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I’m off to Boston today for the 4th of July weekend. I have some friends there who are going to show me the sights and sounds, but if anyone has any tips on what to see and do in Boston, please let me know. All suggestions are much appreciated. I hope everyone is taking advantage of the short week and has plans to relax and enjoy 4th of July!

 

Photo: Fireworks Art Print by Machiine

 

I spent my Sunday afternoon picking out plants and helping the boys create a small garden on their rooftop. There are only a few plants up there now, but it’s crazy how quickly plants can transform a space. I’m obsessed with what we put up there and want to go back tomorrow to buy even more plants. Three cheers for urban gardening!

 

I’m off to Alt Summit tomorrow, and this time it’s right in New York City at the Martha Stewart headquarters. I’m looking forward to hearing Grace Bonney and Garance Doré speak, as well as meet and mingle with all the inspiring creatives that are going to be at the conference. If you are reading this and are going to be at Alt, please come say hello! I’ll do a recap of the event at some point next week here on the ole’ blog. Have a wonderful week and a fantastic weekend!

 

 

 

I was organizing photos the other day and came across these pictures I took on a trip to the Anderson Valley in California a year and a half ago. We went wine tasting  in the Valley and stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in Mendocino that had llamas and chickens. Then we spent some time in Fort Bragg at the Glass Beach, which was pretty nifty. I love going through old vacation photos. It helps me relax and reminds me of great memories. Oh, and it gives me even more wanderlust.

In my first year of freelancing and owning my own design business, I’ve learned a few things (most of them the hard way). I’ve had some work related experiences in the last year that have run the gamut of awesome to shitty. I want to share those learnings with you in a short and sweet way.

 

 

I’m all for humility, really. I’m not one to brag and I think people’s actions and work can speak for themselves. The truly good work will get noticed eventually. But I’m also learning that there is a business aspect to this whole thing, and that aspect requires you to be insanely confident in what you do. Insanely confident. Not just internally confident, but you need to be able to exude that confidence externally. When you reach out to people you admire, meet people at events, or you talk to people or brands you want to work with—you need to be able to sell yourself. It’s a fine line, but there is a way to do that without sounding pompous—especially if you have the work or portfolio to back it up. Confidence can get mistaken for arrogance and I think that’s a shame. Don’t be scared to show people you are confident in what you do and who you are. Don’t be afraid to make an impression with people. I heard the above saying in a panel I attended and it resonated with me. Sometimes (the operative words here is ‘sometimes’) you have to toot your own horn. No one else is going to do it for you.

 

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One can never go to Central Park enough. Never. Have a great start to your week!

 

 

 

 

When I first started this blog, I wrote a post about a photo project I did when I visited Portugal and forgot my camera at home. I’ve decided to reembark on this little photo journey of mine and share certain experiences and moments in my life in this format. To recap: I take a picture of something directly above me, directly in front of me, directly below me, and then put the photos together in a triptych. I find the result to be immersive and complete. I’m starting to realize that I’m big into immersive type environments. I like being pulled into a piece of work, not just stare from a distance.

The two triptychs are from my weekend. The first is a wedding I attended. The sky looks ominous but the rain held off through the ceremonies. The second is when Nick and I went bowling in the middle of the two wedding ceremonies. I didn’t have socks, so they gave me these dorky (awesome) socks with bowling balls on them. Nick bowled in a suit and still had a score 3x mine.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

 

This past Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early to see the opening of the Rain Room, by Random International, at the MoMA. Rain Room is an immersive environment where it’s actually raining inside a room (well, mechanically raining). When you walk into the room, the rain stops at all the places you stand or walk through so you never get wet but water is all around you. From the MoMA website:

“A field of falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected, Rain Room offers visitors the experience of controlling the rain. Known for their distinctive approach to contemporary digital practice, Random International’s experimental projects come alive through audience interaction—and Rain Room is their largest and most ambitious to date. The work invites visitors to explore the roles that science, technology, and human ingenuity can play in stabilizing our environment. Using digital technology, Rain Room creates a carefully choreographed downpour, simultaneously encouraging people to become performers on an unexpected stage and creating an intimate atmosphere of contemplation.”

For my senior design project in college, I created a underwater immersive environment, so all the concepts and themes of the Rain Room was right up my alley. The exhibition was pretty incredible. To walk around in a room filled with falling water but not get wet was surreal. I felt like Moses every time the water would “part” for me to walk through it. Every time you put out your hand to catch the falling water, the water eludes your hand. The lighting and exhibition design of the whole space was also otherworldly—every falling drop is captured perfectly in the single strobe light installed at the back wall. The rain looked like diamonds and streaks of silver falling from a dark sky. The exhibition is up until July 28th, so if you live in New York or are going to be visiting, I highly recommend checking it out.

Word of advice— the only downside to this exhibition is that only 6-10 people can go into the room at a time so the line gets LONG. We waited about an hour but when this exhibition was in London, I heard the line got up to 6 hours long. I suggest going on a weekday or on an off-peak time.

All photos taken for Bucket of Squash

 

I’ve been waiting to see the cherry blossoms bloom in Washington D.C. since I moved to the East Coast. My college roommate lives in D.C. and has been telling me since she moved there that I would be obsessed with the whole spectacle. But for the past 3 years, I’ve missed them for various reasons.

Catching the blossoms is a tricky thing. It’s extremely hard to predict when they are going to bloom until a week or two before, so planning a trip in advance is nearly impossible. On top of that, peak bloom (when 70 percent of the trees have blossoms on them) only lasts for a few days. If you go too early, the blossoms are merely buds on winter branches and if you go too late, the light pink blossoms start morphing into green leaves.

I was 100% determined to go this year and it was peak bloom or bust. I monitored the cherry blossoms so closely and became so knowledgeable about these little buggers that I’m confident I’m now a good candidates for any open D.C. park ranger position. Seriously. I could give a lecture about cherry blossoms. As soon as the blossoms hit their peak bloom, Nick and I jumped on a bus for a fun weekend in D.C.

 

 

It’s an understatement describing the cherry blossoms as absolutely breathtaking. The entire National Mall and Tidal Basin were lined with trees covered in light pink and white blossoms. It was hard to believe that the scene before my eyes wasn’t fake. The trees were so dense in certain areas, that if we lay under those trees, we could only see small pockets of sky between the blossom covered branches.

 

 

Then, the wind began to pick up and started blowing the delicate blossoms off their trees. Thats when the magic really started to happen. We were surrounded by soft petals swirling and falling all around us. A lot of the petals got blown into the Tidal Basin, covering the water like a carpet. I felt like I was on a movie set. Or in a snow globe. Or in a song and dance sequence of a Bollywood movie where the entire dance takes place in a snow globe.  It was pretty damn incredible.

 


We stayed at the National Mall until the sun set and until it was too dark to take any more photos. I came to D.C with the hopes of crossing an item off my bucket list. Instead, all I did was replace “see the cherry blossoms in D.C.” with “see the cherry blossoms in Japan”. My mind can’t even begin to fathom what the blossoms must look like in their native country if they looked like this in Washington. I highly recommend everyone making the spring trip to see the cherry blossoms. Stalk them if you have to. Who knows, if my design career doesn’t work out, you just may see me giving tours at the National Mall…

This is a long one… Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weekends ago, my best pal and her hubby came into town and we spent the day eating, drinking, and shopping in various Brooklyn neighborhoods. Here is the best of where we went:

Roberta’s—This place needs very little introduction, but it’s some of my favorite pizza in New York. The wait is a bit of a doozy, but I promise it’s worth it. There’s a great vibe inside and I’ve throughly enjoyed the pizza every single time I’ve been there. Highlights for me include their Romaine salad, the Bee Sting pizza (I get it without the sopressata), and the good ole’ Margherita. This time we got the house-made english muffin and it’s AMAZING.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds— After we ate at Roberta’s, we took the G train down to the Gowanus/Park Slope area to visit Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a wonderful little pie shop in Gowanus. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but the pies were delicious. We got the Salted Caramel Apple and the Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Pies. Special shout out to the Pecan Pie—it was to die for.

Swallow— We walked up to Smith Street and immediately stumbled into Swallow. This place is filled to the brim with trinkets, dinnerware, vases, home goods, jewelry, and pretty little treasures. Swallow has a vintage, earthy, and rich vibe to it. A lot of the pieces were made with colorful rocks and crystals—super pretty! I especially loved all the different vases and vessels. I kept walking through the store imagining setting my entire dining table with pieces from here.

Atmosphere— A few doors down from Swallow, Atmosphere is a home goods and gifts store that combines vintage and modern styles perfectly. They have a wonderful collection of rugs, pillows, jewelry, dinnerware, and bath products. Once I have a place of my own, I’m going to fill my bathroom with fancy, wonderfully packaged bath products. My favorite item in the store were these wooden hot air balloons that came in tons of colors. I can imagine a few of them hanging off the ceiling of a child’s bedroom and looking wonderfully whimsical.

Lanie Lynn Popup Shop— We randomly stumbled upon this popup shop and went in because they were passing out free champagne. Once we got there, we were greeted by a wonderful collection of vintage and original jewelry by artist and owner, Elena Schelich. She has a great eye for statement pieces when it comes to curating her vintage selection. My friend got herself a great brass ring, an orignal by Elena, and I treated myself to some fun gold and white vintage earnings.

Clover Club— After we got tired of walking, we headed over to the Clover Club. This place is the bee’s knees. It’s a wonderful cocktail bar filled with dark wood, great music, and fantastic drinks. It feels like it’s been there forever and served drinks to patrons in the 20′s. A lot of times cocktail bars feel like they are trying too hard, but this place just feels right. Their namesake drink, Clover Club, is delicious. Tip: Try to sit in the back room if there is no private event going on. We somehow managed to score seats near the fireplace, and it was a fantastic place to have conversation.

Let me know if you have checked out any of these places or know of more gems in Bushwick and Carroll Gardens. I’m sure we missed tons, and I can’t wait to go back to discover more. Explore on, friends, explore on!