Sunday, September 28, 2008


A few days ago, Mike reminded me that Sunday (today) I would have my monthly work shift at the food co-op. I had totally forgotten about it and was not looking forward to giving up half of the last day of the weekend to walk people and their grocery carts to their cars/apartments and back. To make matters worse, it was raining when I woke up, and that meant that I'd be out in inclement weather for nearly 3 consecutive hours. Blah.

Twenty minutes into the work shift, it became apparent that the raincoat I borrowed from Mike was not waterproof. So I was the Soggy Muffin Cartwalker for a while, until I could stand it no more. I wrapped the coat around my waist and walked in the rain in my t-shirt. Damp skin felt a lot better than skin enveloped in damp fabric.

Fortunately, the rain couldn't stay in the way of me having a good work shift. Every person who I escorted to their car or apartment was a total delight to be with. Each person had a totally different background, too. There was an interactive installation artist who invited me to her upcoming open studio. There was a mom from Gaiana whose daughter goes to Little Red School House, a Manhattan school I knew from my days as a grad student in education. Plus, it was great to see some of the regular workers from my shift.

After the shift was over, my feet were soaked. So I ran across the street to the drugstore (the kind that has everything under the sun) and found a pair of $1 flip flops that I immediately jumped into. Ah - the sweet relief of wet socks removed. Then I went next door to the candy/newsstand and got the Sunday New York Times - always a beloved weekend ritual. With Times in hand, I plunked down at a little diner, ordered lunch, and read my heart out. I sat close enough to the entrance that I could feel the cool, post-rain breeze on my nearly-bare feet.

Now I'm home to clean the apartment, a chore which seems less daunting after a fun day in the Slope.

Seems like it's gonna be a good Fall.


I love to meet new people, make new friends. But not the Facebook way.

I like to see people up close, in person, get to know who they are in real time.

They say that 80% of communication happens non-verbally - e.g. through body language and facial expressions. I miss out on all that with you if you are just a Friend on MySpace.

Recently, I said to my great aunt "Hey, there is this little machine I saw advertised in a magazine. It allows you to receive emails, especially photos, without having to buy a computer. What do you think?" And she, in her midwestern wisdom, replied "Oh, no, dear. I don't want all that Spam, all those junk emails. If I want to get in touch with someone, I will pick up the phone!"

This is the same great aunt that rocks when it comes to keeping in touch with her family and friends - just by picking up the phone. In fact, at age 80, that's the way she organized a huge family reunion - by picking up the phone and sending out letters.

So I thought about what she said and realized there was some truth to it. The most memorable interactions I've had with people over the years have come about through phone calls, hand-written notes, and in-person visits or gatherings. I would much rather be on the giving and receiving ends of those transactions versus just being part of someone's MySpace universe or vice versa.

I think there's something to this old-fashioned approach to reaching out to people and keeping them close to us.

When I pass away, I don't think I will be saying "Geez, I wish I had collected more faces on my Facebook Page." I think I will be happy that I took the time to get to know people, and, where possible, to get together with them in the flesh and blood. Those are the kinds of memories that stay, and stay in a meaningful way.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Last night, I went to the Museum of Modern Art. From a high-up floor, I pressed my nose against the window that looked out to the courtyard sculpture garden- you know, the one where lots of people usually converge.

The courtyard was dark and barren. In the still of the chilly night, all I could make out were pools of rain water sitting atop the marble flooring and the outline of a few trees and sculptures.

I listened quietly and heard the courtyard say that she was lonely. She missed having people sit in her black grid chairs, the ones that leave little waffle squares in the butt and thighs. She longed for the company of children who throw coins into her rectangular pools of water. She yearned for the groupings of natives who sit under the willow tree reading The New York Times or just gazing at other people. She wanted to hear the buzz of many languages being spoken at once.

The courtyard is empty. The doors to her are locked. The longing gazes of her fans from within the glass confines of the museum must suffice for now.

Illustration from Maira Kalman's Max Makes a Million

Friday, September 26, 2008


Third Annual Brooklyn's Best Family Fest

Join us for a day of family fun at BAX!

Saturday, September 27, 2008 11am-6pm—

WEE ONES MUSIC CONCERT 11:30am – 12:15pm FEATURING: BARI KORAL FAMILY BAND "Sheryl Crow for kids." NY Post Kids can ride airplanes, drive cars or play in a rock band in this high energy music show for the whole family. Songs for kids that parents dig!

BAXtivities 12:30pm – 4:30pm

KIDS PLAYSPACE Fun with tunnels, huts, trapeze and more!

HALLOWEEN MASKS If you can imagine it, you can make it!

MAKE A SCENE Get into character and capture it with a photo to take away!

WEARABLE ART Make tribal jewelry, clothing or creepy crawly creatures!

TATTOO YOU body art station for a tattoo that expresses YOU!

FACE PAINTING for kids & adults.

PLUS storytelling every 30 minutes.

Improv4Kids 5pm – 6pm (doors open at 4:30 p.m.)"A production you and your family won't want to miss." ABC newsThe only improv group designed exclusively for kids: music, storytelling, dance, pantomime, and theater.

Plus NEW this yearPopular blog Hip Slope Mama brings you family friendly raffle packages and lots of fun stuff from local businesses! Businesses include Get Fresh, as well as parent resources like NYC School Placement Specialist Joyce Szuflita and Family Budget Expert Galia Gichon. Click here to check out Hip Slope Mama.

TICKETS: The concerts are $12 for Adults, $8 for kids, and kids under one year free!; BAXtivities are an all inclusive ticket price of $8 children, adults come free; An all day family pass for activities and both concerts for an unlimited number of children in one family is available for $45.

Call 718-832-0018 or click here to make a reservation and to buy tickets.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Save the Date: OCT.23 Silent Auction of Michael Ingui Paintings (Proceeds to Benefit Starting Artists)

Michael Ingui Paintings,
Silent Auction & Show

October 23rd,
6:30 - 9 pm
(show runs Oct. 23-31)

Starting Artists
211 Smith St. @ Baltic
(Take F to Bergen stop in Brooklyn)

WHY: To benefit the programs of Starting Artists, a nonprofit community arts center that teaches media arts and entrepreneurship to Brooklyn's underserved teenagers.

ABOUT MICHAEL INGUI: An architect, artist, and advocate, Michael Ingui is a partner at Baxt Ingui Architects PC, a firm that integrates aesthetics with building systems in an economical and environmentally friendly way. His paintings have been shown in San Diego and New York City including at the Paint Box Gallery, BWAC, and as part of the DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival. In addition to his Chairmanship at the Gowanus Canal CDC and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Ingui has served as a Community Board 6 Landmarks Land Use member. Ingui is the 2008 recipient of the Brooklyn Building Award for his work: Crescendo.


For more about Starting Artists
For more about Michael Ingui's architecture
For more about Starting Artist Director Marisa Catalina Casey

Monday, September 15, 2008


My heroes brandish pens, pencils, crayons, paint brushes, sculpting knives, and scissors.

My heroes wear tap shoes, leotards, paint-stained t-shirts, and invisible capes of courage to help them weather lack of encouragement, support, pay, and recognition.

My heroes listen to the voices in their heads, the ones that tell them to put their visions on the stage, the movie screen, a piece of fabric, an empty page.

My heroes unite, inspire, awaken, and agitate others through their drawings, paintings, story quilts, picture books, comedy, and choreography.

My heroes have always been artists.

Why? Because it takes incredible bravery to to take what's inside and turn it out for all the world to see.

Creative Heroes from ChildhoodMaria Tallchief,dancer. I remember checking out her biography from my middle school library.
Nadia Comaneci, Olympic gymnast.
Scott Joplin, composer and pianist.
Madeleine L’Engle, children’s chapter book author. Remember A Wrinkle in Time?
Bev Hart, my dance teacher, who let me help choreograph my performance for a recital.

Creative Heroes from Young AdulthoodKeith Haring, painter and graffiti artist
Jim Henson, pioneer in film & television and creator of the Muppets
Faith Ringgold, story quilt maker and children’s book author
Nancy Savoca, film director
Sally Potter, film writer and director
Lily Yeh, creator of The Village of the Arts & Humanities

Creative Heroes from Recent TimesJack Black, comic
Ellen DeGeneres, comic
Julie Taymor, theatre director and creator of The Lion King
Fatima Robinson, choreographer
Missy Elliott, hip hop artist

Creative Heroes from Creative Times
Mike Sorgatz, painter
Petra Symister, Brooklyn blogger
Maira Kalman, writer, designer, children’s book author & illustrator
Fran Brill, first female Muppeteer
Eva Zeisel, 20th century design great
Tommy the Clown, Godfather of krumping
Leyla Safai, pink ice cream truck driver
Frank Biando, cameraman for Sesame Street

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Please Join the Ladies of
Tau Omega, Delta Rho Omega and Pi Kappa Omega Chapters of
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

for the
51st Annual Ebony Fashion Fair

Sunday, October 5, 2008

For additional information
email or call 917-770-3374

Monday, September 08, 2008


I'm delighted to say that Creative Times recently surpassed the 20,000 visits mark.

I am so pleased! It has been a wonderful trip so far. The blog has been a vehicle for meeting amazing painters, writers, bloggers, activists, Muppeteers, dancers, community activists, gardeners, bakers, and many more kinds of people from the worlds of the arts and entrepreneurship.

Thank you to all my readers, my family, my boyfriend, and my friends for being such wonderful supports.

A special thanks goes out to these folks:
Michael Sorgatz, my boyfriend and tech advisor
Libby Traubman, my mom and editor
Len Traubman, my dad and faithful reader
Louise Crawford, my fairy godmentor
Isabelle Steitz, my writing cheerleader
Cecilia Andre, my dear friend
SARK, my fairymuse supporter
Diane Conway, queen of creative visualization

Art Credit: David Mekelberg
Painted Art & Friends,

Sunday, September 07, 2008


I just found this ad in the NY Times and fell in love. After all, it's my ideal livingroom! Plenty of space for lounging while enjoying natural light and a stunning view of nature.

Speaking of creating your ideal living space, Jill Butler has a new book out that caught my eye at a local bookstore. It's called Create the Space You Deserve.

Jill is the author and illustrator of one of my favorite books (the kind I look at at least once a week before falling asleep) called Paintbrush in Paris: the artistic adventures of an american cat in paris.

Photo Credit: rochebobois


On October 2, 2008 join life coach and motivational speaker Gabrielle Bernstein at her next lecture, “Desires in Motion”. Gabrielle will workshop example Desire Statements (missions) from the audience and provide tools to put them in action. Learn how you can embrace miracles, by setting intentions and taking purposeful steps to live your desires.

If you were unable to attend Gabrielle’s last lecture on Designing a Desire Statement it is suggested that you listen to it before October 2nd. To listen to the July 16th Lecture and Design your Desire Statement

Date: October 2, 2008
Time: 6:30 to 8pm
Location: Soho House NY
29 - 35 9th Avenue (between 13th and 14th Street)
Price: $30
Sign up today:

To be a Mentor or to find a Mentor Set up a Profile Today on

Saturday, September 06, 2008


WHAT: 2nd Annual Lower East Side Kids' Art Bike Parade
WHEN: Saturday, October 4th, 2008,
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
WHERE: Tompkins Square Park

CONTACT: Kate Spaulding - Managing Director, East Village Community Coalition (EVCC)
Phone: 212.979.2344 Email:

The 2nd Annual LES Kids' Art Bike Parade celebrates LES artists, sustainable transportation, local businesses, youth, and community building. Kids will join Parade Marshall Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in riding their decorated bicycles. Kids can bring their own bikes to decorate or receive a donated bike. The thirty minute parade route leads participants through our historic neighborhood, beginning and ending in the north west corner of Tompkins Square Park. Following the parade there will be various forms of entertainment such as live music, games, and a raffle of art bikes and other prizes.

Prior to the event, ten public art bike workshops will be held with local artists who will teach children to transform bicycles and scooters into “art bikes.”

WHEN: Weekdays 3pm – 6pm :
September 8th, 10th, 16th, 18th, 22nd, 24th
October 1st and 2nd
Saturdays 1pm – 5pm :
September 13th and 27th

WHERE: 227 E. 3rd Street, between Avenue B and C, Ground Floor
CONTACT: EVCC at 212-979-2344 or to sign up
Children under eight should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Each child should bring their bicycle or scooter to the workshop. The East Village Community Coalition will provide all art supplies and creative guidance. Parental permission is required for all permanent changes to the bicycle or scooter.

Honorary sponsors include Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York State Senator Martin Connor and New York State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. Co-sponsors are Transportation Alternatives, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Bike New York, New York City Housing Authority, Lower East Side People's Mutual Housing Association, New York City Department of Transportation, and the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Contact EVCC to donate, volunteer, and get involved with the workshops, parade, and the community!

Friday, September 05, 2008


Please donate your gently used items to the sale!

We welcome books, clothing, accessories, electronics, housewares, sporting goods & more

Drop-off times:
Monday-Thursday 10am - 6 pm
211 Smith Street between Baltic and Butler

Starting Artists is a community-based nonprofit organization which benefits under-served teenagers in Brooklyn, NY through hands-on training in the arts and entrepreneurship. SA's free after-school classes in the media arts and business prepare and inspired youth to create arts-based enterprises. Evening and weekend classes for adults are available also. For more information, please visit


(* Please feel free to reprint this information on your blog )

Calling All Brooklyn Artists, Community Organizers, and Entrepreneurs:
(Photographers, Writers, Graphic Designers - you especially!)

Are you looking for a quiet, inspiring space to do your work?
Are you looking for a place to hold workshops or meetings?
Would you like to have free wireless access without having to buy a $5 cup of coffee?
Would you like to have access to the last IMAC desktop computers with the Adobe CS3 Creative Suite?

Starting Artists, a new nonprofit on Smith St. in Cobble Hill, is opening its doors to you!

You can either rent space at an affordable hourly rate OR in exchange for volunteering your time with the organization.

Starting Artists is a community-based nonprofit organization which benefits under-served teenagers in Brooklyn, NY through hands-on training in the arts and entrepreneurship. SA's free after-school classes in the media arts and business prepare and inspired youth to create arts-based enterprises. Evening and weekend classes for adults are available also. For more information, please visit

To talk about space rental or barter, please contact:
Marisa Casey, Director of Starting Artists (see above photo)
718-701-5483 or email her at

Monday, September 01, 2008


Sensing that change is right around the corner, I have been holding on tightly to the last days of summer. Although I love small surprises and serendipity, I've been known to be a little fearful of the unknown.

But now I am excited about all the new and good things happening around me in these remaining days of summer. We have some wonderful new neighbors - a friendly family of four that seem very neighborly. (And, honestly, we were not sad to see the tenants who partied 'till the wee hours in their outdoor hot tub depart.) We've also been enjoying visits with our dear friends and their newborn baby. What a treat to get to know this young person in her earliest days!

Also: there is a small, new glass tealight candle holder atop the kitchen table to preserve and carry over the light of the summer. And.........yay! brother and his family are moving from Hawaii to California, which will make it much easier to visit them.

Tomorrow, as many young folks go back to school, I start my first day at a new part-time job at a great new(ish) nonprofit up the street. Founded and directed by Marisa Catalina Casey, Starting Artists offers free after-school classes in media arts and also "prepare[s] and inspire[s]youth to create arts-based enterprises."

Around the corner is an additional opportunity for growth: a 4-day workshop for women who are interesting in looking at the intersection of the identities of Jewish and female. We'll be looking at what's both great and challenging about being both those things.

So, here's to the end of one season and the rush of forward-changing movement that comes with a new one.