October 31, 2011

Golden Birthday

Saturday was my golden birthday and despite sniffles, sneezes and a scratchy throat, I had a lovely, blizzard brunch with a few friends at my favorite North Brooklyn spot, Anella. If you're there for brunch, I dare you not to get the maple toasted pecan & banana french toast. It is unequivocally the best french toast on the planet.

My dad thinks early snowstorms are auspicious, and I have to agree with him. I take it as a sign of a fatefully good year to come (knock on wood). And besides, there's nothing cozier than drinking a hot mug of coffee by candlelight in a warm room with your friends, while winds are whipping and the snow is fluttering past the window outside.

S + V gifted me the amazing new cookbook by Ferran Adria, The Family Meal. The book is organized by meals for every occasion, and the instructions for every recipe are illustrated by beautiful annotated photographs.  Each of the ingredients needed to create each meal are also photographed before the recipes are presented. I'm so excited to cook from this. J + J gave me "Jeu Du Tigre," a french balancing game, which I fell in love with based on the packaging alone. CP sent me a gorgeous new chef's knife and a copy of Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. I see a lot of Milk Bar-inspired baking happening at Thanksgiving and Christmas. And JBK took me to see Traces, which describes itself as "high energy urban acrobatics" and combines theater, music, tumbling, aerials, pole work, skateboarding and dance into a 90 minute show. I can't urge you to go enough; the show is in New York for a 5-month stint at the Union Square Theater.

October 29, 2011

Opening Night at Saffron + Salted Caramel Macaroons

Thanks to all who came out Wednesday night to my opening at Saffron. That was a room full of love. I promise to let you all know when the small books I'm making in conjunction with the exhibit are available. Kana, the owner of the shop, gave me this beautiful bouquet on my way out that night. The hairy, verdant and Seussian stem you see in the bottom photo is called "Green Tree" and apparently lasts 3-4 weeks in fresh water. 

For those who asked about the salted caramel macaroons I made for the opening, I wanted to share the recipe, adapted from one  I found on Serious Eats. Unlike other macaroons I've made in the past, this recipe starts with a homemade pastry cream, which you fold into the whipped egg whites and coconut. I thought the batter was much more "pasty" and less runny, which helped create a nice exterior shell and keep the cookies extra moist. The salted caramel is super simple to make, and to die for. Make sure to use a good quality large-crystal sea salt. 

Pastry Cream
1/2 cup whole milk (I like Ronnybrook) 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
generous pinch of kosher salt
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookie Base
14-ounce bags sweetened shredded coconut
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt

Salted Caramel
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
1 tablepoon light corn syrup (I use the type from Wholesome Sweeteners
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoons sea salt

Start by making the pastry cream. Stir together the 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp flour and salt in a small bowl. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then add to the dry mixture, until the texture is pasty. In a saucepan, heat the milk until you see a ring of bubbles around the edges, then slowly add it to the egg/dry mixture while whisking. Return the mixture to medium heat, whisking it vigorously for several minutes until it thickens. (2-3 minutes). Take the pastry cream off the heat, and whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Allow pastry cream to cool completely. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your backing sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, but are not dry and stiff. Fold in the coconut, sugar, salt and pastry cream. 

Using a teaspoon (and your hands), form the dough into small rounds and place on the baking sheet. You can place them pretty close together; they should spread too much. Bake until golden, about 18 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the parchment paper while you make the caramel.   

For the caramel, bring the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, water and corn syrup to boil in a saucepan and continue stirring until it turns a warm amber color. Remove it from the heat and add the cream, salt and heavy cream. Let the caramel cool 10 minutes until it is a good drizzling texture, then streak over the cooled macaroons. 

The recipe makes about 40 small macaroons. 

October 26, 2011

14 Seconds at Amon Tobin's ISAM

We went to the first of three Amon Tobin ISAM performances this week at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, which is an outright audio visual assault on the senses. Tobin performs from within the enormous 25' x 14' x 8' structure, while highly calculated 3-D projections of industry, cogs, mechanics, fractals, soundwaves and countless other forms and shapes pulse onto its exterior with alarming intensity.  In my mind, the ISAM performance is much more installation art than music show, and I am far more interested in the construction of the built structure and the visuals than I am in the sounds that accompany them.

The tour trailer explaining the construction of the structure is really fascinating, and looks into the technology and thinking that went into this project.

October 25, 2011

Hanging the Show

My show has been hung and opens tomorrow! Jacob and I spent an afternoon hanging the 11 pieces, and I am really happy with how they turned out. These are a few images from the set-up. The shop has the most incredible flowers right now and I'm excited about how the colors and textures of the plant life reflect and shape the room. 

Saffron also has a very distinct storefront that is largely mirror-like during the day (making it hard to observe what's going on in the store) but at night, the store is like a glass box cabinet of curiosities; the succulents, flowers and objects that make up its innards have an incredible variety of shapes and textures and these become very exposed. A large part of developing this show was to connect the idea of variable ways of seeing through the same window at different times of day and how that in turn affects your experience of a place. So during the day, you really have to come inside and be close to the images to see them, but at night, the windows seen through the larger frame of the storefront are intended to act as tiny portals to other places. 

I hope to see you tomorrow night. I'm baking salted caramel macaroons and fudge meringue cookies for the occasion! 

Opening reception: Wednesday, October 26th, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
On view: October 26th, 2011 - January 7, 2012
Brooklyn, NY 11217

October 24, 2011

Mass MoCA Light

While we were up in Lenox, MA last weekend, we meandered 25 miles north to Mass MoCA, up in North Adams. I first visited this museum, which occupies the former Sprague Electric Company headquarters, during a German class field trip in middle school, but hadn't returned since. I had only faint memories of the space, and of Natalie Jerimijenko's Tree Logic piece in the museum's entrance, which challenges a handful of small maple trees to grow against the forces of gravity. When I learned that a major Sol Lewitt retrospective was going up last year, I knew that we would have to pay another visit.

Lewitt's exhibition spans three floors and encompasses his early, middle, and more recent years of work, which are largely defined by the choice of his predominant material during each phase --respectively, respectively, graphite, then inkwash, then acrylics. The work from the early and middle years is the work I'm most familiar with, but I'd only seen a few select pieces in-person prior to this exhibit. All three floors are an astounding execution of Lewitt's intricately detailed and mathematical drawing instructions applied directly onto the walls over the course of 5 months by 55 draftsman using countless pencils, crayons and other materials.

If you are anywhere near North Adams, I can't recommend seeing this show enough. These are a selection of images I made of the light observed in the museum during the hours we were there, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Like at Dia:Beacon, where an industrial space has been converted into a museum space, the textures of the original structure are an essential factor in one's experience of viewing the art. The space is predominantly lit by natural light, so the time of day you visit also has a major impact on how you experience the work.

Mass MoCA has put together amazing online resources to accompany the exhibit, so you can view his drawings by grid, view them by the floorplan, and watch timelapses of the drawings. (But, this is no excuse not to go see the show; it's on view until the year 2033!)

Also, have you seen:

October 21, 2011

Clear Blue Skies + Type Truck!

The last week has been full of clear blue skies and billowing clouds. The blues seem richer, perhaps because the days are crisper and clearer and the leaves have started falling off the trees, giving way to more sky.

Today, I'm headed off to install my show at Saffron and can't wait to see everything up. Thanks for all the kind emails about the show.

If you're around in Williamsburg this weekend, the Movable Type Truck is here! Kyle Durrie has been driving around the country for months, letterpressing out of her custom-designed truck and teaching people how to letterpress. Where to find the truck:

Friday, 10/21: 
The Arm
281 North 7th Street
between Havermeyer and Meeker
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Saturday, 10/22
Brooklyn Flea
Lafayette Avenue
between Clermont and Vanderbilt
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

October 20, 2011

Brit & Mike!

Here comes the bride... 

And there goes the wedded couple!

We were giddy guests at Brit & Mike's wedding in Lenox last weekend. Festivities were held at the breathtaking Elm Court Estate, a Vanderbilt mansion. The textures of the house were incredible -- the kind of place where you just can't stop touching everything -- the drapes, the lamps, the moldings, the furniture -- and then you catch yourself in the mirror fawning over a lamp shade.

The eve of the wedding we had a giant bonfire -- it was the first truly cold night of the year. The smell of smoke and leaves and the rustling of the air was just what I needed from a weekend away. We also discovered the fantastic breakfast spot, Haven Cafe & Bakery, so if you're up in Lenox, make sure you stop in for their special omelet or breakfast pastries and a hot cup of coffee. The earlier you go, the better, and I think on most days they open at 7 a.m.

October 19, 2011

Life Near Windows | Opening Wednesday, 10/26!

Friends! I'm excited to invite you the opening reception of Life Near Windows next Wednesday, October 26th from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Saffron (31 Hanson Place) in Fort Greene. I'll be exhibiting 11 photographs and have a limited set of small books for sale. Join me for wine + baked goods!

October 18, 2011

12 Eggs Make a Dozen

The last 10 months have been hectic, so it feels especially important to hang onto small routines. One of my weekly routines is to get a dozen eggs from the farmers' market in McCarren Park. Garden of Eve has my favorite eggs, but you have to get to the market early to claim your dozen. I usually hardboil one or two in the morning, and have them for breakfast or for a snack in the afternoon. Every week I marvel at the speckles and gradients that comprise the shells. Sometimes they are hues more bluish, or reddish. Other times a shade or two darker from top-to-bottom. Some are over-sized, others dwarfed; some are long, some are squat. I always regret that I can't save the shells, preserving the armor. These are the 12 eggs from this week's dozen.

October 14, 2011

New lights

We have two new lights in our home.  I love the silhouettes they cast.
(The crowd at Brooklyn Beta) 

Last night officially goes down as PURE MAGIC. We previewed a rough cut of Girl Walk // All Day to about 200 people at the creative conference, Brooklyn Beta. It was the first time anyone other than Jacob or myself would see the film, and we had our fingers crossed, waiting for the response.

We need not have worried. The audience was screaming and cheering and laughing and tapping their feet for the entire 74 minutes. When it was all over and the lights came back on, Jacob and I unlocked from a happy embrace to see a roomful of smiling faces raucously cheering, clapping, crying and dancing. It was one of the most wonderful moments I can remember. I'm so proud to be part of the team that made this film. And, we can't wait to show it to the rest of the world. 

October 13, 2011

Proofing Prints

In the midst of all other kinds of wonderful madness, I'm also in the process of preparing prints for an upcoming exhibition at Saffron.  The opening party will be the evening of Wednesday, October 26th. I stopped by the printer the other day to take a look at proofs and was so excited to see these mini-prints. As a photographer who spends most of my time looking at images on the Internet, putting images on paper and considering physical layout, sizing, matting, framing and installation, forces you to think about whether an image really stands up on its own and whether it really deserves its own place on a wall.

Jacob really dislikes one of the images I've selected for the show and really doesn't think it "works" at all. At first that stung, but it also made me think about how to defend each image that is there as part of my bigger practice and body of work, and figure out how it fits in -- or if it fits in at all.

October 12, 2011

Girl Walk // All Day: Redesign + Trailer!

As most who know me know, for the greater part of the last 9 months, Jacob and I have been working on Girl Walk // All Day, a dance music video that we hope is going to take this city by storm. We filmed for over 40 days with hundreds of different dancers in dozens of locations, and are ecstatic-nervous-giddy about bringing the film into the world.

Our first screening is tonight at Brooklyn Beta, a kick-ass conference taking place at The Invisible Dog Art Center over the next 3 days. Yesterday, we released the film's official trailer on Gothamist.com and unveiled our brand spankin' new web presence. While Jacob is the captain behind the film itself, the website was my pet project, and I worked closely with two extraordinary guys: designer/html-izer Casey Gollan, and with David Yee, who put the robot together. I'm excited about lots of parts of the new site and wanted to highlight a few of my favorite features:

It was important to us to showcase the story behind Girl Walk, and let people know it's an evolving project that's grown new legs since the notion of the film first existed, so we came up with the idea of visualizing process, in the form of this timeline. This will continue to grow as we march forward.

Watch the Film, by Chapter
The full film will be 74+ minutes, and we knew this was an impossible length of time to hold anyone's attention online. But, we also have the good fortune of having a film soundtrack that enables a very logical segmentation. We decided to create "chapters" and have partnered with Gothamist.com for to release the chapters week-by-week starting in November.

A Way to Get Involved
Since the film first hit the Internet back in January, we've been getting emails asking how people could be part of the project. And, we want you + you (+ you + you) to be part of the project! We now have a form that lets you fill out the way you'd like to get involved. We envision entire communities being parts of our live events series. Imagine a large scale dance party with local DJ's spinning tracks and all your favorite food trucks parked outside. And free dance classes to boot. That's what we want to happen. And if there's some other way you'd like to get involved that you don't see here: by all means.

A Way to Request a Screening Near You!
We're excited by the diversity of our fans, and the diversity of their locations. We want our audience to tell us where we should hold screenings, so we set up this map, run by Crowd Controls, to let anyone and everyone make a request near them. We're going to do our best to get to those big (and little) blips on the map.

This site is still a work-in-progress, but pushing it live felt like what I imagine sending your child off to school for the first time is like. You hold his/her hand till you get to the school doors, then you let them fly. I hope you enjoy the site and the film-to-come.

October 11, 2011

Paper Anniversary

Gorgeous anniversary gifts from Jacob: a pressed cotton POSTALCO notebook with micro graph paper and the most giant and beautiful and cozy wool blanket that's ever done been made.

We celebrated with an incredible dinner at Gramercy Tavern last night, my favorite special occasion spot. The waiters make you feel like stars, regardless of the occasion you're celebrating. Our waiter also looked like Sal from Mad Men, which led to recurring fits of laughter throughout dinner. We were debating over a few desserts, and since the waiter could tell we were having trouble deciding (as usual), he just decided to bring us all three: a chocolate blackout cake with salted caramel chip ice cream, a pear pistachio crisp with pistachio ice cream and a almond cherry cake with sour cherry sauce and lime sherbet. How's that for service?

p.s. If you have the chance to go, then also be sure to walk to the bathrooms to check out their excellent series of posters about churning butter.

October 10, 2011


Jacob and I got married one year ago today. A year passes impossibly fast when you get to spend everyday with the person you love. We are lucky. (Photo by Scott Munson)

Pickle....Dance Party?

Yesterday's pickling shoot spontaneously turned into a dance party. There were dishtowels flying everywhere. No complaints. Huge thanks to Ksenya for hosting + to Cassie, Audrey + Meagan for modeling, chopping, cutting, canning and boiling.