Archive for the ‘American Life’ Category

Boston, land of the awesome

Posted by: team sweet

May 7th, 2010 >> American Life, Music

BOSTON

My heart belongs to the city of Boston; there is no doubt. No other city makes it flutter the way Boston does. The extreme ups and downs of city life are what have plunged me into my manic relationship with Boston – The frigid weather, the mind-melting heat of summer, the rats poking around old apartment buildings, the smelly garbage piles on Allston’s streets, the cool, stale air in subway trains… the docks down by the Charles River in the afternoon in spring, the big, bright, retro bulbs of liquor stores that cast red light through brownstone bay windows, the endless supply of well-crafted beer, the smell of laundry creeping up out of apartment buildings during winter…

It’s a dreamy nightmare that I am madly in love with. After NYC, I hopped on a bus and made the five hour drive to Boston. I was greeted  by my good friend, Ernie who I stayed with during my time there. If it wasn’t enough to just see him, he also supplied me with a fresh stack of comics and graphic novels every night and his amazing girlfriend cooked heavenly tasting meals for me. My first morning in Boston, I woke up and drank iced coffee and ate fruit salad and banana bread while reading Vol. 2 of The Fart Party (LOVE IT.) on their balcony. Beauty.

Over the course of five days, I saw my hilarious friend Mike play in his band Born of Thunder (BOT) upstairs at Charlie’s Kitchen. He is the man who introduced me to the world of Manowar, just so you can understand a bit about him and BOT (AWESOME). I hung out with my always-inspiring friend Betsy, who laid down some tempting offers for me to move back there – I think everybody I saw there was trying to do this in some way. I visited with other friends who my heart had been aching for, which led to us drinking three pitchers of Spring Training IPA from Cambridge Brewing Company (CBC) and then holding hands while telling each other we love one another multiple times. And it wasn’t just the beer talking – I LOVE THOSE LADIES. I also 100% endorse any beer from CBC. The head brewer Will is one of the only people in Boston who urged me to go back to NZ four years ago. Thanks, Will!

So, it was a beautiful time.

When I got back to Carrboro, NC (where I now reside), I was greeted with so much love it nearly choked me up. I hadn’t realized how much I had already made an impact on people and vice versa. To think I had just moved here in Nov. 2009 was crazy. It also made me realize that there will always be hard times when you first move somewhere without knowing anyone, but those can melt away pretty easily. Lovely.

NYC

Posted by: team sweet

May 6th, 2010 >> American Life, Art Stuffs, Music

nyc

Apologies for the delayed post. Things have been quite busy lately for me. Who knew applying for grad school and trying to start a band would be so time consuming?!

I went to NYC to see Hot Chip with one of my very good friends, Miss Wolf. You can see pics of our trip here and here. We ate and drank our way around Manhattan. A sesame bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese and a giant iced coffee is the breakfast of champions. We made a trip to Jonathan Levine Gallery, as per my employer’s suggestion. I especially enjoyed the Date Farmers‘ exhibition, Smother Your Mother.

Dont-Fire-Back

I met up with SakiWaki, the driving force of IHeartCoolStuff.com and we spent some quality time together waiting in line to get sketches from Alex Pardee and Dave Correia who are touring around the USA on the Sketch4Sketch tour. It’s simple – if you sketch them something, they’ll give you a couple of sketches in return. My sketch was a poor looking representation of a shirt I designed for Makeshift but they humored me, saying it was quite lovely and then they drew a couple of crazy looking narwhals in return.

narwhal_dave

narwhal_alex

Next Post (tomorrow I promise): Boston and Local Natives. Yum Yum.

Bar Hop

Posted by: team sweet

March 1st, 2010 >> American Life, Mythical Creatures

bar

I’m living in a new town and trying to get a feel for the local bar scene around here. What makes a good bar to you? Seating, lighting, decor, music choices, clientele? It all factors in for me. When they mix well together you feel a comforting déjà vu, which usually eases you (or me…) into buying a few drinks, people watching and talking about fanciful things like dinosaur-unicorns. Or was it unicorn-dinosaurs?

I find myself frequenting one bar in particular but have wondered if this is because I really like it or merely because it’s familiar and I might be a bit  nervous about going to a new place. At this bar, I know most of the bartenders, which is always a nice feeling. They even know my drink of choice by now. I’m a whiskey-loving woman. Yes, I have only been here for 4 months and they already know me by name and where I work and what I drink… alcoholic? You be the judge. I choose to think I am just a social creature.

I went to a couple more bars this past weekend and here is what I gathered:

One had amazing decor; you knew these people had clearly spent some time in Williamsburg in Brooklyn and knew how to take hip to a whole new level. Even though the decor was outstanding… pinball machine backings hung on the wall as art, cheeseburger soap dispenser, perfect lighting with hints of red and off white… there was a lack of seating and the narrowness of the bar led to a lot of bum to bum contact. I am not really into bum to bum contact with strangers, so this put a bit of a damper on the experience. I’d say, this was the kind of bar to pre-game at while it is less crowded and you can sit about and enjoy the sights and enjoy the records being played.

I went along to another place that serves as a bar and venue. There wasn’t a lot of seating but there was a lot of area to stand around in, so bum touching was out of the question, thank goodness. This is the type of place where there are a lot of regulars but because there are so many people milling about, you don’t feel intimidated to be there. Plus, I got to see a guy kneel on the ground sans shoes and convulse a bit while touching a guitar lightly and fiddling with a computer. What a show!

I will continue to figure out what places will be the most fruitful as far as meeting people and having a great time, but for now, it is nice to go back to the bar where everyone (a few people) know my name (and my drink preferences).

IN OTHER NEWS:

My friend Eddie and I are going to start a new writing project with another friend of his… so stay tuned!

and

My friend Jenna has asked me to start a regular column on her awesome crafty blog, Kraftworkin Kitsch. Yay!

New Town, New Article in MORPH

Posted by: team sweet

February 9th, 2010 >> American Life, New Zealand

morph-147x300

Morph Magazine online has just published my latest installment of Back Again for the First Time. This time, I talk about the oddities I’ve encountered and the nostalgic breakdown.

Back Again for the First Time: Carrboro Blues

New Morph Column

Posted by: team sweet

December 7th, 2009 >> American Life, New Zealand, Writing

morph

As the dust settles from my trip to Chicago, Boston and NYC, I find myself back in the South…

hot dog!

Posted by: team sweet

November 14th, 2009 >> American Life

hot_dog

MORPH!

Posted by: team sweet

November 2nd, 2009 >> American Life, Writing

hotdog

The latest installment of my column, Back Again for the First Time, for Morph Magazine is now online! Three cheers for NYC! This time, I talk about my experience in the Big Apple where I hula hooped on a roof, talked to a big-wig ad exec about art toys and caught up with some talented friends.

Awesome Things that are Awesome

Posted by: team sweet

October 29th, 2009 >> American Life, Art Stuffs, Mythical Creatures

cubeyjess

(above: tiny jess by the amazing podgy panda)

1. Built to Spill at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina

It was spectacular. All of my wildest dreams came true. Here’s a lovely photo set of the show which I found while perusing Flickr! Wonderful photos,minervacat.

2. Discovering It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I had never watched the show until a few days ago and now I can’t get enough. it makes me want to drink a lot of beer.

3. OCSC – Orange County Social Club, Carrboro, NC

You have to be a member or be signed in by a member to get in. Is this the secret club I’ve always been looking for to cement my feelings of being coooool?? Okay, there are no handshakes or code words at the door. and pretty much anyone willing to pay $10 can be a member but I had a pretty great time drinking Jack and Cokes here the other weekend.

4. Maria Albani and Minus Sound Research – musicians making art

Listen to track number 4

5. Put a kawaii face on it and I am buying it.

New Column for MORPH Magazine

Posted by: team sweet

October 13th, 2009 >> American Life, Writing

Street

I’ve been busy lapping up the autumnal activities in North Carolina but in between frolicking in pumpkin patches and finding my way through corn mazes, I’ve been writing a new column for Devonport, NZ-based arts and culture magazine, MORPH. I’ve been involved with MORPH in its print form and am happy to join it in its venture at being an online magazine. My column is called, “Back Again for the First Time” and is a very honest look at my crash landing back into the USA, my family and a culture I feel a bit like a stranger in.

You can read my column and other awesome MORPH columns here. You’ll know mine by the hula hooping photo. :)

Here’s some love to you, wherever you are.

TS

Small Town in the South

Posted by: team sweet

July 10th, 2009 >> American Life

Small Town Living