April 2014

What spring?

The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring, by Lucille Clifton with lyrical drawings by Brinton Turkle

The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring, by Lucille Clifton with lyrical drawings by Brinton Turkle is perfect for both the season and the kid who is an emergent reader.

Today it’s in the 40′s and raining. I have my winter coat and scarf on. I really really was hoping never to have to see them again. But it is clearly not yet time to pack up the cold weather gear.

So I’m suddenly feeling a bit more sympathetic towards King Shabazz, the main character in Lucille Clifton’s book The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring. Because right about now, I’m having a bit of trouble believing in it myself.


It’s a beautiful world where flowers come floating out of the abandoned cars that rest precariously atop junk piles…

But maybe if I moved into that perfectly drawn 1970′s universe and had white glasses and a best friend named Tony Espolito, and maybe if I scrambled around in an empty lot and came upon some yellow flowers busting through the rubble… Then maybe, just maybe, I might begin to believe that warmer days were on the horizon.

I’d better go out and look right now!


These people (on the back cover) look like they need to see some little yellow flowers, too…

Monday, Monday – or more links about potential style icons

I have been searching for a new “fashion icon” (or to be more honest, trying to search through my jumbled brain to remember whose style I most admire) and thought I might share a few of my contenders with you all:

This video of Iris Apfel on One Kings Lane (she did a sale with them recently) reminded me of how amazing she is.

Anna Piaggi, the late great Italian Vogue editor took the concept of haute dressing to a whole new level. And Vogue.com UK has a great timeline of Piaggi-related articles for us all to peruse.

Isabella Blow was Alexander McQueen’s BFF and had an incredibly singular and architectural sense of style, but it seems the world was just a bit too much for her…

Bjork could be good, and not just because her name rhymes with jerk.

Is it weird to put one of your own friends on this list? I don’t dress anything like Sarah Sophie Flicker, but the way she puts herself together always makes me happy.

Then again, so do the outfits of my friend Jennifer Mankins

Or maybe I should just stick with the classics and go with Lena Horne…

So many choices, so little time…

Reed Anderson just made some really good art

Reed Anderson Perogi

One of the larger mixed media works on paper by Reed Anderson showing right now in Brooklyn.

Ok so you know how there are those other parents that you see at drop-off or pick-up, your kids aren’t in the same class but you have sort of pleasant ‘hello-face’ kind of encounters with them fairly often and you might even wish that you actually ever had time to get to know them because you feel like, in some alternate universe, you would be friends?

I have loads of those… which is part of the reason I chose the school I did for my daughter. I mean, it’s so much better wishing you had more time to deepen friendships with fellow parents than cringing and hiding every morning and afternoon and feeling like an alien, right?

Anyway, I ran into one of these parents at the local pizza spot a few weeks ago and he very enthusiastically invited me to his gallery show that was at that point just opening at Perogi. I said I would check it out for sure, and then I suddenly got all worried that I might hate it and then what would I say to this guy the next time I saw him around?

Weeks pass and I avoid the show.

Finally, yesterday, I checked it out and it is actually amazing. I’m going to take my daughter, and any of her pals that feel like joining, this afternoon.

The work is colorful and manic and exhaustive and beautiful and haphazard and super skillful without being at all precious. And the show is only up through this weekend so please check it out if you happen to be in Williamsburg.

The Way You Look
Is the Way I Feel
at Perogi
177 N 9th Street
Brooklyn, NY
21 March – 27 April, 2014

Risotto for the springtime

avocado risotto

A dish in regular rotaion around my house, this avocado risotto really does feels like springtime.

I know it might seem odd to put avocado into risotto, but once you try this, I swear you’ll be a convert. This is currently one of two ways that I can get avocado into my daughter without us playing the I-never-liked-avocado-why-are-we-eating-this record that is (in various incarnations) so frequently on the playlist in our house.

And as we eat our meals together as a family, whatever I am cooking for the kid has to pass muster with the grown ups as well, which this does with flying colors.

I thought I’d originally found the recipe in Fred Plotkin’s The Authentic Pasta Book, but when I looked this morning, I realized I was mistaken. And I should have known… Risotto is RICE, not pasta. Shame on me. Regardless, the book is worth a look if you ever come across it. As far as the exact methodology goes, you will unfortunately just have to deal with my very unprofessional instructions.

First off, toss out any ideas about how difficult it is to cook risotto. If you can stir rice in a pot, you can do this. It just requires that you pay a bit of attention to what you’re doing. Click on for the recipe… — Read more

Yesterday, at some point…


Ok so this photograph is not exactly from yesterday… it’s from last week, when we were pretending we lived in LA and had a house with a pool (thanks to a cousin who let us borrow his pad) and no real commitments. It was what spring vacations are meant to be like. And you’ll hear all about it by the end of this week, I promise. Just got to wade through the photos, organize my notes, etc etc etc…

Anyway, this is a picture of some of the tempura paintings we made in the Boone Children’s Gallery at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA.) Their kids programs are amazing– and if you come with your little ones on a family day, each child gets a membership card to the museum that’s good TILL THEY’RE EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD. How cool is that? Plus they can bring a grownup with them for free.

Now that’s a great use of philanthropy, if you ask me.

Happy Earth Day!

joshua tree

My favorite fellow travelers, exploring the desert at Joshua Tree National Park. There’s no other place like this on Earth.

If I had remembered last week that today was going to be Earth Day, I would have posted a whole bunch of eco-style links in here yesterday. But the post spring break fog is only just beginning to clear now, and what’s done is done. I am living in the present, which is what we’re supposed to be doing, right?

First thing I did when I got back from school drop-off was turn on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On to hear Mercy Mercy, which is Mr Gaye’s seminal piece on the physical state of our planet. (ok full disclosure, they were playing it on NPR, so I got out my record so I could hear the song in it’s entirety.)

Here it is for your listening pleasure:

I am also listening (right now, so I’m actually having a hard time writing this at the same time) to Brian Lehrer on NPR speaking with climatologist Dr. Katherine Mach about climate change. People are calling in and actually asking intelligent questions, as opposed to the kind where people just want to hear themselves talk. Well worth a listen.

Now of course, for the kids, every day should be Earth Day. But here’s a great list of ecologically interesting kids books I found online that can help get us started in the right direction.

And lastly, here’s a super home-made-almost-punk style video of author Frank Asch reading his beautiful book, The Earth and I:

Now, shut down that screen and go outside. Even if it’s just for a minute.

Monday, Monday – or more links about us all being in it together

dhobi ghat mumbai laundry

The Dhobi Ghat is an entire neighborhood of Mumbai that is the central laundry service for the rest of the city. Your dirty clothes leave home in the am and arrive back home clean and pressed in the afternoon. Everyone’s clothes are washed together, putting a whole new spin on communal living.

Everybody should watch South African naturalist/activist Boyd Varty’s moving TED talk about the profound concept of ubuntu, which means “I am, because of you.”

Here are 26 stories that celebrate our humanity with beautiful imagery and a subheading that tells you exactly how long it’s going to take to read each one. (Because you might actually click through if you knew the piece was only going to take 5 minutes to read, right?)

San Francisco based artist Hunter Franks shows us how a simple postcard can build community.

The Art Shanty Project creates a temporary village of creative and interactive projects on a frozen lake.

Idealist is an amazing organization that is helping people everywhere connect and collaborate to make the world a better place.

According to Good Magazine, April 26 is Neighborday. So go out there and actually talk to the person who lives next door, instead of passing them by whilst texting.

Or you can just switch screens to your Krrb.com app, find out what your neighbors might have for sale behind those closed doors, and bring home an actual treasure (as well as that warm neighborly feeling.)