Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar was anthemic to me as a sixteen year old. I was deeply depressed, masking it with every godforsaken activity known to man: martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, which I studied for 7 years), flute (youth orchestra, marching band, flute choir, chamber music, private lessons), choir (girls choir in high school, Peabody Children's Chorus until I was 14), musical theater (summers at Slayton House until I was 14, high school productions through senior year, from the pit to the stage), and reading. Lots of reading. I knew nothing of Plath's troubled marriage, turbulent adulthood, and eventual suicide; I knew only of the prose it held, and how it resonated with me.
I often wear a quote from the book, a literary necklace from the New York Public Library at Bryant Park: "i am i am i am" - a daily reminder of self-worth.
La llorona, the weeping woman. The artwork is really scary - don't google it. I first heard this song while at Americas Society, on solo guitar, with Zaira Meneses. Magos Herrera, when National Sawdust was just a mere pile of rubble, recorded it with Peruvian harp. Literally heartbreaking (video below). Magos has since become a mentor of mine, performing songs of the Argentine revolutionary Mercedes Sosa with Pedro Aznar and Ed Simon Trio at NS (curated by Magos and Sebastián at Americas Society) to a sold-out house (one night only), with guitarist Javier Limón and guests at Americas Society's elegant ballroom, and with Brooklyn Rider (she recently received a Jazz Commissioning grant for the project with Chamber Music America). Here's to you, guapa!
Join me in Crown Heights on Monday 9/7 (Labor Day) at noon for a little launch party. We will have BBQ by a local Brooklyn chef (ribs, wings, potato salad), and it will be BYO (beer or sodas). Expect 15-20 people. RSVP on the Launch page to get the address and directions. We can't wait to see you!
I started drinking coffee in Paris, when I was studying at the Sorbonne. My friend Meredith Benjamin (a ballet dancer and French translator who now has a PhD, how cool is that?) and I found a place that sold a crêpe and café au lait for 5 euros, something like that (can you imagine that now?) and would go there once a week or so during our time there. By the end of that semester, we were speaking fluent Frangalais to eachother, a weird hybrid that was 60/40 French/English. I speak Spanglish with my partner Javi, seems a logical consequent to fluency nowadays.
I take milk in my coffee now, a special blend of coconut and almond milk that I buy in my neighborhood. It's slightly sweet and lighter than whole milk. Once a week I'll get an iced coffee on Franklin Ave, as a treat. Otherwise, I grind my own beans (thanks, Mr Coffee!) and make french press every morning. I'll be bringing one with me to Iceland in January, plus ground beans (4 bags). Everything is so expensive there! Might as well bring my own stuff for breakfast. I'm bringing my own salt, too. I'll be cooking for the house, no doubt. Someone needs to teach me how to cook fish.
Photo from Nespresso.
I’ve been busking since the beginning of August. I played solo at the Franklin Ave C stop, made $1, and joined forces with violinist Adam Von Housen in Duo Phoenix. We’ve hit Jay Street Metrotech, Broadway/Lafayette, Times Square and Columbus Circle so far. Next week we’ll hit Atlantic Ave Barclays by the LIRR at the morning commute.
For me, it’s like public practicing. I play Bach, French music, a piece by my friend Anne Goldberg...basically a recital’s worth of rep before Adam joins me. We love Boismortier, Telemann, and CPE/WF Bach so far. We’ll be expanding our rep in the coming weeks. Have a flute/violin duo of your own? Send it over!
We don't apologize. Brand marketers don't need forgiveness. We at Cargo Culture are here to serve our clients, full stop. That's what we do. It's in our nature. Art comes from within, and we're here to push it out in the most meaningful way possible. That is our team mantra, and will continue to be as we build our business in the next 6 months. Thank you for being on this journey with us. We love you.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was, in a word, a genius. His art has only appealed to me in the last year or so. My good friend Juanito, a former colleague at Americas Society, has long been a fan; I bought a pair of Doc Martens this season on sale that features Basquiat's art. I love them. So New York, so Brooklyn, so now.
Read Basquiat's soundtrack on Art in America. Happy Tuesday all!
My mom and I caught Sara Bareilles' brilliant musical on Broadway a few years ago and yo, we were obsessed. I can sing along with most everything (to my partner's utter surprise, while I was cooking for him for the first time this week), particularly to Sara's live show at Radio City before the show went to Broadway. Below: Jeremy Jordan (good god) singing the main tune of Jenna's, "She used to be mine." It's heartbreaking, and gorgeous in his voice.
I'm a big fan of musical theater. For those that don't know, I grew up on stage. That's right, folks: musical theater is in the blood. I was in "Annie" as Molly at age 9, continued to "Anything Goes," "Cinderella" and in high school, pit orchestras for "Pippin" (freshman year) and "Bye Bye Birdie" (senior year) and Glinda in "The Wiz" (junior year; goodness, Lena Horne had a low voice!). I also music directed ("Bye Bye Birdie" and "Pinocchio" for 6-13 year olds) and played pits ("Gypsy," "Oliver" and "Aida") at French Woods when I was 20, where I fatefully met my best friend of 15 years, Perry J. O'Halloran, a spectacular guitarist and singer in his own right, as well as a filmmaker. He's doing big things. He's not on the internet.
I have since sung songs from "Side Show" (I will never leave you, a duet), "Chicago" (Lipschitz in "Cell Block Tango") and "Rent" in a variety show freshman year at Oberlin; in the pit chorus for an all BIPOC production of "The Wiz" over winter term at Oberlin; and played the pit for Elton John's "Aida" (with bansuris!) at York College in Jamaica, Queens. I dream of playing a pit for Broadway, but I'm not a doubler, so my chances are very slim. Do I hear you calling, Times Square...? Is that you? Well, you know where I live.
So...I'm newly in love, kinda. Sorta. Whatever that means to you. I found my partner Javi, a mechanical engineer, on Tinder 6 or so weeks ago. We see eachother every week, call eachother every day, and hold hands on the street. It's simple. We can share drinks and dessert at a restaurant, or take a long walk in Crown Heights, Javi with his camera, angling for a good shot in the early morning light. We want to get a dog, have kids, have a church wedding. He'll visit me in Europe this winter, in Iceland and Barcelona at the end of February, probably for 4-5 days as I gig in two of my (soon-to-be) favorite cities.
I am thrilled to find such a soul in COVID times. I know it's a weird idea, #quarantine dating, but I did it. Successfully. No really. It's possible, and it's wonderful. I haven't been in love since my days in Paris, wandering the streets in the rain, kissing by the Tour Eiffel, wondering how life like this could be possible. So, NYC, you've done me a solid. Thank you.
I met Boston-based, Puerto Rican composer Fede through Instagram this month, and we're working on the rollout for his most recent album, which is a series of poignant poems in his signature cinematic style (he attended Berklee for film scoring after getting a Bachelors in psychology in PR). He has a unique style of working, and I'm thrilled to get to know him as we build to our company launch on Sept 7! Welcome, Fede!