The Un-NY, Non-Domestic, Non-Productive Post AND Weekend Recap

Hey kids!

Remember what it was like to be sick, last time you were sick? Probably not, because if you did, you’d remember not to pass it on to someone else next time. You’d stay home and make sure nobody else felt the way you did. But seeing as we each get to a point where we think “Actually I don’t feel that bad, and I really need to do x” and pass all this lovely stuff around I thought I’d dedicate this post to the sickies out there who just caught something off someone.

Apparently it’s very un-NY to stay at home when you’re sick. You keep going to work (work can be hard to come by). You keep going out (there’s stuff on.) There are subway poles to lick. People to sneeze on.

Yes, I’m under the weather, just to add to the current list of maladies I am battling off a feverish episode that has left my body feeling like boiled lunch meat in week old garbage. Lovely huh? 🙂

The strange thing is, I feel like working out – because my body is so gross to me right now – even though I know it won’t really help my getting over whatever it is… I am just sick of feeling soft, lazy, immobile. (In case you think I’m crazy – I just spent the last couple of months getting over two operations.)

I also have a strong craving for carbs and dairy – two things I know will set off any number of digestive complaints… even if I do order the vegan (dairy free) gluten free mac and cheese from Brooklyn Mac… It’s tempting.. but carbs.. is it worth it? So I’m sitting here on my MacBook, and I’m switching between the menu for Brooklyn Mac, and the menu for M Noodle (dumplings… mmmm). Which do I want? Do I even want food? Do I have enough cash? Why can’t someone order for me?

All in all, I’m a HOT MESS of a woman. Cannot make up my mind what to do. It’s just as well I’m home alone or I’d probably be picking a fight or simply driving h crazy with my indecisive, maudlin, cry-baby attitude.

At any rate – I thought you might like a recap of the weekend. It was a rather lovely weekend (before my fever set in again last night) and it was largely thanks to our lovely downstairs neighbours.

While Saturday was forecast over 100 degrees (fahrenheit, obviously, for the dummies) the searing heat was no deterrent for the Giglio festival. You heard me.

Now, the Giglio festival is exactly like what you would expect if someone said the phrase “EYE-talian American” to you, put it in a bottle, shook it around and sprayed it at your Cousin Vinny. It was loud, a little dramatic, but sweet and full of meat.

The Feast of Giglio, also known as the Cooperative Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and San Paolino di Nola, is a street celebration held annually in Williamsburg to remind inhabitants to eat. Mainly fried objects. They also erect a large statue of a saint, make charitable contributions to the church in exchange for a name plate on a large wall, and watch old Ronnie recreate his halcyon days as a dance hall singer on the church steps.

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I would eat you both again, my nutritionally deficient friends

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Hey, How’s your Braciole? Sounds awesome in an eye-talian American accent.

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I am waiting for your orders, pregnant ladies.

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Creepiest but most captivating clown ever.

For a hilarious but very detailed description of foods and drinks available check out the Short & Bald Eat New York‘s review. I am shocked, but also annoyed to discover that the Pina Coladas we all decided couldnt possibly be alcoholic ACTUALLY WERE – because it’s legal to serve alcohol on religious principle! I can’t believe I missed the opportunity to buy an overpriced, oversized colourful cup full of delicious goodness.

Oh stuff it, I’m ordering the mac & cheese. Ah. Okay. That’s better.

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So the neighbours had Philly Cheese Steaks – haven’t tried one of these yet – can’t remember what the h ate (something meaty I’m sure) and I sampled a variety of novelty foods including barbequed corn (delicious), MY FIRST PRETZEL (salty, but delicious), pink lemonade (the real lemon variety) and a chicken skewer then felt as if I might throw up. Michael did buy some zeppole (like a donut but in a random shape dusted with icing sugar) and I know this will sound crazy – me loving sweet things and pastry – but I could take or leave it. Not sweet enough 🙂

Spotted: Scariest Bozo the Clown ever cajoling the crowds as he smoked on his perch nonchalantly – dunk Bozo indeed.

On our amble home (attempt to walk off calories) we spotted this gorgeous bar and decided to stop for a refreshing, iced cocktail (calorie burning attempt failure no. 245,049). Owned by a lovely French man, the bar was exceptionally trendy but still friendly. The cocktails were pleasant, company excellent, and this bar, she take a good photo. Eric doused it with his drink so we decided to continue walking home. 🙂

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Santos Anne – must come back

Spotted: Verizon building 2 blocks from our house – no windows for 4 floors – neighbours have identified it as excellent place to hide from zombies.

Sunday we had a very long sleep in and in defiance of yet another scorching forecast decided to head out to the Brooklyn Flea Markets down by the water in Williamsburg.

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What I wore on Sunday. Subway floor.

On our way we made a pit stop at our local donut boutique – Dunwell Doughnuts. Awesomely retro-styled goodness.

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We took the subway to Bushwick Ave and walked down to the markets.

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On Saturdays they also have a food version called Smorgasburg. Definitely going to have to try that one!

It was there that I had my first celebrity spot of my life in New York – Jonathan Cheban. Watchers of Keeping Up with the Kardashians will know Jonathan as Kim’s publicist at CommandPR. I did a little “I might wee my pants” dance but didn’t ask for a photo. I mean really, I’m not a child. Alright – bible, I just chickened out.

Whilst in W’burg we perused overpriced antiques, I walked into my first proper ‘bar’ (smells like beer! just like back home!) looking for somewhere to eat, and decided to go back to Cafe Ella for my favourite Cobb Salad with dressing on the side.

After refreshing our sweet selves we caught the subway home, I worked out, and after I made dinner for h (and fruit salad for me) started feeling rather poorly.

So that was my weekend! We also started watching HBO’s The Newsroom which is pretty amazing, if not a little unbelievable (seen the second ep? End of the ep – completely out of character. But, FINE.)

How was your weekend? If you think these questions at the end are rhetorical you’re wrong. I really do want to know 🙂

My Non-Mac and Cheese just got here. Gotta run….

Love,

Fatty.

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Taste the rainbow – street view of dry cleaner’s sign

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What nobody knew was that Pepe had his own thing going on, the whole time.

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Furnishing the Void on the Sabbath

Today’s Sunday, the day I get serenaded by gospel from the backyard (sadly it’s somewhat quiet today), and also the one day this week I chose to rest or “do nothing”.

Those that know me well know that will never happen (it took hospital to render me immobile and offline for even a small period of time – I think I lasted 3 days) and besides, I outsourced the relaxing years ago – to the H, and he does a marvellous job at it.

Yep, he’s at his usual station, lying belly down on the bed watching some TV show on his MacBook.

But I am staying confined to the house because I am trying to conserve energy to “get well” so I thought today as good a day as ever to plan the furniture floorplan for our home.

As I’ve pottered around the space over the last – wow almost 2 weeks – I have imagined the things I need involuntarily – objects pop up as if ghosts around me – “ah, that’s what I need to put this cup on”, “oh, I would sit there while I take this call.” Actually that sounds far more benign than some of the things that have flashed through my head, but let’s pretend – it’s the Sabbath after all – that I am a lady of gentle temperament and discriminating tastes.

The Plan.

For those who missed it, here’s the floor plan.

I am toying around with two ideas. Firstly, to use the break out space between the kitchen and bedroom as a dining area. Like so:

Option A. Note how excellently I taped the floor in the shape of a table. The H doesn’t appreciate it but I did think it was rather clever.

And the other, to create a reading/writing nook. Pretty self-indulgent, which is why I actually didn’t really consider it at first, but thankfully H hates the idea of the dining table being in the way as he saunters from the kitchen to bedroom.

Ooh hello. Fancy a cup of tea in my reading nook? Oh yes please. Mm delightful. PS – The X marks the spot for a coffee table. The wall needs to be filled with shelves of amazing books and art.

The only problem with option two is it means a dining area needs to be created in the large, wonderfully open space, somehow, and mostly it seems it has to be by cornering out a “living space” with the two sofas, effectively splitting the space into two. I’m not 100% keen on this idea. In fact I was considering us never entertaining, just to avoid this situation. Seriously. But then realised we do need somewhere to eat dinner too. Plus I could use the table to write/sew/draw/accumulate bills and unopened mail.

More masterful masking tape skills. Memphis insisted on being in this photo, and the next one. He makes a cute model. Ignore the box – that would be a side table, ideally.

The dark side. Not really dark in real life but an irritating by-product of shooting into the window. You can see the mark up for the sofas on the left, to the right is the corner/wall the TV(?) will eventually go on.

In the spirit of compromise (actually so I can have it all including the reading nook I have always wanted as well as a sewing workbench I MEAN dining table) I am going to work with my concerns as a guideline to keep the space looking as open as possible. My eyes tell me:

– Don’t let the table compete with the sofas as they’re dark – I think something lighter in colour would be better than everything being dark (my favourite colour for furnishings but way too heavy looking). Not sure it needs to be white, though. I don’t want the space looking high-contrast, and modern, because it has the potential to look quite cold and empty

– Any shelves or bookcases etc that we get are going to need to be white, I think, to keep the walls from looking like they’re coming in

– The coffee table/s need to be glass to keep the smaller lounge space open visually

– I need to find some floor lamps so I can light the different areas individually rather than always using the overhead bulbs

– I also really want to change the curtains, I’ve tied them up so the dogs don’t touch them before I put them away and replace with something nicer. I also thought of extending the top rail right along the length of the wall to create the illusion of windows all the way across. May be a little ambitious, plus I would have to make/get made but I am tempted, I think it would look stunning.

– I need a freaking amazing reading chair for my reading nook!!!!

So I’m going to do some more writing now, then Pinning for inspiration later.. If you’re on Pinterest and want to look me up I’m right here. It’s nice to spend the day dreaming.

Later lovelies. X


Free Cookies, Free Allen Key – Good Day!

Today’s main task was to make it to the dog‘s new vet – Greenpoint Veterinary Hospital – in time for their appointment. They both had to have rabies vaccines (Australia – being an island – has managed to stay out of the rabies palaver) so I could get their NYC registration put through.

Seeing as today is stinking hot I abandoned my plan to brave the 30 minute walk down Leonard Street and called a town car SUV instead. The dogs seem to have no memory of the crates they flew here in being a bad thing so I piled them both into one of them and they rode in the back.

Back story – Memphis gets car sick – dog spew on the back seat was something I was not prepared to deal with today.

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The waiting room. Memphis wants to know what the frick we are waiting for, Pepe is doing his usual freaked out vibe.

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See?

As far as vet clinics go the waiting room was lovely and very welcoming for humans. Not so much room for the animals but then most of them seemed to arrive in crates any way. The dogs were pretty happy to be released from their plastic prison and allowed to sniff a woman in the waiting room. Thankfully she didn’t object to having her calf licked by a very forward Memphis.

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Hey lady. You want me to lick it again?

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I’m not with him. He’s not with me. I have never. met. him. in. my. life.

They also had a really cute sign on the door to the surgical rooms which I loved. I think we need one for our front door.

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Rough translation: Beware, weird dog. Yep, that about sums it up.

I’ll save you the boring detail because really, nobody wants to hear about my fur babies and how healthy they are, or their idiosyncracies, because everyone knows that it’s only real babies that you’re supposed to gush about and expect to have people pretend to listen to.

Bahahahahahahaha. I’ll say what I want because it’s my blog. The dogs are excellent. They don’t have heartworm (must be common here – they insisted on checking), and Memphis had to be swaddled like a baby so they could hold him still enough to cut his claws – and he howled and howled which if you’ve heard him howl is hilarious. Like, I mean, he really thinks he’s a real dog. Hahahaha.

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Mean mommy – waited in the waiting room, ate the free, freshly baked cookies and coffee that was on offer, laughed at Memphis’ dramatic howling.

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I also noted with interest the clinic’s annual contest: “They swallowed what?” – last year’s grand prize winner swallowed 9 handballs without anybody knowing they were there! HILARIOUS! Sadly, the prize is not free surgery.

We made it home in one piece, think I got mildly ripped off by the towncar who insisted the fare was $12, not $8 (I paid $8 on my way there.. and it’s literally down one street.. but I wasn’t keen on arguing with an angry, flustered Puerto Rican for the sake of $4.) The UPS van was out the front and I wondered if Mr Postman had anything for me?

Of course he did!

The saddle stools I ordered last week finally arrived! Of course, I failed to really look closely at what was going to be involved – and this is when I realise I have to assemble….

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GROAN

The instructions actually offer a delightful experience, and I can’t quite believe what they’ve put in the instructions so I thought I’d better take a picture so you can read for yourself. Clearly they have never tried to assemble flat packed furniture with my husband.

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Whatever drugs they are on, I want some. FREE ALLEN KEY – F$%K YEAH!

While it wasn’t a fun project (there was probably a bit more huffing and puffing than was reasonably required to put it together but I did it MYSELF) it was certainly rewarding to finish and …. they are perfect!

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Loving myself just a little right now…

They do look short here but I didn’t want really high stools. Firstly because I like to be able to reach the floor, secondly because I wanted to be able to use the breakfast bar as a bench space for the MacBook if necessary – which it does quite well for me at this height. Also the vinyl which I was worried was going to look cheap actually is lovely and bright white (not off white like it seems to be in the image) and is a reasonable attempt at faux-leather.

So, I look at my watch and realise it’s 4pm and I haven’t eaten so I rustled up some Trader Joe’s.. ahem.. Trader Giotto’s ravioli with a quick salad, hoof it down and get down to writing this.

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Clever. Trader Joe’s goes Italian. For the record – delicious. Love the tang of the goat’s cheese.

And that, my dear readers, was that. Tonight I’m off to Alex & Fleur’s to catch up – haven’t seen Mr Bodman in over 2 years! Scary to think how quickly time flies.

Until tomorrow –

Arrivederci x


Everlane Pops Up in Soho and McNally Jackson Books me for Lunch

Today was really just a lovely, lovely day.

It didn’t start out perfectly but perhaps that’s the point. After some thunderstorms the other day and a temporary cooling off, the temperature has started to climb again. When I woke up this morning I was really keen to make myself an iced coffee, and remembered hubby had come home with two ice cube trays last night. So I was almost ready to go, dissolved the instant coffee powder, added sugar, opened the freezer and…

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He put them in the freezer, STILL WRAPPED. Not just empty, but he didn’t even take them out of the packaging! I can’t write what I actually said but it was something along the lines of $%&^%)#

After much angst over what to wear I headed out to catch the M train – which I CAUGHT – SUCCESSFULLY! – to Broadway and Lafayette in my first foray into SoHo. For the uninitiated it’s a bit like Surry Hills in Sydney, formerly dubbed “The Wastelands” it now primarily consists of fashion boutiques and clothing retailers, chic cafes and men in strange combinations of clothing and this week, the Everlane pop-up store.

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I arrived about 10 minutes early, so not wanting to seem way too keen, I hung back a little and took a shot of the beautifully done front windows.

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Not a shop – Everlane pop-up in NYC

Inside the ultra-friendly staff helped to navigate the carefully curated collection of designer esssentials. Everything pictured is available online (for shipping in the US – if you want something sent to my address get in touch and I’ll help sort it out!) except the backpacks which are preview only and were only available to order today.

The Classic Tote (pictured in top shelf and left hand side rack below) are super thick, well constructed in heavy raw canvas with an interior pocket and stud fastening. The straps are a gorgeous chocolate leather colour and it’s the perfect size to fit a MacBook, plus a few essential items. I ordered one in black (I know! All those colours and I pick black – but I don’t have a black tote and really need one) at the incredible price of $30.

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Seriously, when was the last time you got a quality bag especially one not made out of synthetic fibres for $30?

Also on show were these Weekender bags, which are priced higher at $95. They’re super-roomy inside but would easily fit enough for a quick weekend getaway and would make a great gift for someone. I’m thinking someone who has EVERYTHING and needs nothing and is a nightmare to buy presents for… hopefully they’re not reading this blog post. But again, it’s the details that make this a designer item at a deeply discounted price. Heavily reinforced straps, chic colourways and stripe motif, pocket detail.. just.. clever.

I also had a sticky beak at the belts and of course those gorgeous tees I blogged about here. I ended up buying two of the v-necked tees – one in black (of course) and white (for something a little different 🙂 haha) and that was that. A well-constructed, classic tote with leather handles and two designer tees for $60 with free shipping. Crazy.

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The Women’s Weekender $95 from Everlane.com

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Women’s The Slim Belts – felt really nice to touch, heavy leather and not rough/unfinished on the inside like some belts can be. Buckle is also sturdy – lots of ticks!

So my earlier giddiness and excitement over the brand was entirely warranted. The presentation and service was what you would expect from a designer label, without the ridiculous price tag – exactly what their messaging promises. Really just a refreshing fashion experience, all in all. So I was strolling through Soho and spied McNally Jackson bookstore – an independent bookseller with a two-level store  at 52 Prince Street with an actual self-publishing service! Someone stirred that little beauty into action while I was there. I wondered what they were publishing.

After perusing the fiction and biography shelves I found myself in the poetry corner and picked up two books – an intensely beautiful book by Pablo Neruda (The Captain’s Verses) and also decided to revisit Field Work by Seamus Heaney – a collection of poems from which we studied in high school and has never left me.

Interestingly both books were written by the authors in some type of (either necessary or self imposed) exile. I’m certain I don’t feel exiled but it could have to do with the feeling of displacement of being in a new city.

I settled down with a coffee and a bagel and before I knew it had read the entire Neruda. Just, breathtaking.

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“Today, this day was a brimming cup,
today, this day was the immense wave,
today it was all the earth.”
– from “September 8th” in The Captain’s Verses, Pablo Neruda

Post-poetry and lunch and in a nice haze I visited hubby at work (the entire office waved to me in unison – kind of first day at a new school style) and had my first trip to Trader Joes – like Norton Street Grocer but WAY bigger, and cheaper. I will blog about it some other time – it’s seriously worthy of its own post at some point.

And I got home, and had TWO parcels! So exciting.

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No more paper plates for the doggies! ORE Woof melamine bowls from wag.com

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My cute side plate order from Anthropologie!

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Loved the presentation of the Anthropologie order – receipt comes in a lined wallet envelope.. gorgeous.

And there you have it, just a really nice, really good day. Hope you have a great one.

x