Taking My Time {Oh, and Happy Holidays}

So here we are, it's officially 2012! Our holiday season was busy in a good way. I am working a lot at the cafe and just taking it all in right now. My boss expressed to me his sentiments on the differences of his years in Paris and those in New York, "In Paris, I am all time thinking what I am doing next? But in New York it's never!" And as it turns out, that was a profound statement to me. In New York, there is always something, some errand, some this, some x, and if you happen to choose to stay home, watch Netflix and order delivery than it was an action done deliberately.

We are busy.

It's good. My body feels tired in a good way, my stresses are present but healthy, and we're staying busy taking advantage (when/where we can) of living in New York. Living in Brooklyn is living in a bubble. By this I'm just saying that Brooklyn is probably the only city in the world I can think of right now where you can make your entire living off of building moss terrariums inside of vintage lightbulbs, just sayin. Granted, I both live and work in the same neighborhood and am definitely saturated in the personality of Park Slope. This, in conjunction with the fact that I don't receive television channels, don't have a smartphone, have never downloaded an "app," don't subscribe to any magazines/newspapers, and don't have the radio exposure that came with driving I feel very cut off from what's going on out there. So I haven't been present online much either, but I've been observing and digesting and learning what I can, I feel present. My mind can wander so easily, it's nice to be part of something that's growing, that's new to me, and that I can feel present in. A few months ago I was writing of my hopes that someone would just take a chance on me, and I feel like now I have the opportunity to learn something new. Maybe it isn't glamorous, or maybe it is glamorous? But that's not the point. I know that in college I thought running a cafe in Brooklyn sounded amazing. And as it turns out I do like it, and that's been great to find.


In December we went to the Apollo Theater in Harlem to see Anthony Hamilton.
It was one of my favorites I've seen in New York. The show had more energy than I have seen for a concert in a long time. It was so refreshing, and it dawned on me that from my balcony seat I really didn't see any cell phones out. It was shocking, and awesome! People, enjoying themselves, in their physical location and condition without the gross display of exhibitionism that usually accompanies a social event.* His slow, low rhythm and blues was amped up with some funk beats for the live performance. Despite the very tight seating there was a lot of dancing to the infections rhythms flowing into the space.

For Christmas Eve, we got before dinner drinks at the Clover Club in Cobble Hill. The Clover Club is the home of one of the best Bloody Mary's and my new favorite cocktail thanks to our excursion that Saturday. We sat in the back next to the fireplace in high backed chairs drinking Nose Dive's (gin royales) and laughing about what we're doing now and where we have been the last few years together. We trained into the city and ate dinner at Tamarind, again. I still think it's the best Indian Food I've had yet. I hear they have a new(ish) downtown location but we always end up at the one near the Flatiron. Afterward we hopped on the subway and hitched ourselves uptown to the stand by line for Dizzy's jazz club where Jazz at the Lincoln Center plays. Luckily we got in for the 930 show and finished up our night with coffees and really nice Jazz quintet. We came home and opened the small gifts we had gotten for one another and for Cash and snuggled up for bed.

Christmas day was spent mostly at home. I cooked breakfast and dinner. A girl I work with and her boyfriend came over for dinner in the evening. We had guacamole and pico de gallo, hummus, sun dried tomato risotto, mashed potatoes, honey cumin roasted carrots, pomegranate apple green salad, and roasted pork loin. My goodness, it had been a while since I had cooked so much. I even attempted to make orange rolls but gave up after the second rising. It took days to clean my very tiny kitchen afterward. Luckily all the things that did get cooked, roasted, or baked turned out and washed down rather nicely with a good Burgundy. Christmas night I purchased tickets for us to go see the Alvin Ailey company perform which was a real treat. Unlike the Anthony Hamilton show, I don't know if I have ever been to a performance where so many cell phones went off. It was strange, rude and distracting, unfortunately. Afterward we walked to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, to Bryant Park to see the ice skaters.

Our New Year is flying by. We rang in midnight very tiredly at an Austrian pub about a block from home. Working so much, things begin to blur together. We made sure to fill my only day off (Darling was on winter break from school) with as many good things as we could fit into one day. With a clean house we took off for a shmancy lunch at Asiate located on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Hotel in Columbus Circle. Afterward, we caught a cab to the East Side to see the incredible Maurizio Cattelan hanging exhibit at the Guggenheim. If you haven't heard of it you really should look into it (copy + paste + google). It was such an innovative and cool way to experience his work. What a trip.

We were kicked out for closing around five and we walked down to Magnolia Bakery to buy treats to sneak into the move theater. Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie, what? We went to the historic Paris theater to see the new silent film, The Artist. It was one of the most enjoyable movies I've sat down to watch in a really long time.

We saw John Turturro and Diane Wiest in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. I haven't ever read Chekhov, Russian literature just hasn't made itself the next appealing thing to me yet but the performance was powerful. We saw the play at Classic Stage Company in the East Village on an intimate, small stage. The audience is only 4 rows deep with a 3/4 view so the choreography of the actors was made interesting from all vantage points. It was funny and tragic and, paradoxically, in constant motion although the majority of the show takes place in a single room within the house. As I get older I just find myself enjoying live theater more and more. I suppose it could be argued that New York has the highest quality for shows and actors, it's unbelievable, and I feel lucky to experience it.

We've had fun planning out short-term milestones for the new year. Little rewards tucked into the weeks ahead. Theater tickets and concert tickets and visits from friends. Birthdays and breaks from school and bottles of wine for sharing. I have actually began to write many posts but completing the thought seems to happen only after something else has called me away from the computer and onto another task. I'd like to keep sharing and writing, but more organically. I'm sure that will work itself out... organically, duh. On another note, I don't have a working digital camera anymore but have been thinking about using my SLR more often (i.e. sometimes). I'd like a few photographs from this time in my life. Not a daily documentation but I think it's nice to see the evolution of yourself, especially during periods of rapid growth. Remembering where you are coming from iso what makes where you are going meaningful. The freezing moment of a photograph is a way to help the self process exactly what it has been doing, as it forces the viewer to have the space and distance necessary to digest experience and change. I think this same philosophy pertains to the tattoos people have. Cemented moments, reminders of growth and change. Cameras, go.

I say this, but I know I'm the person to wait three years to get film developed. I just mailed out my family's Christmas packages Thursday. I'm just not emotionally equipped for some of these adult tasks. But it's a thought bustling through my brain. I'll keep chewing on it and see if anything materializes.

The best to you and yours for now. Hope the holidays were smooth. I'm going to make breakfast for dinner. Good talking to you.

*"omg!! guess where I am RIIIGGGHHTT NOWWW!! omg, no wait! I am just gonna take a picture and post it RIGHT NOW so you can see what bitchen time I'm having RIGHT NOW." And really, you aren't having the bitchen time because you aren't doing anything but fiddling with your phone and making sure you look good enough for an instantly public photo. I don't know. I don't mean to stray too far, and I admit to anyone out there reading, I acknowledge my own participation in it. I have a Facebook page, I'm writing this very statement on my public blog but I think we all know what I'm talking about.

In this same vein, please take a look at this thought provoking NYTimes article I saw a friend posted recently. The Joy of Quiet:

"We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted, but less and less to say. Partly because we’re so busy communicating... The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them."


BriannEm said...

It sounds like you're having a fantastic 2012. I completely agree with you on that last bit...But it IS really hard to avoid. :) Good luck with documenting your worthwhile endeavours!

Steph said...

Great thoughts. So fun to read your rare posts- they are always thought out and substantive. I saw a trailer for The Artist and really want to see it. Looks amazing.

And, I'm a pretty big iphoner... But I like to think I only use it appropriately for creating and recording memories :) guess we'll see. Thanks for the post!

Annalece said...

This is such a beautiful post, Em. I've read it twice so far just to take in all of the great ideas. Really, really lovely.

Karalee Kuchar said...

I so need to see The Artist. I miss you friend. I'm calling you-

Karalee Kuchar said...

I love that article. I love quiet. I need to make more of an effort to have it more often..
ps great talking to you. You are my lifeline.