Friday, September 28, 2012

ohny weekend 2012 - coming up soon

Next weekend will be the 10th year of openhousenewyork. OHNY is dedicated to give New Yorkers and tourists alike the chance to experience the architecture of the city. Participating locations range from historic landmarks to private residences and everything in between. For more information visit the website, also if you are not in New York check if your city is part of open house worldwide. This will be my fourth year working as a volunteer and I am already busy planning what places I want to see when I am not working at my site.

Here are my highlights from last year. If you click the highlighted name on the top of each photo you will be directed to last years post where you will find more photos and information to each site.

Have a great weekend!

PS. I made the bowl on the last photo, check out how here

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

painting lounge

Last month a friend of mine asked me to go to Painting Lounge with her. They offer different paintings each night and you basically you do a paint by numbers, without the numbers ;), for grown ups. To make it more fun you can bring your own beer or wine, liquid encouragement if you will. We thought we would be chatting throughout the class but ended up working in quiet concentration on our paintings. It was so much fun and I can't believe I was able to pull off a van Gogh in two and a half hours.

Happy hump day!

Monday, September 24, 2012

week thirty eight

Another week passed by...My parents have been staying with us for over a week now and will be leaving on Friday. I love having them but on the other hand it's a bit stressful. Have a lot going on at work and want to spend the remaining time with them, so I don't really have time for anything else.  I will be catching up on all your blogs next weekend!

Last week was also pretty sad one good friend is moving back to Germany after five and a half years and she had a little get together on Thursday. She was one of P's co-workers and became a dear friend. I am not good at saying good bye but I know we will stay in contact and she already promised to visit us next year. See you again soon Steffi!

Yesterday we visited the 9/11 memorial, something that has been on my list for a while. I will share my experience in a separate post.

Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, September 21, 2012

kentuck knob & fallingwater

Sunday morning we left Pittsburgh behind and started driving towards Kentuck Knob, our first stop following the footsteps of Frank Lloyd Wright in rural Pennsylvania. The house was build for I.N. and Bernadine Hagan with construction starting in 1953 and being finished in 1956. The Hagans asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design them an usonian home after liking nearby Fallingwater so much, which was owned and commissioned by their friends the Kaufmanns. Frank Lloyd Wright was 86 years old when designing the house and also busy working on the Guggenheim Museum and the Beth Sholom Synagogue. Kentuck Knob was one of the last houses completed by Wright . The Hagans lived in their house year round for almost 30 years. It is owned by Lord Palumbo since 1986, who initially bought it as a vacation home and generously opened it to the public for tours in 1996. 

We had booked the regular tour of Kentuck Knob which took about 45 minutes and allowed us to see but not photograph the interior. After finishing the tour P and I walked around the premises and then headed to Fallingwater because we were afraid to miss the start of our in-depth tour over there. But the good planners that we are we had plenty of time to spare. The in-depth tour of Fallingwater guides you through the whole house as well as the guest and staff quarters, all in all it took about two hours. When our tour came to an end the grounds were already closed but we were allowed to roam around for another half hour, thus allowing us to take exterior shots of the house without random people. And you guys know of how much I dislike random folk in my shots ;) I took hundreds of photos but unfortunately I will not be able to share them with you because publication of the photos visitors take is not allowed without permission. And you guessed it I didn't ask for permission yet...

The construction of Fallingwater started in 1936 and the main house was finished in 1937. The Kaufmanns had built it as their nature retreat to replace cabins on the site. I would not mind living above a waterfall and feeling one with nature. Edgar Kaufmann Sr. wife Liliane insisted on a plunge pool that is fed by the stream, which I think is a great idea. Wright didn't like it but headed his clients wish. My favorite area of the house was the top floor, the area the Kaufmanns son Edgar Jr. used to stay at. With being so close to the trees and the big windows everywhere it felt like living in a tree house. The Kaufmanns used the house until 1963 as a weekend retreat and in 1963 it was donated to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and opened to visitors in 1964. If you are ever in the Pittsburgh area I highly encourage you to visit both Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater.

Have you visited any cool houses lately? Or do you have any on your list you would like to see?

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


 Wow I can't believe that our trip to Pittsburgh has already been more than two weeks ago. Time just seems to fly by...

We left Thursday after work and drove about four hours and stayed a night in Harrisburg so P didn't have to drive all night and to be closer to our destination the next morning. Unfortunately we closed the black out curtains of our hotel room and didn't wake up as early as we hoped so we skipped breakfast in Harrisburg and started our drive to Pittsburgh. After a quick nap (for me) at the hotel we started exploring the city. Our first stop was the nearby tourist information where we got a map of the city. Our hotel was in Downtown Pittsburgh, also know as the golden triangle, that is formed by the Allegheny River and the Monogahela River joining forces to form the Ohio River. From the tourist information we headed straight over one of the many bridges to the Duquesne Incline. Because it was quite hot and humid that day I needed another nap once we made it back to Downtown as I had not fully recovered from my flu. After resting we walked into the strip district where supposedly a lot of restaurants, bars etc. are. There were some restaurants/bars but not a lot of people on the streets, mostly the businesses seemed to be wholesale markets that had already closed for the day but we found a place to eat and walked back to our hotel.

The next morning we met with friends at the Andy Warhol Museum, who were in  town for a wedding. Unfortunately as it is in all museums no photographs allowed, so I have nothing to show you from that experience. After the museum we ate lunch at a sandwich place that serves all their sandwiches topped with fries, even the salad came with a topping of fries. My turkey breast sandwich was quite good actually, loved the cole slaw. Lunch gave us enough strength to head back to the Strip district, which during the day was bustling with people. For dinner we drove into Lawrenceville to eat at an Italian restaurant called Piccolo Forno that friends recommended. The food there was delicious!

What I really liked about Pittsburgh is the contrast between old and new, just like New York only smaller. There was also a lot of public art displayed around the city. The Magnolia tree you see in one picture is not real but instead a piece of art that is creating a little oasis on an empty lot. Of course I only found out about self guided public art walking tours after researching for my post, if you are ever going to Pittsburgh check out the Pittsburgh Art Council website for the walking tours. That would be something on my list fr the next time as well as the Frick Art & Historical Center.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

week thirty seven

Another week just flew by...

On Wednesday I met the lovely Frau Haselmayer and Mr. Haselmayer on the Highline in NY. They are in the city for vacation and we thought it would be nice to meet in person. Another online connection turned into a real life one. They were nice enough to bring me some Kracher, a yummy candy I haven't eaten in years. I had totally forgot about them until she posted them on Instagram. I brought them my new favorite bread spread - TJ's cookie butter. (Hope you two like it!)

I also received my giveaway win from Small Talk Studio that was hosted by Marit of Lovely Struck. Need to buy a matching frame and then find a great spot in our house to hang it. Thank you again Marit and Alyssa!

Thursday my parents arrived and "our" cats showed up again in our backyard. P fed them but they only stayed one night to show us they are in good health and left again the next day. I guess mama cat knows I am after two of her kittens ;)

Saturday we spent our afternoon in Central Park with beer and oompha music. It's quite funny that I would have never visited an event like that when I still lived in Germany and now that I do not live there anymore I do. On Sunday we took my parents to an outlet mall, where we shopped till we dropped and ate Hibachi for dinner at our favorite place that we discovered when we still lived at the Jersey Shore. I am not sure what we will do this week but whatever it is we will have fun!

Hope you will enjoy your week as well!

9/11 memorial in weehawken, nj l tribute in light l outfit with tote from my favorite record store 
l my new crazy pants l my win l kracher (candy) from germany l 
"my" cats l impression from oktoberfest in central park

Friday, September 14, 2012

NJoy - pier c in hoboken

I can't believe that it is already time for another NJoy post. 

Last year Pier C park in Hoboken (re-)opened. Now you wonder what is so special about another park. The answer is that is a man made island in the Hudson river. I love walking around on it or hang out on the benches and watch the big city on the other side of the river. It doesn't matter if it is day or night the view is always spectacular. The park was designed by Michael Van Valkenburg Associates for users of all ages, it features a playground, benches to rest and enjoy the view and large grassy area to lay down and soak up the sun. There is even a spot (large round hole) for fishing as well as a table to cut the fish after you caught it. Check out MVVA's website for more photos, they even have a birds eye view shot, and further information on the park.

What are your plans for the upcoming weekend? I will take my parents to Oktoberfest at Central Park tomorrow, which is a yearly tradition we developed with a group of friends and on Sunday we might drive down to the beach. Whatever you do have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

first estate sale loot

As I already mentioned on Monday I went to my very first estate sale with Santa from homestilo.I don't know why I have never been to one but now I am hooked and I want to go again. We were there on the last day only a couple of hours before they closed and were able to negotiate all items down at least 50%. With these sales it is probably hit and miss but the first one was a success and I bought a metal cabinet, metal box and two travel books with amazing photographs of places I might never get a chance visit. I am still on the fence on what to do with the cabinet, should I paint it or keep the patina? The colors look great together but maybe another color would work as well. Guess first I will have to give it a good scrubbing and see how it will look once the grime is off. Any suggestions about keeping the patina or giving it a new coat of paint?

My parents are arriving tomorrow and will stay for two weeks. Looking forward to spending time with them! I haven't seen them since January...


Monday, September 10, 2012

week thirty six

The past week flew by as it was a pretty eventful and short week because we had the Monday off. Honestly I could get used to a four day work week. I wouldn't even mind working more hours during those days...

On Thursday I met a friend and two of her friends in Soho to check out this years Fashion Night Out. We had no game plan on what stores we wanted to check out and our first stop ended up being the Marc Jacobs store. They served mini champagne bottles and handed out goody bags with two pairs of fingerless gloves. By the time we decided to leave they had run out of bags but not the goodies so we got the gloves without the bag. Even though I can't afford to shop in most stores we visited I picked a favorite item in every one. At Marni it was a necklace, at Chanel the t-strap flats you can see below, a scarf at Stella McCartney and a bright orange bag at Mulberry. The best part was definitely the people watching, some people had on ridiculous outfits and there were girls in killer heels trying to maneuver the cobble stone streets. I already had a hard time in my flats...

Week thirty-six was also a good week for adding items to my ever growing pile of furniture. First up was the red upholstered Herman Miller shell chair I snapped up on Ebay for only $22. On Saturday I went to my very first estate sale with Santa from homestilo and ended up buying a small metal cabinet, two books and a small metal box. And yesterday was my lucky day because I found a beat up Saarinen chair on the street. We were on the way to visit friends, who invited us for a spontaneous bbq and stopped at a nearby liquor store with our bikes to grab a six pack of beer. That's when I spotted the chair about 40 feet away and got really excited. P didn't share my excitement and entered the store, so I had to keep an eye on the bikes but at the same time couldn't take my eyes of the chair. What if somebody else snatched it before I could get to it? Luckily nobody looked at the chair and I was able to bring it to my friends place, pushing the chair with one hand and the bike with the other. I love trash day in our area!

What did you do this weekend?

tunnel in Pennsylvania l one of my outfits last week l new shell chair l rainy morning l 
balloons at the Marni store l Chanel flats l estate sale loot l new found chair

Friday, September 7, 2012

unfinished business

Two weeks ago Leena from Onshore challenged her readers to share four of their unfinished projects. Here are mine and we will see if I can finish one of the projects this weekend. On the first picture you can see an old lamp shade I had and pink rope, I have an idea of what I want to do with it but am not ready to share it just yet. The yarn on the second photo is left over from a little diy project that I did a while ago but haven't shared on the blog yet and I want to use the leftovers to try myself on friendship bracelets, never made one so far but I am up for the challenge. I will be using the chartreuse boucle fabric on the chair on the left in my upcoming upholstery class. I liked the class so much I am taking it again. Yay! It starts in October and of course I will be showing the process of how the chair transforms again. The chair on the right needs reupholstering too, as well as refinishing of the wood frame. I rescued it and its two brothers from the street last year. It is a great looking chair but definitely needs some love. Not sure about what fabric to use yet. Maybe go bold on one chair and create a pair with the remaining ones? Any suggestions?

What are you guys up to this weekend? Do you have any unfinished business to work on? Whatever you do have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

yayoi kusama exhibition at the whitney

It is finally time for my post about the Yayoi Kusama retrospective at the Whitney here in New York, I can not believe that I visited the exhibition over two weeks ago already. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed as always in museums so I headed over to the Louis Vuitton store on 5th Avenue to take some photos for my post. But there is also an installation called Guidepost to the New Space (2004) located at Pier 45 of Hudson River Park, where you can touch, feel and even sit on her art. Another spot to check out her art within the city landscape is on 14th Street (close to the corner of 9th Avenue), where a construction site is covered with in her Yellow Trees. I haven't checked out the building cover in the Meatpacking District yet, so I have no photos to include but there are lots if you click the link I provided.

The exhibition covers her work from the 40ies until the present and includes one room you can only enter if you snatch an extra ticket for it. As per the artist wish only one person can enter Fireflies on the water at a time and spent one minute in the room. Unfortunately we were not able to get our hands at one of the timed tickets. When we got to the museum around 11:20am on a Sunday morning, just twenty minutes after it opened the line to get in was pretty long and they were already handing out the time slots around 3pm. When it was our turn they completely had run out of tickets. Bummer!

I am not an art critic nor do I claim to know much about art but my favorite pieces from the exhibition were the Infinity Nets, large, white and monochromatic paintings that have no beginning, center or end. After reading that Kusama painted them directly from the hallucinations she suffered, it felt quite weird looking at them because to me they felt calm but in her hallucinations they engulfed everything, which makes it sound more suffocating than calming. Her art was both a release and a form of treatment for her psychological issues. Really interesting to me was also her stay in New York where she started to create happenings in the mid sixties and even opened her own boutique with Kusama clothing and textiles. It seemed that the artist and her art melded together, as she appeared clad in polka dots in front of her art, painting polka dots on nude performers etc. In the 70ies she moved back to Japan, where she continues to live in a psychiatric hospital with a studio nearby to create her art. If you like you can watch the trailer to the upcoming documentary Kusama: Princess of Pola Dots here.


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