i watched the series City Ballet, which was produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, all in one sitting when it was released. it’s really enthralling, and a world that only a few really understand (watching Black Swan does not count). every now and then i’ll dip into an episode while i’m eating lunch at my desk. watch it!
when i was a kid i did ballet (which was short lived) and modern dancing. i was not good at either, but it was one of the few extra-mural exercise focused activities that i didn’t totally hate, and even though i have never been the most athletic person i at least had some rhythm (more so when i have had a few drinks – granted) so i just kept doing it cause it was fun. at some point it became no fun, mostly because the other girls were simply better than me, and my modern dancing teacher remarked that i was “the most inflexible person she’s ever taught”. which, as a kid, STUNG. i can barely touch my knees, let alone my toes, so yeah i am completely fucking inflexible – you don’t need to tell me that, lady!
here are some bad-ass women to inspire you this Friday, who flew in the face of convention (pardon the pun) and trained as airforce pilots in 1943. despite the magazine describing them thusly, “girls are very serious about their chance to fly for the Army, even when it means giving up nail polish, beauty parlours and dates for a regimented 33 weeks.” can you even. you can read the original article in LIFE magazine here.
i have been hearing grumblings around the internet that it’s HOT in LA at the moment. i can’t help but be a little smug, because on this side of the world we are experiencing optimal autumn weather. sunny, but cold, with the occasional rain shower… I LOVE IT. i think that LA is quite similar to Cape Town weather wise, so perhaps we have just directly swapped seasons. well, you guys can enjoy your boiling hot days for the time being.
Nichelle Gainour, a journalist who blogs and writes for various online and offline publications, owns a tumblr called Vintage Black Glamour that has progressed into a book, launching in June. the tumblr is unique in that it’s not just pictures pictures pictures, something i find quite frustrating about themed tumblrs in general. she talks about the subjects in the photographs at length, something that i really appreciate in the land of the never ending out-of-context image (aka the internet).
growing up my older brothers had motorbikes, and i thought it was soooooo cool. sometimes they would pick me up from school on one of these tanks and i would feel like like such a bad ass. granted i was not the one steering the motorbike, and i never have had the guts to actually ride one. so whenever i see a woman on a motorbike i think damn, girl. that’s what i thought when i saw these pics of women motorcyclists from 1949, taken by Loomis Dean for Life Magazine. and in an age when it might have been strange to see woman in pants – let alone riding motorbikes – they are pretty bad ass in my book.
i don’t know about you guys, but this time of year is kinda awful. not only do we all have to go back to work (sigh) but some of us have probably gained a few kilos over the festive season (i read this post yesterday which made me feel a lot better about that fact) and the media enjoy drumming it into our brains that we must now shed this holiday weight and become our optimal physical selves in 2014. when i think about making new years resolutions to lose weight or get fit my eyeballs roll so hard into the back of my head that i can almost see into the past when i made that resolution exactly a year ago.
Dinanda Nooney was a photographer from Manhattan who documented the lives of families living in Brooklyn from 1978-79. she donated the entire collection to the NYPL Digital Gallery in 1995, and i found myself looking through every single photo with my morning coffee yesterday. it amazes me that so many of these homes could in fact be the interiors of modern day Brooklyn apartments – the furniture, the plants, the bike racks (!), studios of artists & architects and designers…
poking around the life archives i discovered this marvelous photoset of young women working on ski resorts in Aspen in the 70s, photographed by John Dominis. after some more digging i managed to find the original article in the March 1971 edition of Life, which is called, wait for it, “A Very Nice Kind of Ski Bum“.
Blackie was the cat of photographer Gjon Mili, who was best known for his work for Life magazine. you can see a beautiful series he did with Picasso that i previously blogged about here. i was digging more into his work when i noticed that Blackie appears in a lot of his shoots – it seems that his feline friend accompanied him to the studio (and really enjoyed it).
the Forest History Society is probably exactly what you think it is – an archive dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating forest and conservation history. they have an extensive collection of photographs that have been digitised, that you can search through here, as well as an online gallery sorted by subject. i found some of their best photographs over at their flickr page. makes you want to go camping, doesn’t it?