Saturday, August 1, 2015

Beachy Birthday

I celebrated my birthday last Sunday by enjoying the Jersey Shore (Sandy Hook) with friends. I borrowed my parents' minivan and beach passes and filled every seat. Three other cars met us there. On that hot day that kept threatening to thunder storm but never did, I looked out at my 14 guests and felt grateful for each of them.

Oh. Let's talk about the Edward Cullen blanket. Last year I celebrated my birthday with a picnic, and I stocked up on thrift store blankets beforehand. The HUGE Edward Cullen blanket didn't even seem like an option--it HAD to happen. So this week, Edward Cullen went to the beach.

Travel chair?

Drip castle 1:

Drip castle 2:

Drip castle 3:

I think I was trying to capture the sand, but I like this shot of the photographers' shadows:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Celebrate Brooklyn: Modest Mouse at Prospect Park bandshell

I wasn't kidding when I said summer is for live music!

Made a mid-week excursion to Brooklyn for more outdoor music, to celebrate my brother's birthday.

On the drive to BLKN we hit some NJ staples, beginning with bubble tea at Fusion-Ti. We were feeling nostalgic for tangible music, for CDs (ask your parents what that means).

I think I spent more time inside Vintage Vinyl as a teenager than I did inside my high school.

I re-purchased albums I knew I loved but didn't own any more, for one reason or another.

In the years since high school, I have listened to and lost a ton of music. (Anyone remember Ruckus? The day I could no longer access that library was a dark one indeed.) It's uncanny to realize that I never owned physical copies of some of the music that has meant the most to me. (I crashed two laptops in college AND BACK IN MY DAY, THERE WAS NO 'CLOUD'!)

Now we had music to get us to Brooklyn.

Gene Ween was the opening act, a treat indeed. Both sets were weird. Perfect.

The last Modest Mouse album I bought was We We Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. I'd heard that there was a new album out, but you'd never know it--they opened with "Fire it Up" and played some of my favorite tracks from The Moon and Antarctica (2000!). After "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" and "Paper Thin Walls," my night was made.

OK, yeah, they played "Float On." But when that huge ensemble plays the song live, it's hard to believe I ever heard it on Z100 in 2004.

Isaac Brock had a lot to say to the audience--and I couldn't decipher a single word. It endears him more to me, somehow. His lyrics are philosophically weighty and ambitious ("Lives" forever. They didn't play it live but I've been listening to it on repeat ever since the show), and when the words are sung I catch every cadence and nuance. Music must be so liberating for him.

And weird. Always, also, weird.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Goal Met: Completing the Henry Hudson Trail

Blue wall.
I did it! I picked up where I left off and have now, since April, walked from end to end of the Henry Hudson Trail.

Great company makes a 4-mile walk seem like a 5-minute endeavor. (I guess it didn't hurt that we started the trail with coffee and ended with beer.)

Nothing is more New Jersey than this farmer's market corn! (Well, maybe Bruce Springsteen holding this corn.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer is for Live Music

Began and ended this week in New York City (with weeklong overnight camp in-between). First, meeting up with my family to see Wicked on Broadway. It truly was magical.

This is my family, in one photograph: homemade pickles, from cukes grown in the backyard garden. On a beer tray.

CAMP! Science Camp was exhausting yet fulfilling. Here is a pic of some impressive high school students contemplating the link between preschooler nutrition and body image, inside a Nutritional Sciences lab:

14-hour days made the week go by fast. Suddenly I was in Montclair, visiting friends.


A farm-to-table restaurant. Also, French. French farms but also local food?



From there, back to NYC for more live music. Summer is FOR love music, and it was a hot summer day for 4Knots 2015.

My week had been highly regimented, so it was a gift to get into the city early, and wander around with a book and a camera.

I'm noticing lots more open-to-the-public green spaces. Well done, Manhattan.

Also, juice bar on every corner. I'll take it!

Started the day with Happyness:

You can take a girl out of New Brunswick, NJ, but she will always find Screaming Females:

Ah yes. This outdoor festival had many promotional tents giving out free samples or swag. I dig my new wine-purple shades:

Lots of places gave out sunglasses, actually:



Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, always entertaining: