Five Cool Things Nov.14


Here’s what you’re going to do. First, you visit with Gianni to make a Porchetta, or a Margherita Pizza. Then, you pop on over to visit the talented and ambitious Seattle graphic designer, Stephanie Laursen, who made this cool book you should see. After that, you read a little bit about typography and why typography is so damn cool. Then, you explore a very good business book that punctures a long held myth. Saving the best for last, you check out all things Third Angle, and you listen to the haunting and lovely pipa performance that Third Angle has so generously made available. I leave you with my favorite all time quote by one of my favorite all time writers. “Nature abhors a moron.” ~ Henry Louis Mencken

1. “I live on top a da hill” | Gianni’s North Beach

Gianni Mora lives in North Beach in San Francisco, runs a slick and campy cooking blog complete with music, hails from Providence where he once owned a restaurant, says things like, “baboom and “bafangul” in a quiet, non show business kind of way, seems to know everything there is to know about North Beach and Italian food, all the while sounding like he’s really from Columbus Park in Fall River, Mass by way of Sicily. Watch him make Porchetta and listen to that man talk. I could listen ta dis guy all friggin’ day long. To watch the video, click the link>> Watch him make his Margharita Pizza. Make sure when you visit that you watch Gianni’s North Beach.

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2. Seattle Letterpress Artist | Stephanie Laursen

artwork by stephanie laursen

Stephanie Laursen

Stephanie Laursen is a graphic designer living in Seattle. This is her thesis project from the California College of Arts where she graduated with a BFA in graphic design with self-directed study of printmaking and book arts. Stephanie is part of a growing movement of bookmakers/printmakers/designers who are taking digitally based design to the letterpress. Visit Stephanie’s very cool website. For some quite interesting info on the letterpress, see the next story.

3. The Font Matters | I Love Typography

logo for i love typography

I Love Typography

Welcome to John Boardley’s fascinating typographic world. You designer types probably already know I Love Typography, but if you haven’t visited yet, please do. Here’s a great story on the letterpress. You should take a look, it’s a beautiful piece with gorgeous illustrations. There’s a lot here that fascinates, including a piece by William Berkson on Einstein’s autobiography and the font it was printed in: “When I read Einstein’s autobiography many years ago, as both a writer and a lover of type, I noticed and remembered that the font it was printed in seemed extraordinarily approachable and easy to read—even while projecting strength and authority. James Mosley reports that printers used to say, “You can’t tell a lie in Caslon.” And you thought type was boring.

4. Re-thinking Business | The E-Myth Revisited

book cover, e-myth revisited

The E-Myth Revisited

“I think maybe inside any business, there is someone slowly going crazy.” – Joseph Heller in Something Happened
There are TONS of business books out there and I love that this one opens up with this great line from Joseph Heller’s novel. Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited, Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to do About It is well written and logical. The central thesis from the title is that most small businesses are not started by entrepreneurs, but by technicians. Tony is good at fixing cars, so he opens a garage. Lynn is good at graphic design so she opens a graphic design business, and so on. The problem arises when said technician (the worker) finds two legs of the three legged stool are missing. The technician needs, but lacks, the strategic thinking and vision of the entrepreneur and also needs and often lacks, the organization man, the manager. If you have a small business, (Stephanie Laursen?) and who doesn’t, or you’re thinking about this, get the book. It gets great reviews. Also see the coaching business that Gerber has built. The Amazon link is here>>

5. Music from the Edge | Third Angle Ensemble

Color photo of the Third Angle Ensemble

Third Angle Ensemble

I’ve never had as much fun as the night last year when I sat transfixed by Portland’s Third Angle Ensemble. They were performing (among other pieces) Serpentine Variations: The Serpent King by Italo Calvino. The story was read by actress Michele Mariana. (For whom I stand ready to buy lunch or coffee. So name the time or place, Michele.) Anyway, Third Angle is supremely creative, audacious, passionate and talented. Be glad that they are here and that they play on the edge. Visit and check out the 2010 calendar. The group also maintains a very lively and educational blog that is worth your time. In this video, third Angle guest performer, pipa virtuoso Min Xiao Fen, performs Spring-River, Flower, Moon, Night. Just one of the delights that await you at Third Angle performances.

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