32 articles

Monday, Monday or more links about Leonard Nimoy who I’m really going to miss, even though I never met him

Mr Spock plays guitar

One of my all time favorite photos of Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock. Just casually sitting on a couch playing guitar. Genius.

Here are a few interesting things I came across while trolling the web (as one does in these situations) for more stories about the venerable Leonard Nimoy.

The hometown obituary of Leonard Simon Nimoy (1931 – 2015) in The LA Times.

Nimoy explains the Jewish origins of the Vulcan hand salute.

So Nimoy made an album (see photo above) which may not have been a critical success, but it sure sold a lot of copies. Here’s his version of If I Had A Hammer which kind of makes me love him all the more.

Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhuru) actually had a legitimate singing career before embarking on her five year mission to explore strange new worlds.

But perhaps everyone’s favorite Star Trek performance artist is William Shattner, whose rendition of Rocket Man will go down in history as one of the greatest stage performances of all time.

DeForest Kelley (Dr McCoy) begs to differ.

Not to be outdone, Mr Sulu (George Takei) has blessed us with this incredible cover version of Let It Go. That’s right. Let It Go. From Frozen.

Watching all of these videos really makes me sad that I missed the Star Trek cast parties…

Mr Nimoy, you will live long and prosper in all of our hearts. Thanks for everything. Have fun out there.

Monday, Monday, or Many rivers to cross

Martin Luther King day is a time to celebrate the legacy of an incredible human being, for sure. But it is also a time to consider not only how far we have come, but how many miles we need to travel before The Dream comes true.

Here are a few ways that might nudge us all in the right direction…

The first thing to do, if you haven’t already, is to go out and see Selma. If you’re in 7th, 8th or 9th grade in one of 24 participating cities, you can go see the film free of charge. Check out the selmastudenttickets.com website for details.

Go join the army of volunteers helping others today.

Go be inspired by art, film, performances at BAM‘s 4 day tribute to MLK.

National Geographic Kids has this photographic bio to help the next generation better know Martin Luther King, Jr.

Watch the I have a dream speech.

Read this article in Mother Jones about how the current Black Lives Matter movement is aspiring to reclaim MLK’s legacy. And then check out blacklivesmatter.com and get involved.

Test your knowledge of civil rights and freedoms by doing this NY Times crossword puzzle.

And the winner is…

Evelyn Cunningham

Evelyn Cunningham, civil rights reporter, special advisor to Nelson Rockefeller, women’s rights advocate and incredible dresser.

So I recently set out in search of my own personal style icon. Mostly, I just find myself inspired by my friends, but I knew there much be some more public figures out there for me to look up to, even at my ripe old age.

And then I found her. Or rather, I re-found her. I’ve been an admirer for years without ever knowing much beyond the photos in the Style section of the New York Times. My search is over.

In terms of personal style, Evelyn Cunningham is the woman that I most want to be when I grow up. She covered hard news about civil rights in the 60′s for the Pittsburgh Currier, a nationally distributed African American paper, she was a special adviser to Governor and then VP Nelson Rockefeller, she fought for women’s rights her entire life, and she looked incredible the entire time.

What I most love about her is that while she was out there in the world, fighting the good fight and clearly making a difference by helping to make the world a better place for so many people, she still had the energy and the sense of fun to dress with true flair. In a sea of black tuxedos, she rocked a hot pink floor length gown like nobody’s business.

The ability to see and understand all of the complexities and difficulties in the political and social universe, while also being able to acknowledge some of the beauty and fun that can be found through dressing up is the mark of a truly well rounded individual. We can all be forces for good whilst wearing bold prints and big earrings, damn it.

Shortly after Evelyn Cunningham died, in 2010, the iconic photographer Bill Cunningham made a little video tribute which is lovely to watch. A little inspiration for a spring weekend.

The real fashion show

Yesterday I live streamed the Michael Kors show. Which means, in English, that I sat at home, all comfortable at my own desk, and saw all that there was to see as far as that particular fashion show goes. More, probably, than I would have seen had I actually been there, as my certain standing room status would have most likely had me staring at the back of someone else’s well coiffed head.

And yet I got all caught up in it for a minute, craning to catch a glimpse of celebrities (how much Michael Kors does Michael Douglass really wear?) checking out the models, remembering somewhat wistfully a distant past when I walked the catwalks, wondering what it takes to be a DJ at one of these things (because I would of course have better transitions between songs, or so I tell myself) etc etc.

And then I start to hate myself for allowing the inevitable descent into the world of the fashion show scenesters and all it entails. Why do I care about any of this at all? It’s just a bunch of silly (albeit quite attractive) people prancing around (not even to the beat!) in costumes in front of a bunch of slightly older but equally well put together folks with digital cameras and notebooks.

Fashion is totally inconsequential, right?

And then I watch a video like the (short) documentary above, about a group of men who have taken the whole concept of dress-up, made it their own, made it political, made it into a uplifting expression of joy that flaunts all of the hardships they face in their everyday lives. And I see fashion for what it can be: a vehicle for the expression of our higher selves.

These men are living the most authentic fashion show there is. They are the captains of their own souls.

May we all take a bit of their spirit with us when we get dressed up, too.

The secret life of a whisperer

Judith Puckett-Rinella on the phone in her Long Island City studio.

Judith Puckett-Rinella on the phone in her Long Island City studio.

Ok so this is not really about the secret life of anybody, but I liked the sound of that phrase for the title. I also think it goes really well with the photo, which is one of my favorites from a recent shoot I did with the inimitable Judith Puckett-Rinella for the People section of Jill Platner’s website.

This is one of my favorite photo gigs, because I always get to hang out with singular and inspirational people, ask them lots of questions and snoop around their spaces a bit. What’s not to love about that?

In this case, I had the privilege of photographing Judith Puckett-Rinella (a former photo editor at Vanity Fair and T magazines) at the HQ of her new venture, Whisper Editions, a collection of limited edition original works resulting from collaboration with an exclusive group of artists and designers. It was part office, part photo studio, part design workshop, with huge windows covering an entire wall. An ideal space to create. I totally wanted to move in.

Each week, a new edition is released into the world. The current offering, just out today, is a decoupaged mirror by Joseph Heidecker. It’s released in an edition of one as part of their new Original Fridays series, so run don’t walk as I’m sure it’ll go fast! If the edition doesn’t sell out during the first week, the remainder of the work moves into the “vault” where we mortals who might not be quite so quick on the draw can check it out and make our purchases in a more leisurely fashion.

The work is always incredible, ranges from fine art photography, to jewelry, to tinctures and tea and ranges in price from the ‘whoa-ok-that’s-beautiful-maybe-in-a-future-life’ to the ‘wait-I-can’t-believe-that’s-all-it-costs’. There’s something for everyone.

So go check it out. And maybe get something for that special valentine you’ve been wanting to pamper. (yep, it’s that time already…) Or for yourself, for that matter. And then, if you’re in NY, go outside and enjoy the balmy 30 degree day we’ve been blessed with after such an insanely long deep freeze. It almost feels like springtime out there.

Judith Puckett-Rinella

Judith Puckett-RInella, hair tied back, ready to go to work in her studio. Smiling because she’s doing exactly what she wants to be doing. May she be an example to us all.