POV: Permission.

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. 
“Shoko seems to have a hard time listening,” my fourth-grade teacher told my mother at a parent-teacher conference. “After I give instructions for an assignment in class, she asks me afterward to repeat them.”

Hearing this later that day through my mom’s retelling, I felt a pang of despair. At nine-years-old, I still looked up to my teacher as if she were an older sister. I wanted to sit next to her on field trips, help her take roll, be chosen to monitor the class if she needed to leave the room. My friends and I were still at an age when staying in at recess and helping prepare for the afternoon lessons was all we wanted from the day. We hadn’t yet discovered boys, the lure of leaving campus, the thrill of breaking rules.

So this criticism, however minor, stung. The worst part: I knew I wasn’t a bad listener. I’d been asking my teacher to repeat herself because I was terrified of disappointing her by doing the assignment wrong. If we were writing poems, I wanted to be sure I’d counted syllables correctly. If baking soda volcanoes was the project of the day, I’d hold my breath for fear mine might not erupt. If we were building trees out of toilet paper rolls, I wanted mine to be the tallest, and the prettiest.

Whatever it was, I wanted her to smile, to pat my head, to look over my work and find I’d made no mistakes.


Conrad Jon Godly makes mountains of oil paints and turpentine, with ridges and shadows so rich and realistic they appear to be made of soil and ice, moss and mineral. See more, here. (Thanks, Colossal.)

Three more things, just because: 
-Why we need #YesAllWomen.
-Ballet dancers show off their most challenging moves in slow motion.
-Lastly, from Maya Angelou: "Have enough courage to trust love one more time. And always one more time."

New POV post tomorrow. Until then!

Handmade Hair Ties.

For the warmer weather ahead: hair ties made in Brooklyn from hand-sanded walnut and a sliver of gold paint. Beautiful.

Visit Butternut Brooklyn on Etsy, here. Related: a necklace inspired by a little girl's hair tie / color palette friendship bracelets.

Everything But.

I've been a fan of artist Morgan West's work - and her excellent site, Panda Head - for about as long as I've been blogging. One of my favorite features? Her series on kitchen sinks, which allows readers a glimpse into a space many of us overlook. (And who wouldn't be interested to know what the Food52 sink looks like, or Molly Yeh's, or Emily Hilliard's?) It's intriguing, refreshing, surprisingly intimate.

See the entire series on Morgan's blog, Panda Head, here. Happy Tuesday!

Happy Long Weekend.

Before the long weekend, another quote from Thich Nhat Hahn: When you are washing the dishes, washing the dishes must be the most important thing in your life. Just as when you are drinking tea, drinking tea must be the most important thing in your life. Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole world revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.

In a few hours, I'll be heading to Grand Central, on my way to spend the long weekend upstate with friends. I have a pile of deadlines waiting on the other end of the trip, but I'm going to focus on what's in front of me while I'm there: trees and grass and friendly faces, a building-less sky.

Wising you a very happy one. A few links for weekend reading:
-Obscure color terms, for word lovers.
-Men with middle parts.
-Meyer lemon doughnuts.
-A visual history of typewriter art.
-A gif of a Vine of a video of a flip book of a gif of a video.

Thanks, Well-Traveled Woman. Photos by Max Wanger.

Suspended Thoughts.

Cerise Doucède is the photographer behind Égarements (or "aberrations"), a series of images of subjects, young and old, surrounded by items floating, swirling, whirling in mid-air. There are apples and toy cars, bread and bagels and birds made of white paper. Says Cerise, "My work shows small daily hallucinations in which everyone can be a protagonist; they are moments when you start to dream, to let yourself go…[to let] the decor take flight."

More from Cerise Doucède, here


For those of you looking for pleasant procrastination tools: Since is a site that chronicles the origins of pop culture items - straight-back chairs, the Apple computer, the little cat sculptures that sit in the front of Asian restaurants. Did you know the Michelin Guide originated in 1900, and that Pez candy, a product of the late 20s, took its name from the German word for peppermint (that's pfefferminz, for those interested)? I didn't, either. It can't really be procrastinating if you're learning something new, right? 

See more at Since.

On a Roll.

File this under things I never thought I'd say: these rolling pins are absolutely stunning. Made of Polish beechwood and laser-engraved from artisan Zuzia Kozerska's home in Warsaw, the pins come in nearly a dozen different designs. (Alternatively, especially committed cooks can request theirs custom-made.)

Visit Zuzia's Etsy shop, here.

POV: Prep.

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. 

In the winter, when night came at five PM and polar conditions made city adventuring treacherous, my roommate Lily and I made a routine of starting our days in darkness. We’d wake up at six and meet for coffee at our dining table, where we’d plug in our laptops and work til nine. As freelancers accustomed to working from coffee shops, we spent most mornings hiding from the cold, absorbing silence and watching the sun rise over the Williamsburg Bridge.

We lost ourselves in plan-making. Stuck indoors, it was comforting to focus on the future. We made lists. We discussed new projects. We set goals. Sometimes, even when we weren’t expecting visitors, we swept the floors or scrubbed the tub. We bought potted plants for our window sills. Always, through everything, we talked about spring.

Under Repair.

Hello friends! Just a quick note to let you know that due to computer troubles - my trackpad seems to have taken on a life of its own, and isn't allowing me to keep a document open longer than a few seconds - I'm on my way to have it repaired and will have my new POV up Monday morning! (By the way, has this ever happened to anyone?) In the meantime, a few links:

-The ten best sentences of all time.
-Dandelion lights.
-A Mast Brothers chocolate milkshake.
-Pun Husky. (Couldn't help it.)
-Seven rules for living.

Apologies for the delay! Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Dez's Digs.

Dez'Mon Omega Fair is a watercolorist, a collector of hats, a self-professed aggressive biker, and a cherished friend - to me, and to everyone who knows him. He's also the subject of my my fifth feature for Berlin-based interiors site Freunde von Freunden. Dez's Bushwick apartment is full of treasures, including plants and paints and pins and a prominently displayed pair of Batman-print underwear. Also, a turtle lives in a tree in his kitchen. Yes, you read that correctly.

Of being called a hipster, Dez says, "If that's a term that people use to describe a person who wants to look as individual as they feel, then I guess it's an appropriate word for me. I may be hipster-ish, but I'm also a lot of other things that are less obvious…I've been this way as long as I can remember. If this is what hip is, then I've been hip all my life."

Read the full interview on Freunde von Freunden, here. Find my past FvonF interviews, here. Photos by the wonderful Nick Vorderman. 

Tiny Histories.

I love the idea behind photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher's Topography of Tears, a series of images of 100 magnified teardrops. Fisher, who refers to each tear as "a tiny history," wondered whether drops shed under different circumstances (grief, laughter, onion-cutting) looked different from one another. Turns out, they do. The photos are fascinating, but what I love most are her beautiful words:

Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage. They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness…It's as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.

(From top to bottom: laughter, grief, onions, yawning from exhaustion.) 

Visit Rose-Lynn Fisher's website, here. Thanks, Smithsonian Magazine.

Filtering Through Foliage.

This umbrella, dreamt up by Design Complicity's Fumito Kogure and Shinya Kaneko, is called komorebi, a Japanese term that translates to "sunshine filtering through foliage." Made to mimic the experience of strolling under a forest canopy, the umbrella allows its user to relish the joys of nature, even in city streets.

Available for purchase here. Visit Design Complicity's website, here.

Big, Big Blooms.

Monstrous flowers on a Monday, made from crepe paper by San Francisco's Tiffanie Turner. (The ones pictured two images down are pinatas; the rest are from Turner's show at Rare Device, called Heads.) For best viewing, enjoy while listening to this.

Visit Tiffanie Turner's website, here. Found via This Isn't Happiness. Coming this week: plans for change, and a new POV.


This is my nephew, Dash, and me at our friends' wedding in LA last week. Last time I saw him, he was nine months old and kicking his feet; four months later, he's on the brink of walking and forming the beginnings of words. I'm convinced that after hours of getting to know me via FaceTime, he thinks I live inside an iPhone. I'm very happy to make trips home when I can to remind him otherwise.

Photos by Max Wanger. Have a happy weekend!

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