Friday, September 28, 2012

on shoe stories.

i'm going to be starting a new series. based on comments. and my deep love for shoes.
when i was a little girl - and even now - i've always asked my grandmother about her jewelry. little things here and there. a ring. a bracelet. i didn't grow up near my grandparents, and as i got older and they aged with me, it became clear there was a lot i could miss out on. i knew, even then, that every woman has a story behind a piece of jewelry. so i always asked my grandmother about hers.
usually these stories others. that's how i heard about how she met my grandfather. it was right before he went off to war (or perhaps right after), and the armory on park avenue was having a horse show. she went in a dress with a full skirt and met him there in his navy uniform. my grandfather, italian as they come, was - as we say - a looker in that uniform. can you imagine - dressed in your crinoline, meeting your husband in his navy whites on park avenue? i died when she told me this story. just died.
and i'll never forget how she laughed to herself - bashful on one hand and yet, in her eyes, i could tell she was in another world. and she said "goodness - i had nearly forgotten that story." as i was fawning over this romance that seemed to be good to be true i realized - stories and memories fall away. memories fade as we get older and we make new ones, perhaps what we think may be more significant ones. so i felt lucky i got that one. that amazing, sigh-inducing, heart-swelling memory.
and that's how my shoe series will start. telling you a story about a pair of shoes i own. remember how my feet haven't grown since 7th grade? well, i've got some serious miles on some of these shoes and they have some stories to tell. they may not take us to the park avenue armory where a young italian boy from brooklyn is waiting for us in his navy whites, but they'll have to do. i'll try to write them every other friday or so. and yes, i'd love to hear your shoe stories, too. guest bloggers (i hope) will pop in when they can. who knows where these stories and these shoes might take us.
have a wonderful weekend readers. and wear an awesome pair of shoes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

on a new york classic.

i meant to post this eight million years ago (last week). one of my top recommendations in nyc for those who live here and those who visit.
gramercy tavern is a classic new york city restaurant. people dress up, glasses clink, it's always crowded. (always). and, being a classic, it's quite expensive.
except for one little loophole.
at gramercy tavern, the bar has a list. when a seat frees up, instead of first come, first serve, the bar gives it to the next people on the list. (additionally, you can give your name to the host or hostess to sit in the front room, known as the tavern. the back room is for those with reservations. but i like the bar.) and at the bar (and in the tavern), they have a $48 four-course menu. and, if you'd like, you get a drink with every course - for $20. (4 drinks for $20 is unheard of. at least in this town.)
when katie and i travel, we always pick one meal to have at a nice place. well, this is my recommendation for a nice one in nyc.
so. go to the bar. give them your name. sip a cocktail while you wait. take your seat. and have some of the best food in new york city. without breaking the bank (too much, at least).

Monday, September 24, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

our last weekend in upstate ny came and went just like that. i could tell you about the hike we took, and the date we went on, and the breakfast pizza i devoured one last time, but so often blogs contain pictures of happiness and seeming perfection. so if i did that, i would be leaving out the fight we got into this past weekend. it's not all blogger-approved chevron stripes and frenchpress coffee and pintrest-beloved colored jeans around here. we got into a fight on one of brian's last nights in town. and it soured our saturday night and made for restless sleep and led to apologies and hugs and the gratefulness for breakfast pizza to help make it better. it was, naturally, a fight over something inconsequential, but it happened and it was unpleasant and it made us take another step towards being better to each other and realizing we still have shortcomings that need some work. we all get into fights and have disagreements and they're common enough that they don't need mentioning. but so are cups of coffee and breaths of fresh air, yet we fawn over them, still. so, just this once, let's be mindful that in between the mundane but beautiful, every now and then there's some unpleasantness that pictures don't always capture. luckily, though, there's always breakfast pizza to help make it better.

Friday, September 21, 2012

on lasts.

via here.
today will be the last time i catch the train out of the city to visit my boyfriend.
the last time i rush to the subway after work, my duffel bag bouncing off my side.
the last time i watch the miles dwindle as i take in the hudson river.
the last time we'll walk to get breakfast at his corner deli.
the last time i'll kick myself for leaving my hairbrush behind. again. (well, maybe the last for this destination).
the last time i'll rush to pack my bag in his bedroom.
the last time we'll say goodbye for the week on a sunday afternoon.
we always seem to get so dreamy about firsts in life. this weekend, i'm celebrating the lasts instead.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

on shining a light.

i'm not sure how it became a habit, really. or how i noticed it in the first place. but then, i guess, since i didn't notice it must have been a natural thing to do, something anyone would have done. you see, across from my apartment is another rooftop from which the stars and stripes flies, lit up by two bright spotlights. and when i wake up in the morning, particularly as they grow darker, i eschew my weather app, or, or the tv, or the radio. i get out of bed and i go look at the light across the street. if it's raining, if it's snowing, if it's dry as a bone - my spotlights will tell me. all the raindrops and snowflakes reflect off of them, glittering in the dark sky in the morning, for just a brief beat of time. it's hard, from a few floors up, to look down and see if it's still raining below, even if the pavement looks wet. and so i look to my lights. they always tell me what i need to know.
i was sitting on my couch yesterday evening, and i glanced up to see if it was raining. it was pouring outside, cats and dogs, lit up perfectly. and it made me think of how easy those two little spotlights have made my life - they tell me every morning what kind of day i'll embrace as i head out the door. and i thought - what if we could have a light let us know each morning - work will be good today, your boss will be a jerk today, your kids will behave, the car will break down, you'll get home early in the evening. what would that be like? to look up the forecast of your life every day, right across the street?
but if course, in addition to being impractical and impossible, it's the possibilities in life that keep us going. we get up one more day, and we put one foot in front of the other, for - today might be better than the last day. or as good as the last. or yes, perhaps worse. but if we knew how it all would go - well, then we may leap out of bed some days or stay burrowed under the covers on the others. so life, in it's all knowing wisdom, keeps us guessing. keeps us going. keeps us leaping.
here's to today. let's make it worth the leap.

Monday, September 17, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

this one was a quiet, unassuming weekend, with little else on the agenda besides going to brooklyn so brian could check out his new apartment. fall, for me, i can say has officially arrived. there's a chill in the air, i reach for brightly colors jeans instead of dresses, and pumpkins have taken over the farmer's market. fall is in full swing up here, indeed. after a saturday date at the first place brian and i went out to in nyc (and i'll highlight later this week in a post), we hoofed it over to brooklyn sunday morning to take a look at his apartment, which he'll move into in exactly one week (!!!) we celebrated with the purchase of the most amazing donuts this side of the mississippi - if you're in brooklyn, book it to dough. on your way you'll most likely be stopped by a row of trees, all reaching for the same spot of sun. beauty seems to be everywhere you look this fall in nyc.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

on a little about me.

i was tagged by laura over at real home living for this - enjoy!
How the Game Is Played
1. Create a blog post included 11 random facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 random questions from the blogger who nominated you
3. Give this award to at least 5 blogs up to 11 and link to them in the post
4. Tell those people you nominated them
5. You cannot nominate the person who has nominated you
6. Remember to tag blogs with less than 200 followers

My 11 Random Facts...
1. (this is really random). every time, seriously - every. time. - i read a fashion magazine i see something that's beyond amazing. and every single time it's designed by fendi. and i mutter under my breath "fucking fendi." sorry to all the people who heard this sitting next to me on trains and planes, my prime time for reading fashion magazines.
2. right after introducing myself to brian i ran into a wall. in front of him.
3. the first country i ever visited was denmark.
4.  my close friends tell me i'm a dead ringer for leslie knope. so if you've never met me, now you know what i'm like.
5. my feet haven't grown since seventh grade.
6. i had an english springer spaniel growing up and she was the best. one year, near the end, she got really sick and stopped eating and the vet didn't know why. she lost a ton of weight and it became clear we should put her down. in desperation, and after a childhood of reading james herriot, who one time gave a dog with a mystery aliment enough anesthesia to sleep for two days and they woke up just fine, i overdosed my dog on advil (!!!!) dog advil. i gave her 36 (!!!!) in one day. i stayed in her room with her all day, feeding her three advil every hour for 12 hours. (i was 12. and woefully misguided. and desperate). BUT. she slept for about 16 hours and woke up the next day fine and started eating again and lived for one more year.
(also, i don't condone this. unless you know it will work. so basically - don't do it.)
7. i drank so much iced tea my freshman year of college my future roommate had to step in and forcibly stage an intervention.
8. when i run i listen to pop music and make up music videos in my head. real talk, people. real talk.
9. when i was a baby, i slept through the night my second night home from the hospital. as their second child, my parents woke up panicked that i was dead. my mom made my dad go into my room and put a mirror under my nose as she felt she was not equipped to deal with the sight of a deceased infant.
luckily, the mirror fogged up.
(also, read this story. i was seriously the laziest infant this side of the mississippi and it caused my parents a lot of distress).
10. sleeping beauty is my favorite disney princess.
11. my favorite go to restaurant in nyc is paprika. do it.
and now, the 11 questions to answer!
1. what is your current ringtone? you know the one that sounds like an old phone? the really boring one? that's mine.
2. favorite thing to do on a friday night? order pizza, drink wine, and watch criminal minds with brian. It's a pretty boring/disturbing night.
3. what do you usually have for brekfast? a bowl of trader joe's vanilla almond granola clusters. with skim milk.
4. do you have any superstitions? not really, but sometimes right after i go to bed i wake back up to double-check my deadbolt because i think it's undone. even if i'm positive i locked it, once i have that thought in my head i have to double-check it. this usually happens for a few nights after watching some criminal minds.
5. if you had to do it all over again, what would you study in school? man. i got my degree in chemical engineering, and to be honest, i really liked having a scientific major and i loved my department. if it wasn't that, it would be math. i wish i had made a bigger effort to minor in something though, and that something would have been italian.
6. what tv shows are you into right now? a lot, but the one you need to know: the chicago code. if you have netflix, go watch the 13 episodes. it's amazing. fox cancelled it after that first half season. you'll watch it, you'll love it, and then you'll be crushed that you can never watch it again.
7. what's the last concert you went to? dave matthews!
8. what was your first AIM screen name? hah - this is a good one! prettynpink05. i have no idea, years later, what it means.
9. favorite birthday memory? any one of my birthdays in college or grad school - working on your birthday is the pits. but, this year, my co-workers surprised me with cupcakes. it really made my day.
10. what was your first paying job? i worked during my summers in high school for a little technology start-up in my neighborhood. it. was. awesome.
11. if someone gave you $500 for no reason, what would you spend it on? in this city the answer is always food and wine. whatever new and delicious restaurnt has caught my attention is where that $500 would go. fo sho.
lastly - my eleven questions, for the people i tagged should they choose to participate!
1. what was your first pet?
2. who was your first love?
3. where would live other then where you live right now?
4. what's your favorite and least favorite quality about yourself?
5. red, white, or does it depend upon what kind of mood you're in tonight? or perhaps a bottle of rose instead?
6. where did you have your favorite meal and what was it?
7. what's at the top of your travel list?
8. what's your favorite curse word?
9. if you could be friends with one celebrity, who would it be?
10. what are your top five favorite movies?
11. what's your favorite holiday?

anna at dear friend

molly at molly b.
meghan at wishful thinking
claire at beaktweets (who just had a little boy - congrats claire!)
jillian at coffee, light & sweet

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

on remembering.

via here.
last year, it being the ten year anniversary, 9/11 was on my mind much more. stories ran in every paper up here, everyone seemed to talk about it. this year, it kind of snuck up on me. it's easy, even in nyc, as we go through our daily life to slowly forget about that day, it's impact on the world, and those families who lost loved ones. this article i read yesterday was very sobering - reminding me that those victim's families are still dealing with their losses in a very tangible way, even ten years later. so, here's to another day of remembrance and not forgetting what happened eleven years ago today.

Monday, September 10, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

this past weekend was a low-key one - filled with beautiful weather and not so beautiful weather (looking at you tornadoes!) sunday felt like the beginning of fall - the weather was a bit cooler and bars all over the city were packed with football fans, cheering their teams on to the bitter end. i spent my weekend relaxing as much as i could and venturing out on saturday night for a drink with a friend. there's really not much to report - and i'm happy to say so, as i've been running ragged lately. i hope everyone had just as much rest and relaxation - here's to another week!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

on my favorite fall items.

while summer may be my favorite season, fall takes the cake when it comes to shopping. the trends, the fashion shows, the incredibly thin models who invade the city for two weeks - it's all quite exciting. and this fall the one thing i'm loving is seeing maroon everywhere (i have a feeling a few of my readers who are virginia tech hokie fans will have a very fashionable football season this year). yes, even maroon lipstick, while i couldn't pull off with my fair coloring, i love it all. of course here in nyc the fashionistas call it oxblood because they're edgy and cool. call it whatever you want, i love it. here are some items i'll be using as inspiration as i poke around my favorite stores this fall. do you have any fall trends you're dying to try?
Oxblood in the Fall

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

on the art of the possible.

via here.
i went to pick up brian's keys last night for his new apartment - it seems a fitting thing to do the day after labor day. for many, the fall season has conditioned us for change. after years and years of new school starts it seems to come naturally. change, moving forward, getting older. new teachers, new classrooms, new schools, maybe new friends. it doesn't seem so out of place to change jobs, cities, or apartments with the arrival of fall. as you get older, change doesn't necessarily become easier, but i think you realize how precious it can be as it arrives fewer and far between than on it's yearly schedule. 
i went in by myself to measure his new space. to turn on faucets and lights and flush toilets and close doors and make sure everything was in working order. i measured his bedroom and his living and the space where we want to put a new table. the first little dream of enjoying dinner together and having friends over impressing itself on the empty, untouched space. no scratches on the wooden floor. no dings on the wall. no memories of arguments or tears or days less than good.
right now there is only the possibility of what it all will be. the pretty new appliances and new furniture arrangements and delicious dinners and long nights filled with laughter and love. for a moment the adult inside of us quiets and we seem to be filled with only optimism. the possibilities that live in our heads that come along with change are never bad, they're always good. any questions we may have or that linger seem so much harder to grasp than the happiness we easily envision. perhaps it's our way of coping with change, or a deep, underlying want we all have to really think that - maybe this time - it will be perfect. as we get older we often become cynical, jaded, disheartened. so i stood in his apartment, after the measuring and opening and shutting of doors, just reveling in all of that change for a moment. in all of that hope. those little dreams. in the possible.
we shall see. indeed, we shall see.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

on my weekend in pictures.

oh my. summer is done. what a summer it was! when the whole world and this city and my job slow down a bit. i will miss it, but i do think i made the most of it. we had one last hurrah this weekend - cooking and baking with my favorite summer ingredients, going to a baseball game, discovering a new tv show that's been cancelled (chicago code anyone?), taking long naps, taking long runs. i really have a soft spot for every season, and always wonder which one i like best, but i think as i've gotten older it's clear to me that it's summer. so until next year summer - you were grand.
christmas - i got my eyes on you. let's do this.
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