June 2010

fresh to your door

Think of this as a public service announcement. For those of you that live between the Battery and 59th street, you can now shop the Union Square Greenmarket and have your goods delivered to your door. I mean, how many times have you decided not to buy something (watermelon, anyone?) simply because you can’t deal with lugging it home? Hello From Earth to Kitchen, a fleet of cute bright green delivery bikes that bring your produce home expediently and (bonus!) without any carbon emissions. Which means that you get to be lazy whilst also supporting farmers and helping to save the earth. How good is that? How jealous am I, whose Manhattan days are long over?

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Very jealous. Though I suppose there is something to be said for the exercisee of duking it out on the subway with an overflowing bag of greens. But not much. There is talk of expanding the delivery area– these folks have only been at it for a few weeks– so I won’t give up hope yet. And at least I am spreading the good word to all of you Manhattanites out there. Which has got to count for something.

Look for the bright green bike on the west side of Union Square, someplace around 16th street. Or get in touch with them directly on the phone (215.805.2996) or via their site. And enjoy!

new chemicals

This one is going to be brief, as I am exhausted and still have a house full of dirty dishes, toys and unwatered plants to contend with before I lay my head down. But I wrote you all because the one thing that is keeping me going right about now is the new record by the Chemical Brothers– a band that I must admit I havce not listened to in, oh, at least five years if not more.

But I have undoubtedly been missing out, because this record, called Further, is great both in it’s ability to keep me awake (it is dance music after all) and in the breadth of the samples and the way the songs are put together.

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This record is perfect for when you need the party to come to you… take a listen here. There are also evidently incredible visuals that have been lovingly produced for each track and are available on a bonus DVD, but I’m too otherwise occupied to really get into that right now. Actually I’m too busy freaking out about BP. But that’s another story better explored in a different venue.

For now lets just take it easy. And keep dancing.

enfin, colette!

Talk about a moment we have all been waiting for… When my favorite super local spot silent h closed down this winter, I was devistated. Until I heard that the same chef was going to open up a different spot with a new partner. Would the change be better or worse? Would I be furious with the new for supplanting the old, like I usually am?

And then I heard that they would be serving breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. My hopes began to rise. This past Friday, I got to taste what aforementioned breakfast will be like when they open on Monday (21 June), and I began to rejoice. Simple, clean, delicous food. Best fresh squeezed OJ ever. Plenty of avocado in the avocado/cheese omlette. Bacon perfectly cooked (sorry all my veg pals, but I love that stuff!) I forgot to order a scone but I have high hopes. Plus the place looks great. Which is a huge bonus not to be underestimated.

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Exterior looks inviting too. (Ignore the fact that I acidentally shot a 1 sec video rather than a still photo. I sort of love the arrow in there, though, which is why my photography is always a bit left of center…) There is even a little coffee window for that high level refreshment on the way to the L train.

In all, Monday morning will be a great day for the hood as what I am hoping will become an institution will be thrust forth into the sunshine. Nothing makes a neighborhood like a good hangout or two. With flattering lighting.

cafe colette

79 Berry Street (cor N 9th)

Brooklyn, NY 11211

open for food every day (I think) from 8 am

a pretty potty

Hard to believe that I am actually writing about this in public (what has become of my life of world travel and cutting edge adventures?) but the dreaded potty training period has come crashing into my life and I am rolling with the punches, as I find most of my parenting experiences require.

I knew it was time to buy the potty, but I refused to bow down to Elmo or Dora or even to Hello Kitty (who I secretly love.) Instead, I went onto diapers.com to pick up one of the simple white numbers by baby bjorn. But then, something drove me to scroll down through the over 100 options in the “potties” section and lo, buried on the fourth page, is the above pictured, dare I say attractive, little training toilet by Hoppop. I gasped, and then ordered one up right away.

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There is really no reason why items such as these must be flashy and ugly. I mean, it’s my bathroom too. And in fact, as I continue on my way both as a mother and a blogger, I will be passing on whatever well designed and thought out things I can find to you all. Which will hopefully encourage, in some small way, more creative people to respect the taste of our kids and design things for them that are, well, nice, for lack of a more polite word. And if it can be done at a reasonable price point, so much the better.

Because we’ve got to start somewhere…

making it up

For some serendipitous reason that I cannot hope to understand, I opened a mass e mail that I got from a local artist who’s mailing list I am on. It was about a craft fair called Maker’s Market, but this one was located in the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens (where I have always wanted to go) and was curated by Alan Wanzenberb Architect/Design, The Noguchi Museum and R 20th Century as well as, evidently, the Sculpture Park itself. And since we were around, I packed up the little family and headed over the Pulaski Bridge into Long Island City to check it out.

Our efforts were rewarded, not only by a lovely breeze on a hot-ass summer afternoon, but by some really great design and some beautiful objects hand in hand with the opportunity to speak with the people who make them. And while we are desperately trying to get rid of some of our excess stuff and clear some space in our home, we couldn’t manage to leave empty handed. Here are the two things I bought:

Hallelujah! A plastic placemat suitable both for a toddler’s eating habits and a design conscious parent’s eyes. In a campaign against brightly and randomly colored kids paraphernalia, this mat gets high marks. Hilariously, it is actually designed (by Jen Curry) for cats. Go figure.

And for us adults, a beautiful cutting board made of cork, which is evidently naturally anti-microbial. The designer, Daniel Michalik, makes all sorts of larger pieces (bowls, chairs, tables) but this little board makes a great addition to any kitchen and is one of those genius gifts (at $30) for someone who appreciates good looking stuff and has almost everything already.

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There were all sorts of other amazing things under the three tents that made up this festival. I collected a bundle of cards and will be doing lots of after-hours website visiting in the next few weeks. Plus there were workshops for kids and design related panel discussions over the course of the weekend. This was the second year for the market, and hopefully is just the beginning of a long history!

If you go to the website, you can read more about the event itself, as well as check out links to the vast majority of artists who were selling their wares. Which is basically like going to the fair without having to find a parking space.

rayne on

My friend Blake Rayne, in case there was any doubt, is a genius. You have only to set foot into Miguel Abreu’s gallery on the lower east side and drink in the incredible, elegant canvasses which, true to his artistic bent, move painting in a new and thought provoking direction.

I am no expert, and you’d do better to read what the art grownups have to say if you want to hear about his place in the pantheon, and how his philosophies merge or conflict with the general status quo. Or at least, read the press release. All I know is that the moment I entered the room I was swept away by the combination of stark sophistication and unbridled use of color (see below) that represent just the tip of the massive iceberg that is the morass of questions and issues about art, painting and the artist’s role that Blake Rayne is valliantly trying to resolve. Or at least address.

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But for me, a person who tends to go with my gut feeling before all others (which has gotten me into trouble before, but you know what they say about old dogs…) these paintings take my breath away because they are both stunningly beautiful and they address some very difficult and mind bending conflicts surrounding the role of painting in the contemporary world. And even if I don’t come up with any definitive conclusions myself, I do feel like I have been invited to be a part of the conversation, which is all one can hope for in this day and age.

The show, titled Folder and Application, is up through June 26 at the Miguel Abreu gallery (36 Orchard Street NYC 212.995.1774) If you are anywhere near that area, and even if you’re not, the show is not to be missed.