Around the world for 60 days

It’s been a while!

I disappeared for the past few months to local underground lairs and far off lands such as New Orleans and Lima, Peru. In between has been a whirlwind of activity with getting things done.

One of the first places I’d meant to write about was the Lowline. The Lowline aims to turn an old trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street into a subterranean public park, according to their website. What I was able to visit was a small scale version called “Imagining the Lowline” that was open to the public at the Essex Street Warehouse back in late September. The above photo is what we visited. Those are live plants – they ranged from trees to ferns to flowers to even tiny mushrooms. The above is the panel system utilized to filter the small skylights to fully illuminate the space and keep the plants alive and thriving for over a week. Just walking into the space, I was hit by the incredible amount of fresh oxygen the plants were providing to the dark space.

I hope so hard that this project happens. I’ve been rather critical of the above-ground Highline since it came to NYC for being kind of a sterile pasture. The underground Lowline appealed more to me with its moss and ferns and wilder growths.

For my trips, I went on my first vacation in years to New Orleans in order to catch Halloween down South. It was amazing! New Orleans is gorgeous and quickly becoming one of my favourite places.

I went down on a friend’s private plane – I hadn’t been on one of these in years! My uncle was a pilot and the trip down brought back memories of flying in his own small propeller plane.

For Halloween I my own version of the Miller High Life witch. Magical maker kitten Numidas Prasarn helped me put together the costume on absolutely no time but with fantastic construction. It even survived me riding a mechanical bull for the first time!

While down there, we tried to do and see everything. We ran through Bourbon Street, visited the home of Marie Lavue as well as visited a Voodoo museum, went on a ghost tour/pub crawl, saw the local gypsy rock band Debauche play twice, nearly suffocated on Frenchman Street making our way through the costumed hoards, visited a clothing optional pool and spa for a day and I got to nerd out at Papier Plume, the most gorgeous writing implement store. I raided their nibs so I could pick up the crowquill again and also purchased a couple gorgeous inks to pen all my future letters in.

We also managed to visit the New Orleans Community Print Shop and Dark Room, which is a huge new silkscreen space that I had earlier this year contributed to their Kickstarter so they could do all the much needed construction to get on their feet. The space is amazing and should definitely be visited now that they are officially open!

During our visit, we were tipped off to the Dia de los Muertos parade that would be going on a block outside our rental. We ended up in a parade that was nearly a thousand people long, gorgeous people dressed up as skeletons from head to toe, dancing, singing and shouting down the streets. They carried banners and altars and torches and sparklers. A marching band played and a skeletal chinese dragon wound its way down the route with them..

Alas, never got a good photo of it, but it was amazing.

We were lucky to avoid Hurricane Sandy, but soon it came time to return home and help out with the relief efforts. My home was thankfully safe, but much of the city was a wreck. It still is, which is horrifying.

Shortly after returning though, it was time to head to Lima, Peru.

I had booked the flight for two reasons – for one, my mother’s family is from there and it had been years since I saw my grandparents. They are nearing 100 years old! I saw them, my many aunts and cousins and family friends from my mother’s childhood. I saw so many museums, street art and visited the large marketplaces where you can buy anything made of alpaca, silver and that has a more traditional flavour to it. It’s where I get all my scarves and gloves and anything knitted with llamas on it.

My Spanish, sadly, has become atrocious. I was last there in 2008 and was translating for my then boyfriend and still current close friend, which helped jog my memory, but this time I was alone. Visiting a country alone and not having a real translator for myself (besides a very awesome iPhone app) made conversations difficult, tiring and somewhat lonely. I’m vowing to get better and go back ASAP!

Additional to the family visit, our very first Dr. Sketchy’s Lima was opening up and hosting its inaugural event. Since Patricia Villanueva, the now director first contacted me months ago, I have been so excited for the idea of Dr. Sketchy’s, my main job/love/life coming to where my family and my roots live. So the trip was a combination of seeing all my family, running around the city sightseeing and attending the very first session.

The space was packed, the model was gorgeous and everyone was so amazed and thankful to have something like Sketchy’s come to Lima. Branches like this remind me why Dr. Sketchy’s is so important – the way it brings artists together and provides them a space to work and how it makes something beautiful happen for a few hours a month. I hope they continue with sessions and I ache to go back for a visit. So, so proud of them!

By mid-November, I was back in New York, sick from travelling and settled back into my own things. There was the return of our own Dr. Sketchy’s NYC branch at the legendary Slipper Room, finishing the 2012 Silkscreen of the Month portfolio, celebrating the release of “I Have Your Heart” – the animation by Kim Boekbinder, Jim Batt and Molly Crabapple that they had been working on for the past 2 years, re-releasing my Vagina Dentata panties and restocking my Etsy Store, screenprinting a few other projects and scrambling to wrap up my own year of work. You’ll be seeing the fruits of these labors soon!

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