Monday, May 31, 2010

El Cosmico (or, our new home)

Much like our stay in Bisbee last year, while in Marfa we've been staying in a kind of RV park full of renovated campers called El Cosmico. Our camper, the Royal Mansion, is pictured above.

And compared to the one we slept in at the Shady Dell, it kind of is a mansion. Note the (extremely comfy) leather couch.

The view going the other way. It actually has a working stove and oven.

The equally comfy bed (I really like the orange quilt).

These lights get really hot.

We have an outdoor shower right next to the camper, which we can access via a side door. It's kind of like being naked outside because there are only three walls.

A view of some other campers. Note the colorful array of tents in the background. The girl who took us to our camper commented that it looked like a "refugee camp."

Anyway, despite the fact that I have to sit in the communal lounge to access the internet, shower outside, and sleep in close proximity to hippies, I love our camper. I kind of want to just live in it. Dave has said multiple times, possibly half jokingly, that we should just buy one of our own. Although we might need to buy a second one to fit our records and books.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The H&H (and the L&J)

Two of our meals in El Paso were eaten at the somewhat unlikely location of a car wash. Well, okay, it was a cafe inside of a car wash. In fact, it was a James Beard Award-winning cafe inside of a car wash.

For lunch on Friday we stopped there for some incredibly delicious enchiladas. We liked it so much that we returned the next morning on the way out of town for some huevos rancheros. Which I didn't love quite as much. (The egg was fried--I was expecting scrambled. I don't know why I assumed this.) But I loved the bright orange highlights, and the handwritten signs everywhere (including a drawing of a bowl of soup next to the soup specials--probably a little hard to see in this picture). And the enchiladas were awesome.

I guess you can eat while you wait for your car to be washed.

More handpainted signs outside.

For dinner we stopped at another restaurant with initials for a name. It was pretty good as well--we had guacamole tacos and chile rellenos. I love the sign with the man taking a siesta. Also note the "Welcome Bowlers"--this was all we saw all over town, particularly the airport. (Each of the luggage carousels featured a giant pinata in the shape of a bowling pin and ball).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Old El Paso

Awhile back I mentioned my upcoming trip to Marfa, Texas, and now it's finally here! I just landed in El Paso this afternoon and have spent the day wandering around the city (and the mountains...but more on that later). While there's not a whole lot going on here (sorry El Paso), the food is delicious (way better than the brand of products that uses the city's name) and the vintage signage is everywhere. Below are just a couple of the things was able to stop and snap a photo of.

This last one is a mural behind a record store/head shop. I bought a Captain Beefheart record and the man who sold it to me was psyched. He actually stopped midsentence to say "You know who this is??". Apparently he'd seen him play four times.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bauhaus-inspired rug

About six months ago I had posted something about the Bauhaus exhibit at MoMA that was going on over the winter, and how I was inspired to make a rug modeled after a particular wall hanging by Anni Albers. This is the tapestry in question:

Six months later, I'm happy to report that I've finally finished the rug.

Not quite as many different shades involved here as in the original, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Now for a closer look--don't mind all the wrinkles. I need to get a rug pad to keep it from moving around every time I step on it. If you're thinking you might want to invest some time into doing something similar, I did it by essentially knitting eight different scarves using seed stitch, and then sewing the scarves together. The cotton yarn wasn't too expensive either. Though I wasn't keeping track of how many skeins I ended up buying, the project probably cost me about $50.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dharma cupcakes

My friend brought these Dharma cupcakes over for the last episode of Lost. I ate way too many but they were pretty awesome. Far more awesome than the ending of Lost.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Andre the Giant Has a Posse

Saturday we went on a walk exploring Mott Haven and Melrose, two neighborhoods in the South Bronx. At one point we saw an Andre the Giant sticker on a lightpost and I said something along the lines of "I'm sure Shepard Fairey didn't actually put that up, but that's pretty cool." And then a few blocks later, we saw this...

Shepard Fairey has a show going on at Deitch Projects (the last one before it closes) and I guess he decided to make a collaborative mural with another graffiti artist, Cope2, while he was here. Here are some pictures of the making of the mural.

I love the Andre damask wallpaper.

On another wall of the same building is this huge graffiti mural (with more on the third side as well) so maybe this is a legal spot.

Funny enough, on Friday night I also spotted a combination of Andre and the Misfits skull on a building in Williamsburg, which I'd never noticed before*. It seems like he really covers a lot of ground when he visits a city.

Then again, maybe it had been there for years and I was just a bit more observant at that moment.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Muskrat Love

The last time we went to the Woodlawn Metro North station we noticed that there was a paved trail that started right before the entrance to the station. (According to the sign it's called Muskrat Cove--great name.) Last weekend we decided to see where it led. The answer is: not that far. But it takes you along the Bronx River, as well as the Bronx River Parkway, so there's a nice juxtaposition of nature and highway underpass. I'd go again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bertoias in the sun

I took this picture a few weeks ago in the courtyard at MoMA. So many Bertoia chairs--whenever I'm there I just want to grab a few and make a run for it (I can't imagine that would end well). I love the shadows they cast.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A visit to Wave Hill (and another epic walk)

Saturday we went out to Wave Hill, a 28-acre estate that has been converted to public gardens, in the extremely un-Bronxlike Riverdale. I'd never really been over there before, and it felt like I was suddenly transported into some random wealthy suburb in Connecticut or Westchester. We're talking $6,000,000 houses with unlikely addresses like West 252nd Street, Bronx, NY.

Despite being surrounded by weird rich people (more on that later), the grounds are lovely, with beautiful views of the Hudson. It's not that large so it didn't take too long to see everything, but we hadn't paid anything to get in (free entry on Saturdays before noon) so that was fine with me.

Here's the aquatic garden, with goldfish and lilypads.

And now, for the "more" I was talking about.

Wait for it...

Bam. Best picture ever. These people were all moving around in slow motion. I guess it's some kind of tai chi class? Sigh...moving along...

The above is actually about a mile away from Wave Hill, closer to central Riverdale. I don't know what the purpose of all those reflectors is, but they look pretty cool.

Right about then my camera died but after lunch at Liebman's Kosher Deli we walked down to the Broadway bridge and into Inwood, drank some coffee at the Indian Road Cafe (on Manhattan's only "road"), wandered around Inwood Hill Park (Manhattan's only primordial forest), and took the subway down to the Lower East Side to see the Styrenes and Pink Reason at the Cake Shop. Which was kind of a mistake, as by the time the show started I was feeling totally obliterated after my 15-hour day and 12 mile walk. I think we have a tendency to overdo it.