So.  I'm a news/history/critical theory junkie, overbooked freelancer and recovering trauma survivor, so some weeks can find me fighting a slight funk.  I've gotten into the habit of taking the time to write down things that I'm grateful for on a regular basis (yeah, I know, Oprah-style) but I've recently decided to start making lists of the little things that inspire me.  So....here's what's inspired me this week.

1.  Dancing in my room, in the kitchen, in the shower and on the train to 90's R&B with young female singers.  Especially Brandy.

2.  Crystallized Ginger.  This week I made double chocolate chip cookies with crystallized ginger, and a really dope (vegan!) mango-orange-lime-coconut-ginger sorbet.   Wondering if I should start posting recipes....Nobody reads this thing anyway, I don't think.

3.  Elizabeth Catlett's prints. There's a great show up at the Bronx Museum right now, showing some of her prints and sculptures, along with works by 20-odd contemporary artists in dialogue with her work.

4.  Wang Qingsong's photography at the ICP.  There's a lot of good stuff up at the ICP right now;  definitely check out the Mexican Suitcase and Jasper, Texas exhibits.  Thanks to Bijay Gurung, a former mentee of mine for checking the show out for me and major thanks to Pete Pin, brilliant documentary photographer, for giving us a tour of the school and scoring us guest passes.

5.  Tulips in my backyard.  My roommates are incredible and are building quite a nice little getaway back there for us.

6.  The Fat Girl Fleamarket and incorporating punkrock elements into my wardrobe that reintegrate my 14 year old self.   I scored a red denim mini skirt, a black and white halter and yes - acid wash jeans.  They all go very well with the new red chunk I put in my hair and the bangles that have come out for spring.

7.  Old Signs

 8.  Dope Female Muralists/Artists I will be collaborating with in the near future; namely Crystal Clarity, Katie Yamasaki and Nicole Schulman.
Katie Yamasaki's painting
Nicole Schulman's scratchboard.
Clarity's mural.

9.  Cheap mexican food and sangria with brilliant, creative educators such as Nadia, Liz and Kamal.

10.  "Red Sugar", a book of poems by Jan Beatty - especially her poem "Shooter."

11.  Long exploratory walks, especially when you arrive somewhere early and have time to kill.  Especially walks that involve large bodies of water, poems by your favorite poets in cement, mosaics, complicated machinery and inspiration to write your own pretty-terrible "poems".
Near Pier 83...a plaque with a quote from one of my favorite poets from when I was in HS- TS Eliot.  This quote is from his poem, Little Gidding:  "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

Dope Mosaic at the MLK Labor Center. by Anton Refregier.

The Intrepid.

This walk down to the Hudson ended up with me sitting on the pier.   Here's the terrible poem I wrote.

I used to stare at the New York skyline the way preteen girls moon at glossy magazine photos of the celebrities they imagine will claim their virginity.

Sitting in Liberty State park, not-so-long-ago, peering through immaculate fence, the green lady turned her back on us.  The light, it seemed, was not meant for me or mine.  We carried our own torches, more to burn one another than to light our paths.

Sitting here now, from across the river my people seem bizarrely parochial.  I am bizarrely parochial.

Pier 83.  The Intrepid.  Dusty gun metal grey.   Tourists clambering on its deck.  I think of my father, 30 years ago, covered in sweat and denim, smoking in the bowels of the boiler room of just such a ship.  The Cold War and hunger are my parents.

This is my familial collective unconscious coming up again.  I have come so far yet bind myself.  I stare.


I am manically ambivalent about this video..... but love the song.
On the real....
Nobody ever quite does it like grrrls from back home.

Tonight I linked with my Dirty Jer-Z hometown heroes, Kali and Jessica to check out the Lupe Fiasco show at Roseland Ballroom and his DJ set at Brooklyn Bowl.  Jessica is a hardcore Lupe fan - kind of the way Kali is a hardcore John Legend fan and how I suspect I am becoming a hardcore Jamie Woon fan.  We're all basically 16 years old when we get together, filling up gingerale bottles with Bacardi rum to pregame on line, chain smoking Newports and Marlboro lights like we ain't heard of emphysema, tryna stop one another from brawlin (or maybe just one of us...) and dancing our asses off like nobody's looking.  Only trouble is....when you see a former student and hope to god she doesn't look your way and see you acting a fool...it may be time to start to choose your venues more wisely.

My grrls gettin hype on the train.

Getting dinner.

Mr Fiasco.

The Roseland emptying out.

Dosage.  He gave us free cd's.

Lupe.  We were walkin to the train when we saw them setting up the gates for him to come out.  He was very nice and shook everyone's hand.  All night, Jessica kept saying, "HE TOUCHED MY HAND."

At the Brooklyn Bowl, where Lupe was DJ'ing.

A crowd member called Lupe from the stage.

I'm really feelin the anarchy hat.

You can take the grrl out of Jer-Z, but you can't take the diner out of the Jer-Z grrl.

Life - probably my favorite Lupe song ever.  I listened to this a lot in college, whenever I needed to be reminded why I was there. 

Random Spring Shots

My favorite part about spring is going for long walks and taking in the palpable transition.  You can see it in the trees exploding with blossoms behind gates and in the  quickened gait of people on the street.  You can smell it before it rains.  If you pay attention, you can hear it early in the morning as birds chatter to one other above the hum of traffic and the chorus of people hustling to their destinations.  There are more couples kissing on street corners, in lamplight, on park benches.  There are more children running, stretching out their thin, high voices, thawed.  The chalk on the sidewalk.  The sweaters slung over arms.   The white and the pink and the yellow and blue and grey and green.  The catcalls.

I really like to make stew for my friends in the spring.

I also really like to make whipped chocolate ganache for cakes for my friends in the spring.

Some of my beautiful community :)

Plants start to sprout in the spring.


New Sketchbook scans

Took the day yesterday to spend a little time drawing and painting for myself before I gear up on a number of projects for clients and collaborations. Taking a little piece of an afternoon to just draw/paint things for myself helps me to warm up before I start other projects.

Quick study for something that may or may not want to become a painting...

I have been listening to Jamie Woon nonstop for about a week.

"While we have oceans -Rivers that still bring us life- Reasons to live in the moment -Hold onto your time  - Let your heart go where the wind takes it - Pure like the raindrops of time - Follow the path where it takes you - Straight down the line...."

Also really love this new TVOTR joint.

UNAC Anti-War March, USQ

Big ups to UNAC for organizing a sizeable march against the Wars this weekend....  You can peep the speeches here.

Bambu dropped this video/song from his upcoming record in honor of Women's History Month in March, and to bring attention to violence against women....This shit brought me to tears.

I also can't stop listening to this record, and this track in specific.

Oh and I kind of want to marry this guy.