Stroll Through The Hood

Stroll Through the Hood – February 2021

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.

Quite some snow in February – here is my husband Rescuing our big brush that was fallen down from all the heavy snow. It didn’t get uprooted so it made it :)

Someone made a little snow man for Abe …I thought that was nice!

Lincoln Park – I love this park – – it was nice with the now and I cannot wait to see the trees come back to carrying their green roofs :)

I love the sign on this Sub Store and hahah- about the little pigs too.

I know I have shown the church before- but it is making me happy every time I walk by. My friend Marsha said, it has something of a Disney Castle- and maybe that is it.

See those two goofs? They make us laugh everyday and they have also quite some skills. The very innocent looking Mingus in the background can take off iron cast lids from a big Dutch Oven. How I know ? Let’s say it has been a very special cleaning experience in the kitchen …cannot leave anything unattended. Bobby Pretzel likes to help …I have never had crazier cats.

Some movement on this property – fence around it- it must have looked so beautiful in it’s hay days. I hope I find a picture some time to see.

On the same block is this house which has this magnificent iron work – I love this so much!

Such a gorgeous iron cast newel. While I like the patinaI hope someone gives it some TCL soon!

couldn*t resist that Mingus and Bernie are sharing the same mittens, this is what happens if you are inside for too long ;)

I loved the cardboard city decoration at my favorite Cheese store- I want this in my windows !!!

After one of the milder snow storm days …while I hate the cables I did find beauty in them with the snow covered tree. 

I am happy warmer days are coming …While I do have lots of wonderful friends who have their birthday in February and sweeten up the month for me ;) – I am not embracing February hahaha- that is basically the month I am getting impatient and think “Enough already with the cold and snow!”

Thanks for joining me on this stroll – I hope to see you next month again.

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Stroll Through the Hood – January 2021

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.

Puzzling – was it a window and then covered up? And then there are elements missing …I like it :)

I love the sign – the font and the butterfly – for this flower store.

I am always intrigued by bright colors on brick ad I love those big eyes.

Def. a sign from a while ago.

This green little house intrigued me. Is it Santa’s Shop?

A hidden treasure of Art Deco – I walked past this building a million times, never realized the name on the building nor the top of the entrance.

I loooovee Cornices- – I have a little bit of a obsession for them – but this one is the coolest- look at the corner !

Love those bears peaking out from the closed windows and I love the brick work underneath some o f the windows.

This house makes me scream. Sometime in the 40s or 50s some guy must have walked around in Jersey City and told the citizens “hey guys, your house would look sooooo much better if you would just put some aluminum siding onto it” and 80 percent of the people did. I hate it – you know there is some beauty underneath those sidings!

Lot’s of signs down this week- probably from the storm .

Lovely Cardinal .

Interesting beautification of this lion LOL

Loved those hands in their rusty cans.

Great mural by Mr. Mustart and I like the blue painted brick building. I especially like that the trim is painted in a light color. I dislike the fashion fad right now where everyone seem to paint the old brick buildings in dark colors but without any distinction of the trim or roof and all those buildings look like shapeless blobs.

Not only was the house itself amazing- but this door was fun. We are actually getting a new door soon – maybe meanwhile I can have a go at the old one LOL.

Lovely view of Manhattan from Riverview Park.

Fairy house – actually the only house you could possibly afford on this street ;)

RIP John Lewis!!!

What a beautiful house – it is in bad shape but it looks as if there is some restoration starting soon.

Thanks for joining me on this stroll – I hope to see you next month again.

Comments (3)

  • Andrea R Huelsenbeck

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    I always love strolling with you, Nathalie. Love that beautiful Victorian. I hope you’re right and someone shows it some love.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- glad you enjoyed the stroll Andrea- maybe some time later I can show the progress on the victorian house :)

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – December 2020

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.

I realized that I did not post a Stroll Through the Hood in November and so ..you get some travel back in time…which then is kind of a review isn’t it ?LOL. The picture above is from a stoop concert we attended …socially distanced and masked up …it was wonderful. I miss live music and those outside gigs were the best – alas in the colder weather now there is now way there will be much.

We did a Bicycle Halloween tour through the neighborhood. I loved this guy’s selfmade costume!!!

One of our wonderful neighbors gave us her orginal Eastlake door which in the same style used to grace this area in our living room. We had to buy the hardware for it and obviously I screwed up on the door handle – wrong side …and then we said …”yeah we kinda like it upside down” and also …2020. So if the house still stands in 100 years and the door is still in, they will wonder what was going on here hahahah.

And here is the door. The transom is orginal to our house and I am soooo stoked how the door completes this. What a wonderful gift this was. Every day I walk by I am super duper happy. The vestibul you see through the glass needs an update as well – some other project and one of the stained glass panels is missing- we will have that also replaced some time.

Look at the Bauhaus like stained glass light show I get now everyday on the livingroom floor- makes me want to paint this.

First snow storm of the winter – Pretzel was very interested in this. I love the light …the cable salad …crazy – one of the things still after 7 years in the US I shake my head at.

Opening the door the next morning – Never is snow more beautiful when at that stage and then …especially in a city -it goes down hill quick – LOL.

I played with a template and painting with acrylic markers on our garden door. It was super fun and I like it …but boy …it is not easy to do this through double glass hahaha- need more practice. I have some ideas for future ones …stay tuned.

Meet Thelonious, our Christmas Tree – best tree ever- we met friends at a Christmas Tree Farm and spent a fun day outside cutting our own tree. This will be for sure a new tradition and having the opportunity to see our friends …even though it was REALLY freezing – was amazing.

I think Mingus heard Santa – LOL. Our fireplace with some wonderful cards – all those cards made me happy.

Some festive decoration in the neighborhood. Actually goals for next year- those wreaths are so cool – and the garland looks a million bucks …versus our …kind of sad one hahaha.

Even the No Parking Signs were festive this year!

Although…this one not so much

And I loved seeing this wreath put up on the door of the abandoned warehouse I love so much. It made me think of hope ..here is hope for 2021.

This year was a tough one for sure- for many of us! But I am also grateful for many things – like my father -in-law who contracted Covid19 in the hospital being well again and finally home after 7 months in the hospital and for many – even if only on zoom- wonderful hours with family and friends. I am grateful for my husband, and our dopey food stealing kitties , our home and that I was able to paint a lot this year in my studio.  I am grateful for you, my dear readers and students for all your support and your comments. It meant a lot to me this year, you kept me going and gave me purpose. I hope I have brought you a little bit of light and joy as well in 2020 and I am determined to be here for you in 2021 as well either on the blog here, in my classes or on FB in Nat’s Creative Hood.

Farewell 2020 …don’t let the door hit you in the face …or maybe actually why not – you deserve it ;) 

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Acrylic makers with the template on the door looks so festive.
    I never tire of seeing the warehouse…all the curves on that brick!
    Happy New Year Nat.

    Reply

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Come, take a virtual stroll through the hood with me!

I thought you would like seeing the recording of my Jersey City Art and Studio Tour – A Stroll Through the Hood. Let me take you on a virtual stroll with some narrative and paintings in context.

Nathalie Kalbach – JCAST 2020 from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

It was a lot of fun putting it together- although making it work for 8 minutes was a tough one as you know – I am not good in keeping myself short LOL. Let me know what you think – I would love to hear from you!

Comments (2)

  • Susu Ko

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    Hi! Ich finde es super, wie du dich für die Geschichte deiner neuen Nachbarschaft interessierst! Und dein “kleines” Art Journal – ich wünschte, wir könnten hier auch an solche Schätze rankommen! Bis bald und alles Gute!

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Stroll Through the Hood – October 2020

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.

hehehe what can I say? Mingus is the worst thief ever- here he is after we caught him stealing frothed milk ….but he is pretty funny no?

I loved this picture at the Secret Beach – the Family was running around in the sun and I thought it was cute how they had lined up their shoes on those tiny horseshoe crab shells.

this view from the beach to Lady Liberty gets never old for me.

Funny flying critters :) I love how all construction plywood is always instantly turned into something colorful in this city.

Weird orange car- I wonder what this was …like a little electric car or so? I feel this car could be a model for a comic and should speak :)

We got a mini portable fire pit and have been enjoying it in our little garden on the cooler nights already.

A new bakery opened in my neighborhood and I love their decoration and the baked goods are also very good :)

I voted. And I am not actually giving you a stink eye (not sure what is going on there) but if you haven’t voted yet I might ;) This is my first presidential election as a U.S. citizen.

This house looks like it should be in some Bavarian forest LOL.

These are the judging faces of cats when you left the house for a long period and they are not used to you being outside for a long time anymore. I wonder how they look if we travel some day again.

Still enjoying the weekend jam sessions – and this little guy is the cutest. He was so fascinated by the drums and could not stop looking at them. I think he will ask for a drum set. I saw him again two weekends later and he is still as entranced.

I must have walked past this little window on the side of a corner a couple times but never noticed it until now- I also love the brick inlay – so cool!

We got a new handrail and I am so excited about the little rosettes we picked out as they are very similar to the ones that are in our banister

Comments (4)

  • Harriet

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    ah, I know how that little boy feels about the drums. I’ve always had rhythm and even played the middle eastern Dumbec for a few years (during my Belly Dance years). When I met a guy who played guitar, I knew I wanted to play rock and roll drums, so one day I got out the pots and pans and started playing them. When he came home and heard what I was doing, he said ‘you need a drum set’. Sure enough, we went out and bought a set; I was thrilled. (I was in my 40’s) Now I’m 75 and need a hip replacement, but I bet I could still play a mean beat if I still had the drums!!
    Love your walks around the hood….my neighborhood isn’t so interesting! Keep up the good work. (oh, are you doing Creative Jumpstart for 2021? I really enjoy those workshops)

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Love that you played drums!!! maybe you need a small set? and yes…watch this place soon for CJS :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Is Mingus AKA Bobby Pretzel or is that a different cat?
    Love the pic of the shoes at the beach.
    Gorgeous view of Lady Liberty from your beach.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Sue, that is a different cat- Mingus came to us in December and is Bobby Pretzel’s little nightmare and playmate LOL

      Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – September 2020

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.

One of the mornings when I took my bike into the park I spied this little fox looking for at the waterfront – with Manhattan in the background. Apparently now that less visitors are frequenting Liberty State Park they are out more and visible. The Park Rangers are aware of them and taking care but it was still a kind of sad and interesting sight at the same time.

Another park another view- this fountain at Lincoln Park has been repainted and repaired and it gives a little bit of a European vibe off :)

A Mural I discovered while biking through a different part of the city. I love taking my bicycle around – you get to see a lot of areas of a city but are still able to hop on and off real quick to snap photos.

The famous Colgate Clock near the former Colgate side – was build in 1924. It used to be at some time the biggest clock in the world and was located on top of the factory building so workers would show up on time. When Colgate left Jersey city the buildings were razed and the clock was more towards the waterfront.

How beautiful are those eggplants. I got them in my CSA box and learned that there are actually read eggplants …wow- that was something I never knew. They were quite delicious :)

Bike ride along a train track. Whenever I am here I feel like I am in a different world.

David never gets old – I love this mural. Makes me want to do a transfer with his photos on some geographic colorful background.

We got a new fire pit and are having a good time using it now that the nights get a bit chillier.

Ghost signs – Individual Fireproof Vaults- still trying to find out what was actually in the building – but the sign on the side is fun.

Pretzel discovered this lady passing through our garden and he has been sitting in front ever since he did. LOL- he either is not amused or he fell in love … I am not sure ;)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Wonderful to see your stroll this month. I adore your sitting area with the fire pit. Nice.
    The mural/street art around you is fantastic (especially David Bowie).
    We have fox and many animals here in NH, but they don’t usually have legs as long as that one that you posted.
    Fall is upon us…the trees have started to change. Peace.

    Reply

  • VIVIAN ZELLERS

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    Your strolls through the hood are always SO interesting. The objects you choose to photograph
    are inspirational and unusual. Your perspective, both visual and thoughtful, are thought provoking
    and not ‘just ordinary’. You give us a small glimpse of your personal life without invading your
    privacy.
    I specially liked the mural of David Bowie and the last photo toward the city was AWESOME.

    Your strools are never LOOONG enough!
    Thanks much, Vivian

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – August 2020

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 a gorgeous statue on the waterfront of Jersey City.

For the first time in a long time the train station on Liberty State Park was open again . This is where the immigrants that came through Ellis Island would set out to their new homes all over the U.S. Unfortunately this historic landmark has been hit hard by Sandy – but I still love all the lines and shadows when I walk through.

Low tide and a wonderful view of Jersey City to the left, Manhattan and Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty – it was a wonderful early morning bike ride with my hubs.

Lady Liberty and some really big Hibiscus flowers – gosh red and green – speaking of natures color scream :)

I still love love love this gorgeous sign of this old store front in Jersey City’s little India – I put this building on my list of “paint some day”

Fabulous mural!

Got a new mirror for the entrance which also leads to my studio. Love the cool shape. I think it is time to repaint our old radiators. The things you notice when you take pictures LOL- Old houses – never a dull moment.

Mural down town – it is one of the things I love most about street art and murals – how they are a reflections of the time we live.

This guy showed up recently on relay boxes.

Big storm knocked out a lot of trees and branches in New Jersey – we also lost power for about 6 hours which is nothing in comparison to some other areas of New Jersey. Of course my nifty husband took the opportunity to get some fire wood – LOL- we just bought a little fire pit for the garden and I cannot wait to sit in front of it in the fall.

I looooovee this brick cornice- usually the cornices around in my neighborhood are made of wood and it is the first time I noticed on those houses that they are made with brick- and how beautiful it looks.

you might remember from a former stroll this really cool building that I also painted – now it is right next to a Black Lives Matter Street Mural. I have to go back now that the artists are finished with it .

Definitely tomato season – I am loving it. Lots of roasted tomatoes, tomato sandwiches, tomato salads …well …they call Jersey City the Garden State and we do have for sure amazing tomatoes.

Love our city coming a little bit back to live. One section of this street has been closed off to traffic on Saturday afternoons and there is a jam session with a lot of amazing jazz musicians. Mary, who is in the red t-shirt singing, is a Jersey City institution and boy it was so wonderful listening to music an seeing them all.

This last shot is a weird one- it is an old power plant and we drove by on a bike tour – I had never really noticed this place- took a picture and two days later I – along with thousands of other Jersey City peeps woke up at 5.30 am because of a huge implosion of the place. A little warning for us would have been nice. Anyway- it is gone now – not really a loss- although the structure was interesting.

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll through the hood. Until next month :)

Comments (1)

  • Diane

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    I always love these strolls. Thank you so much for providing a peak into your neighborhood.

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Stroll Through the Hood – July 2020

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 – as New Jersey and New York are slowly going to Phase 4 after the lockdown.

What a heat wave week – wowsers. Early mornings are the best for bike rides and stroll through the hood right now for sure :) The picture above is showing an old Cigar Factory – the Parodi Company. The Parodi’s were a brand of cigars made in Jersey City up until 1929. The company was started in 1913 in New York City, in the Village by three Italian immigrants who came from a wealthy family in Northern Italy. In 1916, they built this factory here in Jersey City.  

We spent a nice time at the Deep Space Gallery– now open again – appointments only. The painting above by Rebecca Johnson was very touching.

If I Die Too Young , or the Gunmen Come, I’m Full of Love, 2020

Acrylic, lime wash and mirror on linen

Mazunte – also by Rebecca Johnson – this is a close up of a wonderful painting. Love the usage of little mirror pieces.

Interesting facade – the little balconies are funny- and nothing seems to fit together.

A wild style of architectural fun back then :)

X-actly. Dog Poop is after parking the most discussed issue in this neighborhood.

This was a walk bye poster project with artwork and poems written by school kids in Jersey City.

Very powerful – and it seems as if it is now moving from park to park throughout Jersey City.

Oh my oh my- I cannot stop taking photos of this magnificent Art Deco Entrance …Swoon.

Speaking of ..I love those Art Deco Fire Escapes – It is funny because the building itself is a bit plain and boring but those curved escapes – so awesome.

Another Stunning Art Deco Building in my neighborhood.

I see this sign every time I go to drop of packages at the postoffice and it makes me laugh ! I think this neighborhood is boom box free since 1983 …LOL.

This guy visited me one afternoon on the deck – pretty pretty big and apparently had a little fight in his live as the right wing shows. Made my day.

I hope you are all well – sending you Love!!! Until next month with hopefully more strolls through the hood.

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Stroll Through the Hood – June 2020

DISCLAIMER: This Blog Post contains images that will show you that I am a supporter of the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Some might think of it as totally inappropriate to post, hate me for it, think this has no place on an art related blog or social media. If you have a problem with this, you might be better off looking at something else . Don’t email me to complain, don’t visit my blog or facebook anymore because I might post things like this again and that might get you in a grumpy mood..

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 – as New Jersey and New York are slowly going to Phase one and now to Phase 2 after the lockdown.

The first time I walked from uptown to downtown again after months of lockdown was weird and felt as if I would see things anew. I noticed all those “Give Up” graffitis and love how different versions of “never” appeared on top of them.

This spoke “untold story” to me.

I love all those little messages on the stoops – I wish we had a stoop – our house apparently used to have one as we could see from old tax pictures but in the 40s it was taken down from most of the houses in our streets.

On our bike rides during the lockdown my friends Cindy, Paula and I had discussed how going back to using the Path and Subway to go to NYC for work and other things made us quite nervous and so we decided to actually do it while things were still very quiet to ease ourselves back into it. It was good to figure out how much you actually touch etc. before everything is cramped again. It took about half an hour before I could find my subway card as I had totally forgotten which bag I had carried 3 months ago when I last rode the subway.

This is the WTC station – which is usually packed on a Monday at 10 am …pretty eerie. Now I am sure it is way fuller again as Phase 2 is of the reopening in NYC started and a lot of people from Jersey City as well are going back to work. I am not using the Path or subway unless I absolutely have to …like for a doctor’s appointment but at least I have thought about how to tackle this.

Just a couple days after the horrible the murder of George Floyd by Policemen this mural popped up in my neighborhood. It is really powerful.

I have thought long about breaking with the lockdown to go to the protests here in Jersey City, but I have made up my mind that and decided I would make sure to stay on the edges, distanced, with a mask and go if it would get too crowded.

After the protests I made sure to get tested each time and stay home until I received the test results.

The protests in Jersey City and all over New Jersey were peaceful and businesses would hand out masks, hand sanitizer and water. One of the protests to which 4000 people came, was organized by a local High School. It was amazing to hear the young organizers speak for hours about the issues. It made me hopeful for our future.

And they have a lot of humor too ;)

One of our little cafes , Crema, in the neighborhood created this clever booth in front of their window. It makes it easy to order and receive pastries, ice cream and coffee contactless . So clever. We are hoping that most of the small businesses here will make it …what a tough time this was and still is.

New Kicks – I thought I would have some custom made with my painting for my Stroll through the Hoods :)

Mingus has a new hangout spot …lol- he cracks us up.

Loved this message and the font on the plywood of a construction side.

Two beautiful houses – the one on the left beautifully restored, the one on the right falling apart and abandoned.

I love this building – it is also empty.

This is the original wallpaper in a dessert place that just opened up , all these storefronts that haven*t been used for ages, have amazing hidden treasures. I am so happy that the new place kept this.

Detail of a beautiful Art Deco Entrance – love the weathered colors that are still visible and isn’t it just amazing?

Little bike ride along this mural.

I hope you are all well – sending you Love!!! Until next month with hopefully more strolls through the hood.

Comments (5)

  • susan

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    Nathalie,
    i always enjoy your strolls and it is great that you share them with us. some of us don’t get much scenery on our own strolls. i adore your brutally honest disclaimer! the birthday balloons and flowers made me tear up … great grief comes from great love. i love the chalk messages on the steps. someone has chalked loving and supportive messages in our grocery store parking lot. i enjoy your architecture and kitty pictures. your shoes! your shoes!!! i do believe this is my favorite stroll yet.
    many thanks!!!

    Reply

  • Vee Zellers

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    I love your strolls through your hood. you have made me much more aware
    of the beautiful architecture around in ‘my hood’. Your view of the surrounding is
    so interesting and makes me THINK!

    LOVE you shoes!!

    Please continue being safe and keep STROLLING.

    Reply

  • Rebecca

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    I always enjoy your ‘stroll through the hood’ photos, but today’s post really touched my heart. Thank you for marching! And thank you for your care to test, etc. after each one (a testament to your care for others)–it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, too, for sharing about the UnMuted series on Instagram–still checking out all of those amazing artists. Last, but not least, always love seeing pictures of sweet Mingus. Wishing you many, many more happy and safe strolls!

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Great new kicks!
    The “we can’t breathe” is incredible and beyond sad into angry for sure!
    The pics of the two houses is sad, yet hopeful. I wish that the house on the right would get redone as well.
    I wonder if it was hard for the owners of the house on
    the left to make the decision to fix their home when the one next door is falling down? I wonder if that reflects on humankind.
    Peace and wishing you well Nat.

    Reply

  • Deb

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    Loved your post. Really poignant. Really enjoyed the photos. Loved Mingus and your new shoes are Amazing! Enjoy many more strolls in them!
    Deb

    Reply

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