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Object Factory: The Art of Industrial Ceramics at MAD
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6TH 2009
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We met with Frank in the evening at the Museum of Arts and Design for Object Factory: The Art Of Industrial Ceramics. Thursdays the museum has free/suggested admission, so Justin and I paid a dime each. The exhibit was gorgeous, but photography is forbidden so all you get are the second-rate street shots above. I implore you to visit the exhibition website where you can see some of the fabulous work. My favorite pieces involved techniques that I didn't know could be applied to ceramics, such as screen printing and laser cutting. The exhibition is an international survey of how more than 50 artists and industrial designers are reviving an interest in and re-imagining the possibilities of this ancient medium in the 21st century.

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A Walk Around The West Village
MONDAY, AUGUST 3RD 2009
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Whilst waiting for the subway today I overheard B├ęsame Mucho played on a Chinese string instrument, and it made me smile.

I sauntered around the West Village neighborhood today, moving slowly in the heat of the afternoon and wishing I could afford a fancy lunch at one of the attractive restaurants in the area. After satiating myself with a granola bar I stopped by Yoya and Yoyamart. The former is sweet boutique for infants and tots, filled with modern baby objects, such as Scandinavian minimalist highchairs, posh toys and designer clothes. The latter store is an edgier space for toddlers and adults, the walls stacked with urban vinyl toys and racks lined with pricey graphic tees and hoodies.

From there I wandered down Bleecker Street, poking my head into the occasional boutique and antique store, of which the street has plenty. The shots above are from streets close to the Hudson River, quiet and almost suburban. The window display is from an apothecary I passed.

Later I stood behind a foreigner at Starbucks that was requesting a "medium"-sized coffee, and the barista kept correcting the man with "grande" and he was so confused that eventually he walked away, sans coffee. Stupid elitist Starbucks drink sizes.

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The Flea Markets of 25th Street
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2ND 2009
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For a change of scenery from our beloved Brooklyn Flea, Justin and I decided to check out the other flea markets that NYC had to offer. This was a tad disappointing. Along 25th Street between 5th and 7th Avenues are a few indoor and outdoor flea markets. These are what I would call "typical" flea markets - aka mostly junk. Electronics, door knobs, costume jewelry, etc. One of the flea markets is inside an old parking garage whilst the others are in empty parking lots squeezed between buildings. One could find a few diamonds in the rough, but it would be a time consuming and somewhat aggravating search. All well, it was worth a shot.

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Project 90 By Song Dong At MOMA
FRIDAY, JULY 31ST 2009
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"Beijing-based artist Song Dong (b. 1966) explores notions of transience and impermanence with installations that combine aspects of performance, video, photography, and sculpture. Projects 90, his first solo U.S. museum show, presents his recent work Waste Not. A collaboration first conceived of with the artist's mother, the installation consists of the complete contents of her home, amassed over fifty years during which the Chinese concept of wu jin qi yong, or "waste not," was a prerequisite for survival. The assembled materials, ranging from pots and basins to blankets, oil flasks, and legless dolls, form a miniature cityscape that viewers can navigate around and through."

Click the first photo for a larger panoramic view.
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An Indoor Garden At Anthropologie, Rockefeller Center
FRIDAY, JULY 31ST 2009
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The Anthropologie at Rockefeller Center had a lovely indoor garden space set up with worn furniture and fixtures, moss and leafy plants. I especially liked the clever use of nails as pegs for the aluminum letters decor. I swooned over that little terrarium container!
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Creative Window Displays At Anthropologie
FRIDAY, JULY 31ST 2009
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A refreshing burst of movement and color from the window displays of Anthropologie near Rockefeller Center - made entirely of two by fours and cardboard!

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Wagashi From Minamoto Kitchoan
FRIDAY, JULY 31ST 2009
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Minamoto Kitchoan is an upscale purveyor of wagashi - delicate, artistic Japanese confections often served with tea. The character pronounced 'wa' denotes things Japanese, while the characters for 'gashi', an alliteration of kashi, have come to mean confections.

The interior and treat selection were similar to what I experienced in Japan, and just like Japan the prices were ridiculous. I suppose I mean this as a compliment, since these are more than snacks and are an art form in and of themselves in both flavor and appearance. A box of six wagashi can easily set you back $30-$60. Everything looked enticing - oh, the fish packaging! - but I settled on a palm-sized green tea mochi, which was delicious but one piece set me back $3.

All of the food examples are plastic representations of the real treats. I was mostly attracted to the window display that looked like a basketful of breasts.
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Purples and Browns At The Union Square Market
MONDAY, JULY 27TH 2009
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I love it when I subconsciously focus on something and it resurfaces later - in this case as a beautiful collection of purple and brown photographs. By the way, have you ever seen purple beans? They were quite a surprise to me today!