Even though summer is lingering as we always wish it would, confusing trees whose leaves blushed too early, thank goodness the transition from iced cold brew to hot-cha-cha coffee is still imminent. Jocie and I met for a brisk picnic lunch on The Highline and she, with a little persuasion, gave me an ad hoc architectural walking tour (awesome!). En route, we decided that if we were going to discuss Highline Architecture 101 (encompassing topics as diverse as “barrier elements mirror forms of both the in situ natural and industrial” and/or “life/work integration of public and private spaces”) that we definitely needed some coffee. ASAP. For my own life/work integration, I sort of, really, very much need, want, and have to have at least one of these single cup fast-as-lightning drip brewers from Blue Bottle Coffee. All I need is gravity and (in this case) the rarefied sideways light of the Highline over 10th avenue. Simple as that.
Meags was in town this weekend. In addition to laughing late into the night and my favorite kind of long champagney afternoon spent talking story and just flipping and flipping the same record over and over, we also did a once-over of the Brooklyn Flea (one of the last summeryfeeling days and, hey, it’s right by my house). In a moment of utter genius we impulsively purchased matching octopus necklaces. Because although each wearing half of a heart, one side saying “Best” and the other saying “Friends” is alright, knowing that I’d like to hug her across miles of I-95 with all eight of my arms is much better. We got them at Birdhouse (which has tons of awesome blingy and fun big baubles for cheep cheep). Friendship Octopus: Highly Recommended.
Such a grey and rainy mournful Brooklyn day, what’s a girl to do? Why, obviously, make a bunch of coffee, put on some Gershwin, and do a little light nesting and bake some deep, dark, subtley spicy Mexican Chocolate Cookies (and then eat them for breakfast). Here’s the simple recipe (cut out from Cooking Light in 2009 and found this morning stuck in the back of my recipe book, never made). I only had the tail-end of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (and gawd knows I’m not going out in the rain until it’s utterly necessary/time to go play music over at John and Janelle’s), but due to sweetheart’s sweet tooth there was half a fancy pantsy bar of Theo Dark Chocolate with Spicy Chile on hand, which, quite frankly, was utterly perfect. I dusted with powdered sugar and cocoa, but- if you didn’t have any bougie chile chocolate on hand, adding a little bit the ground red pepper to the sugar/cocoa would be awesome. Anyway, rainy day vanquished, nest nested!
And then I went to Cubana Social for drinks, where they had two awesome things happening at the same time in the same place: a noise-jazz quartet with a bassist with a hottentot, and “Some like it Hot” playing on mute in the background. I’m not sure which I liked better. You can see in this picture that it’s that part at the very end where Jack Lemmon (as Geraldine) tells Osgood that they can’t be together because he’s a man, and Osgood says “Well, Nobody’s Perfect”+ Micheladas, and it almost was.
I had the distinct pleasure to spend almost my entire weekend looking at this view from various angles of repose. On Saturday I was text-ambushed with the news that Widespread Panic was playing at the WIlliamsburg Waterfront and, as a tribute to my 16 year old self (who would have certainly known well in advance if Panic was coming within a 100 mile radius, much less a 1 mile radius, and would have accumulated secret stores of Southern Comfort and patchwork swirly skirts in anticipation), I put on my dancing booties and hopped on the train. The show was marvelous, and the venue so perfectly lovely- a gently sloping field-ish right on the river with the fresh fall breeze ruffling all of our feathers. Then on Saturday, the ever-so-handsome boys of Roosevelt Dime played sunset-set at Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint.This fabulous event was comprised basically of incredible hors d’oeuvres from various awesome restaurants and lots of delicious beer- all for charity to keep a historic Brooklyn firehouse from being bulldozed down so that Goonies-type development interests can move in. Basically: a pork-belly-and-dixieland-jazz version of Mouth’s bag of jewels. Watching the changing light color the city like the Gershwin Fantasia, all in the midst of a just-cool indian summer, and it was Ahhh heart NY.
I’ve just gotten back from marvelous adventures back down South… whenever I go home all of its specialness seems to hit me right in the mouth with the force of humidity and biscuits. It’s starting to feel like cool plaid fall in New York, which might be the bittersweetest loveliness that a city girl can ask for, but the joyful heartache that is the autumn city is right up there with the effortless still warm evenings of southern indian summer, the kind where the air is as full as the moon. So, I’ll be back soon.
New this year: Sweet Autumn Clematis has set up residence in the bush/bustled in the hedgerow that is right up against the outdoor shower house at the beach house (a.k.a.: the only place with power in all of Virginia after Irene). These gorgeous, simple, and— yes sweet— white flowers smell like honeysuckle crossed with jasmine and maybe just a bit of earthy beet pollen (is this what Jitterbug Perfume actually smells like??). There might not be anything more divine than showering in the dark on a full moon night with a bit of honey on the breeze. Seriously.
While I count my blessings and dimes to consider if actually buying this amazing real tiger’s claw necklace is in the cards (probable verdict: quite dubious, potentially crazy, maybe just crazy enough to work??), I just had to share. Here is some info on this British Raj-era Tiger’s Claw necklace from the awesome description the girls that run this amazing shop put up:
During the Raj, European and American jewelry markets were populated with accessories that made use of India’s dense and exotic wildlife population – elephants, tigers, lions, and other fearsome beasts, and the animals’ deadly-ass claws usually were usually the centerpiece… Since the pieces were usually made when a British officer would slay a tiger or lion for sport, we’ve seen claw jewelry engraved with information about when and where – and by whom – the animal was killed. If the fact that this piece is made from a 150-year-old endangered animal does not wow you, get ready for this – it’s also vinaigrette, which is the Victorian name for little perfume lockets that women would carry around to protect themselves from unladylike smells. They were usually perforated and contained smelling salts or tiny pieces of cloth soaked in something aromatic. The designer of this particular piece hollowed out the claw and fitted it with a hinged gold screen in order to vent the fragrance inside. There is an equally ornate lid that hides the screen, should the wearer want to keep the pendant’s function a secret. Insane, right?
I also just wanted to say that I LOVE the Erica Weiner store (and the site). This badass tiger’s claw is indicative of the crazy-fabulous vintage stuff they get, but they also have totally affordable pieces (I wear this feather bracelet pretty much every day)- the new storefront is in SoHo… and the best part? It’s run by ladies. Hear them roar!
After hosting a recent michelada party on the heels of visiting the divine Miss Esser, I realized how woefully inadequate my pitcher selection is. Seriously.
So, Huey, I want a new jug. These caught my eye…Covetous pitchers from Zinnia Cottage, VintageAbbey2, Blue Flower Vintage, Tom Laurus, and NostalgieEurope.
As I fled Irene-frenzied-New-York like a wine drunk carpetbagger, my hometown was getting thoroughly pummeled. Trees as big around as sewing circles crashed through living rooms and flipped Volvos, taking out power and phone lines like so many cobwebs. My family (much like we did when we heard the Civil War was coming) retreated. To meet them in exile, I found myself cruising down the verdant Eastern Shore down to the Southside via the bay bridge tunnel (drive: recommended). To give succor in times of trouble, I turned to the bounty of my fair Virginia, via a sweet farmstand with a handsome farmer, fresh sweet corn, luscious peaches, and (ohmygodohmygodohmygod) just caught Virginia Blue Crabs.