jersey city women’s collaborative summer clothing swap.

On Saturday I was VERY hungover from a wedding I went to Friday evening (weddings are back!) But I somehow managed to drag myself out of bed and onto my boyfriend’s scooter and made it to Canco Park for the Jersey City Women’s Collaborative summer clothing swap.

First of all, Canco Park is awesome. WHY HAVE I NEVER BEEN TO CANCO PARK, YOU GUYS? WHO EVEN AM I?

Now that I’ve been, I have to go back on a sunny day, because they had a TON of flowers…I think it may be like, their “thing.” I also swear I saw a goldfinch but I could have just imagined it because a little boy kept talking to me and I felt awkward and was looking for more things to have a conversation with him about because he was a person deserving of my attention.

I really hope it was really there.

Beyond that it was the perfect place for a summer clothing swap AND a self-serve tie dye station with gentle expert “try dye” guidance from Kiki Buccini!

When I arrived they had already set up a small area of the park with clothes that gals had brought with them to swap. It was a little grove of trees surrounded by a kind of railing thing that was great for hanging clothes on! They also had some tables and clothing racks there but I was really impressed by the use of the space that was already there.

I LOVE A GOOD USE OF SPACE.

Just like at their swap in January, we took timed turns picking out new items and it was all very organized and nothing scary or competitive happened. Anytime I go anywhere my biggest fear is that something competitive will happen.

Please no.

Unlike the other swap, we didn’t drop off our items in the days/weeks before and instead brought them with us on the day of. I was a little worried that it could get confusing or overwhelming but it didn’t at all! Again, very well organized. I’m always impressed with folks that pull off full-on fun and relaxing events with ease and make the whole thing look effortless. I know it’s not! But I applaud their ability to make it look easy and also make it fun.

FUN FUN FUN!

Speaking of fun I got a TON of stuff that I love including but not limited to: 3 pairs of dangly earrings, a black Tahari suit (like what do I even need a suit for? BUT I LOVE IT), some sundresses, and a lace LBD. I love these swaps. I LOVE THEM. Just because I love shopping so incredibly much and it is 100% a problem and I definitely need shopping-specific therapy and/or support groups to stop myself, but this gives me a shopping experience without shopping! Like I’m not spending any money besides the money that I have already spent on the clothes I brought with me that I don’t want anymore!

It seems like the perfect activity for women like myself, really.

Another perfect activity for me is tie-dyeing because it is FUN and COLORFUL. We were instructed to bring whites we wanted to dye and I brought all kinds of whites except for the one white (shirt) I REALLY WANTED TO TIE DYE that I got from The Grind at the Jersey City Mural Festival.

The white that didn’t make it.

Nay, that particular white was left at home. I was pissed.

But I did have a grand time dyeing the whites that I managed to remember and for that I am forever grateful. Kiki walked us through how to tie dye and went over some different patterns, and then it was time to party! Well, the “wear gloves and carefully dye stuff on a tarp so as not to mess up Canco Park” kind of party.

It was an ebullient afternoon and I can’t wait for another swap. I’ll start looking for old clothes now. I also still have some whites to tie dye so hopefully that comes up again. If not I might do my own tie dye activity, I’ll let you know!

wine tasting with lourdes of the vine.

Last night we greatly enjoyed a wine tasting with Lourdes of the Vine at lil dove cafe in the Jersey City Heights. I had it planned as a special date night and it didn’t disappoint with its special-ness.

Full disclosure, every time I go to a wine tasting I’m drunk beforehand or I get too drunk during and forget everything. I’ve even gone on a wine-tasting only vacation and didn’t learn a single thing.

But this one I remember some things from!

We were seated in the backyard kind of class-room style facing the front FOR INSTRUCTION and I made us sit in the front row because we sit in the front row in this family. Because I’m deaf and can’t hear in the back…but I also like being in the front and raising my hand and volunteering for things. I’m basically an ideal audience member.

lil dove cafe’s backyard is so peaceful and lovely and there were lights and trees and art and a water dispenser to the side to promote hydration. And wine!

There was a cute little wine and pairing items menu and a cool placemat thing that I didn’t fully understand and still don’t but respect it as a system.

After we sat down they immediately brought out the BIGGEST AND MOST ALLURING CHARCUTERIE BOARD OF ALL TIME. I mean, it was MIND BLOWING. LIKE WOW.

We started to ravenously gobble it right away but then were embarrased to realize we were probably supposed to save it for the pairing/tasting. So we stopped eating it but by the end of the night we hadn’t eaten it all but we couldn’t eat anymore and I still feel guilty about that.

But the wine! It was “natural” wine, which seems to be defined in some capacity by “farming that doesn’t f**k over everything else on the planet.” And it was good! The first one we tasted was Lambrusco and of course that’s a fav because it’s the perfect pizza wine.

For the second wine Lourdes really broke down the tasting process and I learned a TON I am NOT JOKING. She spoke a lot about “sensory memory,” like using senses and things you’ve sensed before and apply that to the new current thing you are sensing. And I loved that!

It turns out that accessing old sensory experiences to interpret new sensory experiences in your brain is a great and mind blowing idea. I never thought of it that way and it makes me understand wine tasting better as an an activity.

When people smell wine and swirl it around and look at the color and have opinions and conversations about it based on their senses…I pretty much have thought that was bullshit for a long time. Maybe not bullshit but like, “I don’t understand how it works so it’s not for me.” But last night I felt like i found some understanding! Like something just finally clicked, between wine and I. The smells and tastes made sense. I was killin it.

The sensory memory thing really got me, you guys.

Lourdes also reminded us that when the wine is first poured – don’t drink it right away! “Take a moment with the wine. Namaste with the wine.” In the past I have always gulped all of mine before we even talk about it and then I have nothing to test out. So I believe this is probably a good thing for me to remember and I’ll be a better wine taster in the future.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

Thank you Lourdes of the Vine and lil dove cafe!

jersey city mural festival.

Hi hello just a quick recap of the Jersey City Mural Festival, 2021. It was the hottest day in the history of time and I didn’t even do my hair or makeup and I got incredibly sweaty but it was OKAY because we were among art and that’s what it’s all about.

Tools of the trade.

I would have loved to go to the opening night event on Friday at &co, but it started at 6:30pm and I had a work call until 7.

So rude.

The opening night event was an artist talk with Ron English and I just know it was great because my friends’ Instagram stories said so. Many know him as the “Godfather of Street Art” and that is pretty badass. I would have loved to learn more about Ron in person but all I have is this Wiki article and that’s all I will provide to you.

Deal with it.

The article says he was born in Decatur, like the Sufjan Stevens song, so I’ll give you that too. I hope it softens the blow of the horrified outrage felt over me not being able to attend the artist talk. (it’s a fav)

Moving past that, the actual mural festival was on Saturday and Sunday. There were things to see in a few different spots around town, but I was only able to make it to the Downtown area, and I’m sorry. I know that’s rude and unforgivable.

The Jersey City Mural Festival was held under a bridge/overpass area and maybe that seems weird at first glance but it was so hot and sunny out and DUSOO (“Down Under the 78/139 Overpass”) was protected from the sun’s harsh rays and pretty cool in temperature like a basement. So like, GREAT IDEA EVERYONE.

As we entered the festival we had to sign in for contact tracing and we were asked to wear our masks. The end of mask time is upon us but we went out with a bang, rocking masks on our sweaty-ass faces at this fest.

It was the right thing to do.

It’s worth noting that going into it I didn’t realize the artists would be art-ing BEFORE OUR VERY EYES! I guess I just thought the stuff would all be painted already and there would be beer there and we’d all hang out and cheers like, “To murals!” And look at stuff and then go home.

But that wasn’t it at all! The artists were THERE and they were painting AS THE FESTIVAL and it was AWESOME. They had all these fun kinda…lifty trucks(?)…that had platforms on them and they were extended into the air and they were painting from there.

Lifty truck, in repose.

Some artists were also using old fashioned ladders and others were simply standing on tiptoe and I respect that because I can’t ever reach anything and am constantly forced to stand on tiptoe.

I should have taken more pics and learned a little more but I was kind of enjoying taking it all in with my pals and I don’t think I should be in trouble with myself for that so I forgive me.

With that being said I just want you to know that this is by no means a full, comprehensive report of the Jersey City Mural Festival. I was there for 45 minutes. I’m just going to share a couple of things I liked and maybe you’ll like them too.

I really loved this octopus by Pawn. LOOK AT ITS EYE. There’s something with animals when you can really see their eye(s) and look into them and see their animal feelings on a basic primal level and I don’t know animal eyes always take me to A PLACE. I know this is a painting and it has no feelings. It’s just the SUGGESTION of feelings, to me. And the colors are beautiful.

I also really liked the tentacles.

I believe this painting by Keith Murray is of goldfinches, the NJ state bird. If it’s not, oh well. At least the picture has an NJ state chair (RU RAH-RAH!). But I do love birds. And NJ. Like a lot.

Joe Waks is already a fav of mine from Deep Space shows and I really love the yellow and the rainbow colored rockin polka dots of all this. Sorry it’s not that great of a pic of the actual art, more of the work in progress. And the lifty truck!

LIFTY TRUCK 4EVA.

Here’s another work in progress and lucky for him he did NOT have to stand on tiptoe.

The lady in a shell thing! Can’t go wrong! I do love this version by Ree Vilomar because the shell lady is holding a spray paint can and in the finished version the little naked angel baby Cupid things are flying over some graffiti…oh also with spray paint cans! Love it.

So, that’s it. That was my experience at the Jersey City Mural Festival. I loved it! Can’t wait for them to do it again. Let’s do it EVERYWHERE under EVERY OVERPASS. WHO’S COMIN WITH ME?!

&co jersey city.

My boyfriend has been bugging me to go spend the day at &co Jersey City. He thinks when I work at home I’m too alone and talk to the birds too much. We have full conversations in both human and bird so maybe I do. With this in mind, on a recent Friday I went to do my work at &co in Jersey City.

AND I LOVED IT.

It’s me. Loving it.

&co is a co-working space in the Silverman building on Montgomery and Grove St, by Kanibal! And Cool Vines! And Frankie! And Another Man’s Treasure! They’ve got a lot going on over there. I’ve been there before for an artist talk hosted by Deep Space Gallery, but never there to do actual work in the co-working space.

This place is amazing you guys. I felt like a rich person all day and honestly that’s the way I always want to feel. Like maybe someday I will be an actual rich person and not the actual poor person I am, but until then I have to make do with the experiences that make me feel like one. Faking it til I make it.

So a few weeks ago on Friday I was very LUCKY and <hashtagblessed> to have a FREE day pass and tour of the location. I think they probably offer this to anyone who is interested in trying it out but don’t quote me on that. I was really super pumped and picked out a cute outfit and wore makeup and everything.

Then I gathered all my work materials because the whole point of going there was to work, duh.

Backpack filled to the brim with my laptop, multiple pairs of headphones, chargers to charge everything, my tripod to take pics during my lunch break, my lunch, and my new fun water bottle I put cool stickers on, I entered this workday oasis prepared to be forever changed.

The friendly guy at the front desk took me on a tour and then it was time to get to work. Because &co Jersey City is a co-working space. For working.

There are a ton of little nooks and workspaces to use and I was kind of overwhelmed deciding which space to use first! I wanted to try everything so I made myself a little schedule in my notebook of the different spaces I wanted to try working in. It was very important to me to try them all because they were all so luxurious looking.

First things first, I needed to charge my phone and my computer, so I had to start out somewhere with enough outlets close by for that. It was a really pretty day and I’m obsessed with the outside so I really wanted to work there, but they don’t yet have outlets out there so I sat in one of the booths next to the kitchen area. There was a pretty intense outlet situation and I was immediately on my way to being fully charged.

Once my electronics were contentedly buzzing away, it was time to get some cold brew. I don’t know how you feel about cold brew BUT I REALLY LOVE COLD BREW. I haven’t been a big coffee person for my whole life, but within the past 7 or so years I have become increasingly dependent on caffeine and at this point it’s pretty serious. Luckily caffeine is a legal drug and at &co Jersey City they have it ON TAP for people to consume all day long, just for being there. And you can pour it yourself! You don’t even have to bother anyone!

I like my cold brew black so I excitedly filled a “Caffeine and Dreams” cup with ice and ran over to the tap to fill it. My excitement got the best of me as per usual and I spilled it everywhere, but don’t worry I cleaned it up. The cold brew at &co Jersey City is from Mod Cup and it is EVERYTHING. I took some notes in my notebook to prepare for this post and I’ll quote myself by saying, “I love cold brew. I love cold brew so much. I’m so excited to be here.”

So I work-work-worked away in this space for a couple of hours and enjoyed more and more cold brew. They also had cucumber water! OMG it was delicious. I drink so much more water when someone else is preparing the water. At home I have to put it through the filter and then refrigerate it for it to even taste good and it’s just exhausting. A fresh water supply I don’t have to put any effort into is probably the only thing I miss about working in an office.

Yes, yes that’s the only thing I miss about the office. (#teamnoofficeeveragain)

When I was fully charged up on caffeine and electricity I packed up my bag and headed outside to the terrace! I guess it’s called a “terrace”? It was the “outside office.”

AND IT WAS GREAT.

Luckily it was a beautiful day, and there are so many little beautiful spaces to enjoy outside. There are regular tables and chairs, lounge chairs, lounge couch type things, a table with an umbrella…the list goes on! I loved it out there!

I first settled in on a lounge couch with the umbrella over me because it was hard to see my computer screen in the bright beautiful sunshine. But soon the sun’s siren song seduced me into a giant comfy chair and I ripped off my shirt and adjusted the brightness on my computer screen and all was well.

It remains unclear if “tanning” is one of the intended activities for this outdoor area, but I will say I think they welcome it since nobody yelled at me to put my shirt back on. It’s important to multitask! I was tanning AND working!

It’s a beautiful thing.

After an hour or so outside in the sun all of my electronics started to explode so I had to put them away to cool down and it was time for a lunch break.

I grabbed the lunch I packed myself out of the adorable refrigerator in the adorable kitchen and went back outside to have a picnic and read for a bit. I took some pics and videos for social media during this time, because it’s always fun to take pictures of oneself in a new place! I know I can’t be the only person that enjoys that. I’m 100% sure that I am not.

During my hour-long work respite I also had the pleasure of investigating the mediation room.

IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

I know I keep saying “beautiful” and I guess I need a thesaurus but like…that’s the word. I loved the colors and the textures and the vibes. There is a dream catcher!

And a hanging-from-the-ceiling-swingy-chair!

And velvet pillows!

Ugh I’m really such a sucker for velvet anything.

I spent about 10 minutes in there and it was so quiet and relaxing and lovely and when my phone alarm went off saying “BACK TO WORK, B*TCH” I felt refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day.

After lunch I had to do some more charging so I set myself up in the quiet room (The Quiet Room?) at a desk.

As the name implies, the quiet room was very, very quiet. It felt very work-like, very professional, very “getting things done.” I hung out in there for a while and got some work done and got charged up.

THEN IT WAS BACK TO THE OUTSIDE.

The rest of my perfect day at &co was spent finishing up my work at a table under an umbrella in a comfy chair. I felt freakin fantastic.

At the end of the day some folks started to gather out on the terrace by the table for a wine and beer happy hour! In addition to the cold brew, &co Jersey City also has NJ Beer Co beer on tap. Around 1:30pm I did judge a man for coming outside with a giant glass of it, and I apologize for judging. That was cruel and unnecessary.

In addition to the wine and beer they had snacks! This particular week the snacks were from Wurstbar, and included their Mexican corn dogs WHICH I LOVE A LOT.

I chatted with some people although I’m not much of a chatter when it comes to strangers. STRANGER DANGER! But everyone was friendly and one gal even gave me a delicious cupcake she made so the chatting was worth it.

In the end I would 100% recommend a day, a month, or A LIFE at &co Jersey City to a friend. I loved it so much that I went back the following week. It was $25 for a day pass, and it was well worth it if you take into consideration the BEAUTIFUL workspaces, cold brew, access to the outdoors, beer, snackies, overall wonderfulness, etc. I forgot how much the other memberships cost but you can find them here.

Go check out &co in Jersey City! Or don’t, I’m not your mom.

pushing up the daisies 2021.

This weekend I went to Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 and it was everything I hoped for and more. I was seriously very excited about it which could have set me up for extreme disappointment but luckily it was great and no one was disappointed.

LOVIN IT.

Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was held at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery. The event is always held there and it needs to always be held there or else it’s not Pushing Up the Daisies. Maybe it seems like an “odd venue” but I think it’s the best venue of all time. If I was dead and buried there I would be glad that living people paid to be there and came to party with me. It’s just the highest level of respect, wanting to party with someone. And showing up for that party. Even if they’re dead.

I wish the dogs were still there.

Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about and getting pumped for this event. I planned my outfit, my snacks, the ways I was going to entertain myself. It was my music festival for the summer, I guess. Since I don’t recognize or have any interest in any bands in the Gov Ball lineup anymore. I was mostly just excited about being outside and listening to live music. The outside world and bands playing music both make me really happy.

So I was there all day mostly alone. I laid on my beach blanket and wore a bathing suit because everywhere is the beach and I don’t care what anyone says about that unless they agree. It was a really, really nice day. The sun was so bright and warm. An impossibly perfect spring day.

IMPOSSIBLY. PERFECT.

Like so perfect that the thought of the possibility of more perfection in the future as the summer approaches makes it EVEN MORE PERFECT.

It was great. And the bands were great! GREAT GREAT GREAT.

First up was Sofia Oro. I thought she was super talented but what do I know, really? Either way I was entertained and she did awesome covers of Wicked Game by Chris Issak and Criminal by Fiona Apple. Also she was only 17!

Wow. What a way to start the day and it was only 1:30pm.

Sofia!👏🏻

Next up was Rockstar Racecar from Bloomfield, NJ. They were introduced as from Montclair but then they were like “Actually Bloomfield but no one cares about Bloomfield so we say ‘Montclair.'” I would like to submit that I DO care about Bloomfield and acknowledge that it is a different, separate place from Montclair. Thx.

I enjoyed them! The one guy had blue hair which is always fun. In my notes I wrote that they had a song about Coney Island and how much they like it and I personally hate Coney Island LIKE A LOT but I did like the song.

Then I got super into my snacks and taking pictures of myself and I stopped paying attention and taking notes for a while. The following bands performed during that time: Steel Press, Viktor.Digital, Pynkie 5, and Morningside Lane. Although I wasn’t FULLY paying attention at this point I do know that it was all enjoyable music and I would surely return to listen again.

Thinking a little bit harder about it I do fully remember Pynkie 5 because the gal was wearing THE CUTEST OUTFIT and if anyone ever tries to tell you that outfits don’t matter they are IDIOTS.

Then the clock struck 5 and it was time to transition from the day session into the night session.

My boyf joined for the evening sesh and I was 💕👏🏻🤗

Puppy Pile started off the evening sesh, and I kind of remember what they were like but mostly I just got stuck on thinking about their name, Puppy Pile, and thinking about a pile of actual puppies. And this made me glad. So thank you, Puppy Pile.

Hudson City Rats were up next and they’re always fun. I enjoy their instruments and their vibe and their beards. Thank you for your service.

The CROWN JEWEL, if you will, of Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was Jersey City’s own Desir Decir. Yay! Love them! LOVE THEM LOTS. Glad to see them back in the world! I’m glad to see everyone back in the world post COVID and they are part of and encompass everyone so good to see ya Desir Decir.

Going into the day I thought the last band was going to be The Jack Moves, who are also very fun. But then it wasn’t them and I was confused. Did I invent that The Jack Moves would be there in my mind? It wouldn’t have been the first time I invented something in my mind that simply wasn’t true. But I returned to @rockitdocket on Instagram to confirm and didn’t see them there but clicked over to @jcmusicscene and there they were tagged in a post on April 19 of this year promoting Pushing Up the Daisies. So I’m not crazy…well I am but at least not about THIS particular thing. Whew. Guess they just couldn’t make it. We’re all human, after all.

Anyway the last band ended up being Lapeche and I’m sorry but I was very tired and already at home by that point. It was a long day! I’m sure they were great though. Shout out to Lapeche, I’ll catch you at the next one.

BECAUSE COVID IS ALMOST OVER SO THERE WILL BE MORE, A TON OF “NEXT ONES” AND I CANNOT WAIT.

Pushing Up the Daisies 2021 was a great time and I think everyone there would agree. If they don’t we don’t need them.

I really didn’t take many pics of the show and only have silly ones of myself, like this. Sorry.

The cemetery looked great mostly because helpful local folks have been volunteering for “Wake and Rake” events on Saturday mornings for the past few weeks! They awoke and were raking and also doing other types of groundskeeping to really make it super nice for all of us.

Thanks everyone, you did a fantastic job with a valuable public service and I salute you.

YOU, yes YOU, can keep an eye out for future Wake and Rakes here. If they set more up I think I’m going to do it some Saturday soon so maybe I’ll see you there! Usually there are goats that trim the grass and maintain the grounds and I’m not sure what’s up with them so I guess people are the goats for now.

Thank you everyone for a lovely, sunny, snack filled day in the cemetery I can’t wait to do it again soon.

madame claude at white eagle hall.

During Normal Times™️ White Eagle Hall was a fun, fab, fantastic place to see live music in Jersey City. I saw some of my most favs there: Best Coast, Waxahatchee, The Black Lips. LIFE WAS GOOD.

Life isn’t that good now but we DO have the option of dining at Madame Claude AT White Eagle Hall and I think that’s pretty great, you guys.

We can eat food and drink drinks AND hear live music! The folks playing the music walk around and play the music! We can be inside this really cool historic building that I actually really, REALLY missed and have a great night!

Last night we really had a great night.

I had a TON of La vie en rose cocktails. Definitely lost count but it was a ton.

A TON.

The La vie en rose cocktail has lychee and vodka and some other stuff but I was mostly in it for the lychee. And the lychee was in it for ME.

We had a charcuterie board as an appetizer. Because we do what we must.

For my entree I chose the salmon. IT WAS INCRED. GET THE SALMON YOU GUYS.

They were kind enough to allow us to outsource dessert because it was my friend’s bday. Like they let her bring in a tray of banana pudding from baonanas and a delicious cake. The birthday desserts were EXCEPTIONAL and I was glad we got to have them.

All night the band played jazzy music on stage and it set a wonderful mood.

It was a great choice of birthday venue for my pal and I’d love to go back.

The end.

community cleanup.

On Saturday I was glad to attend a community cleanup on Pacific Ave in Jersey City. I walk and bike and scoot down Pacific Ave a lot to get downtown and I was like yes I’d like Pacific Ave to be clean let’s do this.

So we did.

The cleanup was run by Clean Green Jersey City. We met up on Pacific Ave and were given trash bags and REALLY FUN TRASH GRABBERS.

Like really fun.

They gave us plastic bags to collect trash in and plastic gloves to wear. The plastic gloves went right over my regular gloves! The ones I wear FOR WARMTH.

We were told to go in pairs or off on our own and I was like “I choose off on my own byeeee” and it was very peaceful and calming to zone out and pick up trash for an hour or so. I’d reccommend it.

There were a lot of empty alcohol bottles. Like an insane amount. I think I also came across some road kill that was in an advanced state of decay.

Cool.

But as I picked up trash I could see the street start to look better right before my eyes! I’m not making this up. It seemed really great. There’s a lot of trash around the town and it would be great if we could clean more of it up.

It’s as simple as that.

Before I went to the cleanup I was thinking about whether it would make me more sensitive to seeing trash around. Like if I didn’t notice trash before, would I notice it more now?

And for the last 48 hours…yes. I have been noticing trash WAY more. THERE IS SO MUCH TRASH OUT THERE.

My own street on The Hill is a huge trash fest. There is a local man that walks up and down the street with a grocery cart and he picks up some of the bigger trash and carts it away but street cleanup isn’t a one man job! It’s not a one SHAN job either, I think we should get a crew over here. And maybe we will someday!

In the meantime there are other community cleanups happening soon in our Jersey City community!:

You can sign up via their Google doc.

Go pick up some trash, it feels great and it’s great for the town and the land and the other folks that live here, too.

Woo!

self love soirée.

Hey hi just going to do a quick recap of the Self Love Soiree I attended on Saturday because self love is very important especially during these valentines times.

LIKE VERY IMPORTANT.

I’ve written about this before but I think Valentine’s Day is a great time to reflect on loving yourself. Wait have I written about this before? I know I’ve written about loving your friends on Valentine’s Day. Also important!

Either way, love yourself. Just do it. It feels great. It’s totally worth it. And in the world today there are actually a ton of opportunities for self love and self care and it’s now socially acceptable to take a break and take a breath and also to admire yourself so LET’S DO IT.

The night before the Self Love Soiree I returned to drinking after a dry January so it was VERY DIFFICULT to get going but I eventually got out of bed. After a cold brew and a green juice at The Cottage on Monticello I was happily on my way to Deep Space/The Hive for the Soiree.

Yes, I do go there every weekend I guess. My boyfriend referred to it as my “community center.” MAYBE IT IS. It’s great because I can walk there and there’s always fun stuff there! I don’t know how it could get any better. I’m not ashamed.

Unfortunately I was still very hungover so I didn’t get a lot of pics. But I’ll share with you what I did!

I was excited to get a pair of conversation heart earrings from Aly Cupcake/Aly’s Little Things. THEY ARE SO COOL. There’s nothing I love more than cute jewelry with bad words on it. That’s not a lie.

WTF.

She also had some really awesome pink/red/romantic looking earrings with Cupids and actual anatomical hearts on them that were SO COOL. Truthfully I really wanted these but technically I’m still in “No Shop Q1” so I’m not supposed to buy clothes or accessories.

I know I cheated with buying the convo heart earrings but they were like $10 so I think that’s a minimal shopping footprint.

Had to support a local business, you guys.

I really enjoyed checking out the display that find & revive set up. I realize I’m a broken record with this but the space looks so different at every event and I think that is so cool. I MEAN IT IS MY COMMUNITY CENTER, PEOPLE.

They had lots of reds and purples and animal print and it was all very romantic and lovely. Honestly I couldn’t even go near it because I would have been too tempted to buy.

I can’t wait until April 1.

This Saturday 2/13/21, find & revive will be back with a pop up at the Galentine’s event at Monroe’s in Hoboken so check THAT out. (I will)

Tainable, Kaze Jewels, and Dalia Handcrafts were also in attendance as vendors. I didn’t get to take the closest look at them on Saturday but I checked them out on Instagram and they all have great stuff so I hope to see them again when I can buy…EVERYTHING.

On my way out I got distracted by some books and I came across two advance copies of books I’ve been wanting to read! Like they’re released now but these copies were advance at one time and now very affordable because the person that had them originally was giving them away. Because books are expensive!

One of them is Detransition, Baby and it’s the next book for Roxanne Gay’s online book club The Audacious Book Club SO THIS WORKED OUT PERFECTLY. I can tell you more about the book club another time but it’s really incredibly great and you should also subscribe to her newsletter The Audacity BECAUSE WHY NOT.

I got the books from Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop and I’m going to be looking for more books there next time. BECAUSE BOOKS.

So that was the Self Love Soiree! I loved myself so much that I needed a nap after. A long one.

As far as my community center, there is a Galentine’s event there this weekend they’re hosting along with JC Women’s Collaborative that looks very fun so if you’re a gal and you have pals that are gals you should check it out.

i forgot i like records.

You guys, I forgot I like records. I like, REALLY LIKE RECORDS.

Don’t worry, I remembered this past Saturday. You can call off the search party.

I’m not 100% sure how I first got into records but one day in 2009 I ordered this old LOOKING record player from Target at the recommendation of my friend Laura from work. The first record I bought was Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest because DUH IT WAS 2009. PS I was here. Be impressed. Beyonce was there!

But then I realized that NEW records are very expensive and also not very fun to go looking for. But OLD records can be under $5 and you get to do an ACTIVITY that involves digging through bins of old dusty things and THAT is the adventure I was after.

ADDITIONALLY record stores are often havens for cute, quiet mysterious guys who love music and hate themselves and that was ALSO the kind of adventure I was after.

So I went to record stores! I went in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Austin and LA and Deep Ellum (Dallas) and Phoenix and Athens, GA. I went to record stores wherever I went whenever I could find them. I bought tons of $1 records that I then crammed into the middle of my overstuffed suitcase that I had to sit on to close and cross my fingers they didn’t snap in half.

You’ll be glad to know, I never snapped a record. Whew.

When I lived in downtown Jersey City I loved to go to Iris Records and peruse the dollar bins. You may be aware that “peruse,” although often used to describe a quick scan of something, is in fact THE OPPOSITE and means that you take a long-ass time to carefully and purposefully look through something. So yes, that is what I would do. (OH SHIT MERRIAM-WEBSTER IT MEANS BOTH <AIR HORN SOUND>)

Sometimes I would bring friends, or some guy or whoever, but I really enjoyed it when I went by myself and I was lost in my own thoughts and thinking about my own ideas of what music…IS. And what I like about it, and what I don’t like about it, and which records were worth spending $1 on.

At the end of my search when I approached the register with my pile, I always felt judged. I won’t lie! Music people are very judgmental. Which is uncool. And also why I never really considered myself like an actual, ACTUAL music person, even though I love music and going to concerts and ogling boys in bands. It’s too much to keep up with. I’ve said before I’m not compettive and I’m really not. I don’t want to have like a music stand off with you about who knows more.

I would rather die.

I don’t really know what this is but it has birds so yeah.

So yeah, checking out at record stores always felt hard, as I felt judged. But that could just be me, being an awkward weirdo. Either way you feel as though you are presenting your valuable discoveries to a panel of experts and you’re concerned about whether or not your ideas will be validated and/or accepted as fact. And like, whatever, I guess. The guy at Iris Records was super nice. He had curly hair and glasses and definitely smiled, so he gets respect for that.

But then Iris Records was no more! But maybe they’re back now? I don’t know, I’m confused.

For the last couple of years, even before the pandemic, I had started to really enjoy SILENCE. Like just sitting in my apartment reading in SILENCE. Or messing around on my phone BUT IN SILENCE. Or in the kitchen baking but with NO ADDITIONAL NOISES. I really started not listening to music as much. Sometimes I didn’t listen to music for weeks at a time. Maybe I was kind of going through something, or maybe I just needed a break. I had gone through a solid decade of hard work learning about new bands and listening to new songs and attending concerts that went super late on school nights and going to 3 day long festivals and I was DEFINITELY too old to make it through 3 days toward the end. Music and I were like, “On a break.” For a while!

In December of last year I started to run for recreational purposes, and with running came random playlists curated by Nike Run Club and some of those playlists had songs I liked! So I started to build a playlist of stuff I liked again, and I’ve been listening to it, as I move around the world…or just my house.

And I’ve been enjoying it. But, as I said, the return to records didn’t happen until this past weekend. There was a $1 record sale at Deep Space/The Hive Goods/Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop and of course I had to go because it’s one of my favorite places but also I can reasonably walk there and I needed to get my steps in, you guys.

Before I left I was going through old records that I haven’t even looked at in at least two years and I remembered all the late nights at my old apartment, bringing friends back after the bar and sprawling around the living room and listening to random shit. These were defining moments of my life and I felt sad that I left them behind.

Once I got to Deep Space/The Hive Goods/Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop, it was as fun as I remembered to zone out and listen to music and relax and look through the boxes of records. And I reflected on how it was once one of my favorite things and I wondered why I had stayed away so long. I don’t really have an answer for that but I’m back, baby!

And the record sale is still going on this week, in fact they will be there this very night, Wednesday 2/3/21 3-7pm eastern standard time. Check out The Hive Goods Instagram for more info.

jc women’s collaborative swap at xtina’s variety and vintage shop.

This past Saturday it was VERY COLD but it was also the day of the JC Women’s Collaborative swap at Xtina’s Variety and Vintage shop and I HAD TO GO.

I had never been to a clothing swap before and I’d honestly heard some scary stories. For some reason most of them involved “Brooklyn,” but it would be like “My friend took me to a swap in Brooklyn and it was a free for all!” Or, “I went to a swap in Brooklyn and everyone just GRABBED THINGS.”

To me it seemed like swaps were frightening because they included a competitive element and I wanted nothing to do with that. I’m not a competitive person and any kind of tense feelings really stress me out. I don’t want to FIGHT for things. It just seems like A LOT.

Anyway this swap WAS NOT LIKE THAT so don’t worry. It was great! It was very organized and didn’t feel like a race or a crazed collective grab for the best items or anything like that. It was all very civilized and fun.

Embarrassingly, I arrived 15 minutes early. I was ashamed. I didn’t intend to be that early and I felt like a nerd. Once again, I had walked way too fast and gotten very sweaty. One day I will learn my lesson but that day was not Saturday.

As I mentioned, IT WAS VERY COLD. LIKE VERY. Leading up to the swap Xtina had suggested that we wear layers, with a yoga pants/sports bra or tank layer at the bottom, so we could stay warm but also try on clothes over the bottom layer if we wanted. This was great advice because it worked out and I stayed warm.

COLD.

It’s very good to follow instructions, my friends.

Upon arrival we were given a wristband with a number on it and that indicated when it would be our turn to go upstairs to swap. (I was #2) (Be impressed.)

I’ve seen Deep Space Gallery and the store downstairs be set up a few different ways and it never stops impressing me with how versatile it is and the different ways they use the space. It’s just fun. There’s always something new to see.

While we waited for our turn to go upstairs to swap, DJs played music in the shop downstairs and we were invited to browse the shop and also the wares of some vendors that were in attendance – @cutpasteface, and @primcessart, and @talirose_art from @visioncoven

Again, there was so much stuff to look at. I really enjoy looking at stuff. A simple pleasure.

Soon enough it was time to go upstairs! The clothes were split up into racks by size, and there were tables organized by size for jeans and loungewear. Accessories were on a small table, and handbags were in a box.

We had 5 mins to choose 3 things and I suddenly got very excited so I didn’t take any pictures. I’m sorry, you’ll never know what the actual swap part actually looked like.

JK you can see some pics on Xtina’s Instagram, @xtina_moore. Calm down. Go look!

In the first round I got this BLUE TORY BURCH PURSE and I felt like I WON THE ENTIRE DAY. Like, this freakin freezing ass Saturday was MINE!

I MEAN LOOK AT IT!

After the first round we got back in line and went for the second round. This time we still had 5 mins but we could choose 5 items instead of 3. I was pumped because I got something in the second round that I had left behind in the first.

Despite not being a competitive person…I did feel like I was winning at this swap. I mean, NBD.

But I think everyone felt that way! It was a great and happy and positive experience. We all chatted in line and made new pals. We got excited when people picked one of the items we had dropped off. It was a nice feeling.

I came away from the swap with THE PURSE, a brand new with tags maxi dress from Anthropologie, a gold sequin top, a fun late 80s/early 90s looking cropped jacket with sparkly gold embroidery and velvet buttons, a basic black shift dress that is the SOFTEST jersey material, a tie-dyed Trader Joe’s T-shirt, and a couple more things. Those were my most favs.

I like the sequin/sparkly stuff best and there was actually a good amount of that there. I think because people only wear it for New Year’s Eve and then they’re done. But I like to wear sequins ALWAYS and you’re going to have to accept that THANKS.

So that was the swap! And they’re gonna have more! Follow JC Women’s Collaborative and Xtina on Instagram and they’ll keep you posted!

JC Women’s Collaborative also does in-person (socially distanced, when it’s nice) and Zoom meetups with guest speakers that are fun, informative, and thought-provoking. Their next Zoom meeting is on Feb 4 at 7pm and the topic is mental health, a v important topic! You can find more at @jcwomenscollaborative on Instagram.

And Xtina’s Variety and Vintage shop has a record sale event coming up this very weekend. On 1/30 1pm-5pm they’ll be selling records 4 for $1! I’m gonna go. If you like records maybe you should go too! I don’t know, I’m not your dad. They’re at 77 Cornelison Ave in Jersey City.