We decided to have a really classy Father’s Day by visiting our local dive bar called the Red Derby for brunch. The bar only serves beers in cans, has a limited menu of bar food and tater tots, and only takes cash. You get the picture. Jack is getting old enough that he will hold our hand and walk, so we decided to try to hoof it without the stroller. Plus I worried the place was so un-kid-friendly that there would be nowhere to stash the stroller. Well the walking didn’t last long, but daddy-Daryle put Jack on his shoulders and off we went. I ordered Jack french toast sticks and gave him a juice box and he was golden. Some of our friends also convened on the patio of the bar, so it turned out to be a big partying group. We knocked back a couple pineapple mimosas and toasted to a chill and awesome Sunday afternoon.
I was flipping through an issue of Art Forum and came across the photo of the woman in the elevator. I stopped for a moment examining it and was drawn to the random but purposeful nature of the image. It’s the kind of photo that I’d never take myself, because I’d think it would be boring, and yet it is such an interesting image. It reminded me of something photographers Nan Goldin or Ryan McGinley (if the subject was in his twenties and naked however) would take; and I’ve always been fans of their works. So I scoured the web for more Philip-Lorca DiCorcia’s photography and found a bunch of images that I had seen long ago, but had long forgotten. Back in high school and through college (and still today, honestly), I’d scour loads of magazines, treating them like prized possessions, as something that held the answers to fashion, independence, friendships that I longed to have, and a window into the seedy but glamorous life in the city. I went to college in New York and didn’t live that life per say, I was just walking the streets along side of that life. I’d carefully x-acto knife out a images that I loved and scotch tape them on my wall. (It’s the kind of thing we make Pinterest walls of, ha). I just adore how things can come full circle and then smack you right in the face. I surely had one of DiCorcia’s photographs on my wall in college, not realizing that he was a hugely famous contemporary art photographer. In any case, a selection of Philip-Lorca DiCorcia’s works will be on view in the Netherlands at the Contemporary Art Museum, Tilburg. I don’t think I’ll make it, but if you do, please let me know how you enjoy the exhibit.
Here’s a little peak into my early evening that just passed. Jack’s trick thing is scrunching his nose up and showing me all his pearly baby teeth (there are a bunch!). He melts my heart because he’s just so darn sweet and happy.
I know I’ve been away for the last two weeks. My sister is getting married to an Irish bloke in France at the end of the summer and I’ve been spending the my free time researching places to stay, updating my married name (it only took me nearly three years…!), and working on my passport renewal. All fun stuff that is barely worth repeating. That is except that … I am going back to Paris! Oh yeah!
There are a million places to stay and I actually find it a bit overwhelming by the volume of choices. Has anyone ever rented a place using AirBnB or VRBO? Did you have a good experience? I love the idea of getting an apartment and pretending to be a local, shopping at the market and setting up our routine across the pond. We are hoping to find a cute place with a separate bedroom to put Jack down, that is close to my sister’s place in the 10th Arrondissement. If you know of anything, send it my way!
I will be back more, I promise. Sometimes the hardest part is writing that first post after I’ve been silent. So, see you tomorrow?! xox
I’ve picked up a thing or two being in DC for so many years. First off, since practically everyone is from somewhere else, the city clears out during long weekends, and — I love it! Restaurants that are always packed, generally have no wait, parking is a breeze, and the generally bustling cool neighborhood are nearly empty; meaning, I feel like the city is all mine! The downside? Well, sometimes there’s no one here to share the fun with.
Poor Daryle had three back-to-back gigs (Fri, Sat, & Sunday), one was in town and the two others were a hike: Frederick, MD and somewhere in West Virginia. So it was up to me to make it a good weekend with all the time I had on my hands. Luckily some friends with their little ones invited us for a playdate at The National Building Museum. I’ve been there a bunch with Jack. It’s the perfect place to go because it’s enormous for one, the kids can run around all they want and rarely get in the way of anyone-or-thing. Plus it is so beautiful with all it’s might; it has the largest columns you’ve ever seen and a beautiful fountain right smack in the center of the room. There is even a playroom for kids with (child appropriate) building material and a sandbox. Oh yes, and it’s free. See you there next weekend?
Later in the day, my mom came over for some quality time with Jack. That turned into dinner, (bed for Jack) and wine-time for us! So fun. We need to have those get-togethers more often.
The following day, Jack and I explored Meridian Hill Park (a.k.a. Malcolm X Park) off of 16th Street. It’s one of the most beautiful and alive parks that I’ve ever been to. It spans two streets in length and has several different sections so there are tons of spaces, statues, shady trees and fountains one can explore. We specifically went to the park to listen to the drum circle that meets every Sunday. I brought Jack’s favorite tambourine and shakers and we played along with the other drummers. It was really fun to just people-watch. We saw lots of hippies playing hacky sack and tight rope walking, some just plain ole families having a picnic, a group of acoustic guitar players singing Beatles songs, and an entire bridal party having their pictures taken next to the fountain. Makes me want to have a family photo shoot there because it’s just so picture-perfect.
We ended the long weekend relaxing together at last. Daryle was so exhausted from his marathon of work, but Jack and I were glad to have him to ourselves for the day. So we layed about and didn’t worry about time, getting dressed, or anything really. A true day off. Hope you had a fun long weekend too! xox
I’ve never been one for reading lots of how-to books and instead tend to make things up as I go. As for parenting, for better or worse, I’ve done what feels natural. I’ve listened intently to friends and elders whom I respect, and have subscribed to bits and pieces of attachment parenting where it seems like the right fit. Out of convenience, as Jack has gotten older and more into everything, I’ll save specific tasks for when he’s napping or in bed for the evening. Only, after a couple of months of operating this way, it dawned on me that the most convenient way for me, isn’t necessarily the most enriching way to teach my son. Hands on experiences are far more interesting than just books, toys and playgroup; which had been our go-to routine. Take gardening for instance, one of my greatest joys: getting dirty, watering my plants and watching in awe as they really do grow with the help of some attention and sunlight. I want Jack to love gardening as much as I do. Why was I not including him in my daily ritual…? And why didn’t it dawn on me sooner?! So over the last month, Jack and I go to the weed filled backyard and I’ll turn on the hose and let him have at it. I yank a couple of weeds and encourage him to do the same. He loves the feeling of scrunching the dirt between his fingers. Then he’ll occasionally put a hand full of soil in his mouth and wash it down with hose water. It’s heartening to watch his eagerness to learn from me first hand. He loves the big mound of dirt in the raised bed so much that he’ll even climb right in. Kind of like his own sand box. This has been a huge lesson to me. To not rush through things and allow for Jack to have a sense of independence by learning to master tasks that he’s capable of doing. I’ve even given him a clean sponge with water to rub on the floors! And he loves it. I jokingly say “now get to work!”
Here are more pictures from his very first time watering the garden. You can see everything has grown in just a short month.
I’ve always wanted to have a statement wall backdrop with a groovy covering somewhere in my house. I wish anyway. I stumbled upon this really cool printing press called Flavor Paper that produces wallpaper by hand using custom screen etching equipment, a dark room, and an ink room; all onsite of their Brooklyn based workshop. You can actually walk by the storefront and see the artists working on prints during the day. All of the silk-screens and some digital prints are made to order — fitting your space perfectly, they will scale and crop the image appropriately and use special techniques to ensure zero pixelation at any size (for all you print gurus out there). They pretty much can handle your job big or small. Now I’m thinking maybe just an out-of-control and trippy print in a powder room (of my future house in Los Angeles, haha). Check out the job they did for Lenny Kravitz. I want to fly away in there, don’t you? (Nerd check: I couldn’t resist the lyrical reference…!)
Something we’ve all said a million times before, referring to what’s on TV, particularly paid channels like HBO: Nothing new (with the exception of Girls and VEEP), and it’s infuriating. Well, that constant repetition enabled me to see bits and pieces and then eventually the whole thing of the movie called Greenberg starring Ben Stiller and someone I’d never heard of before: Greta Gerwig, my latest girl-crush! The film is one of those slow moving stories of a complicated relationship between two people drawn together for not necessarily the right reasons. Stiller’s character has just gotten out of a mental institution for having a nervous breakdown, and Gerwig’s character is the assistant to Stiller’s brother whom he is house sitting for. Of course the movie features a very cool home in Los Angeles adding to the captivating scenery (cool interior shots + a badass backyard and pool — the type that you salivate to in shelter mags). But it’s Greta’s performance that I immediately fixated on, her character’s slightly dry personality, her real-seeming insecurity in her own skin, and admittance to failures in past relationships, all seemed so relatable that it made me want to be her friend in real life. If you haven’t seen it, you really should Netflix it or DVR it from HBO or whatever.
I heard Greta Gerwig and the director of Greenberg, Noah Baumbach on NPR’s Fresh Air talking about the new film they co-wrote together with Baumbach directing and Gerwig starring in called Frances Ha (love the title). Both Gerwig and Baumbach (her actual boyfriend in real-life) admit to being die-heart Woody Allen fans. In fact, Greta recently starred in Allen’s latest film To Rome With Love, which I have yet to see. The story is of a young woman trying to make it in NYC as a dancer working through the ups-and-downs of her career, affording an apartment, and managing a complicated relationship with her dearest best friend. I believe it will be released to the independent theater downtown and I plan on seeing it then. Here’s the trailer. Do you think you’ll see it…?
I cannot stop looking at the latest Wright 20 Auction which begins early June. (Preview all items here.) Having mid-century taste usually confines rooms to a black, white and beige color palette, but I’m digging the pop of color here and there in some of these items. What I love the most from Wright’s collection this month is the slew of children’s rocking chairs and other items for a child’s room (scroll towards the end of the page). I’d love to incorporate more mid-century in Jack’s room but I’m afraid it’s too tiny to fit anything else for the time being. What do you think about the collection above? Is it inspiring you to make any additions to your home…?!
Check out my last post on the best mid-century auction house around.
I’m a cookbook hoarder I suppose because I have a knack for buying them and never using them again. I’m trying to change that habit and taking the advise of Julie and Julia and have a plan to make everything in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook It’s All Good (we shall see). The hardest part is having the ingredients in the house. Luckily there’s a Yes! Organic Market two blocks away so I should be have a winning edge. Starting off simple, I picked up a jar of Vegenaise — you guessed it, a vegan-style mayo. I had always been afraid of the stuff and assumed it was just gross. But good ole Gwyneth is rather obsessed with the vegenaise and claims she travels with it where ever she goes, so I decided I’d give it a taste. The result: very similar to mayonnaise! It’s really creamy and yummy the way mayo is but it’s made without eggs, sugar and less salt. The recipe, which isn’t exactly a recipe because it’s quite simple: your favorite low gluten bread (though, I used a regular English muffin), toasted and spread with vegenaise, fresh avocado, a pinch of sea salt, and I added some fresh cracked pepper and a couple slices of grape tomatoes. Ohmygah, heaven at last. Devoured in no time and it was filling too. It’s truly a delicious and totally vegan. I’d roll my eyes too if it wasn’t true. Try it!
What a sweet day we had. My mom and stepdad invited us to a picnic at a national park near their house in Maryland. I was told to bring my homemade chicken salad along with Jack, and they would have the rest. No complaints from me. So we got up and out of the house for Mother’s Day breakfast at Paul, the french cafe that I’ve frequented. The coffee was perfect, the service was lacking, but it was still worth the trip downtown on such a sunny morning. Then we took off in the car for wide open space and greenery. We met my folks who brought everything: food galore, wine hidden in a wicker chest, a big ole blanket and some lawn games. Turns out my mom and I aren’t too bad at corn hole, nor was Jack! We lounged, blew bubbles and chanted Jack on as he teetered through the grass. He’s really walking all by himself and I’m thrilled. It was the kindest of days, a little breeze and the sun smiling down on us. It made me wonder why we needed a hallmark holiday to put this together. Maybe I’ll be back next Sunday, and so on.
From the Archives: Last year’s Mother’s Day Jack was a little tiny!