Thursday, August 02, 2007

didn't i just say this?

Monday, July 30, 2007

ode to tartine (SF not West Village)

For those of you who have not been blessed with a wonderful friend who lives in the Mission District of San Francisco, well, I guess luck does not smile upon you. I have been meaning to write for some time about the sublime place where I spent every morning but one (when I had breakfast on Valencia Street with SW and her dear fiance) during my stay in San Francisco this past June. My darling Rachel does not drink coffee and consequently does not have a coffee maker or beans in her apartment. Thus it fell upon me to find a place where I could get my morning fix and sit down with my journal and the New York Times. Many a friend had spoke with awe about a certain pastry shop in the Mission District, but I didn't realize that I would be fortunate to stay two short blocks away from said haven.

While there, I sampled many a fruit studded bread pudding, varied veggie quiches, ham and gruyere croissants, morning buns, and frangipane croissants. Oh and wonderful coffee and conversation at the communal tables. I met men of finance who were trying to sort out what to do with their millions (buy in Noe Valley? Start a coffee shop?), mothers who trusted me to watch their newborns as they went back to their cars and who also happened to have lived in the same building that T now resides while they were in their New York phase, yarn store owners, and more.

San Francisco, I miss your cool mornings. I miss wearing my scarf and sweaters on my way to hot, hot coffee and treats. I miss getting up and hugging Rachel goodbye before she went off to work. I miss walking around town and riding the bus and MUNI rail listening to Feist's "The Reminder." Rachel, can I come back soon?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"so jealous": tegan and sara + paint = a whole new world

What a different a paint job makes. I probably should have taken a before photo, but I didn't. Suffice to say, this wall used to look like a Tibetan prayer flag. No lie. I always felt it was a little too bright for even me. GS came over today bearing brownies and OJ. I made crepes with nutella and banana and a fruit salad of watermelon and mango. After brunching, we got to work. Spackling and priming were in order. GS had to leave after a stroll down 5th ave for iced coffee and lemonade and my dry cleaning.

That left me with the task of painting over the primed wall and doorway of saffron and peacock blue. Another friend burned Tegan and Sara's "So Jealous" for me earlier this week (yes, I'm really eager to get their new cd "The Con") so I listened to that on repeat all afternoon and evening (and am still listening to it now) and painted with utter determination. I also painted some old water stains on the molding above my fireplace. I removed a hook from the wall which created a hole that needed to be spackled. So it was that kind of day: tegan and sara, painying, spackling, wiping down all the molding on my walls. The room is so much brighter and more open. Things like this open one's heart just a bit.

in progress

Here are two shots of my baby-dress-in-progress. It's for a colleague of sorts who had her first baby at the end of June. I have been trying to finish the cardigan

for sometime now, but I am a little worried it's too small and I need to block it. So I haven't taken the time to pick up stitches and rib the last touches.

I would love to make some coffee and keep knitting, but I really need to clean my room before GS comes to help me paint. I got a lot done last night while watching "Notes on a Scandal." Coming home last night, I thought I was back in Louisiana, the humidity was so bad in my apartment. Granted, people were cooking and there were more folks than usual in the apartment. My mom called this morning to ask me about some Built By Wendy Simplicity sewing patterns that I wanted. JoAnns was having a sale and these projects are exactly what I want to work on next week when I'm in North Carolina. I want to definitively learn how to sew next week. Someday I'll have enough space to have a craft room where a sewing machine will live and I can organize my yarn. I'll have a nice table for cutting things and for painting and sketching.

Someday, someday. For now, I'm here in NYC, running around, cramming too many things and people into one day. It's just not yet time for craft rooms, porches.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Last night, I accompanied G as she waited in line for the new Harry Potter. Equipped with iced coffee, we stood in line from 11:30 pm until 1 am on 7th avenue in Park Slope at the Community Bookstore. The line stretched past the end of the block and wrapped around the corner, about halfway to 8th avenue. There were lots of parents with kids, many adults. Just a lot of people. The bookstore shot off fireworks in the street and the costumed characters kept everyone entertained as did the teenage boys on bikes heckling the line with cried of HARRY POTTER HARRY POTTER HARRY POTTER!!!!!!! The folks who bought their books at Barnes & Noble were able to take advantage of the bank of cashiers (one lone person served as cashier for the Community Bookstore) and folks drove down the street, waving their copies out the window. Everyone cheered and clapped when they did this. It was really wild to see people so excited about a book. As the night wore on, kids started to have meltdowns. Parents talked about "muggling" a book away from the folks who were ahead of us in line. A mother stressed to her children, "Guys, I just want you to know, I am throwing the wand AWAY."

The bookstore itself was decorated a la Hogwarts and there were many treats to be had. Once one paid for the book outside the bookstore, one received a coupon for the book. An open door within the bookstore was papered over to resemble a stone wall and there was a hole cut out at the very bottom. A gloved hand took your coupon and replaced it with a book. G was vaguely embarrassed that I took her picture, but something tells me that she'll be telling her grandkids stories one day and the photos will be appreciated then.

G said goodbye to me at Union Street as she needed to run home and start the book. We could see spotlights in the air, coming from the library where a party was also held. I have no intention of reading the book (admission: I have read Harry Potter 1-4), but I had to be there for an event that got people out of the house to buy a book.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

something to work on

So after going on about the explosion, I realized that I failed to mention something that was mentioned by my dear friend LEL over at Fear and Loathing in NOLA. She drew my attention to the Gulf Watch project run by the Southern Studies Department at U of Mississippi, Oxford (AKA: Ole Miss for those of you in the know). This department has always fascinated me and if for some reason I end up in Oxford, Mississippi, I know where I'll study/work. That is unless Square Books wants to give me a plum job. There used to be a PJ's coffee shop in that bookstore and seriously, those two items alone (PJ's coffee and seriously one of this country's best bookstores) are kinda reason enough to move somewhere. I bet they also have good catfish.

But I digress. I don't have the time now to substantially pour through this project's work, but I hope to do so in the near future and I strongly recommend you do, too.

Also, here is a lovely photo from the Bridge of Flowers to distract one from the idea of asbestos in the Manhattan air.

A failure of our infrastructure: sounds familiar?

A pipe that was laid in 1924 burst today underneath East 41st street and Lexington Avenue. It happened just before 6 pm this evening as commuters headed home for the day. One person died due to cardiac arrest and there are reports that between 15-20 have been critically injured.

Earlier today, The New York Times reported that roughly six years after 9/11, Americans face the same threat from terrorists. We're no better off now than we were then after 6 years of the war on terror. Frankly, I think that Mayor Bloomberg said it all when he said that this is a failure of our infrastructure.

Sounds familiar? Army Corps of Engineers? Levee failure?

People can sniff that the waste laid to Louisiana was the fault of geography, but poor infrastructure is a problem for all Americans. Politicians give contracts to their friends and benefactors, no one wants to do the hard work for the lousy pay, projects never receive the attention they need. Be prepared for more and more incidents like this.

I hope everyone managed to get home safe. It took me over an hour to get from Midtown West to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and I just assumed it was the usual MTA jazz and all we heard was that there was a disturbance at Grand Central due to which service would be suspended from 86th street to Brooklyn Bridge. Everyoone just grumbled about the delays and didn't blink an eye. At what point do we expect better?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

yankee doodle days

When I brought T to NOLA for the first time, we went for the wedding of an old friend. One of the bridesmaids (another old friend) pounced upon T seeing as he was the first boy I ever brought home. She introduced herself politely as most Southern women do and then said, "You must be a Democrat if you're dating [ms. nola]. I'm going to call you Yankee Doodle!"

So in certain circles, T is known as Yankee Doodle. I found it highly amusing that this poster (found in Shelburne Falls) celebrated Yankee Doodle Days. If only we could have gone. Maybe T would have gotten some free funnel cake.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls, MA

Here are just a couple photos of T's and my trip to Shelburne Falls, MA. I'll have to post more photos later, but here is a taste of the Bridge of Flowers, one of the most tranquil places I know. This town is full of so many wonderful memories. I was really overwhelmed being back here. In part, I felt it was due to the fact that I've really resigned myself to not being able to ever fully go home again. Losing my home in New Orleans and losing the neighborhood in which I grew up was really one of the hardest things I've ever experienced. Coming to terms with that reality took a lot of acceptance that one can never fully expect to ever be able to return to a place they love and have it be they way they remembered it.

But Shelburne Falls was exactly as I remembered it (I last visited in 2003) and feelings of family, nostalgia, wonder and joy hit me like a ton of bricks as soon as we arrived. I felt such a rush of emotion being in a place that I've shared with some incredible loved ones. I was so happy to share it with T. I'll write and post more pictures later on, but for now, enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

dancing, running

Who knew there was contradancing in NYC? T and I went contradancing last weekend in Peterborough, NH and really enjoyed it. I was so inspired by the workout that I ran two miles, walked a mile and swam a mess of laps the following day. I really want to get some sound running shoes and start running. Maybe J, G and I can go out to Prospect Park and play some soccer. Even if it's just practicing. But yes, I also want to dance more. T and I need to do some research. And I need to scour the web for running shoe sales. There's a part of me that would also like to get a bike, but I don't trust the drivers around Brooklyn. I would have to walk my bike over to the park to feel safe and then there's the question of storage. With running, all I need are some shorts, a tank top and some shoes. I can make room for that.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I am 29

I am 29 today and two dear friends celebrate their sixth anniversary today. Exciting things to come today so I should run to work. More musing later. Happy happy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

home again (in hell)

ugh, where did that lovely summer go?

I think I will gift myself with an A/C for my upcoming birthday. But for now, I will order and pick up some thai food and check to make sure we have ice cubes a plenty... Then I'll unpack and maybe block the cardigan (in this heat... what devotion!)?