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YOU KNOW I'M SUCH A FOOL FOR YOU
Tovrea Castle, Do Ho Suh, and democore
THE RAPTURE OF BEING ALIVE
Wishing a joyful Easter, Passover, and Ramadan to all who observe. Although my Lent didn't go as intended, I’ll utilize this summer for introspection.
THE BIRDS DON'T SING THEY SCREAM
In honor of a new meme tearing through the web – my favorite NPR Tiny Desk.
THE DRAMA OF ORIGINAL CHOICE
Tovrea Castle is a historic landmark located in the eastern desert outskirts of Phoenix. The castle was built upon a hill in the 1920s by Italian immigrant Alessio Carraro, who envisioned it as the centerpiece of a sprawling resort in which the castle would serve as the hotel.
The castle has historically eclectic and romanticized European architectural influences including parapets surrounding the roofline of each tier, while also reflecting Art Deco detailing within its interior and exterior light fixtures. Rumor had it that the castle was a gift to Carraro’s wife and that it was inspired by their wedding cake, though the castle's unique three-tiered wedding cake design was actually inspired by memories of his hometown in Italy.
After Carraro's death, the castle was sold to Edward Tovrea, a prominent Arizona cattle ranching magnate, who used it as both his primary residence and as a guest house for his wealthy friends and clients. In the 1930s, Tovrea added an extensive cactus garden on the surrounding grounds, which now boasts over 5,000 specimens of desert plants worldwide. Tragically, he passed only months after acquiring the palatial estate from Carraro but Tovrea’s wife, Della, used it as her personal residence until her death.
The castle fell into disrepair in the 1960s after Della’s passing and was nearly demolished before a number of concerned citizens formed the Tovrea Carraro Society to save it. The group worked tirelessly to restore the castle and the surrounding gardens to their former glory, and in 2012, the castle was opened to the public for tours.
Today, guided tours of the castle and gardens are offered. You can learn about the history of the castle and the families who lived there, as well as the unique flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. The castle is a beloved landmark in Phoenix and a testament to our city's rich, and often strange, history.
SLAVISH DEVOTION TO FORM
Today marks my second week back in the gym – feeling great. I forgot how interesting the people-watching was.
DEDICATED TO THE ONES I LOVE
After taking a walk last week I made a shocking discovery — my neighborhood park now has a basketball hoop. It lacks in quality but has an irresistible charm. I’m excited by the prospect of finally having something to do on my work-from-home lunch breaks on Mondays and Fridays.
JUST NOT ALL AT THE SAME TIME
To quote the almighty Jalen Jenkins, democore is:
Raw production, earnest and [straight] to the point lyrical content, and moshing. Hardcore in its purest form.
Democore could be seen as a reaction to the 2012 hardcore LP era — the production was light, the music was fast, and though it sometimes made you think, it always made you feel. Bands like Free Spirit, Stick Together, Intent, and Big Contest lead the charge but bands like Unified Right, Fury, and Demolition carried it to full realization.
This period of time was amazing and I never thought it would end but post-pandemic hardcore has swung in the complete opposite direction. The light of the democore torch isn’t out — just dim.
Two weeks ago, I saw a flyer being shared across my Instagram feed for a new account called Designated Moshers Unit — something that was once lost had been found. In its open manifesto to the scene, it states:
Designated Moshers Unit is here to give the people the true sounds of hardcore and punk they so desperately need. No more tweedledee roy bullshit, no more ‘real deal hardcore’ lies. Two brand new bands, one goblin special, 3 tapes [containing] 13 tracks you really wanna hear.
A brand new label from the dirty south specializing in prime cut US hardcore. Atlana’s crosshairs locked onto every city in the globe - the coastal elites, the country bumpkins, the underground lizard people - core for ALL.
Chances are No Uniform and Payload just brought the Unit through your town and showed you and your friends how it’s done, the OS way. If you missed it then ask your girlfriend for some gas money or get your ass on a Greyhound or maybe take the shoelace express and come see what’s good.
They didn’t disappoint, their first 3 releases kick ass. Check them out — they are in fact the real deal.
100% Power Core.
THEY SAY I’VE GOT TO ENGAGE WITH THE WORLD AND THE PEOPLE LIVING IN IT
Do Ho Suh is a South Korean artist best known for his sculptural installations that explore the themes of memory, identity, displacement, and the notion of home. Suh's works are characterized by their delicate and intricate nature, as he often uses transparent and translucent materials such as polyester fabric, stainless steel, and nylon mesh to create his pieces.
One of Suh's most famous works is Home Within Home, a series of installations that depict the artist's former homes in Seoul, New York, and London. These installations are created using a technique that involves stitching together thousands of individual pieces of fabric, which are then suspended in mid-air to create a three-dimensional representation of the home. The result is a mesmerizing and ethereal work that blurs the boundaries between public and private space and challenges our perception of what home is and what it means to us.
Another notable work by Suh is Staircase-III, a stainless steel and polyester sculpture that is based on the staircase in his former apartment in New York City. The sculpture is meticulously crafted and features intricate details such as the banisters, treads, and risers, all of which are perfectly replicated in miniature form. The work is a testament to Suh's technical skill as an artist, as well as his ability to capture the essence of a space and translate it into a work of art.
Suh's work is a captivating exploration of the complexities of the human experience, and the ways in which our surroundings shape our identity and sense of self. It challenges us to rethink our relationship with the spaces we inhabit, and to consider the ways in which our memories and experiences are intertwined with the places we call home. Something I continue to think about in my own home and body.
THAT JOKE ISN’T FUNNY ANYMORE
If you ever want to discuss anything featured in these dispatches, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org