Truth / Love.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's how to make a difference.

Seeing Double.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I last wrote about French curator Sandrine Kerfante—whose blog, Twin-Niwt, explores themes of symmetry and twinned identities—three years ago. Last week, I received an email from her announcing the release of a book of images based on her finds. (Chronicle Books says that it's just right for friends "who feel as close as sisters, actual sisters who feel as close as twins, and actual twins who will see their duality reflected in...new ways.")

"I hope you'll like it," Sandrine wrote in her email. I do.


POV: Waves.

Monday, August 29, 2016

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.


Weeks ago on a Friday, I took a bus out of the city to visit Emily, who’s rented a house upstate for the summer. My journey to the station was a mess of near-misses that began with a mad dash through Chinatown in midsummer heat and ended with a six-stop subway ride that deposited me at Port Authority moments before my bus was scheduled to leave. I jumped aboard as the door was closing; my seat was the last available.

Five hours later, I arrived in Emily’s town, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hamlet in the Catskills. She picked me up outside a convenience store in a rattling Jeep, and we drove another twenty minutes to the house in stock-still darkness. I could see it as we approached from a distance, its many windows glowing amber. Inside, I marveled at its halls and wooden staircases, its permissive size that allowed for art, music, cooking, apartment-weary visitors.

We had dinner at midnight; then, before bed, a tiny canele each. Emily ate hers from the center of an enormous dinner plate. For a moment, I thought I knew what she must have looked like as a child.

Recommended Reading / 62.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Words to start the week. 



This week, from The Atlantic: reflections on the resonance of Arnold Lobel's 1970s children's book series Frog and Toad—a mainstay at my house growing up, and a current favorite of my three-year-old nephew's.

Writes Bert Clere on another of Lobel's masterpieces, Owl at Home: "Probably the most unique story in Owl at Home is 'Tear-Water Tea,' in which Owl makes a special tea brewed from his tears. To produce the tears, he thinks of sad things like 'songs that cannot be sung because the words have been forgotten' and 'pencils that are too short to use'...Owl’s tears come from those broken and disjointed parts of existence that make no sense, so all that is to be done with them is to accept them, and drink them with a pot of tea."

Read more at The Atlantic. Illustration by Arnold Lobel.

Three more, just because: 
-Violent rabbits.
-"Brief raptures in deserted places."
-Loved doing this interview with industrial designer Todd Bracher: "A tree is the result of an ecosystem. And the way I design is to consider what something’s ecosystem is. There are loads of things that define any given project: the market, financial constraints, client needs, et cetera. But tie all those things together with a singular solution—the way a tree does in its ecosystem—and you have, in my opinion, something that’s truly timeless and universal."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a very happy Monday—and more to come!

Douglas & Bec on Sight Unseen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Thrilled to have been able to interview Bec Dowie of Douglas + Bec, a New Zealand-based furniture and lighting design studio, a few weeks ago for Sight Unseen. Bec, who founded the company alongside her father, Douglas, lives 45 minutes outside of Auckland in a converted barn designed to serve as both home and studio.

With bedrooms on movable pods, the space transforms in minutes flat. Not surprisingly, it's furnished almost entirely with family-made pieces—but only just as many as the trio need. During the renovation, Bec says, “We lived with very little for a long time, and [that experience] really ended up informing the design of our home. We had a lovely education that we didn’t need a lot. So when we built the house, everything was very simple. The design shows a lot of restraint.”


Find the full interview on Sight Unseen. Beautiful photos by Pippa Drummond.

More from my Sight Unseen archive: Group Partner / Todd St. John / Material Lust. Thanks so much, as always, for reading.

Recommended Reading / 61.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Words to start the week. 


This week, from T: words from seven modern feminists, including Tavi Gevinson, Emily Gould, and Beth Ditto. Says Hari Nef of Transparent: "Who gets to decide what a woman is? If one woman is different from another woman, then what unites them as women?"

Find the slideshow, here. Photos by Scott Trindle.

Three more, just because: 
-Daily letters to the ocean.
-The contents of Prince's fridge: microgreens, Dunkaroos, 18 types of mustard.
-Says Georgia O'Keeffe: "I get out my work and have a show for myself before I have it publicly. I make up my own mind about it—how good or bad or indifferent it is. After that the critics can write what they please. I have already settled it for myself, so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a very happy Monday.

Pocket Watch.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Melissa Kaseman photographs the contents of her three-year-old son's pockets as part of what she calls "a taxonomy report of a child's imagination." Among the spoils: pipe cleaners, paper clips, and a crumpled plate that, on first glance, looks like crystal.



More on Melissa's website, here. Have a wonderful Monday.

Live In Yourself.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Words for Monday, courtesy of Mina Loy: "Forget that you live in houses, that you may live in yourself."




Also, a big thank you for your comments and notes on my last post. It's lovely to be back. My schedule these days has made it a bit of a challenge to post as often as I used to, and after losing my photos, I briefly considered abandoning ship altogether. But because I miss it, I'm going to continue to post when I can (hopefully once a week). I'll also—slowly!—restore images as I go. In the meantime, thanks so much to all of you for your kind words as I've navigated new schedules, rhythms, welcome challenges.

A few recommended reads for the week:
-Exquisite dirt.
-My most recent interview for Sight Unseen, with Ladies & Gentlemen Studio.
-Beautiful words from Ai Bihr, via Apiece Apart: "In Japanese we say, ‘ashita wa asu no kaze ga huku’—tomorrow a new wind blows. Tomorrow is a new day."

Photos via my Instagram.

POV: Protection.

Monday, March 21, 2016

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 rode the train Thursday morning, crossing the Williamsburg bridge into Manhattan at rush hour. The car was crowded and overwarm, and I stood wedged in a corner by the door, leaning against it as the train lurched out of the station and over the water.

I read a book and tried to forget that I was late, and hot in my winter coat, and annoyed that no one had thought to offer a seat to the older woman to my left, her arms laden with groceries.

We came to the end of the bridge, descending underground with wheels screaming. As we slowed, the crowd at the station ahead came into view, waiting with necks craned. I returned to my book, my eyelids suddenly heavy.

“Miss,” someone said from across the car. A man with silver hair, stooped under the weight of a duffel bag, was waving at me. “Miss, we’re at Essex Street—the doors open on your side of the train at this stop.”

I was still leaning on the door in a way that must have looked precarious. I stepped forward.

“I didn’t want you to fall,” the man called. “I wasn’t sure if you knew.”

I thanked him. I did know, but I was grateful.

Under Repair.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Please excuse the lack of posts this week as I figure out the best way to fix quite a big photo issue on the site—thank you for your understanding as I sort things out. I'll be back next week with an update; until then, wishing you a wonderful week!



A few (picture-less) POVs in the meantime:
-On rotations.
-On being heard.
-On settling (in the best possible way).

Thank you so much for reading. Photo by Max Wanger.

Material Lust on Sight Unseen.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Although I'd met Material Lust designers Christian Swafford and Lauren Larson before, it wasn't until I visited their studio on assignment for Sight Unseen that I learned the story behind their brand, which produces furniture and home goods with decidedly dark flair. It was lovely to spend a fall morning in their space—to see their latest work, pore over their beautiful (and non-digital!) inspiration boards, and learn more about what inspires their cutting-edge aesthetic.

As it turns out, that aesthetic is one that's routinely confused for demonic. Says Christian: “We posted a photo on Instagram recently of a pentagram and a few of our chairs, and someone commented, ‘Unfollow these Satanists.’ Our design was based off of DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man. It was historical, but it had nothing to do with devil worship. Everyone feels the need to categorize.”


Find the full interview on Sight Unseen. Photos by Emily Johnston.

More from my Sight Unseen archive: Group Partner / Todd St. John / Ladies & Gentlmen Studio. Thanks so much for reading.

Recommended Reading / 60.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Every Monday, words to start the week.  



This week, from Studiocanoe: a short film called "Sum" that offers up an enormous dose of perspective in just four minutes. According to the film, we may spend 30 years of our life asleep, 200 days showering, six weeks waiting for green lights, and 18 days gazing into refrigerators—but spread over decades, these moments are just tiny, magnificent pieces of a much bigger picture. See it all, above.

Thanks to Freunde von Freunden for the link. More from Studiocanoe, here.

Three more, just because: 
-"Speed Dating for Rabbits."
-Louise Ma makes art of hard-to-describe emotions.
-Preschool pastimes: "We're playing sunset. We just travel around, like how the sun sets."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a happy Monday.

Recommended Reading / 59.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Every Monday, words to start the week.  


This week, via Apiece Apart: an interview with photographer Emily Johnston (whose beautiful work and words appear on this site often—including in my latest POV).  The Q+A is part of the fashion label's excellent ongoing series, Apiece Apart Woman, and though I loved all of this particular post, what stuck out to me most was Emily's response to a question about mantras:

"I don’t know that I have one, but lately I’ve been turning back to the words by Wendell Berry that my partner David left in my studio on one particularly challenging day this summer, 'The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.'"

I'm dazzled. Read the interview on Apiece Apart. Photos by Brian W. Ferry.

Three more, just because: 
-Conceptual time machines.
-Fellow Resident, a collection of interviews that gives readers a glimpse into "the homes and heads" of inspiring gay men around the world.
-"Normality is a paved road: It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a wonderful Monday.

Melancholia.

Found via Swissmiss: the Melancholia clock, a numberless, colorless timepiece born of a very deliberate and thoughtful design. Writes creator Vadim Kibardin:

Like the film Melancholia, my clock...consists of two parts. The minute hand is called ‘Justine’, and she deals with her melancholic sister—the hour hand ‘Claire.’ And just as Lars von Trier’s planet, Melancholia, devours the Earth, my minute hand will devour the hour hand twice a day. Twice a day the minute and hour hands are at the top together. But slowly, melancholia descends between them like a curtain she has set in motion. It looks like the "sisters" truly suffer from doubts. Twice a day you see them meet and talk about their experiences of being alone. They have different tempos. But they have been two, and, for a brief moment they become one.



Read more, here.

POV: Roads.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

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 walked to the grocery store last Saturday afternoon, in the middle of the blizzard.

Faced with the reality that my fridge contained little more than carrots, butter, and a foil-wrapped chocolate turkey from Thanksgiving, I left to search for the makings of soup, bemoaning every step of the way my failure to have done so a day earlier. Though most everything was closed, shuttered behind the steel curtains of roll-down gates, there were people out, traipsing through the flying snow in happy, shrieking clusters. There was no traffic—an afternoon travel ban had ordered all non-emergency vehicles off the roads—and everyone walked in the middle of the street, free of worry.

On the way back, everything was gray. Snow fell fast. It was entrancing and apocalyptic, everyone wandering, windblown. I wondered what else was going on one or two or three streets over, and for a moment, it seemed like the whirling gusts might take me. Instead, I reached my front door without incident. Over my shoulder, people seemed to appear from the clouds, slipping, sliding, leaping from cliffs of powder. Above was the faint glow of warmly lit windows.

Beyond that, there was nothing. It was impossible to see.

Recommended Reading / 58.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Every Monday, words to start the week.  


This week: an interesting take on social media from Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.

"The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age...But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face."

Read more from Ricardo de Querol's interview, here. Photograph by Grzegorz Lepiarz.

Three more, just because: 
-You had me at "cotton soft."
-A sommelier samples bottled water.
-From poet Eileen Myles (whom I've quoted before on this site): "That horrible line of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, 'There are no second acts in American lives,' was the notion of somebody who died of alcoholism quite young. Yes, there are second acts, and there are third acts. I live in New York, where there are fifth acts and sixth acts, even."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a very happy Monday. (Also: I was derailed by the excitement of snow, but the POV mentioned last week is still to come!)

Brutalist Beauty on FVF.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sculptor Pedro Reyes and clothing designer Carla Fern├índez make their home in a beautiful Brutalist structure in Mexico City, surrounding themselves with color, plant life, and an ever-growing collection of books. I was lucky enough to interview the couple for Freunde von Freunden last month, for a feature that went live this week. My favorite moment in our conversation? Pedro's comparison of the home to both a factory and a playground—and his description of the contents of his library.

"Our collection is very diverse," he says. "Just last week, I came back from Japan with two suitcases full of books, including an atlas of sand and a book about caterpillars. It all seems random—but it's not."


Read more on Freunde von Freunden. Photos by Ana Hop.

More work on FvF: Linda Derschang / Chelsea Miller / Mick Johan.

Recommended Reading / 57.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Every Monday (or in this case, Tuesday), words to start the week.  


This week, from The Atlantic (again): a powerful piece by Ta-nehisi Coates called "Bill Cosby and His Enablers." A small snippet:

"There is no real difference in claiming that a woman in a married man’s hotel room forgoes the right to her body, and asserting that a black boy wearing a hoodie forgoes the right to his. Brutality is brutality, and it always rests on a bed of lies."

Read the article in its entirety, here. Photo by Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times.

A few more, just because: 
-A stockpile of beautiful sentences.
-Chef Angela Dimayuga of Mission Chinese Food shares a mesmerizing account of everything she ate the week of January 7th.
-One more from David Bowie: "'It's not hip to be cool,' he said one day, sipping a beer. 'It really isn't. I had a heyday with the whole iceman-cometh bit. I'm cooled out, man. I've seen so much cool, it's just left me cold.'"

Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday. More reads, here—and new POV to come.

Arriving / Departing.

Monday, January 11, 2016


"The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time." David Bowie

 See also: Bowie's 100 Favorite Books / "'What' is my motto."

 Photo by Lynn Goldsmith.

Recommended Reading / 56.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Every Monday, words to start the week.  


This week, from The Atlantic: an article by Julie Beck on what exactly constitutes adulthood. Are we adults when we've reached a certain age? When we've accomplished specific goals? When we're married, or mothers, or making it financially on our own? As Beck says, "Society can only define a life stage so far; individuals still have to do a lot of the defining themselves."

Says an OB/GYN featured in the piece: "I think the answer to 'when do you become an adult' has to do with when you finally have acceptance of yourself. My patients who are trying to stop time through menopause don't seem like adults even though they are in their mid-40s, mid-50s. My patients who seem secure through any of life struggles, those are the women who seem like adults. They still have a young soul but roll with all the changes, accepting the undesirable changes in their bodies, accepting the lack of sleep with their children, accepting the things they cannot change."

Fascinating. Read the story, here. Photo via my Instagram.

A few more, just because: 
-A library of pigments.
-Artists in their beds (including a teenaged Elizabeth Taylor and her pet chipmunk, Nibbles).
-10 Objects Around Your House That Are Actually Just Tilda Swinton Getting Lost in a Role.
-From Gillian Flynn: "The point is, women have spent so many years girl-powering ourselves—to the point of almost parodic encouragement—we've left no room to acknowledge our dark side. Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids."

Wishing you a very happy Monday. More recommended reading, here.

Author Unknown.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I recently stumbled across Artist Unknown, an online archive of found photographs—little did I know I'd spend the next hour sifting through its posts. What I love about the site is that its images are sorted into categories, so that each entry is a collage of eras and locations, linked by a common theme. Below: Mirrors, Jumping, Long Roads, Happy and Glow.





Visit Artist Unknown for much more, including Headgear, Couch People, Dancing, and TV. Thanks to MessyNessyChic for the introduction.

2016.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back in Brooklyn after ten days on the road—seven in LA and another three in Austin (where, ironically, it was colder than it was at the time in New York). Though the Monday after the holidays is always a little rough, I'm happy to be here, where I look forward to sharing more as the year unfolds. To start, here are a few photos from a recent shoot and Q+A I did with Urban Outfitters at my apartment, just prior to the holidays. During the interview, I was asked for my thoughts on resolutions—as I shared then, I've never been one to make any. My only wish for this year, and every year, is to be surprised at where it takes me.

Four days in, I'm not disappointed.


Find the Q+A, here. (Also featured: the amazing artist Elise Peterson, who I had the pleasure of interviewing this fall, and photographer Emma Jane Kepley.)

 Photos by Anna Ottum. Have a wonderful Monday—and happy new year.

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