Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Art & Commerce

Williamsburg, 2014

Everyone I know in New York has what I call an 'escape hatch fantasy.'

Sometimes, when it's icy and bitter out, L.A. is a popular escape hatch.

People will say things like, 'I could have an avocado tree in my backyard!', 'I'd go hiking every day,' or 'People go stand up paddle boarding there before work, don't they?'

Sometimes the fantasy centers on somewhere in Europe. It's Amsterdam or Stockholm or Normandy. Somewhere with a gentler pace of life, where people bike a lot while wearing skirts and braids. Of course, people bike a lot in skirt and braids in Brooklyn, but that's another story.

The escape hatch fantasy is an ongoing brunch or dinner conversation here that usually starts with someone announcing: 'Austin has a burgeoning art scene,' and ends with the cautionary tale of a friend of a friend who moved to a farm in Vermont and hated having to shop at Target and had to return to Brooklyn.

So I don't think these conversations are really about leaving, even as the circle around things like the insane price of real estate or the manic tempo of city life. Generally, for us, they tend to be about affirming what it is we love about living here, when it's obviously a challenging place.

One of the biggies for me is the meeting of art and commerce in the city. I grew up in Washington, D.C., which was a leafy, worldly, international place, certainly. But when I was a kid, my friends' parents were all judges and lawyers and doctors, or did vague financial things I didn't entirely grasp.

For Axel and Oscar, I love the fact that they are surrounded by people who make a substantive living doing creative things. There's an Oscar-winning screenwriter who lives in our building, for one. Axel's schoolmates' parents are collage artists, musicians, fashion designers, photographers, perfume executives, advertising gurus, real estate agents, news producers, and small business owners.

These kids will one day, I think, take it for granted that if you want to write a book, open a restaurant, or chase some kind of elusive dream, it doesn't have to mean living on the fringes.

I love the thought of our boys looking around and going, 'Yeah, I could be a chocolate maker.' Even at two, I feel like Axel is exposed to so many interesting ideas and visuals that I didn't happen upon until I was eighteen or so, discovering cities in my own right.

And if it turns out they want to work at Goldman Sachs, so be it. I just love the diversity of possibility here.



Will and I were out on the town last night, for a special screening of the movie Whiplash.

I think the last movie we saw in the theatre was...Her? Also excellent!

Anyway, this film was a big winner at Sundance this year, and it's about a jazz drummer studying at a conservatory in New York. The music was amazing, and Miles Teller gave a wonderful performance. Go see it, if you can.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


We took the ferry to Pier Six in Brooklyn Bridge Park today, and it was baking hot (thank goodness for water parks.)

One thing I will say for having children...we really make use of the city in a way we didn't when it was just the two of us. I guess it's because, without fail, we're out of the door by 9 a.m. (no lolling about and watching Bravo of late.) Sure, after the sun goes down we are less able to be spontaneous. But I definitely feel we are wringing every last drop out of the daytime hours.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Brooklyn, Brooklyn

Loving this song, for obvious reasons.

Havermeyer Park

Williamsburg, 2014

Kind of sad we just got around to visiting Havermeyer Park on its last weekend, along with the hoola hooping, dirt biking, urban farming, teepee-loving masses. I will say I'm glad that as familiar and home-ish as Williamsburg is, it still manages to surprise me.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pigs + Wings

Williamsburg, 2014

So J. Crew opened its doors in Williamsburg today. I guess that's not especially strange, these days.

Meanwhile, I've been testing out matcha at Matchabar (hmmm....not a convert), and marveling at Axel's new vocabulary, which includes words like 'mural' and 'holiday' as well as sentences like 'Don't spit on Daddy's hand, Ozzy!'

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Winter Gear

Yves Salomon parka via The Dreslyn

So I've been working on a freelance fashion story about dressing for the coming winter (a dreadful thought, I know.)

One thing that keeps coming up in my research is some variation on this coat, by Yves Salomon. There's a men's version here, in case you are wondering what the fabulous people will be doing to stay warm this year.

via BeingJo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ozzy Crawls

Hard to believe how quickly this guy figured out how to get around. We are in for it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Best of Williamsburg: Part One

Williamsburg, 2014

It's unsolicited advice day around here, didn't you know?

Actually, yesterday I was grabbing a sandwich at Depanneur, and thought to myself, 'The world needs to know more about this sandwich!'

Specifically, the Number 4, which includes turkey and peppadews (South African sweet pickled peppers), house pickled shallots, Manchego cheese, arugula and harissa mayo.

There's more deliciousness (with recipes) from Depanneur here. But while I was meditating on the awesomeness of the Number 4, I thought I should do a little rundown of my favorite Williamsburg eats and drinks. If you ever come for a visit, save this list!

Here goes.

Best Sandwich in Williamsburg: The aforementioned Number 4, Depanneur

Best Pizza in Williamsburg: A tie between the Speckenwolf at Roberta's and the Spectacle 261 at Paulie Gee's

Best Coffee in Williamsburg: In the absence of the late, great Verb, I'm going to give this one to Oslo, with deference to the Roebling Street location.

Best Salad in Williamsburg: The Saints salad at St. Balmain (local greens, broccolini, lentils, spring peas and hazelnuts tossed with lemon vinaigrette, plus chicken and boho Aussie waitstaff)

Best Dive Bar in Williamsburg: I'm quite partial to frozen margaritas at The Commodore, but only in the late afternoon, when you can score the corner table.

Best Roof Bar in Williamsburg: The Ides, scene-y or not, is hard to be cynical about, and the views over Brooklyn and the city are breathtaking, though Northern Territory is a solid, less swanky runner up.

Best Swanky Cocktail Joint in Williamsburg: It's still Hotel Delmano, even if their coupe glasses are a tad on the small side.

Best Bakery in Williamsburg: Hands down, it's Ovenly, for their insane Brooklyn Blackout cake

Best Ice Cream in Williamsburg: Oddfellows sprinkles ice cream, in a made-from-scratch waffle cone

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Williamsburg, 2014

A good Williamsburg Sunday. Checked out the El Puente mural near the Domino Sugar factory site, tired Axel out at Ms. J's, watched as Axel did some toddler parkour, stumbled upon a random skateboarding competition, did some gardening, ended up at Spritzenhaus.

Hope you had a wonderful fall weekend, wherever you are.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


New York, 2014

We had a somewhat ambitious day in the city today, taking the ferry to the Whitney to see the Jeff Koons retrospective, walking some 50 blocks in the process.

Aside from the mobs of somewhat cranky people out in force, it was lovely, and it was fun to see a show that Axel could appreciate too (even if he didn't grasp the whole 'no touching' thing.)

He did not put his paw prints on the $58 million balloon dog, fortunately.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...