Gail Shust, Anthropologist

Gail Shust, Anthropologist

Through dinner conversation, summer board game play and my continued fascination with the useless nuances of life, I have recently made an important observation.  I haven’t quite honed it, so bear with me, but the general concept goes something like this–

People can be broadly divided into social groups based on which character they choose to be in the game, ‘Clue.’

As far as I can tell, most women (or girls really, how many grown women are playing Clue?) are immediately drawn to Miss Scarlet.  Oh sure, she has the superficial looks, but what can she bring to the game aside from that?  So, if you’re a little more creative, you might gravitate toward Professor Plum.  Sense of humor?  Colonel Mustard is your guy. On a whim maybe somebody will go for Miss Peacock.  Mr. Green?  Who are you?  And don’t even get me started on Misses White.

Monopoly‘ brings up a whole other set of issues, but we’ll save that for another day.

image c/o

I Heart NY

I Heart NY

We finally made it to see “A Subtlety,” Kara Walker’s installation inside the old Domino Sugar Factory.

The work itself was amazing.

And, as luck would have it, the artist was there.  She could not have been more gracious, answering question after question regarding this thought provoking piece.

I don’t know this for sure, but it appeared as though she was there to discuss the work with Mayor De Blasio and his family.  Our kids were pretty excited to see the Mayor and noted how tall he was.  We think he may be the tallest mayor of NY, but I have not spent the 30 seconds it would take to confirm this fact. We also guessed that former Mayor Bloomberg was the shortest.  Sara Rose added that Taft was the fattest.  We had to remind her that Taft was president not mayor, but nice attempt at random trivia for a six year old.

Oh, and did I mention Susan Sarandon was there as well? And yes, she’s still gorgeous.

Three things to say:

1. We love a good factory

2. Why does all the cool stuff happen when we are NOT visiting

3. I hope you are keeping a book of all the awesome comments that come out of Miss Sara Rose’s mouth!


More Photo Fun

More Photo Fun

A roundup of some interesting photo projects I’ve run across lately.  They’re not the most aesthetically challenging, but they’re pretty fun:

This one is a clever/stupid/hilarious/masochistic take on self portraiture:

I found this utterly fascinating:

Reminded me of the Switcheroo project I mentioned a while back:

While I was in Paris, I was fortunate enough to see the Henri Cartier Bresson exhibit at the Pompidou Centre.  It was one of the most comprehensive shows ever compiled of his work, and I was completely bowled over seeing the iconic images I’d studied in art school as well as so many beautiful photos I’d never seen before.

There is a snake in the FREEZER!! Absolutely fascinated by the peek in the fridge…which of course is why we are best of friends. The stuff being thrown at her head was quite entertaining as well. Some damn clever folks out there!

image of Truman Capote c/o

How Cool is That…

How Cool is That…

No time for profound, thought provoking posts.  (As if our posts ever really fit that criteria!)


Here are some links I’ve found fascinating lately.

Food art that will blow your mind.

I always wanted a sister, and I love watching my girls grow up together. This photography project is amazing.

And…just pure baby animal cuteness.

Hope these inspire, or, at the very least, put a smile on your face.

image c/o

Cool food art, and I wish I would run into the artist/s at a party because I have so many questions! Love the pandas and I am shocked you put that link because I didn’t even tell you my obsession with the pandacam at the National Zoo! Such cuteness.
F*%k the Rain Room

F*%k the Rain Room

Do I sound a little bitter?  I’m kidding.  Mostly.

There are few artistic endeavors I enjoy more than a good installation. The work of Olafur Eliasson thrills me. And I couldn’t get enough of The Gates in Central Park. So whenever there’s a new one on the horizon (large or small), Joe and I always try to go see it.

He and I had both separately heard about the upcoming exhibit, The Rain Room, at MOMA weeks, if not months, before it arrived.  We talked about how we definitely should go.  And then it opened. And we were busy.  And it became “a thing.”  Which happens in a city the size of New York, especially in this day and age where everyone is tweeting and instagramming their every move and showing how cool they are that they saw it first.  So the lines became long.  Really long.  Like eight hours long.  And somehow, the Rain Room no longer seemed worth it.  It had become more about the bragging rights than the actual art.

This past weekend, we went to go see the Voice Tunnelan installation by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.  He managed to turn the 1,400 foot long Park Avenue Tunnel into an interactive light and sound show.  As we approached the tunnel, we saw a line.  An endless line.  A wrap around the block, and then another, and then another kind of line.  Oh no, it’s another Rain Room, I feared.  But, happily, the tunnel had the capacity to hold many more people at one time and we only ended up waiting about 15 minutes.  The tunnel was super cool both because of the installation and because this was the first time ever it had been closed to cars and opened to pedestrian traffic.

So, F*%k the Rain Room.  As much as I love New York, I guess this kind of “I did it first. I’m cooler than you.” mentality is one of downsides of living here.

Don’t even get me started about Cronuts.

Of course, you know I am completely oblivious to any of these installations. And, dating back to our teen years, you know I have no patience for standing in any lines whether it is for the coolest bar, nightclub or a once in a lifetime experience. Just not worth it! So, I am happy you came to your senses and turned your back on the Rain Room and found the Voice Tunnel, which looks super cool. What did you say into the box?

I think out first exposure to something like that was in the Denver Airport (if my memory serves me) and always thought more of that kind of stuff she be in public spaces. Jarrett recently was looking into something like that to incorporate into a mural in the oncology unit at Children’s Hospital. Unfortunately the budget did not allow it, because the kids would have loved it!  

Mindless Deliciousness

Mindless Deliciousness

Slinkies are on vacation (well at least one of us is and the other is on her way).  But I thought I would leave you with this little nugget until we return.


Rappers and Cereal

image c/o Rappers and Cereal

Mapping Manhattan

Mapping Manhattan

Last Saturday, I was taking the M96 crosstown.  It was a cold, rainy day, and I, along with most of the bus riders, was feeling pretty grumpy that the weather was so miserable for Memorial Day Weekend.  And then, out of the blue, the bus driver got on the loud speaker and asked if it was anyone’s birthday.  Eduardo, sitting in the back, piped up that it was his.  Then the bus driver asked us all to sing to him.  And just like that, a bus full of strangers cheered up and loudly sang Eduardo happy birthday.  I. Love. New York. I’ve said it before (, but there really is no other place like it.

That’s just one of the reasons I am especially enamored with Becky Cooper’s new book, Mapping Manhattan. The author/artist hand printed hundreds of maps of Manhattan then walked all over town and handed them out.  She asked people to fill them out as they wished and send them back to her.  Soon, her PO box was filled with maps telling all kinds of personal stories from past loves to lost homes, childhood memories and surprising confessions. The book, Mapping Manhattan, includes 75 maps from both anonymous mapmakers and famous New Yorkers, including Man on Wire aerialist Philippe Petit, New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov, Tony award-winning actor Harvey Fierstein, and many more.  She also has a tumbler page where you can fill in your own map and tell your own New York story. (

I can’t wait to fill mine in!  Slinkie, wouldn’t you love to do this for DC?

image c/o

Why aren’t we the ones to come up with such a super cool idea?! Love this. At first I thought it would be great for lots of cities to do and then see how they compare, but then I realized that there really is no other place like New York. The allegiance, the commitment, the passion folks have toward New York is unparalleled. If one was done in DC, I predict it would be much like the fashion – conservative, constricted, conformed. But then again, I would love to be proven wrong and see all sorts of wacky and clever map renditions capturing fascinating and memorable experiences.

PS: The bus story brought me right back to the days of Jarrett singing on the metro with his morning buds.

“I Want…”

“I Want…”

Seems we are in the season of “I Want…” I’m sure you never hear those words from your children! In a moment of brilliance the other day, I was able to change my normal reaction – clenched jaw, tensed body, change the subject approach to one of sharing, laughing, dreaming and encouraging. Not only did I learn lots about the tangible desires of the under 15 crowd (2 more dogs, a private gym, a pair of basketball shoes for every day of the year, whole new wardrobe – who wouldn’t want that?!) but I also learned how encouraging my children were. I said, “I want to paint everyday and sell all my paintings”. They immediately said, that was easy, I could totally do that. While that is so nice and loving, I have a long way to go.

In the meantime, I discovered Daily Paintworks where artists join and paint everyday then put their paintings up for auction. A perfect way to get artists dedicated to painting and perfect for someone looking for a deal on art. Go check it out, there is certainly something for everyone. You need to sort through lots of paintings but once you find the artist you like, you can add them as a favorite and just keep an eye on what they are producing. I saw a beautiful piece this morning for $45! I know how much you love tiny oil painting!

Here are a few artists I love:


Artist: Edward B. Gordon

Artist: Cathleen Rehfeld


Artist: Rita Curtis

Artist: Carol Marine

First off, kudos for turning that situation around.  Sometimes I get so frustrated with my kids asking for stuff all the time.  It is kind of interesting to sit back and just let their imaginations run wild and listen to their fantasy list.  Secondly, wow, this painting site is a great idea.  I see what you mean.  It’s kind of like shopping at Loehmann’s.  You have to wade through a lot of crap, but when you find a gem, it’s really a keeper.  I’m especially fond of the last painting.  So simple and so beautiful.  I think you should add your stuff to the site.  What do you say, Slink?  A painting a day (a week?) for you and a photo for me?