I’m Are you looking to get into the holiday spirit? Why not check out the New Haven Ballet’s, The Nutcracker at the Shubert in New Haven. Savannah Lowery and Adrian Danchig-Waring of the New York City Ballet are the featured guest artists. The show opens tonight and goes through the weekend, with a show tonight at 7pm. Tickets are between $20-$60.
Tonight you should head over to Chapel St and check out the Re-Worx holiday pop-up shop! A portion of the proceeds goes to the New Haven Habitat for Humanity, and the pieces are made out of recycled materials so you can feel doubly-good about supporting local artists. Monday through Thursday it’s open 11-6p, Friday and Saturday 11-4p, and Sunday 11-3p. Check it out!
Event: Reworx Holiday Pop-Up Shop (event link)
Location: 2nd level, 786 Chapel Street, New Haven CT
Time: December 16, 2014, 11-6pm
Cost: Free to check it out!
I’m excited to share my first New Haven “Do This Today”. Tonight and all week, the Yale School of Drama is putting on The Seagull by Anton Chekhov. Call for tickets to see it tonight or use their online system to get tickets for Thursday (their last performance).
You just can’t get rid of me! I’ve been on a moving/travel sabbatical for the past few weeks and I’m excited to be back blogging because I’ve got plenty to share. Before I introduce my new work digs (I have my own studio workshop!), explore my research on how to move cross country on a budget, and of course my last minute road trips and Los Angeles excursions, I want to start by sharing my trip across the US.
Los Angeles to Hamden, CT is quite a journey. I took my time, but didn’t “dilly-dally”. As the map shows, I started in LA and drove to the Grand Canyon. From the Grand Canyon I passed through 4 Corners (where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico all meet) and headed on to Durango for the night. From Durango I went to Denver, CO where I stayed for several days over the Thanksgiving holiday. After Denver I spent a night in Omaha before connecting up with RISD friends in Chicago for a couple nights. I continued on to Cleveland after that, and then made my big push with the longest driving day getting me into Connecticut. This is the short story.
Here is the long story:
My friends through me the sweetest going away party at Golden Road in Glendale. So many people came and of course I was crying. After I went out for sushi at Octopus (one of my LA favs), then I spent some time freaking out and panicking instead of sleeping. I left Sunday morning after packing up the car, going for my last regular Toluca Lake walk (not my last ever- no lasts!) with my friends and then I hit the road. I cried/weeped for most of my ride to the Grand Canyon. My cheeks had the ultimate cry bath and were very pruny upon arrival.
When I left LA it was 75 and sunny and when I arrived at the Grand Canyon, it was about 22 degrees and pitch darkness. I was poorly dressed in my tee shirt and yoga pants (perfect comfy driving attire but not perfect winter clothing). But this was all fixable with a winter jacket (thank you, Uniqlo!), a hot meal and a cold beer.
I was very proud of myself, as the following morning I woke up at 6a to get dressed (in many many layers) and make the 7am sunrise at the South Canyon rim. As the child next to me said “I’m freezing my eyeballs off!!”. My sentiments exactly.
After watching the sunrise and tracking down a warm english muffin and coffee, I hit the road as I had a 7 hour drive ahead and so much to see along the way! One thing I didn’t realize is that the drive through Arizona takes you right by Monument Valley. It didn’t make sense for me to go there (the entrance was actually still a drive away and it would add many hours to my day), but it was fun seeing some of the “monuments” along the way. And this way I was seeing them for FREE! I cheated the system.
As I made my way out of Arizona and onto Colorado, I had to stop in at one of my favorite childhood vacation spots: 4 Corners. 4 Corners is where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet and it’s gotten a whole lot fancier since I was a kid. As a child this was all dirt with a plaque in the center (where of course I sat, so my butt was in 4 states at the same time), with wooden shopping stalls surrounding the plaque. It has gotten a whole lot fancier:
As I got closer to Durango, the weather and landscape changed pretty dramatically.
Thankfully while it was snowing in the air, not much was sticking so the roads weren’t too bad. I made my way into Durango after dark and enjoyed a beer and dinner at Steamworks Brewing company before making my way to my hotel and crashing for the night. Durango is an adorable town and I highly recommend visiting it.
The next morning I left around 9am and made the trek into Denver. I was most nervous about this day, so I allowed a lot of extra time and took a not-very-direct route to avoid snowy mountains. If this was summer I totally would have gone to Aspen and driven in through the Rockies and it would have been beautiful. Since this is December and I had all my belongings crammed into my little mazda 3, I opted for the longer but less mountainous route.
But I made it! And in record time too. No snow and no ice, yesss! Above you can see some images from my several days in Denver. I stayed with my uncle (bottom right) who was very generous and always the perfect host. We even got to go to a night showing of the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens (top right). It was a really fun visit. I even got to meet up with a childhood friend who just moved to Denver, and I’ve known her since nursery school days. Ah, to be young again.
But alas, I had to continue on my journey so I cleaned off the mazda and drove through Nebraska (above) to get to my destination for the night, Omaha. The following day I was up early to continue through more of a similar landscape as I went through Iowa and eventually made my way to Chicago!
In Chicago I have some RISD friends I was excited to see. I also stayed at this awesome, cute and cheap airbnb in Wicker Park (message me if you want the info on it). Since I love walking and had been cooped up driving the past few days, it felt so good to park my car and just spend the day walking around the city and poking my head into the cute shops.
I ended up walking all the way to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and saw the David Bowie exhibit. They were very fussy about cell phones/ cameras since this is the only US stop for the exhibit, so sadly this is the only photo above. It was a very fun exhibit featuring a lot of his most famous outfits/costumes, Bowies lyric notes, and footage showing his progression as an artist. This exhibit really is only about Bowie as an artist and I wish we got more of an idea of his personal life. I would have loved to see photos of David Bowie eating breakfast in his kitchen on a Saturday morning, or anything to show that he’s human. Does he shop at Ikea?
After 2 fun nights visiting with friends in Chicago, it was time for me to continue onward to Cleveland. Why Cleveland? I’m glad you asked. In the tv show 30 Rock, Liz Lemon visits Cleveland and everyone asks if she’s a model because things are just different there. I was hoping to have my Liz Lemon moment in Cleveland. Also they have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were the natural place to stop and spend the night before getting into Connecticut.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is right next to a sport stadium (football I think??) and is an awesome pyramid architectural shape. I took SOOO many photos in there, but I don’t want to bore you so I figured I’d share he most impressive iconic item they had (in my opinion): Michael Jacksons glitter glove. They had much more Michael Jackson clothing, about 8 of Beyonce’s outfits from different music videos and events. They also have a wall dedicated to the Rolling Stones and to the Beatles. This was a very fun place to visit and I highly recommend it to people driving through Cleveland. As for the sporting arena… sure, I bet you could visit that too.
I made my last drive from Cleveland to Connecticut, which was the longest stretch. I knew it might be an 8 and a half hour drive but with traffic in New York and bathroom/coffee stops, it took about 10 hours. Bummer. But at least when I made it to CT I got to sleep in my own bed, and get started on all of the projects I have going on and there are SO MANY! Now it’s time to apartment hunt (anyone know of any apartments for rent in East Rock, New Haven?), setup my shop in Meyer Wire, and get going on all my design projects!
Next up: This week I’ll be back-tracking a bit to tell you about my road trip up the coast from LA to Portland and back. I’ll also do a post dedicated to the cheapest way to move cross country. And lastly, I’ll introduce you to my new digs: Meyer Wire. I’ll share all of what it entails. I hope moving forward to start updating you about Connecticut events and doing “Do This Today” posts, although it’l take me some more time to amerce myself in the scene to pass along all the details.
It’s time to officially announce my big news. I’ve hinted at it over the last year or so, but change is what keeps us moving forward, and I’ve got a big change coming. It brings me great sadness/excitement/nervousness to announce that at the end of November 2014 (aka in 5 weeks), I’m moving back to the East Coast. Don’t get me wrong, I love LA and my friends here, but this great work opportunity has come up in Connecticut and I’ve decided it’s time for a change. I’ve chronicled many of my LA journeys here on the blog, and I’ve lived my time here to the fullest, so I leave with no regrets or unfinished goals. It’s time for new goals, and new challenges.
I’ve worked in the television/film art department for many years now as a coordinator and I see that continuing on this path is no longer something I really want. A couple years ago I could feel myself hitting a wall in my career, and I figured out that even if I got a promotion it wouldn’t make me happy. This made me see that I needed to make a bigger change. After reading “find-yourself” type books, I decided to make a list of what I wanted my future life to have. For example, I want to be able to bike to work, and get a dog that I can bring to work, and work normal 9-5 type hours. This list got longer and longer until I could almost visualize the changes I needed to make. After years of soul searching, it clicked!
As you know, I love wood-working, crafting and of course, blogging and I’ve found a way I can do all of these things as my job! Is that not living the dream?! My parents have been so supportive and have invited me to come work for Meyer Wire & Cable Co (their cable company) where we will be expanding to create different custom lighting fixtures as well as broadening the scope of how these wires can be used. Not only will I be designing, but I’ll be working on the branding, blogging about the process, and I’ll even have my own wood working shop up and running, BMeyer Studio!
I’ll be moving to New Haven, Connecticut where I’ll be 15 minutes from Meyer Wire (shortest commute ever-score!). Meyer Wire is along a bike path that starts in New Haven, so I can bike to work. My parents bring their dog to work and have said I can bring one to work too. My hours would be 8:30-5p, which means I can even take woodworking classes at night locally. I’ve basically gained 4 hours of free time every day, and I could not be happier about it. Real estate in that area is also much more affordable, so in the not-too-distant future I could actually afford a cute fixer-upper. I’ll be closer in proximity to my family and I’m only a $15 train ticket from NYC, where many of my RISD friends live.
Of course with any big change there are many compromises that also have to be made. I’ve made a life here in Los Angeles with friends I love, and now I have to sadly say goodbye. Thanks to the internet, social media, and cell phones I’l be able to keep in touch with them as if I was still in LA, it’ll just be harder to see them in person. When I moved to LA I had to do the opposite, which was to leave my East Coast friends to start a life in LA, and I feel like all my friendships back east stayed strong as I made frequent visits. I plan to do the same this time too.
What does this mean for Life Absorbed? I’ll no longer be posting “Do This Today” with Los Angeles daily events, but instead I’ll be shifting the focus of my posts to be more about my future design work and lifestyle. For example, I’m currently in the process of figuring out how to cheaply ship an apartment worth of stuff to Connecticut and I’m excited to share with you my cheap-ish solution! I’ll be driving my car cross country to get there and look forward to sharing the journey. Once I’m in CT, step 1 at Meyer Wire is to renovate the offices and set-up my workshop, and I’ll share the whole process with you. New Haven is also a new city to me, which means I’ll be exploring not only the city but taking weekend trips to different New England towns and exploring Cape Cod. I also hope down the line to buy property and renovate it, which I will also share on the blog. One of my favorite blogs, Manhattan Nest, does this and to me he’s living the dream. I hope to follow a similar path.
But what about comedy? I talked above about making compromises and how leaving my friends in LA is going to be the biggest struggle. I would say my second biggest struggle is saying goodbye to cheap hilarious comedy. LA is a comedy mecca and it was one of the reasons I moved out here to begin with. To pay $5 and see Louis CK or Patton Oswalt, or Sarah Silverman has been unreal. I’ve seen 100’s of comedians perform on the stages around Los Angeles and I’ve loved every minute. By making this move I’ll have to work harder and pay a lot more to see comedy. I’m now allowing myself to invest more money into seeing comedians if this means taking the train into NYC or driving to Foxwoods where comedians often stop through. It’s a promise I made to myself when I decided to move. I won’t be able to see comedy quite as often but I’ll do whatever I need to to feed that passion of mine. For example, I’ve already purchased tickets to Patton Oswalt’s show at Carnegie Hall in January. It was an expensive ticket but it’s going to be such a memorable show.
But what about the weather? There’s no denying that Los Angeles weather is amazing and it’s sunny 100% of the time. New Haven gets snow and rain, and humidity in the summer. This is the 3rd compromise on the list: weather. I’m actually looking forward to the occasional rainy day, and playing in the snow. I’m sure I won’t be saying that in 6 months but I’m trying to be positive about the weather. I also walk outdoors in LA for at least an hour every day at all times of the year. I won’t be able to do this in Connecticut and I’ll have to adjust to it. I’ll need to invest in a gym membership and use it. I’m actually thinking of signing up at City Climb Gym, a New Haven rock climbing gym, but more on that when I’m back east :)
I really am sad to leave Los Angeles, but I’ve been treading water here for that last 2 years and I feel like this is a big step forward. I’m about to gain so much! I’m trying to stay focused on what I’ll be getting and not what I’m having to leave, as I really do love my LA family. Now on to a happier topic: what type of dog should I get!? :)
New Haven, CT (Background photo by I Love New Haven)
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve been pretty quiet this week. While I’m no longer in Africa, I’m still technically on vacation. This week (cough Tuesday) happened to be my 28th birthday. I know, I’m so old I fart dust. It’s been a fun week of celebration.
On my actual birthday my friend Jess and I drove down to Westport, CT to explore. We took the Merritt Parkway out there (so pretty), hit=up West Elm (well, because it’s West Elm), and then meandered back along the coast. We even stopped off and found Martha Stewart’s former property (Turkey Hill, Westport). We stopped at beaches to walk around, and I got a tuna sandwich at Oscar’s Deli.
See, such a pretty day! We also stopped into the PEZ Visitors Center in Orange. How cool is that?! That make and package PEZ in CT and they built a beautiful visitor’s center, with games, puzzles, and a find-the-7-dwarfs pez dispensers to win a free pez holder and candy. IT’s a game everyone plays and wins. The price is $5, but comes with a coupon to use in the gift shop as well as the free pez at the end of the visit… it felt like we got back the $5 we paid. I highly recommend stopping in there!
For a special birthday dinner my parents and I went to Geronimo in New Haven. It was a great meal and the restaurant atmosphere/decor is a lot of fun. My mom made me a special birthday cake and then I crashed. I’m still on Africa time!
Yesterday I trekked into New York City on a Metro-North train. Met my friend Lily for lunch and then my friend Diana joined me for a walk along the river and High Line visit. I love that place, and they keep expanding it! It’s so fun at sunset to just walk above the city, free of cars.
Then Dot, Diana, Sally, Lily and I had a fabulous dinner at En Japanese Brasserie. Dot took the photo of me at the top of the post. These girls are the best :) I took a sleepy ride back to CT last night and have been working all day today.
I hope to have some Africa posts up soon, I’ve just got a packed schedule here as you can see above. I’ve also got some friends and family to see while I’m on the east coast. I promise things will be back to normal soon enough.
To catch you up to speed, check out the first part of my trek, Visiting Home 1: Getting There + Father’s Day.
This next chapter took place on Tuesday of my week home in Connecticut. I was so inspired riding the train from NYC to New Haven seeing all the little cute downtowns that I’ve never explored that I decided to make a day trip exploring the coast of CT. I decided to explore East Shore, East Haven, Branford and Guilford.
After a lovely brunch with friends, my buddy Jess and I ventured down 91 to the first exit off the 95. We had no real destination, so when we saw signs for a park, beach or historical landmark we stopped in. Our first stop ended up being Fort Hale where there is little beach called Nathan Hale Beach. I was surprised on this Tuesday noon there were actually people parked here walking around. It was a little overcast, but still fun to explore. This isn’t a beach I would swim at (fyi).
It was a rough rocky beach, but still a nice view. Onward we go!
We continued down Townsend Ave and ended up at Lighthouse Park. This beach did have people laying out and picnicking (although I don’t think anyone was swimming). It has a window lined pavilion with a carrousel in the middle! I think this space can be rented out for wedding receptions.
This is the New Haven Harbor Lighthouse. She’s a beauty.
After doing a loop of the walking path, we were back on the road looking for our next adventure. We saw a sign near the East Haven Town Green pointing us toward the Shoreline Trolley Museum. As we were debating if we should explore, a conductor flagged us over and told us to hop on, so we did!
It was adorable. The train conductors are volunteers, so they are in it for passion rather than donations.
They take you on a short ride through the Beacon Hill Reserve where you learn about this history of trains in CT. Even though it was overcast, we still saw people kayaking. What a great spot for it!
Views from the train car.
The have a spot midway through where they keep the very old trains. Everyone exits the trains and explores barns with trains from all over New England. Here’s a photo of the train back when it was in use.
Once our tour ended, we moved along to the Guilford Town Green. At this point we got coffees and snacks and walked a loop around the Town Green.
We passed cute houses.
We had a nice view of the Guildford First Congregational Church.
After the loop it was starting to drizzle so we made a quick stop down by the water near the Guilford Boat Launch. If we had more time we would have liked to stop into the Henry Whitfield State Museum.
Right after I took this photo, the rain came in and meant the end of our exploration. It was a lot of fun not knowing where we were going and just following the coast. You never know what you’ll stumble upon and learn about where you’ve spent your life growing up. I highly recommend doing something like this, no matter where you live.