The Crash Papers

Buenos Aires Book Fair

At the beginning of May, I attended the Buenos Aires Book Fair for the second year in a row. The book fair, which touts itself as the most important annual literary event in the Spanish speaking world, lasts for nearly three weeks and receives well upwards of one million visitors every year. The fair buildings…

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Notable discoveries at the LA Art Book Fair

The artist Yoshitomo Nara, and his publisher, Blum and Poe, LA/NY/Tokyo (www.blumandpoe.com). One of Nara’s recurring themes is a small girl with wide, intense eyes. Her facial structure resembles Mei from My Neighbor Totoro, from Studio Ghibli. Put Mei togther with Nara’s girl and you get a cute but probably ferocious kid, who looks like…

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LA Art Book Fair

I attended Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair on Friday. Getting there through the Friday traffic was an unbelievable ordeal (praise be to WAZE, however, for navigating the congested streets). Held at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, the fair was as crowded as the highways outside. I remember my surprise when I attended the fair…

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The Vienna International Hotel in Shenzhen: imperial influences

On my trip to Shenzhen, I was also quite curious about the hotel I stayed in. It was called the Vienna International Hotel. As befitting Vienna’s station in the cultural world, there was a musical theme running through the hotel, from treble clefs in the polished granite to embossed treble clef patterns in the white…

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Bustling Shenzhen Book City in the center of the city of 20 million

It is a genuine emporium of the printed book. From the looks of things, the intellectual future of the country is secure in the hands of the youth, many of them female. I was surprised at the breadth of English books in translation, from biographies of captains of industry like Elon Musk, to Donald Trump,…

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Making Lemonade

As part of the Los Angeles Airport’s long overdue rejuvenation (it’s hopeful motto, LAX IS HAPPENING) the airport has brought in some new tenants. One notable improvement in the Delta terminal is lemonade restaurant, along the terminal’s dim rampway. At the front of the long space, lemonade’s script logo is realized in meter high letters,…

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SHENZHEN: A TRAVELOGUE FROM CHINA

Sixty Second Review SHENZHEN: A TRAVELOGUE FROM CHINA By Guy Delisle Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly Books I came across this little book in an exhibit of graphic novels at the Santa Monica Library. The word Shenzhen leaped out at me across the lobby because, although an inordinate number of 4-color books are printed in Shenzhen…

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A birthday cake for Doyald

I spied this van on Cotner Ave. a day after I received Facebook’s notification that it was the birthday of Doyald Young (1926-2011). Just as we were all supposed to experience fifteen minutes of fame, we can now anticipate  a new kind of immortality thanks to Facebook’s birthday calendar.  I am pretty sure Doyald would…

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Travels in Accreted Material Density – Mexico City

E-5. That was the sign on the lightpole under which I parked the Saab. It is significant, why? Because I remembered it easily, whereas in the past year and a half since Crash Paper was founded and our daughter was born, my bandwidth was stretched to its maximum extent. I would have to resort to…

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An Evening with Murakami

Around 2:00 last Thursday I felt like an enormous fool. I had been looking forward to attending that evening a meeting of the minds between two fine writers: Pico Iyer and Murakami, at the Orpheum Theater in downtown LA. As I printed out my online admission ticket on real paper—like an unfashionably old school printer—I…

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