Thursday, July 23, 2009

To the Top and Back: Bear Moutain and a Day on the Lake

Jenny's recent decision to move her car from Jersey into Manhattan has greatly increased my ability to see, hug and love nature. After my brush with death on my last camping trip, I prepared myself well for a day hike up Bear Mountain with Jenny. I had a flashlight, water, bug spray, sunblock, a good map and a great friend with for our adventure. Fortunately, we didn't need any of it.

We are both outdoors"wo"men and charged up bear mountain, reaching the top in record time. We may not have exactly mapped out our route, and simply followed the next path that appeared to lead up the mountain....but we made it without getting lost or missing any of the amazing views.

The views from the top inspired some photos. We made it back down the mountain in time to take a row around the lake and head to The Stadium for celebration beers. Hopefully, we'll get to do it again soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

P.S.1's "Urban Shelter" Installation and Warm Up Music Series

As many of you know, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is one of the oldest and largest non-profit contemporary art institutions in the United States. The exhibition space is ever changing, as apposed to a collecting institution, P.S.1 appears to display some of the most experimental art in the nation. As P.S.1 actively pursues emerging artists, and adventurous new work it's no surprise that they began a trend in outdoor art spaces more than 10 years ago with their Young Architects Program, making it one of my favorite places to visit in the summer.

Each year, one emerging architectural group wins the chance to present an urban landscape for the large courtyard entrance of P.S.1, with the allotted project budget of $70,000. The entrants of the competition were required to incorporate elements of shade, water, seating, and bar areas into the project. The courtyard opens up into a dance area, where the Warm Up Music Series takes place.

This year's Warm Up series did not disappoint, with amazing bands, DJ's and the most eclectic dance crowd I've ever been a part of. The beats and rhythms kept the crowd moving through some blazing summer heat and even some thick heavy raindrops. While cooling off from the dance floor, we also got a chance to check out the 2009 winning landscape, by MOS architects. Although the installation was described as an "urban shelter," through a series of tall hut-like columns with dark thatched skin it looked a lot like an Ewok cave to me. The interior of the cone-like shelters covered in black fur, which the creators called "cooling chimneys," provided shade and some interesting views of the cloudy sky it did not entice me to lounge with my friends, discuss it's design elements, or even pretend I was on an exclusive music powered beach as I've done in the past. Photos below. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Harlem Residents Say Goodbye to Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's death has been headlining the broadcast, print and radio news for just over two weeks now. There was no question that he made a large and lasting impression on several generations, in the way of music, fashion and race. And, although there are no words to clearly define his impact on this world, his farewell truly showed just how many of us will remember him, and his music forever. Through an outdoor movie screen on 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell, we watched the memorial broadcast, and sang his songs, and smiled at his presenters memories.

Here are some shots of Harlem residents saying goodbye to Michael Jackson today:

Kennebunkport, Maine - American July 4th

I've never had such an American themed July 4th before I headed up to Kennebunkport, Maine last weekend. Skye, Davina, Jerome and I headed out to Kennebunkport on Thursday afternoon, after picking up an Enterprise rental car in New Jersey and took out time getting out of Manhattan. After our hour and a half ride across the Triborough bridge we snaked through Connecticut and speed through Massachusetts on up to Maine. We watched the sunset, played each of our county's national anthems on the way up (God Defend New Zealand, Advance Australia Fair and The Star Spangled Banner), and played DJ.

We arrived at Skye's Aunt and Uncle's (Janet and Ernie)house pretty late, and set up our beds before falling into them nostalgically. Waking up on Friday morning was a treat to say the least. Their back yard laid out before our window and revealed amazing green grass and a long white deck harboring two small BBQ's. We didn't waste any time before we headed to Goose break beach and got on playing some tunes (song selection ranged from Tracey Chapman to the Herpes Song).

Then we headed to downtown Kennebunkport, the full 4-blocks of it, and found ourselves some town sites including the clam shack, lowlands, lobster retailer, and our favorite the Arundel Wharf Restaurant - which serves cocktails and lobster rolls in classic beach chairs on the river.

After celebrating our Independence (primarily from work) we picked up some booze and headed back to Janet and Ernie's place to clean up for dinner. Their beautiful house, surrounded by white picket fence on the main drag leaving town, suited out stay well. As gracious hosts they guided us to their favorite local pub for the cheapest and best lobster in town (10 dollars a pop without sides) which had the incredible feel of an Irish pub. As the thunderstorms rolled through and patrons rushed in from the outdoor, deck seating, we lashed ourselves on glasses of white wine, hand drawn beer and fresh cooked lobsters. We even learned the proper way to break a lobster tail apart with only a few slight injuries along the way.

On to the big celebration, the Forth of July! We celebrated at Bill and Linda's house, which was located in Dolphin Point, close by Janet and Ernie's house. After a nice morning on the beach, which was warm enough to allow us some playtime in the water (including stinging skin and numb limbs) we headed over to the party. Bill and Linda's house and view were amazing....

We spent our evening meeting amazing new folks, singing along to American-themed songs and playing with sparklers. It was truly and amazing night.

Making our way home was leisurely and enjoyable. Although we spent most of our day in the car we enjoyed several beaches, bars and restaurants along the way. Great times! (Only a few lobsters were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I'm a bit overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by love and compassion Jerome shows me. In awe of the support and humor my friends give me, at just the right time. Surprised by the emotional kindness my brother and best friend shows me and emotionally boosted from the sweetness my parents just keep giving me, no matter what goes wrong. It's a shock to some that I still feel like the world is my oyster, but for those of you that know my support system, it shouldn't be a surprise at all.

A fun night out on the town a few weeks back while the fantastic Ms. Katie was visiting from LA.