Wednesday, September 30, 2020

BEAUTY: Interior--Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper's 1790s Federal-Style Farmhouse

Martin Cooper and Karen Suen-Cooper purchased a dilapidated 1790s Federalist-style home in Old Chatham, New York in 2005 and began restoration work in 2007. And the results are charming. I love how the couple have incorporated some unexpected--and more contemporary--elements (steel balls in the entry, cotemporary photography and modern track-armed sofas in the yellow art-filled living room) into a home filled with antiques. Miraculously, none of it feels fussy or brittle. I especially love the Etruscan-orange sitting room walls (a beautiful wallcovering from Brunschwig & Fils) and an amazing black-lacquered dining room!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Inside & Outwards"

"'Inside & Outwards,' a short film produced by HunterPark that explores mental health through the lens of COVID isolation, celebrating the inner strength that came out when the pandemic kept us indoors. Narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker, directed by Ezra Hurwitz and featuring music by Sufjan Stevens and Lowell Brams, 'Inside & Outwards' aims to inspire each of us to be our own heroes, embrace our internal struggles, and take comfort in our resilience. With recovery still in motion, we’re all in this together but it takes courage to do this alone. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

"Levitate" by U2



It's in your voice, I can feel it, I can tell (it)
It's in your voice, has me ringing me like a bell
Peace of mind, peace comes dropping slow
I'm in the mind, to let go of control
Spirit come on down, no I'm not coming down

In the backstreets, in the backstreets of our love
Through the locked doors, deep down, deep down is not enough
Spirit come on down, no I'm not coming down

Who can stop us now?
It's much too late
Can't slow us down
We can't hesitate
I want a love that's hard
As hard as hate

To be the bee, to be the bee and the flower
Before the sweetness, before the sweetness turns to sour
When freedom comes, freedom has a scent
It's like the top of a newborn baby's head
Baby we can taste it, you and I

Spirit come on down, no I'm not coming down

Who can stop us now?
Who could make us wait?
Who could slow us down?
Make us hesitate
I want a love that's hard
As hard as hate
Oh, lift me up

Spirit come on down, no I'm not coming down

Sunday, September 27, 2020

"Sugar" by Sufjan Stevens

"Sugar" by Sufjan Stevens. Fascinating.

Come on, baby, gimme some sugar
Of the lyric, Stevens says, "I'm like, what if that meant I need some goodness in my life because there's just so much garbage in our society right now? What if that phrase actually meant: I just need some sweetness and beauty and integrity without the cacophony of the world around me?"

Is someone gonna cut me some slack?
Now that it’s a quarter to ten
Come on baby gimme some sugar
You tell me that you wanna fall back
But I don’t wanna do this again
Come on baby gimme some sugar

Stand up straight now stand real tall
And wipe that writing off the wall
This is the right time
Come on baby gimme some sugar
Now put one foot in front of the other
Take a breath now breathe, my lover
Let’s take up this lifeline
Come on baby gimme some sugar

Is that the weight of the world on your back?
Surrender with that colorful flag

Come on baby gimme some sugar
Yeah they’ve been selling us this fiction as fact
But I don’t wanna lose you again
Come on baby gimme some sugar

Don’t make me wait
Don’t make me wait too long
Don’t make sing the sad song
Come on baby gimme some sugar

All the shit they try to feed us
Don’t drink the poison or they’ll defeat us
This is the right time
Come on baby gimme some sugar
Don’t break my heart, don’t break my flow now
And all this rage has got to go now
Let’s take up this lifeline
Come on baby gimme some sugar

And here is the full seven minute version:

Saturday, September 26, 2020

BEAUTY: Painting--Yvonne Jacquette

Yvonne Jacquette has been painting aerial views of Manhattan for decades now...the rigid structures and grids of streets mean that her paintings are naturally ordered and geometric.

She has no dedicated website but she is currently represented by DC Moore Gallery.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Thursday, September 24, 2020

BEAUTY: Photography--Ronny Behnert

Photographer Ronny Behnert travels the world photographing special places and I particularly like his series called Torri.

"I met Shintoism and Buddhism, the most widespread religions in Japan, all over the country. Shrines and torii, the traditional Japanese gates that symbolize the entrance to a Shinto shrine and form the transition from profane to sacred spaces, can be found in the most remote places in Japan. Even in the Pacific along the coast, high up on Mount Fuji and in the dense, uninhabited forests outside of the big cities, the torii are not uncommon.

In order to give each torii the necessary space for a dominant presence and at the same time to achieve a simple, minimalist image effect, I used strong neutral density filters for taking photos, which helped me achieve exposure times of five minutes and longer to make all the disturbing elements in the photo disappear . The longer the exposure time, the more clearly the existing wave structures of the troubled Pacific become blurred in order to take away even the smallest, disturbing picture element from the main subject.

The entire series is very important to me, as I have a very emotional connection to the Torii for an indefinable reason. So I am all the more pleased that the photos in this series were awarded 1st place at the Sony World Photography Awards in the landscape category."

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


As the US surpasses 200,000 Covid-19 deaths, survivors have a message: This is not a hoax
By Theresa Waldrop, CNN
Updated 7:40 PM ET, Tue September 22, 2020

Even as the nation surpasses 200,000 Covid-19 deaths, there are still people who think the coronavirus is a hoax. Survivors of the disease and members of victims' families beg to differ and are sharing their very real experiences with the deadly disease.

Ann and Marvin Robinson, a married couple in Casper, Wyoming, got the virus almost three months ago. Marvin, 73, still has shortness of breath, and both are battling fatigue.

"We have friends who still believe it's a hoax. They think that it's going to go away on Election Day," Ann, 72, told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Tuesday.

"It's trying to convince people that the 200,000 people who have died were important," Ann said of her efforts to assure people of the reality of the virus.

Their friends "kind of discount the fact that older people get it that have underlying conditions, that they were going to die anyway," Ann said. "Well, I'm an older person and I have underlying conditions, and I intend to live for a lot more years."

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 6.88 million people have contracted the virus nationwide, and at least 200,477 people have died.

Covid-19 is now the second-leading cause of death in the US, just after heart disease, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Heather-Elizabeth Brown, a 35-year-old police chaplain and corporate trainer in the Detroit area, spent about 100 days in the hospital with Covid-19. More than a month of her hospital stay was spent on a ventilator and in a coma in intensive care.

She said she still has trouble breathing and with fatigue.

"Simple things like getting up the stairs or walking to my car or outside to get something winds me, and the fatigue factor is also a really big part of the after effects," Brown said.

"I find that I can't get through a whole day without having to stop and lie down and rest, just because I'm absolutely exhausted from doing everyday simple tasks like, you know, getting a shower or making breakfast."

"I absolutely want people to know that Covid is a real disease," Brown told Keilar. "It's not fake, it's not made up, it's not a conspiracy. It is something that is communicable and it is something that can be very dangerous."

Sondra Wolfe lost her husband to Covid-19. She is frustrated that the pandemic has become a political issue in the United States.

"People see the numbers and so many of them don't care," Wolfe told CNN last week. "I want to put a human face and a family, what a family is going through, the grief that this has caused, and maybe change some minds that this is a real thing."

Diana Berrent was one of the first in her New York community to be diagnosed with the virus on March 18, she said.

She founded a support group for survivors, Survivors Corps, that has more than 90,000 members.

At the end of August, Berrent was "still having terrible GI issues, massive headaches, and what feels like a deep ear infection," she told CNN's Jake Tapper. "But it pales in comparison to what many of our members are experiencing, really dramatic things, neurological issues, tachycardia, things as dramatic as Covid-onset diabetes and Covid-onset lupus."

What she wants people to know, she said, is that "this is not a matter of either getting the flu or dying. There is a very, very large bucket in the middle, which seems to constitute a huge proportion of people who get Covid, who are not recovering. You do not want to end up in that group of people."

When you see people's stories on Survivor's Corps of, for example, a 25-year-old who is writing a living will and "don't think they're going to make it to see their wedding day, you'll have a change of heart," Berrent said.

Maureen Fagan's sister Adeline Fagan, 28-year-old and a second-year OB-GYN resident living in Houston, died Saturday after battling Covid-19 for a few months. Fagan's family has been speaking out since in an effort to save other lives.

"Everyone could be an Adeline and that's the scary part of this," Fagan told CNN's Kate Bolduan, asking people to follow the guidelines to protect other people.

"If you can do something as simple as wearing the mask, social distancing, even just using hand sanitizer, to do your part," she said.

"I think you have a right to do that, just as a human being and trying to be a good person."

Link to original article:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Happy Birthday "Oh, By The Way" 2020!

Congratulations "Oh, By The Way," you are eleven years old today!

Eleven years ago, I had a dream in which I started a blog called “Oh, By The Way.” When I woke up that morning, I went to the computer and promptly started a blog called “Oh, By The Way.” Seriously--it was the first thing I did that morning, and yes, I often act out in waking life things I have dreamt.

"Oh, By The Way" is my digital scrap book of things I like, things I would share with a close friend and say: “Oh, by the way, do you know of this artist/ clothing or interior designer/ model/ singer/ actor/ gorgeous man… or, have you seen this video/ photo/ film... or heard (or do you remember) this song/ band... or, read this book/ poem/ inspiring quote... or, visited this place/ restaurant/ famous building... or, have you heard of this amazing new scientific discovery?”

Followers and regular readers: thank you so much! I hope you find this blog fascinating, beautiful, interesting, moving, inspiring, informative, and uplifting. Welcome to the birthday party. This year I am virtually serving a stunning anniversary cake made over a geode studded with quartz and smokey quartz crystals by Sainte G Cake Company. Help yourself to a slice and a virtual cup of iced Double Bergamot Earl Grey tea.


Happy Autumnal Equinox 2020!

Well, that summer went by fast...apparently time goes by quickly when you're worried about losing everything you own in a wildfire.

Today is the official start of autumn, when our planet begins to tilt the other direction, tipping the northern hemisphere away from the sun. The days grow shorter, nights grow longer, as we move indoors and into ourselves for hibernation and introspection. Autumn is a time of harvest as the earth moves into hibernation as well. It is a beautiful time, a spiritual transition, a doorway between summer and winter.


(And for our friends Down Under, Happy Spring!)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020

BEAUTY: Fabric Art--Megan Constance Altieri

The basis for Megan Constance Altieri's fabric/clothing art project Sonder is powerful in its simplicity.

Sonder illustrates the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as our own. In our awareness of even a single other person we begin to grasp the magnitude of the 7.6 billion coexisting realities all as specific and important as one another.

Over the past four years, Altieri has gathered fragments of overheard conversations and hand-stamped them on articles of clothing matching those of the speaker. Displaying these garments on a series of clotheslines illustrates nakedness and openness, encouraging viewers to embrace vulnerability.

Viewing these articles collectively challenges our capacity for empathy, curiosity, and awareness of others. Sonder seeks to help us grasp the beautiful complexities of humanity by allowing a momentary escape from our own lens. In exchange for our perspective, we are offered a truer understanding of our identity as a dot among a sea of dots. It recognizes that any hope of a richer perspective of humanity begins with acute awareness of others.

I love this idea as it mirrors an on-going project of my own. For the past thirty years, I too have kept a running journal of snippets of overheard public conversations, just like Altieri. I'll share some highlights at the end of this post, but first, let's take a look at a 2018 installation of Sonder mounted at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Michigan.

Altieri's Sonder project is ongoing and its most recent installation was at the Saugatuk Center for the Arts in Michigan which closed just this month, September 2020. Here is a wonderful video made for the installation that features an interview with Altieri.

For more info, visit Altieri's site:
And purchase a 392-page book chronicling the project:

And as promised, here is my selected list of fascinating, odd, funny, or moving phrases and sentences I have overheard from conversations in public. I have heard these walking behind or passing someone on the street, or from a booth behind me in a restaurant...

“Yeah, it’s true... they all have that hair that sticks up in the back...”
“Joe always says he’d shoot the tires but no, I’d aim right at the driver and shoot his f***ing head off.”
“...and that’s somethin’ you’re s’posed to be proud of?”
“That boy can sing.”
“…and he goes, ‘You must have a real low opinion of me’…”
“…he’s coming later but for now it’s nailed shut.”
“It goes loop, loop then like this, and you’re all…”
“Well, ya hafta identify the issues…”
“He calls this kid over and says, ‘Go up to Uncle Isadore’…”
“Was my father thrown completely out of the car in the accident?”
“She was standing right next to the phone so there was no excuse.”
“Will you help me find a waffle iron?”
“He’s a dock worker in San Francisco but in his spare time he’s a philosopher and he writes these books.”
“He said, ‘I’ve got something for your nerves…’”
“I wasn’t flirting consciously…”
“The things that people think they can self-help themselves into…”
“My husband’s was approved, signed and stamped.”
“All the Ken dolls were Dr. Kildare.”
“It makes me mad and I gotta get outta there before I have a melt down.”
“You’re an old drunk and you don’t know shit.”
“You know this. Your husband is a rabbit.”
“The pathologist is a really nice guy.”
“I put on this skirt and I went out and I took it off and I, like, swung it around…”
“That woman says it when she’s dying.”
“Imagine what you would wear if you were safe.”
“The universe is no big deal.”
“Remember how it used to be shiny?”
”Did John seem more relaxed to you?”
“Just a white dress, no jacket, no nothing.”
“…standing up in a hammock…”
“I’ll show you my nipple!”
“Gosh, it’s been fifteen years since I started an I.V.!”
“Wake up, eat, f**k…”
“I have two who are really good with math, and one who is…‘creative.’ But that’s a good thing!”
“Didn’t you go to jail?”
“…but the funniest thing in the world is me eating dinner with a girl and me farting…”
“I don’t hate you, I’m just saying that I don’t NOT like you.”
“The last champagne I had made me sick to my stomach.”
“I feel like a murderer, like there are severed heads everywhere…”
“Me, I spend every waking minute worrying about American Express.”
“That was the day I called you from the driveway when my mom was in that knife fight.”
“When did you go to Vegas and is that where your friend had the heart attack?”