It all started when...

A sparkling and vibrant art student took a ramble to California and decided to stop off in Santa Barbara for the night.....

Vasia! Happy Birthday my dearest pal and soulmate sister. There is no way I could isolate just one favorite memory of our times together.  So instead, here are a few vignettes that I hold dear in my heart of our epic times together.

Vasia in Brooklyn, July 4, 2009

10 Years of Friendship

I remember the corner bar in Santa Barbara where we first met. It was Cinco de Mayo (which, come to think of it, seems totally married a Mexican, have a half Mexican daughter and a half Mexican best pal). I remember it was a beautiful day and night which of course isn't rare for Santa Barbara. The moon lit up the beach near my surreal pad and we smoked and talked and Yoshi ate a nug. :-\ We hit it off even then but who would have guessed just a few years later, we would both find ourselves in New York City?  

Vas and Nat in Cyprus, January 25, 2014

Greenpoint Studio Times

Our first hang out in New York was at my place on Eagle Street. My memory is of us talking at the table and just being on fire with our passion and ideas. We were like, "Let's start a business together!!!" and "Let's get a studio together!!!" We were of like mind and heart in our search for creative outlets, in our longing for understanding, and in the desire to make meaning in our lives. 

One of my happiest and most magical memories of us is of our Greenpoint times. Bike rides, bottles of wine, men and art - our studio together. That funky (more than likely toxic) closed-in box, cold, no windows, crazy cinderblock desk we made...and we were in pure BLISS. What a f-ing creative time!!!! I didn't realize it then, but it's amazing to think of how formative it was for both of us. The seeds planted and watered have produced bountiful trees with creative and intellectual fruit that nurtures us to this day. I am so grateful we got to be city kids together.   

Studio times, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, March 13, 2010

Studio times, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, January 19, 2010

Studio times, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, March 6, 2010

Vela Studios

       Vela Studios website screenshot, May 14, 2009

Oh Vela! Who knew that one could have a blast at work? Who knew where the hell Darien, Connecticut was before we set out on our first (and NOT our last together) entrepreneurial adventure? Who knew that the parties at weddings are the best time for the production team to take a parking lot break to "clear the air"? Remember the website? Hahaha. Memory is a funny thing. Just writing all of this is getting me pumped about life. What glorious times we have had. I know I enjoyed them at the time but looking back now I appreciate it all the more. We take these moments for granted more times than not (it's so hard not to, even if we repeat the "life is short" mantra over and over). But Vela was so fun. I kinda wish we kept going with it. Not to do weddings but other stuff. Ok, no regrets but it was pretty awesome to work together. 

 Vas taking a breather on location for Vela Studios, Darien, Connecticut, June 2, 2009

Nat's awkward "selfie" on location for Vela Studios, Darien, Connecticut, June 2, 2009


Wow, wow, wow...Our trip to Cyprus was so epic on so many levels that I ask myself..."did that really happen?" Ok, I am closing my eyes and pretending we are back at Ishmael's farm. Baby goats, mud brick, delicious food...Ok, wait, wait, I am closing my eyes and pretending we are back on my last day on the Island. We drove to the top of the north and found that amazing little restaurant where you just so happen to bump into the future president of Cyprus. Ok, I am closing my eyes, Retsina wine, lemon potatoes, cliffs, donkeys, freaky church ruins, the beach...wait then there was the final adventure. I don't need to spell it out. The adrenaline and sheer audacity that drove, first you, and then us, over that wall. I think I will always look on that trip and that day in particular as one of the best days of my life, for reasons that I know you understand. 

That trip was unbelievable. It was such a privilege to be by your side as you began to walk (and LEAD) in this incredible, incredible story of a familial ghost town and the dream of transformation to an ecocity.  What a god damn inspiration you are, woman. I feel like the fabric on another dimension was opened during those times and a huge reason was the love in your heart and your ability to inspire people. You are quite a light to behold, a light that many are drawn to, myself included, how lucky we are to walk through this life together! 

Vas during a radio interview in Cyprus, January, 2014

Latchi, Cyprus, January, 2014

Latchi, Cyprus, January, 2014

Latchi, Cyprus, January, 2014

Trouble, Cyprus, January, 2014

The Crew, Cyprus, January, 2014

Latchi, Cyprus, January, 2014

Goat times, Cyprus, January, 2014

Cyprus, January, 2014

Lemonade, Cyprus, January, 2014

Family & Maine

Ok, so you are not a train ride away anymore. Ouch! :-( But, one thing that is clear by looking at the evidence below, is that even though you are a few states away, I am still lucky enough to see you! It's just like you said, we would get to spend longer quality time together. You were right. One of the most amazing things you have brought into my life is the sense of warmth and family and I am so so so so lucky to have found you guys. You and Armando and Zaia...Some of my best memories of recent times was the two special trips out to Maine last year. First, that epic spring cleaning (which was magical) and then the awesome time when Colby joined too. Now I have family in Maine!

Vasmando Apartment, Astoria, Queens, 2016

Vasmando Apartment, Astoria, Queens, 2016

Maine, 2017

The Beach, Maine, 2017

Auntie Nat loves Zaia, New York, 2016

Cuties, Maine, 2017

Cuties, Maine, 2017

Spring Cleaning, Maine, 2017

Spring Cleaning, Maine, 2017

Spring Cleaning, Maine, 2017

Rock Lobster, Maine, 2017

Vasia my dear, I love you!!!!! Our friendship is utterly unique and you are irreplaceable in my life. Who else can I have such adventures, such magic and also explore the depths with fearlessly? Only you!Looking back on all these awesome memories sparked a light in my soul. I can't wait to see what our future adventures together will be, my friend. What magic will we make happen in 2018 and beyond?

Your pal for life,