Boarding Pass – Magda Sayeg
“Knit at least 5 pieces” is not your typical response to the question of how one prepares for a trip. But that’s how Magda Sayeg of Knitta Please rolls. Her “crew” was formed in 2005 out of friends frustrated by all their half-finished projects, and ultimately resulted in clandestine “tagging” as the perfect activity to keep them occupied and spread a little joy. Since its founding, the project has literally taken Magda and the crew around the world. Thanks, Magda for putting such a fun and creative spin on BOARDING PASS today!! I guess this is the perfect excuse for me to get back to my knitting project…
last trip taken:
In February, I was in Milan wrapping the city with yarn in conjunction with the Triennale Design Museum’s Dritto Rovescio exhibit.
next trip on deck:
I’m heading up to New York in May to do a collaborative knit project on Montague St. in Brooklyn Heights. See the Facebook event page here [this Wed and Thurs! May 13-14]. Knitta is also taking me to San Francisco, Australia, Sao Paulo, and back to Milan in the next few months.
one place you would go back to again and again:
Mexico City. There was a vibrant passion everywhere. My family also spent a magical evening watching lucha libre. It took a while for my youngest daughter to realize that the crazy men weren’t REALLY angry.
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Milan. The food is fabulous – and there’s a curious local obsession with clowns and Pinocchio that cracks me up.
preferred method of transportation:
The European train system. Even if you have to travel 12+ hours – Europe knows trains.
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Japan – I want to go so badly! I’m always trying to come up with excuses.
place you’d never go back:
Pittsburgh in the winter. I was there to wrap poles for Knitta and had to be outside far too long. As a warm weather girl, I was miserable. At the end of the day, though, drinking a hot toddy while watching the snow fall was a beautiful moment.
most memorable trip:
I went to the little industrial town of Tilburg, The Netherlands for the ZXZW music festival and had made up my mind to get back to Amsterdam as quickly as I could. I ended up being mesmerized by the textile museum and its representation of mass production – past present and future.
how do you prepare for a trip?
I always knit at least 5 pieces to bring with me for tagging my destination, and I don’t return with them. I also research small hotels or bed and breakfasts so that I can avoid big box hotels and hopefully have a legitimately local experience wherever I go.
how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I take pictures of anything that catches my interest and immediately email it to friends. I also keep journals of all of my meals and local finds I come across.
what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
I like to photograph the spaces I’m in with a focus on the people I’m there with – I’ll pick up a postcard with a professional image of a monument – but I’m interested in personally documenting the particular spirit and memory of the moment. I love to find ways to incorporate my art into the places I go. I found an organ grinder in a park in Mexico City and knitted the post of his instrument. It was a great impromptu moment to document.
on an average, how many pictures do you take on a trip?
One trip to London I took a total of four pictures. I took over 500 in Paris the last time I was there. It just depends.
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
I carry a Nikon, my iphone, a pencil case and a blank notebook. I also have my macbook with me when I travel.
what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I find that the trips pile up against life. Besides emailing photos to friends, I usually just stuff everything from business cards to bus tickets to menus inside a magazine or hotel travel guide and put it on a shelf. I have better intentions, but life happens.
I am never afraid to ask locals what restaurant they’d recommend – nothing is more fun than discovering those out-of-the-way places.