Wednesday, October 22, 2014

miles to go before we sleep

when i got home, husband had cleared our bedroom and had started to paint it. just a nice chalky white. and instead of moving our bed back in, we decided to make a small, makeshift dining room, since with the approach of winter, we will no longer be able to eat out in the terrace.

we scored some awesome green wool-covered chairs and a pretty cool round table, with leaves, at the recent flea market at our local kulturhus. and they are going to be our dining set, since our other table is far too large.

yes, those are breakfast crumbs on the table. but hey, there's also a cat on the table that apparently didn't get the memo about "no cats on the table." what was most fun about setting up the room (because i got home in time to help), was digging out all of our old photos, which used to line the stairs back on poppelvej and hanging them on the wall. i changed a few out, but mostly, i left them, for the sake of the memories. fresh, white walls and loads of meaningful pictures make for a lovely space, even tho' the ceiling is low and we're waiting for the electrician to come and deal with that light fixture (we thought it didn't work, but husband got zapped, so it apparently does).

do you ever visit someone and think that they've really got this life thing nailed in a way that you don't? well, i do, more often than i'd like to admit. but no more so than visiting the amazing and wonderful bb (of wobbly plates fame) at her beautiful home/atelier in brooklyn on my recent trip. she has this amazing table, which her husband made (so there is hope for us) and has created the most beautiful, livable, enviable space. but you can't even envy her (read: hate) her for it because she's so utterly and completely real and wonderful that all you can do is love her and feel privileged to be able to visit. and to hope that a little bit of that ability to live rubs off.

we have a ways to go before we're here. our house didn't have the beautiful skeleton that bb's brooklyn brownstone had, but we will figure out it. the house. but also this life thing.  of that, i'm certain.

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.