The Roaring Twenties: An Interactive Exploration of the Historical Soundscape of New York City (sound autoplays). via i09, which says The map uses a combination of noise complaints and old reel footage to plot everything from what must have been an exceptionally noisy subway turnstile (complete with notes from the police report) all the way to a carnival barkers in Coney Island, and is a great way to listen in on the everyday life of a New York City gone-by.
Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives. (copied from description on TED website). [more inside]
Living Well Is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins is a classic New Yorker profile of Gerald and Sara Murphy, central figures of the Lost Generation social circle in 1920s France. F. Scott Fitzgerald created Dick and Nicole Diver, the central couple of Tender Is the Night, by merging himself and his wife Zelda, with the Murphys. Gerald was a painter of note (examples: 1, 2, 3, 4), whose masterpiece has been lost. After seven years of painting, Murphy stopped, and never restarted, for a host of reasons, from the illness of his son to his closeted gayness. But the Murphys are probably best known for "the special quality of their life." They hosted parties and lived in a villa on the Mediterranean coast and were both painted by many artists, including Pablo Picasso. They were the subject of a recent biography and an essay collection.
The opening shots of 1920s New York City are wonderful, then you get a zany high-speed Harold Lloyd blazing down the avenues, and that's fun to watch, but the real killer is the horse-drawn trolley absolutely tearing-ass through lower Manhattan, full gallop. Ends badly. Then it's over to San Francisco for one last bit of homicidal vehicular activity with a bus. Well, they sure don't drive like they used to! [more inside]
Kiki de Montparnasse aka Alice Ernestine Prin was a French country girl down on her luck in early 20th century Paris. She would however become a great muse of the avant-garde art scene of the Années Folles, posing for and befriending the likes of Chaim Soutine, Moise Kisling, Amedeo Modigliani, Utrillo, Foujita, Calder, Per Krogh, Pascin, and, most famously, Man Ray, with whom he entertained a steady (if not particularly monogamous) relationship before Lee Miller. During their tumultuous eight-year romance, Kiki was the model for several of his most famous works (with some Surrealist art films thrown in for good measure). She also competed with Jean Cocteau for the affections of sailors in Southern France, was a good friend of Tristan Tzara and received letters of support of Aragon and Desnos when she was jailed for public disorder. A life of excess that ultimately led to her early death in destitution in 1953 also provided stuff for several biographies (the latest one, appropriately enough, a graphic novel), as well as a Hemingway-prefaced autobiography which was banned for obscenity in the US until the '70s, and the odd art exhibition...