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Michael Bierut at the Esther Massry Gallery

2 Oct

Looking back on the last couple of months of posts you’d think that the only things I like are food-related! I’ll be honest, I do like food a lot. And ever since we moved into our house I’ve been heavily focused on gardening and cooking. But there are plenty of non-food things in this area that make me happy. For example: graphic designer Michael Bierut’s show 30 Years 90 Notebooks at the Esther Massry Gallery at the College of St. Rose. I went with two fellow designers to the show’s reception this past Friday, and afterwards enjoyed a short presentation about the show and some Q&A with Bierut.

Michael Bierut discussion

As I said to someone later that night, work by Bierut and his colleagues popped up so memorably throughout my various years of graphic design study and post-art school experience that listening to his stories felt like hearing tales of old friends. I caught myself smiling and nodding along on multiple occasions.

Light Years poster by Michael Bierut

The Architectural League of New York Light Years poster by Michael Bierut

The show itself is a collection of work from 1987-2010. The designs are usually clever and always concise, my favorite kind of thoughtful solutions that rely on smart typography and page layout, not a particular color palette or the latest photoshop filter. You’ll also see the creative seeds of some of the pieces in the handful of notebooks on display, which intersperse mundane facts jotted down during client and colleague meetings with rough sketches of brainstormed ideas. Obviously if you’re interested in classic graphic design it’s a good visit. But even if you’re not a big ol’ type & design fangirl like me it’s still an accessible show, and a nice look at communicating visually. Check it out!

Seduction poster by Michael Bierut with titling by Marian Bantjes

Yale School of Architecture Seduction poster by Michael Bierut with titling by Marian Bantjes.

Coney Island burlesque.

6 Aug

I try to get down to visit good ol’ Coney Island at least once a year. I’ve been bummed that I took the past two years off, so a recent trip downstate provided the perfect opportunity to get my dirty, gritty fill.

Now, some people go to Coney Island for the hot dogs. Or the rides. Me, I’m all about the freakshow and the burlesque. Nothing embodies the hot griminess I associate with Coney Island more than heading out to 1208 Surf Ave late on a summer night, sitting on wooden bleachers with a plentiful amount of cold brew, and watching some of my favorite performers while the beer bottles and I slowly sweat.

Bunny Love

Bunny Love kicks off the show.

Throughout the week you can catch Sideshows by the Seashore from 2p until 8. On Thursday and Friday evenings Burlesque at the Beach takes over with “old skool burlesque and vaudeville.”  But, wait… the two worlds collide ONE performance a week! Saturdays at 10PM the adults-only Girlie Freakshow: Bad Girls features BOTH sideshow AND burlesque for only $10! I was feeling like burlesque and my guy was hoping to see the sideshow, and we definitely lucked out with this hybrid. At nearly 2 hours long (with a brief intermission for stretching and revisiting the bar) it is a *fantastic* bargain for Saturday entertainment.

Speaking of beer: if you’re watching a show and want to stay in theme shell out for one or five of Schmaltz Brewing Company’s very own Coney Island Craft Lagers and feel good about the proceeds helping to support the mission of non-profit organization Coney Island USA.

The night we attended we were treated to multiple performances by Remy Vicious, Bambi the Mermaid, Bunny Love, Serpentina, and the delightful host Insectavora Angelica. My guy got a kick out of Bambi the Mermaid’s twisted “Delicious!” burlesque and I was into Angelica’s fire eating. Also, while providing patter between acts Remy Vicious told my new favorite dirty joke EVER. If you’re feeling brave and see me in real life I’ll be happy to share it with you. Heh.