Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Creepy and Cute....


Just two creative types..Dani and I, right before the mischief!

*Note: I am in a mad-dash scramble to post as many stories WHILE they keep happening
on this adventure. In order to do so, I've posted TWICE today!
If you'd like to see today's previous story, click HERE


People often ask what possessed me to start on these strange excursions and, while there is no one definitive answer, I would rank the idea of PEOPLE high on the list.

I have always been curious about people. My fellow creative, ambitious, funny, witty, bold folk. It is a strange, large tribe that we are. Those who run the same, or foreign course alongside mine. Those who agree or dissent. I am interested in you. I am interested in those stories, and it is always a fine time discovering the world of people.

I started this journey with the idea of meeting friends. Whether through the interwebs, or via long relationships of old--the kindness of friends has always been a balmy beacon, and has helped make these journeys possible, in many ways. A good kinship of offering board and even a meal, was the staple of old traveling bards, and in some ways, I type these stories as I travel along, and take kindness by staying along the wayside with friends.

My friend Dani would be no exception to this. A long time friend from my artistic life, she would be the first stop on this new journey out.

Dani is the artist's artist--and patron. She has loved art so long and hard, that she once headed a grand bevvy of Halloween artists, single-handedly promoting them while creating her own specific art works, which is no small feat. Maintaining online presence, advertising, and hosting shows, while making art and raising a family is a touch of magic and skill that not everyone possesses. For years I admired such acumen, but may have loved her more because she was a lover of ALL things Halloween. And as a fellow devout parishioner in that strange temple of High October, I would support this Queen of Halloween for all it was worth. In fact, she had set her sights further, and opened her own gallery of spooky

Dani is a Jersey girl, in that she lives in the state but, make no mistake---the place that she calls home was not a smog filled, crime ridden city. Like so much of upstate New York, which was an altogether different beast than it's ill-riddled NYC cousin, Dani's home straddled the Delaware river, where Washington made his famous crossing. And it was stunning--lost in nature and time. Gnarled ancient trees lay resplendent in their fall costumes; leaves rained like mad, casting surreal colors the golden air.  Her home was a quaint and curious mixture of so much color and art. Her life was not in the city, but her love of art was eclectic and chic and cool. At the same time, she was a warm, friendly, charming type.

I arrived at her home, and immediately we were off on adventures. We already had our plan for mayhem, and it involved our shared love of antiques. Yes, we loved old and curious things, and she had just the solution for The Antique Itch: within a half-hour's ride, there was a huge indoor/outdoor antique bazaar, boasting hundreds of stalls. All sorts of kitsch, vintage, antique and flea market finds were bursting from table to table.

I think I might have drooled, just a little.

However, once there, I surprised even myself...and didn't buy anything. There was lots of lovely stuff, and perhaps a few true antiques, but I was secretly holding off for my next journey through Pennsylvania, where I had promised myself a few antiques from the Victorian period. Which is not to say there weren't substantial findings to be had at this large market. In fact Dani--ever the one geared towards creepy and cute-- may have usurped me by buying a stash of old animal bones. Talk about antiques. For her, the old are oddies and curios for her strange Victorian themed haunted house of a store....

And, in fact, that's where we were headed next. We were going to New Hope, a town I had heard was a whimsical place--where old buildings gave way to older history and mingled with new and eclectic art and shops. Amongst them, The Creeper Gallery made it's abode.

Indeed, this place did not disappoint....

Antique houses showed off their charm. This Victorian is an inn AND a fancy restaurant. Make no mistake, the charm of this place is tempered, at least for the budget conscious, by price. Paradise takes a few dollars around here, but it was nevertheless impressive to be here...



Another fancy restaurant from an old stone building, aptly named hearth...couldn't you imagine a giant fireplace crackling in there?

There were funny touches, too. This gaggle of rubber duckies and (perhaps Halloween-themed?) crows are part of the window display at a fancy soap and sundry store.



Of course, the treasure of the day was The Creeper Gallery. You know about this place before you even walked in the door....


Heck, the BANISTER was decorated with a skull head. In here, it was Halloween and the Cabinet of Curios rolled up all into one. Think Jekyll and Hyde and Frankenstein....this place has a clever and creepy side....


Much of the art is done by Dani herself, alongside her partner. For an extra dash of morbid madness, old bones and shells, antiques, and art from other artists rounds this place out....


And while this may make my creative friend seem too dark, know that this gal is also as compassionate as they come. She is, I found during my stay, a rescue mother to a small army of sweet furry dogs, and a counselor to victims of violence. In all the time that I'd known her, she'd never made mention of that. She also was generous to me, almost to a fault. She loved my soaps, she was a gracious host....she is clever, but also humble in surprising ways. And, of course, she is brilliantly creative.

When people ask why I travel--this is one of many examples!

To see more of Dani's creepy and cool creativity, visit The Creeper Gallery Website!

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Where are you in NJ? I grew up in NJ near the Delaware river....gorgeous area!

Z Asha said...

Hey there! I actually was visiting my friend and she is along the Delaware river, as well! She lives in Titusville.

Her gallery is located in New Hope, nearby--you should definitely check her out ;)

Unknown said...

Ooooh yes...nice area, New Hope is gorgeous...I live in SF now, but if I come home for Christmas maybe I can check it out!

Z Asha said...

Sure! She would love a visit! The Creeper is a pretty cool place :)