Friday, February 29, 2008

some pretty things...

flowers galore, can you imagine? Dali dined here often and has been quoted as saying that the owners of this restaurant on the east side of manhattan 'throw money out the window and it comes back to them through the door.' from what i read it is a space of beauty and fine french cuisine. i always like to peak now and then into the rooms of 'the haves,' just to see what they are up to. and this space looks divine. the owner is at new york's flower market every morning at 6.30 in order to purchase an abundance of flowers to adorn the family owned restaurant.

the story of how it actually began is a sentimental one. the father, as a young man worked on cruise ships as a part of the service staff in the restaurants. as he was a way from home often working, so many years ago, his wife leased a space and wrote to her husband asking for a name of the restaurant, and as a hint that he had to come home to create it. all was a complete surprise for him. but the wife simply wanted to figure out a way to have her husband home more often and near her. the son now owns and runs the restaurant. just thought it was a nice story for a pretty space that seems to be in the business of food (which i adore), beauty and quite possibly love, which inspired it all.

while on the subject of pretty things...

'when i was a young perfumer...'

not everyone can say this about themselves. nooooo, i'm not a perfumer, but there is something eccentric about it. the idea that perfumers actually exist, whose job it is to create scents. sweet! i read an article about 'la osmothèque,' a museum of perfume in france. the writer wrote...'writing formulas as composers compose symphonies,' while referring to one who creates new perfume scents. it seems as if the museum is a space to discover and rediscover scents that have seemingly disappeared. why is this interesting? i suppose it's not very, i just think that it is fascinating that there is a space dedicated to scents. it is thought of as an uber-chic intellectual sephora. a playground of perfumes, if you are into that kind of thing. i am, sometimes. not often, but sometimes...

i have a perfume that i like very much. i don't wear it often. i guess somehow subconsciously i think to save it for special occasions. it's pretty and soft. but i think the better part of me knows that every day is a special occasion. so i'm thinking i should sprinkle some on a little more often. i love it when i'm out and about and someone walks by me and they just smell divine. just a nice soft scent that inspires. i could be that girl...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

yin and yang

yin and yang... a unity of opposites, dual concepts describe two primal opposing but complimentary principles... yesterday i found a quiet spot in a cafe to read a bit and write. i was glancing at a book titled 'the tao of writing.' from what i can understand from the few pages i have read so far, is that in writing, like mostly everything, it is a little easier and enjoyable if we can find a natural flow, as opposed to that which is pushed or forced. when the writer mentioned the idea of 'yin and yang' i am reminded that i have heard of this but i don't have a full understanding of this chinese philosophical notion. after reading a bit, i think i have a better understanding. and i am not sure if it is connected, but i began to think about how there can be dual happenings at the same time. for example, these winter months when all seems grey and dry and lifeless, it is hard to imagine that there are little flowers beneath the dry hard ground getting ready to spring and sprout in some weeks. spring is about 3 weeks away (21. march). so strange to think that we will be in the midst of the pinks and reds and greens of springtime soon. i try to encourage myself to imagine, and to remember that what seems positive or negative, black or white, are only perceptions. the yin and the yang co-exist, and it is challenging to say what is positive and what is negative. for example, it is when we think we are lost that we find new and interesting places that we never knew existed...

Friday, February 22, 2008

just for a change

same space, new colours...


we are in the midst of our 2nd snow fall. the snow flakes began to fall late last night, and now the city is a winter wonderland. bliss!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

rumour has it...

yesterday my aunt called to tell me that my brother married his long time girlfriend, it was a civil wedding, no guests, just the two of them. very much in the spirit of an elopement, taking on a charm from another time and place. so cute. that means out of us 4 siblings, i am the one who has yet to marry. for so long i thought that i'm not the kind of girl to get married, i like my freedom. but these days, having a sweetie in life seems like it could be, well, sweet...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

orange good mornings

upon awakening most mornings, i lay in bed and listen a bit, to my heart, the sounds outside, and give thanks for a new day.
this morning, with all the snow that has fallen, i can hear the shoveling of snow out doors. i get up and have a look out the window. there's a man in a bright orange sweater cap clearing the side walk. good for him. in this grey winter city, orange is a brilliant choice! the snow has turned to rain, and there is lots of it. good. it's always nice when the city can get a good thorough washing, even though i must admit that i was looking forward to the snow lingering for a while. a soft white powdery nyc is a nice vision.
the 2 brothers (the boys) that i give english lessons to will go skiing this weekend. ages 9 and 10. i asked them if they have ever been skiing before. boy l. says, 'yes, when we were younger, but we don't remember.'

me, i've never been skiing. i tend to think i can't stay out in the cold for long periods of time. well, i can, i just prefer and choose not to. i don't like to be cold. but i hear with all that ski gear, you don't get cold. only reason i'd like to go skiing is to sit by the warm fire in the ski cabin and drink hot cocoa like they do in the those films. but up on the slopes... not sure how well i'd do. i should give it a try, i hear it's a beautful experience. hmmm...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

first snow fall

we are having at this moment our first real snow fall of the year. the city is always lovely when the snow is soft and new. a quietness comes, and calms the hustle and bustle that tends to be the norm. i remember when i was in my early twenties, fresh out of university, with my first apartment in park slope, i used to stock up on haagen daz butter pecan ice cream, entenmann's chocolate chip cookies, and believe it or not, my favorite meal at the time was steamed broccoli. i'd rent a few films and hole up for the weekend... these days when the snow falls i love a nice walk in central park...

Monday, February 11, 2008

sunday brunch

i had a delicious lunch with g. this past sunday at cafe orlin. lady n., i think you and i and k. were there for a weekend brunch. now that i think of it, it was the first time we met. what a fantastic day. and then walking over to the boardwalk in greenwhich village to sit in the grass and talk...

well this past sunday i had poached egges and potatos. thing is, brunch in ny is a big thing. it's a wonderful way to meet with friends after an intense week and hang around, eat good food, and catch up.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

musings around town

i have a little secret that i have been keeping to myself, that is i have been giving private english classes. i have only kept it to myself because i was not sure how it was going to work out. but the classes continue. they take up a tiny amount of my time, just a few hours on the weekends, but they are finding a wonderful place in my heart. let me explain. i tutor privately 2 brothers ages 9 and 10. going into this gig i thought it would be a nice way to help and pick up a few extra dollars to allow me to indulge in my museum, tea, and film going fixations. and this little gig is turning out to be more than i imagined. the basics are, they are two boys who have been living in new york for 6 months. they are attending a private school and all their classes are in english. so they have to navigate learning to speak english while keeping up with their studies. can you imagine? children continue to fascinate me. they are doing it. in six months they are almost fluent. the thing is just to iron out a few kinks here and there in terms of prononciation, writing, and learning new vocabulary words. i try to help them with their confidence as well, so that they can be a bit more secure when in class and hanging out with their friends. i think because they are 'into it,' that is, they are really interested in learning, it is a really enjoyable experience for me. aside from asking them to put away the nintendo, i have no real discipline issues. oh... their sweet mom sometimes makes tea for us and brings it to the study, i do have to hide the sugar because they literally will eat sugar rocks out of the jar like it is candy. so i'll let you know as time passes of the incredibly delightful things they say and do, sometimes we are in the room just laughing as we make our way through their lessons. yesterday boy l. tied a multi colored blanket around his neck in his efforts and performance to explain to me what a 'cloak of invisibility' is as we were reading harry potter and going over new vocabulary words. can you imagine?


while living in madrid, one young woman said to me something that i thought was incredibly interesting. she is from paris. it was during the last u.s. elections 3 years ago. she said 'the whole world should be able to vote for the u.s. president. it is an election that effects the entire world.' wow. an incredibly interesting point. is change on the horizon? i sincerely and deeply and profoundly hope so. can we talk about a basic decency, respect... and do we go as far as honor in u.s. relations with all people both at home and abroad. that is a change i hope to see...
saw some art this week

i wonder if i will ever be able to talk about art intelligently. mostly all i can see is what i like and what i don't like. i like the work of this artist, aaron douglas. many of his paintings are from the harlem renaissance and they are his reflections on african heritage. i tend to like the soft colours he chooses and the way they can blend into one another. in addition his paintings inspire a curiosity about a culture i know very little about. i suspect when africa is good, it is really good. one young french guy said to me that there is no better living than the living in africa. i feel confident in saying, he must mean aside from the numerous tragedies that we hear about. and even still i have heard that in the face of tragedy, that when you are there, the people have such hope and faith that it is incredibly uplifting. it definitely seems like it is something one has to be in the midst of to know. those who have, share stories of hope and inspiration. courageous i call them...
i had no idea that my transition into the next idea that i wanted to share would seem so frivolous. that is, going from ideas of art and happenings in africa to ... film. forgive me, it is not my intention to be insensitive, just sharing a series of ideas...
this film

leaves me at a loss for words. i went to see it because i been told by many folk 'it's really good but it is incredibly violent and disturbing.' i've waited to see it because i was thinking that i could do without 'incredibly violent and disturbing,' and in a way i was right. as i watched the film i thought there are plenty more pleasing doings i could be up to. with that said i was there, and i had paid my money, so let's see where this goes. the coen brothers have a way of creating the most bizarre, albeit interesting stories. the film is well done, interesting, startling, and strange. it's good but... it's a tough film to watch. javier bardem delivers another 'fine' performance. some folks think that the main character kills because he just likes it. i tend to disagree. i think the character has some twisted sense of honor and ethics. like when he breaks his arm and convinces a kid to give him his shirt for a $100. the kid at first is reluctant to take the money. bardem encourages him to take it, it's just the 'right' thing to do. the kid gave up his shirt, he should be paid for it, even if the money comes from a man all bloodied with a broken arm who will pay that much money for a shirt that could easily cost $5. but that is not the point. and i think that is the one intriguing thing about this movie. in the midst of all the drugs, killing, confusion and fear it does encourage one to ask the question, what is the point, whether in the middle of a film or in life.

keep in touch

let's take this slow. i feel like it has been an eternity since i have met you here on this space. i missed it so. as i walk around manhattan i often think about the words i wish to share, as well as words i have read on other blog spaces. i enjoy the exchange of experiences and ideas.

while walking one night i glanced over at the manhattan skyline and noticed a bridge. i'm not sure which bridge it was (not this one, just a picture i like) because i tend to get my bridges mixed up in this town. but the idea came upon me that it seems like a good idea if i can make a connection between where i am and where i would like to be in a logical way. as opposed to ending one thing and starting up another from scratch, as i usually do. starting from scratch, after you have done it a number of times becomes increasingly difficult.

i found these words, or did they find me...

'the wise woman bridges the gap by laying out the path by means of which she can get from where she is to where she wants to go.' john pierpont morgan (gender inclusion my own)

i've been looking for a new job. spending hours on the computer responding to job postings in an effort for better work and a better quality of life.

last week i went on 2 interviews and i hope that some interview some time will materialise into an actual work assignment.

('i was looking for a job and then i found a job and heaven knows i'm miserable now'. ~the smiths)

so for the first time in many years, i have had to don a suit. (not me, just a picture i like) you should have seen me, i was cute. still wearing a suit is like living in another universe; the way people treat and respond to you. unlike when i am moving around in my jeans and sports jacket. people call me miss h. and i wonder who are they talking to.

and in my efforts to snag new employment, as mentioned, my creative juices have been stifled, or perhaps directed elsewhere. and though i have been resisting returning to the 'corporate thing,' truth is, the pay is better and it is less demanding. when i have been involved in my creative endeavors i am always stressed about making ends meet. so i'm making a change.

and in connection to bridges, i'm interested in making a change in work and other aspects of my life in a balanced and harmonious way. that is, having my day job and at the same time having the time, energy and interest in indulging in the many and varied things that make me smile. i have learned over the years that we simply have to be intentional about it. sure work can be tiresome and draining, but we have to do it. well, most of us. so the thing is not to allow my creative curiosity to suffer, because then i suffer. i need art.

and these past weeks have been a good example of what can happen. while i am absorbed in my job search i was thinking that i have nothing pretty to share here in this space, nothing fantastic or fantastical. and then it dawned on me that the truth of the matter can be fantastic. that is, amongst friends or interested parties it could just be fantastic to know what i am up to, as opposed to missing in action. i know i want to know what my friends are up to, whether they are writing new music like h. or fashioning words for a thesis like n. or the lastest film j. has seen. so i hope to learn to share what i have been up to as well... even if it is not 'fantastic.'

Monday, February 4, 2008

growing up

my mom was born in Georgia. i was there as a baby, but i don't remember it. i hear parts of it is beautiful. i always feel like i have grown up with a sense of a mix within me, that is, a sense of what is thought of as a southern gentility mixed with being a city girl. being my mom's daughter, there are some southern terms that i like very much. one word is 'grown folks.' of course this refers to adults, but the southeners have a way of saying it as if it is a special club to belong to. i have always been a curious one, one might even say nosey. but i like to think of it as a genuine curiosity and a love of learning. (smile)

when i was little i used try to listen in on the conversations of my mom and her friends. i remember being at a loss when they were all excited when marvin gaye's new 'album' sexual healing came out. i remember so well all the ladies in the living room dancing around singing the lyrics to sexual healing. i had no idea what all the excitement was about.

when my mom caught me hanging around (though i tried to make myself invisible) she would tell me that i was not ready for 'grown folks conversation.' i always had a feeling that i was not there yet... of course. when i got older and listened to the lyrics more intently i thought... ohhhh ... i see...

that said, these days i have been thinking more and more about being a grown up. you see i have never really thought much about money. i always thought 'do what you love and the money will follow.' well i love hanging around reading and writing. but until, and unless my hopes and dreams of being a writer by profession (sharing my secrets with you) comes true, i do have to be more intentional about making money. thought i'd take a little venture out of my dreamfilled ideas of living and have a look at life in a more 'material' kind of way. so between my search for new work and my studies about money i have found that my ability these last few days for writing has been stifled a bit. maybe because my time and energy has been given to other things besides my writing. thus my not haven written for a while. but now i try to push myself back here so as not to be gone too long. i think what i am coming to understand is that a life of being a grown up does not mean that we have to abandon the things we love, in my case, dreams of being a writer. and at the same time, while dreaming and trying, i do believe a balance can be struck, and i hope to find that balance. this is just a long way of saying or coming to understand that grown folks can have fun too. i've written here before that my mom is a single mom. she raised 4 children alone. the rent was paid and food was plenty, the basics were met. and there was still time and desire for dancing with her friends to the tunes of marvin gaye. i hope in my own way to strike a balance with the necessary and responsibility of the 'real world' and my dream world. that is, a sense of harmony between that which brings me pleasure and that which just has to be done. know what i mean?