Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa Claus Is Coming To Brooklyn

This was a great holiday! Friends from all over the world came over to celebrate with a long fondue meal. The video below shows how terrible we are at memorizing lyrics to even the simplest of Christmas songs. Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stingray Sam screening at Union Pool


Come join a whole mess of cool people, including the talented Cory McAbee, this Sunday at Union Pool for an all-ages evening of movie watching, beer-guzzlin' and other entertainments.  Cory is the mastermind behind 'Stingray Sam', a five part space western.  Willa, his daughter and my kid's best friend, plays the part of 'girl', and is really darn good.  Starts at 7.

Cormac McCarthy's typewriter


Cormac McCarthy's old typewriter was recently put up at auction and went for over $200,000.  Crazier than this is the fact that he actually wrote on the thing!  More than a dozen novels, plays, short stories, screenplays, and everything else he's put down to paper!

My.  God.

From the NY Times:

Glenn Horowitz, a rare-book dealer who is handling the auction for Mr. McCarthy, said: “When I grasped that some of the most complex, almost otherworldly fiction of the postwar era was composed on such a simple, functional, frail-looking machine, it conferred a sort of talismanic quality to Cormac’s typewriter. It’s as if Mount Rushmore was carved with a Swiss Army knife.”

Read more, here. 

I'm off...  to get some writing accomplished!

Noko Jeans

Jeans made in North Korea?  Check out my write-up, here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Early morning on Bedford Ave

I didn't notice the owner of the vehicle was sitting in the driver's seat reading the paper until after I snapped this shot- he was so surrounded by animals!  I love Anevay's expression...

Paul Richard

Perhaps some of you have seen the Paul Richard 'artworks' along Bedford Ave?  Read about the artist, here.

Christmas in Manhattan

Living in New York for any extended period of time, it's easy for one to forget that she actually lives in New York.

Confused yet?  Let me explain...

For the past month, I've been working once again in Midtown.  For weeks, holidays decorations have been hung, and I've been so busy working, that I have barely noticed!

Today I let myself take a walk for lunch, and took a few pictures of the goings ons happening in a two-block radius from where I work.

Take a look-see:

Above: Rockefeller Center

The skating 'pond' below the Rockefeller tree.

Radio City Music Hall.

Giant decorations in the reflecting pool across the street from my building.

Above: Pretty obvious.

On my way back to the office, I stopped at the famous Magnolia Bakery.  I rarely allow Anevay to have sweets, but after my lunch-time walk around Midtown, I was feeling guilty that Anevay hadn't been there with me to take it all in, and I thought a couple of cupcakes wouldn't hurt.

Above: A blurry picture of my building, taken on my way home.

One of the cupcakes I chose has a Rockette on it...  although it remains uneaten.  Anevay chose a totally over-the-top blue and white snowman cupcake, while I threw myself wholeheartedly upon a decadent chocolate heart-attack.

Today, although it was filled with the usual crowded subways and chaos of the city, felt pretty wonderful.  What made it perfect was being able to talk about it with Anevay, and to see her fact at the (unexpected) treat I had brought her.  I realized something pretty great- I don't shower my kid with many goodies, toys, cool clothes, or getting her own way, but I DO talk to her about things that matter- I tell her about my day and about things happening in the world, I take her to dinners filled with interesting people (often she is the only kid- fine by me, although I don't think I'll ever understand why other parents would want to so clearly separate their lives from those of their kids), and, when the mood strikes me to give her a surprise, she is so, so happy and thankful that it makes me nearly cry.  I feel pretty proud of myself for raising such a great kid, and especially proud of Anevay for having such a great and thoughtful head on her shoulders.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brooklyn Revealed

Brooklyn Revealed is a great site about the history of our fair borough.  I learned all manner of fun things.  For example:

Did you have any idea that there was an area in Bushwick called 'Brewers Row', which once-upon-a-time produced most of the country's beer?  Apparently the last Bushwick Brewery closed in 1976- the year I was born- and Milwaukee became the capital of US beer-making (Somehow this seems appropriate, given my Wisco connection).

Or, even more interesting, did you have any idea that on the western tip of Long Island there was once a settlement founded by a woman?  Yep, tis true.  Her story is pretty cool.  I highly recommend you history buffs go to the site to read more and look through all the pics.

Bedford Ave Corporate Conundrum

The following post was reprinted in Williamsburg Greenpoint New + Art. Check it out.

I thought it was bad when Duane Reade opened a new location at N 5th and Kent. Who the hell does development at their head office?! Have they not yet figured out that we’re in a recession? I mean, c’mon, they can barely pay their underpaid employees, let alone figure out a way to pay their burgeoning debt (just a few months ago, there was talk of Duane Reade going under).

Call me blind, but I only noticed today that the hideous constuction across the street from Kings Pharmacy is going to become *gasp* yet another Duane Reade. Blame this oversight on the fact that my daughter and I have, for the last couple of years at least, avoided Bedford Ave like the plague. Don’t get me wrong, I love Williamsburg. I can’t imagine living anywhere else, but I’m not in love with the recent influx of new-blood that has moved into the ‘hood (I don’t even need to go into this, do I?!). Now, I have nothing against drunk NYU and FIT students, nor do I have a problem with trustfunders (I have love for all God’s critters, after all), but the things I love about my neighborhood are not the throng of people exiting the L-train with me each evening, and I certainly am not fond of the ugly, cheap constructions that now litter the waterfront and surrounding area. When I must walk down Bedford, I’m like a horse outfitted with blinders—after work I head as fast as I can for home, neither looking to my right nor left (although here’s where I insert another disclaimer: I love Bedford Ave. I’m loyal to my bookstore, my coffee shop, and other businesses found on this street).

I largely ignored the Duane Reade stores that seem to be on every corner of Manhattan, but now that one is moving across from Kings Pharmacy, I’m a little upset. It’s been easy for me to ignore the one on Kent. It’s largely been out of sight, out of mind. I can say emphatically that l will never feel compelled to walk through their doors. But this new one… Hm.

Here’s my conundrum:

I’m devoted to buying the few things I need from small business. I will remain committed to Kings Pharmacy. Yet Kings closes at 9pm. This has been an inconvenience I’ve had to deal with for years. Unfortunately, my kid doesn’t just come down with illnesses between the hours of 8am and 9pm. There have been times when I’ve needed to fill prescriptions, and fast. My reserve might be tested somewhere down the line when the clock strikes midnight and my girl is suffering an asthma attack. Kings: I hope you’re listening! I hope you can modify your hours now that evil is moving right across Bedford Ave!

I’m not the only one to have had problems with Kings. My roommate, unfortunately, is not able to use her Flex Spending dollars at their pharmacy, and has resorted to ordering online from Again, Kings, I hope you’re listening!

Kings, I love you. I love walking in and singing to the Cure on the radio as I wait in line. I love the sweet girl behind the counter at the pharmacy who was so sympathetic a few years ago after I broke my arm and had two surgeries (I think I lived at Kings for a couple of months, picking up various prescriptions).

What’s the answer to my problem? How will I deliver myself from temptation? Oh, I will do my best.

I will also pray wholeheartedly that Duane Reade, in its overzealous greed to grow even as their numbers have been so terrible, comes crashing down like the Tower of Babel. Is it wicked to think like this? Perhaps. Even so, I’d have you each think twice before spending your hard-earned cash at a business that cares nothing for its employees (firing them even as they build more stores!) and seeks to destroy neighborhood businesses (um, moving directly across the street from Kings is just an asshole move).

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Obama Pet!

Don't you just want to buy one for every single person you've ever met?  I think Michelle ought to put one in her organic garden at the White House, and Prez #44 should use them as centerpieces at his two state dinners a year. 

Simple...  elegant...  and small enough for White House party-crashers to slip into a large bag or coat!

Click here to read my brief write-up.