Archive for July, 2008

Open Letter to Karen Buck MP

Dear Karen Buck,

As you will know Dub Vendor record shack Ladbroke Grove is closing this Wednesday 25th June after over 28 years of business. Dub Vendor was key in bringing Jamaican and Carribean music to London and has played a central role in the Ladbroke Grove community.

Whilst we must accept the closing of the store I am extremely concerned that we may lose the mural on the side of the store, one of the finest in London. I would urge you to take the steps necessary to protect this local, national and international icon.

Yours sincerely,

Dub Vendor is world famous as is the mural that has featured in many films and music videos, as well as being a local landmark. There is a facebook group if you wish to support this campaign – however the best course of action is to email Ms Buck directly at k.buck@rpkn-labour.co.uk

Introducing The Hub

hub.metblogs

If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

See "Psycho Buildings" before it closes …

psycho buildings imageHey, Londoners.

It’s Mack, the captain wrangler for Metblogs.

I’m on loan here from Los Angeles for a few weeks (all right, I’m on holiday with my wife and kids, and rudely crashing your party) but I had to share: On our first weekend in town, we stumbled into the sort of exhibit that smacks you smartly across the chops and reminds you that Modern Art Needn’t Suck:

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the Psycho Buildings exhibition at the Hayward at Southbank Centre … (more…)

Nothing Like Old Clothes to Make you Feel Awesome

I am so, so loving Junky Styling. Designers Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager get their source material from charity shops and jumble sales, then, presto chango, they come up with something like this:

dress.jpg or this: dress-t.jpg,

which I am so going to beg them to let me wear to my next red carpet event.

They have a long-established shop in Brick Lane, so get your ass on your bike and ride down there for some very special clothes that can also boost your green credentials.

Heads up from Boing Boing.

Charity Starts at Home

Living in Westminster, I get to see a lot of homeless people. It is the policy of our Borough to discourage giving cash. They might be scamming. They might use it to buy smack. I don’t know. If people feel that they have spare cash to give, then maybe they should just do what their hearts tell them to do.

I don’t give cash. I can’t spare it. Not one pence. But, I can give other stuff. Socks, for example. Sometimes I leave socks with the sleeping man down the block. Or a t-shirt that is just hanging around the flat not doing anyone any good. Sometimes I will buy some food or orange juice. One time I got yelled at by one of our local homeless for offering her orange juice. Apparently, she only wanted cash. I wanted to give her the two fingers as she was yelling at me, but I tried to remind myself that something, not the orange juice, sent her off the rails maybe years ago.

San Francisco is doing a thing called “Replate.” Leave your leftover food in a doggie bag on top of a bin. I kinda like it. There is the sanitary question, but I guess it’s better than actually eating out of the bin.

Speaking of which, I was having a chat with one of the security blokes behind Marks and Sparks on Long Acre. I asked him if a lot of food gets thrown away. “A shameless amount,” he said. I’ve heard of urban foragers who bin dive for food. It’s perfectly good food. My question is why grocers don’t do what Pret do. They give away their food for free at the end of the day.

You can’t bin dive at Long Acre, though. I’ve already checked. They’ve got security measures in place to protect all of that free food on its way to the land fill. How can we expect to save the planet and all those children starving in Africa if we are throwing away perfectly good food? Why can’t I have the free, not-even-barely-out-of-date food and then send the money that I would otherwise spend on food to Oxfam or something.

Sorry, this is such a rambling post. So stressed with the move that I can’t think clearly to edit.

You can Kiss my Green Ass

city-london-g-wiz.jpg

OK, this one from Going Green: The City of London has announced that they will no longer allow parking concessions for electric vehicles. This is just, well, stupid. Giving people monetary incentives to go green works. Taking money away after they have, in good faith, purchased these funny little cars just pisses people off. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, I cannot vote. But, you Londoners can. So please write your representatives, and tell them that they are just being asses.

To quote Going Green:

“The reason cited by the City of London for this dramatic change was that although the programme had proved very successful it had, in their view, encouraged increased vehicle use within the borough. The subsequent air quality improvements through the use of zero emission vehicles were not mentioned in the announcement.”

Photo and heads up from Tree Hugger.

Got Cash? Fly London in an Airship

airship460x276.jpg

Trying to think green for international travel, I can’t wait to fly like this across the ocean. But, until then, you can drop £360 for a one-hour tour of London on an Airship. You can see a beautiful photo gallery over at the Guardian.
Photo by Graeme Robertson taken from the Guardian Website (Is that legal? I will take it down if asked to cease and desist.)

Avant-Garde Filmmaker Jonas Mekas Live at the Curzon Soho

jonas001.jpg

This one from my mates over at the Curzon who work so hard to keep it real in the Blockbuster state of the West End. Jonas Mekas, perhaps one of the most influential Avant-Garde filmmakers of our times, will be in conversation (that means live) at the Curzon Soho on Saturday the 19th of July at 4 p.m. He will be screening and discussing (amongst other things) his 1997 film “Birth of a Nation.” Here is what he has to say about it:

One hundred and sixty portraits or rather appearances, sketches and glimpses of avant-garde, independent filmmakers and film activists between 1955 and 1996. Why BIRTH OF A NATION? Because the film independents IS a nation in itself. We are surrounded by commercial cinema Nation same way as the indigenous people of the United States or of any other country are surrounded by the Ruling Powers. We are the invisible, but essential nation of cinema. We are the cinema.”

More about Mekas here

Curzon info here

Avant-Garde stuff here

Furniture

furniture.jpg

If I were staying and had a real job, I’d be shopping at Unto This Last in Brick Lane. It’s green and looks really cool. They manufacture everything on site and they are taking 3-D modeling software to a new dimension. Check out the pretty pictures on their website.

Thanks to TreeHugger.

London Festival of Architecture

urbangarden.jpg

OK, I really should have blogged about this earlier, and I have all sorts of excuses, but I’ll skip it. The London Festival of Architecture is going on through the 20th of July. Cool stuff is happening all over the city, but this really cool thing sets my pants on fire. Growing food locally in bags? Check out the giant grow bags in Hoxton Square, Store Street and Cheapside. Totally radical, man.

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