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Big Dreams and Splendid Themes

lifestyle..culture..creativity..fashion..inspiration..movers&shakers

I watched The Tourist last night which conjured memories of my trips to beautiful Venice. I took this photo along one of the smaller canals, and I love it because it captures the unique intricacies of this magical place. Take me back…

I watched The Tourist last night which conjured memories of my trips to beautiful Venice. I took this photo along one of the smaller canals, and I love it because it captures the unique intricacies of this magical place. Take me back…

Fresh Starts

So many journeys begin with this very idea. A newness. Something pure, leaving all past regrets and failures behind. Riding on hope where possibilities are endless. It’s what we call a “fresh start.”

As human beings (particularly in the consumer culture), we love new. A new item or clothing is exhilarating. Eagerly waiting to tear the delicately-wrapped tissue from the colorful paper bag. Maybe for a special occasion or just because. For a few precious moments in time, it brightens your day.

These small occurrences are fleeting, but some stay with you forever. Like fresh starts.

I have been thinking about this as I approach a new beginning. I have written in countless emails to friends, “I am excited for a new adventure in a new place.” The combination of the two is kind of remarkable. It led me to ask the question, “How many times do we get these?”

The most significant fresh starts are rare (I am not talking about New Year’s here), mostly taking place in the earlier parts of life. Maybe a big cross-country move in lower school. Going to college. The new city after graduation. If the path follows like most typical people, maybe another few moves during family life. But that’s it.

One big fresh start left before my post-grad move. I can feel the time slipping away and the ‘truly uncovering yourself’ deadline coming. This next year holds many opportunities to become closer to the person I want to be. To make a few mistakes. To learn from those before I run out of fresh starts.

So I vow to make this one count. To squeeze every bit out of this fresh start. To set goals. To take chances. To just be, when necessary. To accept the things I can’t change. To grow.

Because no matter how untethered a fresh start feels, there is always knowledge and experience from the past that precipitates this mindset. It is a blessing, not a curse of baggage. And finally, with each step hopefully comes gratitude for this priceless moment of novelty.  

As my girl Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

"Anything can be a threshold for the extraordinary"
- Jan Detter, on future pursuits after my research presentation

A Foray Into Collecting

For my visual arts management class, I was given $100 to buy a piece of art. It sounds simple, but it is definitely not. The task brought me much agony. As an idealistic perfectionist (scary combination, I know), I wanted the exact piece of art that would capture my opinion and belief of art in this particular moment in time. I wanted the work to show that I had learned something from a semester’s worth of exposure to the art market while functioning as a beautiful part of my world.

In the end, I purchased “Mary Kate” a silver gelatin print by Lauren Martinez, a classmate of mine, that I am utterly in love with (see below). I chose this piece for a variety of reasons, making it a holistic purchase. 

When I visited the International Center for Photography in New York, I began to look at photography in a new way. I always liked the ability to expose but also manipulate reality through photography production. These processes have become commonplace in the digital age (dare I say too common), but there is something so unique about hand processing that can’t be replicated by a computer. I love how you can see the imperfections in Lauren’s process; it makes it real. It is reminiscent of Picasso’s works where paint application and visible mistakes are integral elements in themselves. 

I tend to gravitate toward editorial images, and this is no exception. It’s the fashionista in me! The work exudes old glamour, particularly in the black and white setting and Mary Kate’s lace dress and stilettos. Upon initial impression, I was transported to that imaginary surrounding scene, like a 1940s jazz club with lux velvet, studded banquets and plush curtains. In terms of subject matter, the ironic objectification of the body spoke to me. Our society looks at women for their exteriors (“does she have the whole package?”) yet also picks apart body pieces to meet certain criteria. Through Lauren’s exposure technique, you only get parts of a whole, and the lines where the body begins and ends are ambiguous. The combination of parts rearranged in a new context of “whole” antagonizes the traditional image of a woman. 

To see more of Lauren’s work: www.lauren-martinez.com 

Mary Kate; Lauren Martinez; Silver gelatin print

Mary Kate; Lauren Martinez; Silver gelatin print

"Come Back Down"-Greg Laswell feat. Sara Bareilles

These two are amazing individually but exceptional together. Today is the last day to get this song free on iTunes! And how do you not love the vibrant graphics in this video?

Pumped about these nautical-inspired wedges from Splendid! (See what I did there? a well-heeled pun…ok, I will stop my bad humor there) Definitely worth the half of my paycheck I spent on them yesterday. Nautical is the ultimate example of the forever summer.

Pumped about these nautical-inspired wedges from Splendid! (See what I did there? a well-heeled pun…ok, I will stop my bad humor there) Definitely worth the half of my paycheck I spent on them yesterday. Nautical is the ultimate example of the forever summer.

"Falling"- Florence + The Machine

Tenderly melancholic yet tinged with hope. Getting me through long, busy, rainy Mondays. 

A Fashionable Alternative

Threadflip.com opened today as the brainchild of Manik Singh after seeing his wife’s burgeoning closet. Although it is hard to part with those pieces that we know are not going to be worn again anytime soon, getting paid offers more re-investment opportunities (read: shopping spree!). Traditionally ebay has a collection of clothing and designer pieces ( I myself have purchased a few Lilly dresses back in the day) but the fear of faux is always looming, particularly for handbags. Threadflip is fabulous in the sense that you control the price, unlike consignment shops, and they provide the shipping. However, there is always that gamble of quality and fit when purchasing clothes (especially vintage) online. I may have to sign up to at least check out the jewelry!

California Dreamin’ today. 
"If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco.  If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life." -William Saroyan
If Mr. Saroyan is right, then I think the West Coast and I are going to get along just swimmingly…

California Dreamin’ today. 

"If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco.  If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life." -William Saroyan

If Mr. Saroyan is right, then I think the West Coast and I are going to get along just swimmingly…