Saturday, February 28, 2009

I may also be...

..the East Village woman, who has the most finely sorted box of screws and nails.

And the only non-sewing woman with such an amazing collection of different color threads.

Wound up on semi-antique spools, no less. A gift from my old neighbor.

I may also be one of the few East Village women who can lie sleepless at night thinking of the disorder all the things above are in. But now, I shall sleep soundly, as it is all sorted and color-coordinated (as are my tax-papers, hurrah!), ready for my amazing mother to come create spectacular things with it.


Today I found use for my recent street find: It's been converted into a much needed toolbox, and I've lined it with burgundy colored velvet, so all the tools are lying there snug as a bug in a rug.

Cleaning and sorting through all my tools also made me realize that I may very likely be the East Village woman who has the most screwdrivers.

Make of it what you want.

Keeping one's cool

No matter where I wind up momentarily and thoughtlessly placing these guys, they wind up looking so cool and blasé.

Although I do miss Mads' eye for positioning them in smile-inducing ways while I wasn't looking.

"Prut på halsen" for Johan for giving them to me in the first place.

Camera appreciation and approval.

Is always good to receive from a talented photographer.

Feigning Sleep

Lord knows why, but ever since I was a little kid I've got a tremendous kick out of pretending that I'm sound asleep when somebody comes through the door. "Little minds, little pleasures", as we say in Danish.

But what is greater when you find that the greatest roommate in the whole wide world actually doesn't find you a moron for finding that funny, but actually turns out to find it pretty darn funny too?!

Well, I'll tell you what's greater: Finding out that your beloved friend doesn't find it moronic that two roommates find it funny when one of them is feigning to be asleep when the other comes through the door, and moreover turns out to be in on the game too!

Marie and I were chit-chatting loudly last night when all of a sudden we heard Matteo outside on the stairs. "Shhh!", I said quickly. "Let's pretend we are asleep!"

Judging from how knowingly she adopted the look of a sleeping creature within a split second or less, I'm thinking this game might be a universal one of sorts. Like ludo, perhaps.

Hoo-ah! I'm in the dark here!

Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Ooh, but I still smell her.
[inhales deeply through nose]

Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Women! What can you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a fuckin' genius. The hair... They say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls... just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips... and when they touched, yours were like... that first swallow of wine... after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-ah! Big ones, little ones, nipples staring right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don't care if they're Greek columns... or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em... passport to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr Sims, there's only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearing: pussy. Hah! Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls here.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Young People Who Die from Overstatement

Chelsea, Chelsea. How I loathe thee.

This was mostly what went through my mind today as I went gallery hopping through mentioned neighborhood.

The art wasn't half bad (but most of it wasn't half good either, snicker snicker), but the galleries, the galleries. Or rather, the gallery, as institution, just struck me as so terribly boring, I wound up thinking to myself it might be time to foresee its imminent death. Once again (snicker, snicker).

That's not to say I will feel miserable if time proves me wrong, and the gallery will become an interesting vehicle of art again. If that's the case, so be it. But today, I truly felt that the White Cube, as Brian O'Doherty named the clinical gallery space back in the 1970s, when he too declared it's death or at least invited to its assassination, absorbed all the energy of the objects within it. The people too. The neighborhood around it.

It just felt outdated. Like spas and minimalist hotel bars.

I'm thinking Damien Hirst might have been on to something when he decided to skip the gallery and go straight for the auction houses. You see, I don't find the gallery a boring space on account of it's inseparability with the marketplace. That would be old-fashioned. Rather, it find it's just not a terribly interesting intermediary in the larger "production, distribution, consumption" network. In essence, I'd rather see it for sale somewhere else. Shown somewhere else too.

The title for this post I stole from a piece by Simon Evans at James Cohan Gallery. Found it quite apt as a caption for Chelsea.

In general his work (see below) made my trip worth while. His sense of language gave me goose bumps. "Freedom is sky and telephone", it said on another piece of his. If his work was transformed into a blog, I would visit it every day. Sometimes more than once, too.

Philip-Lorca diCorcia at Zwirner was, in all fairness, also quite a treat. But again, I'd prefer to see him somewhere else.

Maybe on a blog too.

girl with head

Little Edie Beale

It's currently my greatest aspiration in life to learn how to speak like this woman.

East Hampton Robert Capa Cartoon Figure

Today I look like a strange mix of Robert Capa and a Wulff Morgenthaler cartoon figure. Or "very East Hampton", as Matteo said.

"This is the best thing to wear for the day, you understand...", I answered.

Which - for those of you who ain't in the Grey Gardens loop - is an intertextual reference to a comment made by my current idol, little Edie Beale.

Geography Lessons

When my mother and I were fixing up my apartment in the summer of 2007, we sublet a beautiful place on the Bowery for a week, where the owners had put up a huge waterproof map of the United States in the shower.

For someone like me who is prone to taking showers far too long for what can be considered environmentally sustainable, this set up was just about perfect. Geography has never been my strong side, and for some odd reason I don't have any recollection of having geography lessons at school, most likely because I belonged to a generation of kids who were test-tube babies when it came to merging the scholastic disciplines dealing with society, politics and the architecture of the world at large. I remember when I finally got Geography lessons on my high school schedule at the age of 17, I was so excited thinking that finally I would be forced to cram lists of the world's 10 largest countries in alphabetical order, and then what did they teach us but about the logic of wind systems and hot water currents. And I was never one to care much about the weather anyway.

And so, after a week of pondering the magnitude of the Appalachian Mountains under cascades of hot water, I decided to wish for a map of the United States of my own, which my mother eventually found for me in the form of kid's jigsaw puzzle.

Which turned out to be made of a non-waterproof material, as it is often the case with jigsaw puzzles, which is why I wound up mounting it right in front of the toilet instead, a place where I also find myself up to several times a day.

This map has been just perfect to look at and learn from for the past year and a half, although I now feel I've reached a stage where my educational attainment is not developing. Nowadays I mostly look at the names of "Chattanooga" and "Tuscaloosa", thinking how right it is that those cities are to be found in the state of Alabama. Or, actually, this is where a quite tangible problem arises. You see, I'm not really sure Chattanooga is indeed within the statelines of Alabama or rather within Tennessee. You see, whoever made this jigsaw puzzle seem to have failed recklessly in cutting out the pieces of each state in accordance with state lines. And where does that leave me but with utter confusion about what the cloud-shaped blob in between Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico is supposed to resemble? Or the name of that dolphin-shaped piece of ocean (see below) for that matter.

But thank goodness for new roommates, who have arrived with fancy, detailed and waterproof maps of not only the United States but also that thing around it often referred to as "the rest of the (Western) world". Which means we now have the United States in the shower, and the world at large right by the toilet.

And thus, let me now have the pleasure of informing you that Russia is downright huge, and that Chattanooga is the fourth largest city in the very state of Tenneesee.

Baking. Avec une méchante petite fille.

Who turned out better once she had some sugar and a nap.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Surrender in Aisle Four

Other things you might care to know about that thing I share house with

Poor Matteo. I don't think he fully realized the extent to which he would be sharing house with a so-called over-sharer when he first decided to move into what is now our pad. And although I do my best not to launder his dirty underwear in public on a daily basis, there are just some things he does that are downright impossible no to share with the world at large.

Like the fact that he adds his cereal to his morning café latte.

Every time I see him do it I declare: "This is a disgrace!"

And every time I say that he looks at me defiantly, sticks his hand into the cereal box and pulls out another hand full of processed carbohydrates and stirs it into his superior quality espresso.

Oh, that guy Anonimo!

Today I got a Bacio chocolate from Matteo, and was reminded of a school trip to Rome in the 9th grade when all us kids bought boxes upon boxes of those little silver clad sweets home as souvenirs.

Or at least I did, and always a sucker for grand quotations, I kept all the little notes with wise words that were to be found wrapped inside with this Italian version of the fortune cookie, and treasured them for years and years until one day I came upon them in a box and thought to myself: "Wait a minute, these are all super cheesy".

And cheesy they remain. The one I got today had a note saying: "We've spoken a lot of love. Now let's try to listen to it, shall we?", spoken by that guy Anonimo who has uttered many a wise thing.

It just hit me that Doctor Phil probably orders these chocolates by the truck full.

Copenhagen Interpretation

I don't know what I love more: the name of the philosophy or the philosophy behind the name. Both are gems.

"The anti realist interpretation of quantum mechanics championed by the physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962) who worked in Copenhagen, and the subject of extended debate with Einstein. According to Bohr, there is no deep quantum reality, no world of electrons and photons. There is only description of the world in these terms: quantum mechanics affords us a formalism that we can use to predict and manipulate events described in everyday languages, or the language of classical physics, but it is misguided or senseless to postulate a quantum reality answering to the description. Problems such as the wave-particle duality, or the problem of Schrödinger's cat, suggest that there is no reality behind our observations".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

One Cool Pixeled World Cup Lady!!!

This is a little tribute to my hilariously funny friend Maj, who, at first glance appears to be the most disorganized person you can imagine, but then you realize she is, in fact, so organized it's scary. When she has visited me in New York, I'm always surprised to find that her entire suitcase is divided into a million little compartments which in turn contain plastic bags with clothes divided into color-coordinated sub-categories and the like. All this she has learned from living with young and unruly skiers in overcrowded chalets and ski huts around the world, when she goes off to perform her main passion in life, namely mogul skiing.

Which, I might add, she has become so frickin' good at that she has just qualified herself for next year's World Cup!!! Which in turn implies there is a great chance she will make the cut for the next Winter Olympics! Yay for people sticking to their dreams and passions!!!

And she deserves it, because it's the result of much hard work and discipline. It's just that I tend to forget because she is so easy and laid back about all her traveling and workouts that I wind up thinking it's not that big of a deal that she spends her entire summers skiing in New Zealand and Canada, and goes off to competitions in Russia, Finland and Geneva in the course of as little as two weeks.

But she's clearly a tough cookie. Which I guess I've known since that day in physical education class where she proved to be the one of all the boys and girls with the best physical fitness by doing one of those godforsaken exercises thought up to determine such things.

The boys, as a result, always considered her one of theirs. They even invited her over one night - as the sole girl - to watch soccer and drink vodka, and after she had finished the game and half a bottle, she threw up and rollerbladed home.

Did you know...

...that in terms of publishing quantity, the IKEA catalogue has surpassed the Bible as the most published work in the whole wide world?

The only thing that puzzles me is whether or not it's correct to consider the IKEA catalogue "a work", since it changes quite a bit every year. And the Bible, on the other hand, seems to stick to its old shtick.

But whatev. What I really wanted to know is whether or not there is an institutionalized term for the little islands of domestic bliss that are dispersed around their stores. You know, the make-believe living rooms and kitchens and dorm rooms. The ones that are pictured in the catalogues too. But alas, I was unable to find but the above usefull information.

Sound. Light. Stage.

Microregulation. Or: "What I hate about America"

Jeez, I was scolded yesterday at my local branch of the US post office. I was standing in line waiting to pick up a package, when I decided to use my time wisely and shoot some photos of the rent-a-boxes right next to me. By the time it was my turn at the counter, an authoritatively looking man had turned up right behind the greasy plexiglass screen, staring at me as if he suspected me of carrying a gun.

When I took my camera out again and snapped a shot of the sign right in front of me, he pointed at me and said: "YOU TAKIN' PHOTOS?!!!"

"Yeah", I said.

"YOU CAN'T TAKE PHOTOS!!", he said, still pointing at me.

"Oh, I didn't know", I said.

"YOU CAN'T TAKE PHOTOS!!!", he repeated.

"That's what I'm saying", I explained. "I didn't know."

"YOU CAN'T TAKE PHOTOS", he said again. Still pointing at me.

And this is where I mysteriously transformed into one of those crazy folks you always see at the bank or the post office, the little old lady who all of a sudden runs berserk and loudly claims: "For fortyfive years I've been using this branch, and every time I come here it gets worse and worse. For fucks sake, will you open up another teller so I can get out of here within this lifetime?!!"

And so I said, equally loud, the echo of my little baby voice emanating all over the post office: "I SAID: I DIDN'T KNOW. IT'S NOT LIKE THERE'S A SIGN IN HERE SAYING THAT YOU CAN'T!!!"

Such a bummer. The US post office being the source of so much tragic beauty and all.

blueberries. trace.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grey Gardens

My boss gave my Grey Gardens to watch the other day, and by jolly do I now understand why it's one of those documentaries you just hear about over and over again. If you haven't seen it, I can't urge you enough to go get it. Don't even rent it, but buy it, because when you've seen it once, you can't wait to see it again.

Also, if you have somewhat of a looney side, as most of us fortunately do, you can't help but recognize yourself in so much of the sillyness carried out by the two ladies portrayed in the film, Big and Little Edie Beale.

Like the Beales, I'm similarly disposed to dancing around the house while singing "Tea for two" in a high pitched voice and an occasional vibrato.


Yesterday, I hugged Marie so hard I can still smell her perfume on my housecoat.

Monday, February 23, 2009


This is one of my absolute favorite spots in New York: where Bleecker intersects with Lafayette and all the big billboards on Houston hover in the background.

I used to have a professor who had a huge loft in this area, and every time I went to his house I stopped for a coffee at Bite, the teeny tiny little coffee shop in that peculiar piece of architecture that looks a little like the Flatiron Building. The coffee sucked and they didn't carry decaf, but every time I went there I felt I got a taste of 1970s New York, when everything in the city was less refined and more chaotic, and there were still some open spaces to be found in the urban landscape.

I realize I make it sound as if I don't like present day New York, which is certainly not the case. I just realize I'm a fool for the little bits and pieces of this city that inspire the feeling of having encountered the source of the myths that make this city great.

When trees are out of context

When I saw this, I snickered to myself...

...because it reminded me of this.

Orange. In reverse.

I came upon so much orange on my Sunday afternoon walk. It all started with a piece of fluorescent string lying outside a barred window, and after that, orange was all I could see.