Today I took my first cup of cold brew coffee out to the backyard to survey our small domain and water our little container garden and I was positively struck with early summer wonder. First off: the simple joys of homemade cold brew are not to be taken lightly and it is ever-so-much more enjoyable than I thought possible to drink it with a cuppow mason jar top. Right now there is a ton of (fabulous-yet-frustrating) construction going on in the backyard as our awesome landlord Bernie and his yappy yorkie Zeus put up new fencing, plant big lovely boxwoods, lay down a patio, occasionally spar at our window with Nipsey the Cat, and make a big mess everywhere including in the cucumber pots. In the midst of the construction chaos, ground strewn with power tools and trash, our little garden is still thriving. Is this a New York parable? Our Early Girls are putting out their first little green maters, late breaking broccoli is rearing its head, zucchinis are blossoming, nasturtiums are up, all of the little hot peppers are putting forth blossoms (the big one already has two peppers on it!), the first strawberries are almost ready to eat, and all of the herbs are thriving. It’s always the little things that matter most.
On our way out to spend Memorial Day at Sweetheart’s house in Rockaway we drove past Floyd Bennett Field. I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with the old airfield (see here and here). How interesting, then, to discover this amazing photographic series “Found in Nature” by Barry Rosenthal: collections of items and objects found out at Floyd Bennett Field. This weekend, on that brilliant, sunny, fresh-hot birth of summer day, they had a carnival set up: a Ferris Wheel, a funny purple roller coaster, big fat circus lights and cotton candy. How many new contributions must have been left behind…
This weekend we had our first ever moveable feast- a progressive dinner moving from course to course, cocktail to cocktail, between our five Brooklyn apartments. It was so very, very lovely… We feasted: prosciutto wrapped asparagus with peppadew sauce and lemon honey gin fizzes, roasted pear and arugula salads with cucumber gin tonics, pork carnitas tacos with home pickled onions and fresh tomatillo salsa with micheladas, cheese fondue (!!!) paired with funkily perfect hard ciders, and cool, rich tiramisu with cognac. We walked: from Bed Stuy to Clinton Hill to Fort Greene. All of the ladies rocked the flower party crowns I made. The night was warm the light was perfect, we started under a maple tree in the slanting early summer sun and finished on the roof under the stars watching at the twinkling lights of not-yet-finished One World Trade. All we kept saying was how we live SO close to each other, and how most of us had never even been to each other’s apartments. Here we were- opening our homes, laughing, breaking bread, toasting bubbly, and simply enjoying each other. How marvelous, how easy, how truly lovely.
Also from Oh Happy Day- the ahhh-mazing flower party hat tutorial! I can’t recommend this little project enough. It only took me three episodes of Girls, a glass and a half of wine, and $13 worth of supplies from the dollar store to make 6 headbands (with tons of paper left over). Note: I used tissue paper instead of the crepe paper recommended in the tutorial because I couldn’t find any folded crepe paper in the hood, and the tissue paper worked fine. Also- in a moment of divine inspiration, I picked up a loopy stainless steel pot scrubber that I cut up and used for fun shiny/textured centers, you really can use your imagination here… I want to wear a flower party crown everywhere I go- and I think I just might.
In New York, the literal distance between friends- the few blocks separating a single neighborhood- can be the difference between weekly wine dates and once-a-year-in-review catch ups. You live in Cobble Hill? Are you free next September? You live in Clinton Hill? Come over for cocktails this very minute. Le sigh. It can be daunting. BUT- after much karma, zen real estate, and wise choices in love and loft we find ourselves with four very good households of friends all living within a five minute walk of each other. This seems a New York miracle. Yes, Virginia, Brooklyn sometimes feels like Virginia. Ever since I read this post from Oh Happy Day!- a progressive dinner carousing from arrondissment to arrondissment through the streets of Paris- I’ve been dying to try it. A Progressive Dinner, in short, moves from house to house with each stop serving a different course of a meal. A Moveable Feast of Brooklyn intuition. I’m thinking that the whole shebang will probably look and feel like the above picture from Comet in Moominland- which Eben and I both read as children and made mental notes that we wanted our lives to be like this- as he agrees: so far so good. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cheers to good friends and a lovely weekend to you!
ps. I also made these for tonight. They are so absurd and wonderful!
pps. Love and congratulations to Dear Rav, tying il nodo in Tuscany this very night. My heart is full for you.
Moomin image from here, naturally.
I can think of way worse things than being stuck in an elevator with Noam Pikelny.
On this rainy Brooklyn day, what could be better than a little Coney Island Love? I’ve been a believer ever since Sweetheart’s dad bought me my first chow mein sandwich (a bizarre Brooklyn food tradition proffered by a third generation Brooklyner? Perfect.*) after two rounds of re-rides on The Cyclone a few summers ago. Maybe it’s the continued (de)construction, the shuttering of classics like the El Dorado Bumper Cars, or just a pang of tangible nostalgia for a history I’ve only brushed up against, but this lovely love letter seems just the right amount of bittersweet.
*reminiscent of the time Sweetheart smuggled a Yonah Shimmel’s kasha knish into the Sunshine Cinema on our second date. Eating my first knish in the dark, it was sort of like the blind men and the elephant… until he handed me the mustard.
gorgeous video from the brilliant geniuses at Land of Nod. I dare you not to watch, like, all of their videos right. now.
I went to both days of The Great Googa Mooga this weekend and… I had an awesome time. There’s been a fair amount of backlash about long lines, the weirdness of porta-potties and how sunny it is in an open field in May but… have these people never been to a concert before? Or a bar? Porta Potties are weird. Period. You might have to wait when 7,000 (*update* 40,000!) people want a beer at the same time. Luckily you can listen to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for free while you’re waiting. Oh well, Haters gonna Hate. And while haters were busy hating, I ate fried leeks, delicious pork pupusas and arepas from Red Hook food truck staple El Olomega, brisket tacos with roasted corn from Hill Country, fried chicken banh mi that tasted like it had old bay in the rub from Joseph Leonard, Coco-Limon y Cucumber-Lime popsicles from La New Yorkina, maple cotton candy, bourbon and bacon caramel corn, and about a thousand beers. Pair that belly with the rowdy beats and Tuba Gooding Jr. of The Roots or the dulcet tones and hair of an amazingly resilient Hall & Oates (jesus, what did they have- 38 #1 hits? every song is amazing!) and how could this get better? Oh yeah, this girl brings you beers while you lay on the grass:
Love and thanks to my wingladies, Smills and Njoki, and to the amazing Mels for holding it down and keeping it real.
This weekend I’ll be celebrating birthdays and vegetarian dim summing and Great Googa Mooga-ing and lolling around Brooklyn tending my budding vegetable garden… but with all of that loveliness, I still wish I was on this river. Ahhhh, Summer! Hope you have a lovely weekend.
this amazing image from the truly wonderful Lost in America.
I found this image back on May Day, and I love it. Technically this is a propaganda poster lobbying for the 8-hour work day (notice the little picketer in his socialist hat and that the people are spending their 8 free hours rowing around a lily pond reading “The Union Advocate”), and, certainly, the fight for workers humanity that the 8 hour day symbolizes is a powerful part of social history. I think, though, that I might like this well outside of that? Maybe it’s the Diego Rivera-meets-Fillmore Poster woodcut style, or maybe just it’s how simple and good the concept seems. It reminds me of a bit Benjamin Franklin’s schedule- an antiquated notion of how to structure and spend one’s day (with purpose, function, and beauty) that maybe we’d all benefit from truly adapting. Slow down, simplify, work hard. The benefit of honest toil and the sweetness of “What We Will”.
ps. if anyone has any info on the source of this awesome picture, let me know.