everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

I love the Humans

It’s the week leading up to Valentine’s Day and, whatever your status or your take on the whole festival, it’s a good chance to think about what we love. Whether that’s people, furry friends, places, foods, languages, brands, weather, hobbies, or even shoes. Or weird stuff, like those people on My Strange Addiction who love eating the synthetic filling in couches or love their car (as in, really love their car) or love their teddy bears as if they were children. (If you don’t believe me, you can check out the stories on the show’s website here.)

Anyways, this week I’ll be posting about some of the things that I love. Today, it’s the incomparable Humans of New York.

Image from the Humans of New York Facebook page here.

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

It’s more than a blog and a book and a community – I’d say that it’s a public service. When I first encountered it, I was hooked. With a snap and a few lines from someone out and about in NYC, you get an incredible insight into their life – sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes hopeful, sometimes heartbreaking. For a fanatical people-watcher like me, it’s gold.

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

Brandon Stanton is the man behind the Humans (well, technically he’s behind the camera in front of the Humans). What started as a ‘photographic census’ of NYC grew into a hugely popular blog and it’s now even bigger thanks to Facebook (the page has almost 3 million likes). There’s also a book of HONY photos and quotes that you can buy.

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

[Image from Humans of New York Facebook page.]

These are just a selection of some of my recent favourites. If you are on Facebook, I strongly suggest that you get on board with Humans of New York. You can also check out the book here and the blog here. I LOVE IT!

Advertisements
1 Comment »

This Owl Party Was A Hoot.

Sorry, couldn’t resist. It really was a hoot, though. My fabulous niece Lauren (one of Pirate James’ lovely sisters) turned 5 and chose an owl themed party to celebrate with her family and friends on Saturday. And my clever sister-in-law Jo, fresh from the Pirate Party Extravaganza only two weeks ago, created another incredible party, with beautiful props and delicious food. Oh, and 1000 screaming little people. Ok, maybe not exactly 1000, but there were a LOT of excited girls and boys enjoying the party. Well, except for that little girl who started crying hysterically when her water balloon popped before the old school water balloon egg & spoon race even started. (Don’t worry, she recovered in time for the Musical Statues game.) Here are some pics from the festivities…

Balloons and flowers - the cornerstone of a great party...

Balloons and flowers – the cornerstone of a great party…

Stylin' it up with owl party props.

Stylin’ it up with owl party props.

Fairy Bread - one of my contributions to the festivities. Not to brag, but it is one of my culinary specialties.

Fairy Bread – one of my contributions to the festivities. Just call me Nigella…

The canvas (hand-painted by Jo!) for Pin The Owl On The Nest.

The canvas (hand-painted by Jo) for Pin The Owl On The Nest. X marks the spot.

After the owls were all pinned. Methinks some of the kids could see through the eye mask...

After the owls were all pinned. Methinks some of the kids could see through that eye mask…

Some of our cupcakes with handmade fondant owls and flowers.

Some of our cupcakes with handmade fondant owls and flowers.

The fruit cups looked great, but weren't a big hit with the kids. The scary dragon guard might have had something to do with it, though.

The fruit cups looked great, but weren’t really a big hit with the kids. This scary dragon guard might have had something to do with that though.

A table of treats. Hoot hoot.

A table of treats. Hoot hoot.

Oh yes, did I mention THE CAKE?

Oh yes, did I mention THE CAKE?

So there you have it – an owl party fit for one of my favourite people on the planet. The best storyteller I know, an incredible little lady with crazy curly hair, a brilliant sense of humour and fun, an amazing imagination, incredible energy and such a social butterfly.

Happy birthday, lovely Lauren. And well done to your amazingly clever Mum!

4 Comments »

A Pirate Party

And so my lovely nephew James turned 3 last week. Yesterday was his much anticipated Pirate Party – the invitation won me when the RSVP section asked Arrr you coming to my party? It was another extravaganza from the party mastermind, my amazing sister-in-law Jo. Countless hours were spent getting everything ready, with almost everything made by hand and with a whole lotta love. On a perfectly sunny Sydney day, there were plenty of cool pirate outfits, crazy pirate shenanigans and some delicious pirate food. A fitting way to celebrate the best little pirate I know – when they sang, “you are my sunshine”, I’m pretty sure they were talking about this guy. Anyways, here are some of the party pics, me hearties.

Strict entry criteria.

Strict entry criteria.

The treasure map for 'Pin the Flag on the Treasure'. Yep, painted by Jo.

The treasure map for ‘Pin the Flag on the Treasure’. Yep, painted by Jo.

Hats and eye patches for the pirate guests.

Hats and eye patches for the pirate guests.

Cupcakes from the high seas.

Cupcakes from the high seas.

Awesome.

The awesome cake.

Arrr, there be the cupcakes, jellies (in a pirate ship), chocolates and cake.

Arrr, there be the cupcakes, jellies (in a pirate ship), chocolates and cake.

Amazing, huh? Yes, ok, I made these chocolate guys - under direction from The Boss!

Amazing, huh? Yes, ok, I made these chocolate guys – under direction from The Boss!

Bags of loot for all of the little pirate guests.

Bags of loot for all of the little pirate guests.

5 Comments »

Happy 2013!

Happy New Year to you, my blog buddy. I hope that you and yours have a fantastic year ahead, full of lots of everyday sparks! Now, back to me. I would like to state for the record that I have gone for a run every day this year. And done my physio-prescribed stretches every day this year. And blogged every day this year. And drunk lots of water every day this year. It’s a great feeling – now, to keep it up for the rest of 2013…

It was a swell party, Sydney.

It was a swell party, Sydney.

I am very lucky to live near a public park with a pretty good view of the fireworks, so it was very crowded yesterday on what was a beautifully sunny New Year’s Eve day in Sydney and a night that was perfect for fireworks. It’s always a great people-watching opportunity as the human traffic gathers on the grass – old people, young people; skinny people, fat people; people dressed in very little, people dressed strangely for arctic conditions; party poppers, party poopers; sober people, drunk people; super-organised-tent-and-catered-food people, super-chillaxed-chips-and-beach-towel people.

Portaloos and bins, the foundation of any good public party.

Portaloos and bins, the foundation of any good public party.

A guy was selling glow sticks, it was meant to be an alcohol-free zone and there were lots of families around – an excited buzz grew in the leadup to the 9pm family fireworks and then most of the people seemed to stick around for the midnight show. With the exception of a pretty scary incident with a group of swearing, drunk teenagers outside at 3.30am, which had me and the poor guy next door calling the police as a lunatic jumped the fence and started smashing things, it was a really nice night and a great way to see in the new year. Except for the lunatic bit, I guess. But I did get to watch that from the safety of my kitchen in my pyjamas, so it wasn’t too bad.

Yes, a whole bus for police. The kids round 'ere had glow sticks and were prepared to use them.

Yes, a whole bus for police. The kids round ‘ere had glow sticks and were prepared to use them.

When I went for my run this morning, it felt like the city had a hangover. There were hardly any people out and about at 7am, but those that were on the running track were full of smiles – probably feeling smug that they too have run every day this year and have kept all of their 2013 resolutions. The park area was a different story – it looked like a cyclone had torn through a rubbish dump. Along with the usual types of rubbish, there were full champagne glasses, shoes, clothes, metal chairs, tents and of course party hats, poppers and horns that had seen a better day back in 2012.

NYEtrash

People sleeping amongst the rubbish. Ah, this is the life.

And a good time was had by all.

And a good time was had by all.

So, here are some pics from my morning to mark the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 – thanks to those who will come this morning and make this area beautiful again, thanks to those who visited and enjoyed NYE in Sydney, thanks to the brilliant Foti Fireworks people who keep coming up with innovations that can make gunpowder magic. Happy new year – may 2013 bring lots of fun, laughter and good times with your families and friends.

The sparks are there, if we look for them...

NewYear’sDay Sparks.

1 Comment »

Arrr, me hearties

Let’s all be sure to mark Wednesday 19 September on our calendars with a big X. Because in case you didn’t already know, 19 September is officially International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Uh huh. Apparently, this day began ten years ago, when John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball in the US and started speaking to each other like pirates. No, they don’t know why, either. But they decided they were on to something and started to spread the word and encourage everyone to talk like a pirate on that day. It seems that it took off and was covered extensively by international media outlets, bloggers and scurvy dogs. Savvy?

The boys called themselves Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket and started the Talk Like a Pirate website, which features everything you could possibly need to prepare for the big day – a shop, a translator, posters, songs, some craft activities and a link to a Pirate Name Generator. My pirate name is allegedly Dirty Anne Bonney, so I’m not sure how that works.

Whatever you’re doing on 19 September, be sure to punctuate your everyday speech with an ‘ahoy there’ or an ‘aye aye, Cap’n’ or maybe even a ‘shiver me timbers’. I’m giving you plenty of notice so that you can check out all of the info you need here before you plan your festivities. Arrrrrrrrrr!

4 Comments »