The Traveling Artist

Inspired By: A Great Day in Harlem

One of those wonderful weekends in August we took a walking tour through Harlem (and yes it is debatable if you would call all of those areas Harlem nowadays but historically that was the premise). I am following Keith Taillon on instagram and he was my highlight during the pandemic (and still is) . He decided to walk all of Manhattan during the pandemic and took us on this journey with lots of historic and fun stories and ever since he now offers walking tour, I knew I wanted to join- because you know I love my “Strolls Through the Hood” .

I am not giving away all of the tour …it would be impossible anyway- the wealth of information presented in a wonderful storytelling and knowledgable manner during the 3.5 hour walk is sheer too much for a blogpost. But I also think if you ever should be in NYC- just take a tour with Keith – he is worth every penny – and if you cannot, follow him and wait for his book to be published and then buy it ;) Anyway- here are some impressions, after we met at Grant’s Tomb on Morningside Drive.

Loved this iron fence – can’t get the artist looking for patterns out of me ;)

We strolled through the Columbia University Campus – behind us a row of fun students applauding the new students moving in …I cannot remember this kind of applause when I went to university in Hamburg, but then we are also not known to be outbursts of emotions up in North Germany ;)

Lots of amazing information about the campus and history of the campus which used to be the grounds of The Bloomingdale Asylum – where many wealthy, including the Vanderbilts – liked to “house” their nonconforming family members. Site note: The spikes on the entrance lamp are impressive no?

We spent some time around the impressive and interesting and well …unfinished Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The construction started in 1892 – and only 2/3 are done …I feel that is actually not too bad …given that European Cathedrals have always taken a long time and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona started about 10 years earlier is also still unfinished …

There is just sooo much about this Church – Dizzy Gillespie and Aretha Franklin amongst others performed here, the facade. Def. want to come back and take a closer look when it is open and no red carpet blocks a closer look at the doors and statues (that is another story)

Next to the Cathedral is the Peace Fountain. There is a lot of stuff going on here- let me say I mostly took away something I didn’t know: “Giraffes are a Symbol for Peace” .. take that Picasso …done with the dove

Another interesting little stop amongst many was the Church of Notre Dame – built in 1916 …you wouldn’t know LOL

and decked with a replica of the grotto where the Heavenly Mother appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France in 1858. Impressive …

It was a wonderful day for a walk and seriously I wouldn’t have minded having a little cocktail afterwards on the ivy balcony of this gorgeous building later. Alas …we weren’t invited.

Wonderful town and apartment houses along our way and this one made me stop hard …as I recognized in the top of the window some Belcher Mosaic Stained Glass windows. Why? Well..we do have some too and I can now recognize them when I see them. Given that they were only made for a couple of years and with a really cool stencil technique, I am obsessed. Fear not …I will probably write in the future a whole blogpost about those windows, as ours are in terrible shape and need restoration.

I love how Keith made us look at those two houses showing the difference of eras – Brownstone on the left vs. Limestone more airy on the right.

Peeling paint over the facade

Lots of streets reminded me of our city- and my neighborhood. The history of Harlem is complicated, layered and …important to know about.

Keith was so kind to make a tiny detour to go to this stop as we do have the very famous photo “A Great Day in Harlem” hanging in our house. 57 Jazz Musicians gathered for a photo by Art Kane in front of this house in 1958. Amongst them Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, and Lester Young.

As for the building – I wonder if the cornice was still there when they took the photos in 1958

My favorite part of the photo are the kids that just joined the fun :)

Astor Row was my favorite street by far on this walk – beautiful beautiful houses, wonderful street – I would move in in a hard beat!

Funny little creatures

Glorious houses on Sugar Hill – “

You must take the “A” train
To go to Sugar Hill, way up in Harlem
If you miss the “A” train
You’ll find you missed the quickest way to Harlem”

Besides the gorgeous stoop – look at those plants …#plantgoals

I felt sorry for the tree being caged in but isn’t it amazing how natures takes it back if you let it?

And last but not least a photo of Alexander Hamiltons house- not at it’s original spot – it was twice moved – but alas the house was saved.

It was indeed a great day in Harlem – I learned a ton, read a lot since I came back and I found it inspiring that there are others with a big thirst for the stories and buildings of their neighborhood are out there. This wasn’t the last tour I booked with Keith – that is for sure! Cannot wait for the next one :)

Comments (1)

  • Evelyn Kurz


    Great piece on Harlem!


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Inspired By: NYC, Summer 2022

BANG – July! What a month. For 14 days we had different visitors from Germany and I loved having my two best friends and my godchildren in our house especially after the initial visits were cancelled back in 2020. It was a great opportunity – given that we live right across from Manhattan, to go into the city and do some sightseeing and …it was the first time since the pandemic I could indulge in being a tourist in my own neck of the woods eh sky scrappers.

While it was crazy hot in the city, it was also very empty, it is always a bit calmer in the city during the hotter months but I would say we are nowhere near back to normal. You wouldn’t know though from this amazing view from the One World Trade Center.

The coolest thing about being a tourist in your own digs with actual tourists, is how it reminds you what is amazing and inspiring about the city. How many times have I just rushed back and forth the WTC train station without even taking everything in anymore.

Gorgeous sconce at the Manhattan Municipal Building- where also the subway station below is located. If you are near the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side – take a look around if you love architectural details – it is an eye feast.

Said subway station has Guastavino tile vaulted ceilings and I love love love those. I made me godchildren and their parents look at them. They might thank me later – LOL

Wowsers- I don’t think I have ever seen the Brooklyn Bridge this empty and that is not only due to the bike and pedestrian path being separated now. Finally- because …all visitors seem to forget that this is a major connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn and people NEED to get over there.

Look at those lines- so cool!

We spent a wonderful day in Harlem – starting with a little walk on the Harlem Walk of Fame.

While James Baldwin and Ella Fitzgerald clearly are known to everyone there are also some very famous other people that are worth exploring and ponder about.

The iconic Harlem YMCA!

I pointed the Maya Angelou quote out to my sweet godson who kept poking me, he didn’t miss a beat and quoted the lower sentence also by her right back at me. I miss him already !

OK this is cheating at it’s best …because this is actually a photo from Liberty State Park but …let’s face it peeps- we do have the best view of Manhattan …so don’t forget that and I make sure none of our visitors ever forgets that either ;)

With my bestie Sandra I went to the NYC Public Library- unfortunately it is mostly closed off nowadays – the main reading room at least is- but it is still a good fly in place if you need to cool down a little bit. Otherwise- you might want to just skip it for now and rather watch a movie at night in the wonderful Brayant Park next to it.

We also went to the Empire State Building and this display made me feel a little old. Nonetheless the displays and way they created the exhibition before you get to the platform was fun and I can totally recommend it for kids as well. Usually I would recommend to reserve tickets and also splurge some Express Line tickets- but hey it was so empty, we basically browsed right through without any reservation.

Different view- wave at the One World Trade Center and to Jersey City on the right.

Hello Handsome! Actual photo of me looking at the scenery!

I cannot even tell you how happy the stroll through the city made me- It was like seeing a friend after a long time and I was ready to just spent a lot of quality time with it.

Highline – you guessed it …pretty empty – I love the Highline at any time of the year and it is still one of my favorite ways to see the city.

Love the sentiment “I am not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it” – DITTO!

Tell me you do not like this picture ? WHAT???? Get off my blog- LOL- just kidding ;)

OK that is a lot from the Highline but hey …I had a blast

And found this emoji Statue of Liberty –

The city always has little messages for you …obvious ones

and not so obvious……ok- you can stop looking – I actually do not know if there is a hidden message there other than…I NEED COFFEE.

Besides- have fun, and enjoy some outdoor time this summer maybe in a nearby city or our own time. If you are close to NYC come on over and enjoy a little empty nice social distancing allowing sightseeing. It is refreshing and inspiring. NYC is always worth a trip!

Comments (3)

  • Barbara


    Another set of great photos. It’s been a long time since I was last in NYC. The twin towers were still there and we went to the top. We also did the Empire State Building. King Kong and An Affair to Remember my fav movies involving that building. Never been to Harlem. Gotta do that. Thanks for sharing.


  • Kathleen Lee


    I always love these tours around HJ and NYC. I’m in Silicon Valley and enjoy seeing the other side of the states!


  • Nancy Gill


    Thanks for taking us along on your journey.


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Another Trip to the Catskills

While I really miss going to Germany we decided to still sit this year out – we are getting a bunch of visitors over the next couple months from Overseas and with the house and the crazy travel scene all over the place..the Catskills sounded way more relaxing. And boy it was!

such a lush green everywhere right now and we usually would do a lot in the morning …and then get lazier throughout the day.

We both love hiking and a nice view at the top and a little snack never hurt ;)

What may hurt is a little snake…boy …I may have added a couple paces walking past it and it is also the fasted walk by picture I have ever taken. On the same hike we saw a bobcat …that was really cool- no picture there.

Love those sculptures at the top of one of the trails – the urge to be creative is always there for people

we didn’t just hike of course … we also ate and drunk …this fire station turned bar and restaurant is one of our favorites- I love that they charred the wood in the bar inside.

Another great example for repurposing space is this old pump house that is just a really cool ruin – some food stands, a nice little garden area- live music …live is good. And you just now it is there when the weather is good and when it is bad…you figure something else out.

We also hit a ton of our favorite antique stores -it is one of my favorite things to do while there.

I didn’t adopt any ancestors- but thought that was really cute. It reminded me of the Whatever Series I did with a couple friends years ago – where we shared found photos and then made up art journal pages and stories.

We also did not only eat a lot of trout…we also went to the trout festival .. . total fun

There is something so charming about handmade costumes.

I think this mushroom is called Reishi? In any event – very big and very pretty.

Anyone else getting some “stand by me” vibes?

My absolute favorite thing though was watching Bambi …in fact there were two Bambis in the garden. They would get the zoomies …sooo cute and funny. I mean, if you do not find Bambi cute…I do not want to know you ….nuff said ;)

“I thought you was a toad” …more movie references LOL – anyone ever watched O Brother Where Art Thou? Every time my husband and I see a toad we break out into load whispering and cannot stop giggling.

We went to Willow Wisp Farm and saw a bit of the farm but also picked our own flowers and then made some bouquets. Lots of fun.

Here the flowers are still in the bucket …see those grey-purple peonies? OMG- soo so so so pretty. Now I am not a person to sketch or paint a lot of flowers but I wanted to sketch those right away – maybe because they are so delicate and so quickly gone.

Peace out little dragon fly!

It was such a nice little break from the city, work and house reno stuff …it is hard to believe that all this is just 1 1/2 hours away from the city. I cannot wait to get back – hopefully in the fall for some fall action – but for now…let me munch on the strawberry rhubarb pie I brought home…life is good.

Comments (4)

  • Nancy G.


    Thanks for taking us along on your vacation.I live in the Hudson Vally and there is so much beauty all around this area.


  • ARHuelsenbeck


    I’ve never been to the Catskills, but friends of ours had a cabin in the Poconos (not too far from you) and we got to stay there with them once. It was so peaceful.
    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos. It was like a mini-vacation for me!


  • Sue Clarke


    Yes to Stand By Me reference.
    Awesome dragonfly!
    Love the deer.
    I’ve never been but now I want to go there.
    Instant ancestors…I might have bought them all (I come from a small family)…and I loved the Whatevers!
    Thanks again for sharing your adventures Nat.


  • Vee


    Thanks for the visit to.someplace I have not been. Your pictures and comments are memorible.


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Inspired By – Catskills Region

This summer we spent a lot of time in the Catskills Region in NY State. My husband is writing on another book and was craving a different environment to do so and the cats and I said “meow, why not” …well ..the cats were in the beginning not so cool about this but they got used to traveling :)

We rented a super cute house with a gorgeous fireplace and enjoyed the cooler evenings sitting outside with a drink and just chatting and solving world problems ;) I love this blue stone wall so much !

The kitchen was really cool and I loved the old brick floor. The owner is very much into a foraging style and I loved how she used a lot of unusual things for her home in a practical but also sometimes in a decorative way.

She also had a couple of those bunnies made of fabric – which I am not sure of if they are actually antique or made to look antique. Very intriguing.

Close by is Bethel, the actual place of the Woodstock Festival. Many people think it happened in Woodstock, NY which is a quite far from here, but residents in Woodstock made sure it couldn’t happen there and so after the tickets were already printed the organizers found a place at Max Yasgur’s Dairy farm here in Bethel. (residents here weren’t happy either and Max was ostracized after the event)

The dairy farm does not exist anymore but a music festival venue and a museum dedicated to the Woodstock Festival sits at the former premises. It was a very interesting exhibition.

The history of the era, the music – have always fascinated me and my stepfather was actually a huge fan of the music back then and when I was a teenager we would listen to a lot of records from that time and he would talk about how he would have loved to be at the festival. He went to the Love-and-Peace Festival on the Isle of Fehmarn in Germany, where Jimi Hendrix had his last appearance but that wasn’t quite the same ;)

Lot’s of colors

And a nice exhibition how music posters of that time were screen printed and used Art Noveou posters as inspiration.

I love this design and the lettering.

Such an iconic poster …so iconic it is also to be found at MoMA.

And this is where it all took place. It is hard to imagine this being full with tens of thousands of young people. If you are in the area, check out the museum, I liked it.

I am not quite sure what this building used to be …maybe a silo – but it was intriguing.

The Narrowsburg bridge – on the one side New York ..on the other side Pennsylvania. Narrowsburg is a really cute town and we spent a lot of time there.

Hello Turkey Bussard …and please stay where you are! LOL. They were everywhere and in the morning I could see them taking off from a tree in front of our cottage by the dozens …impressively big.

Lots of antique stores around and we found some corbels – the top two are already mounted to our deck on our house. We loved the patina. The other two will find a spot ;)

The Delaware River at Skinners Falls – it was fun being out there – watching people in their kayaks or tubing, people picnicking on the rocks.

Ok this bridge was a bit scary LOL!

Every morning two fawns visited the cottage – they were so darn cute…and fast. This picture was actually taken by my brother in law ..I usually just got white tails.

We saw this cute little barn&studio and boy…I love this so much- can I have this as my art studio please? This mini Dutch Colonial house really made my heart pitter patter. I think this needs to be a stamp :)

Old school 4th July Parade in Narrowsburg – all the fire departments in and around Narrowsburg took out their old and new fire trucks for the parade …I guess that is normal …lol- but hey – remember I am from Germany and this might have been my first non-city 4th of July celebration.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip to the Catskills Region …I did and we will be back for sure.

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    “War is not healthy for children or other living things” is a patch that I bought and put on jeans over 20 years ago!
    It is the same design as shown but in color.
    What a lovely post and that barn would make a nice studio and stamp.
    BTW, in my little town of 5000 people in NH, our parades always include fire trucks and police cars.
    I know that the children love them and the adults get to see what their taxes bought this year (we vote on these items every spring).
    Take care Nat.


  • Nancy


    That area of NY is beautiful. I live a bit farther up in the Hudson Valley. Thanks for sharing your views of the area.


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Inspired By: New York Botanical Garden

A couple weekends ago I thought I should check if there are tickets available for the NYBG and sure enough there were- so off we went spontaneously in the hopes that timed tickets would make for a less crowded adventure.

It was not super empty but nothing in comparison to pre-pandemic visitor times and it was a nice leisurely stroll. Loved the first signs of the upcoming Yayoi Kusama exhibiton there – the cheerfulness of her her sculptures are best displayed in nature.

This little Dude was also quite charming :)

It was beautiful even if a little bit too early for the full bloom of cherry blossoms – but the colors and signs of new life in spring are just so wonderful…and we do have a bit of a short spring season here. It might be my favorite time in NY though.

Daffodil Hill – where are the bunnies?

An old mill in the garden, and you cannot really see it in the photo – there is a group of painters sitting at the edge of the stream and I thought -what a great and relaxed way to spend a sunday morning.

Even masked up the smells were amazing- Magnolias revealing themselves with their perfume before you would even see them.

I am always intrigued by the fragility of Magnolias although they do look so hearty when the flowers start to come out. There was another young man painting magnolia petals.

Little floating silver balls- probably also part of the installation – we didn’t really stop here as this was the one spot in the garden that was pretty crowded.

In the rock garden, so beautiful !

My favorite- I loved the gnarly tree stem with all the beautiful lines and then the soft violet flowers – that was the moment I regret not having a sketchbook with me.

And I loved seeing those little tree dresses – also for the Kusama exhibition – it made me smile. What a beautiful day we had- and I hope you enjoyed strolling with me through the NYBG. I won’t be going to the Kusama exhibition as I fear it will be just a bit too crazy there and on top it is also quite a schlepp to the Bronx, but I am glad I saw some spring flowers, and polka dots- what more can you ask for ;)

Comments (3)

  • Sue Clarke


    I so love that gnarly tree!
    And the idea of people painting outside.
    Thanks for sharing your day Nat…inspiring as usual.


  • Robin


    This and the high line are at the top of our list for places to visit. We were supposed to go last summer, but stupid covid! Hoping to get there this year!


    • nathalie-kalbach


      you I hope it works out soon- and the Highline is amazing at any time- did you see the documentary on the Highline Treasures of NY on PBS? – I think you would love to see it if not – it has the landscaper from the Netherlands on talking about his plans and why he choose which plants- as you are such an amazing garden planner, I know you would enjoy it.


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Inspired By: Coney Island & Brighton Beach

A couple of weeks ago we spontaneously decided to head out to Coney Island. Guess what …never been there – which is ridiculous given that it is a short ride from here (well longer by subway). But we finally did it and it was fun even though after season.

Love all the colors and dorky vantage signs and I love this color combo of navy blue, light blue, pink and orange. Def. a good color combo in my book to keep in mind.

As you can see not many people there at this time of the year but it was sunny and beautiful.

I do love a good boardwalk for sure.

Super fun building and not sure if you can spy it but the two figures on the top are wearing masks. Coney Island may seem a bit vintage-y but has its finger on the pulse of time LOL

Love the murals on the side of the – I think aquarium but I might be mistaken.

Another nice color combo with the different yellows and blue and some black.

Hahah- you gotta love New Yorkers and their signs …I mean …why sugar coat

Loved all the lines and the Cyclone sign is awesome. The Cyclone is a wooden roller coaster from 1927 and still runs during the season. I have had many friends telling me it comes with serious back problems – LOL. but I think one day I want to try it. Have you been on it yet? Let me know how it is.

Also a fun view.

And those fake vintage signs were fun on the side of a building. Love the very saturated colors.

Stickers everywhere.

Nathan’s was unfortunately closed but the sign still brought me lots of joy. I mean I am German after all and we do like places that sell sausage ;)

It was wonderful to walk at the beach a little bit.

Couldn’t explore this area further where a lot of free standing walls with murals were standing- since it was fenced off. But maybe next time.

A couple minutes from Coney Island is Brighton Beach also known as “Little Odessa” due its tight-knit Russian and Eastern European communities which is reflected by the stores and signs.

I wanted to go there because of it’s interesting architecture in terms of apartments buildings build around 1900- 1930s

The brick work on some of those buildings is just amazing – alternating colored bricks making patterns and adding interest

Raised bricks forming patterns. And those are huge buildings. Amazing!

Loved the wonderful iron door and also the entrance tiles.

An wonderful art deco apartment facade with chevron and speed lines. You know I have an art deco crush, no?

Be still my heart – look at this magnificent entrance and the wonderful colored terra cotta tiles. I could not stop swooning in front of this building.

Another incredible entrance. Sometimes the building itself was built pretty simple but the entrance was always done in a grand way.

Loved the paving in a front yard towards the entrance- great pattern! I actually took the photo because I have three stamps that could make this pattern up :) Maybe you see something soon that resembles this pattern in my art journal ;)

Loved the blue painted bricks in the facade and the blue fire escape. 

It was a great day – we had fun exploring a different area of Brooklyn . I cannot wait to explore more. 

Comments (3)

  • Lani


    Such a fun trip down memory lane.
    My parents were dating when they went to Coney Island, as I did later with my husband. I still have a knife left from the set we won at the “bowling machine”.
    I went to kindergarten with Nathan’s grandson (Handworker) @1951.
    For years, my parent’s would wake me up in the middle of the night because they wanted a Nathan’s hot dog and couldn’t leave me alone in bed on Ocean Pkwy & Ave. K.
    When I was 18 I “ran away” from home and became a nanny in Brighton Beach Towers. I often shopped under “The El” in B.B.and at the “Shlock” shop owned by Neil Diamond’s parents. This was all before the Russians (rumored to be “The Mob”) took over. I baby-sat Lieba & Neil Sedaka’s kids also; friends of the people I worked for. My husband’s grandmother lived in one of those buildings. And his parents lived in a co-op 1 train stop before Coney Island.
    That was before we left to live in our VW van for 3 months, ending up here at the beach in Hermosa Beach in 1970.
    It has been a strange and winding road!
    ?Thanks for the memories…?


  • vivian


    Your ‘eye for photos’ is awesome!! Not the usual ‘eye’ but SO creative! I love the ART DECO
    also, a very special time in architecture and architects.

    I also want to say this was also a study of ‘fireescapes’ against the lovely patterned brick walls.



  • Marge


    Thanks for the great pictures, they bring back many memories for me. Marge


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Day Trip Inspirations

As we are getting used to the idea that we won’t be really traveling for a while we started doing some day trips to fight the cabin fever that started to set in lately. I thought I’d share some pictures with you. One day we did an amazing bike tour on the Westside of Manhattan all the way up to the George Washington Bridge. on the picture above you see General Grants Tomb which is actually a National Monument.

The little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. I love the story behind it and also the children’s book about it. I still need to get it.

Sisyphus Stones Sculpture– another amazing story to read – I like stories my friends, can’t you tell? It was a lovely bike ride- we clocked 28 Miles (45 km) and I would do it again – totally fun!

On another day we rented a car and had an outdoor visit with some friends who have a place in Asbury Park down the Jersey Shore.

It was super fun to stroll around and it felt almost a bit normal given that I hadn’t been in any stores since March that are not essential businesses.

I loved spending some time in an antique store …can you tell what this above is? It is a mold for fishing hooks- soooo cool!

If I’d had more space and more money I would have taken this beautiful Eastlake Victorian Easel with me ….but alas …still thinking of it though.

Then we took our new Covid Car …yet …we got one – you know some people get Covid Puppies, we got a Covid car and took it out for a ride to the Palisades Interstate Park

We did a really nice little walk and then ended up in Terrytown – a gorgeous town in New York State.

Isn’t this building amazing?

One of the favorite hikes we did recently was in Norvin State Forest, where we hiked to high point.

This made me smile …guess that was the intention LOL

Wonderful sandwich picnic at highpoint with a nice view of Manhattan wayyyyyy back there …can you see the tiny silhouette?

Loved being out and about and forget about the stuff in the world for a bit.

These pictures are from a bike tour in Long Valley on the Columbia Trail – super fun – the bike and hiking trail is very even and smooth, built on an old train track and you cross several little villages.

Historic places

and fantasy villages :)

It was a great bike ride until I had a flat when we were still about 13 Miles away from the car and of course we did not have a bike kit with us. Rookie mistake – oh well. 

It feels good to be reminded that in 1/2 and hour to 45 minutes you can be out and about in nature …it is a nice addition to city live right now and I actually enjoy some closer areas. Cannot wait to get out next weekend again- as long as the weather holds- we will try to do at least one day trip a week. 

Comments (3)

  • Monica Junge


    I enjoyed the pictures along w/the writing as to where they were taken.


  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck


    Oh, Nathalie, thank you so much for sharing these pictures. I just love them.


  • Sue Clarke


    Mold for fishing hooks…interesting.
    Smile in the rocks…perfect.
    That easel…go back for it in your new car.
    Now off I go to read the story of the lighthouse.
    Thanks for the stories and photos Nat.


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Inspired By: Austin & Blanco

At the beginning of the month my girlfriends and I went to Austin to celebrate a special birthday with our friend Heather. It was a super fun and also very inspiring long weekend.

We stayed in an old Union house turned Hotel and I just loved the very slick but warm design of the rooms. Everything about it made me happy. Blue, brown, grey, black …ahhh swoon.

We had an amazing dinner in a private vault in the basement of a restaurant -That was super fun … no other photos “what happens in the vault – stays in the vault”

We went downtown for a little shopping trip on Congress South – of course I didn’t check the weather app again before I left and the temperature dropped significantly from the prediction I had seen- hence the interesting layered look – oh well. I loved the wonderful old signs on the stores

and realized once again that even though I badly want a cool hat- I am jhsut not a hat person.

But I am a Mural person – and that was way cheaper too – LOL

Super fun !

And I want this pizza sign -it is the cutest!

Also — why not- LOL- I like it!

More amazing signs and storefronts

And def. liked how Austin celebrates their “Keep Austin Weird” motto.

which was proven once again in the candy store- Who puts a scale in a candy store? That is soooo weird – LOL.

That Candy store was really cool!!!!

This store window was cooler than the store- but I like the name …I wish it was a real yarn and embroidery store LOL.

This book store had a beautiful set up and book art everywhere – I could have spent hours in there.

Fun – and famous Boot Store – I am not a Cowboy boot person but some of these were pretty pretty cool.

More cool signs – I am a sucker for awesome vintage signs.

Here our “old gang” in the back of a rented bus to bring us to our friend’s party – Don’t be fooled- this is a tame picture from the beginning of the trip and …well what happens in the back of the bus stays in the back of the bus ;)

We stoped in Blanco- what a cute little town. Very picturesque.

And I just fell in love with those city buildings

I want to paint those!

And what do you find when you go to an antique store in Blanco? Spurs – I had no ideas there are so many different designs – these are so cool.

Our friend making drinks for us. She is the Greene in Milam&Greene Whiskey and the party was at the Distillery. We are so proud of her even though that means she moved away from us :(

We had a great time seeing the distillery and spending time with old and new friends

I love this oak tree right outside of the tasting room

It is a great place to visit -if you are ever in the area take a spin and visit the tasting room! And if you see my friend Heather -say hello from her friend Nat in Jersey ;)

I cannot wait to go back some time later this year- it was a lot of fun and there is so much more to see. Next time I make sure to bring my sketch book …for before the tasting of course ;)

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Inspired By: Loew’s Theatre, Jersey City

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I attended a fundraiser event at Loew’s Theatre here in Jersey City. I have heard so many wonderful things about this theater I couldn’t wait to finally get a look.

Can you say Wall-paper bliss? LOL- but let’s start from the beginning- What is this theater? Loew’s Theater was opened in 1929 as one of the five Loew’s Wonder Theaters.

It was closed in 1986 and remained closed. An investor bought the theater and wanted to demolish it to build a new monstrosity on the spot. Preservationists began a campaign to save the structure and succeeded in saving the building from demolition.

The theatre was subsequently sold to the city of Jersey City, the current owner. Since then it is operated by a volunteer organisation, the Friends of the Loews.

During the 7 years the Friends of Liberty fought to save it, “the Theatre was abandoned and it decayed accordingly. Pipes froze and burst. Mold grew on the worn-out upholstered seats. Paint peeled from the dampness and cold. The roof leaked. Every surface became covered in dust. Before the City of Jersey City bought the Loew’s in 1993, an architectural report made it clear that nothing worked within the Theatre. The report estimated that it would take about $5 million just to get the Loew’s minimally operational, and at least $12 million to make the Theatre fully functional and up to code.”

The Friends of the Loews have been doing an insane amount of work to repear, and preserve the theater which had been in a horrible condition. Every weekend for years and still they met up to work in the theater.

Here is yours truly goofball lady shooting an infinity mirror photo in the foyer of the ladies room.

The theatre reopened in 2001 thanks to the FOL. Not all parts of the theater can be accessed for the public as to fire code regulations and problems and there is still a ton of work to do. There are some movie screenings, events and even weddings.

But oh my- tell me it wasn’t sooo worth it to preserve this place.

In 2010, the Village Voice called the Loew’s Jersey the “Best Movie Theatre in New York” — even though we’re located in Jersey City!

I loved the total overboard grand ceilings- all the details are just insane.

Look at the curtain

and the velvet paneling

I was just in awe seeing all this

Here is the men’s foyer- a little smoking room – go figure- LOL.

Wherever you move – amazing details.

The movie theater was amazing as well – I wanna see a move soon there. Above is an organ – it is not the orginal anymore but like the one that was there.

The ceiling and the balcony of the movie theater – you cannot go to the balcony- that is off limits for now.

Swoon !!!

Part of the appeal for me of course was that it was a bit run down and it showed the age- although I am fully aware that this is not good and that everything has to be done to preserve it.

I am amazed by this neighborhood organization ! I hope the city will step up to it’s commitment and give the funding it promised a long time ago to make this place fully functional again.

Maybe the city needs a Push!!!

BTW – I was super excited to learn that the The Strokes did their official video Under Cover of Darkness in the Loew’s theater. I am a huge Strokes fan – so I finish with that video for you :)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    What a fun post Nat!
    I just love old buildings that have all that history and detail.
    The video was fun to watch as well.
    Hats off to the FOL for all their hard work.


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