Friday, February 24, 2012

ABC Kitchen. Run, don't walk.

Well, I am often accused of using the superlative. (That would be my BROTHER, Kelly, that has accused me of that :-|)

So it is a little like crying wolf to say that I think the best meal I've had in New York was this afternoon for lunch at ABC Kitchen. It is a marriage of ABC and Jean Georges Vongerichten (usually known just as "Jean Georges" and I guess I see why.) He's major in NYC, which I should have known but didn't really.

And, here's the disclaimer. I am not so interested in the BIG DEAL meal these days. I'm really more about eating food that I would cook for myself if only I had the time. So, the processes that are really saucing, etc, etc.....I'm not that interested in. I could cook these things given the time and equipment. They are super simple - just a delightful use of herbs and plenty of cayenne! So, this is the kind of food that completely satisfies me now....

Lee and I are mostly running errands today, with one landing us at ABC at starvation time (he was headed to a diabetic coma if we didn't eat!) and we happily found room at the bar at the ABC Kitchen - just opened in the last year.

So, I have to warn you that the service is slow to start. Just fine, once you get going....but 15 min is a bit long to wait for the first meet and greet. And, in our state, we just about grabbed a waitress by the collar. Alas, my impatience passed and we ordered. It was very difficult to choose! Seriously. So I selected one thing and he, the other and it was sharesville, which we don't do often. Along with lunch, we ordered one GNGER MARGARITA to share. (Well, that lasted about 10 minutes, so we ordered the second. Major awakening....we can share food but not a drink.)


They served our salad and divided them, which is always so nice. And the shared portion was exactly perfect. After smacking our lips over the ROASTED CARROT, AVOCADO and SEED SALAD with SOUR CREAM, we waited only moments for the SPINACH - LOCAL GOAT CHEESE and PROVOLONE PIZZA with HERBS to arrive.


Well, we were off in the stratosphere after the first bite. It is, actually, factually, and honestly the thinnest crust I've ever experienced. It is baked in a wood pizza oven and the woodsy taste just saturated the crust. The spinach was thick and fresh and they may have thrown it on last minute because there was nothing soggy about it. And the goat cheese and provolone. They must have come from a farm on Broadway - that is how fresh it tasted.

Plus, the settings were darling and simple.

The table setting.
The whole thing reminded me of something SO MADISON and that is a huge compliment because I've had some of the best food in my life in Madison and they are one of the leaders of the local food movement.

Just yummy. And a great way to spend a Friday afternoon. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sites from the City

55 degrees and it is hard to stay inside here. It has been a restorative week so far and there is more to come.

Best yet - spent the morning with Alexander at a Sean Kelly gallery on W 29th to see the latest Alec Soth show. Funny thing.....I'd already seen it all - at the Walker a year or more ago! Que sera. We walked the High Line to have lunch and talked. I haven't had time alone with Zan for a couple of years. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. We've always been with our posses. Jessie, Lee, Izzy, friends, other family. So wonderful for me to hang out - - just the two of us.

Then, off to shop for clients and to fill up that creative tank. Here are some things that caught my eye:

Along the High Line - almost looked like a Cubist painting.

Window in SoHo shop.

Piet Hein Eek chair at Future Perfect on Great Jones Way.

Another grouping of furniture - Scrapwood Collection at Future Perfect.
By Piet Hein Eek

Amazing light fixture - all hand made in Brooklyn of blown glass and rope and brass.
Looks like a sea creature caught in rope.
Roll & Hill specialize in hand-craftsmanship.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Letting Down and Waking Up

Lake Michigan on Saturday from the plane - the frozen lake. get this book if you like ideas about architecture,  humanism, and consilience!

Whoahhhhhhh.....chillin in New York. Arrived yesterday around 2:00, went to our favorite local place, Beygolu, for the yummiest grilled shrimp, salad and hummos. Then we walked back to the little apartment after buying chocolate and gin and coffee, three of the four food groups, right?

Then, with every intention of taking a little nap then going to the Metropolitan Museum, I fell into a deep sleep under the down and awoke groggy and well into the evening. At which point, it was very clear that there was no going out. So we tucked into our chairs and - honestly - watched a re-run of Whitney Houston's funeral which, really, felt like an exquisite Broadway show. Alicia Keyes,  Stevie Wonder,  Kevin Costner,  Dionne Warwick....and the most amazing gospel choir I've ever imagined.

Then, off to bed, reading a crazy book that is making my mind spin toward what I can only think of as CONSILIENCE.
Here's what I know about that word:  Definition / Background of Consilience

The book is DaVinci's Ghost and I picked it up at the airport because I thought I had forgotten my book by Robert Fritz called Creativity at home. You know when things just sort of seem like a huge synchronicity in life????

This was that.

We are headed back to Florence in April this year and have invited friends who have never been to Italy. So excited to share it with others. We have hired a local Florentine to do a little lecture followed by a walking tour of one of the monasteries and the Palazzo de Medici. This guy is so amazing! He is an attorney, but does this history of Florence on the side.  He is funny and smart and has perfect English which is really impressive. So I have Florence on my mind.....

And, it seems sort of reasonable to read about DaVinci, right? The Florentine? I pick up the book, never having heard of it. No "New York Times Bestseller" that I can see on the dust cover.

Well, this is truly one of those mind-blowing reads. It is the story of the road to the moment when DaVinci drew the Vitruvian Man - you know, that guy with his arms and legs spread within the circle and the square. The story goes back Greece and Rome at the time before Christ....and involves architecture and man and the gods and the interplay of it all - just mind-blowing cool, making me think and see and perceive in a way that one might experience on what I might imagine is an acid trip which I NEVER did while my other friends did. (I was, instead, cooking for them.)

This book was making me look out of the plane at Lake Michigan and see the frozen concentric waves at the shore beneath the clouds. And I was so struck by the structure of the forms. Of the beauty of the forms.  The photo is above. Look closely at the "lines" of the lake.

I began to understand how to see the relationship between the human body and our built environment. The body is the cosmos in human form and scale.  And the history of our architecture is this story. But, today, we have mostly forgotten this language.

If you are interested in how there is some kind of unity in all of life, pick up this book.

Then....I dropped once again into a deep sleep in our tiny bedroom, under the down. And woke at 8:30 in the morning to cappuccino and the New York Times and, once Lee left for an errand, I did my Italian lesson and then went to yoga. Bliss out. Enjoy the holiday.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Selby - online mag a client told me about - it rocks!

Alexandre Herchcovitch in his Sao Paolo apartment. 

It's not that often that I find a new online resource that seems to feature really unique interiors. I'm a little more than ho-hum about most of them - now they seem more like online shopping guides. After lamenting the long-gone NEST with a client a few days ago, he suggested a new site and then sent it to me:  The Selby. And it is fantastic. Sort of a hipster World of Interiors or slightly less raunchy (I think?) NEST.

Either way, it features PERSONAL style, not trumped up retail catalogs of style. Here's the link and a few images from one of the places I found I liked immediately. The home of fashion designer Alexandre Herchcovitch at home in Sao Paolo.

What a treat!

Here's a link: The Selby

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The sweetest friend

This is what my dear friend, Tami, put on my daughter, Isabelle's doorstep yesterday - for Valentine's. All from her garden in Charleston, SC, of course.

How lucky is my daughter to have found such a friend / mentor?

How lucky am I?

We are going to Italy with Tami and her husband Frank in April - as their guides. What a treat!

Thank you, Tami, for loving my daughter in my absence!

Friday, February 10, 2012

TV Free

Lee and I have noticed over the past year as our work seemed to take on a life of its own, that we watched less and less TV. Now, to be sure, I only watched the news anyway. Really.  He watched news, assorted sports and Breaking Bad.

But, the news started bugging me. I felt like, first, what I was doing when I stopped doing it was more interesting than the news. So, that habit stopped some time last fall. Whenever  I did catch a piece of it, it seemed kind of stupid. I felt like the news people were almost condescending but frosted with a gooey niceness. I felt so cynical about it.

But, alas....the NFL. Lee has watched football since he was a kid so he had to have the NFL. Last Sunday, he watched the Super Bowl of course. I popped in to check out Eli Manning and Tom Brady a few times.

Then on Monday, he asked me...Should we cancel our cable - no tv? NO TV?

It didn't take me a minute to answer.

"God, yes."

He made the call.

As of today. we are TV free!

At least until September when football starts all over again....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Sartorialist in Florence. OMG.

From The Sartorialist blog. Check out the video!
From our favorite Florence, Italy.

Like, really? This is just amazing. How lovely that the Sartorialist celebrates this amazing sense of style! And in Firenze - I swear, the Florentines are the chicest people I have ever seen. How do they do it?

or try this embedded URL

I hope this works for you! Page through the photos!


Social Media - Help me, here.

I live in a fog of guilt about not "maximizing" social media. I haven't posted on Pinterest for a couple months. I have NEVER activated my business version of Facebook, though it sits there waiting for "friends" to activate it, I guess. I haven't told anyone it exists. I have a Twitter account that I have used, actually, one time on the day I signed up for it.

So, I get some Facebook message today and, of course, can't respond by email so I have to navigate how to respond in a personal way because that is what is appropriate. I find my way to this person's page and find "message" and start to keyboard - and then I notice all this changing activity on the right and it is people I know actually spending time on Facebook commenting all over each other's pages! Like how the hell do you have time for this? What is missing in my brain?

So, I started to think about my day and here I give you, the reader, a challenge. Find time for me to do social networking GIVEN my values! Seriously. Find me the time and I MIGHT consider it. But I don't get it given the things that matter most to me. (And, btw - this was a really nice day.)

Here's my day: (How exciting is this!)

7:30          Get up. Go sit on the sofa in front of the fire that Lee has made. Drink the cappuccino while he sits next to me and we read the Times. This goes on for over one hour. We do talk about life and love and what we are reading.

8:45          Have a money meeting with Lee. Long overdue. Just figure out money, stuff like that. Future money. Discuss taxes - all that fun stuff.  This takes at least one hour. We are theoretically supposed to have this every week, but since the holidays have fallen waaaaay off the wagon.

10:00        Lee eats. (He' s a Type I diabetic and has to eat before he exercises.) I made eggs, washed my face, got dressed for walking.  We both checked emails. This took about 45 min.

10:45      Leave to walk Lake Harriet. Saw the eagle flying overhead. Talked. Thought. This takes one hour for one time around. Lee walked around twice which takes two hours. I arrive home at about 11:45.

11:45     I take off my coat and check emails. Lee is still walking.

12:00     I go to my office and start to do what I like / try to do every Sunday. I go through everything that needs attention. First, I put away my piles, put STUFF away, and file things.  Then, with a newly organized ACTION PILE, I go through this pile and take action. :-) I pay the bills, email the vendor, approve the cutting, email a client. Etc, etc, etc. I work for 2 solid hours. The pile still exists. I am not through it yet and will have to come back to it later. It really is about 5 hours of work total.

2:00     Lee and I have an appt at 2:30 at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store because our phones and my ipad don't work properly. I get my coat on, gather my computer, ipad and phone and we leave around 2:10.

2:25     Buy the unbaked cookies for a friend from Lucia's then go on to Apple Store for our Genius Bar appt. This takes one hour for both of us to go through the problems we are having. They fix my problem. Lee buys a new phone.

3:30    We drive to Linden Hills Coop to buy food for dinner.

4:10     We are so ready to be home. The Apple thing took a lot longer than we thought it would. I head to my office. I get through the pile at 6:15. I start drinking wine at 5:30 when Lee starts the SUPER BOWL. I can't let him drink alone. Even if we are in separate rooms.  I work for two plus hours in my office.

6:15     I am feeling guilty that I haven't even started the chili even thought Lee is not complaining. He comes in to give me a kiss on occasion, in fact. But, if I don't start now....I will be ordering pizza soon enough! So, I go cook . And I like cooking so it is fun to just make the chili, text my son and drink my wine, get out the ingredients, chop onions, garlic, green pepper.

7:00     The chili is on its way. Madonna is going to be on half time. Well, I have to see this. So, while the chili cooks I go watch the Half Time Show - and Madonna still rocks - especially her last song.

7:20    Half time over. Dinner time. We eat for about 30 minutes while watching the game.

7:50    Dinner over. Grab my computer and sit with Lee. I realize that if I am ever going to finish this blog post, I'd better do it now.

8:25 Blogpost finished. Now, I am going back to my office to do my billing for January. This will take 1 hour. If it all works out, I will be done by 9:30 , which is when I like to go to bed to read. As I don't sleep as well as I used to because of menopause, I need to spend more time in bed - I may be awake 2 - 3 hours middle of the night. You never know!

I can hardly wait to finish the book I am reading. I will turn out lights by 10 or so.


Go figure. And the next post....about this INCREDIBLE BOOK I am reading. Waaaaay better than Facebook. :-) I"m hoping Facebook is just a fad.

Oh, yeah....Go Tom Brady. (I just think he is cuter.)

Blogger, really?

If you haven't blogged for way over 2 weeks, are you a blogger?