POV: Rich.

Tuesday, July 29, 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. 


We were five or six when my childhood friend Jo and I decided we’d like to be shopkeepers. After school our mothers would take turns bringing us home to play til late afternoon, and we’d scour our houses for items to “sell”: baby clothes, plastic dolls with missing limbs, yellowed greeting cards, items pilfered from our parents’ desks: paper clips and notepads, heavy metal staplers.

We’d assemble our wares, name our prices, negotiate with each other over the value of things broken and old. Then whoever was the shopper would “buy” something (usually with pennies or pastel-colored Monopoly bills) and take it “home” (usually to the other side of the room).

This never got old. We restocked, renegotiated, repurchased, and rejoiced until one of our mothers arrived and it was time to leave. Then we’d go home and eat dinner with our families, take baths and go to bed feeling rich with our things.

Growth.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Below, a couple snaps from last week, taken at the beautiful roof garden at my family's vacation rental in Williamsburg. (That's my nephew Dash at top, taking in the sights.) As I mentioned in this post, I'd never seen him walk until this most recent visit. I loved watching him teeter and totter and run in his neon shoes, arms in the air. It made me think: next time I see him it'll be Christmas — he may be talking by then, or running sprints. He may have grown a foot taller. Nothing, at this point, would surprise me.


Speaking of steps, I'll be taking one of my own in the next couple of weeks. I started Sho & Tell three years ago (July 5th to be exact) and I've loved watching it grow. Sharing my writing here and becoming a part of such a close-knit and supportive online community has been, without a doubt, one of the most gratifying experiences of my career — and my life — thus far.

But I've changed a lot in three years, and I think my blog should reflect those changes. I've spent a lot of time over the past few months dreaming of what I'd like to do with this site, and I'm finally ready to put those new ideas into place. I'll be posting a new POV on Monday as usual, but will be taking a bit of time off afterward to rethink and redesign.  I'm looking forward to returning soon, and sharing my thoughts with you. If you have any to share with me, I'd love to hear them! (To start, I'm thinking more original content: about books, about growing up, about nontraditional choices and people who live by them.) 

In the spirit of my very first post, here's to new adventures always. I'll see you next week; until then, wishing you a weekend full of wonders. 

True Selves.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The This Is Me: Self Identity Project encourages teenage girls to rethink what a selfie should look like, and gives them the tools to take portraits that are bold, creative, mindful, and adventurous. (As a fan of anything involving foliage on faces, I particularly like the first one, pictured below.) 

"It's about playing with different ways of looking at one's self and that there's more than one way to...look beautiful," says artist and project co-founder Simone Darcy. "We wanted to give them confidence that they don't have to fit a specific mold and do what everyone else is doing on Facebook." 


Read more at the Newcastle Herald, here. Thanks, Design Taxi. 

Whiskey Business.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The most beautiful whiskey cups in the world are made in Brooklyn by Shino Takeda. I bought one this winter at General Store in Venice (which might be the most beautiful shop in the world), and I keep it in my room because storing it behind cabinet doors just wouldn't be right. See more of Shino's work, here.


More items for purchase at Shino's World on Etsy, here. Happy Wednesday.

Sprouts in Space.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In case you're wondering what you're looking at: that's a bouquet of flowers and a 50-year-old bonsai tree traveling through space on helium balloons. Launched approximately 90,000 feet in the air by Tokyo artist Azuma Makoto and his team of ten, the journey upward was documented with the help of six Go Pros, two GPS tracking devices, and many sets of flabbergasted eyes. Reflecting on the accomplishment, Makoto tells T Magazine, "I always wanted to travel to space."


Read more at T Magazine, here. Images by Azuma Makoto.

POV: Little.

Monday, July 21, 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. 


The other night on the Grand Street Waterfront, I shared a bench with a family whose two young sons were playing on the rocks near the water’s edge. I’d left my apartment in hopes of filling my mind with anything other than the worry it had been steeped in all afternoon, which had something to do with the completion of this blog post among much more pressing deadlines, and the arrival of certain checks before the first of August, and the fact that my visiting nephew had cried for the second night in a row when I’d left before dinner, causing me to second-guess my decision to live thousands of miles away from a family that had grown to include members who were startled to find that I didn’t in fact live inside a telephone.

“I want to throw rocks,” announced one of the little boys on the waterfront, his fingers already grasping at pebbles. His mother gestured toward the river and he heaved in a handful that landed in droplets around his ankles. Minutes later, his father joined him, looking for flat stones, explaining how to skip them. It was like magic, he said, watching them graze the water and spring back up again.

I watched, too, even though it was getting dark, even though I had writing due in the morning, even though friends were coming over in an hour and I had no idea what time it was. 

It was all strangely hypnotic. Hands scooping gravel. The river glinting gray and orange. The shrieking of little kids drunk on summer, making things fly.

Lately.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I'll be back with a new POV post first thing next week; in the meantime, a few shots from summer thus far, which has included many a rooftop dinner (and a rainbow-colored lasagna), a rendezvous with a snacking squirrel, sneer practice with DJ Mary Mac, and some much-anticipated hang time with this new walker.


I hope your summer's been just as sweet and that the weekend ahead is a great one — if you're in need of a pick-me-up, here are a few ideas:
-A jellyfish warehouse.
-Goats in sweaters / owls on Swiffers.
-"The Beginning is Near." I think so, too.

See you in a few.

Bikes of Burden.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Novice cyclist that I am, I can barely carry my bag in a basket in front of me much less, say, a stack of hula hoops, or a dead sea creature, or a collection of goldfish in plastic bags, or several hundred roses. In his book Bikes of Burden, Hans Kemp showcases the riding - and balancing - talents of Vietnamese motorcyclists. 

"Eventually, bikes will disappear as the favorite mode of transport [in Vietnam]," says Hans. "People will rely on fridges and freezers as they will be too busy to make the daily trip to the market. Roads will be widened, cars will be more available, and the world will appear through a window." Below, a few shots of a fading phenomenon.


Bikes of Burden is available for purchase, here.

Mother's Mother.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My family is in town from LA this week, staying in an apartment ten minutes from mine. Last night, finding ourselves in the middle of a thunderstorm, we canceled our plans to find dinner in the neighborhood and my mom cooked for us instead, as if we were back in California and this was any ordinary night of the week. We ate off unfamiliar dishes in a strange kitchen, gathered around someone else's slightly-too-small table; somehow, still, it felt like home.

A day later, it seems fitting to write about Mother's Mother, a Berlin-based supper club honoring the cooking of mothers all over the world. At each dinner, a different chef celebrates a mother or grandmother of his or her choice by sharing dishes based on her family recipes with a small group of guests. The club is the brainchild of Kavita Meelu and has honored thirteen women thus far, hailing from a host of countries including Thailand, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Israel, Ghana, and Italy. (Peruse photos of the suppers, here.)


Happy news: Mother's Mother will be coming to New York City this winter. If you know of anyone who'd like to be a part of a dinner, you can let Kavita know, here. Have a wonderful Wednesday in the meantime.

Further reading: peeks into pantries; Delicatessen with love.

Landscape Lullabies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Japanese artist Koshi Kawachi finds music in the rise and fall of mountains and city skylines, mapping musical notes along photographs of various terrain and listening for melodies (the bars framed below are the Bavarian Alps). It's true country music - have a listen here.


Visit Koshi Kawachi's website, here. Thanks, Spoon & Tamago.

See also: edible forests; mapping Manhattan in Post-Its and paper plates. 

Left Behind.

Monday, July 14, 2014

In a series she calls Left Behind, photographer Jennifer Loeber pays tribute to a lost parent by pairing portraits of her late mother with images of her everyday belongings: a spray bottle, a Brownie camera, a hairbrush with purple-tipped teeth. Following her mother's death, Loeber found that it was the most ordinary objects that were especially difficult to hold on to; cataloguing them as part of a series helped process the pain. Says the artist, "It makes me happy because I now think of happy memories."


Visit Jennifer Loeber's website, here. Found via CNN Photos. 

Step by Step.

Friday, July 11, 2014

My year-old nephew Dash took his first steps in June - shuffling cautiously at first across a stretch of lawn at my brother's home in Los Angeles, then, days later, frolicking with confidence down beaches and sand-strewn sidewalks in Hawaii, tiny fists raised in the air. So far, I've only seen this in photos and on FaceTime, so I couldn't be happier that he'll be hitting the streets of New York next, in just a few days.


Watching Dash on video this past weekend, I remembered these letters, written by astronaut Jerry Linenger to his fourteen-month-old son while living in space for a period of several weeks. In one, drafted just before Linenger returned to Earth, he writes, "I have an image in my mind of the time you took your first steps. I would move two steps away from you, leaving you standing and holding on, precariously, to the edge of the sofa. You would look at me with questioning eyes. Your eyes reflected what I am sure that you were asking yourself: 'Can I do this, or will I fall?' After I would encourage you with a reassuring word or gesture, you would muster up your courage, let go, and walk to me. 

Reporters keep asking me whether, after landing, I plan to get out of Atlantis on my own power or be carried off. I will be trying my best to follow in your footsteps, John. I will be giving it everything that I have to walk, or crawl, or do whatever it takes, but to do it on my own, just like you did."

I love that so much. Wishing you a brave, bold, adventuresome weekend.

Photo via Max's Instagram. Words via Letters of Note.

Canyon Cabin.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This wooden cabin, built by Mason St. Peter in LA's Topanga Canyon, is the stuff summer dreams are made of. With its deck and its lofted bed and its assortment of ridiculously beautiful woven rugs, I could easily imagine spending a weekend here (or a week, or, in a perfect world, an entire sun-soaked season). 


See more, here. Photos by Mariko Reed.

See also: a Spanish DJ's attic abodeliving in buses, boats, and on seaside cliffs.

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