Oh Schmap!

6 07 2009

I recently discovered that two photos I posted on Flickr were selected to represent Woodlawn Cemetery and the New York Botanic Garden on Schmap, this new, nifty interactive map guide. This was exciting because: a) someone likes my pictures! and b) I discovered Schmap, this cool new digital travel guide, where users can publish schmaps (with photos, reviews and trip itineraries)  and access maps and guides from anywhere. Yet another reason I need to invest in a smarter phone than the jenky one I currently have.





Eminent Domain

6 08 2008

This weekend, exhausted after a fun night out, I decided to take myself for a walk. I wandered aimlessly for some 30 blocks and happened upon the New York Public Library. This is not unsual. I’ve passed the library many times before. I’ve even pondered entering many times before. But what is unusual is that I, who love libraries (and New York, and history), have never set foot inside. Sure, I’ve visited several branches to check out books. But the real library, the one with the lions and the history, I’ve never entered.

As I passed the steps of that familiar building, the lions beckoned. And so, finally, up I went. Up and into that gorgeous, amazing library. I definitely kicked myself for not having come sooner as I reverently wandered through those halls, into massive, intensely quiet rooms lined with heavy, tedious volumes of women’s history and man’s history and no history at all.

I saw the map room, which is possibly one of the most awesome sights there is. A librarian was showing a visitor old maps of New York, of how Central Park was meant to look, and a giant globe made me long to go exploring. I also visited the original Pooh bear and all his friends, who sit on display for posterity to see. (While it was fun to see them there was something pathetic about these tattered and well-loved stuffed animals being confined to sit under glass.)

The highlight of the trip, however, was a photography exhibit, Eminent Domain, that explores the boundaries between public and private, and the nature of photography itself, through the beautiful and poignant images of five contemporary New York photographers. The exhibit explores gentrification and disappearance, mapping (and re-mapping) the boroughs of New York through exploration of their edges, changes over time, battles of heritage, and the sanctity, beauty, and poignancy of public spaces. All with in the realm of beautiful images.

The exhibit is on display on the first floor of the library through August 29 and I encourage all to pay it a visit.





Hey June

4 06 2008

Today is June 4, and I’ve finally gotten around to changing my calendar. Not because I enjoy fashionably late but simply because it’s behind my door (near the shoe rack) and I happened to forget it was there. And so, in honor of June, some assorted, random musings (in list form, of course):

  • On June: June’s photograph on my Elliot Erwitt calendar happens to be one of my all time favorites: laughing woman kisses man, as seen through the side window of a car parked on the beach. (I would go into the social commentary ramifications of said photo, but I like it too much to go there). I find it serendipitous that it’s the photo for my birthday month and was taken in my home state. June will be a good month.
  • On the letter E: I seem to gravitate toward that letter, or specifically that letter in pairs. There’s Edward Estlin Cummings (also known as E.E.) whose quirky poetry style I adore, and there’s Elliott Erwitt, whose black and white photography is hilarious, thoughtful, and all around amazing.
  • On EE 1: Cummings has been my favorite poet since since high school, when I mimicked his quirky, artistic grammatical style in a paper. The only book I have of his, 100 Selected Poems, was given to me in high school by my dear friend Rachel, who shares my love of all things quirky and artistic. The well-loved volume made the trek to New York and contains my favorite poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” but not my second favorite: “One winter afternoon,” which I love for the line “(at the magical hour/when is becomes if)” (enough, even, to talk about it here in a blog about my beloved summer).
  • On EE 2: I first discovered Elliot Erwitt and his lovely photography when I stumbled upon a special exhibit of his at the Prado while traveling with my college gal pals. We were obsessed, and now I look for him every once in a while to see what he’s doing lately. There’s something incredibly uplifting about his shots. And, of course, they’re quirky and artistic.
  • On friends: Since both EEs seem to make me think of the ladies with whom I (at two very different life stages) discovered them, and since (ahem, a confession) I saw Sex and the City this weekend (the new roomie twisted my arm), an homage to girlfriends and their incredible knack for being quirky and artistic.
  • On SATC: Since I’ve now confessed to seeing it (though will still see it again on Friday), a second confession: I cried unabashedly through most of it, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know me well and know that I am, on all accounts, a crier. Nevertheless, Hollywood-ized though it was, it didn’t lose those three fantastic components: girlfriends, girl power, and New York City.
  • On New York City: Since I seem to be as SATC obsessed as all those countless fans who traveled to my city to see the movie, I’ll end with movie and city. My buds at EuroCheapo had SATC fever last week too, and posted a great blog about how “Cheapo Bradshaw” might see NYC. Great tips Cheapos!
  • On shoes: Alas, the gold stilettos are sick. I just discovered that they are breaking, so it’s off to the shoe doctor. Please oh please, nice shoe miracle worker, help my gold stilettos! But today, because, it’s rainy (and hot) it’s Havaianas for me.