Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Big City

I am currently reading a book called New York Diaries- a collection of diary entries from various people in New York City history- by Teresa Carpenter. The entries span from 1609 through 2009. There are exerpts from the journals of Theodore Roosevelt when he first was courting Eleanor. Andy Warhol describes his evenings sipping drinks with fellow artists and writers. There are entries from some of New Yorks' first settlers- young children, poets, musicians, holocaust survivors..and they all share New York as a landscape to their lives. Ive taken to reading my book on the train while I commute to work- though a short commute- i get sucked in immediately to the pages and it gets me out of my head during those 15 mintues on the crowded subway car. Ive been here in New York for almost a year now. January 2 will be my year mark. It really has meant the world to me to be here. While i easily get sucked into the stresses of work, I have to keep pinching myself that I actually made the move and I live here on the upper east side in my own studio apartment. The transition hasnt been easy; ive had to navigate my way through a new job and start building a life from scratch in a new city. Ive had horrible days and ive had days where I float from happiness. But as I approach a full cycle being in this city, I am struck with this feeling of that what I am doing is right, and where I am is good. New York is my new home and a lovely, amazing one to make a life.

On January 27 in 1947 Simone De Beauvoir wrote in his diary "Below us, the street lamps are lit. Here is the noctournal celebration I glimpsed from up in the sky: movie houses, drugstores, wooden horses. Im transported through a wondrous amusement park, and this little elevated train is itself a fairground attraction. Will it ever stop? New York is so big."

New York is vast. It is big- in the greatest sense of the word. Here, we sculpt and dig and work to become the best we can be. It never stops..it keeps going..and I'm excited for that ride.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Patience with puzzles

For the past week, Ive watched as my cousin, Ida, work furiously on a puzzle on the kitchen table. I come home from work, shes sitting there claiming pieces, separating, matching. She takes breaks of course, but she always comes back to the puzzle. It takes patience for something like this. Patience and the knowingness that those million tiny pieces, however they may be scattered randomly all over the table..will somehow all come together. And they always do when you take the time to slow down and fit them together. One by one.




Friday, May 30, 2014

Middle America

As we made our way along route 80, heading West, I started to notice my mind became more and more at ease, and the perpetual to-do lists that racked my brain with worry-began to slowly drift away with every new landscape. We left Chicago at 5am - still wiping away our foggy morning eyes, and we were Wisconsin-bound to meet Marykate, another college friend who lives there- for breakfast. 5am is no time for music, we decided. We needed news. We clicked through the stations to find a good ol' local news broadcast, and sat back to watch the sun rise. We arrived in Madison, after we inched along the highway with the entire Madison work-force..arriving with just 5 minutes to find a parking spot and meet Marykate downtown. It was a hot and beautiful day already, it seemed that the sun waited for us because just as we rounded the lake to enter town, it bounced off the lake with such a gorgeous glare- warm and welcoming. The State House in the distance, rose up from the city, and we both squealed with excitement...this alone made the trip into Madison worth it. The last time the three of us were together was quite possibly at one of our infamous house parties in Cambridge- so meeting in a new city was different...curious, exciting, and a bit nostalgic. We ate bagels and coffee at colorful tables on the Mendota Terrace, a beautiful lakeside hangout- part of University of Wisconsin. The three of us exchanged stories of our recent goings on; our jobs, her school, her man, our doubts, our accomplishments, and our futures. We giggled, just like the old days and then Annie and I were off, after I dropped some postcards in the mail. Next stop...Mount Rushmore. Madison was super cute...and I hope to return to visit someday soon.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicagooo

We arrived in Chicago yesterday and the sun greeted us with open arms. It's been 70 and beautiful as we traipse around this city. Our friend Julia walked us through the Wicker Park neighborhood, where the streets were buzzing with youngsters in beer gardens and buskers with their guitars trying to sing over the rumble of the L train. We stopped in the middle of the sidewalk -"look around and tell me where the speakeasy is that we're going" said Julia. Annie and I glanced around at busy streets and storefronts and took a couple of wrong guesses then, Julia proceeded to walk us directly into a graffiti mural on the side of a brick building, a door opened and suddenly we were in a dark chamber, pulling curtains out of our way. It was a hidden little gem of a place..Violet. We had the most delicious cocktails then headed back out to an outdoor Mexican beer garden to eat. Later on, Annie  and I hopped into Gallery Cabaret to see if I could play a tune at open mic night. Alas, the list was full. But we were able to catch the tail end of some interesting performers : )

Today Annie had an interview downtown so I took myself on a date-and rented a bike to wander the city. I ended up down by the navy yard and explored the waterfront. Lots of construction in those parts. Beautiful day for a ride. The day ended with a delicious dinner at Tango Sur, an Argentinian Steakhouse that blew my mind.

Chicago, it's been fab. Can't wait to visit again. Tomorrow, Annie and I wake up at the crack if dawn and hit the road by 5am. Breakfast in Maddison WI.
 Goodnight Chicago!



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Youngstown, Ohio

We arrived in Youngstown Ohio last night. Middle America. Middle of Nowhere. We were afraid for our lives for about 10 minutes then got comfy in our room, slurped down a beer and some nachos at the Mexican restaurant downstairs, then settled in with a bottle of wine and YouTube "fail" videos. We woke up to a gorgeous ohio morning and after we throw the ball a few times for ms. Bella, we're getting the hell outa dodge and it's off to Chicago!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekend at Field Farm

My co-worker Amy and I had the opportunity to travel to Western Mass to take part in the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. It was truly a 'perk' that we were able to go and be a part of something so special.

It was a hot and steamy weekend with temperatures in the 90's, but it was well worth it. We worked at the Trustees' booth, talking to festival goers about our more-than 100 properties, sponged temporary tattoos (that I designed back in the studio ;) onto little kids arms, and connected with other organizations – some that had traveled from across the country to have a presence at the festival. We saw some amazing performances (it helped that our booth was located directly across the main stage and within walking distance to all of the others). Lucius was my favorite. I had known about them prior to going to the festival so I knew to expect great things. If you haven't seen it already, you should check out their Tiny Desk concert on npr. Its incredible. The highlight was their pop-up concert in the middle of Xu Bing's Phoenix exhibit, where people flocked like hungry geese to gather around them in a corner of the humungous gallery.


The meat of this story is the part where we got to stay at Field Farm in Williamstown, just a stone's throw away from the festival, and one of the Trustees' more-than 100 beautiful properties. Located on a quiet road in the middle of 300 acres of gorgeous open land, and overlooking Mt. Greylock and the hills of Vermont – is this gem, which was once the home of the Bloedel family. The Guest House at Field Farm serves as a bed and breakfast, and is open to the public. Mr. Bloedel was a collector and builder of furniture, and a collector of modern art. The Guesthouse rooms are preserved to look exactly like they did when the Bloedel's lived there in the 1950's through 70's. In fact, the whole experience walking through this place was like walking through a modern art museum.

Amy and I stayed in The Folly, separate from the Guest House, where the Bloedel's hosted their parties. The Folly was built in 1966, and is more a sculpture and piece of art rather than a house. It sits right on a frog pond; The Bloedel's used to have skating parties on the pond and built The Folly to have a closer spot to gather than the Guest House. The interior of the space was so meticulously crafted – every corner and every inch of the house was thought through and had a reason to be there; architecture characteristic of Bauhaus-style design.  We slept in the living room, with the screen door open so the bull frogs could chant us to sleep. It was wonderful.

Maybe it was the history of the place, or maybe it was the change of pace, after having been transplanted from the city to this beautiful piece of land, but when we sat back to admire the still night, I felt so much at peace. And when I stepped outside right before bed to take a last breath of fresh air, I looked out into the field, where complete darkness had taken over, and saw the most beautiful thing;  Tiny specs of glittering light were blinking over the field; completely filling my view. Fireflies. I really think Tinkerbell was flying overhead, dumping sacks of fairy dust all over the field. It was the type of moment that you can't capture in any photo...but you have it with you, burned forever in your mind. I wrote a song about it...in which I try to capture the very essence of that moment, and whether it embodies the experience for you or not, I will post it when its finished. Or maybe you should go spend a weekend with someone special and get lost at Field Farm. You will be glad you did. Learn more about the history of Field Farm here





Friday, July 5, 2013

I'm Back!

Hello!

Well its been a while for sure, and I am sorry for that. No excuses I will make...I will only remedy by looking forward and not back. I will start where I am now instead of try and re-trace everything I missed:)

I am now in my 6th month at my new job as Graphic Designer at The Trustees of Reservations in Sharon, MA. The Trustees is a non-profit land conservation organization and they own more than 100 properties throughout Massachusetts. Basically, the organization works to preserve and protect the land for the public's enjoyment. I am a designer on the marketing team, and my work consists of all sorts of marketing and design pieces- from brochures and invitations for events, signage, newsletters, you name it. It surely is a smorgasbord of projects...and I like that. Things are going very well. It was definitely a transition and in many ways, I will always be transitioning, as we always are-if life changes around us...which it should...and does. Every day I have to take a step back and acknowledge all of the new things I am learning at The Trustees, and I'd like to write about them in my blog so I can share this important process of student-turned-professional.

To me most fascinating bits of knowledge have been about learning to be a professional designer- developing and practicing my own process, talking with people, and how to work alongside a team of professionals. For me, working with a team may be the most challenging, yet fulfilling transition of all. The jump from school to first job is where you start to see all the holes and gaps of things you don't know...and need to. In school, we are on our own. We are independently successful learners and gainers. We get what we put in. And besides the occasional group project..most of the time its only you (and your professor)- that dictates the creative direction of your work, the mission..everything down to the colors and font etc. In school, we are our own creative directors. But when you join an organization and team that is all working towards the same goals and mission, you must learn to be merely a part of the equation...a puzzle piece that must fit in with all the copywriters, senior designer and marketing professionals, not to mention the non-creative side- the administrative pieces that call the shots. It is this change that has been the most fascinating to me in my months at my new job, and it is this change from which I gain the most satisfaction and pride in my work. Designing something for a big organization must "work" for all those different parts..not just for me. And so when I finish a piece that has been approved by all these parts, I truly feel that I have done my job well- that my part of the puzzle fits..and that it actually helps create a big picture:)

Besides the work, I also work with a kickass team, who have been so supportive, and who are so talented at what they do. I am exited and honored to be a part of this team and I am excited to grow here. Other perks...my office is on one of our properties, Moose Hill Farm, which has its own CSA(community supported agriculture) program, chickens that lay delicious eggs, beautiful trails and acres of land to explore.

Up next- I'll post about my excursion with a co worker to one of our Western Mass properties, Field Farm in North Adams. Stay tuned for more summer posts coming soon!

Cheers,
Eleanor

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Skyfall Opening Credits- A film in and of itself

Tonight I watched "Skyfall". I loved the movie but want to pay particular tribute to the opening credits, by Designer- Daniel Kleinman, because I think they are a fantastic work of art and I feel compelled to share. For those of you who have not seen the movie, Daniel Craig plays agent 007 in what is the 23rd James Bond film.

The first scene opens with a dramatic car chase between James Bond (Daniel Craig) and a bad guy...and ends with Bond's plunge into a river, where a giant hand reaches up and slowly pulls him down into what begins- some of the most beautiful movie credits I've ever seen. Adele starts singing her luscious song "Skyfall"(which won an Oscar) and we dive deeper and deeper into the depths with Bond- into worlds and levels of a computer game- each one giving us bits and hints about the story that is about to unfold. The cinematography is gorgeous- the colors-the glow of the green water, the play of light, the dramatic texture and movement that ushers us into each world at a perfect pace, the contrast from solemn black and white animated scenes leading into the piercing colors of red liquid slowly  bleeding into turquoise water. And to top it all off, Adele's singing hits you like a ton of bricks and makes the visual experience intense and larger than life. After it was over, I felt like the breath had been taken out of my lungs. What did you all think of it?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Since Spring is taking its' sweet time, I'll just have to pretend

To assuage my winter doldrums, I've been listening to a lot of bluegrass and folk- sounds that tend to transport me right into the sun- sitting on a grassy hill...with loads of wildflowers in my hair. I recently discovered Blue Highway, a 5-man-banjo-pickin bluegrass band from the Tennessee area. They've been around for 17 years...same 5 guys as when they started. They are extremely talented instrumentalists AND singers. The video I've attached highlights their sweet harmonies...its an a cappella song called "Someday", written by an old woman right before she died. Its a sad song..but so pretty and it somehow makes me really happy. Darrell Scott is another one I've been listening to a lot of. His voice is pretty amazing...definitely has its roots in soul and blues, while his music is very country. I've also included a video of one of my favorite songs, Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison..who's voice makes me think everything's going to be ok. Also complete with a killer sax solo by Pee Wee Ellis. . Hope you enjoy. Positive thinking. Positive singing...and May Spring come RIGHT NOW.




Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Night of Soul at Copperfields

Last night at Copperfields, The Tasties, The HeartSleeves & The Erinn Brown Band performed in A Night of Soul. We had a blast, and feel honored to have played with these guys. This was our first time playing with bands of similar style music...it was so neat to hear their sounds and we hope to collaborate with some of them soon. Thanks to everyone who came out to hear us and I'll keep you posted about our upcoming shows. With Spring's arrival, The Tasties are hoping to get in the studio and start working on our first album! Cant wait to start! Happy Spring!



Monday, March 11, 2013

Woodcuts old and new

At work, I've been designing a lot of materials for the CSA that will be opening this spring at the Moose Hill property, where my office is at The Trustees of Reservations. We've been using a lot of woodcut designs for our ads and flyers...more rustic typefaces, and in general-a more earthy/grittier feel then the standard Trustees brand. We've implemented a lot of woodcut vegetables and farm-focused imagery, but in my search for these graphics, I've stumbled upon some of the coolest woodcut designs..that I find quite inspiring. The woodcut technique dates back thousands of years and I love how even designs done more recently-look extremely primitive.. varied weights of carved lines, imperfect marks and simple..but telling- shapes.




Monday, February 4, 2013

A Tasty Valentines


Show poster I made for our show at O'Brien's Pub this Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A year ago today.



video
It's been exactly one year since I went to Switzerland and the February chill makes me nostalgic for travel again and for the beautiful Swiss scenery that encapsulated my experience there. My dear friend Amanda, who came to visit me while I was living there, took this video of one of our adventures in my little town of Gais. I wrote this song on the tiny guitar that I scored from the free table down the street from my apartment in Cambridge. The song, "Long Time" has since changed and now I play it with a full band, but I am excited to have documentation of me singing it in its birthplace..in its' raw and original state. I hope you enjoy.



Thursday, January 31, 2013

A civil connection

I can't stop listening to the Civil Wars. Not only does their music make me swoon..I am obsessed with their connection when they sing together. When they start a song, you can see them sink into this other world...far from viewer..far from themselves even. I feel like I'm peering into something really personal of theirs that I shouldn't be watching. They are fantastic. Too bad they are no longer a band. I would be a groupie for sure. These are two of their most beautiful videos.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

mmm Tasty

Our Tasty set list for our show last night. We had such a great turn out and the crowd rocked. We had so much fun...once again. Keep checking for upcoming shows! the Tasties on Reverbnation Tasties on Facebook

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My new baby

My new car! With the start of my new job in Sharon, MA, I needed to get car to commute. I'm so excited, as this is my first car ever. I so look forward to driving my little fireball to work every day! In other news, I will be starting as the Junior Designer at the Trustees of Reservations. The Trustees is a wonderful organization and I look forward to my start on the 14th. More news to come.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Heyy, Alex

Its been soo fab having have Alex back in town for a visit. Its been a week and my stomach is permanently achy and I look like I have pink eye from laughing so hard. What a perfect way to bring in the New Year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Soulive

Rang in 2013 with Soulive at the Paradise!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Subtle Holiday Funk

Poster/e-vite I designed for our Holiday show tonight at the Plough with the Clippertones!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Moving right along

Hello! Its a shame that time escapes me in my busy days...as has been quite a wee bit of time since I've been able to sit down blog and share my stories. But alas, exciting things are happening and I intend to keep you abreast of this exciting time as I navigate my winding way through the start of my career and the onset of an exciting musical journey with my band...as well as any other activities and adventures that arise. Most recently, was our show last night at the Plough & Stars. Felt great to perform back at our home base...where we first began performing about a year ago. And last night was our first Saturday show! Great turnout and the set went super! Our friends, JJ and Kevin from Bangarang Productions in Newton, filmed the show and I hope to get something online soon. Billy Dodge opened for us and I was able to accompany him on some of his songs as well. Tomorrow night we will play at Charlie's Kitchen, a brand new venue for us. Pictures and posts to come!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hocus Pocus

Tonight Emily and I settled on the couch, ordered Thai food and watched my favorite Halloween movie of all time, Hocus Pocus. (Bette Midler and pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker). Here on Erie street, Halloween is officially in full-swing.

The Filming of "Illusory" music video

Last weekend my friend Billy Dodge and I traveled to Westport, MA to film a music video for his song Illusory-under the direction of Kevin and JJ at Bangarang Productions. It could not have been a more perfect and crisp October day. We got to spend some time filming on the beach as well as on Billy's porch, which looked right over the water. Filming was a lot of fun.It was awesome to share creative visions about the song and to capture the song's narrative on film. While on the beach, a black lab ran up to us from out of no where...no owner to be seen. The dog stayed with us throughout our filming and we were able to capture some great scenes with him. I thought this was particularly special, as one of the lyrics in Illusory talks about Belle, Billy's black lab. You can check out the song here: http://soundcloud.com/billy-dodge/illusory and when the video is done, I will be sure to post about it! In the meantime, here are some photos