spent saturday afternoon at a one-room tour of the brooklyn brewery in williamsburg, a gritty and cavernous factory space that came into being with the help of a former AP reporter who, while stationed in iran, learned to make beer in his hotel bathtub. was utterly charmed by monster, a fat and happy 'working' cat who may or may not have inspired a particularly strong microbrew of the same name. from time to time i share joe's fascination with williamsburg: overhyped and haughty or no, it attracts people with a warm and fuzzy dedication to making things.

at the other end of the spectrum, we aimed today for the cooper-hewitt national design museum on the upper east side. space was at a premium - andrew carnegie's mansion, though intricate and elegant and generally desirable, doesn't sprawl - but i got a kick out of the bedroom, where contemporary pieces were arranged to recall the original layout of mrs. c's living area. agoraphobe that i am, i also loved futureshack (designed to provide elementary but tenable transitional housing for refugees) in the yard.

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