Beth & baby Geoffrey show off the Greatest Sign Ever, in the sculpture garden at MoMA this evening. I would follow that arrow anywhere. There was live music, there was espresso gelato, there was wine, and my dear friend in town for just this one night, from Michigan. Summer in New York is sticky, muggy, and stinky, but when it brings impromptu music, a stroll up Fifth Avenue with your best girlfriends, and a long, gossipy dinner, I’ll take it.
Posted in love
Tagged New York, summer
Nigel Slater‘s Ripe is a gorgeous object: a heavyweight, clothbound, coffee-table tome that isn’t so much food porn as gastronomic erotica. There are gorgeous photographs throughout, of apricots poaching in fragrant tea and berries swooning on pillows of cream, of lacy stalks of blossom and rough hunks of pie. Ripe makes a pair with Slater’s previous book, Tender, both focused on the garden and the plate. Tender takes you through the cook’s vegetable patch and here, we’re guided through his orchard – a term he admits is generous for his tiny London backyard.
So thanks to my wonderful, culturally savvy compadre Susan, I was lucky enough to go to the mind-blowing Roman Tragedies at BAM last night: a spectacular six-hour production of Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra, staged by Toneelgroep Amsterdam and the director Ivo van Hove. Yes that’s right. Six hours. In Dutch.
On the first Friday of the month, the Noguchi Museum, just across the street from Socrates Sculpture Park, is open late, is free to get in, and serves beer and wine for $5. You can wander throughout the museum, which was originally Noguchi’s workshop, and admire the huge range of sculptures and designs he produced. If you only know him as a designer of lamps and infamous coffee tables, there’s a whole rough-hewn, monumental, granite-and-metal world to discover. Plus, the shaded gardens are one of the most peaceful places in the city:
Noguchi Museum. 9-01 33rd Road, LIC (at Vernon Boulevard). Weds-Fri 10-5, Saturday & Sunday 11-6. General admission, $10.
One of the things I love about living in a densely populated and wildly expensive city – seriously – is seeing creative solutions to the problems that that density and expense create. Specifically, the problem of space for creativity. Whatever the many flaws of Starbucks, it’s always struck me as one of the most convenient places in New York to park a laptop and get to work, mostly because it’s anonymous enough that I don’t feel guilty for mooching off the electricity and the bathroom facilities on the strength of one black coffee per two hours.
The quest for the perfect coffee shop to work in is one I take seriously – when I lived in Williamsburg, Atlas Cafe on the corner of Havemeyer and Grand, a couple of blocks from my apartment, came close to the Platonic ideal of the working cafe, where the food was good and cheap, the coffee generous, and the clientele earnestly hunched over MacBooks under a wall-sized map of the world made you feel a little guilty if you weren’t.
But sometimes you don’t want to traipse around for the perfect spot, or it’s Saturday afternoon and too noisy to set up your private-in-public desk, which is where the whole industry of workspaces to rent comes in. One day, I’d love to afford to work somewhere as gorgeous as the Oracle Club, in LIC, or Paragraph, or the Writers Room (which pointedly compares its daily rate to the cost of a double latte), but even those rates feel indulgent for now, like joining a gym which just makes me think that I should run outside for free, and admit that the problem is motivation, not space.
So I’ve been hunting around in the NYPL for a spot that’s not too windswept with AC and loud with tourists, and doing my best to make my desk at home workable. Then suddenly something new shows up. How about an office in a tree?
Fullest of moons
Happy new year, loyal blog readers, if you’re out there?! We’re currently having the most beautiful, unseasonally sunny and warm weather in New York; after a cold snap on Tuesday that made me run home and buy a bright red down-filled coat from Brooklyn Industries (on sale, everyone, and highly regarded by People Who Know), it is balmy April weather all around. So for once we took advantage, and went for a walk in Central Park to reacquaint ourselves with New York after what seems like a really long time away in England. Some pictures…
Skaters, of course.
Did I mention it was a beautiful day?
No, seriously. It's January.
A handsome, literary gentleman. The park's full of 'em.
Starlings in flight
No idea *what* these knobbly little fruits (?) are...
Time Warner Center at dusk
A ribbon hanging off the flag at our local public school
I’ve never lived through truly extreme weather – I’m from Southern England. The most dramatic storm I remember was the 1987 gale that downed trees and caused a lot of damage in the southeast, after weather reports scoffed at any danger. It gave my eight-year-old self nightmares whenever the wind made tree branches scratch my bedroom window. Since living here, extreme weather has been more frequent, but it’s always worse somewhere outside New York. I watched Katrina footage like I watch scenes from war zones – without being able to wrap my head around it by reference to any memory of my own. The stories my midwestern friends tell about racing tornadoes in their car are as alien to me as the weird green color that they say the storm turns the sky. So I had no idea how to react to Irene over the last couple of days – was this overreaction? Or sensible precaution? We wouldn’t really need a flashlight and a bathtub full of water and canned foods, would we? Continue reading
It’s insanely hot in New York right now, even for my lizard-blooded self, so it’s not exactly hammock weather. But last weekend, which was warm, overcast and breezy, was perfect for a little riverside lounging. We snagged one of the little row of hammocks in my new favorite park, Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, and, well, it was a pretty nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The hammocks are low to the ground and pretty swingy – it took some shifting about to get comfortable, and you have to be fairly in synch if you’re going to share. But it’s worth it. Come on, it’s a HAMMOCK.
Handy tree for chaining the bikes
Cloud-gazing from the hammock
End of the line
Hot day to be walking the length of the High Line, now it stretches all the way from Gansevoort to 30th. The park is so much lusher and fuller than I’ve seen it, bordering on overgrown in some places. Beautiful flowers, sculptures and architecture all the way up – the new section isn’t as wide, and the lawn area is tiny, so it feels more like a promenade than a park. But who doesn’t love a good promenade? The views, people watching, and now food options are great – I had an absurd, but delicious rhubarb and chai-flavored ice lolly for $3.50 (sorry, People’s Pops, but where I’m from that’s not an ice pop. They are long and thin and bright blue and come in a plastic wrapper. They are decidedly not gourmet.)
The 30th street end is great, because you can see where the line extends, and what it looked like when it was genuinely overgrown, not landscaped and polished.
New & old High Line
It’s definitely grittier this end, since you’re getting down into the Lincoln Tunnel entrance rather than the swanky-pants meatpacking district.
30th & 10th Ave
But enterprise is enterprise, and under the tracks, proving again that New Yorkers will eat and drink pretty much anywhere, there’s a new beer garden and food-truck-stop, Tom Colicchio’s The Lot on Tap.
Food trucks under the tracks
And hey, they have rosé on draft. Can’t really argue with that.
Beer & wine on tap