I was tagging along on this particular trip to Home Depot. Something about my spouse wanting peat moss for the potato trench. All words I never thought I would string together in a single sentence. The gardening and landscaping section is at the far end of the store so there is little incentive to wander if one wants to get in and out in a clean sweep. And we both get a little cranky on these outings. Something about the big box retailer thing. All was not lost though. I found momentary happiness in and among the stacks of wheelbarrows, paving stones and watering cans!
This is a personal little tidbit: When I was 7 and my brother was 9, my mother decided to move us to Paris. She had visited a few months prior and left her notebook in a cafe. She decided it was fate. Or was it serendipity? Anyway, instead of relocating via airplane (boring!), she opted for the slow boat. The S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam. The very same ship pictured here. How she afforded it still baffles me. It was the last transatlantic voyage for this vessel and its Dutch crew. Any passage thereafter was spent in the Caribbean. We departed from a pier on New York’s west side. All the requisite streamers and champagne were there to see us off. It had to be one of the MOST exciting days…ever. Until my mother realized that she had left her luggage sitting on our porch back in Philadelphia. Oops. She was a trooper though, and made the best of an awkward situation. She also quickly made friends, all of whom were happy to lend her a dress here, a pantsuit there (It was the 70s). But mostly she just wore the same thing. We were supposed to dock in Le Havre, but there was a dockworkers strike so we couldn’t make port. Through some stroke of genius, or luck, or both, the trip ended up being extended for a few extra days before finally anchoring in Rotterdam. Photo via Old Chum via Electrospark.
The other day The Improvised Life posted this video created by artist Sipho Mabona. There must be an innate fascination with seeing something realtively complex “literally” unfold in reverse.
Sal, the proprietor of the Tin Can Trading Post in Callicoon, has a quirky and eclectic eye. One that I enjoy immensely! His tastes run the gamut from a spectacular woven civil war coffin, to a 1970s Soviet plastic Anna doll and everything in between. The shop isn’t curated in any obvious way, so the experience of discovery is all your own. Not many places still see the merit in NOT polishing and cleaning every item. I ran into him earlier today and agreed to stop by. I actually avoid going into the store because I have little to no willpower. Anyway, as soon as I crossed the threshold, I saw these spools of twine hiding in a bin near the floor. I ignored them for a moment, not wanting to get distracted. But I caved. It’s the red tape that got me. For earlier bits and pieces from the Tin Can Trading Post, see here, here (the plaster letters) and here. Oh, and I totally forgot…here.
Great piece in the NYT yesterday morning about a group of individuals in the Netherlands who, as a small but meaningful way to help reduce waste in the community, have organized the first ever Repair Cafe. Got an iron that’s burning your shirts, a sweater with holes, a vacuum cleaner not sucking up its share of dust and dirt…well, just bring all of the above and more to the repair cafe, and a group of talented and devoted volunteer fix-it practitioners will tend to your needs. As a result of their original success, thirty additional groups have started repair cafes across the country. There are so many things that are right about this program!! The primary one being that it takes a real stab at the planned obsolescence that has become so readily accepted in our material world. It brings to mind one of my earliest posts on this blog: The Repair Manifesto from the very thoughtful people over at platform21, a site that is sadly no longer.
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