Saturday, December 31, 2011

And the Cantilevered Inference Shall Hold the Day

And the Cantilevered Inference Shall Hold the Day

by Michael Blumenthal

Things are not as they seem: the innuendo of everything makes
itself felt and trembles towards meanings we never intuited
or dreamed. Take, for example, how the warbler, perched on a

mere branch, can kidnap the day from its tediums and send us
heavenwards, or how, held up by nothing we really see, our
spirits soar and then, in a mysterious series of twists and turns,

come to a safe landing in a field, encircled by greenery. Nothing
I can say to you here can possibly convince you that a man
as unreliable as I have been can smuggle in truths between tercets

and quatrains on scraps of paper, but the world as we know
is full of surprises, and the likelihood that here, in the shape
of this very bird, redemption awaits us should not be dismissed

so easily. Each year, days swivel and diminish along their inscrutable
axes, then lengthen again until we are bathed in light we were not
prepared for. Last night, lying in bed with nothing to hold onto

but myself, I gazed at the emptiness beside me and saw there, in the
shape of absence, something so sweet and deliberate I called it darling.
No one who encrusticates (I made that up!) his silliness in a bowl,

waiting for sanctity, can ever know how lovely playfulness can be,
and, that said, let me wish you a Merry One (or Chanukah if you
prefer), and may whatever holds you up stay forever beneath you,

and may the robin find many a worm, and our cruelties abate,
and may you be well and happy and full of mischief as I am,
and may all your nothings, too, hold something up and sing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Black Mountain Wine House

I know. I know, I know, I know. I've been away from this space for a million years (since Halloween? Eeks.) But life has been a little nutty recently and I didn't feel like writing. That's just the truth. That's real life. Life got weird and then it got bad and then better, and now it's just plain BETTER and I'm back and I'm fine and let's talk about wine!

This Christmas, instead exchanging gifts, two of my girlfriends and I treated ourselves to dinner and told each other how appreciative we are of each other. It started out as a joke, (it sounds so lame and corny, doesn't it?) but in the end it was really lovely. How often do you do that with your girlfriends? Just look them straight in the eye and say 'I really like this about you'? Not enough! Maybe never! It's a little awkward! But-- as a wise woman once said--- I like corny. I've been looking for corny. My friends said that they appreciate me for the good advice that I give. Isn't that the nicest!? Thanks, girls. I love my gift.

This little verbal gift exchange took place at one of my favorite spots in New York the world-- Black Mountain Wine House in Carroll Gardens. I wasn't initially going to share the name of this little gem in fear of it becoming garishly crowded and famous, but another bloggie already gave it up today, and, well, sharing is the right thing to do. We sat in the back corner, right next to the most perfect little fireplace, sipped champagne, and then Pinot Noir, munched on cheese and meatballs, and just plain enjoyed ourselves.

In addition to our appreciation conversation we talked about 2011 in it's entirety. We went month-by-month and rehashed the craziness of being women in our 20s figuring it all out. Katie lived in Germany for the first six months of 2011. Alison got to spend an entire week in Miami with her sweet mother. I traveled to Florida three times this year (what?!)--- the first time alone, the second time with a boy, and the third time in panic. Life is weird!

And now it's suddenly Christmastime and I've never been more ready to celebrate. Cheers, my lovelies. Here's to us.

Monday, October 31, 2011



This time of year always feels busier than the rest-- summer is over and the art world wakes up and suddenly it's Halloween and I completely missed out on seeing the fall leaves upstate. Is there still time? My sources tell me no but I'm trying not to think about it. It has already snowed.

This year in particular has been busier than ever. As of November 3rd I will be sitting at a new desk with a new commute and new coffee carts and new everything. I am leaving my job at the magazine and moving to a Chelsea gallery on Wednesday. This is actually happening! TRICK OR TREAT!

It's also my birthday today, did you know that? I was born on Halloween twenty-something years ago today. The doctor who delivered me was dressed up as a vampire and my dad's friend requested 'Sarah' by Jefferson Starship to play on the local Kalamazoo radio. It's not a very good song but how sweet of him!

I want to say here, in this little space of mine in the blogosphere, that it will all soon slow down. Once I start my new job and figure out a routine, everything will just stop spinning so quickly. But I know better. Halloween marks the gateway to turkeys and gift wrapping and kissing at midnight. And if I play my cards right I'll be pulling my hair out in Miami one month from today. Deep breath.

Happy Halloween, my lovelies. Keep it classy out there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hey Marseilles: Rio

Who are these people?! Loving this song and all of the happy dancing in the video. Thanks Ali!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Miami, part I

One week ago today I was laying on this beach in Miami covered in salt and sand, giddy over this cloud formation. Have you ever seen a more perfect cloud? I kept thinking that any second cherubs would burst through in song. Shortly after, I would walk to the Raleigh hotel, order a peach daiquiri, and discuss the evening ahead, happy as a clam.

Let's go back, wanna? New York is exhausting me this week. Woof.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Books & Books

Boo! I'm still here!

Back three weeks later, it seems, but with a worthy round up of summer book recs, all licked up and passed along to a lucky few of you. I highly recommend any and all of these titles. HIGHLY. I toted them along with me this summer to the beach, on the plane, in grassy parks, to coffee shops, and in my bed on Sunday mornings when sleeping in once again failed me. All summer, I've been chattering away about Patti Smith and Bennie Salazar, Robert Cohn and Lady Brett Ashely with friends and with strangers with excitement and urgency. MMMmmm, a delicious summer it has been indeed.

"Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what? Maybe just growing up."

Out of everything I picked up this summer, this book was my favorite.
I loved this book. If you've been in my presence in the past few months, you're more than aware of this, and perhaps writing this down will temper my constant gushing.

Just Kids is Patti Smith's telling of her early days in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe before she became Patti Smith, the rock and roll queen with the hard edges and poetic superiority. In fact, that she even becomes that gritty rocker seems far fetched, up until those last few chapters. Her voice and her telling of this story was surprisingly soft, loving, and protective-- you'll notice it right away.

It's also a love story to New York (choc full of passion, lust, heartbreak, and tragedy) and an homage to the late 60s and early 70s spent here on these streets. She allows us entry to that electric time spent at the Chelsea Hotel, Max's Kansas City, and CBGBs. She started out in Clinton Hill, did you know that? My heart skipped a bit when I read her cross streets-- just blocks from my first real apartment in this city.

Old news, (what, with the Pulitzer) but this one's worth your time! A Visit From The Goon Squad opens with one of the best first chapters of all time then snatches the main character out from under us to tell a story that spans 50 years and three continents, jumping through time and voice. It's about rock-and-roll and dreams and what becomes of us all eventually. It's also a relatively quick read, choc full of wit and intelligence.

Fun fact: Egan found out about the Pulitzer while lunching at Olea in Fort Greene-- my favorite!

My cover doesn't look like this, because I bought my copy at Powell's in Portland, and it's probably a first edition or something. Jealous, much?

I think I've ragged on enough about Hemingway and his short stories on this bloggy, so just trust me that they are GOOD, RELEVANT, and not all about hunting and wars!

Remember GATZ? Well, shortly after finishing The Sun Also Rises, I was offered a plus-one ticket to see the Elevator Repair Services' The Select (The Sun Also Rises.) Such a treat! If only this pattern followed suit in the rest of my life! (Oh, you liked Just Kids? Here's a free front row seat to see Patti Smith. Oh, you liked Harry Potter? Welcome to Hogwarts!)

And if you really want to enter the world of Hemingway's Lost Generation, read this one with a liquor cabinet nearby. So boozy! (So awesome.)

This is my current read, compliments of one Miss Lo Ashley Hoffman. I should be done with it by now, as I sat staring at a pool for what must have been a grand total of 20 hours in the past few days. But my brain apparently turned to mush in Miami and all I could possibly bring myself to read was the cocktail menu. ("Four Falanghinas please. No, that's just for me. Yes, all at once, thank you.")

Nevertheless, I'm finally entering the world of Fillory and I look forward to sharing more. Anyone want to join me for the ride? Two person book club? I hear the last sentence tops all.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two More

You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Movie Trailers

For the past week, I've been dog sitting for a friend of mine in Brooklyn Heights who-- in addition to the world's cutest dog-- has a full cable package, Netflix On Demand, Hulu Plus, TiVo, and Apple TV. YET---- all that I seem to watch is these four movie trailers over and over and over. Here we go!

Clooney and GOSSLING?!?! Paul Giamatti? Philip Seymour Hoffman!? Are you kidding me?! Yes, I will watch this. I don't even care what it is about-- those four can just sit there and knit for all I care.

People, they subtitled the dog. SLAY ME. Are you a little worried that the movie itself won't be half as lovely as the trailer? Me too. (I've watched this trailer so many times that it actually leaked into my dreams one night. I'm not proud of that.)

John saw this film at Sundance in February and called me immediately, saying that he just watched my new favorite movie. (Isn't he a good friend?!) Apparently there is a big Paul Simon tie-in too. Can't wait can't wait.

This looks creepy and awesome. Come see it with me and tell me what happens while my hands are in front of my eyes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

White Christmas

Did you know that you can watch White Christmas in its entirety on YouTube!? And the picture quality is wonderful! What a world.

(If nothing else, just skip to 54:19. The 6 minutes to follow will make your heart stop.)

*Side note: I always felt really bad for Rosemary Clooney at the conclusion of that scene (1:00:16). She just looked so sad there with her dumb tambourine, all fake smiley after Vera Ellen KILLED IT with those legs. I've since gotten past this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh Land

Last October I was at a party with John M, talking with a very sweet Scandinavian girl who was new to New York and had just moved to Brooklyn, not far from John. We happened to be seeing a Danish pop singer, Oh Land, the next week at a gallery that our friend runs, so we decided to invite our new blonde friend along to the show. Her response?

"I am Oh Land."
"Oh, you know her music!"
"Yes, I am Oh Land."
"What? You like Oh Land?"
"No, I am Oh Land."

And then I ran away and got more champagne and hid in a corner and John continued talking with her. (This is how John and I differ socially.)

Anyway, she seems to be doing well, is super pretty, and is opening for Katy Perry this fall! Go Oh Land.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Marcel Dzama

Some art for your rainy Tuesday! Are you all familiar with Marcel Dzama? I love this image and came across it again today while sorting through work research.

His work serves as fairy-tales for these dark days (where even CHEESE is killing our planet. Ugh.) With nooses, googly-eyed guitars, angry snowmen, and trees with heads, Dzama gives us something to fret about while adding just a touch of good humor. "When you're alone in the woods, you always see faces,'' the Canadian artist has said.

The best part is that frowny fan, amiright?

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Dog Days

We're in the thick of it, New York. The Dog Days are here and I'm beginning to feel those first twitches of wanting it all behind me. I'm (almost!) ready to leap into fall. This heat! But as John so rightly reminded me over cocktails on Saturday in a sticky restaurant on Canal street-- on days like this, it's helpful to think about The Great Gatsby:

We had luncheon in the dining-room, darkened too against the heat, and drank down nervous gayety with the cold ale.
"What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon?" cried Daisy, "and the day after that, and the next thirty years?"
"Don't be morbid," Jordan said. "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."

Anyway. In that crazy heat, in the thickest imaginable post-rain humidity, before the cocktails on Canal Street, I found myself at a party at this apartment on Saturday evening. The man doesn't have any possessions! I obviously found the whole thing a little odd, but at the same time........ inspiring. Can you imagine? It must be somewhat freeing. I like people who live in the extreme and Klaus does it well.

For the 'purpose of appreciation and categorization": The Book Cover Archive.

I finished Just Kids over the weekend and have so much to say about it. I've been trying to nail down exactly why I liked this book so much, and I think it has to do with amount of unashamed love leaking onto the pages. Patti Smith is generous, kind, loving, protective, and INTERESTING to boot. This book is anti-snark in a world we've all imagined to be tainted with egos. I think you should read it.

Have you hear the new Bon Iver album? Stunning. They are playing a show in Prospect Park Wednesday night and I will be there*.

And Breakfast at Tiffany's is playing on Thursday in Brooklyn Bridge Park and there will be protesters! Come!

And finally, my friend Brian wrote this piece about Ryan Trecartin's crazy PS1 show. Well said, Brian.

*Sitting right outside the fence where we can drink wine and where it is free.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Penny and Oscar

I have so much to tell you about. Project Nim, and Race to Nowhere, and some crazy art as PS1 and Patti Smith's book that I cannot put down. I have wanted to write about Movies with a View and about The Sun Also Rises and about Midnight in Paris and this really fantastic restaurant that recently opened in my neighborhood called Brucie. But I'm BUSY these days and it's just so very hot. So here are some pictures of cats! Can you tell which cat is sweet and which cat is grumpy? That's all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fire Island

We took a little 'day trip' to Fire Island on Saturday.

Have you been? I like it there.

The beaches are shockingly not crowded.

The food is superb.

The walking is delightful.

And although we sadly missed Frat-urday...

...we did catch a touching little garden ceremony instead.

We all meant to leave that night, we really did. It was a Sunday after all.

But there was an outdoor pool! and an empty beach! and a hot tub and a drag show and a seafood hut and a sleeping bunk!

And so much more to do and see.

So instead of catching the Sunday night ferry, we decided to stay and discover what Fire Island looks like at 6:10 on a Monday morning.

Let's go back soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Portland V: Books I Found at Powell's

You all told me that I would love Powell's books, but honestly I had no idea. I live in New York City where I frequent bookstores almost daily and was skeptical that a used bookstore in Portland would effect me any more than it's New York couterparts. My favorite bookstore is McNally Jackson-- just two blocks away from my office-- but I also spend a lot of time in Housing Works, or I'll trot up to The Strand, and then there is BookCourt, in my neighborhood. (I like BookCourt, but sometimes I wish they were friendlier.) You know where they ARE friendly!? Greenlight.

But Powell's is the bookstore to beat all bookstores. It's humungo and it's organized by color and it's exhaustive in it's inventory. I loved everything about it and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

These are some of the books that I found:
First off, please ignore my chipped manicure. I moved and unpacked like 35 boxes the day before. The nail polish, however, does match this pretty Maugham cover. Have you read it? I've only read one of his-- For Cakes and Ale-- and I loved it.

Anais Nin makes me feel a little crazy. I'm always tempted to buy this one, but in the end after flipping through a few chapters I know it wouldn't be good for me or for anyone around me. Sorry, Ninny!

I almost bought this one for the cover alone but then I read a few sample pages and noted the blatant racist language. Ernest! Come on.

This book is randomly super expensive. It's like $38 for a normal sized book. I always look for it anyway, hoping to find a cheap used version as I don't really cook that much anyway. No dice.

Speaking of Spain! Cute cover, no?

This one took forever to find. It was in the 'oversized' section of the City and Urban Planning Section in the Pearl Room (although I was initially told Rose.) Hilary read aloud from it at the beach one day, peaking my interest, but she had the slightly smaller paperback. This one was a hard cover and 1200 pages and it was just too heavy.

See? Oversized.

Lots of Hemingway.

Demain! One of the books that affected me most in High School. It's like the grownup's Giver. Have you read it?

The aforementioned Cakes and Ale with the best opening sentence ever.

I saw a play about this in the Village this winter.

Katherine Hepburn later starred in the movie version of this novel. I found it in the Westerns.

But Lonesome Dove was found in the literary section. Go figure! (Maybe because it won a Pulizer? Still the quintessential Western novel, amiright?)

Are you still reading this post? Is it boring? Isn't this a cute cookbook cover?

I remember my Grandpa Red reading this book in his camper. It was always in this basket by the passenger's seat.

So big! I was transfixed by the idea as a child that anyone could read this much.

Our Editor wrote this!

City Life is a really interesting compilation of essays that I found by the Moses book about 'every major city in America.'

But over half of it was about New York. HA.

One of the best things about used books is that someone else owned it before you did. Willy got that Basque Cookbook as a birthday gift one year from someone named Rose.

The end.