the retro issue
This summer, do big business - even on holiday
when you book early1.
Book any Danish or Finnish Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn hotel for your holiday and enjoy everything youâ€™re used to on business, but on holiday. Perfect.
Win a Leica D-Lux 5 camera worth â‚Ź700. Book your summer holidays and take part in our Leica competition2. Visit www.ihg.com/bigbusiness.
Offer valid for bookings from 1 May 2011 to 10 August 2011 for stays from 1 July 2011 to 31 August 2011, in any Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn hotel in Denmark or Finland. Visit www.ihg.com/bigbusiness for full terms and conditions on the promotion . 2 Visit www.ihg.com/bigbusiness for full terms and conditions on the competition.
Finland: Crowne Plaza Helsinki Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre Holiday Inn Helsinki West-Ruoholahti Holiday Inn Helsinki-Messukeskus Holiday Inn Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Holiday Inn Oulu Holiday Inn Tampere Holiday Inn Turku
Denmark: Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers
Australia. . . . . . . . . +61 2 8337 2791 Fiji . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +679 672 2755 Guam. . . . . . . . . . . . +1671 646 6555 India . . . . . . . . . . . +91 11 2506 1567 Jordan . . . . . . . . . . +962 6 5684 771 Kuwait . . . . . . . . . . . +965 2473 5419
Thrifty Locations: Lebanon. . . . . . . . . . . +961 1510 100 Libya. . . . . . . . . . . +218 21 3332 230 Morocco. . . . . . . . +212 522 540 022 New Caledonia . . . . . +687 27 27 30 New Zealand . . . . . . +643 359 2721 Oman . . . . . . +968 2448 9248/9648
ÂŠ2011 A licensee of Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.. All rights reserved.
Papua New Guinea +1675 32 32333 Qatar. . . . . . . . . . . . . +974 4666 655 Seychelles. . . . . . . . . . +248 225 862 Turkey. . . . . . . . . . +90 212 465 3156 UAE Dubai . . . . . . . +971 4 224 5404 UAE Abu Dhabi . . . +971 2 599 8989
Earn 500 Skywards Miles per rental at all Thrifty locations
For a complete list of worldwide destinations, please visit thrifty.com
Week 5 Featuring
Mad Scientist & Hungry Caterpillar
Arabesque Music & Dance
June 23 To June 29
June 30 To July 6
July 7 To July 13
July 14 To July 20
July 21 To July 31
A A LL LL K K II D D SS A A CC TT II VV II TT II EE SS A AR R EE FF R R EE EE
39 Festive Days. 1 Great Place. Celebrate DSS 2011 @ Dubai Festival City. Spend just AED 150 for your chance to win at any of Festival Centre’s shopping outlets with lots of cool prizes - every day, every week or in the Grand Rafﬂe Draw! Double your chances for the Grand Draw on any purchase worth AED 150, between Sunday and Thursday.
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O U R
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Celebrate 5 weeks of exciting events at Dubai Festival City this DSS. 39 fun ﬁlled days of activities for your kids and it’s absolutely free. What’s more you can even treat yourself to a fantastic shopping experience with Festival Centre’s Mega Deals. Or make your summer more enjoyable by staying at any of our world-class hotels while you shop.
BE PART OF A COLOURFUL JOURNEY IN DUBAI. More than one million expected visitors 32 global cuisines to be featured Attractions for every age group Five days of shopping, dining and entertainment Unique adventure sports for theﬁrst time in the UAE
Guinness World Record Attempt at Venue 31 Aug - 4 Sept* 2011 Meydan, Dubai
The largest photographic collage of human faces on a mosaic surface
Follow us on: facebook.com/ShoppiestaUAE
Presenting Shoppiesta – an annual exhibition that’s a unique celebration. The Dubai event calendar is all set to get even more exciting! Shoppiesta, the five-day lifestyle extravaganza, is coming soon to enthral everyone with great bargains, adventure sports, exclusive concerts and lots more.
For exhibitor and sponsorship enquiries, contact Rizza Tan: +971 4 3588 911 or email@example.com Official logistics partner:
here is a tendency to view the past through rose-tinted spectacles â€” the summers were warmer, the skies were bluer, people were friendlier. Doors were left open and neighbours would wander into each otherâ€™s houses unannounced, helping themselves to milk and pie. I exaggerate of course, but the idea that the past was better than the present is surprisingly common. Most of this is, of course, nonsense. We have never had it better â€” people are living longer, have more disposable income and are safer than at any time in human history.
Of course so much of what we view of the past â€“ both positive and negative â€“ is tainted by the present. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as Greg Lindsay â€“ author of the wonderful book Aerotropolis â€“ illustrates in his article on the legacy of Brasilia, an urban experiment in the jungle that failed spectacularly. Rory MacLean takes us back in time to the Hippy Trail, as much a state of mind as a place, although what places they explored â€“ from Kandahar to Kathmandu, they tore across Central Asia and rewrote the rules of travel. Joan Didion was one of the 1960â€™s best writers and her essay, Goodbye To All That , captures a place in time, as much as her own memories of New York. Another city that has left its mark on the past, and continues to define the present, is London. We trace the history of its streets through some stunning black and white photography. Enjoy the issue.
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JULY 2011 NEWCASTLE’S BRUTALIST ARCHITECTURE GETS A RETHINK (P29)… WE TRACE THE EVOLUTION OF THE MOBILE PHONE (P30)… SAN
FRANCISCO’S THRIFT STORES ARE GIVEN THE TWITTER PITCH TREATMENT (P33)… WE DISCOVER ONE OF ETHIOPIA’S MOST STUNNING HOTEL ROOMS (P35)… JOHN HUGHES’ LEGACY GETS THE ONCE OVER IN FLICK (P40)… SOUL ICON NONA HENDRYX GIVES US HER SKYPOD (P42)… WE EXAMINE A BRIEF HISTORY OF RETRO ICONS
(P46)… ONE OF MELBOURNE’S MOST SPECTACULAR NEW PIECES OF ARCHITECTURE IS FEATURED IN PLACE (P52)… DUBAI HAS A RATHER INTERESTING PAST. WE TAKE A LOOK AT ITS COMMERCIAL HUB (P54)… WE GRAB OUR WALLETS AND HEAD TO HONG KONG, ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT SHOPPING CITIES (P56)… GREG LINDSAY LOOKS AT THE RISE AND FALL OF BRASILIA, THE DOOMED CITY IN THE JUNGLE (P62)… WE TRACE THE HIPPY TRAIL THROUGH EUROPE, CENTRAL ASIA AND BEYOND (P74)… JOAN DIDION WRITES ABOUT NEW YORK,
CALIFORNIA, AND LEAVING THE PAST BEHIND (P86)… WE GO BACK IN TIME WITH AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF LONDON’S STREET LIFE (P96)… 23
GREG LINDSAY: A contributing writer for Fast Company and the author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times.
RORY MACLEAN: An award-winning Canadian travel writer whose books include Stalin's Nose, The Oatmeal Ark and Magic Bus. He has also worked with Ken Russell, David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich during a ten-year ﬁlm career. JOAN DIDION: One of the greatest literary journalists of the 20th century, she has been published in Esquire, The New York Times and Life. She is considered one of the ﬁnest exponents of 'New Journalism'.
PHIL OH: The Brooklyn-based photographer behind the Street Peeper website; his work has appeared in fashion magazines and websites around the world, including Vogue. PAUL BUTT: A UK-based designer whose work has appeared in Wired UK and Wired Italy as well as a variety of other magazines and websites around the world.
INTRO ×Þº P. ØÕº a mobile history
P. 36 º istanbul mapped
P. ÚÙº dubai’s wharf
G HONG KOYN BOOT MUNIST
S, COM WAVING CAT PTING TEA E T CARDS, M TEES AND RETRO
OUR MAN IN
NEWCASTLE THE DESTRUCTION OF AN ICONIC CAR PARK ILLUSTRATED THE FOLLY OF ENGLAND’S BRUTALIST ARCHITECTURE
t is July 26, 2010, in the centre of the north-east England town of Gateshead, across the Tyne from Newcastle. A crowd watches as a bulldozer attacks the reinforced concrete of the Trinity Square Car Park. As chunks of rubble cascade down, people record the scene on their phones, aware that they are witnessing a defining moment in the town’s history. For this is no ordinary multi-storey car park, but one of the UK’s most controversial buildings of the late 20th century To residents of Gateshead, it was a monstrosity that cast a 40-year shadow across their town. Yet for a small group of devotees it was a cultural icon to be preserved. An imposing 13-storey structure, held aloft on concrete pillars, Trinity Square was a prime example of Brutalism, the harsh architectural style that blighted towns and cities worldwide from the 1950s to 1970s. Based on Modernist ideas of creating a social utopia by building soulless, concrete tower blocks, Brutalism was characterised by blocky, geometric shapes of exposed concrete. Civic planners loved it because it was cheap, while architects extolled the
virtues of its stripped-down quality. One such architect was Owen Luder, asked in 1962 by Gateshead Council to design a new shopping centre with a car park at its heart; a retail hub that would invigorate the town. It was not a success. Locals failed to warm to the grey, joy-sapping centre and disliked its intrusive car park even more. The glass box structure on its roof, which was conceived as a high-end restaurant, remained empty. As time went on, matters got worse. Like many Brutalist creations built in the UK’s rainy climes, the car park weathered badly. Its only distinguished moment came in 1971 when it made an appearance in the seminal gangland thriller, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine. Although it only featured in a few scenes, it became inextricably linked with the film’s desolate, gritty tone. The most memorable scene sees Caine’s vengeful gangster throw a crooked businessman over the edge to his death. Despite this brush with cinematic history, by the end of the century it was a civic embarrassment. The opening of the nearby MetroCentre,
Europe’s largest mall, rendered Trinity Square obsolete and its scruffy appearance did not fit with Gateshead’s bright aspirations. When it was announced that Trinity Square had been sold to a supermarket chain with plans to redevelop the site, locals were delighted. But not everyone celebrated. The Twentieth Century Society, which aims to preserve the architecture of the last century – no matter how awful – hailed it as a Brutalist classic, while the Get Carter Appreciation Society argued it was part of “Gateshead’s personality”. Even Sylvester Stallone, who starred in the dire remake, called for it to be saved. Tellingly, few of the car park’s fans actually lived in Gateshead. Among the crowd watching the demolition was its creator, Luder. Defiantly declaring it would be remembered as an icon not an eyesore, the somewhat bitter old man prophesised that the town would regret its destruction. Although it is impossible to predict the future, this seems unlikely. With Trinity Square now levelled, Gateshead has been freed from its concrete oppressor and has a chance to flourish.
Chris Collett is an arts writer based in Newcastle. 29
GRAPH INFORMATION ELEGANCE
60 40 20 0
8 H OU R S
First phone with replaceable faceplates.
First use of context-sensitive buttons.
Pop-out antenna for aesthetics only.
MOTOROLA MICROTAC 9800X
Suppoort for 30 ringtones.
has changed our lives forever.
Includes the games: Logic, Memory and Snake
or worse – the evolution of the mobile phone
phones continued to decrease in size and
Monochrome LCD with 4 x 13 characters.
world through this small device. For better
device to be released. From then on, mobile
Memory for up to 250 names and numbers.
history. Now we are tethered to the rest of the
another 10 years for a commercial handheld
One of the ﬁrst mainstream consumer mobile phones.
0 . 5 HO U R S
call in New York in 1973, although it took
18 0 H O UR S
most rapidly adopted technology in human
to a mainstream commodity – becoming the
TAC was used to make the ﬁrst mobile phone
Vibration feature was added with optional vibrating battery.
phones changed from being luxury devices
enough size. A prototype of Motorola’s Dyna-
Towards the end of the 20th century, mobile
nology had not yet been reﬁned to a portable
3 0 H OU R S
hicle mounted radio systems, as battery tech-
Mouthpiece actually located in base of phone.
weight, and gain in technological features.
0 . 7 5 HO U R S
Mobile phones originated from permanent ve-
8 H OU R S
8 Character red LED display.
Features include an address book and currency calculator. Cost $3,995 in 1983.
World’s ﬁrst commercially available mobile phone.
Nicknamed the ‘Zack Morris phone’ after featuring in Saved By The Bell.
7 Character red LED display.
Available in the colours grey, brown and grey/brown.
MOTOROLA DYNATAC 8000X
4. 5 H O UR S
2 6 0 H OU R S
S TA N D - B Y T IM E (A D V E R T IS E D )
C A L L T IM E (A D V E RT I S E D )
8 H OU R S
NO MN DE F
135g Sold over 700,000 in ﬁrst weekend.
VGA camera 640 x 480 pixels.
MP3 and 24 channel polyphonic ringtones.
320 x 480px capacitive touchscreen.
Wi-ﬁ, Bluetooth and GPS support.
MOTOROLA RAZR V3
Over 100 million sold.
Thinnest ever phone at time of release at 15mm thick.
7 H OU R S
T9 predictive text messaging.
Inﬂuential in the growth of the third-party accessories market.
The thinnest and lightest phone on sale at launch.
Heralded the return of ‘ﬂip’ phones in a market of ‘bricks’.
Features voice-activated dialing and answering.
126 million sold, 26 million more than all Nokia sales from 1991 - 1998.
2 H O U RS
5 0 HO U R S
ILLUSTRATION: PAUL BUTT WWW.SECTIONDESIGN.CO.UK
1979 ell N
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ONE PHONE PER PERSON
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5 9 . 3 Average
2 . 3 4 Vietnam
4 0 . 0 6 Brunei
4 8 . 8 1 United States
6 4 . 3 6 Slovakia
6 1 . 8 4 New Zealand
6 2 . 1 1 Japan
6 3 . 9 7 Austalia
6 4 . 6 4 Hungary
6 4 . 7 France
6 7 . 9 5 South Korea
7 1 . 6 7 Germany
7 2 . 2 4 Netherlands
7 5 . 5 3 Ireland
7 8 . 6 3 Belgium
7 8 . 7 5 Switzerland
7 9 . 1 4 Singapore
8 1 . 9 4 Portugal
8 2 . 2 8 Spain
8 2 . 8 5 Austria
8 3 . 3 3 Denmark
8 3 . 8 6 Greece
8 4 . 3 3 Norway
8 4 . 4 9 United Kingdom
8 4 . 5 Finland
8 4 . 8 8 Czech Republic
8 8 . 5 Sweden
9 0 . 2 8 Iceland
9 2 . 6 5 Italy
9 2 . 9 8 Hong Kong
1 0 1 . 3 4 Luxembourg
1 0 6 . 4 5 Taiwan
MOBILE PHONES PER 100 PEOPLE, BY COUNTRY
VINTAGE SHOPS Every month we profile a number of venues in a different city. The catch? The companies must be on Twitter and must tell us in their own words what makes them so special. This month, we feature San Francisco’s best thrift stores.If you want to get involved, follow us at: www.twitter.com/openskiesmag
thrift town Family-owned business operating a
20 years specializing in the best
variety of thrift stores. Committed
vintage, designer and modern
to making a difference every day,
clothing. Now featuring a selected
with charitable donations.
range of up and coming new brands.
retro Jane city inc. consignment
Retro City Fashions is a recycled
An eclectic blend of women’s
Chic and affordable, Crossroads is
clothing company consisting of
designer clothing, jewelry and gifts.
the Bay’s best new and used fashion
seven unique stores in the SF and
The store ﬁts all sizes (00 to 24),
destination. From Gap to Gucci, we
Bay Area. Each store has its own
styles (couture to vintage) and
are the green fashionista’s dream.
distinct personality and style.
budgets (high end to the $5-$10 rack).
Check us out today!
ALVIN TOFFLER — FUTURE SHOCK
t is hard to imagine, 41 years on, how much of an effect Future Shock had when it was published. Toffler, a sociologist and futurist, argued that the amount of change the world was going through (from an industrial society to a ‘super-industrial’ society) would overwhelm the world’s population. He coined the term ‘future shock’ to describe the “shattering stress and disorientation” that would result from such change. While these notions might seem quaint now, the urgency at the time was very real – take the first print blurb: “This book can help us survive our collision with tomorrow”. Of course, the future does not collide with the present, and Toffler’s scaremongering seems oddly old fashioned in 2011. Yet the idea that the human race will destroy itself is still a popular concept. What Toffler ignored was the capacity of the human race to adapt. We are better off, better fed and in better health than at anytime in human history. But to get a sense of how much of the Western world in 1970 thought of the future, this book is a must. Random House, 1970
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Is there a more breathtaking place than northern Ethiopia? We would be hard pressed to point to anywhere more serene, more beautiful or more enchanting than this patch of Northeast Africa. Perched on the edge of a plateau overlooking the Hawzen Plain and a spectacular rock formation is the Gheralta Lodge. Run by a retired Italian engineer, the lodge mixes organic living (food is grown on the property) with minimal Italian chic. The bungalows are basic but clean, and the service is great. Drivers are on hand to take you to the rock-hewn churches that dot the area as well as on jaw dropping day-long treks. The nights here are quiet; with just the stars for company, but the sunrises are immense, particularly when washed down with local coffee. Definitely a room with a view.
Effervescent with the energy of 13 million souls, Istanbul is one of the biggest cities in Europe. As you would expect with a city this size, there is plenty to do. A burgeoning Turkish art market has created a dozen new cultural spaces, while its historical highlights bask under the city’s recent European Capital of Culture glow. But on the Istanbul timeline these events are mere threads in a very rich tapestry. The metropolis has been one of the world’s key destinations for nearly two millennia and has more mosques, markets and museums than most cities have parking spots. Tristan Rutherford highlights this summer’s must-see sights.
HOTELS 1. Pera Palace
2. Edition Hotel
3. Four Seasons Sultanahmet
4. The House Apart
RESTAURANTS 5. Kordon Balik
7. Balikci Sabahattin
BARS / CLUBS 9. Babylon
GALLERIES 13. Arte
HOTELS 1 PERA PALACE
Istanbul’s grande dame is the epitome of vintage splendour. It was built in 1885 to receive visitors arriving on the Orient Express from Paris. After a renovation, it reopened in September 2010.
2 EDITION HOTEL
FOUR SEASONS SULTANAHMET Istanbul is the only city in Europe to be graced with two Four Seasons. This sumptuous Sultanahmet address forms a triangle with the Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia.
THE HOUSE APART This chic concept graces many apartment buildings in trendy Taksim, Cihangir and the shoppers’ paradise of Nisantasi. Studios include WiFi, gym access and a free breakfast.
BALIKCI SABAHATTIN Spilling out of an old villa and into a leafy garden, this ﬁsh restaurant has been ‘discovered’ of late. Prices are higher than a decade ago, but the calamari and mackerel is just as memorable.
ANTICOHIA This hole-in-the-wall eatery hails from Antakya near Turkey‘s Syrian frontier. Dishes are ﬁery, fruity and tangy, with sun-dried peppers, sour cherries and pomegranate thrown into the mix.
This super-luxe business option opened with much fanfare in May 2011. Nice touches include free espressos in the ‘work lounge’ and the leather ﬂoors in the spa, ﬁve ﬂoors below ground.
RESTAURANTS 5 KORDON BALIK
The east bank of the Bosphorus is lined with reﬁned restaurants, including this seafood specialist. Stuffed squid and octopus salad starters are followed by local sea bass.
Asitane recreates lost recipes from the once great Ottoman court, lacing ingredients such as chicken, rabbit and quince with cumin, carob molasses and walnut paste. Delicious.
BARS/CLUBS 9 BABYLON
A club venue since 1999, Babylon lies in the Asmalimescit zone – once a no-go area, now a warren of top ﬂoor bars and basement clubs – and bangs out R&B, hip hop and Latin beats.
This open-all-hours café-bar is a great place to kick off a day exploring Istanbul’s most laissez-faire locales. By day, it’s a hangout for the city’s artists. Evenings are fuelled by popcorn, fruit cocktails and video installations.
This three-storey mansion sits on a street of wine bars on what was called Ceyazir Sokak but was recently renamed French Street. Its lounge area, barside snug and outdoor garden make this a must.
A breathtakingly beautiful bar that sits atop the Marmara Pera, one of the city’s tallest buildings. Technicolour skyline views pan out from the roof contrasting with the all white theme.
GALLERIES 13 ARTE
This brand new exhibition space puts local contemporary art in the public gaze. In a mansion on Istanbul’s bustling main boulevard, Arte curates an array of Turkish designers, painters and sculptors.
Another new exhibition space and a gallery of two halves. The ﬁrst, SALT Beyoglu, kicked off in April 2011 and hosts a cinema, architecture library and top-ﬂoor garden café. Its newest branch, SALT Galata, opens in September.
Temporary exhibition space hosting shows from the likes of Taner Ceylan, the brilliant photo-realist artist. The rooftop, bar 360, a perennial favourite, lies just upstairs.
Tucked inside a shopping arcade that’s been in existence for a century, this new art space may not be big, but it is clever. Exhibitions run for a week or two and often have the artist present to explain.
FLICK CELLULOID DISSECTED
LEADER OF THE (BRAT) PACK
he quintessential retro moment in modern(ish) cinema? Easy: Judd Nelson’s defiant, freeze-framed air-punch as he crosses a deserted football field in the final scene of The Breakfast Club, the reverb—heavy synth pop of Simple Minds swelling emotively as the credits roll. Wait… or is it the gloriously cringeworthy dance montage from earlier in the same film? Oh, hang on — what about in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when Matthew Broderick delivers his expositional intro speech in shockingly unfashionable directto-camera attitude? Or perhaps Jon Cryer from Pretty In Pink , feverishly lip-synching to Otis Redding for Molly Ringwald’s bemused benefit? The answer, of course, is any/all of the above — and yet, in a very crucial 40
sense, it’s none of them. Because, while it’s nigh-on impossible to discuss 1980’s movie culture without constant reference to the CV of legendary high school dream-weaver John Hughes, his work will never quite feel as charmingly anachronistic as SodaStreams, Rubik’s Cubes or fridge-sized car phones. Instead, it still packs much the same gooey gut-punch today as it did throughout his brief but glittering directorial run, from Sixteen Candles (1984) to Curly Sue (1991) via Weird Science; Planes, Trains And Automobiles; She’s Having A Baby and Uncle Buck. The faintly giddy rush experienced by a certain generation of cinephiles upon hearing any of these titles (or, indeed, those of Hughes’ screenplays — Pretty In Pink; Some Kind Of Wonderful; The Great Outdoors;
Home Alone) is easy to misinterpret through the fug of decades as mere residual nostalgia. It isn’t. Rather, it’s physical proof of that rarest of cinematic phenomena: the truly universal chord. Hughes, it often seemed, was almost unnerving in his ability to strike them at will. Precisely what was it, though, that Hughes was so dextrous at tapping into? There’s certainly basis for the idea that he encapsulated something very concrete about the 1980s: it came through vibrantly in his hyperstylised visuals, awash with the familiar pastel-hued sports jackets of Reagan-era conservative fashion, and peppered with the meticulously placed trappings of middle-class suburban comfort. In this sense, he was every inch the auteur – from the first glimpse of a fussily manicured lawn or dining
ILLUSTRATIONS: TROY DESHANO
room dotted with sterile catalogue furnishings, a John Hughes film is immediately recognisable as just that. However, this sharply observed aesthetic wasn’t just about empty set-dressing. Rather, it frequently provided his cast of teenage misfits with something concrete to kick out against: these homes were staid and stifling, the authority figures that populated them maddeningly buttoned-down. And, whether you too were growing up behind the neat picket fences of Hughes’ native Chicago suburbia, or in another country and culture altogether, watching a young cast of oddball antiheroes battling to carve out their own identity in those sorts of environments was an experience that felt almost painfully familiar. Hughes himself moved to Chicago as a teenager, attending a “huge high
school” and not knowing anyone, a feeling that pervades much of his work. And Chicago suburbia runs right through his work. Besides these oddly iconic visual flourishes, another reason it’s always been tempting to file Hughes’ work under ‘retro’ probably owes a lot to the fact that, in 1991, he abruptly and pointedly slipped off the radar, thereafter popping up with just the occasional writing credit until his untimely death in 2009. Much of this was due to the death of John Candy in 1994 after a heart attack. “He talked a lot about how much he loved Candy — if Candy had lived longer, I think John would have made more films as a director,” says Vince Vaughn, a friend of Hughes. The relatively small body of work he left us with now feels all the more precious as a result, and it’s difficult
to avoid thinking of his archive as a cinematic fossil preserved in amber — an exquisite anachronism that’s enchanting to glimpse from a distance, but that might crumble to dust and be lost forever the moment it’s exhumed. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Because the key point about what John Hughes achieved is this: although his films certainly do reflect some of the attitudes and concerns of a very particular era, it’s not principally a fixed historical one. Instead, it’s entirely relative, since what these films do best is to crystallise the perpetually hazy tumult of our own teenage years, whenever and wherever we lived through them. And, moreover, that’s an era none of us ever leave far enough behind to justify calling it retro. 41
SKYPOD LEGENDARY SOUL AND FUNK SINGER NONA HENDRYX TAKES TO THE SKY. NONAHENDRYX.COM
JONI MITCHELL — A CASE OF YOU Says so much about how I feel about being in love with someone; I am drunk with passion, longing and ecstasy. Not inebriated as with alcohol, yet just as wonderfully deluded!
TUPAC SHAKUR — HOW DO U WANT IT I discovered Tupac and rap a little behind the curve of the peak days, but this has become one of my favourite songs to dance and party to when I’m out.
GUSTAV HOLST — VENUS, THE BRINGER OF PEACE After being introduced to Beethoven and Mozart, I later found Holst and became obsessed with The
Planets, listening to it constantly while on the road in the 1970s.
LAURA NYRO — THE WIND Being part of Labelle and recording this record was such a beautiful experience that when I hear it, it fills my heart with joy and sadness. Joy because of the beauty I hear, and sadness for the loss of Laura to cancer some years ago. 42
SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE — THE SAME THING (MAKES YOU LAUGH WILL MAKE YOU CRY) It’s hard to choose one song by Sly And The Family Stone, but this is the track I always have to play if I listen to them. So funky and so true!
PEGGY LEE — IS THAT ALL THERE IS? Theatrical, cynical, comical, fearful and real. This song is so clear about the human condition.
MARVIN GAYE — GOT TO GIVE IT UP Marvin’s What’s Going On album is one of my favourites, but I’m not capable of hearing this song and sitting still – my body has to move, even if it’s just nodding my head. The rhythm is sexy, pulses and insists on movement.
FRED HAMMOND — GLORY TO GLORY TO GLORY I love this gospel song; it takes me from shouting and dancing at the beginning to a very emotional, spiritual place of giving thanks for my life.
ARETHA FRANKLIN — SKYLARK I heard this recording long after I heard my first Aretha Franklin track, but I think I’ve played it more in the past 10 years than any other song.
JAMES BROWN — I DON’T WANT NOBODY TO GIVE ME NOTHING This song captured a very volatile time in Chicago, which was on the verge of exploding, but at the same time it quelled the anger. It really saved the city from a disastrous riot as it expressed the frustrations of a generation of African Americans and at the same time lifted their spirits, voices and bodies into celebration.
ETERNAL REFLECTIONS ON A SUNSHINE CITY
DUBAI MEMORIES WAEL AL SAYEGH LOOKS BACK AT A QUIETER TIME, WHEN DUBAI WAS JUST ANOTHER GULF CITY
ILLUSTRATION BY VESNA PESIC
s a member of a Dubai family that can trace its local history back to the 19th century, I am often asked what life was like before oil was discovered in the UAE. But as a post-federation child I would, like my questioners, be forced to consult the history books for an answer. Thankfully, when it comes to the 1980s I need only resort to my own clear memories. So please allow me to waft you back in time to before the city had its own stock exchange, when traffic jams were non-existent, and bank tellers knew you by name, and you knew theirs. Although the development of Dubai’s modern face was well under way by the 1980s, the place back then felt more like a town. People bought their fish, vegetables and fruits from the same outdoor market, and siestas were not a luxury but a daily custom. As the grown-ups napped, children were told to stay indoors, keep
themselves occupied — and stay out of trouble! By 4pm, when the sun’s heat subsided, kids would be unleashed like a swarm of bees from a hive to fill the neighbourhood playgrounds with their boundless energy. With very few cinemas showing English-language movies, video rental was a lucrative business. Because the laws on intellectual property weren’t as strict in those days, the films we rented were often copied by someone clandestinely operating a VHS or Betamax camera from their cinema seat. Watching them at home, it was not at all uncommon to find one’s view of the screen blocked by someone standing up to fetch some more popcorn — an occupational hazard if you wanted an international flavour to your viewing. TV stations aired for all of 12 hours a day, with recitals of the Holy Quran filling in the blanks. Channel 33 was the sole free English station 45
and showed programmes such as The A Team and Air Wolf during the evening, and a weekly Hindi film with English subtitles every Thursday night, at precisely 10.30pm. Japanese cartoons dubbed into classic Arabic provided a big part of Arab children’s afternoon programming. Abtal Al Malaib (all 52 episodes) and Gilendizer were just a few of the most popular ones followed. Although the special visual and audio effects were very basic compared to today’s computer
generated cartoons, the scripts were so good it always left the audience begging for more the next day. The more athletically inclined were obliged to play sport in the baking outdoor heat, and the very best a footballer, rugby player or even golfer could expect (the first 18-hole grass golf course in the Middle East was laid out in Dubai 1989) was a hardened sand pitch to play on. The Al Nasr Leisureland, with an ice rink, bowling alleys, squash courts and indoor gymnasium, was a unique and
welcome oasis. Its artificial-wave swimming pool, styled as a prehistoric Wild Wadi, was the first in the country. Weekends were a very short affair in those days, with Friday the only public day off. The Al Ghurair centre, the city’s first popular shopping mall, boasting a Sinbad-themed arcade and many restaurants, was an extremely popular destination. The city’s nightlife was not the competitive industry it is now, but a very modest social network of private
A BRIEF HISTORY OF RETRO ICONS
1926 Hugh Hefner is a man trapped in a time warp. His pipe-smoking, dressing-gown wearing antics were once original; now he wears this uniform of the inﬁrm without shame. Formerly a dashing publishing tycoon, now a sagging lothario – not a great combination.
1930 Perma-tanned uberproducer Robert Evans was once the brightest young thing in Hollywood. Now the only thing bright about the man behind Love Story is his day-glo orange skin. As the hits have receded his waistline and his marriage count (seven) has increased.
Big haired songstress Cher has deﬁed gravity and good taste for nearly half a century. Her songs are inexplicably popular, but its her refusal to exit the stage with grace (she had a three-year farewell tour in 2005) sees her stuck in a bouffant time warp of her own making. Listen at your own risk.
Barrel-chested Russian leader Vladimir Putin is a throwback to a time when men were men and women were preferably indoors. Putin likes judo, ﬁshing, shooting and mud wrestling (probably) and revels in his reputation as the Strong Man of Russian politics.
house parties. The very few public night venues that were available operated on a members only policy. Dubai’s impressive 14-lane Sheikh Zayed highway, flanked by skyscrapers, was in the 1980s merely a humble two-lane affair against a backdrop of open desert. The only modern landmarks were the 39-storey Dubai World Trade Centre, then the tallest building in the city, the standalone Hilton Apartments and Defence Roundabout.
Although not yet a global city, one could clearly see global cultural trends emerging. Michael Jacksonstyle Thriller leather jackets, worn with a single fingerless glove, could be seen on some of the youth. Breakdancing contests (oh, the shame) were popular and participants would spend hours perfecting back-spinning techniques and moon-walking moves (“What? Don’t look at me that way!”) in case of a dance-off. Somewhere in the middle of the decade Dubai was no longer content
with simply being on a par with the region’s other cities, and so the button that changed everything was pressed. The announcement of the building of the biggest artificial port in the world was just the start. There was even talk of Dubai having its very own airline. Would the newly formed company be able to compete with the region’s leader? Could there possibly be enough people willing to use it for it to break even? Hmm, I wonder what that airline is doing now?
The shiniest, cheesiest object in show business, David Hasselhoff’s teeth can be seen from space. As the star of the ultimate retro TV hit, Kn ght Rider, The Hoff will forever be remembered for his contribution to popular culture. We will thankfully, ignore everything else.
Salman Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, which says as much about the standard of the Indian ﬁlm industry as it does about Khan’s brand of ﬂamboyant, retro machismo. A cross between The Fonz and a 1980s American wrestler. Not a good look.
Like an 18th century dandy, Russell Brand likes to weave a magical spell with his words (pretentious), his hair (complex) and his trousers (far too tight). His movies have been mostly dire, and we see Brand retreating in shame to a rustic country pile.
Disco Stu has goldﬁsh in his platform heels, wears a rhinestoneencrusted leisure suit and speaks in the third person. He was once voted the 24th best (out of 25) peripheral character in The Simpsons, but we love him anyway. Who says disco is dead?
MY TRAVELLED LIFE PARIS HILTON, 30, BUSINESSWOMAN
places like that. It was heartbreaking to see
many children in orphanages — but it was
I was born in New York, and we were always
very eye opening. It’s important to use my
I have a constantly hectic schedule, so
ﬂying to Europe. I remember being in a
proﬁle to raise awareness of issues.
I don’t really have a lot of time to relax.
park in London when I was four years old,
But when I do I like to cuddle up with
feeding pigeons — that was my favourite
my ﬁve teacup doggies and watch movies.
thing to do. But now I think it’s illegal. I’ve
ON LOS ANGELES
travelled around Europe every summer
I would take visitors to Mr Chow, which
since I was a little girl.
does the best Chinese food in LA. I would
probably take them to a club. Beacher’s
I’ve accomplished so much so far. I have
Madhouse is so much fun and such an
17 different product lines, I’m currently
experience. It’s at the Roosevelt Hotel and
ﬁnishing my second album, on my third
London is my favourite place in the world
my friend Jeff Beacher owns it. There is no
TV series, writing a new book, and I want
because it is so much fun. I love the
club like it. There are shows going on, little
to get involved in real estate — ﬁrst beach
architecture, the food, the people. I would
people, magic tricks and performances —
clubs, then hotels. It’s pretty non-stop. I’m
live there if it wasn’t for the weather.
it is deﬁnitely an experience.
a workaholic, but I love it.
ON JET LAG I try to sleep the whole way on the plane — and then as soon as you get to your destination, don’t just go to bed — try and adapt immediately to the time difference. Otherwise you could ﬁnd yourself up all night and it is difﬁcult to get into the right sleep pattern after the ﬁrst night.
ON POVERTY I was in Guatemala last year on a humanitarian trip, and I was visiting some seriously poor villages. I never thought I would visit 48
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STORE U R B A N CA RTO G RA P H Y «DUBAI WHARF, DUBAI CREEK«DUBAI «PORT
t’s the one area of Dubai that has changed little in the past century. It is the beating commercial heart of the city, a result of geographical luck, entrepreneurial leaders, and a multi-national population: the Dubai Creek Port. The wharves that line the northern, Deira side of the creek are lined with dhows, craft set for Somalia, India, Iran and Pakistan. The goods being piled onto the dhows are as diverse as the destinations: nuts, TV screens, motorbikes, chewing gum, garlic. The scene may look chaotic, but everything is run with metronomic precision – go early in the morning and the dhows are loaded up; midday sees something of a lull, as the workers doze in the shade. The hours before sunset are frenetic, with the dhows being packed to bursting, tarpaulins wrapped around the merchandise, engines firing up, and the boats chugging away to distant shores a few days away. Only wooden boats, some with a capacity as big as 800 tonnes, are allowed to enter the creek. Each wharf can handle 31 boats at a time and more than 720,000 tonnes of cargo come and go every year. Modern Dubai was shaped by Dubai Creek. While it has long been a centre of trade, its dredging in the late 1950s gave Dubai an advantage over the other emirates. The deepening of the creek meant that the tide no longer dictated when the barges and dhows could enter and exit. It was an example of Dubai IMAGE: JOSEPH BAUTISTA
using technology to further its ambitions. The success of the creek and the business-friendly attitudes of Dubai’s rulers was soon evident — by the early 1960s it was clear that the creek was no longer able to handle the number of boats that came and went every day. Port Rashid — built for Dhs133 million ($36m) and opened in 1972 — was the answer, followed by Jebel Ali harbour. the largest man-made harbour in the world. The setting is somewhat different today — across from the dhows stand solar-powered parking meters and passengers on the dhow taxis pass through computerised turnstiles. There is a tacky abra-shaped souvenir shop and Russian and Spanish tourists take photos on their iPhones. The men who work these wharfs are welcoming, offering tea and conversation if you stumble across the planks that connect the dhows to the shore. Their stories are fascinating and give you a sense of the city you won’t get anywhere else. They eat, sleep and work on their boats, and most prefer life on the water to being tethered to the dock. Some talk about attacks by pirates, others of brutal storms; most talk of their families back home — how the money they make is sent back to provide their loved ones with a better life. If ever a place sums up Dubai, it’s the creek, and the men who work here.
Dhow Wharf, Dubai Creek, Deira
BOOTY H O N G KO N G
HONG KONG IS THE ULTIMATE SHOPPING TOWN–AND DIM SUM!
Monkey Pinch Chinese Tea, $15. Quirky, organic Chinese tea. Keep away from monkeys.
iPhone Case, $20. Turn your iPhone into a hip lomography camera. Just add the Hipstamatic app.
Goods of Desire,
Goods of Desire,
T-Shirt, $5. Cheap, chic and cheerful; let everyone know where you’ve been with this retro tee.
Hollywood Rd, Central
Hollywood Rd, Central
Stanley Market, Stanley
Chinese Scented Sticks, $15. Fill your home with the traditional smells of Hong Kong.
Golden Waving Cat, $5. Attract good fortune with this golden feline friend.
Chinese Communist Party Coasters, $26. Revolutionise your morning brew with this cool coasters.
Humpty Signature Backrest, $26. Decorate your favourite chair with a Hong Kong city scene.
Museum of Art,
Stanley Market, Stanley
Museum of Art, Salisbury
Goods of Desire, Hollywood
Salisbury Rd, Kowloon
EUROPEAN BALLOON FESTIVAL
Hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes fill the skies of Catalonia. www.ebf.cat/ca
NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL
Fri Sa t
The three-day festival in Rotterdam sees over 1,200 artists taking part. www.northseajazz.com/en
FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Shanghai hosts the World Swimming Championships. www.fina.org
COPA AMERICA FINAL The South American football tournament ends with the final in Buenos Aires. www.ca2011.com
DUBAI SUMMER SURPRISES The annual festival of consumerism arrives again. www.mydsf.ae
E L C ORA
Y E K R TU E L C ORA “Turkey, with its young, talented population, holds enormous potential for the future. Combining this rich resource with information technology can help accelerate Turkey’s road to success. We have increased our investment in Turkey to better serve the local demand together with our partners. Today, many of our Turkish employees now hold regional and global roles within Oracle; a testament to their energy, experience and talent. With technology at the heart of its development, Turkey is the land of opportunities and Oracle is proud to be part of its future. ”
Alfonso DI IANNI Senior Vice President, Eastern Europe, CIS, Middle East & Africa
• A population of 74 million, half of which is under the age of 29 • Approximately 500,000 students graduate annually from more than 150 universities • Around 26 million young, well-educated and motivated labor force • Highly competitive investment conditions • A country that offers 100% and more tax deductions on R&D expenditures
• Access to Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa • 17th largest economy in the world (IMF-WEO, 2010) • 15th most attractive FDI destination for 2008-2010 (UNCTAD World Investment Prospects Survey) • Fastest growing economy in Europe with an impressive GDP growth rate of 8.9% in 2010
P. 86 º joan didion’s long goodbye
P. ÞÛº London calling
E CONCRET JUNGRLBE AN
BRAZIL’S U T THAT EXPERIMEN ILURE ENDED IN FA
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BERNIE DECHAUNT //WWW.BERNIEDECHAUNT.COM
BRASILIA WAS TO BE SOUTH AMERICA’S CITY OF THE FUTURE. INSTEAD IT WAS A DISASTER OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. GREG LINDSAY REPORTS ON THE PAINFUL BIRTH AND THE SLOW DEATH OF THE BRAZILIAN CAPITAL
rasilia is artificial – as artificial as the world must have been when it was created,” wrote acclaimed Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector following a visit in 1962, after the new capital had just turned two years old. The instant city had risen from Brazil’s dry inland plateau in 41 feverish months, ahead of schedule in President Juscelino Kubitschek’s campaign promise to deliver “50 years of progress in five”. The postcard-ready edifices were in place by then – the flying saucers atop the National Congress, the concrete ribs of the Cathedral, the dainty colonnades of Itamaraty Palace – courtesy of architect Oscar Niemeyer, whose teacher, Lucio Costa, had designed the master plan. Costa did away with neighbourhoods and streets, replacing them with residential superblocks and superspeedways aligned along the Great Axis and Monumental Axis. The result was a city best seen from above, laid out in a pattern resembling a bird – or a plane. At ground level, the vast, windswept plazas swallowed people, crowds, and any semblance of street life.
“If they took my picture standing in Brasilia, only the landscape would appear,” Lispector imagined, awed by the inhuman scale of the place. “The two architects who planned Brasilia were not interested in creating something beautiful. That would be too simple; they created their own terror, and left that terror unexplained. Creation is not an understanding. It is a new mystery.” The mystery confronting visitors 50 years later is why its creators ever thought Brasilia would succeed – not just in overturning 5,000 years of urbanism, but in Kubitschek’s aim of “a complete break with the past, a possibility to re-create the destiny of the country.” Made-to-order capitals were nothing new by 1956 – Washington D.C. was one – but in rejecting Brazil’s colonial heritage outright in favour of a utopian future, the president and his architects guaranteed their plans would be undone by messy reality. Today, the original core of Brasília – referred to as the Pilot Plan – houses less than half of its intended 500,000 residents, who in turn represent barely a tenth of the city’s two million residents, most of whom live in the
constellation of sprawling satellite cities that began springing up before it was even finished. Despite having been expressly outlawed, Brasília’s slums managed to pre-date its birth. Brasília’s failings confound us for another reason: is it even possible to build a city from scratch, at least one most of us would want to live in? Its founding inspired a rash of copycats across the developing world – Yamoussoukro, Belmopan, Abuja, Astana – but none fired the imagination the way Brasília did, nor failed so resoundingly. But this may prove to be the defining challenge of the 21st century; Earth’s urban population will nearly double by 2050, requiring the construction of hundreds of new cities. China is already building the equivalent of a Rome every few weeks, and India must add a new Chicago every year to absorb the millions of villagers streaming from the countryside in search of work. The question facing us as an urban species isn’t whether to build cities tabula rasa, but how. In Brazil’s case, the dream of building a modern capital far inland from soft, tropical Rio de Janeiro began as just that – a dream of the
A VIEW OF THE A PORTION OF THE GOVERNMENT MINISTRY BUILDINGS (LEFT) THAT LINE BOTH SIDES OF THE MINISTRIES ESPLANADE
Italian priest St John Bosco, who in 1883 received a vision of a new Promised Land on the country’s central plateau, “flowing with milk and honey.” Bosco’s prophesy was codified in the Brazilian constitution of 1891, which set aside 14,400 square kilometres for a future capital. It was ratified again in the subsequent constitutions of 1934 and 1937, and mandated by two presidents before Kubitschek took office in 1956 with the city as the centerpiece of his plans for a Brazilian great leap forward. Kubitschek promised a break with the past by turning his back on the coast and exploiting the resources of the country’s vast interior, with Brasília doubling as both an emblem and growth pole, as “a stone cast to create waves of progress.” In a country divided by class, race, and region longing to flex its muscles, the symbol of a new capital would rally people around the massive undertaking of overnight industrialisation. And it would rally them around Kubitschek, who had received only 36 per cent of the vote, requiring the assistance of a coup to ensure his inauguration. But his timing couldn’t have been better, coinciding with Pelé’s
back-to-back World Cup victories and the birth of the bossa nova. For the first time, and not for the last time, Brazilians felt it was their time. By the time he left office under his own power in 1961 (another coup would soon follow) he was the most popular president in the nation’s history. Opening day was set for April 21, 1960 — four years away. Kubitschek hand-picked Oscar Niemeyer to be its architect. Niemeyer was already famous, largely for his work with his mentor Costa and with Le Corbusier, with whom he’d designed the United Nations headquarters in New York. The most influential architect alive, Le Corbusier championed building “machines for living” and had at various points proposed bulldozing large swaths of Paris, Rio, Algiers and Moscow, replacing them with towering apartment blocks. Even in the Soviet Union, he’d found no takers. Niemeyer insisted a competition be held to select what would become the Pilot Plan. Twenty five detailed proposals were submitted; Costa won with only a handful of sketches. In his accompanying statement, he admitted he’d neither studied the site nor collected research, but – in echoes
of St John – had experienced a flash of divine inspiration, evoking a plan of “spontaneous origin”. What he produced was a city designed along Le Corbusier’s lines – the largest, purest expression of modernist architecture the world had ever seen. Rejecting the traditional jumble of streets and small plazas, Brasília separated the functions of the city into its constituent parts – housing, work, recreation, traffic, and public space. In practice, this meant streets as many as 14 lanes wide bisecting the city on the Great and Monumental Axes, with government offices, residential area and hotels confined to their own sectors, separated by highways and voids and encircled by a vast greenbelt around the city. In The Modernist City, his classic critique of Brasília, the anthropologist James Holston argues Costa and Niemeyer conspired to “kill the street” — and with it, street life — in an attempt to erase class divisions through monumental architecture. Their primary instrument was the superquadra, the nearly identical apartment blocks in which every rank of government official “were forced
The city promised to break with the past by turning its back on the coast and exploiting the resources of the interior
to live as if in the sphere of one big family, in perfect social coexistence,” according to a glowing official report. In reality, Holston found Brasília’s early residents were traumatised by the move from Rio and São Paulo, a condition they dubbed brasilite, meaning “Brasíl(ia)-itis” — the low-level depression one suffers when daily life has been stripped of the small pleasures they’d left behind. Some residents fought back — shopkeepers struggled to move their storefronts back to the street, or at least curbside — while others simply opted out. Rejecting Niemeyer’s utopian aims, some senior bureaucrats built palatial homes on the far side of Brasília’s artificial lake, and the ones who remained were re-assigned apartments by seniority and rank after the military came to power in 1964. The architects had faced a paradox from inception – while their city would transform Brazil in splendid isolation, building it required the exploitation of the same divisions they were trying so hard to erase. Kubitschek made construction of the Pilot Plan his top priority. Almost immediately, thousands of labourers — eventually more than 60,000 — began working in terrible conditions to realise the seemingly lighter-thanair structures sketched by Niemeyer. It was not uncommon for men to be crushed by concrete or torn apart by snapped steel rods. The architect Sergio Ferro — who at the time was a student designing apartment blocks under Niemeyer — would later in life admit to being horrified and disillusioned by the gap between rhetoric and reality. “We had to modify Brazil, all with a very beautiful social perspective,” 66
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: THE PEDRO CALMON THEATER, ACOUSTIC SHELL, AND OBELISK
he wrote in his memoirs. “But, on arriving there, I saw those beautiful sketches by Niemeyer, whites, purest of pure, but a mass of people highly miserable, highly exploited, building that. It was an enormous contrast to see how architecture was produced: our design, theoretically charged with the best of intentions, was carried out under the worst conditions. This had broken our dream of architecture.”
A WOMAN ENTERS ONE OF THE OFFICE TOWERS OF THE NATIONAL CONGRESS.
If all else failed, social inequality in Brazília would simply be outlawed. Things did not go as planned
Living conditions were just as bad. To accommodate the tens of thousands of candangos (a derisive nickname Holston describes as meaning “vagabond lower-class lowbrow”) working on site full time, a camp called Cidad Livre, the “Free City” was erected several miles away. Primarily composed of shacks, the Free City was equal parts Wild West boomtown (as Niemeyer liked to think of it) and the worst favelas, with no running water, rampant disease, and workers prone to suicide — as Ferro later attested. The Free City’s very existence posed a challenge to the Pilot Plan. To prevent favelas from forming on the city’s periphery, as they had done in Rio, any informal settlements “should at all costs be prevented”, Costa had warned. The legislation authorising Brasília had placed a cap on residents at 500,000, and neither Niemeyer nor Costa
planned to expand the city beyond the Pilot Plan and its greenbelt. The Free City would be demolished upon the city’s completion, its residents either sent home or resettled on the farms planned for the hinterlands. In other words; if all else failed, social inequality in Brasília would simply be outlawed.
Things did go not as planned. In 1958, midway through construction, several thousand refugees from a fierce drought arrived at the Free City in search of work. Turned away by security forces, they dug in instead, naming their encampment “Vila Sara Kubitschek” after the president’s 69
A PUBLIC PHONE OUTSIDE THE NILSON NELSON GYMNASIUM
wife, spreading the rumour that “by order of dona Sara”, anyone staking a plot there would be granted legal title to the land. The strategy worked — thousands of workers flooded the site, while hamstringing the government’s ability to clear them. Out of options, Kubitschek authorised the construction of a satellite city 25km from the Pilot Plan as an alternative to the land grab. In a matter of days, 4,000 settlers
and their shacks were transported to the satellite city, named Taguatinga — which today has more residents than the half-empty Pilot Plan. A second satellite city would follow six months later; today there are more than a dozen of significant size. The Pilot Plan was finished on time for its 1960 inaugural, first earning worldwide acclaim and later ridicule — and sometimes
both at the same time. “Only in the Soviet Union would I have thought such a thing possible!” the French statesman André Malraux said upon its inauguration – a backhanded compliment at best. Kubitschek would leave office a year later, after refusing to sign the legislation guaranteeing the Free City’s continued existence. He would end up in exile following the military 71
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THE GYMNASIUM IS ANOTHER SYMBOL OF DISREPAIR IN THE CITY
coup along with Niemeyer, who would return decades later to design the president’s tomb at Brasília. Instead of overturning Brazilian society, the Pilot Plan came to embody the worst aspects of it. The Pilot Plan, in the words of one critic, has become “a historic urban fragment, maintained for largely sentimental and symbolic reasons”. It is also the wealthy core of the
megalopolis, while poorer residents commute from the satellite cities — several of which have become quite successful in the manner of São Paulo: privately developed and sprawling several hours each way through the greenbelt’s empty fields, which cannot be filled in following the designation of the Pilot Plan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is, by order of a United Nations
decree, frozen in time. “A city cannot be a work of art,” wrote Jane Jacobs in The Death And Life Of Great American Cities, published the year after Brasília’s inauguration. History has proven her right.
Greg Lindsay is the author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. He is a contributing editor to Fast Company magazine 73
PHOTOGRAPHS: MARK LAWSON
THE MAGIC BUS
For many, the American Jack Kerouac – author of On The Road — had kick-started their journey, his heart ‘mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time’. On the trail to Asia beside him was the beat poet Allen Ginsberg, famously chanting of ‘angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection’. Kerouac and Ginsberg were the inspirational leaders for the new generation of Americans and Europeans who had abandoned their parents’ hard-
working, Christian ‘Kingdom Come’ of postponed pleasure to seize the living, transient world. As novelist Tom Wolfe wrote, their footloose decade unfolded with a feeling ‘out here at night, free, with the motor running and the adrenaline flowing’; a feeling that was ‘very Heaven to be the first wave of the most extraordinary kids in the history of the world.’ These were ordinary kids who faced almost no unemployment, who feared no hunger, who had the chance to imagine a world without boundaries. As Bob Dylan
A generation’s wide-eyed adventures transformed both their lives and the countries they traversed
IMAGE: NANCY HARRIS
ntrepids, that’s what I call them, the travellers who opened the road for us. In the 1960s and 1970s hundreds of thousands of intrepid Western kids, in flares and open-toe sandals, crossed Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to reach India and the dawn of a new age. Few could afford to fly, most went overland, crossing Asia alone or in small groups, by whichever mode of transport suited their budget, their whim, their state of mind. Clapped-out VW Campers, retired Royal Mail vans, red London double-deckers, throaty Enfield motorbikes and psychedelic Bedford lorries: it was the weirdest procession of unroadworthy vehicles ever to roll and rock across the face of the earth.
SOUTH AFRICAN VERONA BASS, EMINONU FERRY TERMINAL, ISTANBUL, 1967
IMAGE: DAVID SMITH
TRANSPORT IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
sang, the times they were a-changin’. In their search for a new way of living, these lucky Westerners looked east to Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, for a more serene and ancient creed. After the US invasion of Afghanistan, the ‘hash-and-hepatitis’ trail reopened for the first time in almost thirty years. During the first, optimistic days after the liberation of Kabul, I lifted my thumb to hitch east, sniffing the air for the lingering aroma of patchouli, listening out for a familiar guitar riff. I wanted not only to capture the spirit and stories of those diverse and idealistic years, but also to discover why that great route had caught the imagination of a generation. My five month journey by local buses, trains and rickshaws began in the shadow of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque at the Pudding Shop. This small,
innocuous patisserie had been the first meeting point on the trail. Here paradise-bound Intrepids in Apache headbands and paisley waistcoats stopped for sweet, baked rice sütlac and to trade travel advice. On its legendary notice-board, they found the address of the nearest Turkish bath and checked out the safest route through Afghanistan. ‘Gentle deviant, 21, seeks guitar playing chick ready to set out for mystical East,’ read one message. ‘Anyone know where to crash in Tehran?’ asked another. In the years before travel guides travellers relied on notice-boards and word of mouth. Those heady days are still remembered with wonderment by the Pudding Shop’s owners Namik and Adem. ‘The hippies discovered Turkey, and that Turkish tourism
started in our pastane,’ they told me over black kahve and honey-soaked baklava topped with green pistachios. Five hundred miles further east, Cappadocia was the next essential stopping point. In this moonscape of honeycombed cliffs and extraordinary, mushroomcapped stone towers, unnumbered generations have taken sanctuary from wolves, Romans and the consumer society. In its caves early Christians carved over the centuries as many as 400 hideaways, chapels and basilicas. During medieval times the valleys became one of the principal monastic centres of the Byzantine Empire. In the Sixties Cappadocia provided sanctuary for many travellers, also giving them a safe place to explore a utopian way of life. They unrolled their sleeping 77
(LEFT): A MAGIC BUS IN NORTHERN INDIA (RIGHT): VERONA BASS, CLEANING THE WINDSCREEN AT A BAGHDAD CAMPSITE, 1967
bags in the sun-baked ravines, sitting up all night playing guitars and watching the sensuous colours of the rock surfaces change hue in the dawn’s shifting light. ‘That summer people put up their tents and banners, which in this fantasyland was amazing,’ one veteran traveller told me. She had returned to Turkey to reminisce about her own Summer of Love. ‘There were Japanese glass chimes, little Tibetan prayer flags, cats doing Zhao Zen meditation, couples promising to love each other under the stars and under heaven.’ She took a deep breath. ‘It was cosmic.’ Today Cappadocia is more down-to-earth with a Flinstone’s Bar and Bedrock Travel Agency but it remains a magnet for travellers, whether or not they’re searching for enlightenment. Like the Intrepids before me, I followed the route of the old Asia Overland trail: part Silk Road, part web of desert caravan tracks, above all a vital commercial and cultural highway carved out over 1,700 years. Alexander the Great, Marco Polo and a sentimental Englishman named Rudy all travelled along parts of its dusty 78
path. I encountered Rudy in Tehran. A retired English coach driver, he had helped to drive ‘that long line of loonies’ from London to India, roaring across Asia over thirty times aboard his Last Silver Dart (‘LSD’) bus. In Sa’d Abad, the lush and lofty park which was once the Shah’s summer garden, he remembered carrying also ‘dentists, shop assistants, council workers, people who’d spent all their lives in an office and had never left the UK. All of them were looking for an adventure. I couldn’t let the trip be just a bus ride for them. I had to knock them out with foreign vibes.’
Mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time
Like many drivers, Rudy installed a high-fidelity stereo system in his bus, playing bouzouki music in Greece and arabesk songs in Turkey, cracking up the volume until the windows blew out on the Caspian road. I also heard
IMAGE: NANCY HARRIS
IMAGE: JONATHAN BENYON
THE MAGIC BUS
echoes of the Sixties in Isfahan, the most splendidly proportioned city in the world. With its sublime Khomeini Square, exquisite Persian architecture and spontaneous hospitality, the former capital is reason enough to visit Iran. Here in the Masjid-a-Shah mosque, five bold Iranian Pink Floyd fans unexpectedly sang for me a rendition of Dark Side Of The Moon. But across the border in Afghanistan there remained little evidence of the hippies’ passage. Revolution and wars have consigned memories and monuments to history: the Bamiyan Buddhas, Sigi’s restaurant in Kabul with its schnitzel and hookahs, the legendary Afghan border policeman who lay on a string bed on the Customs shed verandah, slicing melons, greeting the first global nomads with green tea and the question, ‘Do you have hashish, my friend? No? Then you buy from me. First quality. Welcome to Afghanistan.’ These days independent land travel in most parts of the country is extremely dangerous. Once over the Khyber Pass, the subcontinent still echoed the 1960’s’ heartbeat. In Pakistan I broke bread with a Trinidadian who had converted
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SUNSET IN NORTHERN INDIA
CAROL AND JOAN AT LALE PUDDING SHOP
— remains as legendary as the Pudding Shop’s notice — board. Almost every Dharma bum came to India to find a guru. The search might begin in Varanasi, in a houseboat or ashram on the banks of the Mother Ganges. Or in Pune dressed in orange robes as a disciple of Bhagwan Rajneesh in whose hedonistic community thousands caressed their
Most of the songs on the White Album and Abbey Road were written beside the Ganges
way to spiritual fulfilment. Other spiritual tourists might have checked out Hardwar where the plump, thirteen-year-old Guru Maharaj ji promised to Give Knowledge (and graduated to hiring the Houston Astrodome to spread his teachings) or rambled south to Puttaparthi where Sai Baba conjured holy ash out of thin air before rows of astonished, white faces. On my trip I chose to visit Rishikesh, the City of Saints. In 1968 the Beatles came here with Donovan, Mike Love of the Beach Boys and a trailer load of Hollywood movie stars. For five weeks they lived at the Maharishi’s Academy for Transcendental Meditation. As well as filling — as Paul McCartney later said — ‘a little bit of emptiness in our souls, a lack of spiritual fulfilment’, those few weeks were a period of remarkable creativity. Nearly all the songs that would appear on the
White Album and Abbey Road were composed beside the Ganges. The phenomenal success of their music was the single greatest factor in conjuring India and Nepal into the hip destination for a generation. Today the trail — which closed in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution and IMAGE: JONATHAN BENYON
to Islam and become an imam — because of Bob Dylan. In India the son of a Welsh lighthouse keeper tried to teach me to play the sitar. The original Intrepids had arrived here with a feeling of homecoming, as much to themselves as to the country. After the long and narrow overland trail the road broadened out into a hundred cities and thousand choices. Some travellers headed to Rajasthan where pink, medieval Jaipur rose out of a yellow desert. Others went to Kashmir’s lakes, usually asleep on third class carriage luggage racks. Many stopped for a night at Mrs. Bhandari’s Guesthouse, an oasis of serenity in Amritsar’s Cantonment near to the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. Today visitors are still welcomed as warmly as were the freaks, diplomats and Dalai Lama entourage. The establishment has changed little since the Sixties — indeed it has hardly altered since 1930 when Mrs. Bhandari first moved in — with its English garden with brick paths, dung fires in winter, breakfast plates of papaya and toast with homemade jams. The hotel’s collection of photo albums — spanning half a century of Grand Trunk Road tourism
IMAGE: CURT GIBBS
THE MAGIC BUS
If practice makes perfect, imagine what 109 years of it can do. Since 1902, the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) has been providing the highest standards of care to patients across Lebanon and the region. AUBMC is the only medical institution in the Middle East to have earned the three international accreditations of JCI, Magnet and CAP, attesting to its superior standards in patient-centered care, nursing, and pathology/laboratory services. Committed to its role as regional leader, AUBMCâ€™s impact on the medical sector and on improving peopleâ€™s lives is without equal in the Arab world.
IMAGE: CURT GIBBS
THE MAGIC BUS
CURT GIBBS IN HERAT, AFGHANISTAN IN 1978
The magic buses finally touched down in jumbled, medieval Kathmandu
KAVALA, NORTHERN GREECE
IMAGE: GRAHAM BOURNE
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan — has bequeath to us our most essential travel accessory. In those days no independent travel guidebook ventured east of Istanbul. Trail travel advice was spread by word of mouth. No one thumbing to India carried a mainstream guide. The route to self-knowledge wasn’t revealed in the pages of the latest Baedeker. Then a London ‘information charity’ published an Asia Overland travel newsletter. Its first edition sold out as soon as it hit the street. At the same time less than a mile away across town a young engineer named Tony Wheeler fell in love. He and Maureen — his wife-to-be — decided to drive across Asia, reaching Sydney penniless after their seminal, eight-
month journey. ‘I bet we could do a book,’ Wheeler said and in a month he wrote Across Asia On The Cheap. Lonely Planet was born, its first guide also selling out in a week. A new generation of travellers began to learn how to move through the world alone and with confidence. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the magic buses finally touched down in jumbled, medieval Kathmandu. Drivers named Blossom and Chattanooga Bob lit their pipes at the Eden Hash Centre. Cat Stevens wrote songs in a chai shop in Asantol. Road. Sore overlanders checked into the Hotchpotch and the Matchbox, warrens of cell-like rooms with low, head-cracking doorways, and debated how best to heal both their aching 83
ANJUNA MARKET, GOA, 1975
IMAGE: CHRIS WEEKS
IMAGE: JONATHAN BENYON
THE MAGIC BUS
BOBBY HUGHES, KATHMANDU, 1974
backs and the world. At the Bakery many newcomers sold their jeans for strings of amber and red-felt boots embroidered with flowers. Snake charmers played their flutes outside the central post office. Crows squabbled in the old palace trees, their black wings sweeping over the terracotta rooftops. In those days the search for an individual paradise must have seemed a real possibility in Nepal, away from India’s crowds, in the clear mountain air, among a people of legendary kindness. On my journey I met an Irish resident of Kathmandu. On the terrace of the great Swayambhu temple, he told me, ‘When I arrived in Nepal I
fell in love with those peaks. I wanted to know the name of every one, and the names of the gods who live there. Way over there’ – he gestured towards Tibet — ‘is Mount Kailas, the spiritual centre of the universe. It’s there that the gods descend from heaven. A stairway from heaven to my doorstep.’ On the journey along the world’s wildest and oldest trail, the Intrepids lit sticks of incense, strummed their guitars and read another chapter of
Siddhartha, then stepped off the bus to help push the decrepit vehicle over the Hindu Kush. None of them had travel insurance. No one had heard of BlackBerrys, ATMs or AIDS. No
one had a schedule or was in a hurry, not least because most bus drivers passed around a chillum pipe before breakfast. On some days the coaches seemed to levitate across border posts. A generation’s wide-eyed adventures transformed both their lives and the countries they traversed, unleashing forces which changed the way we travel — and view — the world. We still live with the consequences of those journeys. For better or for worse we are now the Intrepids.
Rory MacLean’s book, Magic Bus, is his account of the hippy trail. www.magicbus.info 85
ILLUSTRATIONS: RICHARD BUTLER
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT
t is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my finger upon the moment it ended, can never cut through the ambiguities and second starts and broken resolves to the exact place on the page where the heroine is no longer as optimistic as she once was. When I first saw New York I was 20, and it was summertime, and I got off a DC-7 at the old Idlewild temporary terminal in a new dress which had seemed very smart in Sacramento but seemed less smart already, even in the old Idlewild temporary terminal, and the warm air smelled of mildew and some instinct, programmed by all the movies I had ever seen and all the songs I had ever heard about New York, informed me that it would never be quite the same again. In fact it never was. Some time later there was a song on the jukeboxes on the Upper East Side that went â€œbut where is the schoolgirl who used to be me,â€? and if it was late enough
at night I used to wonder that. I know now that almost everyone wonders something like that, sooner or later, no matter what he or she is doing, but one of the mixed blessings of being 20 and 21 and even 23 is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before. Of course, it might have been some other city, had circumstances been different and the time been different and had I been different, it might have been Paris, Chicago or even San Francisco, but because I am talking about myself I am talking here about New York. That first night I opened my window on the bus into town and watched for the skyline, but all I could see were the wastes of Queens and big signs that said MIDTOWN TUNNEL THIS LANE and then a flood of summer rain (even that seemed remarkable and exotic, for I had come out of the West where there was no summer rain), and for the next three days I sat wrapped in blankets in a hotel room air conditioned to 35 degrees and tried to get over a cold and a high fever. It did not occur to me to call a doctor, because I knew none, and although it did occur to me to call the desk and ask that the air conditioner be turned off, I never called, because I did not know how much to tip whoever might come – was anyone ever so young? I am here to tell you that someone was. All I could do during those years was talk long-distance to the boy I already knew I would never marry in the spring. I would stay in New York, I told him, just six months, and I could see the Brooklyn Bridge from my window. As it turned out the bridge was the Triborough and I stayed eight years.
In retrospect it seems to me that those days before I knew the names of all the bridges were happier than the ones that came later, but perhaps you will see that as we go along. Part of what I want to tell you is what it is like to be young in New York, how six months can become eight years with the deceptive ease of a film dissolve, for that is how those years appear to me now, in a long sequence of sentimental dissolves and old-fashioned trick shots — the Seagram Building fountains dissolve into snowflakes, I enter a revolving door at 20 and come out a good deal older, and on a different street. But most of all I want to explain to you, and in the process perhaps to myself, why I no longer live
It is often said that New York is a city only for the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that it is a city for the very young
in New York. It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city only for the very young. I remember once, one cold bright December evening in New York, suggesting a friend who complained of having been around too long that he come with me to a party where there would be, I assured him with the bright resourcefulness of 23, “new faces”. He laughed literally until he
choked, and I had to roll down the taxi window and hit him on the back. “New faces,” he said finally, “don’t tell me about new faces.” It seemed that the last time he had gone to a party where he had been promised “new faces,” there had been 15 people in the room, and he had already spelt with five of the women and owed money to all but two of the men. I laughed with him, but the first snow had just begun to fall and the big Christmas Trees glittered yellow and white as far as I could see up Park Avenue, I had a new dress and it would be a long while before I would come to understand the particular moral of the story. It would be a long while because, quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean ‘love’ in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across 62nd Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later – because I did not belong there, did not come from there – but when you are 22 or 23, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary 89
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT
would happen any minute, any day, any month. I was making only $65 or $70 then a week then (“Put yourself in Hattie Carnegie’s hands,” I was advised without the slightest trace of irony by an editor of the magazine for which I worked), so little money that some weeks I had to charge food at Bloomingdale’s gourmet shop in order to eat, a fact which went unmentioned in the letters I wrote to California. I never told my father that I needed money because then he would have sent it, and I would never know if I could do it by myself. At that time making a living seemed a game to me, with arbitrary but quite inflexible rules. And except on a certain kind of winter evening — 6.30pm in the Seventies, say, already dark and bitter with a wind off the river, when I would be walking very fast towards a bus and would look in the bright windows of brownstones and see cooks working in clean kitchens and imagine women lighting candles on the floor above and beautiful children being bathed on the floor above that – except on nights like those, I never felt poor; I had the feeling that if I needed money I could always get it. I could write a syndicated column for teenagers under the name “Debbi Lynn” or I could smuggle gold into India or I could become a $100 call girl, and none of which would matter. Nothing was irrevocable; everything was within reach. Just around every corner lay something curious and interesting, something I had never before seen, done or known about. I could go to a party and meet someone who called himself Mr Emotional Appeal who ran The Emotional Appeal Institute, or Tina Onassis Blandford, or a Florida 90
cracker who was then a regular on what was called ‘the Big C’, the Southampton-El Morocco circuit (“I’m well connected on the Big C, honey,” he would tell me over collard greens on his vast borrowed terrace), or the widow of the celery king of the Harlem market or a piano salesman from Bonne Terre, Missouri, or someone who had already made and lost two fortunes in Midland, Texas. I could make promises to myself and to other people and there would be all the time in the world to keep them. I could stay up all night and make mistakes, and none of them would count. You see, I was in a curious position in New York; it never occurred to me that I was living a real life there. In my imagination I was always there for just another few months, just until Christmas or Easter or the first warm day in May. For that reason I was most comfortable with the company of Southerners. They seemed to be in New York as I was, on some indefinitely extended leave from wherever they belonged, disciplined to consider the future, temporary exiles who always knew when the flights left for New Orleans or Memphis or Richmond or, in my case, California. Someone who lives with a plane schedule in the drawer lives on a slightly different calendar. Christmas, for example, was a difficult season. Other people could take it in their stride, going to Stowe, or going abroad, or going for the day to their mother’s place in Connecticut. Those of us who believed that we lived somewhere else would spend it making and canceling airline reservations, waiting for weatherbound flights as if for the last plane out of Lisbon in 1940, and finally comforting one another — those of
us who were left, gathering close, like colonials in a far country. Which is precisely what we were. I am not sure that it is possible for anyone brought up in the East to appreciate entirely what New York, the idea of New York, means to those of us who came out of the West and the South. To an Eastern child, particularly a child who has always had an uncle on Wall Street and who has spent several hundred Saturdays first at F.A.O. Schwarz and being fitted for shoes at Best’s and then waiting under the Biltmore clock and dancing to Lester Lanin, New York is just a city, albeit the city, a plausible place for people to live. But to those of us who came from places where no one had heard of Lester Lanin and Grand Central Station was a Saturday radio programme, where Wall Street and Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue were not places at all but abstractions (“Money,” and “High Fashion,” and “The Hucksters”), New York was no mere city. It was instead an
infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself. To think of “living” there was to reduce the miraculous to the mundane; one does not ‘live’ at Xanadu. In fact, it was
difficult in the extreme for me to understand those young women for whom New York was not simply an ephemeral Estoril but a real place — girls who bought toasters and installed new cabinets in their apartments and committed themselves to some reasonable furniture. I never bought any furniture in New York. For a year or so I lived in other people’s apartments. After that I lived in the Nineties in an apartment furnished entirely with things taken from storage by a friend whose wife had moved away. And when I left the apartment in the Nineties (that was when I was leaving everything, when it was all breaking up) I left everything in it, even my winter clothes and the map of Sacramento County I had hung on the bedroom wall to remind me who I was, and I moved into a monastic four-room floor-through on 75th Street. “Monastic” is perhaps misleading here, implying some chic severity; until after I was married and my
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT
husband moved some furniture in, there was nothing at all in those four rooms except a cheap double mattress and box springs, ordered by telephone the day I decided to move, and two French garden chairs lent to me by a friend who imported them (It strikes me now that the people I knew in New York all had curious and self-defeating sidelines. They imported garden chairs that did not sell very well at Hammacher Schlemmer, or they tried to market hair staighteners in Harlem, or they ghosted exposés of Murder Incorporated for Sunday supplements. I think that perhaps none of us was very serious, engagé only about our most private lives). All I ever did to that apartment was hang 50 yards of yellow theatrical silk across the bedroom windows because I had some idea that the gold light would make me feel better, but I did not bother to weight the curtains correctly and all that summer the long panels of transparent golden silk would blow out the windows and get tangled and drenched in afternoon thunderstorms. That was the year, my 28th, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and ever procrastination, every word, all of it.
That is what it was all about, wasn’t it? Promises? Now when New York comes back to me it comes in hallucinatory flashes, so clinically detailed that I sometimes wish that memory would effect the distortion with which it is commonly credited. 92
For a lot of the time I was in New York I used a perfume called Fleurs de Rocaille, and then L’Air du Temps, and now the slightest trace of either can short-circuit my connections for the rest of the day. Nor can I smell Henri Bendel jasmine soap without falling back into the past, or the particular
I liked the bleak branches above Washington Square at dawn and the monochromatic flatness of Second Avenue
mixture of spices used for boiling crabs. There were barrels of crab boil in a Czech place in the Eighties where I once shopped. Smells, of course, are notorious memory stimuli, but there are other things that affect me the same way. Blue-and-white striped sheets, vermouth cassis, some faded nightgowns which were new in 1959 or 1960, and some chiffon scarves I bought about the same time. I suppose that a lot of us who have been very young in New York have the same scenes in our home screens. I remember sitting in a lot of apartments with a slight headache about five o’clock in the morning. I had a friend who could not sleep, and he knew a few other people who had the same trouble, and we would watch the sky lighten and have a last drink with no ice and then go home in the early morning, when the streets were clean and wet (had it rained in the night? We never knew) and the few cruising taxis still had their headlights on and the only colour was
the red and green of traffic signals. The White Rose bars opened very early in the morning; I recall waiting in one of them to watch an astronaut go into space, waiting so long that at the moment it actually happened I had my eyes not on the television screen but on a cockroach on the tile floor. I liked the bleak branches above Washington Square at dawn, and the monochromatic flatness of Second Avenue, the fire escapes and the grilled storefronts peculiar and empty in their perspective. It is relatively hard to fight at 6.30 or seven in the morning, without any sleep, which was perhaps one reason why we stayed up all night, and it seemed to me a pleasant time of day. The windows were shuttered in that apartment in the Nineties and I could sleep for a few hours and then go to work. I could work on two or three hours’ sleep and a container of coffee from Chock Full O’ Nuts. I liked going to work, liked the soothing and satisfactory rhythm of getting out a magazine, liked the orderly progression of four-colour closings and two-colour closings and black-and-white closings and then The Product, no abstraction, but something which looked effortlessly glossy and could be picked up on a news stand and weighed in the hand. I liked all the minutiae of proofs and layouts, liked working late on the nights the magazines went to press, sitting and reading Variety and waiting for the copy desk to call. From my office, I could look across town to the weather signal on the Mutual of New York Building and the lights that alternately spelled TIME and LIFE above Rockefeller Plaza; that pleased me obscurely, and so did walking
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT
uptown in the mauve eight o’clocks of early summer evenings and looking at things, Lowestoft tureens in 57th Street windows, people in evening clothes trying to get taxis, the trees just coming into full leaf, All the promises of money and summer. Some years passed, but I still did not lose that sense of wonder about New York. I began to cherish the loneliness of it, the sense that at any given time no one need know where I was or what I was doing. I liked walking, from the East River over to the Hudson and back on brisk days, down around the Village on warm days. A friend would leave me the key to her apartment in the West Village when she was out of town, and sometimes I would just move down there, because by that time the telephone was beginning to bother me (the canker, you see, was already in the rose) and not many people had that number. I remember one day when someone who did have the West Village number came to pick me up for lunch there, and we both had hangovers, and I cut my finger opening him a beer and burst into tears, and we walked to a Spanish restaurant and drank bloody Marys and gazpacho until we felt better. I was not then guilt-ridden about spending afternoons that way, because I still had all the afternoons in the world. And even that late in the game I still liked going to parties, all parties, bad parties, Saturday afternoon parties given by recently married couples who lived in Stuyvesant Town, West Side parties given by unpublished or failed writers who served cheap red wine and talked about going to Guadalajara, Village parties where all the guests worked 94
for advertising agencies and voted for Reform Democrats, press parties at Sardi’s – the worst kind of parties. You will have perceived, by now, that I was not one to profit from the experience of others, that it was a very long time indeed before I stopped believing in new faces and began to understand the lesson in that story, which was that it is possible to stay too long at the Fair.
I could not tell you when I began to understand that. All I know is that it was very bad when I was 28. Everything that was said to me I seemed to have heard before, and I could no longer listen. I could no longer sit in little bars near Grand Central and listen to someone complaining of his wife’s inability to cope with the help while he missed another train to Connecticut. I no longer had any interest in hearing about the advances other people had received from their publishers, about plays that were having second-act trouble in Philadelphia, or about people I would like very much if only I would come out and meet them. I had already met them, always. There were certain parts of the city that I had to avoid. I could not bear upper Madison Avenue on weekday mornings (this was a particularly inconvenient aversion, since I then lived just 50 or 60ft east of Madison), because I would see women walking Yorkshire terriers and shopping at Gristede’s, and some Veblenesque gorge would rise in my throat. I could not go to Times Square in the afternoon, or to the New York Public Library for any reason whatsoever. One day I couldn’t go into
a Schrafft’s; next the Bonwit Teller. I hurt the people I cared about, and insulted those I did not. I cut myself off from the one person who was closer to me than any other. I cried until I was not even aware when I was crying and when I was not, I cried in elevators and in taxis and in Chinese laundries, and when I went to the doctor, he said only that I seemed to be depressed, and that I should see a ‘specialist’. He wrote down a psychiatrist’s name and address for me, but I did not go. Instead I got married, which, as it turned out, was a very good thing to do but badly timed, since I still could not walk on upper Madison Avenue in the mornings and still could not talk to people and still cried in Chinese laundries. I had never before understood what ‘despair’ meant, and I am not sure that I understand now, but I understood that year. Of course, I could not work. I could not even get dinner with any degree of certainty, and I would sit in the apartment on 75th Street paralyzed until my husband would call from his office and say gently that I did not have to get dinner, that I could meet him at Michael’s Pub or at Sardi’s East. And then one morning in April he told me that he wanted to get out of New York, that he would take a six-month leave of absence, that we would go somewhere. It was three years ago he told me that, and we have lived in Los Angeles since. Many of the people we knew in New York think this a curious aberration, and in fact tell us so. There is no possible, no adequate answer to that, and so we give certain stock answers, the answers everyone gives. I talk about how difficult it would be
for us to ‘afford’ to live in New York right now, about how much ‘space’ we need, All I mean is that I was very young in New York and, at some point the golden rhythm, was broken, and I am not that young anymore. The last time I was in New York was in a cold January, and everyone was ill and tired. Many of the people I used to know there had moved to Dallas or had bought a farm in New Hampshire. We stayed 10 days and then we took an afternoon flight back to Los Angeles, and on the way home from the airport that night I could see the moon on the Pacific and smell jasmine all around and we both knew that there was no longer any point in keeping the apartment we still kept in New York. There were years when I called Los Angeles ‘the Coast’, but they seem a long time ago.
This is an essay from Joan Didion’s book, Slouching Towards Bethelem, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 95
YOUTH CULTURE A group of skinheads walk past a group of hippies sitting on the steps of Eros in Piccadilly Circus in 1969. Anti-mod and anti-hippy crews of skinhead youths displayed their tough attitudes and inďŹ‚uences in their dress and behaviour. By Terence Spencer.
LONDON FEATURE CALLING STORY
THE BALL (LEFT) A group of children playing on Brindley Road, Paddington, in 1959. Taken by Roger Mayne. THE MONKEY (RIGHT) A performing monkey attracts an audience at Petticoat Lane market in 1952. Many characters sold their wares, produce and services at ‘The Lane’, which was held on Sunday mornings along Middlesex Street. Taken by Henry Grant. 99
LONDON FEATURE CALLING STORY
THE MILKMAN A milkman pushes his cart across Charing Cross Road in 1937. In the background is the cinema, Cameo Revudenews. Taken by Wolf Suschitsky.
FLEET STREET (LEFT) A uniformed messenger boy crossing Fleet Street in 1920.Such boys sometimes went on to become photographers or journalists themselves. During the late 1920s and early 30s, Fleet Street accommodated local,national and international newspapers. Taken by George Davison Reid. GAMBLERS (RIGHT) A group of gamblers on Southam Street in North Kensington, in 1958. Taken by Roger Mayne. 103
80 mm wide x 224 mm high
BILLINGSGATE MARKET A porter at Billingsgate Market in 1893. Taken by Paul Martin.
London Street Photography (1860-2010) is out now on Dewi Lewis Publishing. www.dewilewispublishing.com
STYLE • MAPPED
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA, 2006. TAKEN BY RISING CHINESE PHOTOGRAPHER AND ARTIST CHEN MAN WWW.CHENMANER.COM
BRIEFING ÖÖÕº ¢ P. 113 º loyalty card scheme
P. Ö×Õº route map
SIA FROM RUOSVE WITH LEW DAILY EMIRATES’ N SERVICE TO URG ST PETERSB
TWO NEW ROUTES EMIRATES IS TO LAUNCH FLIGHTS deeper into Russia by starting services to St Petersburg, which will become the most northerly point on the airline’s network on 1 November. The port city, lying on the Baltic coast will be served with a daily flight from Dubai. A combination of Airbus A340-300 and A330200 will be deployed on the route, offering first, business and economy class travel. EK flight 137 will depart Dubai at 1035hrs, arriving in St Petersburg at 1615hrs. The return flight leaves St Petersburg at 1745hrs and lands in Dubai at 0035hrs the next day. The airline currently operates a double daily flight to Moscow and has been flying to the Russian capital since 2003. “We see great potential in Russia and the
success of our Moscow flights has demonstrated that there is still demand from this market,” commented His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. “We have been considering launching a non-stop service to St Petersburg for some time and we believe that the conditions are now right to do so. “This is a city which attracts many tourists and cruise visitors every year because of its grand
The new daily flight will complement the existing Moscow route
architecture, arts and culture and of course, its fascinating history,” Sheikh Ahmed added. St Petersburg is one of the largest cities in Europe with a population of around 4.6 million residents. Passenger demand is expected to be mostly tourist driven, but also boosted by the oil and manufacturing sectors. The new St Petersburg service will further satisfy that demand, while providing better links with markets across Asia. Emirates has also announced the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, as a new destination with services starting on 1 November.
SCAN AND GO EMIRATES HAS INTRODUCED A paperless boarding pass to coincide with World Environment Day on 5 June. The option to receive a mobile boarding pass (mBP) is available to passengers travelling from Dubai, who possess an internet-enabled device, when checking in online. The service is soon to be implemented in more than 30 airports on the Emirates network that are mobile device compliant. At check-in passengers are given the option to have the mBP sent to their mobile device. It includes a barcode, containing the relevant flight information as well as the passenger’s details, and can be scanned directly off the screen at check-in, security, Emirates lounges and boarding gates. The head of airport services at Emirates, Mohammed Mattar, said the introduction of the mBP would help the airline strive for a more efficient way of travelling. The mBP boosts green credentials as it reduces paper waste. The system is expected to save at least 550 kilograms of paper in the first year alone.
DEPARTMENT FOCUS ON AVERAGE FOR EVERY MINUTE THAT passes another two people join the Emirates’ frequent flyer programme – Skywards. To put that into perspective, if an Emirates flight from Dubai to London Heathrow is seven hours long, then during that flight approximately 840 people will have joined Skywards. “That is quite a statistic when you think that when we started it took us four years to get our first million members,” says Brian LaBelle, the Senior Vice President of Skywards, “at present we have over six million members.” The Skywards programme, which started in 2000, was created to build on the loyalty of Emirates customers. The scheme found that by developing information of its members they were able to tailor to needs and gain an understanding of who was flying on the airline. Over the decade the aviation industry has progressed substantially, leading Skywards to revamp and update their programme in January 2010. “We looked at the trends, and wanted to further reward those individuals that were giving us more value,” says Kashmira Motiwalla, Skyward’s Manager of Product Development. “Our members were requesting one-way rewards and the more flexible tiers – which we gave them – with our period of earning points now stretched over a 13 month period that takes into account the member’s busiest time of year,” he added.
Our members were requesting one-way rewards and the more flexible tiers – which we gave them
For the relaunch the programme initiated its award-winning Mile Accelerator. This addition gives its members an 11-month foresight of flights in which they can earn extra miles. The process requires some very careful internal coordination within Emirates as it helps direct the traffic onto flights where there are less loads, freeing up seats on the busier flights. Last year’s relaunch also brought with it the Skywards Future Arts Competition. “We were looking for something fresh and innovative that would catch the imagination of our members,” says Motiwalla. “We decided that every year
our members should chose the winning entry of the art work to be displayed on their card.” The competition is open to artist all over the world - giving the winner the opportunity to gain global exposure. For its inaugural edition last year, the competition saw over 3,000 entries and 56,000 votes cast by Skywards members. The winning entry receives a commission of $5000, and gets to exhibit at Art Dubai (held in March) and have their entry on the cards as well as their names. And if the success of Skywards is anything to go by then that would be gaining two more fans every minute.
search ENGINE THE OLD ADAGE ‘EVERY LITTLE HELPS’ is certainly true when it comes to protecting the environment. Making yourself more environmentally conscious doesn’t always require drastic changes to your lifestyle but instead little adjustments that can make a difference. The modern workplace’s dependence on computers combined with the success of search engines such as Google has led to a rise in the development of green search engines. These websites
THE AMOU T IN NEW WILL INVES ER THE V O ES PLAN ADE NEXT DEC
aim to both lower your carbon footprint and raise awareness. There are now search engines investing the advertising revenue generated per search to be reinvested in everything from rainforest protection (Forestle), to keeping their company CO2 neutral (Znout), to looking exclusively for environmentally— relevant content (Green Planet Search). In only 18 months since its launch, the website Ecosia raised over €350,000 in funds which it donated to green causes. It shows that just a few clicks can make all the difference.
WHAT IS THE EU ETS? THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL EXTEND ITS emissions trading scheme (ETS) to include aviation from January 2012. What is it exactly? The EU ETS is the world’s largest multinational emissions trading scheme. It was created in 2005 to monitor and offset the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from all industries within Europe. The decision to extend the ETS to airlines was agreed unanimously by the EU member states. These new changes to the ETS will mean all airlines flying into, out of, and within the EU will be required to pay for any emissions that exceed a certain cap. Airlines operating to the EU have been preparing plans describing how they intend to monitor and report on their carbon emissions.
THE MAIDEN VOYAGE FLIGHT TIME OF THE EGENIUS, THE ELECTRIC TWO-SEATER IN
20min 16.9mil DEVELOPENT SPONSORED BY AIRBUS
FLY YOUR IDEAS
More than 2600
Five households in
A study published from This free phone app
students entered Airbus’ Britain have agreed to
claims to tell you the
second annual Fly Your post pictures of every
warns that the
air pollution details for
item placed in their
Northern Hemisphere over 1,380 cities
developing new and
garbage bins as part
will continue to see
worldwide. It pinpoints
innovative ideas to
of a programme from
hot summers for the
your location via your
shape the eco-efﬁcient
next 20 to 60 years
phone’s GPS and offers
aviation industry of
to raise consciousness
due to an irreversible
you real-time statistics
about recycling efforts. temperature rise.
on the pollution levels.
THE PROJECTED NUMBER OF ANNUAL FLIGHTS IN EUROPE BY 2030
BEFORE YOU R JOU R N EY CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRAVELLING IF YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL CONCERNS ABOUT MAKING A LONG JOURNEY, OR IF YOU SUFFER FROM A RESPIRATORY OR
IN THE AIR
CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITION. PLAN FOR THE DESTINATION – WILL
TO HELP YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR destination feeling relaxed and refreshed, Emirates has developed this collection of helpful travel tips. Regardless of whether you need to
rejuvenate for your holiday or be effective at achieving your goals on a business trip, these simple tips will help you to enjoy your journey and time on board with Emirates today.
SPECIAL MEDICATIONS? GET A GOOD NIGHT’S REST BEFORE THE FLIGHT. EAT LIGHTLY AND SENSIBLY.
AT TH E AI R PORT
SMART TRAVELLER DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
YOU NEED ANY VACCINATIONS OR
ALLOW YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME FOR CHECK-IN.
AVOID CARRYING HEAVY BAGS THROUGH THE AIRPORT AND ONTO THE FLIGHT AS THIS CAN PLACE THE BODY UNDER CONSIDERABLE STRESS. ONCE THROUGH TO DEPARTURES TRY AND RELAX AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
REHYDRATE WITH WATER OR JUICES FREQUENTLY.
CARRY ONLY THE ESSENTIAL ITEMS THAT
DRINK TEA AND COFFEE IN MODERATION.
YOU WILL NEED DURING YOUR FLIGHT.
DU R ING THE FLIGHT SUCKING AND SWALLOWING WILL
MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE
HELP EQUALISE YOUR EAR PRESSURE
DURING ASCENT AND DESCENT. BABIES AND YOUNG PASSENGERS MAY SUFFER MORE ACUTELY WITH POPPING EARS, THEREFORE CONSIDER PROVIDING A DUMMY.
LOOSEN CLOTHING, REMOVE JACKET AND
EXERCISE YOUR LOWER LEGS AND CALF
GET AS COMFORTABLE AS
AVOID ANYTHING PRESSING AGAINST YOUR BODY.
MUSCLES. THIS ENCOURAGES BLOOD FLOW.
POSSIBLE WHEN RESTING AND TURN FREQUENTLY.
USE SKIN MOISTURISER
AVOID SLEEPING FOR LONG PERIODS IN THE SAME POSITION.
W H EN YOU ARR IV E TRY SOME LIGHT EXERCISE OR READ IF YOU CAN’T SLEEP AFTER ARRIVAL.
CABIN AIR IS DRIER THAN NORMAL THEREFORE
APPLY A GOOD QUALITY MOISTURISER TO
SWAP YOUR CONTACT LENSES FOR GLASSES.
ENSURE YOUR SKIN DOESN’T DRY OUT.
CABIN L BE CREW WIL LP HE HAPPY TO D E IF YOU NE
E C N A T S I S S A PLETING COM THE FORMS
TO US CUSTOMS & IMMIGRATION FORMS WHETHER YOU’RE TRAVELLING TO, OR THROUGH, THE UNITED States today, this simple guide to completing the US customs and immigration forms will help to ensure that your journey
is as hassle free as possible. The Cabin Crew will offer you two forms when you are nearing your destination. We provide guidelines below, so you can correctly complete the forms.
CUSTOMS DECLAR ATION FORM
IMMIGR ATION FORM
All passengers arriving into the US need to complete a CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM. If you are travelling as a family this should be completed by one member only. The form must be completed in English, in capital letters, and must be signed where indicated.
The IMMIGRATION FORM I-94 (Arrival / Departure Record) should be completed if you are a non-US citizen in possession of a valid US visa and your final destination is the US or if you are in transit to a country outside the US. A separate form must be completed for each person, including children travelling on their parents’ passport. The form includes a Departure Record which must be kept safe and given to your airline when you leave the US. If you hold a US or Canadian passport, US Alien Resident Visa (Green Card), US Immigrant Visa or a valid ESTA (right), you are not required to complete an immigration form.
ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR
WILL EXPIRE ALONG WITH
TRAVEL AUTHORISATION (ESTA)
IF YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL
APPLY ONLINE AT WWW.CBP.GOV/ESTA
TRAVELLER WISHING TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE
VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME,
FOR THE VISA WAIVER *:
YOU MUST APPLY FOR
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, BRUNEI,
(ESTA) UP TO 72 HOURS PRIOR
CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,
TO YOUR DEPARTURE.
ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, HUNGARY, ICELAND,
IRELAND, ITALY, JAPAN, LATVIA,
INFANTS REQUIRE AN
LUXEMBURG, MALTA, MONACO,
THE NETHERLANDS, NEW
THE ONLINE ESTA SYSTEM
ZEALAND, NORWAY, PORTUGAL,
WILL INFORM YOU WHETHER
SAN MARINO, SINGAPORE,
YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN
SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SOUTH
AUTHORISED, NOT AUTHORISED
KOREA, SPAIN, SWEDEN,
OR IF AUTHORISATION
SWITZERLAND AND THE
A SUCCESSFUL ESTA
APPLICATION IS VALID
** ONLY BRITISH CITIZENS QUALIFY UNDER THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME.
FOR TWO YEARS, HOWEVER
80 mm wide x 224 mm high
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
THIS MAY BE REVOKED OR
THE NET PROFIT IN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR EMIRATES IN THE 2010-2011 FINANCIAL YEAR; THE MOST PROFITABLE IN THE COMPANY’S HISTORY.
THE SIZE — IN THOUSANDS OF SQUARE METRES —OF THE CARGO MEGA TERMINAL WHERE SKYCARGO’S OPERATIONS ARE BASED.
C OUR FLEET ADE 155 PLANESS. SMENGER PA UP OF 147 D 8 CARGO PLANES AN PLANES
For more information: www.emirates.com/ourf leet
Boeing 777-300ER Number of Aircraft: 56 Capacity: 354-442 Range: 14,594km Length: 73.9m Wingspan: 64.8m
Boeing 777-300 Number of Aircraft: 12 Capacity: 364 Range: 11,029km Length: 73.9m Wingspan: 60.9m
Boeing 777-200LR Number of Aircraft: 10 Capacity: 266 Range: 17,446km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 64.8m Boeing 777F Number of Aircraft: 2 Range 9,260km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 64.8m
Boeing 777-200 Number of Aircraft: 9 Capacity: 274-346 Range: 9,649km Length: 63.7m Wingspan: 60.9m
Boeing 747-400F/747-ERF Number of Aircraft: 3/2 Range 8,232km/9,204km Length: 70.6m Wingspan: 64.4m 126
Airbus A380-800 Number of Aircraft: 15 Capacity: 489-517 Range: 15,000km Length: 72.7m Wingspan: 79.8m
Airbus A340-500 Number of Aircraft: 10 Capacity: 258 Range: 16,050km Length: 67.9m Wingspan: 63.4m
Airbus A340-300 Number of Aircraft: 8 Capacity: 267 Range: 13,350km Length: 63.6m Wingspan: 60.3m
Airbus A330-200 Number of Aircraft: 27 Capacity: 237-278 Range: 12,200km Length: 58.8m Wingspan: 60.3m 127
ext month we regress in the best possible fashion with our Children’s Issue. Our cover has been dreamt up by one of Japan’s most innovative animators, who gives a quirky makeover to some of Emirates’ most popular destinations. We wonder if Disney’s theme parks can still be relevant in an era of Facebook, iPads and YouTube. We get the inside track from one of Europe’s most magical cities and we round up a collection of booty from New York’s best toy stores. One of the UK’s most talented DJs gives us the ultimate kids playlist, while we present a brief history of child prodigies. We also remember one of the world’s greatest children’s writers. So get in touch with your inner child in next month’s Open Skies.
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