--a blog about: art, photography, design, new york, food, books, humor, travel and more.

Monday, December 31, 2007


The last post of the year should be a happy & silly one.
Thus I present to you: icanhascheezburger.com
My friend Greg made me aware of this site and it brings a smile to my face every day.
Happy 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sundance & Oscars 2008

If you are heading to the Sundance Film Festival, make sure to check out my friends Azazel Jacobs' movie "Momma's Man" and Hank Willis Thomas' (as part of ©ause Collective) video mosaic "Along the Way".

Director & Screenwriter Azazel Jacobs & Mijah © Nina Buesing

My cousin Katrin Aschendorf was the costume designer on the very talented Hamburg native Fatih Akin's new movie "The Edge of Heaven" - which is also Germany's official entry for the Oscars. I am not sure if and when this movie will play in the US, but you can reserve it on Netflix. Variety's Derek Elley reviewed "The Edge of Heaven" on May 23.

Tierney Gearon & Richard Avedon

Since I first saw images by Tierney Gearon I really liked her work. Unfortunately there is not that much of her imagery available in book form. "I Am a Camera: The Saatchi Gallery" gave audiences a glimpse of her work but left them wanting more.
Then recently after reading Shane Lavalette's Journal (via Rona) I purchased Ms. Tierney's most recent monogram: "Tierney Gearon: Daddy, Where Are you?" and also watched the accompanying documentary "Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project". I highly recommend both. Few documentaries on artists are compelling, but this is one is equally enthralling as "American Masters -Avedon: Darkness and Light" - both films are available via Netflix.
Mr. Avedon and Ms. Tierney's photographs are unflinching in their vision in and it might be the reason their work is so successful. The Gearon documentary shocks , because one worries that photography is more important to Ms. Gearon than her children, but after digesting the movie and reading more about Ms. Gearon I think this is not the case.
Mr. Avedon and Ms. Gearon both uncompromisingly photographed their parents --beautifully counteracting mainstream portraiture-- and depicting a humane reflection of what people's lives are really like. If more imagery like this was seen, society might be more compassionate and also more accepting of aging as a part of natural life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pablo Lopez Exhibit

Pablo Lopez's "Terrazo: Views of Mexico City" is being shown at Sasha Wolf Gallery at 10 Leonard Street in downtown New York until January 5th, 2008. Beautiful & informative landscapes taken near Mr. Lopez's hometown of Mexico City.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Downtown: Sixth & Spring

Curbed.com brought to attention that Mr. Trump's downtown development is still not embraced. However I suspect that 'The Donald' just sees this message in concrete as another piece of publicity. In any case I had to take a picture of this myself and here it is:

Permanent (?) Graffiti --Sixth & Spring, Dec 2007 © Nina Buesing

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Tea

My parents brought me some delicious winter tea from Germany.
The main flavor is almond and there are bits of apple, cinnamon & even red
beet in it. It's great in the evening -- or in the morning mixed with some black tea.
I love seasons, including winter.
I like to have a sense of the year passing, but I also look forward to different foods & beverages that go along with each season, like this tea.

Winter Tee
© Muehlen Apotheke

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Fun Holiday Mail

Today I received another fun & creative holiday greeting. This one is from my friend photographer Emily Shur & family. Check it out:

Carson City, NV 2002 6/50 © Emily Shur

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cai Guo-Qiang & Louise Bourgeois

Something to look forward to:
In 2008 The Guggenheim Museum in New York will show retrospectives for artists Cai Guo-Qiang and Louise Bourgeois. (Yes, the same Louise Bourgeois that is missing from the permanent display of the collection at the MOMA, but who the Guggenheim calls "one of the most important artists of our time"
-- in their press release announcing the retrospective.)
Having missed Mr. Guo-Qiang exhibit at the Guggenheim Berlin in 2006 I am excited to see that work in New York. Ms.Bourgeois has been a long time favorite and I can only hope that I remain as young at heart & creative throughout my life as she is and has been. Oh, and if you click here you can find a very memorable portrait of Ms. Bourgeois by Robert Mapplethorpe.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Emily Post to The Rescue

Lindsey Gruson had a piece about end of year gratuities in the New York Times fifteen years ago to the day. Since , I expect, numbers must have changed a bit, considering life has become so much more expensive in New York City. But by how much?
Katie Benner had a piece on CNNMoney.com in November of 2005 where the numbers actually did not differ so much. And the most important advice was that what you tip needs to be responsible towards your own fiances.
The Brian Lehrer show also did a segment on the subject on December 18th. Listen below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Catherine Ledner

I came across the work of Catherine Ledner many years ago while photo editing and then noticed it again when she did a project of animal portraits, that project is now a book called "Animal House".


Maria's Cyanotypes really reminded me how much I love that technique. And because of Maria's Etsy page/shop I came across jpolka.blogspot.com -- who needlecrafted a great homage to the cynaotypes of Anna Atkins.

Holiday Mail from Geraldo

Today I received holiday greetings from my friend Geraldo & family. I love the drawing he did for the envelope and the beautiful deer stamp to match. It made my day :)

Holiday Deer © Geraldo Valerio

Justine Kurland Article & Slide Show

Earlier this year on February 25, The New York Times published an article by Carol King about artist Justine Kurland titled
"So They All Get Naked and Play, Like Mom Did" which gives a some insight on Ms.Kurland process and most interestingly on her journey or development as a(female) artist.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Catherine Servel

Take a look at the work of my friend, New York based, French born Catherine Servel.
Much fashion photography currently lacks craft & ambition ; but the elegant, feminine and sometimes whimsical work of Catherine is an homage to great photography and it celebrates style.

in the forest © Catherine Servel

Catherine's color palette is distinct and exquisite. Her imagery re-appropriates & recycles cultural symbols & icons, creating a modern interpretation of beauty.

past & present © Catherine Servel

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The String Orchestra of Brooklyn

Check out Eli Spindel's -Brother of Molly- Orchestra ©The SOB

The String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s
Saturday, December 15th, 2007 at 8:00PM

St. Ann + the Holy Trinity Church
157 Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY

Kimberly Sogioka, alto
Adam Forman, timpani

Bach: Erbarme dich, mein Gott from the St. Matthew's Passion
Torelli: Christmas Concerto
Vaughn Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Mozart: Serenata Notturna, k239

Suggested donation: $10
More info here: www.thesob.org

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hannah and Her Sisters

Woody Allen's Oscar winning "Hannah and Her Sisters" will be playing at Manhattan's Film Forum December 14 - 24, 2007.

Monday, December 10, 2007


A recent visit to my (outstanding) Veterinary office prompted me to do some research on some feline ailments and I subsequently came across an article written by Allen Salkin titled "Vet Hospitals Compete for Best in Show", published on July 22, 2007 in
The New York Times, that talks about veterinary care in Manhattan.

Cats & Dogs In NYC (click the image to enlarge) © Nina Buesing

New Yorkers (this one included) love their animals and in typical New York fashion New York has responded with not just one but two specialist filled Animal Hospitals. The Animal Medical Center in particular is a far cry from "All Creatures Great and Small" as the hospital's multi-story complex towers over the East River -- and because it handles over 50,000 animals per year.
It must seem like nothing but extravagance & misguided anthropomorphism to many what some might spend on the care of their animal. But in a town where Birkin bags are mundane and the real estate market is still prospering, it surely is not unexpected. However it is not just the wealthy that spring for first rate veterinary care, animal hospitals treat animals that come from all sorts of homes and animal day care is a thriving business catering mostly to middle class New Yorkers. I like to think that this is because New Yorkers are a compassionate bunch, but I suspect it also has to do with the disporic family situations so common in New York City, and how that nourishes the relationship people have with their animals.
I know it can be a tough call between emotion and reason when an animal ails. Having a relationship with an experienced veterinarian I think is key to keeping perspective & to making the best decisions. Dr. Skip Sullivan at The Cat Practice is that veterinarian for us. Dr. Sullivan is one of a kind (and soon to be a published author) , so if you are looking for a doctor for your feline, I recommend Dr. Sullivan and the rest of the excellent staff at New York's The Cat Practice.

The Sartorialist

Great global people & fashion watching on: www.thesatorialist.blogspot.com.

If you go through the archive you will find great impromptu shots of an 'Elegant Biker, Paris', 'Left Bank' chic ; practical but tasteful Soho style, and lots of other portraits of stylish & creatively dressed people from all around the world in all age groups. There is also a 'favorite' section worth checking out. Lots of my favorites were taken in Paris.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Three Great Books

Three great books for children (& adults):

"Barbapapa's Ark" by Anette Tison & Talus Talus Taylor from 1974 is a great book which a message that resonates more than ever today: saving the planet & respecting all living things.

Barbapapa's Ark © Tison & Taylor

"Peppermintje und die WA 123" is a great story by Klaus Reuter (illustrated by Horst Lemke) about a little mermaid with green hair that lives in the North Sea.

Pepermintje Schlickmann © Reuter/Lemke

"Die Kleine Hexe" (The Little Witch") by Ottfried Preussler is a wonderful story about patience & growing. The little witch tries her best to be good --with wonderful illustration by Winnie Gayler.

Little Witch & friends © Preussler/Gayler

Ethan Levitas

There is a beautiful portrait of musician Chan Marshall by Ethan Levitas in the December 10th, 2007 New Yorker issue. More of Mr. Levitas' work can be seen at the Paul Kopeiking Gallery.

Quick Glances of Downtown in December

December Downtown: DeVera, Holiday Trees & BDDW © Nina Buesing

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New York: Preserve & Abolish

logo design by Milton Glaser

And here are two things going on in New York you should know about if you also love/heart NY:

Petition to Expand the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District &
Bill to Ban Carriage Horses in New York City

I support both, because I think we need to preserve as much as possible of the cast iron district; after all how boring would it be if downtown would look just like midtown? Soho is an absolutely unique asset to New York. Help give this 'present' to New Yorker Margot Gayle on her 100th Birthday.
And I support the ban on horse carriages, because I think like cigarettes we have to recognize that this is something that looks more romantic & cool than it really is and is best left in the last century. I don't want to be in traffic so I would
imagine neither does a horse.

Mother Jones Photo Essays

Take a look at these two photo essays published by Mother Jones:
-More Equal Than Others by Jan van Ijken (text by Mother Jones)
-Fitting Tribute Photos by Hank Willis Thomas (text By Robert Andrew Powell)

Fitting Tribute courtesy Mother Jones/© Hank Willis Thomas

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Ingwa; Melero

Today I was outbid on a very lovely 'vintage' Ingwa; Melero top.
And with it went my plans for my outfit for my friends
Andrew & Jeff's fabulous B&W-attire-(Harlequin-masks-optional!) themed-end-of-year/holiday party.
In any case here are some images of this fantastic piece --ahh it makes me want to learn how to crochet!

if you see this somehwere, let me know! © for the design Ingwa; Melero

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Francis Ford Coppola, Belize

Today on the Leonard Lopate Show Francis Ford Coppola was a guest for the occasion of his new movie "Youth Without Youth" premiering next week.
Listen here:

I have always been a bit ambiguous or conflicted about some of Mr. Coppola's ventures. Having family with Italian, American and Belizean roots, I perhaps feel the impact of Mr. Coppola more consciously than others. While The Godfather I &II are absolute cinematic master pieces, these movies also cemented negative stereotypes into mainstream American culture that have been very painful for many Italian Americans.
Mr. Coppola Southern Belizean resort Turtle Inn is not without cultural controversy either. Turtle Inn is a gorgeous luxury resort close to Placencia that stylistically looks completely Balinese. It is a walled compound furnished with exquisite & imported Balinese furniture & art and serviced by saronged clad staff. Belize, independent from Great Britain since 1981, is a melting pot of Mayan, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, Mennonite and English culture, and while Belize is located in Central America, it also identifies as a Caribbean Country . Thus male waiters in sarongs were a cultural adjustment or in the very least a new element in the Belizean melting pot. The walls that enclose Turtle Inn were also a first in Placencia, however they are typical in Bali. Mr. Coppola has created a beautiful oasis celebrating Balinese style (the resort also offers very decent Italian cuisine that is vegetarian friendly), but to experience Belize, guests of Turtle Inn should venture outside the compound.
Belize has much to offer: Mayan Ruins, the Rainforest, the Blue Hole, the Barrier Reef, many idyllic cayes, Mennonite communities, Garifuna drummers, the Jaguar Reserve, waterfalls, caves, visits to close by Guatemala, scenic drives along beautiful
Hummingbird Highway, great diving, snorkeling, sailing and more.

Beautiful Belize © Nina Buesing

To find out about quotidian life in Placencia take a look at Fiona's blog: picturinglifeinplacenica.wordpress.com or read
Dr. Rosita Arvigo's memoir "Satsun: My Apprenticeship with a Mayan Healer" to find out about Belize Rainforest and what Dr. Arvigo learned from a Mayan healer.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Smosch.com & Berlin pics

Berlin is one of my favorite cities. And I came across photography on www.smosch.com that really captures the spirit of that growing but still laid back metropolis.
The pictures by Sandra Juto aka Smosch are taken in the Eastern part of Berlin, which is full of creative energy, small stores and lots of cafes.
Smosch.com is a neat blog that besides these evocative imagery from Berlin offers also a lot of information on crafts, illustration, travel impressions and more photography -- and you can buy some of Smosch's crafts on Etsy.com. I came across www.smosh.com courtesy of Ms. Rona.
Oh! And Smosch also loves tea :) and she hails from beautiful Lapland!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Gallery Hopping

My friend Hank and I went gallery hopping the other day, just in time to see the latest Kara Walker show at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery before it came down.
It was great to see Ms. Walker newest work and directions she is exploring after recently seeing her retrospective at the Whitney (which is on view until February 3rd, 2008).

Kara Walker @ The Whitney Museum of Art

The New Yorker for the occasion of Kara Walker's first major museum survey published a profile of Ms. Walker by Hilton Als and a selection of her imagery.

We also looked a the work of artist Bhatir Kher, whose work I was unfamiliar with, but whose sculptures really resonated with me, her work is based much on her cultural experience, which is different from mine, however I found her work very accessible regardless. Her show will be at Jack Shainman Gallery through December 22nd, 2007.

courtesy/© Bhatir Kher/Jack Shainman Gallery

And while you are it, take a look at Hank's work here: www.hankwillisthomas.com

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bikini Time

It's that time of the year when lots of sample sales are going on. Malia Mills has one coming up:

December 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2007
10 - 7pm.
263 W. 38th Street, 16th floor.
Credit Cards and Cash accepted!

Lulu at BAM

New York offers an endless amount of cultural opportunities. Last night we went to see Frank Wedekind's "Lulu" ( in German with subtitles) at BAM. The Harvey Theater is a fantastic and easy to reach venue, actually reminiscent of Berlin in many ways, and thus a perfect stage for the Hamburg Thalia Theater's very modern production of this play. I must confess I am not a theater buff and I suspect that was the reason the play did not totally engage me. However I thought the vision of director Michael Thalheimer was very strong. This thoroughly minimalist & modern adaption of the play was very feminist in tone, regardless of it being essentially the story of a prostitute. I found Fritzi Haberlandt to be effective and charismatic as the main protagonist and the performance did make me think. After seeing "La Traviata" recently - based on a novel more than 150 years old and "Lulu", a 100 year old play, I reflected on how the story of 'a woman of ill repute' seems to preoccupy society to this day and the different treatments of the topic it prompts --"Pretty Woman" also comes to mind --on the other end of the spectrum. The New York Times' Jonathan Kalb reviewed "Lulu" on November 25, 2007 in an article titled "The Nymphette Is a Lethal Weapon".

Lulu © BAM

Ingwa ; Melero

Some time ago I fell in love with a dress that I saw in in the window of the now defunct Calypso 'Vintage' Store (Christiane Celle's Calypso is of course still going strong, but I miss the particular set up of the 'Vintage' store) .
My husband gifted me the dress and I still love it and since have also acquired it in a different color.
The designer was Ingwa ; Melero . Turns out Ingwa ; Melero are two women my age who also hail from the North of Germany . They have said that they draw much inspiration from craft books that their moms referenced when they were children and I suspect we share a similar aesthetic based on similar childhood impressions -- thus possibly the reason why I respond so much to their clothing.
What is great about their dresses in particular is that they work for many different body types and really celebrate all women.
They have a sample sale going on through Saturday at: 325 West 38th Street-- Cash Only!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coins from Countries I Traveled to/from this Year

These are coins from countries I have spent time in this year.
Technically I also visited Singapore, but since that was really just a stop over on my way to Bali and because I only have a bill but no coin left from that trip, it is not included.
In my day to day life I use less and less cash and I wanted to take a step back and look at cash money.

click on the image to enlarge image by Nina Buesing

My favorite coin might be the one Cent from The Bahamas. I love that it depicts a sea star, it's so evocative of my trip there. I like the deer on the Canadian quarter too, it's quite beautiful.
And I find the difference in style of the eagles on the American, German and Indonesian coins interesting to compare. The sea faring theme of the Belizean coin is neat -- as is its shape.
Many of the coins make me nostalgic and thus make perfect souvenirs.
NOTE: The one Euro coin pictured above obviously is valid as currency of the European Union and not an exclusive German money , however the particular eagle references Germany and indicates this particular Euro coin was issue by The Federal Republic of Germany.

Travel Deal

Check out: www.plumandlion.com about two traveling for the price of one on on Virgin America between major towns in the US.
Thanks Rona!

L'asso - Pizza & Beer

L'asso at 41 Kenmare (@ Mott Street) has delicious brick-oven-thin-crust-pizza for $1 a slice and $3 a draft beer during Happy Hour (Monday through Friday 5-7 pm currently).
L'asso's Happy Hour is a great deal, however this is a good place to get a solid slice and/or a nice salad anytime. The staff is polite and accommodating. L'asso delivers and is vegetarian & vegan friendly.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sesame Street revisited

Sesame Street was my absolute favorite as a child (however the Sesame Street - aka Sesamstrasse- I watched was a little different since it was dubbed into German and German produced segments with original characters were added). I also watched lots of Muppet Show.
The original Sesame Street was just released on DVD as Sesame Street: Old School and apparently comes with a warning label!
Find out more about this by listening to today's Brian Lehrer Show
with guest Virginia Heffernan:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rona Chang

The formidable Rona Chang recently joined Nymphoto.
Rona was introduced to me by Maria Passarotti, and the more I look at her work: www.ronachang.com and her blog: www.plumandlion.com, the more excited I am to get to know Rona more.
Artists are a funny breed. Lots of artists travel, lots of artists spend time alone or need to spend time alone, but at the same time much about art is about connecting and communicating.
And it is so exciting to meet people who can further your knowledge (& communication) about topics you care about.
Through Rona's blog I came across the fabulous Danny Seo, who is like a greener version of Martha and his blog: www.dannyseo.typepad.com; Rona's blog made me take another look at photographer Simon Roberts and she beat me to blogging about the Explorer.
Take a look at Rona's blog and explore her extensive portfolio via her website showing thought provoking imagery from all over the world.

click on the image above to enlarge it © Rona Chang

Where Are All the Women?

Jerry Saltz's article "Where Are All the Women?" is well worth reading. It has much to do with why Nymphoto was started.
It is incomprehensible to me that not even works by Georgia O'Keefe, Louise Bourgeois nor Frida Kahlo are included in the MOMA's permanent display of its collection. The popularity of these three artists alone should be enough for inclusion.
You can email MOMA at: info@moma.org

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Your Daily Awesome - Photography Archive

The now retired www.yourdailyawesome.com blog has a neat photography archive worth browsing through. You'll find images of senior citizen reenacting historic imagery from the 20th century, documentary photography depicting the Norwegian Black Metal scene, photographs from the Sidney Police archive from the 1930's along with photography by Asako Narahashi and Corey Arnold and much more.
WARNING: Some of the photography you mind find offense, macabre or some of the afore mentioned blog's topics might not
be suited for children.

Geraldo Valerio

My dear friend Geraldo Valerio is another gifted artist who has illustrated several children's books.
Geraldo hails from beautiful Brazil and currently resides in gorgeous Canada and his latest book (in collaboration with Eileen Spinelli) was just published in China after being acclaimed in North America.

Do YOU Have a Hat? © Gerlado Valerio

"Do You Have a Hat?"
was also selected for the 2007
Cheerios Spoonful of Stories reading
campaign, an initiative
aimed at promoting the love of books in youngsters. One million copies will be distributed in boxes of Cheerios in November and December of this year in the US.

© Gerlado Valerio

To see more of Gerlado's collages and illustrations take a look at his website: www.geraldovalerio.com

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Two Earl Grey © Nina Buesing

Studio 360 had a great little segment on tea preparation this morning titled "Design for the Real World: Tea Bag" (with tea expert/historian Jane Pettigrew) - play below to listen :

For readily available tea (loose & bags) and everyday use
Twinings is outstanding.
Twinings Earl Grey flavor in my opinion is hard to beat. For the advanced tea lover (and design enthusiast alike!) Mariage Feres
is a treat (they have a wonderful store in Paris, and now also in Berlin & Tokyo). If you find yourself in Germany and would like
to buy quality tea at a very good price the German drugstore chain Rossman's house brand is surprisingly good & a great deal.
New York's Chinatown also has some fantastic tea stores.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More Afghanistan

Afghanis 2007 © Andrea Woodhouse

Andrea has posted more pictures from Afghanistan on Flickr.

Yesterday at the Pace/McGill Gallery I saw the latest exhibit by Fazal Sheikh, who has extensively worked in Afghanistan and some of those portraits are included in his current show. The exhibit ends in a couple of days, but you can also see these images in his book "The Victor Weeps: Afghanistan". Mr. Seihkh is a gifted photographer, and he always approaches his subjects with respect, producing dignified portraits.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holy Moly!

and some more creepy:


My friend Andrea, who is like a little, but much more brilliant sister to me, is currently travelling through Afghanistan. You can see some pictures she took along the way on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/andreawoodhouse/2040525582/

Afghanistan November 2007 © Andrea Woodhouse

Andrea's friend Rory Stewart in turn wrote a non-fiction book about his experience walking through Afghanistan in 2002 called "The Places in Between". Conde Nast Traveler called it one of the 86 greatest travel books of all time.
The Kite Runner, the fiction bestseller by Kabul born Khaled Hosseini is also a touching read. An epic story that encompasses three decades of Afghan history and re-introduces Afghanistan to the post 9/11 (western) world.
The Kite Runner also opens as a movie December 14, 2007. You can take a look at the trailer here: www.kiterunnermovie.com.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vegetarian Cuisine in San Francisco

The NY Times Travel Section this week has an detailed review of the vegetarian culinary landscape in San Francisco by Gregory Dicum titled "Expanding the Frontiers of the Vegetarian Plate", which is well worth reading.
Note: while my name is Nina, I am married and adhere to a vegetarian diet, I am however not the woman mentioned in the article :)

Teany Cafe

Moby's Teany Cafe, is a neat little place that I don't frequent often enough. I had not been in months, so we decided to eat dinner there tonight.
Moby and his friend Kelly own/run this tiny all vegetarian restaurant/tea house on New York's LES (hence the name).
The current staff is friendly & helpful and the quality of the food
is very consistent.
Much vegetarian cuisine in New York is Asian influenced and Teany provides a counter balance to those fine restaurants with a vegetarian menu that recreates many American staple foods (sans meat). Teany is also a brand of delicious not-too-sweet ice tea and while many excellent restaurants in New York offer incredible & vast wine lists, Teany offers an extensive & exquisite tea list (hot & cold). In addition to that Teany offered hot cider with a shot of port tonight, which was the perfect beverage after a 20 minute walk in the cold.
Another treat is that the entire menu is offered whenever Teany
is open. Thus you can have a breakfast style bagel for dinner
- like I just did :)
Too bad Teany is not open 24/7 .

Sunday, November 18, 2007


We recently visited Montreal & Quebec City (or Ville de Quebec).
If you ever find yourself in beautiful Quebec City, we can recommend the Auberge Saint-Antoine for lodging. Very centrally located and a good value for the price. Saint-Antoine is particularly attractive if you are visiting during the cold season like we did. There are three fire places and a bar in the inviting and cozy but stylish common area of the hotel. Service was outstanding. Dinning out in Quebec seemed expensive to us, and ordering room service at Saint-Antoine might actually be a financially sound decision that allows you to take advantage of
the hotel's acclaimed restaurant, while enjoying your spacious
and very clean and comfortable room.

Auberge Saint-Antoine © Nina Buesing

We did stumble on Le Commensal while in Quebec City, a franchise of vegetarian buffet style restaurants and frozen foods. This family style eatery of course delighted our vegetarian hearts; it is just so exciting to see more and more options for the vegetarian eater. You pay by the weight for your food at this restaurant--which we liked because it allows you to control your spending better . Compared to equivalent food in New York or Los Angles or Berlin we felt it was a bit expensive, however this also has to do with the value of our currency and perhaps our appetites ;) . We ate at
Le Commensal in Quebec City and in Montreal (Saint Denis location) and both establishments were welcoming --no one minds if you take your time and linger.
It is also BYOB.
I read that many people say that Montreal is the Paris of North America, however I felt if one was in search for a European experience and confined to North America, La Ville de Quebec
(or parts of Mexico) might offer a better peek at European culture/tradition than Montreal. That said I think comparison is maybe not the way to go anyway, I think that the Province of Quebec/Canada very much had its own identity and was very much worth the visit.

Friday, November 16, 2007

La Traviata

Last night's production of Verdi's "La Traviata" with Renee Fleming as Violetta at The Met was an outstanding experience. Besides the obvious attractions (the acclaimed Renee Flemming, the Met's orchestra, Verdi's music, exquisite sets, etc) what made the evening flawless for me was the price of my ticket: $26!
(Which I didn't pay as my friend Rita treated me --thank you Rita!)

Opera Ticket © The Metropolitan Opera NY

$26 for a seat at a world class performance in an extraordinary city. A great reminder what a metropolis (no pun intended) New York truly is. Much has been said about how much New York has changed over the last two decades, but fundamentally, much has stayed constant, like New York's tenacity & complexity and most of all New York's constant quest for the best.
Admiring the Met's concert hall, I was reminded of a much older New York, as portrayed in one my favorite movies (and books): "The Age of Innocence" .
A film about New York (society) in the 1870's directed by New Yorker Martin Scorsese based upon the Pulitzer price winning novel by another New Yorker, Edith Wharton.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ida Pearle

Native New Yorker and gifted artist Ida Pearle is a dear long term friend of mine. Another talented Cooper Union graduate, trained in drawing and painting, Ida creates intricate yet streamlined collages out of fine papers, informed by childhood memories and their interpretations. Ida creates serene visuals that comfort and inspire. Conceived for children, her beautiful and innovative imagery is also a treat for any adult.

No 6 © Ida Pearle

Ida's process is informed by her classical training and every work requires careful planning and sketching. You can find out more about her process on her website: www.idapearle.com
Ida has a children's book coming out next year, but in the mean time you can purchases her collages directly via her website: www.idapearle.com or her alphabet cards via www.mahardrygoods.com
If the work of Ida Pearle inspires you and you want to see more collage, I would suggest the late work of Matisse and the current work of Kara Walker.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Evelyne Drouot

Touareg-Bird ©Evelyne Drouot

One of my favorite painters is New York based Evelyne Drouot, who paints on giant canvases with vibrant oil colors reminiscent of Rousseau & Kahlo. A few years ago we had the opportunity to acquire my favorite painting of hers and it still has the power to completely absorb my thoughts when looking at it.
Ms. Drouot herself is as enticing as her paintings and if you have the opportunity to meet her you should not pass it up.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


In an effort to make our house 'greener' we have switched to new products . Two we really like are: Feline Pine cat litter, made out of sustainable pine and without harsh chemicals (good news: it really works even in a multiple cat household like ours).
The other product we really like is Ecover 's Toilet Bowl Cleaner (pine scented--I see a pattern here!). However Baking Soda & Vinegar, combined in a mixture, also works really well for toilet bowls, showers, sinks & bathtubs and both ingredients come in non-plastic containers. We also use slightly diluted (with water) rubbing alcohol for windows, mirrors and many surfaces instead of more traditional glass & surface cleaners.
Other 'green' brands that we also like so far are Mrs. Myers (very good for those of you who are keen on scents), Seventh Generation & NatraCare.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Nymphoto now also a blog

Check it out: nymphoto.blogspot.com

Three Soundtracks

I just bought the Soundtrack for "The Darjeeling Limited" and as previous soundtracks to Mr. Anderson movies this is an eclectic compilation of music that is great to have and lets you wonder back into to the world of Mr. Anderson. Included in this soundtrack is music from films by Satyajit Ray, a very emotive rendition of Debussy's "Clair de Lune" by Alex Weissenberg (Steven Soderbergh used a different interpretation of "Clair de Lune" for Ocean's 11 - Soderbergh being another director with a great ear) and more.
Another favorite soundtrack of mine is the one for "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou", with the fantastic interpretations of some of David Bowie's best songs by Brazilian talent Seu Jorge and quirky original melodies by Mark Mothersbaugh. If you only want the Seu Jorge songs you can purchase "The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions", which concludes with a funny ode to Team Zissou.
Soundtrack number three is "Nowhere in Africa" with music composed by Niki Reiser. "Reginas Melodie" is my favorite and I wish Reiser would have decided to extend the length of this piece.
All three movies are also worth seeing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maria Passarotti

The Soho Photo's Juried Alternative Process Competition Show opens tonight with a reception from 6 to 8 PM at 15 White Street in lower Manhattan. The exhibit features work from Maria Passarotti's "Botanical Portraits" series and will run trough December 1, 2007.

Botanical Portrait © Maria Passarotti
Maria and I met several years ago when we worked together at Craig Cutler Studio. Maria had just finished her studies at the prestigious Cooper Union and we became fast friends. Her work has always been driven by her observations, an appreciation of the natural world and a love for the process. The "Botanical Portraits" combine all of those elements in hauntingly beautiful cyanotype prints. In an increasingly digital world Maria returns
to an non-digital process and conjures true beauty and thus puts magic back into photography.
If you like Maria's work you might also want to take a look at the oeuvre of Adam Fuss.
And if you are looking for a gift, take a look at Etsy.com
They offer a selection of affordable pigment print reproductions
of Maria's work.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Alexia Stamatiou

The "Alexia Stamatiou: Giving Up The Ghost." exhibit opens at Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston today and will run through December 1, 2007.

Fishing (eating salmon) © Alexia Stamatiou

I discovered Alexia's work at the Win Back Respect Benefit Auction in 2004 and while I missed out on the work she had donated for that auction, I later became the proud owner of one of her works -- and an even bigger fan of her art as I look at her piece every day. So if you are in the area during the month of November consider stopping by the gallery to see her show.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


During childhood I remember hearing folklore about Ghengis Khan but what really peeked my interest in Mongolia was a
picture by legendary Magnum photographer Eve Arnold. The image, taken in 1979, shows a young Mongolian woman and her white horse laying on the wide open plains of Inner Mongolia,
and is titled "Horse Training for the Militia". An irresistible and iconic image.
In February of 2007 I came across a story by Pankaj Mishra in Travel & Leisure magazine titled "Inland Empire" with gorgeous photography by Frederic Lagrange. Lagrange has been working for six years on a photo project on Mongolia and hopefully the work will be published & exhibited soon. Imaginginfo.com has
an online piece by Mr. Lagrange about his experience photographing this project, accompanied by some of his work.
Mongolia seems like an incredible destination.
If you are interested in seeing a more personal view of this
region of the world take a look at our cousin Maria's blog. She is currently traveling the Trans-Siberian corridor and you can see pictures from her journey on her blog je-vous-salue-marie.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2007



Happy Halloween!

Baroness Leia © EmilyShur

Frida Kahlo, Hamburg

On the occasion of the Frida Kahlo retrospective in Minneapolis, The New Yorker this week features a piece about Frida Kahlo titled "All Souls: The Cult of Frida Kahlo" by Peter Schjedah and presents a slideshow of her oeuvre as well as photographs of the artist herself and her husband Diego Rivera.

I had the pleasure of seeing a retrospective of FridaKahlo's work at the Bucerious Kunst Forum in Hamburg last year and it was fantastic to see the actual paintings.
According to Hayden Herrera's biography of Frida Kahlo, Ms. Kahlo's father was born in Germany and Ms. Kahlo originally spelled her first name the German way: Frieda. Wilhelm/Guillermo Kahlo was born in the Baden Baden area, not Hamburg. However Hamburg has other attractions.
Check out: "36 Hours in Hamburg" in the New York Times Travel section.

Hamburg during a warm summer night © Nina Buesing


Who knew? To unlock the awesome powers of garlic, one has to apparently peel & crush the garlic first, then let it sit out for about 15 minutes, then cook it. Quantity also matters. Read more on the New York Times "Well" Blog.

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson was interviewed by Charlie Rose on October 26, 2007 and parts of the interview are now online. During the interview Wes Anderson responds to some of the recent criticism he has received.
New York magazine also has an interesting article online titled "The Life Obsessive With Wes Anderson" written by David Amsden.

Webcomic for Nerds :)

Check out one my husband's favorite websites: xkcd.com
A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Online Registration of Copyright

The Library of Congress' Office of Copyright is currently beta-testing online registration. I am participating in this trial and I am very excited about it.
I'll keep you posted --so far so good :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WOOP WOOP 2006 Shiraz

At my sister's house the other night (always a great place for a nice glass of red or white because of my brother-in-law's excellent taste in wine) I came across a great Australian export:
Whoop Whoop's 2006 Shiraz.
Funny name, great price, nice wine.
Apparently Woop Woop's Shiraz has been noticed and well received since 2004. Here are just two reviews of previous years of this Shiraz at wine.lovetoknow.com and thecorkanddemon.blogspot.com
On the 'interwebs' I have seen Woop Woop's 2006 Shiraz advertised for as low as $7.98 (!) by The Wine Buyer in New Jersey. This pricing definitely makes this wine a winner in my book.
I also read in the Wine Spectator Online that Australian winemakers had a rough year because of extreme weather and who knows if the 2007 will be as nice as the 2006.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Mom & I in Iran in the late 70's © Buesing Family

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood-- the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi has been turned into a movie. Take a look at the movie's website here: www.sonypictures.com/classics/persepolis/
and PBS/Frontline showed a program tonight about Iran which you can watch online.

Grey Gardens 'Renaissance'

Drew Barrymore is starring as Edith 'Little Eddie' Bouvier Beale (yes, Bouvier as in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, but that is really secondary) in an adaption of the cult classic documentary Grey Gardens. If you haven't see the original documentary you should. It is definitely worth seeing.
Harper's Bazaar also recently published a fashion story featuring Mary-Kate Olsen and Lauren Hutton that was inspired by Grey Gardens.

Monday, October 22, 2007

some crazy pictures

i don't know what this site is about, but it has some crazy pictures (not for the faint of heart!):

Tini Wine Bar & Cafe

The Tini cafe in Redhook, Brooklyn is great. Yummy food/ nice wine list and good atmosphere. During the summer months one can take the water taxi from Manhattan to Redhook and then walk from the pier to this little cafe. Great excursion.

The Darjeeling Limited

Loved this movie.

FilmStew has a good analysis as to why Wes Anderson movies are so appealing -- to some of us.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Shirin Neshat in The New Yorker

The New Yorker this week wrote about Shirin Neshat and has some of her images online: