Friday, July 31, 2009


Song to the Siren

Visited the Met Museum yesterday. My eyes were sore after two hours. There's an endless amount of information to take in there. I enjoyed the Francis Bacon exhibit the most. I did, however, become really enamored with the following Tim Buckley song, which I heard at the Pictures Generation exhibit.

I am a big fan of his son, Jeff Buckley. They both have the same eery, profound sensability.

So Much Past Inside My Present

This cheered my heart up quite a bit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Last August, I took a cross-country road trip. These photos remind me of those blissful 10 days and of these songs, which I played relentlessly off a treasured mix:

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
The Innocence Mission - Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning
Freda Payne - Band of Gold

How to Be an Explorer of the World

by Keri Smith

Learn more here or buy the book.

Monday, July 27, 2009

In Hopes of Whale Sightings

My new obsessions.
Last week it was:

This week, it's:

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Dreamy. Would love to spend an afternoon under these before summer is over.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

pretty picture

Good thing I got so much rest last weekend, because between all these working hours now I just want to sleep.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm So Bouncy!

HAHAHAHAHA! Ju so funny, Biu.

The Librarianist

Born Round

Yesterday, the New York Times Sunday Magazine featured an article by the paper's premier restaurant critic, Frank Bruni, adapted from his forthcoming memoir "Born Round". While the book tells of his larger relationship with food and the path it led him down, this article is a narrower account of the role food played in his childhood. He tells of his interminable struggle with a voracious appetite and the effects it quickly had on his body and later, his psyche. I found the article to be relatable, brutally honest, and at times very funny. A humorous taste:
They joked that my initials, F.B., stood for Fat Boy. Mom told me to ignore it, but there were moments when she herself reminded me that I was larger than I should be. Frustrated by my failure to fend off an older girl at school who regularly taunted and shoved me until I gave her my lunch money, Mom said, “Next time, why don’t you just sit on her?” Mom had never seen her but made the safe assumption that I outweighed her.

A good read for anyone who loves eating, has ever struggled with their weight, or just loves reading about food.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Education

Found this trailer here. I want to see it badly. It reminds me of... something.

New Additions

My fire escape garden is doing pretty well:

I don't have too many budding zucchinis, despite an array of zucchini flowers (which I'm assuming were all males) that sprouted in the past month and have since run their course. Here's a baby zucchini:

Lots of baby green tomatoes:

A new gym locker cubby from Moon River Chattel. I installed it myself!

Fresh Wind and Bright Skies

Yesterday's trip to Governors Island was a wild success.

Along with fellow adventurers Jess and my roommate Chloe, we three rode our bikes down the west side of Brooklyn, under the three bridges, to Old Fulton Street where we boarded the first ferry of the day that shipped us over the to island. (Ooh what that reminds me of!) The ride lasted five minutes or less. Before we knew it, we were on the island, among the first guests of the day. We chose to explore the perimeter on our bikes before settling down anywhere. Starting at Pier 101 where we docked on the north side, we traveled clockwise, passing the free kayaking station, Yankee Pier, and arriving at Picnic Point on the south side, where we were stopped by an arresting view of Lady Liberty and eery, melodic music that began to sound from military megaphones plotted on posts high above us. Entranced by the ghostly music, we rode our bikes in circles for awhile and then disembarked to grab a souvenir with Miss America.

After completing our patriotic duty, we continued westward on the promenade, eventually passing many an ice cream truck, a free fishing outpost, a castle, a sandy beach with a big stage set up and a restaurant (Water Taxi Beach), and we made it back to our starting position. From there we headed inland into an array of beautiful, deserted buildings--remnants of the island's military past. The castle and fort were relics dating back to the early 19th century. The houses strewn among the suburban paths, lined with tremendous oak trees, were a mix of Greek revivalist manors, or wood-paneled two family houses done in a style reminiscent of Southern mansions featuring open-windowed sitting rooms and porches. Biking down these streets, we were suddenly in suburban heaven, and visiting some of the decaying houses was a treat! I was reminded of the house tours I went on in Natchez, Mississippi last summer. The pleasure of leisurely riding a bike past enticing houses and looking up into a sky shaded by leaves provides an indescribable calm.

Nearby these houses was a grassy lawn entitled City of Dreams, filled with playful, interactive installation art, including a mini golf course.

We then wandered into another lawn area packed with environment-oriented booths and crafts for children. Families dominated this area, as did groups of musicians, and a selection of food carts. We chose the Jamaican cart and parked ourselves under a heaving tree for jerk chicken, braised cabbage, and seasoned rice. Satiated and tired, we hopped on our bikes again to seek the hammocks and sunshine provided at Picnic Point. We snatched one almost immediately and set up a blanket for some reading, tanning, and ice cream eating.

After a long respite, we rode back inland, still getting lost despite navigating the circumference of the island multiple times. Our mission was to visit two remaining exhibits: an architectural light and fog show in a church and a parody zombie flick in a former movie theater. The most exciting part of this venture was visiting the buildings themselves, the movie theater in particular, which was a picture perfect movie theater from a bygone era. From here, we raced our bikes back to Pier 101, just in time to catch the last ferry that would take us back to Brooklyn.

Needless to say, the ride back to Williamsburg was exhausting. Chloe and I sat our butts down on the couch, downed Coronas, made pork tacos, drank more Coronas, and then I fell asleep.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


"You--she thought--whoever you are, whom I have always loved and never found, you whom I expected to see at the end of the rails beyond the horizon, you whose presence I had always felt in the streets of the city and whose world I had wanted to build, it is my love for you that had kept me moving, my love and my hope to reach you and my wish to be worthy of you on the day that I would stand before you face to face. Now I know that I shall never find you--that it is not to be reached or lived--but what is left of my life is still yours, and I will go on in your name, even though it is a name I'll never learn, I will go on serving you, even though I'm never to win, I will go on, to be worthy of you on the day when I have met you, even though I won't..."

- Dagny in Atlas Shrugged

hello governor!

About to bike over to the Brooklyn Ferry and spend the day on Governors Island.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Julius Shulman

The architectural photographer Julius Shulman passed away this week. This was his most famous photograph, called Case Study House #22:

About four or five years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting this famed house and meeting the eldery Mr. Shulman; an ex-boyfriend's father was partaking in a documentary about Shulman.

I've been thinking about modern houses a lot lately since my boyfriend recently received a lovely picture book on them. And MoMA, which I just visited, is hosting a few architectural exhibits, including a Young Architects special at P.S. 1.

Shulman's photograph of Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House:

Another house that's been on my mind (photo not taken by Shulman, but recently spotted in the Modern Houses book):
Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright

(500) days of summer

I saw (500) Days of Summer this afternoon. It was sweet, simple, and relatable. Charismatic actors, quirky screen gimmicks, and an end that tugged at my heart. At the same time, it was a commonly told story about the discovery of love, and I didn't find it to be very challenging or complex. A nice afternoon movie though, and its players were easy on the eyes.

Zooey Deschanel is particularly adorable in it. She has a sweet voice. I recently played a girl named Summer in a film, so it was painful to see such a cute and awesome competing Summer on the big screen!

a boring poem

Dream Song 14

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

—John Berryman
via personism

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hell Yeah, Alec!

Jack, you don't tell people that a career in the performing arts disqualifies them from seeking elected office, and I won't say publicly that your being convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which you struck a cyclist and then ran two red lights while you were pursued by the police and were subsequently ordered to serve 70 hours of community service back in May of 2003 disqualifies you from posing as a "Man of the People" on a major cable news network.

- Alec Baldwin, commenting on CNN's Jack Cafferty disqualifying Baldwin's credentials for running for office

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.

- John Green

via Sarah

Pappardelle Primavera

Last night's dinner (sorry, Biu! I like this picture!)

Eggplant Caponata from BuonItalia over Picholine Olive bread from Amy's

Lemon Pepper Pappardelle from Trader Joe's, topped with a cream/parmesan/pepper sauce that I let boil for a few minutes, plus a mix of briefly blanched veggies (peas, fava beans, carrots, asparagus) that were then sauteed with slices of spring garlic, shallots, and white onions. And some grated pecorino-romano on top!


Caught a lovely performance by Wilco last night at KeySpan park in Coney Island, which served as an additional attraction. There are few things better than a warm, summer night concert under open skies next to the open sea. We breezed into the concert as if it were so easy, no crowds to push through, and Wilco was ruling the stage as if they were in the most epic concert film. They kept pulling out magical music tricks out of their bags: the drummer stood atop his set at one point, awash in sweat and awesome looking, the band closed the show and then returned for two EPIC encores, thus doubling the length of the show, and they brought out the finest of guests to accompany them on a few songs: Leslie Feist, Yo La Tengo, and Brooklyn's own Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear.

Aside from an awesome guitar battle, my favorite part of the show was watching Jeff Tweedy and Leslie Feist share a duet. If I can find the live version, I'll post it soon. But for now: You and I - Wilco feat. Feist

P.S. Afterwards, we got a funnel cake and a lemonade!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Enthralled by Whales

I want to share with you an article that has deeply impacted me since I read it for the first time yesterday afternoon on a lengthy subway ride. It's story has taken residence in my mind; it has confounded and enthralled me, and has left me eager to satisfy the boundless curiosity now embedded in me by this story.

I'll start from the very beginning. My newspaper failed to arrive this past Saturday, as per usual. A frustrating occurrence made all the more frustrating by the gravity of what was at stake: the advance sections of the Weekend edition (Arts & Leisure, Travel, and most importantly, the Sunday Magazine.) It wouldn't matter to me if I were to be so lucky as to find my delivery intact on Sunday morning; it was Saturday's paper that held Sunday's promise. So, after numerous annoying phone calls to my delivery courier, who had vowed a same day re-delivery of my beloved sections, I stumbled upon a deserted copy of the day's paper strewn over a table at a nearby cafe whose ATM I had come to use. Ruffling through the papers to see what I had missed, the glossy cover of the Sunday Magazine that was tucked away between sections of lesser importance caught me by surprise--who would leave this treasured reading material behind?! With my stolen loot stealthily crumpled up in my right hand, I scooted out of the cafe, somewhat calmed down by my morning's delivery fiasco since I now had a piece of the pie I sought after.

Now, if it were any other weekend, my mission to attain this issue would be of little significance, but it just so happens that the cover article that caught my eye in that brief moment at the cafe, has resonated with me so deeply that I cannot dismiss the preceding chase so easily. The image on the cover was of a whale fluke extending above the ocean's surface, and printed over it were the words "What are the Whales Trying to Tell Us?" As I have noted here before, I love whales. There is a passage in this article that I think best sums up by fascination with cetaceans: "They largely elude us, whales, thus their deep allure. The earth's most massive creatures, they nevertheless spend the bulk of their lives off in their own element, beyond our ken, about as close as fellow mammals can get to being extraterrestrials."

The article, which I highly recommend as a delightful, stimulating, thought-provoking read, is about the possibility of interspecies communication told through an accumulation of recent research on whales. The article largely focuses on the whales of Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California, Mexico, who have continuously, over the past 50 years, sought out communication with humans. The author of the article ventures down to Baja in order to witness the arrival of the "Friendlies", as these Pacific Coast gray whales are called, and finds himself not only petting the face of a 40-foot-long, 30-ton female whale and her newborn calf, but also floating atop the back of this same whale, along with his companions on their 18-foot-long boat.

Alongside this first-hand account, the author provides a range of astonishing factual evidence that details cetacean's evolved intelligence and their intricate social behavior, both which reflect our own. On a neurological study of whale brains, Siebert writes, "The study revealed brain structures surprisingly similar to our own. Some, in fact, contained large concentrations of spindle cells--often referred to as the cells that make us human because of their link to higher cognitive functions like self-awareness, a sense of compassion and linguistic expression--with the added kick that whales evolved these same highly specialized neurons as many as 15 million years before we humans did, a stunning instance of a phenomenon biologists refer to as parallel evolution."

Siebert also quotes a scientific journal which notes that whales "exhibit complex social patterns that include intricate communcation skills, coalition formation, cooperation, cultural transmission and tool usage." In regard to this social behavior, he also writes:
The sperm whale, for example, which has the largest brain on earth, weighing as much as 19 pounds, has been found to live in large, elaborately structured societal groups, or clans, that typically number in the tens of thousands and wander over many thousands of miles of ocean. The whales of a clan are not all related, but within each clan there are smaller, close-knit, matriarchal family units. Young whales are raised within an extended, multitiered network of doting female caregivers, including the mother, aunts and grandmothers, who help in the nurturing of babies and, researchers suspect, in teaching them patterns of movement, hunting techniques and communication skills. “It’s like they’re living in these massive, multicultural, undersea societies,” says Hal Whitehead, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and the world’s foremost expert on the sperm whale. “It’s sort of strange. Really the closest analogy we have for it would be ourselves.”
The closest analogy is ourselves?! This is truly mind-blowing to me. To think that there is a species that exists on this planet that has evolved alongside us humans, who think we are the dominant species on this planet is unfathomable and alien-like to me. And yet, the stories told in the article about the curiosity and friendliness exhibited by whales make this concept all the more intruiging and plausible to me. I am in awe of this article and want to re-post every magical word of it here, but I'll spare you. I hope you'll read it instead yourself and, if I haven't inspired you to do so yet, maybe this will:

As Beto spoke, I thought of another bit of interspecies cooperation involving humpbacks that I recently read about. A female humpback was spotted in December 2005 east of the Farallon Islands, just off the coast of San Francisco. She was entangled in a web of crab-trap lines, hundreds of yards of nylon rope that had become wrapped around her mouth, torso and tail, the weight of the traps causing her to struggle to stay afloat. A rescue team arrived within a few hours and decided that the only way to save her was to dive in and cut her loose. For an hour they cut at the lines and rope with curved knives, all the while trying to steer clear of a tail they knew could kill them with one swipe.

When the whale was finally freed, the divers said, she swam around them for a time in what appeared to be joyous circles. She then came back and visited with each one of them, nudging them all gently, as if in thanks. The divers said it was the most beautiful experience they ever had. As for the diver who cut free the rope that was entangled in the whale’s mouth, her huge eye was following him the entire time, and he said that he will never be the same.

Watching Whales Watching Us by Charles Siebert in the New York Times' Sunday Magazine.

A video filmed in the San Ignacio Lagoon. This makes me shudder and brings me unbelievable joy to know this is real:

If that wasn't enough, watch this:

And a beautiful, song-filled spiritual one:

Some Links:
+Save the Whales
+NRDC: Protecting Whales From Dangerous Sonar
+Wikipedia: Cetacean Intelligence

I'm Back...

and so is Dexter, the beloved protagonist of the Sunday Magazine food section's ongoing series "Cooking With Dexter." Read this week's article that describes the five-year-old's quirky fascination with mummifying his favorite vegetables.

Friday, July 10, 2009


image via Once Wed

With family in town, my schedule has been erratic and it's been hard to be post. I'll be back soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Dream

In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that has neither door nor window. In the only room (with a dirt floor and shaped like a circle) there is a wooden table and a bench. In that circular cell, a man who looks like me is writing in letters I cannot understand a long poem about a man who in another circular cell is writing a poem about a man who in another circular cell . . . The process never ends and no one will be able to read what the prisoners write.
by Jorge Luis Borges

found in the New Yorker

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

csa round-up, pt. 2

I picked up my CSA share for the second time last night. Just as fun as the first time, and the veggies are lovely as ever. Chloe and I also sat down for some white wine and a farm plate, which was prepared for us using fresh and grilled vegetables alongside a tarragon aioli. It was incredible.

On to my veggies! I received:
-1 head of romaine
-20 Fava beans
-1 lb. Sweet peas
-3 Green zuccini
-1 bunch Pink radishes
-1 bunch Epazote
-1 bunch Papalo (spicy, cilantro-like lettuce)
-1 bunch Carrots
-1 bunch Beets
-1 Leek
-3 Onions – red, white & Spanish

Later than evening, after trimming and properly storing my food, I put together a small dinner for Chloe & I based off of a recipe for Spicy Lettuce Wraps I caught on the CSA blog.

I used red bell pepper, garlic, white onion, and ginger in my saute, then I lightly seasoned some ground beef and added it to the skillet. Then I mixed in some coriander, cayenne pepper, dried basil, paprika, and a touch of soy sauce. We topped off our wraps with sriracha and hoisin sauce.

lost in translation

Monday, July 6, 2009

weekend: semi in pictures

pictures from corie's birthday dinner at freemans:

we had champagne, delightful cocktails, wine, plus spinach artichoke dip, cheddar toasts, filet mignon with truffled mashed potatoes, buttermilk fried chicken with bibb salad, blueberry cobbler, and bananas foster.

a most specialest gift of flowers from sprout:

plus, fun gifts:

and a celebratory outing to fuerzabruta and neighborhood restaurant el almacen, plus a completion of the aforeseen pirate puzzle.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


This dress rules.

via gingham capers

Friday, July 3, 2009


If I were an animal, I would be the rarest mammal of the Himalayas, the...:

the art of simple food

image via the seasonal gourmet

This afternoon, after a delightfully light lunch of radishes served with slices of baguette, butter, and sea salt, I was reminded of the pleasure of simple eating. The combination of these three basic ingredients with the fresh and seasonal radishes was so complimentary that I found myself stunned at how good it was. The experience reminded me of a recent trip to Barnes & Noble, which is where I usually choose to spend the free hours I have in the city sandwiched in between jobs or appointments. On my most recent visit, I found myself pouring over two books: Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and more specifically Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food. I've been savoring over these books for awhile, especially since I cannot afford to attend any cooking classes now. These books are courses in themselves, and I cannot wait until the occasion comes in which they will be MINE!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Good Tuesday

explosions in the sky @ summerstage 6/30/09 via flickr

Since work has been slow this week, and by slow I mean virtually non-existent, I've been cornered into choosing to take an unpaid vacation week. And it's alright by me. I've done fun things like get my nails painted perky purple, go to the beach, make late night pasta, and see a Explosions in the Sky play in central park (photo above)!

I got to shop around for myself, a friend's upcoming birthday, and a super duper special 5th of July. I also got to go to the Russian Baths, eat Vietnamese bahn mi (twice!), and ride my bike.

Tomorrow, I get to return to Freemans after a long separation for said friend's birthday feast, then I have a weekend full of celebratory events that I'm sure will include eating and bike rides.

Not bad, huh?