New York Weekend

05/21/12

What better way to start this post than with photos of two of my favorite (and two of the world’s cutest) dogs: Fritz and Bruno, who belong to my dear friend Anna Dorfman. This past weekend, Victoria, Jenna and I took the train from Grand Central Station to the Hudson Valley to visit Anna at her amazing home there. Anna and her husband Evan bought and renovated an old home in Newburgh six years ago. She’s chronicled much of the incredible renovation on her blog over the last several years.

The visit was so lovely and relaxing. There was coffee, lots of coffee.

There were long walks and story sharing.

There was food, and lots of it. And hair dye and nail polish. And Bridesmaids. And then, this morning, goodbyes. Goodbyes are always the hardest for me.

And then Victoria and I came back to Manhattan and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.

Today I am attending Surtex all day at my agency’s booth. I am so excited to see many of my LRS friends there. I love them all so much. And I’ll also pop over to the Stationery Show, which is always a treat.

Happy Monday.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 141

05/21/12

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 140

05/20/12

Proverb.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 139

05/19/12

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New York, Day 1

05/18/12

Yesterday was our first full day in NY and it was pretty fantastic. I’m traveling with my friend Victoria and our first stop was coffee at Mojo in the West Village (where we are staying). The weather was lovely so we walked over to the Marimekko flagship store to meet up with our pal Anna. I just about died in there (in a good way) and I was even so close to buying a dress for my wedding! But I refrained. Much more shopping ensued that afternoon, along with delicious vegan eats. I was so tired, so I ended up in Dumbo at Anna’s apartment for a little puppy time (that’s Fritz!) and R+R. The bottom left photo is the view from her roof deck. Can you believe it? Such a lovely day.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 138

05/18/12

The wisest advice anyone ever gave to me.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 137

05/17/12

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 136

05/16/12

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Me + NY = True Love

05/15/12

That’s right, I love New York. And, nope, I’ve never lived there. I just LOVE to visit, and I do that at least once a year, sometimes twice.

The photo of me above was taken five years ago (almost exactly) in 2007, when I went to New York to visit my dear friend Rena Tom. I’d actually never met Rena before in person. I went for an art opening I had at Rare Device, the store she owned in Park Slope. That visit was life-changing for me. Rena and I became fast, fast “real life” friends on that trip, and six months later I quit my job and opened a Rare Device in San Francisco with her. The NY store closed in 2008 and three and a half years later we sold the SF store to a new owner, but Rena and I have remained super close friends (she now lives in San Francisco). All of this is just to say that I consider New York to be magical. Every time I visit, I am so happy and good things always happen for me there.

Tomorrow I am leaving for NY again. I’m traveling there with another dear friend Victoria, and a few days later my now “old” friend Rena will join us. We are going to shop and eat and spend lots of time with Anna and Jenna, and some other friends we love (it’s design week there, so lots of people will be descending on the city). I am looking forward to the aforementioned eating and shopping, and also exploring, seeing some art perhaps, and mostly, spending time with friends I don’t get to see on a regular basis.

I started traveling to New York 20 years ago when I was 24 years old. I was in a relationship for almost 10 years with someone who grew up in Greenwich Village and her family still lived there. We’d visit them every year when we were together, and I got to get to know New York City through the eyes of someone who knew it from the inside. That’s where the magic started for me, and it has never ended.

I’m hoping to share some of my trip with you here. Stay tuned for some posts over the next week.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 135

05/15/12

-Gary Lew

 

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On Pushing Myself

05/14/12

About 9 months ago, I signed up for AIDS Lifecycle 2012. I’d done the ride in 1999 — 13 years earlier when it was called California AIDS Ride — and I decided I wanted to do it again this year. My partner Clay did the ride right before we met in 2007. She wanted to do it again too.

You may remember back in January when I began fundraising for the ride. Each rider must raise a minimum of $3000. The money you raise goes toward things like working to reduce HIV infection and improving the lives of people living with AIDS.

Then, in February, I started training. I have been a cyclist on and off for years, but, aside from the ride I did in 1999, I typically don’t ride more than 50-60 miles at a time, usually about 30-40 on the average Saturday or Sunday. The ride to Los Angeles from San Francisco is 545 miles over 7 days. As you can imagine, the training to prepare us for the ride has gotten intense lately. I love cycling. It makes me feel alive. But I have to admit: training for this ride (which includes rides 50-100 miles, sometimes a couple days in a row), has kicked my ass.

When I did the ride in 1999, I was 31 years old and swimming competitively at the same time. I remember being tired, and I remember some pain — but not what I’m experiencing 13 years later at age 44. This past weekend I rode a total of 150 miles over two days, much of which was over mountainous Northern California landscape. I like to think I am a pretty fit 44 year old. Swimming and cycling regularly have been a part of my life for years. But man, AM I TIRED. I am not saying this to engender sympathy. I signed up for this thing, and no one ever said it was going to be easy. In the spirit of keeping it real, I’m just saying (admitting?) that pushing myself physically is hard work, and I don’t always enjoy it.

I also need to say that even though not all of it is fun, most of it is. I have met so many amazing people training for AIDS Lifecycle, and I suspect I’ll meet even more on the actual ride in three weeks (we leave June 3). I am so inspired by people’s stories about why they are riding (so many people who’ve lost loved ones to AIDS) and by all the HIV positive folks who do the ride. It’s pretty amazing.

Saturday I went on an 85 mile training ride that had one particularly gnarly hill climb in it. The ride leader told us before we left that morning to think of one person we’d lost to AIDS who would push us up that hill. I have lost several friends to AIDS over the years, but this time I thought of Rick, one of the men I swam with and coached back in my masters swimming days — who continued to swim (and cheer me on in competition) nearly until he died (even when he was very sick and weak). He was an incredible inspiration to me. Sure enough, Rick was an angel on my shoulder Saturday, pushing me up that hill to the top.

Back in April I met and surpassed my goal of raising $3000 for the ride. Thank you to everyone who donated. All of your donations mean so much to me.

In less than three weeks I leave for this thing. I know in my heart it will be awesome, even the hard parts. Let’s do this.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 134

05/14/12

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 133

05/13/12

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 132

05/12/12

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A Great Night at the Jewish Museum

05/11/12

Last week I gave a short lecture about my work at the Contemporary Jewish Museum here in San Francisco. I was part of a program called Salvaged Beauty, where several of us got up and talked about how we reuse materials in our work. The event was really, really fun, and the other speakers were so fantastic. Here are all but one of us at the end of the evening: Josh Duthie and Luke Bartels of Woodshop SFTerry Berlier (artist and professor at Stanford), me, and the incredible Paul Discoe. Missing from the photo is Deborah Monk, who runs the Recology Residency at the San Francisco Dump. It was an honor to be part of this program. Oh, and above us on the screen? That’s Peanut, Josh’s dog, who was part of the talk he and Luke gave moments before the photo was snapped. I should also mention that the program was in conjunction with the Do Not Destroy exhibition, in which we all have work.

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