First off, did you watch “Hamilton’s America” on PBS last week? I’m going to admit that the only thing I knew about the musical “Hamilton” is that it had received a ton of acclaim. After watching this documentary, I get it. The creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, found a totally new angle for approaching both a musical and U.S. history. Turns out that the cast doesn’t have to look like the figures they are playing so long as they capture the spirit of those people. Nor does the music have to sound as though it was written in 1776. Greg told me that I have to listen to the soundtrack, so that’s next on my list.
Second — and this might be PBS overload for you — Greg and I started watching ART21. Have you seen this? Each show profiles a few artists who live in a particular city. Some of the creations have me squinting and tilting my head sideways because I just don’t understand. In the Chicago episode, though, I was totally smitten with two of the four artists. First, Chris Ware is the most perfect cartoonist I have seen. He seemed to be the embodiment of his work, from his perfect studio to his house full of old toys. I told Greg that I was done watching after that because nobody could make me happier. But the next night, we watched the profile of Theaster Gates, and he thinks big. If you need to feel better about the state of the world, go watch.
I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity lately, maybe because I’ve had so much down-time. I often read how famous leaders and writers had sickly childhoods, and now I understand this correlation. When you’re stuck in bed, there’s not much to do but read and write and imagine all the things you will do when you are healthy. Anyway, after watching these PBS shows, I find myself wondering whether the people who succeed creatively are those who are most willing to pursue a wild idea. Or are they truly the people with the best ideas? I guess I’m asking whether we should all be pursuing more crazy ideas.
Okay, the final thing I wanted to share is the kids’ clothing site Primary. They sell clothing basics like T-shirts, shorts and pajamas that are only in solid colors. A friend told me about it over the summer, and it’s one of those things that I want to share with every parent I know. Seems like such an obvious idea, and yet, most stores are full of graphic tees and glitter. Need solid clothing for a school project or family photo? There you go. We’ve ordered a bunch of items and particularly like the track shorts, which are thick, have good pockets and aren’t too short (a chronic problem with girl’s shorts). Now, can we get an adult version?
Here’s Eleanor in a Primary dress: