I found Nathanial Russell’s fliers and fake books, clicked around his site and fell in love with his whole aesthetic and ethic, simple drawings, full of ideas, empathetic innocence, absurdity, DIY analog spirit, humor and wit. And he plays guitar and makes lofi accousticy songs! My kind of guy.
The music just below is one one of the recordings I made in Paris, this one of an accordion player on a pedestrian bridge. Hit play now so that the sounds of Paris will accompany you. OK. Can you hear the melancholy French jazz?
accordion player on the Ponte Nuef playing a melancholy Autumn Leaves
Maile and I originally planned to travel to Paris together for our 10th wedding anniversary. Two and a half years later we made it, by ourselves, for a full week. We rented a wonderful loft appartment on AirBnb in the Marais, from which we sauntered out an back every day.
We arrived on Saturday morning and took the train into the city (with Charles Beaver, Anais’s envoy).
Walking from the Metro to find our apartment we stopped at Le Petite Marcel for lunch.
the beautiful blue door to the building where we stayed
the reflection of our front building in the shiny black van opposite
The beautiful classic bicycle that was always locked outside our door
We stayed two blocks from the Pompidou, passing it every day, eating across from it. Here are a few of the outside and then a few of my favorite works inside.
seven people sitting in front of the Pompidou
my reflection in the window of the line and houses opposite
Man Ray’s room of art and beautiful objects
shiny spinning metal shape with divets in a black and white lined box
I particularly liked the Gerard Fromanger exhibit, his use of monochrome figures and infographics.
painting by Gérard Fromanger
painting by Gérard Fromanger
view from the top of the Pompidou; see the Eifell Tower shining it’s spotlight in the distance
break dancers entertaining a crowd in front of Hôtel de Ville
break dancer balancing on one hand
reflection on the front of a bus
waiting for the light to change on a bridge over the Seine
the view through the menu
Paris swing on a bridge over the Seine
colorful juice window
reflection in car top
reflection in bus window w driver smoking
Maile on the Ponte Nuef overlooking the Siene
ladies at a cafe
people sitting on the steps leading down to the Seine
man running with child. one of my favorite moments to capturing, participating in that pure joy.
men in front of a flower shop
pedicabbies looking left as the man in black walks right
mannequin with reflection of tower and tree
I loved lunching on these fresh baguette sandwiches
a perfectly pruned park
the Mona Lisa hype machine (I found it hard to appreciate the Louvre)
There was so much great street art everywhere, from centuries old sculpture to to stickers, art sellers and graffiti, chalk artists and street musicians. Hardly a block went by that I didn’t notice a gorgeous door. I was always stopping to snap something and then running to catch up with Maile.
statues throughout the city had been secretly blindfolded in scarlet (an art stunt meant to draw attention to the ubiquitous – and easily overlooked – statuary)
i love this chalk drawing, a face made out of squares, making eyes out of cracks in the wall
wonderful street art everywhere. vandals with a nice sense of color
HUMANITY shakes hands with POWER
Trust The Classics
turquoise pattern with clothing cutouts
a cup of shit (by Space Invader, I think
Now listen to the slow funky Flamenco sounds of a guitarist echoing in the Subway.
guitarist in the subway
Musée d’Orsay was a pure delight and inspiration. So many beautiful works of art that I’d never seen, and in a beautifully converted old converted train station.
reflections at the Orsay
a window upon rooftops, the distortions of the hand-blown glass making a painting
Apparently he is in his 70s, has suffered a stoke and applies painstaking detail despite a limited range of movement. I love these.
When I saw Mark Horst’s style, it reminded me of what I like about Mark Tansey and the fellow whose painting – Chesapeake Birdwatchers – hangs in our room. Figures in the foreground, abstract, minimal background.
From talking with the gallery owner I learned he is a divinity and fine arts grad from Yale who went the art route. Apparently, he changes up his style for each series. This one is from a trip to Injambakkam, India. It looks like he works from photographs.
Here are a few other artist’s work I liked, snapped a pic of around town.
A friend from high-school posted a poem by her 9-yr-old daughter Vivian on Facebook last week. I printed it and brought it home to read to the family and nearly teared-up each time I read it, I thought it was so beautifully done. What a wonderful portrait of childhood. Very Whitmanian, if you ask me.
I Am From By Vivian Stang
I am from the dog that barks at night
and the cats that roam around my street.
I am from Cape Cod and the warm blue sea.
I am from hamburgers and their wonderful, juicy taste.
I am from the Sarabinh and
Charlie branch and their love for me.
I am from my grandma’s brownies and sponge cake.
I am from my sister’s tight hug
and warm happy smile.
I am from my cat meowing when she wants food.
I am from soccer, kicking the ball through the field
and passing it to my teammates.
I am from running with my friends in the park
and sitting while our ice cream
drips onto the ground.
I am from my cozy bed
and playing with my sister on Saturday mornings.
I am from my mom reading stories to me in bed.
I am from sitting on the couch and quietly reading.
I am from chatting at the dinner table with
I am from joking around with my with my friends
and getting out of bed to give my parents
hugs every morning.
I am from gulping down my mom’s chocolate cake
and cleaning my room, while listening to music.
I am from riding on the back of a horse,
feeling the wind brush against my face.
I am from making sandcastles at the beach.
I am from laughing with my friends
and reading to my little sister.
I am from playing UNO with my grandparents and
listening to my grandma play piano.
I am from biking with my mom,
while watching the endless bike trail.
I am from the things that make me, me.
Here’s my first attempt at my I Am From poem:
I Am From by Jason Molin
I am from my first little record player, singing along, “We sail the ocean blue and our saucy ship’s a beauty!”
I am from the alley behind the house, kickball, or a soccer ball against the wall, or setting up ramps and riding off them over and over again, jumping trashcans with Matt.
I am from walking to school, skateboarding, bussing or riding my bike back and forth along Connecticut Ave. or Reno Rd. I am from forgetting my books and having to go back to school. I am from getting a ride home with Mark or Saul or Mrs. Brady.
I am from crazy beautiful flawed teachers, Mr. Emerson, Stick Sturtevant, Mr. King, my ceramics teacher, what was his name? What would I be without their passion and patience? I am from Manfred and Gurland, my philosophical fathers.
I am from my mother’s beautiful house, the oriental rugs, the walls full of art and shelves full of books. I am from Al’s meals, dinners in the kitchen, with guests in the dining room around a turkey, well-spiced sautéed vegetables, an interesting soup, pecan pies, occasionally meringues. I am from long conversations afterward, talking around the fire until we’re tired.
I am from singing at church, from the trumpet what was my father’s, from high-school musicals, from the acoustic guitar I used to sing my soul over and over and never stopped. I am from jamming and singing whenever and wherever and those who join in.
I am from The Song of Myself and The War of Art, I am from If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out and Love Rescue Me. I am from Across the Universe and One Love.
I am from Maile’s animals, her loving name for everything. I am from Anais’s art, each dance, song, drawing, story, and scene.
I am from walking or biking the streets of DC, NY, Dublin, and Austin, lost in thought, noticing reflections, singing to myself, snapping pics or jotting down ideas, rethinking the strategy, making resolutions, noticing signs and designs, catching people’s eyes.
I am from the rhythm of words, birdsong, dancing and hugging and kissing in the sun. I am from staying up late, disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind. I am Sylvester as the stone, waking early and meditating on a world with and beyond me.
I make songs and sites, a Washingtonian Austinite.
Fresh Baked Songs
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One’s time onstage is a practice session for one’s time offstage. One must learn to be as directly indirect, unselfconsciously self-aware, poetic, loose, dynamic, and charming offstage as one is when one is “treading the boards.” One must captivate, entrance, seduce whether one is in the coffee shop, the sitting room, or the office cubicle.