Persona or Presence?

Once upon a time I was a zero.  Just a faceless office drone making fresh pots of coffee, typing out minutes of meetings and filling staplers with little pieces of metal. Then bout’ three years ago I came up with this unbeatable idea: BE A STAR ON THE INTERNET!  Okay, let me reverse that a bit.  I actually decided to sell everything I owned to travel this wild, quirky, unexplainable world. My cherry red couch became a cherry red backpack, then I finally chose to become an Internet force.  This blog was birthed to share my honest thoughts on being a mature woman who travels a lot and alone. As I began to navigate this crazy Internet existence it became clear to me that I had to adopt some kind of brand. Be something.  I looked around at this idea of image and soon enough, I found myself making connections.  My image was making friends with other images.  People I may never meet in person, but when I do there’s always a tangle of nerves in my stomach.

By |May 24th, 2013 |Categories: Life |32 Comments
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5 Instagrams I Love

Every content creator from bloggers to businessmen have their tools.  Lately I’ve become wildly enamoured with Instagram. There is something exotic, almost inexplicable about a moment.  How it trickles into being.  A surreal sense that something is happening to you, part of your brain is watching it happen and then your memory fires to capture it. That’s Instagram.  It’s the kind of tool that’s a revolving map to those collective moments.  How they all add up to where you are and what you’re experiencing. I recall many a time when I’d encounter a person or a scene, turn to the air and ask “Did you just see that?”   The stubborn air always kept silent. Now you can see it.  Share it. And ‘like’ it.  Instagram may seem narcissistic, a venue for bad photographers to look capable or full of pointless dog photos, but I enjoy its immediacy. As a traveler, events accelerate so quickly for me that it’s comforting to know when I’m decrepit and my mind is fading that the things I experienced are archived.  That they did exist. As for the company itself, creators Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched Instagram on October 6, 2010.  By day one, there were 25,000 users signed up.  By February of 2011, Instagram was valued at 25 million.  Their product kept growing as Twitter and Facebook users uploaded the play-by-play of their lives at an exponential speed. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook had been watching them since the beginning and always anticipated the two companies melding together.  By the time Facebook was ready to buy, 30 million iPhone users were using the app.  I highly recommend reading a Vanity Fair feature on the inception and denouement when Facebook finally purchased Instagram. On a deeply personal note, […]

By |May 20th, 2013 |Categories: Life |14 Comments

Modern Art Galleries in Shanghai

I last left you with street art in Wuxi and Shanghai, promising to write about the commercial art galleries in Shanghai. Known as 50 Moganshan Lu or M50, I had expected a small collection of galleries.  After rallying her and her to join me for a wander, it became obvious M50 is an extensive creative park. How apt that the map of the property also calls it a ‘creative park’.  The art galleries that were once factory spaces are a labyrinth, offering a variety of artistic styles — from oil paintings, to mixed media, pure photography or sculpture installations. I sunk back into this environment with surprising ease, after being permanently scarred all those years, carted around by my ex as his art ‘wife’. For a change, art and I were alone, without the pompous airs.  We lit candles to set the mood and held hands, which allowed me to make new discoveries about modern art in Shanghai. Contrary to misconceptions about Chinese censorship, there seems to be a lot of freedom to express oneself.  M50 is accessible by taxi (not really metro) and prepare to spend a few hours walking and unearthing some hot and happening work. My friends and I searched by instinct.  If an exhibition seemed worth a look, we went in.  You can also gauge a map for what might interest you when you arrive or research online.  There’s certainly no correct way to savior art, no matter what those pedantic art critics say.

By |May 15th, 2013 |Categories: Culture, Shanghai |18 Comments