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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.

thoughts on solo dwelling


Last Thursday night, preparing for my performance at Waterfire’s Fire Ball event, the entirety of my dark-colored clothing collection spewed from my closet like a rumpled maze of fabric on my apartment floor.  In this moment, attempting to define a dress code* of “Barnaby Black” (black tie? Barnaby turtleneck and jeans?) I did not like living alone.

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This morning, as I readied myself for day two of Season 38 with FBP, I sat on the curved edge of the bathtub- bathroom door wide open- cutting my toenails half naked and singing along to a song whose title I’m too embarrassed to share.  Then I remembered how much I love living alone.

Happy Wednesday friends.

*Special thanks for A & D for picking me up early, telling me which dress to wear and convincing me that heels were necessary.  That was impressive.  You guys rock.

city guide: pawtucket to providence, day to night

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Sorry I’ve been MIA these past few weeks, friends.  It’s just because I’ve been so busy enjoying all that a New England summer has to offer!  From throwing a (rather huge) housewarming party in our new home, to celebrating Independence Day in Bristol and Maine, and even stealing away to investigate some of my favorite local joints here in PVD, the end of June/beginning of July have been jam-packed.  But what fun would summer be without an overflowing schedule of social events, relaxing weekends and perhaps a few more photoshoots?  I swear this is the summer of amateur modeling…

With my love of travel and exploration at an all time high, I thought it might be nice to write up a little series of city guides for anyone looking to experience some of Providence and Pawtucket’s best locations.

This first guide comes to you completely spontaneously.  None of this weekend was planned, but it all sort of just fell into place, the way adventures in artsy cities tend to do.  With that in mind, note that I did not have my real camera in tow, so bear with me on this little collection of low resolution iPhone photography. ;)

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The day began with a tour of The Bucket Brewery in, where else?, little ol’ Pawtucket, RI.  Our new neighbor works at The Bucket and recommended we take a tour.  Never known to pass up a good excuse to day drink, K and I got in the car and headed over toward the Hope Artist Village…

The Bucket Brewery finds its home in a gorgeous old mill building, just like much of Pawtucket so casually does.  It can be easy to take these historic structures for granted when you’ve grown up next door to them your entire life, so taking the time to actually step inside one and see how its insides have changed since its birth in the Industrial Revolution is a great way to rediscover that appreciation.

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The Bucket is small and quaint, and friendly, in a way that makes you feel like parking down in a stool and sipping beer with the brewers for more than a few hours while big tanks silently churn away at the barley and hops.  Sidenote: At one point the tour guide lets you taste the partially roasted barley seeds, and I swear they tasted exactly like Cheez-its.  K tastes one of the hops (against the strong suggestion of our tour guide), and reported through a thin lipped grimace, “it’s not that bitter.”  I think in the end he actually liked the taste?  I wasn’t as brave.

At the end of the tour, everyone sits down at one of the long wooden tables, commissioned just for The Bucket, and tastes 4 different beers.  We sampled everything from light to dark- The Rhode Scholar, The Pail Ale (our favorite), the Park Loop Porter (also very good), and the Thirteenth Original Maple Stout.  Each beer had such a unique flavor, and you could really tell just how much care went into crafting the recipes.  We came home with a growler of the Pail Ale for just $15, $4 of which we’ll get back when we return the growler next Friday.  Speaking of Friday nights at The Bucket!  They host “Sound Check” nights every first and third Friday of the month, opening up the doors to the public for a live concert with a local band, free pizza and beer.  Sign! Me! Up!

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Our wandering took us next to a favorite little pub, The Red Fez.  Easily one of the most hipster bars in Providence, The Red Fez boasts an incredibly fresh and exciting menu, with specials that never cease to entice my tastebuds.  K noshed on a special brisket burger which he’s still talking about, while I munched on one of the best hummus/pita combos I’ve ever experienced, and we shared some veggie dumplings and Old Bay fries.  We took turns writing lines about our day at the brewhouse in my little moleskin journal, then moved on to descriptions of our current surroundings, from the familiar retro bulb string lights to the black and white photographs that hung on the walls.  If When you check out The Red Fez, you MUST order the house pickles.  It’s pickle heaven, 3

After our final sips, we moved on to the outside world.  Our intentions of walking to the bridge for sunset were cut short by a construction sight that must have reminded us both of younger days tangled up in a jungle gym.  We climbed the big, industrial work sculptures, dipping in and out of concrete barrels, letting the low sun paint us with its warm gold 5

It wasn’t long before the last corner of orange light tucked away behind the buildings and we began moseying back to our car.  But of course, we passed by the river on our way and- how could we forget- it was a Waterfire night!  So we decided to play tourist and stroll along the river discussing how exactly does one reserve a dinner at a private table, on a gondola, in the river?  And consequently, how silly does one feel dining on said romantic dinner with hundreds of envious eyes burning through your plate? photo 4

The atmosphere at Waterfire is quite beautiful, though.  Soothing music hums behind the voices of couples, families, and artists taking in the scene.  Blue stars fill the space between trees and origami cranes flutter in the wind around your ankles.  The air smells of candied nuts and kettle corn, and silent performers steal your gaze from a monument above the 1

When our feet began to ache, we followed the impressive moon back to our parking spot, retreated to our new home, and settled in for a viewing of one of my favorite films (K had yet to see it), Amelie.  That soundtrack never gets old.

And there you have it!  A lovely Saturday spent wandering around our teeny little state. Hope you’ve enjoyed following us!

smiles, smooches, and smooth toes

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Hello, everyone!  This week has been action-packed…

Date nights at The Grange, pre-gala giggles with my girls, Waterfire smooches with the boyfriend and- GASP- stuffing those feet back into pointe shoes for a few daily relevés.  For any of you who have never gone 5 months without strapping on some of those pink satin bad boys, let me just tell you this:  Calluses disappear fast.  You won’t notice it at first, but one day you’ll try to stand up on your toes and consequently discover that this strange, silky skin has replaced that once beloved patch of crunchy padding on your baby toe.  The thick toupé that used to sit atop your big toe?  Vanished.  Oh and that long strip of hardened cells (aka the built-in-bandaid) that used to wrap around your heel?  Gone with the wind.  So, please, do whatever you can to keep those hardened skin swatches attached to your feet for as long as possible.  Sit around in heels, take cold showers, whatever it takes.  And above all- despite how much your open-toed shoes try to convince you- STAY AWAY FROM THAT BIG COZY PEDICURE CHAIR.  Even if you’re going purely for the massage and polish, that soak/pumice stone combo is going to make you wish you’d never learned the difference between an ouch pouch and lambswool toepads.  So just don’t do it.

Drops mic.