Category Archives: Blog Notice
Above is a screenshot of what will be the new updownacross site. I’m currently devising a whole new business plan and approach to what UDA can be and it’s overwhelming the opportunities that abound. Look for updates in the next few weeks.
Thank you Ali for the design and Leia for the backend. Lovely lovely.
Three years ago I started updownacross as a lame attempt to document my life and inconsequential experiences. I’ve posted about dishes I’ve cooked, art shows I’ve seen, quotes I’ve read, and events I’ve produced. Content was never quite consistent or enticing enough to breed an army of followers but I’ve also yet to dedicate a significant amount of time and dedication to the blog.
Hopefully, this is changing now.
I’ve experienced quite the personal challenge over the last few months. Between quitting my job, moving in with Angel, getting married, producing a huge art festival, and starting a new job, it’s incited enough destabilizing forces to keep me undulating in shaky grounds for quite some time now. As Angel and I started spending more time together whilst dating I felt time gracefully slipping away from my fingertips, feeding a whole new life and relationship that’s led to where we are now as a married couple. The downside of this on top of everything else that was happening in my life was a sudden crash of self-confidence, perseverance, focus, determination, courage, and umph to continue to pursue the myriad self-started projects I’ve launched over the last couple years. The transition from making a shitload of money to being unemployed blew a significant chunk of ego and self-worth out of my system, and the never-ending list of goals, wants, and to-do’s led me to spin and cry in an overwhelming labyrinth of information overload.
Reading this New York Times article about white collar cubicle humpers dropping their cushy jobs to become entrepreneurial bakers and boutique owners made me a bit sick as these folks seem to have been duped into thinking going off on your own was an easy task. Yea, I’ll start a pilates studios, meditate on peace all day and have weekends off to play with my friends and my money. Really?? Clearly these folks are unconvinced, lazy, and their realities are completely warped.
I’ve never not “worked”. The crux of this is always deeming something that has the potential for fun and non-work is deemed as something that “needs to be done”, hence “work”. I need to cook this dish for dinner, photograph it, then blog about it. I need to flip through this pile of magazines and weed out whatever info I want to save and archive, I need to check out these museums and write about it. I need to keep up on twitter and all the links and announcements and sites people are referring to. I need to stay up to date with what going on in the food world, the art world, and now the tech world. I am completely overwhelmed and don’t know how to stay afloat. I get caught up in trying to stay present with emails and websites that I rarely get the opportunity to actually DO shit like write a thoughtful blog post or produce something other than an email or a Reader post. It gets in the way of producing ideas and creating action steps to execute, turning the idea into a viable project and ultimately a product of my own making.
I’ve always been a self-starter. I’ve been called bossy, bitchy, type A moron. I’ve mislead a team and made many mistakes offering my time and labor just because I believe in the project and have a hard time putting monetary value into my skillset and experience.
Hopefully, that stops here.
Design Sponge responds to the article by providing some tips on de-stressing: meditate, write in your journal, prioritize your goals, and do shit just one at a fucking time. I suggest letting go of your ego and accepting the fact that you really can’t do everything, you’re not all that important, it’s perfectly ok to not be liked, +1′d, retweeted, and shared. Put aside the spastic thoughts I have to do this and this and this and this, shut your trap and relish in slowing down time and doing things one precious task at a time. At a time when I am CONSTANTLY overwhelmed, unfocused and discouraged I need the comfort knowing I can do just this.
After three months of living a newly married and unemployed life I found a job as THE Community Manager at Projective Space. It’s a co-working space in Soho and houses 30 tech start ups looking to be the next twitter, facebook, groupon, foursquare, what have you. My responsibilities grow by the day but I basically spend part of my day during the week on twitter and facebook, supporting and blogging every member of the PS community and making sure they get all the attention they deserve.
This marks a big shift for me as I enter the emerging tech community, a second wave of internet mania except this time instead of the web it’s crowdsourcing, social media, and gamification that turns people’s heads. I’m learning all about all the amazing websites and apps launching left and right followed by the incubator programs, the venture capitalist firms, the meetups and hackathons, the networking mixers and workshops and marathon tech fairs that all socially awkward geeks drool over. It’s an eye opening experience, one that I am learning much from as I shift my thoughts and entrepreneurial tendencies towards combining art with tech and social media.
I do intend for this to lead into launching my own startup, although everything I’ve launched the last few years were in and of themselves a “startup” minus the money. Is that a fail?
Woah, I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted anything. Clearly I’ve lost touch with my blogging voice and have been accumulating months and months of pent up stories that needed to be shared and documented but weren’t given many opportunities due to administrative and organizational priorities that although were a willing responsibility, completely diverted my attention from what I love to do first and foremost; write and ramble to my goddamned heart’s content. I’ve been mourning a sense of loss in my narrative voice and because I am out of practice, I now feel completely insecure with my ability to write wholesome, coherent, meaningful, and rich phrases and sentences. In addition, I’ve developed a heinously chronic case of ADD and can no longer fathom sticking to one web page or word document or email for more than a minute, literally. I also can no longer physically sit at any given spot for more than about 15 minutes before “needing” to go to the bathroom, eat something, anything, smoke a cigarette, or call someone I have little to say to.
And yet, I’ve been as busy as a hoarding squirrel, busy as a hungry pigeon, busy as a horny dog, busy as a dirty rat. Greenpoint Food Market has gone to shits but in its death comes the rise of a new business enterprise, a non-profit cooperative incubator kitchen catering and supporting all the small batch local food vendors lacking resources to start their food businesses. I’m collaborating with Rich of Mombucha and together we’ll soon open a space, in Greenpoint of course, that hosts certified kitchens for vendors to use for a minimal yearly fee (membership dues) in exchange for teaching classes and workshops from how to make jam to how to form creative and successful marketing strategies to get your product out there. There will also be a small daily storefront space stocked with goods made in-house with a diverse array of products both hot and cold, packaged and ready to eat. It’s a huge and overwhelming endeavor, especially considering I’ve never done anything close to this serious or official, anything that requires this much paper processing, permit and application inducing, anything this complicated and involved. I’m intimidated as hell and scared to death I’ll fuck up somewhere along the way, or worse yet, never follow thru. But I am grateful to have a tremendous amount of support from all levels of experiences and fields, whether it be City Council office, Dept of Health, small business organizations, or the hoards of individuals emailing me everyday offering their help, guidance, experience, and advice. I needn’t forget to take a breather and take it all in one task at a time and not fear to make mistakes along the way.
I’ve also curated the summer show at Arario Gallery and I couldn’t ask for a better turnout. Irrelevant: Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian is exactly as the title implies and folks so far have been loving it, including the Village Voice. Curating a show is funner than I imagined, and just as administratively tedious as I would’ve thought. The works surprisingly all melded beautifully together despite various and eccentric contextual themes and eerily reflects my own self-indulgences. It’s showing thru August 6th if you so care.
And yet, I am hella enjoying my summer. I’ve uber tanned myself by the first week of July and have dedicated every weekend to sun and play. I’ve been spending an exorbitant amount of time with an Angel that is admittedly, albeit shyly, my newfound love and at this point I can’t imagine not spending an ENTIRE weekend without this man. I’m learning something new about relationships as time progresses and our exchanges develop: relationships don’t have to stifling, I don’t have to fear being trapped and suffocated, and it CAN be mutually gratifying.
I don’t have to complain about the lack of decent and qualified men out there because here, in my face, is one of the most accommodating, attentive, generous, caring, loving, self-aware, stable, goofy, and sexy man I’ve ever met. Nothing is rushed, nothing is obsessive, no one goes unheard, and there is no hiding of obvious amorous affections. Obviously I’m embedded in that ever so covetous “honeymoon” phase that runs rampant in the beginning and eventually it’ll subside but after that there will be the quiet and peaceful comfort of stability and unquestioned, unconditional love that comes with being in a healthy relationship. I mean, mind you, I have absolutely no doubts that we’ll bicker and fight and I’ll probably slap him in the face at one point or another but I have no doubt it’ll always end with a hug, a kiss, and the much envied make up sex. Hahahahaha. ok Maybe you didn’t need to hear any of this but I’m speaking specifically to my girlfriends and many other women out there who don’t dare get involved in sticky involvements out of a fear of finding something better and those who complain decent men don’t exist: they’re out there, somewhere, just don’t look for it and they’ll come runnin’ after ya.
Most of my summer activities so far mainly focused on exposing my skin to the sun, subsequently risking myself to skin cancer, sun blots, burns, rashes, and leathery textures. All is forgotten when you’re spending a weekend upstate walking along a creek of giant rocks and woods and dipping into clear greenish water gushing from a beautiful waterfall. Or exploring the many non-beautiful but will-do-til-I-go-to-the-Caribbeans beaches along the tip of this state and freaking out about those tumultuous waves that will easily suck you in and spit you out the other end of the ocean. I am yet to learn how to swim and I’m a pestering baby when it comes to ocean water, refusing to walk past knee deep and just kind of awkwardly stare with pure envy at all those folks who freely ride the waves with liberating strokes and floats. Outdoor movies, concerts, dance parties have been running rampant alongside the BBQs, backyard pool parties, and rooftop star gazing evenings. I participate as much as I can, remembering my determined promise to self that I WILL in fact enjoy my summer despite the loads upon loads upon loads of work that need to be done between projects and work and self-documenting tasks.
I miss visiting museums and galleries which I haven’t done in MONTHS, I miss cooking which I do on very very rare occasions and I miss unplanned spontaneous random explorations. I miss yoga and I miss my once lean body. I hate my diet, I hate my pouch, I hate my oversized calves. I need to catch up on all the magazine and all the website I subscribe to and gratify this never fed enough urge to be as culturally knowledgeable and informed as possible. I need to let go of that obsession as remember what day it is, what time it is, and be present.
Most likely I won’t put up another post for another couple weeks but I hope, I really really hope, not.
This summer has been absolutely insane for me. I finally was able to tan in the beach yesterday and it was the first time this ENTIRE summer that I got to enjoy such luxury. I’ve been prepping for open studios and food market non-stop writing email after email after email after email and freaking out about whether or not I’m doing anything right. I am very easily discouraged and quite sensitive to criticisms and doubts and am frightened to the very core about these projects. I think: What if people don’t attend? What if people don’t give a fuck? What if it can’t be used to further expand and spread interests and passions for food and art throughout Greenpoint? I absolutely fear failure and have been raised to shut down at any point of challenge or confrontation. So it’s been quite difficult the last few weeks to keep my head up and not drown in self-loathing anxiety.
Writing for Gazette for the last few weeks has been really exciting, finally a paid gig, finally a print publication, finally reflecting my neighborhood. BUT, I realized the ease in which I write does not flow freely when there is an editor above my head. The knowledge and possibility of having my work read over and edited is very uninspiring and makes me too self-conscious to write without wasting an entire day on an opening sentence. And the end result ain’t nothin’ steller either. I’m learning more and more how sensitive and insecure I can be within all aspects of my being and I need to GET OVER IT if I’m going to continue anywhere.
It’s been bombarded by uncertainty in the last month: I quit my job, I lost my roommates and was threatened to get kicked out of my place, and the only saving grace to pay any bills is the market which I have NO CLUE if it will work out. I’m completely overwhelmed and overbooked with projects and writing assignments and have neglected some over others. Not to mention friends are left behind, although they’re not in the corner sulking about my absence. I very easily bring myself down convincing myself that I’m not part of some brooklyn food clique or some brooklyn art clique or some brooklyn critic clique. I’m mildly all over the place and that’s quite all right. It’s a tough summer but I do know in the back of my mind that things will miraculously pan out. I receive love and support from enough people to comfort me and know I’m doing something right at least a little bit.
So this is my self-help therapy up-session, reminding myself to shut the fuck up, don’t waste time with detrimental “what if” questions, get over it, move on and, and just GET SHIT DONE.
- The India Street Mural Project was great success!
- As for the murals, they are almost finished!
- I discovered some amazing artists at the Crest Hardware Art Show such as the stencil collective Broken Crow, the 3D artist Andre Kutscherauer, painter Beth Livensperger, and jewlery designer Ciara McKeown (who is also an organizer of the mural project). Not to mentio Crest Fest had some amazing music performances by the likes of Twin Shadow and In Cadeo.
- Today’s special at Beautiful/Decay: the colorful tripped out soft sculpture installations of Sarah Moli Newton Applebaum.
- The North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition is holding a fundraiser next Wednesday and we’re working our ASSES off preparing for it. So please do me the favor and tell me its worth it by ATTENDING. With a $20 ticket you’ll get drinks and participate in a silent auction with works by the artists of the mural project. You can also get a haircut by a sculptor/inventor and get your portrait painting on found objects. It’ll be all fun and games you’ll be supporting a good cause, that of beautifying North Brooklyn with public art.
- Today’s special at Beautiful/Decay: Jane South
I am very happy to announce today I will start writing for Beautiful/Decay helping readers discover cool and awesome new art & design. My very first post was on Daniel Zeller. Check it out here and let me know if there are artists whose work I shouldn’t miss!
Over at Greenpointers I wrote the third edition of Greenpoint Artist Profiles with Melissa McElroy. Read about it here and if you’re an artist working in Greenpoint, you know what to do.
Also over at Greenpointers I cover the Renegade Craft Fair that happened over the weekend. Check it here.
I’m noticing the decrease in readership when I don’t post regularly, and it hurts. As I’ve mentioned I am very behind and have a number of recipes, shows, fairs and restaurant reviews I am yet to cover. It’s a slow and steady task, please be patient and keep coming back for more. Now that I write for Greenpointers and an art journal (1st article to be posted soon), it’s becoming more difficult to split time writing for all sources. Plus I’ve been frolicking around covering all sorts of events and have barely had time to sit in front of a computer. I’m 2 weeks behind on my Reader post and haven’t read any other blog or site in that long period of time. Oof oof oof.
I’m trying to take it all in with peaceful ease and just take it one at a time without panicking. Eventually I’ll find a balance that works for me, but, perhaps I am partaking in one too many projects. I’m hoping to organize a show in a vacant space in greenpoint showing local artists, trying to bake and sell, trying to put together a supper club type event, read all them books and mags and sites, and write…I’m an overachiever which is typical of my race and I’m afraid I will blow a fuse in my brain and shut down.
Plus, I had a moment of moral dilemma/existential crisis when thinking about my writing process this weekend. I’m as close to a critic as an amateur writer can get in the fields of art, food and general culture and I’m starting to link my early struggles with always unsuccessfully wanting to fit in and belong with my intent on receiving credit and acknowledgment through writing good things about artists, restaurants, shows, etc and “discovering” unrecognized individuals, venues, etc. I find this to be inherently wrong but it’s an effort that is secondary to a passion in art, food, people, and writing. This left me in more panic and I am confused and somewhat guilty.
I’ve been thinking lately about the role of art criticism and it’s being subject to judgment and personal taste no matter how much a writer attempts to ignore it and pursue pure formalist objectivity. I thought about what influenced my taste, aesthetic and judgment and besides being attracted to abstraction, especially abstractions that reference reality and the real, as well as any works dealing with obsessive accumulation and repetition, I intend to write about shows and artists that I like, and try to make as many studio visits as possible in hopes to not only understand an artist’s process and thoughts better but for them to accept me and credit me for writing good things about them without compensating their efforts. Is this wrong? This extension from a childhood struggle to be accepted to be reflected in my interest as a writer/critic? It’s been worrying me and although I’m not going to quit writing I think perhaps I have to reaccess my goals and purpose in the field.
Help me, enlighten me. Is this normal?