The Waiting Wall + Public Platforms for Emotion

Inspired by Alain de Botton’s idea that Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall be adapted in new ways for modern times, digital storytellers Alan Donohoe and Steven Parker created “The Waiting Wall” in a busy English train station during the Brighton Digital Festival. The huge display projected the deepest fears and most personal confessions of travelers who submitted them anonymously for…

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Patti Smith: “If You’re Positive, You Expand”

Sixty-eight-year-old author and singer, 70’s Punk star Patti Smith is one of the subjects of this year’s Pirelli calendar — considered fashion’s sexiest – celebrating female achievement. With her hair grown out gray, no makeup or face lift, and her singular uniform, she presents a very different kind of role model then the usual Pirelli pin-up. Last May, New York Magazine’s The Cut interviewed Smith after…

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Optical Illusion Interiors Out of Paint or Tape

Could it be that the great Mexican architect Luis Barrigan created a study with an unexpected, roughly-painted rather expressionistic trompe l’oeil window to brighten a windowless space? It LOOKS that way in this image we found at Aqqindex. It got us casting about for abstract optical illusions we might employ at home, the opposite of the usual trompe l’oeil that…

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Arlene Gottfried on the Benefits of Wandering

For over forty years, Arlene Gottfried  has photographed the people she meets in her journeys around New York City, revealing its diversity and heart through her extraordinary images. The very personal moments she captures call to mind Diane Arbus and Viviane Maier. The roots of her work, which includes assignments for The New York Times Magazine and Life Magazine, lie in her…

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Slow-Roast Tomatoes for Hors d’Oeuvres, Sauces, Tarts, Jam…

A farmer friend of mind asked my advice on preserving the luscious tomatoes that are abundance in the last, dazzling burst of summer produce. “Do you can tomatoes?” he asked. “No”, I replied, “I roast them.” Slow-roasting tomatoes in a low oven, evaporates their juices, and renders them dense, creamy and melting, with a concentrated tomato flavor that is at once tart, sweet and savory. They last for a couple of weeks in the fridge and they freeze beautifully. They can be improvised with endlessly…

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Steven Colbert Riffs on Lifestyle Brands and Starts His Own

(Video link here.) Every week or so, we run through a diverse array of websites scouting interesting ideas that we and Improvised Life’s readers might find useful. We’re amazed at the growing number of “lifestyle” sites that tout pricey, high-design, often useless STUFF with the implicit message: Buy this______ and your life will be better. In addition to home…

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Yoko Ono’s Cleaning Piece May Change Your Life

We hadn’t realized that Yoko Ono published a sequel to her enduringly wonderful Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions, written in 1964. Acorn‘s conceptual “instructions” seem more overtly focused on healing and personal change. We are especially intrigued with Cleaning Piece III, wondering what it would be like to NOT say anything negative about anybody. Would…

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