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Court of First Model Tenement House in New York, 1936 by Berenice Abbott

This Week’s PairedBerenice Abbott + Maya Angelou

Awaking in New York

Curtains forcing their will  
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with  
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on  
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a  
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,  
unasked and unheeded.

Maya Angelou

Claire + Erica are my style icons (no, really, I mean it you two!) Their indie-designer site is my favorite destination for acquiring amazing fashion by up-and-comers, and C+E’s knack for storytelling make Of A Kind emails must-reads that are often forwarded. Jen

5 Perfect Picks

1) Plate 22, Sheet 7, Ancient Courses Mississippi River Meander Belt | a 20x200 Vintage Edition
Can you believe this colorful amazingness (a 20x200 Vintage Edition) was created for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? I think it’s the weirdest-looking map I’ve ever seen—in a good way, obviously. —Erica

2) Searching | by Helena Wurzel
Helena Wurzel’s sense of color and shape is super spot-on. Something about her work feels very textile-ish to me, perhaps because they have a certain flatness to them. Searching is a scene that looks so happy to me—sitting on the floor flipping through magazines and cutting things out is something I used to spend entire days doing when I was a teenager. I should start doing it again! —Claire

3) Every Outdoor Basketball Court in Manhattan | by Jenny Odell
I actually gifted this to my brother for his first grown-up Manhattan apartment—I like that it has a story that he can easily convey to anyone who sees it. And, of course, I love it’s mosaic-like look . —Erica

4) 50 People in Central Park | by Jason Polan
I adore everything about Jason Polan—his artwork, his instagram feed, his entire sensibility, really. I picked this particular drawing because my own daily running habit began in central park so this scene is very familiar (and dear) to me. —Claire

5) Nonsensical Infographic No 1. | by Chad Hagen
This is one of the first prints I ever purchased from 20x200. It’s beautiful and also has a sense of humor, which are the two things I really like in a piece of artwork. It’s lived in 4 different apartments with me.Claire

5 Q’s + 5 A’s

1) What’s your favorite museum?
Cooper-Hewitt—we’re so excited for it to reopen in December.

2) Favorite color?
A quick glance at the current products on our site would seem to suggest that blue is what dominates around here.

3) Coveted coffee table book?
Olympic City Project

4) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
Single statement piece.

4) If you could be reincarnated as another artist, who would you want to be?
My Grandma Shirley! Her work perfectly reflected her outlook in life—cheery, colorful, and just a little bit askew. —Claire

Claire + Erica’s Passion: Of A Kind
Of a Kind sells the pieces and tells the stories of emerging designers. We aim to support and promote on-the-rise creatives who get us excited by giving you access to their unique products and stories. We hope to offer something special and rare to others like us: People who want to know the story behind everything, people who are the first to hear about the next big artist/designer/musician/chef, people who shop as much for the experience as they do for the product.

Vanity Fair MAY08:pg269 (and, incredibly, looking not a day older) by Lauren DiCioccio.

Familiars, Lauren DiCioccio’s solo show at Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco opens tomorrow, 9/6! The reception with the artist will be 9/13, 4-7pm. Check out Lauren DiCioccio’s 20x200 editions here.

Burning Down the Second House by Ann Toebbe

The Week’s Paired: Ann Toebbe + Margaret Atwood

Morning in the Burned House

In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.

The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.

Where have they gone to, brother and sister,
mother and father? Off along the shore,
perhaps. Their clothes are still on the hangers,

their dishes piled beside the sink,
which is beside the woodstove
with its grate and sooty kettle,

every detail clear,
tin cup and rippled mirror.
The day is bright and songless,

the lake is blue, the forest watchful.
In the east a bank of cloud
rises up silently like dark bread.

I can see the swirls in the oilcloth,
I can see the flaws in the glass,
those flares where the sun hits them.

I can’t see my own arms and legs
or know if this is a trap or blessing,
finding myself back here, where everything

in this house has long been over,
kettle and mirror, spoon and bowl,
including my own body,

including the body I had then,
including the body I have now
as I sit at this morning table, alone and happy,

bare child’s feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
in my burning clothes, the thin green shorts

and grubby yellow T-shirt
holding my cindery, non-existent,
radiant flesh. Incandescent.

Margaret Atwood