Thursday, March 27, 2008


Yesterday, I was in Clinton Hill for a Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce after-hours networking event. Stepping out onto the street, I wanted to explore the neighborhood a bit. I saw a sign across the street that read Polish Bar of Brooklyn and I was intrigued: I imagined a tapas bar, but filled with bite-sized Polish delicacies. Crossing the street, I discovered that it was a nail salon.

It was a small, cheerful interior - maybe the size of a studio apartment - filled with the sounds of Latin music. In the corner, a mom holding her baby was getting a pedicure. In the bathroom was a painting of a lady dj spinning records. I loved this place right away, even though it didn't serve Polish food.

I decided to get a manicure and I picked out this silver glitter.

I love my silver fingernails.
In Polish: Ja miłość mój srebro paznokcie.


Barbara Elovic is one rockin' pilates teacher. She gets us students laughing and smiling as we do the challenging moves that Joseph Pilates created so people could strengthen their core postural muscles.

I stayed after class last week and chatted with Barbara. Turns out she's a serious poet and a contributor to the anthology I Speak of the City: Poems of New York (Columbia University Press).

Barbara will be reading from the anthology I Speak of the City on April 29th at 6:30 p.m. The reading will be held at the New York Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street, above Delancey.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I'm a big-time visitor of the Bank Street College (my alma matter) Library. This is a big-time treasure trove for children, teens, parents, and educators. I always go 'round to the CD and DVD section and find great stuff there. Most recently, I hit the jackpot when I found Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music. It's a 3-CD collector's boix set with 63 digitally remastered Sesame Street Songs along with a 68-page booklet with extensive liner notes. It's got celebrity performances, rare vintage tracks, and classic Sesame Street favorites.

Here are some of the songs (along with links to UTube performances) that I've been rocking out to:
Bein' Green - Kermit the Frog
How do You Do? - Lena Horne and Grover
Ladybugs' Picnic
Sesame Street - Stevie Wonder

Two Princes (If You) - Spin Doctors with Zoe, Elmo, and Telly
Hold My Hand - Hootie & the Blowfish with Elmo and children
Shiny Happy People (Furry Happy Monsters) - R.E.M. and Muppet Rocker
A New Way to Walk - Destiny's Child with Elmo, Grover, and Zoe
Just Happy to be Me - Fugees

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Sure, I go to museums to see art. But I also go to be in big open spaces, to watch people, and to enjoy the ambiance of the in-house cafe.

Oh yeah - I also go to read text -- the text of brochures, the text of the wall plaques, the text of the books in the gift shops.


A few weeks ago, Mike and I went to MOMA's free friday night. The first thing we did was ascend to Cafe 2. You get a little paper menu to look at while you are standing in line to order, but I stood transfixed by the sight of the text and simple pictures of their giant wall menu. (See photo.) "What are you doing?" asked Mike, after I stood unmoving in front of the wall menu. "You have a menu in your hands." The tiny print simply did not compare with the contrast of the white all caps type, red headings, and simple pictures against the black backdrop.

In a special section entitled Muesems, The New York Times reported that only 7 percent of museum-goers at The Detroit Institute of Art stopped to read the wall plaques which accompanied the art work. I would definitely have been in that 7 percent.

Monday, March 24, 2008


A few posts back, I told you a little bit about my hair cutter and Partner in Crazy Dreams Brainstormin', J Vosper. I asked J to fill me in a bit more on the details of her past, present, and future.

Here's what she shared:

When and how did you first get interested in hair and in being a hairdresser?

I first became interested in hairstyling when I was a little girl. I always had my hands in hair -- hot rollers, braids, bendees, curling irons. I cut my Barbie dolls’ [hair], my dog’s hair, my mom’s hair. Then it became a past-time at sleepover night, middle school dances, homecoming, and prom. Then, at 22, I met this stylist who transformed my boring long blonde hair into a short fun style and I was hooked. It wasn't until I graduated college that I felt confident enough to go in the direction of my dreams in NYC.

Tell me a little bit more about your idea for the Solar System Hair/Fashion Show.

The solar system idea emerged through Josie [J’s colleague] and I talking after we worked and incredible show for Intercoiffure. It was inspiring. I've always wanted to create a massive hair show with an ethereal, other-world feel and Josie said she thought creating the planets in hair would be awesome, too. So, at some point, melting a bit of the supernatural and and a bit of the scientific together would be incredible; it would be a perfect blend of romantic and grotesque. The background would be really creative to invent, and the hair the charts! Some images that come to mind are astrological signs, Orion's Belt, the moon, bright colors with swirls and spheres, stars, comets, the blue sky meeting the universe.

Who are some of your mentors and sources of inspiration and creativity and why?

One of my inspirations is F.Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote a short story called "Bernice Bobs her Hair.” Also: Annie Humphries, Antoinette Benders, Malcolm Edwards, Vidal Sassoon, Lori Zabel, Jo-Blackwell Preston, Nancy Braun, and Jack Howard.

What do you think are a few of the connections of growing up in a farm setting and being a creative person?

Growing up on a farm kept my eyes peeled for new beginnings, color, and balance; additionally, it propelled me invent anything that was possible in my mind. I never stopped imagining. I see these as three of the essentials in being authentic as a creative person and stylist.

Are there any more big dreams and hopes that you have for yourself - say for the next 3-5 years?

At some point in my career, I am going to own a 2 chair salon/ tattoo parlor with music on the weekends. So I am continually building towards that. As a part of the education team for L’Oreal, I am going to be a portfolio artist and represent the company as a colorist in hair shows. As a stylist behind the chair, I will be continuing to master my skill as a balayage artist.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008



Jessica "J" Vosper is my haircutter. She has some great tattoos: a pair of scissors on her neck and a peacock across her back and shoulders.

J works at a hair salon called Dop Dop, which was the name of a popular children's shampoo in France in the fifties and sixties. The space which houses Dop Dop was "originally a tap dance studio where the likes of Cab Calloway and Gregory Hines let loose." I stumbled across the place one day while exploring SoHo with my blogger buddy Petra, and soon after booked an appointment there.

J is the kind of person who I find myself sharing my "crazy" ideas with. This is probably because she has a great imagination and has an open, accepting quality about her. Last time I went to get my hair cut, I said "Next time I come in, we can do something for spring - a bird's nest updo complete with malted speckled eggs and flowers. Wait a sec - maybe we can do something for Passover - like a seder plate perched on the updo. Lamb shank, parsley, everything." I was thinking about the massive wigs they assemble for the long-running San Fran show Beach Blanket Babylon (which, incidentally, Project Runway finalist Chris March used to design for).

Anyhow, back to J. She was raised, in part, in a farm environment. Which means that she is incredibly hard-working and also has the mind of an artist. I told J that a lot of women I know who were raised on farms are artists. We speculated about reasons why. Maybe it's because of the sense of open space and time that lets you connect to your imagination. Maybe it comes from having a relationship with nature, with the land. J and I agreed that this topic would make an interesting research project.

J shared one of her "crazy" (read: amazing) dreams, which is to create a fashion/hair show based on the solar system. She's been hatching this dream with her colleague, Josie. I love this idea. Go for it, J!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Last night, Mike and I went to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) for a meal and a look around. It's a great night to go because it's free and there's lots of good people-watching. I saw one of my favorite Matisse paintings, The Red Studio. It reminded me of the famous children's picture book, Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. Interestingly, this exerpt from Ellen Hauler Spitz' Inside Picture Books brings The Red Studio and Goodnight Moon together:

"Goodnight Moon absolutely refuses speed. It cannot be hurried through. In this sensee it works as a welcome antidote to the pressures we impose on our childen. Children who have been rushed though the day can relax into it. Confidently, they know what will come next; and yeg, as they trace the antics of the little mouse or encounter a new word or observe a new form, they are learning as well. They can feel, in this imaginary space, the pleasures of satisfied expectations, the meeting of hope with fulfillment. Thus, never static, Goodnight Moon is also a site of exploration. It creates a world which reminds me of an artist's studio, where familiarity become the locus for growth. Think, for example, of Matisse's painting The Red Studio (1911), with its similar electric Chinese Red; its touches of green and flecks of gold; its wine glass, chair and chest; its framed and unframed pictures; and its possible clock and window. How like an artist's studio is the bedroom of a small child? Filled with highly invested possessions, this room is also a dual locus of security and discovery, of work and of rest.


Greenmarket, Flower Vendor
Acrylic on Canvas, 12"x16" 2008
Price Upon Request