A recent jaunt to Cooperstown, NY meant that I would finally get a chance to visit the Farmers’ Museum. I’ve been meaning to go there for ages, and was well rewarded for my patience. The museum is located on land that was, and still is, a working farm originally owned by the writer James Fenimore Cooper. Its history goes back to the beginning of the 19th century. The museum comprises a collection of pristine historic buildings, many of which have been relocated from other farms and towns in upstate NY. The architecture is astonishing. These images are taken in the Cornwallville Church which was originally built in 1795 in East Durham, NY. If you’re wondering, the numbers correspond to the church pews.
On a recent trip to Europe, my husband and I missed our early morning connecting flight from Frankfurt to Nice. We had hoped that there would be another plane leaving within a couple of hours, but that was a misguided thought. The next flight wouldn’t leave for another 8 hours or so. Not bad in the scheme of airport delays, but long enough for a kind of boredom to set in. And that was mostly as a result of jet lag. I am one of those people who actually enjoy airports. Between reading and watching fellow travelers pass by, I am happy. Add to that some fancy ductwork and I’m really set. I couldn’t decide if leaving the ceiling exposed was a design decision or whether there were ongoing repairs happening. No matter…
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.
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