| Bedazzled Brownstone

This kaleidoscopic stoop is a favorite with our magpie family. Buttons, beads, sequins, seashells, and all manner or shimmery sparklies cover this Boreum Hill home, and we always stop to check for new additions when we walk past.  I recently learned that the mosaic is more than fun and sparkles, its a beautiful memorial, “a celebration of life, [to] share with… neighbors and people who pass by to cheer them.” After 9/11, Brooklyn artist Susan Gardner began gluing bits of jewelry, mirror, and beads to her outside brownstone walls and has been adding to it ever since. Neighbors and visitors are known to leave broken dishes or jewelry to be added to the mosaic, so if you pass by 108 Wyckoff Street, leave a little something shiny.

We weren’t here on 9/11, 11 years ago. But after living here for seven years, it feels a little like being a younger sibling who cries when their big brother or sister is sad.  To our friends and neighbors for whom this is a difficult day, we love you.

| The Happy Show

We took a quick daytrip to Philly last weekend to see Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Show, and despite the opening disclaimer—”This exhibition will not make you happier. Low expectations are a good strategy.”— it actually did make me happier, and I just can’t shut up about it.

It’s tempting to write every bit down from my notes, but in the spirit of spoiler-free-proselytizing, let me just tell you there is bike-riding, gum balls, and an amazing array of typography (aka my personal heaven.) But even more than the beautiful visuals, the messages were so inspiring and motivating. Brian loved that unlike many shows I drag him to, the ideas weren’t cryptic or ambiguous undertones, but the main event.

We brought our kids (who actually loved it too) but ultimately took turns so we could take our time reading, interacting, and watching the many videos installed throughout the show.  Ivy lasted a bit longer than Oliver, and was delighted to receive permission to draw with the forbidden Sharpie. (Her symbol of happiness—birthday cake!)

The show closes this weekend in Philadelphia—go east coasters!—but will then move to the  Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles for winter 2013 for you west side friends.  I’m already hatching schemes to go and chase away the NYC winter blues with some LA sunshine and another dose of Sagmeister happiness.