On the Art of Creating

I’m always down for a good inspirational and motivational story, so after reading Cosmo’s profile on the artist Christina Angelina, street name Starfighter, I was moved from the first paragraph to the last.

I wanted to break out of what I was hearing from my teachers and the different classes in school. I kept hearing what I was supposed to do and I didn’t like that. With galleries and the fine art world, there are so many rules, like most jobs, there are things you have to do and ways you’re expected to be and behave and live. With street art, there is a freedom that doesn’t exist anywhere else. I always wanted my work to feel free.

Three cheers for women taking on the world! Actually, scratch the “three cheers;” let’s just keep cheering and proving the unbelievers wrong.

Read the full article here.

New Music For The New Week

Last fall, I discovered Banks on Spotify and her deluxe album “Goddess.” At a first listen, I was in love. By the repeats, I was obsessed. A year later, it’s still a favorite, and is followed up by a new single that I have been waiting for: “Better.”

With only a little more than 300,000 views, this gem deserves millions. Call me a hipster, but there’s even more enrichment to an artist or song when unknown by every human in the world and unexploited through the radio.

I highly recommend diving in with earbuds and letting Banks’ previous album and this new single take you on a journey — you just may become obsessed like the rest of us who have listened.

“I can love you better than she can… how couldn’t you see?”

Adirondack Getaway

panoramic Indian

Panoramic view of Indian Head, a low summit peak on private land of the Ausable Club. It’s elevation is 2,700 feet overlooking the Ausable River and lies between the Pinnacle Range and the Great Range.

Three friends overlooking the Great Range from Indian Head summit.

Three friends overlooking the Great Range from Indian Head summit.

A peek through the trees splashed with color to get a preview of what the view will be from the top of Mount Jo.

A peek through the trees splashed with color to get a preview of what the view will be from the top of Mount Jo.

My best friend and I walking along the rocks on top of Mount Jo.

My best friend and I walking along the rocks on top of Mount Jo.

Some leftover morning haze blankets the trees surrounding Whiteface Mountain.

Some leftover morning haze blankets the trees surrounding Whiteface Mountain.

This view at the top of Whiteface was just the start to our Saturday morning after a 20 minute gondola ride up the mountain.

This view at the top of Whiteface was just the start to our Saturday morning after a 20 minute gondola ride up the mountain.

If only you could capture the scent of pine that was in the air when this picture was shot...

If only you could capture the scent of pine that was in the air when this picture was shot…

foliage

There’s nothing better than the North Country during its peak foliage season.

police

Police brutality?

Not all officers are bad guys.


Do you know why police officers have the nickname “cops”? Because originally, their badges were made of copper. This badge stands for authority, respect, loyalty and trustworthiness. Or at least that’s how it should be seen.

Police cars are well marked: big lights over top; brighter colors, logos and writing to coordinate with their town, city or state, as a sign of pride for the place they live and protect day by day.

Your neighborhood policeman is someone that you can run to when you need help. Someone you can easily and quickly find should the time for help arise.

As time goes on, the authority and respect plummet. With racism and prejudice popping up nationwide and strikes and protests following each incident, every police officer is being shaded in by the two words that everyone is trusting more than the officers: police brutality.

I would be a fool to sit here and say our country lives in complete equality among the different races, cultures, religions and genders, but I would be just as much of a fool to say that policemen should be feared.

In order to fight for equality, stereotypes need to be dropped. And that includes the judgment that all officers are racist and unfair. There are good and bad people in this world and in all career fields: engineers, pilots, salesman, soldiers, mechanics and all others, including policemen. Rather than fighting the occupation, let’s just stand against the bad people in this world, and not hinder the goodness of anything else with it.

I am all for equality, and I am all for the respect and love toward each and every police officer who drives the streets making sure they’re as safe as can be. Not all policemen are bad, and not all people are good. Choose to trust or distrust an individual, not an occupation.


Relaxercising at the Barre

It’s not a typo; you read right; and yes, I made that word up, but it was absolutely necessary in order to successfully describe my most recent workout experience.

This week, I tried out a barre technique. It involved different floor workouts, stretches and small movements utilizing a ballet barre and believe it or not, these small movements make your fat cry.

I heard about this from a co-worker of mine who said she taught barre classes. Well, I heard it as “bar classes”, so when she offered me a guest pass, I was ready to learn how to make some stiff drinks and throw them back, but alas, I had the wrong bar.

So after explaining the double “r” and “ends-in-e” discretion, I still was down to give it a try. I changed into my yoga pants, socks, sports bra and tank and headed to the Pure Barre studio with two other co-workers to see what this barre thing was all about.

The studio had such a great vibe to it — cozy atmosphere, friendly staff members and dim lighting in the workout room (dim in comparison to a regular gym, at least). Taking the 5:35 p.m. class, the class was full with those just escaping their 9 to 5 office job and ready to focus on something else, and I was right there with them.

Our instructor was Lindsay, and she was the perfect balance of pep, encouragement and focus. She explained things in a way that helped the first-timers immensely and served as subtle reminders for the regular barre goers. The music was upbeat but not screaming at me. There were enough people there as motivators, but not knocking into each other during stretches and exercises.

The movements for each workout are surprisingly small, like just an inch or so, but staying up on your toes and tucking and holding and freezing (yeah, I picked up some barre vocab) really gets your muscles shaking. But the great thing about barre is after working out a certain part of your body, you stretch it out before moving on to the next thing. This little break is what made the class more relaxing and kept me from looking for the time every couple of minutes.

After about an hour of stretches and exercises, all my muscles were tired. I had done a full-body workout that I could not have motivated myself to do alone at the gym. Abs, legs, arms… we did it all. Plus, I felt more relaxed than if I had just gone for a run. This alternative method gave me the opportunity to focus in on my mind and body and escape to faraway places while I exercised. At the gym, I just have earbuds screaming rap and electro music into my skull and yell at myself to do more. Needless to say, I don’t leave the gym relaxed.

Thanks to Pure Barre, I have found a whole new technique that just may be my new jam. Plus, their classes switch up each time, so there will be no getting bored with them, unlike classes at the gym that have the same routines and songs every single time. (I’m bored just thinking about them!)


For you Buffalonians who may be interested, Pure Barre on Transit Road is having a special for 40 days of unlimited classes at an all-time low price. It lasts until Sept. 1, so check it out! You’ll see me there!

barre

Twitter! (@PureBarre716) Facebook! Website!