New York

Book Launch Event: Bébé Day by Day by Pamela Druckermann by Leslie Fandrich

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I was thrilled to photograph the New York book launch party for Pamela Druckermann's new book Bébé Day by Day. Go Mighty hosted the event with Penguin Press at Pasanella and Son in New York and the evening was a delight. Pamela is charming, smart and has lots of great tips about how to relax as a parent, raise thoughtful, respectful children and to let go of the guilt and over-scheduling and really enjoy the time that we have with them.

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Throughout the space were chalkboards highlighting some of the tips from the book, like "Tell Your Baby the Truth" and "Let Them Eat Cake" along with delicious food from Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell of Brooklyn Supper, art from Laura Trevey and Caravan Shoppe, and chocolate from Mast Brothers.

My favorite tips from the book are these:

  • Calm is Better for the Baby
  • Tell Your Baby the Truth
  • Let Kids Cook
  • Back Off at the Playground
  • Give Kids Lots of Chances to Practice Waiting
  • Give Kids Meaningful Chores
  • Show Kids You Have a Life Apart from Them
  • Say "Yes" as Often as You Can

Of course, with any parenting book, you have to choose what works for you and focus on that. Not everything in this book was for me. My feelings and choices about sleep in our family are still pretty in line with attachment parenting principles, but overall I found these keys to French parenting are focused on finding balance, calm and mutual respect with your children. All wonderful things to strive for in a family.

To see the rest of the pictures from the evening, visit the Go Mighty Flickr stream and to order Pamela's book, visit Amazon.

Inspired by Live Music: Jack White by Leslie

We're going to see Jack White in concert this weekend at Radio City Music Hall in NYC! It should be an amazing show. If you've got some time, watch the video below, directed by Gary Oldman, of the full live show that we will be seeing. If you don't have a lot of time, just watch the first ten minutes where Gary Oldman and Jack White wrestle, cool studio footage (I love the styling!) of the songs I Guess I Should Go To Sleep and Blunderbuss and an interview between Oldman and White. It's good stuff. If you watch through to the live show, please take note that in the first half of the show, White's band is all ladies. And wow, can they rock. The ladies recorded 11 out of the 13 songs on the new record, and according to this Slate article, Jack White might be one of rock's leading feminists. When he appeared on SNL, the first song was performed by the ladies and the second song by the guys. 

I will not be able to bring my camera to this one, so for additional shots of the live show, check out the live photos page of the website.

I'm loving all this music inspiration lately! I find myself to be far more inspired by a diverse range of topics instead of looking at creative work that I aspire too. Do you know what I mean? Constantly looking at work that is better than mine I can tend to feel jealous or inadequate, but looking at creative work that I admire but have no desire to do myself, is truly inspiring. It's why I read science and psychology journals, study architecture and enjoy live music so much.

It has a distancing effect that also allows you to be truly creative in your own work. I often worry about looking too much at other people's art or design, for fear of unintentionally creating work that is too similar. If you are inspired by work that is unrelated to what you do, it frees you up to explore things more fully and to create something that is more original.

What are you inspired by that is totally unrelated to what you do creatively?

AFP & GTO play NYC's Webster Hall by Leslie

Earlier this week I shared the photos of Amanda Palmer's epic crowd surfing moment and I'm back with the rest of the pictures from the NYC show at Webster Hall! You can check them all out on Flickr, but here are a few of my favorites.

The show was a perfect amalgamation of everything I've ever seen AFP do. It had some Cabaret flair and a similar entrance to the acoustic show we saw at Momenta Gallery for the Kickstarter art package. There were moments of both deafening, screaming sounds and quiet words spoken gently. The lighting was excellent and each song had it's own mood and color palette. Almost everything on stage was white. Costumes, props and sets were still slightly DIY, while feeling just a little richer and more produced. Screens onstage showed pictures that audience members had submitted or video close-ups of hands playing instruments. Amanda had four variations in her costumes and I loved how she was just basically striping off her clothes as the show went on to reveal different looks. The piece that she put on, rather than take off, was the custom made jacket by Kambriel for the Bottomfeeder crowd surf. It had an amazingly long train made out of three different colors of chiffon. Just look at how it's like a giant bubble skirt flowing behind her on the sea of people. Brilliant.

So, as you've heard me say already a hundred times: go SEE the show and GET the record. You can pay what you want for it, nothing if you are broke, or up to $20 if you want to support the effort. It's amazing, inspiring stuff. What Amanda Palmer is doing to the business of music is nothing short of revolutionary. She's changing the game, right in front of our eyes. It's upsetting to some and thrilling for others. This week she was at opposite ends of the spectrum, pissing off professional musicians and thier unions everywhere by asking for volunteers to play her shows and at the same time, crashing into the Billboard 200 music chart yesterday at NUMBER TEN. (Ukuleles rained down on the world when that happened and today Amanda and team have decided to pay all musicians on tour with them by pulling money from video budgets. I applaud her for this, it's the right thing to do.) I don't think there has ever been, in the history of music, a crowd funded, independent record in the top ten. It's really remarkable. She's a perfect example of doing it yourself, without corporate sponsorship, thinking on your feet and adapting to a changing landscape. You can stay in control of your music/art career, produce material on your own, and be successful doing it. It CAN be done. It's not easy of course, you have to build an audience authentically and organically and create something that people actually want, but it CAN be done. What's really exciting is that this model is true for pretty much any artist, be it musician, writer, painter, illustrator, inventor, etc. Creative people need to pay attention to what she is doing, what she is saying and what she believes in because it really can be the future of everything. WE ARE THE MEDIA. You and me.

Check out the rest of the photos on FLICKR!