Paul Noth for The New Yorker, August 2016.
I’ve been meaning to post about this event for ages; better late than never, I suppose!
I made a field trip to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum with some co-workers one afternoon back in the spring. As soon as we entered the Museum, my nose went on high alert. We had just cut through through a courtyard garden, but the smell I noticed was something inside the building, even though it was “outdoorsy,” like damp grass and freshly turned earth.
I asked a passing staff member what I was smelling, and she filled me in and pointed me in the right direction to read the wall text pictured above. For its Design Triennial exhibition (this year’s theme: “Beauty”), the Cooper Hewitt commissioned artist Sissel Tolaas to create a “smellscape.” Its subject was Central Park.
The film “Desperately Seeking Susan” turned 30 years old this week.
I almost had to get out a pen and paper to confirm that number—THIRTY? really? I didn’t see it when it was released in the theater, but I rented it a couple of years later (VHS tape!) and it’s still one of my favorite romantic comedies. Actually, it might even be one of my “top 25” movies, if I were making such a list…
I’m a second-generation Betsey Johnson customer—my mother wore Johnson’s original Alley Cat line, and my own attachment to the designer’s stretchy floral-print miniskirts, lacy tops, and corset-waisted frocks began twenty years later. I started wearing Johnson’s designs when I was sixteen, and I still haven’t quite stopped…