In the patio of a Berkeley coffee house reading a book. Dappled light enliven the text annotating the meaning of the words. A good day.
I've been blogging on the Mock/Wallace website about the German industrial designer Dieter Rams who was the primary force behind the look of the Braun products starting from the 1960's. Dieter Rams design philosophy had a profound impact on Jonathan Ive and Steve Jobs and the look of Apple products. With the passing of Steve Jobs, I've been thinking about Rams' legacy even more. See my blogs here.
Paragon Book Gallery at 1507 South Michigan Avenue just south of downtown Chicago is a paradise for Asian Art lovers. Hidden in a non-descript building with no storefront windows, you need to be buzzed into the store. Once inside it's like a warehouse filled with books on Asian Art and related topics. Slightly musty with the smell of old books, the ceiling is at least 14 feet high and the space is filled with rows of bookshelves filled with new and used books. Under various owners, the original 1942 store opened in Shanghai before moving to Manhattan in 1948 and finally landing in Chicago in 1991.
Symbolism in Korean Ink Brush Painting
Hard to find books can be found here and their on-line catalog is astounding. Each book coming into the store seems to be photographed and cataloged. You can search their catalog by country and then refine it by category.
I spent an entire afternoon there drooling over books of every kind. If Asian Art interests you, then check out their web site and sign up for their email notifications of sales and new publications. Paragon Book Gallery has the most comprehensive source of Asian Art books I have ever seen.
There's nothing like Green Apple Bookstore in the City and probably in the Bay Area. It has some of the same vibe as the famous Strand Bookstore in Manhattan. It doesn't nearly compare in volume to the Strand. Then probably nothing else does either.
Alex and Katie called it Luk Ping Guo (Green Apple in Cantonese). It's in the heart of San Francisco's inner Richmond shopping district on Clement Street, conveniently near a lot of places I frequent.
As much as I enjoy the convenience of getting information on-line, there's nothing quite like the tactile quality of a book, the quality of the paper, the design of the layout and cover. Chris has organized our library by the color of the book -- reds in one area, blue in another. It doesn't make it easier to find a book, but it sure is enjoyable to look at the shelves. For the most part, architects love books and Chris and I are among those who do.
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