Archive for September, 2010

A Makeshift Magyar Festival

September 30, 2010

Since my family sailed over to New York, they have occupied the shrinking radius of the upper east side that is considered the Hungarian part of town. The only NY historian website that I could find that even talks about the Hungarian community of New York City’s existence, mentions it in passing.

“Museum Mile is Fifth Avenue running along the eastern edge of Central Park, posing the greatest concentration of world-class museums on the planet. Further east is German Yorkville, little Bohemia (Czechs) and remnants of the earlier Hungarian community.”

Remnants!? ouch.

When I was younger, there were a few genuine Hungarian restaurants and butcher shops within a few blocks of my grandmothers apartment. They were owned by full blooded old eastern European women who didn’t care to speak English. Much like trying to catch a cab in this city nowadays, if you didn’t speak their language you didn’t get a proper service. These small reminders of a European run city (and my childhood) are almost all gone. My familys favorite place to sit down and eat Paprikás and nokedli, have been replaced with sushi restaurants and collage bars with wacky names like Wasabi Lobby and The Booze Brothers.

In front of St. Stephen before sexual harassing priests were an open issue and my Burning Man sun dress was still fucking awesome.

Growing up in a Hungarian Roman Catholic family, the St. Stephen of Hungary Parish has been a constant in my life.

  • Its where I attended mass and gained the catholic guilt that plauges my every decision.
  • Its where my mother went to school and later got married.
  • Almost every memorable new years eve of my youth was spent in the basement of the church.

St. Stephens basement is occupied by a gymnasium and a huge open kitchen. On new years eve hundreds of bohemian blooded, foreign speaking, self made Americans dress up and spend the first night of the new year ripping up the dance floor to a man playing his accordion on stage while a group of old Hungarian women in the kitchen make enough stuffed cabbage to feed an army. They have raffles where you can win anything from Judy dolls to fine china.

New Years at St. Stephens meant  my grandma would put my hair in curlers and teach me simple Hungarian phrases that would impress the women in the kitchen. I got to waltz with her and hear about when she played accordion on a traveling train, during the war. I would run around the basement with kids my age who spoke very little english but could scream at an equally annoyingly tone as I could.

I got to wear my mothers old embroidered shirts that are a staple among Hungarian women.

I even wore one of these Hungarian shirts into several other fashion phases of my life.

As far as I know, they still have their new years party, but as the old drunken gypsies that dominated it begin to pass away, its much more formal than it was in my youth. A sad part of no longer spending my New Years there, is that I miss out on all of the delicious, authentic Hungarian foods that those women would make.

Since they’re so good at what they do, Hungarians will come from walk-ups short and tall, to get some of whatever they decide to cook up. So, when they cook, they don’t fuck around. They prepare for WEEKS ahead of time. Pre-making hundreds of balls of dough for the fánk. Chopping cabbage until there is no visable counter space left in their industrial sized kitchen, in order to make Töltött Káposzta (pronounced as ‘tear-o cop-ist-sta’), which is Hungarian stuffed cabbage.

Fresh batch of Hungarian fánk

Since Hungary is so close to more historically populated places like Poland, the foods, music, and art of my homeland seem to get overlooked pretty often. There is no Hungarian equivalent to saaay Oktoberfest. So the one day long, once a year street fair that takes up half of the block in front of St. Stephens church is a pretty important day for my grandmother, my great aunt, and I.

yeah, thats right, I’m talkin’ about you guys.

It usualy takes place on the last Saturday of September. Its a day of good food made by the same remaining ladies who used to cook those Hungarian meals from mine and even from my mothers childhood. Instead of selling gyros, handcrafted jewelry, and other standard things you find at a street fair, St. Stephens street fair uses this term to describe what is essentially a block party/ garage sale.

they take all of the donations that the collect through out the year, and try to sell them for next to nothing, in the church’s parking lot.

Donations typically include bizarre knickknacks

Old comics

Cheap jewlery

funny wands. Literally.

classical records

and a decent collection of toasters.

On the street part of the street fair is where the said food is sold through purchase of colored tickets.

Palacsinta (which is essentially a crepe but slightly thicker) and makowiec beigli (a yeast bread roll filled with sweetened poppy seeds)

one full and happy grandmother!

Magi has been cooking my favorite Hungarian dishes for as long as I’ve been alive. She never remembers me, anymore.

The street fair is also a perfect place for anyone who attends the church to sell their goods. This year, I tried haggling a 12 year old for a collection of Bleach Manga he was trying to sell for 50 bucks.

I ended up saving my money for tattoos.

My grandma making fun her sisters poor posture. Guess who doesn’t find this funny…
As usual, I had a great time being outside with my family. Listening to them converse in a mix of English and Hungarian with others from the neighborhood who tend to do the same. I went home and was able to stock my freezer with enough eastern European foods to last me through out the winter. I also went home with the AWESOME new shirt that my grandmother bought me! I am one proud Magyar.


Raving on Mars.

September 24, 2010

Ever wonder what happened to this kid after Kazaam? Me neither but hey, hes a main character in Veronica Mars!

I’m hoping that this photo of Shaq has drawn you in, since I couldn’t find a still from Veronica Mars that was eye catching enough. Yeah, thats right. Veronica Mars. The only show I seem to concern myself with, lately. When I’m not watching it, I find myself raving about it to friends who seem to look at me blankly. As blankly as I used to look several my fully grown, comedy-writing, male friends out West when they would try to explain to me why its so good.

I finally decided to give it a go after someone had reminded me that Veronica Mars was written by the Rob Thomas. Not the shithead from that band but the guy who went on to write Party Down. I was told that the show featured many of Party Downs characters in it. I was interested and now mildly obsessed.

For the most part, the writing is ridiculous and I will sometime blush and cringe when I find myself catching a friend (who I’ve also wrangled into loving it) up on the episodes she’s missed, since it really does sound like a ridiculous soap….but that because it is. And I’m pretty sure the writers were self aware and aiming for ridiculous. There is subtle humor spread through out the series, and thats what keeps me watching it.

For instance:

Lisa Rinna of Days of Our Lives is a reoccurring character in Season 1. During this sceneANDTHISSCENEONLY…they put a display for soap and hygiene in the schools display case. Coincidence? I.think.not.

Does this line sound familiar at all? (1:10)

During Kevin Smiths guest spot on the show, they aptly had him play the role of a clerk in a gas station.

Some of the more blunt humor in the show is obviously made to appeal to teenagers. I think that’s great because I feel like this show also has a lot of qualities of an old noir program. Even the lighting in many of the indoor scenes seem to replicate that. I hope it did its part at helping a younger generation enjoy a good detective story. But for me, I keep watching for the little things that are easily overlooked, and for the decent indie music they tend to play in the background.

Now beware! All seasons of Veronica Mars are available on instant Netflix.


Llamas. Poodles. Dentists!

September 23, 2010

I know you’re supposed to think puppies are adorable. To be honest though, I wasn’t crazy about my poodle Charlie when she was nothing more that a shitting crying tiny ball of fluff but the more she grows up, the cuter I think she looks. This could be because she has a slight llama quality to her.

right?!

I think Charlie and I should recreate this video.

Photos of Charlie by Chloe Rice

Toe Head

September 22, 2010

Last week, I decided to ditch my dark hair. I tried it. I didn’t like it.

So I went to Ms. Bee Jellyfish, who stripped me down and kindly coated my head in leave in conditioners. Shortly after, I played catch up with Massimo at Bumble & Bumble and as usual, let him do whatever the fuck he wanted to my hair.

As a result, I am now one happy derogatory stereotype.

Heres a little fact that you may or may not be aware of. Blondes are forever given a bad rep thanks to a nude French model/ mistress from the late 1700’s named Rosalie Duthe’. She was known to pause for long amounts for time before speaking and was made fun of throughout the town. The upper class went as far as to make up songs about her being a dumb whore. I know what you’re thinking. The French hating someone because they think they’re in some way more superior? LUDICROUS!

A presumed portrait of Duthe’ by Claude-Jean-Baptiste Hoin

I’m  aware that I may not the brightest yellow in the spectrum. I have my bimbo qualities, unfortunately.

I’ve been known to lock myself out of my apartment while in my underwear. I can recite diolauge from Dude Where’s My Car with more ease than that balcony scene sonnet from Romeo and Juliet. And my grammar is obviously atrocious! But…as a blonde, I solemnly swear to:

  • Never neglect my roots
  • Restrain myself from ever twiddling my hair with my index finger, while popping my gum
  • and to proudly carry the torch of many blondes before me by making sure to have more fun

The first fun thing I did as a blonde, was put together a mix and played it at an obnoxiously loud volume while I cut up some otter patches and cook myself a fancy dinner.

Want to make a trade? I will trade you my fun mix for some input on what you do for fun.

download my Toe Head Mix: here


What’s Black and White With Pixels All Over?

September 21, 2010

This was a test shot I took back in 2006. After turning this junky shot into black and white and tinkering with it for a while, I’m now in love with it!

I feel that, for as long as people have taken any sort of notice of my photos, they’ve pointed out that I have a distinct  style. Its obvious that I love to push the limits of saturation. I’ve relied greatly on it ever since I learned how to digitally tweak photos. As much as I love using a lot of eye popping color, I’m looking for a new challenge.

When I was in Los Angeles recently, I spent an entire day at the Annenberg where I was completely enamored by The Year exhibit. I was inspired mostly by the black and white images. The noise in them, the perfect contrast, and in almost every single shot had such subtle vignetting. These main elements made it so easy to pin point the importance of the moment in the photograph without being overwhelmed by the colors and textures.

My next goal is to step outside of my comfort zone of color and learn how to edit in black and white. I’m confident that I’m off to a pretty decent start.

After closing the bar during Courtney’s first trip to New York, we made our way straight over to the Today Show. To our surprise, it was swarming with preteens waiting to see Miranda Cosgrove. The early morning also featured a father who was less than pleased to hear children screaming with joy while the cameras weren’t even on them.

All Photos taken by Chloe Rice

Keep calm and Listen to Henry.

September 14, 2010

Via Quoteskine

The Celebratory New Yorker.

September 13, 2010

I’m a pretty bad New Yorker. I’ve been out of town for the beginning of every September since “nine eleven”, up until this year. Every year, people spend September 11th telling you for the 20th time exactly where they were in 2001, while a part of my favorite city crumbled. (Yeah. I get it you’re morning rituals were affected that day. ugh!)

I’m so glad I was here for it this year. It seems pretty insensitive to what that day represents but I feel like a real New Yorker doesn’t dwell on the past and much as they turn it into a celebration! So:

There was another photographer at Galas birthday party. We swapped lenses for a bit, so I got to use the nicer version of my 50mm for the afternoon. Heres some of the shots I took from the party

Reemerge

September 12, 2010

I’ve procrastinated updating because I’ve just ben so excited about everything I’ve shot recently that I didn’t know where to start. Heres a few of my favorite shots I’ve taken since I got back to the East Coast, the other week:

How about I don’t “start” talking about my adventures and just redirect you to my new photo tumblr of some things I’ve recently shot, so that I can move on?

I’ve spent a lot of my days in make up and curlers for one reason or another. I feel like I’m trying to fool someone into thinking I’m in someway classy but at the heart I’m just your average snow bunny from the streets…yo.