Saturday, May 31, 2014

WEEKEND CASUAL: IN PURSUIT OF MAGIC

The definition of the pursuit of magic: "the moment that people perceive the logic of the universe. The inexplicable and undeniable atmosphere that rests infinitely above the human canopy. Being in pursuit of this is a continued story that everyone is writing for themselves.. a reminder that the magic you pursue is pursuing you too." --two female street artists. Join their movement here: http://www.pursuitofmagic.com/.

This is the theme for my weekend casual post because although I've randomly stumbled upon their stencil work in the streets of Manhattan, their artwork was my main focus while in Dumbo today. I've been waiting for the weather to warm up before exploring Dumbo--and it's perfect for a hot, summer day because the whole neighborhood is next to the water. Here's a mini-tour!


Dumbo is such a cool neighborhood, but I have to admit it's taken me a little while to learn my way around. Most streets don't go through bc they run along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, so you end up walking around, over, and under the highway on most streets. The good news is that it's impossible to get lost. From anywhere you can use the Brooklyn Bridge as your guide, and can easily tell whether you're walking towards or away from the water. And now, walking along the BQE, in pursuit of magic: 







Not only is this mural gigantic, but it's so colorful. It's sort of hidden behind a bunch of trees, but the colors make sure no walking by misses this. Although we found this en route to Brooklyn Bridge Park (which has amazing views of Manhattan, right on the water), I would have been perfectly content staying here all day, staring at the dozen or so different owls. Each is so unique yet they match and flow together. Ahhh, if this is magic in street art, am I still on the pursuit?! Well in case you didn't realize this isn't the end of my post, yes, I am still on the pursuit of magic. And in the most beautiful ironic fashion, the best way to describe this pursuit is that it's in the preciousness of the hunt. See...

 Sometimes I think what I love so much about the street art that I see is that it makes me feel complete, it ignites a creativity and happiness in my mind. And other times, it's how these giant murals created with two hands can make me feel so small. Like I'm only a tiny, minuscule part of the world that's enjoying the art before me. 



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As we neared the Brooklyn Bridge Park, we assumed that our street art adventure was over for the day. Totally content in what I had already seen, we grabbed an ice cream cone and started to make our way to the water. PAUSE! Under the scaffolding and alongside an abandoned factory, was a block long graffiti wall free-for-all. Although totally different in style from the planned out, themed art I showed you above, I love this form just as much. It's abrasive, it's messy, but it's so New York. Because you know what? Art is not a crime. 







Thanks for reading! Stay tuned--I'm keeping with my Brooklyn theme in pursuit of magic, and attending a block party tomorrow in Bushwick that I've been waiting weeks for! 

xx
Naomi




Outfit Pictured: Romper by H&M. Gladiator sandals by Born. Bag by Olivia & Joy. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

SUMMER LOVE IN LITTLE ITALY

Memorial Day weekend marks the true beginning of summer. Summer in NYC means many things, including rooftop happy hours and icy cold subway rides. It also means you have the right to eat as much ice cream as you'd like (yeah, says me), and spend all your time outdoors. Needless to say, I love summer in the city. 

Little Italy is no exception to the above rules. There's a street festival every weekend from now through Labor Day, and although it may be a tourist trap in many respects (uhhh, dancing cannolis on the street), it sure is entertaining. Between the live marching bands, the faint scent of fish from Chinatown a block away, and the streets being lined with every Italian food imaginable--it's a must see at some point during the season.

Opening weekend just so happened to coincide with my planned adventures of seeing some of the newly painted murals in the area. So after devouring a cannoli on the street corner and perusing some of the jewelry shops, I made my way around Little Italy and NoLiTa to enjoy some street art. Hope you enjoy it too!!

First up are two murals by Buff Monster. His motto is "Pink is Power", and I couldn't agree more. And remember what I just said about our right to enjoy ice cream? This includes his murals :) 

Next is this little hidden gem, now tucked into the seating area of an outdoor restaurant on Mulberry Street. I was distracted by Fleet Week uniformed sailors laughing at the dancing cannoli, and walked past this mural twice! When I finally found it, it made me crazy jealous wanting to go see more of Alice Pasquini's art. This Rome based artist (my favorite city!) is seriously talented. See her website in the link above for more of her work! Although slightly hidden by the table and chairs, this mural's beautiful details are a perfect addition to the LISA project collection. 
This next mural is a new addition to the neighborhood, just a block away from the Bowery mural. The wall outside the Rag & Bone clothing store is frequently changing, so I wanted to make a point to see this one before it was gone.  Yet another Italian artist, Federico Massa, has now left his semi-permanent mark on downtown Manhattan. 

I guess it's just good luck (or a great sense of style!) but I always seem to be matching the murals. Loooove! 

Walking down through NoLiTa, there are a ton of murals just out of your line of vision. Meaning they're easy to miss, but all the more exciting when you do catch one. How lovely is this Tats Cru job, though? Just another reason to love this quiet neighborhood! 

And finally--I saved my favorite for last. For any of that already know me, you know how much I love elephants. So when I heard that the space next to the Anna & Karl mural by Bradley Theodore on Mott Street had been painted with a giant elephant close-up, I couldn't wait to see it. So so impressed with this piece by Vera Times



xx
Naomi

Sunday, May 25, 2014

SKULLS AND STRIPES

Memorial Day Weekend is here already! I started off my weekend by planning a little downtown scavenger hunt of Bradley Theodore murals. The good news is that most are within walking distance of each other. The better news is that the rain held off until I was finished with my tour. 

I first found the Anna & Karl mural back in March, and instantly fell in love with BTH's work. His love for fashion mixed with the colorful talent of skull mural after skull mural--I mean, what's not to love about this? I could have stayed posted here all day enjoying the mural, but it was getting cloudier by the minute, and my scavenger hunt in downtown Manhattan had just begun! 
Next up in the street art world of fashion: Grace Coddington, who seems to be grabbing up at you from below in this unique mural. This NoLiTa bar, the Musket Room, seriously has the coolest cellar doors EVER! 


And finally, the beautiful Diana Vreeland. So so so fabulous--both her and her skull portrait! I had fun posing in front of it, and definitely attracted some tourists to take pictures of Vreeland too (yes, with me in them...) 

Fun via Instagram too! 
 I only have a couple of BTH murals left to discover in the city now-- a Terry Richardson in SoHo and Frida Kahlo inside BangBang Tattoos. I'm not so secretly hoping that by the time I plan my next adventure, he'll have something new in the works!! 

Check back tomorrow for more pictures taken in Little Italy and NoLiTa! Have a fabulous MDW! 

xx
Naomi

Outfit pictured: Striped aztec dress from Necessary Clothing. Wedges by Vince Camuto, white leather jacket from Forever 21. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MONOCHROMATIC MORNINGS

Today was one of those days. Do I have to get out of bed? For anyone else that works a 9-5, I'm sure you can understand where I'm coming from when I say it's too easy to fall into a routine. Into a monochromatic lifestyle.

But whenever I'm feeling this way, I just need to remind myself that I live in the best city in the world. Any beyond that, (okay here's my biased opinion), I live in the best neighborhood. West side best side. 
Central Park is a 5 minute walk from me, and is therefore the obvious choice for a walk in the park. This morning, though, I decided to change it up a little bit. Two blocks in the other direction--wild right!!? And here, welcome to the Upper West Side. Riverside Park--sure, it's no Central Park spanning 50 some-odd blocks, but it sure is beautiful. Tell me there are cherry blossoms and I'm basically on my way. 


As much as I'd love to relax in the park all day, it's time to head back to my apartment. You know, that whole work at 9am thing? The best part about my walk back, or anytime I leave my apartment, is the little mural just around the corner. Waking up last fall to a Twitter feed full on Banksy spottings on the Upper West Side, I couldn't help but feel like my neighborhood was finally complete. Our very own Banksy!!
I have to say. This picture circa February has to be the best of the bunch, featuring my favorite artist besides Banksy-- titled "Getting hammered in NYC."
Follow him on Instagram here-- he has many more NYC adventures to come!



Monochromatic mornings don't always have to be boring. They can be as colorful as you want them to.



xx
Naomi


Outfit pictured: Top by Guess. Leather mixed mode skirt by Bajee Collection, bought at Buffalo Exchange. Shoes by Dolce Vita. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Cope2 is a legendary, old school graffiti artist. He's been doing graffiti since the late 70s, and is an integral part of New York City street art culture. And this week in NYC, it was all about him! Between painting the latest edition of the Bowery mural, and his art gallery opening, Cope2 had a chance to remind the art world that's he's not done yet. 

As much as I'd been loving Maya Hayuk's exhibition on the Bowery mural, the changing of the seasons meant the wall need a change, too. My favorite part about Maya Hayuk's technicolor patterned art (remember, here: The Funky Jungle) was that it was the perfect pop of color for the dreary winter. But with summer here (that's right, bypassing spring)--the color needed to be outdone. & OMG it was!! 









Words cannot describe this beautiful graffiti! I'm going to be tempted to take pictures here every weekend until the mural comes down....I wish my apartment walls were all painted with this! The amount of positive vibes and happiness I feel radiating from this mural is insane! I am soooo in love! 

This mural, titled "Under the Influence", is also the name of his exhibition at Azart Gallery in Chelsea, going on now. The opening reception was amazing, with live art by Cope2 and his gallery collaborator, Kokian. Although they have totally different styles, the gallery space pulled it off well. Not to mention the Cope2 branded wine, provided by 67Wine. Amazing--a Thursday night can't get any better than this! 







I am clearly overjoyed to be meeting the legend Cope2--hello, cheesy smile! 

You know what I realized today while writing this post? One weekend full of perfect weather (like above) forgives the whole winter, instantly. It's impossible to get tired of this place. NYC, you are the absolute best and I love to call you mine!! 

xx
Naomi