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  noun 1. The act of immersing oneself in other cultures without crossing national borders. 2. Local cultural diversification. 3. Traveling on a budget. 4. A website that will allow you to accomplish all the above from the very seat in which you sit.


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Paddington: a shop with border hopping spirit

The Society inc. is an old haberdashery meets hardware store specialising in local and global textiles, furniture, homewares and beautiful things.

Set up by long time interior stylist Sibella Court in an 1800s corner shop in Paddington, its contents and interior will change 4 times a year, each time a new 'theme' will transport the visitor to different societies.... Each theme will be accompanied by seasonal paint colours designed by Sibella for Murobond Paints.

Despite being born in idyllic Sydney, Sibella's gypsy soul had her travelling the world searching for beautiful and unusual things to discover, from a very early age. Currently a judge on the Channel 9 television design series HomeMADE and Interiors Editor for Grazia magazine, Sibella has a beautiful props salon in Paddington “The Society Inc”, a paint range with Murobond, and a handful of prestige advertising clients who draw on her myriad of aesthetic and practical skills.


The shop is closed at the moment for holiday but will reopen on February 6th with its new theme: Tender is the Night.

Past themes include:


Indigo Blues






Tales of a sea gypsy

The Society Inc.
18 Stewart Street
Paddington NSW 2021

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Haiti: how to support

photo via foxtoledo.com

Pain, struggle and suffering are as universal as aid, help and relief. If you are interested in supporting Haiti, below are several worthy causes:

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization that fights poverty.

unicef provides world-renowned help for children.

Medical Teams International is a Christian global health organization that works with grassroots organizations, churches and ministries to distribute and facilitate aid to people suffering from disaster.

American Jewish Worldwide Service is dedicated to alleviating hunger, poverty and disease.

Salvation Army provides food, clothing, shelter and spiritual support to those in disaster or need.

Mercy Corps provides humanitarian and economic assistance to places in need.

Catholic Relief Services is an agency working with emergency relief, AIDS/HIV relief, sanitation, micro-finance and other projects worldwide.

To find other causes, Charity Navigator is an excellent resource.

If you are an artist or know one who can always use some excellent (and reasonably priced) supplies, check out cheapjoes.com. From all purchase made Friday, January 15th 2010 (tomorrow), Cheap Joe's will donate 5% to the relief effort. They also will provide the opportunity to make a donation with or without your purchase.

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BH.net: borderhopping.net is hopping a border

To a new server, that is. Hopefully it will be quick and painless, but there is a likelihood that in the next week the website will be down temporarily. Do not fret! It will be back up and running once our tech support can comfortably settle it into its new server.

Thanks for your patience.



Palestine, San Francisco: and the Hookah Girl

Is it a comic, or avant-garde poetry? Or satire? Or...?

What it truly is: fabulous.

The Hookah Girl And Other True Stories, Volumes 1 and 2, by Marguerite Dabaie combine modern wit, political savvy and classic illustration techniques.

In this current political climate, being an Arab is a Hazard. However, there are Common Grounds where East meets West... the back cover reads.

excerpt from "Should/Am" - click to view full-sized

It is clearly a work produced within the past several years (2007 to be exact). But though it is politically charged, the images and text produce a hefty amount of humor. "The Hookah Girl" chapter—lender to the book title—is indeed the culmination of the comedy—a variety of laughter that, for readers of both Arabic and non-Arabic descent, is largely based on the juxtaposition of modernity and tradition.

excerpt from "The Hookah Girl" - click to view full-sized

Dabaie explains her objectives on her website dedicated to the project, hookah-girl.margoyle.net:

“The Hookah Girl” is a comic that is very personal and steeped in my own experiences. While I have never lived in Israel/the Palestinian Territories, I grew up in a culture very saturated with traditional Arabic thought within the US. I want this book to address that my family are people, and while they sometimes act strangely, they aren't necessarily stranger than any other family.

My goal is to continue work on a comic that is accessible while being a bit edgy. I want to address my truths, that aren’t necessarily the truths of other Arab-Americans out there. In other words, I want to get people interested in Palestinians outside of what’s heard in the media, where they are mostly cited as “civilian casualties” or “terrorists.” There is no middle ground in media coverage of this culture in general. It may be expected of me to touch on the regional politics in my comic, the big Elephant in the Room. I’ve mulled over this, and while I am very political and have my opinions on the matter, I am ultimately opting to leave politics out of my work. Frankly, I’ve never lived in the area, so how can I talk about it? I’d rather leave that to the experts. Besides that, my aim is for my work to be non-antagonizing. I would love for people of different ethnicities and religions to read my book.

My drawing style throughout is purposefully varied and “wonky.” I wished for each subject to have its own particular flavor, and chose a drawing and storytelling style that I felt was appropriate to the story. I also largely did not want the pages to look polished. I very much value the warmness and immediacy of wavy lines, blotches of black and imperfect fonts.

Her website includes more previews of Volume 1 as well as Volume 2. There you can also purchase her books, including a third that is a cookbook of her grandmother's recipes. (Hookah Girl @ $6, Teta's Cookbook @ $3 not including shipping)

[images © Marguerite Dabaie]

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BH.net: a world tour

New contributors. Old contributors. Too many cities to count. Click the links below to see more photos and get more information about these locations.

From Joseph Schell:
1. Oaxaca and San Miguel, Mexico
2. California; Indiana/Illinois; Minnesota; Washington; Nevada; New York, United States

From Natalie Solveland:
3. Nha Tong; Mui Ne; Hoi An, Vietnam
4. Angkor Wat and Kampot, Cambodia
5. Pak Beng, Laos
6. Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand
7. Gothenburg and Blekinge, Sweden
8. London, England
9. Bali, Indonesia

From Angie Spicer:
10. Bangkok and thereabouts, Thailand

From Lyndsay Hemphill:
11. Zhenjiang; Shanghai; Nanjing; Cuandixa; Xi'an; Suzhou; Beijing; China

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Switzerland: living in the ground

As featured on freshome.com, this Swiss home combines underground living with mole-hole whimsy. The concept credit goes to SeARCH and Christian Muller Architects.

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BH.net: surf art, surf life - not so unlike a day in old town Vilnius

The diversity of our content, the disparity between two individual experiences can be made so much more profound by comparing two. Just two.

1. Corinne Conover sent us this interview and simultaneously summed up what BH is all about. Life. Art. Location.
An interview with California-native artist and surfer, Bob Phillips (pictured right).

CC: Do you see your passion for surfing as an art form or more of a sport?
BP: My passion is surfing and painting. One drives the other.

: Looking at your work gets us ready for summer. Your latest painting at the Point reminds me of weekends down in Surfside and Turtle Bay. What places inspired you to create "Surf Art?"
BP: Wife and I have lived near the beach all of our lives. My inspiration comes from the local area in Huntington Beach, California.
Read "Bob Phillips: Surf Art" >>

2. New contributor, Robert Strasser, sent us something quite... different. From across the globe. From crumbling ruins. From the ash heaps of history.
The castle on a hill. I'm on the Pied Piper's trail. A parade of children causes me to slow, but what else am I doing, so I just take in the tranquil green shade and leisurely trudge up the stone walkway to the ruins. A beggar has claimed her spot by the rail. Her kerchief flat on the ground ready for deposits. Near the top a young Kenny G sits waiting for royalties.
Read "Vilnius" >>

And yet how funny it is, really. How highlighting differences always allows the similarities to appear. Bob Phillips paints pictures on canvases. Robert Strasser paints pictures with words. California living is the supreme of chilling out; Strasser's beer-buzzed trance through Vilnius might give Cali a run for its money. And something about age...

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