by Joshua Glenn, Carol Hayes

Taking things Seriously

Thank you Princeton Architectural Press for sending over this book yesterday! It is a new favorite. This is a book of short essays by 75 various artists, designers and writers. Each short essay tells a history of a seemingly random object that holds some sort of personal significance to them. A photo of the object sits on the opposite page. All of these stories about the objects were so engaging- once I started reading one, I had to read them all. Some of the photos of the objects make you smile before even reading their story- like the sampler with the word Thoughts in needlepoint on it or the rubber yellow pig toy. From a chipped marble, to an enormous trophy, to a dried artichoke, there’s a real range of special items with great stories of their survivals. You will enjoy this book and if not for the nice matte pictures and great often funny writing, then for how well designed it is. How beautiful is that cover?! Pick up a copy here.

I have so many weird trinkets with memories attached, it was so easy to relate to these tales. I was trying to think of what my best contribution to this book would be if I had been asked. I think it would be this tiny plastic chicken figurine I have been keeping for three years now. The story goes..I had just moved to a new neighborhood in Astoria, Queens and was becoming friendly with the some of people in the building which was mostly families and older people, a heavily accented Polish super, and a flirtatious mailman. I had a lot of friendly chit-chat in the hallway. I decided to put out a new welcome mat which had a chicken on it. A couple days later my doorbell rang but when I answered it nobody was there. Then I looked down and saw the plastic tiny chicken sitting facing my welcome mat chicken with a tiny note that said hi. I thought that was so cute. I never found out who left that chicken (mailman? some little kid? I actually asked the super- he was so confused.) but I was so grateful for the little funny gift (see it below) and kept it since. Anyone else got a contribution for a part two to this book?

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