The Traveling Artist

Inspired by: Tokyo, Japan

Japan was so so amazing – I am back now for a couple weeks and still so full of all the inspiration and impressions of this trip. I want to share some with you in a couple upcoming posts- this one is from our time in Tokyo. We were there a couple days in the beginning of our trip and a couple of days at the end.

This is a corner of the area where the Imperial Palace is located -you can only get into the palace if you apply for tickets way in advance for a certain day and time -but just walking through the park surrounding it was just beautiful.

Love those trees!

Koi everywhere – gigantic buggers- and to be honest, I am not actually a fish-person- LOL- I love their marks and colors- very cool!

Beautiful bridge iron work.

We were a couple days too early for a full cherry blossom bloom – Sakura -but some cherry blossoms and also as above magnolia were already out -so beautiful!

One of the many beautiful temple we saw. This one is the Hie Temple in Akasaka – I love the colors and all the details- the beautiful roofs.

Subway art – so beautiful!

Little electric cars zipping around at the Tsukiji Fish Market, which is one  of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. Watching those cars cruising around at the market is watching like a little ballet – it was fun …btw at 6am in the morning because jet lag said- hey- just get up and going ;)

The Meiji Shrine is located in a beautiful forest – the Torii (gate above) is leading to the Shrine.

Colorful Sake Barrels on the way to the shrine, which are offered every year to the enshrined deities by nationwide brewers.

The Shrine – very empty as it was again early in the morning – see jet lag has some perks- ;)

We were actually witnesses a traditional Japanese wedding. At a Shinto reception, the bride will get married in a long white kimono. Then she may come to the reception in a colorful, embroidered kimono, then change into a Western-style white wedding dress, and then into an evening gown or a party dress. phew I get tired just reading all this- but hey it was sure really beautiful to look at.

Such a beautiful door at the Shrine! We visited even more Shrines and Temples- but hey- before you get Temple Fatigue I am saving more pictures of those for my special post from Nara for later :)

Did I mention that jet lag was a real troublemaker this time? Well 14 hours time difference were just not easy to deal with…but …well…you can actually see the busiest pedestrian crossing  of the world – Shibuya Crossing –  from a cafe window without ANY people on a Sunday morning- LOL. You might know it also from a scene in “Lost in Translation” – and boy I experienced the totally crowded crossing during rush hour in the middle of the week- woot what an adrenalin kick :)

There is actually a life camera of the crossing- check out if you are watching at actual rush hour- LOL otherwise it is boring ;)

Total nuts- telling you ;)

My husband was at a conference for a couple days and on one of the days I was on my own I actually took a Japanese Cooking Class. It was so much fun! I will tell you more about it in a different post- but I can highly recommend doing it through Airbnb Experiences with Yukari- From Market to Meal . It was a highlight of the trip and I already cooked several of the things I learned back home.

This man making water drawings was so cool – I loved this – he would ask people what their favorite animal is and then start drawing. And no…he did not want any money although he deserved it – he just did it for fun …so delightful!!!

a little walk over to the Asahi Brewery – not really for the beer but for the view and definitely a cheaper view than from the sky tree. The brewery building with the golden thing on top designed by Philippe Starck is supposed to be a flame. Well…it  is also know as “Golden Turd” or the “Poo Building” …go figure- lol

And I cannot resist showing those signs  – when do you usually see a “NO Rickshaws” sign?

It was awesome in Tokyo -I am still trying to get a grip of all the inspiration. I am sure some of it will resurface in one form of the other in the future ;) Next stop is Kyoto, I hope you will join me :)

Comments (6)

  • Judi Vreeland

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    I love the photos of your trip to Japan. In less than 30 days we will be in Tokyo for one night before getting on the NCL Jewel. Did you have any problems obtaining cash, yen? Did you have any problems using a credit card. Thanks for your help. We are staying at the Keio Hotel just one night.
    Judi Vreeland

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Judi, you will have such a great time :) There are ATM’s at the airport for the first money change and throughout the city of course as well. Credit cards were accepted in big department stores but cash is a better option for most restaurants etc. So I would advice getting a yen at the airport when you arrive to be save. Have a great time.

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    The door at the Shrine!!! The trees! Awesome inspiration all around you in Japan for sure.

    Reply

  • Jean Goza

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    Loved your photos. The sights and colors look amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    Jean

    Reply

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Art-On-The-Go Kit

I am so excited, because I am going to Japan and I thought I would bring a little Art-On-The-Go Kit and I hope I will be doing a lot of sketching, and that I will also write a bit about my adventures. We will see how much I used it when I am back ;) But I thought I would share with you what I packed.

The bag was a gift from a friend many years ago and I use it a lot- some of you might have seen it in as part of my bags I bring supplies with me to workshops. The bag is waterproof and is made from one of those old maps the used to used in school – anyone remember those being carried in with a stand by the teacher? Here is what it is packed with

  1. 1. small 4×6.5 inch Sketchbook – it is the right format for me to do sketches and at some days just take it by itself with a pencil to fit in a small handbag but still big enough to also do some travel journaling in it.
  2. 2. a Travel watercolor box -this one is actually filled with colors I love to use but I just love the format of this old box I bought a long time ago in Germany. They are a wild variety of different company’s colors.
  3. 3. a Fude pen – I love to sketch with it but I also love writing with it. I am actually hoping to buy a lot more of those in Japan :)
  4. 4. a Micron fine pen for sketching
  5. 5. a technical pencil that also has a small eraster
  6. 6. my Bamboo Sketching Pen – I don’t usually bring it but I am so into it right now and somehow I feel there might be a lot of inspiration on sketching with it in Japan
  7. 7. a bigger Travel Watercolor Brush and
  8. 8. a small Watercolor Brush . I used to only bring a brush with a water tank but I love those little brushes and also bring a small 1oz cup with a lid which I can easily use with water or the ink if I need to.
  9. 9. a Stamp Pad – there is so much that can be turned into stamps, but I also heard that a lot of temples and train stations in Japan have their own stamps called Eki and that it is a good idea to have an ink pad with you as those at the location might be dried out. I hope to fill some beautiful stamp images to go along with my sketches and journaling.
  10. 10. a small container with ink. I like that this one is super small and it will go well with my Bamboo Sketching Pen.
  11. 11. not pictured a small piece of a rag and a glue stick

Here is a little glimpse at my colors in my watercolor set and the travel brushes being screwed together. Now cross your fingers I am a good girl and use all items while traveling ;) I will share of course share with you


Comments (4)

  • stephanie

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    Lucky you! Have a great time. Can’t wait to see your posts.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Have fun in Japan.
    I’ve never seen travel brushes…super compact.
    I love FUDE pens and order them in bulk on Amazon.

    Reply

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Inspired By: Coventry, England

When Birgit Koopsen and I taught our Workshop in Coventry, we took a little trip to the city center to check it out.

The city was founded in 1043 with some beautiful medieval houses still intact.

Love the lines and those beautiful windows.

And I love old doors and door knobs- aren’t those cool?

And the timber wood house facades.

The crest of Coventry shows an elephant carrying the castle- as you can imagine I love that :)

You can find the Elephant everywhere

Coventry was devastatingly destroyed during the German Blitz in 1940 during World War II and many people died during the attacks and many lost their homes. Coventry Cathedral was destroyed as well and remains as a ruin in the middle of the city.

It is a haunting experience and yet there is so much beauty in this place!

“Coventry Cathedral is one of the world’s oldest religious-based centres for reconciliation. Following the destruction of the Cathedral in 1940, Provost Howard made a commitment not to revenge, but to forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible.

Using a national radio broadcast from the cathedral ruins on Christmas Day 1940 he declared that when the war was over he would work with those who had been enemies “to build a kinder, more Christ-child-like world.”

 

“Today the medieval ruins of Coventry Cathedral continue to remind us of our human capacity both to destroy and to reach out to our enemies in friendship and reconciliation. In 2011, the ruins were designated as a memorial to all civilians killed, injured or traumatized by war and violent conflict world-wide.” (from the Coventry Cathedral Website)

“The Charred Cross and the Cross of Nails were created after the cathedral was bombed. The cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, saw two wooden beams lying in the shape of a cross and tied them together.

It has become a symbol of peace and reconciliation across the world. There are over 330 Cross of Nails Centres all over the world, all of them bearing a cross made of three nails from the ruins, similar to the original one. When there were no more of these nails, a continuing supply have come from a prison in Germany. They are co-ordinated by the International Centre for Reconciliation.”

Shadow and Light and a lot of amazing and touching statues.

The artist Josefina de Vasconcellos about her statue above: “The sculpture was originally conceived in the aftermath of the War. Europe was in shock, people were stunned. I read in a newspaper about a woman who crossed Europe on foot to find her husband, and I was so moved that I made the sculpture. Then I thought that it wasn’t only about the reunion of two people but hopefully a reunion of nations which had been fighting.”

For someone born in Germany visiting places like these are always very emotional and a reminder that anyone in our country – and actually in any country is responsible to work towards that none of this can happen again !

Birgit and I also visited the Herbert Art & Gallery next to the Cathedral – the painting below was created after the painter visited the ruins a day after it got destroyed.

It was a beautiful yet solemn time and yet again there is something so soothing knowing that 70 years later a German with a Dutch friend visits this place and talks about all that happened and all that hopefully never happens. To see that Coventry after all this became a city of reconciliation is inspiring.

I hope that despite the sad topic this post was inspiring to you too. My blog is about my creative journey and life as an artist, and this is part of it. Peace and Love to all of you!

Comments (5)

  • Cheryl

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    As a woman who most likely will be unable to travel, I want you to know I was brought to tears looking through these photos as well as the newer visit at the new cathedral. Very moving. Thank you so much for sharing your shining heart with us. And. This thank you goes for Julie, too. You don’t know the joy you share with us all. Thank you. I will create in my art journal forgiveness in mind.

    Reply

  • Zoe Gregg

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    Did you have time to go into the new cathedral as well. There are some incredible pieces of art in there too.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Zoe- I wil go def. next year when I am back- we didn’t manage this time but this sounds wonderful! Thank you for the tip!

      Reply

  • Deb

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    Kudos to you Natalie for yet another touching, inspiring and thoughtful post with amazing photography. Blessings to you. Keep doing all that you do with your sense of Love and Artful Adventure. Now that you are American….Happy Thanksgiving!
    Deb

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Deb- I am glad you liked the article. Have a wonderful and special weekend!

      Reply

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Inspired by: Birmingham, England Part 2

Now- are you ready for my favorite part of the trip with Birgit Koopsen to Birmingham? Well ….lemme show you :)

this awesome fox put together with different parts of plywood was around the corner of our AirBnB. We went one of the two days we spent in Birmingham to explore the neighborhood of Digbeth, which we had heard was fun.

We entered Streetart and Graffiti Heaven – we couldn’t believe the many many awesome and different inspiring walls !

Loving the colors here and the lettering

Look at Birgit going :)

Wherever we turned there was something

This one was ne of my favorites – the colors the background- LOOOOOVEEEE

The patchwork fish – such a great inspiration to use collage paper

The colors again!

Look at the amazing giant stencil below

beautiful

More awesome stencil work!

And this one …another patchwork- so so so amazing!!!!

Funky stuff – also very inspiring colorwise

I mean come on…..stooooooopppp it

This one in different grey tones and pink and magenta- LOVE

weird attempt of a selfie- but there you go ;)

old warehouses and parking lots

This one is funny

These were everywhere

Loe the color blocking and the face

Hilarious with the open door

Can you tell we already had fun …but wait

We found this little graffiti store and they offered workshops – so we went in and asked how long in advance you have to book to take a graffiti workshop. The answer was one week. We made a very sad face and told them we were leaving the next day …and so they took pity on us and arranged for us to come back a couple hours later and we slipped into these painting overalls and learned lettering with a spray can ….

Look at me…I look like a bumble bee hahahaahaha- it was hilarious and so much fun!

We learned a lot- including that we need a LOOOOOOOOTTT of practice – and that working on a large scale with your spray paint can and trying to control it makes your hands hurt.

Our teacher had us battle too – we had to both write color in 10 Minutes – we almost lost it laughing because he would yell out “POLICE” every couple minutes. Be assured though, this wasn’t an illegal action, we were in a little outside shop that belongs to the store.

OH man – look how sad this looks LOL

But I still love it

BTW …Birgit cheated she sprayed with two cans – -hahahha- just kidding.

It was such a fun and great afternoon with this spontaneous workshop – I will never forget it. I think you can easily see why this was my favorite day in Birmingham.

Thanks so much for joining me on this little Inspiration trip- hope you enjoyed it :)

Comments (6)

  • Textile Ranger

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    Last year I got to go to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and they are starting to build up a collection of murals. I think they want to be Birmingham when they grow up! :) I was sad this wasn’t about Birmingham, Alabama, because that would be easier for me to visit. But I was glad to see so much great art. Thanks for putting them together in this post.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love the tie one as it made me smile. How fun to get to do the workshop at the last minute. POLICE!
    The Native American one is my favorite as well. I can reach in and feel the rocks.

    Reply

  • Jill

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    Wow! So much fun. Looks like the two of you had a great time. Amazing place.

    Reply

  • Joanne Howard

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    Wow! So much to look at! The two of you were hilarious! Nat you look like a gansta with your arms folded in your red coveralls! So cute!

    I have to go back and look at the pictures again since there was so much to see in the details. Thanks for posting these!

    Reply

  • Laura Weed

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    WOW! There are some serious artists in Birmingham! Some of those just blew me away! This has definitely become a “must see” vacation spot now! The graffiti class looks like the MOST fun! That writing style is so unique and those pieces just always look like so much work. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pieces with us!

    Reply

  • Bea

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    I enjoyed this a lot. Creepy, hairy hand spider…

    Reply

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Inspired By: Birmingham, England Part I

Before teaching in Coventry, my sweet friend Birgit Koopsen and I met in Birmingham to spend a couple days there and hash out some fun plans :)

We had rented an airBnB in China Town and we made good use of being so close to many wonderful restaurants.

Some fun street art around on our way to the Birmingham Art Museum

I loved the statues in front of the museum

It was an interesting museum for sure – small section with different themes and we were looking for things that would inspire us.I mostly saw patterns and texture that day -but see yourself

Loved the black and white drawing of the city.

And those little Pharao figurines as well

as the remains of this beading- how cool is that.

The hieroglyphs  – I am thinking of incorporating some of those symbols into my art journaling and then

check out this amazing frame! Isn’t it a piece of art by itself?

This was from a wooden wall- if I recall right -loved the bright and happy painting on it.

The industrial part of the museum – look at those chandelier fixtures- so cool.

The museum has a wonderful tearoom in which we enjoyed a really yummie High Tea

Wonderful tea, sandwiches etc. and we spent quite some time in there

Look at the funky modern High Tea display- loved that going along the industrial theme.

The mosaic on the floor was gorgeous but

looking up revealed a not so shabby view as well.

We walked to the Birmingham Library and we loved the facade –

Can you say stencil?

We also loved the inside of the library

and spent some time in the so called “Knowledge Lounge” in which you could hang out and read papers etc.

But look at this foyer

I thought it was beautifully done

We also followed this advice below…

although when walking downstairs ;)

On the top floor we found the Shakespeare room, which was lovely

and we enjoyed some modern architecture views of the city as well.

This is such a cool facade as well. Hope you enjoyed the little stint to Birmingham – more to come soon :)

 

Comments (2)

  • Joanne Howard

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    Wow! What inspiration! Every picture had something to drool over! Speaking of drooling, love the red Coach saddle bag! Lol Excellent choice!

    Hmmm high tea, one of my favorite things. Thank you for sharing your journey!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- it is my fave bag…well- besides a small floral bag that I just got- Love bags :)

      Reply

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Tour of the American Ancients Part #3

This is part #3 of our road trip through mostly the South West of the U.S driving about 2,300 Miles which called Tour of the American Ancients because we visited many historical sites. Now this part is leading through some newer …not so ancient sights, but it was still super fun. I am sharing some highlights,You can find Part #1 here. And Part #2 here.

Coming from Petrified Forrest National Park we drove to Sedona where we stayed two days in a beautiful airBnB.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is one of the most beautiful modern chapels I have ever seen. It was completed in 1956.

On the way up to the chapel in the garden – Love this!

We continued our ride often times on the old Route 66

I am loving those old motel signs and of course the Roadkill cafe always makes me laugh with their slogan “you kill it, we grill it”

We took a little detour to this ghost town …well…is it still a ghost town if 10 people seem to live there?…and

how often do they get their mail? I know, I know but these are the questions that run through your mind when you see this.

As we were on our way to Joshua Tree National Park we decided to stop at Roy’s cafe again – we were there 10 years ago and this abandoned motel with the gas station in the middle of nowhere is just too cool.

The old lobby is still intact, preserved….

Played a lot with my camera – and really love this shot.

We stayed in a nice cottage near Joshua Tree National Park – we had a good time sitting in these chairs outside, until one morning a Tarantula Hawk came flying by like on a mission and I knew this bugger was dangerous and then I looked it up and got even more scared about it. It has the second most painful sting in the world …ahhh- no thank you.

Loved hiking around in Joshua Tree NP although everything screamed “yow , I survived here and that means I am able to kill you if you are not careful and watch your step”

An abandoned car in the park

And then the trip was almost over

And we finished in Santa Monica, had a nice last dinner together and then my husband dropped me off for my workshops in West Village. It was an amazing trip – so inspiring, relaxing, educational and beautiful. I am still processing a lot of the things I saw there and I cannot wait to turn it into my artwork. I hope you enjoyed the little trip :) Thank you for joining me!

 

Comments (4)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Wow the pics and story make me want to check out the SW! Looks like you had an amazing time. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Oh Karen, I hope you get to go to the SW- I really loved it and I think you would find it as inspiring!

      Reply

  • Janet

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    So glad you were able to cover so much of the Southwest (my neck of the woods) in one trip! And you shared it so beautifully. I’m looking forward to new stamps and stencils from inspiration gained on this trip (hint hint ;) ). You remind me that I must visit Chaco…I will put it on the calendar NOW! We are fortunate to have history of the Ancients all around us here in Arizona…even in the Phoenix area. I am constantly inspired by the beauty. Btw…I have your husband’s hat, but in turquoise.Thank you again for sharing. Come back when you can stay awhile (and when it is cooler!)

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Janet – it was so amazing- you live in an amazing area! Chaco Canyon was just mind blowing! HA- I think I would like my husband’s hat in Turquoise- my favorite color. Thank you so much for joining me :) Have a a wonderful weekend!

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Tour of the American Ancients Part #2

This part #2 of our road trip through mostly the South West of the U.S driving about 2,300 Miles which called Tour of the American Ancients because we visited many historical sites. It was awesome and so inspiring and I am sharing some highlights, spread out over the next couple weeks in three parts :) You can find Part #1 here.

After Hovenweep we drove up to Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado where we already stayed 7 years ago. We took again the ranger lead hiking tour to one of the cliff dwellings- the Cliff Palace and it was yet again awesome. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Pueblo people began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs .Cliff Palace contained 150 rooms and 23 kivas and had a population of approximately 100 people. By the late 1270s, the population began migrating south into present-day New Mexico and Arizona. By 1300, the Ancestral Puebloan occupation of Mesa Verde ended.

Our Ranger was a Native American and I loved hearing his perspective on archeology and view of history in North America. Even though it was our second time doing this little hike- it was a different experience and opened a different view point.

After two days in Mesa Verde we drove a bit- seeing the most fun Motel signs

and after leaving the Highway at some point we drove a 16 mile long dirt road to get to one of the most amazing park: Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico. This valley was the center of a thriving culture a thousand years ago. Chaco is central to the origins of several Navajo clans and ceremonies. Many Southwest Indian people look upon Chaco as an important stop along their clans’ sacred migration paths-a spiritual place to be honored and respected.

The remains of Pueblo Bonito are just stunning and breathtaking. Researchers found out that the huge city used to be white and was occupied by Ancestral Puebloans between AD 828 and 1126. It must have been an amazing view upon arrival and they found traded goods that came from far south of South America.

some of those structures soared to four or five stories.

They had an air conditioning system and evidence suggests that the Chacoans were expert skywatchers, with a clear knowledge of the cyclic and seasonal patterns of the sun, moon, and stars. This knowledge is reflected over and over again in the architecture of the great houses, and in various observational and ceremonial sites around the canyon.

It is a magic place and I am so glad we went. It is so worth the visit. I can see why this is a sacred place and I am kind of glad it is so out of the way – maybe that will keep it from being destroyed.

A huge Kiva

and of course we saw more petroglyphs while hiking.

and this little dude – smartly staying in the shadow…it was HOT. We drank so much water and basically it all just evaporated right away.

Our next stop was Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Above a photo of the so called painted desert.

The one hundred year old Painted Desert Inn in the park hosts a museum and the skylights in the building were painted by the Civilian Conservation Corps around 1933. So cool!

Beautiful place and scattered all around are those petrified former tree logs- now stones.

Look how gorgeous some of those logs are up close!

Every corner revealed a new look and great area to hike- we liked it a lot.

I feel like some of the textures and colors will make their way into some future artwork. One more post from our trip to come – hope you enjoyed this little adventure so far.

Comments (4)

  • Jan Hill

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    Wow, love your journey. I feel lots of stamp inspiration from your photos! Have you been to Monteza Castle? Sedona {My spiritual home} and Phoenix? The ancient homes are cut into a rockface almost as a modern apartment block. The Red Rock canyons and walks around the hippy chic are beautiful x

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Hi Jan, yeah- I think there might be some inspiration coming for new stuff from this trip :) I have not been to Monteza Castle- I have to check it out -sounds amazing. thank you for the tip! Have a gorgeous day!

      Reply

  • Denise Spillane

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    Beautiful, makes mr want to be there

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I know, right Denise! Thanks for checking in and coming along on the trip :) Have a great day!

      Reply

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A Tourist in NYC

Two weeks ago when I came back from Germany, I brought my 17 year old godson with me and he stayed here for 8 days for his first trip to the States.

I basically did drop all work and decided to show him as much as he wanted and as we could possible do in this short time and it was fun for me to be a tourist in NYC for a change again.

We arrived midday and to beat the jet lag, after feeding him a real American Hamburger, we went for a short stint into the city taking the Path -which only takes 10 minutes to the WTC station. 17 years ago I called from the station from a pay phone while in the States to learn that my godson was born. We visited the 9/11 Memorial and then took the ferry back from Manhattan to Jersey City.

The next day we went to the Whitney Museum

My godson really loved the architecture of the building.

From there we walked a little bit on the High Line – such a cool place and such different view of the city.

Then we visited The Ink Pad since my godson wanted to get some watercolor paints and fine liners he had tried out in the morning in my studio. He is a really good sketcher- proud auntie here. Funny enough we bumped into Seth Apter, who had just also come from the Whitney and The High Line (you see- this is the way to go ;) ) .

And then we had a nice lunch at my favorite NY-Style pizza places – Village Pizza – and yes- he did it right – no fork and knife :)

On the way to the Washington Square Park we stopped at a party supply store…because seriously guys…nothing screams AMERICA more than a place like that ;) We took some pictures in case he would decide to become a famous rockstar …you never know when you need an album cover ;)

We then spent some time in the park watching street performers and people. It was HOT

A little bit more walking on Broadway to see the Flatiron Building 

And the Empire State Building.

And of course we couldn’t pass this photo option …oh – I love this so much !!!

And then we waited for my husband at Union Square and watched more people …if you are offended by the sign …sorry not sorry !

We took the subway to go to the Mets Stadium in Queens to watch a Mets vs. Yankees Baseball game. Pretty cool – you see the subway in the background, planes are flying over your head and you are just have a good time. Well – the boys did – they both played baseball when they were younger …I …to be honest…well…let’s put it that way…it is a biiiiiiittttt lonnnnnnnnggggg – but ok , my feet were pretty happy to sit for hours and hours- LOL

The third day was a bit tough as it was raining quite bad and it was really humid. We went to the Guggenheim Museum (more later)

and walked from there all the way though the Central Park – my godson loves walking as much as I do and hey- if you want to see NYC – that is the way to GO

typical street sighs …

Oh well and then …I had to do the REAL touristy thing …the thing I HATE …and which probably most New Yorkers hate …walk through Times Square but ok…you see, I really really love my godson, so I suffered through it since he wanted to see it ;)

We went to the movies for the evening- which was also.

On Saturday after the boys did a kayak tour on the Hudson River …yes …you gotta check it out – my husband does it all the time -it is organized by the Park Rangers at Liberty State Park and if you want to do something really cool that most tourists in NYC don’t even know about – there you go ;)

We then took the ferry to go to Ellis Island – which is especially interesting since my godson and I are from Hamburg, where most immigrants embarked from to go to America.

We went to see Lady Liberty

and after a nice dinner we fell to bed. Sunday we went to the Great Falls National Historical Park in Paterson and visited friends in the burbs …something different

Monday we had a really late start and we went to the East Village. We spent a lot of time at Strand Book Store – a heaven for book lovers like my godson and me. We also had the most delicious dessert at Eggloo – I am sorry I have no photo – but boy oh boy…yummmmmieee. Watched the partial eclipse, had a drink at Russ & Daughters and did some shopping …you know things teenager want ..sneakers, hoodies…and more ;)

The last day we went to Bryant Park

and the New York Public Library

and stopped at Barnes and Noble on 5th Avenue to discover my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media in the shelf- which made me slight geek out – LOL

And we visited MoMA to see Rauschenberg and the Frank Loyd Wright exhibition as well as the permanent collection. My godson told me he loved MoMA most for the art, the Whitney for outside terraces and gallery representation and Guggenheim for its cool inside architecture – a mixture of all three museums would be his “perfect” museum :)

We topped the day off with the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center .

It was so much fun to have him. I think my favorite part of his visit was seeing him taking the city in for the first time – the wonder and the excitement – untamed and raw – it was so cool . It was an energizing visit- …well – my feet still think differently- LOL. Spending so much time with my favorite teenager was pretty pretty cool ;) Hey and L. if you read this …thanks for the good times – love ya! P.S.- hey- those photos of you were approved by you- no whining ;)

Comments (16)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Really enjoyed reading this!! Makes me want to tourist in NY for sure!! Funny thing I was watching Seth’s Insta Live when he went into the Ink Pad & bumped into you. You sure packed a lot in a few days.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      That is so funny karen that you watched Seth’s live Insta while we bumped into each other :)

      Reply

  • stephanie

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    What a great gift to share NYC with him. It looks like you both had a great time!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It was so much fun! Thanks Stephanie for visiting with us :)

      Reply

  • Seth

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    So much fun running into you both!!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    I love the Flatiron Building. The shot of your godson with wings and the album cover are very cool!
    Great pic of Lady Liberty as well. Looks like you had a blast and I bet the memories from this trip will be discussed for a lifetime.
    Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

    Reply

  • Crystal

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    Will you be my Godmother? I’m available. :-)

    You showed your godson an amazing time and I am happy for you both–the Flatiron and Ellis Island just do it for me! I still need to visit the New York Public Library, but I have seen photos and heard stories that, as an ex-library operative, left me longing to see it in person. My sister and I used to do New York together and I miss it…

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- sure why not Crystal ;) Put the New York Public Library on you next visit- it is so beautiful and actually my husband who is a former librarian showed it to me when I was in NYC the very first time- so I guess it is a must visit for any librarian ;)

      Reply

  • Michelle Hernandez

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    This really makes me miss New York. I love those wings! I’m TOTALLY gonna pose in front of those when I visit comes Christmas time! And look how beautiful the High Line looks-waaaah. :) The only more American thing to do while in a party store in front of the picnic paper plates is eat a hotdog while posing in your American flag jacket.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe! I forgot to have him eat hot dogs- nooo -I just realized- oh well…next time ;)

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  • Donna B.

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    Wow Nathalie! Looks like both of you had a wonderful time!!! Loved seeing the pics and hearing about everything you did!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thanks Donna for joining us on the stroll through the city :)

      Reply

  • Janis Loehr

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    Yikes! I’m exhausted just reading this!!! Godson is lucky to have a great personal tour by someone who clearly loves NYC. On his next visit he’ll have to experience a different view of America. Very happy for you!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- yeah- I am curious myself where a trip to America in the future will lead him :)

      Reply

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A Tourist in NYC

Having my friend Birgit Koopsen visit me a couple weeks ago brought the opportunity to play tourist in NYC. Living so close to Manhattan (a 10 minute path ride) makes you often just go in for your goals and chores and forget to explore it the way you would if you wouldn’t live to so close. Since Birgit was already here a couple years ago – I was able to show her some different things. Here are some fun highlights :)

Last time Birgit was here the WTC station wasn’t yet finished …I always rush through it …On the first day we went to the Russian Vodka Room for dinner  (it is a fun place – piano player, good food and drinks included- a great place when you are around the Broadway for a show) before

going to a MoMA Party with my friend Kim and we had the galleries almost to ourselves – so cool. It was great to go to the Picabia show for a third time :) I still saw new things and it is always awesome to talk with artsy friends about art.

The party was ok – young rich NYC kids – meh … but you know – look at the gallery above – ALL OURS

On another day we explored the East Village a bit (ok ok …I got lost …but hey…it is the best way to get to know a hood- LOL)

and went to Russ & Daughters – ohhhh yummie. The store exists for over 100 years – the Cafe offering their yummie delicatessen was opened a couple years ago.

We couldn’t stop eating (as we both love pickled fish and fish and pickles and potatoes latkes and dessert)  and we bought loads of their fish in store too which we indulged throughout the week at home …heaven :)

We went to Kremer’s Pigment– oh still my heart. A gem open since 1977 in the middle of a buzzing city- a candy store for artists

you can buy pigments there and they make their own watercolors. But they also offer workshops on how to make your own watercolors and gesso. I heard those classes are fantastic.

We went one day downtown

saw the Fearless Girl facing the Wall Street Bull (tons of people there- CRAZY!- that was the moment I turned back into a Jersey/NY girl and had to contain myself from just pushing through the crowd to be able to walk)

We took a Staten Island Ferry Ride- free and with the best picture opportunities of Manhattan, Jersey City, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

And just enjoyed the sun and glorious day

Another day we meet a friend of mine in Brooklyn – Bushwick

strolled around

and had Pizza at the Roberta’s – sitting outside in the garden – yummie!

And then went to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to visit my friend and artist Adam in his studio to see some of his amazing artwork .

and then walked through Vinegar Hill to the Brooklyn Bridge which we crossed at the perfect time of the day with beautiful light

And who says New Yorkers have now humor ;)

We also did a Cheese Tasting in our local cheese store- all cheeses made by female cheese makers in the U.S. and spent some time in my hood. I really enjoyed having Birgit here and I miss her already :)

Hope you enjoyed the little sightseeing tour, I know we did !

Comments (10)

  • Torsa Saha

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    Love the small sightseeing through NYC !! Love you both !! Hugs !!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thanks for joining Torsa! Huge hugs back to you and a wonderful start into the week!

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  • susan debourguignon

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    oh, thanks so much for my armchair visit! i will get there someday. we will definitely visit Kremer Pigments and then have a lovely meal at Russ & Daughters. i don’t eat fish (just don’t care for it) but i will still have to make tough choices for lunch or dinner. and what a treasure of a trip to MoMA! Nathalie, thanks again for all that you share with us … we appreciate your nourishing art information!!!
    s

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you for coming with us Susan :) There are loads of yummie things on the menu at Russ&Daughters – their Potato Latkes- yumm and …hey…their sweets ….delicious :) Have a wonderful rest of your week!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love Fearless Girl and looks like you had a great visit with Birgit. I can’t believe that you are that close to NYC.
    Thanks so much for sharing our pics Nat.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Sue – yeah it was a fantastic time with her. It pays off to live so close (15min with public transportation) – as I always say ” it is awesome to be quick in and awesome to be quick out” ;)

      Reply

  • Cindy Langston

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    Ohhh…thank you so much for this post Nat! My husband and I will be making our annual trip to NYC in a couple of weeks and we are always on the look out for new things to see. You have definitely added to our list with your post. Would love more off the beaten path ideas if you want to share!

    Thanks…Cindy

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Cindy, I am glad you enjoyed the post and wish you and your husband an amazing time in NYC!

      Reply

  • Joi@RR

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    Loved every INCH of this post Nat. The art, the food, the sights and best of all… the story of your time together. Never having been to that part of the country – it’s all just AMAZING. Thanks so much for sharing. Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      thank you Joi – it was a super fun time! NYC is a great place to visit :)

      Reply

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