Wednesday, August 26, 2009

inspiration and aunthenticity

I've been hearing a lot about authenticity lately. Read this great quote by filmmaker, Jim Jarmusch about stealing or being inspired to find authenticity from Jon's post about his favorite things at Decor8's blog...

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.

Yo Yo Ma

Seemed like everyone had been to the Hollywood Bowl this summer but us. Well, finally, last night, we made it to see celloist Yo Yo Ma who was a guest of Placido Domingo and the LA Philharmonic. It was brilliant. I've always wanted to see Yo Yo Ma live. His music is so vibrant and captivating. He himself was just charismatic, always engaging the orchestra and the audience. The encore that brought the young 10 year old musicians next to us to a standing ovation saying "Bravo, bravo!" was a solo piece from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and then a duet with Placido singing opera.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Washington DC

Spent an August week in DC. The hot and humid weather was brutal, but boy do I feel quite patriotic.

The first thing I noticed in the city - the Evacuation Route signage (little blue sign) all along Pennsylvania Avenue. This immediately put things in perspective about where I was, especially with this administration. Damn.

The first museum to hit was the National Archives to find the original Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution (above you can see "We the People..."), Bill of Rights (freedom of speech...), Emanciption Proclamation that abolished slavery, and the document that gave women the right to vote. Being the product of immigrant parents, if suffices me to say that we are absolutely so privileged here.

My side project was to check out weaving books at the Library of Congress. Got my own library card, found the books I wanted from the online card catalog, submitted the catalog numbers using these sort of old school carbon tickets, got some lunch, and came back 45 minutes later to pick up my books. The Library of Congress is not a lending library so you could only go through your books at a desk in a reading room. I sat at desk #682. I checked out about 13 books that I looked at over the course of two afternoons. The myth is that they have every book ever published, but this is not true.

Super refreshing gin and cucumber cocktail at Vegetate in the Adams Morgan area.

Foods that Meso American Indians ate - hominy, rice, and grilled corn with cojita cheese at the Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian. They also had bison and wild salmon grilled over a fire the way the indians used to do it.

Subway Tunnel/Bomb Shelter deep under the city.

My nephew with Eva from the Wall E movie. He was so happy he happened to be pointing at the plant inside Eva :)

As close as we were going to get to the White House. Kids around me kept asking if Obama was in there. I had read in the paper that morning that he was visiting Yellowstone. It was still a rock start moment for all of us standing there.

Standing at the Lincoln Memorial looking at the Washington Monument... realizing that this is where Martin Luther King did his I Have a Dream speech. Pretty cool. I caught the monument glowing from the sun for a brief moment.

One of the seating areas in the Donovan House lobby. It's a floral pattern cut from wood adheared on glass to make it appear as if it is floating. I love hotel lobbies.

Sunset on the Potomac River that connects Virginia, Maryland, and DC.