— Noted.

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Photography

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Photographer Nicholas Nixon has captured his wife and her sisters in a collection of images that stirs a quiet but powerful emotion deep down in my bones.

The accompanying text by Susan Minot, nails the feeling…

“Throughout this series, we watch these women age, undergoing life’s most humbling experience. While many of us can, when pressed, name things we are grateful to Time for bestowing upon us, the lines bracketing our mouths and the loosening of our skin are not among them. So while a part of the spirit sinks at the slow appearance of these women’s jowls, another part is lifted: They are not undone by it. We detect more sorrow, perhaps, in the eyes, more weight in the once-fresh brows. But the more we study the images, the more we see that aging does not define these women. Even as the images tell us, in no uncertain terms, that this is what it looks like to grow old, this is the irrefutable truth, we also learn: This is what endurance looks like.”

See the series here.

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I once had a boss who would invite his team to his house for an amazing holiday dinner every year. We would walk in, smell the Christmas tree, drink some festive cocktails, and sit down together for a family meal that was the perfect counterpart to spending the holidays with actual family. We always did a very cheesy office secret santa with a $5 spending limit, but it always followed with the promise of our boss giving us individually selected books, mostly beautiful art books that us young kids could only enjoy otherwise as an indulgence. At the end of the night, most of us would get back on the Metro-North for the 2-hour ride back to Grand Central. Along that way, we obsessed over our new books and nervously analyzed out loud why he had given each of us the specifically selected book we were given. If the book wasn’t serious enough, or expensive enough, or heavy enough, or on a subject that one could not personally relate to, the timid insecurity we all had would ring out into the stale train air, “My boss hates me.” You could say we (like small children) really vied for his affection.

One year, I received Sugimoto’s Architecture of Time. I proudly showed off the cover of my book when my colleagues inevitably asked, “What did you get?”

He adores me and thinks I’m perfect.

Then there was the year I received Gregory Crewdson’s Twilight. This was my first introduction to his highly produced photos of suburbia and I remember slowly flipping through the book, horrified at the analyses that I knew would await me on the long train ride home. Does my boss think I’m sad? Lonely? Dark and soulless? So fake, that the fakeness was real? OMG. He thinks I’m a freak.

I remember the first time I saw a real Gregory Crewdson photo. It was enormous and absolutely spectacular. I could see how beautiful these images were, and that they had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with something unlike I had ever seen before in photography.

This all flashed up in memory because I see that Gregory Crewdson is having a show at Wave Hill of pics he took more than 15 years ago of fireflies. Fireflies also on my mind because they make appearance in Tinybop’s Plants app at dusk, a beautiful surprise for those who are curious enough to discover them.

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Pictured above: Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 1996. Silver Gelatin Print. 6 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches. © Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

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Adding this photography show to my to-do list, at the New-York Historical Society. From their site:

In 1968, photographer Bill Cunningham embarked on an eight-year project to document the architectural riches and fashion history of New York City. Scouring the city’s thrift stores, auction houses, and street fairs for vintage clothing, and scouting sites on his bicycle, Cunningham generated a photographic essay entitled Facades, which paired models—in particular his muse, fellow photographer Editta Sherman—in period costumes with historic settings.

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If you don’t think you know Bill Cunningham, you probably do! And if you still don’t know him, watch the documentary about him, “Bill Cunningham New York.” An amazing story not just about fashion, but a peek into the life of a quietly passionate person.

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