Tomato Design Goes Green!


The Flying Bagel Menace!
August 17, 2008, 8:32 pm
Filed under: What happened to fun??

Somewhat the same thing happened to me a few years ago. I was walking the dogs and a bagel fell out of the sky at my feet, just missing my head. A crow had dropped it.

— Anne Harkonen, Evanston, IL

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The Flying Cheese Menace
August 17, 2008, 8:29 pm
Filed under: What happened to fun??

Dan:

A year ago I was crossing 23rd St. on the E. side of Park Ave. It was about 9 pm; and just as I reached the exact center of the intersection, there was a loud splat! A piece of American cheese had fallen out of the sky and just missed hitting me in the head. I was too far away from any buildings for it to have come from one of them. And there was nothing in the sky.

Mystery!

But if we had better coordinated our falling food adventures, we could have possibly made a sandwich out of the Flying Cheese Menace and the Flying Buttered Toast.

Next time . . .



The “Flying Toasters” Strike Again! (Literally)
August 15, 2008, 3:56 am
Filed under: What happened to fun??

This just in, from a fellow designer:

“I ride my new bike all the time now, and I rode 30 miles today. As I was riding through Queens, a buttered piece of bread hit me on the head while I was going through an intersection.

At first I thought someone had thrown it at me, as it hit my head and then lodged itself on my handle bars. But a bird was in flight above me, and actually ‘atom-bombed’ me with the buttered toast bread!

I stopped at the sidewalk after the intersection, and was looking around to see how this could have happened, when I saw a car that had witnessed the entire event. The driver was laughing sooooo hard, and pointed to the sky to indicate that it was the bird. It was so funny that someone actually saw it all go down!

I took a picture of the bread on my bike. . . . At least it was just bread!”

— Thanks to Dan Nelson (of Canada & Brooklyn)



Are We Having Fun Yet??
August 10, 2008, 6:44 pm
Filed under: What happened to fun??

Here we are, up to our eyeballs in vacation season. Yet I hear the tone of “quiet desperation” in the voices of many of my friends and colleagues. It’s not that they don’t have enough work; and it’s not that they don’t have enough money (although, like most people, they think they don’t.) They just don’t seem to be having any FUN.

A few years ago, in Port Antonio, Jamaica (W.I.), I was approached by a man I didn’t know. He wasn’t smiling, and it was during a period of political unrest on the island. As I was the only white person within miles, I looked around to see if there was any place to flee, before resigning myself to the inevitable.

He jogged right up to me, gave me a hard look, and practically shouted in my face:

“Lady! WHY do YOUR PEOPLE always LOOK so f***ing MISERABLE?!?!?”

Nonplussed, I took a step back and stammered,

“I don’t know: but I’ll get back to you on that!”

Years later, the best I can conclude is that he sees a lot of New Yorkers and TriStaters, but I really don’t have an answer as to “Why”. As a native Chicagoan, I have always been astonished at the grimness on the faces of my Fellow Americans from NY and NJ, especially when they are about to board the Grand Central-Times Square Shuttle. That, to me, is the Death Train, if faces are any condition. Those people will NEVER emerge from those cars alive. Take a look: do you agree?

I rarely observe this black depression on the faces of Americans elsewhere in the country (or around the world.) So what IS the problem??

In my humble opinion, there are a few possible causes:

1. We spend most of our waking hours having conversations with people who AREN’T THERE.
[Next time you are out walking, take the time to notice the voices in your head. Notice what they are saying. Then take the time to look up at the buildings you pass and notice the decorative sculpture on their facades. Notice the faces, clothing and bodies of the people around you. Notice the cloud patterns in the sky. Notice what you are about to step in . . .]

2. Pace your steps with your breathing.
[Take full breaths in and out. Count your breaths, if it helps you match your pace to your breathing. Are “out of step” with your body? Are you even forgetting to breathe at times?]

3. Dare to make eye contact and smile at the passers-by.
[Keep track of how many smile back. As I woman I notice that young women almost never return my smile. Is that true for you, too?]

4. Carry a sketchbook or a camera.
[Write down funny dialog fragments you overhear; or even take a seat in the park (on the bus, on the subway) and try to draw something you see a few feet away (don’t make your fellow passengers uncomfortable!) Photograph funny signs — and spelling — you maybe haven’t noticed before, and send me your images, so I can have a laugh, too. It doesn’t have to be “Art”: but it will teach you to notice details you never noticed before.]

5. Go to lunch / dinner / for a drink in an (outdoor) café ALONE.
[This is a “mini-vacation.” Pretend you are on an exotic island somewhere (after all, most of the tourists around you think they are!) This is also a good time for the sketchbook exercise. Have a short, but meaningful, interview with your wait-person: where are they from? Are THEY having fun? What do they like / hate in a customer? Again, relax and BREATHE. Notice the sky and the changes in it as time passes. Are you beginning to feel content? You might even dare to thank — and hug — your wait-person at the end of your meal (women get away with this better than men.) I am sure you will have fabulous service the next time you go back!]

Did you notice how many times I used the word NOTICE above? That’s the key! The more you ignore your ego and its constant badgering (like a crazed weasel in-law on steroids), and start wholeheartedly engaging in the world around you — as you are living it — the more fun you will start to have.

After all, you are doing this for YOU: and the better you treat yourself . . . well, you get the picture.

Have a great vacation — all year long!



Signs of the Times
August 3, 2008, 8:22 pm
Filed under: "Signs" of the Times, What happened to fun??
. . . Or why most people need a good marketing person (like me!)

This, from the restaurant formerly known as Friendly's: thanks to Deidre Wyeth

This beach was across from the Flatiron Building (?!?)

This beach was across from the Flatiron Building (?!?)

That's one salad I'll cheerfully skip!

That's one salad I'll cheerfully skip!

So [sadly] true!

So (sadly) true!

What does THAT mean?!?

What does THAT mean?!?

This is a hairdresser (really!!)

This is a hairdresser (really!!)

Fireworks and Doilies (again!)

Something for the hog; something for the little lady

"Wolf Paper"? What's it like on a full moon?

"Wolf Paper"? What's it like on a full moon?



Here’s what happened on my block this week!
August 3, 2008, 6:48 pm
Filed under: What happened to fun??

1. First we have the SVA students who wear T-shirts that say, “Moving Things to Nowhere.” And they did just that for a whole afternoon. The “Things” were cardboard boxes painted in primary colors: they stacked them and moved them for the sake of ART. Of course, I helped them.

2. The second Art Project from SVA was a guy named Mike w black jewel cases and displayed the litter on a black foam background. Finally, he bolted the boxes to the trees (without hurting them!), so people could see what trash had been left below. It was a real hoot! People really stopped to view the boxes (it’s 8/3, and I think they’re still there.) My block on 23rd Street is arguably the most littered street in NYC, so it’s good to think a few people considered their sins for a few seconds, at least.

3. Sunday, I ended up having a late brunch at the local diner with a great couple from Alberta, Canada, and they came back to my apartment to see how I live. We may trade places for vacation next year (we’ll see!) Great fun!

4. Finally, there was a great motorcycle club called the Condemned Few (with their families!) They gave me their club so I could view their site, and maybe participate in some of their events (www.condemnedfewmc.com) . Hey: you never know!!

1. Moving Things to Nowhere

1. Moving Things to Nowhere

1. More heavy moving

1. More heavy moving

1. The official "We Move Things to Nowhere" T-shirt

1. The official "We Move Things to Nowhere" T-shirt

2. Litter on its "home tree"

2. Litter on its "home tree"

2. Litter as "objet d'art"

2. Litter as "objet d'art"

2. Litter as ART

2. Litter as ART

2. More "trashy art"

2. More "trashy art"

2. Penultimate box

2. Penultimate box

2. End of Project

2. End of Project

3. Al and Sandy from Alberta, Canada

3. Al and Sandy from Alberta, Canada

4. Two of the "Condemned Few"

4. Two of the "Condemned Few"



While you were working . . .
August 3, 2008, 5:57 pm
Filed under: What happened to fun??
Bridal Party in Line for Balloon

Bridal Party in Line for Balloon

As “Around the World in 80 Days” premiers at the Irish Repertory Theatre, I lived my own tiny version of it on Friday, 8/1/08, in Central Park. Allowing for 6 hours hanging around for ideal wind conditions (and a fierce sunburn), it was well worth the $25! To begin with, the people I was hanging with in line were lots of fun. And the weather was perfect. What better way to spend a day in the Park? By the time I was 300 feet over the Park, the sun was setting: but you can see the results for yourself.

The ride will be there through August 22: but I strongly recommend getting in line at 6:30 a.m., or else you may not make it, especially without an all-day wait. They fly from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m.; but with only 2-3 people in the basket at a time, and each up in the air for 5-10 minutes — and sometimes with long breaks for gusty conditions (we waited 2.5 hours just for this) — you may not make it at all, even if you’re in line for 6+ hours.

THAT SAID: it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, so GO FOR IT!!

Balloon Ascending

Aloft over the Dakota

Due West (Dakota again, @ Right)

Looking East over the Boathouse

Facing East

View South (Plaza on Left)

Southwest, toward Times Square

300 feet over the Gondola (North view)

Kids Playing by Balloon (this should be YOU!!)

Kids Playing by Balloon (this should be YOU!!)

Hula Hoops at Bethesda Fountain

Hula Hoops at Bethesda Fountain