30 November 2008

don't forget your tardy slip!

You've been there. The slowing, slower, glacial pace of the subway on your morning commute. You're checking the time on your cell, your IPod, your watch...tapping your foot. A few groans are admitted. A man is mouthing off: putting in his two cents about the MTA. You take notice of the "MTA Sucks" scratched in the car. A woman shakes her head. 

As reported on NY1 this morning, and further covered in other publications, such as CBS: the MTA is now issuing late cards to riders caught in the mess of delays. Good news, right? It's like getting a doctors note or a word from your parents, when missing school. Cool dude. I'm like in school again. Well I suppose one ascribes to many schooldays practices, such as standing in line for everything and needing an ID to get into your building, when existing in NYC. 

The sticky thing about the late slip is that the MTA is currently mailing them out (1-2 weeks after the fact) by then, your employer or teacher would have hopefully forgiven you...but it's -something- right? About 34,000 of these documents are sent annually, a system which is projected to go online in the future.

late lunch, Di Fiore MARQUET CAFE

I had the pleasure of taking lunch and conversation with my friend Yuka this afternoon. We met in Union Square to push through the wind and rain to Di Fiore Marquet Cafe in the West Village. Home of the best $5.50 cappuccino I've ever had, (I'll credit a portion of that delight to the whole milk) bakery classics and impressively fresh dishes.

Yuka chose the Avocado Salad with chicken, cherry tomatoes and corn shaved from the cob in house. Having a difficult time deciding on the Eggs Benedict or a salad, I asked the waiter for his advice, "Well everything is wonderful. Really. " A cliche, but the expression in his face matched the sincerity in his voice. I opted for the Nicoise Salad with Poached Salmon.  A massive platter with braised green beans, salty greek olives, steamed potatoes, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers: I have to tell you, this chilled dish was completely divine. I love variety. Give a neatly organized plate of savory items- and I'm on board, with gusto.

Neither Yuka or myself could finish our plates. We were a bit relieved when the server offered to wrap them up to-go. A bit of a faux-pas at times, I'll admit that genuinely enjoy the doggy bag! We decided to window shop a bit, to let our food digest. The outdoor holiday kiosks are in full force at Union Square. The vendors are well worth checking out! One can peruse everything from gloves to handmade soaps and New York Subway satchels!

The bittersweet mistakes we make: Food Chow Kitchen

It'd  been about a month since I last walked through the doors of Food Chow Kitchen. A masochistic pleasure that happens after alcohol themed evenings, long days at work or because you  feel like walking up the Slope to Red Hot II. As far as chinese in the city goes: the seedier, (read: glaring florescent lights, handwritten/faded signs and various trinkets for sale) the better. The food will be made quickly, come piping hot and will be presented in abundance. It's cheap. You can count on leftovers. 

I walked in, the cashier grinned playfully, "Long time-" The phone interrupted. He snatched it up, "FOOD CHOW, Hi how are you? Ok, Ok, Ok, Anything else? Ok." Click. The usual drill. No name or number is asked for. He turns around and yells in Chinese to the busying cooks. Back to me, "The usual?"

"No, just honey garlic with wonton."


As per usual, I'm regretting the choice to Food-Chow-it now. A heightened sense of pain stemming from a lost tolerance. The more you eat, the easier it gets. Then again, the more you drink, the easier it gets- but that doesn't get anyone anywhere.  It is what it is.  Vadim likes the sesame chicken, I tend to lean for the honey garlic and wonton soup. There isn't anything on the menu that stands out as spectacular. Stick to what you know.

29 November 2008

give art.

UK illustrator Hide N' Seek has marked down the prices of her art in the spirit of holiday giving. We all have bears in the back woods of our lives, why not cozy up with them?

double up

It's a doorstep in Park Slope. The number of an interstate connecting New York and New Jersey- a partial beltway around New York City. A district in Minnesota.  A section in the U.S. Immigration act that allows local officers to pursue investigations. 

spotlight: Lise Sarfati

As featured in New York magazine, French artist Lise Sarfati's work has been compiled in to a photographic book: depicting Russia, post communism. Without any voyeurism, Sarfati unveils a culture through colors which communicate an industrial dream era. Consider the second photo from the top: two homosexual boys coming of age at the same time as their homeland. Within the deep gloom, Sarfati's photos embrace this transitional period following the collapse of communism. Much of her subject matter leans to the traditional Russian country homes- in contrast with Soviet-era construction and disaffected youth.

27 November 2008

A Manhattan Thanksgiving

(Self portrait, SoHo)

The recent issue of New York magazine boasts the feature: The Loneliness Myth. I found myself in the face of this challenge. What to do on Thanksgiving? The Fung Wah bus wouldn't take a Pug to Boston, nor would Amtrak. The Metro North wouldn't get me close enough. Enter Max. A former colleague, and friend,  he was kind enough to extend an invite to a Thanksgiving dinner party at The New York Wine Company. We met in SoHo, before opting for the subway, over a cab. In the heart of Tribeca, the venue offers cooking classes in addition to a great selection of wines. We had the pleasure of joining the private party- exclusive to friends.

A collection of eighteen people came together. Some native New Yorkers, some from Singapore, a German, a brother and sister, one mother. A few admitted this to be their first Thanksgiving. I learned to shuck oysters. Smoked salmon,  champagne and meaty olives lined our stomachs.

Moments before the feast.


Assigned seating.

Max to the left, Keisha to the right. Bernard adjacent.

Baby brussels sprouts, homemade biscuits, cranberries with roasted walnuts. The turkey moist and the sweet potato mashers buttery. Three kinds of stuffing. Green beans. No one was too shy. The plates were large. American. 

The Uruguayan played his bag pipes. A few asked of his history. He admitted that he had a second Thanksgiving dinner to attend at eight p.m. We went around the table, speaking of what we were thankful for. A tradition I love from home. Most people admitted they were Thankful for Obama's victory- and good food. I'm thankful for good people.

Gourmet chocolates featured at Dean & Deluca, homemade apple and pumpkin pies, a lemon tart and du cafe closed the meal. A few went back for seconds. Hands came together to clear the table and wash the dishes. 

We walked to the subway and settled in.

les couleurs, a Park Slope series

It only seemed appropriate to entertain a long walk in the Slope this morning. With thoughts of dinner party in Tribeca ahead,  Pilgrim and I took in the unusually quiet streets. I plucked an L Magazine from a kiosk, Pilgrim found a stick (that he carried all the way home). He glanced up at me several times, gloriously impressed with himself.

cotton candy.


(ciao), baby.


26 November 2008

Trixie & Peanut: Dog Heaven

Fellow Pug parents had sent me links, and told me tales, of the products at Trixie and Peanut.   Months collected before I took the time to stumble across the storefront. I caught glimpse of the signature logo and collected myself to enter the clean and precise boutique. Immediately greeted by a black pug,  I collapsed to my knees to except his love.

Friendly sales people smiled, offering assistance in an impressively non-intrusive way. I immediately felt welcome and quite compelled to treat Pilgrim. I took notice of a well dressed Chihuahua tucked into the corner of lacy bed. A  Pomeranian video shoot in progress in an opposite nook.

The signature items at this Chelsea shop include Sniffany's plush toys, Chewy Vuitton bags,  Renaissance Treats and wigs. (Because every pooch needs a wig, no?) I was delighted to see Pilgrim's new winter coat in stock, among other items we consider necessary for a hip NYC Pug. Good news for your non-NYC folks, you can order it all online. It's that time of year. The dogs in our family get their own stockings...yours should too.

Roof top Chelsea: A Photo Series




Grit & Tow.


25 November 2008

in the clouds, park slope series





Rouge & Sprigs.



The overcast sky had begun to clear when I returned from another set of Midtown meetings. I took Pilgrim out into the Slope for walk through the children departing from school. Paper turkeys and bakery cookies in their hands, they bounced and swung from their parent's grip. One more day, a half-day until the long weekend begins. 

24 November 2008

pretty things

As I walked to the subway this afternoon, I called out to my neighbor, "It's nicer today. It's warmer."

"Either that or we're getting used to it."

Waking to the sun is calming. I love where  I am from, but there is something to be said for the amount of sunshiny glow expressed throughout the seasons in New York City, (in exchange for the perpetual overcast of the Pacific Northwest). In light of that and a lovely afternoon, I'd like to share a few images from the today is pretty blog.  An exclusive tribute to photos that feel warm and hazy. You want to make a home in them, no? 

for your apartment, driftwood sculptures.

Think coastal: window decor- or perhaps on your mantle. These simple designs are a lovely nod to handmade design.

Check out the details at Yalos.

23 November 2008

easy to look at.

Peruse vintage boots and other warm things, such as red pandas, at the for you, for me blog.

Warm up with smooches and extra large scarves with the The Moral Agency blog.

 Check out head dresses and other dream like photos on the .v blog.