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Karikal Mahal: New article in BiblioAsia

Check out my latest publication, a deep dive into the history of a micro-site, Karikal Mahal on Singapore’s east coast. The site’s history is fascinating and the good folks at BiblioAsia, the magazine of the National Library Board, did an amazing job…the article looks great!

Read the online version here: https://biblioasia.nlb.gov.sg/vol-16/issue-3/oct-dec-2020/karikal

Or download the entire issue of the magazine here (Vol 16, Issue 3, Oct-Dec 2020): https://www.nlb.gov.sg/browse/biblioasia.aspx

Meanwhile, here’s some historical images, some of which were used in the article, many of which were not for reasons of copyright.

The original owner of the site, Moona Kadir Sultan, along with the French Consul Andre Danjou when MKS was his awarded the Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur at Karikal Mahal in 1925. Behind them is building 24. A similar image appeared in L’Illustration, Issue 4286, 25 April 1925, p. 414. The speaker is Shaik Dawood, a prominent physician. The round pavilion behind them surrounded a fishpond with a fountain, as can be seen in the later shots of the Grand Hotel.

Below are two views of the site after it became the Grand Hotel, c.1958, from an unidentified serviceman at RAF Changi. Building 26 (now Pat’s Schoolhouse) had a three-story tower that sadly is no more.

Advertisements for the hotel from The Straits Times in 1961. The first of building 26, the second of building 25.

In 1967, Lee Kip Yin took images of each of the buildings, not long before the road was widened and the site permanently altered.

The first is of building 24, which was demolished (this is the only photograph of the building I’ve been able to locate).

This is building 25 (now the Odyssey Preschool). The crest on the pediment was emblazoned with the initials MKS, for Moona Kadir Sultan. It was removed during recent renovations.

This is building 26, now Pat’s Schoolhouse. The tower visible in 1958 and 1961 appears to have been taken down by 1967.

Another shot by Lee Kip Yin, this time from 1970, of building 26 after the land reclamation works has begun. He was standing in what is now the center of Marine Parade and what previously would have been the surf line.

Number 26 today, from across Marine Parade.

Building 25 in 1981 (again by Lee Kip Yin).

And today…

The Fenton in Leeds

Back in the days of my postgrad lounging around, we all used to gather at The Fenton pub near campus to discuss the problems of the world and get bombed.

This article [https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/apr/19/pubs-disco-and-fighting-nazis-how-leeds-nurtured-british-post-punk] in The Guardian contextualizes The Fenton’s signature role in creating a gritty post-punk, Northern-based pop sound in 1970s Britain.

It makes all the time and money I spent getting soused there twenty years later seem totally worth it!

New TWSC release coming soon!

So I’ve been, like, busy, with stuff and haven’t been putting much time into my alter ego DrG Supreme, but I’m happy to say the finishing touches are being made to the next TWSC release…the fourth album from my experimental sound project.

Over the past year or so as I’ve been writing I’ve been listening to a lot of Tim Hecker, William Basinski, Cliff Martinez, and Brian Eno and I think all that has percolated into Flowers…which will be out on BitPulse Records, like, soonish…

Meanwhile, check out the advance, non-mastered track Raquel on youtube: https://youtu.be/VupduKPefFA

 

Ride with Me Jakarta Night-rider!

Hop aboard the Honda Vario for a night ride across south Jakarta…. It doesn’t get much more fun than this! Or does it???

More Ride with Me Jakarta vids

Awhile back we established that my commute is far superior to your commute and I featured videos to prove it…riding to work on my bike and riding home on my Honda scooter through the dynamic streets of Jakarta.

Now just for fun we’re doing a reverse commute…riding to work on my scooter and riding home on my bike. Some overlap along the routes, but not much…I generally go different ways…

To work…

And home…

Jakarta on two wheels

Let’s face it, my commute kicks the shit out of your commute. Here’s a couple of videos from my daily ride shot on my new GoPro Hero5 Session, one from my bicycle and the other from my Honda scooter. Each one is in real time.

Other than walking, the best way to see the city is on two wheels so I’ll keep posting videos to my youtube channel as I make them.

Meanwhile, enjoy these two rides. About 20 minutes each, which is the same length as a “half-hour” American sitcom, only my videos are a thousand times more interesting than anything on TV and two-thousand times more interesting than 97% of all other videos on Youtube.

 

Jakarta traffic in supermacet

Called macet  (sounds like the first part of “machete”) in local patois, Jakarta is now considered one of the worst cities in the world for traffic.

I drive here everyday on a little Honda Vario scooter, but I’ve never seen anything like this…

That’s a four way junction of two four-lane roads. The car trying to turn right is about mid-way through the junction. The tailback of motobikes on my side–which completely filled the oncoming lane–was at least a kilometer.

This goat-fuck went on for about 20 minutes. I turned off my motor and so did most other riders.

Then ONE GUY fixed this mess. He was a big burly dude with a jacket and a do-rag (under that broiling sun!), and he waded into the middle of his thing and by swearing and shoving and generally being a boss-man, got the motorbikes moving and unclogged the passage. This dude wasn’t a cop (there was none to be seen) but just a neighborhood guy with some balls and brawn and a short fuse…also a good sense of spatial geometry.

Whatever your commute, it’s probably PLAIN VANILLA compared to a daily run in Indonesia’s megacity!

Interview with yours truly

The publisher of my hard-boiled Malaya trilogy, Monsoon Books, published an interiview with me on their website awhile back and I only now realized it!

Check it out: http://www.monsoonbooks.co.uk/author-of-the-week-william-l-gibson/

 

 

DrG versus Dr. G!!

So some Korean skin care brand is stealing the DrG name!

 

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SHOULD I SUE???

Nah…so long as Kim Ji Won hearts me you know I’m already winning!

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Contribution to new book on Alfred Raquez

I’ve very proud that my brief contribution to a new book about Alfred Raquez is now available from White Lotus Press.

Raquez was an amazing person: an explorer, writer, photographer, bon vivant, racontuer, and man of enigma. The name is a nome de plume…he died under very mysterious cicrumstances. He was a key documentor of Laos when the place was still a largely untouched backwater of the French empire and yet he is woefully under-studied in history or post-colonial studies departments.

This new publication by White Lotus Press will help to change that…

My own contribution focuses on the postcards Raquez sold at the 1906 Colonial Exposition at Marseille which feature Laotian singers and dancers and were souvenir illustrations of a show of Laotian music and dance that he produced.

Buy your copy today!

http://www.whitelotuspress.com/bookdetail.php?id=E22681

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