Beach House and Wild Nothing played this week in Memphis. I was off. I got to go. I was so happy. Happiest old girl in Memphis. Smiling and dancing night away. Wild Nothing was bright and poppy. Beach House ever so dark and moody. All so intense.
When I heard at a little vintage shop in Brighton, England I swooned. Then in Memphis :: magical.
My best friend and birthday boy visiting
In the small Mississippi town of Meridian, Mississippi there are these two men, Sean and Patrick. They are dreamers :: creatives :: brains :: and lookers. They sit around late at night talking about all the amazing things they would like to do with their lives. In the time I’ve known them they’ve had so many different ideas. Their brainstorming process is a beautiful thing. Though, they are always waiting for the right idea that would mix their personalities, creativity and talents.
I was thrilled when I heard they have finally figured out what I think is their best idea. They are starting a furniture company called Mist and Fume.
Here’s a little bit about these guys. Patrick Flannagan is a true artist in a sense I feel we don’t celebrate enough.
With Patrick on my last night in the Queen City
Sitting on Sean’s porch
He works with his hands remodeling old homes. He can do anything you need him to do, but now, at the urging of many, he will be making furniture. Furniture made of materials that have a story. Pieces that you can pass along to your family with pride and love. I can already see him working late into the night with dust in his hair and stain all over his work clothes. Sounds like I’m setting up a romance novel, right. Well, that’s because he this super handsome artisan who is capable of creating so much beauty.
His partner in crime or in this case furniture, a one time boyfriend of mine, equally beautiful, but in a more computer nerd way, is in charge of the online marketing. He is a master with design and the visual, so I fully expect the venture to be a raving success.
Sean visiting me in Memphis with his partner Patrick
Sean is in the process of finishing their website where you can get an early peek at their work. In the meantime, they have created a temporary site (link below) and are running a contest that seems specifically made for me. The more people who visit their temporary site and enter an email address, the better chance I have of winning a handmade piece of furniture.
MIST AND FUME :: CLICK HERE
Though, since they both helped move me to Memphis, I’m sure they would say I don’t need MORE furniture, I still would love to have a piece by these two men I adore. I will say, my main goal is to tell you all about these two guys and Mist and Fume. I think you’ll hear a lot more about this Mississippi made furniture and the wonderful people behind it. Can you tell I love these guys? Best of luck to you both. muah
Last Sunday my travel partner and I split up for the day. We only had a day and a half in Berlin and each craved alone time. She had a handful of things picked out to do and I was in the pursuit of something I couldn’t quite name. With that said, the last thing I needed to do was bring her along for my crazy quest.
I took the underground and just get off somewhere that felt right. I walked back above ground somewhere around Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz along Carl Marx Allee in the old East Berlin.
I wanted to see the communist architecture. I wanted to daydream about what it would have been like to live there before the wall fell. I figured I’d find a bunch of people like me walking around the streets, but I didn’t. I really felt alone. Felt silly for snapping pictures of the giant tiled apartment buildings lining the street. Hours went by and by ,though, looking around I couldn’t tell I’d moved. The dreary buildings are copies of each other. Strange.
Sure, it’s been 22-23 years since reunification, but the history is tangible. Blessed with an active imagination, I found this graffiti lined park, took a seat and assigned myself a role.
It was 1985 and I was a spy for the west. With the fall in sight, my job was clearly very important. I won’t get into specifics but Jason Bourne has nothing on me. I looked fantastic in my furry hat and long wool coat, just in case you were wondering?
Kinda spy-like, huh? Maybe I need to toss the pink. I was feeling it, though.
Camille, my favorite travel partner, and I drove from Munich, to Nuremberg, to Dresden and ended in Berlin. I’m still forming my opinions on Berlin. All the friends we met along the way told us we just wouldn’t like Berlin as much as we did “their” cities. I loved their pride, and they might be right. Though, how much of a judgement can be made when only visiting a city for 2 days? My immediate judgement. It’s a city that feels cold and spread out. Maybe that’s exactly what it is and that isn’t necessarily negative. It was just a far contrast to the culture we experienced only days earlier in Bavaria where we joined people on picnic tables holding up head sized beer glasses until we craved the bed.
Sweetest roadside coffee break :: despite the cow odor coming from behind us
In Dresden Camille and I fell in love with our little hampleman
he he he
My half day walking the streets of East Berlin fit in perfectly with what turned out to be the theme of the trip.
Facts, dates and cramming so hard you’d have thought I was going to be tested upon return.
The day before Berlin Camille and I met this fun group in Dresden.
After an intense pool game, that my partner Robert (far left) and I won, we went to some trancy dance club where, sitting in a quiet corner, Robert gave me a little history lesson. The club had these old toys in glass cases along the wall, which as Robert tells me, are remnants from the old days.
Dresden was part of East Germany. He and I are the same age, so he would have been 7 when the wall fell. He was so good to let me ask question after question. He’s still letting me ask. Isn’t skype beautiful? Maybe he could/can tell how fascinated I was, and wants more people across the world to understand what people in the east went through. Once I properly explained how obsessed I now am with the stasi he told me a movie to watch. I just finished it. It ended with me staring at the computer with tears in my eyes. It’s called the Lives of Others and came out in 2006.
It’s a beautiful/touching film that was perfect to mark one week since walking the very streets where the movie was filmed. The movie also has actual shots of the stasi files, files that those who lived in the east are sure to be found :: their names and lives documented. They can find pictures, films and notes about who they talked to and where they went.
We also went to Nuremberg where Hitler built his giant Nazi rally site. They have created a wonderful museum, in the actual greek looking coliseum structure, that tells the story of how Nuremberg was used by Hitler. This one shot took my breath away. These are our American heroes sitting on top the big rally structure once it was seized. They look so proud :: so tired.
So, this was hardly a vacation. We did take time to enjoy the great beer culture. I have many new favorites that I’m trying to find here at home :: or somewhere in the country, at least.
Being a flower/plant freak I was was in awe of all the amazing geraiums and window boxes. Germany is so green. In parts so rural and beautiful. Everything was just so plush and alive, while my plants in Memphis are fighting for life during this heat wave.
I also got a big kick out of how hot Camille and I dealt with no a.c. We’ve both done plenty of traveling, but I don’t ever remember sweating like we did. She and I would wake up around 4 a.m. every morning and just look at each other. This was the scene in every one of our rooms. A very pathetic old school fan by our bed.
So, it was an amazing trip. In Dresden Camille and I were told we had to touch this statue thing that apparently brings a lifetime of happiness. It took everything we had, but we got our hands on it. The cities we visited have been bombed to hell and back. The people, though, are strong and clearly determined to not let their past get in the way of their futures. A beautiful lesson for me and Camille while in their country searching for beauty and inspiration.