Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Color

I read an article in National Geographic during the fall of 2001 called 'The Color'. I've been trying to find it online for the past 2 days, like an absolute crazy person, and I guess I've come to the conclusion that it just isn't there. Upsetting, to say the least. (I can even remember the first three sentences of that article. Come on, Google! Help a girl out.)

But the point is this. 'The Color' is peaking right now all over New England. I sat awake on a northbound bus last weekend at dusk, mesmerized by the sharp reds, the deep oranges, the shifting yellows. And it isn't just the leaves that peak, that's the thing! There is something in the air causing the shift, if only I had the article to explain the science to you all. The light that passes through the clouds each October is at such a perfect pitch that it saturates the color of everything you see. The bricks! The trees! That water! Your silly preppy socks!

I drank in that Color this weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts while visiting a dear friend at Harvard. We scurried from brunch to the big rowing race to The Purple Shamrock with lots of hot coffee and intermittent giggling.

Pay attention right now, New Yorkers. Get out of town or get thee to Central Park. The Color will eventually fade into soft December and you don't want to miss it.

Head of the Charles

I didn't snab a Winklevoss (as hoped), but I did pledge a finals club, launced a online social networking site, befriended the Napster guy, moved to Palo Alto, testifyed in depositions for two different lawsuits, and gained over a million friends in the process. Busy weekend. Fun school.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Don't you love the Brunetti New Yorker Covers? I do. A friend sent me a text about this one earlier this morning, which I love, love, love. Although come to think of it, he might have be referring to last week's cover featuring the work of Antony Gormley. That would make more sense. (WAIT! On second glance, those might just be two people on a rooftop, looking over the city. I originally thought they were those Gormley statues on Mad Sq. Park. So confused! The two-people-on-a-rooftop-idea is nice as well. It reminds me of a recent trip to a contraband rooftop in Chelsea where I couldn't find the exit in a delightful champagne induced haze.)

At any rate, it's Halloween Week, something that always sneaks up on me in a panic. This cover chilled me out a bit, with its subtle little reference to It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Did you catch it, there, on the lower right? My sisters and I used to watch The Great Pumpkin while carving Jack O Lanterns at home. My dad would have to scoop out the guts for me-- I always hated that part-- then my mom would stick stubby tapers in their heads, glowing proudly in our front window.

Happy Halloween, New York. As of last night at 11pm I'm back in the city for a while after multiple weekends away, plus one very unfortunate week stuck in bed with a mouth full of stitches, sucking on ice, watching every Jimmy Stewart film that I could instantly stream. There is much to see this fall, and I hope to share more with you soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Victory 44

As mentioned, I traveled to the land of Fitzgerald (and Freedom, and A Serious Man and all of my collegiate memories) last weekend. I was honored to be included in a conference about art, welcomed by shockingly orange maples and the heavenly scent of chocolate Malt-O-Meal hanging thick in the air. Oh, sometimes I miss Northfield more than I care to admit.

It was a big weekend indeed, topped by a last minute dinner with The Great Mach1. We drove Saturday night from Northfield to Minneapolis in search of a new restaurant and long overdue banter. We found both at Victory 44 in North Minneapolis, where we quickly settled into cafe seating and generous laughter, playing the parts of the old friends that we are not.

Victory 44 specializes in small plates which happens to be my favorite way to dine. I like the idea of a group of people tasting food together and in small quantities. It's less overwhelming and more fun and just talking about it makes me miss Barcelona, though I've never actually been. Anyone up for a quick trip to Catalonia? I'm DYING to go. Anyway. We ate apple toothpicks and pork belly and salted peanut butter cookies the size of quarters. We split a serious bottle of Côtes du Rhône (no funny wines for us), although (you don't know this, Will) my throat was too sore to taste it. Seriously-- felt like someone had scraped out my pharynx with a spoon.

We talked about life and relationships and art. About food and families, and Rome and about our own worst qualities. I delighted in the strong cheese pairings while Will secured a gorgeous dessert platter. I won a bet over the flavoring of a salad dressing (I said mustard seed, he said cumin) and I don't think they charged me for my last glass of wine.

Was it perfect? No. The lighting could have been a bit dimmer, the art less cliche, and the noise more subdued. I wished my throat didn't hurt like it did and I wished there was a dark little wine bar nearby where we could have finished off the night with something bitter. And midway through a sentence about, I don't know, Why Amsterdam Isn't All That, William witnessed a street fight from his view out the front window. I turned to see four people throwing punches, I kid you not!

We did shut the place down, though. We left inspired and satisfied and eager for more meals spent exactly in this spirit. Next stop for small plates, Mach1? SPAIN. (Or at the very least, Brooklyn.)

PHOTO: Not from Victory 44, as I left my camera in the car. But I did take this one, at Char No. 4 in Brooklyn, which has a similar name. So there ya go.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kirsha Kaechele-- Solving the Problem of the Non-Profit

Photo: NYT

Artist/entrepreneur/smartypants Kirsha Kaechele, once again blew my mind this morning in THIS New York Times article.

The last time we visited Kaechele, I praised her understanding of the Non-Profit, but yielded at the financial stability of her endeavors. To be honest, I often worry about KKProjects (I do! I actively worry!) and wonder what has become of it in the past two years. I was truly dumbfounded by her brilliance have yet to discover a non-profit so very in tune with its purpose, its audience, and its patrons. Her clarity is so very rare. To quote myself,

"Kaechele is driven by art as a pure concept. This isn't a new idea or motivation, most non profits can stake the claim. But the difference between Kaechele and the rest of the art world is that she succeeds. Not in a measureable way, as my bet is that KKProjects is on the brink of absolute sinking financial failure. She instead succeeds in the preservation of idea. She's also slightly crazy. Which helps."

Turns out, Kaechele, true to form, solved her own problem. Or, at least, is on the brink of solving it. Here, READ.

The whole game of finding support just started to seem so childish,” she told the Times. (And it is! Trust me!) The goal for next year’s crop is to generate $1 million after expenses to be used for art projects on the farm and to send back to support KK and other projects in New Orleans, which they hope will ultimately be financed entirely by the farm.

And if it fails? No doubt Kirsha and her Merrymen will be right back with another idea to turn the Art World on its head, dissect it into bits and put back the pieces more beautifully. She is, after all, the girl who hired her vandals as artists.

Oh, and guess who aided in forming this idea? Thats right, last week's featured artist Fred Tomaselli. Just another reason to get thee to the Brooklyn Museum, aiy?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The North Fork

"In two weeks it'll be the longest day in the year... Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

They say it's the land of Gatsby. "West Egg" and "East Egg" were fictionalized versions of the real North Shore villages of Kings Point and Sands Point. My mom and I recently took a day trip to the area and she had to all but drag me back to the city kicking and screaming. That water was so very blue!

However, I am more than happy to kiss summer goodbye. I'm ready for mittens and evergreen, and for my life to slow down thankyouverymuch. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this upcoming fall weekend in, well, The Great Gatsby's college town. I mean it! Gatsby and I attended the same college, I swear to you. Um Ya Ya.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Great House

Guess what hits bookshelves today? Nicole Krauss's new novel, Great House. FINALLY. And after reading 3 of Franzen's works in the past month, an invigorating next step:

From The Huffington Post,
"Among contemporary novelists, Krauss does not share, for instance, Jonathan Franzen's preoccupation with an accretion of detail in the service of social commentary; if anything, she is the antithesis of Franzen. In surges of mesmerizing sentences that are so complicated, clever, artful, and logically challenging that they read almost like aphorisms, Krauss aims to explicate, not the underlying implications of her characters' behavior, but the very cycles of history."

Although, I have to question the Byrne's claim of Krauss creating 'complicated, clever, artful, and logically challenging' sentences, as I believe I called Krauss's excerpt The Young Painters in The New Yorker 'easy, smart, and raw. Writing that rises to greet you and doesn't apologize for its simple state.' Huh. Guess I'll have to rethink her style as I read the full novel? Makes me want to go straight home to my flannel sheets and put on my glasses.

Happy reading, October.