Monday, October 27, 2008

Palin Sighting!

I'm at a conference for work in Virginia, at the Lansdowne Golf Resort to be exact, and I just had my first official sighting of Sarah Palin! Apparently she gave a live speech near by in Virginia earlier today and was just held up in our hotel over night. Funny thing, all of my whole company was trapped in the bar area last night because she was schedules to walk by that particular club house and they didn't want us drunkenly leaving the bar and harassing her. "Poor us" for having to stick with open bar for a bit longer. She also had her whole entourage of children staying with her (baby missing, though), who all came pouring out of the elevator when she reached the lobby floor. It's a very odd experience to (1) see a political figure in real life (or a political celebrity, as is her case), and (2) to eat your breakfast next to 6 secret service men, because you always think they're just about to jump up and run to her defense.

Exciting conference so far :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Update (finally)!

In an attempt to post EVERYTHING I've been trying to get up here (but have, unfortunately, keep getting interrupted before it is ever finished), I will do a quick break down of music and venues I've been to lately. Enjoy!

What's Lizzie Seeing : In a Heartbeat

Who: River City Rebels -- the craziest mix of guys I've seen on stage together in awhile. Lead: drunk, jolly biker. Keyboardist: misplaced Alberta Cross member. Drum: too dark in the back to tell. Bassist (our friend Pat): preppy, skinny, and has a nice smile.
Where: The Trash Bar -- FUN. Pool. Eclectic with car chairs to lounge in and Christmas lights on the ceiling (oh, such a staple in Brooklyn). Grungy, but lots of fun.

Who: Alberta Cross -- as if SoundGarden tried to find their southern roots. Always a wonderful show, and climbing the charts. They just left to open for Oasis in the UK, so good luck to them!!
Where: The Mercury Lounge -- I've always loved the Mercury Lounge (we also saw Semi Precious Weapons about 2 weeks ago, which was AMAZING as usual). It's packed in the skinny bar area, but you almost always see the band members of the act you've just seen hanging out with the locales and fans. Watch out for their Long Island Iced Tea -- it's deadly!!

Who: John Vanderslice -- I love Mr. Vanderslice, but at this particular concert he wasn't that amazing. Perhaps it was because the space we saw him at had just opened (literally, that night), or that he was playing all by himself (voice and acoustic guitar were all the sounds envolved), but yes, not an overally impressive night by Vanderslice. But DO check him out in the future, because is recording are superb. In fact, at the show he mentioned how he had been challenged to record 24 new sounds in a year, and was up to 18 (I think that was the break down), so we should be seeing wonderful things from him soon!
Where: 92yTribeca -- Fun, new, interesting, Tribeca. I don't know, I don't go to that part of the city that often, but if it were the right band, I would definitely return. The sound was decent and the spumante lovely (though they changed glass sizes later in the evening; what's up with that?)

Who: Sydney Wayser -- This girl is so, so, so LOVELY! A bit Laura Marling, a bit like Fiest, it's very, very moving and truely beautiful live. I stumbled upon Sydney last night at the Living Room, and it was such a wonderful surprise. Very stirring :) Check her out!
Where: The Living Room -- My friends have played at this venue before, and I generally like it. It's right smack dab in the middle of all the other venues in the LES, so the location is great if the music is over and you want to check out some more. It's very cozy, too; intimate, especially with Sydney like above. Thumbs up!

More to come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

RIP - William Claxton, 80 years old

Mr. Miles Davis, taken from William Claxton's website.

A mutual infatuation of photography and music lead me to William Claxton and his documentary photography of the Jazz legends of the 50s and 60s. I believe this happened sometime during my freshman year in college; I can't be certain of the exact date because all I really remember is immediately falling in love, deeper and deeper with every photo, and then things became a blur. Beautiful, rich, original and compelling, Claxton took such legendary musicians as Billy Holiday and Miles Davis (whom normally roamed the dark stages of smokey clubs and dim-lit backstage areas), out onto the bright streets and beaches of sunny California, and showed their deep souls in the light of day. Through Claxton's photography, a viewer could feel the intensity through which these musicians lived ever day of their lives -- where it was crying out the blues, dancing on the streets in joy, or clutching at their instruments or mics, longing for their next chance to shine. It was as if, by staring into a Claxton portrait, you became engluffed in the Blues, immersed in Jazz, taken over by Soul. Black and white photography has always been a passion of mine, and to know that each one of Claxton's photos was not only taken with passion and pleasure, but then slaved over through processing, printing and spotting with his own bare hands, makes even more energy and life stir from every print he's created. It's beautiful and stirring, and though I'm sad to hear he is gone, I know his photographs will stay with me forever.

Thank you, Claxton, for sharing your passion with us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sometimes, I love the Internet

Photo Courtesy of

And sometimes, I don't. But today, and really in the past 2 weeks or so, there have been some increasingly interesting and kooky articles out there that have been just so relevant to my life. (Or, at least I like to believe they are :) I couldn't decide on just one to talk about today, so I decided to start something new! Announcing: the inaugural addition of "What's Lizzie Reading? : The Online Edition". Enjoy!

What's Lizzie Reading? : Online

--Rachel Hulin's commentary on the New York Times Magazine food issue from this weekend. SO MANY COOL PHOTOGRAPHS! If you enjoy stop-motion explosion photography, you'll love these images of corn, apple, and pumpkin in mid-eruption. I think what makes me love stop-motion photography so much is that it captures the essence of the random nature of...well, nature. The only thing you can really control about what a photography will look like when literally shooting an apple is what the light exposure will be. Not where the pieces will fly, or how "juicy" it will look. So, for these images to be so lovely in the end, so beautiful, it just shows how wonderful the unpredictability of nature is. These photos were taken by Martin Klimas, whose other stop-motion photo essays are just as powerful. My favorite is Essay 4, where porcelain or ceramic statues are exploding in seemingly mid-action sequences. Dancing or fighting, swooning... Lovely. has a wonderful Big City piece online today about how the economic slump combined with the over development of the west side of Brooklyn is leading to much heartbreak and lost dreams for new homeowners, who once believed that Brooklyn would never stop growing. This is one of those situations where people are finally hear the warning bell that we've been sounding for YEARS now about how terrible this over development of the waterfront was for Brooklyn, and how it had to stop sometime. Yet, unfortunately for those who bought into it, some didn't hear the bells soon enough. It's so unfortunate, because as much as someone wants to be right about such a charged issue, they often never want to be right in a way that is so devastating for so many people (as this situation will surely become for whomever bought property in these new buildings). What will all of these half-finished/vacant apartment buildings mean for Brooklyn's waterfront in this new down-facing economy? This is what I wonder... has another awesome article today, located in their Arts section. Edward Rothstein speaks about caricature in politics, bumbling candidates, and how the over-characterization of a political figure through satire, SNL skits and cartoons can lead to a completely different perception by the public of that candidate; a perception that is often at times more powerful than any arguement coming from that actual person being characterized. Very fascinating.

--As I began to write this recommendation, I realized that this article is actually located on The Christian Science Monitor, a website I didn't even know EXISTED before, let alone could have such an interesting article on bicycles and recycling in Brooklyn. was what lead me there, so kudos to them for not just looking close to home for wonderful writing and interesting observations. Brooklyn is having a bicycling revolution (duh)! Read on to find out more.

--If you are interested in some beautiful wedding photography, as well as photo-essays of "People Sleeping in Public", and anything in between, please click over to my friend Ashley Garmon's photo blog PhotoSmashing. She's lovely, and so are her photos.

--It's Paddington Bear's birthday!!!! So much of my childhood centered around this bear, as well as others (Winnie the Pooh, most prominently), so made me happy by promoting Paddington instead of some guy named Columbus.

That's it for now. Enjoy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bushwick, Brooklyn

From . Urban Jungle Vintage store on 120 Knickerbocker Street.
Ah, my new home (since Aug 1st). I could ramble on and on about Bushwick (it's ups and downs, ins and outs), but I'm really just interested in pointing everyone to if you live in the area. This site is awesome, and makes me want to explore the neighborhood even more (and in a safe, well informed way). Something I didn't know about (and that I'm really looking forward to) is the Urban Jungle Vintage store on Knickerbocker. Or even the junk shop on Starr, right by Los Hermanos, the best taco stand in Bushwick. For more info on all, look at the business map here from BushwickBK. Give them all a try!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Andrew Bird @ Hiro Ballroom

I can't even describe how wonderful the Andrew Bird show was at the Hiro Ballroom this Monday. Having never been to Hiro before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I never could have imagined it would be so intimate of a setting.  The stage was only about 3 feet off of the ground, and felt more like a friendly lofty living room than a venue, and the sound held up so well!  There was laughter through technical difficulties and jokes from the audience [that Andrew couldn't help but hear, even laughing in the middle of a song (see Tables & Chairs in the link below)], and Andrew confessing at one point that he hadn't seen his band in ages and wanted to add a song to the playlist, just to keep going (which he did!)  Like the silly photographer I am, I didn't have a digital camera with me, so all I have to show for it are these "artsy" cell phone pictures. I was so close, Andrew Bird could have bonked my nose with his mallet while playing his Glockenspiel. :)

For many videos that people took, look here to YouTube. In the video of Oh No, at the very beginning there is giggling coming from the audience...unfortunately, that was me...haha. You can even hear it in the Fake Palindromes video, and the guy was at least 6 feet away from me! How embarrassing...

He played tons of new songs from his new album, my favorite being Anonanimal (which, unfortunately, no one has posted a video for yet). Definitely a bit of swooning going on (hence the giggles), on my part. How could I not? Give me a guy who whistles, plays violin, and wears a three-piece suit and I'm theirs.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What it Means to be From Brooklyn

I wanted to start this post saying that I do consider myself an authentic Brooklynite. I've lived in Brooklyn all my life (if only part-time because of my parent's divorce), in Carroll Gardens and Greenpoint and all the places in between. I went to Coney Island during the summers of my youth and hung out down in DUMBO before it changed faces. I think I can, if only now that I'm living on my own in Brooklyn, say that I am a true resident of this wonderful borough.

That being said, here's a little story and a few questions one can ask about this subject...

Saturday night, I ventured out to Williamsburg and to Union Pool for a friend's birthday. (M's birthday, to be exact, who is doing much better after her mugging, and hanging with the hipsters once more). If you haven't been to this bar/venue/hang before, I'd highly suggest going. I always find that the group of people hanging in the back courtyard area are interesting, eclectic and all out East-Williamsburg youth, though sometimes, you'd be surprised who's lurking in the corners...

Standing in the vicinity of my friend's birthday party group, my roommate and I were conversing about something that now alludes me (music, art, or ridiculous things our friends do could be a good bet), when two very NON-hipster/Williamsburg boys approached us with great fever and excitement. With drunken smiles and giggles, to boot. One had a shirt on that said "Pour, Favor", with a picture of a beer mug spilling over, and the other, a track jacket with some design shirt on underneath. Both spoke in thick Brooklyn accents, said they were from somewhere far out in Brooklyn, and confessed to never having been to Williamsburg before. And were wondering why there were so many gay guys in this neighborhood (in tight jeans). And who loved all of the artsy girls (aka: no bombshell blonds in heels). And who both suddenly held up their PBRs and said "this beer are awesome! We've never had it before", to which the only response was to crack up and simply ask the dumb question of "Who are you guys?"

Meet Jack and Johnny, one who sells women's shoes (excuse me, is a SHOE DISTRIBUTOR) and the other one who is in real-estate under his daddy's company. Both in their 20s. Both not college grads. And both dancing fiends (they so wanted to ditch Union Pool, I could tell, and go back to the comfort of their meat packing district), who live off of their parents and will continually be looking for a good time. They were entertaining, to say the least, though my roommate and I hung out with them for a bit too long (they turned into embarrassing, drunken fools, and really DID dance in the bar area of Union Pool, which thoroughly destroyed the hipster-buzzed-groove which had previously been going on), but honestly, they were just such a fascinating pair of guys to have stumbled upon that night. It was like a car wreck that you couldn't look away from, with sudden moments of clarity that shocked me. They pointed out everything that has suddenly become normal to me (girls with short hair, guys with half-buzzed hair, suspenders and skinny jeans, country shirts and dark-rimmed glasses, pretentious-indifference that seems to waft down the street of Williamsburg sometimes), and questioned the very foundation of the youth in "L train" Brooklyn that I had quickly and subconsciously come to identify with. To sum it up, they said to us "You girls need to get into a groove!", and in a dumbfounding response (to them) I said "this IS our groove."
It all made me ask myself the question: what exactly does it mean to be a Brooklynite, and are we all just pretending off of the L train? I've come to realize through my short 23 years on this planet that the first part of that question is , above all, an infinitely unanswerable question. Brooklyn is perhaps the most diverse 96 square miles on earth, consisting of every possibly ethnical group, all having their own, closed off neighborhoods, with the (more) occasional gentrification seeping in to bridge some gaps, and widen others between communities. Williamsburg seems to now be the young-hip-trendy-bohemian-artsy area of Brooklyn when everyone comes to play. Where Jack and Johnny come from, to us "L trainers", seemed sheltered and unrealistic, yet who are we to say we aren't exactly the same way? Sheltered from their part of Brooklyn, or other neighborhoods we don't dare go. I guess in the end, I can only define a Brooklynite as someone who is a bit rough around the edges, not afraid to speak their mind, and open to atleast a 10 minute conversation about your ideas and values. Friendly, courteous, but not always gracious. And who have lived here for quite some time.

So, you know, just living in Williamsburg does not make one a Brooklynite. For me, you have to have been here way longer than a year, and have experience a few different neighborhoods/trains before even coming close to labeling yourself as a resident. You've got to want to give a little bit more to this borough than just money on a bar counter, or funding your local American Apparel store. You've got to LOVE it, hands down. So, that's why I can say I'm a Brooklynite.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sarah Palin, Live Here, See Wall Street

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sweet Science

In response to the assault I went through in 2006, I found a home at Gleason's Boxing Gym in DUMBO Brooklyn, and in the power everyone seemed to exude from knowing how to defend themselves. I never took any formal lessons, but the environment of the old, eclectic gym and the comradery of the trainers, boxers, and spectators who were both very old and new to the sport intrigued me and drew me in like a warm blanket. I based my Senior Thesis Photo Essay around this gym and the objects that inhabited it. I loved the idea of doing still life studies of simply the things that made the gym what it was, and not just the people. (The essay, titled "The Sweet Science" is on my website).

So, I found it ironic today that, when dealing with my friend's recent assault (see post below), I came across a very interesting photo essay on boxing by Nicolai Howalt, where he compares shots of young boxers before and after a fight. I particularly love the one posted above because there are such subtle changes in his exterior; you almost have to look at it again and again to catch everything. Very fascinating.

Salsa Dancing @ Plan B (And a terrible thing that happened in Brooklyn)

Last night I found myself at a salsa club in the east village with two friends (R and M), dancing our hearts out and cracking up until 1am. Now, this is a very unusual occurrence for me. I've turned into a bit of an old lady during this past year when it comes to weeknights, and I can get very upset if I miss out on my 8-9 hours of beauty sleep (as some can attest to, I can be quite a grouch in the morning without it). I do go out alot, but I'm usually back in my comfy bed by 10pm. YET, as it appears, all of this doesn't mean I won't take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to go a little crazy.

So, after spending some quality time with my dad (and my cat!) in Carroll Gardens, I hopped on the F train to 2nd Ave to meet two of my friends at Mudd Coffee to plan our evening. First, I'd like to say that 1st Ave is the nexus of the universe, because on my walk uptown, I ran into not one, but TWO of my good friends that I hadn't seen in ages. So, after brief conversations about coffee (one friend was departing a coffee house), the economy (the other friend works for JP Morgan Chase), and basically how both things were causing them sleepless nights, I finally made my way to 9th st. and my friends. We had a bit of an arguement about what to do (some people are very hesitant to go to a random, corner salsa club at 10pm on a Wednesday night), but finally, we agreed to give it a try and arrived at our destination of 10th st between A and B; a little place called Plan B. And WHAT a fun place! Housing a full, live brass band with an awesome flutist and trumpeter to boot, this place carries a group of lively people who just simply want to dance. The place is small, but intimate, and allows just enough room to not ALWAYS get stepped on by stilletos (though this did happen to me often, and when I finally complained, the guy I was dancing with said "Calm down, Carrie Bradshaw") I'll be the first to admit that I am no salsa queen, but last night it didn't really matter. Some guys were nice enough to give me dancing lessons and some just decided that I should learn as I go, but in the end we were all laughing and grooving and having a good time. R insisted there was a Diego Luna look-a-like in the crowd, but he turned out to only move like Diego and not look like him.

And then things started to turn this morning...

I was happy to leave last night as a wonderful memory of trying out something new and enjoying it a bunch, until I started getting unsettling text messages this morning from R, about how M's phone was off and we didn't know if she had gotten back to her apartment alright last night. Sometimes I simply hate this city...

On her way back to Brooklyn last night, M was mugged outside her building and woke up in the hospital with bruises and a broken nose. And every time I hear of something like this happening to a young, hopeful person, it makes me hate this city a bit more. As always, I try to remind myself that things could have been much more terrible (there are far worse places you could wake up in than the hospital after being punched out in the middle of the night), but just knowing it happens is enough to really upset me. I don't know... I don't know if she wasn't being safe, if she was too drunk to make a smooth entry into her building, or if it was as random as other assaults that I've heard of and been a victim of, too. All I can do is wish her a speedy recovery and remember to never let my guard down late at night, that NO ONE should let there guard down. You can never be too careful in this city.