Monday Night on the Town

The evening started with a light dinner at the bar at Pianos (www.pianosnyc.com/), very low-key the best way to start just about anything. We walked next door to Cake Shop (www.cake-shop.com) where I was introduced to a group of Rob's friends--Jamie & Dana, Maria and Callie the stars of Drunky Brewster, the performance group we had come to see. Drunky Brewster (drunkybrewster.com/) started with Maria, when she moved to NYC from Pittsburgh. The show was in the venue basement, a black graffiti-walled staircase led to the event space. The club emitted a stale locker room smell, it reminded me of when Kristin and I saw Justin’s band at The Knitting Factory (Did you know you can now book tickets to TKF via text message?). The layout included: soundman to the right, wet bar to the left and the stage straight ahead. The stage had a low ceiling covered in white Christmas lights. Drunky Brewster, prepping for their dual performance with Mixel Pixel (www.mixelpixel.com/), drank cans of what looked like Colt 45 (remember it was dark) and shots of Strong & Girly (basically an alcoholic mixture of whatever the bartender deemed strong & girly).

The performance began…Maria & Callie in their modern day flapper ensembles, gold lame boots, red and blue make-up and those lashes…I wish I knew how to wear fake eyelashes. Together with Mixel Pixel—a guy dressed in white with a Barney Rubble fur toga and a miner’s light on his head, the woman of Asian descent wore a full anime-inspired costume (or outfit?)—they crooned and shrieked and had an overall good time on stage. That is until halfway through the 2nd song, when a member of the audience lit a bottle rocket firecracker in the very enclosed space and set off the fire alarm. Within seconds the entire downstairs area is covered in a smoky haze. Within minutes, a beam of light extended by a team of (4) firefighters appears. Their show didn’t last much longer than that. We ended up staying for the next performance from the band The Show is the Rainbow (http://www.myspace.com/theshowistherainbow), hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska. They were surprisingly good, featuring a mix of new wave/alternative music the likes of early New Order.


Sunday July 22nd...

Tonight is the first night I will be sleeping in the apartment :)

This morning Richie helped move the mattress from my old bedroom on the 3rd floor to the garden apartment. Thank goodness he arrived when he did...I was attempting to move it myself and got wedged on the landing of the staircase! The bed takes up most of the room, and is catty-cornered with a clear view of the doorway.

This is called "the king's position" and is linked to a Feng Shui article I read (http://horoscopes.aol.com/fengshui/feng-shui-bedroom). The theory is that when you lay in bed you should be able to see the flow of energy entering your bedroom, whether in a tangible person or animal or as part of a dream. This increases your chances of embracing new opportunities in every facet of your life.

In the Apartment Therapy book there is a chapter dedicated to the flow of your apartment, this is still a work in progress (I'm still waiting on the delivery of my couch and moving a bookcase, too) for me but I like the layout of things so far. I've also decided not to purchase any other pieces until the remaining deliveries have arrived.

Beach Musings

It has been such a LONG time since I've shared a day with myself thinking, reflecting, dreaming, in silent reverie (a bit of a cliche no?), dozing with just the sun and me. By the time I woke up in a sea of sleep, the cacophony of russian voices nearby, I had been at Riis close to (4) hours. I hadn't meant to stay so late, and without a thought I started to pack up, sand with my sheet and books. Silly really now that I think about it to so quickly relinquish my rites to the beach until next weekend.

A final walk to the water's edge changed my mind, the ocean of this afternoon had disappeared, gone were the whitecaps and tipping tides, replaced with a calmer creature lulling itself to sleep. I abandoned any thought of leaving and instead walked into the refreshing coolness of the Atlanic.

The Writing Journey Begins (again)...

A friend recently asked if I had a passion (strong feeling or emotion) for any one thing...once a million pen strokes ago writing was my passion, an art that I thought I would never cease to participate in all my lifetime and yet these last few years I've not exercised at all. How does that happen? When does life become all consuming enough to drain you of the desire to do the one thing you were meant to do. I suppose four years in a dead-end job would suffocate any such notions, luckily for me that phase of subordination is over.

In the spirit of decluttering, I've been going through my books and paring down. Each book has a story unto itself, filled with memories of places, people and things...a nostalgic edge as it were. Some art fair or flea market, the dusty shelves of an independent bookstore in the city or Firenze, a friend, a stranger, a loved one no longer living...Now they are stacked into piles: cookbooks, video cassettes some with the shrinkwrap untouched, CDs most of which have been downloaded into iTunes and a library unto itself of literary anthologies and magazines. I feel like the cobwebs of my mind have turned to dust making way for inspiration and awakening a talent from hibernation.


Since then...

I am so behind in my posts it's pathetic. I have good intentions and write drafts on post-its to spur my memory of things to report on and then I misplace the post-it!

The last week and a half has been jam-packed with social obligations and as of late, some much needed sleep. My friend Sharon was in for the soiree from San Francisco, we kicked off the weekend with a late show at Spiegelworld's (yes another show at this venue!) La Vie. Angela joined us for the 2-hour feat of acrobatic proportions performed by former Cirque du Soleil troupe members loosely themed around the 7 deadly sins and limbo/purgatory. It was totally intense.

Sharon was everso helpful in decorating the apartment (it's finally done!) and backyard for the soiree. We had a stellar turnout this year as we celebrated summer and Bastille Day--the French posse made an appearance, the dark n'stormy beverages (Bermudian ginger beer and rum) were a hit until we ran out of ginger beer (I only bought a 1/2 case, who knew?) and new people met alumni who remingled with one another. A good time was had by all and lasted until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

It was a full house of sleepers at the house: Sharon, Kristin, Bill, Paula & I (plus Dad in his wing of the homestead...LOL!). Brunch a la Andrea and a very appreciated shout out to Bill & Paula for building out my bed frame, one step closer to planting myself downstairs in the garden apartment. We took a ride out to Riis Park for a mid-afternoon swim (the water was warm and wavy), and naps...it was lovely though very sandy, the wind was ferocious. Afterwards we ventured to Coney Island for a Nathan's hot dog frenzy with cheese fries and Sharon, Bill & Kristin fulfilled their goal of riding the infamous Cyclone.

Back to work on Monday...a bit of a drag, seeing as I was working with minimal hours of sleep. It didn't help that we were out late Tuesday night as well...For Sharon's last night in the city we attended Paradou's Dirty Bingo dinner event (the 3rd Tuesday of every month), with a front and center table the (5) of us: Sharon, Emily, Kristin, Paula & I drank champagne and noshed on cheese, cold cut platter, brick chicken and a decadent beet and goat cheese tart. Lucky Ms. Rose won her very own XXX (it's an X-rated event, did you think I would really tell you the prizes???); we were excited to have a winner we gleefully ordered another round of champagne. I missed out on winning an orchid so the bartender Ben served up an extra super sized champagne rouge (with mashed strawberries)...With all that bubbly running through my veins is it any wonder the sappy gal in me declared my love for all friends present. Lucky for me the ladies made sure I was served only water, at the next two watering holes: Son of Cubano & Lansdowne or I would have suffered miserably Wednesday morning.

And so it goes, the rest of the week was fairly low key and included cleaning up remnants from the soiree while catching up on sleep.



SOV at Spiegelworld

Last Saturday night was the infamous Lady Sovereign concert (as mentioned in the Arts & Culture post 6/27). I made the mistake of making a reservation at PJ Clarke's on the Hudson, the total opposite end of the universe compared to where the tent was; I drove for a good half-hour looking for a spot before settling on a lot. Angela and I opted for drinks at Meade Hall, a cute little waterfront bar on Peck Slip.

We then headed over to the Spiegeltent at Spiegelworld:

"The world's most beautiful traveling venue returns to New York City for the summer of 2007. Join us for three months of decadent entertainment at our magical East River location at Pier 17, South Street Seaport, just under the Brooklyn Bridge. With breathtaking views of the city, sit back with a cocktail at sunset in our Green Fairy Garden..."

The show was supposed to start at 11pm but we didn't get into the theater tent until well after midnight. We met this guy Frank from Cherry Hill who had just spent the day at Live Earth, he walked out on The Police to see Lady Sovereign! Not sure if I would have done that...

It wasn't half bad for my first hip-hop rap experience; and I have to say Lady Sovereign may be petite but she has a powerhouse voice. My favorite songs were: Love Me/Hate Me; Those Were the Days and Ch. Ching--though that last one might get annoying after awhile.

Here is footage from a rabid fan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1sHAX2F4PE

Independence Day

I Penguini met Claudia & George up in Greenwich for a patriotic celebration. The weather was hardly swim-worthy but we had a grand time catching up and co-mingling with the Teddys. I don't recall ever meeting Teddy and Giovanna, who were married last year just before the Gibbs'; and as for Teddy and Jeannine, who tied the knot this year in Vegas...we had a grand time in Bulach...lots of wine. Teddy & J9 brought Peyton, Teddy's daughter, who stuck to me like glue for most of the evening. :)

- Outdoor wiffle ball in the rain;
- The chocolate game--a Swiss favorite involving hat, gloves scarves and of chocolate.
- George's pyrotechnic fireworks bonanza


Escape, Take Me Away

Friday night ended with a mani/pedi and hydrafacial at Escape Spa in midtown. Dominique, Marta and team were most accommodating (especially since I was dreadfully late thanks to the he-who-shall-not-be-named-painter).

Thank you Claudia for being just as patient! It was a special treat to have one-on-one time to catch up on life and other things relaxing with lemon water and French manicures (my very first!). With apologies to the men out there who may read this, this is the first summer I feel like a girly-girl: I have nails that you can see and paint, long healthy hair, the summer sun just keeps it going. :)

Dinner afterwards at The Lemongrass Grill on 13th Street and then a parting at Union Square before the main events on Saturday!

The Last Friday in June

It had to be the most productive day yet. I sorted through all the furniture-like objects in the apartment and stored them in the garage in preparation for Steve and Junior to sand and finish the floors. That took nearly 2 hours, and I should have been smart enough to eat beforehand, I had the beginnings of a migraine shortly thereafter. Yuck.

The Jetta and I made our rounds returning tiles to Lowe's and Weissman's (great discount store for tiles and accessories). I bought a brushed nickel finish single handle faucet and spray (by Kohler) at Lowe's (see below).

Met up with Jason Ng with KFKitchen Cabinets in the South Slope/Sunset Park area to pick out the granite. He was super helpful and easy to work with, we scheduled a time on Saturday for him to come and measure the space for the granite block. The color we decided on is Golden Sand.

I had planned to purchase the sink from Jason but found a moderately priced D-shaped sink at www.homesurplus.com on New Utrecht Avenue ($129). I had to swing by Atlas paint (actually had a conversation with blue eyes this time around) for more paint...that was a nice distraction for a crazy day.

Once this is all finished I'll have to itemize everything just to see how much the renovation cost.