April 11, 2010

10 Picks for the Week

Expo 2010 Shanghai China, May 1 – Oct 31
Better grab your Purell if you want to make the trip to what looks like the busiest place on earth; 70 million visitors are expected. The theme is “Better City, Better Life,” which is meant to represent the supposedly common hopes of humankind to live agreeably in urban environments. The theme highlights the concern of the international community for future policy making, urban strategies, and sustainable development. In 1800, two percent of the global population lived in cities. In 1950, the figure jumped up to 29 percent. Since 2000, at least half the world’s people have been living in town. Expo 2010 will showcase blueprints for future cities, and harmonious urban life styles, as well as educational and entertaining sights for visitors from all over the world.

Jazz Fest, April 23 – May 2
Inspired by the spirit of Mahalia Jackson and the Eureka Brass Band back in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to celebrate the culture of Louisiana with the fervor of gospel hymn and the joy of a jazz parade. The festival lineup this year includes greats like Lionel Richie, The Black Crowes, Simon & Garfunkel, The Levon Helm Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Anita Baker, Widespread Panic, Average White Band, Blues Traveler, Jose Feliciano, Gypsy Kings, Aretha Franklin, Allen Toussaint, Pearl Jam, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison, BB King, and the Neville Brothers. On top of all that there are dozens of other amazing acts from across the globe jamming at the fairgrounds and in little clubs all over the city. The food, the heat, and the New Orleans spirit shouldn”€™t be missed.

Chatsworth House
An animated portrait by Michael Craig-Martin is the latest addition to the impressive art collection at Chatsworth”€”the historic stately home of the Dukes of Devonshire. A computer portrait of Laura Burlington will hang among the Gainsboroughs, Reynolds and Sargents that decorate the walls of the four century old Devonshire countryside house. Craig-Martin is a former Goldsmith’s tutor who counts Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and the late Angus Fairhurst among his pupils. Chatsworth reopened to the public last March after the completion of the second phase of a £14m restoration project.

Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady
Derek Blasberg’s how-to is a must read for social arrivistes and would-be society girls. We”€™ve been waiting a long time for someone to teach these young celebutards how to behave. Now lets just hope they have the presence of mind to read the tome. Blasberg, a Missouri native, is hot on the New York social scene and can be found writing on the pages of British Vogue and the London Sunday Times.

HBO’s extreme new series created by Wire geniuses David Simon and Eric Overmeyer stars Steve Zahn, Khandi Alexander, John Goodman, and Wendell Pierce. The series takes place in New Orleans three months after Hurricane Katrina. Resident musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and other ordinary folk try to rebuild their lives and their culture post disaster. The series premiered April 11, and is expected to be as big a hit as its creative predecessor, The Wire. It probably will be, it’s HBO.

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, now – April 25
This American conceptual artist, whose work often attempts to point out the irony and absurdity in contemporary art, only lasts a few more days. Now in his late 70s, the native Californian says things like, “If I saw the art around me that I liked, then I wouldn”€™t do art.” Perhaps this is true, perhaps it isn”€™t, but with all the hullabaloo about crap contemporary art, you might just go see for yourself.

A play by John Logan set in New York in the late 1950s. The production finds a view into the artistic life of Mark Rothko taking on a high-profile commission. It stars Alfred Molina as Rothko and Eddie Redmayne as his assistant. According to critics, the play is cringe-worthy at times, yet accurate and intriguing at others. Too bad one can”€™t wait for video on this one.

Grace Kelly: Style Icon, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, opening April 17
The wardrobe of Grace Kelly on exhibit traces the evolution of her style. The display presents over 50 outfits and accessories, along with her original Hermès Kelly bag. Dresses from films, including High Society, as well as the gown she accepted her Oscar award in will be on view, accompanied by film clips, posters, photographs and other memorabilia. Any fan or fashionite suffering from malaise due to the recession should find temporary solace here.

The Case, and the Plan, for a Virtual Company, Inc.com
The times may call for it, and this fascinating article outlines how more and more companies are experimenting with virtual workspaces. Many are scared to take the plunge as they are uncertain of the impact on cost, productivity, and profit. Inc. editors have done the experiment for you. Have a read, start your own company—the only thing you”€™ll really miss is the banter with colleagues.


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