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Batman Returns

My fiancé and I live in Chelsea, known to many as the art gallery epicenter of New York City. Peppering the sidewalks like haphazard splashes of paint on a Pollock canvas, there are almost 350 concurrent exhibitions at any given time. Some Saturdays, with no plan in mind, we meander the avenues neighboring the Hudson River and walk from 20th street until 25th. One such day in February, 2012 we stumbled upon Petzel Gallery.

The Walkup / Petzel Gallery The Walkup / Petzel Gallery

Anarchy, animation, trash, charcoal, linen and the world of a deranged evil villain collide in the gallery.

The Walkup / Petzel Gallery

Batman Returns, the show by artist Joyce Pensato ran from January 12 – February 25, 2012. Pensato, is an artist born, raised and currently working in Brooklyn. Her proximity to Gotham is not lost on me. “Batman” is a motif that first appeared in Pensato’s drawings as early as the mid-1970’s. “I was resisting working with the traditional still life — apples and pears and all that crap,” she says. Something clicked when she first sketched the caped crusader. “I just fell in love with Batman. I think it was the ears.

The Walkup / Petzel Gallery

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My Week in Snapshots: 5/19/2012 – 5/26/2012

I have not been in my own city for about five weekends in a row now. This a double edged sword: awesome because I get to see much of the East Coast and am always hanging out with new people, tiring because I pay a lot of money for my apartment and I feel as though I am “wasting rent” or….sometimes I just need to be still, be horizontal, and take a bath at home. This past weekend I was in Boston visiting my boyfriend’s family. The travels took me on an Amtrak train ride up the coast where I could watch the sun slowly set alongside the tracks.

Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see the New England sites through mine own eyes.

1. A new frozen yogurt store opened up mere blocks from my apartment in Chelsea, NYC. This is dangerous seeing as though I LOVE frozen treats, but that also my yogurt intake goes WAY up in the summer. It’s a direct correlation. Anyway, the store is called 16 Handles and it has ever-rotating 16 flavors and unlimited and limitless toppings – cereals, jimmies, fudges, syrups, cookies, candies, fruits – there are like 100 toppings from which to choose.

2. The train ride from NYC to Boston took about five hours. During this time my boyfriend got extremely bored and decided to make an article about Rocco DiSpirito in Arrive Magazine, an article about Spiderman. Doodling can pass hours easily!

3. The sun sets over the tracks as we have our dinner on a train and head to beantown. Seeing the world from an elevated perspective, whether it be via an airplane or a train, allows ones to reevaluate the landscape.

4. In and out of train stations, bus stations, and through constant traveling, I spy other couples making the same trek as us. The elevators go up, the escalators go down.

5. My boyfriend’s childhood home has a guest room wherein family albums are kept and displayed. We sat on the guest bed one night and pored through hundreds of all photos of his mother, grandparents, and high school yearbook photos. Somehow I always feel more connected to a person when I am given an intimate glimpse into their visual memories. Here is a wall of photos from my boyfriend’s grand-family in Morocco.

6. The weather in NYC this week has been straight out of Jumanji or some tropical rainforest. One morning, the fog was so thick on my walk to work that the skyscrapers were blending into the clouds. Here is the skyline of the Flatiron District from Madison Square Pare.

7. Only in NYC will this antique chaise be casually thrust aside to the curb! If I had a truck I would have grabbed it immediately. Beware of bedbugs!

8. Boasting a genuine19th century atmosphere created by the many historically significant structures here – including some of the oldest churches and libraries in the nation – this residential area is also home to some incredible Back Bay, Boston townhomes built throughout the last century. Driving through Back Bay and viewing the Victorian architecture instantly transports me to the colonial era.

9. Artist Alex Katz is all over Boston and is having an exhibition of his prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) who touts the gallery as, “A world of glowing light and vibrant color, “Alex Katz Prints.” Bold portraits, idyllic landscapes, scenes of sophisticated leisure—they’re all here in the works of the renowned contemporary artist. With arresting simplicity of line, color, and form, Katz distills his subjects down to their essence, with a powerful graphic punch.”

The gallery scene is also bringing all of their Alex Katz prints out of inventory to celebrate his local rise in fame. Here I am holding an original, limited edition print, “Bathing Cap”.  Katz is on my “dream list of artists to own”. 

10. My morning coffee routine got a bit more trendy now that I am stopping at Keko Cafe. Featured in New York’s 50 Best, the cafe serves a daily, traditional High Tea Service. Keko Café opened in 1996, bringing a touch of European café life to Murray Hill, NYC. The food, drink, and décor are inspired by the English tea tradition, French café life, and Tunisian flavors in some dishes. I love the vibe of the gilded frames, travelers trunks, and parisian cafe chairs.

Image found HERE.

What did YOU do this week?

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Artists & Fleas

Established in 2003, Artists & Fleas Artist, Designer & Vintage Market is a weekly Williamsburg Brooklyn indoor market (Located in a large early 1930s manufacturing warehouse in the heart of Williamsburg’s North Side) where emerging and independent artists, designers, vintage collectors and DIYers can showcase their wares, set up shop and meet their market. It’s a unique destination where consumers can interact and buy directly from the source.

The shadows of midday pass over the entrance to the flea market as a passerby has a smoke break.

Aren’t shadows sneaky? Isn’t the sun strange? Here I am snapping photos in nearly the same spot, at a different time of day. 

Delicate, vintage wedding dresses and prom delights hang in neutral shades.

Part designer showcase, part maker’s market, this pop-up will host over 30 independent creators and sellers of jewelry, art, design, home accessories, vintage clothing, and all things indie, funky, Brooklyn and bespoke from both Artists & Fleas’ 9 years in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the larger creative community. In addition, the market will play host to an eclectic mix of weekly programming led by independent designers and artists open to the public.

Now in its seventh year, the flea market has done so successfully that it has expanded its offerings to Chelsea Market for a pop-up event! I adore flea markets for both their visual appeal and their ability to foster true customer bonding. It is always wonderful to see goods and wares displayed exactly how store owners want; the browsing experience is greatly enhanced by knowing that items were personally curated for the market event.

Punk, hardcore, wicked, whatever adjective or descriptor one uses, the jewelry still has edge from FSMNYC

 The ever changing array of customers, clients, and vendors is updated biweekly. Sometimes the space even offers live music and a DJ. Even if your latest paycheck has not arrived (and you can’t shop QUITE yet) the meandering is supremely gratifying.
Some shops include Brooklyn Charm (a perennial favorite that makes one-of-a-kind charms on the spot), The Blue Hound, Cynthia Rybakoff (modern vintage jewelry with a pop culture twist), GoLLY (one of a kind screen prints), QP & Monty (a veritable, vintage treasure trove), Paste (limited edition lithographs), however the pièce de résistance (in my humble opinion) was Rifle + Radford.
Although Radford is Melanie’s maiden name, her business’ title is a phenomenal way to stay attached to one’s familial roots AND to use alliteration. Who doesn’t need a little R&R?
Cowhide, agate, coral, glass, books, and a fish print. What more do you need, really?
Rifle + Radford is Brooklyn-based, Southwest-inspired design studio specializing in eclectic collections of handcrafted heritage jewelry, clothing and salvaged antiques, vintage housewares and home decor accents. The first thing that struck me about Melanie’s display area was how beautifully and exactly placed each item was. The taupe colors of old maps mingled seamlessly with the intense purples of minerals and gems. Feathers and antlers looked natural sitting on mechanical bar stools. The whole display was a study in editing.
I’ll take personalized stationery and an antler wrapped in yarn, please! 
Southwestern Flair! 
The second thing that struck me was the owner’s killer style. I have never seen such a perfect choice of rings (and on the proper finger! ring placement is a science…).  I spoke with Melanie a bit and asked her exactly HOW she found her items, we discussed my family’s history in the antiques industry, but also her knowledge of RIFLING (not the usual “gun barrel” definition, this is what she calls searching for her inventory).  Some of her items were antique or vintage, some were handcrafted and new, and yet others were a combination of the two, a re-purposing of worlds.
Whatever this case used to be; a display for jewelry, a cufflinks holder, the bottom of a cash register, or an organizer, doesn’t matter. What does matter is that now it is a makeshift holder for some of the most neatly packaged earrings, ever. Can we TALK about those TURQUOISE AVENTURINE TEARDROPS?
Are you as touched by the charming packaging as I am? Oh an ombre amethyst slice on my ear or neck! Click HERE for more. 
No shortage of gemstones, birthstones, and gold plating. 
My sneaky, voyeuristic photo features the creative director helping customers. Look at those old filing cabinet drawers topped with shadow boxes (secret: I knew these boxes were from West Elm, so she and I got to talking about our mutual design loves…)
If you were to become a designer, antique collector, or creative director, what would you call your business? How would your products be themed? Rifle + Radford has her vibe and brand down pat.