Tag Archives: Inspirations

Weekend Adventure: Hessler Street Fair

Cleveland Scene.com

Cleveland Scene.com

Although I have lived in Cleveland my entire life, this weekend marked my first visit to a local festival celebrating its 40 year anniversary, the Hessler Street Fair (website).  

The Hessler Street Fair started as an annual block party and in 1969 began its path to the street festival it is today.  Back then, University Circle Inc. wanted to bulldoze Hessler Road to build student dorms and parking lots, and thanks to the money raised by the street festivals the streets became Cleveland Landmarks and were saved from demolition. 

The fair today is a wonderful mixture of arts, crafts, music and food and attracts more than 10,000 visitors a year.  I, as a first time visitor, was greatly impressed by the offerings of the fair.

Hessler Road and Hessler Court (there is interestingly enough no actual Hessler Street) are the two roads which host the fair.  They are lined with a number of quaint, historic houses and end in a courtyard of apartments where local bands set up and played throughout the weekend.  I had the pleasure of listening to the JiMiller Band (website), who’s mix of jazz, bluegrass and blues was a perfect backdrop to the relaxed, free-spirited feeling of the festival. 

I did not get the opportunity to sample any of the food (as Emily and I had a craving for Tommy’s, a great Cleveland Heights food establishment), but we did stop by the craft stands, purchasing some fabric-covered hair clips and picking up flyers for a gallery opening of a local printmaking artist that I plan to visit in June.

My favorite part of the festival may have been the children’s section, Harmony Park.  A make shift drum circle was set up there where adults and kids alike joined together to make “music” and embrace the festivals musical roots.  

The festival, its visitors and the street’s welcoming feel made this a great first festival of the summer season.  If staying in Cleveland I would love to someday live on Hessler Road and partake in the planning of this yearly celebration of one of Cleveland’s great hidden neighborhoods.  Even when moving on and away from my hometown, I plan to make the Hessler Street Fair an event I revisit in the years to come.

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Happy Earth Day! Blog I’m Loving: The People Speak

Now I am a long-time fan of the UN Dispatch (link), the United Nation’s main blog covering the organization and it’s work, but I recently stumbled across another UN blog that I found inspirational, The People Speak- TPS (link).  In the spirit of Earth Day I thought it was a perfect blog to share as a new post.

The People Speak is a blog community for young people interested in global issues and making a difference in our world.  It offers a place for the youth of the world to post their ideas, form connections with other change-focused individuals and begin shaping the world from a very young age.  The site offers a number of applications for users to become involved in and truly gives the youth of our world a say in what is going on around us. 

Current activities on the site include Global Debates, Climate Crews, Youth Leadership Summit and Youth Climate Pledge.  One past activity that I believe shows the strength and potential of this site is a posted YouTube video where TPS community members were able to ask Ted Turner questions.  Now that is having a real influence. 

I may be just out of the age group that would classify me as a youth, but this site is one I plan to re-visit soon and re-visit often.  The youth can change the world and TPS highlights this fact.  Plus, I am pretty excited to learn how to host a UN-themed trivia night as well 🙂

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Are you as well-read as the President-Elect?

Today’s New York Times, in preparation for tomorrow’s big event of course, featured a number of articles about President-Elect Barack Obama, the inauguration and the current political situation overall.  One article I found to be particularly interesting though was “From Books, New President Found Voice” by Mitchiko Kakutani.  

The article talks about how through books Obama learned about the power of the written word to inspire and transform our world. This strong feeling toward the power of words and speech is unsurprising considering the praise Obama has recieved for his own eloquence and ability to move an audience with his words.  It makes sense that he is an ardent reader and shows once again the importance of reading and the impact it can have. 

In addition to the article the Times included a Presidential reading list to highlight some of the books that have personally inspired Obama. This list includes:

  • The Bible
  • “Parting the Waters” Taylor Branch 
  • “Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Gandhi’s autobiography
  • “Team of Rivals” Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • “The Golden Notebook” Doris Lessing
  • Lincoln’s collected writings
  • “Moby-Dick” Herman Melville
  • “Song of Solomon” Toni Morrison
  • Works of Reinhold Niebuhr
  • “Gilead” Marilynne Robinson
  • Shakespeare’s tragedies

I myself cannot say that I have read the majority of the books on this list, but I do find them inspiring and books to consider when my current book of choice is complete.  I will probably not read the entire list but I plan to hit a few and perhaps will then understand our new President from a new perspective.  And hey, who knows, maybe I will find some of my own inner eloquence as well 🙂

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Street Dressing At Its Best

the-sartorialistWhile exploring the Internet the other day I stumbled upon what may become one of my new favorite daily blog stops, The Sartorialist- http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/.  This blog is written by Scott Schuman the former director of mens fashion at Bergdorf Goodman.  After leaving Bergdorf to care of his daughter, Scott decided to start carrying his camera around and take pictures of fashion that is inspiring to him. His photos are mostly taken of people in New York, but he has also posted photos from around the world.  

Although such a simple idea, the photos and comments on The Sartorialist are extremely inspiring.  Scott shows that regular people can have fabulous style, and through his comments also shows us his personal fashion philosophy and views of the world.  His photos show that inspiration can be drawn from  everywhere and you can shop at anywhere from Saks to Salvation Army and still have fantastic style.

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A voice for the financial crisis

Bear Sterns CEO  James Cayne

Bear Sterns CEO James Cayne

No matter who you are, you are aware of or are personally affected by thefinancial crisis that is occurring here in America.  I currently am blessed to still have a job and to not be largely affected by the dropping stock prices, but it is still something that is on my mind each and every day.  The worst part about this situation in the fact of how helpless we feel.  We tune in every day to see the stocks getting lower, more companies going bankrupt and yet there is very little we can each do to help this downward spiral.  Well now one person is attempting to help change that silence.  Geoffrey  Raymond, an artist from Brooklyn has now given the people a voice, one canvas at a time. 

I first learned of Geoffrey Raymond when he was featured on the Today show for the controversial work he has been producing.  Geoffrey paints financial big-shots on canvas and then go to the streets of Wall Street, canvas and sharpie marker in hand, and gives passersby the opportunity to write on his paintings their thoughts and feelings regarding the current situation.  His works include paintings of large financial figures such as Eliot Spitzer, James Cayne and Richard Fuld.  I have since become intrigued by this man and his paintings, because although he is only one man with few paintings and a sharpie, his voice and the voice of those who comment on his paintings is being heard.  Geoffery Raymond is a great example of the affect one person can have.  It is amazing the voices he has been able to share through his paintings and shows us that it is not impossible to make our voices heard during this crisis.

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Inspirations

At Anthropologie, to help foster our creativity and inspire our merchandising efforts our visual manager requires each department to keep an inspiration binder.  Since I am part of the Home Department our binder is filled with anything that could inspire our work, but most of it is related to or could be applied to home products.  Kristen’s requirement of keeping this binder though has inspired me to create one on my own to foster creativity in my everyday life.  I have decided since this blog is a place for my work and thoughts it would also be a great place for my inspirations as well.  Therefore as I find inspirations online or that I can scan onto my computer I will post them to share.  They may not inspire you as well, but perhaps it will help lead you to some inspirations of your own.

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