1. Go and see the Brion Gysin show at the New Museum. Many of his collaborations with William Burroughs –– including a sheaf of endearing letters signed with "Love" –– are on display, alongside multi-disciplinary forays into creative expression, from music to poetry to film to paintings to collage in his "Cut-Up Method" to the centerpiece kinetic sculpture, Dreamachine. The black cube with its spinning luminous core is as cool as it gets this summer. The last show there I loved as much was Daria Martin's "Minotaur." With regards to BG, see also the documentary, The Beat Hotel, about the Paris scene at 9 Rue Git le Coeur.
2. Share dessert with someone you like, e.g. these profiteroles with my favorite long-limbed abstract guitarist at Balthazar.
4. Keep a bowl of chilled fruit in the ice box, William Carlos Williams-style, at all times. The rewards are ample, aren't they?
This morning I stopped by Hester Street Fair and very nearly bought a beguiling pendant from Erica Weiner, whose designs are gorgeous. The item in question was a brass casting of a Waldorf-Astoria cocktail accoutrement on a short chain, very Art Deco and a nice complement to my flapper crop of late. I didn't get it though, I guess for the same reason one passes anything up; that's just the way it happened to turn out. A few years ago I read an interview with Maggie Gyllenhaal and she had this brilliant quote, about how you should always let your lover alone buy you jewelry so that you can see how someone else sees you, adorned. But can you ever really? Still, as a form of resistance, it works.
[Brass necklace, $85; also available in silver]
Windowlicker - from the French for window shopping: faire du lèche-vitrine - is more or less on summer hiatus, and will return in the fall.
I also look for articles in magazines like Elle Decor, and once went to Lyon based on nothing more than the fact that Town & Country made it sound worthwhile (it was); Edinburgh: just a single photo in a Spanish fashion magazine.
It's a bit of a laugh that my garden is intended to attract butterflies, as I live several floors up in a neighborhood not known for its greenery. I once heard Diana Balmori remark something to the effect of, one of the ways to revitalize cities is to bring animals back from the marginal existence they've been relegated to in the modern urban environment (I'm so excited to publicize her new book, A Landscape Manifesto, this fall; catch a preview on twitter, @newmanifesto).
I haven't seen a butterfly yet, but I do live across from a healthy colony of pigeons on the next roof that amuse me greatly with their constant order, and on my little balcony, I've got some aphids, which caused me to reluctantly throw out a plant this morning (I don't have the space to introduce ladybugs, nor do I want to resort to chemicals), and then today I discovered an ant, a bee and a tiny caterpillar. Considering the fact that there is one tree on my block, all of this influx is nothing short of a revelation. I like cultivating a refuge for the native ecosystem, and, if biodiversity prevails, perhaps the butterflies aren't far behind.
I recently subscribed to the New York Review of Books, and I absolutely love it. One article, "Why We Must Bring Back the Wolf," (worth the subscription alone), that's stuck in my mind intensely concerns "rewilding," or the practice of reintroducing species to attain an equilibrium that was destroyed. The best example is when scientists studied a series of canyons in Southern California: some had visible and vocal birds, some were eerily silent. It turns out that the silent canyons cut off access for coyotes, due to suburban development. Neighborhood cats, with nothing to fear, killed all the birds. In the canyons that were accessible, coyotes kept things in balance and the bird population thrived.
Is there any potential, perhaps not-directly-obvious element in your life that seems scary but could actually yield tremendous benefit? That's what I'm thinking about today.
Previously: Protect What You Love.