Homely Homes in the City

Watching the video of Jem Cohen’s Lost Book Found that’s waiting for me at the school library:

Lost Book Found melds documentary and narrative into a complex meditation on city life. The piece revolves around a mysterious notebook filled with obsessive listings of places, objects, and incidents. These listings serve as the key to a hidden city: a city of unconsidered geographies and layered artifactsthe relics of low-level capitalism and the debris of countless forgotten narratives.

– Getting the catalogue for the Odd Lots exhibit in the mail next week (with We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs and Doormen) since I wasn’t able to get to New York to see the show, but my right hand diamond rings arrived from amazon. Yay!

In the early 1970s, Matta-Clark discovered that the City of New York periodically auctioned off gutterspaceunusably small slivers of land sliced from the city grid through anomalies in surveying, zoning, and public-works expansion. He purchased fifteen of these lots, fourteen in Queens and one in Staten Island. Over the next years, he collected the maps, deeds, and other bureaucratic documentation attached to the slivers; photographed, spoke, and wrote about them; and considered using them as sites for his unique brand of anarchitectural intervention into urban space. Matta-Clark died in 1978 at the age of 35 without realizing his plans for Fake Estates, and ownership of the properties reverted to the city. The archival material that he had assembled went into storage and was not rediscovered until the early 1990s, when it was assembled into exhibitable collages.

– Watching the film Café Lumière, which is out now on DVD.

– Catching up on all the posts I want to do but haven’t had time or brain cells for.

– The mystery of what answers (or questions?) these next few months will bring…

– Finding where the hell I put my iPod shuffle before I went on vacation last week


I thought I had successfully conquered my fear of the cigar tube airplane (a.k.a. Raytheon Beech 1900D, for anyone to whom that means anything) in time for my return flight home tonight. The drive to the airport was misty, and visibility on the road declined the whole way, so I was still a little nervous. And I am not ever really nervous about flying.

Before we were ready to take off, the co-pilot (there are no flight attendants on these 19-seaters) walked to the rear half of the plane and asked people behind us for a volunteer to move to the front of the plane. Two women diddled around, saying they wanted to sit together, bickering about who should move. I wanted to turn around and shout, “There’s only one seat on either side of the plane! So you don’t have to sit right next to a stranger! And it’s only a 50-minute flight, for cryin out loud! Move the fuck up to the front of the plane RIGHT NOW so we don’t all die in this crap weather!!” I was a little freaked out that they had to redistribute weight on the plane before we could fly. Then one of the women moved, we took off, and all went well. (Except for the being late part.)

But the request conjured up other ominous images in my head. When they bank to land in turbulence, would they have to ask us all to lean over in that direction to help tilt the plane?