Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, August 09, 2021

Incredibly, I managed to remember today’s kickoff of New York City’s Summer Streets, which turned over seven miles of Manhattan roadways to pedestrian-only traffic (except for some traffic-controlled cross-streets).

I had intended to rollerblade the length of the course, and so I did. I didn’t get it together in time to hit the 7AM start; it was more like (ahem) 11AM by the time I strapped on the skates and made my way up and down the path.

My verdict? It’s a lot shorter than I thought it would be. Even with the relatively slow pace required by the crowds and the sometimes-treacherous pavement (I tripped up only twice, and never did spill — a triumph!), I managed to do the up-and-down circuit twice by the time the 1PM ending time hit. From there, I cruised into Central Park and skated the loop there before calling it a day with a late lunch.

I tried to take a few pictures, but my cameraphone didn’t deliver. Plenty of others filled the photographic void, though. I haven’t scanned them all to see if I appear anywhere.

I might or might not go back next Saturday for round two. If I can convince someone to come with me — even a bicyclist — I’ll be more motivated to get off to an earlier start.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/09/2021 09:09:47 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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grand design
An anonymous tipster clued me in on the origin of the above poster for Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of “Hamlet” paired with the hippie-musical “Hair”, which captivated me so much a couple of months ago.

Turns out it’s the work of Pentagram Design, specifically staffer Paula Scher. There’s extensive detail about the campaign on Pentagram’s blog, including lots of imagery from past poster work for Public Theater (Scher’s done their campaigns for 13 of the past 14 years). Great stuff.

The subtle visual combination of the two very different plays into a “calligraphic” mohawk skull is confirmed in the rundown. More attention is given to the typography developed, which I admit is pretty interesting:

For the updated identity, being produced in conjunction with a major renovation of The Public’s multi-theater complex on Lafayette Street, the letterforms have been redrawn using the Hoefler & Frere-Jones font Knockout. The new system is more refined as it retains the active nature of the original but provides more of a structure, while the change from a vertical to horizontal orientation has the effect of making the logo more architectural.

This new graphic system can be seen in this summer’s Shakespeare in the Park posters that utilize the strict 90° angles of a De Stijl-inspired grid. Retained is the bold Victorian wood block type but now, the space is organized by angled printers rules, a distinctive throwback that adds structure while it references wood block type. “The energy of the identity is as active as ever, but it is a little more structured, a little more refined,” says Scher. “After 14 years it’s clear that the original identity had a lot of power, and while the system cannot return to that original, we can return energy to the form. It’s a bit like New York—it needs to constantly be changing.”

As it happens, I might be going to see the “Hair” production next weekend. I’d rather have seen “Hamlet”, but too late for that. In any case, Pentagram’s visuals obviously have had an effect on me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/09/2021 08:48:45 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, New Yorkin'
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Decades after he wrote them, George Orwell’s previously unpublished diary entries will now see the light of day — appropriately enough, in blog form.

The first entry was posted today, exactly 70 years after Orwell committed it to paper on August 9th, 1938. The idea is to mirror the posting dates with the same calendar dates, thus coming close to recreating the narrative process. Great idea, although someone’s already pointed out that waiting for the 84th anniversary of the first entry would have been even better — not only for symbolic purposes, but also because the day/dates would match precisely in 2002.

The journaling begins as Orwell is recuperating from lung disease in Morocco, and will run through the start of World War II to the mid-point of that conflict. It should be an engaging read.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/09/2021 08:22:00 PM
Category: Bloggin', History, Political, Publishing
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