Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yellow Nails

Someone I know actually nearly dropped his dumpling when he saw my nails. He said "I was startled by your nails." I don't think I've ever painted my nails this yellow before. I've been drinking so much lemonade though and I think it definitely inspired the color choice. Summer just makes me want lemon flavored all the things. I wish I was born inside a lemon and had to eat my way out.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 4th

I spent this 4th of July in Hoboken watching the Macy's fireworks from my boyfriend's friend's parent's apartment. We had a perfect view of the barge near 23rd Street and the fireworks were super close to us. The day was slightly traumatic with literal swarms of drunk people, closed off streets and transportation, 90+ degree heat, and of course, my beloved phobia of really loud things. Hoboken is kind of crazy though, until you get onto the higher up streets away from all the raging bros. One time I was waiting by the Path train literally only for 3 minutes and I saw 2 people throw up and one person get arrested during that short time frame. So of course when I got to Hoboken there were no cabs or buses to where I needed to go. I had a meltdown in a nearby McDonald's when my boyfriend literally came to the rescue before I almost threatened the lives of some teenage boys who spilled a frappuccino on our seats and didn't clean it up. We eventually made it to his friend's balcony (after I practiced some serious self-care with a hamburger, fries, and a huge serving of Coldstone's Birthday Cake Remix). Once the fireworks started I must have looked really interesting with one hand over my ear, one shoulder jammed into the other, and my free hand snapping pictures with my iPhone while balancing a cup of sangria. As much as I hate having a heart attack every time a firework goes off, I do admit that these were especially pretty albeit loud as hell.

Monday, July 2, 2012


My friend rented a house in the Rockaways this past weekend. The house was right on the water and you could see the A train passing from a couple of hundred feet away. I didn't take that many good pictures because I was too busy taking naps on the end of the dock with my feet in the water with my girlfriends. It was extremely relaxing and I ate way too much food. I forgot what it is like to be able to walk in the middle of the street without a million cars passing by. Having lived 10 minutes from the beach for 10 years of my life, I used to always used to take it for granted but now that I'm not conveniently close to the beach I appreciate it so much more. We went to Far Rockaway beach for a while but it got kind of cloudy and the water was really cold and choppy. I definitely preferred being at the house itself. The house had this very cool 1970s decor with a lot of natural wood and tons of art everywhere. It was actually an artist's studio but the owner rents it out. It definitely had a distinct Wharton Esherick vibe with all the "imperfect" wood around the house, including a handmade staircase that I wish I would have gotten a better picture of.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Temporary Studio

Ever since my roommate moved out about a month ago I've been wondering what to do with her vacant room until I move out in August (we're not subletting). A few totally impractical ideas crossed my mind such as hosting classes out of her room or turning it into a rave. But because I like torturing myself with things I will probably never have again, I decided to turn it into my own personal art studio.
Basically this just consisted of dragging my dusty art supplies from my closet to her room and pinning some brown paper from a package I got up on the wall. I've never been too fond of canvas. It feels too high-pressure, too permanent and not to mention too expensive. I spent most of college painting on deconstructed cardboard boxes.
I haven't made work consistently in over two years except for a few months when I got to take editorial photography and a conceptual studio class when I got shut out of other classes. My grad school program was not studio based so I am thankful that I got to make some work in spite of that. The fear of disappointing professors makes me productive like nothing else can which is probably why I don't actively make work very often. I never really know where to start either. Because I am extremely creative I thought "landscape!" I keep getting all of these air quality alerts for New York on my phone but clearly the air in New York isn't killing me fast enough so I chose to use pastels for this project.
I thought maybe creating this studio space for myself would motivate me a little. It has motivated me to start at least. And starting is a start, right?! I'll just ignore the fact that I haven't made progress in over a week.
This is the view I'm drawing. It'll only be my view for a little over a month longer so I figured I should document it somehow.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Prince$$ Nails

Princess nails

As much as I like painting, I've never been really good at detailed brushwork. I was the queen of paint pens in college. Also I have notoriously unsteady (and small) hands. When I saw this tutorial to get pretty looking nails using a plastic bag I was excited at the prospect of using "recycled" materials and not having to use a brush. I don't think they look anything like the ones in the tutorial but it's a big improvement from my usual plain, solid colored nails. They're way more sparkly in-person and I've dubbed them Prince$$ Nails. I did make a huge mess though getting glitter almost everywhere (even found some in my eyebrow).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Perfect Apartment

Queens, New York apartment

I wanted to make a post about my grandparent's apartment in Queens. It is a constant source of inspiration for me, both interior design-wise and in general. I've spent countless hours there since I was born and have made quite a few memories in the process (I've even been naked in the kitchen sink, granted I was only a few months old). 

Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, New York

My grandmother keeps the apartment spotless. I'm enamored with the shiny wood floors, the mid-century furniture, the clean upholstery, chandeliers, and perfect light fixtures. I love the hanging plants and the framed artwork on the walls. Their apartment is what I hope my home will look like one day. I completely blame this place for my obsession with mid-century wood furniture and airy, clean looking rooms. 

Mid-century couch, lamp

Their apartment is also the reason I like the color brown so much. I actually wear a lot of brown which can be very challenging as a New Yorker who also really likes black. My grandmother has always been a huge creative influence for me. Actually both of my grandmothers have. One grandmother taught me to draw faces and people and this grandmother taught me how to draw trees, how to sew, use clay, charcoal, pastels, paint, etc. In addition to my grandma's home-making skills, she was a special education art teacher for years. 

two-seater couch, loveseat

This is probably my favorite nook in the whole world. And that chair...ohhhh that chair. I have daydreamed about that upholstery more times than I'd like to admit. My grandma painted the streetscape above the chair. Oh and in addition to having great style, my grandparents also have excellent taste in food!


Growing up I spent a lot of time in this kitchen. Baking with my grandma, chatting with my grandpa, eating lunch with them and watching the Price is Right on television. Foods I associate with them: lamb chops, potted chicken, mashed potatoes (my grandma seriously makes the best mashed potatoes you will ever have in your entire life), kasha varnishkes, kirby cucumbers, coffee candies, and soft macaroni noodles with butter. 

dining room, wine

My grandpa is the most generous person I know. He was born in Vienna and is a veteran as well as a Holocaust, heart attack, and cancer survivor. In his spare time he collects wine. The wall in their dining room is wallpapered in wine labels. You can kind of see it in the mirror's reflection but I'll have to get another picture. My parents did the same and wallpapered our dining room in Queens with wine labels when I was growing up.


My amazing grandma in her living room. Her design ideology is that objects should either serve a purpose or be beautiful. I really like that.

bedspread, mexico

This is the room that I always stayed in when I slept over my grandparent's house. My grandma made the cat pillow on the bed. She's made quite a few pillows for me over the years, including big, red velvet lips which are probably my favorite. The bedspread is from their travels as is many of the other artifacts and art around their apartment. I did happen to make the three pictures hanging in this room during school though!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Weird Part of the Internet: Post-Wisdom Teeth Removal Videos

By now, most people with internet access have heard of David After Dentist. Something about little David under the influence of drugs after oral surgery just makes for the lols. On the other hand, kids do say the darnedest things. Don't get me wrong, David After Dentist is hilarious but 7 year-olds don't always make a lot of sense. Nonsensical little kids are cute but I much rather see someone who has since recovered from elementary school humiliation making a fool of themselves. Getting your wisdom teeth removed is common for the high school to college aged crowd and might produce the funniest results. For this week's The Weird Part of the Internet aka TWPOTI, I wanted to take a look at post-wisdom teeth removal videos on Youtube. Why someone would actually submit themselves to this public embarrassment is beyond me but I definitely appreciate their contribution to my hysterical laughter.

Maybe it's because I feel slightly less mortified at my own reaction to getting my wisdom teeth out when I watch these videos, although I can totally relate to them. Apparently I woke up biting and kicking. Don't remember this at all and I usually like to think of myself as a pretty docile person. Then I remember being escorted into another room where I was greeted by my parents. I remember my face being really numb and my arm hurting because it took the dentist way too many tries to get the IV in (Tiny Vein Club). Apparently I had a conversation with my mother that went like this:

Mom: Don't touch the gauze.
Me: My face is sooooooo numb.
Mom: That's okay.
Me: No it feels like I have a beard.
Mom: A beard?
Me: Mommmm I think I have a beard. *starts crying*
Mom: It's okay. You don't have a beard.
Me: I want to see a mirror.
Mom: Okay. *hands me her compact*
Me: Ohhhhhh hahahahaha
Mom: ???
Dad: ???
Me: lolololol
Mom: Don't touch the gauze.

I know this nurse is just doing her job but how could she be so disgruntled and not lol at this obviously loopy dude?!

"I don't know how I'm doing, I'm just crying and watching soccer." I feel you bro, I feel you.

It's kind of irritating how you can tell the mom is just dying to film her kids.

This girl is my spirit animal.

GAWZ. Best accent ever.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Museum Mile Festival

On Tuesday I went to the Museum Mile Festival with my friend I hadn't seen in 2 years (we took dance classes together for years throughout school and have collectively worn approximately 22,000 sequins). From 6-9pm various museums had free entry and sponsored activities both inside the museums and outside of Central Park. Unfortunately the weather on Tuesday was pretty stormy but this didn't stop swarms of people from lining up to get into the participating museums. The line to get into the Guggenheim Museum was about 2 city blocks long which wouldn't have been so bad but some dude kept repeatedly hitting me in the head with his umbrella. Clearly I love festivals that involve waiting in line for long amounts of time with unpleasant people (i.e. The Great Googa Mooga Festival where I waited ~1 hour for a drink, 45 min for a chicken sandwich, and an indefinite amount of time to regain my sanity).

The Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum
Art of Another Kind: International Abstraction and the Guggenheim, 1949-1960” 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The highlight of my Museum Mile Festival experience was visiting the Guggenheim Museum. I do have to admit that I'm more than a little biased, having interned there not once but two times (because in addition to my clear passion for waiting in long lines, I also just love being a perpetual intern). I'm definitely really into the contrast of awesome architecture + well curated art exhibitions. Also I totally got yelled at for taking some of the pictures above. What I lack in delinquency and lawlessness IRL, I apparently make up for as soon as I enter a museum. My brazen art student snobbishness immediately sets in and to the dismay of the museum guards I can be found justifying my behavior by loudly declaring "What Would Alexander Brener Do?!"

Kehinde Wiley, The World Stage: Israel
Kehinde Wiley, Kalkidan Mashasha (The World Stage: Israel), 2011, oil and gold enamel on canvas. Private Collection. © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California.
Hands down, my favorite works of art that I saw at the Museum Mile Festival were Kehinde Wiley's paintings at the Jewish Museum. I'm just a Kehinde Wiley superfan. Ever since seeing his work at the Brooklyn Museum I can't stop loving him. Everything is just so elaborate and decorative and AWESOME. His paintings are large and in charge and it's great to be able to get up close to appreciate the crazy detail of his backgrounds and the realism of his models. I want to kiss his paintings. If I was an objectum sexualist, we'd be Facebook official.

The Jewish Museum

Other notable parts of the Museum Mile Festival: Lots of adorable old people, "Women's Work" at the National Academy Museum, getting shut out of the Neue Galerie at 7:55pm (What else should I expect from baby haters? JK but not really...), live music at the National Academy and outside the Guggenheim, big crowds making me feel claustrophobic, coming down with museum fatigue, and of course, getting to see art at world-renowned museums for free.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Weird Part of the Internet: Gender Cakes

You know you should probably just go to sleep when you've reached the bizarre depths of cyberspace and have gotten to the weird part of the internet aka TWPOTI

Does that usually stop me? No. Do I typically fall further into a trance-like state where I become completely consumed by the wacky and strange train wreck that I have deemed internet-gold? Absolutely. 

For this week's TWPOTI I would like to focus on a spectacular kind of YouTube video that seems to have become quite a phenomenon amongst expecting mothers: gender cake videos. What is a gender cake you might ask? A gender cake or a gender reveal as some call it, is a cake baked with a blue or pink inside to indicate whether the expecting parents are having a girl or a boy. How it all goes down - typically the parents to be give a copy of their ultrasound to a baker (not seen in the video) and then mommy and daddy dramatically cut into the cake in front of their entire family to reveal that they're having a little Jane or Johnny. Then I would guess that they eat the cake but usually there's too much shrieking and crying for the family to film that part. Aside from the obvious blunder/confusion about gender vs. sex, I am fascinated by the pure creepiness of using a cake, a dessert item that you eat, to deliver information about your future child's genitals. Not that I expect much in the "tone down the smugness" or "lack of cliches" department (see this lovely tune by Garfunkel and Oates), but what ever happened to good old email or telephone to deliver the news? So without further ado, I present the best of gender cake videos:

Despite the sheer number of gender reveal videos, most people still haven't figured out to cut a corner of the cake so it's easier to see...

The kid in the Spongebob shirt is pretty much going to be a superstar, I can tell.

This family is so excited about their cake reveal they forget their screaming will scare the baby, you know, the one that's actually born.

Wedding/cake reveal double whammy.

This week's TWPOTI wouldn't be complete without an epic cake fail.

Basically my feelings on gender cakes can be summed up in one picture from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:

monty python, the meaning of life, gender