i am a fashion designer. gee
click here to maximize your minimalism!

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are you a fonts enthusiast? a typophile?
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find the beauty on your daily walk! take time to notice the details of your landscape.
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there is nothing like seeing a great handbag in action.
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plastics are our future. how can you resist plastic? it is so shiny and pleasing. I have a penchant for plastics.
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chronicling my quest for the one true
Greek Cup
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have you ever noticed the similarity between nyc fire call boxes and benevolent Kannon, goddess of mercy?
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every design, fashion and art magazine I read lately features some important directional artist making big contributions to their genre. and where do they live? brooklyn!
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who says there are no more 'new ideas' in art and design? the newness is in the juxtaposition.
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this is how I really get things done. with my little green co-worker/task-master.
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my clothing & accessories design
east-meets-west minimalism

my site

the look
dressy utilitarian

my concept
useful, economical, modular pieces that can be mix-matched in numerous ways (because why can't fashion be useful and lasting? I think it can!) So I say Maximize your Minimalism!

Satin Karate Belt featured in Dec 06 Real Simple

Voted Best Designer 2006 Style Bakery
'On the Rise'

Daily Buss Feature

Luckymag.com Feature

in the blog press
midtown lunch
the girl who ate everything
queens eats
(into) the fray
funky finds
style document
gowanus lounge
far too cute
ethereal bliss
couture in the city
independent luxe
decor 8
funky finds
urban socialite
lady licorice
high fashion girl

more press...

furniture (especially chairs from the 50s and 60s), uniforms, repeating patterns, menswear, Oscar Niemeyer, traditional Japanese architecture, the Rimpa School and Ogata Korin's 8-Point Bridge, Matisse, bromeliads, succulents and other waxy flora

particular loves
bamboo, coral, moss, woodgrain, silhouettes & other cut-outs, plastic, low-resolution images, the photo copier, off-registration prints, Max Ernst's Lunar Asparagus, NYC fire call boxes that look like Kannon, Fauvist color sense, the Noguchi Museum, pretty much all of Abstract Expressionism

magazines of current interest
Domino, Elle Decor (British), ARTnews, Art in America, Wallpaper

favorite heel style
the wedge, but a sleek modern interpretation

second favorite
the stiletto

current shoe obsession
alas, the sneaker. (because I live in nyc and walk a ton!) but not too sneakery of a sneaker. more of a sneaker disguised as a shoe, like a mary jane style or a high-tech looking black one with a metallic accent. how about Royal Elastics? I must go try some on. I really like the non-sneakeryness of their styles.





cupcake courier debuts at target this weekend

The Cupcake Courier on Amazon

I corresponded with Cupcake Courier creator, Jennifer Gunn today! She let me know that all colors will be back in stock in three weeks, so that is good news. In the meantime, the Cupcake Courier is available on Amazon and the Home Shopping Network Website where there is a nifty product demo to watch.

But wait, there is more exciting news: the Cupcake Courier will be available at Target beginning this weekend! Target will test the product at 1000 of their stores nationwide. I am certainly glad I wrote about this great product before it breaks big. Congratulations Jennifer!

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tote your cupcakes in style

All three luscious layers of The Cupcake Courier, pictured in situ.
[images from cupcakecourier.com]

For the utterly cupcake-obsessed, you now can get help.

Help in transporting your cupcake booty, that is!*

You no longer have to limit yourself to just one dainty treat. With the pleasingly plastic Cupcake Courier, you can finally buy the three dozen cupcakes you always dream about, but feel too un-stylish doing so. And with The Cupcake Courier in hand, how could you not fill each and every cupcake placeholder?** You can always tell them that you are a mom purchasing for your child's class party.

Or you could actually be a mom doing just that. The Cupcake Courier was created, designed and developed by mom, Jennifer Gunn who was "in need of a product to safely transport the gazillions of cupcakes" she took to her children's various functions. Gunn is a clever Momtrepreneur indeed.

The Cupcake Courier comes in four fab colors, as pictured above, and measures a tote-friendly 12.5"x16"x14". My favorite modular feature: each cupcake tray is removable, so you can transport a cake too. It seems subway-friendly, the way each cupcake is nestled safely in its own 3"x1.1" cup. Gunn's product is doing so well, three of the four colors are currently sold out on her Web site. Pink is available now for $32.95. That would be my color choice anyway.

My fashion prediction: The Cupcake Courier will become the new pooch purse. Can't you see it now? I can.

*How quickly I change my tune from Ayurveda to cupcakes. Hmm.
**Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. I am just one subway ride away from Crumbs as I write this.

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home inspiration

I found this on Darling Dexter, an aesthetically pleasing blog by graphic designer, Whitney Barnes. The image is from the British home decor magazine, Living Etc. Both are worth a browse. I hope this room inspires you today. I love the Eames chairs combined with the lacquer table. And the repeating Polaroids! Don't get me started.

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the ysl raspail tote

[image from saks.com]

When I asked to see the Yves Saint Laurent Raspail Canvas Tote in black and white (it is so much better in black and white) at the Saks Flagship last week, three salespeople seemed to cluster around me, wondering where this fabulous bag came from. Er, from your counter, I thought. Don't you look at the merchandise? But anyway, the bag really caught my eye. I thought it resembled the New York skyline, or a heartbeat pattern on an EKG. By the way, don't you think heartbeats and skylines look the same? The skyline is like the 'pulse of the city' type of thing.

And bestill my beating heart, there are shoes to match the Raspail tote: the Paint Gesso Pump! What an exquisite heel.

YSL Raspail Tote, $995 at Saks
YSL Paint Gesso Pump, $495 at Neiman Marcus

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ayurvedic start to the day

January is almost over! How did that happen so quickly? Perhaps by now you have forgotten all about your New Year's resolutions to detox and be more healthy. So have I got a post for you on this Monday morning. Start your day with this simple Ayurvedic idea: squeeze the juice of a medium-sized lemon into a cup of hot water and drink it first thing in the morning. For an extra pick-me-up, add some fresh grated ginger.



fashion inspired interiors

Check out the 'Fashion Inspired Interiors' post on Decor 8. Fashion Inspired Interiors? You are playing my song! My other song: interior design-inspired fashion.

Well anyway, the minimalist Japanese-inspired room pictured above captivated me most of all, and so I clicked through on the image credit to House to Home. Wow! This site features some 2600 interiors broken down by room (living, dining, kitchen, etc.) and further by style (contemporary, relaxed modern, etc.). If you are looking for home decor ideas or just some inspiration, House to Home is definitely the place to start browsing. I am surprised their logo isn't H2H. Maybe that is taken already.

Anyway, House to Home culls from the following magazines: Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, 25 Beautiful Homes, Beautiful Kitchens and Allthingshome, and is owned by IPC Media which produces the above listed magazines. A very clever way to promote their titles. Conde Nast take note.

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happy days

[image from Guardian Unlimited]

Seeing Happy Days by Samuel Beckett with Fiona Shaw tomorrow at BAM. Cannot wait! And then dining at Thomas Beisl.




I ask you. Who wouldn't love a cannoligram? Here is one available option from Domenick's, based in NYC: Small Vanilla Cannoli Gram, $39.99. Valentine's Day is coming... Keep it in mind.

I repeat, what a great city.

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don't miss this show at moma

Gert Tobias and Uwe Tobias, Untitled (figure), 2005, Woodcut, 78 3/4 x 64 15/16"
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Fund for the Twenty-First Century.

I am constantly attracted to the sort of colors (brights mixed with grey) and paint quality (flat but with texture and signs of decay) in Gert and Uwe Tobias' large scale woodcuts at MoMA, now through February 25, 2008. An interesting side note: Gert and Uwe are twins (b. 1973) and collaborate on their artwork which includes woodcuts, drawings and sculpture.

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room inspiration

This pleasingly sunny room decor features the very functional-looking galvanized steel 'A Chair' or Chaise A, created in 1934 by French designer Xavier Pauchard. The Burgundy-based company, Tolix, still manufactures the chairs to this day. You can find them online on Graham and Green.

Room-wise, I like the harmony of the colors: yellow, white and 'brass' which is not really a color but you know what I mean, and the outlined woodwork in the corner. Very pleasing shapes. I could be inspired to make a clothing collection based on this room.

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wafels and dinges

I was pleased to find out that the Wafels and Dinges truck has a regular schedule. I thought it was just one of those great and magical coincidences that one could happen upon this fabulous Belgian dessert truck operated by Chef Thomas Degeest. But no, there is method to the magic. For your future reference:

  • Mon: day off
  • Tues-Fri (8am- 5pm): Park Avenue and 21st Street, in front of the Sovereign Bank
  • Tues-Fri (6pm - 8pm): 14th Street in front of Trader Joe's at 3rd Avenue
  • Sat-Sun: Broadway and 74th Street (at Fairway Supermarket)

New York is a great city. Where else can you happen upon a Belgian Wafel truck, a Dosa Man, a Mud Truck, a Dessert Truck, a Treats Truck, and countless other brilliantly concise business ventures, on wheels or not, that bring joy to the masses? I ask you.

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taking things seriously

I happened to be clicking around the margins of Design Observer just now, which was lucky, because I came across this book, Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance, by Joshua Glenn & Carol Hayes. These are the sentences that sold me:

[...]though I call it The Robot. It was found on Tremont Street in Boston, discarded by the Lord's & Lady's Hair Salon one garbage night in August 2000. [...]

I've never seen a commotion on the subway like that caused by The Robot. Half the train insisted on meeting him. And yes, he's a "he."

I know that very salon! And I've had similar subway rides when I schlepped things on the subway while living in Boston.

I am on the hunt for good books at the moment, as I recently was given a $50 gift card to Amazon, which was quite unexpected and very nice. I have been compiling my order for two weeks, being careful to get just the right combination of books that I have been wanting for longer and shorter amounts of time, about concepts I have been thinking about and not (yet) thinking about. My order as it stands so far: Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art by Jacquelynn Baas & Mary Jane Jacob (Editors), Textiles Today: A Global Survey of Trends and Traditions by Chloe Colchester, and Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance, added as an impulse buy.

I wholeheartedly recommend reading Design Observer, especially when you want to read about concepts and trends relating to the design world around us. And if you are shopping for books like me, I recommend one by Michael Bierut, editor of Design Observer, called 79 Short Essays on Design.

After I receive my three books, I will let you know if I recommend these too. I must report that turning off the TV has been working out just the way I wanted it to. I even turn off the monitors on the treadmill at the gym. I figure that watching soundless stories about Britney's latest trip to the L.A. courthouse in her inappropriate white lace mini-dress would be cheating. Unfortunately, that subtitled image inserted itself into my brain before I could reach the Power button.

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don't just stand there. accessorize!

This bag by Lush would be great with a black tuxedo shirt or dress. Along with these boots by Cole Haan. Accessories found on Popgloss today.

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conspicuous consumption: the call of designer cell phones

An article that stood out to me in my stack of WWD's recently was, "Dialing a New Market: Fashion Designers Set to Invade Cell Phones" by Katya Foreman, December 28. It seems that many consumers see cell phones as a glamorous fashion accessory, and are willing to pay a pretty penny to flash their latest style-conscious status symbol (about $550 for the Dolce & Gabbana limited edition MotoRAZR V3i which says 'Dolce & Gabbana' every time you turn it on and off, or the Levi's phone in embossed stainless steel for around $600, or Vertu's jewel-embellished phones which range from $3500 to $70,000). And you thought the iPhone was expensive.

It seems that we will start to see such 'contract-less' phones positioned in glass cases in department alongside watches and jewelry going forward, "but who knows," says ARCchart's Matt Lewis, a British research and consulting company that will host the Handset Fashion + Style congress in London on April 23-24, "in the future, phones could end up in the handbag department."

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and now for something completely spectacular

Details from Passing Through, the 115-foot mosaic mural by Al Held (2004) inside the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street station. Each section is an incredibly strong composition on its own; seen altogether it is spectacular. Take the E, V or 6 and come up for a viewing. Enjoy your Friday.

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east beach cafe, littlehampton

The East Beach Cafe, in the English seaside town of Littlehampton

the sculptural surface that calls to mind both waves and wind-eroded rock formations

and the cave-like effect it creates on the inside

There are some dazzling images of the East Beach Cafe in the January issue of Architectural Record, a magazine always worth a serious read. The building is constructed with "thick and inexpensive steel to resist the salty air's weathering effects." It is a very compelling structure, especially because the surrounding landscape makes it seem completely out of context.

But there is an explanation for that. It seems that London architect, Thomas Heatherwick, was commissioned to design this 60-seat cafe on the beach in the 'derelict seaside village' of Littlehampton in West Sussex, England in the hopes of reviving the economy of the town. The article referred to this sort of unveiling of a unique and compelling work of architecture which causes a surge in tourism as the 'Bilbao Effect.' According to the article, it is too premature to tell if the 'Bilbao Effect' will take hold in Littlehampton. I certainly hope they have an amazing menu.

more articles on the 'Bilbao Effect'

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victor and rolf's flowerbomb

It is no surprise that the Dutch avant-garde fashion design duo, Victor and Rolf, who have a penchant for the extreme, the witty and the subversive, have a fragrance called Flowerbomb, where the bottle is shaped like a grenade. Of course! Who needs subtle anyway.

Indeed Flowerbomb packs quite a floral whallop. Although touted as a most wearable fragrance with a wide appeal when it debuted in 2005, I must beg to differ after taking a cautious sniff at the Saks flagship yesterday where they were running a special in-store promotion. The scent is like a hug from 100 grandmothers, all at once. But I think that Flowerbomb would knock anyone's grandmother out cold with a single spray. If you like a rather chaotic heady mix of florals including freesia, jasmine, rose and orchid, along with notes of amber, patchouli, bergamot and vanilla that all come together in a rather explosive way, go take a whiff. But be forewarned. Please note: there is also a Flowerbomb Extreme offered in limited edition at Christmastime. As if one would need a more extreme form...

Savor the Victor and Rolf aesthetic here: view their Spring Summer 2007 fashion show on viktoretrolf.typepad.com!

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popgloss has a home decor counterpart: cribcandy

[pageprint from cribcandy.com]

Since I discovered my link on their main page, I have been a big fan of Popgloss, not only for their great taste in blogs ;-), but for the visual appeal of the page. And more importantly for their consistent support of indie fashion designers. Yay Popgloss. Little did I know, when I stumbled upon their home decor counterpart, Cribcandy, that Cribcandy preceded Popgloss, (followed by Yokiddo which features cool baby and kid's merch), and that all three sites are backed by the Gawker online empire.

After further investigation, I learned that the 'Wists Social Shopping' blogs were created by David Galbraith who has quite an impressive background in both design and technology, as an architect and industrial designer, founding successful online startups, and co-authoring the RSS standard. In addition to promoting great design, Galbraith founded Wists to "make publishing or sharing lists of recommendations and wishlists easier and more appealing than maintaining a weblog and not tied to one particular store."

I think they have done a great job.

Here are 7 ways to use Wists which you may find helpful:

  1. Search the Web visually and bookmark search results.
  2. Create wishlists, birthday lists or wedding lists with pictures of products from any store on the web.
  3. Create thumbnail image galleries of your favorite things: books, movies cd’s, songs or photos.
  4. Website owners, use wists to embed an updateable gallery of products or items that you recommend, within your website, matching its look and feel.
  5. Create a personalized inbox where you can track items by user or keyword tags and add to your wists
  6. Bloggers. Make adding images and tags to your weblog posts as easy as bookmarking a webpage.
  7. Create communities around tags - have your friends on Wists use a particular tag, so that you can all track cool products and Websites.

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spinning class

I thought you might like to know, that resolutions-wise, I plan to keep my end of the bargain today by taking the 12:15 Endurance Spinning with Peter. This will be a new experience. I have never taken a spinning class with Peter. I hope he is not like a certain other instructor, we shall call A. I don't think she has ever ridden a real bike... The way she has us change gears going up a hill just doesn't make any sense. And there is no groove to the music she selects. I think it was Whitney Houston! An exercise class for me is all about the music timed with the exercise. If there is no crescendo, there is little point.

Now John. He is a sensitive soul, totally in touch with all his students as we pedal along together. You can tell by the way John choreographs his class that he is a rider. And the music he selects really makes you feel elated as you work harder to climb the imaginary hill. I can even picture the landscape. It is in Western Massachusetts, near where I went to college. Pretty tree-lined winding roads. I can smell the evergreens. I wish I was free tomorrow to take John's class. I hope Peter is anything like John.

the Specialized Dolce, click to enlarge

We passed by the TOGA! Bike Shop on 1st Avenue and 63rd Street last week, and I was lured in by all the amazing triathlon bikes in the window. I love looking at all the flat tubing. The Specialized Dolce in black with pink accents caught my eye, probably because I imagined riding it with my black and pink sneakers.

If I were to buy a new bike, I think it would be from this shop. They go out of their way to fit you properly on your bike. The only thing I didn't love about the Dolce was the bent top tube. To me it screams 'girls bike'! But the components and click shifting are certainly quite an upgrade from my current one-up-from-bottom-of-the-line mountain bike which I converted with slicks for the road.

My bike is too heavy. And not so high-performance. But I personally sawed down the handlebars with pipe cutters at the Broadway Bike School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And added shiny anodized blue bar ends for more hand positions. In the end I love my bike, held together with stickers which I have collected from fellow fashion designers during the years of trade shows I have done. I just can't upgrade. My bike is my friend. Um. I can't find my key to unlock my bike from the railing. Well, off to spinning.

my bike. sure the tires are flat and it is potentially locked in the hallway forever,
but that doesn't mean I am going to upgrade.

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louis xiv meets the 80s

This neon picture frame would complement the Poldo Chest by Creazioni quite nicely don't you think? Holds a 4x6 photo, available for $6.99 on modcloth.com. The frame, not the chest.

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Have you heard of polyvore.com? With this online tool, you can create visual shareable wishlists and fabulous fashion spreads a la Lucky magazine. Apparently, you have to create an account to participate, and any items you import and 'sets' you create are made available to the public. I am not quite sure who profits from this, but it is certainly a brilliant tool to capture people's information and monitor their purchasing desires. It's market research meets Web 2.0. I must investigate this further.

Polyvore has a legal page a mile long. I am almost afraid to post a post from Polyvore here. But it says, "You may display images of sets from the Website on other websites for non-commercial use, provided that you do so with the embed code provided by Polyvore." I think I have complied with the regulations.

One disturbingly popular object: the Starbucks Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino. What? Look at how many outfit 'sets' the Frappucino accessorizes. This outfit is accessorized with a Frappuccino and a phone.

Oy. But interesting, nonetheless.

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happy mundane made this christmas tree, or i'm pretty sure he did

Look at what Jonathan Lo of Happy Mundane and It's (K)not Wood made! I am pretty sure he made his own Christmas tree. I have been following the thread of his Ornament Adventure posts of late and saw the results yesterday. Isn't this tree beautiful? I am thinking that he made the concentric circles from progressively smaller lampshade structures, but I can't quite figure it out. I am hoping that Jon will kindly comment on this post and explain a bit more about the tree structure. He did make many of the ornaments. And some he purchased. I especially like the white ones, which were once traditional shiny ornaments now spray painted white. They look so Jonathan Adler. The base of the tree is a vase from West Elm. I want to know more. Please tell us more Jon. I love it! [images from Happy Mundane] Hey, here's a peak at his home. Beautiful.

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remover of obstacles

poor sad buried Ganesh, circled

I keep a statue of the Hindu deity Ganesh in the kitchen, because I figure the kitchen is the first room you enter when you enter our apartment; and as such, the kitchen is a symbol for the whole apartment. Or perhaps I am just far too food-centric. But I thought that Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings, Patron of Arts and Sciences, deva of Intellect and Wisdom, might be most effective if I placed him in the kitchen.

So you can see my distress while eating breakfast this morning when I finally really noticed the giant wall of baking supplies blocking Ganesh. Yes the irony of the situation was not lost on me. And so I got to work removing the obstacles from the Remover of Obstacles. And as soon as I was done clearing a path, the sun came out. Thank you Ganesh.

Ganesh as he presides over my set of fruit-shaped coasters
I have lime, lemon, orange and pink grapefruit.

Ganesh, in situ

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no tv for 2 weeks

I made this TV stand from a wood cube, and added the wheels so we could unplug it and wheel it away. But lately we haven't unplugged it and wheeled it away. On Friday, I proposed the idea to my husband of unplugging the TV for two weeks to allow thoughts to creep back in to our lives. He heartily agreed. And so we did.

As New Year's is a time for detox, self-improvement and attempting to restore a sense of balance to one's life, I felt that these times called for 'cold turkey' measures. I think it will be a good experiment. I know I will wind up reading more, thinking more, writing more, and being more creative. I noticed that last night, my desire to turn on the TV was like an itch that needed to be scratched. There is absolutely nothing on TV on a Saturday night at 8:30. There never is. There was no purpose; it was just a mindless habit. Like opening the refrigerator door and peering in. What are you seeking? There is nothing new in there since the last time you looked.

Here's my thought: TV is like sugar. Both are highly addictive mood elevators that drop you even lower after you've consumed it. They are addictive empty calories that keep you consuming. A book, however, makes you feel fortified. Like mulitgrain toast with peanut butter. Like exercise. Sorry to sound preachy. I just want to unplug the TV and see what happens. I will let you know on January 18th. During my two weeks off, I think I will go back and reread David Foster Wallace's essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction.

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charlie rose interviews david foster wallace

I am not going to write a clever one-liner about David Foster Wallace here, or tell you that I greatly admired his collection of essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, or that we both went to the same college, or give any synopsis/opinion of this interview. I want you to watch it and take it all in. I will tell you my thoughts at the end of the month.

Click on the image above, or go to this link.




the brooklyn-france connection

I live in the Calais of Brooklyn. Aren't I fancy.

Conversely, the Calais-ites live in the Greenpoint of France.

Apparently, I am not the only one to see the similarity between the map of Brooklyn and the map of France! I have been telling people this for the past year. I was so pleased to see this sign [below] on the door of the Williamsburg culinary supply store, The Brooklyn Kitchen, when we bought our rolling pin, Christmas tree cookie cutters, and parchment paper. [see urge to bake]

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