Thursday, February 27, 2014

Coming Soon

I've been working with Andrea Lekberg of The Artist Baker on a new project and I am happy to announce that we are in the final stages of  production for the kitchen towels above that will be available for sale in her store the end of next month. After taking the textile design class at F.I.T. (taught by the amazing Ellen Oster) combined with what I learned when I took Adobe Indesign (taught by the multi-talented Lisa Maxwell) I was able to use my images from Andrea's world and conjure these up. Stay tuned for more details and hope you like!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

An Excursion Across the River

When you live in the NYC metro area, while boredom can be inescapable, with a little effort you can usually find something to do at a price you can afford. (In our case, I especially appreciate activities without a huge cost attached,)
So we made our way sans kids, sans dog and headed to Pouhkeepsie to check out the Walkway over the Hudson. This pedestrian feature that spans the Hudson is a retired railroad bridge that has been re purposed as a recreational path that offers brilliant views of the river and a chance to mix and mingle with all kinds of people out for the same purpose, a chance to exercise while taking in the beautiful scenery. Nothing more, nothing less meant a little togetherness and lot of fresh air on a warm afternoon in February.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Me and 10 Gay (Street)

I'm a big fan of Christopher Grey who writes the Streetscapes column in the NYTimes. This weekend, he wrote about his first apartment in Manhattan which sent me down my memory lane. My first place was in the West Village- the address 10 Gay Street Apartment 4B. I had arrived in NYC after completing my coursework for my Masters in Photography from the Visual Studies Workshop and the plan was to live with my then boyfriend Michael. The relationship didn't exactly work out, and I found myself at 28 doing the one thing I dreaded more than anything else, having to find a place to live alone in the big apple. I distinctly recall the terror of trying to find a place to live, tracking down the Village Voice the night before it was readily available to read the listings, arriving at showings only to find 30 people already waiting to see the property in question, usually with a checkbook in hand. I quickly learned that finding a desirable, affordable apartment in Manhattan was going to be one of the toughest things I had yet to do. Luckily, through a friend, I heard about a sublet. A tiny one bedroom that could be mine for 6 months with a rent I could afford alone. I arrived at the anointed hour to meet the lease holder and turning onto Gay Street from Christopher on a foggy evening I encountered the most charming block I had ever seen in the city. All of 10 buildings long, with a slight curve, the street connected Christopher and Waverly Place tucked behind 6th Avenue. It was a peaceful oasis and I knew no matter what condition, I would take the place.
Somehow, when the original tenant decided not to return, the landlord offered me the lease. The year was 1981 and I rented the apartment for 10 years, finally giving up the lease when I moved uptown  to a loft where I could both live and work. A lot happened to me in those 10 years. My business grew, I had more romantic trysts than I care to remember (including my first dates with my first husband), along with many lonely nights, resulting in an education in to how to live on my own. A quick google search shows the apartment in its current glory, all fixed up and gleaming with a rent to reflect the current market.
But my memories are of a tiny flat, of dinners cooked and served to friends and suitors alike, to carrying bags of groceries and photo cases up four flights of stairs, to the solitary woman above who lived with dozens of cats, and the sense of independence I gained from navigating those years as a solo female.
I guess you could call it my Sex in the City phase before Sex in the City and a priceless chapter in more ways than one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Not my day

I drove in to the city to attend NYC Social Media Week and after parking and checking in, I lasted about 15 minutes surveying the vendors and exhibitors, along with the lengthy waits of people standing in long lines for seminars before I realized I could not stay. It was overwhelming. Manhattan felt dismal and I couldn't process the amount of digital chatter that surrounded me. Within the hour I was back in my car driving home and thinking about what I wanted to do instead.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I feel a little ill

Nothing like squandering most of a perfectly beautiful day by binge watching the rest of House of Cards- Season 2. I felt like a train losing its brakes and heading downhill and when one episode would end, and the counter would begin, meaning there was only like a 15 second interval before the next episode began- that was it. I couldn't make myself stop. Now every where I look I see cloaks and daggers. I wonder why?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snoozing in Sleepy Hollow (and for the restless- Frank Underwood and Co.)

A quick glance outside confirmed what the weatherman predicted. More snow descending on our already shrouded world. Sometimes the only sensible thing is to curl up and take a long winter's nap.

And for those who are tired of napping and/or shovellng (depending on your resources and real estate) there's always season 2 of House of Cards on Netflix.

Although after watching a few episodes of this twisted fable of life and politics in D.C. I can't wait for the third season of Veep to begin (or spring to arrive-I'm not sure I care which comes first). And while a river of ambition courses through me, I'll never be in a league with Frank (something I'm sure my family and friends are happy to hear).

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thinking about the world in which we live (for Mom and Dad)

I'm what you might call a red diaper baby. I grew up in a household where my parents actively worked to change the world. I was aware from early on of the downside of a free market system and the exploitation of those workers at the bottom of the pyramid- people who through the luck (or lack of luck) of fate were not availed of great heath care, education, decent housing and family stability. There is the whole pull yourself up by the bootstraps mentality and the media loves to publish stories of people who have risen above- and I am gladdened to read all those success stories, But the reality is that poverty engenders poverty- and that poorer neighborhoods typically have substandard schools and lesser amenities and that without opportunity and parental influence it's tough to craft a life path that leads to an increased standard of living and that we as a people are usually content to write a check if we are fortunate to have the means to do so and rarely think but for the accident of birth that could be me- trying to live on a minimum wage job. KJ Dellatonia of Motherlode shares the stories of all kinds of moms- but today she published an essay that I hope I never forget and that I hope is read widely by people with the influence to effect change. If I read one more story of excessive executive compensation I think I will burst from frustration and pray that my parents' dream of a better, more egalitarian world will eventually come to be.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wishing you....

   ... a happy Valentine's day from here in Sleepy Hollow.  
Click this to see my message to you!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow (and more snow) and Film Bliss

We're experiencing the Artic effect around here as another wave of snowy weather descends on the east coast. Overcast, chilly and hazy due to the thick flakes tumbling incessantly down. The white powder covers every available surface outside and as we are surrounded by hemlocks and pines, it seems other worldly when I look out the window.
Of course school is cancelled (again) and as winter break starts tomorrow my two high schoolers are thrilled to be embarking on their 11 day vacation. Late nights, sleeping in, and hanging out. Good times for Mom and Dad!! (Once, in a chapter that seems so far away and long ago- they were perfectly adorable toddlers- and currently they are often maddening to put it mildly. If you live with teens, you know of what I speak.)
Now the focus is career, parental duties, community service and life with my talented spouse. Add a few adventures to the agenda- well after we dig out the cars.

[And I just spent a very enjoyable (and uninterrupted- thank you slumbering kids!) morning watching Enough Said. Touching, funny and well done in so many ways. So sad to think that James Gandolfino is gone.]

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fatigued in Sleepy Hollow

As someone who uses computers regularly- I often grow weary of the web. I know there is no solution. Technology is here to stay- it has made our world a better place (mostly). But it's the relentless commerce that makes my brain turn to mush. I don't want to be sold anything every time I click. And do you know what is trending now? Whatever wasn't trending before- like in the last three minutes, three hours, three weeks, three months, three years. What if you moved beyond trends? What if life wasn't a constant procession of commercial opportunities?  What would the world look like minus the endless push to consume? I don't want the good old days- but do long for a better tomorrow with a decent today. Just sayin".

(fyi I created the collage above photographically- using a copy stand- during graduate school circa '78. Still holds up pretty well....)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Beatles (and me)

This weekend marks a landmark in our cultural history- the arrival of the Beatles in America. I was one of those young girls who pined over the handsome foursome and even managed to see them in concert in Cleveland, Ohio in 1964. I don't quite know how I convinced my parents to let me go- but I think like many my mom and dad were impressed by the fab four with their shaggy hair and charming ways and they allowed me to attend with my best friend. I vaguely remember a lot of screaming girls as they played and in an effort to commemorate my presence there gathered up some of the confetti that was thrown in abandon as a souvenir.

In junior high, I had a huge crush on Paul (even though I thought George was a lot more sensitive) and wrote my first first person narrative called "My Secret Life with the Beatles" which I passed around during history class and let my girlfriends surreptitiously read. They would encourage me to write more with suggestions like "More sex!!" "More romance!!" however I was pretty uninformed on those subjects and was limited in my imaginings to Paul's hands searching my undergarments and passionate kisses  (I think there was even a kind of rivalry over me between Paul and John- a girl can dream!).  Sometime in high school I came upon this literary effort and feeling embarrassed by my younger self, threw the story away. So, I have only a faint recollection of what I wrote. Still, looking back I appreciate the excitement the Beatles inspired in me and all the stirrings their music brought forth in my adolescent soul. Now, when I catch my kids listening to one of their famous tunes I am easily carried back to when four boys with a signature haircut and Cockney accents swept the world with their rock 'n roll message celebrating heartache and love. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

T minus 7

It's one week until Valentine's and  I am summoning whatever magic I can tap to craft this year's message of love. At times like this, I have to ponder why I do the things I do and why I feel the urgency to share my images, thoughts and feelings. I'll leave the analysis to the greater minds among us- and hope you enjoy this vintage Valentine above.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mom plays audience member

Sometimes you have to take the leap in to the great unknown and try something new and while I have no desire to audition for this talent show extravaganza, I am looking forward to playing hooky and making my way to Newark and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to observe all the festivities.
Let's just hope the weather cooperates and a blizzard (or hail storm, or gale force winds, or icy conditions) doesn't require me to sit it out at home. Nothing like the best plans....

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow (and more Snow)

For those of you who don't like spoilers (especially ones received the night before the day itself) I offer no words of consolation. Once again we are having a snow day and I am blissfully surrounded by my family members who have managed to miraculously wake up before noon on a day that they don't have to go to school. With regards to the lack of anything interesting to eat (according to the junior set) we will have to brave the elements in quest of more food stuffs so that when my son's friends appear at our door they don't starve due to the exhaustive effort they made to get here. (Please don't remind me that I always said I wanted children....) A huge bag of popcorn kernels await so perhaps with a little mindfulness at the stove- some smiling faces will  once again be mine, however temporarily the appreciation lasts.

And a few snowy images courtesy of the dogwood tree that graces our front yard (as requested by my spouse.)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Another Day Home (with my family) or Snow Day #3

For some of you (like my children), this might be the best thing ever! But since last week was finals' week at our high school, and because my kids like to hide in their rooms when they are not in school, and since my h.s. senior only had to take two finals (don't ask), I have had the extended pleasure of two (mostly) adult sized individuals who make voluminous amounts of food disappear regularly while appearing to do absolutely nothing at all. I have discussed in the past how this behavior affects me and in response to which I strive to invoke my higher power (detach, disengage) and try to be as productive as I can while co-habitating with said individuals (son and daughter) who often make me feel more than a little weird. It's in these distinct moments that I reach back, when they were much smaller than me, a pleasure to know (mostly) and a treat to call myself their mother (most of the time.) Forgive all the parentheses (must be a cabin fever kind of thing) and hope you enjoy this image from a housebound moment from yesteryear.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

GH does his thing (in Brooklyn)

It's always worthwhile to support a friend in their creative endeavors so James and I were happy to go to Brooklyn yesterday for the opening of Gerry Hovagimyan's show (ANA)CHRONISMS++  at Transfer Gallery. Gerry has a flair for incorporating technology and performance in to his work and yesterday proved no exception to his excellent showmanship. I always like art that makes me think and re imagine my own efforts in a new light. Sometimes youth seems the only desirable commodity worth notice, but Gerry's quest to invent and interpret seems timeless and futuristic at the same time.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Love is in the Air

February 1 means different things to different people- but around here it means my brain is percolating hard to create a new message for my favorite holiday. Call me sentimental if you will, but caring for others, creating art and doing good works are what keep my world turning.
Wishing you more love than you need- and giving more love than you thought possible.