art

Travel Prints

The other day, I was going down the Etsy rabbit hole and came across these travel-themed prints from 3 Lambs Illustrations. I love the sentiment of the quotes–I’m definitely of this mindset, these days.

And, of course, I loved this one. (Non-New Yorkers, no worries–there are similar prints for London, Paris and Boston.)

Check out even more prints at 3 Lambs Graphics’ Etsy shop.

Boatel

I have a bad track record with boats. I actually love being on the water and usually find myself on a boat at least once a vacation. But (you guessed it) I’m also prone to seasickness. I’ve had an episode (or near episode) in almost every country I’ve visited. And it’s not just limited to sailing. I even got seasick while snorkeling in Nicaragua–which I didn’t think was possible!

Despite that, I’m still tempted to visit the Boatel. Now in its second summer, the Boatel is a floating art and sound installation in Far Rockaway. A group of artists souped up 16 boats, each with a playful theme:

a boat that sings, a patchwork treehouse, a Victorian-era naturalist’s laboratory, a hillbilly kama sutra honeymoon suite.

And, true to its name, you can spend a night in the vessel of your choice–rates start at just $55. (Not bad for an NYC hotel, isolated as it is!) You just bring your swimsuit, food and booze and spend an evening swimming, grilling and watching planes take off and land at JFK before hunkering down for a cozy night in your boat.

That sounds like a perfect summer evening, to me. For the experience alone, I think I might be able to deal with the seasickness!

Would you stay at the Boatel?

(Photos via the Boatel)

Wanderlust Links

No traveling for me, this weekend. I’ll be here in NYC celebrating a best friend’s birthday (happy 3-0, Duh!) and hanging with Mal and Peter who are coming up to house hunt.

I’ll also be spending some time on a few travel projects. Some are work-related, but I’m most excited about a trip I’m planning for the end of summer. I’ve got a bad case of wanderlust and I’m hoping my plan will come into fruition. But until then, I’ll tide myself over with these inspiring travel links from around the web:

A Dutch city with no roads, just canals

whitehaven beachAmazing places for a swim (I’ve been to the one above!)

Quirky, arty hotels

Communal biking–and beer drinking!

The lowest point in North America

Paradise lost atВ Lake AtitlГЎn

Dance inspired by different cities around the world

How are you spending your weekend?

Love: Regina Spektor’s “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats”

I was so excited to learn thatВ Regina SpektorВ has a new album out today. I’ve been a fan for ages, and it’s been three years since her last release.

“What We Saw from the Cheap Seats” has all the signatures of a Regina Spektor album: a mix of upbeat songs and somber ballads featuring Regina’s gorgeous piano playing, quirky sound effects, dramatic lilts, insightful observations about love, and honest, aching vocals.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas),” which is also the first single. I’d heard an earlier, stripped down version, but I’m enjoying the new, souped up arrangement even more. I love Regina’s colorful descriptions of NYC characters, like the bums around Bowery; aging, old money ladies from the UES; and kids from the Bronx playing outside.

And even though there are references to sledding and the Ghost of Christmas Past, the song sounds so jaunty and joyful that it makes me want to don a summer dress, let my hair down and go skipping along the street. Take a listen here:

(Photo via Regina Spektor’s Facebook page)

A Globe for New Yorkers

As a native New Yorker, I can’t help but think that my city is the center of the world. And now, via NY Mag, I’ve found an artifact that confirms my belief.

Globee, a U.K.-based company,В makes a globe where NYC spans across the entire planet. Instead of countries and oceans, neighborhoods (like Chinatown and Little Italy), landmarks (the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Square Arch, the Empire State Building) and the Hudson and East Rivers cover the entire world. (Though I’m doubtful that Globee included my ‘hood, way-uptown Washington Heights, in their design.)

For non-New Yorkers, Globee makes a number of other city-centric globes including a Sydney globe, a San Fran globe, a Boston globe (as a former Boston reporter, that one makes me laugh) and, of course, a London globe.

(Image via NY Mag)

Serenade

 

serenade

As part of our Mother’s Day celebration, my mom, stepdad and I went to a City Ballet matinee. The all-Balanchine programВ of “Serenade,” “Firebird” and “Symphony in C” was great. It was the first time I’d seen the latter two, and I really enjoyed both–“Firebird” is a slightly campy, theatrical fairy tale that looks like a Chagall painting brought to life (which shouldn’t be surprising, since he designed the sets and costumes). And yesterday’s “Symphony in C” was so joyful and exuberant. The corps was tight and the soloists spot-on–plus theВ flashy new costumesВ were pretty stunning, too. But I was especially glad to see “Serenade” a second time.

Though my ballet history knowledge is, admittedly, limited, “Serenade” is one of my favorite pieces. I was blown away when I first saw Boston Ballet perform it in 2006. And yesterday I found City Ballet’s staging just as haunting and powerful. I love the ballet’s simplicity and restraint–there are no show-stopping solos, stylized character motifs or gasp-inducing penches and turn sequences. Even the costumes and lighting are understated–just whispy periwinkle gowns and soft blue lighting.В “Serenade” was Balanchine’s first ballet created in America; it was born from a lesson in stage technique and students, not professional dancers, initially performed it.В I can see that lineage in the choreography. It’s gorgeous, and the interplay between dancers is subtly intricate. But the sequences aren’t terribly complex–“Serenade” is ballet in a very pure form. As an audience member, I find it easy to get lost in the dancing and really appreciate the dancers’ clean lines and grace when they’re laid out so bare.

I also have an affinity for “Serenade” on a personal level: It’s the ballet that made me want to dance again. When I first saw it, I hadn’t danced in a couple years. But I remember watching and realizing that I could easily break down the sequences in my head, which really made me miss ballet. It took me a few more years to return to dance, but even now, “Serenade” remains the ballet I wish I could perform if I were a dancer.

So I was glad I could see the piece with my parents, especially my mom. She was the one who first instilled the love of ballet in me. She signed me up for classes and took me to performances when I was a kid. And she encouraged me to restart and continue dancing, no matter how old I got.

(P.S. I made my parents–both born and bred New Yorkers–pose for a touristy picture in front of the Met. They were kind of like, “Why are you making us do this?” but I think the photo is cute!)

meme and e at the met

(“Serenade” photo via New York City Ballet)

NYC Rooftops

NYMag.com has an awesome slideshow of photos from a new book, Up on the Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces. Architect/photographer/pilot Alex MacLean shot more than 200 buildings from the air, giving viewers a glimpse of the city from a rather elusive vantage point.

There’s definitely aВ voyeuristic appeal to looking into/upon buildings–I’m guilty of scoping out other apartments’ swank terraces and covetable outdoor spaces from high-up windows. (A girl can dream, right?) So I’m definitely planning to check out MacLean’s book.

In the meantime, a few of my favorite images:

MoMA, 11 W. 53rd Street, Manhattan, NY 10019

300 E. 34th Street, Manhattan, NY 10016

Brooklyn Grange, 37-18 Northern Blvd., Queens, NY 11101

(Photos via NYMag.com; more on Up on the Roof here)