Thursday, September 26, 2013

Final Weekend Warrior Trip!

"Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think." - Dale Carnegie

The bar
After a week of extreme highs and lows, I happily headed down to the Hx3.  Arriving in the early evening, I headed, yes, you guessed it, across the street to Sojourn for a light bite.  Now that I’m a regular, I enjoyed chatting with some of my new Friends.  Caught up with Kristi when I arrived home (She had texted asking where I was.  Love when the tables are turned!)

On the train to Grand Central, I finally was able to copy this poem called "Grand Central" by Billy Colliins that I have seen many times on the trains:

                     The city orbits around eight million
                              centers of the universe

                     And turns around the golden clock
                             at the still point of this place

                     Lift up your eyes from the moving hive
                                and you will see time circling

                                                under a vault of stars and know
                                                           Just when and where you are.

Thursday I headed to Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central (site of the Christmas Holiday Market, and Tuff Kookooshka is coming back!).  Columbia had schedules a number of informational talks throughout the day  Upon arriving the Hall was pretty quiet, a group of teens were sitting enjoying a chat for themselves on the chairs set up for the discussions.  I found the Columbians in charge, and they had decided to “bag” the talks..I did stay and chatted about some ideas, dreams, for a bit..Will be researching later.
The Next Level
From there I went up an escalator I had never seen before and found New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store at Grand Central.  I poked in and thoroughly enjoyed The Next Level: Photographs by Hiroyuki Suzuki which is up until October 27.  “The future of New Yorkers' travel patterns is now under construction at Grand Central Terminal, eighteen stories beneath the ground. This behind-the-scenes look at the East Side Access project features captivating photos by Hiroyuki Suzuki.”  Fascinating.  And, I managed to purchase a few treasures.

It was a gorgeous early Autumn day, so I leisurely strolled along 42nd Street to one of my favorite places, Bryant Park, directly behind the main branch of the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue.  I spent the better part of the afternoon reading various and wonderful newspapers and magazines offered for Everyone’s enjoyment (there are also books available).  I was definitely not alone, but it was very peaceful all the same.    

Le Pain Quotidien
From Yelp
Then it was time to head back to the UES (Upper East Side) to the 67th Street Library for my Women’s Writing Workshop.  This day I finally met Hannalore Hahn who directed the International Women’s Writing Guild for many years.  (The Guild I joined last spring and attended their Spring Conference!)..This meeting brought six Ladies, only one of whom I met before.  After the workshop four of us went around the corner to 1st Avenue to Le Pain Quotidien for a light dinner.  Le Pain Quotidien is a chain whose mission is: Le Pain Quotidien serves simple, elegant boulangerie fare made with organic ingredients whenever possible, in both a take-out and dine-in setting”. (with a large communal table).  There are a number of locations around Manhattan.  I have never been disappointed. 

La Maison du Macaron
from Yelp
Breakfast view before class
Friday morning brought me back to the Muhlenbrg Library for Memoir Writing Class.  We now are forming a really wonderful comradeship.  Following that I met my NYC Friend for coffee at her favorite, La Maison du Macaron.

Friday evening I headed down to the Tribeca Cinema to attend “Fashion in Film” hosted by DailyCandy and Tribeca Film Festival.  First I attended:

Go Behind the SeamsAn intimate conversation with Academy Award-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, as she discusses her acclaimed work on Baz Luhrmann’s Oscar-nominate films, and shares insights on her craft, process, and future plans. Moderated by Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons The New School of Design.

Following the discussion there were passed appetizers in the bar, then I attended a sneak preview of “Romeo and Juliet”. 
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare’s epic and searing tale of love, is revitalized on screen by writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and director Carlos Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent). An ageless story from the world’s most renowned author is reimagined for the 21stCentury. This adaptation is told in the lush traditional setting it was written, but gives a new generation the chance to fall in love with the enduring legend. With an all-star cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Paul Giamatti and Stellan Skarsgard, it affords those unfamiliar with the tale the chance to put faces to the two names they’ve undoubtedly heard innumerable times: Romeo and Juliet. Every generation deserves to discover this lasting love.
Romeo and Juliet (2013) Poster
This evening was free of charge!

Saturday morning as I waited to walk  with my Friend to the first class of Philosophy 2, I felt like a kid on the first day of school again!  It was wonderful to see familiar faces, catch up on our summers. And, meet interesting new People as well.  Such a treat, and only 4 blocks away on my street.
Cascabel TaqueriaAfter class, Kristi and I celebrated our final lunch as “roommates” where we began it a year ago, at Cascabel Taqueria .  As always it was great.  We celebrated how far we’ve come in our healing confident, with trepidation still, that we will be stronger and healthier than ever as we move forward in our lives.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Sink hole, Ikea, and Estate Sale..

                          "There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear."
                                              Frank Tyger, American cartoonist, columnist and humorist

Home Sweet Home for Sale
After a wonderful week practice living in New York City, I arrived to my little home with the For Sale sign on the lawn and found a pole at the end of my driveway.  Upon closer inspection, a kind soul (later discovered to be my next door neighbor) had placed it so no one got hurt.  While I was in NYC, Milton got a lot of rain, thus opening up a huge sink hole where a massive tree once stood.  We lost that tree a few years ago.  (Losing huge trees is very expensive, yet another reality of being a homeowner.) 
If that wasn’t a prelude of irony for the week ahead, nothing was.  I woke Sunday feeling pretty glum, and overwhelmed. Am I crazy to be going ahead with this dream?  Why won’t my lovely little home sell more quickly?  With these and many other thoughts rolling around and around in my mind, I was extremely restless.  I knew I wanted to do some shopping for my NYC life, little and assorted sundries that would be much cheaper in my favs: Christmas Tree Shop, Ocean State Job Lots, and the like, than in NYC.  That would keep my mind occupied while helping the overall economy?!
Ikea Friends
Off I went poking through my beloved Stores.  Ikea lies between these favs.  Most days the thought of it makes me go into panic attack mode.  This day I thought it would be perfect to get lost roaming through it.  It’s known for its storage and the like items, right?  Well, I actually found only a couple of small things I couldn’t live without, but, boy, was it a great diversion.  I had never actually eaten there, and I found myself ravenous.  I picked up a huge lunch (Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lingonberry sauce, with a decadent looking dessert for about $10).  I sat near the kiddy section and watched the munchkins eat and enjoy the tv.  I was also thoroughly entertained by a very kind Gentleman and his Lady Friend.  Perfect. I managed to find exactly what I wanted for storage needs in another go-to, Ann and Hope.  Don’t you love when that happens?   I managed to pick myself up a bit, for that day, anyway.
Admiring the art!
I wasn’t prepared for the emotional wallop that my Ladies and I would receive over the  weekend.  (I’m still operating in the comfortably numb state while going through this process of letting go of everything in and about my home.)  We had an Estate sale planned for Saturday.  Friday night Cousins came over to help setup for the sale along with much wine and giggles.  The Girls and I then stayed up til 4am, chatting , reminiscing, and crying.
The cast of characters that roamed through my precious home during our Estate Sale defy description.  Katie checked behind the bathroom shower curtain more than once after the sale ended. 
Photo: Look who showed up to sell lemonade! Thanks ladies! Karen Finnerty Harris
My Princess Helpers!
What was amazing, and wonderful, were the People who did show up to help, and show support.  My very Dear Friend, without whom I would not have made it through the last couple of years; actually we have gotten each other through the last 15 years.  Friends of my Daughters from high school.   Kristi’s close friend whose Dad and Sister showed up and bought stuff.  Katie’s who decided my marketing stunk, brought her husband home, came back with balloons a huge sign, and set up a lemonade stand at the end of the driveway to draw people in.  It worked!  I made my biggest sales with her Princesses selling lemonade, cookies, and candy!  Mom came by on her way to the Red Sox-Yankees game.  One of my favorite patients showed up to say hi and hang out on a lovely Saturday, to say a personal farewell.  My Brother showed up and bought a painting he absolutely doesn’t need.  My other Brother’s best Friend stopped by to say hi and then came back later to offer his truck in the move.  I am blessed.
Exhausted @ La Paloma
Silly @ La Paloma
 Saturday night we crashed after eating one of the Girls’ favorite crockpot dinners; our last dinner together in our beloved home.  We did also manage to get to our favorite go-to restaurant on Sunday evening, La Paloma. 
My Ladies responses to our weekend as posted on Facebook (and shared with their permission!)
 Katie: Emotionally exhausted from the process of saying goodbye to my childhood home. It's nice to know I have the exact same belief system as I did when I was 8.

Mum and "free stuff"..
From Kristi: I've gotten really used to leaving my hometown for great adventures, but this morning I said goodbye to my childhood home for good. It was extremely bittersweet to say the least. But overall I am so grateful for the love and support of the family and friends and the times that I had there that have helped shape me into the person I am today. Now, on to the next chapter...
We Will survive!  The sink hole is now filled in with a lovely huge Mum plant on top!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Boston, You're my Home

Boston is actually the capital of the world. You didn't know that? We breed smart-ass, quippy, funny people. Not that I'm one of them. I just sorta sneaked in under the radar.  John Krasinski

Jersey BoysWhat do you get the important Ladies in your life when they want, nor need, anything for their birthdays?  A good time spent together.  I brought the “Aunties” (my Mom and her Sister) to “The Jersey Boys” while it was in Boston.  I don’t believe the show needs an explanation.  It is as good and as much fun as Everyone says it is.  I knew I had really “scored” when my Mom said that this show and Les Miz are her two favorites. (I brought her to both as gifts!)

 Brooks Reeves and Angela Smith are part of the cast of Zeitgeist Stage Company’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s “Life of Riley.”
From the Boston Globe
A week later, I joined two friends to see “Life of Riley” put on by the Zeitgeist Theatre Company.  This company’s founding director is a great guy.  David Miller has been getting tremendous reviews for his shows for a few years now.
From Yelp: appetizers @ Masa
Before the show, we enjoyed a wonderful light dinner at Masa on Tremont Street.  Their special appetizer, tapas, plate made for great sharing.  My Friends loved their margaritas while I enjoyed sangria.  It’s a true pleasure to enjoy theatre in my own home city.

Zeitgeist Theatre’s Spring Production gave myself and Friends yet another great night out.  Appe’s at Masa again began our evening. (Why mess with a good thing?) "Punk Rock" was excellent if not grueling.  David Miller, et Al, almost cancelled the show as the subject matter was made all the more raw due to the Marathon Madness.  I agree that the “Show must go on.”  Glad, as always to see a production of David’s.
From Zeitgeist's website
View of Copley Square from my old office
Boston Living CenterAs I get ready to move to New York City, I am trying to do, see, and be in my beloved hometown of Boston.  I went back to the Living Center this week to help out with lunch.  It is amazing how gracious, polite, and endearing People are, especially when they could take the “whoa is me” attitude.  I decided to walk around Copley Square a bit, which was a personal mistake.  Saying goodbye to so many homes is tough.  (Working there for 6 years was awesome.  My office had a magnificent view of the Square).
But, I did totally enjoy seeing some of the “Globes” around the Hancock Tower and Copley Square.  From The Boston Globe’s August 15 edition: “Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet” has landed in Boston. The public art project, for which artists designed globes with green strategies to contend with environmental issues, originated in Chicago in 2007 and has traveled the world. The globes, 48 in all, can be found at sites such as the Esplanade, Copley Square, and Logan Airport. The Common is globe central, with 26.”  I had first seen them while driving down Tremont Street.  Very cool to see some up close!

It is so bittersweet to say Farewell to my hometown, for awhile at least.  I have stopped “planning the future”, and for the first time in my life, am “going with the flow” (as rough as that is some days, but I am an ex-white-water rafter, so I have some experience ..).

                                    Technically, I split my time between N.Y.C. and Boston.
                                                                                                            Junot Diaz


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Staycation Finale

     “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
                                                                                                                            Meister Eckhart

Thursday, believe it or not, I stayed around the Hx3 for much of the day.  I scrubbed the living area getting that ready for my move in.  Then later in the day I headed to yet another library, on 67th Street between 1st and 2nd Aves, a twenty minute walk.  Hanalore Hahn who directed the International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG) conducts a Women’s Writing and Discussion Group.  Since I joined the IWWG last spring had an amazing weekend at their Spring Conference, I decided to try it out.  Unfortunately, I did not get to meet Hanalore that day as she was unable to make it, but two regulars of the group ran the session.  There were ten of us, some regulars, mostly newcomers like myself, ranging in age from recent college graduate to senior, amazing.  I look forward to this new group which will meet once a month.  I do believe yet another community has been formed for myself.
From Yelp
From there I headed over to another new, for me, neighborhood in Brooklyn, Crown Heights.  On my way to the Launch Pad, 721 Franklin Avenue (between Park and Sterling Pls) for “Another Round Storytelling”  I found a wonderful little pizza café, Barboncino.  Since I had pizza with Rooftop the night before, I got the special burrata caprese salad and meatballs (4 huge ones!), with a glass of rose.  Wonderful.
LaunchPadFrom its website: LaunchPad is a creative gathering place focused on the arts, community programs, technology, and anything else that captures the imagination.     
Another Round Storytelling is back on Thursday, September 5th, 2013, with featured storyteller Andrew Linderman of Local Stories! If you’ve got a tale of boozy bawdiness, come on down to LaunchPad (721 Franklin Ave., Brooklyn, New York) and throw your name in the cocktail shaker for 10 minutes at the mic! Or just have a complimentary drink while listening to the sordid stories of other brave souls. 
Join the Facebook event here!Like Another Round Storytelling’s fan page here!Follow Another Round Storytelling on Twitter here! 
Another Round Storytelling is a monthly open mic series that takes place every first Thursday of the month at 8:00 p.m. at nonprofit arts space LaunchPad in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The show features five 10-minute open mic slots followed by a special guest, plus a free signature cocktail to fuel the storytelling fire. So bring your best tales of drunken disorder and toss your name into the cocktail shaker! The $5 suggested donation benefits the venue.
Andrew Linderman is a writer and storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. He teaches writing and storytelling with the Brooklyn Brainery and is a story coach with the community education program at The Moth. He’s also the executive producer of Local Stories, a monthly storytelling series featuring New York’s best writers, performers and comedians. Andrew has performed in shows all over the city, including Sideshow Goshko, The Soundtrack Series, Get Outta Here and others. His favorite alcoholic beverage is the Bitter Bitch, a take on the Greyhound made with gin, grapefruit juice and bitters. The description of “Another Round Storytelling" from Launch Pad’s website:
Another Round Storytelling is back on Thursday, September 5th, 2013, with featured storyteller Andrew Linderman of Local Stories! If you’ve got a tale of boozy bawdiness, come on down to LaunchPad (721 Franklin Ave., Brooklyn, New York) and throw your name in the cocktail shaker for 10 minutes at the mic! Or just have a complimentary drink while listening to the sordid stories of other brave souls. Another Round Storytelling is a monthly open mic series that takes place every first Thursday of the month at 8:00 p.m. at nonprofit arts space LaunchPad in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The show features five 10-minute open mic slots followed by a special guest, plus a free signature cocktail to fuel the storytelling fire. So bring your best tales of drunken disorder and toss your name into the cocktail shaker! The $5 suggested donation benefits the venue. Andrew Linderman is a writer and storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. He teaches writing and storytelling with the Brooklyn Brainery and is a story coach with the community education program at The Moth. He’s also the executive producer of Local Stories, a monthly storytelling series featuring New York’s best writers, performers and comedians. Andrew has performed in shows all over the city, including Sideshow Goshko, The Soundtrack Series, Get Outta Here and others. His favorite alcoholic beverage is the Bitter Bitch, a take on the Greyhound made with gin, grapefruit juice and bitters.
Breakfast view
I have been interested in the storytelling movement for awhile.  Most of what I have heard about is from “The Moth”.  I had planned on going to a Moth event on Monday night, but dinner with my Philosophy Friend was too much fun to leave.  I discovered it meets monthly.  I will check it out in October.  Unfortunately, I found Another Round of Storytelling for its final meeting as it was a pleasant evening in yet another cool space.  Amber Drea, the spunky Founder is taking a hiatus for a while.
Friday morning my Memoir Writing class resumed at the Muhlenberg Library in Chelsea.  I began my morning at my Flat Iron Green Café fully enjoying my coffee and banana bread in the Park.  New routines are emerging!   It was great to see familiar faces and a couple of new ones.  I finally read some of my work, and was truly delighted with the feedback I received.
Lunch @ Birreria
View @ Lunch
Oh, it was a perfect early Autumn afternoon.  I walked up 23rd Street and decided to treat myself to Birreria, the roof top beer garden at Eataly.  As I walked in I discovered they were having a big 3rd Birthday celebration!  You bought coupons and they had stations with food and drink (beer and wine) all over the huge store. I asked some People who were doing it what they thought..positive reviews except nowhere to sit.   If I had known I would planned for it, but I had it in my head to sit on the roof.  I’m glad I did.  As always, I had a fun Bartender, James, who helped me in all my decisions.  (Have I mentioned I am oh, so tired of making decisions..)  I thoroughly enjoyed the Pollo alla Diavola (chicken thigh marinated with lemon and black pepper with cherry tomato and arugula)  followed by a delightful panna cotta for dessert washed down with a glass of Proscecco, thank you very much.  Again, I had fun chats with the People at the bar with me.  One Guy asked me what I thought of Whitey Bulger.  I regaled him with my Whitey story.   He loved it and said he was going tell it to his friends!  (Maybe I’ll be getting up at Story telling Events before long?!)
Entertainement while waiting
Late afternoon in Central Park
From there I met my NYC Friend at Central Park where we enjoyed the magnificent late afternoon chatting while in the standby line for tickets to The Public’s special presentation of Shakespeare’sThe Tempest.  (The light has already changed.) 

From The New York Time's webpage

Written By William Shakespeare
Music & Lyrics by Todd Almond
Conceived And Directed by Lear deBessonet
Choreography by Chase Brock
Featuring Todd Almond, Laura Benanti, Carson Elrod,
Jeff Hiller, Norm Lewis, and Jacob Ming-Trent
THE TEMPEST will showcase 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs who will share the stage with professional actors and community partners for this three-night civic event.  (From the The Public's website)

Partnering with five major community groups from the five boroughs--The Dreamyard Project, The Children's Aid Society, The Brownsville Recreation Center, Fortune Society and Domestic Workers United--Public Works has gathered a talented and diverse group for the cast of THE TEMPEST   It was a tremendous show, and free!, as are all the shows at the Delacort.
Hx3 from Sojourn!
Saturday I just took my time getting organized and ended my stayacation, or practice run on living in NYC, depends on how you look at it.  I ended it where I began; having a wonderful brunch at Sojourn;:almond encrusted French toast with blood orange, and home-made Sangria.  Now, it’s the home stretch (The Red Sox are comfortably in first place.  I will always be a Sox fan.).  I must continue on with the purging of one life and beginning my next.

I am so very thankful.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tuesday and Wednesday of Staycation

"Every time you smile at someone it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."
                                                                                                                       Mother Teresa

Taste global cuisine and wine with $30 to spend at Upper East Side's Sojourn
Sojourn (from Timeout's website)
After publishing my Labor Day blog piece Monday night, music wafted up through my window from across the street at Sojourn.  I’m on vacation, right?  I owed it to myself.  So I crossed the street and entered a relatively quiet Sojourn (Everybody must have been still coming home from the Hamptons).  The usual regulars were there.  I guess I’m now one, too.  (Many do know my name..)  Karen and the Sugar Daddies were tremendous!
Tuesday I was up and out down to Tribeca to do some volunteer work through New York Cares.  I was to spend a couple of hours with FEGS in their Job Readiness Program.  From its website: The Mission of FEGS: To help each individual achieve greater success, independence and dignity – at work, at school, at home, and in the community – by providing a diverse network of cost-effective health and human services, which meet the changing needs of the Jewish and broader communities, business and our society.  My work came under this description: FEGS Employment Services offer a range of job placement, resume preparation, training, and support services to individuals who seek employment or job-upgrading – regardless of being unemployed, under-employed, or working full or part-time.
Nervous, as what kind of expert am I?   I went anyway.  It was only a couple of hours, and if I failed miserably, at least I gave it a go.  A disheveled Man about my age came in as I was reading through some informational paperwork given to me while I gathered my confidence.  I was asked if I was would like to work with him.  He was new to the program, and I asked for his patience as I was too.   The Dental Hygienist in me immediately mentally went to the treatment he needs, at the very least the help of a good Hygienist to “clean” him up.  The Mom in me wants to scrub him from head to toe.  Both of these pieces of me would love to have him stop smoking.  The “Stylist” in me wants to take him shopping for clothes and a bag to replace the big smelly plastic trash bag he carries his water soaked and rotten belongings, including his almost destroyed papers, resume among them.  (Oh, the poignant feeling I have rolling around..memories of  Dad and a favorite Patient from many years ago in Southie.  “Mr Mac” whom I mentally lovingly called my “Bag Man” lived in a rooming house on Beacon Hill, and came faithfully to each appointment with all of his earthly possessions in what were like leather horse saddlebags .  Mr Mac was a character to say the least.  I loved seeing him.  Many days he would frustrate the h..out of me; mostly because he painfully reminded me of where my Dad was heading.  But with time he knew all of mine and my co-worker’s Children’s names.  He collected their pictures and said they were on his bureau, which I believe.  He would bring each a couple of dollars for us to bring home to them (which I did!)  Oh, the pain of mental illness..but here I hugely digress again).   Back to my session with my Client.  He is very intelligent. Life has definitely taken its toll.  The two hours flew by!  We stayed until we were begged to leave as it was lunch time.  We felt so good about what we had accomplished that we asked if we could come back the next day, and were granted permission.
12 Chairs
From Yelp
As I meandered through Tribeca over to Soho, now hungry, I fell upon an interesting looking little place, 12 Chairs on the corner of MacDougall and King Streets.  It is Mediterranean/Israeli with hints of its Russian past.  I thoroughly enjoyed lamb kebabs with amazing homemade hummus and pita bread, washed down with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  Perfect.
Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL)
SIBL from its website
From that wonderful experience I went to Midtown to the Science, Industry, Business Library (SIBL) for a free PowerPoint class.  It was a great first step.  If I want to change careers, I feel I am going to have to get learned in so much more technology.  And, once again, God love the NYPL system, their myriad of free classes is amazing, and easy to take advantage of.  I love doing so.
Restaurant front
from Yelp
Tuesday evening, I prepared a wonderful dinner for myself with bounty from the neighborhood Green Market, including a tiny roast.  Then at around 10:30 I once again crossed the street to my now beloved Sojourn for more live music.  A bit more crowded, but comfortably so, as the crowd is mixed with many people my age, so I don’t feel the Mom always hanging with the kids, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I didn’t get the name of this trio, but the guitar player was amazing.  And, as an added treat, once of the regulars, Carl the Musician, jammed along on his trombone.  I can’t wait to hear his saxophone.
Wednesday morning I met with my Client.  As the morning progressed I discovered more and more about him, his education and training were in theatre/acting.  To feed himself, he had done paralegal, marketing, and publishing work which included a lot of proofreading.  He proved that skill as he picked over the resume we created with a fine toothed comb.  Our end result was a pretty good resume, if I do say so myself!  I do hope and pray that my Client is successful in his endeavors.  I feel pretty good about any small part I may have played in that.
Then I headed to Murray Hill for a job interview!  As I played around Craigslist on Monday I saw an intriguing advert for a “Receptionist/Patient Manager”.  I sent a letter with resume attached Tuesday morning and Dr called almost immediately and wanted to meet.  He is an endodontist (root canal specialist) so he would never need a dental hygienist.  But my many years in Dentistry he liked and I must say the job description is interesting.  It would be pivoting in my career in Dentistry (as a friend from RoofTop Films suggested I try).  There are some red flags..Is it my exhaustion, my lack of faith and trust in dentists after all these many years?  I am sleeping on it, and we plan to talk next week.
I then went home for a few hours to the Hx3 fixing myself my favorite salad, caprese, from the bounty of the Greenmarket.  Then I scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen so that it’s clean when I move in soon!  Off I went , again, down to Solar 1 on the East River on 23rd Street. to volunteer with Rooftop Films.  I had been to Solar 1 before for Holi, the Hindu Festival of Spring.     
From Rooftop Film’s website: Rooftop Films, Pivot, and The Fledging Fund presents an evening of discussion, activism and celebration, including live music and a special sneak preview of this acclaimed collaborative film, made by several filmmakers, about the causes of social injustice in contemporary America and the ongoing spirit supporting social change.

99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film will be released theatrically by Participant Media in New York and LA on September 6, 2013 and will air on Pivot, Participant Media’s new TV network, on September 17 9pm EST. Spread the word!
Naomi Wolf
A panel discussion will follow the screening featuring Naomi Wolf, founding directors/producers Audrey Ewell, Aaron Aites, director Nina Krstic; Pam Brown of Move to Amend/Occupy Student Debt, Josh Silver and Eddie Geller of Represent Us, and Iris Maria Chavez of Education Trust.
As always, it was a wonderful night; from the picture perfect September evening, to the funky music played by Maria Minerva from Esotonia.  The film was incredible but it did evoke infuriation, which was the point, I believe.  The panel discussion built on that.  And, the call to action made me believe that, perhaps, even though the Occupy movement has certainly been a bit quiet in the past two years, it is not dead.  Indeed this is a call to revolutionize…I will not turn this into a political blog…But it was an interesting night.  And, I admit, I did some gushing.  I’ve been a fan of Naomi Wolf’s since I read her first book, “The Beauty Myth” many years ago.  As I was helping with the cleanup I walked right by her.  I turned around and asked her if I may gush.  She let me, and proceeded to introduce me to her friends and colleagues.  Now I’m a bigger fan. 

Needless to say I slept well that night.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

        "Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure, there your heart;   where your heart, there your happiness."  St Augustine


Home Sweet Home for Sale
Perhaps I “shouldn’t be”, but I decided to give myself my planned vacation in NYC.  Kristi went to Spain for ten days; to a dear Friend’s Wedding in Madrid, and then some time at a villa in Majorca with her English college roommates!  I am at a good place as far as purging, packing, etc for the move.  Sitting at home biting my finger nails and worrying isn’t going to sell my beloved home.  So, to the Hx3 I came!  (It also made no sense for it to sit empty and lonely.)

Sojourn form the Hx3
After arriving and unpacking Thursday evening, I decide the best way to start my vacation is to have a pedi at my neighborhood nail salon (gone up in price, will be finding another).   Then, being hungry, of course I went where they know my name, Sojourn.  As always it didn’t disappoint, from my friend Julio behind the bar, to my light dinner of scallops, to chatting with another regular the musician Carl.  And, as always I made a new friend, a Woman my age who is a Nurse Practitioner, just moved back to NYC as she always loved it and her Daughter just graduated from college (whom she raised as a single Mom!)  Sound a bit familiar?!
Jennifer @ Brandy's
Friday I lazily hung around the Hx3 waiting for the Super to come fix the light in the bathroom (been broken for about a month).  He was a no show, and when I called at 7:00pm, he promised to come first thing in the morning.  (learning all the ins and outs of NYC living..)  By now, stir crazy, I went to my beloved Agata and Valencia to buy some dinner and other provisions.  At around 9pm; I am becoming a New Yorker; I went over to my neighborhood fav Piano Bar, Brandy’s.  My singer-waitress Jennifer was working and her crew of piano player and bartenders.  Awesome. 
I did, however, have my first uncomfortable experience going out alone.  A young guy, Drunk Dude (dd), who could be my son agewise, became fascinated with me?!  Annoyingly so.  When dd went to the restroom another kind young Man (KYM) who had been near us asked if I was okay.  KYM  became my quickly adopted son, and was by my side when dd came back.  KYM explaned to dd that I was his Mom; so please back off.  Dd wasn’t so drunk not to notice that KYM was of another ethnicity, but didn’t fight it much.  At this point a couple of other young Men were in on the scheme, and it was kind of funny.  (Many men have been lamenting that the bets Piano Bars, once the bastion of Gay Men, are now being taken over by Everybody..That’s ‘cause they have the most fun!)    Finally dd went on his merry way.  I did check carefully when I left to go home.
Saturday, after the Super did indeed fix our bathroom light, I headed over to the Green Market in the neighborhood (82nd between 1st and York) to buy some more food for the week.  I must start cooking more.  Although I do find Farmer’s Markets quite a bit more expensive than grocery stores; but, oh so fresh, and local, etc.  Although in NYC I think it is sometimes cheaper to just buy out..We’ll see.  On the walk over I bumped into the NP from Sojourn!  I love when I start knowing people on the streets of my ‘hood.
Lady Liberty from the Ferry
I then made my way down to the South Street Ferry terminals to catch the (free!) ferry to Governor’s Island.  From its website:  Governors Island A 172-acre island—and former military base—nestled between Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Located in the shadow of the modern New York City skyline, Governors Island is the oldest European settlement in New York. A former U.S. Army military base and U.S. Coast Guard station, 92 acres of the island are open to the public during the summer. A short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn will get you there to picnic, bike and enjoy gorgeous views as well as a wide array of cultural activities.
Governors Island is managed jointly by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Trust for Governors Island. NPS administers the 22 acre national monument within a larger National Historic Landmark District, which showcases two forts from the early 19th century and the remainder of the island is administered by the Trust.

Nolan Park Houses
Nolan Park Homes from website
The two forts, Fort Jay and Castle Williams, were a key part of the inner harbor defense network that was constructed in the early 19th century to protect New York City from naval attack. Colonel Jonathan Williams, the chief engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers, designed the castle that would bear his name, and also oversaw the construction of Castle Clinton in Battery Park, Fort Wood (now the star-shaped base of the Statue of Liberty) and the former Fort Gibson on Ellis Island.

Castle Williams is a circular red sandstone fort, built between 1807 and 1811. The fort imprisoned Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and then continued as a low security military prison until 1965. Fort Jay is a star-shaped fort, with a rare dry moat. The open courtyard in the interior is surrounded by former Army and Coast Guard barracks dating from the 1830s.
Today, a trip to Governors Island transports visitors to a historic military village and a tranquil scenic playground just a few minutes from Manhattan. Wander through the forts and military homes, ride your bike along the paved path that encircles the island or settle in for a picnic on the parade ground; no matter what the trip entails visitors will be treated to some of the best views in the city.”

I had been to Governors Island once before for an art exhibit with my Ladies.  I lamented then that all the housing (having lived I military base housing in an earlier life) seemed wasted as some of it was beautiful.  Well, apparently, “we” are at least trying to make more use of it by having more activities, functions, exhibits, etc. there.  I did ask a park ranger if anyone actually lives on the island now.  Unfortunately no..almost no electricity and no potable water, although there is a high school on the island.  This day I specifically went for: Fete Paradiso, A celebration of vintage carnival rides and carousels.

 I found much more!  I enjoyed a nice lunch from the Fete Paradiso’ café, Le Gamin, a lamb merquez (sausage) with home made fries, washed down with a lovely glass of wine.  From there I wandered through some of the beautiful homes which were shops, galleries which had some interesting exhibits including: “Rising Waters” Photographs of Hurricane Sandy (August 24- September 29); “Rising Tide” presented by the Sculptors Guild; “WWII & NYC: Photography and Propaganda”, Presented by the New York Historical Society (July 6 – September 2), and FIGMENT 2013 Summer-Long Installations, All Season, All Day, Parade Grounds.  This summer, FIGMENT’s acclaimed interactive Sculpture Garden, artist-designed Minigolf Course and City of Dreams Pavilion welcome visitors to the Parade Grounds to play with, dance around, contemplate on, and experience these wonderfully imaginative installations. One centerpiece of FIGMENT's summer-long installations for 2013 is the Treehouse, expanded and returning to Governors Island for a third year.  (Another Man felt as I did, and he asked me what all these beautiful homes were now being used for..)  Clearly a full, wonderful, interesting day!
From the Roof of the MET
Ferry back to Manhattan

By the time I got the ferry back to lower Manhattan, I was beat and dusty, so headed home.  As my bus stopped on 5th Avenue, I was rested enough that I decided to get off and go over to the MET.  (Like season ski passes used to be, going for even just a few runs didn’t seem wasteful; having a museum membership allows oneself to just go in for a quick visit.)  It was near dusk, the sky was interesting, so I went to the Roof Deck Bar for a glass of sangria, and managed to have a nice little chat with two more Ladies from my ‘hood.  I hope I run into them as well!  As I made my way out of the museum, never easy, almost like Ikea, but infinitely more beautiful, I found myself in the European Wing, so I happily crawled around looking at some of my favorites, and loving it all the more as there were very few people left in the Museum.
A Degas
(Katie, these are for you.  The original of your 
Monet's @ Argenteuil
  Degas. And, the Mom alone in the garden of one of your other favorites!  xo)

On the building across from the Cathedral
In the Children's Garden at the Cathedral
Then, I literally crawled home.  Sunday I was up and out to volunteer at the Lunch Kitchen at the Cathedral of St John the Divine. (on Amsterdam at 100th Street).  It is magnificent, a Gothic Episcopal Cathedral, considered the 4th largest in the world.  As always, working in a soup kitchen for a few hours, with nice People, serving life-beaten People, it was a lovely day. 
Pinao player, entertainer @ Marie's
I rejuvenated yet again, and met my NYC Friend down at Marie’s Crisis in the Village.  It is truly one of my favorite places in this city.  I always sit with a smile plastered on my face, such great voices, singing show tunes together around a piano bar, awesome! (Again, the Men are a bit bummed that their fun secret is out.)  I haven’t been as lucky yet with star sightings, but once Kris was there with a Friend on Tony night and Ellen Barkin came in following the Award Show and plonked her Tony down right in front of Kris!  A few weeks ago, Kris’ same Friend posted a picture of Cuba Gooding, Jr by the piano!  Last night, I did run into a friend/colleague/client of Kristi’s who I met at a networking in Event in Boston (and you know I love that!)
Monday, I chilled, scrubbed the bathroom of the Hx3 (too much info?).  I am meeting a Friend from Philosophy class for dinner at a neighborhood place my landlady recommended that I enjoy, Sunny’s. (2 courses with wine, $17 each!)  Delightful. 

The largest free-flying American flag in the world was unfurled over New York's George Washington Bridge on Monday. Get a better look here: (Photo: Mel Evans / AP)
On the George Washington Bridge (from NBC news)
Happy Labor Day, Everyone!