I like to walk. A lot. I like to hike in the woods but also explore the cityscapes on long urban walkabouts. I used to always have my headphones on when I’d go walking and these days I mix it up— sometimes with headphones, sometimes without simply enjoying the environmental soundtrack.

What do I listen to while I walk? All sorts of things. It really depends on my mood or the weather or what I’m working on and trying to think about. What does all of this have to do with your weekly installment of music to be shared and enjoyed? While on my walks, I sometimes like to listen to this piece to help me think.

This week’s selection comes from Thomas Newman, perhaps best know for his film soundtracks. This music was used for the end titles of 2004′s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Enjoy!

Lately, I’ve turned into a morning person… enjoying the quiet gray of the day before everyone else wakes up and starts making noise.

This song has been part of the soundtrack to my morning ritual before heading out the door this week.


Tapaa minut aamulla by Regina


Broken Circle by Sam Phillips

This track has been on quite a bit the last few days while traveling. It’s gonna be a good day…

Buffalo by Alt-J

It’s going to been a busy week. Time to take a breath before diving back in.

Ahead

10/03/2014 — Leave a comment

This weekend in America we moved clocks ahead an hour. This generally means the following Monday is full of zombie disoriented and exhausted by what shouldn’t be a big deal but for some reason our bodies just can’t deal with it.

Anyway, it’s a new week and at least around here, a sunny-ish one to boot. This illustration feels warm and full and reminds me of positive things. It also has a certain dark twist or tension that I generally like and end up infusing into my work often whether I mean to or not. What do you think? What does this piece remind you of or feel like to you?

Spark21 4h Ahead

So far this month feels like it is ZOOMING… or at least this past week certainly did.

This piece is much longer than I share typically, but take a break and listen to it all the way through if you don’t already know the piece— trust me.

Night Sky

05/03/2014 — Leave a comment

Without meaning to, this ended up looking like the night sky, I think. What do you think? What does this look like to you?

Spark21 4 Night Sky

Daylight

03/03/2014 — Leave a comment

Last week, the latest round of Spark ended (and once again I participated).* As in the past, that also means that I have a new crop of unpublished iterations to share with you here.

The written inspiration piece I was assigned this go-round was more complex than some I’ve gotten in the past and dealt with loss. But it ended hopefully, and so the earliest iterations had a brighter daytime palette and look that isn’t always typical of my layered illustration style. What do you think? Where do these take you?

Spark21 2d Daylight

Spark21 1a Daylight

*If you’re not sure what I’m talking about when I mention Spark, you can see past entries in which I mentioned Spark here or learn more about it here.

Wmotd, Week 9

28/02/2014 — Leave a comment

This song has been stuck in my head lately. February is just about over and it seems to have been a tough month for some of us if nothing else because of the weather. Listening to this track on repeat (as I tend to when I write these weekly posts) a number of things come to mind including the greyness of winter but also movement.. and travel. My mind is on traveling lately as it tends to be on and off during the year. There’s something hardwired in me to make me want to travel and explore it seems.

How about you guys? Where does this track take you? What do you hear?


In Every Direction by Junip

Rumor has it it’s supposed to be rainy this weekend. Stay tuned, I guess.

IMG 4961 300x300 A little rain must fall20120708 0018 300x300 A little rain must fall

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Wmotd, Week 8

21/02/2014 — Leave a comment

Hard to believe it’s the eighth Friday of the year already.
In grad school, Fridays often meant taking the train to Stockholm and this album generally reminds me of Sweden. Have a nice weekend, friends.

Baltimore. Most seem to know it from The Wire and occasionally from Homicide: Life on the Street or John Waters’ movies like Hairspray. But whether you know anything about this funny city on the water or not, there’s always something else to discover, learn or do just like any other bigger town or city. And as a Baltimore lover and advocate, I get a LOT of requests for what to do on visits to Charm City, so here are a things to consider and try beyond the harbor.

As in the past, things are organized more or less by neighborhood and focus mostly on dining as that’s what I get asked about the most. Additionally, I’ve put together a Pinterest map board that includes these recommendations (and more that I just didn’t have the energy to write about here) on an helpful map. As ever, please feel welcome to ask questions, make requests or offer suggestions in the comments.

Fells Point & Harbor East

  • Ale Mary’s— A neighborhood tavern with nice bar food popular among locals. Their bread pudding is raved about consistently.
  • Alexander’s Tavern— A popular spot for drinks and bar food (especially wings and burgers), I’m told the tater tots (especially Maryland style served with crab dip) are great.
  • Bad Decisions—Popular low key bar with a wildly popular bacon night themed menu each month.
  • Baltimore Tattoo Museum— While there IS a museum component, this is also a spot for getting tattooed.
  • Bertha’s—Famous for their mussels, Bertha’s is a favorite among tourists and locals. Also rumored to be haunted, this spot has been a bar under varying names for ages.
  • Blue Moon Cafe—A popular brunch spot offering generous portions at reasonable prices. Be prepared to wait for your table though.
  • Bonaparte Breads— Enjoy lunch or a coffee break by the harbor at this friendly French bakery.
  • Cat’s Eye—Drink with the locals or just pretend you’re a privateer at this colorful pub popular for its live music.
  • Charleston— Rated consistently one of the top restaurants in the city. A nice option for special occasions.
  • Ding How— Dependable Chinese food at reasonable prices.
  • Duda’s—Family owned and operated since the 1940s, offering bar food and drinks with decades of character.
  • Johnny Rad’s— Punk rock, skateboarding pizza and beer with skeeball in the back room.
  • Liquid Earth—Vegan, vegetarian and fresh juice cafe. Good espresso too!
  • Max’s— A perfect spot for beer lovers.
  • One Eyed Mike’s—Hidden gem of a local bar with nice bar food, inviting local atmosphere and the world’s first Grand Mariner club to boot.
  • Pabu—Excellent Japanese restaurant for a special night out.
  • Patisserie Poupon—Amazing French pastries and treats.
  • Pitango Gelato—High end ingredients make for high quality, tasty gelato in inventive flavors.
  • Sound Garden— I love this music store.
  • Stuggy’s—Fresh cut fries, Boylan’s sodas on tap and most importantly, GREAT dogs!
  • Waterfront Kitchen—Popular brunch and upscale dining spot right on the water.
  • Wharf Rat— Rumored to be haunted, this pub has been here for ages and has the welcoming atmosphere to prove it.
  • Wit & Wisdom— Upscale interpretations of familiar dishes made with high end ingredients.

Canton & Brewer’s Hill

  • Annabel Lee Tavern—A neighborhood favorite with savory fries and burgers, tasty cocktails and beers and plenty of vegetarian options on the menu.
  • Dangerously Delicious Pies—Sweet & savory treats for pie lovers.
  • Fork & Wrench—A self-proclaimed “boutique dive bar” perhaps better described as a gastropub.
  • JD’s Smokehouse— Dependable bar food with a long beer list. If you’re a meat eater, try their wings or the oft raved about brisket.
  • Mama’s on the Half Shell—A good spot for seafood on Canton Square.
  • Nacho Mama’s—Tasty Mexican bar food. Consider ordering a hubcap margarita served IN A HUBCAP, best to split with friends, unless you’re actually trying to wipe the slate clean with a serious hangover.

IMG 2978 web 300x300 Travel Notes  Baltimore

Mt. Vernon and Midtown-ish

  • 13th Floor—Dinner & drinks with a view
  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO)—Enjoy an evening of world class entertainment with the BSO.
  • The Brewer’s Art—Whether enjoying an upscale meal in the dining room upstairs or a late night snack in the bar downstairs try a pint of their award winning brews.
  • City Cafe—Upscale food without the fuss.
  • The Owl Bar—Large menus of drinks & eats in a piece of Baltimore history.
  • Two Boots Pizza—Started in New York in the 1980s, Two Boots brings the flavors of New York and New Orleans together on a pizza. Open late most nights, they even offer a gluten-free pizza, yum!
  • Walters Art Museum—Explore world art history in an afternoon at the Walters–from 20th century Europe to pre-dynastic Egypt, Old Masters and loads in between this spot is not to be missed.

Station North

  • Baltimore Print Studios— Ever wanted to learn about letterpress or screen printing? This is the place. Workshops are offered monthly and studio rentals for trained printers are available 4 days a week.
  • Charles Theatre—Baltimore’s favorite indie movie house.
  • The Chesapeake— Recently reopened and offering regional specialties.
  • Liam Flynn’s Ale House—Friendly local pub specializing in British Isles Ales, Whisk(e)ys & Ciders.
  • Lost City Diner—Late night comfort food with lots of vegan options.
  • Red Emma’s—Radical bookstore also serving vegetarian food and house roasted coffee.
  • Tapas Teatro—Enjoy a bite before a movie at the Charles next door or candlelit date night.
  • The Windup Space— Part gallery, part bar, part music venue.

DSCN5762 web 225x300 Travel Notes  Baltimore

Hampden

  • Art House Cafe— Part gallery, part cafe. Enjoy wood fired pizzas and fresh salads in this friendly spot.
  • Atomic Books—Their old tagline sums things up pretty well: “Literary finds for mutated minds!.”
  • The Charmery— Handmade premium ice cream made with local ingredients & clever rotating flavors & sundae menu.
  • Choux—Lovely baked goods & fresh salads with a modern aesthetic.
  • Corner BYOB—Modern European with a knack for exotic meats. Self-described “refined peasant fare and continental comfort food.”
  • David’s 1st &10—Surprising, thoughtful bar food served in this sports bar full of neighborhood character, a zillion TVs, and an impressive serpentine bar with loads of taps and drink choices.
  • Golden West—Whether stopping for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch, the Golden West offers a large menu of Americana and Southwestern favorites featuring lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
  • Grano Pasta Bar— While there is a larger Grano Emporium up the street, the original pasta bar is where it’s at. The place is tiny so you may have to wait, but once seated you will be treated to incredibly fresh salads and pasta dishes made before you eyes. BYOB.
  • Holy Frijoles—Rock n’ Roll Mexican. House made chips are way too tasty at this solid spot for drinks, as long as you like your music LOUD.
  • In Watermelon Sugar— Another great bet for gifts and small personal goodies. A colorful assortment of cosmetics and jewelry invites you in and an array of housewares, paper goods and seasonal gifts and decor fills the second room of this charming shop.
  • Luigi’s Deli & Market— Stop for lunch and enjoy a sandwich or selection of prepared foods or pick up ingredients for a nice dinner at home.
  • Ma Petite Shoe— Shoes and chocolate. Seriously. What more do you need?
  • Mud & Metal— Discover funky art, gifts and jewelry at this friendly independent shop. “Art to live with.”
  • Paradiso—Antique to modern furniture, art and housewares.
  • Rocket to Venus—Generally clever interpretations of familiar favorites with lots of vegetarian options & a bit of a rock vibe.
  • Service Photo—Whether you need to repair or replace your camera or just stock your studio or darkroom, Service Photo is THE place for service in Baltimore!
  • Spro Coffee— Progressive American coffeeshop that brews every cup to order.
  • Trohv— Often noted as a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs, Trohv really is a treasure trove of goodies ranging from furniture and wearables to cards, baby goods and all manner of housewares.

Woodberry

  • Artifact Coffee—Handcrafted coffees, treats and informal eats.
  • Birroteca—Craft beer, wine and artisan pizza.
  • Corradetti Glass—Browse the shop gallery and pick out a gift for a special occasion, try a mini workshop or class or just admire the ancient craft of glassblowing.
  • Woodberry Kitchen—Farm to table food heaven.

Belvedere Square

  • Greg’s Bagel’s— Soft, fresh, flavorful bagels handmade everyday. Arguably Baltimore’s best bagels with high end ingredients and toppings.
  • Shoofly Diner—Farm to table American favorites handcrafted imaginatively.
  • The Senator Theatre—Baltimore’s favorite historic movie house. Catch a show a this art deco beauty and enjoy a meal in one of the nearby cafes.

Other Guides to Baltimore

Think something’s miss­ing or want something more spe­cific not included on the list? Just leave a comment or email me and I will add it in. Happy Trails!

Spotty

15/02/2014 — Leave a comment

Had forgotten about this photo and then came across it again this afternoon. Not sure why I never posted this but here it is now.

DSCN4875 web Spotty

Wmotd, Week 7

14/02/2014 — Leave a comment

Since it’s Valentine’s Day here’s a little love song of sort. This is by no means a new song, written & recorded in the 1950s originally by Phil Phillips, Sea of Love has been interpreted by a number of artists over the years. This version from 2006 by Tom Waits is my favorite (Iggy Pop’s version is pretty amusing though— truer to the original that one might expect. The Heptones’ version is pleasant as well.).

While I tend to like Tom Waits in general, it’s the dark interpretation of this song that I like. It takes a syrupy song and makes it a little sinister, a little… off; which nails love in my book— it’s a weird thing, love. It makes us a little crazy, a little more inclined to do stupid things, perhaps a bit obsessed. Love can be a wonderful, powerful thing that gives us strength but can also be something that blurs our vision and impairs our judgment. Like many things in life, it’s complicated.

Pax

13/02/2014 — Leave a comment

If you’re tuning in from America, or keep up on US current events, you’re probably aware of a massive winter storm bearing down on the east coast at the moment.

SnowFeb14 11 Pax

Last night the storm blew into town, dumping close to a foot of snow in my neighborhood in about 12 hours. The snow drifts on my windows this morning were pretty impressive to say the least.

SnowFeb14 21 Pax

This afternoon the storm switched to warm drizzling which helped pack down the snow a bit and then switched to freezing rain as the sun went down. Now the storm has switched back to heavy snow. Stay tuned, I guess…

A is for

10/02/2014 — Leave a comment

A is for…. you tell me.

DSC 0196 web A is for

Cloud Bursts

08/02/2014 — Leave a comment

Weather throughout the US has been a little unpredictable lately. Sounds like folks are already mentally ready for spring or summer, so how about a few snapshots from a warmer season to daydream about:

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IMG 3945 Cloud BurstsIMG 4934 300x300 Cloud Bursts

Wmotd, Week 6

07/02/2014 — Leave a comment

Haven’t been feeling so hot this week. Hopefully this weekend things will turn the corner and the haze will lift.


Smooth by Car Stereo Wars

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