Wednesday, September 29, 2010

*Everyday Chatter

Peyote Man! This guy really wants you to enjoy Peyote. He has set up a living room (complete with sleepy sofa pal) on 14th St. and calls out "Peyote! Hey, Peyote!" while he hands out literature about the "Peyote Way Church." Far out!

"What sort of retail now occupies the former home of urban planning pioneer Jane Jacobs? So glad you asked! It's a Glassybaby, a store that sells nothing but $45 cups." [UNY] [Racked]

The bike-lane debate continues to rage. [EVG]

Tonight, see the East River String Band live. [SG]

I just like this quote: "People gave Oprah a hard time for her sometimes schmaltzy and mostly commercial Book Club picks. But she sounds like a modern day Gertrude Stein in the context of Bookmarc." [GOG]

Enjoying pearls and turtles in a Garment District window. [Restless]

An e-nnoyance rant from Bob Morris. [NYO]

Candy at the Strand sells faster than register-side books. [Racked]

Hope and dread for the future of books--and just plain dread for the future of stupidity: "39 percent of children ages 9 to 17 said the information they found online was 'always correct.'" [NYT]

1 comment:

Claribel said...

Sadly, if the locals in Jane Jacob's old neighborhood find $45 cups useful to the community, which may very well be the case today, then Glassybaby does, in a bizarre way, reflect the spirit of her important book Death and Life of Great American Cities. But if Jacob's ideas on “import replacement” as a key to a thriving urban economy mean $45 cups, then I want nothing to do with it.

The web site states "Glassybaby are useful in many ways. But their real use is lifting bad moods and loneliness." That statement alone wants me to take my $45 to a bar and drown my sorrows in the warped materialism going on today. The spirit of community building and activism at its best, and understanding what makes neighborhoods thrive both socially and economically, are what I find inspiring from Jacob's best known work. The presence of the store in the building where she lived and wrote Death and Life speaks less about how far we’ve come and volumes about how far we have yet to go. I don’t--I can’t--believe that Jacobs meant for thriving local urban economies and communities to be reserved for a small percentile that can afford it. How exactly do $45 cups trickle down economically? For people like me who are a little stunned by the sticker price, Glassybaby has a goodwill program that contributes to cancer care and research, so they’re not just selling luxury items, but items that also have a philanthropic impact. I feel better and less lonely already.

I just don't know what to make of it all, but do know that I need to finish reading David Brooks's Bobos in Paradise.