Stroll Through The Hood – July 2014

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Stroll Through The Hood

DISCLAIMER: In this Blog Post I make fun of Americans…or maybe more about their vegetation…or maybe it is just nothing – anyway– some might think that nothing is totally inappropriate . If you have a problem with this, you might be better off reading something else . Don’t email me to complain and don’t visit my blog anymore because I might post things like this again  !


This Paste Up made me smile


And for the next one I had to do a double take – so fun!


And I love the frog by Mike Maka


And mural next to it is by Case


Other than that I really enjoy the summer here ….and you know since everything is bigger in America …


This flower is as big as my head- and believe me – my head is not that small!


The tomatoes grow like weed and they grow so fast…they need to develop stitches to keep intact. This one is probably a Frankenstein species. Delicious – Jersey Tomatoes are awesome!


And these are …Red Noodle Beans …I mean come on…these are not beans anymore…these are gigantic NOODLE Beans  -very yummy and the whole name is Chinese Red Noodle Bean …so maybe they are not really from America ;)

And now the kicker for my European friends….


They put LOBSTER in a sandwich roll! Yes…you heard right…Lobster- the stuff that is super duper luxurious and expensive in Europe. The stuff you eat at a fine dining restaurant …they sell that out of a food truck in a sandwich…and it is pretty delicious ;)

Guess they have enough Lobster here .

And what does the Cat say to all this?


Oh ..sorry Niles-I forgot you are on a diet and you are mad with me

Well -I wish you a gorgeous day and see you soon for the next stroll…I promise I won’t make no fun anymore…;)



This post currently has 6 comments.

Comments (6)

  • Jean Marmo


    I just love your strolls! That lobster sandwich looks so delicious!!


    • Cheryl Waters


      Was fun seeing you here Jean and I agree. The stroll made me chuckle.


  • Sue Clarke


    Well you better make some more fun next time too.
    Hello Niles. How do you like your new home?


  • Laura S


    I want to go on a stroll with you! We don’t have Lobster Sandwiches like that in Texas, but I’d eat one in a New York minute!!! Yum!


  • fran


    Oh Nat, you are such a classic….love your humour, and being an Aussie I really appreciate your take on the American “bigness” . Gwe sometimes see them that way LOL


  • Ursula


    Hallo Nat, sind die Blüten von letzter Woche? echt riesig – und die Lobster scheinen hier wohl der “Ersatz” für Backfisch zu sein ;)) und im Chelsea Markt konnte nur Tims Kommentar “iss sie und du stinkst drei Tage nach Fisch, da kannst du bei meinen Eltern schlafen, seine Fee vom Stürmen des Hummerladens abhalten …………….. Bin gespannt auf weitere “Nachbarschaften” …………… und HH ist ein Dorf sag ich dir, weiß ich jetzt ;)) LG Ursula


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Stroll Through The Hood … the new and old one

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Stroll Through The Hood

DISCLAIMER: This Blog Post contains a picture with a peeing panda – some might think of it as totally inappropriate . If you have a problem with this, you might be better off looking at something else . Don’t email me to complain, don’t visit my blog anymore because I might post things like this again and for sure shield your precious kids’ eyes !


A lot of times I get asked what inspires me. And one of my key answers is always “a stroll through the hood”. It might be street art, it might be thoughts or feelings connected with certain sights, it might be stuff I find to buy…in one way or the other you might find the photos, the thoughts, the feelings, the colors or anything from those strolls in my art journal, a mixed media project or a scrapbooking layout.

I would love to show you once a month what inspired me while strolling through my neighborhood. I hope you like the little insights into my daily life where I live . This is also a wonderful way for me to remind myself on the inspiring things in the hood. Maybe you get inspired by those posts and even invite ME to a stroll in YOUR hood – feel free to grab the logo and leave a comment for me on the post and share!

This time I am showing you some pictures of my stroll through my old hood in Germany – Hamburg (as I was there in May) and through the new hood in Jersey City :)


Love this paste up by El Bocho and yes it was so right …because I saw it the morning I came into Hamburg right after the red eye flight…gotta love jet lag…not ;)


Love this – one of my favorite junk stores with this fun sign reminding me of how much I miss German costumer service …not ;) – Sign reads: “The letters cost 1EUR and up! If you want to bargain because you think that is fun, you pay a higher price!”

If you know the rules you are fine, don’t you think? LOL


Fun fun fun colors and tile art


Miss this old squatted theater in the hood…yes, I know some of you might think of it as a terrible eye sore…I love it because this building is it’s last domain standing against tearing down wonderful old buildings in this hood and putting up new unaffordable apartment houses or another expensive empty office building.


This paste up just made me laugh ….a lot


and this

And now back to Jersey City – I love my new neighbor hood – there is so much to discover still:


Here is a street in Little India- so colorful and oh the food ….so good!


I love this probably 50s sign – and the fire stairs…


The cast iron around the entrances – so beautiful – I guess it makes sense that this is also referred to as the New Orleans Alley. I met Walt who lives here all his life and is a “bit” older, he told me that the steel workers that lived here a hundred years ago, didn’t like this at all because this reminded them of work. I find it so fascinating how these things change with different people – I sure love it but I might think different if you would put computer screens around my entrance or easels !


I love this mural by Alice Pasquini  – the colors make me swoon!


Some pictures of a recent bicycle tour on Liberty State Island. It was beautiful -just a couple minutes and you are out there in some nature and you see the city skylines (Jersey City and New York City) and it is amazing – what a million dollar view…for free :)


and another one for free


and this…this is the old train station in Liberty State Park. After the immigrants arrived at Ellis Island and went through the whole ordeal of immigration, all the people that would not stay in New York would start their journey to the rest of America from this train station. Which is now falling apart. Sad…such an amazing place, so much history and so many stories behind it! You can almost hear the hustle and bustle.


And then there is time for a picnic…with a free view of the Lady and crowded tourist ferries landing at her feed…or mine …or whatever.

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through my old and new hood , you must have liked it…I mean… I showed you a peeing panda, that is pretty impressive, don’t you think?  ;)

have a beautiful day!




This post currently has 6 comments.

Comments (6)

  • Kathy P


    Awesome eye for the artistic elegance of a place, Nat! Loved that beautiful mural, too—AND that cute panda!!! You should some day take a trip to Charleston and Savannah- I think you would enjoy much scenic beauty in the homes and wrought iron and cityscapes there so much! Thanks for sharing this again with us here!


    • Profile photo of Nathalie Kalbach

      Nathalie Kalbach


      I love Charleston and Savannah. I have been there on my very first trip to the U.S. in 94- but def wanna go back ! Thanks for visiting me Kathy :)


  • Laura Strack


    I love going on your strolls. Thanks for taking me with you. Some day, I would love to visit Hamburg or New York and your strolls entice me more and more.


  • Sue Clarke


    It’s so fun to see what you see Nat. I love the wrought iron and it’s interesting to think about it from a worker’s perspective that they don’t wish to see (at home). I tend to take pics with one shoe in the field of view too so I liked that one especially.


  • Gerit


    Love all of it, the peeing panda make me lol


  • Vicki


    I’ve never seen a peering Panda! Thank you!!


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An Afternoon at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Stroll Through The Hood


My wonderful neighbor and new friend Elena (left) volunteers at Mana Contemporary here in Jersey City and told me that I’d had to go and visit it with her. She offered our friend Kim and me a private tour and so we did. We had a great afternoon – three artists – different fields: an actor, a furniture designer and mixed media artist – spending time together. Now, what is Mana Contemporary? Let me explain this cluster of warehouse buildings in the middle of my city or better Wikipedia explains:

“Mana is a cultural center that opened in May 2011. It provides services, spaces, and programming for artists, collectors, curators, performers, students, and community. It includes artist studios, exhibition spaces, and storage and on top an extension of the fine arts transportation department of Moishe’s Moving Systems.”

And so it could go on. Let me show you a video by Mana Contemporary from last year explaining some planned renovations- some of them already nowadays done – and you get a little sense of how huge and amazing that place is:

Future Renovations at Mana Contemporary from Mana Contemporary on Vimeo.

So – as said we arrived at this amazing building and Elena took us on a tour  and we started with this exhibition by Milton Resnick :


The scale of the work and the rooms, the light – just incredible – I am just posting some pictures to tell the story- but in truth- they do not do justice at all- you gotta go!!


Be still my heart at the texture and brushstrokes of Milton Resnick. There is so much energy involved in this acidic color palette used . Love it.





Love how his signature is part of the painting .



Left and right to the gallery you have huge storage space for art work …and you walk past a dance rehearsal space shared by Karole Armitage’s and Shen Wei’s troupes, with a glass wall – because one of the immanent and important things happening at Mana is that you can see the process, visit the artists in their studio, you as a viewer can see the art take shape and that makes the whole thing even way more interesting and exciting. For the artists this is a great opportunity as they come out of their studios and eat together in the Mana Restaurant and talk to each other and can collaborate – what a dream …come true! There is nothing more inspiring and sparking in your work as an artist then the discussion and time with other artists. 


A wonderful Judy Chicago exhibition – here a prototype of one of the Dinner Plates that is part of her installation The Dinner Party which is on permanent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.




Here is a part of her triptych Rainbow Man Composite


We passed the Richard Meir Model Museum, which I would love to see one time


Took a look inside Gary Lichtenstein‘s Screen Printing Studio ( I wanna work there for a couple weeks and learn all about it- sigh)


We took a walk through some of the artist studios …hello …you and I have something in common ;)


And then we walked over in the rain to the Glass Building with the exhibition



Besides the stunning artwork – that building is just impressive – the light, the construction – and then you start taking in all the art work – again we had the whole space to ourselves – just the three of us…and the work of an unbelievable array of artists featured

Here are a few of my faves: This is by Serban Ionescu – Dow Isolation Town


Ai Weiwei with Colored Vases


 Jay Battle – The Execution of History –


and last but not least I show you this by Will Kurtz



There is so much more to see – so if you are in the area- go and take in the whole experience. If you are in NYC – it is super easy to get to Mana – and it is well worth it. Am I kinda proud to have this in my hood? – you bet I am – this is cool! You are surrounded by stunning artwork, you get the real deal with the breathtaking building and curation and …no admission…yes you heard right – ZERO…and you get a free tour -so …And btw…guess who is more than excited about the news that in her hood a  Street Art and Graffiti Museum will be opened by Mana too? Yep…yours truly.

And how to get to Mana from NYC? Check out this video ..and if you happen to go…shoot me a message – maybe I will join you and even have a nice coffee with you…because I cannot wait to go again – inspiration right in my hood! And if you do not wanna go…well your loss! ;)

Thank you Elena, for this great afternoon and a great tour – you are such an inspiration !








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Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    OMGosh…this is such an exciting place to share with us Nat!!!
    The tour must have been fabulous and the space is to die for…of course I love the dogs the most of what you posted. To see the art as it’s created is such a wonderful part of the art experience for sure. I will have to plan a trip at some point when life allows.


  • Sue Abell


    If I ever get up that way I definitely want to go there and check it out!!!


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