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.
I would attribute my weakness for pink and green to those formative years spent in ultra-preppy New England. These brilliant leaves are being shed by a maple tree that is, tragically, on its way out. Regardless, I can’t stop picking them up off the ground.
I did a walkabout at the ICFF yesterday. As usual, I didn’t leave myself enough nearly enough time to take a leisurely stroll through the aisles. But, even at an accelerated pace, certain booths stood out far more than others. Oddly enough, this go around I ended up being most drawn to the textiles and rugs. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of other designs, and designers, that caught my attention. Alicia Adams Alpaca, by virtue of her color palette alone, was enough to stop me in my tracks. After looking at their site, I think it might be time for a little road trip.
Finally, Spring is here!! With it, comes my favorite part…the birdsong. It is thought that the human ear can recognize at least 1000 different voices. Experienced birders, and novices alike, often identify birds initially from their song. All of the above phrasing is taken from Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds. It makes for excellent and quite humorous reading. Each line is a phonetic description of a different birdsong. If you want to hear extensive recordings of different birds singing, might I suggest going to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
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.
As befits a holiday card from Los Angeles, my friends Molly and Ryan (owners and designers of a clever and subversive line of cards), and their totally adorable dog Stella, put together this special Christmas photo. The whole thing is just too weird and wonderful and, to date, the best use I’ve seen of a 7 Eleven logo. Happy Belated Holidays!
I don’t want to be one of those people who talks incessantly about the good old days of NYC: before Giuliani cleaned up 42nd Street, when the definition of “hipster” made reference to the jazz era, and you probably took your passport on a visit to Brooklyn. Just in case. BUT, I was going through my photos the other day and came across these two portraits of Pablo the Rooster. He lived on the Lower East Side close to Canal Street. He had free reign of the alley that ran between two buildings. I know, from a reliable source (and to my great relief!), that he wasn’t part of a Cockfighting ring. Better yet, he had plenty of hen friends who shared his 100 square feet of pavement. They even had a nice little grassy spot where, on any given day, they could be found digging for bugs. So, while I know there are lots of good things to be said for urban development, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be woken up every morning by his crazy loud crowing, I still miss the good old days when you could be walking along in Manhattan and come across a rooster just running free on Ludlow Street.