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Market Cafe, Fournier St (RIP)

Lindy's W2 (RIP) operational base of the Style Council. xxxxxxxxxxxxxPic: Peter Anderson



Design History Research CentrexNEW
Magnificent historical project managed by the Faculty of Arts and Architecture at the University of Brighton featuring extensive visual material from their expanding Design History Research Centre (DHRC) Archives and associated collections. Be sure to check out the superb
'Oral Testimony and the Interpretation of the Crafts' section by Matthew Partington (Research Fellow, Applied Arts UWE/V&A, Director NEVAC).

I Like: Old Cafes xNEW
Taking up the rallying call of Classic Cafes, this wonderfully designed Scottish site has a wealth of material: "All the photos here are of old things. Old cafes, old bakeries, old offices, old grocers, old art. Mostly from the 1950s and 1960s. A lot have been taken in Glasgow, the rest all over Scotland. I just like the old lettering, and old shapes and old terminology." The nation needs dozens more sites like this and it needs them now!

Derelict London NEW
Paul Talling's superb pot-pourri of architectural abjection: "Derelict London is an unusual photographic portrait (over 550 pics) of the nations capital... an often un-picturesque view of everyday life in London. All pictures were taken by myself (mainly within the last year) during many miles of walkabouts... After years of travelling via car or public transport I realised just how little I had seen of London."

Urbanomic/undercurrent xNEW
Thou goest to Blog? Then take thy whip...

K-punk/abstract dynamics xNEW
In Blog we trust...

British Transport Films xNEW
Following the nationalisation of transport in 1948, the British Transport Commission set up its own in-house film production and distribution system to cater for all the requirements of the various undertakings, such as British Railways, London Transport, Docks and Inland Waterways, British Transport Hotels, and certain bus and road haulage companies. The purpose was the making of travelogue films that promoted destinations in town, country and seaside resorts throughout the British Isles, and promoted rail or associated transport as the best means for people to travel to the destinations represented on screen... The countryside and coastline of Norfolk and Suffolk, with their historic houses, churches, castles, seaside towns, the city of Norwich, and the quiet, picturesque waterways of the Broads... Gentle hills, shut-in valleys, picturesque villages and historic towns make up the Cotswold countryside - 'the heart of England' - where William Shakespeare spent his childhood... South Downs and the Weald, open spaces and green woodlands - this is Sussex, a county rich in scenic beauty. We visit the Petworth Show, Goodwood Races, polo at Cowdray Park, Glyndebourne, and the seaside resorts...

Detroityes xNEW
Ruin-nation: Who took the motor outta Motor City?

Twentieth Century Society
An important organization for all lovers of caffs and associated enclaves. Worth joining if only for the regular newsletters and info on walks and tours - not to mention the excellent range of in-house publications like the stunning Festival of Britain book. "In November 1979 a group of architects founded The Thirties Society, concerned that buildings of the era between the two World Wars were not generally appreciated, and were often threatened. The Society's prime objectives are education... conservation... (and) extending our knowledge about those buildings or artifacts, whether important or humble, rare or commonplace... that characterise the Twentieth Century in Britain." Vital stuff.

From Here To Modernity
"Last century, many architects believed that advances in technology could be harnessed to produce a better quality of life for all. For better or worse, these Modernists have changed the British landscape forever. This is how they did it... "

(Other general architecture links...)
Pevsner Architectural Guides xNEW
A useful resource pertaining to all matters psychogeographic. "The word 'Psychogeography' comes from DeQuincey's wanderings, slightly druggy, no pattern, mapping out the city in a dream-like state. Then with Walter Benjamin and the Situationists the term becomes more extreme, a matter of taking very conceptual decisions about the walking you would do and how you would access the city like that." (Iain Sinclair)

Flâneur xNEW
Flâneur is a magazine dedicated to the celebration of urban life, the sanctification of the stroll... In the tradition of literary flâneurs-Walt Whitman, Fran Lebowitz, Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, Flâneur seeks to scrutinize the city, to evoke the essence of the street. And to encourage flaneurial behavior, whether detached observation or decadent gadding about. From Le Flâneur newspaper (Paris May 3 1848): "To go out strolling, these days, while puffing one's tobacco, while dreaming of evening pleasures, seems a century behind the times. We are not the sort to refuse all knowledge of the customs of another age; but, in our strolling, let us not forget our rights and our obligations as citizens. The times are necessitous; they demand all our attention, all day long."

Los Angeles Conservancy
"The Los Angeles Conservancy is dedicated to the recognition, preservation, and revitalization of the architectural and cultural heritage of greater Los Angeles. With a two-fold mission of advocacy and education, the Conservancy works to preserve existing architectural resources by developing preservation strategies and by raising public awareness of the value of those resources through tours, lectures, publications and major programs... " As fine an alt.architecture website as you could wish for.

LA Time Machines NEW
"Los Angeles restaurants and bars from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s (movie palaces, motel signs, and associated remnants... Musso and Frank's, the Formosa Cafe, Miceli's and Canter's...) This website concentrates on those bastions of a bygone era. These are the places I call 'time machines' ... a restaurant, hotel, bar or other building interior where you can sit and feel like you've returned to the past. Sitting in these places, one has the illusion of a time gone by when life had a slower pace, people cared about quality and integrity, and life's pleasures were more simple and innocent... Surprisingly, however, there are still a wealth of places left (and many I have yet to discover). The more interest we can collectively generate in these places (and patronize), the more likely the rate of destruction will at least slow..."

The oldest national organization devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape/commercial built environment. Offers publications, conferences, and tours to help preserve, document, and celebrate the structures and architecture of the 20th century: diners, highways, gas stations, drive-in theaters, bus stations, tourist courts, neon signs, and more... Publications include: 'All Night Diner Tour Massachusetts and Rhode Island', 'Delaware Valley Diner Tour Guide' and 'Made in Ohio: Enameled Eateries, Durable Domiciles, and Fast Food'...

Terence Nunn
'In the mid-1960s I began wandering the deserted Sunday streets of London, photographing the offbeat, slightly surreal aspects of a still-postwar city: bomb-sites, junkyards, doomed theatres, greasy-spoon cafes and failed empty shops covered in torn posters...[here is] an initial selection of over 140 colour photographs taken in London and around the world in the last 30-odd years. Much of what I photographed then has disappeared for ever, demolished and redeveloped...'

Christine Welch: Commonplace
'...I drove from Eastern Pennsylvania to Minneapolis and back, stopping in small towns and poking around in empty clubs, funeral homes, any kind of public space and making photographs, the one final subject of which is interiors used for some public or common purpose... I am searching for ways to use the light, color and form to crystalize their beauty, poignancy, irony, wealth and humanity.' This micro-site is part of the magnificent docu-arts web resource Journale project in New York - quite simply one of the greatest things to be found on the Net.

'I have been shooting in this documentary style for years, including a long-term project documenting life in San Francisco (and New York). I started the site in december of 1995 and every week I shot somewhere in San Francisco and then posted selected images. I focused on places that I love. I work almost exclusively in black and white. Bringing this project to the Web was an attempt to share with others, on a greater scale, the city I see and love.' A really welcome photo-project that covers a lot of ground in fine style.

Fancy A Pint
Pissed up on booze and looking for 'local' action... Not a 'good-pub' guide, not a 'good beer' guide, just... a Pub Guide! 'Every pub we know in London, located, rated and illustrated.' Don't be tempted to take the weight off your trainers and retire to a nearby All Bar One - plough through fancyapint first and do the right thing! For instance: "For down-to-earth watering holes, The Lord Clyde (Borough) and the Red Lion (in Crown Passage): The Clyde is an astonishingly overlooked pub (Perhaps the pub guides want to keep it to themselves?) Spotless, beautiful place - more due to love and care from the family who run it, than from a cleansing brewery makeover. The Red Lion is wall-to-wall with suits most nights but when the cigar smoke clears you're left with a friendly old place. Civil bar staff and a fascinating clientele. The doorman for the block of flats Una Stubbs lives in drinks here most nights, and the Queen's Mother chef is known to sup here... Parental Warning: we always recommend The Phene Arms in Chelsea but mock-rocker Keithly Richardington and soccer-sot Georgio Bestio are bound to be collapsed in their customary corners.

The Troubadour Coffee House xNEW
Web presence of the fantastic Troubadour (265 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 9JA): 'The Troubadour was founded by Michael and Sheila van Bloemen in 1954 in Earl's Court, the wild western frontier of bohemian Chelsea. Through the 50s and 60s it was a key centre of London intellectual and artistic life. It's where Private Eye was first produced and distributed; where the early Ban the Bomb meetings were held; where Bob Dylan first performed in London. Paul Simon, Charlie Watts, Sammy Davis jnr and Jimi Hendrix all played here. Richard Harris fell in love with his wife Elizabeth here (she was doing the washing up). Ken Russell recruited staff for his first shorts here and became friends with Oliver Reed. Led Zeppelin used to come and jam here after their Earl's Court gigs." Bring own beard, sandals and bongos!

Festival of Britain Society
'In 1951 an austere Britain tried its hardest to shake off the post-Second World War blues by mounting a nation wide festival to show who the British people were, what the Land of Britain was and British achievements, past and present, with a preview of their continuing future. The centrepiece of the Festival of Britain was the South Bank Exhibition in London, in sight of the Houses of Parliament, a collection of modern buildings housing displays relating to all aspects of British life. In over 2,000 towns and villages through Britain, special events were put on to celebrate the Festival. (See this Festival Site also.)

Excellent personal portfolio site that includes a collection of odd signs, packaging and printed instructions found with various products. Emerald - the editor - has a particular obsession with milk logos. Don't miss the toilet-paper and tampon instruction leaflets: "At college I got a bit obsessed about launderettes ...the signage, the old advertising, the mechanics of the machines ...even the smell and warmth of the places ... why the milk thing? I'm not sure - it kind of crept up on me. I just love the imagery, the packaging, the whole idea that milk is this cool, fresh, 'every thing you could possibly want' from a drink thing. And then, pow, I ended up with this collection of stuff that just keeps growing!"

TJ's 50s UK site
Another UK site covering useful period links.

Award winning site upholding the proper London pub experience.

London Suburbs
"In many ways London's suburbs are where some of the most interesting socio-architectural experiments have taken place - drool at descriptions of leafy-green Georgian Barnsbury and lap up idyllic pictures of Betjeman's Metroland."

Ace Cafe
Campaign site of the famous bikers cafe in North London - they've now rebuilt and re-opened the original space.

Iain Sinclair
Useful starting point for exploring the: 'De Quincey of contemporary English letters' Mr Psychogeography himself. He's: 'the demented Magus of the sentence' you know!

Tiki Bars of the USA
A great site detailing many lost Polynesian bars of America.

Tiki News Ezine
The original Tiki fanzine of living populuxe legend Otto Von Stroheim. Unparalleled.

Colin Wilson Page.
Britain's greatest crypto-existentialist and conceptual exoticist. Author of cult cafe novel 'Adrift In Soho'

The British Invasion
Part of the online Encyclopedia Britannica website. It's an excellent resource for the British music and fashions of the Sixties. It includes a study guide just for students, and a quicktime video of a 1966 Carnaby Street fashion show. Fab!

Sixties British Pop Culture
'Digger's amazing site of British bands, stars, films, and television shows of the Sixties. Includes links to pages about almost every Sixties band ever!'

If Classic Cafes has brought out the Hornby in you, this soccer site may well add to the malaise: 'Launched by the makers of When Saturday Comes OTF has become a magnet for all those souls interested in the sort of intelligent, amusing, informative, emotional, facile, educated, hilarious, trivial and surreal football and non-football chat that simply doesnt exist anywhere else on the net.' True.

UK roadside nosheries for truck drivin' guys with fries on their minds.

New Zealand Cafe Invasion
The impact of design and technology on Wellington New Zealand café culture, from the 1930s milk bar to the 1960s coffee bar.

New Zealand Coffee Houses
'A continental touch': international and national influences on the development of coffee houses in Wellington New Zealand from the 1940s to the present day.

History of the Tea Shop
Tea shops dominated the daytime, supplied mainly by two large companies, the Aerated Bread Co and J Lyon's & Co, which opened the first tea shop in 1894 in Piccadilly.

Milk Bar Revolution
By 1995 around 20 per cent of all drinks bought in Britain were soft drinks. According to John Burnett, this trend represents a 'cold drinks revolution', a transformation in our Liquid Pleasures comparable in scale to the 'hot beverages revolution' of the late-seventeenth century.

Caff Immigrants
The postwar migrants left the poverty and strife of the Old World to make new lives, and in the process revitalized Australia... and the UK.

50s Coffee Bar Culture
'Ex-skifflers' birthed a coffee bar culture. Coffee bars had sprouted up all over Britain in the 1950s, becoming social centres for many of the country's younger teenagers. The focal point of the coffee bar could be a juke box and/or a 'do-it-yourself' music culture. 'Strumming away to a few chords on guitar to a rock, skiffle, folk or calypso tune was commonplace.'

Roadside America
'Chock-full of odd and hilarious travel destinations, ready for you to explore. This Welcome Center is designed to help you understand Roadside America and more easily navigate 2,000+ pages of interstate adventure: 'Roadside geneticists Doug, Ken and Mike attempt to unravel the massively complex code that comprises the tourism landscape.'

Road Trippin USA
'Celebrates the icons of the roadside... Diners, Motels, Drive-in Movie Theaters, Gas Stations and Cafes... will take you back on a blue suede cruise of Gutbombs, Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Ponytails and Ducktails, Carhops, Street Rods, Muscle Cars and Fins...'

Diner City
Every year at least a dozen vintage diners in New Jersey and other diner-rich states such as Massachusetts are being junked, moved, or given hideous makeovers: 'The quintessential diner is a small, family-owned and operated establishment which serves no more than about 50 people at one time. Counter seating is an essential element and this configuration makes the diner more than just a place to eat...

American Diner Museum
A permanent home for the American Diner Museum is being established in Providence, Rhode Island to preserve the colorful history of this unique American institution. The Museum's reference library will provide access to manufacturers' literature and records, a registry of diners and a collection of photographs and artifacts. Other planned activities include a diner restoration worksho, diner tours and a working vintage diner at Heritage Harbor. (Diner-Rama is an annual event sponsored by the Museum, attracts diner enthusiasts, historians and diner owners to three days of talks, tours and memorabilia.'

Dave's Diner Homepage
'Everything humanity knows about diners or is willing to admit... There are a number of characteristics which many diners share. Most are open 24 hours a day, or at least extremely late, and serve breakfast for the whole time. Most serve coffee as a staple. Diners can be roughly divided into two types: The Suburban, and the Highway. The former is usually a restaurant which is open late (if not 24 hours), which caters to the old folks, or the high school kids, and, late at night, to the worst elements (such as my friends)... If in doubt, look for speckled formica, linoleum, stainless steel and moldy wood. Chances are, if you find all of them in the same eating establishment, you've found yourself a genuine diner.'

Rosie's Diner
Rosie's Diner - a deluxe, streamlined diner built by the Paramount company in 1946 - was owned and operated by the Corrado family (Tex, Ralph and Arnie) in Little Ferry, NJ until 1990 when it was moved and restored to its original beauty.

The Diner Show
Host Phil Paleologos serves up a blue-plate daily special of stimulating conversation with callers and diner patrons broadcasting live from an authentic1950's classic stainless steel diner. 'This award winning radio program gives a voice and a forum to middle America.'

Motel Heaven
Celebrates an American phenomenon which reflects an important part of US history and culture. Motels offered an inexpensive way to travel the country and expand horizons: 'So many folks are rushing to discover the Next Big Thing and ignoring so much of what's in front of us. Motel Americana is our attempt to slow down and look carefully at the world just beyond the interstate where so many people live their lives.'

Peter Marshall
London photojournals and much else... keep clicking on the images to see more. Other archives also at 1), 2)

Vespa-reclamation centre in Waterloo with an espresso bar. There's a 1950's machine and some interesting original music posters from the 1930-40's on the walls.

J. Lyons & Company
Superb historical resource packed with treasures: "J. Lyons & Co. became one of the largest catering and food manufacturing companies in the world. Lyons became a household name and the 'Joe Lyons' Corner Houses and teashops, with their 'Nippy' waitresses, caught the public imagination and passed into history. Always innovative and with an acute awareness of popular taste, Lyons brought a unique blend of showmanship, style and spectacle to its aim of combining high quality with value for money. The first Lyons teashop opened in 1894 at 213 Piccadilly. It was the forerunner of some 250 white and gold fronted teashops which occupied prominent positions in many of London's high streets and suburban towns and cities; corner sites with two entrances were preferred... The Lyons company survived for over 100-years. During this whole period it did not feel it wanted to change its name and from 1887 until 1998 it proudly traded as J. Lyons & Company."

London Dossier
Paul Secular's lateral London listing site with a focus on happenings/places with a Mod slant: "Modernism, my friends, is more than a religion - it's tied in to the very fabric of human existence - it represents man reaching for existence in the ONLY way really - it represents total FREEDOM... Being a modernist is about wanting to experience the best life has to offer, and not being bound in by artificial boundaries, shackles, confines. Modernists are artists - their lives the 'canvas'..."

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