Dia:Beacon

Yesterday I went to Dia:Beacon, an art museum containing art from the 1960’s to the present located on The Hudson River in Beacon, New York.

Beacon itself is quite incredible. Filled with millennial hipsters, I truly feel like I belong. If there were a college in Beacon, I definitely would not have been so willing to ship myself to Minneapolis for the next four years. Beacon is truly one of New York’s gems outside of the city. Anything millennial and hipster-ish that you can think of, Beacon’s got it.

My friend and I first stopped at Bank Sq. Coffeehouse, where I got a delightful bagel with cream cheese and an iced coffee with a shot of caramel.

coffeebagel.jpg

We then walked around and stopped into some of my favorite stores, including flora, my favorite plant store.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetflora2flora1

The strength that it took to resist buying something here was unbelievable, but I had to resist because I’d have to figure out how to ship it and I’m just too lazy for that.

Next, we made our way to Dia, which was by far the best museum that I have ever been to. I have been to a moderate number of museums, but no museum has ever intrigued me like this one did. I definitely enjoyed the giant warehouse feel because that design style is my skin and blood, and the plethora of windows made it feel more open and less depressing than I have found a lot of other museums to feel.

Below are pictures showcasing the “warehouse” feel.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

Some of my favorite exhibits were the piles of random materials on the floor, such as these:

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

And lastly, there were many cool light pieces, but I only took a picture of one, whereas all of my other light-related pictures came from my polaroid camera.

circle lights

Overall, there was just something about this museum that felt right. I don’t love museums, but I do enjoy going to them. I’m not one to really sit around and absorb everything that every piece of art has to offer. I applaud the people who truly try to understand a work of art, all the way from what the artist had in mind, how they created it, and what it’s supposed to represent or mean. This museum still didn’t really inspire me to do that, which was okay, but I liked the seeming simplicity of the majority of the pieces. The one exhibit, as seen in the picture of the white wall with the black marks, really made me think about how much work and precision went into creating that exhibit. The picture here does not do this artist justice, for most of his other works were insanely more complex and precise. It blew my mind that someone could create such precision on such a large-sized palette without smudging it.

Another exhibit that intrigued me that for whatever reason I did not take pictures of was the exhibit where for a good portion of the building there were just straight lines of primary or black/white colored string stretching from either floor to ceiling or creating leaning shapes on the walls. This one spoke to me because it’s something that I haven’t seen before, it looked really cool, and it was so simple. Anyone could’ve thought to do that in the shower, yet it’s a legit and precise work of art. Art is amazing.

I loved the light exhibits and the exhibit with the piles of random things on the floor because I know that even though it looks completely random, it was obsessively planned out to articulate exactly what the artist had in mind.

Most of the art museums that I have previously been in have not impressed me, and have always left me with the feeling that I’m sure many of the featured artists feel very often: pure depression. I don’t know what it is, but I just get such a gloomy and melancholy feeling in art museums. Not Dia. I truly felt my mind being put to work, absorbing the processes and work of the different artists and their pieces.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset(a small collection of some of the polaroids that I took from the overall day)

A great way to start to finish out my adventures in the 845 before I leave.

Thanks, Dia:Beacon.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Also, look at how stylish my shoes are. I’ve been looking for a quality pair of Oxfords that are vegan and didn’t cost over $100 forever and finally found these at Matt & Nat.

Can’t forget the chili pepper socks, an Urban Outfitters special, and my olive Tomgirls from American Eagle.

 

we should all be more like dogs

This is an article that I’m writing for my internship at The Odyssey Online, which I typically keep separate from my blog, but I like this one and feel like it fits, so, here we go:

We Should All Be More Like Dogs

During times like these-times of uncertainty, turmoil, and stress-one of the simplest things that we as humans can do to make ourselves feel better is to look at pictures of, pet, or wish we were dogs. Dogs rarely let us down. Dogs are loyal, have unconditional love to give, don’t care about who you are, and don’t care about what’s going on in the world around them unless it’s people, other dogs, toys, and grass.

As a human, it is often hard to feel like you can trust other people around you, even your closest friends. True loyalty from person to person is something that is very hard to come by. With dogs, loyalty is a given. Your dog will never let you down (other than tearing valuable items apart and peeing on the floor), and if they did, they probably didn’t mean it. Dogs truly are “man’s best friend.” They look at you as if you are the most amazing person alive, and it will always feel so good.

Something else that dogs also rule in is their ability to love you no matter what. Granted that you’re not absolutely terrible to your dog, your dog will always greet you with that adorable excitement-as if you’ve been gone for years-every time that you walk through your door. Even if your relationship with your dog goes south, your dog will not give up on loving you until it absolutely has to. The simplicity of love is so easily demonstrated through the bond that a dog has with its owner.

Above all, dogs are as non-judgmental as it gets. Your dog doesn’t care who you are, what you look like, or how you live your life as long as you show them that you care about them. Dogs may judge each other based on size and aggressiveness but with people they just don’t judge.

Taking all of this, imagine if people could be more like dogs based on these simple traits.

What if we could all try to be more loyal to each other, especially the people we care about? I can’t say for sure, but I’m relatively sure that dogs don’t go around stabbing each other in the back over petty circumstances.

I understand that unconditional love is far more complex for humans to implement into their lives, but maybe we could all try to be a little less harsh towards each other. Maybe we could try and look at things from a perspective of love and not hate and try and make the world a more loving place.

Lastly, and my personal favorite, what if we could just try to be less judgmental towards each other? We could all try to look at other people from a dog’s perspective. If they’re nice, loving, and caring, it shouldn’t matter where they came from, what they look like, what they believe, etc. Dogs see us all as “just people,” and that’s exactly what each and every one of us are, “just people.”

In the end, if you’re having a rough day go find a dog to pet. And if you can’t find one, just look at some pictures of dogs. My favorite is @thedogist on Instagram.

also: whenever this posts on my Facebook, Emma Irwin, please go check it out because that gets me more views 🙂 

falling in love with a polaroid

Last week I traveled to a town just outside of D.C. to do a babysitting/au pair job for three days. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for, but I semi knew the parents and really knew the baby, considering the fact that I had just babysat him at his grandparent’s house every day for a month and felt like I couldn’t say no to going to his actual house to help out for a few days.

I had to take a train from Poughkeepsie to Penn Station, and then Penn to a stop right outside of D.C. on Amtrak. The first ride down I only got to watch the sunset as I traveled down the Hudson River to N.Y.C. and I saw the night lights of Philadelphia, arriving at my final destination at about 2 a.m.

My über dropped me off in this neighborhood full of townhouses, but don’t judge yet, because these townhouses were huge, and five floors high. 

I went to bed when I got there without really looking at the house, but when I woke up I got to really see just how beautiful this house was. Each floor had a relatively different style/theme to it, the main living area/master bedroom being a stylish and chic modern contemporary, like a picture right out of the RH Modern magazine, while other floors looked like they were straight out of IKEA, and others having a sweetly rustic “Target decor” kind of look. While none of these are really my personal interior style, it was all so beautiful and definitely “magazine picture” worthy.


Until the last day, I had managed to ignore the Fujifilm Instax mini on the counter. For so long I have wanted to own a polaroid camera and take thousands of pictures with it. I figured that one shot wouldn’t hurt, so I figured out how to turn it on and shoot and I took this adorable picture of the dog in the house.

I knew that I was sold the second that I pushed that button, the flash went, and the film started to roll out. I knew that it had to be somewhere dark so I lay it in the closet and waited.


The fact that I had felt so excited taking just one little shot and watching the magic of the picture appear inspired me to finally buy my own polaroid camera.

My “one shot won’t hurt” theory didn’t go over so well, because I ended up taking six pictures, a.k.a. using 3/4 of their film pack, which I genuinely feel guilty about but don’t regret at all. I cannot wait to use my cameras in Beacon this weekend and then in Minneapolis in 3 weeks. (3 weeks? I leave in 3 weeks? What?)


On my way home, I put together my amazon polaroid shopping cart, and watched the East Coast scenery go by. The sun was out for my entire ride back up to N.Y.C., so I got to see Wilmington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia in the light which was amazing because I’ve never seen any of them that closely before.

One of my favorite shows is “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” so seeing Philly for real was really cool (even though the show isn’t actually shot in Philly).

In the end, I fell in love with polaroids. I imagined myself explaining the meanings behind my six shots as if I were a professional, and can’t wait for mine to show up at my door today.

searching for imperfections

It is currently 9:35 on a Friday night and after hours of cranking out some articles for my internship with The Odyssey, I somehow still have the inspiration and motivation to write this little post.

For whatever reason, I’ve really been noticing how much I point out the imperfections in not only other people, but myself, too, more than I should. What’s the point of being so negative? Everywhere that I go, everywhere that I see people, it’s as if my brain has been hardwired to only find flaws in what I see. “There is no such thing as perfect,” I say to myself, and when I do see something or someone who is pretty darn perfect, I then try even harder to find a flaw.

I’ve gotten pretty good at this “finding yourself” thing this past year after having completely lost who I was for almost two years because of one single person, and I can’t wait for the turns that this journey will take once I get to college, but even though I am happier in this sense and trying to really love who I aspire to be and the entire process of becoming that person, I still look for all of my imperfections. I blame society, whose cold, cold heart has taught us to seek perfection in other things and not ourselves. We know that this is a lie, too, because we can always find imperfections about other people and things thanks to society as well, but we are hardest on ourselves.

“These clothes look terrible, my arms are too fat, my thighs too big, my hair too thin and frizzy, my ankles too wide, my calves too big, my shoulders too broad, my face too round, my double chin always being present, my stomach too big waist too big hips too wide,” blah, blah, blah, the list goes on, you get the point.

These are all things that I say about myself on the daily, and while I know that I can never make them disappear completely, I have to wonder why they deserve all of this space in my brain. And when I see someone that I am either jealous of or think is really cool and being-my-friend worthy I always somehow find everything that I don’t like about them, as if I just cannot accept that they are uniquely beautiful.

We are all beautiful, and nothing is perfect. (There are some ugly people out there not because of how they look but what they do, I know, but it kills my thunder here). Why don’t we all try to find beauty in the imperfections since they take up so much of our thought space? Why don’t I try to think of my weirdly-shaped body that no one else seems to have and my ridiculously round face as things that make me unique? Things that make me different from others and beautiful as a human being. We are all beautiful whether we acknowledge it or not. We all only get one shot at life on Earth and we make ourselves miserable every single day trying to focus on making everything imperfect, when the real beauty is in the imperfections.

Search for imperfections, like we all so naturally do, and instead of searching for zealous negativity, search for the beauty, because the most beautiful things in life are found in the imperfections.

This was some truly motivational shiz. Very unlike myself. But take it as you will.

Emma

LUSH products review

For so long I have heard such great things about LUSH products. After finally deciding to try them out, I have to say that I am utterly disappointed. What happened? My expectations were so high, where did I go wrong??

I bought four products, those being the Maypole soap, the Avocado Co-Wash, the Big solid conditioner, and the Buffy body butter.

I’ll start with the best product that I bought, the Maypole soap.

maypole

For $7, this soap has done a good job. It has been about two or so months, and I still have more than half of the bar left. It smells lovely, although I was expecting a much stronger peppermint smell, not so much a candy cane smell. Would probably buy again.

Next, the Avocado Co-Wash.

avo

The one thing that I can give this thing is that it smells BEAUTIFUL. SO pretty, and it made my bathroom smell heavenly as well. But on to what really mattered, how well it worked. I don’t know if I was the problem because I didn’t know how to use a shampoo bar or what but this stuff was impossible to lather, didn’t stay together so it went really fast, and honestly made my hair look greasy and horrible because I could never wash all of it out. Really a bummer.

Next, the Buffy body butter.

bufyf

This body butter bar smells okay, but what I don’t understand is how so many reviews talked about how it went on so well yet whenever I tried to apply it to my skin a bunch of sand-like grains would come off and not melt into my skin. It felt horrible, like when your feet are wet and covered in sand at the same time. Why am I the only one who had this problem?? Just wondering.

Lastly, the Big solid conditioner.

big

This conditioner bar was equally as hard to apply to my hair and to get out, and it also smelled awful in my opinion. Like old lady or something. It says that it has sea salt, coconut oil, seaweed, lemon and lime, vanilla and jasmine, etc., but I literally could not stand the scent of it in my hair. Basically this just sucked.

In the end, I can definitely say that I will be sticking to shampoo and conditioner that is not in the bar form because this was so disappointing.

In fact, I had only bought the two bars (and yes I realize that they were not supposed to be used together because the Avocado one was shampoo and conditioner and no, I never used both of them together) because I was trying to be environmentally friendly. LUSH has this whole “naked” campaign where many of their products are not packaged in plastic, yet when I ordered the three products that were supposed to be “naked,” they definitely were not.

I don’t exactly know what I was expecting considering that my items had to be shipped, but I find the “naked” campaign misleading if it only applies to in-store products. I’m not sure if I can offer a better solution, but I have seen small cardboard containers that have an almost plastic-rubbery feeling lining that is definitely more recycable-friendly than a plastic wrapper.

I have not given up on lush, but DAMN am I disappointed.

Please leave some suggestions if you have any!!

warby parker try-on

Happy Sunday!

I have been in search of new glasses for a while now and I decided to give Warby Parker a try and boy am I in LOOOOVE.

I did the “try at home” option from Warby Parker which means that you get to choose five different frames that get to sent to your door, you get to keep them for five days, and then you send them back-all for free!

Trying my five frames on has been so much fun and now that I have to send them back and genuinely like all five of them I don’t have any idea of how I’m supposed to choose.

I love glasses because I feel like they say so much about a person. Within the five frames that I got, with each individual pair I felt like it portrayed me as a different person. There was an average frame, an “I sit at the library all day” frame, an “I kind of look like a rocket scientist” frame, a “super trendy yet serious hipster” frame, and a “cool mom” looking frame. I love the variety of identities and imagining what people’s first impressions of me would be when they look at my glasses-it’s really just so fun.

So here’s what the box and packaging looked like (excuse the quality):

box.jpg

paperfront.jpg

innerboxpaperbacklayout

And now, for the actual frames.

Bensen

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Durand

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Nash

 

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Kensett

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Barnett

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
How am I supposed to choose when I literally love them all???? The only one that I slightly disliked was the Barnett frame because it squeezed the sides of my head too hard.

Originally I was nervous about the frames because finding frames for a face as wide as mine can be really challenging. 4/5 of the frames that I chose from the “wide” selection fit which left me with 3 more options than I was expecting, and now that I love them all, I semi wish that only one had fit.

Oh well, I’ll make a decision at some point. But if you’re looking for new frames, try Warby Parker out. Or if you’re just looking for a fun dress-up activity.

And, by the way, you can order the frames without prescription lenses so that you can join the “people with glasses are definitely cooler” train.

TRY IT!!

You won’t regret it, I promise.

Emma

freshman orientation

Happy Tuesday!

This past week I was at my freshman orientation at the University of Minnesota, and lemme just say, WOW I LOVE THIS SCHOOL. It is so beautiful and Minneapolis is incredible. Minnesota, who knew? Assuming that my education turns out pretty well, imagine if I hadn’t have applied there spur of the moment? Oh how life would be different.

Orientation was one long and really tedious day, all to not really learn anything that I didn’t know. I did get to register for my classes though which was really cool, and I got to meet my academic advisor who seems pretty chill.

Being thrown into some random group at orientation showed me what it was really like to not know a single person going to this school. Within my group, I could instantly tell who was going to group off, and I ended up being pretty spot-on. There were the REALLY weird people, the guys with manbuns that felt the need to vape all day, the super popular and ditsy-looking girls, and then me and my fellow middle-of-the-roaders.

ALSO: the number of times that I was asked why I chose to come to Minnesota all the way from New York. TOO MANY.

But, as I started to sort of make friends, we ended up having fun after orientation was over because we tried to go to Dinkytown, got lost, made it, and then made it back in the dark. Who knows if I’ll actually meet up with these people again once school actually starts, but it proved to me that I most likely will be capable of actually making friends there.

For classes, I’m taking an intro to logic course, an “understanding cultures” anthropology course (YES), the pre-journalism course, Arabic, and campus orchestra. I had to fight to take orchestra because that puts me at 19 credits but it’s just orchestra and hopefully it won’t be hard??? And there was no audition so it can’t be that bad, right??? (Conflicted too because I have to bring my viola but I also really want to bring my guitar and how do I get that there/where do I put it but I really want it ://////// )

I’m semi terrified to take Arabic, but, new school new me and I am up for the challenge.

What I also loved about having no friends and being a complete stranger was that I get to really embrace being the person that I’ve always wanted to be without fear of judgement from my high school peers. I am so excited for this. I’m even considering picking figure skating back up because why not? And it’s Minnesota so duh. I also want to learn how to play hockey. SOOOO excited for hockey.

Here are some cool pictures-

sc dorm viewzwashave1wash ave2yellowwashave3Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

After I finished registering for classes on day 2, my mom and I went to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and then inside the Walker Art Museum.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

windchimes

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

yellow thing

You can’t beat the cherry. Iconic.

Minneapolis and UMN, I love you. Please be good to me.