April 27, 2012

happy weekend

Friends are playing music this weekend, & I am looking forward to seeing & hearing good people make good sounds. New scrimshaw pendant designs are in the works, abstract & intricate patterns, some in color, to be released into the world soon. And, next weekend the Farmers Market opens, making my mouth water in anticipation: palak paneer breakfast, early greens, fiddleheads, ramps & soon, scapes!

this is beautiful

Vieux Kanté au kamélen goni. Incroyable.

April 26, 2012

invisible cities

This past weekend we took another trip to MassMoCA to see Invisible Cities, an exhibition by ten artists who use the dreamlike premise of Italo Calvino's seminal book as a jumping off point to contemplate & re-imagine urban landscapes & architecture. Ruminating on how cityscapes exist or continue to exist for us long after we have actually set foot in them, or come to know them through their histories & more recent events, the exhibition explores the power of memory, narrative, history, the media & lingering sensory cues in constructing & re-constructing the geography of our experiences.

According to Architect Aldo Rossi: In order to be significant, architecture must be forgotten, or must present only an image for reverence which subsequently becomes confounded with memories.

pieces pictured above by

Sopheap Pich

Diana Al-Hadid

Lee Bul, last photo sharing the space with Joseph Beuys

April 20, 2012

happy weekend

A rare long weekend for us, with some day trip adventures planned. The world is waking up & exploding with color & springtime scents. Dive in...

April 18, 2012

memento mori

above photos by me

In December we saw Camera SoloPatti Smith's first museum exhibition of her photographs in the United States, at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Shot with polaroid cameras, Smith's photos of objects, people & places are moving & intimate, feeling more like documents of relationships as opposed to captured moments in time. 

The photos of objects especially intrigued me, each infused with the personality of its owner, people whom Smith either knew personally, or through their works & stories. Grainy & often out of focus, & enfolded in a soft, caressing light, the small photos invited one to get up close & peer into them, & gave one the uncanny feeling that Smith had somehow photographed her memories of the objects, & not the physical objects themselves.
above photos by Patti Smith

Soon after, Annie Leibovitz's book, Pilgrimage, came into my hands, & as I turned the pages I was struck by the similarities between her & Smith's inspiration & approach.

After losing their life partners, Fred Sonic in Smith's case & Susan Sontag in Leibovitz's, each felt compelled to take photographs, not particularly surprising for visual artists processing profound loss (Smith being a prolific photographer throughout her career, as well as artist, writer & musician). With cameras that have an inherent immediacy, a polaroid for Smith & a digital camera for Leibovitz, each, in the spirit of collecting relics or talismans, traveled & took images of objects that belonged to people who inspired them, & who are gone.

The lighting in the Pilgrimage photographs feels more natural than Leibovitz's studio work, reminding me of her personal photos in A Photographer's Life& the close range of many of the shots adds to their intimacy.

above photos by Annie Leibovitz

Both women, incidentally, knew each other, Smith having been photographed by Leibovitz, & they apparently maintained enough of a friendship where Smith was present at Susan Sontag's funeral, taking a photo of her gravesite for Leibovitz, from one memento gatherer to another.

Smith's photo of Susan Sontag's grave covered in flowers

more on Pilgrimage here
& on Camera Solo here

April 13, 2012

happy weekend

Nesting & home projects are on the agenda this weekend, & perhaps even the first cookout of the season. Cheers - have a good one!

April 12, 2012

behind a hill

documentary of modern New England musicians, featuring many friends, by friends

April 10, 2012

old school

Seeing photos people have been putting up on Pinterest taken with vintage cameras has made me nostalgic for my old rangefinder. Images created with Yashica Electro-35gs have such a distinctive atmosphere & such depth of focus, & the anticipation of waiting for the final prints to materialize before you really know what you captured was pretty magical. These shots are from various locales in Europe in the late 80s & mid-90s, & this is how I still see Europe, even with newer & sharper images to supplant these memories. My formative camera years!

April 6, 2012

happy weekend

The weekend is nigh; much cooking & celebrating with family is planned. Happy Easter & Happy Pesach!

April 5, 2012

spice it up

There's still enough chill in the air to make soup sound satisfying, especially spicy & smokey concoctions inspired by warmer climates. Last night we made a big pot of black bean & sweet potato soup, with cilantro, poblanos, red bell peppers, jalapeños & chipotle. We didn't have any sour cream on hand, but a dollop of Greek yogurt did the trick nicely, adding a creamy & tangy counterpart to the spiciness. As a brisk evening wind blew outside, the kitchen filled with steam & delicious aromas, making me feel a tad nostalgic (crazy, I know) for cozy nights & warming winter fare.

I make this soup often, with varying amounts of each ingredient depending on what I have on hand, & what is fresh at the market. This cast of characters has proven to make a tasty & hearty meal, so try out your own version:

made with a large yellow onion, carrot & celery, to which I add crushed fresh garlic, cumin, smoked paprika & chipotle (I usually add powders, but crushing cumin seed & seeded dried chipotle peppers with a mortar & pestle is marvelous).

diced poblano (or pre-roast, which is delicious) & jalapeño peppers, add diced red bell pepper nearer to the end

with water or stock cubed sweet & yukon gold potatoes, oregano, fresh cilantro & pre-cooked or canned black beans, until potatoes are soft. salt & pepper to taste.

April 4, 2012


I have a thing for chairs, especially those of curvy mid-century or industrial-chic ilk. This handsome Parisian loft has such a refined mix of styles, combining family heirlooms with more modern pieces for a sleek yet homey look. I love how the colors of the walls & furnishings get more saturated as you go deeper into the space. And, there's room for even more chairs!
Oh, that view...

from here