Saturday, March 28, 2009

outen the lights

We just enjoyed Earth Hour with the help of 21 candles and a backgammon board. The hour between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. must be one of the most "electric" times the day. It felt incredibly unnatural to have to finish what we were doing and settle down. Ironic, considering that people did this for millennia -- and while they were around, global warming wasn't.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, check out And if you happen to be in a part of the world where it's not yet 8:30 p.m. on March 28, do the earth a favor and turn off your lights. It's just an hour. And it's only the lights. The guidelines don't ban playing Barry White.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Last Saturday afternoon, we left our cozy apartment in Morningside Heights to explore Inwood, an up-and-coming neighborhood at the very top of Manhattan, because we're considering moving there. We even looked at a couple of apartments, including one with six closets (a treasure trove in New York City).

It's a very pleasant area, with several parks and schools, plus a Revolutionary War fort and The Cloisters (the Met's medieval art collection which is housed in a lovely monastery replica), and has a wonderfully diverse population. I was so excited to see this garden -- and these chinodoxia, or Glories of the Snow, poking out of the ivy. My first flower-sighting of the year. Maybe it was a sign!

When you've moved, how have you decided where to look?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

not in a million years

After eight years, I was reunited with my longtime friend, AJ (Dr. AJ!), today -- long ago I'd resigned myself to the fact that I'd probably never see her again. The way it came about is so bizarre. Do you remember that networking website I wrote about a while back? Well, I found AJ's sister, Becca, and subsequently learned that she's living in the city, and that AJ was coming to visit this week. Well, the three of us arranged to have lunch today!

It was wonderful to have my own little slice of Plymouth right there on Spring lunch in a long time. And I knew we are still kindred spirits when they told me about typos they'd found at The Met -- which included a lovely bust of King Lois XIV. I really hope we're able to stay in touch this time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

pub and culture

On Saturday we decided to defy Daylight Savings time and head down to the Lower East Side for an evening out. One of our favorite bands, The Tossers, were playing, and we hadn't seen them in a while. Since the weather is warming up, we've felt more like going out too, so this was the perfect opportunity.

We got to Mercury Lounge just as the opening band (The Mighty Stef -- good stuff) were finishing up, and who did I end up standing beside in a back corner but Bono himself (The Mighty Stef are from Dublin, which might have something to do with it). Anyway, after I'd gotten over the shock that I'd just brushed elbows with one of the most famous people on Earth, Ian and I made our way up to the front so we could stand at the foot of the stage. It was a great show, and we did get to dance in the pit for a little while (long enough for us to get a good workout and then for me to get punched in the jaw -- don't worry, not even a bruise).

I couldn't get to a spot where I could get the whole band at once, but I put the pictures together and voila!

T, the lead singer-slash-mandolin player, stores his cigarette between the strings during songs. I could do without the smoke wafting right in my face, but I think it's ingenious anyway.

When the show ended, we walked over to get a late dinner at Katz's Delicatessen, the famous deli that's been in several movies, like When Harry Met Sally and, more recently, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. The place was packed with people ordering heaps and heaps of food. I hear the pastrami is fantastic. We tried the corned beef, though, and it was chewy and fatty -- not the juicy, tender meat we're used to. It's one of those places every New Yorker should go to at least once. But I'm pretty sure once is enough.

We've walked by this place dozens of times on various excursions, but I never realized this was the Katz's.

You can either sit down and get waited on, or line up like this crazy group here. There are lots of things to look at while you wait, like big tubs of pickles, hanging sausages, and hundreds of celebrity photos.

I thought Ian might like the pickles here...I think I should just give up on him being a pickle guy.

I tried valiantly to bite through this corned beef sandwich, but ended up having to use a knife and fork. Not the way corned beef should be!

When you come in, be sure to grab a ticket. At the end of the meal, you have to turn it in to the cashier marked with what you ordered.

So when we'd had our fill of corned beef sandwiches, pickles, French fries, coleslaw, knishes, and chocolate egg cremes, we turned in our tickets and made our way home. And slept til nearly noon...Eastern Daylight Time.

PS Watch The Tossers play with Andrew's band, The Scrubbers, in Milwaukee on St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

my regards to off broadway

Yesterday we had the pleasure of spending much of the day with my college friend, Janelle, who was up from DC for the weekend, staying with our mutual friend Eric. The original plan was that we'd go to a musical in the afternoon and then see what the rest of the day presented to us -- an exciting prospect because we rarely go to shows. That morning, though, when we confirmed plans with Eric, he told us he had a surprise for the evening.

The musical we'd planned to go to was Enter Laughing, which was simultaneously original and classic, and very clever (with tons of belly laughs). I highly recommend it, so go! It's playing at the York Theatre where Eric often volunteers, so we got to talk with many of the staff which was a cool opportunity. It's gotten tons of acclaim -- as it should.

Eric's surprise turned out to be tickets to another show, Rooms, a "rock romance." Even though it was a preview, the theater was packed, and I could definitely see why. It's very innovative, with a 5-piece rock band playing overhead, and only two actors doing the whole 90-minute show. I'm virtually positive the show will be extremely successful. Eric's roommate, Scott, is the show's production manager and we finally got to meet him (we were convinced he didn't exist!).

It was a fantastic evening! Now I'm really excited to visit Janelle in DC. Even though we hadn't seen each other since graduation (five years ago!), it felt like we didn't miss a beat. Isn't it nice when that happens?