Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Photo of the Year

There are no top ten photos of 2012 because in 2012 there was only one photo that meant anything to me.

Wearing a Martha Stewart crafting sponge covered in spray glued feathers and attached to my head with packing tape I made it to the center spot of the of the Bill Cunningham style column.  

Bill Cunningham cannot be bought when you make his column it is because you have style.  What an unforgettable moment.  Thank you Bill Cunningham for the photo of the year!

Other 2012 Highlights (in no particular order)

Met famed Playwright AR Gurney
My picture taken with Tyne Daly
Heard Martin Scorsese talk film-making
Singing and dancing orphans - Newsies and Annie
Presidents box at Carnegie Hall
Met Documentary giant Ken Burns
Chicken dance
Best birthday party EVER!
Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones at the Bard Graduate Center 
New York Burlesque Festival
Restaurant club

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'll Tell You What I Believe

The picture of my dream apartment (former artist studio, UWS, big windows, high ceilings, so expensive they won't tell you how much it is in the ad) wasn't the only thing that caught my eye in the NY Post yesterday.  David Koch, in an opinion said, "Each of us has a right - indeed, a responsibility, at times - to make his or her views known to the larger community in order to better form it as a whole."  My views are rarely in line with David Koch, but on this, I have to agree.  I also want to take it one step further.  We need to make our beliefs known AND we need to respect different beliefs.  Politics, art, values, everyday decision making - I have been afraid to share my views and experiences because I live in a world where I have seen beliefs used against people.

Everyone can see the divides among us are getting wider.  Rich, poor; Republican, Democrat;  Liberal, conservative; Young, old, Love 50 Shades of Grey, Hate 50 Shades of Grey we are all picking sides and not cutting anyone any slack.  Assumptions and retaliations are born from a tweet before anyone bothers to find out why a belief is held.  That lack of curiosity about our fellow Americans scares me more then any economic crises or war.  We can and have survived depression, attack and unbelievable devastation - we survived it because we came together.  As the election hits it final stretch I want to hear what everyone believes and understand why they believe what they do.  I will agree with some of it and I will disagree with some of it, but my goal is to accept people's beliefs so I can work to change what I feel needs changed.

I have something to loose if someone judges me because of my beliefs, but I have more to loose if we, as a country, continue to treat each other this way.

So, with David's call to action I sat down today and started making a list of things I believe and I am posting it here, for the world to read.  This list will change; because I will change and this is by no means exhaustive, it is just a share.  A view of how I buy, vote and feel - this is what I believe, in no particular order of importance, and if you don't agree with something I am happy to discuss it.

I believe flossing really does make a difference in the health of my teeth
I believe the only problem with getting plastic surgery is getting bad plastic surgery
I believe wine at lunch is acceptable
I believe our Founding Fathers were brilliant and douchebags
I believe the political system is corrupt and “the people” let it stay that way
I believe racism, sexism, and classism will always exist
I believe I should vote, even if my vote doesn't actually decide anything
I believe there should be gym, art and music in every school
I believe fake food is addictive
I believe religion helps some people and does nothing for others
I believe I should wash my hands the minute I get out of the subway
I believe exercise does make me feel better
I believe reading garbage is better then reading nothing
I believe there is excellent TV to be watched
I believe bed bugs are in movie theaters
I believe serial cop shows are entertainment
I believe there is a is difference between leadership and management
I believe Martha Stewart went to jail because she is a woman
I believe kids today are smarter and lazier then ever before
I believe custom picture framing costs way too much and dry cleaning is a racket
I believe hats are the boldest accessory
I believe hipsters are stylistically backward
I believe milk should be ice cold
I believe in progress not perfection
I believe technology makes the world better and worse
I believe there are people who “work” every system
I believe Miss Piggy is the greatest Muppet
I believe tofu has a taste
I believe I will live to see 100
I believe my parents did the best they could
I believe I look better as I get older
I believe talent is sexy
I believe taking care of myself is exhausting and expensive
I believe job tenure for anyone is ridiculous
I believe the internet should be free for everyone
I believe people who are afraid of computers are fucked
I believe depression is powerful
I believe monogamy for a lifetime is a lot to ask
I believe diets don’t work
I believe buying a baguette makes me feel French
I believe lipstick and mascara is all the make-up you really need
I believe high heels makes my legs look better
I believe a correct fitting bra will solve all fashion problems
I believe writing things down helps me remember them
I believe loneliness is dangerous
I believe friends are as important as family
I believe green tea has antioxidants
I believe at the end of the day I will figure it out
I believe not everyone in charge deserves to be there
I believe learning how to play politics is important
I believe the best man does not always win
I believe heroes do exist
I believe a yard for your kids is not worth a long commute
I believe everyone should speak more then one language
I believe democracy is flawed but there isn’t a better option
I believe there are people who just want to help
I believe creativity is always worth investing in
I believe gun control won’t do much to stop violence
I believe tracking what I eat and what I buy helps me cut down on my eating and spending
I believe people walk too slow
I believe smoking is gross
I believe a free press, like a free life, is always in danger
I believe computer generated actors are creepy
I believe pensions are a thing of the past
I believe movies in b&w should be watched
I believe coffee and toast is the best breakfast
I believe anything my mom makes tastes good
I believe a black dress is the greatest style choice
I believe facials are worth the money but manicures are a waste of money
I believe burning any flag is free speech and also a dumb thing to do
I believe good lighting is worth the investment
I believe Hitchcock should have won the Oscar for Best Director
I believe money does not solve all problems, but its takes away quite a few
I believe people are intimidated by intelligence
I believe TV shows should have a theme song and movies should always end with “The End”
I believe museums should be free for anyone under 21
I believe many non-fiction books should have stopped at article length
I believe contemporary art has gotten too abstract
I believe good PR and marketing can make you believe anything
I believe equality is worth working for – even if almost impossible to achieve
I believe good seasoning can make any meal great
I believe I am judged by my size
I believe a woman will be President
I believe steam-less wine glasses are wrong
I believe the morning is the best time of day
I believe marriage should be for everyone
I believe investing in healthcare for everyone will save money and lives
I believe my taxes go for some good, some bad and some ridiculous
I believe communication is key to all problem solving
I believe telling a joke is a skill
I believe every interest of a child should be cultivated even if it goes nowhere
I believe college is worth the debt
I believe things will get better
I believe texting does count as communication, but you still need to pick up the phone once in a while
I believe education is the answer for everything
I believe a bit of skepticism is a good thing
I believe there will always be something to fight against
I believe…

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Memorial Day Memory

My Memorial Day memory takes me to France. There on the beaches of Normandy I stood, a tourist, not a soldier. On the way, I was flirting with the young French guide driving me, carelessly playing with body language and eye contact. Never once did I think that where I was headed was anything more then a scratch off my history major bucket list. This was over ten years ago – but the day is still clear in my brain. By the time I left those beaches I felt thankful. Thankful to the men who never left that beach and gave me the gift of a life filled with carefree flirtation.

When I opened the door of the van it hit me immediately. The place felt alive, even though it is filled with death. It was quiet. It was pretty. The wind was blowing and it was overcast, but the crosses of the American cemetery and memorial where glowing bright, clouds could not stop the sun from reflecting life off each pristine marker.

To walk the beaches of Normandy – see the garbage of war still littered – is to understand why Memorial Day is not a day off from work; it is a day to reflect. I am not a soldier. I am not a flag-waiving patriot. I don’t get the military and I don’t feel connect to any war, peacekeeping mission or conflict I have read about or seen on the news. But I am a grateful American who walked in the path that killed many and in so doing I was forever branded with gratefulness for their sacrifice.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What is the best gift you ever received?

I think I was 5, maybe 6 when I came down Christmas morning to find a house. A giant, white doll-house with more floors, rooms and furniture then the real house I lived in. This house was for play; the dream house where every young girl, who believed she was a secret princess waiting to be found, wished she lived. It had double French doors leading to a balcony, a claw-foot bathtub, a canopy bed and fireplace. There was a formal dining room and I think I remember a grandfather clock. I don’t remember the kitchen, even at 6 I had no interest in cooking, but I remember the little roll-top desk with drawers that worked. 

There are many details about that house still in my memory, but the one detail that made this ultimate toy better than any other was the pink trim around the windows. I new that specific shade of pink and I recognized each mini piece of wood perfectly glued to the exterior. The memory of recognizing that pink is strong because I had helped paint it. One random day, I came in from playing and found my Dad sitting at our kitchen table painting little pieces of wood pink. He had an extra brush and I joined him at his task. Out of context the pink pieces, even this moment with Dad meant nothing to me. In context, that Christmas morning, I instantly new my Dad had made the house. In my euphoria of presents I doubt I verbalized that I had made the connection, but in that mila second of recognition I created a memory strain still cherished as my private family heirloom. 

I played with the house; it was not created to sit on a shelf for people to appreciate the craftsmanship. I know I broke it, colored the base green (it needed landscaping) and had many a prince dive off the balcony (or did my dolls push them?). I have no idea what happened to it; but I never cared. The best gift that I ever received was not the house; it was the knowledge that my Dad made something for me - he loved me that much.