June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

You know me by now: I get just as excited about finding a new painting that knocks my socks off as I do about a really fresh Oreo. So, it should come as no surprise to you that last week, Mr. H and I made plans to see the Paris Opera Ballet perform Giselle while they are in town this summer, and also went to the County Fair to go try a ride or two and then eat fried dough. (Yes, yes….we went to the gym that day. Really!)

Not much to say about the Paris Opera Ballet just yet, as we haven’t seen them perform before. But I am looking forward to it. And Giselle is one of those classics where the premise kind of cracks me up: Gisele’s mother warns her not to fall in love because she is fragile. But Giselle falls in love with Count Albrecht of Silesia anyway. And then she dies.* There is more, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Now, about that Fair. It was the perfect night to go: Slightly warm with a cool breeze and a very silvery moon. But that lovely moon was a bit overshadowed by the fantastic lights of the fair, and this scary thing:

It was one of those contraptions where they seat you in a line as if you were at the theater, strap you in and start spinning you around until you feel quite unwell. Since that sounds like just about every day of my life, I had no interest in that one. But I most certainly did have a great interest in the Grand Dame of the affair…the Ferris Wheel:

Did you know that for all the years Mr. H and I have been an Item, we have never been on one together? This needed to be rectified right away. And up we went…

It was excellent. And silly romantic. Thank goodness my heart was not like Giselle’s, as I would have missed the view from the top, which was kind of giddy-inducing.

It also gave me an opportunity to scope out our Fried Dough Options…

When we had safely landed, I thought that maybe the Swings (see the top photo) could be fun and we got on line. What can I say about this ride? Well, I couldn’t stop laughing because it was completely out of control and totally fun. Also, I was dizzy, pale and a little upset in the tummy region when we got off. But I was still glad we did it.

Naturally, Fried Dough is the perfect salve for Swings Tummy. But even I draw the line at the funnel cake with fried Oreo. So we selected the classic Zepole. I didn’t feel good about myself later, but I enjoyed mine while it was going down.

We tooled around a bit more, trying hard not to win anything that we would then have to bring home, and took in all the kids, teens and other adults having the best time at this crazy thing. And when we left, we were both unable to stop saying “That was FUN!” until sometime after breakfast the next morning.


* And therefore, as an Italian American, I have a really hard time believing that this ballet is French. This plot point is just so, well, Italian.

(Photos: Mr. H, who is a way better photographer that me.)

I’ll Remember Nora

June 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Utterly heartbroken that my favorite New Yorker, Nora Ephron, has died. Beginning with “When Harry Met Sally” right up until I Remember Nothing (her last book from 2010), I was hooked. That movie closed the deal with me and New York. And her writings have always made me feel as if I wasn’t the only one with my particular world view and that there could always be a Happy Ending.

I wanted more, but am thankful for how much she left us all to enjoy.


1) If you haven’t read them already, do: I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing

2) Go ahead and watch “When Harry Met Sally” for the 20th time. A true classic. And what the hell, watch “Heartburn” for the marvelous Carbonara in Bed scene, and then for the literal Pie in the Face. Seriously, that movie has its moments.

(Photo: Some Cozy Night, and yes, I have used it before, but this was all very unexpected.)

Deep Thoughts While Trying to Fall Asleep

June 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

OK, I have been up since 6 in the morning and I can’t quite make it off to dreamland. Perhaps that is because of the great questions and concerns I have about the world today. I am going to put a pin in the Real World Issues about which I feel helpless and focus on some of the things that are of note and concern in fashion. Here we go:

1) When did all t-shirts become see-through? I have actually had to relax some rules here and wear ones that are printed so that you can’t see too much of what is going on underneath.

2) Why do nearly all beach coverups look like they were inspired by Imogene Coca as Jan’s grown-up doppelgänger in The Brady Bunch? (Even though she was fantastic, it isn’t a look I want at the beach or poolside.)

3) Are flares coming back? (I think the answer is “yes”, as Ms. Moss has been spotted in them recently. Same goes for mules, I fear. This has become a daily joke at my office with a concerned party who is on top of these things.)

4) Will Rick Owens make something other than that cool, but too-copied leather jacket that isn’t (1)Totally sheer and (2) Designed for a six-foot tall woman?

5) Why is everything from THE ROW so expensive? And why do I want their things, even when the t-shirts are — that’s right — see-through?

6) Can’t we stop with the “color blocking” now?

7) Should I have purchased those leopard print, velvet Manolos since they were on sale and in my size? I didn’t, but, you know, it was a big decision to refrain.

Yup. That is The Frivolous Me. Tomorrow I’ll be heavy, and probably tired.

Sweet dreams.


(Photo of one of my “I am just going to wear it anyway” T-shirts: Some Cozy Night. For the record, those are trees that you can see in the background.)

Why Is This a Hard Choice??

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

How does that song go? “Torn between two lovers/feeling like a fool/loving both of you/is breaking all the rules”. Yeah, I think that is it. Well, I am feeling like that this morning. It is the second day of summer, and we are at the beach. And I intended to be sitting on the beach today, but woke up with thoughts of work dancing around my head.

True, the clouds are coming and going, but how hard is it to decide between this:

And this?

Seriously. Why aren’t I here already??

Oh, yeah…work. While not exactly my “other lover”, it sort of feels that way sometimes. And it feels so wrong to just “Call It Friday” and put what needs to be done off until Monday. (Darn that Work Ethic. Not to mention the Guilt.)

Well, let’s see what I can get done so I can get out there. It doesn’t take a lot of time to have a little fun, right?



(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

The Idler Wheel…

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

…is finally here! Just in case you missed the news, it is Fiona Apple’s first record since Extraordinary Machine from 2005 and I am getting ready to download it now. Mr. H and I did get to see her play in March at Bowrey Ballroom and the new songs sounded fantastic. (I especially liked “Every Single Night”.) And Ms. Apple manages to bring a freshness to her older songs that I find to be rare in live performances. So, if you get a chance to see her, do go.

Tour Info:


And a little bit more:


Enjoy. Darkly, I guess. 




The First Cut is the Deepest

June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

My life is not always the life I have in mind for myself. I want to be one of those peaceful people who has time to grow things, come home from work and make an amazing meal, carefully manage how my orchids are coming along and discuss which new ballet productions I’ve loved and which ones I loathed. Maybe I want to be a retired WASP living in Connecticut? Or an Alice Waters-type in Berkeley? Who knows. But I think we can all agree that whatever it is, I am not there yet.

That said, I did get this to bloom again. So, that is something.

Still, the disconnect between how I want things to be and where they really are requires that I recall the principle of the BATNA from my negotiation classes. (Yes, I actually studied this stuff.) BATNA stands for the Best Alternative To No Agreement. Right now, I am in need of a Life BATNA, and decided that my Best Alternative to being the person I described above is to get a little help with the getting to that place and to not bite off too much when possible. (The latter is a Development Area for me.)

This brings me to the Cutting Garden. I’ve wanted one forever, since I am a firm believer in fresh flowers in the house whenever and wherever possible. And there is something so luxurious about just popping out into your garden and snipping off a few buds to bring into the house. So after several years of dreaming about it, and thinking that I would get to it when I have time, I asked my friend who is also a Landscape Designer to just put a small one in for testing purposes. (The following years will be for getting the layout just where we want it, and for flower choice refinement.) And so he did:

Dahlias and salvia.

More salvia, which line each side of the beds and smells lovely, and some zinnias in a color that I wish I could find in lipstick.

Cleome, I think.


No idea, but I am sure they will be pretty.

More dahlias…

And the “something green” I asked for in an email, but could not remember what I meant when pressed during our last meeting. But he came up with something perfect.

So I found myself standing around all these new things in the back of my house, and didn’t want to touch a thing. I mean, shouldn’t I be “saving” these flowers for something?

The answer is simple: No. Flowers are for now. But being a planner and someone who’s childhood was not without plastic slipcovers, this is a big block to overcome. But I reminded myself that (1) cutting these flowers was part of the Life BATNA I am working on and (2) if I didn’t, I would have to buy some and that would be wasteful. And I hate waste. So, I got my clippers and went for it…

Dahlias and salvia.

Some very early hydrangea blooms…this was a tough one, since they last a long time on the plant, but I cut anyway.

The light scent of roses makes brushing one’s teeth in the morning a little more civilized. And that is the point, isn’t it?

Now, there is still much left to do to get these beds to where I want them to be. Same goes for me personally, I guess. But at this very moment, I am delighted by both the present result and the prospect of the future.


(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Cool Places: 606 R&D

June 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

I know what you are thinking: Do the people of Brooklyn do anything but make their own pickles and open new, farm-to-table restaurants? Logic dictates that the answer is “sure” (yoga, for instance), but I do get the feeling that it is one of the area’s main activities. Every day something else seems to be pop up and beg for my tummy’s attention. While I don’t have time to cover them all, I did want to make note of 606 R&D, which opened in January by two City Bakers alumni, Ilene Rosen and Sara Dima.

While the name’s origins are rather easy to decipher, I very much appreciate that it isn’t yet another one of those one word places that are meant to convey coolness through cuteness. (That said, I love the hot dogs at Bark and everything at Larder…and Franny’s…) I also very much appreciate the toned down vibe. The place feels like a well-curated but relaxed friend’s house…especially at the bar, where the hooch (did I just write that?) is kept in a long, tall vintage breakfront, which just happens to be next to a donut machine. The good-but-not-trying-to-hard music adds to the overall feel that this is a place to hang for a while…

The food is — you guessed it — pretty much American farm-to-table. Delicious and interesting, without foam or anyone using a torch at your table. They also keep Kombucha on tap…I know this is a polarizing beverage, but I love it and that made me dig R&D even more.

Did I mention the donuts? These pretty much kick Enterman’s a**.

And then there is the excellent “Sunday Supper”, where you and your friends can go and pretend that someone you know cooked dinner that night, like roasted chicken with a big green salad and a side of mac and cheese. (And donuts.)

Have I mentioned that this place is teeny? It is, so you might have to wait for a table, but don’t let that deter you. Put down your name, go up the street to Vanderbilt (another place to try for a meal, too…delish), have a great cocktail and then come on back for a satisfying and homey meal.

The details:

606 Vanderbilt Avenue (between St. Marks Avenue and Prospect Place)
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 230-0125



(Photos: Some Cozy Night, post cocktail, I believe.)

Have I Mentioned?

June 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

OK, I should be working right now, but it is so nice outside and I am having a seriously hard time concentrating. So, I thought I would just put a few things out there that I’ve been into lately, in no specific order…

1) Mr. H’s TEC Grill

Apparently there is some kind of infra-red something or other that makes it excellent. And it is. Heats up in 15 minutes — eliminating those “are we ready??” conversations — and grills to perfection.

2) Magic Hour, by the Scissor Sisters

Oh, my fabulous Sisters are back with a new record and it is fun! I needed something new for good times on the elliptical machine and tag, this is it. Available on iTunes at at http://www.scissorsisters.com/. (And how cute is Jake Shears?? Love him.)

3) Visions, by Grimes

I am probably too old to be recommending this record, as I began college the year after she was born, but Claire Boucher’s first studio record is rather cool. Perfect for listening to while finishing a nice glass of wine. (And I think she is old enough to have one.)

Available on iTunes and probably places where the cool kids get music.

4) The Gap’s Athletic Socks

Seriously, these are excellent and fit my teeny feet! No kid size required. Buy online — only ten bucks for a three-pack!


5) Girl of a Certain Age

This blog is by the former Editor in Chief of Lucky magazine, Kim France. And while I was never a Lucky reader (I am too old), I do enjoy this blog. I met Ms. France just once very briefly at a party some years ago, but I like to think that I am getting to know her by reading her posts. And let’s face it: she is a professional editor — so the content is good!


6) My 2012 Potted Herb Selection

I do it every year, but it is such a treat to be back in business again. This year’s newbie: strawberry plants. Not sure how they will work out, but I thought it was worth a shot.

Happy Procrastinating!


(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Making Lemonade

June 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, this has been an awfully nutty week for me, complete with workmen washing my house facade with acid — yes, acid — and a flood that resulted in Mr. H and I ripping up wet wall-to-wall carpet and having other workmen basically tear out a bunch of ceiling and wall matter and then setting up NINE fans and dehumidifiers to dry it all out.

It was clear to us both that the logical thing to do was get ourselves to the beach last night, which we did. And then we woke up to this:

Lovely weather, right? Just the kind of day where you should be lunching at your favorite outdoor spot and taking your ungrateful terriers for a nice, long walk. Except that we are behind and need to work. So, instead of blue skies today, I get to spend the day pounding away on my keyboard:

I could be glum, but am trying not to be. I am out of the city and there is no reason why I shouldn’t enjoy the general pleasantness as much as I can. So, before I plopped myself in front of the computer, I ran outside and cut some flowers…some wild, some not…

And every time I look up from my work, I can enjoy a little bit of what is waiting for me outside when I am done. If I am ever done.

Here’s hoping!



(Photos: Some Cozy Night)


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