adventures, plants, Travel

The Gardens

Just out in the country visiting Monet

So, back in Paris. Woke up on a gorgeous Sunday morning and figured out the public transit route to meet with a group to go to the countryside for a tour of Giverny and Versailles. I went to art school, and like most of the world have a continuing love for impressionism. When I was obsessively planning my trtip, I flashed back to going to MOMA as soon as it opened and seeing Monet’s waterlily paintings and feeling restored by them. Also, two birds one trip, since we would also be going on to Versailles. For $250! Quelle bargain!

On the bus to the tour guide’s location, le Tour de Eiffel ❤️

I was a little groggy and scared of missing my train/bus connections, then got turned around for the walking portion of the trip, and I forgot to record more of the process of getting to the meeting location and getting out on the road. In spite of the fact that I had two cameras, my iphone and a portable charger, I was also paranoid about filling up on photos and wasting precious battery before getting to the sights that I’d paid to see. It was a fun ride, though. Our tour guide, Isabel, was telling us about pretty much everything we passed, and letting us know about all the fun we had in store on the trip. The best part was that we literally had to do nothing but chill, ask questions and enjoy the scenery.

details of the gardens…look at the light!

As soon as we pulled into Giverny I was snapping pics. The town is lovely, but I admit to focusing mainly on the gardens and home, because I could really feel how someone could see a house from the train, run to buy it and then set up artistic shop for the rest of their lives. If you’re a visual artist (or a content creator, since influencers do noting but take pics all day long), you could live in this place and never take the same photo twice. The light, the angles, the variety of flora, the lovely little ponds, the bridges, the waterlilies, all breathtaking. I got caught up. It got a little dicey when other tour groups arrived, but I was still so fascinated, and the morning light was glorious.

view through the little bridge

After winding my way along the garden paths twice, I started remembering that there was more and headed off to the house, which was PACKED to the rafters with tourists. Everyone wore masks and a nice man at the door sprayed your palms with sanitizing solution before entering, but it was still crowded. However, I had to mosey in and see how Claude was living. It’s one thing to see country French decor in magazines and another to see it up close.

I kind of ran through the place, because the crowd behind pushes you forward, but I adored the sunny yellow dining room and the cool blue and white tiles in the kitchen. Everything placed just so, lots of colors and life. It’s wild to see so many strangers tromping through it, when it was probably super quiet when the painter lived there.

the amazing art of Claude Monet in Giverny

After leaving the house I wandered out onto the road but, to be honest, I just got a sandwich and a cup of cider and chilled until it was time to leave. We still had another stop before Versailles, so I wanted to save my energy. But I did manage to get some shots off in the car as we sped deeper into the French countryside.

Next time we;’re going to hang out at Versailles. You’ll love it.

black women, brooklyn, Fashion, home, home decorating, plants, self confidence, self-affirmation, self-care

The Plantpets

I live in Brooklyn, and while I love my apartment, there is one thing that makes me a little less satisfied with it: I can’t have pets. When I signed the lease they told me that if I bring in anything with legs there will be consequences. Most of the time I don’t care, but the other day I found out that someone’s got a dog on the 5th floor and it’s gotten me very upset. So I spent some time doting on my plantpets, see above.

I bought these in teeny tiny pots at home depot last year, and I recently re-potted them because I live in an apartment with no pets. Funny thing, those teeny pots were holding them back. They’ve plumped out and each grew at least an inch the first week in larger surroundings. Like they were just waiting to bust out and unfurl.

On the one hand, boring post right? But on the other hand, think about what’s confining you and keeping you from being amazing. Can you change it? Do you want to? Maybe you need a caring gardener to lift you out of your tight spot.

Think about it.

See you next time! Faith/SEB Market BK

activities, architecture, exercise, food, free, health, new york, plants, rides, street fair, Summer, walking

The Meetup Adventure: in which we go to #SummerStreets2015 and ride Slide the City

So, I got tired of going to museums and started a meetup group of my own:

ss1With the idea that if you don’t see what you want, then start it yourself. My first proposition to my group was a trip to Summer Streets 2015, a NYC street fair that stretches from 72nd Street all the way to the waterfront Downtown.

I got one RSVP- and they didn’t show up.

ss2Granted? it was kind of early. But you only see New York at it’s best when it’s early, lol!! No one around to bother you and you can actually see how the place is laid out.

ss3How awesome is this? Early morning in Central Park, no screaming hordes- just light and stillness.

ss4And ducks.

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I kind of took my time walking through the park and over to Park Avenue. The good thing about no one showing was that I could go at my own pace and make my own decisions.

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I was dressed for a special occasion, too. But you’ll see what that was later in the post. Basic was better that day, believe me.

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Back to Summer Streets. There was supposed to be free one hour bike rental at 58th Street, but I found out that you had to bring the bike right back to 58th, and my plan was to make it all the way to downtown.

I set off on foot amidst walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. One amazing this was getting to walk over a bridge that only cars have access to. It takes you up over 42nd and Grand Central Station.

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This is a view I have never seen. Normally, I’d be standing far below looking up at cars whizzing by on this bridge. Thanks to Summer Streets, I was seeing this sculpture closeup without worrying about getting plowed down by a taxicab.

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The next rest stop was all about food. Whole Foods had set up a block long street fair with people just hurling samples at you every few feet. How much do you love Perky Jerky guy? You could literally walk up and pluck samples off of his body. I feared for his life at one point- I mean, he was wearing MEAT.

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I also got a sweet little potted plant, a pansy. New York Botanical Garden was on hand, patiently putting tiny plants in biodegradable containers for anyone who asked to take home. That’s love.

After getting as many food samples as I could I headed over to the 2nd of my missions (since that bike rental thing was a bust):ss91

My second mission was to obtain a free bike helmet from New York’s Department of Transportation. It wouldn’t be easy. It took stamina. It took being polite to this lady who acted all friendly just so I’d hold her place in line. It took ONE HOUR AND SIXTEEN MINUTES of waiting in line, and I technically missed the time for my special event, and then the lady who fitted my helmet was a _itch- but I did not give up, nor did I leave empty handed…ss92Cuz that’s how we roll at SEB. never give up, and never leave without your promised goodies.

Now it was time for my third and last mission…ss96

SLIDE THE CITY

ss93I cheated and took the train from 23rd down to Chambers Street. I was on pins and needles the whole way, hoping that my tickets were still usable.

ss94 While I was at VitaCoco Beach, I met Ben Franklin, who just happened to be chilling and looking for a place to fly his kite, and then (of course) grabbed up a free VitaCoco lemonade and a free VitaCoco inner tube. As you can see, they hydrated New York City with VitaCoco.ss95

I managed to find the Slide the City line, then find out where the line actually started, then found out where to register to even get on the line. As luck would have it, they weren’t looking at what time the ticket was for, just if you had one. Having gone to many fashion week events I knew to have my ticket up on my phone screen ready for viewing.

Behold…

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is this not EVERYTHING???? Ok, yeah- some people live for Chanel, but this? was EVERYTHING!!!!!

And I had tickets. It only took me two hours. I heard it took other people 12 hours. At this point, it didn’t matter- I was there, in front of it and I had the golden ticket. ss98

I almost cried when I saw this sign- I had a knapsack on! I forgot to read the faq’s!! Luckily, A lady with a kid let me hold her bag and then when they were done she held mine. You have no idea how much of a leap of faith it is to let some stranger hold your bag in New York. But if that was the only thing standing between me and and a 650 foot water slide? Oh well.

I took a chance.

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I told you, basic was best. After I finally got into the enclosure, they gave me an inner tube to ride on and sent me up the stairs. I could feel excitement in the pit of my stomach getting bigger and bigger the closer I got to the top. I got the middle lane.

Once you get up there, they tell you how to position yourself, and you sit staring at the huge expanse of plastic that’s supposed to hold you up, and in my case staring at the venerable court buildings of Foley Square which had probably never witnessed a massive water slide in front of them. Once they say go, you push off and it’s sublime. Exhilarating. And, yeah- two horribly overused words- life affirming.

I slid down a big ass ramp in New York and lived. It was the best moment ever.

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 Also the moment I unpacked my knapsack and I had all this swag. Not bad.