Lexington Ave, NYC

The second phase of reopening began today in New York City. Outdoor dining, barbershops, and real estate. Churches and a bit of retail. The pandemic is spiking in other parts of America, but the data remains encouraging here in the city. Less than one percent of the people tested have the virus. Only ten people died yesterday, compared to nearly 800 per day two months ago. Still, I keep thinking about Taiwan, where only seven lives have been lost to date.

Meanwhile, I continue to wrestle with the best way to teach the history of graphic design. The voices that should and shouldn’t be included in a nine-week intro course. A canon of European men whose Modernist manifestos and grid systems cast such a long shadow. I’ve been reframing, revising, and expanding for years. But maybe the canon should be torched once and for all, which would be a very Modernist thing to do.

While helping my elderly neighbor with an errand this afternoon, she made a comment about her life that seems like a solid piece of wisdom for dealing with any kind of history: “I should look back, but I don’t need to stare.”

Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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