Friday and 70º

Love Fridays. Today is a big moment. I will be wearing my first skirt of the seaon. Today is the day I will be asked if I am weaing tights because my legs are so white. I should ask the question to someone who's been to the tanning bed, only, "Are you wearing panty hose? Because your legs are so orange." I don't think that comment would go over well. The weekend ahead looks busy and fun-filled. Friday - Poker at Henry's, Sat - trip to see Josephine's open studios at Columbia, Sunday - Try on bridemaids dresses with Isabelle and her sisters. Hopefully between all of this we can watch some of these Netflix that we have had far too long. I thought I wanted to see Gone with the Wind, but I just keep ignoring it.


At home and my magazines

Home sick today. Ate what I thought was delicous Korean food last night, but not so sure about it today. Especially not when I woke up and felt so bad. Hope that I am not getting a cold or flu.

Erik's older sister Amke and her husband Niels are visiting this week with his parents. They bought the new Michelin restaurant guide for NY (had the Korean place listed). What an amzing guide. I like it so much more than Zagat. Zagat infuriates me with its "overuse of quotations" and "silly numbering system". It seems that Michelin only has really good restaurants listed and that's what I am usually going for when I take the time to browse through a guide.

It is strange to be at home on a weekday. The apartment is so quiet, the sounds outside are different, and I finally see how the cats spend their "work week". Basically the same as the weekend: lots of sleeping, looking cute and begging for food. Max and Meisje have such different personalities. Max loves to sleep on top of my pillow, while Meisje likes to crawl under the covers or hide right next to the heater on the floor. They have done really well with guests lately. No presents in the bathtub.

I was happy to see my New York Magazine had arrived in the mail this afternoon. The "Forever Youngish" article features photograph from the great Dutch team that put together the book Exactitides. Their website has all of the pages from the book. I love their simple layout and photography and the the variety of style/group collections they have found. I think it is such a wonderful record of fashion and culture today. NY Mag is the best. It is beautifully designed with the great articles and makes me feel more in touch with the city I live in.

Aside from NY Mag, I also subscribe to Everyday FOOOD (to pretend I can cook) , REAL SIMPLE (for my OCD side), EYE Magazine, Aperture, and also an 8 week free trial subscription to US (thank you Best Buy). My Budget Travel subscription should also be arriving soon. I am a magazine junkie. I love nothing more than taking a trip to B&N and grabbing a huge stack of magazines to devour (and then not buy) over coffee. I saw recently that Martha (you know which one) is coming out with a new magazine called "Blueprint". Looks like it will be a good one. Where will I find room for all of these magazines? I try and cut out my favorite articles and I have even made a binder with SELF magazine workouts, but even that takes up room.

I am posting some photos of our apartment. We did a major cleaninig and reorganizing recently and I am really happy with the result. Half of the furniture in our apartment is from IKEA and the other half is great street finds or hand-me-downs. The former tenants left us a desk, bookcase, and dresser for the inside and a table for the deck (not pictured, looks to wintery now). The two purchases we were most excited about are the IKEA Pax wardrobe and the 4 drawer filing cabinet from staples. I have no idea how we will ever be able to move these!


SF photos

Photos above:
Turtles at Golden Gate Park
Erik and the Coit Tower Murals
Metro theater on Union Street
Jenny in an Alcatraz cell
Erik shopping at Timeless Treasures
Wharf Ferry Sign
Jenny and the Painted Ladies
J & E under heat sensor camera at the Exploratorium
J & E in funhouse mirror
"Escape from NY" Pizza

san francisco details

What a wonderful trip. Well the 6 days certainly flew by, but not without noticable leg pain from all of those hills. We saw almost everything in our guide books. Here's a breakdown of our day to day adventures:

THURSDAY 3/16: Leave NY at 9:00am. Took subway and airtain to JFK to feel like we were saving a bit of money before our big splurge. Flight was easy enough. American is no longer offering any kind of free snack or meal, only one beverage. What is the world coming to? Watched Netflix on laptop, first disc of Season 1 Entourage. Pretty good. Has to be, being HBO and all. SF looked beautiful from the air. Crazy coincidence.... Josephine was also flying from SFO on the 16th. She and Peter had spent the previous week in Santa Rosa painting and biking. We knew that we were all flying AA and that we arrived an hour or so before they left. So, I call when I arrive "We've landed. What gate are you flying out of?" "63" A minute later our plane parks at gate 63 and we deboard. We find Josephine and Peter shortly after and compare tickets. Turns out they are heading back to NY on the same plane and are going to be sitting in the two seats directly in front of ours! What are the chances?
We find baggage claim and, voila, our suitcase is almost first. Hopped into a shuttle van and we are off to the city. First impression, I cannot believe the hills and the houses built on them and the gorgeous bay water. We arrive at the York Hotel. Not a fancy chain, but has a lot of character and the room is spacious with a walk-in closet (live it up suitcase, this is the most space you'll ever have!). We are right back outside in a few minutes. Decided to walk to Fisherman's Wharf to pick up our City Passes for the next few days. Passes were there no problem and we walk to Boudin Bistro for lunch. Nice place, They have a sourdough bakery and shop on the first floor. After lunch we stumble into Musee Mechanique which is this awesome large tent filled with video and carnival games from the last 100 years that have all been restored to working order. We take our photos in a booth, face off in Skee Ball (I won) and slung quarters into mechanical gypsies that dispensed "Big" movie like cards. On to the Cannery for some ice cream, which is the refurbished del Monte factory that now has lots of shops, eateries and general tourist traps. Walked to the end of the cable car line and watched the workers manually rotate each car around. It began to rain hard by the time we got a seat on the Cable Car. After a few hills, it began to pour! People were actually coming out of their buildings to see how strong the rain was. Inside the crowded cable car with its dim bulb (now dark outside) and the rain coming down, I felt like I was in some WWII movie scene.

FRIDAY: Up early to enjoy the free "European" breakfast at the hotel (toast, coffee, juice and assorted mini carb things). Erik found it a bit insulting to call it European. The only difference I saw was that you could take this to go :)
We have an 11:15 ferry tour to Alcatraz. We take our time getting there and briefly see Union Square, Chinatown, and the City Lights Bookstore. Bookstores are my biggest vice. I find it impossible to pass one up and usually harder not to buy something. The weather has turned out to be amazing. Perfect actually. It's the kind of weather that is warm in the sun, crisp in the shade, with the prettiest clear blue sky. Couldn't ask for a better day to go to prison!
Alcatraz was great. Such mystery, such history. The audio tour was very well done. It was beautiful to see how the landscape had grown over the run down buildings. Took tons of photos, made a few drawings together and sat on a sunny bench for as long as we could.
Off the boat, walk to Ghiradelli Square and then to the Exploratorium. Not on my list of things I needed to see, but part of the city pass, so why not give it a try? They claim to be a science museum for all ages, but we were quickly bored and went out for some shopping on Union Street. I loved that SF did not have a Starbucks on every corner, but instead had a variety of coffee houses and cafes. How have they avoided this invasion? Another thing we really loved was that there were so many vintage metal signs with neon lights and vertical type. We came upon one such sign and it was a theater that happened to be showing only V for Vendetta. We had both wanted to see this movie, but assumed it might sell out. Not a problem here. We got right in. I found out later this was the largest single theater in town (seats over 500) and had been recently restored to all of its lovely art deco glory. I love these future movies that feel retro. What, no flying cars?

SATURDAY: Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, where all of the locals go (yes, those who who need $20 lb organic beef and caviar) Rode historic street car (this one from Milan) to the water near Coit Tower. Climbed neighborhood steps that lead to the tower and beautiful houses on the cliff. Coit Tower was built shortly after the depression and had amazing murals on the ground floor. We were expecting more steps to the top, but thanfully there was an elevator. Lunch at Divine Cafe (yes, indeed) on Washington Square Park (minus the NYU kids of course). I was in full toursit mode and took out my guide book while waiting for our food.. We decide to make this our day to see the museums. Head to the SFMOMA. Great photography show marking the 100 year anniversiary of the big earthquake. Strange to see women in Victorian dresses surveying piles of rubble. Also a wonderful William Kentridge video/drawing. Which is it? Does it matter? Walk to Asian Art Museum. Outside there is a general protest "Stop War, End Racism, Insert Anti-Bush cause here". Great that they were able to protest, but wasn't moved by some of the speeches. One girl "We need to stop this war. And my tuition at UC Santa Something has gone uo every year and the cost of books is outrageous". Cost of Text Books vs. War.? Quickly browsed museum and then took bus over to Fillmore Street shopping district. We had seen a write-up for a little store called "Timeless Treasures" and wanted to check it out. It was wonderful. We bought all kinds of vintage sign letters and had a great chat with the shop owner. Thai for dinner (sligjtly different than NY thai) and home to soak our feet. Phew.

SUNDAY: Yet another perfect 65 degree day. Fantastic! Rode bus to Golden Gate park to see the recently opened de Yound Museum. Very cool building and nice mis of work. Rented bikes to check out more of the park . First stop was the Queen Wilhelmina Windmill and Tulip garden. Everything was in bloom. Erik was happy to see a little piece of Holland. Biked a little further to the ocean. Our first time in the Pacific! Didn't go in, but did touch the water. We attempted to ride bikes on the sand, but soon realized this was not possible. Returned bikes and walked over to the famous Haight-Asbury District. Hippies abound-old guard and new. Erik bought a hilarious t-shirt that sais "Booyah" in scrabble letters. He has been saying this phrase a lot lately and I thought it was great spelled in Scrabble pieces since I am pretty sure that is not a bonafide scrabble word.

MONDAY: Ahh, finally some crap weather. rain rain rain. Luckily, today we are taking a van tour to Sonoma County to taste some wine. We were originally scheduled for a "Wine and Woods" tour, but were called the day before to be told that driver was sick and that we had the option of a Wine only tour. We went for it, sympathetic of the driver. After the tour though I am pretty convinced that they were just consolidating the two groups and I am a little bummed we missed seeing Muir Woods. The tastings were quite an experience though. We learned how to swish, sniff, and get really red-cheeked and tipsy. We had lunch in "downtown" Sonoma and went to three wineries in all. The last place was super cheesy (Macoroni Grill makes wine) and the lady accidentally spilled a glass of red wine on me. Luckily, I I was wearing my trusty NY blacks. She wasn't very apologetic and made some lame excuse that she was looking at Erik's rain coat and got distracted. OK. When we got outside Erik pointed out that I had red wine splatters all over my face. So classy.

TUESDAY: Our last day. Skip the Euro Breakfast, pack up and walk to the Lotta Jansdotter store. I love her staionary, but was a little disappointed with her store. Decided to explore South of Market today, the Castro and Mission Delores neighborhoods. From our hotel we walked through some shady (not the sun I'm talking about) streets. At least three crazies at every intersection. It looks like they came here 20 years ago and never left, or changed clothes. We made it through and were happy to see that the trip south of market proved to be really nice. Stopped in another bookstore and overheard two employees talking about their friends who have an apartment in Brooklyn and how they might move there. They were stuck at one point on the name of the park between Williamsburg and Greenpoint. I was tempted to jump in and tell them that we were visiting from Greenpoint, but thought my eavesdropping might be a little awkward. Definately funny to hear about your neighborhood all the way across the country! On to China town for a quick peak into the Fortune Cookie factory. It was tiny, but very cool to see how they were made. I always thought as a kid (and until that day) that the furtunes were somehow stuffed in the cookies. Bought a bag of "adult" fortune cookies for friends at work. Thought they were be raunchier or funnier, but they had messages like "Woman must make use of what mother nature gives her before father time takes away". Yawn.
Had early dinner and drinks at Enrico's (recommended by Sara and Josephine) and then off to the airport. We took the night flight so that we could go into work the next day. Now I am up at 1:30 am jetlagged and happy to be telling all about the trip. We had a wonderful time and it was so great to take our first trip as a married couple together.


manic monday

Erik and I were both so busy today. I think it is that we are trying to finish everything before our trip (thursday!), but we are realizing this might not be possible. I spent most of the weekend on freelance work constructing this large presentation board for textile swatches. It was hard work (having not really done any kind of book-binding or construction in the last year), but it turned out nice. This morning I noticed the board had warped a little, so I laid it on the carpet and placed heavy books to get the warp out. At the end of the day I went to take off the books and they were wet! WTF? The stupid heater had leaked onto the books and onto to my painstakingly constructed boards. It took a lot not to cry, but luckily after further inspection the damage was not so horrible. I'll need to cover one with paper.

A big highlight of the weekend was seeing Mesure for Pleasure at the Public Theater. It was really fun, witty, and raunchy. And it had all of this on top of great costumes and english accents! It is funny that I went to school for four years right next to the Public Theater and I had never been there. I guess either Cooper Union was very demanding, or I was just broke?

The biggest highlight though was yesterday when Isabelle asked me to be one of her bride's maids. I am honored and thrilled. I can't think of a better couple to get married. Nick and Isabelle's wedding will be in Baltimore in October.


Poor Max

Last night as we were going to bed Max let out this paniccy meow from the kitchen. It sounded like he was trapped or being attacked. We both ran to him and luckily he was fine. We were confused. But this morning he had trouble pooping and could only get out a very small amount (which we all know he eats more than that). And then he dropped another larger one on the carpet. His butt is red :(
I've read some kitty websites that say canned pumpkin will help him go. I think we'll try that today. It is really the worst timing since we are both swamped with work and freelance and then we leave for SF Thursday. I hate the idea of leaving him when he might be sick, especially because our absence might make him more stressed


Late and still awake

Really enjoyed watching the Oscars last Sunday. The dresses were pretty demure with the exception of one great marigold, saffron number. I tied for the office Oscar pool with Olga and won $30! Too bad I just spent $60 on a new spring outfit at H&M. I sure hope it will be warm enough this weekend to pull out the short pants (aka capris).

The exciting news of today was that someone on Readerville liked my Almond Picker cover enough to write about it. What a nice surprise. This really put a smile on my face.

Henry helped show me some html things today, so I can dress up the blog a bit with links and photos. Thanks for your help Henry! My very first experience with the internet was in high school when some other students were putting up a website for the Visual Arts Program. I had never used the web before and was baffled by this instant messaging thing everyone was talking about, but somehow I managed to get a painting of mine online. This website is a riot. Love the 90s goth look.


What the L

So, no L train this weekend or last weekend or next weekeend. I don't know why the MTA can't wait and do this one man computer conductor business until the weather is warm enough to walk around instead of taking the train? Aside from needing to take it into the city, I don't really miss the L. It often feels like a hipster fashion show with the platform as a catwalk. And in the mornings it is so crowded that you have to assault people just to get in the train.

On a lighter note, did anyone see Natalie Portman last night on SNL? I really liked her Jamba Juice skit. It was so much like the Jamba on 5th Ave near work. The funniest was when Seth Meyers was about to crack up along with Horatio and Natalie.

Who is this "fall out boy"? Didn't like them at all. Too ADD high school for me. Since I don't have MTV and don't listen to the radio, I am pretty out of the loop about new bands and music. I enjoy things this way, beccause I am not influenced by a band's popularity or lack of. I just like what I like. There's a budweiser commercial on TV now (the one with all of the crowns formed from different objects... total ripoff of the cingular bars idea, but anywho..) and I really like the song in the background. Very danceable, easy lyrics. I think they just repeat "Don't Hold Back" over and over. Erik and I were at a bar last weekend wwhen this song came on and we started to dance in our barstools.


Darla's 29th Birthday

Last night we went to Satsko on East 7th street to celebrate our friend Darla's 29th birthday. The place was pretty small, so by the end of the night you were either with the party or had somehow managed to join the party. The sake was delicious and Erik and I were both surprised that we liked it. The only other time I've had sake I thought that it tasted like feet (not that I know what feet taste like) and had not given it a second chance. Well... Here's to second chances.

This morning we watched Fever Pitch. Don't really recommend it. I had always liked Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live, but this movie shows that the boy cannot act for his life. The lines were all bad. There were a few scenes that made Erik turn to me and say "See that. She left work early to see a baseball game with him" and then five minutes later I'd turn to him "See that. She left him because he loved baseball more than her." He likes to tease me about my lack of sports interest, but I am slowly coming around. I went to three Yankee's games last season.


Good day to start blogging again

Since the New Year, we have been busy with guests and traveling and working hard. Marijke (erik's sis) and Silvia (her friend) visited us for ten days in February. We had a lot of fun exploring NY and Greenpoint and seeing Avenue Q. Oh, and we had that one day blizzard (see photos).

Tonight I am very excited to see a new episode of LOST. Finally we will find out what happened to Claire! I felt very tricked last week when I came home thinking there would be a new episode, but soon realized the scenes looked a little too familiar..

In two weeks (yes only two weeks!!) Erik and I will be taking our first trip to San Francisco together. Since we got married in July of 2004, we have not had a chance to take a vacation for ourselves. All of our family lives far away, so it wasn't that we didn't travel. I guess this will be our delayed honeymoon?! I have five guidebooks at home (some I will return when I've jotted down the good stuff). I've heard so many wonderful things about San Francisco. Many people have said that it is like New York, but it doesn't have the things that you don't like about NY. For me, that would be the shitty weather, like yesterday, and the L train not running on the weekends. Don't think they have an L train there!