Monday, October 27, 2008

New Yawk City!

Mary and Beca had a tea date at the American Girl store in Manhattan on Friday Oct. 24th. So I played along and we took the train down together, a great couple of hours w/my girl! and then we hit Penn Station with a BANG! Slammed our way out down up and over to my folks apartment, dropped our gear, wet kissed everyone including Winnie the dog, and then decided to sashay down to Chinatown for dim sum. Dim Sum at 8:30pm? you say! Wel, New Yawk City said that too. So we wandered over to Little Italy and found some wonderful (if poorly served) pasta on Mulberry Street. Home again, we crashed hard, and woke early to start our day right. Starbucks!

Bob had work work work to do, so I waited w/B for Mary to surface, and then I split, leaving those two to their devilish deeds. I walked over to 1 Penn Plaza and was guested into the secure part of the building, where I got to once again marvel at Bob's view of lower Manhattan. Ahhh. We took the subway together downtown, he departing at 14th St. and I continuing down to the Lower East Side.

There, I walked. A lot. It was a gorgeous Fall day, with a hint of a breeze, the temps were in the 60's, and there were pumpkins and fall colors everywhere! Quite to my surprise, the LES is quite nuveau these days. There are tons of galleries, clothing boutiques, and off-market shops for things like dog clothes, vegetarian shoes, and funky eateries, many of them vegan! I bought a pair of vegetarian shoes (of course!), and then sidled across the street to the Lower East Side Visitors Center. Crowded and cluttered, the women there were awesome nice, and really extended themselves for me. Then across the street I spotted a spa. I didn't need anything done to my skin (the toxins and dirt in NYC is harsh, but I had only been there 12 hours), but I was kind of in the mood for a haircut. So I asked if they did that kind of thing, and she said no. So I asked (nicely) if she knew of anywhere, and she said no. Then she asked the fella sitting on his keister and he said yes, and walked me down the block and around the corner to Broome St. where there was an awesome little hair salon, Fringe! It was VERY funky and fun, offering up vegan delites like breakfast brownies, pumpkin (or maybe sweet potato) walnut scones,etc., and I was able to get in with Jacqueline after only 10 minutes or so (not even enough time to look through the magazines and find someone I was aiming to look like). She and I talked a minute or two, then I got a nice wash and condition, then under the scissor. Holy good haircut, batgirl! I walked outta there feeling free and clean and lighter of purse and head. Right across the street I found a little shop making halloween candy - totally fun to watch, and I got to buy the candy right after it was made!

I meandered about, checking out how the tenements (aka lofts) had changed so much.

Falaffal in the East Village (and used CD's, and a wig for B's Halloween costume), a chill session with some tea and feet UP in St. Mark's Square.

(I love urban trees - they must be one of the most tenacious types of creatures on earth)

and then a trip uptown to the Strand, which always, consistently and thoroughly blows me away. I bought Veganomicon for ten (yes TEN) dollars (certainly looks) new, and a couple other cook books to support my new veggie habits, and a knitting book (useful and fun to read on the subway when pulling out the actual knitting is too hard).

Then meandered eastward toward 9th ave, and up town to 21st to meet Megan at Bombay Talkie. Other than some kind of weird karmic energy around getting cars ticketed and towed (resulting in a bit of extra run around in parking and then in popping quarters into the meter)

It was kind of expensive, but the food was really very good. The menu was a bit too limited for moi (though it WAS good!), and the service was great! Megs managed not to get towed, we talked and ate and laughed for 3 hours, when her guilty conscience convinced her to free up the table and go home to help Tim clear out the spare bedroom for his mom's visit on Saturday. So I was too late, really, to catch a movie w/Poppy, but we hung out and chatted for a nice while on the couch, and it was - all in all - an AMAZING day! I failed to detail the galleries, the pickle lady, and a host of other entirely NEW YAWK sites, which were all part of my wonderful experience. YAY!

On getting home, I got to meet Mia, Beca's new American Girl doll, and her skates, and the skirt to match the tights that match the skates (and the sweater that matches the skirt, and the headband that matches the sweater and on and on and on), and was given a lesson in using the spray bottle, and then made her clean it all up and go to bed. Long day for little girls. We both crashed pretty hard.

The next morning we jumped into the Pilot and Mary drove us to Hastings where we visited for a few hours with Jackie and Mike, Liana and Max. Totally yummy soup and salad for lunch, and as always, a great visit with wonderful friends. Sounds like their trip to Gay Paris was amazing!!!

The entire weekend I've been reading The 19th Wife, which is very popular right now, but not a great topic for Mary and I to discuss on the downtown NRQ train. I'm too anthropological to like the way to book was written, even if I enjoy the mystery of the murder. So I'm finishing that one up and reading Ink Death, which is scary as heck, but I really enjoyed the first one so much I laboured through the second and (evidently) now the third. Cornelia, lighten up, sistah.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mentally irresponsible

I lost Orin at the library. He is 3, so very very three. When we'd been there a while, done ALL the puzzles, twice, some of them thrice, looked at the fish, played with the toys, picked out an obscene number of books, and chosen a few movies, it was really really time to go. I asked him to come with me to check our stuff out. I don't generally leave w/out him, even if he's being stubborn, but he was being silly and stubborn and I was getting mad. So I backed off, took the library basked (very heavy) with me, and went to the archway that divides the children's from the adult library. I stood looking at the display there (a nice one about autumn and apples), and waited for him to come along. Instead the little pisher snuck around the backside of the children's library, and while I was looking across the children's section waiting for his little tow head to appear, he went behind me, right out the door (maybe he didn't see me?) down the hall out the two sets of electric doors and down the path to the sidewalk. Well, not seeing his little self arriving any time soon, I put the basket down, and walked down to the back of the children's section to see where the HECK he was. Nowhere, is where he was! So as I am hurrying back across the children's section (realizing that he's 90% likely to have gotten behind me, not hiding under a table in a far corner), there's a lady with him up on the counter at the main circulation desk. That moment of absolutely freezing panic receded, overtaken by embarrassment and a bit of anger at this imp, he was obviously fine, and he hadn't been gone more than two or three minutes (how come he doesn't walk that fast when we NEED him to?). So I thanked the woman, I asked her if he'd been scared. She said no. Then proceeded to tell me that I was mentally unstable and an irresponsible parent, to let the child wander away by himself. The librarian chimed in to let me know that there is a sex offender living in the neighborhood. Honestly, I was truly taken aback by it all. I have rescued more than one child in my time, little ones just walking, older ones who lost their group or family, there was never ever even once the idea that the parents were negligent because the child had wandered away. I grew up in a family that encouraged and gave opportunities for their children to become independent, smart decision makers, and to learn when independence was appropriate and when to stick with the crowd. It turned me into someone who has globally traveled in some places many people wouldn't DREAM of visiting, and I got to experience things they never will. I treasure those memories, they are my pride and joy (after my naughty children). My parents may not have done everything right, but I wish for nothing more than to be mentally irresponsible and give my children that same confidence, smarts, and independence that will open up to them vistas and pathways that fear and dependence keeps closed. But maybe when he's 4.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Presidential problems

I thought this was just grand! Not 'a' grand, but grand in the witty American tradition - a little pinch in the butt of our collectively disreputable Wall Street (who should have their freaking teeth kicked in right about now). I am so much further disgusted by the greed, corruption, and well, GREED of some Americans (who shall forever remain nameless and faceless, but you KNOW who you are!) that truly, we can not get out of this country fast enough. If there were something to generate sufficient income for us, we would be gone. I'm as patriotic as the next guy, but it is seriously DISGUSTING what we are doing with our tax dollars, and what we choose to allow our citizens in powerful positions in business to get away with. Disgusting.

A little lower down on my high horse is the election itself. What's up with asking questions to which there is no real answer? And what is up with candidates who can't be bothered to go out on a limb for, well, anything? I certainly understand not wanting to make too much of a commitment to something obviously not going to happen, say redistribution of wealth in the USA. But what about some stuff like which programs have you decided are going to get the axe? Or reduced funding? What is the plan with NCLB? Where would you drill for oil, if you could? I'd like some answers, even if it isn't ALL the answers. And a bit more umph - not defensiveness, power, charisma, presidential appeal. And stop making comparisons between JFK and BHO. They really have very little in common.