Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Labour and Wait

Labour and Wait is one of the coolest stores in London, and surprisingly hard to describe. They sell beautiful versions of household objects--notably various brushes and brooms, along with kitchenware, books, bandannas, and whatnot. It's hard to say exactly why it's so alchemically pleasing as it is. But it is.

Monday, October 24, 2016

On the Rug

Here's a baby picture from almost exactly six years ago, when I was on maternity leave and the kiddo was two months old and we spent most of her waking hours lounging about on baby blankets on the living room rug.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Abstract Painting at Frieze London

I went to London for the Frieze art fair. A tremendous show where loads of art galleries set up booths to show the work of their artists--both to anyone who loves art enough to slap down thirty-five pounds for a ticket, and to collectors with gobs of cash who are seriously shopping. All of which is to say that the people watching is almost as good as the art watching. But I took photos of the art, not the people. So many photos, in fact, of so much great art, that I'm going to have to break it across a few different blog posts. Today I'll share the thing that struck me most there--which happens to be the thing that strikes me most almost anywhere I go to look at modern or contemporary art: abstract painting. Let's go!

Above: Frederico Herrero

Zhang Wei

Mariana Adams

Mariana Adams

Mariana Adams

David Korty

Anke Weyer

Sarah Morris 

Donna Huanca

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley

Torey Thornton

Toby Ziegler 

Etel Adnan 

Etel Adnan 

Etel Adnan 

Etel Adnan 

Jannis Varelas

Jannis Varelas

Stanley Whitney

Derek Jarman

Eddie Peake

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Poem #13

August 1994

For high school
graduation my

gave me and
my best friend
a trip to Hawaii

we had never
flown and
traveled all by
ourselves before

every morning we
would wake up in
the hotel and she’d
tell me her dreams

long narrative tales
the best one about
being a UPS driver who
went to a Hollywood party

with Keanu Reeves and
made fun of Lisa Loeb
only to discover Lisa was
there a guest at the party

In this same dream
Keanu asked my friend
Are you Buddhist?
And she answered
No I’m just passionate

image source is here

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fourteen London Bookstores

Yep, I just counted, and I visited 14 different bookstores while I was in London. It was a fabulous thing to do. Though the British people I talked to tended not to believe me, I nevertheless am firm in the conviction that bookstore culture is alive and well in, if not the UK as a whole, at least in London--or at least a whole lot more massive and vibrant than it is stateside. Here's where I went.

Above, Daunt Books--really just the perfect bookstore, my forever London favorite

Foyles--massive, independent, amazing (a bit like the Strand or Powell's, but more sleek)--great comics section

KK Outlet--great currated selection of art books and zines

Waterstone's the UK's main book chain has come back from the bring of near extinction by making their stores actually appealing. Go figure

Hatchards--apparently the bookstore of the establishment

Tachen--honoring David Bowie, as well they should

Blackwells--nice enough shop, good for readers, but nothing like the massive book mecca that Blackwells is in Oxford

Assouline--high end cafe plus bookshop

Artworks--great art book store

Notting Hill Bookshop--they actually have a blue plaque for being the bookshop in the movie Notting Hill

Persephone Books--another favorite--they publish and sell forgotten books by women, all in the same quietly beautiful gray covers

Libraria--very hip and cool with DIY plywood shelving and reading nooks to sit in, mirrored ceiling, books organized thematically for discovery rather than location, and no cell phones allowed

Potterton Books--used and rare art, design, and fashion books

Tenderbooks--new kid on the block, hip art bookshop in a row of old fashioned antiquarian booksellers (I wonder how they feel about that)

Waterstones, Hatchards, Blackwells, and Persephone photos borrowed from their respective websites because I lacked the presence of mind to take a good one while I was there (too distracted by books!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

London Night Out

I got back, not long ago, from a week in London for work. I did a lot of stuff (much of it involving the twin very enjoyable tasks of looking at art and looking at bookstores) about which i will tell you more soon enough. But for today I just wanted to mention this one evening out I had, where I took myself on a date to the famed Ottolenghi restaurant and then to see In the Heights. Loyal readers will know I'm a Hamilton obsessive, so when I discovered Lin-Manuel Miranda's first play was showing in London (because, let's be clear, basically every play written in the past 30 years is currently playing somewhere in London) it was clear I was going to have to go. And it was fabulous. Dinner was pretty great, too.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Christmas Eve

The four-month old baby Mabel sits on the table with the snow globes in her tiny jeans and festive blouse on Christmas Eve half a dozen years ago. My goodness.