Recommended Reading / 02.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Every Monday, words to start the week.

This week: Designer Timothy Goodman's handwritten Instagram series #memoriesofagirlineverknew is funny, heart-wrenching, and —judging from the reactions of many enthusiastic commenters — very true to twenty-or-thirty-something life. (My favorites are 6A and B.) See parts one through 10 on Instagram, here.

Three more links, just because:
-Meet Prof. Dumpster, who lives happily - and stylishly! - in 36 square-feet. (Thanks, Kathy.)
-Shelley Jackson's story Skin is being published in tattoo form on 2,095 volunteer participants — one word per person. Jackson calls it a mortal work of art and will "make every effort to attend the funerals of her words."
-From Andrew Wyeth, in celebration of the coming cold: "I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape...Something waits beneath it — the whole story doesn't show."

More recommended reading, here.

Weekend Note / 01.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekend notes are short-form POVs.

Over a child-sized cup of hot chocolate at a coffee shop this week, I told a former boss that I wasn't sure what my next move would be, that my ideas these days were vague, and that it was a challenge, sometimes, to see beyond the very narrow bubble we inhabit in New York. "I think these things are on my mind," I said, lowering my voice, "because I just turned twenty-nine." His eyes widened. He feigned shock. "If I had my twenties to do over again," he said a moment later, "I'd do the things that aren't possible for me to do now. Work in an ashram," he told me. "Live on a farm. Meditate. Remember what's good in life. That you and I can meet for coffee. That plants grow. That the sun rises."

Have a wonderful weekend.

Photo via my Instagram.

Friends & Neighbors / Species By the Thousands.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In Friends & Neighbors, I'll introduce you to some of my favorite creative businesses in Williamsburg. With a new expensive store or chain restaurant opening seemingly every week, there's been much talk these days about how Williamsburg is "over." This series showcases shops, restaurants, and studios that make the neighborhood special, and prove that integrity, creativity, and an artistic spirit are still alive and well. They're places that make me proud to live here, and to call the faces behind their counters neighborsPhotographs by Jacquelyne Pierson.

"People tell me that they want to live here," says jewelry designer Erica Bradbury, whose shop opened on South 4th Street in 2012. Originally called A Thousand Picnics, the store had its beginnings in a collaboration with designers Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer; today, it goes by Species by the Thousands and stocks handmade jewelry, soy candles, crystals, and ceramic clay masks in a cozy, warmly-lit brick room.

"In the beginning, I didn't really know that I wanted to open a shop," Erica says. "I needed a studio, and figured that for a little more money, I could also have a storefront. It allows me to display the things that I make in the context I want to show them in. Instead of being in a studio and showing twice a year at market, I get immediate feedback from customers — my work evolves in public."

"Before the shop, I was in the dark about the things that inspire me," she continues. "But having the store, I've found my interests have gotten more specific. My jewelry has changed because of that — it's less about fashion, and more about imagery and symbolism, things that are meaningful to me and that I'm interested in exploring. It's a little more informed."

Species by the Thousands, 171 South 4th Street, (718) 599-0049
Mon-Sat 12pm - 7pm; Sun 12pm - 6pm

Five Minutes with Erica:

What's surprised you about running your own shop? I've learned so much — about the stones I stock and their properties, the spells, the magic. People come in and ask questions; I'm giving them advice. I really have to know what I'm talking about.

Among the many treasures here, what are some of your personal favorites? The Leah Ball pottery. The stained glass eyes. The Maison Monade ceramic masks.

Where in Brooklyn are you a regular? The shipping center on Grand Street. I'm there constantly. Otherwise, The Daily Press.

Thanks so much, Erica. Shop Species by the Thousands online, here.

Sign of the Times.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This circular, gardenlike curiosity is, believe it or not, a clock — constructed by Japanese design firm Bril, it's made to reflect the passage of a year with cedar leaves that turn from green to brown over the course of 52 weeks. It has no numbers, no battery, no ticking heartbeat. As designer Fumiaki Goto tells Dezeen, "We could feel the seasons in our homes as if we were in forests."

 Visit Bril's website, here. Thanks, Co.Design.

You & Me On A Sunny Day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

San Francisco-based Rocky McCorkle is a photographer and the creator of the world's first large-format film. It's also what he calls a "walk-through movie" and a "non-motion picture," meant to be viewed through a series of ordered stills that have been mounted, museum-style, on over 1000 feet of wall.

The images for You & Me On A Sunny Day, which tells the story of a widow haunted by flashbacks of her late husband, were shot every Sunday over the course of five years. The film stars Rocky's 85-year-old downstairs neighbor, Gilda, who now plans to be an actress in her next life.

View the entire sequence on Rocky McCorkle's website, here.

Read more at Medium.

Recommended Reading / 01.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Every Monday, words to start the week.

This week, via Slate: notes on the "loneliest whale in the world," who communicates at an exceptional frequency and is always, it seems, companionless. Since his calls were first detected in the early nineties, 52 Hertz, as the whale's known, has inspired songs, sculptures, tattoos, a Twitter feed.  Evidently, many relate to his solitary journey — after news of his existence went public, "letters came from the heartbroken and the deaf, from the lovelorn and the single; the once bitten, twice shy and the twice bitten, forever shy — people who identified with the whale or hurt for him, hurt for whatever set of feelings they'd projected onto him." Read more at Slate, and find the full story by Leslie Jamison at Atavist, here

Three more links, just because:
-Haiku, by chance.
-Michel Gondry's favorite films. (Groundhog Day makes the cut.)
-From The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik: "Walking for pleasure in cities is an occupation of the young. Only a very few older people of great vitality walk long in cities. What changes over time is not the city alone — some twenty something is even now walking ample and hilly Brooklyn, and writing it down. What changes is us. We start walking outdoors to randomize our experience of the city, and then life comes in to randomize us."

Photos by Max Wanger.

POV: Shifts.

Friday, September 5, 2014

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. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.  

On an early July afternoon, I sat with friends on the roof of my apartment building, waiting for rain. We’d heard there was a storm coming and we’d made margaritas - neon green, from a store-bought mix - to usher in its arrival. We took seats on rickety chairs that shook on the uneven tar beneath us. We faced the coming clouds.

For a long time, nothing happened. 

The sky, the color of smoke, sprinkled and spit. Wind, exhaling, scattered bottle caps and cigarette butts across the roof. 

We looked around. We discussed very unscientifically— the possibility that the storm had shifted its course. Some of us went downstairs.

But then, moments later and seemingly out of nowhere, it came. In ferocious, furious gusts, it came. We stayed outside for as long as we could stand it; then, with wet shoes and dripping hair, we clattered down the stairs and watched from my window, our feet in puddles on the floor.


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