Things I Love: London Shop Fronts

Just found the London Shop Fronts site (via Design*Sponge) - it's just what it sounds like and it's beautiful!


Hook Up

Obviously I've been a neglectful blogger.... I guess that comes along with the move, new job, and, most importantly, the holiday season.  I do love the holidays.  This has been my first holiday season as a Miami resident, and I'm so excited that I get to have both the Florida experience and the family Oregon experience.  We head west on Monday and I'm so excited!  As usual, I think I've gone overboard with stocking stuffers (many of which I anticipate not fitting into stockings) but I can't help it!  Buying gifts for those I  love is one of my favorite activities.  OK, and I've bought a few things for my self as well....bad Shorty, bad!

I thought this was really interesting: Obama logo ideas that weren't chosen.

A friend of mine from OR (now another Boston resident!) is studying and working towards the goal of being the coolest high school librarian ever.  And this is her blog!  Reading it makes me miss all the favorite books  of my childhood and adolescent, and makes me jealous of all the kids that will benefit from having her around.  Check out Mad Snarky Librarian.

In looking for different perspectives on the "Miami experience" I came across Blogging Black Miami.  So far it's been a great source of news and info - I welcome any suggestions about other sources for learning about what's going on in Miami.

This article is getting a lot of discussion amongst both my friends and the news/blog media: The Demise of Dating.  I feel torn.  In some ways, I agree with the columnist that there isn't much dating (i.e. hanging out before becoming physically intimate with someone) going on, and that some things have been lost as a result - namely, monogamy.  I think more people are inclined to hook up with a variety of people at once before eventually - if ever - settling into a relationship with one of them.  This is in contrast to dating a few people without being physically intimate, and then choosing one of them to date seriously.  Also, I have heard absolute horror stories from my single friends - both female and male - about the lack of interest amongst potential partners in even having dinner or getting together one-on-one.  Everyone seems to want the safety of hanging out in a group, avoiding the word "date," and playing hard to get until neither person can even utter the words "Can I call you sometime?"

However, I also think this is the sort of article that gets written every 5 years, bemoaning "kids these days," and underestimating the emotional complexity of young people.  Also, while Mr. Blow's aim in looking at the gender iniquity is admirable, his conclusion is also overly simplistic.  He writes:
Girls get tired of hooking up because they want it to lead to a relationship (the guys don’t), and, as they get older, they start to realize that it’s not a good way to find a spouse. 
There are plenty of women who are happy with hooking up and are not looking for a relationship - we don't come out of the womb dreaming of a DeBeers ad-like proposal - and plenty of men who want to date as well.  This "women want a boyfriend, men want booty" is a pretty old paradigm and played out by now.   Also, there are plenty of people (and I'm sure there were in the 1960's and every other decade) who start dating via "hook up" and end up in a serious relationship with that person (disclaimer: one of them may be writing this blog).  It's not always so black and white as Mr. Blow suggests.  

Bottom line, dating is awkward, so is "hooking up," and relationships are always going to be complicated.  I think a better way to talk to young people about their sexual relationships would be to steer clear of sweeping generalizations that don't give them credit for emotional depth and be honest about the challenges and benefits of romantic relationships - regardless of what you call them. 

Final note: the best thing about The Sartorialist is that it allows me to people watch, from the comfort of my desk.  (See his Wikipedia entry!)  Worst part?  Then I look down at my own outfits and feel ashamed.  Seriously, who ARE these people?  Oh right, New Yorkers...

Note: what is a sartorialist?  Someone interested in sartorialism, of course.  Sartorialism = an interest in matters of or relating to the tailoring of clothing.  Now you know.



I am in love with the Acorn Toy Shop!  How can you resist?  I'd love to have their Orca wall hanging in my house or office (also I would love to have an office...):

And check out their awesome mobiles (I do love me a mobile):

These lux Rabbit bookends are gorgeous:

And this terrier pillow is great:

Also check out: Core 77 is pretty cool design site and their 77 Design Gifts Under $77 is a great introduction to their style.


Some Sort of Seasonal

Today's Daily Heller gave me a heads up to the White House's collection of holiday cards, now viewable online.  How can you not try to read into each card something about the President's administration, or the political climate at the time?  Unfortunately, most of them are pretty ugly, design-wise (except for maybe the retro appeal of the simpler designs):

Below: Bush Jr.  (2001)

Below: JFK (1961)

Below: Bush Sr. (1991)


Things I Love: Miami

After two weeks here, I think I can finally say I am starting to love Miami.  I know it's still the honeymoon period, but I HAVE been visiting sporadically for the last few years, so it's not totally out of the blue...Why?  Well, I guess it's a combination of things - could be the good food, the amazing weather, the multicultural/global presence, and especially the fact that there is SO much going on.  It's like a combination of the last two places I've lived in that it's a major city (Boston) but also people are outside and social (Old San Juan).  Unfortunately I left my digital camera in Boston and so I'm stranded down here with just my cell!

[Art Basel, South Beach, Miami, 2008]  Last night, thanks to the lovely Roxy, I went to a few Art Basel events - the people watching (one of my all time favorite activities) was incredible. Maybe the best people watching ever, seriously.  Models with old men, amazingly posh art scene people that looked like caricatures of themselves, wanna be rock stars, overly Botoxed socialites....it was great.  Today is the start of the actual festival so I think this weekend will be packed - but entertaining - on Miami Beach.

[Miami Art Museum Book Fair, Downtown Miami, 2008]  Today after work we went over to the Miami Art Museum (only a few blocks away from our offices) where they were having a huge book fair.  Because it's Miami (and Art Basel weekend) of course they had to combine the book fair with a bar, live music, and this amazing, huge Jeff Koons rabbit!   It's just there for Art Basel and apparently tomorrow they are doing a light installation on the side of my office building!

Don't get me wrong, there are things about Miami that drive me crazy (the conservative political climate, the car culture, the urban sprawl....) but for now, I'm just gonna enjoy the honeymoon.


Finally, Proof That I Live In Miami!

So, under the heading Things I [Hope To] Love is ART BASEL! The annual event is routinely described (in Miami at least...) as "the most important art show in the United States":

As the sister event of Switzerland's Art Basel, the most prestigious art show worldwide for the past 39 years, Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of top galleries with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture and design. Exhibition sites are located in the city's beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels.
The week long party kicks off tonight...and yours truly (thanks to the kindness of friends) will be attending the event at the Miami Convention Center! As some have noted, this years craptastical (I believe that is a real business term) economy may lead the party to be slightly more subdued than in previous years, but if there is one thing I have learned so far in Miami, you should never count on subdued. I'll even try to take photos tonight, like a good blogger....


Misunderstanding and Racism Lead to Initiative's Failure in Florida

I know this isn't the most up-to-the minute news, but I am trying to get caught up on Florida politics and found this article to be indicative of race relations and the state of immigration in the United States. Can all those commentators talking about the "post-race" world post-Obama pipe down already? From the NYTimes, "In Florida, an Initiative Intended to End Bias Is Killed":

An obscure ballot initiative in Florida intended to end a legacy of bias against Asian-Americans was defeated Tuesday, apparently because voters incorrectly assumed it would prevent illegal immigrants from owning property.

Had it passed, the initiative, known as Amendment No. 1, would have removed from the state’s Constitution language adopted in 1926 allowing the Legislature to prohibit foreigners who were barred from citizenship — Asian-Americans at the time — from owning land.

No such legislation was ever enacted here, and every other state that had such laws has scrapped them on grounds of equal protection. But on Tuesday, Florida’s effort to delete the provision went down, with 52 percent voting “no” and 48 percent voting “yes.”

Immigrant advocates said they were stunned. “It’s terribly disappointing,” said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. “At a time when our country has turned away from a history of racism, we have left a racist and anti-immigrant provision in Florida’s Constitution.”

...[The Ballot] simply asked voters if they were willing to delete “provisions authorizing the Legislature to regulate or prohibit the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship.”

Steve Geller, a former state senator who worked to get the initiative on the ballot, said Florida election rules only allowed a description of 75 words, and required that the language of the old provision — “aliens ineligible for citizenship” — be included. As a result, he said, “a lot of people thought it had to do with illegal aliens, and it had nothing to do with illegal aliens.”

In fact, some organizations opposing illegal immigration latched onto the provision and advised people to vote no. On the Web site of one group, Americans for Legal Immigration, a member wrote that it should be left standing because “ ‘illegal aliens’ should not have ‘rights’ like U.S. citizens have. The only right they should have is deportation!”

...Ms. Tang, 47, who came to the United States from Macao in 1978, said that next time would be different. She said she hoped to put the initiative on the ballot again as soon as possible.

“We’ve learned,” she said. “From here on, we will have to get together to raise some funds to get information to the communities.”