September 27, 2012

Mr. President


I took about 10,000 photos this week and 60% of them featured this guy. Let's just say: he knows his stuff.

See Bill Clinton's recent interview with Jon Stewart: Part 1, Part 2

September 20, 2012

Obama's Way

Michael Lewis spent 6 months with Barack Obama, and wrote a profile about his day-to-day life as president that just came out in Vanity Fair. It's really worth a read, all 13,898 words of it. It will make the gravity of your daily decisions probably feel a whole lot less weighty than they did before you read it. On numerous occasions, Lewis alludes to Obama's incredible warmth and authenticity that are moving:
“There are some things about being president that I still have difficulty doing,” he said. “For example, faking emotion. Because I feel it is an insult to the people I’m dealing with. For me to feign outrage, for example, feels to me like I’m not taking the American people seriously. I’m absolutely positive that I’m serving the American people better if I’m maintaining my authenticity. And that’s an overused word. And these days people practice being authentic. But I’m at my best when I believe what I am saying.”
And on hearing people out and priorities:
His desire to hear out junior people is a warm personality trait as much as a cool tactic, of a piece with his desire to play golf with White House cooks rather than with C.E.O.’s and basketball with people who treat him as just another player on the court; to stay home and read a book rather than go to a Washington cocktail party; and to seek out, in any crowd, not the beautiful people but the old people. The man has his stat­us needs, but they are unusual. And he has a tendency, an unthinking first step, to subvert established stat­us structures. After all, he became president.
Spend 45 minutes reading this tonight.

Related: Terry Gross interviews Michael Lewis about the process of writing the VF piece

Crazy Wind




Beautiful pieces from Crazy Wind, a PDX-based company working with rare kasuri textiles from Japan. These textiles have historically been used for kimonos and for workwear for hundreds of years and are made from woven indigo-dyed threads. The fabric only softens with more washing. (via the Of a Kind blog)

September 18, 2012

The 8 minute ceremony, 90 minute storm, and sunset of a lifetime.





(Holy crap, look at that storm.)

Yup, that one.

(2 hour intermission where we sit in the car with the groom's great aunt and uncle drinking beers and talking about the flower show they just went to in Holland. We emerge to a bright new world.) 



Dustin and I sneak off for an apple tasting. Verdict: delicious. 




Nick + Kelly








D + M raced the storm and wed under a hundreds year old tree on the property at Liberty View Farm as the storm approached with increasing speed and ferocity. As vows, ring exchanges and kisses were exchanged, guests glanced back and forth between stormclouds and newlyweds, until they recessed and everyone took off sprinting for their vehicles. No sooner had we sat down in the car, did the skies open up and the winds start audibly whipping. So, we turned on the radio and enjoyed an hour and a half of pure storm-watching from the dry comfort of our cars. After some time, the best man brought around beers and Farmer Billiam cleared us of atmospheric threats and we all exited to the barn and tent for an evening of barn dancing, apple picking, muddy feet and a glorious sunset.

September 17, 2012

Pie, Almighty.



If you want a really good piece of pie, get over to Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus. I know this is no secret, nor is this place new, but boy, did their pie win me over on Saturday. We were at the homebrew shop next door (Jacob made his first batch of beer this weekend; now our bathroom smells like a frat party :)), and I saw the sign for pie next door. I wasn't going to miss an opportunity for (extra) dessert. The menu changes daily, but I scooped up a slice each of the Salted Caramel Apple and the Stone Fruit Crumb pie. Both were divine, most especially the Salted Caramel Apple. They had a fig and plum pie I was dying to try, but it was only available as a whole pie. Next time.

September 14, 2012

Before the storm: D + M (Part I)

















The clouds rang ominous as we headed up the Hudson last weekend for D + M's wedding and upon arriving at the farm, the weather forecast called for possible tornadoes and wind gusts whose maximum speed conveniently coincided with the exact time of the ceremony. D, J and I took a self-guided tour of the farm beforehand, pawing through a few types of kale, sunflowers, the cactus + onion shed, the wildflower fields, the turkey coop and the cabbage patch. By the time we gathered for lemonade and iced tea -- mostly the Arnold Palmer combo -- the tar-like clouds were swirling and climbing the hill just to our west at least three sets of parent-to-grandparent aged relatives of the groom said outloud to nobody in particular: "They say rain on your wedding day is good luck!," and went back for a second Arnold Palmer. 

September 13, 2012

Kickstarting good stuff


This project on Kickstarter about the London-based fine artist Robert Montgomery looks beautiful. I wish I'd known about his exhibition at Tempelhof Park in Berlin (still up) while I was there this summer.

Speaking of Kickstarter, some friends and I also launched a Halloween project: Daft Punk Halloween Tribute. I will back this up by saying: I have a very conflicted relationship to Halloween, costumes, parades, parties involving epilepsy-inducing lights. I do not naturally take to such things.  But, this project brings together the possibility for some extreme Halloween fun, dancing, the chance to be ON a float, and a lot of creative people. So, party down, support the project, and know that you have awesome, awesome Halloween plans on the books. (And Jacob made the kick-ass project video).

September 12, 2012

The view at home



The view out the window looking towards the East River, and the view of the bookshelf Jacob made last week that's officially almost big enough to hold all of our books. He designed the top two shelves to be "art shelves," so they have quite a bit more height. The wood is some crazy beautiful reclaimed construction lumber that's heavy as hell and real pretty on the eyes.

We still have a lot of boxes to unpack and a long list of wishes and wants: dining chairs, plants, knobs for kitchen cabinets, replacing some lighting, a few building projects, and so on. But, it's certainly getting there.

September 6, 2012

Migration


My favorite quilt from the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild's 2012 exhibition is this one, Migration, by Season Evans. 

An evening stroll (upstate).










There's a long and winding bike path near my parents' house that opens up into a nature reserve area (soccer fields on the other side). You can go a good ways before eventually ending up at an outlook over the Mohawk River, and watch the occasional boat float on by. The evening is the best time for a walk.

This particular weekend, in late August, we celebrated my little brother's 27th(!) birthday with lobsters, tomatoes and cake! -- and some kayaking/canoeing -- and this walk. As always, it's good to get outside (the city).

*If you didn't see Bill Clinton's speech at the DNC last night: watch it.
**If you didn't see Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC the night before: watch that too.
***Today is the first day of school all over NYC (and much of the country). I love these reflections on the 2nd-grade classroom.