background. I was intrigued by Nightwood but don’t really know what to make of it.
I finished 27 books by the end of October:
Musicians from the National Center for Performing Arts Orchestra from China at the URBN Center
via Flickr bassoons
Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers might be the most intense film so far on the BFI’s list of the 50 Greatest Films of All Time. Using a combination of professional and amateur actors and employing a documentary style, The Battle of Algiers creates a sense of urgency as it explores the tensions between Algerian rebels and their French occupiers.
The film opens with a disturbing scene of an Algerian man being tortured until he reveals the location of a key member of the opposition forces. As the French police bear down on their hiding place, the films slips into a prolonged flashback, which makes up the bulk of the film, creating suspense as the viewer is left wondering about the outcome of this initial confrontation. The sense of urgency and immediacy never lets up. Pontecorvo doesn’t shy away from the violence of terrorist actions and the film includes some very shocking and unforgettable sequences.
I was a little surprised to see that The Battle of Algiers ranked fairly low on the BFI’s list (48). I found it to be a griping portrayal of a very turbulent time.
via Flickr Comcast and Clouds
The last time I was in Chicago, I went to The Gage a couple of times. Initially, I went for lunch and met a couple of friends there and was impressed enough that I went back with another group later in the trip. Chicagoist published a list of The Best Places to Eat When Good Is Good Enough and included The Gage. I’m glad they note that The Gage is “more than OK,” but I can see their point in including it on their list of places that are “good enough.” Although it is really good, it’s in a very touristy part of town, across the street from Millennium Park and The Art Institute of Chicago. In fact, I went there the first time because it was right across the street from The Art Institute.
Chicagoist used my picture of the Hanger Steak Salad in their post.