Saturday, December 26, 2009

Central Park, Snow and the Cooper Hewitt

Cooper Hewitt Museum in much nicer weather from their website.

We have arrived back in New York City after travelling with the holiday masses from Portland Maine. It was a little bit of the bus trip from hell but we arrived all in one piece!

It had snowed pretty heavily in NYC, much more than the sprinkling that we got in Portland. We decided that our first full day back should involve two of our loves, my favourite museum The Cooper Hewitt and a walk through Central Park.

The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum had two exhibitions on, the first was a celebration of inovation in design in the USA - simply called Design USA. It was an interesting display celebrating those who have done great design, such as Tuppaware, the dudes who invented Adobe, Frank Gehry and even fashion designer Tom Ford. It was a great way to introduce non design people to think outside the square of what design is and how it infiltrates their everyday lives. You can find out more about Design USA from their website.

The other exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt was Design for a Living World. This exhibition was amazing and very well designed. The best way to describe the exhibition is this statement from the Cooper Hewitt website:

"Ten leading designers have been commissioned to develop new uses for sustainably grown and harvested materials in order to tell a unique story about the life-cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design. The featured designers and places include Yves Behar/Costa Rica; Stephen Burks/Australia; Hella Jongerius/Mexico; Maya Lin/Maine; Christien Meindertsma/Idaho; Isaac Mizrahi/Alaska; Abbott Miller/Bolivia; Ted Muehling/Micronesia; Kate Spade/Bolivia; and Ezri Tarazi/China. On view will be the prototypes, drawings, and finished product created by the designers. The exhibition is co-curated by renowned graphic designer Abbott Miller and Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt. This is the debut venue in a national tour of the exhibition, organized by The Nature Conservancy. "

There is more information and videos with the designers involved here. Two of my favourite projects in this exhibition was the wool rugs by Christien Meindertsma... it made me want to knit really big!! Also the amazing salmon leather project by Isaac Mizrahi was beautiful and fascinating. Who knew that you could make salmon leather?!

After the museum, Mark and I took a stroll through Central Park to see it in all it's beauty after a good load of snow! We probably shouldn't of bought so many books from the museum as it was alot to carry through out the park! Central Park really was a winter wonderland and here are some snapshots of the snow and ice and us enjoying it!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! xxx

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A little bit of pre Christmasness...

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Cool Christmas lights in Portland Maine, from a distance they looked a bit alien like.

creepy santa

A weird creepy Santa snow thing in a shop window in Portland Maine. (I'm doing my 'grr' pose)

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Naturally THE tree in the Rockerfeller centre in Manhattan.

NYC Holiday lights

Snowflake lights in Manhattan. Love how they just look like they are falling from nowhere.

Yep, it's beginning to feel alot like Christmas. Thanks to the weather and being in the USA and the abundance of Christmassy stuff. Love it!

The Sweater Curse...

I'm not sure how many of you know about this but there is this wives tale about knitting a sweater for your husband to be and how it is bad luck. It's a little like the "never get your partners name tattooed on you" rule as well... it all ends in tears!

I once knitted a sweater for a boyfriend... I don't think he liked it and he never wore it and we broke up!

Anyway following the sweater rule, I decided it was safe to knit Mark some mittens as it has been pretty bloody cold here in Portland Maine. I think it was minus 14 degrees celsius yesterday and there was a high wind chill. I can see how balaclavas are a good idea in this kind of weather. Here's a photo of Mark in his mittens. We decided that the funky wallpaper from our hotel room at the Inn at St John in Portland would make a good backdrop for the mittens... don't you agree?!

Portland Maine - Mark's mittens

In preperation for a 'marriage sweater' for Mark I bought this really good book on knitting for men. One of the things that I like about the book is it has good basic, yet cool designs and they photograph the one item on several 'types' of men so you can see how the item could work into an older man's wardrobe, or a young guys wardrobe.

Men's knits book

While hanging out in Portland Maine, I've been doing quite a bit of knitting and wool shopping. Today we came across this store where the very friendly lady there dyes all her own yarn. It's called Tess' Designer Yarns and you can find her website at and she does do mail order. We bought some beautiful merino yarn in a dark blue/grey wash from there for Mark's sweater and here it all is!

Merino yarn for Mark's 'marriage sweater'

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bingo Bingo Bing - o!

NYC bingo buddies

I’ve played an awful lot of bingo while in New York…

I’ve played drag bingo with hostess Ginger Snaps at Posh bar on a Monday evening.

I’ve played Porno bingo at Pieces on a Wednesday evening. (They generally have a ‘porno star’ help with calling out the numbers)

I’ve played Jackpot bingo with the lovely Vodka Stinger at Pieces on a Sunday.

Yeah, it’s a lot of bingo. But guess what? I actually won some cash! Monday night bingo at Posh always ends the night with a jackpot where you pay $2 a board and if you win, you get the cash. It was $140 this week and you’re looking at a winner!

Finally! So much bingo… not so many prizes… until now!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crack Dens & Hells Angels...

(picture of the Hells Angels Clubhouse near our appartment)

During my little three month adventure, I have travelled a little bit around the USA but I’m spending my last month mostly in New York City as well as a side trip to Portland Maine again (this time with my fiancĂ©).

The first week spent in NYC was in midtown, in a lovely hotel right near the Empire State Building. It was quite special getting up in the morning, wondering if the people in the office building next door could see me wandering around the room in my bra and knickers. The room was small but new and the bed comfy. The shower was large and marble… there was a plasma television with loads of cable channels and I was happy in the evenings to mess around on my lap top taking advantage of the complimentary free wifi and watching weird movie marathons. That was for a week.

I then moved into a sublet apartment that my friend Shannon found on airbnb website. There was 5 of us staying at this apartment which we thought would be ok for the 2 weeks in Manhattan. Gee were we slightly wrong! We all started to get a little concerned when we couldn’t get a hold of the girl Nila who we had to arrange collection of the key from. We all had tried calling her to no avail. Finally we made contact and I walked in the rain to meet and get the key. The apartment looked smaller in real life but that was to be expected. What we didn’t expect was that we were staying next door to the Hells Angels club house and that they were having their 40th anniversary celebrations with members coming from Norway, France, England and all over the USA. As you can imagine, the nights were loud and my house mates who smoke were a little dubious on smoking outside with them.

When I told my friend Evan where we were staying he stated “you’re staying in the safest area! No one will break into your place being next to them!” I guess that is true.

We have nicknamed the apartment the Crack Den, mostly as you can imagine what a small area is like with 5 people living, drinking, eating and shopping in looks like…. Yep, our apartment. That hotel seems like such a distant memory…

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holidays and Movies

While I’ve been travelling around for about the last two months, I’ve gone and seen a few films. I love going to the movies, however I must admit that I don’t get around to it so much when I am home in Melbourne. So here are some of the films that I’ve managed to check out while travelling in the USA:

Zombieland… I loved this film! It was really funny and I Woody Harelson was perfect in it! I blogged about this during Halloween!

2012... I checked this out in Boston and although I wasn’t really into seeing it, I went as it was on at the time that I wanted to go. It was your typical, end of the world as we know it kind of film. Lots of action but generally pretty dull. I would think that it will be even worse on the small screen!

An Education… this was an absolutely beautiful film! Set in the 1960s it is one of those coming of age films but the main character is so beautiful, smart and witty that I wish I had been her! There were several plot aspects in the film that reminded me of my own life… if only I could of worn the fabulous clothes that they had!
Ninja Assassin… I went and checked this out with a friend of mine and we did have a good time and a good chuckle! The action and blood and gore was very entertaining but it also had very bizarre story aspects… like it was set in Berlin?! It also ended with a Spiderbait song which had myself and pal Benj laughing in the seats!

Men Who Stare at Goats… I had been wanting to see this movie as soon as I saw the trailer, mostly due to the jedI line to Euan McGregor. Although entertaining and interesting, it wasn’t quite the movie I thought it was going to be. George Clooney was great but I can never quite dig Euan with an American accent.

The Fantastic Mr Fox… this was my Thanksgiving day film and I’m really glad that I went and saw it. For starters, I love Roald Dahl books and movies where animals take on human characteristics. It was beautiful and funny and charming and would be one of my new favourites!

Movies that I am hoping to check out before going home to Australia:
Precious Sherlock Holmes Wolfman (with Benicio del Toro)
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