I've found myself taking more photos than usual inside my office at Chronicle Books. Who knows why. Maybe because it's a place of warm light and bright colors, designed by myself for myself to catch and please my own eye. Maybe because I have cool stuff around, like the below giant bread-tie artwork by Ari Bird.
My talk at last week's Creative Mornings was an almost deliriously wonderful experience. A huge engaged crowd; and I remembered everything I wanted to say; and they laughed at my jokes and seemed to like my offbeat hand-drawn slides -- not to mention the people (all volunteers!) who run the SF Creative Mornings chapter were some of the loveliest, kindest folks you're ever going to meet. I had a ball. And can we just talk for a moment more about how amazing the whole Creative Mornings concept is? You get a free talk, free coffee breakfast, and are done by around 9:30, in time to head into work maybe only a smidgen late. So good! Eventually there will be a video online of the whole thing, plus professional photographs, but for now I must rely on the kindness of strangers -- the photos folks in the crowd took and posted on their Instagram stories. So the format is funky, and some of the pictures are not, as we say, the most "flattering" -- but they capture the joy of the moment and, remember? We gave up on the concept of "flattering" months ago.
I found myself fascinated by Lily van der Stokker's show at Kaufmann Repetto gallery in Tribeca. Her use of words and shapes and objects, brought together in a very specific color pallet did things to my brain that I very much enjoyed. I stayed a long time, and could have stayed even longer -- reading all the names of doctors and medicaments and other text about apartments and books and garbage bags up on the walls and boxes.
i’ve got a yellow canister
with a cork lid a pink rubber
pin cushion in the shape of a
donut a hot pink container made
of glass a wooden box with a green
eraser for a lid and a replica rivet
from the golden gate bridge
I walked the show floor at New York Comic Con on the Friday of my week in New York. I’d never been to a Comic Con before and was excited to see the crowds, the costumes, the artists, the trends, and just the overall scene. One of my main impressions was just how clearly happy people were to be there. Even when they were waiting in long lines for a book signing or curly fries, or packed in very tight crowds where it was hard to walk, the overall vibe was upbeat and jovial. It was the sort of mob scene you have to just surrender to in order to enjoy it, and I found that, with little agenda to speak of other than just to see the circus, I was able to do so. I took a ton of photos but most of them were terrible -- snatches and glimpses of things I didn't want to forget about (the jam-packed Dick Blick art supply booth, for instance, or the dozens of folks dressed up in the the ice cream shop sailor suits from Stranger Things, or the scads of artists I was interested in downstairs in the Artists Alley area) but nearly always dark or bury or crooked, and nearly always with people's heads in the way -- a bit like trying to take pictures while riding an elephant through a dense forest. But here are a few pics that offer at least a glimpse of what I saw.
Philadelphia, it turns out, is an exceptionally pretty city. I spent the day there -- bracketed by early-morning and late-night Amtrak rides from Manhattan. I spoke to students at University of the Arts in the morning, and had dinner with some author and artist friends in the evening, but all afternoon I just wandered. Drifting past the big historical stuff, down narrow cobblestone streets, in and out of stores and coffee shops. It was drizzly and gray but no less delightfully dreamy looking for all of that. It's funny to think that New York must once have looked like this, full of colonial buildings -- just Philly kept a lot of theirs and nyc did not. As a person who did not leave the state of California until she was a teenager, it is always exciting and gratifying for me to get to set foot on the ground of a new town I've never been to before -- to try, even just in a day, to pick up a bit of its vibe. This one was no exception. Thanks for having me, Philly!