1.12.12 | Best of Winter Break

Thoroughly enjoying a much-needed holiday… Here are some of my favorites thus far!

Brooklyn Museum

Visible Storage Study Center at the Brooklyn Museum. Every museum and gallery should have one of these awesome exposed storage spaces!

I really can’t understand how I managed to spend nearly two decades living in the Boston area and studying art without ever having set foot inside the Brooklyn Museum. This museum is massive, elegant, and perfect for monumental artworks such as Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party” installation and the highly controversial Hide/Seek exhibition. I spent five days in New York City and Long Island at the beginning of January, and out of all the institutions I visited (including the Guggenheim, Frick Collection, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and various Chelsea galleries), the Brooklyn Museum was by far the most interesting space with the most intelligent exhibitions.


Yonah Schimmel... Killin' it every time. Half-sour pickles, coleslaw, mozzarella jalapeño knish.

A trip to New York is basically just an excuse for a pilgrimage to my favorite dinky little Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery on East Houston. Just down the street is Katz’s Deli, which is apparently where this infamous scene in “When Harry Met Sally” was shot. And of course, in the spirit of any true deli, both Yonah Schimmel’s and Katz’s serve half-sour pickles and coleslaw. Delicious.

Katz's Deli: half-sours, pickled tomatoes, chocolate egg cream, and the best sweet noodle kugel I've ever tasted, with raisins, oranges, and apples baked inside... Yum!

Local Eateries

Not far behind New York’s delis (and bakeries! Absolute Bagels and Levain Bakery both on the Upper West Side, and Magnolia Bakery scattered around the city are amazing) is Boston’s very own Zaftigs Delicatessan, located in Coolidge Corner. Their cheese blintzes are little pockets of heaven.

Check out this cream cheese spread at Absolute Bagels, New York.

Cinnamon raisin bagel with so much apple cream cheese.

Other recent vegetarian and vegan-friendly favorites are Veggie Planet and Clover in Harvard Square. Clover is also responsible for those cheap & healthy food trucks you’ve seen stationed around MIT and MassArt.

A friend's delicious birthday dinner at Veggie Planet. Cupcakes from Lyndell's Bakery to follow.

My newest discovery (as of yesterday, lunch!) is Flatbread Company tucked away in Davis Square. Organic ingredients, an entire menu of local brews, and half of the restaurant space serves as a bowling arena… It really doesn’t get any better than this.

Real brick oven at Flatbread Company in Davis Square!

Flatbread's special of the day: vegetarian pizza with beets, summer squash, caramelized onions, kale, rosemary, goat cheese, balsamic dressing. (Sausage on the other half for sharing with a friend...)

And since I haven’t been in the Tufts Somerville/Medford area as much lately and Diesel Cafe is a bit of a trek, I’ve been spending the majority of my cafe time at CafeNation in Brighton and 1369 Coffee House in Central Square.

Collaborative, Creative Projects

The reason why I’ve been making trips out to Central Square recently is that I’ve been learning to use the laser-cutting machines in Danger!Awesome‘s tiny storefront at the corner of Prospect and Mass Ave. Currently, I am helping out a Brooklyn-based artist laser-cut 6,000 or so frames for an animated video to accompany musician Josh Ritter‘s “Love Is Making Its Way Back Home,” to be released in early February.

Small stack of frames for the Josh Ritter music video animation.

Two projects on my radar currently are The Boston Tree Party, a community tree-planting initiative spearheaded by a Tufts/SMFA graduate program alum, and “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” the directorial debut of Angelina Jolie set within the context of the Bosnian War. While I cannot necessarily give a strong statement for “In the Land…” as a film itself– I found it nearly impossible to concentrate on technical aspects of the film, given the tremendous intensity of the subject matter– I do support the project as a whole. Jolie brought together a cast of crew of diverse backgrounds and created an opportunity for important dialogue sparked by the film, using art as a means for communication and social change.


Modest Mouse’s Life Like Weeds. Listening to ‘The Moon and Antarctica” (2000) album nonstop.


I had been meaning to read Rob Walker’s “Buying In” and Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s “Freakonomics” for the longest time, and I finally did it this break! Currently making my way through Lindsay Pollock’s “The Girl with the Gallery” about 20th century American art dealer Edith Gregor Halpert. Other books on my list include Frank Moss’ “The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives” (review here) and “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success…” by Keith Ferrazzi.


Smell like chlorine every day! Keeps me sane.

… And that’s it for now. Just some little snippets of my winter vacation.

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12.24.11 | The Tree of Life

The perfect ending to a year of inevitable change and attempts at reconciliation: The Tree of Life (2011), written and directed by Terrence Malick. As 2011 draws to a close, we find ourselves sifting through remnants of civil resistance, social and political unrest, deaths of powerful leaders; these are the realities of a humanity that struggles under the weight of unresolved conflict, an insatiable hunger for even the simplest resources, and a yearning for narrative, a personal story that will render our existence in this world somehow worthwhile.

The Tree of Life shatters these realities with gorgeous, sweeping landscapes, and visuals that only seem to appear in dreams. High and low angles present impossible perspectives, soaring, falling, literally free-wheeling through time and space. We feel small. We feel humble. We forget who we are, what we do, how we wish to believe that we are perceived, and we allow the film to drench us in life, light, and love.

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12.21.11 | Tangerine Tango

“The 2011 color of the year, Honeysuckle, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward…” (read more)

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12.9.11 | Art [ Basel ] Hong Kong


Art 42 Basel

全世界最有名的国际当代艺术博览会每年六月在瑞士的第三大城市巴塞尔举办。巴塞尔位于法国,德国,和瑞士的边界交接处,所以它的文化丰富多彩。巴塞尔艺博会在1970年最先推出,三年后很快就发展成为全世界最大的艺博会。巴塞尔艺博会也被称为“艺术界的奥运会”。近年来,巴塞尔艺博会展示了300多家北美,拉丁美洲,欧洲,亚洲,和非洲的最有名,有钱,有地位,有权威的画廊。这些画廊代表的当代艺术家都是当代最出色,最有潜力的艺术家。巴塞尔艺博会办得很火,很成功。所以, 始于2002年,巴塞尔艺博会的业主MCH集团公司每年12月初在美国佛罗里达举办“迈阿密海滩巴塞尔艺博会”(Art Basel Miami Beach)。

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12.5.11 | 半边天 Half the Sky

Just deposited a Dehn Travel Fellowship check for $2,000 from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts this afternoon! Been reading and daydreaming about Art HK 2012.  Still waiting to apply for a research scholarship with a March deadline, so travel plans are up in the air. Really, though, I am just homesick for Beijing.

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11.30.11 | Map of the Future, Paul Chan

Saw this at Art in General. Thought it was brilliant, figured I’d share! Arist: Paul Chan.

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11.25.11 | NYC recap

Still recovering from two consecutive weekends in NYC– so much art, friends, and food! Went to a few Performa 11 events (including the opening of my new favorite duo robbinschildsInstruction Construction and Mika Rottenberg & Jon Kessler‘s Seven performance), saw the Richard Serra exhibition at the Gagosian gallery, Carsten Höller‘s Experience collection of interactive works at the New Museum (Although I must admit, it definitely did not live up to my expectations– as it turns out, installing a giant slide in a museum is a terrible idea; way too many rules and regulations to follow!), de Kooning‘s retrospective at MoMA, and most unexpectedly wandered into Walter de Maria‘s New York Earth Room at the Dia Art Foundation site (absolutely breathtaking!), among various other visits to galleries in Chelsea (especially loved Allison Schulnik‘s Mound exhibition, particularly her animations, at ZieherSmith) and around SoHo.

Spending these two weekends in New York really made me appreciate the city a whole lot more, and I have finally figured out how to make my way around the city by metro! You know, I could maybe see myself living here at some point.

In any case, here are some photos from the Seven performance. Rottenberg & Kessler literally created a “sweatshop” for the duration of 37 minutes…

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11.16.11 | Artist Profile – Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley: Living the Dream

Kehinde Wiley, Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (self-portrait), 2005, oil on canvas, 108 x 108"

Kehinde Wiley’s story is the epitome of the American Dream. It is a familiar rendition of the classic success tale: an underprivileged Black youth manages to make it against the odds, achieving glory, wealth and fame. Our hero in this story now positions himself among the elite ranks of contemporary artists, backed by galleries in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and armed with a couple of sweet commissions at VH1 and the PUMA company under his belt.[1] Regardless of his impressive achievements, however, Wiley must be wary not to settle into this success. The art market is relentlessly unforgiving, and Wiley must continue to push his concept and develop his artistic vision if he is to stay relevant, maintain critics’ interest, and keep his career afloat in the survival-of-the-fittest game that is the contemporary art world.

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11.9.11 | Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”

Thought this video was interesting! Check it out:

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11.6.11 | Ode to Autumn

Leaves from the hydrangea bushes in my front yard and lots of nori paste… Continue reading

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