Today is my official move out day from my apartment here in Brooklyn... I am exhausted and I don't feel much like standing or moving at all, but I had the urge to write this post as I wait for the UPS pick-up service to show up at my door. As I was packing I happened upon this old book that I bought last Fall in Little Rock, AR. I meant to write about it many months ago, but it always slipped my mind. I was drawn to the beautiful cover of the book initially and then when I saw the title and opened it's pages, ahhhh... Osa Johnson, a real life adventurer and explorer of the early 20th century. Roaming the earth and sharing her discoveries via her books and films made with her husband and exploration partner, Martin Johnson. I have yet to read any of this book, but from the looks of the pictures- Osa won't let me down on the excitement-end of things! Plus, if it isn't much of a good read- it is really special looking and fun to look through with it's beautiful photography of far-away places!!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Henry Darger (Unknown)
I have been elated ever since my dear friends, Lily Farag, Brittani Seach, and Sunny Skurow gifted me this painting (top) that I had swooned over each time I walked into their apartment building over the past 6 months. The first time I saw it I exclaimed, "hey, that's me!". I couldn't help but think so with the stature of the central figure, her pink complexion, red lips and those silver streaks- there really is quite a resemblance between the two of us!
Anyways, I don't expect everyone to love this painting the way I do, but I just can't resist it's quirks and even its dings and torn up corners. The pink house and the overall colors, the obscure cartoon like faces all varying in style... it reminds me of a Henry Darger painting, with it's characters heads borrowed from "the funnies" and the thick black outlining. I am also obsessed with the ghost-like fellow and "my" red pompom hat! I pretty much LOVE every detail. I can't wait to have this piece framed and hung in my future home. I just feel as though it sums me up in many ways, a painting has never fit me so well...
The artist is unknown, and I acquired the piece only because the neighbors of my friends hated it hanging in the hallway and wanted to throw it away- over my dead body! Thank you Lil, Britt and Sunny for rescuing the painting and making it mine o' mine. I have the very best friends ever, truly.
Friday, July 23, 2010
So here goes the story of Staten Island...
When we first arrived we had no clue where we were headed. We wandered up the first street that we thought looked cute, and happened upon a small museum where a sweet woman directed us towards Snug Harbor- we were feeling loved already, and therefor we were loving Staten Island instantly! The walk from the St. George Terminal to Snug Harbor was a vast one, and thankfully the sun was resting behind pillow-y clouds for us that day. We walked along a busy and windy street and on the way found some beautiful old houses. The best part of the day(in my opinion) was when we stopped at what seemed to be an abandoned old home that had a plaque next to it's boarded up front door. While the other girls ran up the steps of the old house, i lingered behind to snap photos, and while the girls were reading the plaque aloud they heard foot-steps above them- suddenly they all went silent looking up at the ceiling of the porch- which prompted me to look northward, finding a completely nude and balding old man peeking over the railing of the upstairs balcony!! It was hysterical. When our eyes met- he bolted for the door and I was left speechless. I then squeaked out, "I think we should go!", I couldn't decide if I should laugh or die in the moment. The best part is that I was the only one to see him. The other girls didn't even believe me at first. I was in stitches, it felt like a scene straight from a Now & Then-esque movie. When we finally reached Snug Harbor we were so excited, it felt very dreamy, there wasn't another sole around, or so it seemed, and no directions or instruction on where to go. We just started to wander around aimlessly, though our empty stomachs were hoping we would find food first. Alas we happened upon a beautiful greenhouse and toured through its magical mugginess. Then at the exit we found signs of food- hooray- that is, until we approached the little food vendor who was just a tad less than friendly. The four of us, who approached the window of the "Garden Cafe" in rather high spirits and willing to eat earthworm sandwiches if that was all they had to offer, left running away with the cook screaming after us, calling us snobs- for no reason at all. We were more than baffled and mortified and still very hungry, so we headed for the info desk, where a sweet young girl directed us out of the park and down the road to a waterside grill, which we were very happy about. We enjoyed a relaxing and peaceful lunch on Staten Island (we discovered at the info desk that the man at the cafe had just learned of his son's arrest on drug charges from the night before- perhaps this was the root of his temperament!??). So, after lunch we headed back to the gardens of Snug Harbor and explored until our toes were sore, only on our way out we wanted to stop in and check out the seemingly awesome children's museum, where we greeted the woman at the front desk with no reciprocation. She also, was slightly less than friendly- snapping at us as we reached into the ice cream freezer for an afternoon treat- she was perfectly nice when we paid up though. We were yet again, confused by the hospitality here on Staten Island. When we finally left Snug Harbor, we thought perhaps we had left the bad tempers, only to meet the huffiest bus driver of all time on our way back to the terminal. When my sister didn't put her metro card into the slot properly he grumbled and rolled his eyes, and I just couldn't hold back any longer- I let out a good laugh and said something along the lines of, "well the rest of Staten Island hates us today, so you might as well too!", I said it with a smile and meant it to humor him and my sister, though I doubt he even cared. So, for every nice person we met on the island there was an unfriendly experience to match it, yet I can honestly say, the generosities of the woman at the museum early in our day, the girl at the information booth, and the young man who served us at lunch certainly stood out from the rest of them. Together those kind Staten Islanders, the beautiful grounds of Snug Harbor and the fantastic free ferry to get us there and back- have us loving Staten Island forever, no matter how welcomed those other islanders make us feel! Oh yeah, and I can't forget the nudist elderly fella. He made my day, a day I can never forget with three great friends.
(UPDATE: CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THE MYSTERIOUS NUDIST ON ST. ISLAND!!)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The weekend before last, my sister, brother-in-law, and their baby- i mean kitten, Penny came to town for a visit. They were headed North, moving to upstate Eastern Maine to spend time with my grandparents who summer there and perhaps to make a nest of their own there after my grandparents head South again.
So, while they were here in Brooklyn, we tried to make the best of the killer heat that has been lurking around for the past few weeks. For the most part we were in hunt for shade or free air conditioning (thank you Julie for Starbucks' freebies!!) or visiting friends who aren't insane and actually have a/c in their homes. We also spent most evenings on the rooftop, where we could just barely feel a breeze pass over our salty (just ask Penny!), sweaty bodies....
Afton and Sam came on a Wednesday night and thankfully by the time Sunday rolled around, the sun took a break, and Afton and I were able to venture out with our friends, Emily and Maura Grace. We all met up at the Manhattan Terminal for the Staten Island Ferry, which is newly renovated and heavenly in temperature (if the day had been hotter, I would have stayed there in the free a/c). Then we took the ferry across the bay, past our Lady Liberty, past big and small sailboats, and into the St. George terminal of Staten Island. While 90 percent of the boats passengers exited the ferry just to board the next ferry heading back to Manhattan, the four of us headed out into the great unknown, called Staten Island. We had no idea what we were getting into...
to be continued.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I love to sing Shortnin' Bread to the baby I take care of here in Ny. It's one of those songs that I always found my mother singing whenever there was a baby around the house and like me, she always would forget the words and just repeat the chorus over and over! One of my favorite things about babies is that they don't care how good or terrible a voice you have or if you remember all of the words, they just love for you to sing to them. I am always making songs up and singing way out of tune, and as long as baby C seems to enjoy it- I'm gonna keep singing...
"Haylie's little buddy loves short'nin', short'nin', Haylie's little buddy loves short'nin' bread"!
p.s. how cute is the cookie carnival?? the song isn't until the very end, but it's the cutest cartoon ever!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Or live vicariously through Reba who has returned to The Paris Market blog with her featured Postcards from Paris entries. I love to read them and pretend that I am there with her. I want to go back so badly! I decided last night that I am starting a "Paris" penny-jar, any loose change will go in for a future trip abroad... please join me if you will!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Inspired by our dear mutual friend, Ginny B. Stelling, a gaggle of gals (including me) and a guy took a trip to Dead Horse Bay in south Brooklyn last weekend to unearth some bits and pieces and bottles that survived the burning of the trash when this area was used as a landfill back in the day. My favorite find was an old "Pick Upper" bottle, a lithiated beverage- so fascinating, I had no idea such things ever existed! That bottle alone was worth the trip for me. It was a nice little adventure, not too taxing and the weather was just perfect. Before I leave NYC, I plan to do as much exploring as possible without spending too much money and this trip was the very first to scratch off my list. If you have any others to suggest, please do share!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
While I have been busy packing up my life in NYC, my mother has been busy searching for me a new venture: She recently forwarded me the contest entry information for Garden & Gun's "Made in the South" awards. Prior to this I had never even heard of Garden & Gun, and I am certainly intrigued... I sure hope I can get my hands on a copy up here in the city! From the look of their website, Garden and Gun looks to be my kind of reading, but in the meantime all of you southern artists need to be applying for this great opportunity- go here to find out more! I guess I will have to wait till next year- when I am working below the Dixie-line again to qualify for Made in the South!
UPDATE: I got my hands on the latest issue, the one with the pie on the cover, and it is wonderful! I am definitely subscribing. xo