Some amazing stories about Mandela, his law firm, his children’s umbilical cords, the prison:
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
- Pop-Up Magazine is an amazing “live” magazine that started here in San Francisco, and consists talks, performances, demos and slide shows in front of a live audience. It is a live event that only happens once, and is unrecorded, a rarity in these days of constant recording and archiving. It is almost impossible to get tickets — they go on sale at noon, and the entire Davis Symphony Hall — thousands of seats — is usually sold out by 12:05. Somehow we got tickets off the waiting list and were able to go on Monday night. The theme of the night was music, and framed by Beck’s collection of sheet music, performed by various artists — some were amazing, some were average. Stories about music, stories, songs. The ephemeral is so rare.
- Today is Commencement ceremonies for The New School at Jacob Javits, where I am to receive an Honorary Doctorate. This will be the first graduation since Junior High School for Joi Ito, who is also receiving a degree. He wasn’t sure what the protocol was for robes and such, and we told him it was traditional to go naked beneath your robes. We’ll see what he shows up in.
- While out here, I visited Donald at Findery East, and interviewed him for the blog about using Findery for his road trip. Williamsburg is so expensive these days!
- We ate last night at Chez Sardine, where the music was too loud, and the service slow (though kind, and accommodating), but the food was excellent.
“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”
The only things that are important in life are the things you remember.
– Jean Renoir, as recalled by James Salter, in the New Yorker.
- Apartamento, a magazine out of Spain, but written in English, is one of my favorite magazines. The latest issue just arrived in the mail today and I am happily listening to YLE and leafing through it.
- I was in NY last week for an Etsy board meeting — I love that company! — and a bunch of other meetings.
- There is some amazing digital media at The New York Public Library, which I got to see too (after a lovely lunch at Szechuan Gourmet), and some beautiful maps. Hopefully some of the amazingness will be coming to Findery soon.
- I’m sure there was some amazing art at the Frieze Art Fair, but I wasn’t able to find it. However, found some friends there, which was even better. And the boat to and from was lovely.
- Mookie is an exceptional Westie that lives in the West Village. We walked him.
- The wall at Le Philosophe is covered with French philosophers, and supposedly, if you are able to name all of them, they will pay for your meal. I was only able to identify Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre, Descartes and, I think, Foucault. And, I think, Luce Irigaray. The food was amazing, and I was happy to pay for it. Or, rather, to have it paid for on my behalf. Duck, hear? And the snails to start, which were as unlike any snails I’d had before as it was possible to be. Delicious.
- Later, after a close call, we headed to Marie’s Crisis Cafe, a singalong piano bar specializing in show tunes. We managed some Summer Lovin, from Grease, and Let The Sun Shine In, from Aquarius, while managing our Tom Collinses.
What I fault newspapers for is that day after day they draw our attention to insignificant things whereas only three or four times in our lives do we read a book in which there is something really essential. Since we tear the band off the newspaper so feverishly every morning, they ought to change things and put into the paper, oh, I don’t know, perhaps…Pascal’s Pensees! …and then, in a gilt-edged volume that we open only once in ten years…we would read that the Queen if Greece has gone to Cannes or that the Princesses de Leon has given a costume ball. This way the proper proportions would be te established.
- Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time