Off to the Shore!

beach

I’m so happyВ that it’s summer. And I’m even more thrilled that I’ll be spending a week at the beach!

My friends and I rented a house on Long Beach Island, on the Jersey shore. (No, it’s definitely not like THAT Jersey Shore.)

I used to vacation on the island when I was a kid. I remember it being sleepy and quaint—no chain stores, lots of mom and pop restaurants, tons of mini golf courses. My sister and I loved Fantasy Island (the island’s little amusement park) so much, that we even rode and named the same carousel horses year after year. (Mine was “Galaxy.”)

I haven’t been back to LBI in almost 20 years, so I’m excited to see what it’s like now. Either way, I’m expecting to have a very nice, relaxing time. It’s hard to beat long days at the beach.

I may or may not be posting next week, so in the meantime, a few quick links from around the web:

There’s a tech edition of Cards Against Humanity. Yessssssss.

An awesome DIY IKEA cat bed.

Some cool photos and video of the Oakland Ballet working with street dancers. (I’m a big fan of Storehouse, the platform on which that was built. So awesome for telling stories. Can we get that functionality on WordPress, please?)

Have a warm and sunny weekend!

An Alphabet Inspired by Cities

This has to be one of the coolest senior theses I’ve ever seen.

Graphic designer Rebecca Mah created an alphabet in which each letter is inspired by a different city. The letters are meant to be “drop caps,” which are the large first letters at the start of a paragraph, usually in a book.

I loved looking through all the letters, though these especially caught my eye:

B01

H01

M01

P01

R01

 

See Mah’s full alphabet here. Which is your favorite?

(Images by Rebecca Mah; found via Design Taxi)

Food Envy: Girl Eat World

The Girl Eat World Instagram account is amazing.

Each photo features a unique food item taken in the place where it’s from.

The creator of the account is Melissa, an avid traveler from Singapore. As she describes it on her Tumblr:

Last summer, I went on a solo backpacking trip to Europe. I didn’t feel like asking strangers to take pictures of me and I’m not too fond of selfies, but I AM always eating so I took pictures of food at whatever memorable site I was in.

Such a simple yet brilliant idea.

I especially love the whimsical desserts.

Now can anyone tell me where I can get this kind of durian ice cream sandwich in NYC?

(Images via Girl Eat World)

So Ready for a Ballet Weekend!

everywhere we go

It’s ballet season in NYC, and I’m lucky to be seeing two shows this weekend. Tonight, I’ll be watching Misty Copeland make her NYC debut as Swanilda in ABT’s Coppelia. I’m especially excited, because it’s the first time I’ll be seeing a black female dancer in a principal role. (For more of my thoughts on diversity and ballet, please see yesterday’s post.)

Tomorrow, I’ll be seeing NYCB. The program includes Balanchine’sВ Walpurgisnacht Ballet and The Four Temperaments, as well as Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go. Very exciting!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, as well. Until next week, some links I’ve enjoyed from around the web:

More from Misty Copeland:В Please don’t call ballet “cute.”

A glimpse inside the School of American Ballet. (Those teens work incredibly hard—and are really, really talented!)

There is a Maryland crab shack in Brooklyn! You know how much I love blue crabs. рџ™‚

Useful and cool: An absurdly comprehensive map of every passenger rail service in the Northeast U.S.В Helpful for non-drivers, like me, who are always looking for quick getaways!

An awesome city-living solution: This unit really maximizes 200 square feet!

Great read: China is building their middle- and long-distance running program by training their runners in Kenya with a renowned Italian coach.

(Image of Everywhere We Go, byВ Karl Jensen, via NYCB)

Diversity and Ballet

pointe

I was very happy when I saw the cover of Pointe magazine’s June/July issue. It’s about time that talented ballerinas of color—ABT’s Misty Copeland, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Ashley Murphy and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s Ebony Williams—get some time in the spotlight!

Pointe‘s current issue tackles the lack of diversity in ballet. For this, I applaud them. I have a hard time being critical of the art that brings me so much joy, both as a dancer and a spectator. But I do think ballet’s lack of diversity is a real problem, and one that needs to be addressed.

I touched upon this issue before, in my post about Dance Theatre of Harlem. I still find it hard to believe that now, in 2014, there are no black principal female dancers at any of the country’s major ballet companies—and very few Asians, Hispanics, Indians or other minorities in the upper ranks. Though I’m way past the age of pursuing ballet as a career, I feel a bit disheartened when I sit through entire ballet programs without seeing a single dancer who looks like me. So I can only imagine how talented, young, minority dancers must feel when they try to decide if they could ever succeed in the ballet world.

In addition, the lack of diversity makes ballet seem like it’s stuck in a bygone era.

Pointe‘s three cover ladies discuss the difficulties they faced, as up-and-coming ballet dancers of color. Murphy noted that one of the reasons she never considered ballet, as a career, is that while growing up, she never saw ballerinas who looked like her. Williams recounts an incident when she was a scholarship student at Boston Ballet: A dance mom pulled her aside, told her she was paying for her to be there and was undeserving of the roles she received. And Copeland describes the isolation she felt being one of the few black ballet dancers at ABT. (It should be noted that Alicia Graf Mack wrote the cover story. She, herself, is a classically trained ballet dancer who was turned down by both ABT and NYCB. She dances with Ailey, and continues to be a standout among a company of fantastic dancers.)

The magazine also has a timeline of diversity in ballet. (There are very few milestones.) A longer piece addresses what companies are doing to become more diverse. ABT’s new Project PliГ©, for example, grants scholarships to talented dancers, teachers and arts administrators of color; works with other ballet companies on outreach; and has a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to identify minority children with ballet potential.

It’s a start. Hopefully we’ll see some changes soon.

(Image via Pointe)

Ever Dream of Owning a Country Inn?

The Graham and Co.

Have you ever dreamed about being an innkeeper? I’ll admit that I have, and on many occasions.

For years, Mal, Peter and I have said that one day, the three of us will open up aВ B&B, here in the city. (“The NYC BNB” has a pretty nice ring to it, doesn’t it?)

And whenever Evan and I stay at a B&B outside of Manhattan, I get romantic ideas about opening one of our own, on a farm, somewhere. (Kind of like that newlywed couple who’d recently acquired the B&B we stayed at in New Hope!)

I think I have these B&B daydreams for a few reasons. One, is that it’s so different from my life right now—i.e. living in Manhattan and working for a huge company. The other is that travel is such an important part of my life. If I could create a travel experience that brings people great joy, via an inn or B&B I owned, I think that would be incredibly rewarding.

Of course, my idealized notions don’t take into account the crazy amount of work owning an inn requires. I imagine that the work-life balance is challenging, if you’re an innkeeper who lives on or near the premises. And you’re always working when people want to get away—i.e. weekends, holidays.

While I won’t be leaving NYC anytime soon, it’s still nice to fantasize about what life would be like if I did. That’s why I enjoyed reading this NYT piece, about New Yorkers who moved to small towns and opened (very style-centric) inns. I’d actually considered a few of the places—like The Graham and Co. and The Roundhouse—when looking for quick weekend escapes, and may need to check out some of the others.

Have you ever thought about running your own B&B or inn? Or have you actually made the leap to do so?

(Photo of The Graham & Co. via their website)