September 14, 2014

Greg Cassese Photo Essay

I followed around the fabulous Greg Cassese for a photo essay assignment. We had a wonderful time collaborating and exercising our creativity. Enjoy the final project below!

Greg Cassese, an Italian, was born in Singapore in August 1977. He moved to New Jersey at age five and at 18, left for New York City. It's now been 20 years and he considers himself a “city kid." Greg remembers his crazy club days of the '90s, and still loves to dance. If he ever leaves New York, it will be to live a quiet life, maybe on an island somewhere; a life quite opposite of the one he has now.

Greg has been a hairstylist for almost seven years, an interest that started during childhood. It isn't difficult to guess after first seeing him, that his other occupation is tattoos. Greg did the first one himself with just Indian ink and a needle. It said “old soul” on his wrists. The number grew from one to many. Unfortunately, Greg regretted a handful as results, including 12 Mandarin characters on his back, of impulsiveness. So, he stopped. The desire never ceased however and he started the art back up after a 15 year break. Now, he makes mature, deliberate decisions about the permanent ink imprinted into his skin. Greg recently celebrated his 37th birthday by getting the word "maccina" tattooed across his knuckles, Italian for "machine."

Greg's first tattoo said "old soul," a phrase people use to describe him. His sleeve is a mechanical arm, designed by him and his tattoo artist. He believes if he is a machine, then nothing can break him.
Cutting hair makes Greg euphoric. He thrives on making somebody feel new again.
Greg trims a client's bangs on a quiet Sunday morning at Cutler Salon in SoHo.
Greg takes photos of his finished product on his iPad. He documents an 'after picture' on all his clients
After work, Greg walks to his gym in NoHo. He likes fitness and lifting weights, although more so when he was younger. Greg recently turned 37.
Lifting weights at the gym. Greg says if he ever leaves the city, he wants to live a simpler life.
Greg stops to look in the mirror. A tattoo across his heart says 'perseverance.' Whenever he sees it reflected in his own mirror at home, it reminds him to never give up.
Greg lives with his boyfriend of nine years in Park Slope. He calls himself a "city kid" after living in New York for 20 years.

August 27, 2014

New York City Block

Hi all,
It has been too long! I spent my summer having a great time in Cape Cod, New York and Portland, so I hope you guys will let my inattentiveness slide. I know you have been waiting on the edge of your seat for my next post, so apologies, but here it is! 

I started grad school a month ago and I love it (yup, still alive so far). It is hard, but I have already reached far beyond my comfort zone. I am becoming a fearless, confident and intrepid writer (Okay, okay, easier said than done and still learning). People are constantly growing, but I can already feel a difference. Points for J-school!

We took a photography course as part of the August digital boot camp. The first assignment rush hour. Needless to say, the whole photographing-random-people-hurrying-home-from-work-and-looking-annoyed thing was intimating and difficult to capture. But I took on the next assignment with determination and tenacity, and I think they turned out better. We had to photograph a city block and every picture must include people. Mine are from SoHo and Greenwich village.

Hopefully I will find some time this year to keep the blog updated. Enjoy!


July 1, 2014

Escape to Hudson, NY

This past weekend, Dave and I took a little road trip up the Taconic Parkway to Hudson, NY. My parents recently did a similar trip and I have read about New York City chefs opening up renowned restaurants using local ingredients, like Hudson Valley cheese and beef. Some of these only have tasting menus, all on the pricier side of $75. However, Swoon Kitchenbar serves individual dishes and we ate there the first night. Dave had a tender pappardelle bolognese and I ate a lemon mushroom risotto. Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the food, but the portobellos in my dish were fat and juicy in a light wine sauce. We had lunch at Cafe Le Perche, where their bread is made in house. Dave's BLT with fried egg was smooshed between two soft pieces of rustic peasant, which soaked up the yolk beautifully.

All in all, we had a nice, relaxing getaway. The town of Hudson is charming. There is one main street (Warren Street) where you can find art galleries, antique shops, furniture stores and hand-crafted goods like leather bags and sunglasses made from recycled skateboards at Ecosystem. It's a quiet and tired town in areas, but not mundane. If you go, opt for a weekend as the shops close during the week.

After reading "36 Hours in the Hudson Valley," there is much more to explore that we just didn't have the time for. But the trip is easy and we'll be back to venture through some of the other towns along the Hudson.

Dave studying a map of Hudson. We stayed at Front Street Street Guest House, right by the river. Our room was cute, and the little place was casual with no formal concierge or front desk (but always someone a phone call away). 
I love hotel bathrobes! These were especially cozy and fluffy.

There was a shared bathroom and kitchen, which at first I thought would be weird, but it was kept up nicely with all the necessary amenities. Plus, there was free popcorn, oatmeal and granola bars. Can't argue with that.
View of the Hudson. I love the silhouette of the Catskills in the background.  

Train station - two blocks from our hotel. Although we drove, if you plan to take the train from NYC, I would recommend finding accommodations near the station. 
A mountain of shoe string fries from Swoon Kitchenbar, served with spicy dijon aoili- yum!
We took a 10 minute drive to Olana State Historic Site. Unfortunately, the tours to view the house were all booked, but we walked around the grounds and were still able to see beautiful views of the Hudson.

View of the Hudson and the Catskills from the property
On Saturday, a craft fair overtook the waterfront park in Hudson. I loved these handmade finger puppets from Petitfelts, made of felt and wool. Their textures seemed so life-like! (Taken with iPhone).

On our way out of town, we stopped by Olde Hudson, a specialty foods store selling imported pastas, anchovies, sauces, cheese, meats, and produce. We bought a Stilton from England and a Scharfe Maxx from Switzerland.

We also grabbed some dessert from Hudson Chocolate Bar. My favorite was the lavender truffle on the bottom. 
We ate our little picnic on the Hudson in Cold Spring, NY, which is another cute town in the Hudson Valley! The river was much more expansive here than in Hudson. 

June 26, 2014

On to the next one

Hi people!

I know it has been a while since I posted, but wanted to give a life update. I am heading back to school in August to get my master's in Journalism at Columbia. So, I took some time off until then to relax. Been doing a lot of reading (currently on Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon and highly recommend it!), watching Orange is the New Black, and hanging in my favorite spot - Washington Sq. Park. I guess what I am saying is that I've been too busy lazing around to post on here. Rough. :) This weekend though, Dave and I are going to Hudson, NY and plan to do a little road trip home, so more to come on that. It's summer in the city (which will be both a bane and joy of the coming months) and I can already tell it's going to be a hot one. Let's enjoy!

P.S. Lizzie and I have a bucket list going. Some of our plans include...

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