Tuesday, September 30, 2008

False Mahshi!

I made a quick, quick trip to Kalustyan's today for dried mint (which was the last ingredient I needed for dinner tonight) and since it was lunch time and I was headed to the work/study gig for a few short hours of label sticking, I went upstairs and bought a hummus platter to go. Just across the street, I passed this cart and almost regretted my purchase.


Mmmm. You know it's good when there's a line, and when there's a big pot of something on the roof of a mini-van. I will be back.

Later at home, post-yoga, I spent an hour chopping the ingredients for False Mahshi. It was soooo worth it.


Without a doubt, this is the most delicious and pink thing I've cooked in a long, long time. And thank goodness it's tasty, because it really does yield 8 servings.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I stand corrected

I was going to put up a post last week about what I perceived to be the misuse of the term redonkulous. Because in our household I am quite insistent that it be used only to refer to something that is both absurd and cute. A little research revealed I was wrong; it doesn't seem to actually have anything to do with cute.

I've been schooled.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not the color a toe should be, part deux

Yogi down!


Another foot, another toe.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Aminal Cwuelty


This kitty is the mouser for a couple storefronts on 10th Avenue between 51st and 52nd. I usually find him/her lounging in front of the pet store that opened there a few months ago. There he/she was this morning, as I headed home from yoga, looking dazed and confused and shaved.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beautiful MBV

Just so you know it wasn't all pain and horror, this was the first song of the evening, "I Only Said."

Speaking of pain and horror: how about that debate?

We had crap weather today, and I went from sweating under my raincoat to shivering in front an open window at the work/study gig. I spent a few hours putting the finishing touches on catalogues for the new exhibition: tipping in some images the printer forgot and wrapping dust jackets. We had dinner with friends, a brief walk, and watched the $%^&*# debate.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Well, I tried to go to the work/study gig yesterday, but as I struggled to keep from hurling all over a $2100 limited edition personal discovery game, I came to the realization that I should go home. I had mentioned my condition to two of my co-workers, and one of them snickered heartily as I slunk down the smelly stairwell. To her I say: you don't even know who My Bloody Valentine is, so don't you judge me.

Here are some images from Tuesday afternoon in Madison Square Park, before the sonic insanity ate my brain.


The hunk in the hard hat is Tadashi Kawamata and the project he's working on is Tree Huts. While the lift was on the ground being loaded, a sweet woman and an even sweeter baby came up to say hello. Hunky Japanese artist family man arboreal carpenter: be still my freaking heart.


These will be wonderful to look at as the trees lose their leaves. I don't know if they'll be up that long, but a girl can dream.

Once her head stops spinning.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PdP Summer Concert Series*, Pt.7: My Bloody Valentine


If you got one of my drunken texts during the show, well, at least know that they helped me piece together the evening when I finally clawed my way to consciousness this morning.

Because it's so hard to get a drink at Roseland, I had one before we left home. Then we got to Roseland and the line at the bar wasn't bad, but I knew it would be later, so I ordered a double. And thanks to a straw, I had consumed most of it before the opener, the Lilys, were through with their set. This led me to be extremely chatty with people around us; I even provided earplugs to a lovely woman next to me when MBV finally went on and she winced in pain.

Oh, I forgot to mention the earplugs. Yes, as we entered the venue, they scanned our tickets and offered earplugs. Because MBV is really all about the loud, which isn't clear if your experience of them is listening to their nuanced distortion on a home stereo. But the music blogs had been buzzing with rumors of this excessive volume for the past few months, so we had packed our own personal earplugs. We were prepared. Or so I thought.

Here, a picture of us before our brains started leaking out our ears.


As preface to this video clip, I should mention that this is the encore, known affectionately as "The Holocaust." You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. The familiar riff of "You Made Me Realise" kicks in at about 00:15, but the part before was pretty much what the first nine minutes of the song sounded like. After seven minutes, I whimper like a baby and cry loudly, so I cut that out.

Sometime before the finale I got another drink. How did that happen? One of the nice things about Roseland is that the shows end early, and as a result I was on my knees at home puking my guts out by 11:30pm.

Good times.

*I know it's technically not summer anymore, but I was going for a theme, okay?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wandering, again

I like this shirt/sweater/accessories combo, too.


A broken mirror in the trashcan at the corner of 55th and Ninth provided the perfect opportunity for some vamping, much to the amusement of the folks doing laundry at Second Wave across the street.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Little birdie


This little birdie could be the sibling of my recent Etsy purchase, but I bet I paid less than I would have in this antique store on 25th Street.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hey MJ: this one's for you!


M. Panique and I walked over to the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue so he drop a wad of cash on earphones and I could continue to dither about whether to take a Nano home with me or order one with engraving. Agh!

I continued to Home Depot on Third Avenue as M. Panique flânered his way home. On the way, I passed Seaman Schepps, and observed a design motif I thought we had seen the last of but, apparently, lingers.


Red branch coral: I have had enough.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Representative shoes


One of my favorite days in a long time, a nice chunk of which was spent sipping Prosecco with friends in the garden at MoMA. M. Panique's Adidas didn't make it into the frame but he was there, too.


M. Panique knows what this photo is about. The rest of you will just have to wonder.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sensuous bean

Sensuous Bean, at 70th Street and Columbus.

No good reason for this photo, except that I love how very, very "1976" the typeface is: you can almost taste the bicentennial fervor. Get a load of that completely insane descending foot finial! And the name!

I did not stop to sample the wares.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sleepy McSleepersons

Can just barely keep awake today. Definitely switching to taking my meds at night, which the Interwebs indicates should help with the continuous yawn.

Also might help if I had something more engaging to do than fret about whether to order a new orange Nano with or without free laser engraving "That's what she said."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Now I know

Today was all about prepping for an event tonight at the work/study gig. An event I didn't end up staying for, because I was tired. Which didn't stop me from walking thirty blocks down Sixth Avenue in search of someplace to print out some photos and another place to buy sugar-free mocha syrup so I can stop dropping $3.79 every few days to support my Starbuck's habit.

Now I know that the famous coffee place doesn't have the syrup, and that the only instant photo printing machine on Sixth Avenue will be occupied by a horrible, horrible woman going through what appears to be years of boring family photos.

Also, now I know that while wallpaper-scraping beats grant writing, metal-folding-chair moving does not.

I did eventually print out the photos at home. I never use my printer for photos, but it prints good ones. These are now on a groovy magnetic wood veneer frame on our tv console.



I should have taken an installation shot of this piece at MassMoCA, Village Green by Vaughn Bell, but you'll just have to trust me when I say: it was a room full of "personal biospheres," acrylic house-shaped terrariums suspended from the ceiling, and there were holes in the bottoms of the terrariums so you could stand up with your head inside. Some were for couples, and we took pictures of each other while we shared this one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This girl wanders

In celebration of the Black Apple bringing back her fashion spin-off blog, I think I'll post one of my favorite outfits. Lucky for you, it's no longer shorts weather, so you'll be spared my pastey, lumpy legs.

Instead, you get pink rhubarb pants from J. Crew, green t-shirt from Old Navy, black and cream floral print cardigan from New York & Company, and gold birdcage necklace from H&M.


Obviously, I need some practice taking pictures of myself. In the background, you can see the fruits of M. Panique's recent cd-sorting labors. Nine boxes, and he's not done yet.

As a special introductory bonus, you also get an outfit that you would see only on the streets of New York, or perhaps on Victoria Beckham.


Actually, maybe that was Victoria Beckham. Anyway, I'm coining the term wowtfit to describe this situation. I'll keep my eyes open for more in the future.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Missing Texas skies

In spite of his proximity to Hurricane Ike this weekend, M. Panique had nothing but clear blue skies in Austin. I am scrunched and green with envy. I miss the wide open feeling of driving on Texas highways, and the way the light makes everything so freaking radiant. That being said: on days like today, when the weather is changing, we get some gorgeous skies in NYC, too.


From the back window.


From the front door.


Lovely, but they would still be bigger in Texas.

In work/study news, I spent today scraping down a wallpaper installation. Beats grant writing!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Summer's last sticky hurrah

So, it's a soupy 90 degrees out there today, and what am I busy with in the kitchen? Gazpacho? Prosciutto and melon? Intricately sliced crudités?

Rice pudding and red beans and rice.

Oy. The rice pudding made an enormous quantity, and I ate half of it before it even cooled. It is delicious, but then, what isn't delicious when it's made with five cups of whole milk, four egg yolks, and a cup and a half of sugar?

The red beans are yummy, but I went a little nuts using up some extra ham and I think they are a little salty and meaty. I'll fix this tomorrow by diluting with extra beans.

I don't find either of these dishes particularly photogenic, so instead you get more of my Republican-convention-watching-Etsy purchases.


The top two pair are from littlebrownbird, the bottom ones from MAugustaWoodland. What a thrill to get pretty things in the mail!

Saturday, September 13, 2008



I am so bored. M. Panique is stranded in Texas (merci beaucoup, Ike) and the DVR is filling up with shows I want to wait to watch until he gets home.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bullseye Bullsh*t Bodega


I'm with you, lady. Meh.

First, the whip-around.


Midtown: 57th and Sixth.


Union Square: Broadway, between 11th and 12th.


SoHo: Broome, between Wooster and West Broadway.


East Village: Bowery and 2nd.

I figured out after the second one that they would have identical stock, but I went to all four anyway. I had on a cute outfit, and it was raining in a nice way, so I thought: pourquoi pas?

But I bought nothing. Because it was crap. There was one rather nice pierced and glazed stoneware vase by Victoria Hagan that almost had me reaching for my wallet, but it was expensive enough (maybe $15) that I knew there was probably something nicer on Etsy for about the same price. The much-anticipated (by moi) John Derian line was a snooze, or worse: poorly conceived and poorly executed. Ten bucks for a shoddily slapped-together paperweight? Je ne crois pas.

Lucky for me, though, there is a Sunrise Mart across the street from the SoHo outpost.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lest we forget

This is the day every year when I feel like I'll never be a real New Yorker, and maybe that's okay. I still can't imagine what it was like to be here, but today provided two moments of startling cognitive dissonance.

On the cross-trainer in the fitness room, I flip through the channels on the tiny tv, and suddenly I'm listening to Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, and Tom Brokaw narrate the events of that morning. MSNBC ran its coverage from the morning of September 11, 2001, in real time, with a clock counting forward in the bottom right corner. This isn't the first time they've done this, but it's the first time I've seen it, and its impact is amazing. The horror and the loss are clear in every word that every caller and commentator say. Also moving: how quickly rampant speculation took hold. By 11am, NBC had a reporter saying that an NYFD source told him there was an explosion that must have been a bomb planted inside one of the buildings. No wonder the conspiracy theorists can't let go. I flipped back and forth from the reading of the names to the "live" coverage. I thought they were finished when I headed back upstairs to shower, only to turn on the tv in the living room and find them starting back at the beginning of the alphabet with a new set of names.

Late tonight, looking for something to watch in bed, I flip past the History Channel and then flip back to the "Wittnesses to 9/11" portion of 102 Minutes That Changed America. Nine individuals of diverse backgrounds who captured video footage in New York City on September 11, 2001, discuss the way that filming the events shaped their experience of the day. They were in a media blackout on that morning, of course, with no power and no cell service. Some cannot watch their own footage; others can't stop watching theirs. One young woman wishes she had never picked up her video camera that day, because what she saw through the lens focused her attention on a "dark place" inside her that she hadn't known was there. I think there are a lot of people who feel that way about 9/11.

My father and my husband were both flying today, and I was only a little worried. Maybe that's my NYC attitude.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Resisting temptation, or not


After I left the work/study gig, I called up Mrs. Boot and we talked while she worked on her dinner in Durham and I strolled around Madison Square Park. Shake Shack smelled good, but I resisted temptation.

At least until I got half a block away to JAS Mart, and purchased and inhaled a bag of latte-flavored cheez doodles.


What can I say? It winked at me!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Un petit oiseau, très tentant


Looming shadow.


A sniff.


Looks better from this angle.



I bought this little bird (from BROOKLYNrehab on Etsy) in a fit of pique while watching some of the Republican convention speeches. It looks a lot like a scaled-down version of a beautiful piece of glass I had seen at ABC Carpet & Home the day before. This was way less expensive, and will live on my bookshelf, atop a stack of Ian McEwan novels, next to a photo of my parents smooching.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sharing the wealth


While I'd love to say I was just following my heart when I went to watch the procession yesterday, I have to admit I was also listening to my stomach. Several years ago, I bought some delicious chilenitos at the same procession. The ones I found this year, from a different vendor, were even better. They were four-for-five-dollars, and I only wanted one, but I also only had a five dollar bill, so four it was. I ate one as soon as I got home and immediately lapsed into a sugar coma. I took the other three to the work/study gig and delighted my co-workers. Life is good.

Sunday, September 07, 2008



Yesterday I got up and went to yoga in the most oppressive heat and humidity of the summer. The class was packed, and I was feeling ungenerous toward the women practicing on either side of me. I walked home slowly, deliberately, but it didn't help much. I showered and ate, watched some tv. I made my sad face at M. Panique and told him that I didn't know what to do. I didn't feel like cooking, or shopping, or reading. He suggested I cut up some cardboard I had promised him for dividers for his CD boxes. This helped. I forget that he knows me.


I told him that it was his job to force me out of the apartment at 3:15pm, even if I objected, even if it was raining, unless it was dangerous, to go to the open house at the work/study gig. He proved his usefulness again, because it was pouring. The demo wasn't all that, but at least it got me out and about.


Later we set off for Brooklyn for lasagna and Settlers of Catan. I'm loving these dinners with friends that aren't dinner parties, just dinner. With friends. These evenings really make me start to fall in love with my life.


Lately, I'm actually able to hear that kind of thought again, able to listen when my hear tells me an experience will be exciting, enjoyable, valuable, then able to have the experience and appreciate the excitement, joy, and preciousness.


Today we got lunch and picked up some groceries. On our way home, we noticed a crowd on 53rd between Eighth and Ninth: the annual saint's procession of a local Catholic church. These things move incredibly slowly, and I made it home and back to the procession before they had traveled even a third of the block. I hung around until they made it to the corner of 53rd and Ninth, then walked over to Eighth and bought new nail polish at Duane Reade. Then I bought an iced tall skim mocha latte at Starbucks and walked down 52nd, just in time to watch the procession turn the corner from Ninth Avenue. At that rate the procession probably takes four or five hours to get around the block, and an army of purple-robed brothers of the Fraternity of San Martin de Porres stand ready to relieve the crew that staggers along under the weight of their icon of Saint Benedict the Moor. A brass band follows behind, marking time with a crazy circus-sounding march. Two women walk in front with chalice-shaped censors that blow perfumed smoke back over the procession, and a third carries some sort of relic in glass case on a silver pillow. What a fantastic way to spend a late-summer afternoon.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fenging the shui


Because he loves me, and because a few weekends ago he successfully migrated the 134GB of music that was clogging the PC onto an external hard drive, M. Panique is sorting and packing his 2000 CDs for basement storage. This means that, if I get my ass in gear and pack up some of my own art supply crap, we will have decluttered the under-bed area sufficiently for energy to circulate around us. Or at least air. Breathing while sleeping would be nice.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Tee Gee Aye Eff


I'm not sure why constructing, demolishing, or renovating (what are they doing?) this building on Union Square requires giant blowy black drapes, but it fit the mood of the afternoon perfectly. A cold breeze kept cutting through the summer air; Hanna is on the way. That's okay with me, as right now my Saturday plans consist of: yoga, not eating everything in the apartment, buying more incredibly expensive cat food, and stopping in at the work/study gig to see a demo of transfer techniques. Don't you wish you were me?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Injection site reaction

Because my father instilled in me an irrational fear of tetanus, when I stepped on a piece of wire in the street in SoHo last weekend, even though it was only a scratch, I knew it meant a trip to the doctor's office. After the holiday weekend, of course. Because I'm sure those bacteria were on vacation, too. More than 48 hours after the shot, I still have a quarter-sized throbbing knot on my bicep. M. Panique, believe it or not, knows a thing or two about vaccines, and if he's not worried then neither am I. But ow.

And OW MY BRAIN. I won't subject you to the ranting I've inflicted on poor M. Panique vis-à-vis the whole Republican snarkfest in St. Paul. I will just say that at some point tonight, when I suggested that I might do a little happy dance if a grave tragedy befell Mrs. Palin, and M. Panique said I didn't really mean that, I actually held forth with the argument that the cause of women's rights might be advanced if like-minded misogynists suffered horrible, horrible deaths, thus warning away other hateful idiots from their hateful idiot beliefs.

Also, did you happen to catch this guy during McCain tonight?


I made M. Panique rewind the television so I could take a picture. Hot damn that HDTV is photogenic!

So how did I soothe my anxieties? I bought $80 worth of stuff on Etsy. I'll post pictures when it gets here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Magic carpet ride


It's a good thing someone duct-taped this carpet to the light pole, because it's so grungy it probably could have walked away by itself. It pleases me to no end that I'm almost always guaranteed something crazy to photograph when I leave the work/study gig. God, I love that color.

So, shall we just pretend the last two blogless weeks didn't happen? I think my latent OCD will propel me to fill in the blanks, so don't be surprised as random posts pop up over the next few days. Especially tomorrow, when I plan to barricade myself indoors, against what I can only hope will be the last great scorcher of the summer.


À propos of nothing: did anybody else watch Sarah Palin's youngest daughter give the baby a spit-fueled hair styling during her mother's speech tonight? Gross, but cute.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jessie Tarbox Beals, Photographer


The 23rd Street Station of the N/R/Q/W line has some of my favorite public art in NYC, Memories of Twenty-Third Street, by Keith Godard. Mosaic hats are scattered across the walls, at heights appropriate to their historical wearers, along with identifying tiles. This beauty belonged to Jessie Tarbox Beals, the first woman hired as a newspaper staff photographer.