Wish you could create a rooftop vegetable garden like Chef J.W. Foster of the Fairmont Hotel, in San Francisco? Get yourself a copy of Lauren Mandel’s EAT UP: The Inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture. read more…
This image of sneakers worn during the Boston Marathon is the cover of the current Boston Magazine. It was the idea of the magazine’s design director Brian Struble; the magazine sent out tweets and Facebook posts asking runners to submit images of their shoes, along with personal stories. Here’s Brian’s thinking:
To me the cover is about two things: perseverance and unity. By itself, each shoe in the photograph is tiny, battered, and ordinary. Together, though, they create something beautiful, powerful, and inspirational. Remove just one shoe and you begin to diminish, in some small way, the overall effect. Collectively, they are the perfect symbol for Boston, and for our response to the bombings.
In addition to helping out at ‘the improvised life’ every week, Dese’Rae L. Stage works two other jobs to support the website she started a couple of years ago. Live Through This is a collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors, as told by those survivors. The site is meant to give voice to the very taboo subject of suicide and in doing so, save lives. Says suicide prevention advocate and interviewee Kevin Hines:
…No person in a fight for their life is alone. There are millions of people out there fighting just as you are. Find that network. Talk about the issues.
We didin’t realize how much Meg Ryan’s soliloquy from Nora Ephron’s “When Harry Met Sally” is the epitomy of YES, JOY, BEING IN THE MOMENT until we saw artist Rachel Perry Welty‘s wonderful sign. Using letters cut from Ephron’s obituary, she transformed a sad passing into a its much bigger view.
via The New York Times’ The Lives They Lived
Related posts: what are your new year’s…wishes?
david allen’s potent questions for a new year
a poster to inspire your new year’s intention
neil gaiman’s benediction for new year’s (or any other time)
(Listen to music* while you watch the gif.) We’re wishing you a WONDROUS holiday, and hoping you’ll get to do some serious, lazy-dog hanging out between Christmas and New Years’. We’ll be posting intermittently, while we work on a new idea (we’ll be listening to WKCR’s weeklong Bach festival, streamable here.)
We’ll be back full-tilt in the New Year…
Related posts: ‘sugar plum fairy’ on a glass harp (water music)
j.s bach does Christmas: live-stream and free downloads
‘christmas is about remembering’
wishing you: joy!
the swingin’ night before xmas
holiday wishes from ‘the improvised life’
Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeline, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Benjamin, Avielle, Allison…
When President Obama said those names aloud today during his moving speech at Newtown, our hearts broke, again.
We found ourselves comforted by the words-gone-viral of kindly old Fred Rogers —Mr. Rogers — advocate and true friend of children for eons. It is our experience that there are indeed helpers all around, and that in each moment, there is the possibility of light, unimaginable perhaps, until it appears. read more…
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we followed the New York Time’s blog Storm Aftermath: Live Updates and hit upon an amazing post called “Finding Good Neighbors in Wake of Disaster” by Marcus Yam. Because it had no hyperlink, we excerpted much of it below. The gist: neighbors are one of the best resources you can have, both for tangible help, moral support and for unexpected collaborations in problem solving. Amidst the horrifc devastation of Sandy, this has been the ongoing theme.
Then on Sunday night, CBS’ 60 minutes covered the amazing community of Belle Harbor, Queens, where over 100 houses were burnt to the ground by fires during Sandy. (Video link here.) It is a stunning 13 minutes about what the word community really means. read more…
Over the past week, we’ve posted a number of ways to give to Sandy relief. Now there’s a way to ‘get’ when you give. Jan Bekman’s 20×200 online gallery is offering limited edition, archival pigmant prints of Blue Marble:
…NASA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of the Northern Hemisphere on Sunday, October 28 at 1302 UTC—that’s 9:02 a.m, approximately ten hours before NYC’s MTA shut all transport service down throughout the tri-state area and less than a day before Tropical Storm Sandy gathered full force in the Atlantic Ocean and hit land somewhere in New Jersey.
Last Friday, after 5 days of living without power, ‘the improvised life’s assistant Dese’Rae L. Stage sent us this email:
I don’t think I even realized it until yesterday, when I had to jump through 10 hoops just to get ice and dinner. I was like, “god, I’m exhausted,” and it took me a second to realize why that might be. It’s amazing how adaptable we are, but there sure are limits to that.
Even having NOT been hit hard in Harlem, we feel disoriented, tired, FEEL the wound of this city, and the people who have lost so much whose reality we can’t even imagine.
Since the extent of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation became apparent, we’ve had a hard time writing posts. We’ve wondered “what is there to write about except this, with so many people in trouble?” feeling a fierce cognitive dissonance between the people we know are out there struggling to survive and reports of our nifty Ikea hacks. Like some blogs we know, we thought of going dark for a few days.
Then we got an email from a reader about our recent post about a downed tree transformed with the generous help of a stranger; it proved a timely message of possibility to someone who was dealing with loss.We get emails along those lines frequently from people going through some big transition, from cancer to job losses, to the life changes that just happen. read more…
(Video link here.) In this astonishing time-lapse video of Hurricane Sandy hitting New York City, you get to see her force grow before your very eyes. Although she’s gone, the effects of that immense storm are very immediate: lots of people around the New York area still don’t have power — no computers, tv, phone, refrigerators —many are without running water water, lots of businesses are closed, a lot of people lost homes and possessions, and folks they loved. Food and water are being trucked in as though … it …was…a…disaster….area…..
That’s because it is. Those affected by it have no choice but to improvise HARD, figure out solutions with whatever they do have on hand, like our intrepid part-time assistant Dese’Rae, who hiked uptown to a cafe where they had wifi so she could work for us long distance.
Some folks are improvising ways to HELP, like this kind soul that offered use of a connected powerstrip to any stranger who needed it. read more…
Today, hurricane Sandy continues, in a different way, as we assess damage around the city, check on friends, re-orient ourselves to a changed New York. Social media has been essential, tweets and texts keeping us connected with power out and folks displaced. Throughout it all, heartening emails from readers made us feel the very far-reaching community around us. Like this one — a post unto itself— from Sue Anderson in Minnesota:
We can’t feel Sandy, but we can see her. From the deck of our home in southeast Minnesota shortly before dawn this morning we could see low on the eastern horizon the sharp line of clouds that is the westernmost edge of the weather system called Sandy, with Venus hanging high above. I snapped this photo and then turned around and snapped another of the nearly full moon that seems to continue to beacon the storm further and further inland. Meanwhile, we are caught in the middle with clear blue skies and light winds predicted for the rest of the day. read more…
(Video link here.) We fully intended to spend the day working but have found it nearly impossible. We can’t help but be focused on Sandy, which comedian Louis C.K. called “monster sandy franken storm Paul Bunyon shitcloud might start throwing trees at babies in Manhattan”, “the stormatron 5000″.
We’re hunkered downwith candles, flashlights, battery-powered radios, a full larder and a bathtub full of water in case, waiting. New York City is eery: we’ve seen pictures of Times Square and Grand Central, two of the busiest spots in town, without a soul. The wind and rain have been escalating all morning, the trees in the park across the way whipping furiously, at once beautiful and disturbing. A line from the Peter Pan records we listened to as a kid popped into our head this morning: “Wendy had the distinct feeling that something was about to happen.”
At the Corner Perk Cafe in Bluffton, SC, an anonymous donor pays for the coffee of anyone in line behind them until the funds run out. Two years ago this idea caught on and now people donate regularly, or even stop by to donate without buying anything. It made us wonder about the principle of random acts of generosity — just because — with no obvious return other than the pleasure of giving freely, making someone happy, or making something better.
We recently took a walk in the park across the way and thought, ‘hmm, what would happen if we just started picking up trash?‘ We would be surprised if we saw an ordinary person doing it; wouldn’t it surprise others? Could this become contagious? What kinds of little kindnesses can you imagine doing just for the hell of it? read more…
We were knocked out by the insanely colorful streetscape made by a Lebanese team of artists/designers, known as dihzahyners, in Beirut.
We imagined how the the worst and bleakest urban neighborhoods we’ve traveled through would be TRANSFORMED by color. All it takes is paint, vision, collective effort: read more…