I mentioned recently that I had taken a bookbinding class. It was held at Mildred’s Complexity, which, in loose terms, is the studio portion of Mildred’s Lane. I can’t fully define the place, because it is so many things. A breeding ground for art, design, thinking, and anything else you wish to add. All of that aside, when I walked into the 2nd floor space I couldn’t believe my good luck. It is a visual feast. From the white padded floor (was it covered in felt or linen or some other material?) to the hanging clothing patterns, to the piles of stacked packages and papers and fabrics. And that just touches the surface. Anyway, I took a few quick photos of the orderly piles. Here they are. To learn more about this very unusual place, click here.
A moderately sad roadside rest stop at exit 5 on the Palisades Interstate Parkway. I wonder why they didn’t bother removing the adhesive padding on the wall next to the Gojo dispenser. Though, I do enjoy the graphic on the pull down shelf.
What do Rudy Giuliani, Christopher Plummer, Robert M. Gates, Frank Gehry, Ruth Ginsburg, Hal Holbrook, Angela Lansbury, Paul Volcker, Alex Katz, James Watson, Maya Lin, Peter O’Toole, John Mcenroe, Ellsworth Kelly, Henry Miller and Yo Yo Ma have in common? I know the answer, but I can’t tell. You’ll have to guess. I’ll give you a hint though: membership. Even if you don’t know, the names are impressive and the typographic variation is a joy to behold.
If Werner Herzog‘s rhythmic phrasing and distinctive lilt aren’t enough to get you to see this movie, than maybe the story is: it’s a sparse portrait of three men — though mainly of Gennady Soloviev, who wins my heart — making a life for themselves and their families in the Siberian Taiga. A large portion of the year is spent completely alone (except for the company of their dogs) in the wilderness, maintaining their huts and trapping sable. The movie was marshaled out of Dmitry Vasyukov’s four hour documentary originally made for Russian television. In a reversal for Herzog, the main characters are self-possessed, and at one with nature, instead of being on the edge of insanity and at war with the elements. Whatever you may feel about the killing of animals (note, there is no gore depicted), I cannot recommend this film enough. It is a mesmerizing snapshot of a people who are largely self-reliant and almost completely off the grid. Pay especially close attention to the woodworking!
Oh, and if you are looking for a related “truth is stranger than fiction” read, go here.
A Friday night departure from NYC necessitates looking at the traffic maps if one doesn’t want to get stuck in a major snarl. There are times, though, when looking at the map means nothing in terms of finding a way out. So, this past weekend, there we sat, somewhere in those dark red lines. I entertained myself by zooming in on the various traffic circles and arteries leading in and out of Manhattan.
As kids, gum was not something we chewed often. The general prohibition might have had something to do with that Halloween when I was 5. My father brought home a bag of Dubble Bubble and, with the Guinness Book of World Records in mind, I proceeded to stuff all of the individually wrapped pieces into my mouth. Perhaps from the exhaustion of chewing, I then fell asleep. Overnight, I rolled in the giant pink wad. The next morning my mother had to cut off all my hair. The Maplewood, NJ wall of gum puts that isolated polymer gob to shame. The wall stretches at least 50 feet along an underpass close to the town’s middle school. Granted, NJ has nothing on either of the gum walls in Seattle or San Luis Obispo, but give it time. That last photo is of my nephew’s hand, proudly pointing out his very own addition to the collage.
One photo of a locksmith’s sign in Chinatown and another of piles of oranges at the Jean Talon Market in Montreal. Both are harbingers of good lock. Or is it luck? Anyway, Happy New Year!!