Brooklyn Flea

June 19, 2010

Scott and I had a really great Saturday. It’s the first time we’ve been in New York for a weekend in a long time and it was nice to be here, to be in our apartment, in this new neighborhood. I went for a run and while dodging strollers was pretty proud to live in a place that has so many cool restaurants I want to explore. It was a gorgeous, breezy, sunny day and it was just awesome to be outside.

We walked to the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene next. It’s half artisanal food–cheese, tacos, pastries, pork, bagels with lox. There was an article written about people who make treats for the flea markets out of their homes. I was impressed, and wished I could eat a little more than the hibiscus iced tea. The other half is jewelry, tee shirts, antiques, some junk, but mostly really cool stuff, well curated. Then the walk home, and a stop at the Cadman Plaza farmer’s market for more delicious, cheap blueberries and now out to dinner with Andrew and Amy.  Oh, and our apartment is now free of any stray boxes full of stuff.  Wahoo!

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Running today felt like running in Rio all over again.  I sought out any bit of shade and turned down the leafiest streets.  By the end, my mouth was super dry.  I was trying to figure out how I would I describe that intensely pasty-mouth feeling.  It was something like scotch tape inside my mouth, or like I had swallowed a bottle of soy sauce without a sip of water.  Needless to say, sort of unpleasant.

I also think that it’s cooler in Brooklyn than in Manhattan.  It’s breezier, the heat does vibrate so aggressively between the sidewalk and buildings and the sticky asphalt.  It’s more pleasant and breezy.  When it’s 92, it’s still hot, but a little more manageable, escapable. When I got back from Brazil I was so used to the heat, to being hot all the time, to sweating.  I was cold when it was 68 degrees and wanted a sweater. I hope my blood thins out again easily now that it’s hot in New York, too.

Procuring Edibles

May 16, 2010

Sort of by accident, yesterday wound up being a day for procuring food.  Scott and I walked up to Grand Army Plaza in the sunshine to go to the Greenmarket.  Now that we’re settled and have a kitchen of our own, I’m excited to really indulge my Omnivore’s Dilemma kick. We’ll see how it goes.  From there I went to meet Emily far east in the East Village and we wandered through downtown, stopping at Pulino’s, the new Keith McNally pizza place on Bowery and Houston for a crackly thin crust pizza smeared with tomato sauce and scattered with sweet shrimp and fennel.  We paused at Emily’s adorable new apartment and then set out for Chelsea Market, where she wanted to buy ingredients for dinner.  It was a fun reminder of how delicious New York is, everywhere, all the time.  I think I’ll go crack open one of my Ronnybrook yogurts for breakfast and eat it with some Greenmarket strawberries.

Solitude

May 12, 2010

Today was the first day I spent a considerable amount of time alone in what feels like a long, long time.  Since we’ve gotten back from Brazil, Scott and I have spent pretty much every day together.  Even when we’ve done different things, we’ve been staying in houses where other people live, and have had to converse and interact, and in so many ways, at this point, we’re extensions of each other.  For months now, there’s been someone to say something to when I’ve had something to say. In Brazil, we were also constantly together, and when he left a few weeks before me, I was staying with Edite and Karen, who’s houses are full of people and conversation.  The days all had activities, planned by and including the sisters.  Then Lindsay came, and we were together for over a week. Language and talking poured out of both of us as we went to Juquehy and to Rio.  As close friends who hadn’t seen each other for a year, there was so much to say.

Scott had his first day of work today and it’s quiet here.  It’s been pleasant, lovely almost, the quiet, but it’s something to get used to again.  It’s the first time I’ve lived in New York without a job to go to every day.  I’m planning on spending the summer freelance writing and taking some pre-req classes for SIPA.  I think I have to get used to being alone again.  It’s been quite a long time.  It’s sort of shocking to me how foreign it feels.  I had always prided myself on being extremely independent, spending so much time by myself before I met Scott, in Vietnam and in New York.  I hadn’t realized that I was out of practice.  I never thought of it as a thing I would have to relearn.  But here I am, in a very quiet apartment, after spending much of the day by myself, readjusting.

This morning I got up and went to my old yoga studio, Exhale, in Soho. I’ve been to all of the Exhales so many times over the last five-ish years I lived in New York, post-Vietnam and pre-Brazil.  The Soho one was the one I went to most often in the last year or so before we left.  I would go in the morning and walk from there to the UNICEF office, down Crosby Street, or up from Water Street after work.  Today I left a full hour to get from Brooklyn to the Spring Street studio.  It was ridiculous.  I got to Fulton street in about three minutes and realized I still had an hour before class started, so I got out and walked up.  It’s amazingly fun for me to see New York, the most familiar city to me, with new, fresh eyes.  Walks that I grew so tired of seem interesting again.  I know it won’t last long, but it’s working for me for now.  It’s also fun to see the new things that pop up.

I noticed for the first time that there’s an Osklen down by the Patagonia store in Soho.  It was one of my absolute favorites in Rio, and I’m excited that the Brazilian chain has one in New York, too.

I also walked past a new surf shop on Crosby Street, which seems out of place, yet sort of cool.  I guess, in a way, it’s another Rio throwback, but this store doesn’t look like anything in Brazil.  A surf store for the Ditch Plains set, or for those who like to hang surfboards in their Soho lofts.

The last place that struck me as odd was this Soho Synagogue.  Huh?

So we’ll see how long it takes for me to realize where I actually live and how far, or really how close, it is to everything.  I’m sure the days of being an hour early for things will subside soon.

After moving into our new apartment, Scott and I spent the weekend celebrating the marriage of Michael and Jenna–two of my favorite people in the world.  It was a warm, beautiful rehearsal dinner and wedding.  We danced.  We sang and laughed and mostly we danced.  And Jenna had the most incredibly beautiful, ethereal wedding dress I have ever seen.  More selfishly, it was extremely fun for me to be back with some of my closest friends in the world and Michael’s family, who I grew up with.

Today for Mother’s Day, the Behars and my parents came to Brooklyn.  We hung out at the apartment and then went to a store that Scott and I have been meaning to visit to buy a large dining room table for our new space. I would write the name here, but I want it to be my secret (another selfish indulgence).  There were graceful, heavy wooden planks with so much character, each with its own ancient story.  We didn’t find the perfect thing yet, but we got a good idea of what’s possible in the fluid world of hardwoods and tropical trees.

The last thing that’s been amusing over the last couple of days was that Scott was putting our books on the Ikea bookshelf that we tiredly put together on Wednesday night.  He thought he saw some sawdust and that we didn’t do a very good job.  Turns out our books from Brazil had some sand lingering between the pages.  The detail made me smile. A little bit of Jericoacoara in Brooklyn.

Our Apartment

May 7, 2010

We’re in.  We made it.

After being vaguely nomadic since December (see previous post), we have an apartment again that’s ours, with all of our stuff.  It’s big, and bright, and we’ve almost put all of it together.  I can’t wait for people to come over and more importantly to really be around. We’ve sort of been here, but it’s been really difficult to make plans and see friends, so now, friends, we’re around.

There were some challenges moving in, but I think it’s wiser not to put those in writing.

As for living in Brooklyn, I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve said this to Scott, but living in Brooklyn to me feels like moving to a new city that I can explore and discover, while living where all of my friends are. I only know it from when Marshall lived here and from visiting friends down here, but so far every restaurant we’ve tried has been great (and cheaper) and there are so many beautiful streets to run on, and cute shops to check out.  I think it’s going to be great.