Friday, February 13, 2009
I'll be the first to admit it, I absolutely love Valentine's Day. Romance and relationships aside--to me those are the least exciting parts about it -- I love the decorating, the candy, and to me what is the general cuteness (there, I said it!) associated with the holiday.
I think deep down inside, everyone wants to like the day, despite sometimes concerted and overt efforts to appear apathetic or resentful towards greeting-card companies. Think about it: Valentine's Day is a holiday for everyone -- it transcends race, religion, nationality; to borrow a phrase from 16 Candles, it's "almost impossible to cut up" (props to those who recognize that).
Does anyone get offended by Valentine's Day? Did the name evolve from "St. Valentine's Day" to the more common and simpler version because someone objected? Who knows. To me it is in the truest sense of the word, a "holiday" -- a day that people set aside as special, just because WE CAN. We like chocolate, flowers, and heart-shaped graphics, so just let us plaster them everywhere for a few weeks, damnit! This may just be something I've contrived in my appreciation for the day, but I even think "February 14" as a written date looks pretty.
Anyway, I'm going to post a number of V-day likes in honor of the day that everyone loves to hate. Hope you heart them.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I recommend that you check out the current photography exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, "Robert Frank's The Americans". On display are walls of black and white photographs by Frank, taken in the 1950's, that exhibit that iconic images of classic American life. Yes, readers of old LIFE magazines and admirers of Norman Rockwell , there are jukeboxes, old cars, and American flags galore. Just as Buddy Holly influenced the eye-wear of many-a-hipster in this day and age, I think Frank must have indirectly influenced the images they take with the cameras they all seem to carry around.
The exhibit has been open for a little over two weeks, and I found it packed with visitors last Saturday. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publishing of The Americans, Frank's expose of what were at the time considered controversial images. The subjects of the photos are casual, picturing routines of everyday existence -- but composed with utmost elegance that capture a sincerity that I hope remains in American life to this day.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
OK, I'm divulging a little secret: I'd originally intended for the content of my entries to be Washington, DC-area specific, but here's yet another splurge on something beyond the beltway:
Does the word "like" give this chair too much credit? I can't help but think that it reminds me of some long-since abandoned piece I would have seen relegated to one of the side aisles in the main studio space of CUA's School of Architecture and Planning. As forward thinkers, we dabbled in simultaneous building design and clothing reuse, you know.
I also think that the color-melt in the center of the chair reminds me of the time I tried to melt Starbursts over a shot glass to form a colorful candy shell ice cream cup....but that's another story.
Tom Price's laundry hamper of a chair is part of his Meltdown series that was featured at the 2008 London Design Festival and also in this month's issue of Dwell. Check out the PP Tube and PP Hose chairs. I actually think those are closer to CUA-produced material, and also to anything I'd allow near my ass...
Sunday, January 25, 2009
If you live anywhere in the northeastern part of Washington, DC and are a metro-rider, you probably know that getting to places like Bethesda or College Park by the metro red-line requires patience. You're either dipping into downtown and waiting it out until the red-line heads northwest or changing onto a different line altogether to get to places that are relatively close to where you left from in the first place. The proposed purple line would be a 16-mile transit link between the northwestern portions of the Metro's red line, the northeastern red line, and eastern portions of the green and orange lines, with key stops at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton.
Depsite the color-oreinted name, the current proposed Purple Line would not be a part of the underground metro-rail system managed by WMATA, but rather an above-ground light-rail managed by the MTA (Maryland Transit Authority). The system still has yet to be approved, and it would be some time before the start of construction...I'm particularly excited about the idea of a light-rail system-- it'll be a greener and probably quicker alternative to driving in the area : )
Saturday, January 17, 2009
It's now possible to make that rug outside your front-door nicer than the one just inside. What outside rug, you ask? The National Geographic Store sells Recycled Plastic Outdoor Rugs woven in traditional Turkish Design. Made from items including plastic soda bottles, milk bottles, and bubble rap, they are a reversible, sustainable version of the classic oriental rug. At 5'x8' these rugs could easily fit into a living room, but would surely live up to their mildew-proof and water-shedding abilities better on your porch.
My favorite thing about this rug is the "thing-where-it's-not-supposed-to-be" element - the oriental rug outdoors. If this rug were only offered in solid colors or stripes, it wouldn't be featured here. Designs come in your choice of blue or rust.