radiance - cathederal

We had an enchanted evening wandering around the east end & Merchant City last night taking in the Radiance festival of light. Unusually for this time of year it was clear night and some of the installations looked magnificent. The cathedral(above) had an evocative coating of light adding another layer to its creepiness and at times resembling a blue ringed octopus or and particularly dedicated supporter of the Brisbane Lions covered in tattoos.

My personal favourite was a small doorway with images of fireflies protected onto the glazing accompanied by distant shortwave radio transmissions and voices from another room – it was particularly evocative. The most interesting aspect of the evening was discovering small lanes and courtyards in the east end that we didn’t know existed, combined with the energy generated by thousands of people milling about streets that would normally be deserted – there was a real sense of Glaswegians realising how interesting their city could be with more a more animated and activated street life.

radiance 07

numbers: flying lotus

numbers - flying lotus

Just back from a great set by Flying Lotus at Glasgow’s finest dirty electro evening, Numbers and killing time while Chhay whips up some late night noodles to satisfy her savoury cravings. Well worth checking him out if you like scratchy bleepy stuff with a hint of dubstep.

back to 'abuse'

We are back home so I’ll catch up and post a few photos of the trip both here & on our flickr page of the next week or so. Had to mention this rebel first however, who seems to be stirring up a media storm back home – at least his technique is good in the photo. Not to mention that I share his sentiments (and genes) exactly.

san francisco

golden gate bridge

We had a great time in San Francisco although things didn’t always go according to plan – at times it seemed like everything we wanted to do was canceled or closed. Still days were spent exploring the various neighbourhoods and by night we visited a cross spectrum of San Fran’s ‘dive bars’ – it seems no bar is complete without a neon cocktail sign outside in this city.

san fran 2

We divided most of our time between the Haight (above) – the nexus of of the flower generation and the summer of love, now somewhat resembling the hippes from that era – a bit burnt out, still clinging to old values despite having sold out to the man and the rest in the Mission (below) – the more down at heel latino district now home to hipsters, cool graphic design shops and groovy bars as the gentrification begins.

san fran 4

Still San Fran still contains good sized chunks of seediness often squeezed in between the posher areas so that one minute you are swishing past Barney’s and the swanky Apple Store before only a block or two away hotel rooms are rented by the hour and the crack dealers are out in force. It was quite refreshing after the santised streets of NY.

san fran 1

We did attempt a couple of touristy things – drinking coffee in North Beach (above), riding a cable car and catching the ferry to Alcatraz – although our attempt to cross the Golden Gate bridge on a 50’s era fire truck was sadly thwarted by their schedule. We also visited the new Herzog & de Meuron – De Young Museum in the Golden Gate Park – an intriguing gallery which I’ll devote a separate post to with an excellent though esoteric collection (below).
san fran 3


grand theatre

Oakland was our decompression chamber – a relaxed couple of days before we headed into San Fran. Our friend James gave us a tour of the East bay including an awesome breakfast at a Thai temple in Berkeley and some stunning views from the Oakland Hills (below).

san fran skyline

We then spent the afternoon cruising the various districts of San Fran to get our bearings (and cover hilly areas by car rather than by foot!). Highlight (for me at least) was the new Federal Building by Thom Mayne (below)

federal building SF 1

federal building SF 2

although closely followed by the authentic Raider Nation cups that Jame’s girlfriend Jess brought back from the NFL game she was at. Following that we barely moved from the apartment apart from a brief wander out for brunch and a walk around Lake Merritt (below).

lake meritt sunset

a new york minute

just finished 10 whirlwind days in the big apple, summary below more detail and photos once I get back to Glasgow;

our general routine, wake.. breakfast: mmm bagels & cream cheese, museum: whitney, met, moma, moving image, PS1, lunch: uighar, dim sum, greek, venuzuelan, neighbourhood: lower east side, brooklyn, east village, SoHO, chinatown, brooklyn, midtown – no!, queens, west village, brooklyn (again!?!) dinner: italian, japanese, vietnamese, mexican (in a grocery store), korean; band: band of horses, too dead catholics, casiitone for the painfully alone, dr dog (sold out oops) then out somewhere (often brooklyn), sleep, repeat…

some architecture too in there – new new museum by sanaa, store front for art and architecture which is looking tired, cocktails and diller + scorfidio’s brasserie.

now in Oakland for a few days before crossing the bay to San Francisco – a little more relaxed for the next week I think…

off to see uncle sam

Haven’t been up to much recently as we are heading off for a couple of weeks in New York and San Fran – should be fun. We had a couple of friends up from Glasgow over the last weekend and turned out as the Adams Family at a southside Halloween do but otherwise had a quiet weekend.

On our return it looks like I’ll be house husband par excellence for a few weeks until my visa clears!