Monthly Archives: February 2013

Be Right Back

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you my hangover. Okay, so it’s not terrible (I made sure to stop on the way to work and get a gatorade and a egg & cheese on a roll) but the time that I usually spend compiling ideas for a post and preparing it for the next morning, I spent at a 6 hour happy hour instead. Audrey, Anna, Tony and I got drunk on a Wednesday. With our boss. Who might’ve at one point commandeered my phone and sent inappropriate texts to people. He’s a monster and I love it. My coworkers are amazing. Not amazing? The fact that my hairdryer was the loudest it’s ever been this morning and I swear someone was messing with me.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Pinky promise.

February 28, 2013 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 13

Art Heist

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Not quite our typical Art Heists, though this does fit the bill: a new film by Danny Boyle called “Trance” is set to be released in a few weeks, and the premise is pretty intriguing. James McAvoy stars as a young auction house assistant, hired to steal a Goya by Vincent Cassel. I could stop right there and already be convinced to see it based on the overwhelming eye candy the movie will provide (and I ain’t just talking about the artwork). During the heist, he’s hit on the head and suffers amnesia, meaning he has no idea where he’s stashed the painting. Cue Vincent Cassel’s gang getting understandably pissed off. There’s some hypnotherapy, a lot of violence, and a lot of neon colors. That’s code for: I don’t know how I feel about it, but I’ll still likely end up going to see it.

Here’s the trailer:

What do you think? It seems a lot darker and heavier than the quirky Art Heist stories I’ve been posting. Maybe there’s a much seedier underside to all these stories I just never thought about? The movie will have a limited release in early April. Will you see it?

February 27, 2013 / art / photo / Art Heist / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 7

Tuesday Tunes

(I use the term loosely)

Today’s video isn’t so much a song, but rather an hilarious cat video our French teacher, Rachel, showed us last night in class. It mocks black and white French existential movies and combines everyone’s favorite internet sensation: sassy felines. And yes, we actually watched this in class. It was the highlight of the night, along with a game we played where each of us had to pronounce “un, en, on, in.” That’s surprisingly more difficult than you’d imagine, as each of them are a little similar but different enough to be really confusing, and we all ended up making ridiculous faces trying to over-pronounce each one. Have I mentioned that I love French class? I LOVE FRENCH CLASS. I signed up for the next session of courses, and they start March 11th, the Monday I’ll be in Paris. Rachel laughed and said she thinks I get a free pass for missing a class to be in Paris. Well, non duh.

Anyway, le chat!

It’s not nearly as cute as the little French girl telling a story, but then again, what is?

PS. I want to thank all of you for your kind and incredibly supportive and uplifting comments yesterday. I promise I wasn’t compliment fishing when I wrote that post (to be fair, I didn’t even know the direction it would take when I started it) but I’m humbled by how amazing you guys all are. Seriously. 

February 26, 2013 / Tuesday Tunes / LEAVE A COMMENT / 6

On Being a Grown Up

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“Interference” by Pete Writer

What did you want to be when you grew up? Or, maybe I should phrase that in the present tense: what do you want to be when you grow up?  Continue reading

February 25, 2013 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 20

Friday Five

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Well friends, we’ve entered the two week countdown to Paris. Two weeks from today, or rather, last night, I’ll be strolling around the city of light, snapping away and quite possibly crying all over myself. Today’s Friday Five is a little moodboard of Parisian inspiration (how incredible is that postcard Picasso sent to Gertrude Stein in 1919?). Hopefully the weather will be somewhat mild, but regardless the light at this time of year is just unbeatable: slightly pale, gray, and still magical. I’m trying not to panic about the possibility that the coat I bought and planned around might not be warm enough if the weather Paris suddenly decides to hover around freezing, by telling myself that the worst that could happen is that we spend too much time inside cafes or museums. Not exactly a horrible trade off, non?

Tonight I’m taking my mom to see Lewis Black (I got her tickets for Christmas) and then, fingers crossed, having a low-key weekend conducive to writing. I have too many ideas rolling around inside my brain right now; I need to get them down on paper. What are you doing this weekend? Make it a good one, kiddos.

February 22, 2013 / art / photo / Friday Five / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 9

House Envy

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François Coquerel for NYTimes

This piece in Sunday’s T Magazine made dizzy with house envy. We all know Olympia Le Tan for her adorable (and prohibitively expensive) hand embroidered book clutches, but I shamefully was unfamiliar with her father’s work as an illustrator. Both of their homes were featured in a stunning spread in the magazine, and it should be no surprise that their 16eme and 9eme apartments (his and hers, respectively) are fantastic and drool-worthy. Herringbone floors, layers of Turkish rugs, books everywhere. My own father’s apartment was swimming with books, stacked 5 deep in some places, and I miss how cozy that was. Also, the smell of books. But we’ve been over that before.

February 21, 2013 / art / photo / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 7

Art Heist

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“Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio” by Salvadore Dali

Last June, a man woke up and decided, “What the hell! I’m going to steal some art today!” He walked into the Venus Over Manhattan gallery on the Upper East Side, took a Dali watercolor valued at $150,000 off the wall, put it in a shopping bag, walked out, and promptly had a panic attack. The entire heist was caught on the gallery’s security camera.

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Clearly whoever was supposed to be watching the security tapes has been fired.

The master thief, identified as Phivos Istavrioglou, 29, recovered enough from the shock to board a plane back to his native Athens, only to have such intolerable Thievery Remorse (similar to Buyer’s Remorse, only with less morals) as to roll the painting in a packing tube and mail it back to the gallery from a fake address in Europe. Authorities were able to identify his fingerprints on the painting and packaging from a water bottle he stole from a Whole Foods a year prior. COME ON. (Though I think it’s interesting to note here that in the span of a year, Phivos graduated from water bottles to surrealist paintings. That’s like, highly advanced kleptomania.)

Anyway, the gallery owner tricked him into returning to the states for a job interview; they feigned interest in hiring him as a consultant, AND HE FELL FOR IT. It must be so amazing to be in this guy’s head; the world is full of nothing but possibilities! FBI Agents stopped him at JFK on Saturday and arrested him. He appeared  in court yesterday where he pleaded not guilty to grand larceny.

Thank you to Lauren for the tip. Thanks, girl!

February 20, 2013 / art / photo / Art Heist / LEAVE A COMMENT / 16

In Case You’re Loaded…

I’ve mentioned Fitz is a total jerk, right? He eats everything that isn’t nailed down or put on shelves out of his reach, though he’s been moderately better recently thanks to his Prozac and being a little bit older. He’s eaten an entire Sunday New York Times, a bouquet of flowers, a box of tissues, a decorative bowl of wicker balls, a neighbor’s condo fee check they slid through our door (two occasions), the pillow Boyfriend guilted me into putting in his crate for comfort, wine corks, 4 blankets, and a patch of the living room rug. Now, you’d think he would have been at least considerate enough to chew a corner, or something I could have hidden under the ottoman, but no. We’re talking smack dab in the middle of the rug. Just took a loose strand of jute and went to town. Oh, there was also the time he decided he’d chewed enough of the rug itself, and wanted to move on the to dessert course: the rug pad.

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I forgot where I was going with this now, I’m all rage-y.

RIGHT. This weekend I decided the rug had to go. His industriousness aside, that rug took me like six months to find. It was a serious investment in time, though thankfully, having met its demise at the teeth of my crackhead dog, not a financial one as well. I searched and searched for a suitable rug for the living room that met Boyfriend’s requests: not plushy. I originally figured that black was a good choice since Fitz sheds like it’s his second job (his first job of course being his esteemed position at Thing Chewers of America), but quickly came to realize black shows EVERYTHING and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to vacuum. Also, jute seemed like a great idea, but no. Never again. Sorry, Boyfriend. You and your tactile defensiveness will just have to cope with a semi-plush rug next time.

I spent the majority of my 4 day weekend looking for a new rug. I’m in it for the long haul, I know, because starting all over again with my list of requirements: under $200, low pile, neutral color, reasonable shipping (side note: I hate companies that don’t offer shipping discounts. Like I want to pay another $50 for shipping). And in the process, I found the most insanely priced rug of all time. Behold:

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I CAN’T EVEN. Obviously I bought it, because, hello, I have $165k laying around and a room 33′ wide to put that thing in. The clincher for me, and why I’m assuming this is some sort of elaborate April Fool’s joke, is that there is a “High Sellout Risk” (apparently rug sales are impervious to the economy) and there is 1 review, stating the rug was “a little on the expensive side but thats the price for perfection.” If that is real, I hate them.

February 19, 2013 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 11

I Was Wrong About ‘Girls’

Do you know how much I hate being wrong? More than I hate people who “don’t get the hype about Paris.” So I’ll just cop to this and get it out of the way: “Girls” is pretty good. Okay, “Girls” is awesome. I still stand by the original assessment I made after watching the pilot episode a year ago that Lena Dunham is kind of grating and needs to stop being naked on tv, but after marathoning through season 1 on Friday and season 2 on Saturday, it’s safe to say I’m a fan. I love the characters and the ridiculous scenarios, and though there’s been a fair amount of criticism of the show being “just another group of privileged white girls in New York,” a lot of it rings true for me about being a 20-something navigating life and relationships. It’s like the awkward junior version of “Sex and the City,” to borrow a comparison made about a million other times already.

This scene was the most striking for me from season 1. And because I need to do a better job of informing you when things are Not Safe for Work (see Friday’s post with the Courbet crotch-shot, sorry guys), the following clip would best be listened to with headphones, and by that I mean, listen to this with headphones because it’s vulgar and could get you fired.

Kind of insane, right?

In my Internet Squirreling for the specific font the show uses in the opening credits (what? I’m a typography nerd), I found this fascinating article over on Imprint. An LA based design company created the typeface for the show’s title (top), which looks oddly, suspiciously like Neutraface by House Industries (bottom).

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Um, okay. I bet buying the font package from House Industries would have been cheaper than hiring an agency to basically copy it for them. Still, seeing these photos of the design process were pretty interesting:

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Do you watch “Girls”? All the episodes are on demand if you, like me, are off today for President’s Day! How was your weekend? Speaking of more tv, did anyone watch the Downton Abbey season finale last night? TEARS.

February 18, 2013 / art / photo / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 22

Et Voila

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via The Daily Mail

Let me set the scene for you: it’s 2010 and you’re an amateur art buff looking through a Parisian antique shop. You come across a framed, but unsigned, canvas of a woman’s head thrown back, her shoulders bare. You are intrigued by the painting and pay €1200 for it, but your curiosity won’t rest. You take the painting home and match it against the famous, headless painting by Gustave Courbet called “Origin of the World” (you know the one, it scandalized Paris when he painted it in 1866 so much so that it wasn’t displayed at the Musee D’Orsay until 120 years later), et voila, the grooves of the wood frame matched and so did the painting contours.

It’s at this point that you have a mini heart attack.

Two years later, and after a “battery of spectrographic and chemical tests,” the headless painting is officially “authenticated by Jacques Fernier, the only expert allowed to officially recognise Courbet works,” according to the Telegraph. The antique store find is added to Courbet’s catalog raisonné and is now valued at €35m. THIRTY FIVE MILLION EUROS or 29 thousand times what you bought the painting for. And your discovery has officially changed the known art world.

Of course, there are some critics who doubt its authenticity. Even Fernier himself admits that from an artistic point of view, the discovery isn’t as magical as the story suggests: “(The Origin of the World) loses that kind of marvellous mystery and symbolism from the moment you stick a head on it – that’s why Courbet took it off,” he said. The find has opened the discussion as to whether there are more missing pieces to the painting, hiding in the back of some junk shop somewhere.

You have to wonder: what if there are missing pieces in other famous works? What if there’s an unknown Edvard Munch painting that shows what exactly was so scary on that bridge for someone to scream so much. Or if further down the table from Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers, there’s a pair of garden shears and a giant bottle of Absinthe.

A big thank you to Sam for bringing this story to my attention. Thanks, lovely!

(Oh, and as for Valentine’s Day? Boyfriend went Paris-themed on me: he got us tickets to a show the Sunday we’re there, as well as arranged a shopping/ Easter egg hunt through the city! He ordered gifts at Colette, FrenchTrotters, and Zara Home and is having them all held there to be picked up in a few weeks. COME ON.)

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February 15, 2013 / art / photo / LEAVE A COMMENT / 13