Car Free: Florida.

dscf8124_27191138772_o

Heat & Cold This is an article from another who has done the car-free thing in all types of weather, where I have only done Southern California, Texas, Spring and Falls only in NYC, and Florida as well as other countries in full car-free life. The extreme heat and the extreme cold are both great challenges for the car free person.

Miami made it on the list here for best cities.

Though from this writers time growing up in Hollywood, Florida perhaps much as changed since this is where I am and there is a great “trolley on wheels” as well as bus system and though I am in the heart of Down Town and hundreds of great eateries, night life , art galleries, parks, Monday night food truck in the park and much more including parks and library, I am a less than two mile or a trolley ride away from the beach and a just few bocks from a grocery store. I have walked through a lot of the neighborhoods and O.M.G. I love these styes of architecture…but also everything seems very close, there is more sprawling area and passsings of particular highways that can become the areas of problem but I personally haven’t met with an issue yet. There is also a train system. The traffic here is INASANE and a four minute car drive can take forty so I much prefer the walking…plus really there are round abouts and cross walk weirdness and as a driver I am more afraid of an accident or running someone over. But as a walker I am fine (I do suggest sticking to cross walks here as a pedestrian and since some cross walks don’t have stop lights be VERY careful….but those cars have to and will and do stop in my experience.) But the link link here has a bit about this area as well as others they actually live car free in now and some really good information and taking points of car free living.

Retiring or heath reasons not to drive are another to hit on…there is the saving money part as well as, like my own mom and eventually myself, the lack of eyesight. But not the lack of get out there living and social life.

Tampa Finding a realtor who can help with your type of lifestyle is a really good moving move. Car Free in Orlando .

Other sites to check out. This really is a talked about and lived in real life topic:

Best Cities

No car – No problem.

Urban Car Free Projects.

Even Vacation can be Car Free.

To My Younger Self. Know your potential and opportunities.

74265_465773767067_7590798_n

What I would tell my younger self…

This young girl starting out in a world of modeling. She has a lot of lessons she will learn…most not until a decade after she leaves that world behind for good.

The funny thing about me going into modeling is my joke I carried about how the world you live in as a child often tells you it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside. And then enter the world of modeling. When it’s all about the cover package. Not only there but in adulthood where you find that looks do matter. From jobs to dating to friendships. We are a shallow people. But even I admit the guilt.

What is even more funny is that as I carried such a joke, I had never once been told it as a child by my own mother.

If I could I would sit and have a long conversation with that girl about how the world will expect much less of you than you should of yourself. Much less than what your potential can reach. And not to let society and the world hold you back because they can’t think that high.

Today as we have an easier access to bullies around the world with social media, the young girls also have more access to Girl Power and being a strong girl/woman and that throwing like a girl is a good thing. Hell, now they ‘own’ the 2016 Summer Olympics. Little girls now ‘be like fuck that shit’ when told they should act like a lady or go be some ones house wife or aren’t strong enough. It took me until my thirtes to reach that ability. Though I DID do the amazing, I eventually did falter from it as well.

I would have told that girl to follow her instincts a lot more than she did. I would most of all have allowed her to know what opportunities existed. That as she cut and taped pictures of architecture to scrapbooks perhaps being an architect was a career path possibility. That as much as she was working and striving in her sport and nobody really supported her through it, the keeping on with future ideas would pay off. That those late nights spent typing away on her typewriter had a ring to it for her future. That her organizational skills and mind that immediately built solutions instead of problems would take her far, and could take her even farther in the world of business and now work for her in the world of writing.

It is just something that I think about a lot, how a very little knowledge of what one was good at could turn into a job. And what jobs were even out there besides “Nurse or teacher” as she would hear for women back then and “policeman or fireman or Astronaut” as she heard for her brother. Nobody ever recognized her skill with numbers or that trigonometry wasn’t a usual hobby for a young girl as it had been for her. I would hope that if I should have children I would not only teach them to take a test and teach them daily skills but also teach them of what opportunities even exist out in this great big world.

But, thankfully, life is not too short and I eventually learned much. Sure there are a lot of other things I may have – could have – and even now wish I had done (or not done)…but life also has it’s way of working out and I am truly happy with what I am doing and where I am going with it. There is no ‘time lost’ as what I did end up ever doing taught me a lot for every future thing to do and heck, I ended up in some pretty weird, neat, and definitely odd for me jobs along the way, also meeting many people along the way.

My potential? Eh, not so much reached maybe at all times, but interesting nonetheless. Building off what skills along the way that weirdly work well for me now. So who knows? And would I have ever listened anyway? That young girl? Well, I would have perhaps bought the pants off of my New York Agent and that amazing office building we had, too, and shown the fashion industry a thing or two because lord knows I walked in and saw the problems…and even then had many solutions for them.

But then I was much more quiet and meek so perhaps one of the biggest biggest BIGGEST things I would have told this girl right here….speak up. Voice what the hell is in your head! And just do it dammit because it will really turn into something big. You. ARE. That. Good.

But would she have listened?

Actually, to this, I think she would have.

IMG_20160820_020833

 

Florida Street Art.

dscf8077_27218265421_o

I have lived in Galveston for six years and now it’s onto other travels and adventures. There is much to explore. I’ve started with Florida, a place that I never thought I cared to really put on my map but am now shown how wrong I was. I love art-deco of all things and also mid-century. I love artistic communities and good food and local musics of all kinds. I love beach towns and sailboats and walkable communities. And here I am absorbing it all.

The street art, artistic community of Hollywood, Florida, and the parks built for art are really awesome. The Art Park has an event just about every night and is only a bock away from where I stay, it’s beautiful with the most amazing huge trees by day, great picnic and reading. Classic Car shows, a Food Truck night, food and wine festivals, an Artwalk and more, every night. They have an entire gallery and stage building built just for glass blowing and have live shows as well as “make your own”. The city obviously puts a lot of money and focus into the artistic community and it’s a great blend of retired, young adult, families, and artists, and business. There are also a lot of art galleries and studios around here, too.

I’ve lost some of my pics but will try and replace/retake. And I did try and take pics of the artists signature on street art whenever I could or it was available.

dscf8085_26681167884_odscf8088_27288146155_odscf8087_26681270754_odscf8080_27254764986_odscf8081_27254750806_odscf8083_26682287883_odscf8076_27288251605_odscf8063_26682485433_odscf8061_27218410951_odscf8062_27255117236_odscf8057_27218430861_odscf8055_27288497585_odscf8054_27255066156_odscf8053_27255007576_odscf8044_27288838845_odscf8043_26682009764_odscf8041_26683140263_odscf8039_27218885321_o

Houston. We explored you.

dscf7386_26739530711_o

It’s hard for me to even write the word Houston without hearing in my head …”We have a problem” being said…it is nearly as impossible as spelling Mississippi without singing.
Joe and I have been enjoying some Houston time this past Winter and Spring.
We realized that though we were soon to set off on travels all over the country, we hadn’t quite taken advantage of what was right here on our doorstep. He was not from the area and knew not much about it and I had grown up here but not too much yet experienced Houston as an adult. So in this time we took to the streets of the big city, the city that boomed beginning with the time that I was born. We have now been several trips and yet to have experienced even a quarter of what it has to offer. But in our travels and time and years we will be back for much more…until then, here is some of our fun.

At the end of each day we’ve yet to want to stay and are always pleased when we headed home, I-45 Southbound. It has been a pleasure to have Houston right at our feet when living in Galveston.
We have gone in search of crunchy taco’s, food trucks, Polish or Indian food and other what are we craving that the island doesn’t offer tastes for our tongues.
We have enjoyed museums and still not covered them all.
We went to the zoo and and many gardens…still not covering all of the large outdoor parks, gardens and all greenspaces that Houston has to offer, however we have recently enjoyed the greatly done Buffalo Bayou. Many many props to Houstons recently previous mayor and hopes that future ones continue the works.
We have discovered amazing cheeses, great shops and spent days digging through antique stores and browsing, reading and carting home half of some bookstores.
We have driven through and walked through many neighbourhoods, enjoying the architecture…even walking up to people in their yard or driveway (I am surprised we’ve not been shot) and asking them about some of them.
Though Joe has decidedly stated he obviously is not the “Coffee-shop kind of guy” (Back to a wall, too many people, knows all the exits, doesn’t get lost in computers, or know what he wants to order) he handles my need for visiting the many in stride.
He is, however, just as much foodie as I am and with a palate that will try anything (have yet met anyone that beats me though) and aside from finding not only neat things to eat…but real true discoveries, we also duck often into spice and oil shops, cheese and more. We have feasted our eye’s upon the works of Salvador Dali, sat in quiet of chapels, and drooled over the smooth curvy lines of models…we are talking of the art-deco car kind.
We have watched the bats fly at sunset and we have been lost and lost and not even cared but rather enjoyed wherever we where and the sites we found.
We have really covered so much ground and yet…Houston. It’s that big.

dscf7407_26806171215_odscf7401_26739468031_odscf7405_26806186255_odscf7406_26806179115_odscf7408_26806163205_odscf7400_26782094946_odscf7399_26201545604_odscf7398_26739452861_odscf7397_26201559994_odscf7396_26534333020_odscf7395_26782152446_odscf7394_26782162776_odscf7393_26782171836_odscf7392_26739606921_odscf7391_26782178906_odscf7390_26201628214_odscf7385_26201736884_odscf7384_26806326595_odscf7383_26201732994_odscf7379_26201664674_o

Island Living. The Beach In Spring.

dscf7836_26193486343_o

I am on to some new travels away from the island but my heart will remain for sure. I will be back and I will always love Galveston Island. The place I made my first sand castle, first learned to swim, my first sting by a jellyfish, and the place I came back to as an adult. I have lived here for six years now and have planted my feet firmly in the sand since I was a tiny little sea urchin. I plan that I will spend many of my older days here and perhaps even settle to rest eventually.
Until then, I will share my island life and it’s many amazing moments.

dscf7834_26703601322_odscf7832_26524867560_odscf7835_26193478373_odscf7833_26193469233_odscf7837_26191929614_o

The Inspired Writer. Flower of wishes.

dscf9107_27241587021_o

Finding inspiration in any one art is to find it in nature.

A walk in a neighborhood, tuning out all else, the sound of traffic and the barking of dog. And tuning into the Spring time gardens in bloom and the smell after a fresh rain, the Summer time smell of fresh cut grass and the heat of the sun warming your skin, the Autumn colors and crunch of fallen leaves under your feet, the Winter ice storm and smell of fireplaces lit.

And the fallen flower. Especially the bloom that in childhood carried free wishes, summertime childs laughter, and many many memories of summers past. Now there it is, fallen on the ground like the cynicism of adulthood sees all the wishes one made once as a child that never came true.

Yet even in the shadow that we now know exists, the beauty can be found of a fallen flower laying on the ground. I close my eye’s and imagine the sound of my childhood, those wishes I sent into the wind in one big believing and anticipating breath. I remember what was important to me then, what I wished for. And think about what my wishes are for now. I can’t help but to smile, lift that puffy soft boom, and send a wish into the world. Who knows?

I returned home after my walk, a soft lovely image in mind, the shadow brought to light and the light caused only because of shadows exist. That all that grows must fall, but only to grow again in a new season. And that out there my wishes float on air. And here, I remember what was, and is, important to me. Walk returned from, my mind fresh and clear. I sit back to my desk and let the new words flow, as if carried like wishes on air.

dscf9106_27278367086_o

Florida sightseeing.

dscf8090_27288121455_o

I have lived in Galveston for six years and now it’s onto other travels and adventures. There is much to explore. I’ve started with Florida, a place that I never thought I cared to really put on my map but am now shown how wrong I was. I love art-deco of all things and also mid-century. I love artistic communities and good food and local musics of all kinds. I love beach towns and sailboats and walkable communities. And here I am absorbing it all.

dscf8089_26682233983_odscf8084_27254737546_odscf8082_26681259824_o-1dscf8069_27255139106_odscf8057_27218430861_odscf8042_27288848175_odscf8045_27013796590_odscf8040_26681982634_odscf8036_26683103403_odscf8037_27192346352_o

Art Talks & The Bullshit.

IMG_20160827_160941

There was this one time when a group of us gathered in a pop up gallery, friends helping the curator preparing for an artshow. Well most of us were, the joke had just been made of “wait till so&so shows up, an hour late and she will sit down with food and then leave without having helped.”

Barely five minutes later and The One of us came an hour late, to say she had been there, sat with her carry out bag and ate.

Another friend of mine walks into the gallery and the eater asks “Are you are artist, too?” To which my always a-little-messing with peoples heads smiles and says “It depends on what you mean by art” to which the eater replied “Everything is art!”

And to which I replied out loud before any thought and with a snort “That’s such bullshit.”

My strong reaction was the fact that artists work for their art, they might be born with a talent, but they must work for the skill to sharpen that talent, form that talent and build it…or a talent ends up as nothing more than left on the shelf collecting dust and growing mold.

I consider myself artistic and art-loving, but not yet have I made it to the podium for my medal of being an artist. It isn’t about what is published or the shows I curate and produce, it is about the hours put in. The mistakes, the tried and failed. The blood, sweat and tears. Hours, days, weeks, months, and years, and that dedication. No, I haven’t earned that title…that medal yet.

A lot of people have talent, not a lot use it. Much talent lays to waste over laziness.

But to say that everyone can be an artist or that everything is art is to discredit the work, blood, sweat and tears…the hours and hours of work that an artist actually puts into their creating.

Being an any good artist who produces an any good art is an entire other topic.

No, not everything is art and thus everybody an artist anymore than everybody is a college educated CEO of a major billion dollar company or a brain surgery is not something that just everybody can do.

I don’t discredit my car mechanic for their work because I simply don’t know it all. Or hell, even my garbage man because it’s not a job I would want to do…that man gets his credit. And I don’t diminish the credit deserving on my favorite singers, painters, writers, dancers, sculptors and more…who create art out of a nothing that nobody saw there before…creating a something for everybody to see, that little glimpse within their mind shared.

So, no, not “everything” is art. Everything can inspire art. But not everyone is inspired the same, or at all. Art can be pulled from everything. Everybody can feel their heart swell at the site of an ocean shoreline during sunset, but only a artist will take that experience and turn it into…something, called art.

Something that causes us to then be able to feel that chest swelling feeling without even the ocean shoreline during sunset being n our own line of vision.

Art is not everything, but an Artist in everything can make art found.

Lit Talk Mondays: Book Tours.

IMG_20160829_201856

This article inspired this blog post. I really felt it, having worked with many artists, singers, writers and more who do a lot of types of shows and entertain…but then the ‘still need you to BUY this’ just really hit on so much…that’s great that you love it…please buy it. Chip in a buck, ya know? So I can keep doing this, and produce more for you.

Because writing is a job. Many artists pay their bills on their work…or try to. And certainly more money goes into creating it than it goes into our bank accounts. Especially when you put a price on time. Time is money…so are supplies for each artist to make it happen.  We would never ask a surgeon to do their work for the ‘experience and exposure.’ And yes, many artists have just as much education behind them and school loans and debt without the steady income that will pay that back.

I also thought it was good to look further into book tours since I will have my own book(s) on shelves soon and since I have been researching all aspects of traditional publishing, self publishing, indie and big house, and what each entails, learning more on book economy and so forth, book tours added  in…and the insight I got was eye opening. Maybe it’s the ‘manager’ personality in me but I am not a fly in blind kind.

Any writers, publishers and others who would like to give some insight?

Also to read:

The Atlantic-Modern Face of Book tours.

Authors on tour.

Book Tour Tell All.

Pegs Kitchen. The Taste of Summer.

IMG_20160730_093550

When the seasons change so do the taste buds. The tree’s grow their offerings and gardens get planted and fruit is the way to go. Trying to “shop seasonally” is much harder done than said since this day and age everything is accessible all year round in this country and prices are basically the same as well in large grocery stores, with some sales and exceptions. To even know what is “seasonal” anymore is not to judge by what is in the produce section of the local grocery store. But to know what is seasonal in your region, as the saying goes ‘ It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere’ so does the produce grow.
However the heat of the summer season has ones tastes buds craving a lighter crisp and cooler taste over the heavy cravings we want during our winter months. The thought of fruits, berries, colorful salads and plates of lemon peppered fish are more the way one might lean. Changing my dish, cooking ideas, and my shopping searches, farmers market visits and more are all a part of the seasonal and kitchen fun for me. Cooking for me as an activity, not a chore, and shopping for good ingredients, when I can, is the same. Even where I travel to at the moment plays a role (Florida being all about the Cuban foods and shopping at all of the places they show in the movie Chef.)
Another fun part about seasonal change and the foods that come with it are the different colors to enjoy.

 

I am always down for a good salad and when at home I especially enjoy making various salads full of all kinds of whatever I throw in. I enjoy making sure I have fats, proteins, omegas, anti-oxidants and other nutrition, though. It’s not all just about being pretty. But with being healthy is also being tasty.

 

One thing that is always a bit of an abundant difference in the grocery stores is perhaps the berries. It is also a delight. Now, I still prefer farmers market or home grown but ether way there is that special something that says “Summer Is Here!” when you first spot the berries at the grocery store…or the farmers market…or on the vine.

IMG_20160624_234955

 

And the bottom line is the fact that I love my Colorful Kitchen, not just the decor and dishes, but also of the foods.