Thursday, January 29, 2009

Separated at Birth, or: It's Not Easy Being Bale

There are a few websites I like to visit while on my lunch break at work. One of them is The Year in Pictures, gallery owner James Danziger's wonderful blog about all things photographic. Subjects have ranged from politics to fine art to fashion to what Alex Trebek would call "Potpourri".

Today's post would fall into that latter category. It seems that someone going by the screen name of Ferd spent some time putting together a hilarious post on a site called Live Journal. The subject of Ferd's post is a collection of photos of Kermit the Frog and the actor Christian Bale showing them in incredibly similar poses. Ferd, who admitted to having too much time on his/her hands, managed to find more than fifty side-by-side comparisons, and they are really funny!

image courtesy Ferd via The Year in Pictures

image courtesy Ferd via The Year in Pictures

image courtesy Ferd via The Year in Pictures

Heeere's Orla!

Well, the wait is over... Orla Kiely has arrived at Target!

It seems that Target does a soft release of their designer collaborations a few days before the official release. I had my choice of the Thakoon for Target line when I happened to be in the store a few days before the advertised date, and hoped for the same with Orla. And my wish was granted today when I saw a small display at the end of one aisle in Housewares.

They didn't yet have the full line, only the laundry bag, closet organizers, and a variety of storage boxes. The employee I asked said they had just put them out today so I figure I'll check again tomorrow (my local Target is conveniently located on my way home from work).

I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the products. I was assuming they'd be either covered in printed paper or otherwise cheaply finished, but the storage bins seemed pretty sturdy and were fabric covered, with all the edges neatly seamed. I have high hopes for the rest of the Orla Kiely for Target line!

image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Monday, January 26, 2009

Takeaway Shows, or Concerts A Emporter

Through listening to the podcasts of NPR shows such as All Songs Considered and Sound Opinions and by visiting many of the fabulous blogs on the web (possibly–no, probably–yours!) I have expanded my musical tastes and discovered many wonderful musicians who don't necessarily show up on MTV or VH1 (or whichever of the "music channels" actually still shows music videos).

So I was happy when I read this weekend about a filmmaker named Vincent Moon who has been working with a variety of musicians (Andrew Bird, Fleet Foxes, The Shins, to name a few) over the past few years to produce "Concerts A Emporter", or "Take Away Shows". There was a small column about Moon in either British Elle or British Vogue (CORRECTION: it was in the Feb./March issue of Readymade,of all places!). It seems that Moon films musicians and groups doing impromptu performances in public spaces and private homes around the world. I spent some time this evening viewing a few of these videos and will have to come back for more. It seems there are many sites where you can view Moon's work, but one, La Blogotheque, features videos by other film makers as well.

video still of The Shins courtesy of Vincent Moon and La Blogotheque

video still of Fleet Foxes courtesy of Vincent Moon and La Blogotheque

video still of Bon Iver courtesy of Vincent Moon and Temporary Areas

World's smallest snowman...

...spotted in Central Park:

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Year of the Ox to you all!

(Photos of Chinese Dragon performance outside Shanghai Tang on Madison Avenue in NYC)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The dawn of a new day.

I don't plan to talk politics on this blog. However, Tuesday was a very important day for America. Whatever one's political leanings, all must agree that Barack Obama's inauguration as President of the United States is an important event, both nationally and globally. After eight years under one president and his cabinet we are in need of a change. We can all hope that President Obama (how exciting to write that!) and his cabinet will be able to work with Congress to bring about the changes needed to lift this country out of the situations it is currently dealing with, and with the leaders of other nations to improve conditions around the world.

As frequently happens during my work week, yesterday afternoon I had to head to midtown from my office on Madison and made a detour through Rockefeller Plaza. What a pleasant surprise to see that NBC had set up two large screens which were broadcasting their coverage of the inaugural events. I assume there had been a bit of a crowd watching the swearing-in ceremony, but by the time I was in the Plaza there were only a few people stopping to watch the start of parade coverage. No one can blame them; it was bitterly cold out! Even so, it did give me a sense of pride to see the Plaza decked out with dozens of American flags grandly waving in the wind.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Show me the funny.

Okay, two posts in one night, both about funny stuff...

I found this video as one finds a lot of stuff on the internet; you click on a link and then find another link on that next page and click on it, and soon you can't remember where you started or what you were originally looking for. But it's a great way to find some really great things. This seems to be a video a guy made of a discussion about the original Star Wars films that he had with a female friend who had only ever seen little bits of any of the movies. She gives her synopsis of the trilogy, which he produced an animation to go with. I'm not the Star Wars equivalent of a Trekkie, but I don't think you need to be to find this funny. See what you think!

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

A very funny man.

You may know John Hodgman from his appearances on The Daily Show, or from his work as the PC in the Mac commercials, but he is also a very funny writer, blogger and, now, a NY Times guest blogger. This week he's been answering questions from commenters in the City Room blog on the Times' website. It is definitely worth a read. Hodgman has a dry and weird sense of humor; exactly the type that I like.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More from Anthropologie

One night this week after work I headed (yet again) over to Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center. I was looking for some bargains in their post-holiday sale. They did have a great variety of goodies, but I only allowed myself to get a nice little Hayden-Harnett frame clasp coin purse to go in my brand-new HH Tamasin bag, bought in the company's pre-Christmas Secret Santa sale. I love them both; it's so nice to start the new year with a new bag! I know, I'm such a girl ;)

On my way out of the store I noticed a great exhibition on the first floor. I believe the store used to be a theater, so the interior layout is really unique, with a grand marble staircase heading from the first floor to the lower level. Anyway, directly across from the main entrance there's a room devoted to rotating exhibitions by various artists.

Currently there's an exhibition called "Swarm"; a little Googling helped me discover that it's the work of Leslie Oschmann, a former Visual Director for Anthropologie's stores who now lives in Amsterdam. Her company, Swarm, creates furniture and decorative objects using reclaimed furniture and paintings. The Anthro exhibition features a bank of various chairs that have been "upholstered" (my term) with vintage amateur paintings, needlepoints, and tapestries. There is also a table-and-chair set decorated in the same manner. What a clever idea that you could try for yourself, if you aren't able to get hold of one of Leslie's works (and if you're craftily inclined)!

I've posted several shots I took of the exhibition; please scroll down to see them all, including details of a few individual chairs. You can also enlarge any photo by clicking on it. Apologies again for the quality of the photos; my little Cybershot has a difficult time in low-light situations.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A walk in Brooklyn

One nice thing about my job is that I sometimes have to leave the office to run a work-related errand. This has taken me to all parts of Manhattan as well as a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Some I was familiar with already, but I'm ashamed to say that even though I'm a lifelong metro NY resident there are a few neighborhoods that were new to me. I carry my little point-and-shoot digital camera everywhere with me for just such occasions, as I never know what I'm going to encounter.

Yesterday I headed into the Brooklyn Heights section of the borough. On my way back to the Borough Hall subway station I discovered some interesting buildings on Joralemon Street. They had a sense of history and the details were pretty terrific. A sampling follows. Apologies for the quality of the photos; it was a very gray day so I used a high-speed setting that results in grainy pictures.

I loved the entry to this townhouse, especially the lamps, which were genuine gas lamps! If you click to enlarge you can see the flame in the lamp.

This building was interesting in a looming, sort of ominous way. The exterior was covered in tiles with gargoyle-type figures in certain spots. I especially loved the ironwork details on the front doors. They seemed very Arts & Crafts movement to me.

Lastly, this medical building had a whole variety of incredible decorative details:

Friday, January 2, 2009

Anthro windows

This October the windows at Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center had some terrific decorations made from what looked to be catalog and magazine pages.

They reminded me a bit of Zakka Life's wonderful Flower Garland, made with strips of catalogs:

(Photo courtesy Zakka Life)

You should check out Zakka Life's tutorial to make these flowers. It's such a great project:

I need to make a bunch (a bouquet?) of them to brighten up my apartment this winter!

Happy New Year (one day late)!

The calendar has turned... I wish you all peace and happiness in 2009.