27 June 2008

au revoir Florent

Tonight we went to dinner at Florent since it's closing on Sunday after 23 years. It's a really cool diner/what have you and we thought we'd go say goodbye even though Heidi has never been to it before and I just went for the first time a few weeks ago. It's totally a place we would have loved to have gone to more if we'd been given the chance. We sat at the counter and it was fun to watch the waiters zip around and mix drinks and dance to the music playing. The place was packed and there was a celebratory spirit in the air for the other diners saying goodbye with friends to a favorite place. Too many places like this are disappearing in NY-tragic.

26 June 2008

home sweet home...finally

We are completely exhausted from the search for a new apartment. Trying to find a new home is never easy but living in NYC with a limited budget makes it five times more difficult. We have been searching all month for a safe, clean place to live and have been very frustrated by what we have seen out there. Today was our day! We found a new place and it's not far from where we live now. What a sweet relief it was to sign the lease tonight. Now we will be busy over the next few days getting settled in. A BIG thank you to all those who offered kind words of support and concern throughout this dreadful process.

20 June 2008

very busy at the moment

We're currently trying to find a new apartment so we haven't had much time to write about anything. It's getting pretty tense as we only have 10 days left to find a new place and get out of our current one and we've finally had to resort to a broker to help us. Here's a fun picture to get us by until normalcy resumes.

13 June 2008

boston-day two

We had a slow start since we were so tired from the day before and didn't even make it out of our room until noon. First on our list of things to do was to hit the Museum of Fine Arts. It's currently under a bit of construction so there were some areas closed off but we still managed to spend 3 hours there. Our absolute favorite exhibit was Antonio Lopez Garcia's. His subjects are mostly common and simple but really powerful in their impact with something so basic as his use of lighting (it's the all those art history papers I wrote coming out isn't it?).

Apparently it can take years for him to complete a painting while he waits for the the light to be the same every time he works on it. He's both a painter and a sculptor and there were these giant baby heads on the lawn of the museum that are quite stunning when you first come up to the museum.

There was also an exhibit of British prints that was in it's final week-so we were lucky to see that and gush over it's loveliness. The prints had such great uses of color and shapes and anything pertaining to Britain makes us happy.

Our one gripe of the museum was the poor placement of the bag check. To get to your bag and go to the gift shop you had to walk through the museum and they MADE us check our purses. We had to go to bag check, get out our wallets and then check our bags again, then go through the museum to the gift shop to check out the books (they were out of the catalog for Antonio Lopez Garcia! but we did get a great photography book on Berlin for $7!) then schlep all the way back to the damn bag check to get our bags again and THEN leave.

After the museum we were starving so we headed to Cambridge to get something to eat and check out that hood. We hit an Urban Outfitters where we got our second cool book for the day (more of them to come) this one is about Swedish graphic designer Olle Eksell and we got it for only$5! It's all in Japanese but it's the graphics we love anyway.

The local vegetarian cafe was having it's annual spoken word festival so they were only doing take away which resulted in us going across the ally to some Mexican joint that turned out to be not that bad. They had a vegetarian empananda with black beans, corn and red pepper sauce that was pretty good for a non-fan of Mexican food (I like it-I just don't LOVE it for all of you gasping in horror over that comment). Our server was very ivy league and a nice guy who looked like the pervy friend from Adventures In Babysitting. We felt so bad for him since he had two large tables and 4 small ones and was constantly going, going, going.

After dinner we just walked around and admired the architecture. There were a few interesting mixes of modern architecture on some streets with all period architecture.

Then we found a cemetery that was open for us to explore. While we were there a woman came in and asked us if we were interested in a mini tour of the place since she gave them. Yes, please! It was very interesting and informative-she knew her stuff and we had a great time with her until it got too dark to really see anymore. Her name is Donna La Rue and she has been a burying ground researcher for years. It doesn't take much for us to get excited over a cool old cemetery and we have been known to visit them whenever we can in our travels (Manchester, Dublin, London, and Paris) We have our eyes on Greenwood in Brooklyn but haven't made it yet.

After we left the cemetery we decided we need some ice cream to finish off our evening, so we wandered around Harvard Square looking for an ice cream shop and happened upon the Harvard Bookstore. We found a few interesting books on sale (just add them to the pile!) plus we received a great recommendation for frozen yogurt from the girl that helped us. We both got grapefruit frozen yogurt that was so yummy-Heidi got chocolate chips on top while I got strawberries. We've never had grapefruit frozen yogurt (sounded a little gross) but it was fantastic! After that, it was getting late, our new books were getting heavy, and everything was closing so we headed back to our hotel and took advantage of our rooms TV and watched a little bit of the Deadliest Catch marathon on the Discovery channel.

10 June 2008

heat + humidity = misery

The past four days have been unbearably HOT! We are not fans of the summer heat to begin with (being big fans of layering in our everyday attire) but when New York gets this hot it makes us want to give up and move to Iceland. Last night was the final straw and at 4:30 in the morning our pathetic fan was not doing us any favors. It was time to break out the air conditioner. We were hoping to hold off on installing it since we are moving soon but we couldn't take it any more. Getting it out of storage was not easy and things were dropped, possibly alerting our landlord of our covert op. After struggling for a half hour to get it in place we happily turned it on and...NOTHING happened! The little guy made noise like he was going to bless us with sweet relief but no air be it hot or cold came spewing out. After whimpering over our terrible luck we tried to get some sleep since now we were even more exhausted after not having slept most of the night.

Today we were in Crankytown over another bloody hot day and knowing we would have another dreadful nights sleep. Fast forward to now where we had given up hope after a call to GE to see if they had any advice on how it could be fixed (for only $100 + $ for parts and labor they would come out to fix it on the 19th-how generous of them) when a storm blew in. We decided to take lil' AC out and embrace any cold air that came our way. While looking at him on the floor a sneaking suspicion led us to try lil' AC again and he worked!!!!! He's now back in the window blowing his delicious cold air. Glorious, comfortable sleep will be had tonight!

08 June 2008

boston-day one

For Memorial weekend we both had Saturday through Monday off so we decided to get out of town and go to Boston since we'd never been there and thought it was about time to check it out. We left our flat bright and early Saturday morning at 6am to catch the 7am Fung Wah bus (it's only $15 each way, who can beat that?) Our bus must have had wings because we got to Boston by 10:15 and we weren't really expecting to get there until 11 or 11:30. It was a mega-bonus for us to check into our hotel early and drop of our bags as well. We stayed at a Marriott Courtyard in South Boston and it felt like we were in a palace after being cramped in our tiny room in Brooklyn for the last 3 months. This room was twice the size, had a TV (of course it would-but we don't have one so it was exciting to us) the beds were so BIG and comfy, and it had a lovely bathroom. We were in heaven! Seriously... it was so hard to leave all that space and comfort.

Once renewed and refreshed, we didn't have set plans so we decided to hit one of the museums we wanted to go to while there. We took the silver line on the T (Boston's public transport), it's quite strange. It's a bus that goes underground in a tunnel. The other thing we noticed immediately with Boston's trains/buses is the quiet. There was hardly anyone around and we felt a bit like we were in a film where there is some disease that wipes everyone out and all that's left are zombies. It was like that pretty much all weekend-people got out of town while we came into town. It was nice to get away from constant people, people, people everywhere.

Our first stop was to check out the Institute of Contemporary Art which was small but everything on exhibit was fantastic!!

The New Museum in NY could learn some things from them. The ICA is located right by a bay and there were some sailboats cruising around and a nice breeze. May we just add that the ICA building has a fabbity-fab elevator. Yes, we were smitten with their giant elevator and it's lovely glass and wood. We could have spent a few hours watching the elevator go up and down. After the ICA we walked around the area but there wasn't much else to do unless we wanted to take a ferry somewhere-which we didn't.

We decided to go to Newbury Street since our friend Maddy suggested it and walked for quite awhile around there.

It's a lot of little boutiques/shops and for some reason it reminded us of a high street in any town, England. Hmmm... Throughout the weekend little things would remind us of England which made us a bit sad. Two years ago we were living it up all over England with "The Man" on tour having a great time. We walked and walked and walked and just checked out the various buildings as we usually do when we explore new cities. We eventually came to a large park and walked though it.

While in the park we saw 4 brides and grooms getting their photos taken. It's the season-blech. Of coarse we had to rate the various brides and their dresses-it's what we do. Sidenote-Bostonians are seriously lacking in the fashion department-we saw a lot of horrible outfits/hairstyles and while we aren't the fashion police we are still going to mock your bad outfit. We loved the old architecture of the city and took a lot of pictures of buildings.

We were getting pretty tired after walking all over so we decided to hit a movie since neither of us had been to one one in months. We went to Chronicles of Narnia:Prince Caspian and really liked it a lot-maybe even more than the first one. If you see it-Eddie Izzard is the voice to a mouse and that really made our day since we adore Mr. Izzard and we will be going to see him at Radio City at the end of June. After the film we were so exhausted from our long day we went back to our room and crashed. Really-it was a struggle to even get into our jim jams.

*up next-day two WOOP WOOP!

07 June 2008

gigs galore

At the end of April and into May we went to quite a few shows but we've been so busy we haven't written about them so we're going to break it up into a few posts.

e saw Elbow with Jesca Hoop at Webster Hall on April 26. Right before Jesca was due to come out Guy Garvey from Elbow came onstage to introduced her. He said that her voice was soft and beautiful, one of his favorites of all time, and he asked that people not talk since they were in for a special treat and he wanted us all to enjoy her music. That's asking a lot for a NY crowd, especially with the bar at the back of the venue. People were quiet at first but half way through her set more people arrived and soon a lot of people were chattering over her. She made a comment but to no avail. Her music was lovely and her voice is very unique in a soft whisper kind of way.

It was so great to finally see Elbow live after being fans since their first album came out in 2002. They started out with "Starlings" which has such a dramatic beginning, it set the mood for the rest of the night. We knew it was going to be great but they completely exceeded our expectations. They played most songs off the new album "The Seldom Seen Kid". Highlights were when they sang "Mirror ball" Guy requested that the huge mirror ball come down for the song. Between the song and the lovely glimmering mirror ball the set was so memorable.

At the final song when Guy asked everyone to sing along (something about this venue- it prompts sing-a-longs?) to "One Day Like This". He looked up at us in the balcony and said to the guy next to Katie "I see you up there in the green shirt, you'd better sing along or else I'll have to come up there for you". Then he said we'd have to sing something if we wanted them to come back for an encore. A guy in the crowd suggested "Killing Me Softly" so that's what we did-when Guy Garvey askes you to sing-you do it. It really was brilliant to hear it start quiet and then get louder and louder. Guy loved it! He said it gave him goose bumps. It was ace!

Next we went to see The Teenagers play at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on May 3. There were two opening bands and while The Blakes were okay it was really their drummer we liked the most. We dig a good drummer that's for sure. The hall wasn't very full yet so we had a great time watching people act like fools. You'd think they don't get out much by the way they act but we suspect they are like this all the time-sad.

The second opening band were HORRIBLE. It was really unbearable to stand through their set. The "music" wasn't much more than noise (we sound so old but really-when you hear great music all the time the bad stuff is just SO BAD) and they kept jumping off the stage and "singing" in the crowd. They totally reminded us of "dance bully" from SLC. (Dance bully is a guy Katie would have to endure in Salt Lake at shows who would bully people into dancing like him or just dancing in general and he is utterly annoying in every way and has developed quite a following of disgusted people-Katie would have none of his antics and proudly pushed past him at a Bloc Party gig to avoid his "dancing".) One of the guys in the band had his parents there and they were more fun to watch than the band. Even though their son's band is utter crap they are still there to support him. Ahhh

The Teenagers were fun but since they just have the one album their set wasn't very long. They were surprisingly better live than expected but not a group we need to go see every time they are in town. They still have a long way to go to become a truly great band (if they even want to be one) which we doubt as they seem more like a band that's just fun at the time but doesn't have the longevity to keep going for years and years. They also went into the audience to sing and make people dance during their set, then they invited a lot of trashy girls up on stage to dance with them. It will be interesting to see if they evolve or fizzle out.

May 8 was El Perro Del Mar with Lykke Li and Anna Ternheim at the Bowery Ballroom It was a Swedish extravaganza! Sweden is just churning out the great musicians lately.

Anna has a beautiful soft voice and she had great stage banter. She told a story about when she first moved to New York her neighbor had recently been mugged and when Anna met her for the first time she had knife in her hand. What a welcome! Anna looked a bit like Jodie Foster from Freaky Friday, a personal favorite so we automatically liked her.

She had beautiful songs and played the most wonderful cover of China Girl by Bowie so we had to buy her cd. It is definitely worth checking out.

Lykke Li was fantastic! She wore a cropped shirt and very wide legged, high waisted trousers that made her dancing the best entertainment of the night. Her jewelry was the cherry on top of her look, many heavy gold chains-how very early 80's of her. Hearing her songs live made us love them even more.

El Perro del Mar was lovely but her expressions made it seem she was in pain the entire time. She smiled a few times, mostly at the end when she was singing with Lykke. It was a fabulous girls only night of music.

06 June 2008

thank you for your live

My friend at work told me today about a great web page where you can view live shows. I feel like I was slow to catch this train but now I'm on board! Check out fabchannel to see if your favorite bands are on it, they seem to be constantly adding more shows so it's good to always check back. They are mainly shot in Amsterdam so it has an intimate feeling from a smaller venue.


lovely lamp

A month ago we went to a party in Chelsea. It was a co-worker's of Katie's so of course he had a great place overflowing with style. My favorite item was a lamp he had on a low table. I was so happy to find out that it is at West Elm so now I can have the lamp too! I can't get it til it goes on sale or even until we move to our bigger place. It is so lovely. The lampshade proportion is what drew me in at first and I love the sky blue color that it comes in. I will work extra at my part time job just so this lamp can join the family.


05 June 2008

happy happy joy joy

We are giddy with delight and skipping and dancing for joy with the news that TopShop is opening in New York this fall. We have not stopped smiling since we confirmed this great news. Heidi heard that they were shopping around for a space over a year ago. Now our dreams have come true and even better it will be one block from where Heidi works in Soho. We have loved TopShop ever since our first trip to England in 1999 but it's a bit painful to shop there now with the terrible conversion rates. We'll be there on opening day (whenever that is). YEAH!

02 June 2008

the hunt begins

We only have one month left on Heidi's lease on our current housing situation which is not meant for two people AT ALL. We've been snugly close for the last three months and it's starting to ware us down a bit. The time has come to look for a new and bigger flat-which is going to be cutthroat and stressful. We're not asking for much-maybe a nice neighborhood and some space for a sofa and chair or two and a place for our beds-then there is the daunting task of all of our clothes! Keep us in your thoughts while we try to get a new homestead! Also, if anyone wants to drive across the country with Katie in July when she brings out our furniture please let us know!
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