Archive for September, 2011
Another major high point of the trip was the visit to MoMa’s PS1 in Queens. After this visit, PS1 is easily my favorite museum at the moment. Named after the school the building once held, the space is incredible. Sounded by an almost military-esque concrete wall, the entrance gives way to a modern courtyard which contrasts sharply with the turn of the century school building that houses the galleries and remains largely and beautifully untouched from it’s original aging design. I’m not a native New Yorker, but in my mind there was no other space more perfect to display their September 11th tribute exhibition. Initially I had reservations about going to this show, thinking it might be overwrought and just a total downer. But the place is so thoroughly and lovingly curated that it majorly blew my expectations out of the water. Also, most of the artwork was created prior to that terrifying day ten years ago, which definitely helped the vibe from being too much. It was even funny at times and I found myself chuckling despite the heavy subject matter. I got scolded for taking pictures almost immediately (oops) but I couldn’t help myself and I sneaked a few iphone ones anyway (oops, again). (Hopefully PS1 doesn’t ask me to pull these, but if they do, I will comply of course). I left feeling humble and small, but still marveling at our human condition.
Other things I want to remember:
+ Caught a glimpse of the NYC Public Library all candlelit in the blue-time twilight. There was clearly some event about to go down, and I debated sticking around to find out what, but then I decided I liked the mystery of it better and I continued on my way.
+ After a hearty lunch at Frankie’s in Carroll Gardens, Kate took Chad & I back to her art-filled apartment where we hunkered down from the rain and traded magazines while her very giant and very dignified Maine Coon cats were kind enough to share the sofa with us.
+ Dinner made by this stylish lady, an old friend of ours who moved to NY a few years ago. Chorizo stuffed squid, fish tacos (the fish were a catch from a recent fishing trip) and ice cream with wine-stewed plums for dessert.
Can’t wait to go back again!
Lucky for me, Dargelos is just a ten minute’s walk to DUMBO which seems to be a huge creative hub of Brooklyn. With Etsy headquarters, Studiomates, and a slew of other a-list design studios within blocks of each other, I found a bench and wondered how long it would take before I spotted anyone I follow on Twitter. Turns out not long, because Tuesday Bassen pulled up in her little car and whisked us away to Cobble Hill where we lunched at Farmacy & Soda Fountain. After that we hopped on the train to Manhattan to take in the trip’s the main event: Chad’s tour at the Affordable Art Fair.
Unlike the massive corporate art fairs I’ve attended in the past, the Affordable Art Fair is relatively small and focuses on up-and-coming artists. As Tuesday and I rushed into the event, harried from our commute, there was Kate Singleton of Art Hound (whom you’ve seen around these parts helping with the BitBlogger series), and a Chicago pal too: photographer Ben Speckmann! I definitely had one of those worlds collide moments when, for one short spell, everything is all together in one place. Chad took us around and we all nerded out big time. I can easily talk at length about all manner of arts, so you can imagine how thrilled I was that the present company was as into it as I was.
I may be a tad biased, but I found Art Dossier’s artists (Chad among them) to be the most memorable of the fair. Their whole booth was very cohesive, the color, the various styles all just sang so well together. Mad props to the Art Dossier girls for the sophisticated curation.
Tuesday & I tripping out over Matthew Cook’s drawings with 3D glasses on.
The tour itself, well, that’s Chad’s shebang and will be posted on The Post Family soon. Up next for me tomorrow: grand NYC finale!
Get ready for the big NYC brain-dump! This was basically a research trip for me, carefully planned with Chad to coincide with the Affordable Art Fair (more on that tomorrow). So I had two days to myself, wandering around Brooklyn & SoHo, meeting new friends and gorging myself on a non-stop culture binge. Stop-the-first: the Pratt Design Incubator which houses textile and fashion designers of every stripe. I was there to purchase the Dargelos TransPorter bag, designed and sewn by hand by the lovely Audrey Robinson.
I rarely fall so hard for an item online. I actually often find it easy to escape impulse-buys on the internets because I can’t physically connect with the pieces. So what made this unique? Those amazing straps. They allow the bag to function as a backpack and tote bag. And pretty bicycle-friendly totes are almost non-existent. And the fact that I could purchase the bag in person while getting a chance to admire Audrey’s space and the rest of her bicycle-themed duds. Done, done and done.
We had a wonderful chat about many things, surprising for two people with only an email or two to go on. My biggest takeaway from the visit was a renewed understand of how worthwhile it is to buy local and handmade when it comes to fashion. After seeing how much goes into the process and how it’s nearly impossible for independent fashion designers to compete with any mass-produced apparel…Plus all the industry’s accompanying bullshit (child labor, extensive pollution, waste, etc.) it’s hard not to feel gross about shopping at J. Crew. Vintage, thrifted, re-fashioned, handmade is now my way to go.*
And the TransPorter itself? How kind of you to ask! It’s so brilliantly simple I’m in awe. Perfect for the casual bike ride, or an afternoon of Brooklyn wandering. And thanks to the thoughtful addition of waxed canvas, my crap stayed dry even in Friday’s heavy rains. Giant thumbs up. Thanks, Dargelos!
*Or not at all. If I can’t afford to purchase mindfully made clothing (because of course local/handmade clothing will always more expensive than fall-apart threads from H&M, and that won’t change anytime soon) then I am just as happy to go without. I have no interest in fashion as a status symbol.
Love that magic moment when the pieces come together and then poof! You have it in your hand. Also, the Post Family’s Chandler-Price is definitely not a press for the novice. Which is me, so I end up cranking it by hand because it’s far to fast for me to use at its full break-neck speed. 120 cards later and that is one heckuva gratifying workout, let me tell you.
Shout-out to my home state! Minnesota designer Nicole Meyer is tackling a new logo daily for each of of the 10,000 lakes. Yes, there really are that many of them. She’s going to be at this for AWHILE. Get it guuuurl. Via Northcoast Zeitgeist.
A forgotten powercord and the lunchtime yoga class I went to last Friday opted me out of publishing this post then, but better late than never! Luckily all these things still apply today! Like this Sesame Street crayon-making video for example. Takes me right back, can’t you almost smell the crayons? Fresh in their box with the promise of perfect tips just itching for a coloring book. It’s such a happy dose of childhood. Via The Kid Should See This.
+ Thanks for Teaching Us. Please go here to leave a message for a favorite teacher, you know you had at least one who changed your life. (I thanked one of my faves here). Such a beautiful concept, I’d love to see more projects in support of educators in this country because they are not recognized and respected like they should be.
+ Recently launched, The Visualist is Chicago’s definitive visual arts calendar. Got an opening or event to submit? Go right ahead! Otherwise, the site is updated weekly so you can get your culture on!
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