In some ways it's been an easy winter, but in so many others it continues to be brutal. Republicans, #sxsw, the infectious malaise of late-period capitalism: it's hard to believe that any of this will ever end, and logically, we know it won't. Still, during these waning days of winter, when our will to live has ebbed, it's possible to ignore the hellish confines of our existence, at least for a little while. Let's start by taking a look at these tiny buttercups, whose aura of innocence (they haven't been reading the news, after all) should help to thaw your cold heart.
As we head into the late days of November, at least here in the region around New York City, most of the ferns have turned sallow and dry, so that it’s difficult to believe that only a few months ago, they formed a lush, dense carpet of shadowy green on forest floors everywhere. While it’s tempting to be taken in by these superficial signs of frailty and expiration, do not be deceived: those of us who spend time with ferns understand that they are plotting, and one day soon will again rule the world.
Like so many from the old country, my parents were hard workers. They led quiet lives and poured their hopes into their offspring, of whom I was the eldest.
Lately in my travels through the blogosphere, I've detected increasing unhappiness with the intrusive nature of what could be called our "brand economy." As someone who identifies with this discontent, I was led to wonder if branding has actually grown more intense in recent years, or if by getting older-in the way one generation always complains about the next-I'm more impatient with the status quo of our more-or-less-in-theory capitalist system. After all, it's hardly controversial to say that since the dawn of mass production, and perhaps even earlier, we've lived in a "brand-driven" society; it's natural for companies to make products and advertise with the expectation that customers will [...]
The transition from March to April, as we all know, is most often associated with madness, daffodils, spring crocuses and the blazing yellow branches of forsythia now rising like a thousand sunbeams around the city. In Washington Heights, however, it is the hellebore that now takes the stage, with a more subdued and gothic charm.
Matthew Gallaway: You have a very lovely and unusual green plant on your desk — can you tell me what kind it is? Jessica Picone: It is a ZZ plant! Zamioculcas zamiifolia. [Also called 'Zanzibar Gem.'] Matthew: How long have you had it? Jessica: Since July, I believe. Matthew: It looks very healthy-does it get any natural light? Jessica: No! This beauty has thrived in the complete absence of natural light. It lives in my cubicle.