Saturday, December 25, 2010

80 Cent Breakfast

Though technically a dessert, I enjoyed an 80 cent black bean sesame ball along Grand Street, deep-friend of course. Merry Christmas to me! I walked all along Grand Street to my old apartment, almost to the East River and then back once again the other way, through Chinatown and Soho. I like New York when the streets are like this.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I found this message written in shaving cream on the neighbor's sidewalk across the street. From what I can understood the son is on the football team and cheerleaders left him this poignant message. What does it mean? And why the dots? Are we, in 2010, still in the 1950s?

Also, about a million crows landed on the front lawn for about 30 seconds. No food in sight. A storm soon? It reminded me of The Swifts in Portland.

I'm off to Brooklyn soon to babysit an 8 pound dog. There are some other "roommates" not paying rent. For people who do not live in Brooklyn/NY that means they have tails and paws, but they are not dogs. I will miss my own fuzzy baby.

Also, I don't mean to hold out on anybody here, but I do happen to have a second date in the works on X-mas. Miracles happen.

Do I see a little Chinese food and a movie? A Jewliday? I'm not telling.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Practice a Fall

Tush in a Harness Much?

Brookyln Boulders Rock Gym at 575 DeGraw Street was not easy to find, but well worth the wandering through deserted streets that dead ended with the Gowanus Canal, only a pinch less beautiful than Venice. Even the floating debris like the empty milk carton I spied on its milky surface seemed ephemeral.

A friend and I walked right past the entrance but then saw an attractive, tall man in his 30s with a gym bag going the other way and we U-turned. Once you get through the beginning scent of feet or eau de locker room it becomes clear: this is where all the single men are spending their days. This is a plus. Putting my tush in a harness? A minus. Though larger than other appendages on my body, I'd only received compliments before. Aside from growing up and having a mother who called out very loudly in a fitting room, "Now turn around. Let me see your tush!" Then pinched the jeans or corduroys in her fingers declaring the pair, "much too tight."

Yes, the trauma was years ago but it lingers. It lingers!

Anyway, just wear flattering jeans or jeggings and you're golden. It was fun. And with the many signs that say, "No strollers," it is clear that kids are welcome but not their rides. People were kind, generous. Our instructor was pre-pubescent with acne and the hint of a mustache, and he forgot to introduce himself or provide a structure for the class. But I asked him for information like how long the class might be and what we were doing here and he obliged. My friend and I got caught giggling here and there (long story, cute boy in class with egg sandwich on lip) but once we got the figure-8 knot down, we were set.

My favorite part was practicing a fall. This is so utterly impossible to do and yet necessary. The climber lets go of the faux rocks and the person belaying is jolted and the rope needs to "catch" and there's an absence of drama. It strikes me as nothing like what it might be like on a real rock in a real world scenario, but it's as true as any fall: you try your best to prepare and yet you're totally caught off guard.

It requires attention (a hurdle for me) and patience and to baley is to really trust your partner. Not easy to put into words, but frankly the best three hours I've had since the move. Really fun and nice to focus on a physical task and not be in my head for a while. A bit pricey, at $60, but it includes an intro class, all the gear, a day pass (for that day) and then another day pass.

I'm looking forward to returning with jeans less low-waisted.

PS: If you're looking for a tasty Vietnamese sandwich within walking distance, that's spicy, cheap ($5) and a huge portion, try Hanco's - two locations:

And not to be redundant here, but you do need a tasty bite if you're going to be brave and put your tush in a harness in public. At least this one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't Rush Back

My dad scurried to the city to go to an office party today. He is hard to get out of the house (his house, but whatevs) and so, as he gathered his papers and attache case and apple and sandwich and banana and cookie and keys and hat and muffler and bottle of water and swiss army knife and wallet and umbrella, I told him: don't rush back. It's a thing he likes to say to me often and I thought I'd throw it back in his face when given the chance. He understood. At the party, he ate steak and drank Johnny Walker Black, and it keeps lingering in my mind that not long ago he requested I procure a certain substance for him. And I have fallen short of this wish. He doesn't ask for much and I've not yet purchased a 40th anniversary gift so why not something a little different?

In other breaking news...

In Portland A. and I visited Tabor Park, Laurelhurst Park, the coast and other areas for hikes. We were constantly in nature and she had off-leash freedom. Here? A "park" recently opened up which really consists of a baseball field and a soccer field, two goal posts stuck in place. Big news in these parts.

The first time we visited, I let A. off-leash and she waddled to and fro, only returning when I whistled. Her little run-trot gave me so much joy, I thought I'd burst from happiness. Although B. suggested she try deal-a-meal, I enjoy the extra pound or two on her frame and as a great friend referred to her dog as having "furry pants" I too have a dog with such pants for the winter.

Anyway, first visit. Euphoria followed by joy. A. runs in fast circles, going wild when i stamp my feet and running to receive treatsals.

Second visit: hm. Why is that a new sign? Whatever does it read? NO PETS with a somewhat familiar illustration of a stick figure with a stick dog and a large black line through it. We stay.

Third visit: three signs, all the same as above. A. completes circle. I am happy.

Today's visit? Four signs total. As they say in this house, momzas! Oh pardon me.

But as I told (off) people at Tabor and Laurelhurst, and to quote Lucinda Williams: you will not take my joy away. Seeing my dog run off-leash in an empty field with not a soul around? I will happily break that rule. Any day.