Name: Celine Mikahala Grouard
Role at Fast Company: Associate Photo Editor
Titillating fact: My father is French and my mother is Hawaiian; so, I was born in Maui and speak French. In my family, we all have a Hawaiian name. I was named after my aunt, Mikahala, who was named after a barge–or so I’m told. As a kid my father managed hotels for Hilton International, so before we moved to the U.S. in the early ’90s we lived in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, and Canada, spending the majority of the ’80s in the Middle East. Since moving to the U.S., I’ve lived in seven major cities and a few small towns. My interest in photography started when I was 10. I started studying photography in earnest at 14 and have been obsessed ever since.
Things she’s loving:
This Dutch photography quarterly blows my mind every issue with amazing work by both established talent and up-and-coming photographers. The images are presented in photographer portfolios, and each body of work is printed on a paper stock of the photographer’s choice. Insightful text follows the images. I love this format because it allows the reader to process the photographs before being given additional information (or told what to think about the work). And ads are kept out of the main body of the issues, allowing the work to breathe. It’s hard to find at newsstands, so I subscribe and it’s worth every penny. They also have an exhibition space in Amsterdam that I hope to visit soon.
2. Oakland Art Murmur*
Oakland has long been one of my favorite cities. In the past couple of years, along with the influx of former residents of San Francisco that can no longer afford the rents on the other side of the bay, Oakland has seen some amazing growth in the form of hip new restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, and shops. (The New York Times recently took note!) That growth is also evidenced by the Art Murmur, which started in 2006 by a small group of disparate galleries to encourage art seekers to come out to openings throughout downtown and west Oakland. Now, on the first Friday of every month the city, which has partnered with the Art Murmur, shuts down 10 downtown blocks of Telegraph Avenue for the event, and it comes alive with street vendors, food trucks, performers, and more. But the Murmur extends well past these blocks, and the whole city comes alive around the art and artist community. Among my favorite galleries: ProArts and FM.
3. Nettle tea with ginger and local honey**
Every year, while others delight in the blossoming trees all around, I am scratching my eyes and sneezing incessantly. I have an arsenal of tricks that includes daily hair washing, changing pillow cases every couple of days, and sunglasses to avoid pollen. And, I take antihistamines, which help but don’t totally eliminate my symptoms. All of these I do out of necessity. But, the remedy I actually enjoy is a delicious cup of nettle tea with ginger and local honey. I use Traditional Medicinals tea (one nettle and one ginger teabag) and top with local honey from my farmer’s market. In some areas both fresh ginger and fresh nettles are available, but nettles can be tricky to handle. In medieval times, people used to flagellate themselves with nettles, which if you’ve ever been stung by nettles feels like a thousand tiny needle pricks.
The vitamin- and mineral-rich tea made from nettles has a subtle herbaceous flavor and is thought to be a natural antihistamine that takes some of the sting out my allergies instead. Ginger is has all sorts of medicinal uses, including respiratory benefits, and adds a wonderful spiciness to the tea. And, while the actual benefits of local honey are debated (and can cause allergies!), I love the sweet taste it provides.