Kurt Cobain – Style Icon

He was the reluctant crown-prince of my generation.  Had he lived, he would be 45 today and an Indie Rock God Legend or a bloated cliche or a recluse.  There is no way to predict something that will never be.  We will always remember him as beautiful, and sad.  My family and I were in Aberdeen over the weekend and probably went over the Wishkah a half dozen times.  The rain was heavy and constant, like it always is this time of year, and we hid out in an old mausoleum in the cemetery where my great-grandparents  are buried.  If I were a kid growing up in Aberdeen, I would have made it one of my haunts, it is very quiet and empty and full of the forgotten founders of a town whose prime has passed.  Ladies and gentlemen, Kurt Cobain.  Style Icon.

Kurt Cobain, born in Aberdeen, Washington (1967). He was the son of an auto mechanic and a cocktail waitress. His parents divorced when he was seven, and the split was traumatic, which influenced a lot of the pain in his lyrics. “I remember feeling ashamed, for some reason,” he told an interviewer in 1993. “I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn’t face some of my friends at school anymore, because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family. Mother, father. I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that.”

He dropped out of high school three weeks before graduation, took a job as a janitor, and started playing in a band. They called themselves Nirvana, pooled their money — $606 — and recorded their first album, Bleach, in 1989. Bleach did well enough to get them a contract with a major label. In 1991, the group came out with its second album, Nevermind, which received rave reviews and propelled the band to stardom. The album featured the singles “Come as You Are” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Nevermind sold more than 24 million copies and Cobain became the reluctant poster child of Generation X.

In 2005, a sign was put up in Aberdeen, Washington, that read “Welcome to Aberdeen – Come As You Are” as a tribute to Cobain. The sign was paid for and created by the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee, a non-profit organization created in May 2004 to honour Cobain. The Committee planned to create a Kurt Cobain Memorial Park and a youth center in Aberdeen. Because Cobain was cremated and his remains scattered into the Wishkah River in Washington, many Nirvana fans visit Viretta Park, near Cobain’s former Lake Washington home, to pay tribute. On the anniversary of his death, fans gather in the park to celebrate his life and memory.

Brasilia – Not So Secret Obsession

An entire city of Mid-Century Modern Architecture?  It sounds amazing.

Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,562,963 (3,716,996 in the metropolitan area) as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the fourth largest city in Brazil. However, as a metropolitan area, it ranks lower at sixth. It is listed as a World Heritage Site UNESCO. Brasília hosts 124 foreign embassies.

As the national capital, Brasília is the seat of all three branches of the Brazilian government. The city also hosts the headquarters of many Brazilian companies. Planning policies such as the location of residential buildings around expansive urban areas, as well as building the city around large avenues and dividing it into sectors, have sparked a debate and reflection on life in big cities in the 20th century. The city’s design divides it into numbered blocks as well as sectors for specified activities, such as the Hotel Sector, the Banking Sector or the Embassy Sector.

The city was planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. On April 22 of 1960, it formally became Brazil’s national capital. Viewed from above, the main portion of the city resembles an airplane or a butterfly. The city is commonly referred to as Capital Federal, or simply BSB. Residents of Brasília are known as brasilienses or candangos (the latter referring to those not born in the city, but migrated there when the city was established).

In local usage, the word “Brasília” usually refers only to the First Administrative Region within the Distrito Federal (Federal District), where the most important government buildings are located. Brasília has a unique status in Brazil, as it is an administrative division rather than a legal municipality like nearly all cities in Brazil. Nationally, the term is almost always used synonymously with the Brazilian Federal District, which constitutes an indivisible Federative Unit, analogous to a state. There are several “satellite cities,” which are also part of the Federal District.

Brasília International Airport is the main airport in Brasília, connecting the capital to all major Brazilian cities and many international destinations. It is the third most important airport of Brazil, in terms of passengers and aircraft movements.