Art Basel 2010 was a huge success. I got to enjoy (some) art, (many) parties, and even had to work in between it all. It took a good week to recover from the madness and cram for final exams, but it was worth every minute- I had a blast. Besides brunching with Russell Simmons, Serena Williams, and Kelly Rowland, walking in the biggest bash of the weekend for a YSL show by Vogue (with the aforementioned seated front row along with Gerard Butler, Emilio Estefan, Christian Louboutin, Daisy Fuentes...), I was enjoying musical performances by Metric, Mark Ronson, N.E.R.D., Twin Shadow, Rye Rye, A-Trak & Dave 1. Below are some photos from the week's events and some bizarre art I saw during Scope Art Show. My personal favorite was a pop-up Sanrio shop celebrating its 50th anniversary with a gift shop, art gallery, and tattoo parlor with free tattoos from an LA artist-- took me back to Japan and all the cuteness.
These huge pink snails were all over Miami Beach- for sale as art.
YSL & Vogue Fashion Show (photo courtesy of StyleNik)
The semester is nearing its end and I'm finishing up class presentations, papers, and studying for final exams while things in Miami are just heating up. I've been so easily distracted lately and just in a "do nothing" mode that makes it so hard to get work done. Tomorrow marks the start of Art Basel Miami Beach 2010 and I can't wait to actually attend and enjoy the galleries/events/concerts! Pictures to follow. But for now, just some things that have been keeping me distracted...
November's Art Walk this past Saturday was the first I was able to actually enjoy walking around at since July. While I love my job at Fabrika, and have had fun spinning tunes at the past few Second Saturdays, this was a refreshing change of pace. I loved wandering in and out of the galleries with one of my best friends, Ximena, as we hopped around Wynwood. Below are some pieces I found particularly interesting, my favorites of the night.
While I've been loving where I live and having an apartment to myself, I can't help but miss my photographer roommates from Brooklyn. We always had fun and would do impromptu photoshoots on afternoons or Saturday nights. Below is a picture from a shoot I did with Jennifer literally a day before I left NYC back in June (the poncho is from Peru).
The rest of the pictures and a lovely note she wrote about me are here
An ode to Summer, as classes and work are consuming more of my time these days...
Summer is... long, endless days, Spent soaking in the sun's rays. Conjures up memories from years past, Always hoping for this time to ever last. A time for child-like fun, With ice cream dripping down a cone it does run. Moonlit beach-side bonfires burn, While messily eating s'mores & telling stories in turn. Ocean waves crash at the shore, Playing in them leaves me wanting more. Traces of sea salt & sand left in my hair, I lie in nature's warm embrace without a care.
Yesterday I awoke to the abrupt clashing of thunder outside my window. It was rainy and gray outside with storms passing in and out all throughout the day. While driving was a bit stressful, once I reached my destination, I stayed locked up with a pal inside all day and night embracing the rainy day. Though it forces one to stay inside, stormy days, especially stormy Sundays, can actually be quite wonderful. It was the first day in a long time I didn't have anywhere to be, and just let the rain pitter-patter on the window pane.
We passed the day with a movie marathon, horoscope readings, and other musings about life in general, mixed in with munching on delicious food of course. The day couldn't have been more perfect with my good friend Stephany and with a well-rounded movie selection to boot! (She gets credit for the movie selection: Clueless, Donnie Darko, Smokin' Aces)
And I just have to add, as far as movies go, I forgot how hilarious Clueless is now that I'm old enough to enjoy the ridiculousness of it all. And Donnie Darko far surpasses the recent Inception craze everyone is on the bandwagon about.
Today my friend, and famed Miami nightlife photographer, Jipsy (Nefarious Girl) finally got to collaborate. We had been anxiously awaiting this day as we've tried a few times before to do a fun, artistic shoot but it hadn't worked out until now. Today, me, Jipsy, and make-up artist Keegan came together in the heart of Miami Beach to really let the creative juices flow. Thanks to jewelry by Charles Albert, we ran with a vampire-inspired idea and it came out deliciously dark. There was even a black wig that helped me get into the "evil woman" mentality and reminded me how much I miss long hair, making me consider going darker in color too. Here is a sneak peak of one of the looks... more to come and I can't wait! Jipsy's Blog
There is something to be said for making a house a home. Some people don't mind living out of suitcases, in a temporary sublet with barren walls and no sense of neighborhood. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel more than anything, but I am now finally feeling like I have a place to call home. I've celebrated being in my South Beach apartment for one month now and it feels like it's coming together. Thanks to the help of my parents, my desk is assembled and an organized work space, pictures and mirrors are hung, curtains are up, and the place feels like my own. While the past couple years have been a fun ride and I've enjoyed being able to pick up and go at any given moment for modeling, I am now enjoying being on my own terms and creating a haven to return to at the end of the day. But this isn't just a place for me to enjoy, I'm definitely a social person and I love to entertain and throw a good party. It feels great having a place for friends and company to enjoy themselves, a place I'm proud to share with them. It's been the little things that bring me joy like receiving mail and packages addressed to me in my own mailbox, walking down the block to instantly be among the hustle and bustle of Lincoln Road, and making friends with the neighbors and locals at the places I frequent.
This past Saturday was Wywood's Art Walk (the second Saturday of every month) in the design district. While it was actually my first time attending art walk, I was no stranger to the event as it's one of Miami's biggest art events in the local Wynwood community. Galleries open for the public to come in browse, sip on wine, and talk creatively with other artists and walkers. While some are truly intent on looking to buy, others can come just to enjoy the art, see what's new, and enjoy the company of friends and other artsy-type folk. I really enjoyed walking around hopping from gallery to gallery, and as the sun went down it made for a lovely summer evening that later progressed into night. I took a couple pictures with my iPhone of the amazing wall murals that provided the backdrop of our walk. It was great to see the more creative and different artistic community that exists in Miami but is often times overshadowed by the glitz and glam. I actually started working with Fabrika, an online music and lifestyle planner as well as branding company that specializes in showcasing this side of Miami. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be getting involved. Check out the site here: www.fabrikalink.com
This past weekend was not only a great American holiday for the rest of you patriotic citizens, but it also marked a milestone for me as it was my 21st birthday! Talk about a real "independence" day. Yes, I was born on the 4th of July, and yes, I get fireworks every year... what can I say? It's pretty awesome. This year it was a great birthday, not just because I can legally drink. I opted to stay in the steamy sauna for celebrations so I could enjoy it with the people I wanted to be with- both sets of parents, as well as good friends. Though the whole being 21 thing has hit me, to some extent, it doesn't feel too different. Most of my friends are older than I am anyway, and some didn't even know I wasn't yet 21. I guess you could say I'm an old soul, as my stepmom does, and probably will always be. But that doesn't mean I wasn't out ringing in my new legality with pride and drink in hand like one should! I definitely had some great celebrations and couldn't be happier with the weekend (even if I slept almost all day on Monday and was in major recovery mode). It's pretty apparent by the constant smile on my face in the pictures my friends snapped.
I am finally in Miami and settled into my South Beach apartment! I'm happy as a sweaty clam baking in the oven that is Miami in the summer. The moving process was tough and trying, however. First, I had to pack up all my belongings and bid farewell to Brooklyn. Then I was at our home outside of Philly in the Pennsylvania countryside. While it's always quiet and calming there, a lot was going on between clearing out my bedroom for the move, my brother's graduation, graduation party, my quick jaunt back to NYC for a shoot with Samsung, and the movers coming to pack everything up for my mom and I to take to Florida. Then we both arrived in Miami and awaited the arrival of the moving truck, which was another long, hot day of unpacking it all in its respective places (storage unit, my apartment, mom's condo). It was quite the process and we were exhausted after it all. I've been running errands all over (took a hajj to Ikea in Sunrise, and been to Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Best Buy more times than I keep track of) and finally feel like I'm nearing the end, as I feel settled in and the apartment feels like mine.
More than anything, I've been enjoying just being back in this city with my family, friends, car, sunshine, beach, amazing sunsets, and all the other things that I missed about it. I've only been back for 2 weeks now and I'm already so thrilled to be back. I'm absolutely loving it and can't wait for what's to come.
This past week marked the end of one chapter in my life, and the beginning of another. While it was weird and even a bit sad to leave my emptied Brooklyn apartment and all the memories, and roommates that went with it, I'm excited to see what Miami has in store for me. So below are some photos taken during my last week of running around having fun in the big apple, and a letter I wrote on the subway one day. It was a nice release and helped me say goodbye to NYC.New York, I love you. It's more than the average girl's infatuation with the magical and seductive appeal of your bright lights, signature skyline, and bustling streets. It's a kind of tough love that can only be experienced by those who've lived and endured the trials of a relationship with you. Visitors and tourists have their own ideal of you in their mind, which is what keeps them coming back for more. But to truly live in this magical, spell-binding city, which I've found most anyone and everyone claims to want to do, is to see her in another light. I've seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and the fashionable. The glamor, sex, drugs, and hipster indie rock. You take one from a naive, unprepared adolescent, chew them up, and spit them back out as a cynical, mature adult. But by working three other menial jobs to barely make ends meet, it brings to light what one's priorities are and how much of your soul you're willing to give to get it. The city, and its youth-ridden Brooklyn counterpart, is full of dream chasers. It's an exhausting, larger-than-life machine that works you to the bone. How you come out on the other end is what you take with you from that relationship. Like other prior relationships, you still carry emotional baggage, invaluable memories, cynicism, wisdom, and lessons learned from mistakes made. For me, I realized that I'm not the kind of person who feels the end justifies the means. I endured the struggle, experienced the hustle, and don't see the need to continue to do so for the rest of my transition to adulthood. Until I can support myself, have a job I love, and live the dream New York life I want, I'll leave the hustling to the next batch of Williamsburg's hipster imports. We had a good run, New York, and my life is all the richer for it. Thanks for showing me all of your greatness, your beauty, and the flaws that come with it. Because there is no such thing as perfection, our time together was perfectly imperfect. For now, I'm going back to a former flame- Miami. But after I take care of some unfinished business there, who knows what the cards have in store for us. So this is goodbye. For now.