Stroll Through The Hood

Stroll Through the Hood – August 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

The past couple weeks were a whirlwind of emotions and things happening. We had a surprise good bye party for some very close friends who are moving to Texas -very sad and fun at the same time.

We made T-Shirts with a drawing I made of their house and to commemorated all the parties we had on that stoop. The back of the t-shirt had all the “famous” stoop sayings and we even had strangers asking us for t-shirts LOL. Maybe this could be a side business – Stoop Shirts – LOL.

By far the saddest moment though was when we had to say good bye to our wonderful little man Niles. He was with us for 19 1/2 years and he brought us so much joy and laughter over the years, he is truly missed. It is hard to not think of him during our daily routine because he was such a big part of it. I am sure anyone who ever had a pet can relate.

This fire hydrant is such an iconic American picture for me – LOL . I still wonder is that something that just happens or does someone open it up? It would be an even better picture with some kids jumping through the water.

Look at this wonderful color combination – we get these flowers at a farmers stand in NJ along with corn and tomatoes . Oh I am in love with Jersey tomatoes!

Our house is slowly progressing -the wall is out in the first floor – it is such a huge difference in space and light. This is going to be our living room, dining room area and in the back will be the kitchen.

One of our iron cast radiators – we had to remove one – but will keep the others. This thing is HEAVY!

How the kitchen looks right now …new electric stuff and since we passed the rough electric inspection it will soon be drywalled.

Big opening in the kitchen which will soon have a door going out on the new deck.

And here is our little Bobby Pretzel – he really misses Niles as well – and for the first couple days didn’t eat. He is very cuddly and I enjoy hanging out with him right now …maybe I should sketch this little guy :)

As you can see a lot of the strolls are simply to our house – LOL – we are on pins and needles at the moment but it looks as if we can move in at the end next month – wish us luck!

I hope you enjoyed the little stroll – until next month!


And check it out: my Exchange Place foam stamp is now just $4 in the shop! Love this stamp!

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    RIP Niles…so sorry for your loss Nat.
    The tees are wonderful.
    The deck looks like it’s boxing for gardens right now (looking through the openings).
    Is that your yard?
    Your home is quite the work in progress and it will be just what you want once done (well worth the wait)!

    Reply

  • Diane

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    Thank you for sharing your house renovations. I am sure you will enjoy.
    Sorry about your kitty. Little one is cute too. Hope he helps fill the void.
    All the best.

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – July 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

July is my favorite month of the year – well first of all it is SUMMER and then its my birthday and I am one of those dorks who like birthday and then you can sit outside all the time and just enjoy life :) Loving the view from our terrace ..and will enjoy it of the last couple months.

I am also very inspired by my new instrument …A Ukulele. Well – I have no musical bone in me and I tried learning the guitar when I was a teenager (any German here who remember Peter Bursch’s Gitarrenbuch?” hahaha). I failed miserably and mind you, no internet back then, no youtube etc. But for a while I had on my bucket list to learn an instrument and so my very musical husband gave me one for my birthday and I loooovee it! I have been playing every day since I got it and signed up for in person classes.

This wouldn’t be a stroll through the hood post without a picture from one of the bike rides through the park- here is Manhattan on an extremely hot and humid day …it was 87% humidity – blech.

Our house reno is coming along -and I learned this beautiful ceiling reveals the typical Balloon Framing invented in the States. I love it and almost wish we could expose the ceiling in one of the rooms- but you know you cannot have everything in such a small house LOL

Some street art at the back of a building down town which I actually rarely pass.

Some under the bridge street art.

Our deck coming along …I love all those lines- I also feel strongly inclined to sketch this as I feel it helps me understand painting buildings better seeing all those raw structures.

When they started taking down the reclined ceiling in one of the rooms (Why the heck do people do that?) we discovered some of the original crown molding. Keep your fingers cross we can keep it. The rosette of the ceiling already came crumbling down.

I love all those old houses in my hood. This one with the cute onion tower is saying – sketch me, sketch me!

And then you have this gorgeous house on the brink of falling down. It looks like there is a permit in the window so it will be interesting to see if someone can bring it back to its old glory of if it is going …sniff.

I love this graffiti also in our new hood! Impressive!

And then one day I decided to check out this church -it is a pretty impressing brick church but I didn’t expect it to be so quite beautiful inside- I didn’t go in as there was a service going on and I didn’t feel it was the moment to take pictures- but I will def. check again one other time.

I hope you enjoyed the little stroll – until next month!

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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 (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    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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Stroll Through the Hood – June 2019

Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Look at this gorgeous Allium in my garden! LOL- just a couple weeks ago I had no clue what those guys are called when they popped up but you my friends helped me quickly on instagram. I love the purple and green with this kind of fireworks look.

Around Journal Square are a lot of really ugly store fronts …sorry but it is the truth and I have to admit rarely do I look up but one day I did and I saw this gorgeous facade – look at the beautiful tiles with the flowers – I will now be a bit more on the look out and see what other little beauties I can detect there as well.

OK – now as I might have mentioned before I never had a garden, I am a terrible plant mother and I am excited like a little kid about anything that pokes it’s head out in our new garden. The rose bush though – I mean seriously …how gorgeous are those popping bright pink flowers.

And the Wisteria at the front of our house – I love those cute little flower buds -well not soooo little – LOL. They are called Blue Rain Flower in German – which I think is so fitting. I love how some of the colloquial names for flowers are so descriptive and creative.

Speaking of words- LOL – this sign at a dessert bar made me laugh! And yes …I a brie – cheese is dessert.

More NYC views from the routine bike rides through Liberty Park – see the “tiny” Empire State Building and the WTC ?

We also went a bit adventurous and explored the Bergen Arches – a little strip of abandoned railway passage through the Jersey City which is being discussed as a park – we are totally up for it.

Some weathered Graffiti under the bridges

And NATURE – in the middle of a buzzling loud city – crazy – and beautiful and crazy …

Some urban petroglyphs …wonder if in 1000 years someone tries to figure out what the meaning of this is and will call it newspaper rock- hahahah

Here one of the many “arches” on the way

Lot’s of garbage down here too – but there was something about this grungy dirty , colorful area with nature taking it back that I found interesting ….

OK for those of you who might have now wrinkled their nose …smell that rose ;) LOL. Sorry still back to my rosebush – I am sure like totally gaga about it – please don’t let me kill this gorgeous plant!

And we also bought a little buttterfly bush for the front of our house . This was one of our first plant we bought for our roof deck when we moved into our apartment in Hamburg, Germany and you know …we are romantic sentimental fools LOL.

We are still enjoying our deck in our apartment here – and as you can see, so does Niles who turned 19 in May. He loves the deck and as Bobby Pretzel is not allowed yet on the deck because he is a suicide contender, Niles loves the time he has just with us as well. He always just sits on the chair while we eat and talk and pokes his head up to the sun. Wise guy!

I hope you enjoyed the little stroll – until next month!

Comments (2)

  • Jean Goza

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    Always love strolling with you!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nat, as always I so enjoy your strolls and that you share them with your fans!
    Bobby Pretzel not being allowed on the deck is a riot (in how you described him).
    Yeah for Niles being 19!
    I have a thing for arches as well. They make me think that I can pass through time.
    Keep posting,
    Sue

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Stroll Through the Hood – May 2019

May is almost over- wow that was a pretty wet month here in New Jersey but nonetheless I was able to do some Strolls :) Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me get unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

This is from the beginning of the month – look at the amazing sunset – I always love this view the trees and our pencil factory buildings when I come home.

I love those houses on a side street of The Beacon, an old huge Hospital complex now Apartment complex – the little balconies and the colors- swoon.

Here is a part of The Beacon which has a ton of tall buildings which are the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in New Jersey. One day I would really like to go inside- some of the areas are suppose to look stunning. I had students in my classes in NYC who told me they learned being a nurse there and they would never move in there because they swear it is haunted. MMHH…though I do not believe in these things …I love hearing those stories …probably the reason why I am so scared when watching anything suspenseful hahahah- maybe a little bit in my does believe after all ;)

This house above is the Hilton-Holden Homestead- which is considered to be Hudson County’s only surviving safe house on the Underground Railroad. “David and Edward Holding, aspiring astronomers deeply immersed in abolition causes, are thought to have used their observatory mansion to shelter runaway slaves.” You can see a little bit of the observatory to the left of the pediment and it is believed that it was used for signaling.

Little head poking out – Love how weathered it is and still intriguing.

Cherry Trees in Liberty State Park framing the Manhattan skyline

and leading towards Lady Liberty

We always stop here so my husband can skip some stones, funny little habits :)

And this view never gets old for me – I love it – riding the bike through the park and seeing this.

BTW that is behind me when I look towards Manhattan – the only bridge – not for public – to Ellis Island. That’s how all the tourist sandwiches get transported over LOL. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just bike over there?

A burned out house in the new neighborhood. So sad to see this. I wonder how this will look like in a couple years – if they will take it down or gut it. It belongs now to a developer and the house to the right which actually looked pretty nice from the outside was totally stripped off its remaining ornamental original window and door parts and now looks like a typical Flipper-Frankenstein house.

Speaking of houses …here is our hallway where we started exposing some of the brick. It is a brick house after all.

I hope you enjoyed the little stroll – until next month!

Comments (2)

  • Michele

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    I worked in Jersey City for many years before I retired. I miss the wonderful sights/sites you posted. Your photos were fabulous. I do get back there about once a month and have been mesmerized by some of the wonderful street art. Thanks for posting these photos. — Michele

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Stroll Through the Hood – April 2019

I am so happy it is finally April – I love seeing every day the changes in the park, the trees and also …nothing better than a month of no heating and no A/C -bliss! Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Just soaking in the first sun beams through a tree that starts to bloom- AHHHH

Every time I pick up our CSA eggs I come across this awesome old street sign – I love it.

Excited like a little kid seeing the first flower in our garden at the house- woot woot!!!

Speaking of the house- here is a photo of our masterbedroom where we have taken down the chimney breast. Love the texture …on a photo – in real life this is pretty dusty-disgusting-workintensive. Hopefully the permits for our main reno are coming through soon so we can start and then hopefully can move in as planned later this summer.

We kept some of the good looking bricks and the hearth of the fireplace. The initial fireplace was relocated into my studio as we wanted to keep the beautiful mantle. We probably will use the hearth for a shelf – it is so called blue stone.

Here is the summer cover of the former bedroom – now my “fake” fireplace in my studio. I love it. I painted the hole behind it black and I am now scraping off old paint flecks from the fireplace. Thanks whoever didn’t cover up the fireplace when painting back in the days…sigh

Now that the weather is getting better we are also bicycling around more in Jersey City. This old gothic-revival church is actually an Historic Landmark – unfortunately it is falling apart and warning signs on the door even tell firefighters to abandon. So sad.

On the right another house also falling apart and boarded up. It is really mind blowing that this city so close to New York City- I mean I am faster in Manhattan than most people in Brooklyn or other parts of NYC – has these two sides.

I always wanted to take a picture of this mural – there – finally made it ;)

This one is also pretty cool! Now that is a big guard dog ;)

I love this sign – the shape, the patina, the fonts. My friend Cheiron told me she remembers eating this brand of ice cream and now I want some :) On that note- what is your favorite Ice cream?

Comments (2)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    I remember Sealtest Ice Cream and those signs. I’ve lived in Arizona for the last 30 years, and my favorite brand of ice cream is Blue Bunny. I don’t know if you have that in NJ. . .
    I always love strolling through the ‘hood with you. You take wonderful street photos.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe thank you so much! I haven’t seen Blue Bunny yet- but I will keep my eye out :)

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Stroll Through the Hood – March 2019

March!!! woot woot- finally things are getting warmer- LOL. I cannot wait to get the bike out again. Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

Indoor light inspiration at a concert of The Chills – it was a fun evening out with a couple of our friends and bonus – just around the corner from us.

One of our fire place grates – needs some cleaning- how freaking awesome is this? I cannot believe how lucky we are to have it :)

We have four fireplaces – one is working again after we rebuild and relined the chimney and built a new fire box. One was at a bad spot so we moved it to my studio and – woohoo it didn’t crack! Score

This is how a dismantled mantel looks like. The mason created an inside brick wall for the mantel and I painted the wall black- I share some pix later once we have everything fixed up on the wall as well.

We also got some old vintage tiles at an architectural salvage place – they are for a border in our kitchen backsplash and mimic the design of our banister and some of the door frame designs. I know I am a  nut but when I spied those tiles I was instantly like “we have to have those”. That was before we even had the house and ever since I was worried they would sell the tiles before we go them…so ….last week I made it at 8am to the place to get them …yes….it is THAT bad ;)

Fun colorful mural in my soon to be hood.

And …the St. Pauli NYC sign – YESSSS -my home soccer team from Germany has a fan club in Brooklyn and we finally made it there. Loving it! Made me feel like being in Hamburg for a couple hours.

Hope you all have a great month and are up for some stroll through your hood! Cannot wait to show more pix from my new one and I will also put some house pix in once in a while.

Comments (6)

  • Laura Bohall

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    thanks so much for sharing your hood pics. we live in rural va and are surrounded by natural beauty, but not much wo-man created art!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So glad you enjoy the little strolls Laura! Thank you !!!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Love love love those kitchen tiles. Be sure to post a pic after they are installed please Nat.

    Reply

  • Janene

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    I love your neighborhood! So many interesting things to see, and if you ever get bored (not possible!!!), you can always cross the river and find more great stuff to see.

    Those vintage green tiles are FABULOUS! I understand why you practically camped out in front of the store to keep from missing out on them. Can’t wait to see more of your home renovation adventure.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- yeah I actually just wanna move into the store hahaha- they have so many amazing things there. Thanks for joining the stroll :)

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Stroll Through the Hood – February 2019

Wow – I cannot believe that February is almost over and it was a pretty long awaited month for me. There weren’t a ton of strolls through the hood as it was such a busy and cold month- but I have a couple photos. Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

The photo above is actually taken in NYC – where we had a ton of stuff to do during the last couple weekends. Such a fun Collage paste up. I also love the sign next to it that says “Street Art Addiction is real”

speaking of Street Art- this one always get’s me because of the sheer size of it  – this is in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood in Jersey City by Distort but even bigger is this one

by Distort right at the Holland Tunnel- which I will never be able to get the whole image of – it is ginormous but so detailed.

check out this video to get a feel for how huge and magnificent it is.

Distort’s Mecca Project (GVM037) from Green Villain on Vimeo.

Bobby Pretzel definitely approves – as you can see he is now in his teenage fur dying phase …I have no clue how the paint on my palette ended up on his face- but “knock yourself out Pretzel” – LOL

In other exciting news …We closed on a house. We are now the owners of a beautiful 1884 brick town house here in Jersey City. There is some major renovation to do in the second floor but the ground and top floor are pretty much done and I will have a nice big studio space on the ground floor. I cannot wait- but it will take at least half a year before it is done. (Impatient Nat)

That gives a lot of time to sort the studio meanwhile and also declutter all kinds of areas in our apartment before the move. I just reorganized my sewing stuff into one of my letterpress folders and I kind of geeked out at all the colors- LOL. What a softie I am ;)

Love spying this little -sculpture piece on the corner of a Bar – fun!

And I think I never showed this Mural downtown finished -pretty cool and a constant spot for people to take photos in front of. Yes..I guess I am addicted to street art :)

I am so ready for spring and more strolls through the hood- especially through the new hood where our house is located. It is in a neighborhood with some amazing Victorian Houses and it is interesting and a bit less “polished” than Downtown. I know, hahahah- some of you might not see my downtown pictures as polished- but trust me …it is ;) Hope you will join me soon for another stroll and wish you a wonderful day.

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Congrats on your new home Nat!
    Sounds like plenty of room for a studio and a place to hold classes (?).
    Bobby Pretzel is so darn cute, might he inspire an art foamie or stamp one of these days?
    Thanks for the tour of your hood. I always enjoy them.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Sue! Yes- I do hope that I can hold small classes in my studio :) Bobby Pretzel as a stamp …ohhhh -! Thank you for strolling through the hood with me !

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Stamped Tea Towels Workshop at Kanibal & Co in Jersey City, NJ

Join me in my home neighborhood of Jersey City, at one of my favorite local boutiques: Kanibal & Co., for a workshop. This is my second time teaching at this awesome little shop and last time we had such a great time, I’m very excited to be back!

The workshop will be held on Saturday March 9th, 2019 from 12noon – 2pm at 197 Montgomery Street in Downtown Jersey City. Space is VERY limited on this one so sign up early to reserve your spot!

We’ll be customizing some tea towels with foam stamps – something that is fun to do to spruce up your kitchen or to make as gifts. You can register here.

Here is the official description :)

Foam stamps are a fun and easy way to block print on fabric. Join me as I demonstrate how to work with foam stamps and fabric paints. Working with color and pattern, students will learn how to create custom textiles. Each participant will create two unique tea towels to take home. Refreshments will be served.

Join us! Create! Get crafty! Play with foam stamps! And get inspired to personalize fabric with paint and foam stamps :) Sign up here.

Comments (1)

  • Cindy Gay

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    Natalie-this is such a great idea!

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