I am...a New Yorker

[Previous entry: "Seeing Ghosts"]

Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Having a Great Day

I Love the '80s on VH-1, 1982 and 1983.

I didn't wear a sequined glove, but my Cabbage Patch Kid did.

Saturday -- fusilli alfredo with veggies, breaded chicken fingers, hot spinach and roma tomato salad with balsamic vinegar.

Sunday -- chicken smothered in black-eyed peas with cornbread.

Sweet-potato, pecan pie.

Not far, given the frigid temperatures.

I am...hibernating a bit before tonight's dinner party, after a nice, full day yesterday.

The ebb and flow of life never ceases to amaze me. A few days agao, I was feeling lonely and like this city just kicks my ass. But sometimes it gives back as well.

On New Year's Day, coincidentally while I was taking photographs at Green-Wood, one of my coworkers met a photographer. He was part of a gallery show at Photo District Gallery, called "I'll Take Manhattan." She invited me to go and this weekend we were both free.

But first! I visited her at her "palace," her new, 1 bedroom apartment. She's just been divorced, moved back to the East Coast and is on her own for the first time in her life. How I remember that feeling, when I had my first place all my own. As she's settled in over the last few months, I have enjoyed her updates and given her pointers and ideas toward making the place her own and enjoying the journey.

So this was no mere pop in, but a chance for her to show off something she has achieved for herself in such a short time. She was just delighted with the place and is just about settled. After having cable installed yesterday, she now only needs a TV stand and some chairs for the living room and she'll have an open house.

34th and 2nd Avenue
Ice on the bus stop on 34th Street and Second Avenue.

After the tour of the palace, we took the crosstown bus and transferred to a downtown bus at Fifth Avenue, as the gallery is between Fifth and Sixth. Turns out Flax is on the same block, so we had a long sojourn among the paper, journals, art supplies and pens of every imaginable color and style.

It was about 3 when we finally pried ourselves away from all the joy that is Flax, having explored it from 20th Street to 19th and back again. We headed toward the gallery across the street and still half a block west. But we stopped off again at a hole-in-the-wall deli and ordered the same sandwich (tuna salad on a toasted, sesame seed bagel with American cheese food product).

Satiated, we finally made it to the gallery. Some of the photos were a little too artsy and over-edited for our taste, the artifice eclipsing the art. The best photos were the most simple -- firefighters up close or on-the-job, a view of the Manhattan skyline from Queens with a the G train in the foreground. Others that I liked were the standard, time-lapse shots with blurred taxi tail lights and artsy arrangements of shapes.

Afterward, we took the bus uptown to R's. We stopped at Gristede's for a few provisions and at the neighborhood wine store. Back in the apartment, we had wine, listened to music and I made dinner. See, this is my idea of a perfect evening. Even in my early 20s, I much preferred to have a small dinner party than to go out drinking. It's less expensive and you can actually hear well enough to have a conversation.

Plus, the drinking is far less expensive. J bought a bottle of wine for a couple of dollars more than I spent on a daquiri on Thursday night. That's why I hate going out in this town, the damn nasty, $10 surprise if you dare to drink at a place you don't know.

Anyway, it was not a very expensive day in the end. Indeed, had it been my own place, with the kitchen always fully stocked between sales and sojourns to Trader Joe's, it would have been even less expensive.

Before I started dinner, I baked what turned into two sweet potato, pecan pies. It didn't come out quite right, because I didn't have the recipe. I thought I could just put pecan pie atop sweet-potatoe pie, but I forgot the topping isn't custardy like pecan pie. It's just sugar, Karo syrup, nuts and maybe vanilla to form a toasty, hard candy topping.

But, as J said, "It's got sweet potatoes, pecans and sugar -- how bad could it be? The pecans immediately sunk into the sweet potatoes, so I knew something was amiss. But J was right and it was scrumptious.

R's cat
R's cat likes his tummy rubbed in the morning.

J left shortly after dessert. I popped Foxy Brown into my laptop and cuddled on the couch with the cat. I watched it once and then halfway over again with director's commentary before drifting off. A pleasant day indeed.

Written Sunday, January 12, 2003

[Next entry: "A Diamond in the Rough"]
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