Seeking Color In The US

Interview with Music Man Beethoven

Maggie OwensComment

Though this is a color blog, we are committed to appealing to more than just the visual senses. This is the second edition of our ongoing "Musician's Spotlight Series," where we interview talented musicians and ask them about colors, not sounds, because COLORS ROCK SOUNDS SUCK. 

Our first musician interview was with the iconic John Mayer. Since he's literally number one musician ever, we decided to follow up with the next best thing, Ludwig van Beethoven. 

Name: Ludwig van Beethoven

Hometown: Bonn, Germany

Where We Met: Brevard, North Carolina

Favorite Color: According to the reputable site entitled "Sydney and Mia's page on Ludwig Van Beethoven," his fave color = green. 

Single or married: Single, but "not for long," Rachel said. 

Careful, Ludwig. Something tells me this gold-digger is just trying to cash in on those Für Elise royalties.

Mount Rogers: Come For The Ponies, Stay For The Cell Service

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After a Couple of days driving around rural North Carolina, we arrived at the daunting conclusion that me might have to climb a fucking mountain in order to get some cell service.  Well actually Rachel needed cell service.  Maggie and Ceil, having been living out of a car together for months were basically dead to the world.  Apparently Rachel still had friends and family back home that she needed to connect with.  

Fortunately we were close to Mount Rogers at Grayson Highland State Park.  Right on the border between North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, you can see all three states from the peak.  But what really attracts visitors to this park is not the awesome panoramic view, but the wild ponies.  

Yes, Wild Ponies.  

For some reason, they (the Parks Department? Appalachian mountain people?  a group of wealthy eccentrics?  who knows!?) introduced a pack of about 120 wild Shetland ponies to this park.  The ponies have since become an important park of grassland management.  

The ponies are friendly and comfortable around people- at least comfortable enough to allow Maggie to sexually assault one of them...

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Rachel was finally able to check her Instagram when we got the peak!

Check out this mountain-top action shot of Rachel getting a second bar:

Here's Maggie trying to find out if anyone back home still remembers her name:

Ceil doesn't have a smart phone so she has to entertain herself in other ways...

Learning to Seize the Day the Hard Way

Maggie OwensComment

After spending (surviving?) the night at a campground sandwiched between two colonies of bikers ("hello boys, buy us a drink?") ("JK, please don't murder us and if you have to, start with Ceil and Rachel first, please"), we were happy to be alive and decided to carpe that diem. 

Fifteen minutes later, the sun came up and quickly squashed our optimism like a bug on the helmet of a biker, as he decides to murder Rachel and Ceil first... hopefully. 

It was effing hot and, knowing we were about to hike Mount Rogers, we decided to stop at the Fox Creek General Store for some provisions. 

Because she is an educator and "our future" and all that jazz, Rachel was wise enough to buy a Fox Creek hat to shield her face from the sun. Maggie and Ceil, who are less "our future" and more "future Darwin Award recipients," purchased 2 pulled pork sandwiches and a full pecan pie, respectively. 

 What Robin Williams forgot to mention in Dead Poets Society is that just because you CAN seize the day, it doesn't always mean you should. Do you hear me, Maggie? Do you hear me? 

What Robin Williams forgot to mention in Dead Poets Society is that just because you CAN seize the day, it doesn't always mean you should. Do you hear me, Maggie? Do you hear me? 

The bad news is Maggie and Ceil's 11th hour food decisions made for a difficult — if not completely traumatizing— hike up the mountain in the sun (but more about that later). In fact, I believe either of them would've gotten on the back of the bike of any menacing biker just to hurry it up.

The good news is the Fox Creek owner's daughter left us the easiest interview ever. Her name is Allyson and her favorite color is pink, y'all. When she grows up, she wants to be a good witch and wear green sparkly clothes and maybe live in China. Maybe. You go girl — seize the day. Carpe that diem! Just stay away from bikers and whole pies before you go on a hike. 

Williamsburg Alex

Maggie OwensComment

Our interview with Alex, a character actor at Colonial Williamsburg, is short but sweet. It's mostly short because he was struggling to stay in character as a 17th-century cobbler's apprentice, while we battered him with questions like, "What's your favorite Starbucks order — a Tall Matcha Frappuccino or a Grande Matcha Frappuccino?" 

Where are you from? 

I'm from just out out town.

What's your favorite color and why?

Green because I love trees.  


And that's it!  Great interview right?

To be fair, the employees of Colonial Williamsburg are trained to answer questions about cobbling and soap making (and a whole bunch of other shit we didn't care about). Teenage boys pretending to be Colonial-Era shoemakers probably aren't regularly prepped for interviews for a blog about girls driving around in a Jetta looking for the rainbow.  

Awesome Party In Williamsburg

Maggie Owens2 Comments

We couldn’t visit New York without going to a fucked up, hipster after-hours in Brooklyn.

Thin men in large hats? I don't think we're in Kansas any more, Toto... because we're most definitely in BROOKLYN! The bigger the brim of the hat, the bigger... the appetite for learning artisan trades! Look at this party animal cobbling his own shoes. 

Check out these completely unironic glasses Ceil picked up, inspired by Benjamin Franklin!  

Flower crowns galore, y'all. And since when did the mop hat come creeping back into fashion? Don't bother asking this dynamic duo if they have a solid hook-up for molly. They'll just try to send you to "sister Molly over yonder churning butter," whatever the fuck that means. 

Damn, Rachel. Where'd you get that mop hat? That was quick! 

Like a true Brooklyn party, this was the place to SEE AND BE SEEN. Boundary-defying fashion to your left and to your right, the people watching was supreme. It had us asking questions like a) how is it possible to dance all night in a floor-length apron? b) why is everyone wearing pioneer clothing? c) are you guys sure we're in Brooklyn? 

Okay, okay... it's clear now. We were most DEFINITELY not at a warehouse party in Williamsburg, but rather a daytime tour of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. This... this is embarrassing. 

Yikes... Someone should tell Rachel. She's turnt. 

Raleigh- It Was Hot

Maggie Owens1 Comment
 Rachel at Artist Chris Drury's  Cloud Chamber  at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Rachel at Artist Chris Drury's Cloud Chamber at the North Carolina Museum of Art

For Rachel, it was hot in the Buster Poindexter "Hot Hot Hot" kind of way...

For Maggie and Ceil, it was hot in more of a "let's hide inside this dark, underground hobbit house until winter" kind of a way.  

(not pictured: Ceil dead inside the hobbit house)

Who Wore It Best? in Shenandoah National Park

Maggie OwensComment

Not everyone can pull off the bare-ass look in public, both fashion-wise and legally speaking.

But if this deer and Ceil know one thing between the two of them, its that when Noted Fashion Photographer Maggie "Nigel Barker" Owens wants to take a picture of your butt with a DSLR camera named R.Kelly*, you make it work!

*The fact that our road trip camera is nick-named R.Kelly, and the perverse nature of these photographs are purely coincidence.   

Blackwater Falls

Color 26, Color 54, Color 51Maggie Owens1 Comment

What we learned at Blackwater Falls in West Virginia: 

1) "Moss can be a lot brighter of a green than you'd expect!"

2) ^^^ that's a really dorky thing to be shouting to your friends right before you trip on the moss and fall ass-first into the water. 

3) Rachel has to try a lot less hard to look indie than Maggie and Ceil do. 

Ceil giving it her all. 

Maggie trying really, really hard. What is this? A senior portrait? 

Rachel giving minimal effort, achieving maximum indieness.

She even looks indie when almost falling into the water.

But, for the record, it wasn't Rachel who 100% fell into the water. 

... It was Maggie. You all already know it was Maggie so what's the point. 

New Vrindaban Gopa

Maggie OwensComment

As we explored the grounds of the Hare Krishna golden palace, New Vrindiban, in West Virginia, we met Gopa gardening in the back. Here's what we learned about Gopa, Hare Krishna and New Vrindiban:

Name: Gopa

Favorite Color: “Blue,” Gopa says. “I’ve just always liked it. My eyes are blue. I like to wear blue. When I was a child, I got to choose the color to paint my room and I chose blue."

Originally from: The Detroit area 

How she came to New Vrindaban: “I came here when I was 20 — that was 40 years ago,” she says. “Some friends and I had been a part of the Hare Krishna temple in Ann Arbor but wanted to work on a farm, so we came here. It was a lot different than it is now. One car, one phone. There was none of this ‘palace’ stuff you see now. It was just a philosophy.” 

What she’s working on at New Vrindaban: Converting the whole garden to be completely organic.

Favorite flower at New Vrindaban: It’s a toss-up between the Love and Peace rose and the Europeanas. 

 One of Gopa's two favorite flowers, the Europeana 

One of Gopa's two favorite flowers, the Europeana 

Gossip from New Vrindaban

Color 1, Color 20, Color 60, Color 36, Color 21Maggie OwensComment

Tucked away in the hills of West Virginia, we found New Vrindaban — a spiritual site for the Hare Krishna community. Nearly reaching Willy-Wonkian proportions, the grounds included a man-made body of water, gargantuan statues, an award-winning rose garden and a golden palace that would make even Kanye West blush. It was stunning (and honestly unexpected for something neighboring a town called Moundsville). 

Perhaps the most surprising discovery we found at New Vrindaban came at Prasadam, or the lunch-time food offering. We shared picnic tables with guests and New Vrindaban residents alike and, over a free, vegetarian meal, heard something we truly hadn't expected: gossip.

As three recipients of an all-girls education, we know gossip when we hear it. And the women we shared the picnic table with, who all lived and worked on the New Vrindaban grounds, were most definitely gossiping. They gabbed over sweet potatoes (maybe?) and pea shoots (honestly, the vegetables were mushed to oblivion, but still delicious) about the who's who of New Vrindaban.

We felt restored and in the know. But, much like mushed vegetables, we felt immediately hungry again — hungry for more gossip. Here's what we came up with — our Burn Book (Hare Krishna Edition). 

Rumor has it that the blonde streak in Rachel's hair isn't natural. *Cough Cough* Dye Job *Cough Cough.*

Cool floral crown, Swan. Let me guess — you got the inspiration at Coachella while taking pictures of yourself? Do you even listen to Edward Sharpe — like really listen, I mean? I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and show some real creativity. Why not turn the tables and wear a dress shaped like Bjork? Do something original!

These two claim to be a dynamic duo, but look at the way they're competing for attention —waving their hands in the air like it's the early 90's. BFFL doesn't stand for Bathing in your Friend's Fucking Limelight. Okay, ladies? 

 "I'm the real star!"

"I'm the real star!"

 "No, I'm the real star!"

"No, I'm the real star!"

 "On Wednesdays, we hold torches!"

"On Wednesdays, we hold torches!"

Actually, these girls were pretty legit. 

Postcard from West Virginia's Tiny Church

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On our way to our campsite in West Virginia's Blackwater Falls, we passed by Our Lady of the Pines, whose postcards claim it is the smallest church in all 48 states. Apparently, these postcards were printed before Hawaii and Alaska became states in 1958. 

Here's the postcard we sent home:

The haiku reads:

Remember: words hurt. 
Don't call this a midget church. 
Say "little steeple."