— Noted.


Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.08.10 PMIt’s too easy to get caught up in negativity. It takes effort to see the possibilities, and even more, to take action.


The New York Times Magazine has posted an excellent microsite on the space in New York City that arises above 800 feet. As editor Jake Silverstein explains it:

The city has 21 buildings with roof heights above 800 feet; seven of them have been completed in the past 15 years (and three of those the past 36 months). In this special New York Issue, we explore the high-altitude archipelago that spreads among the top floors of these 21 giants. It totals about 34 million square feet in all, encompassing lavish living spaces, vertiginous work environments (during construction and after), elite gathering places. Visually, the experience of this new altitude feels different in kind from its predecessors, the peak uplifts of previous booms that topped out at 400, 500 or 600 feet. At 800 and above, you feel something unusual in a city defined by the smelly bustle of its sidewalks and the jammed waiting and inching and zooming of its avenues — a kind of Alpine loneliness. Every New Yorker knows the pleasant private solitude that can be found at street level, among anonymous crowds. This is something different: an austere sense of apartness inspired by achieving a perspective seemingly not meant for human eyes.

A few images from the issue that caught my eye:


Aerial view of 1950s Midtown Manhattan. Hulton Archive/Getty Images





Scott Small / 55, Laborer, 3 World Trade Center
Jack Davison for The New York Times



Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 10.50.28 AM

Follow the link to see a fantastic gif of this.
Illustrations by Brian Rea. Animation by Pablo Delcan.




A private event at the Rainbow Room, May 2016.
Matthew Pillsbury for The New York Times




Chrysler Building, 1,046 feet, as seen from the MetLife Building. Begun: 1928. Completed: 1930. ‘‘It’s in the clouds, like a Magritte painting. Slightly surrealistic.’’
Thomas Struth for The New York Times


I’ve been enjoying Teju Cole’s Instagram feed, especially his series marked with #_thehive. You may know Teju Cole from his books, but he is also a photographer, and an exquisite intersection lies in his New York Times Magazine column “On Photography.”

What I love about his Instagram images and accompanying text, is articulated perfectly by photographer Stephen Shore, excerpted here from Cole’s article, “Serious Play.”

‘‘The conversation you have with a friend you speak with every day is different from one that you have with a friend you speak with once a month or once a year’’ is how Stephen Shore put it in an email. Instagram, he says, ‘‘can have the taste of the more intimate, more perhaps seemingly trivial daily conversation.’’


A few of Cole’s images and captions here:

teju cole 1

_tejucole Kalamazoo, March 2016.

Past 11. Uber arrived three minutes after I called it. It’s something like a five minute drive home. I make small talk with the driver, who’s a middle aged man, not an American accent, but I can’t tell where he’s from. “I have to go a bit slow,” he says. Then, suddenly, I hear another voice: “They’ve put speed traps all along this road now.” What’s he on, speakerphone? I lean forward. There’s someone in the passenger seat.

I get a real fright. “I don’t mean to frighten you, sorry,” the voice says. “It’s St Patrick’s Day. I think it is just safer tonight if I am with him, in case of anyone drunk or something. Not that I have a weapon of anything. But they are less likely to make trouble if we are two.” Then she adds: “I’m his wife.” The streets are clear.
I ask where they are from. I can tell she doesn’t like the question. “I’m from Brooklyn,” she says. Then she softens. “Tunisia. What about you?” I could say Kalamazoo, I suppose, or Brooklyn too. “Ah,” she says. “I’m African, just like you. Africa!” From. What is this word, from? Where were you born? Where do you live? Where do they have to take you in if you have to go?

Her husband is Lebanese. I still think I’m imagining the fact that she was sitting in the car for about three minutes before I knew she was there at all. There in the quiet dark. And then we’ve reached my place.



teju cole 2

_tejucole Delray Beach, March 2016.

Thirty or more buzzards are drifting down, down, down,
over something they have spotted in the swamp,
in circles like stirred-up flakes of sediment
sinking through water.
Smoke from woods-fires filters fine blue solvents.
On stumps and dead trees the charring is like black velvet.

Elizabeth Bishop, “Florida”



teju cole 3

_tejucolePalm Beach, March 2016.

I have photography dreams in which something goes wrong. I have more of these dreams now, in the past few years, because I have been shooting primarily with film. Something happens. Something goes not right.

What happens in dreams happens in life. (This is why it happens in dreams.) Two weeks ago, remember I told you about this, I developed a roll, and it was empty: the film had failed to engage, and I had deceived myself thirty six times. Click, click, click, all the way to the end of the roll, only to find nothing.
When I arrived in Florida a few days ago, I was near the end of a roll. I saw something I wanted to photograph further along at baggage claim, something from the logic of dreams, in which the sea lies just beyond a conveyor belt. So I went there. I was alone. I focused, and made my shot. I took a second shot, to be sure. But then my hands failed me, and I dropped the camera. It clattered to the floor, and the film compartment sprang open, exposing to a flood of airport light the newly-exposed negative.

Motherfucker. I fell to my knees, closed the compartment, wound the film, and removed it. Then I put in a new roll. Click, click, click. Three shots, of the same subject, again, like some cool vengeance or hardheadedness, of which the photo above was the first.



See more here.



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.


From the London based artist Ben West’s website:
If the internet goes off, you may need this reference book Felix [Heyes] and I made. It contains the first Google Image for every word in the dictionary.



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.”


“An investigative and exploratory hands-on gloves-off study into the practice of putting things ‘off”. Sometimes the only way to get something done is to do two dozen other things first.”

By Johnny Kelly


I was nosing around to find a link to share one of my favorite books of all time, when I found this lovely little talk that was done at the AIGA conference in 2013. Also, this.

And this:



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?”