Sunday, December 11, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Bill Cunningham New York Trailer from Gavin McWait on Vimeo.
"Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life, I don't think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization, that's what I think." —Bill Cunningham
I have never thought of myself as a particularly fashionable person, nor someone who cares very much for the fashion world; but every week I look forward to seeing Bill Cunningham's work for the New York Times in the form of "On the Street". These slideshows are particularly fascinating to me, as a New Yorker, because he manages to capture glimpses into the street fashion of New York, which ties into the weather, or particular events.
So I was very excited when I found out that someone had made a documentary about him. This inside look into his life surprised me. I was so inspired by his enthusiasm and dedication to his work. The clear passion he has for what he does, and his humility about what he has achieved is astounding. I related to his view on life when he says "He who seeks beauty will find it". Nothing could be more true. I think we should all hope to be so taken with our work. He is a truly remarkable person.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is my favorite book to date. I am currently reading it for the fourth time, and it is no quick read. However, that is one of the things I enjoy most about the book - that the reader follows the characters through many years of trial and tribulation, so much so that by the end I feel as though I know Scarlett, Rhett and everyone else who has survived the war.
However, this post is not about the book, but about the quote above, which I worked into a typographic piece. I felt a need to give it some extra attention because I have found it to be such a pertinent statement. Although Gone With the Wind was published in 1936, I still feel what Mitchell writes to be contemporary in many ways. I am especially fond of the word gumption, which many would think of as an old-fashioned word, but I think of as the perfect word to use when describing a quality I find essential in the people I surround myself with, and something I pride myself in possessing and striving toward.
Gumption can be defined as shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness; common sense; courage; spunk; guts. It might be easier to get along in this world without gumption, but it surely would not be nearly as exciting, productive or joyous. I don't think the first pilgrims would have gotten very far without it, and I doubt America would be its own country without a bit of it as well. Let's hear it for GUMPTION!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I was given this book on loan from a friend quite awhile ago, and I just got around to reading it. The Geography of Bliss; One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner was surprisingly funny and very entertaining. I think many of the observations he made about happiness were things that I sort of already knew, but, that being said, the fact that he observed happiness around the world made me think about how culture affects happiness. He notes that America has happiness written into it's founding documents, and yet, we do not rank all that high on the list of happy countries (I think we come in 23rd). Why is that? I would venture a guess that greed has a lot to do with it. Eric makes a point of saying that envy leads to unhappiness. I think Americans spend a lot of time being envious of people who have more than them, thus the resulting unhappiness. In the end, the author questions whether happiness is the ultimate state to achieve. I think happiness is achieved by devoting time to other emotions - love being one of them. And really, over-thinking your own happiness may just lead to unhappiness. Below are a few quotes that I thought were particularly outstanding:
"In 1984, a psychologist named Roger Ulrich studied patients recuperating from gallbladder surgery at a Pennsylvania hospital. Some patients were assigned to a room overlooking a small strand of deciduous trees. Others were assigned to rooms that overlooked a brick wall. Ulrich describes the results: 'Patients with the natural window view had shorter post-operative hospital stays, had fewer negative comments in nurses' notes . . . and tended to have lower scores for minor post-surgical complications . . .'
The implications of this obscure study are enormous. Proximity to nature doesn't just give us a warm, fuzzy feeling. It affects our physiology in real, measurable ways. It's not a giant leap to conclude that proximity to nature makes us happier."
"But what exactly is Gross National Happiness? What does it look like? The best explanation I heard came from a potbellied Bhutanese hotel owner . . . 'means knowing your limitations; knowing how much is enough.' Free-market economics has brought much good to the world, but it goes mute when the concept of "enough" is raised. As the renegade economist E.F. Schumacher put it: 'There are poor societies which have too little. But where is the rich society that says 'Halt! We have enough!' There is none."
"Adventure, in the good sense of the word, is a modern concept. For most of history, adventure was something inflicted upon you, not something you sought out and certainly not something you paid for. That old Chinese saying 'May you live in interesting times' was actually meant as a curse."
(This last quote I just love because to me adventure can contribute to happiness! Too bad it wasn't always that way . . . )
Sunday, September 25, 2011
RARE from Joel Sartore on Vimeo.
I discovered this amazing video through National Geographic. The video is basically a promotion for the book Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species, that Joel Sartore, a National Geographic photographer, has created. I can't wait to find the book in a bookstore soon! I think the video speaks volumes about the natural world. Looking into the eyes of these creatures, I don't see a bird or a bug, I see just another species, like one of us, trying to make its way in the world. Who are we, almighty man, to decide the fate of all other species we think "beneath" us in intelligence and capability? I recently came across a quote which I think can explain why so many species are becoming extinct at such an alarming rate:
When the last tree is cut,
When the last river is emptied,
When the last fish is caught,
Only then will Man realize that he can not eat money.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
I like this quote from John Muir:
"Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish."
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I just completed my 8 day cross-country road trip from Riverton, Wyoming to Easton, CT - and it was awesome! I saw a lot of the country and felt a better sense of just how big it is. From the mountains in Wyoming to the grasslands of South Dakota, the corn fields of Iowa and the rolling, tree-covered hills of Pennsylvania. Below are a few pictures I took.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I read an article called Look At Me, I'm Crying the other week in the New York Times. I thought the author perfectly described some of the more nuanced ways in which New Yorkers survive in this crazy city. I wanted to share some of her words because I believe they are completely true. Above is a picture I took recently from the N train while crossing the Manhattan Bridge.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
THE LONGING OF GREAT HEARTS
AND NOBLE THINGS THAT TOWER ABOVE THE TIDE
THE MAGIC WORD THAT WINGED WONDER STARTS
THE GARNERED WISDOM THAT HAS NEVER DIED