This is the new T Shirt design. There is also a black background one. I wanted to do it without my name on it, but I was talked out of it by the people who help me with business. I know they’re right, but it’s much cooler without text. When I have enough scratch to do two runs I’ll make some without.
Getting ready to leave town again — picking up band and installation in Phoenix. Looking forward to a break from NYC (even though I love you, Metropolis). One of my stops is in San Diego. Ocean! Woo!
I filmed a bunch of textures in Central Park last year — sky, grass, cobblestone, tree tops, tree trunks, asphalt, etc. It’s mesmerizing to watch the footage. I think I was mesmerizing myself as I filmed it. Anyway, I ended up spending way too much film stock on the idea. At one point I remember walking around a Sycamore tree very fast with the camera because the bark is so variegated — it makes a beautiful texture when you’re going by fast. I caught on the audio track an elderly woman say “you never know what they’re teaching them in film school these days.” I didn’t go to film school, but if I had, I’m sure this footage would have been a hit with the pot heads in the dorm.
This is just the sky, and really only about 1/4 of my footage of it. Maybe I’m crazy, but it’s so nice just to see it by itself. Sometimes when I’m sad I pull up the sky footage and watch it without any sound. It’s very bright and self-contained. Like there’s no land at all.
The other textures are probably more interesting, but the sky is the most soothing. Too bad YouTube had to go and pixelate everything. They do love their compression.
The lyric of this song is a poem, which I often think of when the light starts to fail earlier, but the weather is still warm. It is stolen without remorse from Edna St. Vincent Millay.
I was reminded today that winter is coming. I am hoping it is a nice guest this year.
On October 7th I’m taking my installation, along with my band to San Diego for a show at UCSD, home of the Theodor Geisel Seuss Library. I’m real excited to be anywhere that has anything to do with Dr. Seuss. I’m actually thinking/hoping that that’s why the chose me — because of how naturally Whoville my trees are.
Anyway, I’ll be in AZ for a week beforehand, and then in San Diego and Mission Viejo. If you know anyone around there who either 1) has a venue that will support a 200 square foot lawn, 4 climbable trees, a kiosk and a loud rock band, please let me know. On the other hand, if you know someone who has a living room and a handful of friends and wants a house show complete with cupcake tree and teensy acoustic band, you should also let me know.
Anyway, I’m considering visiting Dr Seuss’ grave while I’m there. Is that weird?
Update: I just found out from findagrave.com that his ashes are scattered. How nice for him. I don’t know how I feel about findagrave.com, however. Slightly creepy or slightly awesome? The scales have not yet tipped for me.
My 40 mile walk was all in New Jersey and if that sounds awful to you, you’d be partially right. Sure, there’s Patterson to get through, and hundreds of mini malls to scurry by, but once you get onto the country roads NJ is really an interesting and often beautiful state.
I was happy that my journey took me right past the Marcal paper plant, on ground level (I’ve passed it on the interstate a million times). It’s such a cute old factory. At night the MARCAL part of the sign is hot pink neon, and the PAPER PRODUCTS part is bright green. At ground level the old road is overgrown with Ailanthus and other weeds — the whole thing looks deserted, but it’s not. It’s churning out toilet paper, roll after roll. I buy it once a week at the deli on the corner.
Here’s another thing about New Jersey: the woods are lovely. They are cool and inviting by the side of every road (except for those in Patterson). Whenever I tired out I just went into the woods about 20 feet, laid my head on a fallen log and took a nap. It was so peaceful and so private. The woods are very dense and forgotten. They dull the sound of the road to a murmur. They have a canopy that cools you off even on a humid 90 degree day. You could be there forever and no one would ever know.
One other thing I’d like to mention about NJ is this: There are lots of surprises. A handful of times I would come around the corner of a country road and see something totally out of place. I’m just going to give you one example.
I was stumping along wondering about lunch when I came upon this nice little bridge.
La la la — I stopped to take a sip of water and looked to my right.
I crossed the GWB to leave Manhattan. My last sight of NYC.
Last Thursday I decided on a whim to walk to my cabin, which is just about 100 miles away in the Poconos mountain range in Pennsylvania. I have been talking about doing this for a couple years now, ever since we bought the cabin. For some reason I got a bee in my bonnet about it Wednesday night and I set off on Thursday morning without special shoes or training or a single clue about long distance walking. I was hoping to take 3 days to get there.
I’ve since found out that there are a few things I should keep in mind when walking on roads in a long-distance sort of a way.
1. Thin-soled shoes are not going to cut it when you’re walking on asphalt and concrete. You need some cushioning so that the balls of your feet don’t end up totally bruised.
2. It’s very, very hard to walk in the afternoon when you are in New Jersey crappy-ass towns with no trees, low buildings, and sans shade of any kind.
3. A very fit person can cover 20 miles in a day reasonably well if they intend to walk more miles the next day. In my excitement I covered around 30 miles on day one, and 10 on day two. Then I crawled into the woods to lay down. Then I called Jad to come pick me up. When he got there an hour later I tried to stand and couldn’t. The muscles in my calves and hips burned with a (righteously) angry fire. They were understandably pissed off, as I am not at all fit and have not done much of anything but lay down and sit in front of my computer since January 16 when I had back surgery.
4. I found out I am not too proud to use one of those motorized carts at the grocery store. When faced with the choice of walking down the LONG aisle in a country grocery (post pick-up), my heart sang at the sight of those carts that the 500 pound women use. It was SO worth the humiliation.
5. Aside from my body’s mutiny, I absolutely adored my day-and-a-half of walking. If my legs would let me I could have kept going till Seattle. There’s nothing better than putting some miles under your feet. If I had the time I would always travel this way. I can’t wait to do it again.
OK. So, I’m going to a film festival in an unnamed Midwestern town. I was invited without even submitting! That makes me feel so very…um…for reals! I’m fixing to add to that feeling by making the most out of my Film Festival experience. Perhaps I will carry a red carpet with me around the unnamed Midwestern town as I go shopping or to McDonald’s. I’m a film maker, dammit! But seriously, I am going to make myself a gown. I am going to make it out of FedEx envelopes, much like this pigeon. I will have to begin engineering this pretty soon. The festival’s coming right up. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the Tyvek dress. I’ve really just been waiting for an excuse to make one.
My two documentaries about the installation were just selected for a film festival somewhere in the Midwest.* Woo! (I’m not supposed to mention the name of the festival or the town yet online until they announce the participants). This is the promotional picture I sent them. I am actually in the very same unnamed Midwestern town in this photo. It’s a couple years ago. Do I look like I’m thinking about film making? I’m not. I remember that was thinking where the hell am I going to get lunch when there are no restaurants? But I jest…that town has plenty of restaurants they just didn’t happen to be accessible by foot from the park bench I was sitting on.
But here’s something about that unnamed Midwestern Town (hereafter referred to as TUMT) — a little secret. I actually came up with the idea to make my Central Park installation in the TUMT park where this picture was taken (and more than likely on that actual day). TUMT got me thinking about parkland, and made up environments.
TUMT has SO many parks and they are all filled with Masons or Elks monuments which are wonderfully faux Middle Eastern (or Arabian, if you want to put a 1950’s spin on it) and they delight me down to my toenails. Those kooky Masons do love their secret society symbolism, and thank God for that, because TUMT has benefited from them in ways I can’t quite describe. I sound like I’m making fun, but I’m not. These monuments and buildings are so beautiful and so uniquely American — I don’t know why this kind of thing makes me feel almost teary-eyed, but it does. I am having a hard time putting words to it — Men with secret handshakes and ersatz fezzes making stone structures and buildings to justify their nerdy dungeons and dragons outings with the boys. I’m in love. Does anyone out there know what I mean? Am I alone here?
Ok here’s an example of a few of TUMT’s Masonic treasures:
But really, just look around and you’ll see it. It’s like your own Nancy Drew meets the Da Vinci Code city!
Now that I’m on the subject of TUMT, I have to tell you that they have the nicest houses in any American Town. Here’s a perfect example. THIS HOUSE HAS A LIBRARY AND A WET BAR! IT IS THE SQUARE FOOTAGE OF AT LEAST 3 OF MY APARTMENT! IT WAS BUILT IN 1900 AND IS TOTALLY RESTORED! AND ITS SELLING FOR $135,000!
You see what I mean? WTF am I doing living here? Oh yeah. Restaurants.
*It’s like a little mystery to solve Nancy Drew style!
Souvenirs and Shiny things is a fanciful indoor Central Park created by Annie Quick and friends to take on tour with her New Album and Web Serial. This blog charts the planning and building of this interactive exhibit, as well as Annie's daily thoughts on nature (particularly in Central Park), playing and listening to music, and whatever else she feels like talking about. If you want to get in touch, please send an email to annie at teamsuperteam dot com.