February 2012

As promised, here are some of my NYC favs …

City views:

Staten Island Ferry: my absolute favorite for city viewing. Free and the most amazing way of approaching/entering the City.

2nd fav: Waterfront Long Island City/Pepsi Cola sign. Amazing views especially at night of midtown Manhattan.

Empire State: if you go, make sure you do so just a bit before sunset so that you can see the city change from daylight to nighttime

Manhattan Bridge: best view for any photography of downtown and the Brooklyn Bridge.


Generally, I find the boroughs (i.e. outside Manhattan) so much more interesting:

The “obvious”: Brooklyn Bridge (Manhattan –> Brooklyn): on your left (north) is DUMBO (down under the manhatten bridge overpass) located between the B & M bridges: interesting tiny neighborhood of old warehouses that underwent massive gentrification under the leadership of David Walentas (Two Trees management). Really nice views of the City and B bridge from the waterfront park.

On your right (south): Brooklyn Promenade and Brooklyn Heights. Impressive brownstones –> downtown Brooklyn (hmmm … not my fav) –> Cobble Hill (Smith Street) & Boerum Hill (Atlantic Ave): sweet local & ethnic stores and restaurants –> Atlantic yards (massive new urban development). To the left/north: Fort Greene (interesting, transforming neighborhood), to your right/ further south: Park Slope (5th Ave) i.e. what I like to call the Prenzlauer Berg of NYC.

The less “obvious”: 7 train towards Queens, get off first stop (Vernon Blvd) to check LIC waterfront  –> get back on train to see 5Pointz graffiti from 7 train (between 21 St & Court Sq) –> off Court Sq and walk west on Jackson Ave (towards Manhattan) –> turn into Davis Street (left, under the train) to check out Davis Street Art Building Graffiti –> turn around to go and see 5Pointz from Crane Street entrance –> back again for a visit of PS1 art museum (22-25 Jackson/46th Ave)

Option 1 “International Express” i.e. 7 train: head back to the 7 train and take it to Jackson Heights for South Asian food and other goodies (also really great at night) –> even further along the 7 Train is Flushing Meadows Corona Park & the Queens Museum of Art which houses the largest NYC panorama: a must see!

Option 2 bus 62 from Jackson Ave towards Brooklyn: will take you from LIC –> Greenpoint (polish)–> Williamsburg (arts-led gentrification) –> Williamsburg (hasidic jewish) –> Clinton Hill/Fort Greene (African American, transforming) –> dtown Brooklyn. Get off at the various neighborhoods for great food & shopping, waterfront views and new hipster high-rises 😉 I used to take the 62 all the way to Red Hook but looks like you might now need to transfer dtown. This is also the route of the G subway but the bus is much more interesting as you’ll be able to see the different neighborhoods.

Also, here’s a really short but interesting read re Brooklyn: http://www.bkbureau.org/finding-borough-behind-brand-brooklyn-today

If you’re staying a bit longer, don’t miss the Bronx Culture Trolley on March 7th for an arts tour through the South Bronx.  http://bronxarts.org/documents/030712TrolleyRelease.pdf

Shopping / visiting:

Local design: 3rd Ward, SHOPBOX

Etsy is in DUMBO (offices only)

For more “mainstream” design: Brooklyn Industries

Vintage: Beacon’s Closet

Brooklyn Flea: outdoors are still closed but indoors are at 1 Hanson Place/Ashland Pl Fort Greene (Sat & Sun, 10-5.00) & Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th St. Williamsburg (Sun 12.-5.00) – i.e. across the W’burg Beacon’s Closet

Oh, and for haircuts see Marcel Dagenais @ deluxewilliamsburg with reservation.

… and if I wasn’t giving a presentation at exactly this time, I’d go and see my FAVORITE art collective on Sunday:


pics © me.
NYC empire state & Manhattan bridge 2001
DUMBO 2010
LIC 2006
W’burg waterfront 2002

New article on their activities:

Carrboro explodes with creativity, color after yarn bombing

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/02/19/1867542/yarn-bombing-blasting-creativity.html?story_link=email_msg#storylink=cpy
To follow: http://www.facebook.com/groups/168885446509155/

I am sooooo excited. Scarf I knitted a long time ago while visiting friends/snowboarding in Innsbruck, Austria, just went up this morning at Yarnboro, North Carolina, USA!

Thank you guys for making me part of this project from afar!!!

Lots of more pictures about all their “bombing” today here:


I love that crafting is intergenerational. I think that’s one of the greatest strengths of crafts: connecting and bringing together different age groups, enabling them to talk to each and other, spending time together, doing things together…

It was my grandma who first introduced me to crafting – some time in kindergarten. We would stitch, knit and crochet together before I knew how to read. Later, my granddad repaired my great-grandmother’s old singer sewing machine (one with no electricity but a foot pedal & wheel and nothing but a straight stitch forward) and thus I became the in-house “fashion designer” for my sister’s & her girlfriends’ barbie collection.

Found a pic of my first sewing book:

Now, already then, I thought it was not my “style” and kind of old fashioned … to be sure: my dolls did never ever wear a dirndl! (and yes, when my mom forced that embroidered white blouse on me for my granddad’s 70s, I cried for hours!).

There are a “million” funny (now) stories to share about the stylistic issues of intergenerational crafting (i.e. in my case, my (professional seamstress/fashion designer) grandma & avid knitter mom (“collaborating” with us – or not (often) – in) clothing the entire family. Sure there were tensions and strong opinions – there still are. Still, I cannot thank them enough for their patience, efforts and time to instill this appreciation for crafts and devotion to crafting in me!

I have learned a lot from books, blog tutorial, workshops … but my comfort and easy with these techniques goes back to the intergenerational teaching and practice with my mom and grandma.

What led me to write all this?

I adore the picture N posted of Enid knitting a yarn bombing ladybird on our flickr account.


Hence I am reposting here. It shows so well the capacities for intergenerational exchange and collaboration!

I do wonder though, what Enid thinks about yarn bombing?

On that note: do check out the Graffiti Grannys project:


Local (i.e. south-west England) yarn bombing, intergenerational!!!! So great!

Prototype number 2, delivered by Kristiina this morning, made by Anne last night.

It joins a trail of ladybirds across the Exeter Geography department. Where next?

Great feature of  Tine de Ruysser’s work at the Daily Art Muse:


Love it! Want to design it. Make it. Wear it.

…. you are everywhere  … as knitted items (thank you Anne), as plastic bag stickers (thank you secret crafter fairy) on my office door and yes, on FTT bags ….

Promised to do some upcycling  and Ian has been talking much about wanting to have an iPad case made out of an FTT bag … not much of  a hand sewer nor embroiderer … do miss my machines … oh serger, you are beautiful … but here is how far I’ve gotten this evening with hole puncher, thread & scissors … upcycled, hand sewn, woven and embroidered FTT bag iPad prototype (now, the “real” one will have some fancy lining etc. via serger and sewing machine) …. hence, more to come … stay tuned!!!

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