spirit in the sky

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Ah, sweet autumn. Often staved off by clinging tan lines and rushed along by jingle bells, you might just be the most underrated quarter of the year. But with a fresh slate at the start, a smattering of costume and food focused holidays, and a remarkable ability to bring out the inner emo poet of my youth, your months are far more magical than most. You entice the whole of New England into smokey scents and pumpkin flavors. Your pale skies give way to a fiery splatter of morphing treetops. Your crisp wind plucks leaves to the ground, acorns tumble under toe. Undertoe fades from feeling until next summer as waves are observed from the safety of warm sweaters. Farmer’s markets take shelter, early sunsets coax the world inside. Your time is to rest, to nest, let cozy manifest. Quite simply, you are the best.

goodbye broom

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Flying coven.

Plunging fall.

Morning birds.

Hopscotch pumpkins.

Broken witch.

Enchanted broom.

Sweep, sweep, sweep.

Chop, chop, stop.

Growing fondness.

Scheming neighbors.

Cultish fervor.

Human fire.

Ghostly woods.

Packed bags.

White paint.

Family dinner.

Soaring tango.

Happily Ever After.

 

photos of Saturday night’s “Widow’s Broom” by Ty Parmenter.

 

it’s october third.

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Oh, October. Sweet month of change. Temperatures finally dropping, but the sky does not yet fade. A dark bar incites its usual existential sound; crunchy brussels and and fluffy hummus abound. A bright breakfast expands palettes into poaching, Nick’s eggs + veggies do the experimental coaching. A weekend date requires little more than borrowed beanies and held mitts: a westside going golden and freshly layered knits. Dusty vintage rockets provoke one too many sneezes, strip-shouldered mannequins provide warm woolen squeezes. Grocery store hide-and-seek yields new plant babes and boo Sunday snacks. Portuguese fado follows carefully unplanned naps. Beanfriend makes soups, 90s Bourdain loops. Welcome, Dear Autumn, we’ve been waiting for you.

there’s no place like home

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Man, is it good to be back. M said something this week that really resonated with me:

“You know you’re living in the right place when you travel all over and you keep looking back over your shoulder.”

How beautiful is that? Walking the steps up to my apartment in Providence for the first time in a month was just the best homecoming; Walking around the Hope Street Farmer’s Market Saturday morning was somehow even sweeter. Maybe because I knew this would be my last chance to stomp Lippit Park on a Saturday morning, with the season starting next week and all…

Speaking of the season, have you guys heard that sentiment going around about how “September is the new January”? I couldn’t agree more. There’s something about the crisp fall air that stirs an urge to refresh and prepare. It’s perfect nesting weather. What better way to commemorate my renewed love of PVD and nestle into fall than with this pretty little map of my city?

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Inspired by her world travels, the artist behind Modern Map Art uses intricate city grids to create detailed urban portraits with a touch of nostalgia. I love the vintage font and graphic vibes in this poster- how cute would it be as a housewarming gift?

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The map arrived just in time, as my wonderful city welcomed me back with fresh fall feels. M and I have just started listening to Crimetown, the Gimlet podcast all about Providence’s mobster past. It’s pretty wild hearing the late Buddy Cianci’s voice (and a beautiful chorus of other Rhode Island accents) on such a well known pod. The perfect compliment to local cherry tomatoes and late-summer figs.

What city do you call home? Does it have quirks that make you feel all fuzzy?

 

Providence map c/o Modern Map Art. Check them out to celebrate your city with a custom print.

moments.

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I’ve been collecting moments throughout this dear little career of mine. Writing them down, sharing in this space, keeping them safe here where I can return to them when they are needed. Last Saturday night amidst multiple mediums of fire and water, I scooped up a pretty powerful one. It’s past my bedtime, but I’ve got to get this out, down, locked away here in my safe space…

At 8:14 I crouch behind the basin stage. In full red unitard and crimson pointe shoes, it would be tough to hide me even without the hundreds of fiery crystals and plumed feathers crowning my head. Our elliptical audience catches my heart beats then tosses them up like sparks spit from blaze, left to scatter down wildly into the water below.

At 8:20 the performance begins. At 8:24 the first torches are lit. At 8:27 it starts to rain.

Then comes my cue. Stravinsky’s Firebird is reaching its swell, behind thin black capes I make my way to center stage. I enter the huddle of students, worriedly whispering, The stage is so wet! Be careful Miss Kirsten! and as the horns exhaust I am hoisted up from the group.

The music takes a sharp breath in while the audience applauds. Slowly in cadence with the petering cheers, I feel wet ground replaced beneath me and I stare boldly into the crowd. A bassoon guides my sanguine step forward, carefully onto pointe and then downstage. Red feet are less timid than mine. Looking through the layer of thin black smoke and metallic raindrops between us, I finally break gaze with the crowd to twitch my chin down with the quick recoil of my wings.

Oboes lead me through my trance before the flames assemble and the horns creep up again. We board the boat and push into the river as the finale builds. I peak. On a platform in the center of this wobbling wooden vessel, I can feel the warmth of four huge torches surrounding me. I stand in a deep lunge, never feeling more balanced and unstable. Stravinsky’s creation lets out its largest blast. I peek. Up into the weeping night sky, bending back toward flapping wings. It’s then the crowd’s cheers fall silent and I’m wrapped up in my moment. Under water, over water, through fire and cloaked in it, I cry.

This perfect, strange, magical moment, between PVD and me.

 

photo by John A. Simonetti.

summer staycations

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My GOODNESS, you guys, these past few weeks have been jam packed with travel, family time, homework, teaching, picnicking, kickboxing, yoga-ing, sunset-chasing, sweating, firework-watching, and a teeeeensy bit of sleeping, just for good measure. I know I say this about every season of life, but July is truly proving to be one of the busiest yet.

Since I’m busy teaching at the FBP Summer Dance Intensive and a few other summer workshops around the area this month, I’ve sticking close to home with some fun New England jaunts between homework cram sessions. A little round up of seasonal spots to match this smorgasbord of photos, if you’re interested…

Watch Hill for a beach day, a glass of rosé at Olympia Tea Room, and a sunset.

Little Compton for the cutest general store, massive waves, and a nostalgic private(ish) beach.

York, Maine for family dinners, lighthouse jogs, and watching a little bug dig holes at the beach.

Boston for Fourth of July fireworks, Turkish breakfast, serene museum visits, massive vegan salads, and yes, another long walk on the beach.

Providence for proper Prospect Park picnicking and catching up with best friends.

a sunday story

dsc08220The sound of blowing snow and falling sun wake me.  My apartment creaks as I shift pillows and the old radiators whine right on cue.  Sun beams C major through the frosty window.

All around winter sounds; oh sweet Sunday morn.

Thick layers wrapped and zipped and fixed, I waddle through snow right into his car.  Headed for warm caffeine and a walk through our latest most favorite neighborhood.

Every few steps a clump of gooey gingerbread appears inches from my lips.  I’m given no choice but to indulge and well, there are worse problems than this.img_9005

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Seeking refuge from chill in the old stone Athenaeum, we search through stacks and steal kisses.  From a certain corner Poe peeks in.  Smacky.  A nod to the oiled canvas Washington and we head back into the snow.

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Home at last.

He holds sunset tomatoes and fills the kitchen with french singing.  It’s early dinner and we’ll have a buttery omelette.  It’s big and full and tough to flip, but he knows full well:

things always taste better shared.