Thursday, July 21, 2011


Her Secret is Patience, an icon created by the American Artist Janet Echelman, suspended above the new two-city-block Phoenix Civic Space park in the middle of downtown.

ARTIST: Sculptor Janet Echelman receives calls from cities around the world asking her to make sculptures for them. She is my hero in this way and more. Her work is the most ephemeral embodiment of transformation imaginable…meaning that she weaves exquisite, monumental airborne forms that suggest space. In her TED Talk, Taking Imagination Seriously, she illustrates the evolution of her ideas beginning with the serendipitous event that changed her expressive arc from painting to sculpture and set her on her genius career.

ARTIST: Derek Jeter gave The Master of all Master’s Classes on July 9th when he hit his 3,000th home run in a game in which he also went five for five (hits for times at plate), and drove in the winning home run. The dean of baseball writers, Rogel Angell, muses that Derek “lit up the day and the record and the twenty-seven extraordinary players already within his élite new circle, and reminded the rest of us, fans everywhere, that what we come for is always the game, the game itself.” Read more @

BOOK: : Center of the Universe. Nancy Bachrach. (New York: Alfred Knopf, 2009) Nancy Bachrach’s mother, Lola, was not only the quintessential Jewish mother (her voracious appetite for sex, notwithstanding), but the quintessential bipolar Jewish mother. Her dizzying, dazzling creativity and the inevitable, ever-growing list of flameouts make family life a tortured family circus – but a circus nonetheless. You could easily hear David Sedaris reading Bachrach’s words. As with Karen Russell in the recent Swamplandia!, Bachrach’s command of language is put to the service of a killer wit. And she never lets up. Just like her father, a hapless handyman doomed by his infernal jury-rigging. And just like her mother who refused to allow life to eliminate her universe and her place at its center.

TELEVISION: The serial drama Breaking Bad takes place in a universe “where nobody gets away with anything and karma is the great uncredited player in the cast.” It’s also, by turns, hilarious, macabre, and filled with “mordantly amusing ordeals.” The premise: After being diagnosed with lung cancer, chemistry teacher, father, husband and all-round solid Albuquerque citizen Walter White wakes from the slumber of an unfulfilling life to become a wizard at concocting the purest, most coveted crystal meth that local dealers have ever known. The fist show of the current (fourth) season on July 17 was truly grim, but trust that the cockeyed juxtapositions of previous seasons will return. If you haven’t caught it, dive in now (on AMC), but also treat yourself to a marathon of the earlier seasons.

URBAN DESIGN: “No tyrant can run a city. The city will talk back.” Three-quarters of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050. This brief video collects the thoughts of several eminent urban scholars as to what they think makes a city successful, with suggestions ranging from public transportation to ethnic integration to public spaces, to states of incompleteness.

FASHION: Those feathery, flowery sculptures perched atop the heads of the royals and the friends at Ascot and the monarchal weddings are not called hats. They are referred to as fascinators. Take a look and you’ll agree the term is perfect.

“On this Earth where you exist,
the Divine is the host,
and you are the guest.
And in this body,
you are the host,
and the Divine is the guest.”
Prem Rawat/Maharaji

You’ll gasp, you’ll chuckle. It’s MR. SLICK.
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