April 2010

mikael kennedy

I have this friend who is married to this guy who has a blog. (called secret forts, which is well worth checking out, by the way) And while visiting this blog I read about a show of Mikael Kennedy‘s polaroid photographs currently on view at the Chelsea Hotel (suite 524) in NYC. And instead of my usual ‘oh this looks cool too bad I can’t make it’ reaction, I packed up my kid and went to the west side to check it out.

I’ve never heard of Kennedy before, but after spending a bit of time with his images, I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit. Not so much in the actual subject matter, but in the fact that this guy, much like me, has been carrying his SX-70 around with him everywhere shooting whatever he finds interesting at the moment. And the result is a series of beautiful compelling mysterious images that tell the story of a life, a voyage, of objects lost and and places that may have been forgotten were it not for their presence in this archive.

The show is simply hung, with the polaroids in plastic sleeves on the off-white walls of an otherwise empty and appropriately worn hotel suite. There is a table with an arrangement of exposed polaroids that didn’t quite come out, most likely a result of Kennedy’s tendency to buy outdated film, and an SX-70 camera, which one imagines was responsible for much of the imagry in the room. The presentation is slapdash and precious at the same time, a combination that very much fits the medium. And by the time we left, we felt like we had wandered through a secret and magical world.

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Here’s a view of the installation (lifted from the secret forts entry, thank you so much, because I still fkeep forgetting to shoot the things that I want to blog about!)

The show is well worth checking out if you are around and about before it closes on May 2. If not, the images are all on view at the gallery site, so you can always enjoy them from the comfort of your own desktop…

the earth rocks!!

This weekend I took a trip up to the happy valley in what is known as western Massachusetts (though it’s actually more like the middle of the state if you look at a map) and was lucky enough to catch the first Saturday of the Amherst Farmer’s Market. It’s still a bit early for the produce to be super varied, but spirits were high and people were out in force celebrating Earth Day 2010. There were booths about composting and rainwater collection, as well as the first bounty from this season’s harvest.

It actually inspired me to enter the above photo in CafePress and  iVillage’s “Why I want to save the Earth” photo contest. Not that I think this picture is all that, but this is a conversation that I very much want to be a part of. Those hippies up in that neck of the woods really have their fingers on the pulse of something that even my cynical urban self has to admit is vital to our survival on this planet. And now that I am a mother, I am even more invested in the future of our planet. The contest goes through the end of the month, so there is still time if any of you are inspired. Click here to learn more.

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We also went to a farm and saw two week old baby goats learning to walk, made garlands out of dandelions, ate tofu (yep, that’s right) and went to the Botanic Garden at Smith College, something you all muct check out if you are ever in that area. It makes me want to entirely rethink our own garden… look at how great it looks, even in the rain. Maybe in my next life…

A beautiful weekend was had by all. I can even understasnd why my friends left the city to live up here. Not that I’m following them, but…

pure action!

If you live, or are planning to be anywhere near, Brooklyn, NY between now and May 23rd, run don’t walk to see Elizabeth Streb’s extraordinary company of dancers (they call themselves action engineers) perform their latest show, aptly titled Run Up Walls. And if you have kids, bring ‘em. This show is a rare convergence of profound beauty, headscratching physical feats and pure, non-stop action, complete with film, sound and robotic effects that serve to bring everyone deeper into the world of extreme possibility that Streb creates.

The performers are the centerpiece, and they do, literally at one point, run up the walls. These are the people I want to be friends with when the sh*t hits the fan, because they will physically be able to tackle any kind of Terminator-like future the bad guys throw our way. There is a metal eyebeam that they play chicken with, jumping over and ducking under and running around it with expressions of pure joy– as if they could not possibly be having more fun anywhere on earth. There are harnesses and a huge truss that rises up into the ether from which the dancers fly with arms outstretched. Our toddler was so captivated that she jumped out of her seat and stood, eyes transfixed, right at the corner of the stage for the entire second act.

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Everyone leaves the show excited and inspired. You feel like you just might be able to fly. Which, in this day and age, is a rare and amazing way to feel. They also have an incredible series of classes, for both kids and adults, so that we all can begin to learn how to fly. After seeing this show, I cannot imagine continuing without that knowledge. Click here to find out more about the company and to buy tickets.And tell everybody you know to come check them out. A world full of Elizabeth Streb’s kind of action is a more beautiful place to be for sure.

brain games

Who needs Baby Einstein when there are products that you can buy for your little ones that actually help their brains develop and have fun at the same time? Every once in a while the stars come together and a new toy comes into my sphere that is educational, fun, durable and nice to look at. This memory game from kidO represents one of these spectacular moments, making all of the searching through horrible blue plastic madness worthwhile.

Four double sided cards fit into a beautifully made wooden board. Hide all of the images (animals, letters and colors) with the red pegs and then find matching shapes and colors by uncovering them one by one. Even my very particular design-centric husband is on board with this one.

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It’s for kids ages 3 and up, but my two year old is having a blast with it, as am I. There is also a more advanced version for older kids (5+) with 36 pegs… Check it out here.

And then go buy one for yourself (oh no wait, I mean for your kid…)

the greatest thing ever

Now there are plenty of things that could qualify for this particular title, and I am sure that I will be using similar headers for more than this particular post, but when I opened up this page on the Haus Interior website, I actually said those words out loud to myself. So there you have it.

Here they are, what you have always wanted. If you are like me, anyway. An old fashioned calling card that you can just pass over to that incredibly annoying person who has the nerve not only to answer his phone at the theater (I’m talking live theater here, too, not just the movies) but to blithely conduct an entire conversation as if he were watching a Barbie DVD at home with his kids (those “movies,” by the way, are so horrible I wouldn’t blame anyone for seeking interruption/relief from them)

One should never leave the house without at least one of these cards in one’s pocket. Because more often than many people care to admit, silence is golden.