JC Photo Tour

jc_photo_tour032_coverHellooooo! I was originally going to title this post Before the Snow Falls, but the snow has come and gone (for now). It is December, our mild winter is here, and it’s perfectly crisp enough to bundle up and go for a walk but still function as a human.

About a month back I took a personal day from work and went out into my own neighborhood to snap some photos. It had been a while since I got my “big” camera out, and I was jonesing for some quiet time. Over the past couple of years I’ve grown to LOVE Jersey City. It’s hard to describe. It’s low-key, up and coming, has brownstone neighborhoods, but also includes some grime, some gruffness, and a meh, it’s Jersey, what do you expect? kind of attitude.

I’ve walked up and down the blocks of this hood many times over and I’m still seeing new things. A new stoop, decorated for the seasons, a new restaurant, and proper bike paths being painted on the roads. There are old churches on every other corner which gives it a historic and sometimes creepy vibe. There are pockets of Puerto Rican and Italian influence, and then there are newer parts with yoga studios and $5 bloody mary brunches. It’s simultaneously junky AND beautiful. A city in transition.

So, take a walk with me…









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So here were are at the end of 2016! I wasn’t going to make goals for 2017 but as soon as I was asked there were a few immediate ones that popped in my head, so I guess I will. 2016 has been a year of introspection for me. I’ve taken my fair share of solitude, healing, and did my best to keep things moving along. I traveled a LOT this year, at least once a month, and now I’m taking a break from that. :) My boyfriend moved in and we are experiencing all sorts of joy.

I’m looking forward to having a bit more creative output in 2017. I’m diving into a few new projects with excitement. I’m feeling energized and in a good place. I’m happy with the shifts on the horizon.

Hope 2016 was a beauty for you and hope 2017 will be even better. Happy New Year!



Danielle Eastberg

Holy changes. David Bowie was onto something. I’m having a very introverted day today and it feels good to shut the blinds, turn off the stimulation, make soup, and chill the F out.

I’ve got a giant TODO task list for the weekend and most of it I’ve been avoiding for weeks. Stuff like…open the giant mail pile, call insurance, digital cleaning, put away seasonal clothes (snore). No wonder I’ve been avoiding it.

I started a new job last month (yay!) and I’m settling in now. I’m doing visual design for mobile and tablet apps. It’s a whole new world for me and I love getting into it. Already in the short time I’ve been there it’s changed my experience for how I view other apps when I’m on my iPad, and thinking about all the design decisions people make: colors, alignment, margins, drop-downs, swipes, toggles, and all that good UX stuff. :)

I’ve been doing a lot of weekend travel lately, for weddings and to see friends and family. Perspective is always nice but I’m happy to be home this weekend with zero plans for a change. Next week I will be heading to Florida for Thanksgiving and will be meeting my family at Harry Potter World. I’m most excited to get lost, be immersed, and of course have some butter beer. :)

One of the things I’d like to work on going forward is discipline and focus. My side projects have been slowly slowly chugging along but I’ve been struggling. A lot of times I want to distract myself so I don’t have to sit down and do the work. Any little phone call, text, or happy hour will seem so much more enticing and I’ve been choosing social hangouts over personal development lately. But I’d like to reel it in a bit.

I recently listened to this awesome podcast on personal discipline (you can find it here). If you are resistant to discipline for any reason this might be helpful for you. It helps reframe the idea in a way that discipline can actually give you MORE freedom, which was a good release point for me. If I think of it like buckling down of course I’m going to resist it. But if I look at discipline in terms of freedom, I think I can jive with that.

One great thing about the new job is that I have more commute time for books. So my reading goals are still on point. Also, I take a new train station that allows me to stop in the bookstore on the way to work and get a coffee there. The smell of the books + morning coffee has been a real treat. But also a stark reminder that I want to be doing more and writing more, and not just stopping BY the bookstore, but writing books to put IN the bookstore.

Between the job transition and feeling a bit unorganized, not to mention a bit uncertain about how I need to reprioritize my goals so that I feel more focused, I’d say I’m doing OK right now. And I’m learning, OK is an ok place to be. I once read that you shouldn’t blog during extremes, when you are extremely happy or extremely down. But it’s also dishonest to me to post overly cheerful posts all the time, when in reality I’m often feeling introverted and reflective. So there ya go. :)




I blame it on the bookstore / coffee shop right by my house. I can’t NOT go in. Even if I have 10 unread books on my bookshelf, more “starts” than I have bookmarks for. Sometimes I just get in the mood for a certain genre, or I’ll re-read an old favorite, while 3-4 of my other books just inch along.

I also blame technology. Because it’s too easy to go on my phone and distract myself rather than pick up a good book.

BUT. I did finish one recently. A really good one. After discovering the super addictive sci-fi show, Under the Dome, I’ve been on a mega Stephen King kick lately. Growing up we were definitely a Stephen King household. My mom showed me It when I was like 5. I knew all the words to Pet Sematery. For Christmas I asked my mom for a pure silver necklace, you know, just in case I ever met the werewolf in Silver Bullet. And of course, my ultimate of ultimate favs, The Shining. Just so genius.

Anyway. I got this book on a trip to Maine last summer. I started it and put it down for whatever reason. Now that I’ve been into Under the Dome (just started Season 3 and never want it to end) I guess I was curious about his process. How does he write? Anyone can be imaginative and have great ideas, but how do you actually get them out? I listened to a couple of his podcast interviews (here and here) which only got me more excited.

So I decided to pick it up again. I started reading on the subway instead of my usual Spotify and caught 20 mins here and there on my lunch break. Consequently, upon reading a book about writing, I’ve been doing a lot more writing. I’ve got a good story brewing and trying to get it out as fast as I can. It may be complete shit but dammit, I need to finish this thing. Always the struggle.

I think the best points from the book are this: If you want to be a good writer, read more. Read a TON more. The style will come, but keep reading. The other point he made that stuck with me was this: “This is about engine maintenance, not joyriding.” It’s never as easy as sitting down and creating a world and having all the right words flow out. It’s a process, one in which you can train yourself to do.

Anyway, just checking in. If you have the slightest interest in writing I would definitely check out this book. Plus, how awesomely vintage is the cover? His old office with that old comp and the Corgi running underneath?

I’m in good spirits lately so hope everyone else is too.


ggg_grand_central_01Every so often you need to ignite the senses. Enter: Grand Central Terminal. This one happened to be in my backyard, but somehow I’d never been. Many moons ago I read The Artist’s Way and I can say with confidence that it’s been one of the most transforming books of my life. I mean, it took me through a career change, opened my mind on spirituality, and helped me become a writer. There are actually three books in the series. I read the second one a few years after the first and started the third one a few months ago. It’s called Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance. I’ve been enjoying the creative reminders and getting back to basics. One of the staple ingredients to any creative process, says Julia Cameron, is the Artist Date. It’s where you travel somewhere to fill your creative well, whether it be a flower shop, a bookstore, or in my case, fricken Grand Central!

ggg_grand_central_03I let my mind wander and I let the camera snap. The experience was much more enjoyable after having seen all the Harry Potter movies. Any imagery that can fuel the imagination makes it 10x more fun. The station itself is fully functioning and busy! No shortage of commuters here.

ggg_grand_central_05Can we talk about these elevators from The Shining? (Not for reals, but kinda for reals…)

ggg_grand_central_07The bottom floor had markets where you could buy some goodies. (Cue Goodies by Ciara)

ggg_grand_central_09I used to have a teacher who would harp on us and say, “You’re living in an INTERNATIONAL city! Get out there and explore!” I’m trying to do a better job of that. So far this year I’ve covered the new Whitney Museum, MoMA, Grand Central, Cooper Hewitt, and the top of the Empire State Building. Next up: Museum of Natural History. Can’t wait!

ggg_grand_central_11That’s the end of the tour folks. I’ve got some chex mix in the oven that needs attending to. I was too impatient to wait for fall. Besides, the only rules are THERE ARE NO RULES! Have a great week.


10 Hours in Reno

ggg_reno_01What would you do if you had an unexpected 10 hours in Reno? Take yourself on a photo tour, duh! I found myself in this exact situation about a week ago. Already checked out of my hotel and a rental car full of gas, I had a full day to burn up before my flight and I wasn’t about to waste it. Let’s talk adventure. I started the morning at a little place called Hub Coffee. I found this gem on Yelp and was immediately hooked when they said they roasted their own beans. They had a great vibe and super friendly employees. Also, they serve cold brew decaf (I know I’m in the minority here, but I love when I can find this! Caffeine seriously jacks up my sleep schedule). Since my day was completely open, I asked the locals what to do next. The employees recommended Idlewild Park, perched beautifully along the Truckee River. I parked my car and went for a beautiful walk.

ggg_reno_02If you’ve ever seen Twin Peaks, you know the story of the Douglas Firs. Agent Cooper has a fascination with them and can’t stop talking about the smell. I felt the same way in this park (they didn’t have Douglas Firs in the park, but I did get to see them in Tahoe). The park had some sequoias that smelled like menthol lip balm –  in the best of ways. I also saw this building and it reminded me of a Stephen King movie. ▼

ggg_reno_03A lot of the houses had a similar look and feel to the one below. I love the whole Nevada/dessert vibe.ggg_reno_04Next stop on the tour was Saint James in Midtown Reno. This was recommended by the Hub employees for some good craft beer. I sat up to the bar and immediately got a recommendation to order the Kolsch, which I did. And, because it felt right, I ordered the house burger. Now, I came for the beer, but let me tell you, I would come BACK for the burger. I do not use this term lightly, so believe me when I say the Brasserie Burger is a culinary ORGASM (yes! really!). A MUST try. Such a delightful surprise.


After watching an old Western on the TV and getting away from the 100 degree heat for a while, I was antsy to move on. Some friends at Saint James sent me on my way to the next few stops: Ace Tattoo Parlor, Recycled Records, Junkee Thrift Store, and the Stremmel Art Gallery. I didn’t get a tattoo but I did stop in for a chat and to check out the scene. I also did a lot of exploring at the record shop, found some 8-tracks (cool!) and felt like I was in high school again. The thrift stores in Reno are super cool. Lots of old stuff, well maintained, and at a much more reasonable price than you would find in Brooklyn. I was lucky enough to snag a pretty unique gift for my friend’s upcoming wedding (I can’t say what it is in case she reads). But it’s one of a kind and I’m excited. :)


Next I walked over to the Stremmel Gallery. I was originally going to check out the Nevada Museum of Art but they are closed on Mondays. The Stremmel Gallery did not disappoint though. First off, it’s FREE. Did I mention, FREE? FREE! Much appreciated indeed. You walk in and get a blast of air conditioning, a great open white space and your eyes immediately go to the art. They have a little Jack Russell Terrier wandering around which I smothered profusely.


That’s me after a little too much sun but still enjoying myself. The final stop on the tour was none other than the Reno Rodeo! A local told me this was happening and it only happens once a year. How could I resist? Good cheap fun. It was very old school. The half-time “show” was low-fi and priceless. Think American flags flapping in the breeze and horses running in circles. I guess I grew up in the world of huge basketball arenas with intense t-shirt canon launchers and extremely flexible traveling gymnasts. This was not that. It was wild west, American pride at its finest, and wild mustangs that had the power to be tamed (only by the right cowboy of course). It was quite entertaining and I’m glad I got to experience it.

ggg_reno_08Seriously, do yourself a favor and check out Reno if you get a chance. There’s a lot of good stuff, a lot of nice people, and a laid-back atmosphere. It surprised me how much I loved it, and it might surprise you too.ggg_reno_09



True life…it’s been forever and a day since I’ve made a moodboard! There’s a beautiful sunshine outside but all I feel like doing is staying in, drinking coffee, listening to soulful sounds and being creative. Go figure.

Feeling black and tan today (also, I’d like a black and tan right now, but that’s a different story…).

Did a ton of writing this morning. Whenever things feel off-kilter, I usually just need to write. The problem is getting myself to sit down and do it. I will fuss and kick and say, “What’s wrong with me, why do I feel so off?!” but usually I know. Sometimes I write stream-of-consciousness, other times I write a small story or a scene I’ve been playing out in my head, or sometimes I write towards a larger novel. The point is I’m doing some sort of creative output and then I feel better.

Things are on the up and up lately. I’m going to Lake Tahoe in a little under a month to get away from the city and celebrate my friend’s wedding, so that will be great. Summer is here which means walks in the park, iced coffee and rooftop drinks. My apartment is clean, I’ve been exercising regularly and eating semi-healthy…so yay adulthood!

Listened to this entire album while making this. Feeling pensive in a good way. Now I’m off to a show tonight. Hope everyone had a great long holiday weekend. :)




My friend and copywriter recently left at my job to go teach music. Before he did, I read a dynamite post on his blog which inspired me to write my own. Here’s a little snapshot of some things I’ve picked up along the way:

1. You would love everyone if you knew their story
The older I get the more compassion I have. New York is one of those places that puts you to the test every single day. When you’re crammed on a subway with zero personal space and strangers pressed up against you, you can either learn to become extremely angry or extremely relaxed.

When I encounter someone who is rude, I try to think up a story in my head for why they might be having a bad day. For example, if a woman smacks me with her bag (often), I think: maybe she has 3 kids and is low on sleep, maybe she’s in debt, or maybe she’s honestly unaware. I’ve been that person too.

You never know what people are going through in life, so try to be kind rather than attack.

2. Whatever the problem, sleep is the answer
Holy moly if only I followed this advice more. If you’re crabby, worried, stressed, anything, just go to sleep. Nine times out of ten you’ll wake up in a better mood. So many of life’s problems can be solved on a clear head.

PS If you ever have trouble sleeping like I do, I have discovered the wonderful miracle that is Melatonin. I call it “Mellie” for short. It’s all natural, you get it at Whole Foods, and 3mgs will knock you out.

3. Whatever the problem, a walk is the second best answer
Get out of your apartment, get out of your head, go for a walk. It will help everything, promise. Extra bonus points if you can get an iced latte + sunshine in the mix.

4. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Don’t worry, you’re doing it right, you’re here for a reason. Everything lead you up to this moment, and you can re-evaluate and change course at any time if you feel off.

5. Listen to your tiny mad ideas
When you get a bug, or a blip of an idea, for goodness sake write it down. Take action. Don’t question it, just use it and go with it. Too often I think of something and then think, that was weird, why did that pop in my head? But I’m learning to harness it.

Sometimes it can be as simple as texting a friend, and then they will say, “That was so weird I was just thinking XYZ! Have you heard about this?” and BAM, there was a reason you thought of it.

Most recently I signed up for Motorcycle Safety School. Say what? Yep, tiny mad idea. Moto themes have been popping up for the past several weeks. I used to ride when I was in Minn but never in the driver’s seat. But now, more than ever, I have an urge to be in the driver’s seat, in every aspect of my life. So I found this class and am strangely excited for something that is way out of my comfort zone in terms of hobbies. But, I’m going with the flow.

6. Shitty first drafts
This gem comes from Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird. When you’re stuck, just write a shitty first draft that no one will ever read. Get the words out on paper and let them be totally dumb. I apply this to design too. When I’m stuck, get rid of the whitespace, move things around, just try something that no one will ever see. It’s the only way to get the flow going.

7. Eye contact
I’m stealing this one from Paul because it’s so good. Ever in a situation where you know you should make eye contact, but it feels awkward, so you end up looking away? Well, the solution is simple: just blink. This trick has literally changed my life even in the past week.

8. Going away gifts can change someone’s life
In New York there is a high turnover of people coming and going, especially at startups. I’ve switched jobs myself and have lost count of how many people have left even in the 2 years I’ve been here. One trend I’ve noticed is the going away gift. I’ve met some sweet people who, upon departure, have gifted me everything from a homemade dinner, a microphone for recording music, and expensive lipstick that I would never have splurged on myself. It sounds weird if you’re not used to it, but I love the communal exchange. It really opens doors for you if you let it. And it shines light on what’s important in life, which is relationships. So thank you friends, and you better believe I’m paying it forward.

9. Weekends are for resting, sans guilt
I still struggle with this, the feeling that if I’m not being productive I’m wasting time. But the past month or so I’ve been forcing myself to slow down, and it really is a healthy mindset. I mean, just look at Californians, with their glowing skin and stress-free attitudes…

10. Take a beautiful drive
Get some coffee, find a long stretch of highway, put on a mix and cherish it. All you non-NYers take driving for granted. But here, driving is a TREAT. And also, therapy. Maybe it’s cause we’re cooped up in these tiny little apartments. But the open road is such a luxury. Today I got on the turnpike and just went for it. I could have driven straight to Philly if I let myself. It can be meditative or restorative, however you need it.

That’s all for now. :)




For those days when you gotta kick off your heels, throw on your chucks, and make some NOISE. That’s exactly what I did this weekend. I’ve been in a funk the past few days and a trip to the practice space was just what the doctor ordered. I feel lucky because we have a studio here that you can rent by the hour and most of the equipment is already there. So my friend (who plays drums) and I went to go rock this blues away.

One of the things I realized is that I miss being loud. When you live in the city, or live in an apartment in general, you never really get to go off the rails. The only time I get to sing is when I’m in the car, which isn’t very often. I loved turning up the amp (while wearing ear plugs of course) and just feeling it in the whole room. I also got to sing/yell/scream which is such a release.

On the setlist was Band of Skulls, Heartless Bastards, The Ataris, and of course some original nonsense. I don’t claim to be good at guitar, but I’m learning to embrace it and let go and have fun anyway. I also played drums for a solid 20 minutes before my leg got tired, which is pretty much a miracle. It just felt so good to get lost for a sec.

So now I’m inspired to learn more songs. I’ve got 3-4 in the queue and I’d like to get back to the space within a month. I’m still trying to detox and playing music not only has nostalgia for me (hello, high school) but also brings me back to my roots creatively. It’s just a good hobby all around.

Until then, signing off with blistered fingers…




It’s that time, when the snow hits the ground and everything is grey outside, and you just want summer and something else.  I’ve been going 100mph for a little too long and I think I’m finally cracking. But that’s ok, cracking is a good thing, it leads to new things. I realized that I need a major overhaul, and first, a major detox. The old ways have not been working. Time to shed this skin and try something different.

I would like to take the next 3-4 months (or however long it takes) and just chill out. I’m clearing my weekends. I’m taking on less freelance work. I’m not trying to anxiously or intensely plan anything, but instead become empty again. There is a great passage in one of Marianne Williamson’s books that goes like this:

In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept called “zen mind,” or “beginner’s mind,” They say that the mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If it’s already full, then the universe can’t fill it. If it’s empty, it has room to receive.

So I’m working on emptying my rice bowl again. Forgetting everything I know (well not everything, but anything that hasn’t been serving me), and clearing the plate for better things ahead. I removed all social media from my phone. I haven’t decided if I will delete it from my desktop yet, but I may. It’s just too easy to get wrapped up in it, and I’d like things to be a little more peaceful.

Also, and maybe not coincidentally, I’ve been on a motorcycle kick lately. I’ve been dreaming of California and the PCH and roadtrips. When I used to ride the subway during my old commute I had a long stretch where I could read. I got about halfway through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I’m looking forward to picking that up again. And finally, during my last hair cut my lady gave me an anti-frizz product called Easy Rider. I know, I know. So every morning I see it and think of that movie, which I haven’t watched for years, but it’s happening tonight! :)

I’ll check back in here when I’m feeling creative again. But for now, no expectations, and no stress.

(photo via)


girlgonegraphic_texas_1girlgonegraphic_texas_2I was a first-timer, a Texas virgin! But boy am I happy that I went and got to experience this. I flew into Ft. Worth on a last-minute whim and spent a couple days exploring the area. I’ve been to a lot of places in the US, but I can say with certainty that this trip was most out of my comfort zone (which is good). I went to my first honky tonk, danced the 2-step, attended a rodeo, and even made my own Coke in one of those machines.

There were boots and hats everywhere (it’s legit fashion, not even made-for-tv). And food – yes. I got some really good mexican, and tried the locally-famous Whataburger (which tasted really really fresh!). Everyone was kind, and southern hospitality is real. I envision more trips in the future, but next time I’d like to get out to the desert and see the Marfa lights.

It was a wonderfully restorative trip, and a great adventure. I feel whole.