Let me start with a recommendation of what NOT to do when you are in New York. Don’t go to Vu Hair at the Peninsula Hotel. DON’T!!!!  Do. Fucking. Not!!! Getting my hair cut in New York has always been a treat for me. I try to go somewhere special. It’s a little way I like to spoil myself. This time I was trying a lovely sounding salon on the 22nd floor of a grand hotel. It got great Yelp reviews. I was excited. Well… Moi was in for a nasty surprise. ScissorHands did not listen to me when I told him what I wanted: three to four inches off the bottom and layering on the side.  Instead, my almost waist long hair (when straightened) was hacked to little more than shoulder length (a good 8 inches off). I was devastated. Into the lobby bathroom I went, where I cried for about twenty minutes — well, if you are going to cry like a big baby, it might as well be in some fancy bathroom. It heightens the drama. Am I right?

I always thought my hair was the most special part of me, the thing that made me pretty. My hair has always been long. From childhood, I have associated long hair with beauty. So to have it chopped so significantly… it was both shocking and somewhat devastating. It’s just hair, I know, but somehow the end result felt so brutal. Yeah, yeah, “it will grow back,” they tell me, like this is going to make things better. IN A FUCKING YEAR!!!! I now feel as attractive as a sack of potatoes.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so vain. I am more than what I look like. I know that. But even now as I write, I’m still upset about it. Traumatic.

Fuck that though. I’m still gonna roll like a gangsta. Shitty hair be damned. I shall move from the worst part of my vacation to the best. I saw my first ever concert. Going to see Florence + The Machine was the main reason for my trip. I didn’t know what to expect. Yeah, I could have seen her closer to home, but why would I do that when I could see her in Brooklyn? Makes no sense. Was it weird that I was going alone? Maybe a little, huh? I was nervous. Dealing with the unknown is always a little scary for me, but at the same time, I try to be brave. I don’t want life to pass me by. Was I going to stick out like a sore thumb? Was it going to be just completely and utterly awkward? 

Actually my dears, it was awesome. Ah Florence… could I possibly be more in love? Words don’t describe it. Her angelic aura, her super powerful voice, the way she danced in her diaphanous gown and bare feet, her beautiful bright spirit that lit up the Barclay Center. She is just so utterly lovely. Mostly she sang songs from her newest release, “High as Hope,” but there were some of her beloved classics too. Magical my lovelies, magical. I sang (yes, me!) … I even danced (if you could call it that). It was so special, a memory I will cherish forever.

Florence-the-Machine-barclays-oct-2018-billboard-1548

Of course there was plenty of eating. You know how I do, dollies. But I mostly stuck with my old favorites, so I am not going to bore you with stuff I’ve already written about previously. Suffice it to say, weight was surely gained. Need a fat ass to balance my awkward coiffure, methinks. And then there was the street art.

I found five Invader pieces to add to Moi collection. That always thrills me to bits.

And then I have some other beauties to share…

IMG_6516
Random fabulous
IMG_6481
Gumshoe Art, aka Angela China
IMG_5980
Public art installation by Derek Fordjour
IMG_6462
Vandal Gummy
IMG_6058
Piece by Buff Monster, Brooklyn
IMG_6486
Not Bad For a Girl, Indie184
IMG_6508
D*Face — somewhere of off Lafayette and Broome Street

IMG_0714
Slightly ominous, no?

Rather than discussing all about what I got up to in NYC and recount everything I stuffed into my belly (I’ve done that before), I thought I’d write about a very cool excursion I made into Bushwick (Brooklyn). It ain’t Manhattan, that’s for sure. But what it is, is a street art hotspot. I booked a tour, and I was super excited to see what artists I would find there. It was so worth the trek! I also learned quite a bit in the process. And yeah, there was a little somethin’ for da belly too … you know how I roll.

Here’s an interesting fact I learned: did you know that street art all started because a guy was trying to get a girl’s attention? He went by Cornbread (though his real name was Darryl McCray). Sometime in the 60’s he started “tagging” the words “Cornbread loves Cynthia” all over Philadelphia. This started a trend that would spread far and wide. Others followed his example, and by the 70s, graffiti became a big deal in New York. By the 80s, it was a global phenomenon (not to mention a public nuisance). And yeah, Cornbread did win the heart of his beloved Cynthia. Graffiti was born.
In my eyes, street art is just as high an art as anything you would find at the Louvre. To prove it, I give you Exhibit A.
IMG_0723
It’s so fantastic, I almost die looking at it.
I went a couple hours early to scope the place out. I’m so glad I did, because otherwise I would not have seen what is undoubtedly the most beautiful piece of street art that I have ever personally encountered. It is a mash up of Rafael’s Madonna dell Granduca and Kieth Haring’s Radiant Baby. While Rafael did his work on a canvas with oils and paint brushes, Owen Dippie created a work on a much grander scale using spray cans. In my opinion, “stunning” doesn’t even come close to describing the results. So I ask you, who has the greater skill? The renaissance master painter, or the street artist? Food for thought my lovelies.
Nothing I saw wowed me in this same way, but I did get so see plenty of other cool pieces, including a couple by my beloved Invader…
IMG_0713.jpeg
Isn’t this the coolest? I love this Joey Ramone invader!
IMG_0737

 

… but there was plenty of other stuff too. Eye candy galore! Mostly the tour concentrated on what is called the “Bushwick Collective.” This is basically sanctioned street art, where the neighborhood business owners allow the artists to beautify the space, simply for art’s sake. There is no money exchanging hands. In return, Bushwick gets to look freaking awesome. I love that. Some really famous street artists from far and wide have come to help decorate the space.

Here are a few of my favorites:

IMG_0745
D*Face, from the UK

IMG_0703
The notorious Vandal Gummy Bear by Whisbie.

IMG_0748
A mural of my best girl, my beloved Frida.
I took loads of pictures, but I think you are ready to eat. Non, mon amours? I think if there is one special place to eat in Bushwick, it’s the legendary Roberta’s. In fact, Bushwick and Roberta’s are quite synonymous. This uber hipster hangout is not just a place for guys with pretty beards and well manicured mustachios! Oh no! This place makes some fine and  fatty pizzas. Moi had the “white guy pizza” (though I have to say, I think I am partial to Cubans *wink*).

No my dears, I’m not going to waste my time convincing you. A picture will tell you all you need to know.

IMG_0764

Yeah, that hunting in the Bush(wick) is no easy task, but someone’s got to do it *burp.*

Things are going well, very well indeed. As I sit and drink my Mariage Freres Earl Grey Imperial from Paris and plan world domination, I pause to reflect on my many blessings. Life has been pretty swell. Below are five things that are causing me great amusement at the moment. Plus I have a little secret… but I’m keeping that to myself for now.
8af705a07f8106ac1ddbbf27d1154d5e
1. As this post is published, I will be making my way to NYC. I have some super fun things planned. I’m going on two art tours which I’m totally excited about. One is a street art tour in Brooklyn. The second is going to be a cheeky fun tour at the MET called Nasty Women of the Metropolitan Museum. I’ve also got my yearly haircut booked at a fancy AF salon. I do love a little pampering. Of course there is going to be some exquisite eats for my belly, and hopefully a few little souvenirs to take home. I feel strongly that the best thing to bring home are simply my memories though. I’m a strong believer in collecting moments, not things. Things get lost, taken, or can get destroyed, but your experiences? Those are gold my lovelies.
 2. I finally got to eat a burger at Le Tub.
o
I remember first hearing about this place on the Oprah show. It’s been called one of the best burgers in America. OMG you guys that burger is a Martha Falking monster. It’s 13oz of sirloin. That’s almost a pound!! It was mighty and delicious. The place itself is tres charmant! It’s an outdoor shack with a sort of tiki hipster vibe, decorated with old bathtubs and toilets. This old 1975 gas station turned burger joint is trailer park chic at at its finest. It overlooks the water, and as you eat little birds fly in to try and partake of the meaty shenanigans. I can’t blame them, who can resist the heady perfume of flame grilled beef, am I right?
IMG_0340
My dear friend Curly and I scarfed down our burgers and the ultra hot and delicious steak cut fries, but best burger ever? No. We give it a very solid and satisfying 8.5/10. Its surely one of Florida’s finest, but for me, the Emperor Burger at Charm City still rules the roost. It’s somewhere I’d absolutely go back to… in a heart beat. And yeah, I totally ate the whole thing. Caroline is the boss dollies. I can chow down with the big boys (I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it sure is fun).

 

3. I have some pretty exciting news. When I come back from NYC I will be interviewing for an internal post at my company. It would mean a raise, a promotion, and more desirable work hours. I am thrilled to be considered. While there are other people applying, some more senior than myself, I’m going to think good thoughts and trust that the Universe has my back. I want this, I really do! I am going to fill myself with happy thoughts and just go with the flow. I open myself to the wondrous possibilities. Send me your good vibes dollies!

4. I started some IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments to deal with some sun spots I started to get on my face — much to my dismay. This seems to be hereditary for the women on my mom’s side of the family. We are all fair skinned. I had the first treatment last week, and I’m extremely pleased with my results. I got a great deal on Groupon for three treatments. I may dedicate a post solely to the experience once it’s all done. I am looking forward to the final result. Treatment two will be one week from now. I’m looking forward to it.

5. My head is in a good place. That is big. I continually try to uplift myself. I’m so serious about raising my energy, it’s almost like a side job because it requires some serious energy. Learning to be happy, however,  pays much greater dividends than any career. I read good books (recently I read  “Spirit Junkie” by Gabrielle Bernstein) and I listen to motivational stuff and fun music when I take my walks. What else? Well, pretty much whatever the fuck makes me happy. It’s just that simple, but don’t be fooled, it is not without effort. One thing I learned on my life’s journey is that happiness isn’t something that just happens. We generate it. Unfortunately we aren’t taught how to flex this happiness muscle as children in school. We are taught to get good grades, to be well behaved, and to be productive. All of that is useless without joy. I am learning every day how to generate joy. Some days are more successful than others. My personal happiness is something selfish and self indulgent, but it is quite necessary. It’s the best thing I ever gave myself. It is fun, it is beautiful, and quite frankly, it is Devine.

IMG_0364