Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dancing Hexagons

Don't worry guys, I found the scariest thing of 2008 (time almost ran out!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


What happens, of course, as you get older is the increased awareness of things you do and do not own. Words like "investments" and "longterm" begin to come into your purchasing vocabulary. Like, "these Balenciaga heels would be a great investment" or "I need to make a longterm decision about my skin care." Seriously. What did you think I was referring to, some sort of liquid asset?

Ha, I'm a journalist. I take what I can get.

So in no particular order, here are the eight things I discovered that I am glad that I committed to in 2008:

1. 16 gig iPod nano in purple - It's purple. It's small. It shuffles when I shake it. And it is engraved. So when it peters out, I'll feel good I only spent $159.

Runners up: Chronotrigger for DS; an iPhone, if I'd purchased one

2. Sponge Avocado Oil - This lovely little product literally smells like avocados, and when you put it on at night, you actually can FEEL vitamins pulsating in your pores at an alarming rate. Srsly.

Runners up: MAC Powder Blush; Malin + Goetz Mojito Soaps

3. My MOMA boots - Though I can't find them on Yoox anymore, I'm supplying another pair that are equally inspiring. These boots, though being worn pretty seriously for eight months, look brand new. And I get stopped on the street, by punks and stroller pushing moms, to hear how rad my boots are. Duh.

(the only photographic evidence I have of said boots)

Runners up: Vintage buckle-up cowboy boots; Alice + Oliva booties for Payless

4. Fresh Direct Membership - Well, I didn't actually buy this, but I sure used it. And I spent less money and ate better. The four-minute meals are seriously nom-ular, and I found that I really dug their soups. And I didn't have to haul around cat litter. So, pretty sick.

Runners up: Making friends with my dry-cleaner; discovering the joy of tailoring vintage dresses
5. Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover - Though I often fished it out of my bag and handed to people in lieu of a pen, this little baby saved me a few too many times in Ought Eight. Oh, and if you are invited to a birthday party but you forgot a gift and all thats left between you and the celebration is a Duane Reade, there ain't no shame in a pack of Tide to Go. It'd be appreciated, I promise.

Runners up: Bleach, in everything; Electrical tape for holding everything except electrical products together

6. Rapidshare account - Did you know you could find anything on Rapidshare? Tom and Jerry's Nutcracker movie? Nationwide 8th graders student reports? Also, incredibly obscure albums that you once already paid for but have been destroyed by time/humiliation/moving? All there, for 55 Euros a year.

Runners up: Flickr Pro Account

7. American Apparel 2x1 Rib Nylon Spandex Leggings in Black - There is a reason why American Apparel is beginning to rival Starbucks in its obvious positioning in NYC. Yes, its ad campaign makes me want to claw my eyes out (with cleverness!), and everyone I know owns 8 pairs of Slim Slacks, but there is nothing more basic than a basic. And I sit directly in the middle of the leggings-as-pants debate: if it looks good, do it. If I have to see your underwear line, don't. In black, they are best.

Runners up: Nylon Tricot Figure Skater Dress; Nylon Tricot Highwaisted Skirt

8. A subscription to the Economist - The most snotty of posh periodicals, the Economist ensured I had the (right) opinion on everything this year, from McCain's gracious concession speech to his not-so-gracious campaign, to the messy re-election of Robert Mugabe, to Mumbai not being India's 9/11. And really, I got to keep this cover, which is pretty frakkin' epic:

Runners Up: An increased addiction to Ben Tausig's crosswords in The Onion; Enjoying increased job security over Vogue-rs

So there is my year in investments. It's fairly lackluster (hey, we are in an economic slump and I make a pittance), but what's a year without making a couple intelligently absurd purchases.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jews and Design :: Hannukah version

While we often joke at Surface about doing a Jewish issue (no Zaha or Karim...but plenty of Dror!), the most basic way to look at the secular nature of design influencing a non-secular lifestyle is religious imagery. And since the cross is pretty much canon and the tree gets all the glory anyway (and the Kwanzaa Kinara is, you know, a lot like a menorah), leave it to the Heebs to come up with pretty fancy holiday decor. So here is my round up of the season's best (and most clever) menorahs, in no particular order:

Holiday Skyline Menorah by Jonathan Adler

The Man-Orah by Josh Korwin and Alyssa Zukas

The Hannu-kit at Reddish

Sahar Batsry's Flame Menorah

Last Match Menorah by Kathleen Walsh

Cube Modern Menorah by Modern Tribe

Menorah Glass Candleholder by Frabel

Rivington - at Maxwell Silver

From Leila "Not Quite A Jew...More, Just Jew...ish" Brillson

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Andrea Galvini = modern day Magritte

If Magritte took pictures, and those pictures had an intense preoccupation with the surreal and often threatening intersection between nature and modernity, they would look an awful lot like Andrea Galvini's works. The young Italian photographer lives part-time in Milan and New York, and his photo's are really, absurdly eerie and breathtaking.

Often using animals and stark, foggy backgrounds, it appears that he has a preoccupation with both smoke and balloons, and using both to obscure any sort of defining characteristics. Anytime he shows eyes, it seems to belong to an animal, which are depicted in (creepily funny) multitudes. Apparently he is currently doing a residency at Location One, which is about a five minute walk away from Surface, so I might stalk him for a print.

Wait. I WILL stalk him for a print.

‘la morte di un’immagine #6’, 2006

‘la morte di un’immagine #5’, 2005

‘N-1 #1’, 2007

‘l’intelligenza del male #5’, 2007

‘la morte di un’immagine #7’, 2006

via Designboom

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I have to give some love to my two little friends, the charming Kegan Fisher and Liz Kinnmark, the totally irreverent and completely talented duo that make up Design Glut. Not only are they both adorable (by the looks of it, they just got themselves a shmancy photoshoot - but in real life the girls are less glam but equally cute), but they have a fledgling little Brooklyn design firm that focuses on cheeky, DIY projects.

Also, and not to make me biased, they attend Surface events like it's their job. They come to parties, to speaking events - they are like the smart, interesting kids that you always meant to be friends with in high school - but for the New York indie design scene.

Of course, they just launched a sale on their site, which is impeccably designed and very visually appealing. A couple of their products are pretty rad, like the globally inspired world links necklace:

Which is only $60, but at their sale price is less than $50.

I also like their newly introduced world currencies money clip...:


I recently got emailed about this small DIY project the two girls conceived of (with a $100 prize!) involving a Christmas tree ornament and following some cutting-and-folding instructions. Commenting on the current economic situation, the girls are encouraging people to cut out their money-tree-topper, assemble it and send them a picture of the project for prizes and general sense of community. Take a looksee here and see what you can come up with. Can you beat these two? Send me a copy if you dare to submit.

Happy fucking holidays, indeed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

All I Need Are Some Lights On A String

This weekend, in a fit of passion, I pushed all of my furniture to the center of the room, pulled my clothes out of the drawers and knocked books off of shelves. It wasn't a temper tantrum - I just decided that I needed to freshen things up before winter really sets in. What has appeared, apparently, is a blank spot around my bed that needs some type of lighting apparatus.

While I'd prefer not to channel the 14-year-old girl in me, I think I might be best off with string lights. You can find them in the weird Chinese import shops around Canal, you can find them at Oriental Trading and, apparently, while is not registered, IS.

While I don't want jalepenos or rubber ducks or something like that, I'm not quite willing to succumb to Christmas lights. I DO work at a design mag. I COULD possibly think of something more creative than the lighting that you put around a pine tree.

So, easy first stop:
It's the no-duh of design shopping, and I query string lights, and BAM, they got 'em. Of course, they happen to be the string lights from the previous post, which are certainly not worth the $100 dollar price tag and aren't exactly mood creating.

String Ten Light

And while they look awesome in a set of three, one lonely one in my room would be pathetic.

Then I head over to one of my favorite blogs, Design Boom, which does a nice job of covering the conceptual and the practical. I search "string lights" because I don't know a better term, and the only hit are the damn Brilliant Lights installation I saw at the Seoul Design Olympiad. Seriously.

And I definitely think I would creep myself out with those above my bed.

So I head over to the old trustworthy Ikea page. And Ikea has some affordable lighting options that an adult might use - not all hearts, butterflies, weird lanterns and stars. Like the (bear with me)


Or the kind of awesome spidery Minnen.

But no, look at the lighting page found here:
Not one, not one of those lighting options are available for shipping. And if you think I'm going to waste a Saturday trekking to Red Hook for some string don't work as hard as I do.

In desperation, I hit up Target, hoping to find SOMETHING, maybe some Jonathan Saunders designed lighting, or at least Isaac Mizrahi...But have you ever shopped at Target online? It's like shopping the store - rows and rows of hits come up with decreasing relevancy. Wrong size, weird color, you think you saw it cheaper in another department. And the tags are labeled:

But what's the difference between novelty, string and string and hanging? I cannot possibly cope, even though I found a semi tolerable mesh-bronze string lights, which I am not purchasing because I'm not spending $50 on something that could, upon further review, look like a bug zapper.

The moral is: who needs shopping savvy and design blogs when you have good ole DIY-ingenuity. So I'm going to do what any good Brooklyn-dweller would do...I'm going to march down to a hardware store, get some sturdy wire and christmas lights, and mold and shape my own damn lamp, thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My friend Andrea just moved into a new place, and I love nothing more than sending her Craigslist stuff of what she should buy. Christmas shopping makes me much more exhilarated than Christmas itself.

So I've decided to start composing a little list of places to go to get really excellent gifts, as part of my hunting-things-down-for-you-on-the-internet impulse and also to have a definitive, unbeatable Christmas shopping guide.

When I received an email from the newly launched The Future Perfect design website today, I thought it would be a good introduction. Its a really interesting but expensive website, but I promptly got a 15% off coupon for your disposal (which, apparently, you just need to call about to use)

Here are some less expensive items that would make a wonderful gift:

String Lights

Optical Glasses

The Leather Bear Bookend

Forget-Me-Knot Ring

Monday, November 17, 2008


I would just like everyone to know that I just posted some amazing things on eBay, and they should go bid their little tails off.

Can't remember my store URL? How dare thee. It's here, at Missy Meow.

Lots of vintage, some Halston, Cheap Monday and Betsey Johnson. Help thyselves.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It's very exciting to think of being alive in a time where you really feared being attacked by a vampire. I mean, to be prepared, really brace yourself for a possible vampire strike. Today, we have terrorists and hurricanes, but I don't think we fear for the supernatural or the undead nearly as much as we should (hence, my continual blogging-about-zombies).

Let us reminisce about simpler times, when real things like monsters and blood suckers kept us awake.

And let us think about how much we would spend to protect ourselves from them? A national deficit? Never. $14,850? Maybe.

Apparently a real, live vampire hunting kit (housed in walnut casings and complete with garlic and holy water) sold at Steven's Auctions for that exact amount.

How beautiful is that? Look at those immaculately carved stakes and those matching bottles? I wish that my cosmetics were organized that nicely.

I think I am going to go home, dump out my Shu Uemera bottles, and fill it with holy water, just in case.

Via Core 77

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My dear friend, Krysta Gonzalez, is a Divisional Field Assistant for Calvin Klein, and she let me know about a 30% private sale at Calvin Klein. Just click this LINK.

I think I'll pick myself up this lovely little belted PONCHO:

Or maybe this little boatneck dress.

There is good stuff for men as well. Take advantage of this, because it ends on Sunday.

Thanks Krysta!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I love my Netflix. It gives me a sense of completion, a sense of accomplishment. I achieve a little bit each time I mail back that red envelope. My account is enriched every time I rate a movie, write a review or leave a friend a note.

The only thing holding me back from complete adoration was being on a Mac and not being able to stream live. Well, my friends, that's over. According to Gizmodo:

LOS GATOS, Calif., October 27, 2008 – Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the world’s largest online movie rental service, today announced it has begun the deployment of Microsoft Silverlight to enhance the instant watching component of the Netflix service and to allow subscribers for the first time to watch movies and TV episodes instantly on their Intel-based Apple Macintosh computers. The deployment, which will initially touch a small percentage of new Netflix subscribers, is the first step in an anticipated roll-out of the new platform to all Netflix subscribers by the end of the year.

Silverlight is designed for delivery of cross-platform, cross-browser media experiences inside a Web browser. It is expected that Netflix members who watch movies and TV episodes instantly on their computers will enjoy a faster, easier connection and a more robust viewing experience with Silverlight, due to the quality built directly into the player. Among the viewing enhancements with the new player is a breakthrough in timeline navigation that vastly improves the use of fast-forwarding and rewinding. The new Netflix player takes advantage of Play Ready DRM, which is built into Silverlight, for the playback of protected content on both Windows-based PCs and on Macs. That had not been possible with previous generation technologies.

“Silverlight with Play Ready offers a powerful and secure toolkit for delivery of dynamic streaming, which offers faster start-up, and higher quality video, adapted in real time to users’ connection speeds,” said Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt. “Members who enjoy watching movies and TV episodes from the growing library of choices that can be instantly streamed at Netflix will be thrilled with this next generation improvement of access and quality, on a broader range of platforms, including Intel Macs and Firefox.”

“Instantly streaming from Netflix directly addresses the needs and wants of today’s Web users by providing on-demand, high-quality online video,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp. “By using Silverlight, Netflix can deliver to its subscribers a higher quality video experience on the Web, on more platforms.”

Silverlight was tried and proven this summer as streamed thousands of hours of live and on-demand online video for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

For Macintosh users, the Silverlight player will work only on Intel-based Macs, which currently account for roughly three-fourths of Mac units operated by Netflix subscribers.

I logged in and saw no difference, but when I use the Gizmodo link found here, everything appears to be copacetic. Finally, I can watch Surf's Up without the Netflix community watching as it gets added begrudgingly onto my queue.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I recently discovered that shock photog Terry Richardson (who basically popularized that DIY-70s Style-American-Apparel-sweaty-girls-in-no-clothes photography that is virtually everywhere) got to meet the man with the plan, and take a flick of him, up close and gritty.

Pervy Terry and O to the BAMA.

Man, congrats on appealing to the subculture, Barack. Seriously - who'd ever think a presidential candidate would be shot by the same guy that shoots the S & M exploitation project "Wives Wheels Weapons".


Monday, November 3, 2008


Check out this super sick Balenciaga black and white avant garde wrap dress I found on eBay. It's cashmere and silk, and is a little big on me, so I'm not going to bid, but you should. You should bid now, and let me come over and smell it when you win.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Afternoon Videos :: HALLOWEEN VERSION

Everyone's favorite day to party is upon us, and it couldn't be nicer in New York.

Enjoy my favorite scary tunes:

"Everyday is Halloween" - Ministry

"Night of the Living Dead" - The Misfits (Danzig-era)

"Halloween" - Siouxsie and the Banshees

"Cryptorchid" - Marilyn Manson (Sidenote: This video provided the theme for our eighth grade haunted house, which I acted as creative director and included themes such as damnation and salvation, torture and redemption. It would have been a poignant commentary on modern teenage suffering, but there was an asbestos leak in the basement.)

This is pretty self-explanatory, and crucial (of course).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seoul Design Olympiad and The Cat That Came From Korea

Initially, the reason I wanted to go to Seoul was because of SDO (Seoul Design Olympiad). I wasn't aware until recently, but Seoul, in the next decade, is totally renovating itself, and getting hugely famous designers and architects to come in to help. So in an effort to keep Seoulites feeling connected, they hosted a "Design Olympiad" which was a crash course in all things design. (A design competition, exhibitions by Jamie Hayon and Zaha Hadid and an emerging designers market) It worked. I was enthralled.

Belinda and I went because of our late arrival, we had an extra day. We both were expecting to be disappointed, and if it wasn't for the damp, chilly weather, we would have had a completely flawless day. I did a bit of shopping, met up with Park Jong Chul (the completely English-less menswear designer) for some tea, and then dropped by the showroom of Lee Ju Young, who is Marilyn Manson's personal designer. But don't hold that against her - her eye for exquisite menswear details could give Marc Jacobs or Patrick Ervell a hint or two.

Then I met up again with Belinda for some sight-seeing, candy purchasing and worm smelling. Really, thats what I did. Exhausted, I limped into bed, with only the culinary delights of an impending breakfast to worry about the next day...

Belinda is entering the SDO. These are collected pieces of rubbish hung festively around the entrance. It was...effective, I suppose, if you like glittery bits of trash.

One half of the curvacious and ribbed conference center...

...the second half!

Here are a few of the "build your own bench" submissions, which encouraged citizens to come up with bench designs

The official (get this) FONT of Seoul. They have their own font.

Heh. Remember earlier when I said, "They use cute creatures to sell everything!" Welll....that's still true, but that one particular creature is "Arrrr...Ng." Yes, I'm spelling that right. He's some mysterious doorknocker, and he is certainly cute (well, maybe not here).

Belinda traipsing through the stadium. Watch her traipse!

I'm inside the conference center, which was awkward, because I said, "Take a picture of me! I'm inside the conference center!"

These kids were bloody talented. I kept peeking on their work, and I'm guessing art is taught with an iron fist in Korea.

JeeYoon taking a break, exhausted from leading us around.

This, my friends, is the most stylish life vest I have ever seen...If we gave up our orange things for one of these, I might be inclined to wear one more....

Ok, this is a dress for the military that converts into a tent. They don't offer any alternative to what you should be wearing when you are sleeping in your dress tent, which leads me to believe the military in Korea is mighty sexy.

A kind of janky but clever watering device.

Lights being all design-y.

Belinda and I sitting on a desk called the "His and Hers Desk", made for two people to work independently, but together!

Look closely, but that shirt has an imprint on the underside, allowing wearers to pull it over their head for a scary face.

Grossest clothes hanger ever.

This little guy was sitting in the corner reading his paper for over an hour.

This man (who didn't speak a lick of English) was painting shirts with biodegradable ink. He only made things out of refuse, and he gave Belinda and I a handpainted calendar.

Koreans love taking pictures of their pictures.

Arrrr...Ng in the flesh! He's adorable.

Inside of Lee Ju Young's showroom, which was a lush gothy fantasy (perfect for moi).

Leather embellishments.

Her men's color pallette

A shirt with netted ornamentation, very shipwreck-victim. Loved it.

When I headed back to Fashion Week, there were celebrities there and everyone was trying to get a picture. Koreans love their celebrities...

Doing something New Yorkers never do...waiting in line.

Seoul streets.

A Korean arcade.

Rice wine, which I brought home to discover it tastes monumentally better when served out of a clay pot with a wooden ladel.

The epilepsy attack that is a 7/11.

Belinda: "Should I get the one with the smiley little creature, or the one with the smiley little creature?"

Ok, maybe zoom in or click the picture for this one. That ketchup was SO pristine it looked like a food ad.

And, as promised, snail shells and stinky bugs. Those bugs smelled like rotting, I don't know...bugs?

Last morning!

Our dining view.

On the bus to the airport, toting the cat I bought from the Young Design Mart. That cat was the bane of that day, but I brought it around the world to hang out in Brooklyn.

Well, there's my trip. It was epic and a bit anti-climactic. I didn't learn Korean boxing nor did I get caught in a international heist, but I did learn a lot and come up with a zillion pitches. And I made a few friends too.

And the cat. Don't forget the cat. I came out of this with a lovely cat (and more press schwag than I can measure...).