Fast and Furious.

Street art, NYC, Q . Cassetti, 2012Last Thursday, Rob and Alex roared down to NYC after a ribbon cutting to pick up Kitty and her possessions after being ousted from Alumni House at FIT. She peacefully stayed in the downstairs sewing room,  I joined them Friday evening after riding the lovely Cornell Campus to Campus bus leaving Ithaca at 6 and promptly getting into NYC in less than 4.5 hours. No stops…quick as can be. I sketched out possible tattoos I want to sell ( “Until death do us part”, and Lucky 13) on Etsy. It was fun…and a really nice break for me. Rob, Kitty and Alex waited up for me, and we had a late dinner at the River Cafe, NYC.

Rob and Kitty had the weekend on Governors Island with GlassLab. So, Alex and I had two days to ourselves. So, he and I walked up Bowery to the New Museum to see two very thought provoking shows(Ghost in the Machine  and Pictures from the Moon: Artists Holograms 1969-2008)that we both really enjoyed seeing and seeing together. The Ghost s how spoke more to me with imagery from paintings from the 20s, to interpretations of literature, music and embroidery, to how people interact with technology to interface with nature (stratosphere suits, cars, bikes, airplanes, diving bells, sailboats, submarines, spacesuits, rockets etc). Lots of kooks and kookery….but challenging none the less. Alex looked at things I blew by…and thanks to him, I really saw the show through his eyes and his total appreciation of the sublimely abstract. Sol Lewitt is a favorite of his. Wall graphics, tattoos and renaissance art top my list…but you know that. I like a lot of stuff. The New Museum is an amazing space with a great shop with very edgy things, a good selection of books and just enough to pick through. Then it was off to a this and that lunch at the Fiat Cafe (which Alex proclaimed as “perfect”). We ordered an antipasto, some fresh mozz, and a few bruschetta. Alex was in heaven.

We did a tea tasting at David’s Tea, a canadian chain that approaches tea the way gourmet food is sold with tastings, smelling, and customer education. Alex and I had Note: Babyfood type jars, clear with black screen printingfun chatting with the Tea Barista—enjoying his candor and wit. Smart people work for Davids.We bought some green tea that seemed palatable and not like a concoction of grass clippings. We did a walkthrough at Dean and Deluca with my taking pictures of things to bring home to my local foodies. Cupcakes and cookies are the rage…with less focus on fresh produce and more on meat/cheese/ bread and condiments. The funniest thing we saw was a granola called “Hippie Chow”. What a hoot. Low key packaging that is standing on humor to get the buyer to reach for the first package. Then hopefully, they “get em”.

Lots of clear glass or plastic packaging with single color (black or white) screenprinting on the front. The Yogurt to the right is an example of what we saw a lot of (including an heirloom tomatoe sauce, McClure Pickles etc). Lots of food with minimal/kraft paper packaging. Just to keep it in the front of our local food nation packaging. Nothing feels custom (even though much of it is)—but a clean humility is kind of the aesthetic that is presented by the hopelessly hip. There is a celebration of basics too( flour, salt, sugar)—that seems to be new.

Then, we shopped for shoes and nipped into exclusive mens stores for fun and to see what was cool. We got some Birkenstocks for Alex on sale as his were hand me downs from Rob and the bottoms were peeling off them. And then we got back to the hotel to meet the other two and see a little Olympics with my guy.

Untitled Restaurant at The Whitney with Kusama sculpture above the space, Q. Cassetti, 2012Sunday was Metropass day with mother and son. I showed him the difference in express and local trains. I pointed out the crosstown buses and how it works. We changed lines from the green to the yellow to the red…piecing together a ride to get from one point to another…helping Alex to realize that this is a skill he will have when he visits NYC from Hofstra. It was good to give him that time and point up. I worry about my kids…and Alex is alway reticent to get “out there” and try new things. Hopefully, the subway will not be one of those scary things he will not try.

Sunday was also another Q and Alex museum experience: The Whitney with see the  Yayoi Kusama show. Alex and I waited in line for well over an hour to just get tickets and then scored 2 of the free tickets to see the special installation of Fireflies on the Water. It was interesting as the Kusama show was another styles company sponsored art event (with crossover installations at the Museum and at the Louis Vuitton shop) mirroring the show we saw at the Temporary Contemporary Gallery in LA, the monumental show of the work, product, videos of Takashi Murakami.  Kusama is a product of her time—with self sponsored art events in Washington Square—very much in the Yoko Ono mode…with Murakami not riding on top of this style piece but integrating with it…and embracing it in his art.  but, it was a big show…and fun to see the work with Alexander.

We also saw a bit of the Whitney collection including a wonderful Walton Ford Turkey, and the Alexander Calder circus. Alex was a great companion—and seemed to take a lot in. From the Whitney to Aldo to get a pair of “real shoes”—something that spans birkenstocks and boat shoes…but isnt too dressy. So we got some dark blue “bucks” which he was delighted with. He must have tried on a dozen pairs of shoes to get to this decision…but we made a choice, and he was and still is charmed. Then, more subway time…to get to Peck Slip for the five o’clock looksee of the Olympics and to wait to meet up with Kitty and Alex.

Garmento, Q. Cassetti, 2012We met them at the Stone Street Tavern, a big beergarden in lower Manhatten.  The area the Stone Street Tavern occupies is shared with a half dozen restaurants and spans a small, wide alley that teams with people eating and drinking under huge umbrellas and european picnic tables. It is so curious the way beergardens have popped up all over NYC and Brooklyn—and how finally, New Yorkers are taking advantage of the big sidewalks and the culture around hanging out, out of doors. This is the kinder and gentler New York that we didnt live in…and welcome the change.

Monday, Kitty, Alex and I shopped for fabrics and trims in the Garment District in the morning. We saw beads and baubles, gold boullion, and embroidery, buttons, and bag trimmings, clasps and zippers, spandex and sparkles, sequins and feathers, mens suiting, and fishnet. We bought yards of spandex printed like a newspaper, a few yards of a lovely printed material with a Mary Blair style border, and a spectacular ombre that is a gradient from mustard to liliac and then back to mustard….with cream as part of the blend. More subway riding…back to the hotel to meet with Rob as we had Hempstead on the schedule to get Alex to his first Hofstra Orientation. And so we did.

We discovered that instead of Hofstra being on the edge of an edgy neighborhood, it turns out that Hofstra is on the edge of a gorgeous perfectly named area, Garden City. We found the Mineola train station and the Hempstead bus station—thanks to Rob knowing that we needed to center Alex in the neighborhood. We found his adorable dorm on campus, and got him registered for the early morning start with new classmates. We discovered a phenomenal restaurant in Garden City, Waterzooi, a belgian restaurant known for mussels, beer and waffles…Boy howdy, we are definintely going back there! It is a soup and shellfish thing…that we all basically took baths in. Alex was on time the next morning—with Hofstra cutting things off at exactly 8:45 a.m. to prevent the helicopter parents from  hanging on. Once again, I am always thrilled and happy with the way Hofstra does business along with the really nice and smart people we always meet.

It was chop chop on Tuesday after the drop off. We got in the minivan to get to the Governors Island Ferry to get over to pick up a half dozen totes filled with GlassLab product, sketches and models.  We got back on the ferry and high tailed it home.

We are home…for now. Alex is on the noon bus to Ithaca from Hempstead…and he figured it out! I have Farmers Market meeting this p.m. and then the home team for dinner….or at least, that is what I hope.


Farmers’ Market Mercantile on Main Street, Q. Cassetti, 2012Grassroots came and went. It was a few hot days and a few moderate days with nice music, an opportunity to visit with Kitty and Alex and friends, and the chance to see some of the sidebar activities which I now think improves the Grassroots experience (at least for me). I met a lovely person new to the community who knew me from my blog and work (which was a bit undoing as she had the pulse on the here and now of what was going on with my life). We saw all sorts of old Trumansburg friends, and made friends with folks we knew but really had a chance to talk and engage on a different level. The Horseflies were amazing as was Jenny Stearns (with Leah and Amelia being part of the Fire Choir). We loved Mary Lorson’s set in the Cabaret Hall…and the pick up music in the new beer garden (for this year). The Stringbusters arrived on their own and played an unscheduled gig to all of our delight. Plus, it was really nice just hanging out with my boyfriend…and taking it all in. I am so blessed with such a great companion and hubby.

I am immersing myself in folk art. Gotta get going on some images, and need a trigger, a push to get it going. I have been sidetracked by the cameos and plan on getting them to Etsy soon to move it from a crazy obsession to a cash factor. They are beautiful and by combining different charms, they begin to tell little stories that I am enchanted by. Stupid, I know, but none the less charmed.

I am looking at Alexander Girard and books from the Girard collection of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe and hoping that this will force my hand to move and ideas to flow. We will see. If not, the funny tattoos I am doing for a few bands will have to be the trigger to do more work…even if it is a body of tattoos just to get really good at it. They have been fun as I can use all the cool tools I love in illustrator, and work with making the type really sing. Who knows, I could be on the train…and not realize I have left the station. Plus, there are more 1 hour portraits to do. The newest Lincoln is at the top of the page here>> Next one, Susan B. Anthony.

Another flurry begins tomorrow. Just to confirm, no one ever said this was going to be the most relaxing summer on the books. Matter of fact, it is right up there with the nuttiest.

Alex and Rob leave tomorrow p.m. to pick up Kitty to evacuate (“check out”) of her dorm in Manhattan. The FIT folks were inflexible (but maybe that is okay as Kitty didn’t get clarity on when she needed to be gone. The last thought she had was well into August, so we planned accordingly). Kitty will be sitting in the lobby with her stuff until the boys can come and get her after the ribbon cutting Rob is participating in at the Museum tomorrow a.m.

I will follow end of day on Friday on the sublime and fabulous Cornell bus (Campus to Campus), getting into NYC at 10:30 p.m. We will have the weekend in NYC with Kitty and Rob working on Governors Island with GlassLab. Alex and I are free so we may do a little “be in the city” tutorial with map reading, location identification, and subway/bus riding. I offered up a few options and surprisingly, this was the one that struck Alex as fun…or maybe not fun, but the right thing to do given his new status as Hofstra student. Then Monday, get Alex out to Hempstead to have a 3 day orientation at Hofstra.

We will bring Kitty home—and have Alex take the coach back from Long Island to Ithaca for the first time. He is not liking that idea very much…but hey, we cannot be a prince forever.  Time to grow some wings….who knows, he might like it. There are direct buses from Hempstead to Ithaca…so it cannot be that bad..unlike the chutes and ladders Kitty needs to climb in order to get home to Central NY.

We will all be together again next Thursday/Friday…and maybe we can have a few weeks of being together, enjoying each other’s company, the lake, the cloud bowl, our pets, our ideas and thoughts. This time will be a treasure…bliss. Looking forward to it.