20×200: Japan Earthquake Relief Edition

I’ve been a long time fan of Jen Bekman’s 20×200.  Just check out my hallway if you want proof!  All those are prints I’ve bought over the years from Jen’s 200 limited edition prints for $20 scheme.  As her motto says, “Buy art. It’s good for you.”

Imperial Palace Gardens with Wall, Tokyo - by Emily Shur

Today I was particularly pleased to get an email from 20×200 featuring a photographic print by LA artist Emily Shur with all proceeds going towards Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund.  It’s great how quickly artists always respond in times of crisis.     And never underestimate the power of a graphic image to galvanize support — a poster can be more effective than a statistic in inspiring compassion.

20x200 prints in my apartment hallway

Help Japan print by Rob Dobi
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I ♥ Warren

Oh, how I love Warren Buffett…let me count the ways

If I were a billionaire, I would totally sign up for this.  And while I can’t quite afford to give away half my net worth to charity yet, it’s certainly inspiring to see others commit to doing it.  It’s nice to know not all rich people are evil douches.

Flavor Thesaurus

This book by Niki Segnit is already out in the UK and is available for pre-order on Amazon here in the US.  This Guardian review makes it sound pretty awesome.  They should have kept the British cover — the American one looks so blah.  Why do they always do that to book covers here?  And Flavour with a u looks better too…but I digress…

Cute Bacteria

My manga-illustrator friend June told me very casually today over dinner, as though it was the most normal thing in the world, about a manga-turned-animated series involving agriculture students, one of whom has the special ability to see microbes with the naked eye.  I swear I am not making this stuff up.  Many a grad student has pondered the peculiar Japanese drive to make everything kawaii and their love of anthropomorphizing just about everything, but this Moyashimon series that turns everything from the bacteria strains used to make natto (fermented soybeans) and yogurt to staph and salmonella into cute little talking creatures really blows my mind!  I guess they’ve started airing a new live-action version of the series now on late night Fuji Television, which looks way worse than the manga or the anime.  Floating computer-generated talking bacteria combined with laughably bad acting just doesn’t do the cute little illustrations justice!  Anyway, I’ll certainly never look at E. Coli the same way ever again.

Simple Vessels

Came across very nice tea packaging design for Jamie Oliver while browsing the Williams Sonoma website for hot chocolate mixes.  I randomly bought a hot chocolate pot today for $15 at Housing Works Thrift Store thinking it was a weird tea pot.  The wooden stick is to mix the chocolate around.  Sweet.  I don’t even drink hot chocolate very much, but now that I have this awesome contraption, I have an incentive to drink more of it.  As for the Jamie Oliver tea…at $29 a container, I think I’ll stick to my PG Tips.  It would make a nice gift for someone, no?

Jamie Oliver's Very Special Mango Passion Fruit Tea
BIA Cordon Bleu Hot Chocolate Pot

Illegal Wedding Fair in NYC

I haven’t had a spare moment to blog for the last couple of months since planning for the Illegal Wedding Fair went into high gear!  This is my better-late-than-never post about the upcoming event that we’ve been feverishly working on, with an additional note to say I probably won’t be posting anything until after June 6 when all of this is over and I have time to do normal things again like pick up the dry cleaning and wash the dishes.

So here’s everything you need to know about the IWF.  It’s NYC’s premier same-sex wedding fair event taking place on Sunday, June 6 at the stunning townhouse venue, 632 on Hudson.  It’s a 4 hour event from noon-4pm with over 25 local vendors showcasing their work, all of whom unanimously support marriage equality.  There will be gorgeous wedding cakes by Cake Alchemy and Nine Cakes, a fabulous dinner-party vignette by floral designers Poppies & Posies in collaboration with the incredibly talented calligrapher Bryn Chernoff of Paperfinger, utilizing furniture and tableware provided by Broadway Party Rentals.  You’ll be able to nibble on delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by eco-chic caterers Stuart & Welch, as well as Brooklyn’s own DISH Food & Events.  There will be an explosion of gorgeous flowers everywhere, designed by our participating gay-friendly florists, including Saipua, Worship Luxury, and the elusive/exclusive private florist Shaun Carson.  Luxury event designer Zak Kunish of ZAK Events will be showcasing his talents, as well as Marie Danielle Vil-Young, event coordinator of À Votre Service Events.

E&V Weddings, the featured photographers of the Illegal Wedding Fair will be taking over an entire room in the upper triplex that I like to call “the Chuck Bass Opium Den,” offering retro-vintage portraiture and all sorts of photographic goodness.  Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Kelly Guenther will also be on hand to showcase what she calls her “wedding photojournalism,” as will luxury events photographer Robert DiScalfani‘s crew.  You’ll find some gorgeous wedding gowns by Lovely bridal shop in a room that looks like Marie Antoinette’s boudoir, sample beautiful favors by Amy’s Cookies and Bespoke Chocolates, and even get to talk to speech consultants at The Oratory Laboratory about how not to embarrass yourself when giving that semi-drunk and tearful speech at your next wedding.  Face Time Beauty Concierge will be doing touch-ups and offering advice on how to look your best, and wellness guru Tory Marsh will be giving advice on health and nutrition.  You can find same-sex wedding bands designed by Rony Tennenbaum, who recently opened a boutique in Nolita, and check out the beautiful stationery of both Lion in the Sun Park Slope and Atelier Isabey.  Am I leaving anything out?  All this while enjoying cocktails expertly mixed by Payman Bahmani of Life’s a Cocktail and Mayur Subbarao of Evoe to the sounds of some great performers provided by Elan Artists!  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon, right?

If you start to feel overwhelmed you can take a breather in the gorgeous lounge space on the ground-floor created by the furniture and props rental outfit, Taylor Creative.  From there you can look across to the Speaker’s Corner and catch some amazing talks by David Toussaint, author of Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony, Annie Lee, principal planner and founder of Daughter of Design, and Dr. Anne Klaeysen & Law’nence Miller, officiants from the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Meet Kirsten & Maria Palladino, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of Equally Wed, the nation’s premier same-sex wedding magazine and our national media sponsor for this event.  They’re coming all the way from Hotlanta so come say hi!  We’re also crossing our fingers that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn might be able to drop in to give an address so this is serious stuff!  We’ve got a ton of great products to raffle off for charity from our amazing sponsors, including a few of those famous Marriage is So Gay T-shirts.  Everyone will go home with a sweet swag bag and enjoy products from sponsors illy issimo and popchips among many others.  Our hearts are full with love and gratitude for all the awesome people participating in realizing this one-of-a-kind event.  Come on out and share the love on June 6!  Say NO to marriage discrimination in our state (and everywhere else, for that matter), and let’s hope that next year this will be the LEGAL Wedding Fair!

Tickets are $35 per person / $60 per couple – available here via Brown Paper Tickets, the first and only fair trade ticketing company.  See you at the party!

Read About John Writing

Ugh, it’s an absolute blogging disgrace how infrequently I’ve been posting.  What can I say, the responsibilities of meatspace are just too great these days!  So instead of trying to make excuses (like hello, I just moved) and come up with something clever to post, let me direct your attention to someone else’s blog.  My friend John has recently embarked on an excellent adventure.  In his own words:

For reasons that are still beyond me, I’ve decided to quit my steady job in the worst economic climate I’ve seen in my lifetime, pull up stakes, and write for four months. Five hours a day, seven days a week, a hundred and twenty days. A major change of lifestyle; call it a sharp right turn.

So John is off in Mexico at the moment, borrowing a friend’s flat and writing a book.  Oh, and eating tacos and blogging about it too.  To make a lame metaphorical connection to the tree falling in the woods: in this day and age, if a man goes off to write for 4 months without blogging about it, can we say it really happened?

He’ll be posting some of his writing soon so I encourage you to bookmark it and follow his progress!  He’s off to Cape Cod after this (part of his couchsurfing grand tour) so I have to say, the life of a writer ain’t all that bad.

John taking a sharp right in Mexico

The Caveman Cometh

Fascinating article in the NYTimes this weekend about a small subculture of people who mimic paleolithic lifestyles by eating mainly meat, fasting periodically, vigorously exercising by sprinting and leaping, and in some cases donating pints of blood to recreate blood loss after an attack.  Man, I knew butchers were trendy but this just takes carnivorism to a whole new level!  Young Japanese herbivore men should take note…