Sunday, May 31, 2009

Two weekends in NYC

I'm learning how to just "be" thanks to friends in the neighborhood who are really good at it. Just "being" means going to a cafe and just sitting around talking... for hours at a time. I generally get antsy after about twenty minutes but I set a personal record this last weekend. We normally go to Oscar on Sullivan Street, which is convenient, comfortable and has the nicest staff. The food is pretty good but the sidewalk tables are the big draw.

We also were treated to brunch on S. rooftop where we fried under the spring sun and drank champagne and ate bread and cheese and lovely omelettes (how on earth does one spell that?). Good fun and another exercise in just being (and being hot, to boot).

After being for some time, we got off our butts and checked out the renovated Washington Square Park. It was marginally nicer, though it got mixed reviews from the group.

Okay okay

Yes, it's been a while. That's because I was just having too much fun. I'm throwing in pictures of the fun, from a weekend in Maine to two weekends in NYC. The time in Maine was really nice, good weather and a fun time with P. & J. and T. and of course the parents. Who were learning their new computer. From scratch. I heartily applaud their concentration, patience and equanimity as they struggled to master the universe of Windows. Having a Mac helped but it wasn't easy. I didn't make it easy for them, either, starting them out on email with Gmail. Yikes. But I think they're getting it.

Other highlights included watching a humming bird, rescuing a bird who hit the window (P. kindly gave it a moment to clear its little bird-brain of its concussion, verify that its little neck or legs weren't broken and well, watch the video to see the outcome. More highlights included ice-cream at Round Top and wonderful vacation food (hamburgers, hotdogs) at the great Larson's Lunchbox in Damariscotta.

Mom made a lobster feast, of course, but I didn't have any and T. ate all the Dinosaur Chicken Finger things. Oh well. Good diet. Plus I ran a few miles (that's "ran" not walked, thank you very much).

I love how Obama keeps watch over the Thompson family kitchen.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ann in the Morning

So here's yesterday's picture from the morning, before I passed my neighbor Ann but after I had almost made my new neighbor cry (mentioning pets; he had to leave his dog behind when he moved). Ann takes care of my cats when I'm away. She's a pip. She has more energy than most people I know -- and that's after being run over by a minivan a few months ago.

Can't wait to get to Maine tomorrow. I know we're doing the lobster thing on Saturday (nobody ever remembers I don't like lobster but that's okay. I like it ... enough.) If I'm lucky we'll go kayaking with Pete and I must walk the land to figure out where I'm going to actually build my treehouse house.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More on Paris... pics uploaded

Someone asked me yesterday if I'm a "visual" person or a "word" person. I couldn't answer. But I found while starting this post that I was at a loss for words until I stuck a picture in.

That was one mean waitress. I ate the best steak entrecote of my life while she ignored me the entire time and when I left it was the first time I was sad in Paris. Dining alone isn't that fun.

Now I'm back in NYC eating cold edamame on a beautiful Sunday, delaying the weeks of laundry I need to deal with.

My new goal is to post a picture a day, one taken while walking to work through SoHo and Tribeca. Here's one from last week. Keith Hernandez weirdly painted on some scaffolding.

One more picture from France (Versailles)... and many more here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Paris this time around was wonderful. Traveling alone is the way to go: no pressure. It was a true vacation: woke up late, had coffee on the terrace of my dear friends P. and S. apartment, wandered all over at my own pace.

Had some good meals, ate and drank and talked with good friend and amazing woman (and now Parisian) E. for the last (late) night out, took a train to the mind-altering Chateau Versailles (wow, just, wow), caught a Calder/Kandinsky exhibit at Beaubourg, explored a new neighborhood (Bastille and north), bought tons of cool things (nothing terribly expensive), can say I've been to Dublin (the airport), flirted with one guy (I need the practice!), did not find mon amour and that's okay. Saw Victor Hugo's old place, drank too much wine and felt misérable until the sun came out and the sky turned a true French blue and the clouds were impossibly white and puffy and I thought, wow, I could totally live here.

Notes: There's as much bad fashion in Paris as in New York. Possibly more, given the Parisian : tourist ratio. Also, the French produce more over-the-top cuckamonga advertising than even America.

The French inexplicably drink instant coffee.

The French can be incredibly generous and good-humored.

May Day is to be avoided, unless you have something to celebrate or protest. Shops closed, museums closed. My favorite day. I spent it just walking with no agenda whatsoever. Thought about Sacre Coeur but... too far. Wound up having a phenomenal lunch north and west of the Louvre somewhere (salmon carpaccio and green salad). Discovered my new favorite designer-I-can't-afford: Anne Fontaine. In a funny coincidence, I just found her SoHo store today by accident.

Five years ago I bought my favorite earrings (green resin circles on pewter) in a tiny storefront in Paris somewhere near my all-time favorite department store, BHV. It's no longer there (the little store), not surprisingly. On my walking day (logged about six miles) this time I passed another tiny jewelry store in the Marais district and something caught my eye in the window and when I walked in I discovered it was the same store -- Tam Tam -- in a different place, still owned by the same woman). Sweet.

My French is infinitely better than I thought. One just has to pronounce properly, thoughtfully and con brio. It helps to sound a little desperate and exasperated.

Best area for last-minute gifts: Rue de Rivoli east of St. Paul metro stop on south side.

That's all for now. If you more details, you'll have to offer me a nice glass of Côtes du Rhône. Check back.. Flickring photos soon. A bientot.

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