February 27, 2009

The Little Celebrations.

Happy blue starfish from a field trip Matt and I took to the NY Aquarium last summer

A cheery coworker of mine forwarded this to me 10 minutes ago and I can't help wanting to share it. Especially on a Friday morning after a long, busy week. Enjoy!

10 Things We All Celebrate Subconsciously

Making the Yellow Light
It’s one of those simple pleasures, the act of beating the pack. As you blaze through the yellow light, you glance in your rearview to see all the cars behind you stopping at the red light. You made it! Hoorah… You will now arrive at your destination 1 minute sooner! For some reason it just makes you glow inside. Life seems great in that moment of celebration.

Lunch Time
“Yes… its Lunch time!” It happens every weekday at the same time with the same crowd. You know exactly what to expect, and yet you celebrate its arrival with eager enthusiasm. That turkey sandwich tastes better at noon on an idle Tuesday than it would in any other setting, under any other circumstances.

Friday Afternoon
Okay, so you probably consider this to be a bit more of a full blown conscious celebration, but it actually does creep up slowly in the subconscious. It starts on Friday afternoon around lunch time. Productivity gradually slows down over the course of a couple hours, and then by 3PM it hits a brick wall. Pretty soon you’re happily chatting away with colleagues that you deliberately avoided all week long. But that’s okay, because you can almost taste the 48 hours of freedom that lay ahead.

The First Sip
…of a beer or mixed drink that is! As long as you are not an addict, there is nothing wrong with having a couple alcoholic beverages in your off-time. And when the events leading up to this breath of spare time are hectic, that first sip is sheer bliss!

There is no better feeling than hearing the right song at the right time. It doesn’t matter what the setting is, hearing the right song in that moment is one of those simple pleasures in life that instantly lifts your spirits. You could be driving home from work, hanging out at a bar with friends, or jogging. When the right song for that moment rattles your ear drums, the entire meaning of life momentarily makes complete sense.

Regardless of your fitness level or fitness goals, I have no doubt that you subconsciously celebrate the completion of a solid workout. It’s a giddy feeling of self accomplishment; the one true activity (without taking hallucinogens) that actually makes you feel better and look better simultaneously. When you walk out the front door of the gym you are on top of the world!

Getting Things Done
Getting a task completed, no matter how big or small, is a conscious endeavor that usually brings you closer to some outstanding objective. However, this endeavor comes with a huge bonus! The bonus comes in the form of a warm subconscious feeling of accomplishment. Getting something done is like hitting 2 birds with one stone… the most important being the feeling of self accomplishment.

Sleeping In
Whether you can admit it or not, sleeping in is a celebration of vast proportions. People usually feel guilty for sleeping in because they think they should be out conquering some vital chore. But, you know what? Sometimes it just makes sense to stop and relax. And there is no better feeling of relaxation than sleeping until your eyes just pop open on their own.

Friendship is something we persistently celebrate, yet somehow fail to consciously appreciate. How does this make sense? Quite simply, we are always in a rush to socialize, and we celebrate the act of doing so, yet we are not necessarily conscious of its fundamental importance. Friendship is always celebrated; consciously when we are aware of its importance, and subconsciously when we are not.

Telling a Story
One of the most exciting gifts in life is that of a new experience. One of the most enticing roles we all lead in life is that of the storyteller. What good is a new experience if we cannot share the story with others? We are consciously aware of our new experiences, but that’s only half of the thrill. Subconsciously, we can’t wait to tell everyone we know.

February 25, 2009

Another Reason I Heart Brooklyn.

The new food entrepreneurs from Brooklyn via the NY Times

I love living in Brooklyn for many reasons. One is the sorta small-town feel. Two is the way there are 20 times more Mom & Pop shops than there are chains. Three is the quietness I hear when I step off the subway. Four is the way I feel like I have come back to some of my roots as my grandparents on my Mom's side were both born in Brooklyn. I could wax poetic all day but I will stop after saying just one more thing about why I love this large burrough to the east of Manhattan – the entrepreneurial spirit. This article captures the food entrepreneurs specifically on my side of the East River and makes me want to just BOTTLE or BAKE something and sell it! Read on!

*Thanks to my ever-thoughtful and always-looking-for-Brooklyn-things for her daughter-who-moved-out-of-state Mother for alerting me to the article from the NY Times! I love that you send me great things like this, Mom!

February 18, 2009

A Classic Goes Green. Really Green.

Keds were as much a part of my childhood as were riding bikes around the neighborhood. They instantly remind me of friendship bracelets and running around the yard and making paper mach̩ things in art class. Well, in InStyle this month I learned that not only have Keds footwear been around for 93 years but they have started a Green Label shoe which consists of organic cotton and recycled rubber. I love this new take AND love the small "green" clue they have put on these special shoes Рjust one green rivet with their laces!

February 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Barbie.

At Bloomingdale's in NYC from February 11 - 22

I remember dressing her in different outfits and sending her down the walkway (aka my bedroom floor) and thinking, wow, she looks great! Well, fellow girls of all ages, our favorite doll, Barbie, is turning 50 this year! Imagine three generations of children playing with the same doll for that long and without her aging via any wrinkles or botox. Sure, she has had a boob job and maybe a waist reduction but she still is in great shape! She is being celebrated by Bloomingdale's and Stila Cosmetics (at Sephora) as well as a few other retail stores and brands. Go Babs!

February 13, 2009

A Subway Surprise.

I abhor getting lost in the subway station; not knowing which exit is going which way and more importantly not knowing which is the way to Target. This very scenario happened to me last night as I attempted to see "TARGET" listed underneath "2/3 Downtown: New Lots Avenue" or above "4 Uptown: Manhattan" on the train signage at the mammoth Atlantic Avenue station in Brooklyn. All I wanted to do was find that red bullseye but to no avail. What I DID find instead was perfect letterspaced signage wrapped around subway polls and turnstiles advertising for the underground art exhibit that I would be seeing in just one more moment. The MOMA is so clever and has taken over the largest subway station in Brooklyn and put art on it's walls! It was wonderful large-scale prints of many famous artists from the actual museum's collection; Jackson Pollock, Van Gogh, Cindy Sherman, Charles Eames and many, many others' artwork walking with me. I didn't even mind getting lost because I got to take in more of the art. It's going on from now until March 15th and there to remind the Brooklyn subway riders that MOMA isn't too far away. And open 24 hours a day!

For the record, I did make it to Target. Eventually.

February 9, 2009

One Name: Coraline!

If you see one movie in the next couple of months, may I recommend that you see Coraline. We went on Saturday night, wore the funny 3D glasses and had a blast with teh movie. It was a treat for the eyes it was. It was filmed using real stop-action animation that was then slightly digitalized. The end result was a visual feast full of bright colors, imagination, entertainment, the yearning to "reach out and touch" whatever happened to be coming "out of the screen", and a fun story with some great characters. I know it just opened in NYC on Friday (and only at a select number of theaters) but when it comes to your neighborhood, go buy a ticket and don a pair of funny black 3D glasses!

February 6, 2009

A Valentine from My Time (and probably yours).

Who doesn't love the Geek from Sixteen Candles?! On sale with 4 other 80s cards on Etsy

Part of the reason I still love Valentine's Day comes from childhood memories of the holiday; making heart mobiles from coat hangers, dusting red glitter on paper hearts, creating valentine mailboxes from old milk cartons, and of course filling out names on valentine notes for my classmates. This year I don't think I will be making any mobiles (sorry Matt) but I am sure there will be a hand-made valentine of some sort. With looking at a lot of the design blogs who are posting about the cute, new, design-y valentine's out there I started to think about all of the OLD valentines from our childhood and wonder where those went? They were so kitschy and yet it's all we had. I did a bit of a web search and found a few that I thought I would share (seeing as it looks like they came straight from my 4th grade class) though the first one is NOT old but reference's one of my favorite 80s movies, "Sixteen Candles".

February 4, 2009

A Love for Legos.

Growing up, I think that my brother and I had a few mutual favorites in terms of toys and Legos might have ranked number one. Even now, one of the trips I still want to take is to LegoLand in southern California. Around Christmastime while walking through Toys 'R Us (on one of my THREE trips there) my eyes got thrown off the track of looking for what I was really there for and were directed to the large Lego displays and boxes filled with sets to make pirate ships, castles, rockets and other fun things made by colorful plastic squares and rectangles with bumpy tops and grooved bottoms. So of course when my eye caught sight of the headline at the top of "most emailed articles" on the nytimes today which spelled out L-E-G-O I had to go directly to the page and smile at the screen as I scrolled down. A clever use of imagination meets Legos and New York City via the creativity of Christoph Niemann. What could be better?!

A Long Walk with Big Love.

Walking through the looooong corridor that is the Times Square tunnel from 7th Avenue to 8th Avenue the other night, I noticed some pretty great ads along the way. Usually one advertiser will run the entire length of the corridor (which is quite a walk, I must say. Especially in heels. New heels at that. Ouch!) which gives you some eye candy while you hustle and bustle underground. Now through HBO's "Big Love" advertising you can have some ear candy too. One side of the tunnel is covered in nonstop vertical photographs of people on the street taken in such a way that it feels like you are ALSO walking along this street. The campaign of this new season is all about "hiding secrets" so the ads invite you to listen to what the people on the street are hiding – in their head! Above/on each person's head is a headphone jack for you to insert your own headphones and listen in on their hidden secrets. I actually did stop to listen (my second time in the tunnel as the first time through I was rushing to meet a friend) and they are pretty good! I did notice that at 7pm as people were rushing to their buses and trains and not stopping BUT at 10:15pm there were other curious kids like myself plugging into the ads. I recommend taking that long walk and checking it out to take a listen. Though I don't recommend wearing new shoes...

February 2, 2009

Advertising & Football.

Overall, I didn't think the ads last night were too spectacular though there was enough to keep my design coworkers and I chatting about for 10 minutes this morning. Artistically, one of my favorites was the Coca-Cola picnic which had some great animation of insects flying around with flight-y music (see above). I was also interested in the interactive (how GREAT has the Times been getting with its new interactive design department? Read more about the brains behind it all here) piece the NY Times online did which has a slider that allows you to check between 2009 and the past two decades of Superbowl commercials and see how many ads were dedicated to how many subjects. And of course, how many had humor, animals (which I am constantly amazed by how many companies DO), and celebrities.