Stroll Through The Hood

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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Stroll Through the Hood – May 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 – while we are still on lock down, I started on some nicer days to venture out very early in the morning on my bike and with a mask. Not the most pleasant task but it feels good to get some fresh air and exercise.

This warehouse has been abandoned for as long I as I live here- I am not sure what is going to happen here. It is an interesting building for sure.

This made me laugh – in the middle of marina at Liberty State park . Love the rust and the font.

So glad I caught a glimpse – even though at the end of the cherry blossom – so pretty.

There was a sense of grieve and joy upon seeing the so familiar scenery … for an hour I felt as if everything will be ok … we all need a little bit of social distanced escape once in a while

A paste up by Dylon Egon at the Jersey City Medical Center. It was weird to have no cars and no people around on those intersections that are usually bustling.

Definitely kept my distance from those very protective parents taking their cute kids out for a stroll.

At Lincoln Park – they reopened the parks and it has been such a nice way to get out. Walking in the city with people has not been fun- but the bike really gives a sense of freedom and normality and the possibility to get away from people.

These gorgeous daisies that open up in the morning and close in the evening make me very happy.

I painted these pots a while ago and finally put them up- a nice little colorful spread on the fence.

Kim gave me a bunch of Allium bulbs last fall as a gift and since I am such a sucker for those gorgeous flowers – I am super super excited to see them grow. This one is going up to my chest now.

Another early morning bike ride.

Went all the way to Hoboken and went through the usually totally crowded train station. No -one there – the waiting room is closed off and while there are still trains leaving there were maybe two people in the traing station waiting. The positive thing about this was that for the first time I was able to take some pictures without being elbowed out of the way.

It is an impressive and beautiful building.

Another view from Lincoln park – I think this factory used to be a paint factory but I am not sure. I think I might want to paint this one day.

Still baking bread …What a science LOL. I am not a big baker but something about tending to the dough and smelling fresh baked bread through the house gives a really nice and comforting feeling. Do you have a smell that makes you feel homey and feel comforted?

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… House – April 2020

Strolls through my hood usually 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. But …there is not much strolling through the hood lately due to the Lock down and so I thought …I take you on a stroll through the house :)

This is what happens a lot of times in the morning – as soon as we are done with breakfast the cats climb on me ..I am not sure why and what this means …maybe they just see me as a living cat climbing tree.

This is Bobby Pretzel supervising the masks I sewed for us, family and neighbors. I think he did a good job.

Here are some that I made with the fabric I sun printed a while ago with my stencils.

And here are some of our neighbors, cleaning up the street – because it has been a while since street cleaning occurred, and some assholes think it is cool to just litter the streets with their rubber gloves…and yes I said assholes…there is no nicer word- sorry.

I wanted to show our new stained glass window too – I am sooo in love. We had it made by a local artist Keith, aka TF Dutchman– he makes amazing contemporary artwork with stained glass and a while ago he came and checked out our fireplaces and the other stained glass window we have to come up with this design for us.

The window makes me just so happy and the colors and light through it are different at any time of the day- it is the best thing :)

Like many people I have been baking more and more bread. Well …I am a German and I do love bread for breakfast-and since our artisanal bakery closed I knew I needed to get into this because that is also one of the things I miss a ton from Germany. This is still a no-knead bread as we were lucky enough to have yeast at home- but now I am out of flour and there is no flour …we shall see when my order online is ever going to arrive. Weird times my friends, weird times.

Easter was a bit sad without the usual family gatherings- but I put out some decoration – to make me feel happy. The tulips are fake …there are not tulips to get this year -but these are from my friend Birgit Koopsen in the Netherlands, and she brought them with her a while ago. They fake people out all the time thinking these are real LOL. The eggs are wood – aka also fake to make sure the cats are not destroying them…you see…lots of fake things going on this time hahahah.

Here are Bobby Pretzel and Mingus not really social distancing – LOL- They are bringing us so much joy!

I am so happy for our garden and I cannot wait for more flowers to show up and warmer weather to finally sit outside with a cup of coffee and breathe some fresh air.

We have been sitting outside some evenings after work with a lots of layers of jackets to just feel the air and listen to the birds. Every day there is a beautiful cardinal visiting- I assume he was there before but it is the first time I noticed him as a regular visitor. It is a beautiful sight and like a gift. You notice a lot of things to be grateful for that you usually take for granted in a time like that. That is a good thing. 

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll though the house and I hope you all are safe and sound. Until next month! 

Comments (5)

  • Gale Courtney

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    I am green with envy over the ledger pages.
    What a good friend you have.

    Reply

  • Michele Klausner

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    I love the Jersey City architecture and art, and miss being there.
    Would LOVE your bread recipe. Do you share?
    Be well,
    Michele

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Oh Nat, that window is just gorgeous!
    I love that little spot with the chair to sit outside and read a book and have a cup of tea.
    Bread is awesome and I have been baking some bread with kits that I buy at the store (beer bread and banana bread of two of my favs).
    Stay safe and create,
    Sue

    Reply

  • Deborah Pierro

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    Hi Nat. Love your new stained glass window and all of your other photos!

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – March 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.

Well a lot of those photos were taken before we all were practicing social distancing. And the more these inspire me – a good reminder to enjoy the little things like meeting with friends in a cafe or a stroll through the hood. Speaking of a cafe – I love the “fence art” by Norman Kirby above that made its way into this new-ish restaurant.

St. John’s Church – a gorgeous gorgeous historic landmark church – which is falling apart. I am reading a lot about this church and it’s history in this neighborhood. I will def. write a separate post about it – it is so fascinating and I will def. do a painting of this church.

This made me smile. Bentley Avenue also has the nickname of “Doctor’s Row” – there are a ton of beautiful victorian Mansions on this street and they have become unaffordable in the recent years (if you find one you could buy you would have to pay a ton of money to bring it back to livable status) – so this tiny Bentley house is pretty much all we could afford hahahah

Speaking of Social Distancing- those guys have no clue and boy they are soo cute. Here is Bobby Pretzel on his foster blanket on my letterpress- he loves that spot.

While Mingus loves to perch on the Banister – he is such a riot.

Speaking of beautiful churches- I can not believe that I was never before in Grace Church downtown – I lived there for 6 years and somehow never made it in until now when a friend of mine was singing there. So colorful!

Another row of beautiful brownstones – I love the balcony on the left!

This former victorian mansion looks really sad

I wonder if the scaffolding means restoration or stripping it down from it’s last architectural elements. I would be surprised if that house could be saved but you never know.

I loooooveee this building – I am not sure yet what used to be in there back in the golden days- but it is sooo cute. It has been abandoned for a long time – I hope someone buys it and revives it. A friend of mine who is actually a real estate agent said that a lot of those abandoned buildings in the neighborhood have been bought a long time ago by investors and they are now waiting for the perfect timing to sell those for a hefty price. It makes me angry as to what this does to this neighborhood.

A little bit of a sad Hope sign but at least hope :)

This beautiful house was once built by one of the richest men in Jersey City in 1860 – he died impoverished and the building is now an apartment building. Some of you might recognize it in one of my paintings ;)

Same street- more gorgeous apartment buildings!

These are Dutch Queen Anne Houses Row Houses. And yes that is a style as well – and reminds me indeed of Amsterdam.

and this little street with the small town brick townhouses makes me just happy- it is super cute and I cannot wait for the trees to be in bloom.

Hope you enjoyed the Stroll through my Hood! Hope you are all well and stay safe and healthy! Loves!


Join me today, March 27th at 2pm EST for a LIVE chat on Facebook – Let’s catch up and see how everyone is doing!

Comments (1)

  • Jean Goza

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    Always enjoy your photos from the hood. I love the architecture of that area. So very different from my home state of California. I did live in New Jersey for awhile many years ago. Was fascinated by it then as well. Stay well and sane during this difficult time.

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Stroll Through the Hood – February 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 furniture store has been having “last sale” ever since I moved here 6 1/2 years ago-but now that they sell these paintings it looks real. LOL. I am amazed by the amount of stock of this painting and have even thought of buying one …could be a good surface and the frame is fun :)

our secret beach – clear statement- we do not need a bigger golf course for the people that can afford half a million dollars annually for their membership here.

What we need are rusty boxes that make our phantasy spin …hahah- I love this one it looks like a face sticking out it’s tongue.

It is just so beautiful out here- I really love coming to Liberty State park with my bike-

I love these red thingies (no idea what they are actually called)

I had some wallpaper made with my fan designs – which I really love. The one on top is at the entrance wall to my studio

And this one is one a wall in my studio bathroom – We didn’t renovate the bathrooms yet – that has to wait for some other time when we are recovered from our initial renovation but this was a cheapish way to oomph it up for now a little bit.

I am so happy to see this house in my neighborhood being renovated- This house was on the market many years ago and it was in the saddest state you can imagine ( I am sure i snapped a picture but couldn’t find it) and now it is back to it’s glory!!

Love the beautiful ceilings you find all over the neighborhood stores.

Fun Mural with cat :)

Hope you enjoyed this little stroll – let’s see what I discover for next month :)

Comments (10)

  • Marsha

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    I love your strolls through the hood! They seem so much more interesting than strolls through my hood. Which probably isn’t true. And, I do miss taking random photos. I should probably take this as a cue to pick it up again! <3

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      yes- I would love to see your strolls through the hood!!!

      Reply

  • Cathy

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    I love your strolls through the neighborhood! Thanks for sharing all the interesting things that catch your eye.

    Reply

  • Caroline Mach

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    The “red thingies” are the “fruit” of staghorn sumac – it is very common in southern Ontario where I live.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Oh thank you so much Caroline- Now I learned something!!!

      Reply

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    When I was growing up, I went to Catholic school, and almost all the families had The Last Supper in their dining rooms.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I remember my grandmother in Italy having one up too in her bedroom. But Dining Room makes perfect sense!

      Reply

  • Robin Seiz

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    I love the gratefulness you feel for the little things.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you Robin – I think I have always felt that it makes life just go easier if you embrace the little good things :)

      Reply

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Push & Pull Mini Painting

Another Painting with the same theme that I did at the same time as the bigger canvas here

This painting is on a 8×8 Canvas board – and I loved exploring different line qualities along with different stencil work as well.

I was inspired by my Strolls through the Hood in Jersey City for this little mixed media painting. This historic area and some of its beautiful vintage homes are undergoing the familiar transformations caused by gentrification.

Here I was trying to capture this transition in action with a looming visage of victorian architecture, wearing with age but still proudly dominating the landscape.

This painting is now also available in my store here. I would love to have someone give it a new home :) 

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Gorgeous but out of stock already.
    Sad for me but happy for the person who bought it!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- Sue! It went super quick but hey- hopefully one of my future paintings will catch your eye- I am making more time for painting this year for sure :)

      Reply

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Push & Pull – Painting

This victorian building in my new neighborhood has seen quite some changes.

The push and pull of old and new keep fascinating me and expressed this through color and pattern and the layers to recount this story of change.

What could this building tell?

Push & Pull is made with stencils, stamps, spray paint, acrylic paint, and markers on 10″x10″ on extra deep 1.5” canvas.

It is available for sale in the store here and is looking for a new home :)

Comments (1)

  • gunvor

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    This is a fabulous piece of art! The background looks like fire works

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – January 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.

Mingus is still hanging out with me when I work at my computer -he is a total rascal and he and Bobby Pretzel are ganging up on us and they steal ANYTHING that has remotely to do with food.

I just discovered this house in the neighborhood and I think it is really cool – all the different textures and materials -it does look like it should be in a forrest though, don’t you think?

super cool and colorful Mural –

I love the photographic quality of the people with the colorful shapes and patterns.

On an unusally warm day we did a little bike ride to Caven Point – I love this beach at the park – which the stupid golf course wants to turn into 3 additional holes. I hope it doesn’t go through and the rally and more to come will prevent this.

It is so beautiful out here- makes you almost forget that you are in a city.

We need spaces like these.

Oh brother- hahaha- I am not a fan of those blow up holiday “decorations” – and this one makes me every year especially snort …

The Wave – always love this one !

Comments (4)

  • ARHuelsenbeck

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    Hi Nathalie! I always love these strolls. Thank you for sharing your photographs.

    Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Yes to open spaces (and that’s from someone who lives in a rural area).
    I highly suggest getting people to speak loudly about keeping that space. The golf course will have money on their side.
    Love love Love that house. It reminds me of the ones that I enjoy taking pics of in Boston.

    Reply

  • JoAnn

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    Enjoyed the stroll. Thank you for sharing. And I am loving CJS2020 – every one is special.

    Reply

  • Diane T

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    Love each and every picture. Thanks for sharing.
    And, a happy and healthy new year to you and yours.

    Reply

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Stroll Through the Hood – December 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.

Our first tree in the new house – I am sad to see it go soon.

And I had to buy this stick of butter ornament- it made me laugh !

I know technically this is not yet a stroll through the hood but hey.. it is really cold outside. I love decorating in wintertime – I always wanted a garland down a stair case. Well – while I love how it looks like I learned my lesson – dries out super quick…and makes a real mess and attracts cats ;)

I love the different facades and materials of those buildings and while the balcony needs some love I find this stunning.

I walked by this house number on an art deco apartment complex a lot of time but just now realized the tiles – I love this!

And … meet Mingus- the newest addition to our family. He is adorable …and a handful!

He makes us laugh

and he and Pretzel became friends very quick. They both sleep on me at night …it is kind of nice and really uncomfortable hahahaha.

Yours truly played two songs at a Holiday party with her music school …very fun -well for us not the listeners hahahaha.

December is the month of holiday parties and this food spread at a friend’s house made me swoon – the colors, the decor- oh my. I think she should do this for my parties :)

Kind of crazy cool and opulent  the lamps around our main post office in JC. I hope you enjoyed this semi-stroll through my hood and glimpse into my home this month. Until next month – well if weather permits ;) 

Comments (2)

  • Jean Goza

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    Always enjoy your strolls.

    Reply

  • Rebecca Buchanan

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    Beautiful photos! I meant to send, when I commented on yesterday’s (?) post,
    my condolensces for your loss of sweet Niles. It is so difficult to say goodbye to these furry members of our families. So very difficult. Minges and Pretzel will help to soothe your soul. Cheers to 2020!

    Reply

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