The Year of Architecture

Thursday, January 8, 2015

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

Hey there. Happy New Year!


So, I've been thinking a lot about my novel in progress and not really about much else, including any sort of New Year's resolutions. Then I began thinking, when did all this resolution stuff start anyway? I fully expected that the tradition stemmed from a Hallmark marketing push in 1936 or something. But with a little research, I found out that the tradition, of turning over a new leaf or performing some act of self-improvement at the start of the new year has been around since (at least) Babylonian times.

Wow.

Anyway, I don't have any new resolutions this year, not because I think I'm perfect or too good for all that (far from it). But because I simply think about it in a different way. In a terrifying and exhilarating, big picture kind of way. This is the year of architecture.

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

I'm reading a philosophical intro to architecture, called The Architecture Of Happiness by Alain de Botton. I doubt I would've picked this book up on my own; my ex gave it to me right after we split up in 2009 and I've been slowly picking my way through it ever since. It is a poignant and oddly touching book. Maybe it's the finality of the situation in which the book was given, but ever since, I've looked at architecture through a completely different lens. Sometimes we have to experience what we don't want in order to realize what we do. De Botton writes,
"We may need to have an indelible mark on our lives, to have married the wrong person, pursued an unfulfilling career into middle age or lost a loved one before architecture can begin to have any perceptible impact on us, for when we speak of being 'moved' by a building, we allude to a bitter-sweet feeling of contrast between the noble qualities written into a structure and the sadder wider reality within which we know them to exist" (22).
Aside from the Tower of Babel, architecture, on the whole, tends to linger. Think of the pyramids. Think of the gothic cathedral Notre Dame de Paris...these are human made structures, legacies. They will persist, because they were amazing feats then and still are. They will persist because we want them to. They persist because we see those that came before us and ourselves wrapped up in these structures. I get a little bit sad every time I see a historical landmark get torn down instead of maintained or re-purposed (this happens frequently in Pittsburgh). I get a little sad, because someone built that. That was someone's contribution, someone's legacy. This of course drums up questions about one's own legacy and on the same note, one's own mortality. If you put something out there, will it be accepted? Will it make a difference? Will it be larger than life and outlast you? Will you be remembered when you die?

photo credit: Joshua Franzos

I might be a little bit morbid at times, but deep, down, I am an optimist. I believe everyone has a purpose, a greater calling to make a difference in the world. Whether you actually make a difference is not the point. The point is that you pick up the reigns and try, and keep trying and keep on trying. Did you know that the 12th Century Notre Dame Cathedral took 182 years to complete? The original architects didn't even get to see their concept through to completion. In fact, their great grandchildren probably didn't see it through to completion. But they kept on. 

photo credit: Joshua Franzos


This is the year of building for Mr. Franzos and I. We're building our businesses, our art, our home, our lives together, and living each day like it's January 1st.

photo credit: Joshua Franzos
Louis Vuitton Foundation Building by architect Frank Gehry Copyright: Louis Vuitton Foundation.fr


My look this week was inspired by the work of one of my favorite deconstructivist architects, Frank Gehry.  Mr. Franzos and I shot this series back in the North Fork of Long Island in July (You can tell by the freckles on my nose). We stayed at the Shades Of Gray Cottage, (no relation to the book, there are just many shades of gray in the beautiful decor). I wore an ASOS cotton pencil skirt, a Lululemon yoga lady racerback and an All Saints dolman knit sweater. I paired it with my favorite accessories: Sam Edelman booties, Sarah Loertscher earrings and my classic, YSL 'Muse' bag. Chic, machine-washable and effortless.This is a great, year-round, work look; just add opaque tights in the winter.

photo credit: Joshua Franzos


photo credit: Joshua Franzos

It being the new year and all, I can't help but want to leave you with a Frank Sinatra earworm, The Best is Yet to Come. I firmly believe this. So tell me, what are you building this year? 


Your Bosom Friend In Pittsburgh,






















12 comments :

  1. Oh Meryl, I just love this post! I really don't know what I'm building this year as I am in a rut of sorts..but you inspire me and give me hope. Thank you! xo

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  2. What a thoughtful, well written post. As a fellow writer all I can say is keep doing it, keep going at it!
    Simona
    Lake&Moon Winter Capsule Wardrobe

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    1. Simona, thank you for reading! I can't wait to check out your blog. Happy new year, be well:)

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  3. I feel the same about old buildings with so much character and so much soul being torn down. Luckily in NYC a lot of those buildings either get the historical landmark tag, which means they can't be destroyed, or they will repurpose them by keeping them the same but giving it a new use. Anyway, loved reading your thoughts on architecture and i love your style!

    xx Hélène
    www.FashionOverReason.com

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    1. Helene, Thank you for stopping over to read my blog:)

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  4. Love your style!!

    Federica
    http://www.thecutielicious.com

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    1. Federica, Thank you! I love your blog:)

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  5. Love those shoes, and definitely feel the architectural vibe from them. This year I'm just building my best self :).

    Looking forward to reading more posts.

    The Style Boro

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    1. Aileen, Thanks for coming by! Love your blog:)

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  6. Great post! Can't wait to see what you do in the new year!

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    1. Hi Kim! Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!

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