Monday, October 20, 2014

missing my new york window

it's rather easy, when you're walking down the busy streets of new york city, to forget to look up. cyndy tried to warn us about this, but i'm not sure i fully appreciated it until wandering alone on my last day. i looked up at the imposing structures lining 5th avenue ahead of me and found them quite surprising and surprisingly the opposite of beautiful. they are dominant, cold, masculine, insurmountable, full of inhuman perfect lines and squareyness. they're not comforting or hyggeligt. at all. and i wonder whether they were shaped by the people who made them or whether the people who made them were shaped by them. or whether those lines blurred along the way and it's now impossible to say. do they inspire a cold, clinical, hard view of the world? one that resulted in the hubris of the financial crisis, which we're all still trying to shake off? would the world be a different place if the architecture of new york city was different? but could the architecture of new york city be any different than it is? or was it destined to be this way?

what is it that draws us to a place? makes us love it? or hate it almost instantly? everyone always told me that i would love new york. and in many ways, i did. the pulse, the vibe, the walkability, the whole sense that it was just alive and happening in every imaginable way. the food. the people having total screaming matches on the street at another person or into a telephone. the diversity. but i wouldn't want to live there. i think it would get to me after awhile. all that erect, hard, agressive squareyness.

so while i loved every minute of my first trip to new york, i'm not a new york person. i didn't fall head over heels for it the way i did with cape town. or london. or istanbul. or seattle. or san francisco. or moscow. to be fair, i'm not sure i'd fall for moscow in the same way today. it had to do with a certain phase and time of my life. and perhaps i just missed my new york window.

* * *

the architecture of new york city got amy thinking as well. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

eating my way through the usa: the new york edition (round 1)

funny, the street food in denmark never includes lobster rolls.

or awesome greek chicken pitas that claim to be made of all sustainable ingredients.

and oddly, the main station in copenhagen does not have a gorgeous oyster bar with 25+ kinds of oysters to choose from.

nor are there macaroons with the most creamy, velvety filling ever on every corner.

and i've never been served heavenly, creamy mushroom croquettes that make you wonder how on earth they did that amazing combination of crunchy and creamy.

tho' i'll admit foie gras pops with a surprise fig filling do seem vaguely new nordic.

our pizza runs more to mince and bernaise (yuck. i tell you.)

and we do not do our crust nearly thin and crispy enough.

i've never seen green bean tempura with a zesty mustard dipping sauce on a danish menu.

nor has my spinach craving ever been assuaged in denmark.

some things are just bettter in new york.

processing. processing. processing.

my eyes have changed. it seems like it happened suddenly. i've been wiping off my glasses all day, thinking it was because they were all foggy. but i think it's because my eyes have made a sudden change. i wonder if it means i have ebola?


that's not one of the symptoms.

and it's also not what i had intended to write about.

i'm winding down my trip. one more day in the office, then back to nyc tomorrow evening and a last few hours there before i fly home. it's been an awesome trip. i've met so many new people, gotten together with old friends (some for the first time in person, even tho' they felt like we'd been friends for years, which, i guess, we had), and made new friends.

as amy wrote earlier today, she's still processing. and so am i.

i've eaten everything from oysters and foie gras pops to dill pickle sunflower seeds (way yummier than you might think). i've laughed until tears streamed down my face (seriously, google monsignor meth and you will too). i've walked until my feet weren't speaking to me. and i've seen everything from firetrucks attempting to speed down manhattan streets to spiderman strolling across times square to some odd, large, unattended canisters of liquid nitrogen on a curbside. i photographed the original starbucks and the apple store in grand central. we danced until the wee hours in an irish bar across from penn station, singing at the top of our lungs to 90s songs (by the way, cyndy knows all the words). i had an amazing scent experience at MiN, thanks to my sister. i've taken a bunch of photos in a museum (even tho' you probably shouldn't do that). i've corresponded with the child, who is in london at the moment on a school trip (she's 13 and has big business plans). i've been frightened by american television (good morning america, 19 and counting, the political ads...). and i've enjoyed a real, thick, beautiful sunday new york times. in new york.

suffice it to say, it's a lot to take in. a lot to process. so i'll be back with more soon...

Monday, October 13, 2014

eating my way through the usa: seattle edition

the crab salad at lowell's, pike's market, seattle.

seared scallops on corn succotash at miller's guild, the restaurant in hotel max.

crab cakes for breakfast at 14 carrot.

french toast and bacon at 14 carrot

the omelette at 14 carrot

crab cake (again) at blue acre

the heirloom tomato salad at blue acre

seared tuna - very sashimi-like - at blue acre

shrimp, crayfish and andouille sausage with cheesy grits at toulouse petit

* * *

more soon. i just didn't want you to think i'd fallen off the face of the earth.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

into the fog (or perhaps out of it)

it's been pretty foggy in the mornings of late. i actually really love the fog, except in the areas where there are often deer, but it's ok to have to slow down a little bit and take my time. i've been rushing around with last minute preparations for being away for nearly three weeks! back to the land of my birth for work and fun. first to seattle, where i've not been in ten years and then to new york city for the very first time. it's been hectic and crazy in these weeks leading up to the trip, so i'm ready to see some new sights and have some new experiences. the kittens will likely be all grown up when i return, as will my child, who is off to london for a week during the autumn holiday and has all kinds of plans for getting around there on her own. poor husband, he'll be home all alone and have to take care of all of the animals while we're both away. i think he'll manage, tho' i do imagine that the cats will have to get used to another level of service than that to which they've become accustomed. i'm sure i'll check in from along the journey, so stay tuned...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

in need of gratitude

things have been a bit rocky of late...i feel i've once again fallen victim to caring too much. but at the same time, i wouldn't be authentically me if i didn't wholeheartedly drink the kool-aid and give myself over completely. holding back is a rocky road of a different kind, so i don't regret falling in love a little too hard. but perhaps the honeymoon is over and we're settling into a place where it just requires more work, like any relationship that's worth it. 

if this were facebook, that would be vaguebooking.

but so be it.

i have a need to make a little list of things for which i am grateful:

~ colleagues who support me, make me laugh, listen to me, confide in me, laugh at my jokes, include me, ask whether i have a kitten for them (and then proceed to fall head over heels in love with said kitten), eat cake with me, and did i mention make me laugh?

~ my openness and tendency to trust people. it can bite me in the ass sometimes, but overall, i'd much rather be open and trusting than not. even if it means i trust too much and tell too much sometimes. so be it. i wouldn't be myself without that tendency.

~ cats. i know we have a few too many, but every single one of them offers me comfort in their own unique way. and we have a lot of space, so there's room for everyone. and i feed them well and provide them with all the services they expect. and they give me so much in return. the comfort i'm seeking and yes, even laughter, with all of their adorable playfulness.

~ husband. he talks me down from the ledges. he makes me laugh. sometimes from the very first words out of his mouth in the morning. this morning, they were musings on the human foot and what it would be like if we didn't have them. he's not normal, but that's perfect for me. and i'm grateful for him every single day. he never stops planning the next project and striving for something new. he gets me.

~ having a pretty fornuftig teenager in the house. fornuftig means sensible, but somehow has an extra dimension in danish, so i'm mixing the two languages. i can do that after all these years in denmark. and you all should be accustomed to it by now. and that kid, despite all of the many things she wants, is pretty awesome. and that awesomeness was just in her when she arrived. i don't think i had much to do with it at all.

~ awesome projects to work on. i'm learning every day and there is at least one moment every day (even amidst the rocky times), where i am just super happy to have the privilege to do what i do, to meet the people i meet, to work with the projects and people i get to work with.

~ the all-too-fleeting zen feeling, where i know that this too shall pass and it will all be ok, even if it wasn't what i imagined. and whatever happens, it will be a learning experience that contains a lesson meant for me. whether that lesson is to trust or to roll with the punches doesn't much matter, as it is my lesson to learn, either way. life is a matter of practicing. and i need to practice letting go of expectations and being open to what's next. it's gotten me this far. so it will surely take me to the next level. 

~ impending travels to seattle and new york city (for the first time ever) and also connecticut, where i've also never been. it is good to have plane tickets and hotel reservations and all kinds of meetings with a whole bunch of awesome people planned.

* * *

the hipster disney princesses are way better than the real ones.

* * *

john malkovich as...everyone.

* * *

speaking of bean makes an appearance in historical paintings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

in which the post ends up quite different than what she envisioned when she sat down to write it

i didn't begin blogging to find a community. i began blogging to find my way back to myself after leaving a job which was very hectic and busy and hardly left me time to pee, let alone be creative. i began blogging to get back in touch with writing, which i had always loved and tap back into my creative side. and frankly, to keep find regain my sanity. as i always say, blogging is cheaper than therapy.

little by little, i did find a community of like-minded (or perhaps like-humored) souls and after blogger named my little musings a blog of note in april 2009, a community found me. many of those who found me are still among my friends today, even tho' most have stopped blogging and we have our virtual social life over on facebook (that bothers me a bit, to turn so many of my social interactions over to them, but that's the stuff of another post). in a few weeks, i'm going to be getting together with some of them, several for the first time, tho' we feel like old friends.

blogging has given me so much...a place to work out what i think about both the deep and the trivial, an interest (and a practice) in photography, loads of laughter, regular catharsis and probably most of all, a place to store my memories. i wouldn't want to be without it, even tho' i feel like the secrets i'm surrounded by at work these days get in my way and hold me back from writing. i think it's because they cramp my sense of immediacy and that has been rather a hallmark of this blog, whether it was impassioned rants about encounters in the grocery store with solipsistic danes or the latest apple product to cross our doorstep or the progress on the quilt i'm making. the great majority of the photos i've used here were taken minutes before i posted them. i guess i'm just an immediate sort of person, which i think is different than living in the moment (but that's, again, the stuff of a different blog post).

because this blog post is about finding that virtual community (or at least it was when i started out).  i have the privilege of investigating various online communities these days. ones centered around a certain little plastic brick. and they are as fascinating and varied as the sets themselves. some are focused on the bitty small details of the bricks (when a certain grey color was discontinued is still lamented by a certain segment of fans even years later). some are focused on a particular theme - trains, space, star wars, pirates and yes, minifigs.

i've found several communities of people who pretty much appear to photograph nothing but minifigs, at least if you believe their instagram feeds (maybe they have entirely separate instagram accounts for food pictures and cat pictures, i don't know). my own instagram account is a mish-mash of, again, whatever is immediate to me. i take the "insta" part of instagram very seriously. i don't take photos with my big girl camera and spend hours editing them before posting them to instagram. i pretty much post whatever tickles my fancy at a given moment, in that moment, joking that we don't really know it happened unless we've instagrammed it. i'm not saying i don't appreciate the beautiful, atmospheric, well-curated feeds, i'm just saying it's not how i operate.

and this has made me think about my own minifig photos. for the most part, i take them in a single the nice light in the windowsill of our living room, on an old-fashioned scale. for me, my photos of them are less a small story staged in a small scene (unless i use them to tell a story here), than they are a catalog of which minifigs i have. after i photograph them there, i'm actually even able to give them away if they happen to suit someone who comes by (because everyone needs a yeti with a popsicle at some point). but aside from enabling causing some of my existing bloggy friends to also begin madly collecting the little guys, i haven't sought community through my minifigs. but via my research and flickr and instagram and even google+ (these minifig peeps are using g+, which makes them awesome in my book), i am slowly finding a community there as well. people say the internet is isolating, but i've not seen much evidence for that.