— Noted.



Photo by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin.

I am in love with this op-ed piece by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin.
The first time I went to Paris, I was in my early 20s and visited this house by Le Corbusier. It left an impression, realizing the full weight of an architect’s work/vision, walking around the physical space. Simultaneously, a physical space that imbues a person’s perspective = a sweet melancholy. It’s a feeling I can’t not associate with now when I hear or see his name.

An excerpt:
“How nice it would be to die swimming toward the sun,” Corbu is quoted as saying twice.

When Corbu was 77 years old his doctor forbade him to take long swims. He mostly followed this advice, except on the morning of Aug. 27, 1965. People saw him struggling to climb the rocks, but he waved them off. Later, his body floated to shore.

His death was not ruled a suicide, but it seemed to be, like the rest of his life, designed.



A beautiful image by Stephen Doyle, for a fascinating article in The New Yorker by Judith Thurman, “A Loss For Words: Can a Dying Language Be Saved?”

“If the historical rate of loss is averaged, a language dies about every four months… English is the lingua franca of the digital age, and those who use it as a second language may outnumber its native speakers by hundreds of millions. On every continent, people are forsaking their ancestral tongues for the dominant language of their region’s majority. Assimilation confers inarguable benefits, especially as Internet use proliferates and rural youth gravitate to cities. But the loss of languages passed down for millennia, along with their unique arts and cosmologies, may have consequences that won’t be understood until it is too late to reverse them.”


From The New York Times Magazine:

Number of times a year American women report crying: 47.8

American men: 6.5


It’s a sad day for journalism.
I highly recommend watching the documentary on The New York Times, Page One. Not just entertaining, it’s an important beacon of light on what we take for granted when it comes to good journalism.



Photo from bestmadeco.com

From Best Made Company, this little sign sits on the molding above my entry hallway. From their product description:

In his autobiography Benjamin Franklin outlined a “Precept of Order, requiring that every part of my business should have its allotted time, one page in my little book contain’d the following scheme of employment for the twenty-four hours of a natural day.” The first order of business in his precept was to ask himself simply, “What good shall I do this day?”


I am lucky. My uncle has been a season ticket holder to the New York Philharmonic for as long as I have been a New Yorker (if not much longer than that) and whenever he can’t make a concert or needs someone to go with, I’m often on the short list.

When I was a child, my mom used to drag me and my brother to the Jacksonville Symphony, namely to see my brother’s cello teacher who was the first chair cellist. This cello teacher was such a quiet character in our lives, but he was very important to us, in ways that I wish we had a chance to thank him for. That’s besides the point though, as I mainly wanted to recount how much we hated being dragged to these concerts. It was equivalent to being dragged to Korean church on Sundays, where we couldn’t understand a word of the Korean pastor, and our only option was to listen to headphones wired into the seats that were the voice of my own father translating the sermons into English in live time from a tiny sound-proof booth in the back of the church.

As adults, something has happened to us. Neither of us really play our instruments anymore, but I think I can confidently speak for us both when I say that we really love the New York Philharmonic and classical music in general. I have mom to thank for it.

Last week, my mom and I went to the first concert of 2015 and conductor Alan Gilbert came out and spoke from a little notebook. He said they had curated the songs for the night with thoughts of the new year, wanting joyful music, which was challenging when so many terrible things are happening around the world.

He quoted the words of Leonard Bernstein, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

They played a few selections from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, which were stirring and beautiful. It left me hopeful.


From the Guardian:

“Inside the ‘Christmas village’ of Yiwu, there’s no snow and no elves, just 600 factories that produce 60% of all the decorations in the world…”


19-year-old Wei works in a factory in Yiwu, China, coating polystyrene snowflakes with red powder. Photograph: Imaginechina/Rex


And, speaking of the School of Life made me think of this interview with its founder Alain de Botton on Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast:

Listen to it here.


Which is also making me want to re-watch this documentary that I originally saw on Bill Moyer’s Journal:

Beyond Our Differences.



I recently recounted the time I saw Miranda July at the School of Life in London. I wrote about it at the time on my travel blog, and have decided to copy it here.


Very excited that this portrait series of four sisters, taken over 40 years is on view at the MoMA till Jan, 4 2015.

More info on the exhibit here.