Improvised Life » inspiring people http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:20:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 An Innovative Farm Experiment + ‘The Dirty Life’ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/11/05/reading-dirty-life/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/11/05/reading-dirty-life/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:56:56 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46277

Ben Stechschulte

For the past couple of months, we've been participating in Essex Farm's innovative CSA experiment. Curious about its origins, we've been reading The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love, ex-journalist/city girl Kristin Kimball's tale of her unexpected transformation into a farmer and partner of Mark Kimball, whose vision drove Essex from the start. He is a man after our own hearts (and hers, after some wild adventures)...]]>
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Lost Bohemia: Inside Carnegie Hall’s Artist Studios http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/30/bill-cunningham-remembers-carnegie-hall-hive-creativity/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/30/bill-cunningham-remembers-carnegie-hall-hive-creativity/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:11:47 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46377


(Video link HERE.) For over 100 years,some of the 20th century’s most significant artists and performers lived and worked in the 165 studios that lay hidden atop Carnegie Hall. The studios were rented by creative people of all stripes, from fashion designers to painters and ballerinas, an eccentric mix to be sure. Some lived there.

Photographer Josef Astor lived and worked in his three-storey Carnegie Hall studio for twenty years. In 2007, when the Carnegie Hall Corporation decided to evict the remaining artists to develop the property, he made Lost Bohemia, about the spaces and the community they housed: (more…)

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Creativity: “A Constant, Continual Process” that Defies Age http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/27/aging-creating-constant-continual-process/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/27/aging-creating-constant-continual-process/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:04:43 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46229

Erik Madigan Heck

Yesterday’s Sunday Times Health Magazine was thin…but PACKED with stunning insight and images. Themed “The Fountain of Youth”, it asked and partially answered the questions: What does it mean to age? and What are the secrets to doing it well?

The photo-essay Old Masters features luminaries 80 + years old who continue to be passionate about their work.  “They reign. ” Each one embraces the continual process of learning and growing, while ignoring usual notions of what aging looks like. (more…)

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Annals of Hair Design: LaBelle’s Nightbird Platter-Do (with Music) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/annals-hair-design-patti-labelles-nightbird-platter/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/annals-hair-design-patti-labelles-nightbird-platter/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:00:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46030

?

The Hair Hats in our recent Annals of Hair Design reminded me of the great “platter” do, Patti LaBelle wore when performing her album Nightbirds in the 80’s. I loved watching her perform it and wondered how she got that hair to STAY.

Years later, she came to my old studio for a photo shoot and I asked her how she got her hair to make those fabulous platters. (more…)

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Tom Ashcraft: Artist and Sprite Hunter http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:00:50 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45969

Tom Ashcraft

When we’re a little blue, or wondering where we’re heading, we find it helpful to look beyond our own small life and get a bigger picture. And the best way we know to do that is to look at either nature, or art, or both.

The person we know that combines these two transformative forces best is our friend Tom Ashcraft, recently profiled in the New York Times for his cutting edge work tracking sprites: wondrous, rather mysterious emanations of light that flash for an instant above thunderclouds. They can look like and are named for  jellyfish, carrots, angels, broccoli and mandrake root. (more…)

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James Baldwin on Making a Leap http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/22/james-baldwin-making-leap/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/22/james-baldwin-making-leap/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 22:00:05 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45143

Richard Avedon/The Avedon Foundation

From our friend Marella Consolini:

I recently read an interview with James Baldwin in a 1984 Paris Review. To me, fascinating under any circumstance, but of course thought of you because of his mention of a deep and personal leap. Details:

Was there an instant you knew you were going to write, to be a writer rather than anything else?

BALDWIN: Yes. The death of my father. Until my father died I thought I could do something else. I had wanted to be a musician, thought of being a painter, thought of being an actor. This was all before I was nineteen. Given (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/22/james-baldwin-making-leap/feed/ 4 Street Entrepeneur Crab Man Mike + Our Faux Aioli Recipe http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44886

Sally Schneider

While on our NYC stay cation, we'll get a hit of the Maryland shore by stopping by legendary Crab Man Mike's stand in Harlem, where he cooks up batches of crabs, shrimp and lobsters on his rigged propane cooker. We love Mike’s seafood room temperature, dunked in our Faux Aioli (garlic mayonnaise), for an American South/French fusion. Here’s more about the amazing Mike and our recipe.]]>
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Music for Monday Morning (Jun Miyake) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/music-monday-morning-jun-miyake/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/music-monday-morning-jun-miyake/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 07:24:55 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44780

(Video link HERE.)  …perfect music for getting going on a Monday morning, as well as people dancing, leaping and gliding around in the most wonderful way (until the dark end). You can jump in anywhere to get a hit of LEAP energy.

Not content to just click one link, we can’t help but follow trails. The trails leading from this wonderful video turned us on to Japanese artist, composer, song writer Jun Miyake.

After buying Lillies of the Valley, we’ve been listening to his music on Spotify.

A groove.

//

via the great Hedviggen

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Anthony Giglio Kills at the Moth! http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/anthony-giglio-kills-moth/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/anthony-giglio-kills-moth/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:00:01 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44608

Anthony Giglio is journalist, sommelier, and author of Food & Wine Wine GuidesCocktails in New York and Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide. He is wine blogger for Details and Improvised Life’s deviser of brilliant, simple strategies for celebrations both grand and low-key.

Of late, Anthony revealed yet another side of himself: a superb storyteller whose personal stories move and transform. He brought down the house at The Moth when he performed “Listen Here, Fancy Pants!” live in May of 2012. Due some non-public-radio-friendly language (we disagree), it has taken two years for it to be made public and accessible online. (more…)

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Maira Kalman on Daydreaming, Eccentricity, and Not Knowing What is Going On http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/maira-kalman-daydreaming-eccentricity-knowing-going/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/maira-kalman-daydreaming-eccentricity-knowing-going/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:10:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44690

(Vido link HERE.) Portraits in Creativity is a series of short-form videos by renown creative director Gael Towey about the bravery and processes of artists and artisans. Who could better start off the series than the great, wise, observant Maira Kalman?  Kalman’s drawing and writing gets to the essence of not knowing what is going on” and celebrates it. Which is why we love her.

The video is like a walk around New York City with the Kalman. It is rich with illuminating observations (more…)

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Moondog: “I’m Not Gonna Die in 4/4 Time.” http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/moondog-eccentric-role-model/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/moondog-eccentric-role-model/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:39:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43830

Photograph by Peter Martens

The documentary The Viking of 6th Avenue, recently funded by Kickstarter, chronicles the life and musical career of legendary New York icon Moondog. As a girl, I used to see him in front of Saks Fifth Avenue and other corners around town, a blind man in full Viking regalia proudly, with seeming infinite patience, standing in the midst of the passersby of the time. Many years later I would discover his music and learn his story… (more…)

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Steinberg, Shrigley and Shonda Rhimes on the Creative Process http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:46:38 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43247

Saul Steinberg/The New Yorker

Saul Steinberg drew his imaginings of what goes on in a person’s daydreams, and David Shrigley made a list* of the kinds of things that can come from that: (more…)

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Mister Rogers for Adults: Life Has No Laugh Track http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/18/mister-rogers-adults-life-laugh-track/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/18/mister-rogers-adults-life-laugh-track/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 08:33:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43264

(Video link here.) We didn’t “get” Mister Rogers until we were introduced to Paul Zelevansky, an artist, writer and teacher who created the YouTube series “Mister Rogers for Adults”, provocative 60-second shorts made up of video clips from Rogers’ shows and interviews. Zelevansky challenges the assumptions that Mister Rogers was a sweet, milquetoast cornball. In Zelavansky’s view, Rogers’ approach, philosophy and strategic use of television was — and remains — radical in nature. (His words about love threw Joan Rivers for a loop.) (more…)

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Daybooks with Custom Covers to Mark Where You Are or Are Going http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/16/marella-consolini-daybooks-custom-covers-mark-going/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/16/marella-consolini-daybooks-custom-covers-mark-going/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:41:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42870

Marella Consolini

Marella Consolini, former Chief Operating Officer of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, is one of the many very interesting Improvised Life readers we’ve come to know and be amazed by. Somehow years ago, an email exchange started and continued until we feel like she is an old friend, who we happen to have never met in person.

In a recent email, Marella sent images of the day books she embellishes yearly with images; the current one, above, features Yves Klein’s famous leap to mark a year of questions, transitions and new challenges: (more…)

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