My Week in Snapshots: 6/09/2014 – 6/17/2014

After a two year hiatus, The Walkup has returned to one of its original, weekly features – “My Week in Snapshots.” As any regular reader can tell, The Walkup got a responsive redesign. The theme was created by the fine folks at Elma Studio, based in Germany. It is minimal, and can be viewed on mobile devices. Let me know what you think, lovely reader!

  1. DUMBO – for those of you not in the know, this neighborhood acronym stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. In fables and fairy tales, only ogres and trolls lived under bridges, but in Brooklyn we’ve got coders, artists and hipsters.
  2. Scalamandre Wallpaper, a favorite of mine, especially because of its use in The Royal Tenenbaums. Katie and Casey, wonderful Manhattanite friends, welcomed us to our new home with this stellar gift wrap.
  3. My husband and I drove to a lovely wedding in Hamilton, NJ thanks to our trusty Zipcar.
  4. Spotted while looking up above Union Square, someone must have paid a pretty penny for us to ponder our “existence” in the cloud.
  5. Zainab and Kousha brought us delightful cupcakes from the Lower East Side’s Prohibition Bakery, a speakeasy-themed shop specializing in booze-spiked, cocktail-flavored artisanal cupcakes. I highly recommend the “car-bomb” with whiskey, Bailey’s, stout, and chocolate.
  6. Home Sweet Home! My husband and I finally crossed the bridge into Brooklyn. Alternative blog name? The Green Door.
  7. The Brooklyn Farmacy, around the corner from my house, serves original Egg Creams using Fox’s Ubet Syrup! This old-school soda shop, based inside a restored, 19th century apothecary, dispenses sundaes and comfort foods, straight from the soda jerks.
  8. My nephews came to visit! We set up a guest room just for the boys, giving new meaning to #Twinning.
  9. Our cousin’s home in Wandsworth, London, UK is a perfect example of edited, minimal perfection.
  10. The Nutella bar at Eataly NYC in the Flatiron District allows guests to discover and experience Nutella in creative ways they have never tried before. The menu features Crepes, Crostatina, Pane and more! The shop also gives eaters some history of the iconic, Italian brand. Om Nom.
  11. Mr. Squirrel attempts to eat birdseed from our feeder every day at 9:00 am. At least he’s consistent.

What did you explore?

Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup
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Valerie Chiang

Valerie Chiang is a wunderkind photographer from Raleigh, North Carolina who began her artistic career as a teenager. Born in 1992, by the current, ripe age of 22 she has exhibited in Mexico, Australia and across the USA. Did I also mention that she speaks English, Chinese and German? Whoa.
Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup

(top left) Marilyn // (top right) This photo was taken at Cape Hatteras Light Station in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is her first self portrait without a timer. // (bottom left) Rock and Roll  // (bottom right) Short-Winded Elations

Now living in Los Angeles, California, Chiang’s goal in photography is to turn ordinary, sometimes even banal, surroundings into something more magical and imaginative. She shoots dreamscapes that reflect her love of the make-believe and strives to offer viewers a chance to stretch their imaginations and form their own stories from my photographs. She would love to go on a dinner date with independent film director and screenwriter, Jim Jarmusch. She thinks that the ocean always has the best colors in nature and would like to steal and display in her home anything by Edward Hopper.

Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup

(left) At the Art Museum // (top right) Reindeer // (bottom right) To Sail the Seas

Chiang’s work features touches of surrealism ala Renee Magritte, but also the quaint New England vibe of a Robert Frost poem. A master of escapism (the Houdini of the Lens), her work looks as though it’s been shot through a cloud and tumbled through hazy memories. Touting herself as a “professional human being,” her Instagram channel is following by over 25,000 other homo-sapiens who look to her to capture quite and under-appreciated moments: a shadow on a coffee cup, the dizzying height of redwoods, an empty parking space.

“We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.” ― Carson McCullers

Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup

(top left) Tea Memories // (top right) Another Polaroid Self-Portrait // (bottom left) Wooden Puppet // (bottom right) Flight of Fancy

Aside from having a killer eye and visual instinct, Chiang also dabbles in personal playlists that are instantly transportative. Check out her dreamy and “shoegazey” mix meant for cruising down the highway at 99 mph during sunset.

1. From The Morning Heat // Craft Spells
2. Drifter // Wild Nothing
3. Now Is Not The Time // CHVRCHES
4. Sometimes // Beach Fossils
5. Time Will Tell // Blood Orange
6. Only Heather // Wild Nothing
7. Follow // DIIV
8. Second Chance (RAC Mix) // Peter Bjorn & John
9. Bring On The Dancing Horses // Echo & The Bunnymen
10. These Days // The Jesus & Mary Chain



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Nigel Grimmer

Nigel Grimmer is a multimedia artist currently working with sculpture, photography and text. His diverse art practice is united by ongoing research exploring the relationship between images created for public or personal consumption, focusing on the language of the family album.

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Art Drag Album

Art Drag Album (Nigel as Tina) / Art Drag Album (Nigel as Miss Wong) / Art Drag Album (Nigel as Nina)

“It’s the sort of art you might see if you mistakenly went back to a serial killer’s house after a nightclub….” –  Grace Dent, TV Times

I will not disclose the name of the town in which I grew up, however, I will admit that one summer the local high school had an adult education class entitled: “Making the Most of Your Road Kill.” Topics within the seminar included; “Hot to tell if the Meat is Fresh” and “the Secret of the Perfect ‘Possum Patty’.” But here, here! There are some major perks to “catching” road kill.

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family AlbumEric, Big Bend, Texas, 2010
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Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family Album
Jayne, Hackney, 2007 / Jo, Hull, 2000

First of all, you can call yourself the ultimate go-green enthusiast, wasting no food or spare parts. Secondly, the emat is free! There are no government issued taxes or fees for collecting roadkill. Finally, wild game is said to be very high in vitamins, drug-free, and the meat is lean with little saturated fats. Curb-side health-kick anyone? 

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family AlbumNigel, Lightening Fields, New Mexico, 2011

Subterfuge aside, Nigel Grimmer is also a roadkill enthusiast. Sorta. The series, Roadkill Family Album, began in 2000 to highlight the construed nature of a family portrait. Following with the iconic portrait image, each photograph in the series depicts a member of Grimmer’s family, or a close friend, lying, apparently dead, by the side of a road, wearing the mask of an animal.  The photographs have been taken on many holidays with friends and family. Locations include asphalt and lawns in America, France, Japan, Ireland and throughout England.

Nigel Grimer at The Walkup

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When I pass a dead animal on the side of the road, a few feeling course through my veins–namely: revulsion, sadness and curiosity. Never do I ever think of the animal as part of a family, a larger picture. Grimmer’s images force one to anthropomorphize nature and to give animals personal identities.

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family AlbumDebbie, Coney Island, New York, 2002

Playing on the photographer’s want to show the audience the meticulous construction of a portrait, roadkill must have interacted with a force or invention of man at one point (e.g. a deer hit by a truck, a squirrel sidelined by a sedan, a bird flying into a sliding glass door). Through it’s not so pretty to think about, ultimately roadkill falls on, ahem, the road, another construction of man. Grimmer’s visual, alternate realities lead me to this realization and I find myself feeling uncomfortably responsible for the death of every family member in the album.