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May 20, 2020


There are certain words and phrases in the English language that conjure up deep and immediate emotions. We feel them as much as say or see them. Think of ‘homesick’, or ‘bedtime.’ They are baked in feelings and memory. One such multi-faceted phrase is best friend; your fragile hope as a kindergartner, your fervent wish as an adult. Pop-Up magazine brings us the story of Mimi and Brownie, who became best friends for life when they served as Army nurses during World War II. Now, these two 100 year-olds talk on the phone every single day. Their story is gentle, heart-warming and a strong testament to taking the long view during hard times.

Freeze Frame

Carters, the well-known and much loved children’s clothing manufacturer founded in 1865, put out this gentle message for today’s strange times. Filmed in black and white, the ad reads like a treasured home movie, imperfect and authentic. Sweet, nostalgic, and soothing, it encourages us to look upon these moments as the best of times, and as nostalgia suggests, sweep away the rest.

Drive-Thru Fashion

No one knows what the future holds for fashion – no one but Kerby Jean-Raymond that is. The esteemed American designer just announced that in lieu of presenting his Spring ‘21 line in NYC this fall, he will host a drive-in screening of ‘American, Also,’ a documentary following the creation of his Spring 2020 show. The movie finishes Kerby-Raymond’s three part story about coming home to New York, a journey of his growth and a recognition of his roots. The Pyer Moss creator will then take this event on the road, hosting drive-in screenings in different cities across the U.S. The brand won’t be releasing a Spring 2021 collection in tandem with the drive-in screenings, but there will be special “drops” timed to them, according to Vogue.

Pillow Palaces

Home – a sanctuary, a refuge, and these days – a bit of a holding pen. Ikea, the company that has created diabolical frustrations for many a Gen X-er over the years, returns with an actually helpful guide to both finding extra spaces and using up that most daunting mountain of resources: time. Whether the resulting structure is for you, or your kids depends on your state of mind. Have at it!

Peeping Toms

How do you keep people home? Why, you entertain them, of course! The curious joy of sharing a moment in a movie theater with a few hundred strangers or so is something that belongs to a far and distant future, but the hunger for that shared emotion still runs strong. An architect in Berlin felt this need and created a solution. Olaf Karkhoff launched Window Flicks this past February, allowing films to be projected onto residential building exteriors in Berlin for communities to view from their respective apartments. Residents crack open windows or sit on balconies and enjoy all the shared emotions with none of the potential risks. All that is required is a significantly sized blank wall, and a willing neighborhood. (Hopefully, they are all getting a group discount on Sour Patch Kids and popcorn.)

The Next Level

As we all have hunkered down at home, watching television shows from our childhood, has anyone else felt lust for a split-level? Maybe Carol and George Brady were onto something. Once referred to as ‘the minivans of the architectural world’, it seems that split levels have been making a comeback over the past few years. Families, with more work-from-home options, and grown children with longer staying power, are softening on their demand for open concepts. Post quarantine, my guess is this staggered style will find a whole new crop of fans, eager to claim an eyrie of their own.

Window Shopping

Alfred Hitchcock’s infamous Rear Window certainly is the film for our quarantined times. A housebound Jimmy Stewart, laid up with a broken leg, begins to spool what seems like fantastical stories based on his neighbors’ comings and goings. His girlfriend and his nurse both believe his tales to be figments of an active mind forced to stay at home for too long. And certainly, my neighbors’ windows (sorry, folks!) have become much more fascinating in the past weeks, as I take semi-hourly walks through my neighborhood. When photographer Jean-Luc moved from Toulouse to Brussels, he noticed that the windows in his new country showcased far more about the inhabitants than his fellow Frenchman had in his hometown. In the seven years since his relocation, Feixa has captured dozens of windows around the Belgian city, which he recently compiled in a book titled, Strange Things Behind Belgian Windows. The objects, and their stories, feed hungry minds in need of new thoughts.

Think Pink

Animal Crossing may not have converted every home bound civilian to play with adorable animal-like figures, but even the firmest hold-outs will crumble before the dance stylings of Inspector Clouseau. This aptly named pink manta ray was spotted by photographer Kristian Laine off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Considered to be unique in the world, its mesmerizing grace and liquid beauty will glide past you like a hot pink heart. Feel the beat.

Hot at Home

We are all sheltering at home. (Oh wait – hey, Florida! We see you! ) Ok. Most of us. Anyhoo, there are certain things we will gear up and leave the house for – toilet paper, wine, and possibly Flaming Hot Cheetos. (Salty snacks are up 15% versus a year ago. Just sayin’.) Pepsico sees the need and has sprung, cheetah-like, into action. This month, the company has launched its first ever direct-to-consumer delivery service, allowing folks at home a way to get their fave comfort food delivered direct. A pretty big first for a company that has depended on wholesaling for decades. There IS a minimum $$ requirement, but no doubt you can work around that by stockpiling for the next week or so. We won’t judge!

Shameless Eye Candy

Need a dose of calm? This video of nuns in their long skirted-habits playing basketball in the sumptuous grandeur of a 13th century courtyard is oddly soothing and certainly mesmerizing. These women, working and praying in Seville, Spain, spend most of their free time these days sewing masks. But when the need to refresh and rejuvenate calls, they break for a little hustle and flow (natch!) Please, enjoy.

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