Last week I sat twiddling my thumbs with anxiety as my plans to run along the Hudson River were shattered by the timely arrival and accurately forecasted rainy day, which, I had all but ignored until it was time to go outside. I watched some Dr. Who with my gracious host until I started chatting with my friend David who I had originally planned on going running with.
“Where were you!?” David asked.
“Lame, it was awesome. You should have gone- it really was perfect running weather!”
I thought about my apparently fearless friend and then I thought about the pound or two of tortilla chips I was thinking about eating. I immediately dawned my Reebok Realflex running shoes, some running shorts and one of those moisture wicking shirts I’ve seemed to have acquired during my 40 lb weight loss. I walked nervously through the subtle sprinkle to the 181 Hudson Parkway entrance.
About two minutes in to my actual run, I noticed that my shirt was quickly becoming more and more damp, and therefore a heavy nuisance that interfered with my current physical activity. I took my shirt off the second I passed the little red lighthouse at the base of the George Washington Bridge.
I instantly had one of those amazingly perfect Eckhart Tolle moments where I was so pleasantly overwhelmed by the state I was in; I almost couldn’t contain my happiness. There I was, running along the Hudson River with the rain softly beating against my bare skin while my heart was beating fast to get blood and oxygen throughout my body all the while maintaining a steady breathe. I felt alive.
There was almost an acknowledged shared arrogance about the others who had taken it upon themselves to engage in physical activity along the parkway. It was sort of like we knew we were rebels, and were so much cooler than the 70 degree Lululemon crowd. I took myself down to 145th street to the gate of the Riverbank State Park and turned around.
I realized that the only element missing from my journey was fire. I ran against the earth; brushing against the occasional tree along my path as the rain cooled the heat of my body. I realized then, in that instant that I took the place of the missing element because I was on fire. I was, in that moment, truly alive.
Last weekend, I had the delightful chance of scoring passes to the 2012 Vimeo Awards Party. I was excited to find out that the event was going to be held in the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building on West 18th Street. Mostly because I always wanted an excuse to go inside.
Below is a list (AND LINKS) of this year’s winners, and a couple pictures from the after party event.
2012 Vimeo Awards: category winners
- Action Sports: Dark Side of the Lens by Astray Films
- Advertising: K-Swiss Kenny Powers – MFCEO by Caviar
- Animation: Umbra by Malcolm Sutherland
- Captured: Sweatshoppe Video Painting Europe by Sweatshoppe
- Documentary: Amar (All Great Achievements Require Time) by Pilgrim Films
- Experimental: Prie Dieu by Cokau
- Fashion: Skirt by Academy Plus (A+)
- Lyrical: Symmetry by Everynone
- Motion Graphics: A History of the Title Sequence by Jurjen Versteeg
- Music Video: Manchester Orchestra: Simple Math by Daniels
- Narrative: BLINKY™ by Ruairi Robinson
- Series: Often Awesome The Series by All Aces Media
- Remix: Rear Window Timelapse by Jeff Desom
2012 Vimeo Honorary Awards
- The Honorary Award for New Creators went to directing duo Daniel Scheinhart and Daniel Kwan, collectively known as DANIELS, for their outstanding work over the last 18 months.
- The Honorary Award for Social Change was awarded to worldwide collaborative project One Day On Earth.
- The Honorary Award for Digital Maverick was awarded to openFrameworks, an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding.
“Come to Montreal with me!” Suzanne Vinnik suddenly possessed the effervescence of the Champagne we were drinking.
“What!? I can’t, I mean… what?” I had barely gotten back to NYC after months away in New Mexico, I couldn’t go to Canada- or could I?
“Jacob, I have to sing for a conductor early Monday morning. I’m driving up tonight, the hotel is already taken care of…”
“Well…” I looked at Sakura who gave me her best “don’t ask me” face.
“Come on, I haven’t seen you in like 9 months, road trip with me and Julie!”
Before I knew it, Suzanne Vinnik and photographer Julie DeMarre had whisked me away on I-87 to yet another adventure. “Perfect” I thought to myself, I had only been back in NYC for 3 days and my first weekend back was going to be out of the country.
We arrived at the Hyatt in downtown Montreal late in the evening and decided to explore the next day.
After a nearly thirty minute failed attempt at finding a place to eat directly on Rue Sainte Catherine, Suzanne, Julie and I took a detour on Rue De La Montagne and found Ye Olde Orchard. Finally! A Place everyone could agree on (and poutine for me). I would like to say for the record that I am not a very picky eater, and while I do have palatable preferences, as long as I’m fed, I’m a happy camper. What I loved most about this little gem of a quebecois pub chain, wasn’t necessarily my poutine (Smoke’s Poutinerie still takes the cake, or should I say the curd… , the agreeable menu, or the ambience, but rather the restrooms.
After some more wandering up and down Rue Sainte Catherine, we decided to take a trek on down to Old Montreal and happened upon Canadian Maple Delights , where Suzanne was able to purchase some of her favorite maple cookies, Julie tasted an assortment of Maple syrups and I had a Maple taffy macaron and a surprisingly wonderful Maple latte.
Upon stuffing our faces with the multi-facets of maple, we signed up for a tour at Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours. This little architectural jewel is 350 years old and dubbed “The Sailor’s Church” because of wooden ship models that hang from it’s ceiling. Even more interesting was that the church was originally designed my Marguerite Bougeoys. If you aren’t sure who that is, don’t worry, until this tour and even later research, neither was I.
Marguerite Bougeoys was not only one of Montreal’s first teachers, but along with Jeanne Mance, introduced “Les Filles du Roi” (The King’s Daughters) to New France. Les Filles du Roi were approximately 800 or so young women recruited by the French government to move to New France to help boost marriage and population in Canada. WOW! Apparently Canada’s history is mighty interesting!
After exploring the church’s archeological site, Suzanne began talking about a “gloriously messy store” she had previously been to with “a giant mess.” Though Julie and I were obviously no help in finding such a mess, it didn’t take long until natives seemed to know exactly what she was talking about.
Eva B. is a unique cafe-boutique. Located on 2013 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, this wonderful store is a mix of, well… everything. From vintage clothes to Suzanne’s mess (a giant $1 clothing pit which has grown to become an attraction all it’s own) to some of the best samosas and lemonade I’ve ever had (they sell the latter by the gallon!), Eva B. was like a grown-up fun house of clothes and food.
While Suzanne and Julie braved the clothing pit, I stayed and met a man named Charles who apparently did computer programming for Dragon speech recognition software and was terribly excited to be producing his first Fringe Festival play “The Little Prince: As Told By Machiavelli.” When I finished my second samosa and third lemonade (they were really small cups), I set out to find the girls. After about thirty minutes of searching the endless labyrinth of clothing, roller skates and fair trade food items, I gave up and headed back to see if the girls had in fact gone back to the hotel room.
When I returned to our room at the Hyatt I found no one. I made the firm decision not to worry and started to write a note when Suzanne and Julie came in the door.
“Where were you?” asked Julie.
“I just left the mess place!”
“We just left the mess place! We were looking for you” laughed Suzanne.
We finally realized that while I had been searching downstairs with one of the employees, the girls had gone upstairs, and we had completely separate TEAMS of employees helping us look for each other. Now, Eva B. is not a big store, but it is very much like an M. C. Escher lithograph realized in the form of a hippie consignment shop.
The only thing I’m going to say about our third and final day in Montreal is that for some reason, I really, really love Canadian chain restaurants. In the two times I’ve been to Canada, I’ve been to an assortment of awesome places that totally Trump Chili’s and the like. With that being said, Eggspectation Montreal is kind of awesome, and provided me with a most wonderful crepe to remember, complete with surprisingly light textured, yet full-flavored Hollandaise sauce. Oh and if you’re in Virginia or Maryland, I am completely and totally jealous of you, because there are several locations in your neck of the woods.
After leaving the bySMITH Collection photo shoot before it even happened, I hustled about twenty blocks north and three avenues east for the engagement lunch of one of my closest friends, Vanessa Angeles to her girlfriend and now fiance, Christina Colon. The event was held at La Petite Maison, the famed import from Nice, France housed in the lower level of the old Rockefeller Townhouse on West 54th Street.
I was initially nervous for the lunch because Vanessa asked me to give the toast for the event. I have a feeling this is partly because I’ve kept her up for hours asking for critiques on many of my posts here. Luckily the friendly staff and event planner, Ted Martinez put me at ease with h’orderves and instructions before the festivities actually began.
As people slowly made their way in, I eventually made my way out and found my dear friend, operatic soprano, Suzanne Vinnik walking towards the restaurant. We quickly caught up after nearly 9 months of not seeing each other before being joined by pianist, Sakura Myers.
I had originally written a long, gushy toast about how I unknowingly met Vanessa years ago at Carnegie Hall when a bunch of us now close friends went to see Measha Brueggergosman sing, but after sharing my words with the diva and the critic, I shortened it to a much simpler toast so everyone could sip their Moet faster.
What I will say now, is that just when I think I’ve figured the people in my life out, they completely surprise and amaze me. That isn’t to say I had pegged Vanessa to be the perpetually single girl on Wall Street, but I didn’t foresee the recent and wonderful path she’s taken coming, at least not for quite some time.
So after a full lunch of fabulous French cuisine and catching up with some of the people I’m most thankful for in a juxtaposed “Old Meets New World” setting, I looked over to Suzanne inquisitively after hearing my name.
“Jacob- do you have your passport?”
TO BE CONTINUED…
My first Saturday back in New York City proved to be a very busy one. I woke up early on June 2nd to visit my friend, designer Smith Sinrod of bySMITH Collection as she prepped for a photo shoot of her upcoming fall line. Like I said, I had a very busy Saturday and had an engagement lunch to attend, so I was unable to stay for the actual photo shoot, so instead I decided to share some behind the scenes photos of Smith and her team.
VISIT THE FOLLOWING pages!