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Three cider drink ideas to celebrate fall.

Apple Cider Is
a Host’s Best Friend

11 19 21
Jonathan Bender

Fall is apple cider season. Sweet and a little tart. New beginnings and the end of summer.

Fall is when you go apple picking, take a hayride, or maybe just sit out on your porch and think about doing those things one day. Fall is for sipping drinks in the late afternoon sun.  

Apple cider, like fall, offers possibilities. It can be crisp and brisk or bright and warm. It’s the mood ring of drinks, letting you create the vibe you want. We’ve picked three apple cider sippers — apple cider slushies, apple cider sangria, and a mulled cider hot toddy — to set the mood.

Whether with alcohol or not, these drinks are made in batches ahead of time; you might want to host, but you don’t need more stress. We’ve also got suggestions for the snacks to pair with each beverage - something to nibble while you linger with friends. Read on. Find your fall.


 

You’ve got two hands for a reason. Apple cider slushies & cider donuts.

If you’ve never had an apple cider slushie, get thee to a blender. Imagine a snow cone that’s not too sweet and has this tart little pop of flavor. When the sun is shining, wrap yourself in a blanket and discover a drink that’s your new fall tradition. If you can find local cider, go for it, because the full-bodied beverage will hold up better in the freezer.

How To Make Slushies (6 servings):

Juice a lemon and add it to 4 cups of cider. Stir in ½ teaspoon cinnamon, if you like. Pour that into a loaf pan and freeze it for five to six hours. Scrape it with a fork every hour to keep the mix from freezing into a giant block.

Pulse the frozen cider in a blender until you’ve got a drink you can sip (like a snow cone that’s just started to melt).

Want a boozy slushie? Add ½ cup of bourbon and an equal amount of ginger ale or ginger beer before you blend.

Recommended Pairing: The tart slushie is great with a fall treat like apple cider donuts, cinnamon sugar donuts, or a snickerdoodle cookie. Find something dusted with cinnamon and sprinkled with sugar and you’re all set.


 

Have a lazy Sunday with apple cider sangria and a graze board.

A big pitcher turns a conversation into a gathering. A big pitcher of apple cider sangria will open your eyes to how a tart bit of apples and dry white wine (or ginger beer) are magic. A little work with lots of payoff.

How To Make Sangria (6 servings):

Chop up two apples and one pear. Squeeze half a lemon on top to keep your chopped fruit from browning. Add your fruit to a pitcher and pour in a bottle of dry white wine (pinot grigio works), two cups of apple cider, ¼ cup of apple brandy, and ¼ cup of Triple sec (thank you, Smitten Kitchen for this idea). Stir and let chill for at least 1 hour.

Set out the pitcher with a few cans of cold plain seltzer. Fill a wine glass with your sangria but leave a little room to float some seltzer on top. Then sip.

Want a non-alcoholic sangria? Make this drink glass-by-glass. Use equal parts cider and ginger beer. Add a squeeze of fresh orange juice. Stir gently. Top with a small scoop of chopped fruit.

Recommended Pairing: Load up a wooden board with meats, nuts, and all the dried fruit it can hold. Skip the olives and pickles, the brine will clash with your sangria.


 

Mulled Cider Hot Toddy loves a cheese plate.

This mulled cider hot toddy will warm you up. It’s the punch that should be served at holiday gatherings and Thursdays that feel hard. A little spicy, a little sweet, with a depth that makes you forget everything else for a moment.

Recommended Pairing: The rich, buttery toddy can stand up to sharp cheeses and is a beautiful compliment to soft, creamy cheeses. Grab a loaf of crusty bread or a box of rice crackers too.

 

Make a Mulled Cider Hot Toddy
6 servings

We prefer a cider toddy that’s full of spice. If you want a simpler drink or don’t have something in your pantry, stick with cinnamon and honey. Feel free to swap the juice of one lemon for the orange slices and skip the bourbon.

Ingredients:

6 cups cider
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise pods
2 teaspoons honey
1 orange, sliced thinly
8 pieces candied ginger (or a two-inch pieces of fresh ginger)
1 large navel orange, thinly sliced
1/2 cup bourbon (optional)


Add the cider, spices, ginger, and honey, to a slow cooker set on high. After 30 minutes, turn the heat to low. Add the bourbon and gently stir with a wooden spoon. Place the orange slices on top. Let it go for at least two hours. Grab a mug and enjoy.

Don’t have a slow cooker? Bring the ingredients (hold back the bourbon and orange slices) to a boil on high heat in a large pot. As soon as your toddy is boiling, turn the heat to low. Stir in the bourbon (or don’t) and add the orange slices. Wait at least an hour before serving. Ladle up some joy.

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The artist and designer’s home is not just living space, it’s inspiration.

At Home With
Hassan Rahim

11 11 21
 

Inside Hassan Rahim's Brooklyn apartment, you'll find a zen space filled with collections and unique pieces that keep him working, inspired, and relaxed. The artist and designer channels childhood interests in his work, which are distinctive and strong, contextual and reflective of his own nature. Rahim spoke with us about his self-made journey into design, inspirations, and work within the music industry.


Tell us about yourself and your work.

My name is Hassan Rahim. I'm an artist, but I don't like to just stick with one title. I find I'm sometimes an artist and graphic designer or art director and designer. I grew up in Santa Ana, California, lived in L.A., and moved to Brooklyn, New York, six years ago. I like to focus my work on versatility. I'm drawn to projects based on concepts and ideas from a range of mediums — directing videos, designing logos, and my own personal work of printmaking and collage. I kind of freestyle it, and I've been doing that since I was 15 years old when I first downloaded Photoshop.

 

 

You are self-taught. So what was your journey into design, being self-taught?

My design journey started with skateboarding. I was a skateboarder, but I really was obsessed with graphics, skateboard art and ads, and magazines. These are what caught my eye, and I wanted to make those things. I had a desire to make stickers and shirts and was curious about how to make them. I'd ask myself, "Oh, how did they do that?" and then try to recreate some things. From there, I figured out different techniques and developed tools to start using my own imagination.

You got your start in t-shirts. Tell us more about that.

I was posting some of my own t-shirt work on Myspace when I was 15. People came across my work and asked me to make shirts for their brand. Then, through skateboarding, I met people who worked for brands like Obey and Diamond Supply Co., and they asked me to make shirts for them as well.

 

 

You do a lot of collage in your work. What inspired you to get into that?

That was the way my brain put pieces together. I'm made up of all the little bits and pieces of inspiration from everyone else, you know? All the little snippets, memorable quotes, and things people told me ... All of those things combined are me. Also, the way somebody like Madlib or J Dilla makes beats was a big inspiration; it's like sampling, cutting, pasting, and chopping. I was inspired by watching beat-making, and I saw that my work felt that way visually, that my brain assembled pieces like that.

When you think of breaking down these aspects of music and transcribing it, if you will, to art, are you often using music to inspire your work?

My process has evolved. I used to play a lot of music, but now I usually try to get into an internal meditative state. At one time, I could work until 4 am with high-energy club music. As I grew in my work, the process changed. I feel zen just staring at the screen and getting the work done, and it's a different type of focus.

I've also been playing slow focus on NTS radio; it's like ambient zen music. So I wake up to that. That's my alarm, actually.

So it's pretty safe to say that music has been a strong inspiration for your work. 

Yeah, 100 percent!

 

 

What is your workspace like?

I work from home and have been doing so since before the pandemic. I used to have a studio, but I just realized that my work is so personal. It comes from such a personal place that I get my inspiration from being in my house with my books and records and stuff. It's a small New York apartment, so there isn't a lot of space. My desk is in the middle of the room. But it's really nice working from home.

You do have an extensive book and record collection. How did these collections come into your life?

The collections do come into your life. But very slowly. It's an accumulation. There are things that I'm really passionate about and the things that I am no longer passionate about, I make sure to get rid of. As far as records go, I have a few different collections. I have some that are records that I like to listen to, some are just rare, and then some are just for visual inspiration. I shop the dollar bin for cool records. I used to do it when I was younger. It got me interested in design — seeing really rad records from the '70s with crazy cover art, and it was always conceptual. It made you think. I still buy records in a dollar bin based on the cover because I want my record collection to resemble my book collection.

 

 

How has your work been shaped by the places you’ve lived or the spaces that you're in?

My work was shaped by my time in Orange County just because it was around this time I developed an interest in design. I was trying to find inspiration, and in that search, I became an online person; it's where I found the coolest stuff.

All my friends were into skateboarding, and they'd be interested in skaters because of their abilities. But the skaters I liked were those I thought were cool and stylish. I wanted to know what they were wearing, and I'd look them up.

 

 

What keeps you interested in the work you do?

Range and variety. Taking new challenges and experiences and not saying I'm just a specific type of designer or just an artist. I direct films, make books, and consult and do exhibitions. I'm just having a good time with what I'm doing and making sure to try new things and not worry about being boxed in. That's what's most exciting to me.

You've designed for the music industry. What did you learn working with musicians and people in the music industry?

I think that the music industry is interesting. You're creating a little 12x12 piece of art. I feel like you have to start with emotion when designing for music. I think back to when I was 15, and I cracked open those first C.D.s, and how those songs were really special to me, and I try to recreate that feeling. I want to make sure I give kids a similar experience. This approach, I feel, has pushed me to be better about iconography. I think iconography is important in music, at least in packaging.

Besides iconography, another way to keep music alive is through t-shirts. That's why there's such a huge vintage graphic tee secondary market; band tees are very rare and expensive.

 

 

Do you have any advice for emerging artists or young designers that are coming up in this space?

This is so cliche, but be yourself, don't be the designers you think are cool. Genuinely be you, and it's going to actually make you different. Of course, it's OK if you're still trying to find who you are. That's totally valid too, but I think being yourself is what will set you apart despite what you think.

 

 

 

For more about Hassan please check out:

hassanrahim.com

@hassanrahim 

 

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Follow these simple steps to curate and decorate your shelves.

How To: A Guide To Effortless Shelf Styling

11 05 21

Styling a shelf may seem like an art form. But really, anyone can style a set of shelves.

Large built-ins, bookcases, floating shelves, or your new Shelving System. Don't let them overwhelm you. Whether you're a minimalist or maximalist — more is more! — you can create perfectly styled shelves that match your aesthetic, personality, and style.


First Things First. Choose a Color Theme.

 

Beginning with a base color concept for your shelving will act as a starting place for determining the items that stay on display vs. get hidden away. Base your color selection on your style, theme of the room, or what makes you happy. If you prefer neutrals and natural tones, choose white, cream, and beige. If you love vibrant and bold colors, opt for primary colors, jewel tones, or add pops of gold and brass. Or blend bold & neutral by grouping items together to create an interesting color block effect. Whatever you prefer, play around with your color choices until you find what speaks to you.


Picking Items Is Easier Than You Think.

 

First things first, pull everything off. Take a look at what you have. Pick out the pieces that really speak to you, must be on display, or need to be stored on these shelves.

If you feel like you don't have enough pieces to make you happy. That's OK. Curating items to decorate your home can take time. Visit your favorite shops, local flea markets, and thrift stores to find interesting items to decorate your shelves with. Over time, you'll have all the things you need — and love — to add to your shelving.

 


 

To make your shelves interesting and tie your room together, try selecting a few pieces from these categories:

Framed art or photos: Choose a few photos that make you smile or artwork you've collected, created, or made by your kids. The art can be bold and bright or minimal and neutral. Whatever speaks to you.

Pottery, stoneware, vases, bowls: Pick these pieces in different textures, shapes, and sizes to add interest.

Books, comics, magazines: Coffee table books, favorites from your collection, comics, magazine editions you can't part with (like every edition of Architectural Digest). If you don't own any books, buy a few from a thrift store or garage sale. Look for books with attractive covers or simply turn them around so that the book's pages show instead of the spine. You can even cover your books with similar paper or fabric for a more cohesive look.

Baskets and storage boxes: Try picking these in different materials and textures — metal, jute, cloth, wire. And secretly stash away other items, too.

Plants, flowers, succulents: These can be real or artificial. No judgment.

Collections: Your collection of little cat statues, McDonald's Happy Meal toys, '80s memorabilia, model cars, vintage signs, or records deserve to be on display. Your shelves are a great place to showcase these pieces.

Other items: Lights, lamps, candles, sculptures, figurines, mirrors, posters … Endless possibilities.

 


Now, the Fun Part. Putting It All Together.

 

Don't sweat this step! This is where you get to have fun with what you have. There are no real rules, just guidelines.

Start with your biggest items and place them staggered throughout your shelving system. These items will act as focal points when paired in groups with smaller items.

Find symmetry or pattern. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you want to draw the eye to different parts of each shelf as you look up and down. Place one of your larger items in the upper right corner of the shelving unit, and then on the shelf below, place another one in the center and then one in the left corner below that.

Create groups with smaller items placed around your focal point pieces. Aim to create pairs or vignettes of three for a cohesive, balanced look. Each shelf should have items that are different in size, height, texture, and color.

 

 

Leave space. Vary the amount you have on each shelf. If you like a minimalistic look, add more space in between items. If you prefer to add more to your shelves, reduce the distance between objects and add a few more pieces.

Build height where needed by stacking books and placing short items like a candle or plant, ontop.

Step back, adjust, admire. Nothing has to be perfect the first time. Style your shelves. Restyle. Take a week to just stare at it. Restyle it again if you want. Add more. Take away pieces. It's all up to you.

 

 

Additional tips:

  • With shorter shelves, hang a poster or two above. Even a T.V. works!
  • If you're storing tableware and cookware, use the height rule, vary the colors, and create visual gaps to balance out the heavier pieces.
  • For bookcases, vary how you stack the books, group different colored books together, or add bold bookends.

 

Remember, styling shelves is a reflection of you. And there really isn't a wrong or right way to go about it. Follow your instinct and display what you love.

It's all about what brings you joy.

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LeWitt challenged convention on how we value and see art.

Conceptual Artist
Sol LeWitt Didn’t Paint. He Imagined.

10 20 21
Jonathan Bender

Everyone knows what it’s like to search for a missing puzzle piece. The artist Sol LeWitt was counting on that when he created Incomplete Open Cubes in 1974.

LeWitt sketched out 122 different ways of “not making a cube,” a series of lines that feel like a mathematician got interrupted in the middle of solving an equation. He left it up to us to finish the cube. We have to try and understand how everything fits together.

LeWitt’s Incomplete Cubes helped frame the concept behind the Floyd Sectional. We saw how a simple geometric shape could be so much more with the addition of imagination.


At Floyd, we’re drawn to artists willing to challenge the convention of their time. LeWitt has been characterized as “a founding father of both minimalism and conceptual art.” He upended the art world in the 1960s by suggesting that physical works had no value, but instead, that art was the vision of the artist.  

We don’t accept that things have to be a certain way. But instead, look for what is possible when you strip away convention. We intentionally made The Sectional to adapt to different times and spaces in your life. We wanted a piece that spoke to the world of your imagination. The world, as seen, by Sol LeWitt.

 


"For each work of art that becomes physical there are many variations that do not."

 

LeWitt is a standout figure claimed by two major art camps. Minimalists appreciate his clean lines and use of the simple shapes we are all taught in kindergarten. Conceptual artists will point to his stance that the final piece is not the work of art.

Art, according to LeWitt, was found in the process of creation.

LeWitt was born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut, to Russian Jewish immigrants. He was classically trained as an artist, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University.

After serving in the Korean War, he moved to New York City in 1953. He developed an appreciation for visual layouts while working at Seventeen magazine. And it’s not hard to see how a year as a graphic designer in the office of architect I.M. Pei translated to a worldview that drawings were as important as the actual execution of those drawings.

But his most formative position was as a clerk at the Museum of Modern Art in 1960. He worked alongside future stars of the Minimalist movement, Robert Mangold and Robert Ryman, among them. He was also immersed in the emerging poles of pop art and abstract expressionism captured in the groundbreaking exhibit, “Sixteen Americans,” that showcased the work of Jasper Johns and Frank Stella.


"Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely
and logically."

 

LeWitt rose to fame in the 1960s as he pushed back on the popularity of pop art. His “structures,” what he called sculptures, began with a series of closed-in boxes. He soon stripped away the walls and exhibited chunky, bold outlines of cubes. Those early structures had weight and form that counterbalanced the spontaneous brushstrokes of painters like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, abstract expressionists who rose to prominence in the 1940s and 1950s.

 

 

LeWitt didn’t seek to draw attention to himself, but his work greatly influenced his contemporaries. The painter Chuck Close began experimenting with the grid method for photorealistic portraits because of LeWitt’s process. And the renowned minimalist sculptor Eva Hesse relied on his advice and support throughout her career.

“You belong in the most secret part of you,” LeWitt wrote in a letter to Hesse. “Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world.”

He encouraged her and other artists to find the empty space within, the space they feared. Because he believed it was there that they would find something to say.

It’s rare that artists get to coin the name of a movement. But Sol LeWitt did just that in 1967 with his essay, “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art.”

“The idea itself, even if it is not made visual, is as much of a work of art as the finished product,” LeWitt wrote.

A second piece, “Sentences on Conceptual Art,” published two years later, further laid out the case for concepts having artistic merit. The final of 35 sentences cheekily insisted that the essay itself was a “comment on art, but not art.”

 




"Successful art changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions."

 

LeWitt is best known for his wall drawings: vast installations, wherein he provided detailed instructions for other artists to follow. The drawings were modular, meaning they could be rebuilt in other spaces or years later so long as LeWitt’s blueprints were followed.

The first of these, Wall Drawing #16, was exhibited at the Paula Cooper Gallery in 1969. LeWitt envisioned a series of grey bands, 12 inches wide, that would intersect horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.

After the installation, LeWitt was struck by how imperfections in the wall and a heavier hand lent different qualities of light and dark to the piece. The small differences in pencil lines that drew his eye were “beyond the scope of planning, they are inherent in the method.”

LeWitt created a dialogue by providing other painters with instructions. Their interpretation of what he wrote and how they chose to wield their brush is not only visually interesting, it invites viewers to think about where art begins or ends.

 

 

Inspired by the colorful frescoes he saw during a decade of living in Italy in the 1980s, he brought daring pops of color to sterile white spaces in the latter half of his career. His pieces called attention to the space where they were placed. His drawings defined and anchored walls. They encourage us to fill in the gaps and make connections.

The wall drawings were often destroyed at the end of an exhibition, a bang of the hammer that the pieces were ephemeral. Often only LeWitt’s written instructions remained of the more than 1,200 pieces he ideated over four decades.

LeWitt’s work presents a puzzle you will feel compelled to solve. His orderly, linear drawings were often minimal; but never cold. In many ways, they mirrored the artist. LeWitt was a reserved man with a wry sense of humor. When asked about the significance of his wall drawings, he noted, “I think the caveman came first.”

 

 

Although he died in 2007, Lewitt’s wall drawings are still produced and exhibited posthumously. Sol Lewitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, a collection of 105 pieces that spans over four decades and 27,000 feet, was installed at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008 and is slated to run through 2043.

Yet, LeWitt would not have seen this as his own legacy. It was, instead, his willingness to expand the definition of art that endures. He placed concepts alongside finished works. He taught generations of artists to value their ideas. He built a foundation for our imaginations and, in doing so, showed us what’s possible when you’re willing to challenge the status quo.

 

 

 

1. Sol LeWitt at Documenta with his work Seriality. Photo by Maria Netter Basel, © The LeWitt Estate / 2. Untangling the puzzle of Sol LeWitt’s open cubes - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / 3. Nine-part Modular Cube, 1977 - Art Institute Chicago, © 2008 The Estate of Sol LeWitt / 4. Sentences on Conceptual Art, 1968 - The Museum of Modern Art, © 2021 Sol LeWitt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / 5. Lines from the Ends of Lines, from the portfolio, The Location of Lines, 1975, etching on paper - Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1975, Sol Lewitt (Top Left) / 6. Color Bands, 2000, linocut on paper - Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 2000, The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York (Botton Left) / 7. Wall Structure, 1963 - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, © The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York (Right)

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art:
8. Wall Drawing #439 / 9. Wall Drawing #579 / 10. Wall Drawing #1171 / 11. Wall Drawing #1042

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The community organizer channels his lifelong interest in design to create a space with items that speak to his soul.

Inside Aaron Wiggs’ Brooklyn Home

10 07 21
Emmanuel Olunkwa

Aaron Wiggs is a person of the people. Wiggs — as he's infamously known around the city — is a naturally curious person who is observant, sharp, and deeply charismatic. He moves with intention and a type of care that does not go unnoticed. These characteristics materialize in everything he does, from furnishing his apartment to better reflect him and his interests to creating an engaged community with his Sidewalk Sale fundraiser. Wiggs is someone who works relentlessly to meet the moment and manifest the best life for himself and for everyone else around him. We spoke about design, paying attention to habits formed that ultimately define who we are, and the meaning of home.


How did you end up in New York?

I first visited New York when I was 22 years old. I was living in Los Angeles, fresh out of a break-up, and a few friends of mine were going to New York on a skate trip and invited me. So, I got on a last-minute flight, came to New York, and fell in love with the city.

At first, I would come to visit every summer for a month or so. I would ask people how they ended up here and how they did it before I mustered up the courage to do so myself. The first place I ever stayed in New York was in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I loved it — I felt like I was in a Spike Lee film, and I really connected with it as a place.

Why was that?

It was my first impression of New York and reflected the music and the kind of hip-hop that I was listening to like Digable Planets, Black Moon, and a lot of Brooklyn-based artists. I first stayed in Bed-Stuy. I liked the calm and quietness of the neighborhood and the architecture of the brownstones. I remember walking around one day, and I walked through Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, and I just remember saying to myself that this is where I'm going to live. It felt cool because the neighborhood was Black, and I felt like I was at home because of how beautiful and preserved these neighbors are. My favorite movie is Clockers (1995), a Spike Lee film mostly filmed in Fort Greene, and after seeing it in person, I just decided that this is where I wanted to be.

 

 

What does home mean to you?

When I first moved to Greenpoint, my attitude towards home was different. Many of my friends at the time wouldn't really leave the neighborhood, and I felt that I didn't move across the country to just post up in one place all the time. I wanted to move around and get to know the city. So it became the kind of thing where I would tell myself, "This is where I pay my rent, this is where I rest my head, and that's it." It took a few years until I settled into my neighborhood and was able to get comfortable with the scene and form a routine.

Home is where you can be yourself — you must be happy there because it's your sanctuary. So now, when I come home and open my door, I'm happy to be here. I know I can breathe, do my own thing, and most importantly, be on my own time and exist in my own space.

 

 

Were you always interested in design and interior spaces?

When I was younger, after my friends and I were done skating, we'd end up going to our local Barnes and Noble, and I would always pick up a copy of Dwell Magazine. It became a habit; my mom noticed that I was bringing them home, and one day she bought a subscription for me. I would always sit in my room and flip through Dwell and bring it wherever I would go. I have always admired interior décor and thought about how it would feel to curate spaces. When I was a kid, I always wanted to know what my friend's rooms looked like, always asking, "What does your room look like? Can I go see it?" I would look at their posters on their wall, their desk, and their bed placement.

I would collect different magazines and look at the photos instead of reading the articles. I'd imagine what it would be like to go to the person's house in the photograph and have dinner at the table, experience the architecture of the space and the lighting of the room.

I always had an eye for nice things. When I was in L.A., I loved to drive up to South La Brea Avenue and go into the furniture shops. I didn't have the kind of interest in furniture where I was studying the designers' names or anything but more that it was intuitive for me; I was excited by it.

When I first moved to New York, my attitude was different; going out and spending time with my friends was my priority. I was also under the impression that apartments were small. I would be moving a lot, so I didn't want to buy something that would get destroyed in transit, so I got most of my furniture from Target, Wayfair, and Ikea.

 

 

What is your relationship to the items in your apartment now?

The cool thing about being in a place like New York City is that you meet cool people who make and do incredible things. One of the first pieces I bought when I moved in was this blue painting that my friend Caleb Weiss made, who I know through skating. A few years ago, he started painting and posting pictures of his artwork, and I always told myself that once I got my own spot, I would get one of his pieces to hang on the wall. I like the construction and materials of the piece; blue makes me feel good, and it feels reflective of me.

Also, I have a friend, Vince Skelly, who makes wood sculptures, and I asked him to make me a few stools; one of them is made out of the trunk of a tree from a street that we used to hang out on in L.A.  

Then I had to decide how I would go about purchasing the big items: my bed, dining room table, and chairs. I did a lot of research and followed a lot of furniture accounts on Instagram. When I first moved in, I wasn't in a rush to fill the place out, but it just so happened that I found a Tucroma lounge chair on Friends of Form that reminded me of this sofa that my grandfather gave to my mother when I was a kid. When I went to pick it up, I noticed a lounge chair with an ottoman that I thought was cool. It was lined in black leather, and I decided to have it relined in hide, and it came out beautifully.

I had this idea for a bed but wasn't convinced to buy anything that I had seen, so I called my friend Kevin Graver, and he made me my frame — a low platform bed with a headboard. Then, when I was looking for a table, I worked with Kevin to develop the idea. I gave him a cardboard cutout of the shape I wanted and my plan: the table should have a laminate top and sides, and the top would have a different texture, and the sides would be different colors. The table shape is inspired by a painting called “Composition Abstraite” (1968) by Serge Poliakoff.

 

 

What characteristics do you look for in objects to know that it's right for you? 

For one, I usually take time to think about it and how it will work in the space or room that I want to put it. It also must call to me in some kind of way. I send a lot of references and pictures to friends and usually work through how I feel about it in conversations before I really know. Still, it's mostly intuitive for me — I'm always looking for an intimate connection.

Let's talk about the Sidewalk Sale. How did it come about?

It was a weird time, and everything was shut down. We didn't know how long it would last, and the country was in outrage about the collective suffering that Black people have had to endure for the longest time. So we — my friends Perry Goodman, Sachiko Clyde, and myself — decided to do something constructive. And we decided on the Sidewalk Sale and held it Greenpoint.

The morning of the sale, so many people showed up on the park block that I thought I would faint. We ran the first two sales back to back, and they were both successes, and then to do it bi-weekly. This really shifted the conversation of how we would contribute to our immediate communities and charities. Overall, we've raised over $260,000.

What does it mean to do that kind of work for you?

I've been so interested in organizing and activism work since I was a kid. I learned about the work and activism of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X. The Sidewalk Sale is my own manifestation of the type of work and organizing these four did. I'm interested in providing people with the resources they need and being a pillar of change.

 

For more about Aaron please check him out on Instagram:

@sorrymydude

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