My plan is to not have a plan

My adolescence was filled with scheduled activities.  I went to a small school: If I wanted to play a sport I was on the team…self-selection.  Year-round, I went to school, went to practice, did homework, went to bed. I thrived on that schedule, at least academically.  Now, as an adult, I’m still enjoying the novelty of not having daily/weekly commitments.  I finish work at 5. If I want to work out I can. If i want to veg out I can.  Lately I’ve been wondering if I should create for myself a more disciplined regimen, similar to my high school experience. For example: monday evenings-hooping  class, tuesday evenings-a foreign film at a theater, wednesday evenings-volunteering with NY cares, thursday evenings-cooking at home, friday through sunday-weekend events.

This weekend brought to light for me the wonderful blessings of spontaneity though.  The following are things I did this weekend that were done within 4 hours of notice: happy hour with my wonderful coworker on friday night, viewing “coco before chanel” with a great group of girlfriends, a lovely chat with my mother on the phone, and drinks with my cousin (in-law) in the hood at Bar Reiss.  All delightful.  None planned.  lovely.  So maybe I discipline myself one or two nights a week, and leave the rest open to chance?


Running Revival…Blogging Revival

So I’m going to try to jumpstart this blog back up.  I think I need to do a short post daily, otherwise this isn’t going to work, so look for a paragraph or a picture each day….

I also jumpstarted my running routine back up today.  I’ve only gone running once since coming back from burning man 3 weeks ago.  Tonight was the perfect night for it.  About 70 degrees.  I headed out about a quarter to 7 and sunset was well on its way.  But I knew there would be plenty of other people on my schedule taking advantage of Prospect Park.  And even though by the time I finished my loop around the park it was dark twilight, there were plenty of people walking, jogging, biking, gathering.  It was a great feeling to be able to enjoy that beautiful time of night alone pushing myself, but also surrounded by enough people to feel safe.  Everyone could tell it was the last bit of summer before the fall. Everyone wanted to enjoy that last warm breezy evening at the park.

The Daily Show

Once again, I HEART New York

Yesterday I got to view a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  It was great because:

1. Jon Stewart is dreamy.

2. The show was (of course) funny

3. The people watching pre-show was quite entertaining.

The only other TV taping I’d been to was a Jerry Springer show in Chicago.  I’d have to say I much preferred the Daily Show taping.

a good day (part one)

Even though Sunday was a miserably grey day, it turned out to be a really good New York day.  I met up with my friend Jessica for tea at Alice’s Tea Cup and they seated us in about 30 minutes instead of the hour and a half they had originally estimated. yay! Jessica and I had peeked in an Alice’s a couple of months ago and i was a colorful shop with girls wearing fairy wings, so I had to go.  It’s got an Alice in Wonderland theme with fanciful murals painted on the wall, old shabby chic tables and benches, and of course pretty china.  The hostess was wearing purple fairy wings and then a couple of little girls who were having tea were wearing them.  I was relieved not to wear them. It actually felt like a sophisticated tea.  We did a full-on tea-for-two. Jessica got an Assam tea and i had a lavendar earl grey that wasn’t too lavendar-y…just write.  They brought us a three-tiered tray of goodies to stuff ourselves with: wonderful fresh scones (mixed berry, pumpkin, and goat cheese & basil (heaven!), sandwiches (wonderful lox and ham & gruyere with a honeymustard and greens), and lots of sweets (a mocha cake and 5 or 6 cookies). we focused on the tea, scones and sandwiches, and couldn’t really even deal with the sweets on the bottom.  I was happily stuffed and slightly jittery at the end. 

Afterwards, we wandered around and went to some shops on the upper west side.  I rarely go up there, so just being in the neighborhood was a fun change of pace. 

for more…see a good day (part two)

a good day (part two)…Spacecraft

So, Sunday I had a wonderful tea with Jessica, did some shopping, and then I wanted to head over to Williamsburg. We had dinner plans with Laura and Jesse (old friends from our Baltimore days). I wrestled with the subway and finally got over to Williamsburg early enough to go to Spacecraft before dinner.  Spacecraft is this awesome retail and craft space that Caroline’s friend, Stella, co-owns with her friend Christina. It’s really awesome!  Not only can you buy craft supplies, you can walk in any time they’re open and pick from a menu of crafts and MAKE SOMETHING.  When I was there a guy had come in and made a rubber stamp of his initals. And it looked awesome!  I picked out an embroidery kit from Sublime Stitching, a hanky and a little embroidery hoop.

Spacecraft really makes me excited because I think it’s going to succeed and also because it’s this spur-of-the-moment creativity that it allows for. When I lived in San Francisco I worked for awhile at a shop in Berkeley called Castle In the Air. It was a delightful place with lots of stationery, ink, notebooks, and a studio area upstairs for classes. They still have classes there-bookbinding, card-making, etc.  But those were scheduled classes that people signed up for in advance. I like the idea of just wandering into spacecraft and deciding on a whim what i’d like to make, what materials i’d like to work with.

battle of the brooklyn pizzas

Okay, John and I finally tried Grimaldi’s Pizza last week for his birthday (Happy Birthday, Johno!!!).  Grimaldi’s is a famous pizza place in brooklyn heights, near the waterfront.  They serve brick oven pizza, and their spot is crammed with tables. It’s almost like eating family style except you don’t have to share your pizza with strangers.  We’ve tried to go before and there’s normally a line. this time there wasn’t….wednesday night at 7:30 pm.  I have to say, it was good, but not as good as Lucali’s.

If you haven’t heard me rave about Lucali’s before, her you go. It’s the BEST pizza i’ve ever had. And the ambiance is really nice. it’s dark, relaxed, you can see right into the kitchen and see the big bowls of fresh mushrooms, mozzerella balls, peppers.  Apparently they use 3 or 4 types of cheese on the pizza, and i think that’s what makes it better than Grimaldi’s.  So, if possible, you must go to Lucali’s. Some things to know:

575 Henry Street

It’s BYOB. there’s a corner store down the block that can hook you up.

There’s normally a wait. But the waitresses are cool and if you give them your phone number as they put you on the wait list, they’ll call you when your table is about to free up. so you can wander a few blocks away to another carroll gardens or red hook bar and have a drink while you wait.  i recommend supporting a bar on columbia street if possible.

It’s Cash Only

They only do pizzas and calzones. no salads, no breadsticks. just the essentials.

Harry Caray owns New York

Last night my friend Scott was telling me about his previous evening.  He was at the Beauty Bar and one of his friends flipped out because there was a star there.  It turns out it was Debbie Harry (Scott couldn’t remember her name at first and thought maybe he’d seen Harry Caray at the beauty bar ;-)).   Debbie Harry had come into the Beauty Bar and rocked it on the dance floor.  

Harry Caray

Harry Caray

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry



Interestingly enough, she had been playing at the Louis Vuitton party for the launch of their Stephen Sprouse-inspired bags.  Caroline and I had stumbled upon the party that night:

Caroline at Louis Vuitton

Caroline at Louis Vuitton

Back 40…homerun

Caroline gave a great review of a restaurant in Alphabet City  (Ave B x 12th St) called The Back 40, so last night we gave it a try.  WOW! I can still taste the pork jowl nuggets in jalapeno jam.  melt in your mouth!  The atmosphere is like a rustic farmhouse. rough hewn tables and chairs, wood panelled walls, dim warm lighting.  another treat was the order of freshly made doughnuts drizzled in a little bit of icing.  As we finished our meal, two of the wait staff walked out of the kitchen carrying a whole suckling pig on a board.  They made a tour of the restaurant and then carried it back into the kitchen and sliced it up.  That was a bit unnerving.   Other than that, a wonderfully pleasant, delicious meal.  Thanks, Caroline!

Museum of Art & Design

On Thursday, Caroline and I caught up and visited the new Museum of Art and Design  at Columbus Circle.  Fortuitously, it was the “pay what you want night” there.  So we lined up with about 50 other people, threw in 5 bucks, and explored the floors.   This museum houses mostly objects. There are very few 2-dimensional works here….which is fine with me.  Jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, textile art, basket weaving, works made from reclaimed objects.  My favorite piece was actually a series by Yuken Teruya called Notice-Forest Series.  

Teruya Notice-Forest

Teruya Notice-Forest

Please visit the site and click on the image for a slide show.  It was such a magical little world in these paper bags! Amazing. beautiful.  I would say “simple” except that each individual little leaf seams to be cut out with painstaking detail.  

About two years ago I made a little beaded tree in a pimento jar. pimento treeAfter seeing Notice-Forest I want to make more of these, maybe more extensive worlds in jars…I’ll keep you posted.