Recommended Reading / 53.

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week, via Kateoplis: the story of Grandma Gatewood, the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail alone (that’s 2,168 miles). Gatewood was mother to 11 children, and wife to a husband who routinely beat her. At 67, she told her family she was leaving for a walk, with just a pair of Keds, an army blanket, a raincoat, and a shower curtain—and the rest is history. Read more at Kateoplis.

Three more, just because: 
-Imperfect produce.
-An artist makes a spoon a day.
-A remake of Purple Rain has been filmed in Niger, where only a sliver of the population know of Prince, and where the title translates to "Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red In It."

Lastly, in the spirit of the holiday that just passed: a belated (but very big) thank you for reading. I could never say it enough. I’m so lucky to have found such a warm and encouraging community of friends here, whether we’ve met in person or not. And though I’ve been a bit absent these days, I’m happy to report that things are a little calmer now — and I hope to post more this week: a POV, and maybe a gift idea or two. In the meantime, I hope you all had a restful, restorative Thanksgiving. (I went upstate to do a whole lot of very little, something for which I was very, very thankful.)

Wishing you a wonderful Monday. More recommended reading, here

Todd St. John on Sight Unseen.

I've long been a fan of Sight Unseen's thoughtful and beautifully captured Studio Visits, so I'm thrilled to share my first contribution to the series. Todd St. John is an illustrator, graphic designer, furniture maker, and animator who works out of a spacious studio in Gowanus. (Funnily enough, we discovered we attended the same high school, albeit years apart, in Hawaii.) Todd's clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker, Nickelodeon, and MTV, and though his growing portfolio represents decades of work, he's nurtured an inquisitive spirit since childhood.

"I'm curious," he says. "I like trying to figure out how to do things myself. There's an excitement to that that never goes away."

Find the full interview at Sight Unseen. Photos by the wonderful Emily Johnston. More about Todd St. John, here.

Recommended Reading / 52.

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week: from Swedish photographer Magnus Wennman, portraits of refugee children and the places they sleep. Among the profiled: Sidra, 6, who dreams of candy; Lamar, 5, who remembers her dolls and train set abandoned in Baghdad; and Amir, 20 months, who has yet to utter a word.

Want to help? Click to donate to The UN Refugee Agency, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, or Unicef.

A few more, just because: 
-Five favorite things.
-Notepads from fictional hotels.
-Imagining the plates of well-known artists on Thanksgiving.
-The rewards of niche retail (or The Curious Persistence of Poetry Shops).
-"But she did look back."

More recommended reading, here. Have a wonderful Monday.

Moon Glass.

Fill these cups with the beverage of your choosing and discover the five phases of the moon as you drink. Beautiful work from Tale Design (and a great idea for a holiday gift, too).

Thanks, iGNANT.

Recommended Reading / 51.

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week: words from a hotel in Tokyo called Book and Bed, an "accommodation bookshop" that caters to book lovers who relish the experience of falling asleep while reading (the beds are hidden behind the bookshelves). "The perfect setting for a good night's sleep is something you will not find here," the site says. "What we do offer is an experience while reading a book. An experienced shared by everyone at least once: the blissful 'instant of falling asleep.' It is already 2 am but you think just a little more...with heavy drooping eye lids you continue reading, only to realize you have fallen asleep."

Visit Book and Bed, here. Thanks, Sadie Stein.

A few more, just because: 
-Modern pantry staples. (Black garlic, anyone?)
-A lamp designed to resemble a blade of grass bending in the wind.
-Via Kottke: fascinating updates to Richard Scarry classics.
-Lastly, my friend Monica has a new comedy series out called EX-BEST. The show focuses on two women who must "forge individual identities after their friend 'break-up' leaves them adrift in the adult world." It's 13 episodes, four minutes each. Check it out, here.

More recommended reading, here. Have a very happy Monday.

Tina Roth Eisenberg on FvF.

On a hot day late this summer, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tina Roth Eisenberg for Freunde von Freunden — and, happily, the story went live yesterday. Tina is the founder of the design blog Swissmiss, the temporary tattoo company Tattly, the international lecture series CreativeMornings, the to-do app TeuxDeux, and the Boerum Hill co-working space Friends. Needless to say, she's a busy woman, so it was a treat to spend the day hearing her thoughts on creativity, intentional communities, and why she thinks she'll always call New York home.

I especially loved what she had to say about children and technology: "I’m trying to find a balance with my kids, but I do let them spend more time on screens than other parents I know. I just tell them, you need to use it to create something. Ella just spent two weeks at a summer camp learning to code. I couldn’t be happier. This is her world. Coding will part of her vocabulary. I might have learned French; she’s learning Java."
Read the rest on Freunde von Freunden. Photos by the very talented Nicole Franzen.

Other recent work on FvF:  ClĂ©ment Froissart / Mick JohanFrank Huang. (More, here.)

Party Down.

A big thank you to whomever it was who posted a link to "Women Having a Terrible Time at Parties In Art" on Facebook yesterday. I couldn't love it more—it's the perfect mid-week laugh.

Many thanks to The Toast via Notorious Mag. Happy Wednesday.

Recommended Reading / 50.

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week: a feature on a new cat cafe called Koneko, which opened recently in Lower Manhattan. (Cat cafes, where visitors can pay to spend time in the company of cats, have long been a phenomenon in Japan and are just starting to take off in New York City.) The entire article is a very amusing read; my favorite detail, however, concerns one of Koneko's three cattery "guides":

Anne Paolini, 24, is a yoga instructor with a degree in foreign policy who plans to hold vinyasa classes at Koneko, and cat meditation. What does that mean? “No one knows,” said Joe Crump, 55, Koneko’s creative director...Ms. Paolini explained later that the cat meditation she had envisioned involved humans meditating among the cats, not the other way around.

Find the story in its entirety at The New York Times. Photos by Deidre Schoo.

Three more, just because: 
-Children at Seoul Fashion Week.
-Explained: why we jerk awake before we fall asleep.
-Tom Waits says, "The beginning of it starts at the end."

More recommended reading, here. Have a wonderful Monday.

Frank Huang on FvF.

Hello again after a week away! So happy to share a bit of what I've been working on these past few weeks – in October, I was lucky enough to sign on to a few international interview projects; one of them, a story on Taiwanese art collector Frank Huang, went live on Freunde von Freunden today. Frank, who's the founder of Polymer, Taiwan's largest artist residency village, couldn't have been warmer, funnier, or more full of surprise. His home is a trove of artistic curiosities – a story in itself – but what I loved most about the interview was his commentary on what it’s like to be creative in a place where pursuing art is an uncommon choice – and how he’s sharing his love of the weird and wonderful with his toddler son.

Below, a few photos of Frank’s home in Taipei. When I asked to know more about it, he said: “I love that right outside of the window I can see banyan trees. When the leaves are growing, I don’t need a curtain – I can hide behind the trees. I can look out and watch the birds commuting.”

Find the interview in its entirety on Freunde von Freunden. Photos by Shinji Minegishi.

Other recent work on FvF: Nawab Khan / Linda Derschang / Chelsea Miller. (More, here.)

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