Slogging through February can be tough- even in a milder winter such as this one. I'd been feeling rather uninspired and groggy this month. Fortunately, my friend Aya Nihei, brought me a copy of her recently published book A to Z: Encyclopedia of Ephemera and Paper from New York. It was like a ray of sunshine cutting through the drear.
Back in the fall, Aya spent many hours in my shop sifting through my (embarrassingly huge) collection of ephemera- asking questions and sorting it into categories. It was fascinating to see what pieces interested her and what she ultimately chose for her project.
Aya, an avid flea marketer, foodie and connoisseur of Brooklyn, is from Japan. She writes books and a blog (Best of Brooklyn) about New York for the Japanese market. She has been coming to my booth at the Brooklyn Flea for years now. Before this book, she put together one on vintage and commercial glass (i.e. mason jars)- finding many in my booth. She brings her finds back to Japan and holds a pop-up shop to sell them and to promote her books.
Last fall, when she e-mailed me about her latest project, she had a list of types of paper and ephemera that she was looking for and wondered if I had any of these items. My reply was "How much time do you have? Because I pretty much have it all". So, over several days, I pulled out bin after bin of labels, targets, pamphlets, postcards, matchbooks, etc….
The coolest thing about the experience was that I fell in love all over again with all of my paper. It is so much fun to see it all beautifully arranged and cataloged in Aya's lovely book.
While the book was made for the Japanese market, you can purchase it in NYC at the Kinokuniya book store in Bryant Park. You can buy many other fun things at Kinokuniya. It is one of my favorite places to buy gifts. My daughter has a vast collection of impossibly cute Japanese puzzle erasers. So, there you have a bit of cultural exchange.