greenwich

today i chose to walk on greenwich, which i never do. it’s sort of like the back alley. for a stretch there are barely any restaurants or bars – i felt as though the buildings were encroaching on me. the sidewalks narrowed. it lacked the liveliness that i yearn for in the morning, yet on this particular morning, perhaps i solaced in the solitude. its quietness transported me to another city.

occasionally i would see folks walking dogs, parents hailing taxis with their preschoolers. i always wonder, who are you? how much money do you have? especially the folks who aren’t dressed for work. what do you do? do you freelance from home, or do you simply live a life of leisure?

i feel quite fortunate to have these city streets to walk on. they enrich me just by their very being. old bricks and cobblestones, internationally known intersections that are peaceful at 9am. i’m just a passerby but i so appreciate my passing by. does anyone else? do they take it for granted, or do they not even realize they are in the presence of beauty?

top that off with a great soundtrack. today i thoroughly enjoyed my ipod. sometimes i wonder, all of you, any of you wearing headphones or earbuds, can any of you possibly be as happy as i am, listening to what i’m listening to? “lip” by his name is alive slays me every time.

i love tanlines. intrigued right now. trying to catch up on their catalog, which itself is rather diverse. what drew me in was “slipping away,” which reminds me of early 90s. something i might have found on 120 Minutes and obsessed over. sure it’s got the usual ingredients – wistfulness, jangly guitar, catchy beat. the vocals make it a bit unique. loving it.

i’m on a subconscious quest to figure out why i sometimes feel so happy despite a tough day at work. i feel fortunate for:

– simple pleasures, like food and beautiful sights
– my family
– the fortune of a nice home in a nice neighborhood
– the communal feeling of our neighborhood
– fun routines online, the usual perusals each day
– listening to music that i love
– feeling comfortable financially
– sleep and exercise
– my morning walk

i would love some other things as well, like more time with my son, a house, an easier time parking. use of the backyard. more time for movies and reading. a chance to see friends more often. a writing presence. a musical project.

however, that doesn’t seem to trouble me too much. i’m so grateful.

joyful mornings and de-clutter

i am elated each morning, i look so forward to my walk before work. it sets a great tone for the day. i don’t arrive to work miserable. on the contrary, i’m often inspired. i allow myself this time to reflect, see beautiful sights, get some exercise, enjoy a coffee beverage, listen to music. it’s really a great form of meditation for me.

the konmari method has served me well. i didn’t do it by the book and have miles to go, but it is having an impact on me and my house. even the husband has started to tidy up and purge. we don’t keep junk mail around. things are generally trimmer and cleaner. it’s quite nice.

sure, i read the sartorialist. i’m not a fashionista by any means, but i am a bit of a fashion voyeur. i like observing style, i like reading about high fashion. i like being around fashion. i work in new york city, so that fulfills most of my fashion needs. when i lived in portland, i subscribed to vogue because i needed more fashion stimuli. the fleece, and the hippie wear, and the windbreakers sometimes grossed me out. don’t i sound lovely? i’m just being honest. i never told anyone their clothes grossed me out.

even folks in nyc who wear bargain clothes look pretty darn stylish. i find myself critiquing outfits during my morning commute. some folks really have a refined edge, and it’s refreshing.

i’m barely put together, but i definitely have a style of my own. it’s made up of bargain/second hand clothes as well as uniqlo/gap/banana/h&m finds. loft now too. that’s about all i can afford. thanks to the konmari method, i really don’t shop as much as i used to.

but what i meant to say before i got all narcissistic was that i like the wistfulness of the sartorialist. there’s a dreamlike quality about it, sometimes melancholy. and i love how you get transported from italy to india to gansevoort within a matter of seconds.

wonderful rooftop gathering last night, i absolutely love u’s living space. she’s such a strong, independent woman who makes the most of the city. i find it refreshing to be around someone as grounded as she is.

also a rare evening for me to be out. the hot harlem air was decadent, i was absolutely delighted to be in a different neighborhood, socializing with views of 2 parks, of the cathedral, and countless world-famous skyscrapers.

summer in nyc was so fun in my 20s, galavanting around brooklyn with my peeps, attending outdoor concerts and drinking wine in the humidity. i still get glimpses of some of that now, albeit in backyards with toddlers in tow. and while it was fun to partake last night, ultimately i missed the little bossman so much, couldn’t wait to give him a big hug in the morning.

definitive

last night i got the definitive no from the long-term prospects. the hubs was right, they seemed a little scattered about their hiring process, which comes off as unprofessional. it didn’t feel like the right fit at the start. i was persuaded after the second meeting which ended in compliments and tentative start dates. that’s OK. who knows what the future holds.

i still pray, occasionally. i hold conference with my spiritual deity all the time throughout my days, but rarely sit down for a true prayer session. only when it comes to these times. i may visit the nearby church for some real soul searching and therapy.

some atheists i know seem judgmental about this stuff, but truly, it keeps me grounded.

coffee

coffee used to be my long-term love. but it seems that java doesn’t always jive with me… between paranoia and palpitations that seem to stem from excessive caffeine, i have had to taper my coffee consumption. i was never quite able to quit it, eventually absorbing these benign palpitations into my life. they would come and go depending on my diet.

when i was pregnant, it was so easy. i decided to give up coffee altogether. they say you can have a cup of day without any harmful consequences, and i’ve read crazy reports that pregnant moms in denmark have up to 5 cups a day. really? but i resorted to decaf, if anything. i got more into tea. i would buy fancy earl grey and green tea from Empire Coffee on 9th ave.

after i had the baby, i still refrained from coffee while i was breastfeeding. however, i remember having my first taste of caffeine when the little man was only 8 months old; i was only able to drink about 6 oz – my body was electrified, zapped, invigorated beyond belief. it became a weekly habit. until the palpitations and paranoia returned, and then i tried to forego it altogether.

did i mention that i’m lactose intolerant also? somehow over the past 2 years i have adopted a mocha addiction. mochas are mostly milk. so here i am, a slave to the lactaid pill, going out of my way at times just to delight in this $4 beverage. it’s an expensive habit. for some reason i can’t even enjoy a hot chocolate – it has to be chocolate with that little sprinkle of espresso. for a while i fed this habit leveraging the decaf, skim variety. but nowadays it is whole and caffeinated more often than not. why is caffeine such a treat? i try to keep it away but i wind up having caffeine probably 4-5 times per week.

i always felt like eventually i would quit it altogether. i’m not sure when that day will come…

ride

tonight is monumental for me, when you think about it. i’m going to see Ride in concert. most people might not even know who Ride is, but to me and my obscure niche of like-minded music friends, Ride is humongous; the show is epic; we are screaming fans, anxious to get started with this unexpected gift 20 years later.

23 years ago, Ride was perhaps my favorite band, in competition with a few other shoegaze classics that i adored, and still adore, with no comparison. these bands move me in ways music never has before or afterward. in 1992, when i was 15, Ride played a show at the Academy in NYC, and well… i had a ticket to ride. i wasn’t allowed to go to shows in the city but i pitifully begged my mother for permission, and she made some sort of concession. a penpal of mine (i had at least 20 back then) who lived in NJ, a girl i’d never met, was going as well and planned to pick me up on her way there. i lived close to the city while she was in central jersey. well at age 15 i wasn’t one for giving directions, and i gave her a few very vague tips. you can see where this is going. that day, i was so excited, i wore my lush t-shirt (purchased at a magical show that year) with black cut-off jean shorts and black steel-toe docs. i waited on my front porch. there were no cellphones, not even carphones for most, so i merely waited… and waited… and waited… and the sun set… and the night wore on… and she never showed up. my Ride never came.

it was tragic. i was heartbroken. even more, another favorite band of mine – Pale Saints, during the Ian Masters days – were the openers. so you can imagine, this was absolutely deflating.

and you can imagine that 23 years later, being given this new opportunity is special beyond belief. again, as with the Slowdive show in October, i’ll be joined by old, dear friends, who i rarely see. these opportunities for reunions are just as precious. i’m very grateful.

hudson

most mornings i traverse down hudson street, a street of many memories. above all it is the beautiful buildings and old character of that neighborhood that i long for in the morning, gulping it down before i spend my day in drab midtown.

as it is in nyc, most of the old places i frequented back in the day are gone. but some remain. White Horse Tavern, which i proclaimed to have the best burger, minced onions syruping out of every bite. La Bonbonniere is still a fixture of the West Village, i really want to one day just go in an have a greasy breakfast. i haven’t eaten there in at least 10, maybe 15, maybe 18 years. i’ll never forget when i saw Molly Shannon burst in on a saturday morning, pick up some food to go and chat with the staff who were her best friends, and then disappear into a taxi. i wonder, do they still have the potato chip sandwich?

i think of the meatpacking district with fondness, as if it were my friend originally, someone who went off and became rich and famous without me. because Florent was bliss, Florent was the gem in the stenchy cobblestones, delicious coffee with heavy cream and late night, sometimes 5am meals. do i miss nyc, or do i miss my past? ribboning through the streets i can feel moments in the air, old times, they are forever flavoring those streets that have a place in my heart.