Friday, April 30, 2010

Yay technology!

If you ride the L or have been to Paris you've seen the train countdown clocks. They don't make the subway come faster, and sometimes knowing that you have to wait THIRTY minutes is annoying, but regardless my station has one now, and I'm super amped! So is Barb!

Happy Friday. Here is so good happy Friday jam. This might be a new tradition, a jam for every Friday. What do y'all think?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Philadelphia’s Magic Mosaic Gardens

Let me tell you whats overwhelming. Having 40 new friends that you really REALLY want to see scattered across the states (and the Netherlands!) (and Israel!). After my trip I was lucky enough to have made some particularly phenomenal friends, dubbed Beautiful Bubbles by our tour leader. Now-I'm not planning any trips over seas or across the country any time soon, but Philly seemed manageable. Two (extremely nauseous) hours later Bolt Bus delivered me into the city of brotherly love. Or, as I like to think of it, Bubbly Love. I met up with Lisa and Brian to tour the Magic Gardens of Isaiah Zagar. In a word- overwhelming- in the best way. Just like having 40 friends.
Isaiah is obviously full of krazy. But who doesn't love a krazy every now and then? Especially when they make really amazing art I can walk through? Every inch of the indoor and outdoor space was drenched with mosaic madness.
Isaiah often placed images of himself within the work, always having three arms and often in the nude. Also, if you cared to search the maze, you could often find all sorts of unique items he incorporated into the madness.Embedded into the wall were all sorts of tea pots, bottles, and other liquid containers.And here we found a Buddha just lounging, enjoying the view.
What was so cool about the space was how you could walk through it and really interact. I could feel the 3AM nights, where I imagined Isaiah tired as a mofo but working relentlessly regardless. The drive to make conquering the need for sleep.
Brian, Lisa, and I dreamed up the perfect wedding, designating different sections of the maze as a specialty cocktails area, a vegan pigs in a blanket station (well the vegan part may have been me) and a spectacular dance floor, no decorating required. There were unlimited nooks and crannies for the best man and a bridesmaid to get their make out on. Plus all the kids would just entertain themselves by playing hide and seek in the maze. Perfect!
What was really extra special was being able to spend all this time with these two wonderful people.
Because whats better than a reunion in a magical place?
Isaiah has either been commissioned, or took it upon himself, to mosaic much of the surrounding area. So there are people who live in houses adorned with his work, and store fronts covered with the stuff. Its like an exploration in alternative graffiti. It makes the neighborhood a really beautiful place to spend time in. I'm sure all the residents are saying-

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day! Everyday!

Oh yes- I'm stepping back on my soap box. C'mon, you know you love it, and you only have to tolerate it ever so slightly.

Lately I've been having a bit of a personal moral compass crisis. Feeling overwhelmed (a all too familiar feeling when thinking about the environment) like I can't make change and the issues at hand are so complex that the right choice seems so inextricably tangled in a mess of consequences (unless I quit the city and move to a big ole plot of land, build a permaculture house and start my own farm- another completely overwhelming idea and who am I kidding, I love the city) that my brains kinda exploded for a little while. Acquiring new information was halted and my need for critical discourse rose to the surface. I needed enviro-cheerleaders, team green members, fans of the Earth.
So last night, egged on by PBS, I took the initiative and invited my friends to watch Food Inc. together. My friends, who I love dearly but usually see only at the bar, whose eating habits range from Vegan to "Its yummy," gathered together to partake in a mostly vegan, meatfree potluck and to watch a food politics documentary.
Afterward we engaged in friendly conversation. There was no finger pointing from the meat free to the chicken eaters, no high and mighty condescending tones, just chit chat about what are some small and personal steps we can take as consumers to make better choices.
What is so cool about eating is that it is something you have to do every day. It makes being an environmentalist very accessible. So everyday you have the luxury to make a choice, and you can choose to eat McDonald's, or you can bring your own lunch in a reusable container. As my very smart pal, Megan, said (when I moral compas crisis-ed all over her) "Nothing about it is easy. You can get bogged down in the process, but you have to just make good choices when you can."

I talked a little bit about Meatless Mondays last year, but I still think its a fantastic decision so go czech it out!

I continue to remain true to this idea- Before I'm a Brooklynite, a New Yorker, an American, a Westerner, I am a Global Citizen. To be an environmentalist is not a conservative or liberal action, this is a moral decision which we all must make, everyday. It is critical that we look at every action we take as a choice. Paper or plastic or canvas or nothing? What choice are you making?

I hope you have all are inspired to make this earthy day a little more thoughtful than last years!
Maybe today will be a meat free day? Or maybe you will go outside and enjoy the earth during lunch? Or something else totally baller!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shabbat Brunch-o

Last Saturday I invited many of my peeps for my very first Shabbat. For those of y'all who don't know, the Jewish sabbath is from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. And there are all sorts of ways people choose to observe the sabbath, from not carrying keys, using money, or actively turning on lights to hanging out and getting piss drunk. And some people choose not to observe at all.
Since I just returned from an amazing trip to Israel, and love so many of the people from that trip, I decided to continue my ride on the enthusiasm train and host a Shabbat to gather my Birthright peeps with my non-Birthright peeps. Jews, Gentiles and us half-eys all ate the most delish bagels from Bergen Bagels (no really, you'll pee your pants, these bagels are boner inducing) and I made a fruit salad, cut up peppers for the hummus, pancakes were a plenty as were oj, grapefruit juice and mimosas. That's right this was a vegetarian event darlin! Mostly organic, and totally local. Wassap!? And all the vegans had plenty to choose from because that's how I like to do a thang.
Tara (pictured below; left) was the pancake master and made all sorts of amazing shaped pancakes. This was her crowning glory though, a dino shaped pancake. It was requested, I had no idea how to carry out such a demand, but Tara was allz like "I know everything pancake," and knocked it out of the park. The Jurassic park. She also made a star of David pancake,and just a normal star pancake. Because she knows everything pancake.
Hey peeps! Thanks for coming and making it the best brunch ever! And thanks Birthright for picking up the tab! I can't wait to have another one- so amazing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lady in Green

Spotted- on Bleeker near Seventh Ave. A lady who knows what's up. Who loves monochromatic color choices, especially when it comes to ensemble decisions. Diggin her boldness, her ballsyness, and I hope I am brave enough to be this unapologetically crazy when I'm older.

I haven't been posting too much about the city lately, and I have several "not NYC" posts planned, but I wanted to give a shout out to the place I do love indeed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Friday!

I'm just excited about life- I'm hosting my friends for Brunch tomorrow- and that should be amazing (hello Bergen Bagels) and Sunday I'm off to Philly to holler at some bubbles, and getting out of the city for the day is never a bad idea (I love New York! Really!)
So because I'm in a good mood, here's a lil' something for you to feel jazzed about too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mine dogers

"Hey, everyone, gather round. Let me tell you about this land. It was once Syrian territory which the Syrians heavily mined. Once Israel won this land, they also decided to add their mines to the bunch. This has resulted in the area being one of the most heavily mined areas in the whole world. OKAY! Let's go hiking!"
That is more or less what our tour guide shared with us right before this amazing hike through Nahal Jilaboun in Northern Israel. Israel is full of "not in use, well not right now anyways" military stuff, like old bunkers and shacks, like the one above.
It never stopped being strange to see tags thrown up on the sides of buildings, but have them not be written in letters I can read.
The landscape was remarkable, but also remarkably much like the North East. In fact, us Nor-Easter's commented that we could be hiking through the Catskills and wouldn't be surprised.
This one area two of my fav's, Randy and Erica, are posing in, so reminded me of the little bamboo swampy areas in Fire Island, if you've ever been there. I half expected to see a deer wander by. It was nice and cool down in the valleys, covered by trees and a small river running through. Unlike the rocks-
where there was no relief from the intense sun. However it was from these spots that we could see the landscape unfurl beneath us and really appreciate the hike.
The diversity of the plants was the only hint that, honey, we ain't in New York anymore. I can guarantee that there are no cactus growing upstate.
Something we learned, and then were reminded about all though our trip- since it was an off season for us to be there it was on season for Israeli schools. Apparently we were exploring the land during "Israel Take Your School Kids on a Trip Week," and kept running into very enthusiastic kiddies also exploring their homeland. These ones in particular stopped me to ask if I was from America, and New York in general (how did they know, I was dressing French!?) and totally needed to take a photo with me. I happily agreed in return for a photo with them.

At this point you're probably curious about the hats. Hats, hats all around and not a drop to drink (?). According to every tour guide in Israel the sun will kill you in 40 minutes due to dehydration and heat stroke, unless, of course, you're wearing a hat and then you're totally 100% fine. That is why everyone has a hat on. Its not optional, its mandatory.
Here is a place that you can "leave your DNA" according to our lovely tour guide.
And so concludes our Northern Israel hike. Just wait to you see the desert!

OH! And since this is a blog about New York, not Israel- I just found out about this really cool run that you can do ON JFK's RUNWAY! Its this Sunday, and I'll be outta town, but I think its a really cool thing that everyone should do, because how often do you get to do something like this?!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring time, dress time!

What is better than wearing dresses every day? Probably not much (rock climbing, laying in the grass, dancing, picnicking, making out, bike riding... almost all of those things can be done in a dress) and now the weather is becoming more and more appropriate to be wearing a dress, and only a dress (and shoes!) and that makes me feel fancy. Fancy free! Spring time allergies make me feel like I have the flu, but that's another story.
Today I kinda sorta bought this dress, and I like it so much I'm sharing it with you, so I can spread my enthusiasm like my flu (its not a flu! You can't catch allergies, stupid). And keeping with the Israel theme, its Elli Tahari, and Israeli designer. BAM!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring! Scratch that- SUMMER!

In a typical fucked up kind of way, New York decided to forgo spring in lieu of hardcore summer weather straight off the bat. Hello heat wave! Which for those of us who suffer allergies, it was less than awesome, but still stunningly beautiful. I can't hate. I bet the cherry blossoms looks amazing in the Botanical Gardens.
I'm happy for the rain last night, kill those pollen drifts!

I know I've been a naughty blogger, so infrequent. I'm back on the bandwagon!