A blog of personal reflections, adventures both close to home and far away, political musings and commentary, and thoughts on negotiating life as a twenty-something, queer Mainer transplanted to New York City hoping to write, inspire, teach and change the world.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Aiko and Lady Pink at Ad Hoc Gallery

Ad Hoc Aiko Installation
Originally uploaded by killerfemme
I wrote a review of the "Brick Ladies of NYC" show at Ad Hoc gallery on the blog. The show features individual and collaborative work from Aiko and Lady Pink. You can read the review here:
There's also more photos on flickr (and thanks to G for lending me his camera!).

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Myths from Outer Space by Marcus Romero

On Friday evening I braved the wind driven rain and the G train for a trip to Long Island City to see Marcus Romero's new work showing at The Space Gallery. Marcus paints fantastic starscapes and landscapes, which are alternatively based on science and science fiction. If they were less delicately worked I could almost imagine them adorning the cover of a sci-fi paperback. What is evident from looking at the show, which contains both small pieces a few inches across as well as those covering entire walls, is that Marcus is a painter. By that I mean to say that he loves and is comfortable with working with paint as a medium, applying it in layers and reworking his paintings until they have a luminous, almost lacquered quality. The Space Gallery was crowded with artists, friends and well-wishers. For me, who is regularly caught saying that I hate contemporary art, it is always refreshing to see a small gallery mount efforts that really support artists and the work that they create.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Paris, Again

Afternoon, Pere Lachaise
Originally uploaded by killerfemme
I don’t need anything special in Paris. I could be completely happy doing nothing more than walking around, drinking coffee, and reading the newspaper. I don’t mind the perpetually grey skies. They enhance the atmosphere created by the narrow cobblestone streets, the tin roofs and red chimneys of the Haussman era apartment buildings, corner cafes with their sidewalk seating and the murky, contained mirrored waters of the Canal St. Martin. There's more photos on flickr.

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Mmmm! Yeggie Tagine

Mmmm! Yeggie Tagine
Originally uploaded by killerfemme
I want to give a huge shout out to the restaurant Le Berber, located at 62 Rue Crozatier in the 12eme arrondissement. It can be surprisingly challenging to find North African restaurants with vegetarian options and sometimes those that have them are often really expensive and not very good. Not so with this one! Not only are they reasonably priced, but they made us vegetarian tagine, even though it was not on the menu and the mixture of piping hot vegetables, dried fruits and spices in the tagine let me know that it was as fresh as could be.

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Gainsbar, Gent

The gang
Originally uploaded by killerfemme
In lieu of singing kareoke at a disreputable student joint, Wim and Annelies took us to Gainsbar. Related to my other favorite bar in Gent, Pink Flamingoes, if only by the kitchy decor, this tiny bar is devoted to Serge Gainsbourg. It also seems to have a fair amount of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet represented in its decorations, but somehow it all works together. From the twelve-year-old Charlotte Gainsbourg sulking over the door from her album cover of "Charlotte Forever" to the "yeh yeh" cocktail, this is the work of someone with vision. It's also probably the only bar in Belgium where you can't order beer, but no matter, the specialty drinks and decent wine is good enough.

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Gent Again

Gent Canal
Originally uploaded by killerfemme
Two hours on the Thaly's rail and another hour on the commuter train (because we took the local train that goes by Aalst, despite Wim often warning us that it "leaves first and gets there last, remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?") landed us in lovely Gent, Belgium. Gent also goes by Ghent or Gand, depending what language you are speaking (Flemish and French, respectively). In Belgium it matters very much what language you speak. For a little country with so much history the divisions between language groups and geographic areas can get pretty intense. However, one could say the same about Brooklyn. I described Gent to my friends in the US as similar to a cool college town, but with canals, a castle from the middle ages, a transfixing number of cobblestone allies and an important place in art history.

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Unexpected Paris

I've been reading a book about travel writing and one thing that the author stresses that is important for travel writers is to be open to the unexpected and be willing to investigate. I felt this advice boded well for me when, thinking I would write some cute piece on "romantic Paris," I tried to go to the Musee de la Vie Romantique, but it was closed during the installation of their new exhibition. However, I found something even better on the Rue Chaptal, near the museum. There was a small impasse coming off the street and I noticed the sign said "Bibliotheque." Noting there was a garden, I decided to go in, because I love the gardens and courtyards in Paris hidden behind outer, street facing walls. I was not disappointed in the least. This, comfortable, renovated library with futuristic looking chairs, computers and newspapers available for browsing is snugly located in an 18th century hotel particular. They've kept the details like the fireplace, frescoed ceiling and moldings intact, and reading Le Monde in such a salon-like setting felt like a truly unique Paris experiences.

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