Monday, November 30, 2009

When Coco Chanel + Jay-Z come together.

I went to Paris last week. Paris Theatre, that is. My friend (and urban family member) Jen and I went to see "Coco Before Chanel", something we've had on the calendar since we arrived in New York. It. Was. Amazing. I have to admit, I'm STILL moved by her inspiring and intriguing life. Her will to move forward (as progress does) and her fierce sense of self and self-determination. And am in total (renewed) awe of her simple, elegant style marked by confidence.

After our film, which was celebrated by champagne POPS, we stopped into the Plaza Hotel for a cocktail. Being in Midtown, we decided to make it a "classic" New York night. Entering the hotel, is like walking back in time to a more gilded, gorgeous era and I was struck by the beauty of its grand interior.

Warmed by a delicious Manhattan and good conversation I headed to the train; iPod in and on shuffle. That's when Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" filled my ears. "Concrete jungle, where dreams are made of. . ." Maybe only Sinatra could have said it better, but I think in 2009, Jay-Z nailed it. For Coco it was Paris. That's where she always longed to be, where she felt called to, where her dream would come true. For me, it is (and always was) New York. For the energy, the excitement, the reinvention. For the dream.

There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York.
These streets will make you feel brand new, Big lights will inspire you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Commuter train.

Since I work out of my very large (even by outside-NY standards) apartment, I don't often - as in never - take the train to work. In the spirit of trying something new, I took the uptown 6 with my roommate (and talented architect) jmh this morning. We got off at 68th + Lex, got coffee from a cart and he walked into his office. I walked down Madison, then crossed over to Fifth, picked up "Mrs. Dalloway" (I know, it's a shame I've just now cracked it open, but her "life epiphanies" are quite juicy and relevant at this time to me) at The Strand kiosk and sat in Central Park (on a bench) reading.

It's certainly Fall in New York, and every tree that wasn't yet bare had brilliantly colored leaves. It was cool, brisk even and there are holiday lights and decorations being thoughtfully hung. Next week brings Thanksgiving - my first in the city. I look forward to sharing a table with new friends, and with old. I look forward to giving thanks for many, many things. The morning commute being one of them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dinner with a friend.

Last night took me to Williamsburg for dinner with my dear friend rob! (The exclamation is his signature, and there couldn't be a better-suited description of his ever-cheerful disposition.) Amid the wine and "seafood bonanza" (rob!'s words), there was great conversation and laughter. It was how I had always imagined "dinner in the city with friends." We talked about work - successes and challenges - weekend plans, recaps, "have you been to _____ yet?" and the like. It was intimate and low-key.

You see, in New York visiting someone's apartment is kind of a big deal. They're so small and so packed that often it can be more of a frustration than fun. Not the case last night. Just when I thought the evening couldn't get any better, rob! walked me to the end of his block (N. 8th St) and showed me the most spectacular (cross-river) view of Manhattan that stretched from the East Village to the mid-50's. It took my breath away. We admired that view for 20 or 30 minutes.

Then I walked to the train and returned to my place in the view.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Small victory

The world - or at least my neighborhood - is getting smaller.

Today, as I stepped up to order my small coffee with only cream, the gentleman behind the counter had it ready for me. He nodded with a smile. I smiled so hard my face nearly cracked. I love my neighborhood.

Some delicious inspiration from my afternoon walk. Treats from the Kosher Pastry Shop up the street.