Wednesday, September 27, 2023

M/V Paspatoo


In WWII, the Army Contracted ship builders around the country to built 170 65-foot, diesel-powered, passenger cargo boats that doubled as harbor tugs, known as tug-transports, or T-boats. Four were built at Blanchard boat yard in Seattle, WA. This vessel was T-boat 32. Paspatoo was originally commissioned by the U.S. Army and constructed by the Blanchard Boatyard on Lake Union, Seattle in 1942.
Designed by famed naval architect Ralph Winslow. Following a military career, the vessel was sold into civilian life. Where many of these types of vessels were de-commissioned for relatively obscure demise, this is the example of a passion for restoration and updating without equal. Paspatoo underwent a complete restoration and yacht conversion from 1986 to 1999 and complete systems upgrades, with redundancy, from 2003 to 2017.
Retrofit interior designed by Eden & Eden Architects, San Francisco, CA.

Monday, September 25, 2023

History under the hammer



It looks like a Harley-Davidson, but it is indeed a Japanese version of the Harley-Davidson, produced under license. Rarer than rare, only a handful have ever reached auction in the West, and this unit set an auction record price.

The first American V-twin motorcycle, the holder of the World Land Speed Record for motorcycles, the subject of a stunning restoration by Steve Huntzinger.


Two decades ago it was one of the rarest and most valuable motorcycles in the world, selling for $126,500 in 2001.

When it comes to investing in collectible motorcycles, the provenance of a name like Steve McQueen is "Blue Chip." Indeed, if this bike hadn't been owned by McQueen, it would be worth MUCH less.

Few motorcycles can claim to be this beautiful and this functional at the same time. The Brough Superior Pendine was introduced to the range in 1927 with a guaranteed top speed of 110mph. It looks that fast just standing still.

One of just 308 Brough Superior 11/50s made prior to WW2, the 11/50 was most frequently paired with a sidecar due to its muscular 1096cc J.A.P. flat-head V-Twin engine.


This 1955 Vincent Black Prince has just 5,136 miles on the odometer from new. At that time, it was one of just 132 fully-enclosed versions of the Black Shadow produced. Despite being a low, original miles, museum quality specimen, it fetched just $110,000, well below the model record of $164,500, and many other Black Princes that have sold for more than $110,000 in recent times.

The National Motorcycle Museum replicas of the iconic motorcycles from the 1969 film "Easy Rider" sold for $60,500 and $24,200 respectively.

National Motorcycle Museum Collection sells. The sale of the John Parham Motorcycle Collection a couple of weeks ago didn’t receive much coverage in the motorcycle media, perhaps because it wasn't widely recognized that Parham was essentially the National Motorcycle Museum. When a museum collection goes to auction there are always historically significant artifacts on offer, and in this case the sheer volume of high quality lots combined with a non-mainstream location meant that some serious bargains were snaffled. John Parham was the driving force behind the National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa. Following his death, his 300-plus motorcycle collection which formed the core of the museum display, was sold off by Mecum Auctions “in situ” and it contained so many of history’s most important motorcycles that it offered something for everyone, regardless of their two-wheeled interests.

Read more : Here

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Son Brull Mallorca

Located at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana, close to the town of Pollença, in the southernmost tip of Mallorca, Son Brull is a five-star hotel located in an old Jesuit monastery from the 18th century, and which was carefully restored in 2003 by its owners – a local family with a long experience in the hospitality business – to turn it into one of the most luxurious touristic complexes on the island, guaranteeing the preservation of the old building as part of the historic heritage. The brief called to extend and refurbish the complex. The owners of the property wanted to renovate and enlarge the spa of the main building, and to build four new villas on the land next to it. The project aims to be part of the territory, to be landscape. It doesn’t try to occupy the territory, but rather to build it, create a large garden, a landscape for walks.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Danny Lyon: The Destruction of Lower Manhattan


On view from 16 September to 17 January at the ICO Museum in Madrid were 76 images taken by the photographer and filmmaker Danny Lyon, born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942, that showed the architectural transformation of Lower Manhattan. Curated by Lyon himself, whose life has been marked by his social activism, the exhibition was part of the PhotoEspaña 2020 festival’s official section.

Lyon moved to New York in 1967, after spending two years following around the Chicago Outlaws motorcycle gang, which resulted in The Bikeriders, the series that made him one of the most influential photographers in the United States. Settling in his new home, Lyon found the streets of Lower Manhattan being demolished, and set out to capture with his camera the transformation of one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods. In his own words, “the entire project is sad, except for the demolition men and their work,” for whom he felt deep respect. So it was that he documented the wrecking of 24 hectares of buildings in the city’s historic center, mostly 19th-century constructions, to make room, among other things, for the new World Trade Center.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Daktari - Land Rover 109 Serie 2

The successor to the successful Series I was the Series II, which saw a production run from 1958 to 1961. It came in 88 in (2.24 m) and 109 in (2.77 m) wheelbases (normally referred to as the 'SWB' and 'LWB') as the one in the TV serie Daktari. This was the first Land Rover to receive the attention of Rover's styling department. Chief Stylist David Bache produced the familiar 'barrel side' waistline, with a 5 in (12.7 cm) greater width to cover the vehicle's wider tracks, as well as the improved design of the truck cab variant, introducing the curved side windows and rounded roof still used on current Land Rovers. The Series II was the first vehicle to use the well-known 2.25-litre petrol engine, although the first 1,500 or so short wheelbase (SWB) models retained the 52 hp (39 kW) 2.0-litre petrol engine from the series I. This larger petrol engine produced 72 hp (54 kW) and was closely related to the 2.0-litre diesel unit still in use. This engine became the standard Land Rover unit until the mid-1980s when diesel engines became more popular. The 109-inch (2.77 m) Series II station wagon introduced a twelve-seater option on top of the standard ten-seater layout. This was primarily to take advantage of UK tax laws, by which a vehicle with 12 seats or more was classed as a bus, and was exempt from Purchase Tax and Special Vehicle Tax. This made the twelve-seater not only cheaper to buy than the 10-seater version, but also cheaper than the seven-seater 88-inch (2.24 m) Station Wagon. The twelve-seater layout remained a highly popular body style for decades, being retained on the later series and Defender variants until 2002, when it was dropped. The unusual status of the twelve-seater remained until the end—such vehicles were classed as minibuses and thus could use bus lanes and (if registered correctly) could be exempt from the London Congestion Charge. There was some degree of overlap between series I and II production. Early Series-II 88-inch (2.24 m) vehicles were fitted with the old 2-litre petrol engine to use up existing stock from production of the Series I. The 107-inch (2.72 m) Station Wagon continued until late 1959 due to continued demand from export markets and to allow the production of series-II components to reach full level.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Lost Generation


“I am the only young person in Spain.” With his typical irony a sexagenarian Unamuno exhorted the nation’s youth to engage more with their times, not only politically but also intellectually. But the Basque philosopher was not oblivious to the effervescence of the moment. The Spanish 1920s were years of lead, but also silver; of dictatorship, but also modernization. And though some looked back with longing, amid automobiles, movies, and foxtrots a new generation arose that was happy to live its juncture in history.

It was to document this new mood that in 1929, the daily El Sol did a survey of its youngest readers’ opinions on motley themes, from politics and education to sports and love. Of 1,326 responses it published only 36, enough to sketch an upbeat, hedonist, transgressive portrait of a cohort that is the subject of the latest book by Juan Francisco Fuentes, who not only dusts off an interesting sociological history but ventures further to find out who took part in it and what became of them – a historiographic ubi sunt of sorts.

Digging into archives, the author came upon many, and he takes us through a maze of biographical profiles that could well have its Ariadne in a very young signatory, Matilde Ucelay. When she sent in her letter the country’s first female architect was a teen, but with astonishing lucidness she expressed a faith in progress and an openness of outlook that made it clear to her elders that many young people in Spain, with the candor of one who doesn’t know what’s coming, were singing “tomorrow… is mine.”

Monday, September 18, 2023

Art in Mallorca


The gem of the Mediterranean sea, the largest of the Balearic Islands is best known for its sun, its nature, its beaches, its unspoilt coves and its small villages. Its cultural and architectural heritage, much more discreet, is nevertheless very rich. If the sea, the people, their dialects and customs, as well as gastronomy are part of the daily delights of Majorcan life, art, architecture and crafts also have an essential place. A real heaven for creators, the island has hosted "Art Night" in Palma since 1997. The event, particularly popular with amateurs and professionals, enlivens the entire historic center over a long weekend (which begins on the third Thursday in September): galleries and museums are open until late to the public; artists and pop-ups take over workshops, shop windows, restaurants, bars, roofs of buildings; when curators organize guided tours... 

Fondation Pilar and Joan Miró

Since 2004, the Art Palma Contemporani association has orchestrated this Art Night, as well as the Art Palma Brunch in the spring, which brings together a large number of galleries revealing their new exhibitions and offers an abundant supply of outdoor art. The still significant presence of a painter such as Joan Miró (1893-1983) is another sign of the importance of art in Palma. Half-Catalan, half-Mallorcan, he moved there in 1956, at the age of 63. His mark is everywhere, between sculptures and frescoes that the artist offered to the city. Inaugurated in 1981, the Pilar i Joan Miró foundation has thus endowed the capital with a teeming cultural center where the painter's career is honored with no less than 6,000 works (paintings, drawings, etc.). The building was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. Another must-see is the artist Antonio Gaudí, responsible in 1903 for the (unfinished) renovation of La Seu Cathedral. In the Chapel of San Pedro, the 300 square meter ceramic mural, made between 2001 and 2006 by Miquel Barceló, is impressive. 

Es Raco d'Arta

Majorca still hides many other gems. Thus Studio Weil, dedicated to the American artist Barbara Weil (1933-2018), in Port d'Andratx, where she lived from 1972. The place, all curves and concentric circles, was designed by the architects Daniel Libeskind and Jaime Vidal Contesti. A little further inland, the CCA Andratx, the largest contemporary art center on the island, and one of the largest in Europe 4,000 square meters shared between an exhibition hall, art gallery and café, has also hosted artists in residence since 2001.

Thus Studio Weil in Port d'Andratx

In Alcudia, in the north of Majorca, the Museo Sa Bassa Blanca delights lovers of art, architecture and nature. The garden, where one could spend hours, houses more than 100 varieties of old roses and an animal park of granite works. The place also includes an observatory from which you can admire various installations, a library with more than 7,000 works, etc. A total art concept for this building, the main part of which was designed by the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy (1900-1989). 

Museo Sa Bassa Blanca

The houses of the Dane Jorn Utzon (1918-2008), famous in particular for having designed the Sydney Opera House, are also worth seeing: Ca'n Lis (1972), a family summer house with a sea view that he had to abandon it as it attracted curious people and lovers of architecture, now hosts the Utzon Foundation, which organizes, among other events, workshops and residencies for artists and architects for nine months of the year. Can Feliz (1994), also built using traditional Mallorcan construction methods and local materials, is located in the mountains, but its location has remained a secret ever since. In the heart of the old town, Ca’n Vivot already seduces from the outside, thanks to its magnificent patio. Once inside, you enter a palace whose last renovation dates from the 18th century. The only concession to modernity is that electricity has been installed in each room, lit by elegant Murano chandeliers. The library and common areas have been honored by visits from kings and queens from Spain and Europe, but also from Japanese emperors and Indian maharajas. The city-owned Palau Solleric is now an exhibition center. Its architecture and facade, in Italian style, are remarkable. A former palace turned theater, Rialto Living is now a store, exhibition center and café. The Palau March, for its part, displays sculptures by Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, etc.

Ca'n Lis 

But these days, the new architectural gems are the hotels designed by local builders. For example, Es Racó d'Artà, by Antoni Esteva: in a spectacular setting, in the heart of the vast natural park of the península de Llevant, on the wild east coast, the place, which offers spa, infinity pools, guided hikes , yoga classes and daily workshops (beekeeping, art therapy, etc.), invites you to reconnect and find inner calm. Designed by Sergi Bastidas, Can Ferrereta, housed in a 17th century mansion in the village of Santanyí, is a refined boutique hotel. Opened in spring 2022, in the lands of the south-east coast, it evokes a large Majorcan summer house and allows you to discover this little-known part of the island. Overlooking the bay of Palma, Cap Rocat, property of Antonio Obrador, who is also its architect, is a place of unique beauty. Situated in the middle of a fortified citadel, completely renovated, it invites you on a journey back in time.

Cap Rocat