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I haven't been posting much to my LiveJournal, but I have been keeping busy with historical costuming, steampunk, and Bartitsu, the lost martial art of Sherlock Holmes. I am part of the international revival of this esoteric martial arts, and I run a club of practitioners who get together regularly to study and learn from historic documents. We bring historic martial arts expert Mark P. Donnelly to NYC every few months to teach seminars, and he is returning again on November 17-18, 2012. Everyone is welcome to attend - no experience necessary. Visit www.nycsteampunk.com/bartitsu for all the details.
  • smBartitsuNovPostcard
These photos are only a scattering of the many places we visited during the tour of "Oscar Wilde's New York City," a walking tour of Gilded Age NYC led by Oscar Wilde scholar John Cooper. If you'd like to learn more, we hope to repeat this event in 2012; visit nineteenthcenturysociety.org for updates.

Here are the tour-goers after the conclusion of our exploration of the places and people Oscar Wilded visited in Gilded Age New York. Eleanor, kneeling at right, holds a copy of The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. I am in the center with my green carnation, standing next to our illustrious tour guide. We are posing in front of 14 West 10th Street, where Mark Twain once lived.
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21 September 2011 @ 05:54 pm
The Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island is now a biannual event. I attended the August Lawn Party, where I met mystressprynne, exfish, thatjazz, and other NYC vintage lifestylers and steampunks. This year thousands of people showed up, instead of the few hundred of past years. It was a little overwhelming and I didn't take as many photos as last year, but if you'd like to see more, check out the Tsirkus Fotografika / Yelp photo booth set at http://www.flickr.com/photos/yelp/sets/72157627683009240/  

mystressprynne took this flattering photo of me. I'm wearing a headband made from old necklace parts and the same dress I wore last year, but I had more time to fix the bodice. Altogether not too bad for a novice seamstress working without a pattern. Next year I do hope to put together lawn party dress or tea gown - this one's more appropriate for evening.

A group shot taken by exfishof some of the ladies I met at the event - not sure if everyone wants to be captioned on LiveJournal, but you'll probably recognize a few of them! mystressprynne at left is wearing a beautiful pale green frock she sewed and a stylish cloche. Not everyone can wear a cloche and she looks great in it!

A group shot taken by mystressprynne and including exfish, the gent in center.
01 June 2011 @ 02:06 pm
Another great year for Steampunk World's Fair, the annual convention in New Jersey. The highlight for me was getting to try Bartitsu for the first time at Mark Donnelly's three workshops - I will save those photos for subsequent post. Only as we were leaving the hotel did I realize I forgot to ask anyone to take photos of me! There's only one shot of me in front of the hotel. But I took a whole bunch of the other attendees - greatest people-watching in the world was in the lobby of the Crowne Royal during the SPWF weekend.

[Steampunk World's Fair 2011]
Some familiar faces from the NYC Steampunk community at Steampunk World's Fair 2011: Daniel, Michael, and Dorothy.
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The Steampunk Fete in Queens on January 16, 2011 was hosted by Dan and Mary Holzman-Tweed and organized on Facebook. The Holzman-Tweeds are the people behind the monthly Steampunk Picnics in Prospect Park, and they kindly rented and decorated a room for us to have a winter picnic indoors. There was a table of treats brought by everyone, hot cider and tea, vintage games, a little mandolin-playing, juggling, and much good conversation. Below are some mostly candid-photos from the event. See the rest of them at my Photobucket album. By now you might know how much I love to photograph steampunks and write up these little recaps. Perhaps I have even ambushed you with my digital camera while you were milling about or trying to enjoy a spot of tea. If so, thanks for letting me take your photo and share it on LiveJournal and Facebook. As always, contact me through LiveJournal if you want me to remove, re-caption, or otherwise change your photos, or if you want a high-res copy of your own photo.

Many thanks to Dan and Mary for hosting us and making everyone feel welcome, and for everyone who came out for being so friendly and generally awesome so that even a shy person like myself feels comfortable talking with such fascinating people.

[Steampunk Fete in Queens January 2011]
Group shot taken by me, minus a few people who left early and the photographer, of course. Left to right, standing: Samuel, Aaron, Jocelyn, Catherine, Adrienne, Sean, Hilary, Kat, Dan, Tristan, Morgana, Kevin, and Kenneth. Left to right, seated: Nora, Diana, Miriam, Noam, and Mary.
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On Saturday, December 18, steampunks gathered to view the Houdini Exhibit at the Jewish Museum, followed by friendly socializing at the Waterfront Ale House. Ardent Houdini fan Miriam was our hostess, and the group was comprised of 25-30 or so steampunks from LiveJournal, Facebook, MeetUp, and assorted friends and friends-of-friends.

This wasn't an organized photo shoot, but I love photographing steampunks, so I couldn't resist snapping a few candids (the group photo and the one in the pub are by Professor Fumolatro). Forgive my not knowing/remembering everyone's names - if you can help with that, or you want to be captioned in another way, or a photo of yourself removed, or any other corrections, please leave a comment or send me a message.

[Steampunk Excursion to the Houdini Exhibit]
Photo by Professor Fumolatro. Standing, left to right: Samuel, Ashley, Marina, Noam, mystery gent, Sean, Morgana, Catherine, Michael and the lads, Hilary, Mary, Dan, Hannah, Rachel, Nyx Ann, Jim. Seated, left to right: Tristan, Miriam, Diana.
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22 November 2010 @ 04:34 pm
Our associates over at MeetUp.com organized a Steampunk Afternoon Tea, which was held at Tea & Sympathy in the West Village on Sunday, November 14, 2010. Because Tea & Sympathy seats only 23 people, the organizers had to cap attendance event after 10 RSVPs and I did not promote the event on LiveJournal or Facebook. Our group did wait a bit over an hour to be seated (they do not take reservations), but that couldn't be helped, and the staff of T&S were wonderfully accomodating. If you missed out, not to worry, they are working on setting up regular teas at a more spacious location and of course I will be sure to spread the word.

[Steampunk Tea December 2010]
Group shot taken by our waitress. Clockwise from lower left: Janice, Tristan, Robert, Samuel, Rachel, Steve, Morgana, Catherine, Katherine, and Brandon. Hopefully I got those names right.
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11 October 2010 @ 04:13 pm
On Friday, October 8, I went to New York Comic Con at the Javits Center. This was the first-time for me; I'm not actually a comic book fan. I do love science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and a little bit of cosplay, and there was plenty of that. It was pretty amazing to see so many people running around in costumes. One of my highlights was the U.S. premiere of BBC's Sherlock. I saw the first thirty minutes, then left for the Steampunk 101 panel, which was very well-attended. Although Sherlock was excellent, the audience was just a bit too rowdy for me to hear some of the dialogue, so I decided to wait for the television broadcast on October 24. Yes, rowdy Sherlock Holmes fans were in attendance - how cool is that!

[New York Comic Con 2010] 
Me and Chewy!
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I attended the 26th Annual Medieval Festival in Ft. Tryon Park last weekend. Once again I was dressed as Robin Hood, with a slightly better green jersey than last year's. The Festival had a stellar attendance, with as many as 80,000 people passing through the gates, double the number who attended last year. Below are some photos of the event, starting with my costume since, if you are following this blog, chances are you have a modicum of interest in my costumes.

[2010 Medieval Festival]
Here I am, channelling Errol Flynn with my Robin Hood jersey that I made from an old tee-shirt.
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