AMBER SEXTON New York City 917-207-2375

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rollei film backlog: part 2

image by Amber Sexton
So today I got some film back and it was all Venice I’m pretty sure, except that for two of the rolls, the CD’s would not read. So I just had three rolls of film to really look at. I emailed the lab and hopefully they haven’t destroyed the scans and can resend disks. Or really even better would be if they could just upload the files somewhere I can grab them. More light fogging of some rolls, and most pleasingly on religious themed images that would be sort of boring otherwise.
image by Amber Sexton
Also lens flare that for some reason makes me happy without it being all lifestyle
image by Amber Sexton
Venice is just very wonderful, and still there isn’t really water in these.
image by Amber Sexton
I guess I was bored by most of my pictures of the canal and water. Anyway I’m off to a more humble destination with a digital camera this weekend, and we’ll see if any fun pictures come out of that.

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/31 at 08:57 PM
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Taking a weekend trip

And I will miss the best human utensil using cats in the world Otis and Clyde. (Clyde and Otis respectively in this picture)
image by Amber Sexton

I am going to Pittsburgh and I’m sure they have cats there but they aren’t as good. But I’m going to try and have fun anyhow.

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/30 at 07:55 PM
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Took the wrong train home

Tonight I was able to leave work early and I guess was a little in my own world. I first noticed they fixed the steam leak right outside the office and there is no chimney type vent there. Just manhole covers leaking a teeny bit of steam.
image by Amber Sexton
I miss the ground level clouds, but I looked up and one of the buildings seems to be putting out steam on the roof.
image by Amber Sexton
Then I saw the new orange and white stack on 6th avenue, steaming up Radio City, which was magnificent. I see Radio City every day but it is always beautiful and so much a part of the city.
image by Amber Sexton
Then I accidentally took the F train and ended up strolling around Queens Plaza, I saw this building, which I found out is the Bank of Manhattan building. The light in the clock tower on top was spinning, or rather there was a wheel of images spinning which at first I couldn’t make out what they were, it looked like the tan markings on a nautilus shell, but eventually I realized the images were of standing people. The building is abandoned but I did some
searching and found out has been taken over for an art installation called. How Much Do I Owe You? I’ve taken video of the spinning light with my phone but all the places I uploaded it don’t show it at the resolution where you can see the spinning of the people through the clock tower, so it’s not worth showing it. It was affecting to look at and I want to go and take a look at the whole exhibition this weekend.
image by Amber Sexton
Anyway I eventually connected with a bus home but strolling in the rain was nice.
image by Amber Sexton

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/28 at 08:55 PM
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I went out on Friday

image by Amber Sexton
I went and saw my friends the Luxurious Faux Furs. I hadn’t seen my friends Josh and Jessica in a while and I had a lovely time, LFF can be very mesmerizing to watch and hear, and they are great friends who I can swap cat stories with. I have not been going out much but I had a lot of fun, and there was a headlining band that was very loud and quite fun, Big Bad Oven from Knoxville. I danced also which I used to do all the time, even though it was awkward in my snowboots. The next night I went out too spur of the moment with my friend Molly, and even though I felt, and knew I was ten years older than everyone in the place, I had some fun cocktails and great time. The bartender was a kid from Oklahoma, they played 70’s pop songs and then horrifying 80’s ones and my friend Molly crashed over and we had brunch the next day, almost like you would if you got lucky at a bar, except I’m just lucky to have friends. I really am.

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/28 at 03:34 AM
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January cheap prints

I’m selling cheap prints of my photos, each month I make a little gallery and offer them. Fulfilled by Adoramapix they are really good quality and as inexpensive as $5. Click here and in the gallery hit add to cart to see options and prices.

January prints_gallery - Images by Amber Sexton

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/28 at 03:23 AM
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Geometric manicure with Nail Rock stickers

image by Amber Sexton
So both my middle finger nails broke really short, and I had to nub my nails pretty much. To make myself feel happier about it I thought I would do an arty manicure with nail stickers. The Nail Rock brand stickers are from the UK and they have great designs but they are plastic and and not nail laquer based. I have found that this style of sticker doesn’t work without wrinkling when I try to use it on my whole nail, because I have very rounded curved nail beds. A portion of a sticker has less chance of wrinkling. The base color nail laquer is a lovely gray from Zoya called Evvie.

I feel pretty cool even with shorty nails. Still I can’t wait for them to grow.
image by Amber Sexton

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/26 at 07:04 PM
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cocktails of NYC, Manhattan cocktail

image by Amber Sexton

When taking this photo I realized my table is slanted, but it’s the least of my problems in this apartment. Anyway I could have fixed it in photoshop but leaving it satisfies both a wee bit of authenticity and also laziness.

By now you might have guessed that when making each of these drinks named for a borough of NYC, I’m trying to use a spirit that was made in the city. For now I’ve failed to find a NYC made rye. The Shanty is making a rye, but it doesn’t appear to be ready. They are a few scant blocks from my house and I’ve yet to try out their gin, but I intend to soon. Kings County Distillery only makes a bourbon and moonshine, I’m interested to try the bourbon but it was a bit pricey, $22 for a small bottle at Eight and Driggs. Small enough to be behind the counter to prevent theft. Anyway to make a proper Manhattan, there’s no reason to rely on bourbon anymore now that rye is back in a big way.

Once you expand to NY State, which used to make a lot of rye in the heyday of the beverage you have a some choices. I really liked the Hudson 5 grain bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits I was given for my birthday and I wanted to try their Manhattan rye. But again it’s a bit expensive at $30 for a small bottle. Then I saw McKenzie Rye, which I remembered reading a review of, and realized it was made in the Finger Lakes. I have soft spot for the Finger Lakes, and especially the Seneca Lake wine trail and knew I wanted to try what Finger Lakes Distilling was making. At $43 it wasn’t cheap, but it’s a reasonable price for a 750ml bottle. And I really do like it. They also seem to be using sustainable methods, grain that is grown locally and knowing the upstate economy I like that.

So…off to drinking. A Manhattan is quite simple to make it is:

2 oz Rye
1 oz Sweet vermouth
couple shakes of bitters. (I have Angostura, but the original way uses the once defunct Boker’s bitters, which is being made again but I haven’t tried any)

You may shake or stir this with ice, I stirred. Then I strained it in a chilled glass with a really fancy Luxardo cherry. It really is a delicious classic drink and totally lovely and flavorful with a smokey rye. I love bourbon but it’s a much sweeter spirit and it’s a different drink with it. I assume you all have had a Manhattan before, since it’s a classic and well known. But if you’ve not had rye, then do because it’s better and it’s what the drink is meant to be. Play around with different italian vermouths if you have them, I just have the standard Martini & Rossi myself but I plan to try Punt e Mes next. When I run out, which seems like it will be a year or two from now.

About the Luxardo cherry. It is the original maraschino cherry, from the producer who makes the best maraschino liqueur and the jar was so expensive I cough to wheeze out the price….$27…....ugh. On the other hand I knew I wanted to try them, I had one in a Rob Roy at a scotch tasting, and it was delicious. Everything about the electric neon bleached out supermarket cherry is not what you find in a Luxardo, which are very strongly cherry tasting, stemless and gothy black. One thing I like about the is the black color is that it takes the drink garnish from a slightly girly look to one that is very masculine and serious, besides the fact that it tastes fantastic. I’ve noticed that I’ve never seen a man order a drink which has a cherry garnish, I think this one can change all that. And certainly the cherry is a bit controversial in the Manhattan, as the olive is in the Martini. Both came later but I think it’s safe to say they are here to stay.

One drawback to the Luxardo cherry is there is no stem, and I have no cocktail skewers of any kind so it only something to look forward to at the end of a drink, rather than eating little morsels of along the way. Also they are breathtakingly expensive for what they are. But I plan to use them to add dark seriousness to other drinks that call for them, and maybe I will put them on a cupcake or two.

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/23 at 04:05 PM
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rollei film backlog: processing my old 120 film

image by Amber Sexton
I’ve sort of been looking for a New Year’s Resolution, and trying to participate with friends on encouraging our creative output by sharing and setting goals. I rarely follow through on anything called a resolution, but I am trying to improve my space and get rid of things and clear my some of my resistance to making more art of all the kinds that interest me.

I had not been using my old Rollei camera, for a few reasons, but the biggest of which is that I’ve 60 rolls I’ve not been able to get around to processing in NYC labs for many years. And it’s seemed pointless to use the camera or invest in fixing it’s messed up shutter speeds, if I never even sent out more than a small fraction the film. I decided for a resolution of sorts, I would pick the cheapest lab possible and just send 4-5 rolls out for processing and scans only each payday until I get through over 60 rolls, some of which have been sitting here for 7 years or longer. I also realize the last groups I sent out, I dumped on my drive and didn’t really look hard at or do anything with. I’m letting go of the idea of using a “great” lab at this point because that’s pretty laughable to insist on after how I’ve treated this film. And I really can’t afford the full priced labs and nor do I want to go pick up and drop off film. So I got the order form online for Dwayne’s Photo and have sent a package off and received it back already. I’ve also decided, before looking at any of what comes back, I’m to put the next rolls for processing in the envelope, fill out a new form and seal it up with a check before I even look at what I have.

Today all the film was from my 2005 trip to Venice, but one roll had these eery pink light leaks from being in a drawer for over seven years. This has sort of charmed me, especially on the two frames I include here. These like most of the shots are more touristy, or fairly strict documents of what I saw without being that interesting, and these would be too except for their pink auras. This one in particular is a relatively dry shot, that has turned a bit interesting.

Anyway my goal is to not be judgmental of myself as an artist 7 years ago. To not be too critical of my skills and misdemeanors of bad technique, abandoning film in a drawer, using a camera where flaky shutter speeds blurred so many of the frames, and just try to enjoy looking at things as I used to see them. In furtherance of the goal of fixing and using this camera again.
image by Amber Sexton

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/19 at 11:55 PM
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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

I love the term “ball peen” and I wish more things besides hammers could be it.

These words are those I would like to be able to use more often in the next year. I have to come up with appropriate conversations to work them into.

Ball peen
Tools of ignorance
Mellifluous—I’m waffling on this one, not sure it’s worth the work.

Some of these like “corpulent” I use at every opportunity. Others I’m going to have to create circumstances that allow me to use them. I love the term “ball peen” and I wish more things besides hammers could be it. I want there to be ball peen shoes, and ball peen cameras, and just other ball peen instruments. My mother was a jeweler and owned several ball peen hammers, but I saved a different hammer of hers, more of a mallet that I keep at home from her jewelry tools. Anyway I don’t use the phrase “Tools of Ignorance” other than to tell people what it means a couple times a baseball season, and I want to make more drinks with some quinquinas.

Anyway, this is my block, and this tree is deciduous
image by Amber Sexton

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/09 at 07:30 PM
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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Cocktails of NYC, Bronx Cocktail

image by Amber Sexton
This cocktail is well known, though of recent vintage to me. I’ve made a bunch of these now, and I’ve settled on blood orange and very accurate measuring as the way it comes out best. I am using Greenhook Gin which is made in Brooklyn, and it’s much more juniper and floral than the citrusy Breuekelen. I really like it and can’t wait to go through many of my other gin drinks using it. So a Bronx is basically a martini with orange juice, or rather a “perfect martini” with orange juice (a ‘perfect martini’ is one with both types of vermouth.) This is a bigger drink than many of the smaller cocktails I’ve been making and I’m using my 4.5 oz glasses with it.

2 oz Greenhook Gin
1 oz fresh blood orange juice (it’s about a whole small blood orange)
1/2 oz dry vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Martini Rosso)

shaken with ice and strained in a chilled glass.

The Bronx is supposedly the first cocktail with orange juice, or the first juice cocktail, though I don’t fully understand when that is said because lemon and lime juice abound in recipes. And certainly there were sweeter drinks, and shrubbs and smashes prior. But it makes sense that it’s early because you really don’t get a profound orange flavor from the drink, it’s not gin and juice at all. In these proportions the drink is neither sour, nor sweet, not orangy, nor strongly tasting of the vermouths. What is great about this drink when I’ve made it right is that everything is in balance. You taste the gin, you taste the vermouth, and the orange but it’s all hanging together nicely.

Posted by Amber Sexton on 01/06 at 05:43 AM
Cocktails • (6) CommentsPermalink
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