Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"only a game, you say? like hell it was."

Setting records, the nation is watching. An audience of 15 million.

Coming together and celebrating as a community, black, white, rich, poor, every neighborhood, Chris Rose tells it like it is.

Nothing else to say. These articles say it better than I could. Forgive me, I'm getting weepy thinking of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint performing "The Star Spangled Banner."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dinner for two

I made risotto tonight for the first time and I think it was a success. Nerb and I rather enjoyed it. He made a salad of sun dried tomatoes, cucumber and fresh mint. I made leek-mushroom risotto. We had a glass of wine with it and watched "Gilmore Girls" together. It was a nice night for listening to REM while walking to the grocery and Joni Mitchell while chopping vegetables at home. Fall is the nicest time for a night of last minute grocery shopping, cooking, and leisurely eating. We chatted over mint tea for a good while as well.

This is why I don't live alone.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

me = pink is the new blog

So in addition to getting our culture on by viewing the Vollard show and the exhibition of Post-Katrina photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rachel and I crossed paths with Peter Sarsgaard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Papa Gyllenhaal and a friend who we couldn't identify (because we were too busy staring at Peter and Jake). Where were Maggie and Mom? What's funny is that on this particular block on Madison, I've also seen Tim Curry. Rachel had seen Jon Voight (with two umbrellas in hand) before reaching the museum. The Gyllenhaal clan had been at the Neue Gallery (Jake had a black shopping bag from the museum slung over his shoulder and as they were walking from 86th, down Madison, that was obvious). Other celebs I've seen in and near the Metropolitan Museum include Woody Allen and Sarah Vowell. It's funny to see Peter Sarsgaard again. And Papa Gyllenhaal again as I saw them with Maggie in Park Slope a couple months back. I should have asked him if we were going to be neighbors soon. I'm free to babysit!

(This concludes my "light on high culture, heavy on gossip" entry for today --- oh and Gifford bleached her hair so now she really looks like Scarlett Johansson... OK, I'm done now.)

thinking about home

In preparation for my parents's upcoming visit, I decided to scrub the floors of my apartment. The smell of peppermint clean floors is something particularly satisfying. The weather is changing and it's time to adopt better habits, like scrubbing the kitchen floor more frequently than upon the occasion of a parental visit. I need to remember that a little elbow grease goes a long way.

Now that's done, I'm about to head out to the Metropolitan to quickly run through the museum with my friend Rachel from NOLA. Earlier today, I had brunch with Gifford (as you know, another New Orleanian). While finishing up the floors, I chatted on the phone with Alison from NOLA who now lives in Chelsea. It's amazing how my worlds are merging. So many friends from home, here in my new home.

My parents are visiting for a week, then I'll head home to New Orleans near the end of October for a longish weekend there. I have my 10 year high school reunion to attend, but also, I have to visit with family, drink iced coffee with LEL among others. I need to take more pictures, write more, and experience New Orleans as much as I can before it's no longer our family home. It's shocking to say that. I have really accepted the fact that my parents are moving and I'm excited for them, and excited to explore another part of the United States.

Yet it's possible for home to exist in many places. Brooklyn, New Orleans, Paris, Manhattan, North Carolina. Essentially, wherever I am with the people I love, I'm home. Wherever I care enough to mop the floors.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

what i'm reading

I'm reading a wonderful book that I feel I should share with everyone who is looking for a great fall read. Katharine Weber's "Triangle" is one of those books that you just want to press into everyone's hands. I loved her "The Little Women" for its clever play on "Little Women," but mostly I loved the way her writing feels like drinking great tea or an excellent wine. Something to do with the palate. Her writing is something you want to just savor. You don't want it to end. Her characters just feel so present. This book in particular seems to take her writing to a more urgent level. Grounding the book in the experience of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 creates this fabulous opportunity to meld history, unreliable narrators, and the way we choose to read our histories and those of the people we love. I won't say more because I don't want to hype this to the point where people come to me and say, "Why were you raving about this?" (ie: my love for Mary Gaitskill's "Veronica" is not shared by all, but don't listen to Gifford's opinion. Listen to me!), but I'll say this. My roommate finished it in a number of subway rides and someone stopped me in the elevator today to say how much she and her friend enjoyed the book.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Once I wanted to be the greatest

I have never gone to see Cat Power in concert for the same reason that I never went to see Elliott Smith in concert: who wants to go to a show where you just find yourself embarassed and disgusted with a performer. I'm happy to learn that Chan Marshall (aka: Cat Power) has gotten help for what was clearly a problem. Here's to more albums of amazing music from her.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

On shuffle

While hard at work writing tonight, these songs happened to emerge.

"Precious Things": Tori Amos

"Edith and the Kingpin": Joni Mitchell

"Rabbit Fur Coat": Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

"Sleep Better": Pete Yorn

"I Think That I Would Die": Hole

"Testament to Youth in Verse": The New Pornographers

"Little Sister": Rufus Wainwright

"A Question Mark": Elliott Smith

"Valley of Tears": Calvin Lee

"Fiery Yellow": Stereolab

"Belong": REM

"Fox Confessor Brings the Flood": Neko Case

"Pink Cashmere": Prince

"The Boy Done Wrong Again": Belle + Sebastian

"Hot Rock": Sleater-Kinney

"Ticket Man": The Kills

"So What'cha Want": The Beastie Boys

"Landslide Baby": Beulah

"Blacking out the Friction": Death Cab for Cutie

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday outside the park

Pretty. I hope Laura wins Project Runway. I decided to stop pretending I don't enjoy dessert before dinner and look at the images online for the final four collections that were exhibited Friday morning in Bryant Park. Ah, fashion week. You have come and gone, yet it will take so long to see the Project Runway finale.

Another weekend and I'm busy working. Had a lovely dinner at Al di La with my boy and am settling down for some freelancing. It was a gorgeous day and I definitely want to make sure I have time for a walk in Prospect Park tomorrow afternoon. I also want to try on the teal Pendelton wool suit I found on 6th avenue on the way to the restaurant. A steal for $6, it had just been dry cleaned (saw the tags) and was being sold by a cute couple, one of whom clearly worked for VH1 (cool cds, lotsa fashion mags, a VH1 luggage tag, plus a random VH1 shirt). I'll take a pic and post it tomorrow.

Update: here is the suit. Someone cut off my feet in the cuter picture, but you can imagine for yourself my 3.5 inch brown heels. And, also, I'm aware that the suit oddly matches the doorframe. Life is just crazy that way when you live with other people's paint jobs.

Monday, September 11, 2006


from my bedroom window

Saturday, September 09, 2006

a quiet place

Here I am in the home office. I have a lot of writing and reading to do this weekend so I thought something needed to be done in order to make the place a little more inviting seeing as I will be here all weekend. A little Ella Fitzgerald, a pitcher of flowers, iced coffee, and some solitude. It all goes a long way. Fresh concord grapes are chilling in the fridge. I have homemade bean soup in the freezer for dinner later. It's just a quiet weekend in Brooklyn. I already did a lot of walking and chatting with Gifford this morning. I would have liked to have gone to Bryn Mawr this weekend, but I do need to square things away here at home. It's just as well. I'll always have train rides. Hopefully I can accomplish a lot in the coming weeks so that I can get away when the leaves change colors.

But for now, I'll be here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

the best things in life are close to free

OK. I have to just take a moment and say that while a lot of things in life are bad, there are some things you can rely upon to make you happy.

These include:
iced coffee
photobooth pictures
the smell of a new book
canvas tote bags (I am a freak)
good hugs
back massages
friends who expect you to be around
go fug yourself

I can't stress enough how much laughter one should cram into one day. It should be a vitamin. Really. There's gotta be a study somewhere. If they crank out study after study about caffeine, someone is measuring the effect of laughter.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

spontaneity is not in my immediate future

So I am not taking that spontaneous trip to Bryn Mawr after all. Work is too busy and I am frankly too tired. Something's got to give and so I will catch up on last week and this week's New Yorker, cook a bit, relax, look ahead, and read.

This isn't supposed to be an exciting entry. Don't worry. This weekend, I think I might also do something I've never done before: walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I started "Brookland" this morning as I crossed the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan and looked across at the Brooklyn Bridge. The style is reminiscent of Willa Cather, something that very much agrees with me. We'll see how it goes.

goings on

Do yourself a favor and go see "Seven Guitars" at the Signature Theater if you are in the NYC area. It's only $15 and is seriously one of the best plays I have ever seen. The production is phenomenal. I went tonight and loved it. It's too late to get into it, but it just resonated. I need to read more August Wilson and see more of his plays. What a loss.

This weekend I am going to try to go to this. And read this.

Much to do, much to do. It's been ten years since I stepped onto Bryn Mawr's campus as a frosh. I'm hoping I can actually pull off this spontaneous trip back to campus.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

from last year to this day

Here I am on the roof of the Ogden Museum with the Crescent City Connection behind me. There's a gardenia tucked behind my ear so that I can smell it's rich, sweet scent. There are days when I really miss being home and then I remember it's always with me. I'm grateful that I'll know what month it is this year. Last year September felt like one long extension of August 29th and for that matter so did all the months until I was able to return to New Orleans for Christmas. I'm eager for this new season. Fall always brings with it the promise of a new beginning, another chance. I'm ready to learn. I'm full of too many words. I'm trying so hard to listen, to coax out the quiet moments, the lucidity that comes from patience.

I'll wrap the scarves around my neck and breath in wool and the faint scent of perfume from last year. Hats pulled over ears and short hair. I ache for the bicycle I rode around Hanover, but I'll swipe my Metrocard and ride to Manhattan with the promise of books and the Statue of Liberty. I'm going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge this fall. I'm going to sing songs from Gifford's roof. I'm going to skip a lot more than I did last year. I'm going to hold my friends's hands and remind them how precious this is. Becky is expecting a baby in late April. Minh's getting married in late October. We're all getting older and hopefully wiser. I just hope I'm moving forward instead of spinning in circles. We do what we can.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

what comes to mind today

Outside the wind howls and it's fair to say that within the past two weeks the temperature has dropped about 30 degrees. I am holed up in Brooklyn with my reading and a steady mug of mint tea. Gifford and I had a four hour breakfast in the neighborhood and will meet up to cook dinner tonight at her apartment.

Some things never change. I was thinking about how we're coming up on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. I remember Gifford driving over to my house that evening, with no words and hands thrown up in the air. I remember staying up too late the night before, talking out the relationship that could never be. I was so tired that morning of the 11th. I'd had less than four hours of sleep (ah, age 23) and my dad and I drove to work. I made him stop at PJ's (a place that no longer exists thanks to Katrina) for iced coffee. When I got back in the car, NPR was a mess. No one knew how to talk about it. On August 29th, 2005, I had dinner with friend who just couldn't believe my house could be destroyed. "It just can't happen," he said. But there it was. A shot of Robert E. Lee at Paris Avenue, right by that PJ's coffee shop. All underwater.

I wonder how many speechless moments I'll experience in my life. I look back and none of us knew what to say. Was it unpatriotic to say that I was surprised an attack on American soil had never before happened? Isn't this what the British and the Israelis were so familiar with? Why did it come as a shock to us that we could be so vulnerable? I had to ask myself the same questions all last year.

I sit here in Brooklyn, mulling over all this, while a manuscript sits unread on my bed. I should hunker down and do that. And I think about that cup of coffee on September 11th and how much I liked that boy. How many cups of coffee since then? How many different relationships? But I still meet Gifford for coffee. There's always our friendship. Trading books and movies, trading stories, listening, laughing. Sometimes you get lucky.