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.

outlander gallery.

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of popping by the opening for Graff is a State of Mind at Outlander Gallery. I was PUMPED because it’s right down the street from me, at 126 Monticello. Monticello KEEPS. GETTING. BETTER, you guys. First, Last Place Winners came around, then Baonanas, and now Outlander Gallery!

Actually I don’t know if it’s even new or just new to me…Hold please, I’m gonna check the google machine.

Well, I didn’t really find definitive info, but it looks like they had a first show in September, according to when posts on their Instagram started. So let’s say it’s new!

Also, this event seems to have been more sponsored/created/curated by an outside force called JC 100’s Mural Co, with Outlander Gallery providing the venue. Love a collab! But I don’t know much about JC 100’s Mural Co either. Maybe I should have talked to people and asked questions like a real journalist.

Too bad I’m too awkward.

Too bad blogs aren’t journalism.

Moving on, let’s look at the art!

Oh wait, first, the caveat that comes with the art pics is, I don’t know if they had any of those little packet/catalog thingies with the prices and names of the artists, but I do know that I couldn’t find one. There also weren’t really any signs indicating the specific artist for each piece, but it could be that I’m blind. Additionally I am a professional LIKER of art but I am not an art PROFESSIONAL so I’m not so good at identifying the artist of a piece simply by its style.

So what I’m saying is, if you know who the artists are please let me know and I will credit them accordingly.

Yes, do my work FOR me, thx.

Really moving on, here comes the art.

These fangy guys were my favorite. My boyfriend said these are by @kidzero and I hope he didn’t just make that up. JK I checked his Instagram and there are fangy guys on there. Whew.

I like this one because it’s an NJ license plate. I believe the paintings above are by Distort (@distoart) (I believe it strongly, because it says “Distort” on the painting) and the license plate may be too.

Oh wait I guess I know this one too. These guys with their sleepy eyes crack me up, and the glass work is really pretty. They’re made by Keith VanPelt, co-founder of Deep Space Gallery. ANOTHER FAV PLACE OF MINE.

Guys perhaps I doubted myself unjustly, because I know who made this one too and it was Boone. I swear I didn’t set this up to play out this way. I just write as I go. Anyway I love the colors of this obviously. Boone has a whole apartment of beautiful, vibrant, exciting pieces like this and he was opening it up to visitors on Sundays in the fall! I went once quickly and meant to go back for a more in-depth exploration of his space but I never made it to another event. Hopefully he does it again when the weather is nice/the world comes alive again.

Here’s a grumpy looking dog. This is a dog and a style I enjoy because I’m obsessive with anything anthropomorphic. Give me more. I’ve seen more work similar to this guy around the town and it’s by Steven Cartoccio.

I love that this has Homer and rainbows. I really couldn’t ask for more.

Not quite sure what these are supposed to be and I feel really dumb for not getting it. Maybe condoms? They have a condom shape? I’m confused. I still like it because I feel like it means something…even though the meaning is unclear to me. And I love this style of old cartoon looking guys.

Keep in mind it’s hard for me to admit I don’t understand what something means so you’re welcome for being vulnerable in front of you. Now we’re true friends. Edit: These are candles. I’m an idiot.

This one I like because of the palm tree, a palm tree, a paaaalm treee…anyone? No? Okay.

That’s Outlander Gallery! And the Graff is a State of Mind show! It’s still going on until 2/1/21 so go check it out. Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you.

thanksgiving at home.

Just a quick little recap of a Thanksgiving at home.

Or, a Thanksgiving without really going anywhere.

I was really stressed about deciding what to do for Thanksgiving. But in the end I decided not to risk it and to stay home at my own house.

Unfortunately I am far from having the culinary skills to prepare an entire Thanksgiving at home.

Luckily my mom was nice enough to prepare send all of the food to me! Via socially distanced delivery boy, which is my dad. I don’t think he likes to be called “delivery boy” even though he was one in this case. Sorry Lexx.

Delivery!

We woke up on Thanksgiving morning and had a leisurely biscuits and gravy breakfast.

After breakfast I insisted that we dress up because I always dress up on Thanksgiving even though it is mostly inside and I wear slippers the entire time.

Dressed up. Slippers out of frame.

Slippers were certainly worn for Thanksgiving at home.

At the last minute I decided to set the coffee table up like a real “table” and I felt really proud of it. I mostly didn’t think I had enough “home items” to make a cute little table but I DID.

We drank Irish coffees and mimosas and got pretty drunk before the meal, a time honored family tradition.

When we were ready I warmed up the food my mom sent and it was TIME TO EAT.

Before warming.

Cheesy bread, turkey, stuffing, 3 kinds of potatoes, green beans, etc. ALL THE HITS.

After we ate I demanded we go to Lincoln Park for a “hike” because at my parents’ we usually go into the woods behind their house for a “hike.”

“Hike”

It was a successful “hike” because we spotted a hawk!

“Hawk”

When we returned home I ate some cookies I made and pumpkin pie from Edible Underground and then it was time for bed.

The end.

baonanas.

Times are tough, anxiety is at a record high overall for everyone according to science, and everything pretty much sucks. So, I’d like to write about something that brings me joy and that is Baonanas.

Baonanas is Jersey City born and raised banana pudding and frankly it’s everything that’s right with the world.

I personally love banana pudding and would put it in my top 3 favorite desserts, right next to vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and coconut sprinkled on top, and any chocolate based ice cream. It is that good.

The combo of incredibly sweet bananas, made so sweet by nature alone, combined with ‘nilla wafers and some kinda pudding stuff, is truly bliss in a cup. And Baonanas serves it with a fun little wooden spoon! So you can eat it slower! So you can feel like there is MORE.

Baonanas first came into my life when I got it at the sadly defunct Jersey City WORD bookstore cafe. I was just there for my usual black Stumptown cold brew, I SWEAR, and I spotted banana pudding in their cooler. And I was like <screams maniacally and disturbs the whole store> “IS THAT BANANA PUDDING?!”

Yes, yes it was.

For a long time I just got it there! It was right by where I lived! It was great!

Eventually I ended up at the famed weekend feast know as Smorgasburg (orgasburg, orgasburg) in Brooklyn and Baonanas was there!

Once again doing my best to make this a relevant and respected cultural reference for the whole world, not just inside my own head. thx.

I was so excited to tell my Brooklyn and NYC pals they were from JC!

SUCK IT, BROOKLYN.

JKJK I like Brooklyn but this banana pudding is fully JERSEY’S, thank you.

They have a spot in Harborside Financial Center and I’m not really ever over there so I haven’t gone. But I HAVE gotten delivery from there. Yes they deliver! It’s magical.

But the best news OF ALL is that they now have a full-on brick and mortar flagship store on Monticello Ave.

I moved up to “The Hill” from downtown a couple of years ago and it’s different, as far as food and drink options are concerned. You have to work a little harder to find them but they’re there. And I’m so glad Baonanas is one of them!

I think where they’re located is considered McGinley Sq, but it’s a short 10min walk from my home in The Hill and I’m very glad about it. I went over there a couple of weekends ago, on my way to drop off my ballot, to sit outside and enjoy a special fruity drink and some OG Baonanas.

The OG Baonanas is the best! They have a ton of different fun flavors, but I always go back to the OG. As I said above, a traditional banana pudding rounds out my top 3 most favorite desserts and I’m obsessed with dessert so that is REALLY saying something.

Their shop on Monticello is super adorable and very yellow. Like sunshine! And bananas…I guess. There is a sign hanging outside that is painted over yellow that I believe is an old Breyer’s Ice Cream sign maybe? I’m not sure but I love that they kept the old sign. I love an old sign I’m not kidding.

It was incredibly nice to sit outside on Monticello as well. I believe they also have music out there on the weekends. I didn’t see any when I was there and it may be done now because the impending doom of winter is upon us. But I know they did it most weekends when it was warm out.

As of this posting we still don’t have the President we want so you may be in need of a treat…I know I am. So go check out Baonanas! It’s delish! As I said they’re in Harborside Financial Center, and their McGinley Sq locaish/HQ is at 181 Monticello Ave. GO. GO NOW. GO BAONANASSSSS.

Social distancing and safety! 💕

rally for liberty state park…again.

Not this past Saturday because I was at a wedding but LAST Saturday we attended a rally for Liberty State Park. I haven’t posted about it until now because I wanted to be very thorough and look things up and fact check like what people do in REAL JOURNALISM. As a classically trained journalist sometimes I like to do that. But it does take a lot of work, so not like, EVERY time.

As you can see, this took over a week to post so I guess I made the right choice in not pursuing a journalism career. Also in the end you’ll see that it’s mostly my opinion so who even cares.

This is the third time that we have gone to protest to protect Liberty State Park on behalf of the Friends of Liberty State Park. Their big issue is preventing the Caven Point section of the park from being developed by the nearby golf course. Caven Point is a natural area where a lot of migratory birds hang out. As well as a ton of other animals like harbor seals and also shanimals.

Yes, I hang out there.

The protests are always held in the southern part of the park, close to Caven Point. To me this part of the park feels like the most “state park” part of the park. I think it’s the parking lot.

On the way in, we noticed an odd box truck with screens on both sides, playing a commercial for Liberty State Park. This commercial seems okay on the surface, but it is not okay. This commercial is a trap. It was created by Liberty State Park for All, an organization that receives funding from Paul Fireman, billionaire and face of the movement to turn Caven Point into 3 holes of the Liberty whatever golf course.

This group has been working on blatantly misleading the community into thinking that Friends of Liberty State Park are somehow against keeping the park maintained and available to everyone. They’ve targeted citizens in Wards A and F (Greenville and Bergen Lafayette, respectively) to try to convince them that the Friends of LSP are against cleaning up the park and developing the park for the community, and that they only care about birds.

You know how much I care about birds. But the whole “bird” thing turned into a whole rude AF target for Liberty State Park for All. Like making fun of people for liking birds and wanting to protect birds. OKAY COOL THANKS JUST MAKE FUN OF THE BIRDS THAT’S REALLY HELPING SHIT, YOU GUYS.

The thing is, it’s very obviously not just about the birds. They just had to find something to focus on, to pick at. To create the narrative that we’re protesting against something that would actually benefit people and therefore we’re being lame for only thinking about birds. But making Caven Point part of a golf course wouldn’t benefit people at all. It certainly wouldn’t benefit “the public.” The public that lives in Jersey City and across the state.

It is a private golf course. It would not benefit the public in any way. Even if Paul Fireman expanded the golf course into Caven Point AND gave Liberty State Park private billionaire money to build some public stuff, like basketball courts, the public would still suffer. There are public funds for things like basketball courts, pools, amphitheaters, and everything else in the OG LSP “Master Plan.” We don’t need to make a deal with the devil madly fiddling away on top of a golf hole to get them. Are they called “golf holes?” I don’t know.

As we entered the park, there were “counter protesters.” I put this in quotes because there is reason to believe that they weren’t actual protestors and were paid to appear and protest. All of their signs were the same, in the same handwriting and said the same thing. As if someone had made them and passed them out. When directly asked what they were protesting for or against…they had no idea.

Everyone has a right to protest of course. And it’s fine, they weren’t doing anything wrong. But it’s suspicious that they were present under such conditions. IAs if they were being paid to participate, or were iuuuuuuu false information, or even worse were given no information at all. Which is actually what seemed like was happening. And it was creepy and weird and dare I say dystopian, just like the intentionally misleading commercial on the box truck.

We arrived at the protest to save Caven Point with a small sign in hand and took some pics with lady lib and then we were ready to protest.

Sadly it seemed like there were less people there than the last time we went to protest in January. And that could be for many reasons, COVID being the biggest one I guess. It was a Saturday, it was hot, people are just over it, etc. I don’t think there were less people because some of the people that were for protecting Caven Point last time are now against protecting Caven Point, but I didn’t have time to conduct an official survey. I think it was just people being people. And not showing up. That’s a people thing.

But the people that DID show up were great and there were a few really awesome speeches from some great NJ folks. I’ll share with you my notes:

Sam Pesin, President of Friends of LSP – “We’ll get started soon, you enjoy the sun!” I liked that nice little welcome.

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro – “Some people can’t afford The Shore or Great Adventure and this park is that for them.” This was so beautifully Jersey and I couldn’t agree more.

I didn’t make proper note of who said this but I have the line, “In the dark halls of the statehouse…” in my notes and I think that was a clever dramatic device on someone’s part. Nice work.

“If you don’t show interest in politics, politics will stioll show an interest in you,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. Also, “If they tried to do something like this in Central Park hell would freeze over. Why would we let it happen here across the river?!” YEAH.

Although he’s recently been a little questionable as far as likability in certain circles, circles that touch my personal circle as far as Jersey City society Venn Diagrams go, Mayor Fulop does say “Trenton” with a full-on NJ accent, “Tren-in,” like the “t” is silent, and that always makes me happy. And I’m sorry I guess. But I was glad he was there and for his support on this partcular issue at least. For now.

The mayor.

Ward E Councilman James Solomon appeared in an NJCU hat and I wrote in my notes he was “tryna be eyyyyy cool JC guyyyy,” emphasis my own. In the end he did reference the hat and also that he teaches at NJCU which I didn’t know so I guess I revoke my mean girl comment. Although I still haven’t forgiven him for the time when I used to live downtown and he knocked on my door and tried to engage me in some kind of political process when I was very hungover and clearly wearing my pajamas. That was too much for me. But I still like him, he’s doing good things. It’s fine. I’ll be fine. Ward E is Downtown, for your records.

I’d like to pause and say that Dancing Tony dutifully sanitized both mics and mic stands in between speakers. Thank you. HE RUNS FREAKIN FUN YOU GUYS.

New Jersey NAACP Armed Forces and Veterans Chair (and acting Environmental and Climate Justice Chair) Keith Bodden came out with a pile of literal hats (and a literal hat assistant man) to show all the different “hats” he has worn in his life and still wears now. I LOVED IT A TON YOU GUYS.

HATS!

I have in my notes that Frank Gilmore was the “best guy” but I guess I was tired at that point and I didn’t write down why. But just know that he freakin killed it.

A local 8th grade student came up and read a letter to the editor she wrote. She did a beautiful job and was very composed and well spoken, I felt proud! I got a little tearful when she brought up some things about the birds. You guys know I love birds. The whole time I was like, “maybe we need to make it less about the birds so people can’t tease us about the god damn birds,” but then I was like, “well…I do like the birds.”

Speaking of birds, Shayna Marchese also spoke a bit about the birds! She’s a photographer who takes AWESOME pics of birds in NJ. All birds all the time. I LOVE HER INSTAGRAM GO TO THERE. A TON of the birds she captures are within Liberty State Park and Caven Point specifically so you can really see what the area has to offer as far as nature, even in such an urban setting.

@shayna.marchese on Instagram GO NOW!

I don’t know when the next vote for the LSP Protection Act is, and I couldn’t find it online! I did find some information in all of the following locations, and I encourage you to check them out. I do think they will be updated once they have a date in mind.

Friends of LSP

Baykeeper of NY/NJ

BAYKEEPER + Good Boi

notable animal residents of jersey city: dude cardinal on my block.

Today I’d like to speak about the dude cardinal that lives on my block, one of the notable animal residents of Jersey City.

Can you spot him?!

He is a beautiful, brilliantly bright-red bird and he runs this town.

The dude cardinal that lives on my block zips around very quickly so he is often hard to locate and always difficult to photograph.

We googled some shit about cardinals and it said that the males are “territorial song birds” so they sing in “a loud clear whistle” from the top of a tall tree or whatever to scare the other cardinal dudes off. So I’m pretty sure he’s the only dude cardinal around here, at least for a few blocks.

This is blurry but he battles some sparrows. V exciting bird content.

This dude cardinal on my block is SINGING HIS GOD DAMN FACE OFF all day every day. He’s lucky I like him because I usually hate loud noises. But I let him get away with it because he’s very handsome.

Majestic AF.

Most days we don’t see him at all, but EVERY DAY we hear him at least a few times.

The Internet also said cardinals like sunflower seeds, so I made sure to get birdseed that has some of those in it. Yesterday he was sitting in a tree looking very interested in the bird seed! But I haven’t seen him eating it yet. We’ll get there.

There’s also a lady cardinal, she’s brown. I haven’t gotten a picture of her yet but I hope one day I can get a little pic of them on a bird date. There are only so many small pleasures I can hope for in these dark times.

I know I said I was going to learn to use the real camera but I haven’t yet so these accompanying pics and vids are all I have for now.

I 💕U.

It’s worth mentioning that I never once saw a cardinal anywhere in Jersey City in the last 12(?!) years until I moved up here to The Hill. The Hill certainly has its issues but there are a SHIT TON OF BIRDS. And I like that about it.

feed the birds.

This gosh darn old AF gal knew it all along when she used to sing it to us…FEED THE BIRDS.

I loved that old lady. I wanted her life. And I thought the dad was a such a dick the whole time, which I guess you were supposed to. But he was a HUGE dick in this part like JUST LET THE KIDS FEED THE DAMN PIGEONS. LET THEM FEED THE BIRDS.

Pigeons are my favorite. Don’t even start with me.

But I love all birds! Birds are fun. First of all, they’re everywhere. They are all around us: city, country, mountain, river, on top of a tall building, they don’t give a SHIT. Since they’re everywhere, they can help you connect to nature at any given moment. Even on a very busy city street you can hear a chirp chirp chirp of a little house sparrow and you’re like, “Okay. This isn’t humans-only. I can deal.”

In these depressing times I have been looking out the window a lot. LIKE A LOT, A LOT. I know everyone is, because there are memes about looking out the window. A lot of memes. LIKE A LOT, A LOT. But one important thing I’ve had more time to look at are birds. AND I AM ALL ABOUT THE BIRDS. And I want to feed the birds.

meet the birds.

There is a cardinal that lives on my block. I believe there is only one bright red cardinal that you would think of as like a CARDINAL cardinal on my block and it is the boy one that is the boss around these parts. We have seen two lady OR juvenile ones. They could be either, we aren’t professionals and we don’t really know. A cardinal sound is the only sound I can recognize by sound and I hear it start at the same time every morning and it goes on and on the whole day through.

There is also a pretty consistent mourning dove that perches on the electrical wire thing outside my front windows. Oh I can also recognize that one by sound. But it makes me want to fall asleep. But it’s also calming. I guess it’s fine.

Yesterday I spotted a bluejay! I just saw the flash of its tail. I didn’t know what sound they make so I looked it up. Now we know. Spoiler: They sound like screech-y dickheads.

Along with these brighter bird stars are the less glam house sparrows and the sadly named starlings. House sparrows are cute and seem sweet but mostly they’re just basic. They’re the basic bitches of the bird world. Like they’re fine but there are a lot of them and you can’t tell them apart. There are actually a ton of types of sparrows that look exactly like house sparrows but they’re technically different kinds. I don’t have time for their bullshit. They all have the same feathers and got their hair done at the same place IF YA FEEL ME.

Starlings are an invasive species and I feel bad for them because it’s not their fault, forgive them for their fathers’ sins and all that, but they do pick on other birds and I don’t like their tone. They also keep boning constantly in the tree behind my house while I’m trying to eat breakfast and frankly it’s disrespectful.

Okay a Google search of both starlings and house sparrows dug up a ton of hot goss on them both and it’s not pretty so we’ll have to explore that another day. They both seem like total assholes and can be the bad guys in this story. Every story needs bad guys!

feed the birds.

Now that you’ve gotten a preview of the cast of bird characters, I’m going to tell you how to feed the birds.

Birds like bread…I think. I ordered a suet thing from Amazon and a little holder to hold it and I was all excited about it but some piece of shit person stole it from the front of my house. I hope they stole that box and opened it and were pissed it was bird stuff. No one likes bird stuff like I do. This piece of shit person probably never even realized that birds even exist. Let’s kick them.

Anyway I was super depressed due to the stolen suet and pretty much could not be consoled for hours. Finally I realized we had a stale Portuguese roll from EXTRA Supermarket so I broke it up into bird sized pieces and put it on the fire escape. I was desperate. I wanted to view birds and become one with birds and eventually become an actual bird so I could fly out my window and far, far away from here.

Birds came! Birds came to eat it. Some sparrows came, that was pretty much it. But it was a start. A squirrel also stopped by and I had to shoo it away. I like squirrels but THIS WASN’T FOR OR ABOUT THEM. By morning, all of the small pieces of bread were gone.

Was it birds? Was it squirrels? WAS IT WIND?! I don’t know but I did know that I had to get to Target early this morning and get some god damn birdseed immediately.

ATTRACTION!

So I got it. Brought it back.

(These aren’t real birds)

Poured it into an old cookie sheet because I don’t have a bird feeder and neither did Target.

Put it on the fire escape…

AND WAITED.

Only a squirrel came at first. It was pissing me off so I gave it some peanut butter to get it out of the way. I didn’t mean for it to take the tiny plastic container I put the peanut butter in. I thought it would lick the peanut butter out, like how a dog or cat would. I don’t know squirrels’ lives. I don’t know squirrels at all because it snatched it up and ran into a tree and down the street and out of my life forever.

Squirrel vid.

I know this is bad for squirrels, the environment, and the delicately balanced ecosystem. I promise not to do it again. It’s a desperate time and we all make mistakes. I’m sorry.

After I drove the squirrel away I set up my phone to get some video, and let it sit for 60 minutes. Almost nothing happened…but at the end the cardinal came and sat in the tree for a moment and thought about eating the bird seed! It also made cardinal sounds, so maybe it was alerting others to a new food supply. I hope it comes back tomorrow!

Cardinal!

I look forward to updating you on the full cast of birds during this time of boredom and crisis.

the peace of an empty train.

The peace of an empty train. It’s a beautiful thing. I was just thinking about it the other morning.

This is mostly for my Jersey City pals, although I feel like the unsurpassed level of peace one feels on an empty train is universal. It’s the peace of an empty train.

Do you ever get through the turnstile and peek down the stairs at Grove St and think “UGH HELL NO.” You prob think this every day. I do.

What about the days you have at least 30 minutes of extra time? If conditions are just terrible enough, will you get on the Journal Square/Newark train, GOING IN THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, just to feel the peace of an empty train?

Because I will.

Empty.

Commuting via public transportation blows. I hate it every day. It’s my only option and I’m trapped inside of it so I hate it more. I despise being so close to other people. I have a panic attack when I hear them breathing. I get off the train drenched with sweat and my heart is beating really fast and I can’t breathe. This is every day.

I literally would rather die than smell anything that doesn’t smell like cookie scented perfume. JK I mean figuratively because the cold darkness of death is my greatest fear (because FOMO) but I still hate smells a lot.

“Meditation,” if you want to call “trying to think happy thoughts and disassociate from my own body” meditation, does help. And I recommend that to you. That’s the only advice I have, if you came here to learn something. Just pretend you don’t exist and sometimes it works. I also do this whenever someone yells at me…I just go to another place in my mind. So like, don’t yell at me because I’m def not listening.

Empty ENOUGH.

Commuting gets even WORSE, which happens at least once a week, when you have to SQUEEZE INTO a train that DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM but people are STILL SQUEEZING. LIKE STOP. Then you have to ride in that squeezed position for like 20 minutes and it’s the worst place you’ve ever been in your life. I can guarantee that.

So yes, when you have that option and that extra time to go the empty train route, I don’t see why you wouldn’t. I don’t see why you wouldn’t seek the peace of an empty train.

The only time this doesn’t work is when you see that the other cars are full and one car is pretty empty, maybe only one or two people in it. This means THERE IS AN ISSUE IN THAT CAR and you should STAY FAR AWAY.

Empty from another angle. PS I’m currently super into the idea of Curaçao because I want to meet Flamingo Bob 💕🦩

It’s usually a smell related issue. I won’t say more because it’s making me throw up just thinking about it. But there is a reason that car is empty and that reason will make it the opposite of peaceful so STEER CLEAR.

Do you have any tips to make commuting less of a living hell? Asking for a friend.

greenville art walk.

On Sunday I decided to venture out into the world and check out the Greenville Art Walk. I wasn’t feeling great because Dry January had ended on Saturday but I wanted to make it happen.

The Greenville Art Walk is held once a month on Sunday, the first weekend of the month, in the Greenville neighborhood of Jersey City. This was my first time checking it out but I think they have done it a couple of times so far.

I’ll be honest, I’ve lived up on The Hill for almost a year and I haven’t walked down MLK south of Kearny Ave. I haven’t gone past the Dunkin Donuts. So this was my time to check it out!

I didn’t take good notes and need to look up the artists and I swear I will fill their info in soon. In the meantime if you know any of them let me know! Edit: Great news! I found the curator Atim Annette Oton on Instagram and she kindly gave me the artist info, hooray!

There were 7 stops on the Greenville Art Walk, but I got started late around 3:30pm so I wasn’t going to be able to make it to them all. I decided to walk to Martha’s Boutique first and work my way back.

Sadly Martha’s Boutique was closed up when I got there, so I didn’t get to go in.

I turned around to make my way back north, and I walked past Myrtle’s Marantha Market. There was art there! And she also had some veggie hot dogs to sample, which I enjoyed.

She gave me her business card and said to call her if I need anything. This is the nicest thing someone has done in weeks. Unfortunately I don’t call people. Maybe I’ll text her.

Artist Akil Roper (bottom)

Next up was Brick Street Realty and this spot had the most art of the walk. A representative from JCTC was there and she gave me a rundown of the art and artists. I didn’t take any notes and I regret that.

Artist Janhavi Firke
Artist Akil Roper
Artist Bryant Small

Two little girls that live upstairs were there enjoying the art and their Sunday and they told me about when HBO shot some scenes from Plot Against America there. They reported that they got free ice cream! But they also reported that they were keeping their bikes in the empty store and the HBO crew accidentally threw them out. Dammit!

Artist Fermin Mendoza
Artist Fermin Mendoza

Overall the Greenville Art Walk wasn’t much, but it was a start! It also “wasn’t much” because I started it 2.5 hours after it started, so that is my fault! I’m going to try going again (on time) next month so I’ll let you know if I find more art. My hopes are high!

Artist Heather Williams

On my travels along MLK I also came across this small business incubator that I have read about. None of the businesses were open, maybe because it was cold and drizzly, but I think when the weather turns nice it might be a bustling little place. I’ll definitely go back to see what’s up!

Oh I guess that’s why it wasn’t open.

Have you attended the Greenville Art Walk? Did you have more luck seeing art than I did? What are your Greenville Art Walk tips? Thanksssss.

You can find more info about the next Greenville Art Walk on 3/1/2020 here.

i found a lamp on my street lewk.

Today I walked outside to take some photos and I found a lamp on my street.

Possibly more importantly, here is a link to $100 off Rent the Runway Unlimited. That’s where most of the “I found a lamp on my street lewk” is from!

I took pics next to this lamp and was pretty pumped about it.

Afterwards I went inside to put my tripod away and decided I wanted the lamp.

But when I went back outside, it was gone.

Darn.

Dress and jacket, Rent the Runway. Lace shirt, Free People. Necklace, Stone Cooper. Eyeliner, Urban Decay.