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Sidewalk Stories – Artsy mom at Tribeca Farmer’s market

by Yasmine Adame

in Sidewalk Stories

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On this autumnal day, the streets of NYC are green. The season has long surrendered to the twinge of brisk weather and crinkly leaves taking over the sidewalks. Despite the trees covering the entire city with the most incredible hues from flamboyant red to fiery orange to more grounding brown, the adventurista caught touches of green here and there. Green markets that is!

Our choice, Tribeca GreenMarket located on Greenwich street between Chambers and Duane streets, is a Farmer’s market concentrated on a block or so. It’s not hard to see how its presence fits perfectly in the larger effort to restore a trusting relationship between us consumers and the food we ingest. Food Emporium on one end of the street and Whole Foods on the other, seem to frame the fresh, healthy local produce picture right.

During the weeks before Thanksgiving , stocking up on healthy, locally grown “vedge” had never been so colorful! Red potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, honey pumpkin, chestnuts, corn –or if you want to call it Maize for the rest of the season, be my guest. Oh! What a sight! Made us want to run for our canvas, get the oil paint out to brush up a still life master-work (if only the talent was there…) But hang on, our new sidewalk story is all about artistic expression and being back to those simple yet fulfilling things in life.

Observing the crowd strolling along the produce stalls, we are impatient to talk to one of the many families to feature our Sidewalk Stories. Carol, our favorite Sidewalk mom du jour is an Artist in the purest form there is. Prolifically creative, with so far little commercial endeavor. She is loading pumpkins into the stroller’s basket and seems ready to move on to the next stop. Her son Jamie, 5 and daughter Emma, 4 still need a little bit of convincing. One is demonstrating his might by carrying large size pumpkins over head, while the other gazes and feels gourds and winter squashes as if wondering about their unflattering warts.

Emma and Jamie are challenging each other in between bouts of laughter almost forgetting the real reason for this quick after-school trip with mommy was to run loose in the park right on the same block. Once reminded of their original destination, the two promptly drop everything and go; not before negotiating a promise from Carol to come back again. Carol and her family live a few blocks down. Asked how she occupies her time, besides the obvious, we learn that she draws, paints, sculpts and keeps busy in many creative ways.

We decide that we have the perfect sidewalk mom in our hands! From her first answer to our questions, we get a sense of her kinetic personality! Hey now, no artist likes to be boxed in and labeled, –guess that’s one trait Carol would allow us to generalize. Sure, we were a bit fazed and taken off guard by her blunt honesty, but quickly got back in the saddle to ride along. Our sidewalk mom has hilariously funny stories of her various life experiences. Mind you, the lady has traveled the seven seas. Far from her Orange County, CA youth, she started out with a backpack across Europe and later lived in Prague for a decade before touching ground in New York’s own battery park city and starting a family.
Enjoy this Fine Artsy mom’s interview!

All this lifting and weighing giant pumpkins! Do Jamie and Emma always enjoy browsing the green market’ stalls with you?
Well to tell you the truth we almost never come to this particular one, we really were aiming for the park (Laughs.) But yes they did, they’re having fun just as much as they would even in a store.

What other green/Farmer’s market do you recommend?
To be honest, I shop more through Fresh direct! I just wish buying from the Tribeca green market wouldn’t immediately equate to being “green” or less “green” if you don’t rely solely on it to fill up the fridge. I mean I recycle my morning papers and make papier mache art with it, I use toilet paper for gift wrap and avoid drinking water out of plastic bottle as much as possible.

The Union Square [farmer’s market], I would recommend, it’s hearty and big. You’ll find fresh flowers and a whole variety of plants and grass. We mostly get stuff upstate at Hurds’ family farm. With the season pass, we get to pick apples straight from the tree, eat raspberries from the bush, wander in the corn maze and get to be pulled by a tractor. It doesn’t get more fun than this!

Does the artist you are, like to hunt for some of her art supply in off-the-beaten path art and crafts supply markets or trade shows? Which ones?

I like Pearl paint, a Fine Art supply in Chinatown. It has this dirty, artistic feel, which always makes me feel like I’m getting the right thing. In general walking through Chinatown, I get excited by the weirdest shops. Like this old mechanic guy selling “antique” blender blades, I had to go in and get a box full of those.

In a city swarming with the World most influential artists, the critics’ darlings and the starving artists, where do you place yourself as an artist?

The most influential, never forgotten because I was never known in the first place. I have that luxury. No, but truly, I just can’t stop making stuff and create no matter what the intention is.
Of course I’d love it if someone knocked at my door and dubbed me “the next big thing”, but I’m not actively seeking that type of recognition.

It is by definition more liberating to create and have no commercial intent, but any dreams of your art ultimately reaching the masses?

If commercial success came for one reason or another, I would love for the money made to contribute to bigger causes. I know this is going to sound impossibly cheesy but if I can make a significant difference in the fight against child abuse that would be a real achievement.
A Foundation to help children in situations of abuse would be an ultimate consecration. Why does it absolutely have to do with fighting child abuse? I have no idea.

May we have you tell us about the ultimate Art spot/exhibits/galleries you can’t get enough of?

The Museum of Modern Art (Alexander Calder’s exhibitions. Great, inspirational work by the likes of Matisse, Van Gogh,The Museum of Modern Art http://www.moma.org: It’s small and manageable. I’m always there.

http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/AlexanderCalder . The Whitney Museum  http://www.calder.org  

Great, inspirational work by the likes of Matisse, Van Gogh, http://www.dianejarvisjones.com , Tim Burton, never disappoint.

Where does your inspiration come from? How do you define your Art?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Mostly people, human behavior and a healthy dose of humor and wordplay. Ideas do buzz about constantly in my head, so I carry a notebook to jot things down.

Good to know you don’t have to be “virtually” tortured to or retreat in remote places to create. Still the adventurista is curious to hear about your “hottest” travel adventures!

I lived for 10 years in Eastern Europe where I met Pete, my Scottish husband. Prague was a life-changing experience. It taught the O.C girl that I was that people don’t think the same everywhere. I like being made aware of how much I don’t know. In that sense, another incredible traveling experience was  http://www.tourindia.com/. A different world altogether! I vow to go again.

Where do you and Pete get to escape and connect as lovebirds? What special attention does each of you like receiving and giving?

“Le jardin” in SoHo used to be the bistro we liked to go eat mussels and feel single again. But it just recently closed sadly.
Right next door is my favorite jewelry store Helene Ficalora, there’s an inexhaustible amount of jewelry I love to receive from that place! Now as for what I get Pete, there’s a long running joke between us that I have gotten him every single thing made on wheels: skate, bike, scooter, roller blades, you name it. So my husband’s wish list for gifts has come down to: “nothing on wheels, please.”

It officially looks and feel like Fall, what’s a great drink to keep our
readers warm (and fabulously tipsy) this season?

Anything that ends with “holic” should do it! (Laughs). Any white wine from the Marlborough region in New Zealand has a light and fruity, it’s exquisite! Otherwise, I like cocktails that pair alcohol with something healthy; that way I hydrate while I get drunk! You should try to mix Pomegranate juice, a club soda with vodka and thank me later.

With a resourceful artsy mom like you, were Emma and Jamie in for the most outrageously crafty handmade, Halloween costumes?

My kids have gotten a bit blasé about me making things all the time. They dress up all year round with stuff we get from the store!

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