Thursday, May 29, 2008

The End of an Institution

There is a marvelous restaurant here in New York called Florent. It's a kind of funky French bistro living in an old diner. For years its been a home to all sorts of different people. But now it's closing. The rent is set to jump sky high and Florent has decided he must close.
Two friends of mine went for dinner there the other day, sad that it would probably be the last time. As they sat at the bar one said to the other "I bet there isn't a single person in here who voted for George Bush." A man sitting next to them at the bar raised his hand. He had voted for Bush and intended to vote for McCain though he thought McCain too old. He also said that he and his wife loved France, went every year until this year because the Euro was too expensive. My friends forebore from saying "and who's fault is that?". One of my friends expressed surprise that a Republican would come to a restaurant frequented by many people on the edges of mainstream society. The man said he didn't care what others might do privately. My friends attributed this largesse to the frequent visits to France. They ended up having a nice little talk in spite of their differences.. This is the power of truly good food.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Garden Gone

There used to be this cute little garden on a street a few blocks from me. It was tended by the tenants of the adjacent apartment building. Do you remember Lisa, it was on the corner of Seaman and Payson? Well, they tore it out and built a new building. It's not even a pretty building. It's just a big brick box. See?

No character. I bet the neighboring buildings are really pissed. Here they are, classy pre-war charmers and now they've got this dull new kid on the block mucking up the scenery. And it seems that people seem to agree. It's been complete for at least 2 months now and there don't seem to be any tenants. I remember many years ago a similar thing happened where I lived in Queens. Someone built 2 houses on this little strip of land that people took their dogs to. We called it Dog Island. The two houses were so close they were almost touching with no yards to speak of and they had no interesting features at all. Eventually people moved in but always wondered what it was like living there. Would it ever feel private, would it ever feel like home? This new building on Seaman is just the same, stuck on like an after thought. I'll never understand the need to fill every last little nook and cranny. There must be better ways to make money.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sewing Class

I don't know about you, but I have been finding it harder and harder to shop for clothes. It seems like all the stores have the same trendy stuff and it's either sweatshop cheap or really overpriced. I have found a few independent stores (mostly in the East Village and on the Lower East Side) that have some cool stuff but those places tend to be out of my price range. Being a crafty type the solution seems obvious. I must learn to sew my own clothes. I'm not going to get crazy mind, I won't be sewing my own jeans or t-shirts, but skirts and dresses and little summer tops. These are the hardest to find. So I have made a start with a wrap-around skirt.

Of course the cats want to help.

It's difficult to sew without opposable thumbs

Mostly they provide moral support and occasional comic relief.

It took me most of the day since I made several mistakes and had to go back. But now that I've done it once the next one will go quicker.

I think it came out pretty well. Not too bad for my first piece of clothing.

I'm thinking I should make one in corduroy too.