Check out even more pics on our flickr page ( of AAG crafting and yarn bombing.

Also, like this plant growing on a tree (“foundation”) on the  Appalachian trail (hiking in North Carolina after AAG), we’re happy to announce that we just got awarded a first small grant to take our research and interests to North America.

So …. North Carolina, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nova Scotia ….. here we come …. Keep in touch and let’s all re-meet and get together soon again!

 … and, in line with some of our activities re yarn bombing and geocaching ladybirds in Exeter, UK … geocaching on local organic marmalade in Asheville, NC, USA as part of a (unrelated but nevertheless relevant and similar) follow the things initiative.


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:

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.

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 York City is fabulous! It is home!!! But it is even greater when you can meet docents of people interested in similar issues:

Here is our NYC AAG “crafts” program:

Geographies of Craft and Crafting

AAG Annual Meeting, New York City

Saturday, February 25th 2012

8.00 AM – 6.20 PM

Nassau A, Second Floor, Hilton


Kendra Strauss- University of Glasgow

Doreen Jakob – University of Exeter / UNC Chapel Hill

Hayden Lorimer – University of Glasgow

Nicola J Thomas – University of Exeter


Cultural Geography Specialty Group

Geographic Perspectives on Women Specialty Group

Economic Geography Specialty Group

2119 Geographies of Craft and Crafting I

Saturday, 2/25/2012, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Nassau A, Second Floor, Hilton NY

From provisioning (sewing, knitting garments, woodworking and ironmongery etc.) to communal forms of socialisation (quilting bees, knitting circles) to local markets (craft fairs, farmers’ markets), crafts and crafting have been variously regarded: as peripheral (residual, non-capitalist) forms of production; as the locus of anti-capitalist politics; as an ideal model for cottage-scale entrepreneurialism; and, as the essence of vernacular material culture. When kept from public view, crafts have also long operated as a means of personal fulfilment, self-expression, domestic decoration and sometimes even to celebrate and commemorate notable events in the life of family or friends. As such, the practices and politics of craft encompass a wide variety of forms of social reproduction and have been at the centre of a range of social movements for centuries. A critical awareness of these politics and practices has also informed the cultural appreciation of craft in the creative arts, and its more traditional variant of ‘folk art’.

The emergence of ‘third wave’ crafting in the 1990s, and the meteoric rise of technologies and applications associated with it – from Etsy to DIY videos on YouTube – has seen the craft movement re-emerge as a social, economic and cultural movement of significance and scope.

To date, however, there has been only limited work by geographers or other social scientists that has aimed to grapple with the complexities and contradictions of crafting. This session asks: What are the geographies – cultural, political, feminist, localist, aesthetic, economic, racial, urban, rural – of craft and crafting?


Kendra Strauss – University of Glasgow


8:00 AM Author(s): *Katie McCollough – Rutgers University

Abstract Title: Scrapbooking Lives: An Affective, Ritualized Care Apparatus

8:20 AM Author(s): *Oona Morrow – Clark University

Abstract Title: Urban homesteading: gender and self-provisioning in the city

8:40 AM Author(s): *Katherine Mary Stewart – IGES, Aberystwyth University

Abstract Title: Geographies of Craft and Crafting: Critical Perspectives on the Transition Culture movement.

9:00 AM Author(s): *Jasna Sersic, PhD student – Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University

Abstract Title: Craftsmanship and creativity in the age of global economy

9:20 PM Author(s): *Andrew Warren – University of Wollongong, Australia

Abstract Title: Soulful production: place, precarity and craftsmanship in the custom surfboard industry

2219 Geographies of Craft and Crafting II

Saturday, 2/25/2012, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Nassau A, Second Floor, Hilton NY

This is the second of four ‘Geographies of Craft and Crafting’ sessions. We understand the craft movement as socially and spatially heterogeneous; such diversity raises a series of questions that might constitute an incipient research agenda. In its different manifestations how does the craft movement embody tensions, linkages and power hierarchies that both challenge and reflect socially-constructed categories of difference such as gender, class, race, ethnicity and sexuality? How do crafting practices and discourses vary within and between urban and rural environments, regions, and nations? How does contemporary crafting reflect and co-construct diverse politics, from radical feminist ‘craftivist’ to middle-class urban nostalgia to traditionalist conservative? In relation to labour, is crafting simultaneously invoked as a route to entrepreneurial independence and (as it has been historically) as an alternative to capitalist alienated labour? How is craft to be defined in relation to art, the artistic labour process and spaces of artistic practice (such as galleries and art schools)? In what ways and among which communities is craft used to encapsulate styles of life aiming to operate at a slower tempo, or that are retrospective in character? How far is the craft resurgence an expression of austerity chic – “keep calm and carry on crafting”?


Hayden Lorimer – University of Glasgow


10:00 AM Author(s): *George Revill – The Open University

Abstract Title: Tom Rolt’s high horse: ecology, region and the democracy of craft work

10:20 AM Author(s): *Richard E Ocejo, Ph.D. – John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Abstract Title: Craft and the Reinvention of Working-Class Jobs

10:40 AM Author(s): *Nicola J Thomas – University of Exeter, *Doreen Jakob – University of Exeter / UNC Chapel Hill

Abstract Title: Situating Craft Guilds in the Creative Economy: Histories, Politics and Practices

11:00 AM Author(s): *Steve Millington – Manchester Metropolitan University

Abstract Title: Out of the ordinary: crafting the spectacular in Blackpool

2419 Geographies of Craft and Crafting III

Saturday, 2/25/2012, from 12:40 PM – 2:20 PM in Nassau A, Second Floor, Hilton NY

Session Description: In this third session, we hope to further explore the ways in which these sessions can have a catalytic effect: prompting discussion, encouraging networking and bringing together work that represents a range of approaches to geographies of craft and crafting.


Doreen Jakob – University of Exeter / UNC Chapel Hill


12:40 PM Author(s): *Heather Downs, PhD – Jacksonville University


Abstract Title: “I do have to show you how to uninvite someone from your pictures.”: Family Discourse in the Scrapbooking Community


1:00 PM Author(s): *Amanda Fickey – University of Kentucky


Abstract Title: “Kentucky Crafted”: Exploring geographical lores and alternative economic practices



1:20 PM Author(s): *Andrew Wilbur – University of Glasgow


Abstract Title: Crafting alternative lifestyles: Back-to-the-landers and slow farming in Italy



1:40 PM Author(s): *Malcolm Ferris – Plymouth College of Art


Abstract Title: Mapping the Contemporary Artisanal: a view from Chinese performance art


2519 Geographies of Craft and Crafting IV

Saturday, 2/25/2012, from 2:40 PM – 4:20 PM in Nassau A, Second Floor, Hilton NY

Session Description: This is the final paper session on Geographies of Craft and Crafting, exploring conceptual issues, methodological approaches and practice-led or object-centred inquiries into the doing and making of crafts.


Nicola J Thomas


2:40 PM Author(s): *Cigdem Kaya – Istanbul Technical University

*Burcu Yagiz – Kadir Has University

Abstract Title: Crafts in Museum Shops: Crafts as Representation Revisited

3:00 PM Author(s): *Hayden Lorimer – University of Glasgow

Abstract Title: Work on ward – indigenous craft and hospital life

3:20 PM Author(s): *Teresa Almeida –

Abstract Title: Weaving with a twist: the intersection of soft technology with traditional handwork in rural Southeast Asia

3:40 PM Author(s): *Joanna Mann – University of Bristol

Abstract Title: Enacting Whimsy: Yarn Bombing, Materiality and Affect

2619 Geographies of Craft and Crafting V

Saturday, 2/25/2012, from 4:40 PM – 6:20 PM in Nassau A, Second Floor, Hilton NY

Session Description: This panel session will seek to explore the themes and debates emerging from the previous sessions, and to consider the range of approaches to geographies of craft and crafting, including:

  • craft, labour and social reproduction
  • craftivism’ and the politics of craft and crafting
  • crafts, hobbies and forgetting: vernacular histories and geographies of making in everyday communities
  • the spatialities of crafts and crafting
  • the influence of technology in crafting
  • the economics of crafting: its commercialization & capitalization
  • festivals of crafts/crafts as tools for urban and economic development
  • the changing social status of the crafter, craftsmanship and the master craftsman
  • the intersections between cultures and politics of craft and the construction of social difference: race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age and (dis)ability


Kendra Strauss – University of Glasgow


Doreen Jakob – University of Exeter / UNC Chapel Hill

Nicola J Thomas – University of Exeter

Sarah De Leeuw – University of Northern British Columbia

Hayden Lorimer – University of Glasgow

Richard E Ocejo – John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY


Kendra Strauss – University of Glasgow

Here is our invitation for presentations at AAG NYC 2012 talking.

It’s going to be an amazing first 6 months …. so much talking …. presenting …. discussing

Here’s the quick breakdown:

Association of American Geographers (AAG). New York City, Feb 24th – 28th (

International Conference of the RGS-IBG. Edinburgh, July 3rd – 5th (

International conference on cultural policy research. Barcelona, July 9th – 12th (

International Conference of Historical Geographers. Prague, August 6th – 8th (