Saturday, September 5, 2015

Where You Belong

I believe that dreams are necessary to life. To my life, they certainly are - they are the map which tells my soul what direction to move. 

I love the place where we live, I really do. It's beautiful and peaceful, not overly populated, easy access to everything we like or need. But one day, I want to live in this town where citizens cherish old buildings (such as this 1930s shopping center and first "talking pictures" Historic Lynwood theatre) and don't destroy them, clearing the space for a brand new mall. Where citizens nourish arts, culture and education. Where new daring beginnings don't vanish into thin air, unnoticed by both town leaders and community members. Where on every square foot you feel with every fiber of your being just how special this place is to people who live there, how much people care. I will take walks on these streets, buy vegetables from the local farmers, taste wine in the local wineries and write my heartwarming stories with little action and big heart. I will smile and laugh a lot and not feel lonely anymore. Some day I will arrive there and not hurry back. I recognize it by the longing in my heart every time I visit, the way you know when you found your soulmate - you know that this is your home. 

Fresh produce from the Heyday Farm... and freshly baked bread and pastry from Pane d'Amore were amazing.

I ended up buying one of the hats I tried on.

Anya, the dancer, actress, creative writer and visual artist, is exploring another passion of hers - music, and is getting ready to learn playing guitar. Alan Simcoe, the owner of the charming store Village Music, who custom builds guitars and other string instruments, was kind enough to share a couple of the first things to know about guitars with the young aspiring musician. It was a very special visit for us, and both Justin and I think when we're ready to purchase a guitar, we will come to Village Music.

I don't know another town which greets its guests and citizens with an art museum - which is the first thing you see as you arrive on Bainbridge by ferry from Seattle (only 35 minutes ride). It is one of the most beautiful contemporary museums I've been to, and what's even more amazing, especially for such a small community (only about 24,000 people live on the Rock as locals call the island), Bainbridge Art Museum is free for everyone, every day.

The grounds around the art museum and KiDiMu (Kids Discovery Museum) are a true work of art too, with artful plants, rocks and water arrangements... I heard all sorts of feedback about Bainbridge from all sorts of people. Some think that it has become commercial and touristy, while others believe that it is sort of a "bubble" - a utopia town. I can see how it can strike one this way. Yes, there are thriving tourism businesses on the island for sure - people do tend to come to places that are both interesting and welcoming. But it's only the bare surface... Last year, we spent six months living on the island and getting to know it better. It was a much more personal experience than a once in a while "perfect Sunday afternoon" kind of a visit. I know that I have not been to another place where every outing is a pure joy, where it is not only safe, pretty and friendly, but also peaceful and yet stimulating with everything going on there. My heart is happy every time I arrive and aches every time I have to leave. And if it is a bubble or a utopia, then I want to live in this bubble and be a part of this utopia. I'm rather good at utopias, really.

Do you have a dream place to live? Is it a general idea or a particular spot on the map?

My outfit contains pieces that I love and have owned for a while:
Jacket (probably 5 years old or so) is by Isabella Bird and is an escapee from the donation bag
Blouse - vintage, via Goodwill while visiting Oregon
Skirt - Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant
Malachite ring - festival 9 years ago
Shoes - Josef Seibel via Nordstrom Rack (love them and want to find them in red!)

Joining the new #iwillwearwhatilike link-up!

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PS I wanted to experiment with Google+ commenting, and added that option to see how it works for you and for me. While I enjoy the ability to send my replies to your comments directly to your email box, I just found out that this option disabled leaving comments if you're not with Google+. That's a bummer. There is probably a way to enable either way of commenting, but for now, not being the most technical blogger in Bloglandia, I'm switching back to the old way, to keep things simple. I hate to loose the comments that you left using Google+ (and they do disappear when I switch back), so I copied your comments and posted them under my name which looks funny, but at least I don't loose your lovely comments. Sorry for the temporary abracadabra.


  1. Those colours look good on you, and I have heard nothing but good things about Bainbridge.

    I'm a born Londoner and it's always suited me, even/especially when I lived elsewhere, because it has everything -- free museums, big green spaces, multiculturalism, transport links for visits elsewhere etc. -- but lately it's been getting me down a bit, due to the social cleansing and ever-increasing cost of living here (two things which are directly related to each other!). So many things that made London interesting and exciting are being sanitised out of existence and replaced with a kind of nostalgic pastiche vision of what they were imagined to be like instead, which only the affluent can afford, and which is presented as being "authentic" but doesn't feel real to anyone who remembers what it was really like even 10-15 years ago, let alone before that. (actually I think this is happening in every big city in the world...) That sounds really negative, but I still love London! I just hate seeing what property developers are doing to it.

  2. Glenda (So What To Twenty) wrote:
    I've always dreamed if retiring to Carmel by the Sea. A quaint, art, coastal town on the California Central Coast. It's filled with cozy bed & breakfast, art galleries, wine tasting and boutiques. I adore it. Bainbridge looks and sounds so enchanting. I love small town charm. There is an art community near my home which the city is slowly restoring. I love that they're not destroying the old buildings to erect new. Like you said, there is something cherished about old buildings. I always wonder about the history...the stories told. I feel the same way about vintage clothing. Your outfit fit in perfectly with the artful, whimsical environment of this town. So colorful, inventive and so very you.

  3. Joni (Artful Closet) wrote:
    Wow, the most beautiful pictures! You always seem to find the little quaint nooks around Washington that are a surprise to me. Love the hats on you. I wonder which one you bought. ;)

  4. Beate (Bahnwaerterhaeuschen) wrote:
    this really sounds like utopia!
    i myself gave up on searching a place like this - here in old battered europe seems to be no room for such place...
    but i cross my fingers and toes that you will land on that island one day!!! i´m sure they really need a writer and a ballet dancer and a adventure man there!
    wonderful colorful early autumn look!!!!

  5. Kelly (Fashion Me Blog) wrote:
    So nice to visit your blog after two months. You and your daughter look more beautiful and authentic as the months go by. It's a sure sign you are happy! Given the political situation in Greece I often think of what the ideal place for me would look like. It would be a place where money is not of the greatest importance and where art is part of everyday life. Free time to communicate and free health and education a must. Natural and architectural beauty all around. I have found islands in Greece very close to these descriptions. A coincidence this place you describe is an island,too?

  6. Curtise (Secondhand Years) wrote:
    Such beautiful colours you are wearing, Natalia, and look how wonderful Anya is, looking so grown up.
    Bainbridge does sound like a lovely place to live. I am content with where I live, for now, but in my dotage, I'd like to live by the sea. Maybe it will happen! xxx

  7. Firstly you look gorgeous in your outfit, the perfect colours on you. I am not sure the perfect place really exists , so I try to enjoy wherever I am . Needs and ideals change over time and the perfect place evolves with us.

  8. Hi Natalia,
    I love hats and that green cap (in your first shot) is a winner! Perfect :-)
    I really struggle to find hats to fit me (I have a BIG head, a gents XL) and don't even bother to try on 'ladies' ones.... If I buy one it is usually a floppy beret style or a beanie. A structured trilby or cap would be a gem.
    Your sunflower palette of colour in this outfit is just beautiful...I love Autumn and the glorious colours (they are especially vibrant, here in Scotland) and opulent.
    I'm so glad I found your blog via Catherine, #iwillwearwhatilike.
    Fake Fabulous

  9. Wow! It sounds wonderful!
    I have dreams of living near the sea, living at our block of land, and returning to NZ, or Hobart, or Vancouver!
    I love to dream. But Rotorua with our little quaint house came closest to fulfilling my dreams. No really old buildings, but an old culture with the Maori population, small population so you get to know people, a thriving artistic community and interesting geological/geographical context. It also reminded me of Papua New Guinea where I grew up. We may end up there again one day!
    Loving your hats! Xo Jazzy Jack

  10. so nice that you feel really a home where you live...I can't say that I do, despite the fact that I love this town.
    This outfit is really beautiful...I love its colour....and what you wrote about dreams is precious.