You should have seen him go go go

It’s been more than five years since Lou Reed’s death, but the seminal 60s rock icon has not been forgotten in New York City. To celebrate what would have been his 77th birthday, the New York Public Library has opened its “Lou Reed Archives” to the general public and has issued a limited edition Lou Reed NYPL card. The archive, which was donated by Reed’s wife Lauri Anderson, consists of thousands of audio and video recordings, photos, tour memorabilia, writings, art work, and much more.

The personal artifacts cover Reed’s life from his high school band in the late 50s through his rise to rock stardom with the iconic Velvet Underground, his long solo career, and his final public performance in 2013. Here’s a list of  some of watch you’ll find at the Lou Reed Archive :

  • Original manuscript, lyrics, poetry and handwritten tai-chi notes
  • Photographs of Reed, including artist prints and inscriptions by the photographers
  • Tour itineraries, agreements, road manager notes and paperwork
  • 600+ hours of live recordings, demos, studio recordings and interviews
  • Reed’s own extensive photography work
  • Album, book, and tour artwork; mock-ups, proofs and match-prints
  • Lou Reed album and concert posters, handbills, programs, and promotional items
  • Lou Reed press for albums, tours, performances, books, and photography exhibits
  • Fan mail
  • Personal collections of books, LPs and 45s

 

You can find the archive at the library branch at Lincoln Center.

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Evening Routine

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Art Floats

Fluctuart claims that its Centre D’Art Urbain Flottant will be the first floating urban arts museum in the world. I don’t know if that’s an accurate statement, but the soon to be launched waterfront gallery is a welcome component of the “Reinventing the Seine” project championed by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

The floating art center will be docked at the base of the Pont Invalides across from the Grand Palais. Admission to the tri-level gallery devoted to urban arts will be free.

Paris’ newest  museum will be displaying both permanent and temporary exhibitions of street art and graffiti. Its premiere show will feature works by Swoon and Caledonia Curry at the May opening. Watch this space for more information.

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This Book Is Dangerous (again)

In 1927, Italian Futurist artist and designer Fortunato Depero published his groundbreaking monograph Depero Futurista, or “Depero the Futurist,” which became commonly known as “The Bolted Book” because of its large aluminum fasteners. The avant-garde masterpiece had an imaginative layout, experimental typography, brilliantly colored inks, and an entirely novel design. Many consider it to be the original artist’s book.

There’s a Kickstarter project currently offering an exact replica facsimile of the book along with an excellent reader’s guide. You can check it out right here.

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The Carrier of Ladders

This week the two-time Poet Laureat of the U.S. and two-time Pulitzer prizewinning poet W.S. Merwin died at the age of 91. One of America’s best known and loved writers, Merwin managed to weave themes of spirituality, politics, relationships, and the environment into his dozens of volumes of poetry. “When you look back there is always the past/ Even when it has vanished.”

“For the Anniversary of My Death”

by

W.S. Merwin


Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what
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All Roads Lead To Rome (eventually)

Once again, Chicago-based cartographer and artist Sasha Trubetskoy has created an amazing transit-themed map based on the ancient Roman road network. This terrific example, Roman Roads of Iberia, is based on historic sources and covers the period of the First Century BC through the Fourth Century AD. If you would like to see more of Sasha’s very cool maps and even buy high quality versions for yourself, check out his website.

 

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Free Books For Travelers

Hub City Books and the Hub City Writers Project in Sparatanburg, S.C., have launched Free Books for Travelers, a new community outreach project. Travelers passing through the Sparta Passenger Center are encouraged to take a free book along for the ride next time they hop on a bus.

The bookshelf, topped with an eye-catching sign featuring a Dr. Seuss quote (“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”), is stocked with a rotating selection of post-publication ARCs as well as new and gently used books donated by customers of the Hub City Bookshop.

“We are gratified to be able to offer books to travelers, whether they are headed across town or across the country,” said HCWP’s Anne Waters. “For years we have distributed free children’s books through our ‘Growing Great Readers’ program and this enables us to extend our outreach to adults.”

She added: “Every day we receive ARCs of books that will be released in the coming months. Once the finished books are published, the ARCS are destined for the recycling bin. We determined it was far better to share them. If this initiative ignites or rekindles a passion for reading we have furthered our mission to ‘Nurture Writers and Cultivate Readers.’ ”

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Tilting At Windmills

Don Quixote of the Mancha
re-told by Judge Parry
Illustrated by Walter Crane
London Blackie & Son Limited 1900 First Edition thus

 

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Awful Books

One of my guilty pleasures is checking in periodically with this hilarious website dedicated to really terrible books. The Awful Library Books blog is the passion project of two professional librarians from the State of Michigan. Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner collect some of the worst examples of books that have been mercifully culled from U.S. public library collections.

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The Highest and the Shortest

Unless you are a skier or a public transit geek, it’s not likely that you have ever heard of, or visited, the Austrian village of Serfaus. The lovely little town with a population of around 1,200 is renowned for its ski runs and alpine charm, but it’s also the site of the world’s highest and shortest underground metro system, the Dorfbahn. 

Located on a plateau nearly 1,500 meters above the Inn Valley just west of Innsbruck, Serfaus was an early adopter of the car-free, pedestrian-friendly town center concept. But the massive popularity with alpine skiers required a novel way to move visitors around town.

In 1985, Serfaus began construction of the Dorfbahn by building a 1.3 kilometer-long tunnel beneath the village’s main street. Today, the four stop metro system operates a three car hovertrain year-round for free. The carriages use an air-cushion system and the entire metro is remotely operated.

 

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