The Ground on which We Stand

A mess of things are sprawled on the table. A huge crack split down the middle is noticed on it. Tape is covered down the split but the tape is aged and peeling. Flashback to two younger girls running around the table, laughing and playing tag. The younger one climbs on top and starts jumping on it. She encourages the older one to join her. Hesitantly, the older one joins in only to hear a crack and see a split down the middle. The two girls look worriedly at the noticeable crack…

A young couple shopping for furniture for their new house. They enter with their three year old daughter who runs carelessly around. They purchase many things and among them is the coffee table. The couple brings the furniture into their newly bought house and position the table at the center of the living room. Slowly, the entire room fills up with a sofa, television, paintings, a carpet, etc. The family is happy.

The table is no longer in use after the crack. It is moved into the storage room in the basement. It has been years since it has been touched, only dust gathers on the table. Like all objects it only wants to be used but it is unlikely to ever get that chance. It remains in the dusty basement with all the other unwanted objects.


Here Be Dragons – And Map Lovers

I used to love collecting things like snow globes, comic books, miniature figurines. However, it never crossed my mind to collect maps. In the article, Here Be Dragons – And Map Lovers, people actually pay over hundreds of thousands of dollars on early century maps of North American territories. The highest price paid ever for a map was $10 million, paid by the Library of Congress to Price Waldburg-Wolfegg of Germany in 2003, for the 1507 Waldseemüller map. (See here.)

December will be a busy month for map collectors. There is an auction, set on December 5by Arader Galleries in New York, dedicated to incorrectly plotted maps, globes, atlases and other related objects. They will be offering 50 maps with prices ranging from $450,000 to $600,000. On December 6, the very next day, Swann Galleries will be hosting an auction with over 250 pieces to sell. On December 7, Christie’s will host an auction with a Revolutionary War-era map of the New York region for an estimated $700,000 to $1 million.

Many of the maps were interesting to look at; especially the lion shaped one by Hessel Gerritsz. It is interesting to see how people depict places they have never seen. There are so many different shapes the land masses transform into. The maps really demonstrate the process of geographic discovery and progression over the centuries. Personally, I do not think it is worth the money everyone shells out for them. What is the point in investing in a map that will not get you to your destination and will most definitely get you lost? Is that not what a map is conventionally used for?

A well-known collector is Ned Davis who claimed, “It’s just kind of cool to think about what it would be like if California really was an island.” What value do you think collectors find in collecting maps with mistakes? Is it just for those who want to satisfy their imagination? Would any of you consider collecting maps? Do you think this can become a popularized form of art?

Reliving the Past

The child population in my neighborhood has exponentially increased over the last couple of years. Every morning I am woken up by children’s screams, cries and outrageous laughter. I get annoyed when they interrupt my sleep. But, then I realize I was probably just like them when I was younger. I think childhood was the happiest time of my life. As a child, I got away with mostly everything and school was actually fun. Everyday was spent running around the neighborhood, plucking flowers from people’s garden and playing hopscotch. Life was so carefree without any huge responsibilities. Unfortunately, in the end, everyone has to grow up. At least it’s nice to know we will always have the memories to look back on.

As the cycle of life continues, in ten years, hopefully I’d have left by then and the group of kids will be in my position, complaining about the next batch to come.

its phoebeeee

Hi, my name is Phoebe. I live in Brooklyn. I like to cook, bike and watch movies. I especially love thrillers and romantic comedies. I am deathly afraid of pigeons which makes living in New York a little unpleasant. I really love to travel and explore new places so I’m pretty excited for this class.