Saturday, August 21, 2010

The new Domino: Lonny Magazine

I know I wasn't alone in my sadness when Domino Magazine ceased publication. While not as pioneering as Nest, Domino--whose old URL now goes straight to Architectural Digest (Yuck.)--was the kind of magazine that also had a devoted base of fans for whom the magazine was something more than a few pretty pages to help pass the time. For a while, I was filling the void with Elle Decor, but I find it occasionally a little too precious. Then I discovered The Selby, (je l'adore... ) which is more akin to Nest in that there is minimal styling with an emphasis on individuality over pristine, professionally decorated sophistication. (I should say here that Nest was like no other, and I can't imagine anything like it coming into being again. Not only did Nest publish editorials on the most wide-ranging types of interiors, they presented diverse essays, poems, and fiction relating to their rich visual essays on everything from a crumbling manse in the French countryside to a tiny New York apartment filled with hand-crafted decor made by its dweller. One of my favorites was a house that was completely under ground and was surrounded by "gardens" and a starry sky, all made from synthetic flora, murals, and lighting. The writing was contributed by wonderful authors from historians to experimental fiction writers to art critics, and the graphic design was anything but minimal, often including elaborate dye-cut pages. But most importantly, the photography was barely styled, if at at all. Instead, the editors preferred to show the homes and other buildings as they were lived in and used.) Today, I found Lonny Magazine. The aesthetic has a similar feel to Domino: comfortable but intentional and personal spaces, some of which are professionally decorated, others not. The emphasis seems to be on decor that combines contemporary design pieces with flea market finds and family heirlooms, the homes belonging to people in their thirties and forties. Like Domino, there are resource listings for furniture and decor and idea pages focusing on this or that detail or theme. I haven't read through the Fall 2009 inaugural issue yet to find out, but it kind of looks like Domino veterans are behind it. Regardless, Lonny takes up their mantel, so to speak, and I'm grateful.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Best Summer Ever?

I was just looking through all of these old posts... I'm not really sure why I started this blog in the first place. Perhaps as a notebook or an open letter? A murmur for attention? Clearly, I'm not dedicated to posting things here. But yes, I was just looking through all of these old posts, and noticed the one entitled "In anticipation of the Best Summer Ever". Thankfully, he's fine, but Jacob Hartman, the wordsmith who coined that phrase, recently had an accident while surfing, one that could have had a much worse outcome than it did. As always, he was in pursuit of the Best Summer Ever. Always. Even when it's not summer. Anyway, this isn't really about Jacob but about summer and life and time passing, I guess. Summer never ceases to hold some magical sway over me. But this summer, while not the Worst Summer Ever, is decidedly not the Best Summer Ever. And this makes me think that it's important to change my mind about summer. It can't be about time stretching out and the world slowly offering itself up to me, the way summer used to be. I'm learning to take my summer in small doses and without expectations, all throughout the year. I don't want to give up on summer entirely, though; it's just too heartbreaking. I have to think that some day I'll have summers again, but until then, I'm trying to get into Jacob's state of mind.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My madeleine...

One of the things I miss about the east coast is lilacs. On the east coast they bloom in great lavender and white clouds hanging in the trees, floral clouds shipwrecked in masses of branches and lush foliage. In southern California, it's possible to get lilacs from florists and grocers at great expense for a month or two in the spring. I get mine from Mrs. Ha of Ha Family Farm, growers of the most delicious apples I've ever tasted. I guess Mr. Ha grows the apples and Mrs. Ha tends to the lilacs (and also lovely peonies... ). If I get to the farmer's market early enough on Sundays, I can buy lilacs from Mrs. Ha for maybe three weeks. Their farm is in the mountains, so the cooler conditions there make the lilacs I know from my east coast upbringing, not the strange bloom known as the California lilac. Those pictured above are from this past spring. When I took this picture, I was excited to post it right away, but I just haven't been engaged with posting things here as much as I'd like to be this summer. But anyway, the scent of lilac is my madeleine. It intoxicates me with memory and also brings me immediately into that aromatic instant of wanting to keep breathing in and to never, ever have to stop to exhale, grounding me in my history and my present at once. Thank you, Garry, for urging me to post something today...

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Moon

I just stood in the middle of my street for a while. I hadn't ever done that. I had parked my car, and I meant to cross the street to my house. I looked to my left to make sure there was no traffic and was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a fat moon that had just risen above the crest of the small hill that rises away from my house. The round moon was framed by two bushy trees on either side of the street. The trees were in silhouette against the cloudless, steel blue sky, and the fat, round moon just glowed and glowed at me, just for me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Today I saw...

Jed Ceasar at Suzanne Vielmetter
Sam Durant at Blum & Poe
Kim McCarty at Lightbox
(Stopped in to say hello to Drew and Flora and Justin at the Mandrake and then saw... )
Manfred Pernice at Regen Projects
Alexis Smith at Margo Leavin
Hanne Darboven, Evan Holloway, Jason Meadows, and Matteo Tanatt at Marc Foxx
Chris Finley (and a wonderful Bill Jensen) at ACME

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ah yes... Larry Johnson

Can't wait to read Bruce Hainley's feature on Mr. Johnson.