Friday, May 28, 2010

Sophie's Choice

Re-watched Sophie's Choice last night with two friends that had never seen it (and had never heard how it ends!) and I was a tad jealous that I couldn't see it again for the 'first' time. Meryl Streep as Sophie positively breaks my heart and, in my opinion, has never looked more beautiful.

I absolutely adore the costumes, set design and entire feel of the sweltering, 1940s Brooklyn summer. Can I move into the Pink Palace, dress up in my Sunday best, pin curl my hair, take midday naps in a hammock, lazily lounge on the roof, have picnics in Prospect Park and romp through Coney Island (maybe minus the whole concentration camp, insane boyfriend thing...)? Please?


I don't mean to brag, but for a non-resident (shhh, don't spread that around when I'm in town) of NYC, I'm pretty damn good at navigating the subway. This is a skill I've honed over many solo trips, when I didn't have enough money to eat or do most things that cost actual money, so instead I spent my time wandering the city.

I found this article today in the NYTimes, about the official MTA subway map. It has recently gone through a redesign, in an effort to clear away some of the clutter that has been accumulating since its last overhaul in 1998, and the article is really interesting (to me at least, NYC obsessive and designer that I am...) with a great infographic.

(from top 1968, 1972, 1998 and 2010)

From what I can tell, they've done a pretty good job at simplifying and clarifying the massive amount of information, but they still haven't come close to being half as cool (and non-descriptive) as Massimo Vignelli's 1972 classic. But then again, I don't really need help finding my way anymore so of course I prefer the best looking solution with the least helpful layout.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Omg Whales, p.2

My continuing love affair with all things whale...

This weathervane has been atop the Whaling Museum in Nantuket, MA for years, but you can buy a photo print of it here. And if anyone wants to steal the actual one for me, that's ok too (I didn't say that).

How adorable is this narwhale handmade floursack towel?

If (or when) I have a kid, he/she will immediately be wearing this.

As much as it pains me to see a book destroyed, I absolutely love the idea of printing over vintage book pages, especially when what you're printing is a whale that is as stately and awesome as this one.

I just recently discovered the amazing Berkely Illustration, and their Orca is definitely one of the fanciest around.

Enormous Champion has some delish things in their shop, but I whaley love this card, and this print.


I'm not usually a fan of wallpaper, but Deborah Bowness and her photographic, object papers make me completely change my mind... How wonderful would a wall of "books" or "filing cabinets" or vintage "chairs" be? Amazing.

His & Hers

How adorable is this his and hers pillow set from Freshly Picked? These are great, but I can also see myself making custom ones with our specific hair/beard styles... Don't know how comfortable they would be to lay on, but they sure do take a great photo...

Who knew these existed?

I had no idea that Converse made a rainboot, but combine my seemingly never-ending quest for a waterproof boot and my daily love of Converse, and you have my dream footwear... Now I just need to find a pair that's actually in my size...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


A meerkat with aviators? An otter with a bowler? A turtle with a fez? Yes. Yes. Yes. More amazing work from Berkley Illustration here.

Manhole Rug

I must have excellent taste... The New York and Metro manhole cover rugs are sold out, but you can still get some of the others here.

Book v. Movie

I have been a voracious reader since I first learned how to read (which is probably how I know the word 'voracious'); while other kids were playing soccer or getting into trouble, I had my nose buried deep within a book.

I am also a voracious (I'm loving that word) re-reader, in that I read my favorite books over and over again. If the book is good, this practice is never boring, in fact, quite the opposite. I discover something new every time I re-read a page, and I venture to say that you can't truly understand or love a book until you've completed it several times.

Anyway, my point is, I love to read. I also love movies, so it would only make sense that I would read books that were at some point, made into movies. Sometimes I read the books in anticipation of the movie and sometimes I run directly from the theater to buy the companion book.

Either way, I've found that in almost all cases, the book is superior to the movie. I think this is true because so much more can be explained and shown with the written word. A two-hour movie cannot hope to compete with a 1,000 page novel, but in my opinion, some books have come very close to having a successful screen adaptation. These are my picks, in no particular order (and yes, some are Streep movies, and yes, I am biased)...

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier is one of the first novels I was required to read in high school. I usually resist being told which books to read, but I was very thankful for the assignment — otherwise I may never have picked up this wonderful classic. Speaking of re-reading, I've re-read this one twice and I'm definitely due for another go through. The Alfred Hitchcock screen adaptation is also wonderful, especially if you don't know the plot (Hitchcock was the master of suspense, no?).

Little Children, by Tom Perrotta, is a novel I read after seeing, and falling in love with, the movie (starring Kate Winslet's breasts, and Patrick Wilson). I also believe it to be the most faithfully adapted novel on my list; the movie follows the book almost word for word, which is certainly not a bad thing.

The Hours, by Michael Cunningham, is one of my all-time favorite books, and consequently, movies. The book is, in most respects, not a great candidate for adaptation. But Cunningham, along with David Hare (playwright of Plenty, another of my very favorite Streep movies) managed to create one of the most beautifully written, acted and all-around conceived, movies I've ever seen.

The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean, is one of the most cleverly adapted (into the aptly named, Adaptation) books I've ever read. The story goes that Charlie Kaufman conceived the plot of Adaptation, a writer struggling to adapt the Orchid Thief, while struggling to adapt the Orchid Thief. What results is a crazy, insanely clever and mind-bending movie that only gets better every time you watch it. The same can be said for the book too; Orlean's beautiful musings on life have topped the list of my favorite quotations since I read the first page.

I am actually currently re-reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt, and I have fallen in love with Savannah and its cooky cast of characters all over again. The movie, starring Kevin Spacey as Jim Williams (he is insanely great in this movie) and John Cusack, does a wonderful job of showcasing Savannah as one of its main characters, and I've already begun planning my return trip down South.

I saw the Diving Bell and the Butterfly before I read the memoir on which it was based. The movie does a beautiful job of adapting the short memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a man with 'locked-in' syndrome; basically, he is completely paralyzed, save for one eyelid, but his mind remains clear. Clear enough, in fact, to 'blink' out his amazingly touching and insightful memoir one letter at a time to a patient nurse.

Sophie's Choice, by William Styron, is not only Meryl Streep's most moving performance, but also one of the best novels I've ever read. The length was a bit intimidating to me at first, but I became so engrossed in the wonderfully written story that I was soon very, very sad that it was over. Also, as a bonus, I imagined Meryl Streep as Sophie throughout the book, so I felt as if I had just discovered an uber-extended, uncut edition of the film in my very own head.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Andrea Kalfas

Loving the whimsy and style of illustrator Andrea Kalfas...

(just loooook at that weiner dog. he's breaking my heart!)

Sometimes, this is what I do for a living...

and no, I didn't come up with this saying (but I did handwrite it, as per a client's request).

Ron Mueck

A co-worker of mine recently reminded me of the amazing, hyper-realistic sculptures by Australian artist Ron Mueck. I saw his exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum a few years ago, and I remember being absolutely blown away (and a little creeped out, in a good way!) by the extreme detail and overall impression of his work.

The scale of his sculptures — over, or under but never life-sized — really messed with my head, and I remember being bummed that I was seeing the exhibition alone; I wanted so badly to discuss and share the craziness I was seeing. This is one instance where photographs absolutely do not do the work justice, and if you can, I highly recommend seeing it in person.

Vintage Streep

How adorable is Meryl Streep at the 1982 Academy Awards, where she was nominated for the French Lieutenant's Woman?

(watch the video at Simply Streep)

Friday, May 21, 2010


Very excited for this weekend, as the man and I are going to my uncle's house to watch Amelie (one of our very favorite flicks; the uncle, however, has never seen it). Rain or not, it's Friday and I couldn't be happier... Have a great weekend everyone!

Side note: I bought prints of the Michael Sowa paintings that Amelie has above her bed. We love them but, I'm sad to report, they have not come to life (yet).