thank you my friend

Dear everyone of Art Brown,

I miss you already! Sure, you really don’t know who I am or my name, and I always forgot your names (because I was too shy to ask directly), but I remember you and both spaces. I’ve been coming to terms with the news since I first learned of your final closing and then read further confirmation. I feel the loss of each small business, each friend.

Thank you for being you.

Thank you for putting up with my wandering through each aisle 20 times but not knowing for what I searched. Thank you for not complaining when I spent half an hour debating between two ink colours…Thank you for never pressuring me to just buy something already. Thank you for being patient while I bought my first Lamy and my delight as you changed it to an EF nib. And the second. For looking for a nice box for the j herbin rollerball I was picking up as a gift, and surprising me with one for my selfish acquisition as well! Thank you for the many sheets of paper in various formats that i could look at and touch (and sniff) before I bought. Thank you for the regular boring muggle pens and the scrap paper left there so I could try them out and pick up the one I needed for my non-special-ink writing. Thank you for the ink selections and never complaining when I asked to see the swatch books, again. That you for being kind even without saying a word. Thank you for not questioning when I would spend a long time in a back corner with items I had collected, review them, debate them, and then finally come forward to ask a question. I’ll never forget the day I wandered in during a pen sale caught totally unawares and wondering if I could just pick up the new notebook I needed.

I’m sorry I didn’t visit as much recently. My work is no longer just a few short blocks away, but I tried to visit when I could. The next time I’m nearby I know that when I start to walk toward 45th I will feel the loss all the more acutely then.

Thank you for the memories. I’m saddened I didn’t do more. I will miss you.

your friend,

Fountain Pens fine and medium
multitasking, old skooloffice supply Lamy Safari, Lime XF Nib
(note: not all pens or paper pictured were acquired at Art Brown. Most were.)

Dear Reader: Please support a local small business you respect and admire in memory of Art Brown – The International Pen Shop.


PG w Chai LatteThe NY Metro region is struggling to recover from the double blow of a hurricane and a nor’easter. Yes, last night, a nor’easter blew through, leading to record amounts of snow after a few days of record lows. Many trees still have their leaves which means more broken branches and potentially more downed power lines. Many are still without power and heat. Many have lost everything. Please help if you can.

With an updated copy & paste from last week’s post, here are a few links to references sites with information on how you can help.

There are many more sites out there. Please, be wary of potential scams.

For the most part, an individual’s donation of money is much more useful to an organization than showing up and dropping off some outgrown jackets and blankets. Some organizations are accepting donations of goods by individuals, please check first, and if in doubt, donate money.

Below is a list of some organizations accepting donations and a few small businesses that are donating a portion of their sales or providing goods to help with the relief effort.

Thank you.

show: infinite variety

My friend A and I get together when we can for tea. We’ve been trying to coordinate something for a few weeks and it worked out for this past Tuesday. She emailed me on Monday asking if I wanted to go to a Quilt Show at the Armory.

I’ve done Quilt Shows. I’m not that into them.

However, the past month has been very work intensive and while that’s actually a good thing, it meant that there wasn’t the balance of work and creativity that I strive for.

I replied, “okay, I’m game.”

Little did I know.

Tuesday morning I was skimming RSS feeds and saw a post from the MS Crafts Dept. blog about the show. This made me pause, it was full of Red? and White? Two colours I very much dislike? Well, I was still open minded enough to give it a go.

So, while I began to click around and hear more favourable buzz about this … quilt show, I still was not prepared.


I’ve been in the Park Avenue Armory building before. E and I went to an antique book sale a few years ago. It was just a generic space with lots of booths and tables. I expected something similar.

A and I opened the large doors, walked in, and then stopped short.


We saw this:
Infinite Variety Exhibit

I can’t find the right words to describe it. I think A reminded me to close my mouth because my jaw was hanging open. I started to have to remind myself to blink.

I had left my camera at home and had to rely on my (very good) camera phone. Can you sense the wonder? The scale? The beauty? The amazing curation of the materials by Elizabeth V. Warren, guest curator?

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole exhibit and what I learned from it.

I’m inspired by it in many many ways, most of them unexpected.

I’m touched by the generous gift Joanna Rose gave NYC for her 80th birthday.

I need more time to process it and find a way to explain. I’m sorry to tell you about an awesome show that is now closed. I think there is talk of it travelling to other places.

I can, however, with clarity say this now: If there is any chance it opens elsewhere and you have the remotest possibility in the world of getting there to go see it, GO.

You can see others photos of the amazing installation through the flickr tag 650quilts. Here is more information from the Folk Art Museum.

Thank you A for inviting me!


quiet please

(nb: I know that the click through information in the description is erroneous. Fixing it requires a bit of brain power and I’m looking forward to some quiet first… )
image is © DEG, All Rights Reserved.

Strand Annex

Strand Annex, 20080921Due to a loss of lease and the always changing dynamic of NYC, Strand will close their Annex on Fulton Street. Strand is completely different in all ways from Powells, but I love it anyway. Powells is organized which makes my librarian-brain happy. Strand is random and well worn around the edges (both at Annex and the main store). I liked the Annex, despite its super stale air, as it always offered the random books I needed at prices I was quite willing to pay. This weekend (sorry!) all books were $1 in anticipation of the annex doors closing (fixtures were for sale as well, I don’t know what they were going for). We added six to our library. I did want to cry when I saw at least THREE copies of a book I bought for class and paid $14 for.