Friday, April 30, 2010

And now we pause for a brief intermission

In Brooklyn.
Thus far: wine, steak, Brazilian jazz at Chez Oskar
Murray's Cheese in the Village
Henri Cartier Bresson retrospective at MoMa
Pre-wedding party at the Park under Highline Park
Mad dash in heels, via subway, from Brooklyn, to Freemans restaurant for a spectacularly charming wedding
Milk n Honey speakeasy

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Risky Bizness

A short list of risky behaviors I engaged in yesterday:

1) Ate taboule salad and blueberries on the way to a parent/teacher conference...noticed the purple and green teeth too late. Could have introduced myself as Mrs. Shrek.

2) Made some unpopular observations about swap meet selling, and am now checking my rearview mirror for the Mid Century Mafia (joke, joke, joke, joke, joke!)

3) Drove two blocks without my seatbelt on.

It was a wild day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You know you love someone when... know their In N Out order by heart.

West Coast friends, post your (and your significant other's) burger order here!
And don't forget to tell us about any "off menu" items you know about...

We're animal style with chopped chilis all the way, folks.
And my favorite "off menu" orders are animal style fries, neopolitan shakes, and grilled cheese.

How San Diego might, in 100 years, be as cool as Portland

Can beer save San Diego? I don't know, they've been working really hard on it over at San Diego State for decades with dubious results.

But CRAFT brew with a conscience....might just bring some change to San Diego (or at least one little corner of it that was already kinda cool to begin with and so was already rather hospitable to the notion of becoming cooler).

Blind Lady Ale House, our wee bit o' Portland in San Diego, is really becoming a mighty force in the community. For one thing, I just found out that they hold fundraisers for the tiny, progressive school my kid just (woot woot!) got accepted to.

Yes, schools. If you want parents to turn up for the fundraisers, good beer will help. Panda Express, not so much.

BLAH is also championing bicycle riding in the neighborhood (again, not mine sadly because that would require that they provide a ski lift to the top of the hill, and also that people under 85 live here) by providing a free BICYCLE VALET for this event (which in itself is pretty prog)

The conundrum here is that every cool, free annual community event* that takes place in San Diego TAKES PLACE THIS WEEKEND!


(*Mod Swap, Art Walk, Adams Avenue Roots Festival)

p.s.-YOU'RE PROBABLY A HIPSTER IF....your heart rate increased when you saw this picture.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eight dollar shopping spree

Don't worry, I'm not waxing (philosophical or otherwise) today.

Yesterday, I found a little somethin'-somethin' for myself that I didn't even know I wanted and now I can't imagine living without: a Bella jacket from J.Crew in midnight blue velvet. New, in my size, $4.95. No, there are no missing zeros or ones. A $150 jacket for less (much less) than the sales tax alone.

If you turn the collar up, it's got some quasi-Elizabethan gathering going on underneath. Perfect for New York, with some dark skinny jeans for the evening. I hear we're visiting a speak-easy with some friends who live there (in New York, not the speak-easy).

Oh, we've also traded the stuffy (but beautiful) Upper East Side flat for a vast photographer's loft in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. It's the entire top floor of a brick building, all windows and light. A block from Pratt Institute and close to Prospect Park, shopping on Dekalb Ave, and the almighty Brooklyn Flea. Woot woot!

Another acquisition yesterday was this gorgeous piece of Mid Century West German studio pottery. You can snap it up at the MOD SWAP this Sunday if you like!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Age of Awareness

Observing kids this week has made me wonder:

When do we stop wanting to climb into treehouses, or hang out of car sunroofs, or go out in the ocean as far as we can and look at the shore from the distance?

When do we stop noticing that the branches of a tree are good for climbing?

I think it's when we stop being thrilled by seeing the world from a different perspective and start fearing it. When change is threatening instead of interesting. When we begin to willfully contract the borders of our world. When "different" becomes something we try to avoid.

I think it's when we start seeing, and caring about, race and class and status, and we know where we stand and where everyone else stands, too.

I think it's the beginning of cynicism; the beginning of the belief that the possibilities are not endless.

I think it's the death of curiosity. The Age of Awareness is a damn shame. I hope I never get there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can You Sell Homemade Jokes on Etsy?

I'm tellin ya, spending long stretches of time alone in a dark studio with solvents and paint and a nerdy little dog named after a Jane Austen character hasn't done wonders for my intellectual growth. Sometimes I use all that spare mental space to come up with my own jokes. This one came to me while heating up leftovers for lunch:

What did the pirate mom say to the pirate teenager?

Stop aaaaaaargh-uing with me!

I don't think it's too bad for homemade.

And because the Google images under "Pirate Mom" were so much more awful than my joke, I went with the pirate dog instead. He's way cuter than anything human I found.

from the Craftzine blog

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This I Know...

Costa Rica, 8/09

I know that.....

every day I have more of everything than I have any right to

Paris is even better than you think it is; better than it has any right to be

sometimes words, both spoken and written, aren't quite enough; sometimes you need music

a ten-year old who wears fedoras with everything melts my heart

being good will always be way more important than being great

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pied-a-terre in the sky

I mentioned that I'm returning to New York for a wedding/girl's trip, and my friend and I have been agonizing over finding "the right" place to stay.
It has to be pretty, in a great location, have a view, and feel really "New York". Chain hotels are out, obviously. We're both very visual people (she's an architect and I obviously do what I do...)

So, nothing was working and the closer we get to our departure, the higher the prices.

We switched gears and decided to find an apartment. Buy cheese and wine from Dean & Deluca and pretend we live there. Drink our steaming coffee in the morning while we watch the city awaken. It seemed impossible to find our "just right" apartment.

But, I think we did it. I really do. And I'm giddy with excitement.

It's on the Upper East Side, infamously ridiculed in this story.

Two blocks from Central Park, just behind Park Avenue.

What do you think? We did good, right?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

(Not) Lost in Translation

Last night, I was in a rapture over the beauty of this blog; the photographs, the children, the clothing and design.
I thought I would share a few of the highlights here, but you really should go putz around yourself.
It gets infinitely more enjoyable when you click on the English translation, which provides fantastically bad syntax such as this:

… yesterday arrived for us a nice package of ismodern from NYC. My big girls got in a close fight about the Blush Drape Dress … Liv was the winner.

This morning Pauline jumped out of bed and speeded in the bathroom and caught the dress and just in the twinkling of an eye she sat -with a smile of a winner- at the breakfast table…

The two sisters (5+7) share the closet, some things they have both, some not and then it is time to share. This is often not so easy and harmonious and mostly it ended as a ball of girls on the floor…

Who are these Nordic Amazons, with their angelic children, white interiors, and successful design businesses?

from Line + Liv

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Still Not Buying It

Everyone enjoying being re-educated by the Corn Refiners Association?
Ready to pick up a gallon of corn syrup to use "in moderation"?
Are you relieved to know that it won't immediately and directly cause your death?
You know you've got a fantastic product on your hands when you're running the same ad campaign as the 1950s tobacco industry ("9 out of 10 doctors we paid said smoking is fine in moderation and cannot be directly linked to disease or death if you're only consulting the studies we funded").

Well, if you're like us and have given up the sweet stuff cold turkey, then you're also noticing that it is (indeed King Corn!) in everything. Especially boxed drinks for school lunches. Besides that, these drinks uniformly taste disgusting, are expensive, and always seem to run out before the end of the school week.

I can't believe it took me seven full school years to figure this out, but here is my very cheap and simple answer to the problem:

Brew a huge pot of organic green tea.
Add one or two parts organic apple juice.
Mint leaves if you're so inclined.
Pour into reusable thermos every morning.

I know, green tea has a little caffeine in it. I like to think it gives my kids a little competitive edge. And don't forget the antioxidants.

What changes have you made to get off the syrup?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Because You Are Sew Hip

See the original "You're probably a hipster" list here!

The hipster bride-to-be wants to learn how to sew. Soon she'll be the picture of hipster domesticity, up to her elbows in Mrs. Meyers dishwashing bubbles, a vintage Jens Quistgaard pot of homegrown kale bubbling away on the stove, homesewn pillows and curtains in every room, and a little bun baking away under her handblocked Anthropologie apron.

Or maybe she'll be drinking a Stella and watching the Hills while Pete runs out for a pizza.

But either way, I immediately thought of this pillow project as being great for a beginner, and right up her Swedish alley.

From the folks at ReadyMade magazine, a Scandinavian bird motif pillow of appliqued felt. The pattern and instructions are freely accessible and downloadable without a subscription, because hipster magazines are nothing if not democratic. When we finish it ten years from now, I'll be sure to post the results.

Cute to adapt as a wallhanging or nursery stuff, dontcha think?

Did you miss the hipster list? Check it out here.

Spousal Exhaustion

(hi honey, yeah I'm talkin' about you on my blog)
Amongst my other emotional afflictions, I also suffer occasional bouts of Spousal Exhaustion. When the mister and I travel together, we start out on a relationship high ("Wow, so nice to be spending all this time together! Let's make out! Let's play Scrabble! Let's talk!") that slowly unravels and, between days 5-7, culminates in a Relationship Meltdown.

He turns into such a Mr. Magoo when we travel, and I become hyper-alert/organized/motivated. I don't sleep, I want to do EVERYTHING, and I want to be there yesterday.

This is an especially bad combination where driving is involved. On our last trip to Portland, I wanted to hurl my body from the (very slowly) moving car. He does, however, drive very quickly when he's passing an open parking space that we have been looking for, and again, very slowly if we have tickets to a show that starts in one minute, reservations that we're late for, or I haven't eaten in 18 hours. The more urgent the situation, the more languorous he is. I actually decided to give birth at home because I couldn't stand the idea of being driven to the hospital by Sunday Driver.

That, and he has a nose whistle that makes me homicidal after 48 hours.

Other Mr. Magoo moves that cause me to swear, each and every trip, that it's our last:
Very post-9/11 he showed up at the airport WITHOUT A FORM OF I.D. to get through security.
Sure honey, it's the 1950s. They'll just take your word for it. Be sure to let the stewardess know how you want your steak cooked, too!
He got lost four minutes from the airport, we missed our flight, were stranded in a 3rd world country with our children, and had to pay $3000 (extra) to get home.

I guess I have some faults, too. He may even describe me as "anal" when we travel.

Anyone else have this problem? Or are you and your significant other the perfect travel companions? And if this is the case, why are you lying to yourself?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rock the Casbah

Ooops, better call work and tell them you've got the Swine Flu (again). You're stranded in Morocco with me for one more day, and we're not leaving until we do some serious shopping. Luckily this bazaar takes Paypal and Visa.

via Sarah, a dreamy vintage Moroccan caftan from Etsy

via here, the cheapest, charming-est little babouches ballet flats this side of the Himalayas (adult sized, and only $29!)

And from the same site, delicious baby babouches for all the little lambs back home. Pick up a dozen pair for future babyshowers and you'll be VERY popular.

pick out a traditional Le Creuset for us, my dears!

via Sarah, tea glasses from Etsy

Looking for a vintage beni ouarain rug or fabulous handira? Fascinated by the expat life? You've GOT to browse this blog-British chick had the nerve to go and fulfill her dreams and move her family to Marrakesh. Now she sells neat things and blogs about her exploits, just to make us all cray-cray.

Thanks for the inspiration Sarah!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

You're all invited...

to visit Morocco with me. A quick little weekend trip is all. No one will even notice you're gone.

{images via lark-about}

Friday, April 9, 2010

No Hometown Love

Alright, I admit it. Portland always ruins San Diego for me. It just feels so desolate and dry here (in more ways than one...) and that infernal ball of fire is just so predictably THERE every day, burning my retinas and multiplying my freckles. Besides, I have good hair in Portland. And I get to wear my scarf....and socks. Here, I wear my silver Birkenstock "Gizeh" sandals pretty much every single day. Even though I was born here, I'm not a Cali girl. I'm not blond. I don't tan. I don't have the legs for shorts. I HATE flip-flops.

So, to soothe my misplaced soul, I'll be seeking out a little Portland experience right here in San Diego, just to ease the transition.

The first place I thought of was BLAH (Blind Lady Ale House). Definitely Portland-ish, with their low prices, craft beers, organic/local/free-range ingreds, and indie spirit. Bacon and egg pizza....oh, my. Communal table, lots o' little 'uns. Yes, a pint and pizza should ease the pain a little.

And, although they don't serve food and wine at our (only) little vintage single-screen theater like they do in Portland, I hope to get my buns over to the Ken Cinema to see the Art of the Steal before it's gone. McMenamin brothers, where art thou? San Diego needs you!

Finally, even though it's in the virtual realm, have y'all seen yet?
Lots of really neat Etsy-style artist designed e-cards, and since that's just about the only way I send invitations anymore, I am beside myself with joy to have some I'm not embarrassed to send. Bye-bye E-vites and your goofy digital cartoons of girlfriends dancing at nightclubs, and other atrocities.

What are you guys up to this weekend?
And please, if you're in San Diego and I'm missing some kind of rad indie experience/restaurant/biker club/knitting circle, etc., notify me post haste!


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