Tag Archives: Central Park

Down To Earth

12 Mar

Apparently getting engaged makes me tongue-tied.

Or maybe getting engaged has given me so much to think about and so many things to do that I haven’t had the time to write.  Or cook.  But that’s also because suddenly everyone wants to take us out to dinner: friends, relatives, everyone.  It’s really nice–a whirlwind really–but I also can’t wait to sit back and relax a little bit this weekend, to roast a chicken a la Jacques Pepin, and maybe bake a loaf of bread.

But, before I do that (lest I sound ungrateful) I’d like to say a big, hearty and heartfelt thank you to each of you for your kind wishes and enthusiastic yays! You’re the nicest group of people to ever gather here at this little website.  Thank you all so much!

There are so many details to iron out, but since I’m sure you’re all just like the friends with whom I speak day-in and day-out, I figure you’d like a few details, too.  So here’s what I’ve got: We’re going to do a civil ceremony soon, like, the end of April soon.  Just our parents, my step-sister and her family and maybe Isaac’s sisters.  And then in September, we’re going to have a big party in our backyard up at the house!  Barbecue! Bocce! Croquet! Local beer! Finger Lakes wine! Laughter! Dancing! Smiles!

It’s going to be great and I can’t wait, but, it’s still incredibly overwhelming.  So in an attempt to bring things back down to earth a little bit, I’d like to talk about something very mundane: steamed potatoes.

Below the fold? More on steamed potatoes! Oh, and that whole wedding thing, too.

Croquet

29 Sep

We stayed in the city this weekend, and on Saturday went for a walk in Central Park.

As we turned a corner a field full people all dressed in white, came into view. “Oooh! Look they’re playing cricket.  How civilized!” said Isaac. “Funny, whenever I’ve seen cricket matches in the Park they’ve been further south,” I replied.  And just as I had gotten that out, Isaac chuckled and said, “No, not cricket … croquet!”

And he was right.  There, on a perfectly manicured emerald square were a dozen men and women wearing white from the tops of their hats to the soles of their shoes, sipping coffee and warming up for a croquet tournament.  Stumbling upon the match from Alice in Wonderland would have been only slightly more surreal than our real world discovery.

But don’t go running off to the park with your whites and mallet.  As with most highly civilized pursuits there’s a high degree of bureaucracy involved; all players are required to carry a permit.

P.S. Here’s a couple great articles about the croquet, and some information on how to join in.

From the New York Times: Killer Croquet Games in Central Park and Crisp Whites, and the Crack of the Mallet.

And How to Get Involved from the New York Croquet Club.

Ink, Pixel, Dirt

21 May

I’ve been keeping a garden diary in a little black and red notebook.

I find it amusing that the notebook is from Poland, and that its calendar is going to run out after this year.  I also think it’s funny that I find it easiest to keep this record in pen-and-paper form.  I spend my entire day in front of a computer.  I share my life with the world via a computer.  And yet, every week on Sunday night, I sit in the passenger’s seat of our car and scribble away as we head south, back to the city.

And that might be the reason I like it so much; it’s the antithesis of the 50-odd hours I spend chained to my desk at work each week.  Anytime I stay there past 7pm, which is everyday, I have to sign-out in a log book.  I’m often shocked at how hard I find writing after a long day of typing and conference calls.  I grab the pen and my brain pauses.  My hand feels weird curved around the pen.  And then it all comes back and the letters flow with the ink, in a halting, inelegant script.

Things are really speeding up in the garden, and the last two weeks have required two or more pages each to record all the developments.  By the end of those two measly pages, my hand is always cramped up and sore.  I can remember back in my high school days being able to write and write and write for hours on end.   I filled up notebook after notebook with my musings and stories and poems and rants.

For tomato talk and a twilight walk, head below the jump.

An Upper West Side Story

23 Apr

I think I’m in love.

Of course, I’ve thought I was in love before.  But it was never for real.  When I first moved to New York, I thought I loved the Lower East Side.  But it was too hard.  Too noisy.  And after 9/11, too fraught with memory.  We needed some time apart.

So I moved to Brooklyn.  Where I thought I was in love again.  But when I lost my job, the herd of toddlers living above me who treated the hallway above where I slept as their own personal playground and enjoyed flooding their bathtub so that it would rain down into my bathroom became too much.  I fell out of love.  I just couldn’t take it.

So I moved to Park Slope.  I thought I loved Park Slope, but what I really loved was the park.  I didn’t love the neighborhood.  My feelings about my neighbors can be illustrated with a single anecdote.  I was walking to the subway one morning, behind a gentleman in a suit, when a child on a tricycle zoomed past, nearly knocking me onto a stoop.  The child smashed into the gentleman, the tricycle’s tire riding up his pants leg, smearing it with mud.  The child’s mother ran up to him and screamed into his face, “Jesus Christ, why don’t you watch were you’re f*cking going!”  I wasn’t in love with Park Slope.

So I moved to Cobble Hill.  I did love Cobble Hill.  And I loved the apartment I was in.  But I didn’t love my roommate or the landlord who lived below us with his wife and two boys who felt our apartment was an extension of their apartment.  They would just barge in at any time and make themselves at home.  And their father often did the same thing.  It was creepy and I already had a man in my life, so I decided to move in with him.

It’s amazing I ever agreed to move here. Find out why after the jump.

Lovely Day

3 Apr

Have you ever walked through Central Park on April 2?

No?  Well, let me tell you something, you should.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait right here while you mark it on your calendar for next year.  And if you’re coming in from out of town, you’ll want to be here by the evening before, no fooling, because you’ll need to be in the park before 8am, in order to avoid the herds of tourists.

Because the most important aspect of being in Central Park on April 2 is the ability to find a pocket of the park where you are completely alone.  Just you and nature and the city.  It’s a powerful, emotional moment, especially if you let the sonic wall that is the park’s birds in full song wash over you.

A secondary consideration to make, if you are planning a trip to be in Central Park on April 2, is that it should have rained the night before, so that there is fog and mist everywhere (this might require a degree of flexibility in travel plans).  It’s also another reason why you have to get up early, so that it hasn’t all burnt away yet.  Because, I now feel strongly that there are two times when New York City is at it’s loveliest: in the middle of a snowstorm (c.f. March Snow), and on a misty Spring morning.

Central Park not your thing? How about Bermuda? Click here for some island breezes.