Hello from Berlin.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Photo by Max Wanger.

Greetings from Berlin! As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm here for the next week-and-a-half working with Freunde von Freunden. Weekdays have been jam-packed thus far, but I'm looking forward to using today and tomorrow to explore and see the city.  (As usual, by "expore," I mostly mean "eat.") I'll be back with a post next Monday the 12th, when I'm back in New York; in the meantime, a few links for coming week:

-People on plane wings.
-The real-life Alice in Wonderland.
-Tools for listening to trees.
-Next on my reading list.
-Wearable fall blankets.
-Ice cream is important.
-Three favorite POVs: on rotations / on feeling rich / on happy surprises.

Also, you can find my interview archive on Freunde von Freunden, here.

Wishing you a wonderful few days. Tschüss!

POV: Adjustments.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.

I dressed up as a queen of darkness this past Saturday.

At least, that’s what I said I was doing. I’d been invited to celebrate the birthday of a friend at a bar in Williamsburg, an event for which the honoree had requested each guest dress according to his or her interpretation of the word “queen.”

I did not want to do this.

Moments before leaving my apartment, I stood in the hallway wearing a black dress so billowy it more closely resembled a bed sheet than any sort of women’s garment. “When you see me, do you think ‘queen of darkness’?” I asked Lily.

She tilted her head. “I don’t know,” she said. “You look — like a mom. Like a cool mom.”

Not long ago, I would have hated that comment; last weekend, I wore it — and my shapeless dress — with pride. “I love it,” I said. “I’ll take it.”


Monday, September 28, 2015

Hello, friends — I'm so sorry for the radio silence; the past week has been a whirlwind, and I'm off on a last-minute trip to Berlin tomorrow to work with Freunde von Freunden for the next ten days. I've never been, and I'm thrilled for the adventure — any tips from those in the know are greatly appreciated, as always!

I'll be doing things a little backwards this week blog-wise, posting a POV by Wednesday, along with Recommended Reading before the weekend. Wishing you all a wonderful Monday — and sending very best wishes from the road. I'm here in spirit, always.

Photo by Max Wanger.

Plant Light.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

From Canadian design studio Object/Interface: handmade light fixtures that double as planters (and are built to withstand watering). Pair with one of Huy Bui's Plant-in City structures for the ultimate indoor, urban jungle.

More from Object/Interface, here. Many thanks to Ignant.

See also: dancing plants / senior citizens in nature / tending to green planets.

Recommended Reading / 47.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week, from The New York Times: an essay by Frank Bruni too beautiful not to share (even despite the fact that it's 16 days old — practically a decade in Internet time). The piece calls attention to the importance of spending substantial, meaningful, distraction-free periods of time with those we love, rather than attempt to cram so-called quality time into measured doses over Christmas or New Years. The reason? "People tend not to operate on cue," Bruni writes. "At least our moods and emotions don't. We reach out for help at odd points; we bloom at unpredictable ones."

He continues: "With a more expansive stretch, there’s a better chance that I’ll be around at the precise, random moment when one of my nephews drops his guard and solicits my advice about something private. Or when one of my nieces will need someone other than her parents to tell her that she’s smart and beautiful. Or when one of my siblings will flash back on an incident from our childhood that makes us laugh uncontrollably, and suddenly the cozy, happy chain of our love is cinched that much tighter. There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence."

Read more, here. Photo by Jesse Chamberlin.

Three more, just because: 
-The world's most beautiful cocktail.
-Monet, Renoir, Rodin, and Degas at work.
-Hitchcock says: "I have a feeling that inside you somewhere, there's somebody nobody knows about."

More recommended reading, here. Have a wonderful Monday.

Be Brave.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I met someone recently who had the words "Be Brave" tattooed to his left forearm in sizable script — I found out later that he'd gotten it done in the midst of a transition from a full-time to freelance career. Henry and I talked about this yesterday over lunch, recounting the quotes and phrases that have meant something to us at times when our worlds have shifted. I keep an entire notebook devoted to words like this but I always return to the same line: Adventure may hurt, but monotony will kill you. I have no idea who said this. But I'm remembering it this weekend, which I'm using as an opportunity to plan new projects, prepare for a new season.
Working on a new POV for next week on this very subject — in the meantime, wishing you all a wonderful, restful, and very happy weekend. Enjoy it!

Non-Career Advice: Sarah Ann Noel.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.

Name: Sarah Ann Noel / Writer
Also: Library builder / image bearer / color coordinator
Age: 31

Live (and love) what's right in front of you. "Last May, my husband, two daughters, and I tucked all our worldly possessions into our car and moved across the country, from Denver to New York City. At that point — after graduating college, getting a job, buying a house, having a baby — life had seemed to slow down incredibly. The future seemed to be more about intentional planning and less about the curious excitement of the unknown and I was becoming suddenly, deeply nostalgic for the past. "All these major milestones have come and gone," I thought, and I worried that I'd somehow missed something. Done it all wrong.

But here we were, making a cross-country move. It was an unforeseen adventure, a surprise I hadn’t expected to be around the next corner — and I considered how I’d only just been longing for those early twenties days, where all the excitement seemed to live, wondering if I’d taken it for granted then. Someday, I realized, this adventure would be in my past, and I might be nostalgic for these moments. 

Suddenly, to live in the present made perfect sense to me—not in a pressured, striving manner, like, 'Pay attention! Be here and now!' But more an appreciation of mere moments and seconds. I love to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to feel a crispy, beginning-of-autumn breeze; to ride the train with no other amusements than to watch the people around me; to drink in the actual words of a book I’m reading; to sit still and listen to my daughters’ laughter echo down the long hallway of our apartment. Probably none of these moments will propel me forward in any measurable sense; maybe they are what I’ll be nostalgic for some day later on. 

I am so skilled at living in different places—in ten years from now, in next month’s big adventure, in one hundred versions of a hypothetical situation. But it's the life before my eyes right now that I have to work with. And it is beautiful: more tangible than anything that has happened before, and lovelier and more pure than anything I could dream up for the future."

Thank you for such beautiful advice, Sarah. More from the Non-Career Advice series, here.  


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