An adventure about a girl (and her husband) that moved across the Hudson River and realized that leaving her small apartment in Manhattan allowed her to be inspired by this amazing city.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A journey to 5Pointz

I finally made it out to the graffiti mecca called 5pointz in Long Island City. It wasn't easy to get to (for me). I knew it was near the NQR subway line but I forgot to look up which stop. I asked 4 different people heading to Queens and no one had heard of it, which is disappointing. It's an amazing space that is worthy of an afternoon. The word is that there are plans for it to be torn down to make room for more hi-rise condos. That would be a shame.

Once I found it, this is what I saw, amazing really.

From 5Pointz:
5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.

Location:Clarkson St,,United States

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Seeking inspiration in Chicago

It's been a while, 11 months to be exact.

To say last year was a little busy would be an understatement. I got killed at work. It was relentless and non-stop. Despite being exhausted, everything at work was going really well, but my outside creativity was the first thing to stop when there just wasn't time.

This year, I'm lucky enough to get a break with some much needed time off from work. What will I do? So far I've been focusing on learning...anything and everything I can. I've been to seminars on yoga, leadership, book writing, opening a business, cooking and wellness. I'm openly ready for the creativity Gods to strike down and tell me what I'm meant to do with the rest of my life.

Today I leave for Chicago for 6 days at the HOW Design Conference with the sole purpose of kick starting my creative juices. I'll be jumping from seminar to seminar on design, idea generation and everything in between. During my free time I plan on getting lost in a city I'm not familiar with and maybe I'll find my inspiration where I least expect it. As I wait for my flight I thought this is the perfect time to start writing again, so here I am.

I hope to come back ready to create again, to write this blog again and to find focus amidst all my outlandish ideas.

Inspiration come find me, I'm looking for you and I'm ready.

xo Karen

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer in the City

This my friends is my most favorite time of year in NYC. Summer in the city means outdoor concerts schedules, outdoor movies, farmers markets and street fairs galore.

Here are just a few links with event schedules, enjoy!

Outdoor concerts:
Central Park Summer Stage, Central Park

Celebrate Brooklyn, at the Prospect Park Bandshell

River Rocks, Pier 54 (West Side Highway and 14th Street)

Clinton Concert Series, Pier 84 (West Side Highway and 44th Street

Madison Square Park, Oval Lawn Series, 5th Ave and 23rd Street
Wednesday nights in the Summer. See a free show while you wait on line at Shake Shack!

Outdoor Movies:
River Flicks for Kids, on Pier 46 (West Side Highway and Christopher Street)
This is a grassy pier

River Flicks for Adults, on Pier 54 (West Side Highway and 14th Street)
This is a ashvault pier, bring your lawn chair!

Bryant Park Film Festival, 40th Street and 5th Ave

Rooftop films, Various rooftops through out NYC

Farmers Markets: 
A link to many markets in NYC with the day they occur:

Street fairs and festivals:
Awful website, but regardless, a schedule of festivals throughout the city

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Orleans and back

I was fortunate enough to travel to Jazz Fest in New Orleans this year...and wow, what an amazing place. The music, the food, the PEOPLE are extraordinary. Juliette and I were lucky enough to see Pearl Jam, Jack White's newest Dead Weather, Galactic and many others... including a 20 person Gospel band that sang the word "JOY" over and over again. It was the most beautiful "joy" I've ever heard.

NOLA has so much heart. The people are kind and take the time to say hello, good morning and how are ya'll?  They are so very proud of their city. Up North we see American flags everywhere, but there it's the New Orleans fleur de lis. People wear it, have it as flags outside their homes, on pillow cushions, as art on the walls, it's everywhere. Despite what they've gone through, maybe because of what they've gone through, they are proud, and believe they live in the best city in the world.

NOLA is a slower kind of life, people ask how you are, and wait for your response. The culture is there, the food is superb and the entire city exudes music, it fills the air and everyone is listening.

I came home thinking about how nice and slow moving the people of New Orleans are and what life would be like there. Could I  live there? Would I miss the fast pace of NYC? What about the beach? They have them, but 4 hours away.

On the way to work, I got off the subway in NYC. As I left the station, I was fist pounded by a subway worker. I was quickly reminded that our area has extraordinary people just have to look a little harder, which is part of the fun.  Five minutes later, walking to work, I saw an old lady driving beep and give the finger to a car that cut her that moment, it felt like home.

So yes, New York may be faster, and people may often be jerks. But if you look, really look, good people are everywhere, people flock to this city because it truly is the best city in the world. Maybe we don't have Carmel Beach, California around the corner, but we do have beaches within an hour, and they are worthy of a swim and a suntan. The food and people are equally diverse and you couldn't get bored here if you tried, the stimulation is endless. My kinda place.

Here's to travel and adventure, that open our eyes to what else is out there, but then remind us how nice it is to come home.

Some of the extraordinary people we came across:

And the extraordinary food, crawfish monica and Cafe Du Monde beignets and coffee.

Thank you to Lori for letting us stay with you at your plum colored house on Plum Street. xo

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's good to have friends

Twenty days since my last life has been work and it has been tough. 15 hour days, 18 days in a row, and it's finally over. I'm proud of what I accomplished and the experience that I gained, but what I've  realized through this challenge, is how good it is to have a friend...or two.

I appreciated all of my friends and family for  allowing me to be MIA and not take it personally, but I have to acknowledge two people, Juliette and Chris. I couldn't have gotten through without you.

Juliette, with her constant offerings of help amidst her own chaotic work schedule. If she was free for 5 minutes, it was my desk she came by to see how she can help. Yes we work together, but this meant much more to me than a typical helpful coworker. Juliette showed me an act of kindness everyday, by taking one thing off my seemingly unending to do list, or by talking me through when my exhaustion took over. You are a gem, a kind beautiful person, and I thank you.

Chris turned Wife/Mom while I was working, making the coffee, our lunches, our bed. He took care of everything, the laundry, the bills, everything. He even managed to forge my name on a court appearance document for parking tickets, so I could miss my court date, and stay out of jail. For two weeks, I couldn't do or think about anything other than work, but because of Chris I didn't have anything that needed to be done or to be worried about, and that helped me focus on getting through. I couldn't have gotten through without you, and your numerous pep talks. I love you.

In addition to being so very helpful, both Juliette and Chris each in their own way, showed me constant compassion and reinforced their confidence in me at times when I was too tired to realize it myself. I know this sounds dramatic, but the stress I felt to create creative ideas, under lack of sleep and the pressure to present the final product in front of "important" people, was intense. But they both believed in me, more than I did myself, thank you.

Finally the day before presentation day, on my way out to LA,  I was sitting by this couple on the plane, both in their 70s. He a trim, balding man with a tucked in plaid shirt, she was a plump woman with a matching pink top and bottom. They looked like they were married 50 years. The man was intensely concentrating on his cross word puzzle, while the woman read. When the plane was taking off, like clockwork they reached for each others hand. You could see how badly he wanted to continue his crossword, but his wife needed his hand, and he was there to give it. This reminded me of Juliette and Chris, thank you for your hand, it is good to have friends like you.


Wherever we are, it is our friends who make our world. 
–Henry Drummond

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chelsea (Market) Lately

Spring is here and a lot is happening in the Chelsea Market and surroundings. Here are a few things I think are fab.

Daily, the Chelsea Market tempts me with its specialty foods, wine, brownies, sample sales, kitchen gadgets and fabulous book store. Now they're adding clothes and home goods to their expanding list, and I am in trouble. Anthropologie coming April 16th. It's huge and looks beautiful.

If you haven't been to the Market in a while, it's worth a trip back. The sample sales have all moved to the old Franks Restaurant location, and the old sample sale location is now the home to:

Tonight at 7PM, Posman Books is hosting a book reading and signing with Molly Wizenberg to the author of: A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

Molly writes my favorite blog, Orangette, and I'm really looking forward to hearing her read from her first book. Cooking (and eating) have become such a joy in her life, she has a style that just makes you want to read more.

Just down the street from the Market, on Little West 12th Street is the home of a new restaurant/bar called the Collective (in the old One Little West 12th location). I'm sure the drinks will be typical Meatpacking prices, but the atmosphere is cool enough to warrant at least one. If there's a happy hour, I will find it.

From Urban Daddy: Picture the sort of giant art-gallery warehouse (the space is basically one big room with a bar at one end and tables throughout) that the Mad Hatter might curate, add some booze and Short-Rib Stroganoff, and you start to get the picture of what's going on at the Collective. There's art made out of slot machines, mechanical sculptures tacked to the ceiling, lighting that looks like robotic jellyfish and chairs made out of old street signs and streetlights (art imitating traffic).






Leaving you with something sweet I saw in the neighborhood.


Spring is my favorite time of year when NYC wakes up from its Winter hibernation. The buzz around the city is contagious...have fun and happy exploring!


Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. –Carl Sagan



Monday, April 5, 2010

Thanksgiving in Spring

I'm not a particularly religious person. In fact, I didn't even go to church on Easter Sunday, gasp! I actually see myself turning back to my religion in the future, but maybe I'm just not ready yet, or maybe I need to find a later church...9:30?! On a Sunday?!

Since I haven't been religious in years, for me, Easter is like Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday), but in Spring. Bonus and bonus. On Easter we also catch up and eat lots of food but then watch the kids look for Easter eggs while they run around outside in the fabulously new Springlike temperatures. A great reminder of the simple joys in life...I had an awesome day with my family, and I hope you did too. 

Here are some highlights of our day:

I am fortunate enough to have two Grandmothers still going strong. As my Grandma Aragona would say, "We'll toast to that!" Cheers!

I think the weather put everyone in a good mood, even Liz was hula hooping, and she was good!

Sweet Jacob getting caught on camera. 
Shouldn't life be this easy, where you're seriously that ecstatic just to find an Easter egg?
Gabriella not caught with her hand in the cookie jar, but in the salad bowl. I think she ate all the cucumbers out of the salad, AND with salad tongs. 

And here's Gabby and Chris in serious negotiations about how many  lifts or spins she can have before we leave. Ah, childhood. Isn't it sweet?

I hope your Easter or just plain Sunday, was filled with the best things in life, family and friends. 

Love, Karen