Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coney Island/Brighton Beach

Alex and I went! On Tuesday!

We got to Coney Island, at the end of the Q line, around 2:00, as we got up late, took our time over breakfast, and then ran some errands before going (post office to pick up Long Lake Camp scores to practice and drop off Netflix; library to pick up Treason's Shore [yay! yay! yay! yay! yay! now I just have to read the whole damn thing before I go to camp!]; K-Mart to get bug spray, black flip flops, and a beach towel). We had the whole lovely afternoon in front of us!

We walked around Coney Island a little, but we were really there for the beach that day, so pretty soon we headed down to the shore, where we set up towels not too far from the waterline. Lay around, read books, chit-chatted, people-watched, ocean-watched, basked in the sun (too much, it turned out - despite multiple generous coats of sunscreen, we both burned! Alex because he is white as a sheet, me because I was almost as white myself after a New York winter - maybe next time I'll burn less, because I will be darker to start with!)... eventually frolicked in the water for a little while, which was super interesting, because the Atlantic is way way way safer than the Pacific, especially at Brighton Beach - no waves to speak of, and no undertow - and yet there were lifeguards, which I rarely see in California, and they were hyper alert! Like, calling people to come in closer at about 20 yards out (note: I have zero sense of distance and I recommend that you not trust my 20-yard estimation), only halfway to the end of the rocky outcroppings/not-exactly-piers/whatever you call those arms that extend into a water, creating a cove. I always thought New Yorkers were supposed to be tough and cavalier about danger and not babysat all the time, what with children going about the city on the subways by themselves learning to be vigilant for their own selves and all that, and so this whole beach lifeguard situation was pretty hilarious!

But fun. Super fun! We played a little Frisbee, too, although I get bored tossing a Frisbee around pretty fast, and then we walked around Coney Island some more (it is getting all renovated and everything!) and headed home!

How delightful!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Glory Hallelujah!

We found the Mexican food!

There is a taco and torta truck on 45th near Queens Blvd.! The food is Mexican! Like, actually Mexican! We ate some! I can't remember when I last had food that delicious! It was probably on the beach in Newport, actually. MY LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER NOW.

Also, there is another Mexican food truck, with burritos, on Queens Blvd. near 44th. It also looks super super super promising!

I think they come out at dusk to feed the local Mexican day laborers. They are now my lifeline!

On another note,

actually, I forgot what my other note is. Hopefully I will remember soon.



oh shit


Here Are

some more great things I did with my mother!

Debby and Alex and I met my cousin Moses down on Wall Street, and learned about the plot of land on the corner that J.P. Morgan bought for ridiculous amounts of money and then built a little one story building on, and about why that is the height of WASPiness.

Then we went out to Brooklyn, saw some pretty buildings I had seen before but forgotten about, went and hung out at Moses's* apartment with his two adorable cats, chatted about many exciting things, ate at an Afro-Caribbean place (yum), and returned home!

Here is another thing we did: Looked all over for a radio for several days. This is so true! Nobody carries plain old radios anymore! All the radios nowadays have GPS and flashlights and recording devices and sirens and goodness knows what else! Probably they can make spaghetti! Also, they cost like a hundred dollars. Debby thought it was very important that I have a radio, so after several days of futile keeping-our-eyes-out, we looked up a Radio Shack on Queens Blvd. and went there and bought their last radio, which was fancy and $40 and a floor model, which they refused to give us a discount on for being a floor model, which, what? Who doesn't give discounts for floor models? Wth? Anyway, then we walked half a block back towards my house and went into one of those stores that sells everything and found an $8 radio that was mostly just a radio and bought it and went to return the Radio Shack radio, and my mother ended up on the phone to the regional manager or something, because it turned out to be so difficult to return, even though the guy who sold it to us recognized us from five minutes before.

During this process, I mostly sat and watched Transformers 2, which was showing in the store, and god, what a terrible movie that movie is.

Here is another thing we did! It was in between that place that let us eat from the lunch menu and seeing Everyday Rapture! We walked out to the Hudson River and looked at the USS Whatever, with all the planes and missiles and stuff, which was terrifying, and sat near a dog run and watched the dogs and chatted and talked on the phone to Moses to arrange hanging out with him the next day. Notice how out of order this synopsis is! I like to think it enhances the drama, in some kind of vague, exciting postmodern way. Or maybe it dismantles the drama, and that is the point! Fragments and prisms and shards, oh my!**

Also, Debby brought my beautiful purple sweater that she had been knitting for me, and she finished it and I tried it on and it was beautiful. Also, we skyped with my sister for an hour and a half, which was super fun, because I like my sister. She is great! Now everybody should take a minute and think about how great my sister is. She is so great!

Also, Tom cooked something delicious, involving, I think, if I remember correctly, toasted bread with some kind of confited meat and emulsion sauce and lettuce and mushrooms cooked in that amazing French way he cooks them where he just puts in a little water and butter and puts parchment paper on top and suddenly they are the best thing you have ever tasted. I forget what it is called in French. Also, chocolate chip cookies, which I have still not gotten from him to give the recipe to my mom. Also I have to give her the recipe for zourgas, which are these serious chocolate cupcake-shaped flourless delicious things Tom invented and Alex named.

Also, we met my first cousin twice removed Doris, who is 98 and sharp as a tack and also funny! We chatted for a couple hours about politics and family and finances and the poor care she's getting at the rehab place she is at and movies and probably other stuff but I can't remember. It was great. I am to visit when she gets back home, sometime soon. I will give her a call after I get back from camp, probably. After we hung out with Doris, we got lunch at a diner (I had acceptable-but-not-great eggs benedict, and I forget what Debby had) and then proceeded to the airtrain to JFK, where I waved good-bye!

*Usually it is correct to leave off the possessive "s" after the apostrophe when dealing with words that end in "s." However, with certain Greco-Roman and Biblical names, it is appropriate to include the "s." Or at least that's what Strunk and White say. I don't know why. And actually, this guy hates The Elements of Style a lot, for very convincing reasons. (You won't have to read very far on that blog, probably, before coming across a take-down of that little manual - there are plenty to be found!) But I still like using that last "s" according to their somewhat arbitrary prescriptions.

**Can you tell that I have a serious love-hate relationship with postmodernism? Don't even get me started.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I just made a post about my mother's visit. It is called "Maternal Escapades." But because I started it before I made my last two posts, it is posted below them, and I can't figure out how to move it to the top! So you will just have to go down below what you have probably already read in order to read it.

Soulmate Visit!

Here are the awesome amazing exciting things I did with Meredith!:

When she arrived on Saturday night:
take the bus and the train from La Guardia back to Hotel CA;
eat Thai food and wander around midtown late at night;
go to bed!

go down to Battery Park and look at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (we did not go on a boat there because that takes forever and also I have done it like four times);
head up to Union Square and eat delicious delicious food at Chocolate by the Bald Man (Meredith had a turkey burger; Alex had a cheeseburger; I had chocolate chip pancakes; they all sound mundane and yet transcended, as expected! also there were dark chocolate truffle hazelnut milkshakes) and wander around Union Square Park sticking our heads in the abstract sculptures and taking exciting pictures;
go all the way up to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park at like 200th St., wander the paths up the hill by the river to the museum proper, enter, wander through 10-16th C. halls and rooms and artwork and courtyards and fountains and flowers and warm drizzly rain and look out at the soothing soothing river in the gleeful sweat of the day until our feet throbbed and our hair drooped;
travel down to the Hungarian bakery near Columbia and buy not very good pastries and eat them in a little courtyard outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and consider painting ourselves oxidized copper green and posing for hours on top of the statue in the middle of the courtyard and frightening people;
explore said cathedral, including the funnest playground ever and also the Biblical Garden, which is home to a peacock we spent 20 minutes stalking and photographing;
head back to Sunnyside, eat at the Turkish Grill on Queens Blvd., which Alex and Meredith loved but I didn't, but I think I just don't like Turkish food that much;
go to bed!

head into town to go shopping, which involved walking around 5th Ave., which involved Meredith buying a $95 watch, and which shopping also involved an expedition into H&M during which Meredith bought a stylish black and white striped top and I bought a flowy red halter and some denim shorts for camp and also a detour to Aerosoles, where Alex was hard at work and where I tried on purple strappy heels and then Alex bought them for me because he is super great and also a trip down to Nordstrom Rack in Union Square, where we did not buy anything;
but before Union Square, sandwiches at Toasties, which is near Rock Center, and Meredith's was delicious and mine was ok;
walk out to Veniero's, a bakery recommended to Meredith by Imran, where we bought a fruit tart and a slice of chocolate cake and a slice of New York cheesecake layered with chocolate mousse, the last of which was incredibly delicious and well plotted (the mousse! and the cheesecake! go so well together! amazing!) and the first of which was also apparently delicious, which I only know second hand because I do not like fruit, and the second of which was ok;
travel to St. Mark's place and pick the cleanest, cutest, non-threatening-est piercing place for Meredith to get a second hole in her I think left lobe, during which time I was almost talked into getting another piercing also, which I ultimately decided against because I did not want to spend the money;
go back home to change into our fun semiformal attire, which involved a cute cream and black dress and black leggings and heels for Meredith and my cream halter chiffon-y graduation dress and flip flops soon to be replaced by my new purple for me;
pick up Alex and also my shoes at Aerosoles;
go up to Harlem for some Manna's Soul Food Buffet and Salad Bar, which charges by the pound and is so delicious and which happens to be the exact place Carla and I stumbled across when we were here on Satellite! and eat macaroni and cheese and Jamaican jerk chicken and fried plantains and bread pudding and other mouthwatering delicacies;
head towards Swing 46, where we were planning to dance the night away in our fun semiformal attire, only to decide that as drinks will be expensive there we should buy our own across the street beforehand, only to take a detour to the Blockheads plaza and sit outside drinking gin and ginger ale for several hours and never make it to Swing 46 but have a thoroughly enjoyable evening anyway and then go home at like 1 in the morning and go to bed!

visit the World Trade Center site, which is a lot of rubble and some construction, as it was when I visited it five years ago;
walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, which I never tire of;
not eat at Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn, because it is closed on Tuesdays, lackaday, but instead;
eat at Lombardi's in Little Italy at Spring and Mott Streets, which is not transcendent the way Di Fara is but which is nevertheless a very fine specimen of a pizza joint, and at which we enjoyed an excellent large pizza with sweet Italian sausage, wild mushrooms, and dollops of ricotta on top;
ride our foodly comatose selves up to Central Park, the northerly half, which I had not previously explored, beginning with looking at the Met for about five seconds and not going in, followed by walking around the Jackie Onassis Reservoir, going to the bathroom at the North Meadow Rec Center, and wandering through the beautiful, wild North Woods until Meredith's feet got too tired and we made our way east out of the park, but not buying any concessions from any vendors anywhere along the way, because the Central Park Conservancy makes money from that and the Central Park Conservancy is basically the devil;
walk through a theatrical festival in East Harlem near the Conservatory Garden, and proceed to wander through the neighborhood looking for frozen yogurt because that was all Meredith wanted for dinner, until we finally found a Tasti D Lite down at like 94th St. (two miles and we end up at a chain!), which was indeed tasti and dliteful;
show up at UCB 10 minutes before the doors opened and still manage to get in to see I think five improv groups do heralds (a form of longform improv), some of them kind of awkward and unfunny but some of them a riot and generally quite impressive, during which show we gradually moved ourselves from standing room to sitting in front of a bunch of seats to sitting in vacated seats, which we regarded as quite a coup;
go to bed!

Saturday morning:
go to the 42nd St. Port Authority and hug goodbye! She was headed to D.C. to hang out with her other great friend Michelle, who is great but whom I must admit to resenting this week because I fully do not support Meredith splitting her time evenly between us because I would have preferred to have the whole week with her! But that is ok, because this way I at least got some work done this week and caught up on the news, and Meredith is getting to see D.C., where she has never been! And also I saw Concrete Blonde last night and holy shit they blew my mind and also Alex's, even though he didn't even want to be there at first, even though he bought a ticket in a fit of wanting the night before, even though he didn't really know their music! Anyway, Johnette is a god! Also, I miss Meredith already. But also, I have a radio and on Saturday I will listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me for the second week in a row! My life is great.

As you can see, we did many many things. Meredith told me ahead of time that she was a very efficient tourist, and she was proved correct! And yet there are so many things we did not get done! She will just have to visit again, I guess :p

She took many many pictures. When she gets home and posts them on facebook, I will post select highlights on this here glob! Oh boy.

The End