Sunday, February 15, 2009

handmade nation and the west side

from this

to this

laying here in bed on a sunday morning with a cup of tea- b's got the blankets pulled over his head. I crashed at 9pm last night, unable to make it through a full episode of 30 days. (have you seen this show? it's not dumb.) not having any caffeine all day could have had something to do with it. we left the house before noon, (wow!) picked up a couple of egg & cheese's at mike & sam's, heading to the west side to see handmade nation. we stopped first in the west village, intending to drop in on the hudson st. branch of the market nyc. not to be found- it must be seasonal, and I remember reading somewhere that it was, despite there being no mention of this on their website. okay, so we walked north on hudson, admiring the west village and remarking that it's a neighborhood that we kinda never go to. caught the a train at 14th street and took it to 59th, columbus circle.

the film is being shown at the museum of arts and design, (MAD) in its newly renovated home at 2 columbus circle. formerly the american craft museum, located on 53rd st. near MOMA, MAD bought the iconic building from the city in 2002, making major architectural changes amongst a wave of controversy. though I didn't know the story behind the building at 2 columbus, I always found it mysterious and odd, one of my favorite buildings in the city. when we saw the newly unveiled façade several months ago, I was shocked and sad that the original building had been masked over. reading up a bit on its history, I was surprised to find out that it was indeed originally built to be a museum, thus explaining why it already housed a theater in the basement.

we didn't visit the museum itself yesterday, but will go back on a pay-what-you-wish thursday night. we were however, some of the lucky first few people to view faythe levine's handmade nation. starting with its cleverly hand drawn opening credits, the film is a treat and a joy. produced on a shoestring budget, faythe does a masterful job of presenting the current handmade movement in the u.s. in a clear, concise, and fun way. several key people in the diy scene are interviewed, representing makers, store owners, activists and journalists. the movie opens following crafter Ileana Rodriguez as she sets up her booth for chicago's renegade craft fair. throughout the film we get to check in on her progress, as she talks about her experience as a maker. the accompanying score is by levine's band (what does this woman not do?) and its playfulness perfectly matches the film, which pops with the bright colors of hand made products. at the end we see some of the crafters who had been interviewed during the film selling alongside Rodriguez at renegade, neatly tying the movie together.

I was familiar with many of the people and their companies featured in the film, including Brooklyn's own Erin Weckerle! it was nice to see some people I hadn't heard of before and hear their take on the indie movement. there were makers/designers/store owners from san francisco, austin, chicago, providence, los angeles, houston, and olympia, among others. all of this I find very inspiring, that the movement is so widespread and enjoying success in virtually every corner of the country.

so, two thumbs way up for handmade nation!

photos: wikimedia, MAD.
click here for more photos of 2 columbus circle.


bongolicious said...

the West Village has more dog crap on the sidewalk than Bed-Stuy and Greenpoint combined.

Perhaps the NYPD needs a special "Shit Service" Task Force: a small group of officers with "SS" emblazoned on their shoulder patches tasked with shooting dogs whose owners don't pick up after them.

I think it's a GREAT idea.

dash said...

I just noticed on the market nyc's site that the hudson st. market takes place on Saturdays only.