Probably one of the coolest features I have noticed in Texas are the old-fashioned signs. They are everywhere representing an incredible variety of businesses, and are made mostly from aluminum, lights and neon. I am fascinated by the signs and how much they have influenced my artwork since I moved here. 

Provavelmente uma das características mais marcantes do Texas são as antigas placas. Elas estão por toda parte representando uma grande variedade de estabelecimentos, sendo feitas principalmente de alumínio, luzes e neon. Devido a minha fascinação pela estética destas placas e o quando elas têm influênciado o meu trabalho desde que eu mudei para cá, resolvi escrever este artigo expondo ao mundo o meu ponto de vista.
austin

Ice cream shop in Austin

This ice cream shop is a good example of Austin’s aesthetic, and the sign on the ground could be a good example of the easygoing lifestyle there. The vibrant city energy can be felt anywhere, with its abundant cafes, bars and music venues. Home of two major music festivals in the USA – Austin City Limits and South by Southwest – the city is known as the cultural capital of the south; and its alternative and liberal customs make it such a special place in Texas. 

A sorveteria mostrada na fotografia é um ótimo exemplo da estética em Austin. A placa derrubada na calçada pode servir como exemplo do estilo de vida descontraído da cidade. A energia vibrante é sentida em todos os lugares; representada por seus inúmeros cafés, bares a casas de espetáculo. A cidade é palco de dois dos maiores festivais de música dos EUA – Austin City Limits e South by Southwest – e seus costumes liberalistas e alternativos fazem deste um lugar muito especial aqui no Texas.
austin

The Yard Dog in Austin

These shops are located on South Congress Avenue, and they remind me a lot of Silverlake, in Los Angeles; and Haight Street, in San Francisco. The street is home to a remarkable collection of vintage shops, independent designer boutiques and family-owned restaurants; which are beautifully represented by these unique signs. The same way NYC has its famous I Love NY t-shirts, Austin has the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” as its trademark. The slogan can be found on innumerable souvenirs as well as tagged around different parts of the city.

As lojas localizadas na South Congress Avenue lembram-me muito de Silverlake, em Los Angeles; e Haight Street em São Francisco. A rua é marcada por uma coleção renomada de brechós, boutiques de estilistas independentes e restaurantes familiares; os quais são bem representados por estas incríveis placas. Da mesma maneira que Nova York possui sua famosa marca com suas camisetas “Eu amo NY”, Austin é dona do slogan “Mantenha Austin Estranha”. O mesmo pode ser encontrado em inúmeros produtos de recordação, bem como marcados nas paredes em diversas partes da cidade.
austin

Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds in Austin

A collection of international pop culture icons from across the universe was used on this store’s layout creating a vintage look, and making reference to the Beatles. The highlight is the Austin version of the Portuguese-born Brazilian Muse from the 40s “Carmen Miranda”. Carmen Miranda was a samba singer and actress who represented Brazil world wide, after becoming a Broadway star and not only the highest paid artist in Hollywood; but also the highest paid woman in the United States. In Brazil she is considered the precursor of the “Tropicalismo” movement. 

Uma coleção de ícones internacionais da cultura pop ao redor do universo foi utilizada na fachada da loja “Lucy in Disguise”, criando um visual antigo e descolado; fazendo referência aos Beatles. Mas o destaque da fachada é a versão de Austin da musa brasileira dos anos quarenta, Carmen Miranda. Nascida em Portugal, a cantora de samba e atriz imigrou ao Brasil representando o país mundo afora. Sua fama transformou-a em estrela da Boradway e não apenas a mais bem paga atriz de Hollywood; mas também na mulher com o maior salário no mundo do entertenimento, nos Estados Unidos. No Brasil, ela é considerada uma das precusoras da Tropicalia.
fort worth

Leddy Boots in Fortworth

Fort Worth is the next big city near Dallas, and is part of the Metroplex. The city is also the place where tourists go to experience the country culture. It is typical for someone who doesn’t know Dallas, to imagine the city as a cowboy’s paradise; but in reality, this misperception couldn’t be further from the truth.  Although Dallas is strongly influenced by the country culture, Fort Worth is the place where one would go to experience that.

Fort Worth é o grande centro urbano vizinho de Dallas, fazendo parte do Metroplex. A cidade é o lugar procurado pelos turistas interessados na cultura sertaneja. É bastante comum para quem não conhece Dallas imaginar a cidade como o paraíso sertanejo. Entretando, na realidade esta idéia fica longe da realidade. Embora Dallas tenha sido fortemente influênciada por esta cultura, Fort Worth é o lugar ideal se você está em busca desta experiência.
fort worth

Riscky's Stakehouse in Fort Worth

Main Street in Fort Worth is home to most of its tourist attractions, such as bars, restaurants, boot shops and souvenirs in general. For the meat savvy, the street may be the right spot to try that authentic Southern BBQ. The street also holds the twice-daily Longhorn parade, which should not be missed.

A rua principal Main Street, localizada no centro de Forth Worth é o local onde encontram-se a maioria das atrações turísticas, bem como seus bares, restaurantes, lojas de botas e lembranças em geral. Para os amantes de uma boa carne assada, a rua é o lugar ideal para experimentar o autêntico churrasco texano. Lá você também vai presenciar a Parada do Gado (Longhorn Parade), a qual acontece duas vezes ao dia e é imperdível. 
fort worth

Hunter Brother's Ranch in Fort Worth

The bar below may not have the trendiest sign, but they guarantee “Cold Beer” and “Hot Women”. What else could one wish for? Though low on design appeal, I figured it deserved mention in this entry.

O bar abaixo pode não apresentar a placa mais hype, mas eles garantem “Cerveja Gelada” e “Mulher Gostosa”. O que mais alguém poderia desejar? Mesmo que não tenha um grande apêlo visual, eu pensei que merecesse uma menção nesta entrada.
fort worth

PR's in Fort Worth

Dallas has so many distinctive signs, and here I am highlighting one single corner on Oak Lawn Ave at Bowser. The corner is in my opinion, considered Lucas’ hood. The best sign belongs to a no longer existing bed and breakfast called “Lucas”. The current business belongs to the Seafood Restaurant Chain “Pappadeaux”. 

Dallas possui uma variedade imensa de placas estilizadas, e neste artigo eu estarei focalizando em um único cruzamento entre as ruas Oak Lawn e Bowser. O melhor luminoso pertence a um antigo hotel chamado Lucas B&B, o qual atualmente cede lugar ao novo restaurante de frutos-do-mar Pappadeux, Devido a sua estética estabelecida na região, o novo estabelecimento manteve a sinalização original. 
dallas

Lucas Bed and Breakfast in Dallas

The neighborhood diner Luckys Cafe is located just across the Street, and its Sunday Brunch is part of my weekly agenda. The food is as good as any other good diner, but where it truly shines is its extremely friendly and helpful staff. On the opposite side of the street is located Luke’s Locker, which is not shown here, but deserves some credit. They are the best sports shop in the area, focusing on running and triathlon. That’s where a big chunk of my paycheck goes.

O modesto restaurante Luckys Café fica localizado do outro lado da rua, e seu famoso Brunch de domingo é parte da minha agenda semanal. A comida é típica de restaurantes da mesma categoria, mas o grande destaque vai para o atendimento amigável e altamente eficiente. No lado oposto da rua fica localizado a loja esportiva Luke’s Locker, a qual não está sendo mostrada aqui mas deserve algum crédito. Sendo a melhor loja do gênero na área, especializada em corrida e triatlon, este é o lugar onde eu gasto uma grande parcela do meu pagamento.
dallas

Luckys Cafe in Dallas

Snookie’s Bar & Grill is located on the other corner of the intersection.  I haven’t tried yet, but their sign is very interesting and it appears to be busy most of the time.

Snookie’s Bar & Grill fica localizado na outra esquina do cruzamento. Eu ainda não experimentei, entretando, sua sinalização é interessante e o lugar está cheio na maioria das vezes.
dallas

Snookie's Bar & Grill

Among all these signs, Lucas B&B is my favorite. There are several other signs I have seen but haven’t been able to photograph yet. A good friend of mine told me about some pretty unique ones in Arlington, which I should be checking out soon. Slowly, I am discovering some unique characteristics in Texas, which I am going to take with me for the rest of my life.

Dentre todos estes luminosos, Lucas B&B é o meu predileto. Existem várias outras placas as quais eu avistei, porém ainda não tive a oportunidade de fotografá-las.  Aos poucos eu vou descobrindo estas características peculiares do Texas, as quais influenciarão meus passos por onde for, pelo resto de minha vida.
dallas

Lucas Bed and Breakfast in Dallas

 

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running for life

December 17, 2008

 

Dallas White Rock Marathon 2008 by Ricky Moon / DMN Contributor

It’s been exactly 16 months since I ran my first race. I ran the “America’s Finest City Half Marathon” in August of 2007, in San Diego, California. That race had a major effect in my life, changing myself and the way I see and interact with the world.

My first half-marathon marked a new beginning in my life, it was the moment I realized that a new version of me was possible. A better version, stronger and faster, healthier and responsible. I remember how much I trained for that race; I had to give up on drinking, smoking and most important, had to leave behind a person that I loved, but I had to let go in order to change. It was more than a race, I found myself in some spiritual state of mind that is hard to describe. I’m not a religious person but I can say that was the day I met my God for the first time. I cried and smiled for 13.1 miles, as I watched the movie of my life playing in my mind step after step. That day I said good bye to the old me, and gave birth to that new person who was growing inside of me.

During the past year I ran several races in North America and Australia, and since I moved to Dallas I started taking my training more seriously. I found my happiness in this city through running. After a couple races I had already dropped 1 hour from the mark of my first race, only a year ago; and race after race I get closer and closer to the top finalists.

The main goal of all my training was to run my first full-length marathon, which I decided it was going to be the Dallas White Rock Lake. My training was going extremely well until I injured myself running the DRC Half-marathon six weeks before the big day. The 42nd overall position ended up resulting in 5 weeks off-training, and consequently a lot of pain, stress, fear and the beginning of a depressive state. Thanks to the support, patience and dedication of my partner I was almost 100% recovered one week before the race.

The Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon happened last Sunday, December 14th. I joined over 17,000 people, which had their individual reasons and goals for the event. The weather conditions were extremely rough with strong winds of up to 30mph, and temperature above 50 degrees. My right foot hurt me for about 16 of the 26 miles and at several moments I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish it. It was without a doubt the biggest achievement in my life so far, as I realized that not even 1% of the world’s population have tried such thing. By being injured and not had been able to finish my training program, I ended up having to slow my pace down to 9 miles/hour in order to complete the race. The support of the crowd, and the one I love right next to me was fundamental to get me to the finish line, and I did it in 3:59 min, coming in 912 place. 

After the holidays I am going to re-start my training and run another marathon in the spring, in an attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon. My first marathon reinforced the possibilities I saw when I ran my first race in 2007. Today I know exactly who I am, where I am, what I am here for and where I am going to be. Today, I run for life, run through life, and run to give a better life to others.

The photograph used in this entry belongs to Ricky Moon and you can purchase it by clicking here.

 

cows are us

December 14, 2008

chick-fil-a

 

For the past years I have been noticing the use of cows in North American advertising. Being a vegetarian and having cows as one of my favorite animals, made me an easy target for those campaigns; which in my opinion are brilliant. The first campaign showcased here was created by Dallas’ advertising agency “The Richards Group“, for the Atlanta based restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A.

chick-fil-a

 

The slogan “Eat Mor Chikin” is used as if the cows were protesting against the amount of beef consumed in America, on an attempt to reconstruct American fast-food industry. The campaign directly targets McDonald’s, Burger King,  Wendy’s, and other hamburger based chain restaurants, focusing on educating customers to eat more chicken.

 
chick-fil-a

The creative team have used smart and sharp copywriting with misspelled words representing the cows illiteracy, and at the same time creating a more fun and relaxed boycott. The campaign started in 1994 with a single billboard and continues evolving, exploring new possibilities; and most of the times adjusting the jokes and sense of humor to the aesthetic of their different locations across America.

chick-fil-a

In some of the TV commercials, cows take more extreme action like in the one shown here; where they invade a football stadium landing on a burger vendor. The same interactivity has been brought to real life by using three-dimensional cows tagging massive billboards near the main freeways of American cities. I find the entire campaign brilliant, fun and very original. The creative team has done such a good job applying the concept to their target audience; by the use important icons of their culture, such as football.

Another brilliant, yet controversial campaign was created by the Los Angeles based “Deutsch Inc.”, for the Real California Cheese company. The slogan “real cheese comes from happy cows – happy cows come from California”, uses California’s geography, weather, and culture; which combined to clever copy-writing transmits the ideal environment for dairy farming.

The commercials are set on paradisiacal farms, where the sun shines and natural events such as earthquakes make the cows’ life more interesting. The parallel between the effects of the great Californian weather on its inhabitants, is here applied to the cows. In one of the commercials, the cows complain about the rainy season, which is represented by one single cloud in the sky. 

In another commercial, an Alaskan cow moves to California and loves the fact there is no snow on the ground. The Californian cows raise eyebrows for not knowing the word “snow”, even though in reality, it snows a bit in California. Another commercial shows two bulls hitting on some cows passing by. They use some slangs that a Californian “dude” would use to hit on a “chick”, talking about working out and other body conscious aspects.

Notwithstanding the remarkable advertising campaign, California Milk Advisory Board has encountered some legal issues along the way. Animals rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have alleged the company is using false advertisement; making the audience believe that cows are raised in such utopian conditions. According to PETA, “Roughly one-third of California’s cows suffer from painful udder infections, and more than half suffer from other painful infections and illnesses”, amongst several other allegations.

happy cows

This is a very complicated issue for me, as a vegetarian and a visual communicator. I have always been aware of the reality of the majority of cattle farms, and that is one of the reasons why I originally decided to become a vegetarian, ten years ago. Nonetheless, I think the campaign is bright and effective, getting the attention of different groups with divergent opinions. Moreover, controversy is a sign of good advertising, right?

All the images used for this entry are copywrited and were extracted from the Chick-Fil-A and Real California Cheese websites.

For more information about animal rights, vegetarianism and unhappy cows visit: www.unhappycows.com

smoke-free dallas

December 10, 2008

no smoking

Today was a special day for Dallas and its inhabitants. The petition expanding the smoking ban to bars and pool halls was passed by  The Dallas City Council, which voted 10-5 in favor of the ban. The ban includes a minimum smoking distance of 15 feet away from most businesses. The only establishments exempt from the ban are tobacco and cigar shops which receive at least 15% of their profits from the sale of these products. Unfortunately, the ban won’t take effect until April 10th. Nevertheless, this is the first step for Dallas to become a more progressive city, and I am looking forward to enjoy a couple months of smoke-free venues before I leave. As I said on my previous post: “Dallas, I hope”; now even more.

whale wars

December 9, 2008

Despite the fact I don’t own a TV, I watch a few TV Series from Netflix or on the Internet. I know television is an essential element in people’s house, and it has always been one present in mine. Nonetheless, after realizing how much time I have spent watching bad shows or endlessly flipping through channels hoping to find something that pleases my eyes; I decided to give up. I sold my tv about a year ago and bought a projector. Now I have control over what I watch, the same way I control what I listen or read. 

My new reality addiction is a well produced show broadcasted on Animal Planet. It is called “Whale Wars”, and it is a documentary about the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s mission attempting to stop Japanese whaling. The organization was founded by the Canadian Captain Paul Watson in 1977; after being asked to leave his co-founded organization “Greenpeace”, due to his extremist behavior. 

Every year, the Sea Shepherd receives the support of activists with different backgrounds from around the globe; and leave Port Melbourne, Australia on an expedition to the cold waters of Antarctica. The controversial, unpredictable and utmost campaign uses any available ways to impede the Japanese ships from hunting whales. Because the dispute happens in high seas, laws are interpreted differently by the countries involved in the battle. The Japanese claim that the whales serve for scientific research to provide a basis for the sustainable whaling, in which the remaining parts, such as meat and oils, are processed and sold to the Japanese population. The opposition, composed mostly by Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States believe in the conservation of endangered species. 

No matter what you believe, or which side of the story you support; this is a TV Series not to be missed. It’s action from beginning to end, filled with real drama and edited in a very honest and interesting way. It’s one of those shows that make you stand on the top of your toes and cheer for those people on the screen. It makes me feel so proud of those few who are putting their life in risk fighting for their beliefs; but at the same time, I can’t help not feeling I could be doing more to make this place a better world.

If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a go and let us know what you think. The show goes on every Friday at 9pm.
You can check the schedule and more info at: http://animal.discovery.com/tv/whale-wars/

 

 

a little bit of joy…

December 4, 2008

 

little joy by autumn de wilde, extracted from band's myspace page

little joy by autumn de wilde, extracted from band's myspace page


Little joy – Brand new start 

It’s been long since I last posted here. I’m sorry for disappearing, but the changes in my life in the last few months have made me hide inside my own skin. For a long time I haven’t felt like talking, haven’t felt like letting the world know what is going on with me.

I’m living in a new city, a place where I don’t and never will fit in. I have a new job, which I am no longer happy with. I have met some people, but very few have had the appeal for a possible friendship. This is the first time in 8 years that I am living away from the ocean, which appears to be irreplaceable. I feel that part of me has died and I just can’t move on. I see myself in my dreams, I imagine the near future and I work hard so the time goes by quickly. I know better days will come, and that hope and an also irreplaceable love gets me out of bed every morning.

After several attempts to get back to my blog, I got home after a typical average day at work to find a message from a loved one from LA sitting on my instant messenger. It was telling me about nothing less than the band of the year. The band which brought me joy and made me stop all my projects to announce them to the world. I’m talking about “Little Joy”, formed by The Strokes’ brazilian drummer Fabrizio Moretti, Los Hermanos’ brazilian singer/guitarist Rodrigo Amarante, and the american musician Binki Shapiro. The trio has just released its self-titled debut album, which for me was just like love at first sight.  The album brings all the romance from Los Hermanos and the swing from The Strokes, translating into high quality indie rock with a good taste of the new bossa nova.  The project is named after Echo Park’s dive bar “Little Joy”, located on West Sunset Boulevard; place where I have spent several nights of my life.

During my last trip to Brazil two years ago, I found Los Hermanos’ latest album “4”. I brought it back to North America and played it to as many people as I could, and I’ve always wished they had at least one song written in english; so my friends could feel what I feel when I listen to their music. Los Hermanos has always been one of my favorite brazilian bands, it is something that makes me proud of being Brazilian. Now, three weeks before I head back to the tropical country, I bring with me a fresh pearl from North America made by brazilians for the world. If you haven’t bought their album yet, you are missing out. Buy it and spread the word!

As for now I guess I am going to take advantage of the season and make this a brand new start…

Little Joy’s Myspace

source: cibele bossi, echo park – los angeles.