Monday, March 31, 2008

March reading


Read and ready to return to the library, and not a stinker among them:
The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Strapless, by Deborah Davis
The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Goff

Not in the stack, because I already gave them away, are:
The Cave Painters, by Gregory Curtis
The Geographer's Library, by Jon Fasman

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pastry fellatio

Do you watch The Soup?

You should.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Good eats

Dim sum at Jin Fong, with Big Kitty, LaLa, and Jordan.

Dinner at Meskerem. We've eaten often at the crowded Village location, but our last visit was disappointing. Turns out the one near us is plenty lively, much lighter on the college students, and equally delish. Woo-hoo!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Because "bakery" has too many letters

Out the window of Big Kitty's car, on Canal

Hey ladies

Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum subway entrance

Funny thing is, this is the same look the teenage boys were giving the teenage girls downstairs on the platform for the 3 train.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Driven Flown to drink

I promise, you do not want to know what was behind yesterday's sake bender. Suffice it to say that if John and I could magically transport ourselves from Maui to San Francisco without the use of an airplane, well, we wouldn't need the tickets for the other legs of the trip, now, would we?

As of right this minute, the itinerary appears correctly again on the airline's website, but if I email it to myself or the friends we are vacationing with, we're back in magic carpet land...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sushi and friends

Dinner tonight at Sharaku with John, Jim and Greg.

Next time, don't let me drink most of a bottle of nigorizake by myself.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Manny, being Manny


Manny. Even in Tokyo, you have to run after you hit the ball.

Go Sox!

Monday, March 24, 2008

In the interest of equal time, and then some

51st & Fifth, during the Easter Day Parade.

I took some photos at the Easter Day Parade on Sunday, but I think we missed some of the best hats by arriving a little late. Still, there was plenty of entertainment.


John thought this dapper couple's dog looked a bit like a bunny. He might be on to something.


This girl was sweet, and totally unprepared for the attention she was getting.


How many great hats can you count in this photo? The woman in the rear on the far left, with the transparent pleated rosettes, wins the award for je ne sais quoi.


Check out this happy family!


My favorite hats of the day, and not a bad photo either.

Next year, I'll be there avec un chapeau.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Secret recipe (for a huge ass)

I decided last week to make this coffee cake for Easter breakfast, and I was droolly over it all week. I grew up eating it on birthday mornings or before church on Sunday. It's easy, even if your counters are still covered with the dirty dishes from last night's impromptu dinner party. Here we go!


You will need: one tube of flaky biscuits (the 8 biscuit can of Pillsbury Grands fits perfectly into my six by nine loaf pan and will serve four, or two twice); about half a stick of butter, melted; about a cup of granulated sugar mixed with about three tablespoons of dried grated orange zest. Preheat your oven according to the directions on the biscuit tube.


Separate the biscuits. Dip each in melted butter, then dredge in the orange/sugar mixture. Be generous with both.


Arrange the sugared biscuits in the loaf pan. This arrangement yields a pretty braided look when the biscuits puff during cooking. Pour any remaining butter and sugar over the biscuits. Bake at the indicated temperature, but for slightly longer than for regular biscuits.


The top here may look a little pale but if you could lift up the edge from the pan, you would see the bottom and sides are browned and caramely. Turn it out carefully while it is still warm. Scrape any stuck-on sugary bits from the loaf pan and scatter on top.


Et voila! Two pieces per person is a generous serving. Serve piping hot. Good at room temp the next day, if it lasts that long.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Violets, and enemas

57th, between Ninth and Tenth.

Spring cleaning, anyone?

Friday, March 21, 2008

No tamales por moi

I assume her absence was Jeebus-related, but I was unable to locate the tamale lady in front of the Mexican consulate today. I will try again, bien sur.

I've had bad luck locating my favorite street food vendor lately. Between the cold weather and the extensive construction going on in Washington Square Park, Mr. Kumar seems to have gone MIA. Here's to hoping he comes back with the warmer weatehr!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Things I saw on my way to have lunch with John

Someone showing her (I think it's a her, from the handwriting) political colors on Ninth, between 52nd and 53rd.


Ever wondered how those flowing-waterfall-lamps work? Take a look, in two pieces.



John gave me heads up about this wrapped wonder on Seventh, from 52nd.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cough, burp

I have chronic idiopathic acid reflux. I've been poked, prodded and scoped to no avail. I take a little yellow pill (the purple one doesn't work for me) every day, and it mostly keeps me out of the clutches of debilitating nausea.

Last week I was coughing a little and it occurred to me that it might not be the dry apartment air. This week I have the burps and that awful taste in my mouth every morning. Yoga on Tuesday was something else.

It's partly my fault. This is Cadbury Mini Egg season, and daily (or twice-daily) chocolate is a sure trigger for me. Also, I've been in the mood for soda, and while I seemed to be doing okay with the Dr. Brown's Diet Cream Soda, the Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale and I are apparently not getting along. So, the soda goes down the drain tonight, and the chocolate... at least Cadbury Mini Eggs are seasonal on this side of the pond.

NB: In the pursuit of honesty, I've started timing make-up posts at 11:59pm. I think of a post every day, but I don't always get around to the actual posting. Just keeping it real.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Radish scales

I trimmed some radishes and this was the result.


I didn't rearrange them or anything. Not that I'm above rearranging vegetable trimmings.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thank you, because I was getting too fabulous.

Thank you, Jeebus, for the early Easter present. One scabby lower-lip blemish would have been enough; two was far too generous. I know this keeps people from hating me for being too beautiful, but I think a bad hair day would have sufficed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Reading the paper.
Brunch at Whym.
Drizzly walk to and from Bloomingdale's.
Drooling over kitties in the adoption van at Columbus Circle.
Buying some light bulbs.
Doing a sudoku on the bed.
Watching Rich Bride, Poor Bride on the bed.
Falling asleep on the bed (for a nap).
Skipping yoga.
Playing phone tag with in-laws.
Eating delicious leftovers.
Watching some Soup.
Watching some John Adams.
Falling asleep on the bed (for real).

So, yeah, just like Lazy Sunday, but without sleeping late, a fantasy movie, or cupcakes.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pug crazy

We took the subway down to Shake Shack for lunch (elapsed time from arrival to eating: 45 minutes, and as always, worth every drooling second) then checked out the dog run at Madison Square Park. Extreme cuteness abounded, mostly in the form of a butterball blond French bulldog puppy that kept crawling all over an enormous older British bulldog. I find those French bulldogs, with their combination of goofiness and muscularity, frickin' irresistible. Someday, I'll get up the nerve to ask to pet one.

But nothing could prepare us for what waited at the end of our mile-and-a-half stroll to the dog run at Tompkins Square Park.






Pug meet-up! From what we could gather listening to the owners, this was a spontaneous occurence. Believe it or not, there are at least two or three pugs that never made it into the pictures; I think there were a total of nine. We heard one couple (who did not seem like crazy people) cop to owning FOUR pugs. And speaking of cops, as one owner bent to scratch the head of someone else's pug, she said, baby-voiced, "Oh, aren't you cute? Aren't you cute? You look like Vic Mackey! You look a lot like Vic Mackey."

John and I raised eyebrows at each other, then heard her husband call their pug away from the fence - their pug named Vic Mackey.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Small faces

Sometimes these works in progress turn into something. Sometimes they don't. We'll just have to wait and see with this one.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Glow bunny

Karen asked for some embroidery, and this is what I sent her. Since she's received it, I'm sharing it here. It was wonderful to work on; no major boo-boos to undo, and I really got a system down. The framing (hooping?) was another story, but now I have a system for that, too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moribund building

I'm not one hundred percent sure, but it's looking like the building catty-corner from ours is coming down. It housed Sony Music Studios until last August, when it suddenly emptied. The blue sidewalk shed went up a few weeks ago, but the full scaffolding and black mesh are recent ominous additions. The posted permits only reference the shed and scaffolding (duh) and there's a notice about asbestos abatement on the door. One of the billboards advertises for "Dismantling," though, and that's never a good sign.

Big stuff happened here, apparently, and famous people have come and gone while we were just chilling in our place across the street. Of course, we never saw any of them. But we did once see a photo in Us Weekly of J. Lo and Marc Anthony arriving to sign a contract, and we knew it was taken in front of Sony because we recognized the coffee shop across 54th from the front door.

Oh, and I once saw Christian Slater leaning against the wall next to the previously mentioned coffee shop. (We used to see him around fairly regularly, but not lately; maybe he moved?) I didn't think it wise to tell him that the first week we moved here I had watched a guy take a leak against that wall. Right where he was resting the ass of his expensive jeans.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Like the Freedom Train, but for hookers!"

New York Vintage, on 25th Street between Sixth and Seventh.

Aren't these dresses pretty? Big Kitty, I can see LaLa in that red one. My favorite is the poppy print in the middle: at the rate we're going, it'll be garden party time before we know it.

And isn't that subject line heeee-larious? If you live where I do, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The line was from Faith Salie on Fair Game, considering the possibility that a tourism niche might develop based on retracing the route of Governor Spitzer's whore. Maybe you had to be there.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Long trip for a bang trim

This is where I get off the L when I go for a haircut at Beehive. My stylist is Kathy and I love her, especially since she lets me whine about Best Buy even when I'm just there for a bang trim.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Making an impression (or, not so much)

Well, I sort of hoped we might try a different brunch place today, but we ended up back at El Centro, later in the day than usual.


When we get there at 11:30am, we have the place to ourselves, and things are leisurely.

When we get there a little after noon, the room bustles and it's fun.

Today we arrived a bit after 1pm, and got one of three remaining tables; the other two filled up quickly. It was a while before we got water, and twenty minutes before we ordered. I think we waited about another twenty minutes for our drinks, and another twenty for our food.

There were several large parties, and that might have contributed to the hold-up. Of course there was no way to explain why the guys who sat down ten minutes after us (and ordered fifteen minutes after us) got their food immediately and asked for the check while we were still nursing our margaritas (mango for me, strawberry for John).

The food didn't suffer, but the experience did. And our experiment in becoming regulars at our local brunch place seems to have, well, failed.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Soufflé making

But not by me.

Eileen made cheese and spinach soufflés for us for dinner.

And chocolate soufflés for dessert.

That's Ryan in the background, wearing a fab Brooks Brothers shirt.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Making color

Today I worked on coloring the drawing I finished yesterday. Which is to say, planning the colors I'll use in the embroidery. I've found that a terrific time waster is matching DMC floss colors to Prismacolor pencil colors, and vice versa. This can result in excessive trips back and forth between Lee's, Daytona, Pearl, Dick Blick, and P&S. All the purchases are small, so I don't feel awful about spending a ton of money.

The drawing is going to Karen as part of an embroidery kit, if I ever get my act together and mail it, and I want it to be a suprise, but I'll share the colors.

I had fairy tales in mind when I chose the palette, and I think I succeeded, but only time (and Karen) will tell.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fierce making

Any excuse to buy more jewelry findings at Toho Shoji.

How fierce is this, if I do say so myself? And it's done.

I finished a little drawing today, too, but as it is the pattern for some embroidery I'm planning, I'm not sure it counts. Rest assured, it continues the theme of predators vomiting up pretty things.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


You think it's going to be just a regular old tiger.

And then it vomits psychedelic crystals!

This will not be done tonight, because I forgot we are going to see Conversations in Tusculum at the Public Theater.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Unmaking a season, unmaking a tree

Today was a tale of two parks.

The morning was warm and not rainy, so I enjoyed two brisk walks around the lower loop in Central Park. Bulbs were starting to shoot up, and the snowdrops were going at it.

After lunch, I walked through Madison Square Park and they were unmaking the trees!

Not nearly as magical as seeing them upright, but still rather stunning.

My own making did not progress very far today, but things are coming together, and I expect to have at least one completely finished project by midnight tomorrow.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mailing and making, and sentences unfettered by grammar

If you live in ZIP codes 03087, 27701, 77094 or 78748 watch your mailboxes: I didn't stand in line at the APC for thirty minutes for nothing! One package contained a piece of craft, finished off today, so that qualifies as making. Sort of. One thing down. Lots to go.

I dyed my hair. Making? No, not really.

I re-organized, recycling some Christmas cards and turning the catch-all by the front closet that my keys hang from into INFORMATION CENTRAL, i.e. a place to put mail that needs attending to. Not making.

I ran some errands, which included colored pencil-buying and foot blistering. Not making.

I finished off the day (after taking care of John for a while, since he had some more of that grotesque oral surgery this afternoon) with some unequivocal making. I'm thinking about taking a box-making workshop at The Center for Book Arts next month, and so I looked through my sketchbook for things I've been thinking about making that would eventually need to be boxed.

This is as far as my sketch got, but I have an idea of where this piece will go next, and there's paper and color and beading involved. The material I was working with is a real bitch, and these little barnacles were harder to make than I expected. Paperclay has its faults, but in my experience has much more integrity than this sticky Craftporcelain stuff. It's tantalizingly translucent, but getting it thin is beyond my novice sculpting abilities. Should be dry tomorrow, and then I can start ruining embellishing it.

Oh, I almost forgot! I made something for the recently-painted front door, but you'll have to wait for a photo.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bright ideas

Today was a few degrees warmer than yesterday. Still cold, but not so bad in the sun and out of the wind.

We had brunch at El Centro. We are trying to get them to know us, so this is our fifth weekend in a row. I think it's the third since we settled on Sunday noon, and it's my third in a row of the wonderful, wonderful French toast. Do you know what piloncillo is? When you whip it with cream cheese, it's spreadable bliss! No maple syrup needed.

John suggested a trip to the East Village, and we had a great time watching the crazy pooches in the dog runs (big dog and little dog) at Tompkins Square Park, and the crazy guys barking at the dogs in the dog runs. On our way back to Mondo Kim's, we passed this insane see-through truck.

Hey! There I am in the reflection!

Inside was a long table, laden with beads and feathers. Oh, we should have stuck around, but I got shy and overwhelmed. By the thought. That someone had that thought.

The goal for this coming week is to make things. Things ahoy!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wishful eating

It was ten degrees warmer today. Which is still really cold.

We ate a banquet of hypothetical Spring:

dandelion greens with warm bacon dressing,

fettuccine with dungeness crab and lemon and herbs (shallots, chives, tarragon, parsley),

rosemary-roasted butternut squash,

tangerine-soaked strawberries with chocolate tangerine cookies and vanilla ice cream.

There are leftovers, but I don't think they'll last long.