Beans Don’t Burn In The Kitchen

Dear kids,

Saturday, after 13 months and two different sublets, Uncle B and I moved into a new place. A place with our name on the lease, which is actually kind of an accomplishment in this city. We made it to a neighborhood that is safe, that is vibrant, vital, diverse, affordable, and absolutely lovely. Astoria is an adorable hood situated on the East River side of Queens. We worked HARD to get here. To make it in New York. After 13 months I think it is safe to say that .
Astoria Map

The new hood

Movin on up!

Movin on up!

This past year was one of the most challenging of my life. It was full of confusion and anxiety, but I have emerged renewed with the realization that it was also one of the most rewarding years, maybe even the most yet. Being in a very stratified environment of judgey 1%ers has forced me to deal with my personal disdain of bourgieness, which in turn offered a really good lesson about tolerance. Without it you will go insane. Bitterness toward everything around you is a poison that kills only you. Everyone is different, and even if you find their lifestyle disgusting you still have to coexist. To paraphrase a dear friend and wise mentor I’ve made since I moved here, it’s not bothering them – why let it bother you? Some of the soundest advice I’ve ever received. Furthermore, I’ve really had to face my own insecurities about myself. I’m learning to stop measuring myself against others. Everyone has their struggles and strengths, so I’m just trying to focus on my own instead evaluating myself in comparison to others. All of this is a process. I’m not all perky all positive all the time, but I am regaining a renewed confidence, stronger than ever.

Our new coffee spot. $1.25/cup baby

Our new coffee spot. $1.25/cup baby

#nomnom

#nomnom

Instead of going to Dubai, Dubai came to us!

Instead of going to Dubai, Dubai came to us!

With the help of my closest friends who’ve stood the test of time, and most of all with the help of my partner, my best friend, my Brenden. I don’t think I could’ve stuck it out here without him. I’m a pretty independent woman. I was raised to not need a man and I don’t. But I got one – a great one – and our friendship and relationship has taught me more about the power of Love and Faith than all the rest. I hope for the same for each of you one day.
Love always,
Aunt Cat(ie)
Panorama of the work in progress. This is the view from right by the front door.

Panorama of the work in progress. This is the view from right by the front door. Once again my board makes a cameo!

Thanksgiving: Just in time for New Year’s!

Dear kids and rest of family,
Since we could not be with you this holiday season, I am bringing part of our holidays to you. This year we were blessed enough to see The Macy’s Day Parade live AND from above! We also had not one but two amazing dinners AND a bagels and lox breakfast. (For more info on the glory that is bagels and lox, click this sentence.) I won’t bore you with a bunch of words and sentencey things, so without further ado I present, pictures:
The starting lineup

The starting lineup

Snooooooopy, Snooooooopy, Snoooooooopy come home

Snooooooopy, Snooooooopy, Snoooooooopy come home

I just love that kid

I just love that kid

THIS guy

THIS guy

Helloooooo!

Helloooooo!

his big blue butt was even more conspicuous

his big blue butt was even more conspicuous

reminiscent of Ghostbusters? Why, yes it was. #terrifying

reminiscent of Ghostbusters? Why, yes it was. #terrifying

because you can't have Snoopy without pumpkins?

because you can’t have Snoopy without pumpkins?

much like Spiderman, the Red Power Ranger wants you to get out the way and has no qualms expressing this

much like Spiderman, the Red Power Ranger wants you to get out the way and has no qualms expressing this

my favorite (aside from Snoopy)

my favorite (aside from Snoopy)

my two favs :-)

my two favs 🙂

ta ta, Papa Smurf!

ta ta, Papa Smurf!

can you imagine a Spongebob voice as big as this Spongebob? A thought perhaps more terrifying than the giant Pillsbury Doughboy.

can you imagine a Spongebob voice as big as this Spongebob? A thought perhaps more terrifying than the giant Pillsbury Doughboy.

weird white character

weird white character

Pikachu!

Cheeeeezzzze!

front of fireman

For Uncle Joey!

Adventure Time(??)

Adventure Time(??)

Elf on a Shelf

Elf on a Shelf

Santa doesn't roll without the elves

Santa doesn’t roll without the elves

The big man

The big man

Of course you are probably more interested in the parade pictures than dinner pictures, but no family Thanksgiving is complete without dinner. Now I will share our meals with you. On Thursday night we enjoyed the cuisine of one of NYC’s hottest chefs (*that last part said in the voice of SNL’s Stefon*), Marcus Samuelsson, at one of his two restaurants, Ginny’s Supper Club. Ginny’s is the jazzy nightclub located in the downstairs of his other restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem. Here we partook in a phenomenal Thanksgiving buffet. To start we had cornbread with tomato jam (which is quite delicious and not as weird as it sounds) and a butternut squash soup. Neither of us had consumed butternut squash soup prior to this and we were a little skeptical, but it was really good! Following we enjoyed unlimited turkey, ribs, potatoes (with the best gravy I’ve ever had), brussel sprouts, and other stuff. Marcus and the folks at Ginny’s are genius and they realized that people would still want dessert even after stuffing themselves into a sweat. So, for dessert there were mini tarts and cakes (also unlimited) and coffee. I didn’t get pics of this, but believe me they rocked my socks. I’ve never liked pumpkin pie, but the pumpkin tarts were so bangin’ that I still haven’t kicked the cravings.

otw to dinner (and super stoked about it)

otw to dinner (and super stoked about it)

FOOD! (we were so hungry it's amazing that I even got this picture)

FOOD! (we were so hungry it’s amazing that I even got this picture)

The day after Thanksgiving we somehow found a way to rise from our buffet food comas and get our tree. It was glorious and done via Subway, as are all of our endeavors.
Christmas tree creeper

Christmas tree creeper

On Saturday we made dinner together and it was the BEST. We had cornish hens (with bacon, of course), scratch rolls (Brenden’s first baking endeavor and they were DELICIOUS), roasted brussel sprouts (with more bacon), rosemary beets, dressing, and mashed potatoes (duh). Oh, and I made pecan pie tarts for the first time. It was so fun and novel going out to dinner on Thanksgiving night, but our team-cooked at-home Thanksgiving dinner was, in my eyes, perfect. We had a blast cooking and decorating together throughout the day, and this translated into a divine! dinner.
rockin the Arab-style seating

rockin the Arab-style seating – note the tree in the background!

cornish hens

cornish hens

potatoes

getting closer to mom’s potatoes…

pecan pie tarts

pecan pie tarts

 

FEAST!

FEAST!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM BRENDEN, CODY & ME!!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM BRENDEN, CODY & ME!

As usual this blog is over a month late now, haha, but as we approach a new year know that you are in our hearts and thoughts and we love you very much. Very, very much.
Always,
(Aunt) Cat[ie]

Summer Digest

Dear kids,

We had a lot of funtivities this summer! We went to a Yankees game and Coney Island. I dashed off to San Antonio and saw mom/ladybug and (uncle/) Dave/dad in July. There’s a bunch; do check out the pics below. For this entry I’m leaving out four key adventures that took place this summer because there are so many pictures from each. These events will eventually come to life in an entry of their own. They are: our visit to the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, my visit to San Antonio, a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and a day trip to Coney Island.

I’ll be honest with you guys. This summer was also too short and kind of rough.But this summer was a time of reflection, remembrance, realization, and apparently alliteration also.

Part of this was loneliness – it’s surprisingly difficult to make friends in this big city – and that led to nostalgia. Wishing for the Motherland and so on. Nostalgia plays dirty tricks on your mind. You remember things at their best instead of as they really were in the end. Fortunately I got a dose of reality when Katrina visited in August I realized how much of that homesickness was actually nostalgia. Katrina is staying on at VCU to get her master’s in occupational therapy (like a boss) and so she reminded us of how, although there was a hey-day in RVA that we all shared and reveled in, we’d all kind of outgrown it. This was a good reminder because it led me to another conclusion: I wasn’t taking enough advantage of all there was to learn here in THE City and that was part of the reason my brain was playing nostalgic tricks on me.

After Katrina left I decided it was time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and reenergize my mind. For months I’d been here in this new place exploring and discovering new “spots,” but I’d not really done much to learn about new ideas, trades, and concepts as I had when I was a student and then teacher at VCU. This needed to change at once. If you’re not learnin’, you’re not doin’ nothin’. And so I realized that although I was running about doing all this stuff, I wasn’t taking the time to learn more about all the life around me. I’d stopped reading and asking questions regularly and that’s never good.

When I decide to do something I do it. I knew my brain needed a boost so I made plans and goals for boosting it. The first one was a reading list. Since college I’ve had a growing reading list of books I wanted to read when I wasn’t buried under a mountain of textbooks. When I first graduated I started on it, but my efforts tapered off into just reading a book here and there. Enough! I decided to set myself a goal to finish a chunk of that list before Jan 1, 2015. The list itself is over 100 books long, which I’m ashamed to say is too much for me to be able to read in four months, so I picked 20 and I’m sticking to it. I just finished Auntie Mame, a hilarious book about a nephew who goes to live with his zany aunt in NYC. I highly recommend it.

The next plan and goal was to develop skills. I have a degree and sure, that’s great, but I found myself wanting to know how to DO more! For my job I do have to use graphic design software from time to time, so I decided that I want to become a master of this software. I enjoy working with it, and the more I know about it the more cool and fun things I can do with it. I bought myself a couple of textbooks and have been reading the theory and practicing the concepts regularly. Here I am in The City of Opportunity. It would be foolish to not take advantage of all it has to offer to develop and hone new skills.

Finally I begrudgingly decided I needed to be more physically active. I have exercises that I do regularly for my back because of some trouble I’ve had in the past, but I needed to do more. I started going to a free Pilates class at one of the rec centers near work. Keeping up with the regular exercise has been the hardest part for me. I always look at it as a bit of a chore so this makes it difficult. But I never give up because giving up is never an option.

The last thing that I’ve set my mind to doing is to step outside of my comfort zone more because when you step outside of what you already know, you experience something new, and when you experience something new you learn new things. You may not realize you’re learning new things, but you are. I think the biggest reason we had for leaving RVA was that the whole place had become our comfort zone and, with the exception of the occasional new restaurant or bar, there was no new. We could’ve stayed and still learned plenty, but not as much as we’ve learned by up and moving somewhere totally unfamiliar and packed with new things to do, see, experience.

We’re not always going to move around whenever we feel we need to learn, but I also don’t think NYC is the last stop on our residential train. We’re so young! We have all the energy and time to soak up as much about life as we can now so there’s no excuse for us not to be moving and doing. Same goes for you kids.

Just remember to always keep trying to learn. School may not be your thing, but life is nothing but a learning process. I say, if you’re not learning, you’re not living! Try new things, read as much as you can, and ALWAYS ask questions!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and check out the good stuff below.

All my love,
Auntie Cat

 

  • Brenden turned 24 on June 1st. We went to Toast Chicken restaurant for brunch (and maybe a few mimosas).

 

Sporting “the Kramer”

  • Uncle Logan graduated so we went to Fredericksburg, VA to see him. I actually chronicled the beginnings of the voyage there:
    • (About 3pm) I’m on the South Ferry bound 1 [train] and this car has no AC. “As I write this a drop of sweat is rolling down my forehead,” [said Aunt Katrina to me once in a note she wrote while in the Philippines]. Cody is with me, bless her heart, and fortunately the car isn’t crowded. This is the first day of summer in NYC. And I love it. 
    • Jk – now the train’s crowded. The sweltering train is crowded. Now THIS is summer in New York.
    • I’m in a rush to catch a bus to Chinatown so I can get to Fredericksburg for Logan’s graduation. There’s a creeper across from me with a handkerchief and a bandito mustache. He looks just like Brenden’s friend, Justin.
    • I’m stopped at the 42nd St. station on the Brooklyn bound B. Brenden’s train broke down [we are not together yet at this point in the voyage]. We’ve sat for 4 minutes and the doors close and we’re moving. Trains stop for 30 seconds at most stations. Sometimes 40 at a major hub. 4 minutes is a long time. 34th, but stalled again……..
    • [Alas] on the bus. Packed. Crying baby in seat directly in front.
    • It’s 6:09pm. We left Chinatown at 5:02 or so. We’re currently still in Manhattan. And we still have to tackle a bridge… 
    • It’s 3:15am. Arrived in Fredericksburg around 12:30am.

And that, my friends, is why Brenden and I hate travelling back to VA.

On a ferris wheel we found by the mall

On a ferris wheel we found by the mall

 

  • We went to the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1964 World’s Fair, which was hosted at Flushing Meadows in Corona Park, which is in Queens. Most of you probably don’t know that my namesake, Grandma Katy aka Grandma Wood aka Mary Cathleen went to the 1964 World’s Fair. You may recognize the alien spaceshuttlesqe tower thing in the picture below. It’s in one of the first scenes of Men in Black.

    The Pavilion that turns into a spaceship in Men in Black

    The Pavilion that turns into a spaceship in Men in Black

 

The Unisphere at Sunset

The Unisphere at Sunset

 

  • We saw a movie in Washington Square Park, which is near NYU. It was a French film. Cody dug it.
Cody enjoying the French film, Buffet Froid, in Washington Square Park. Cody is still unsure of what that movie was actually about.

Cody enjoying the French film, Buffet Froid, in Washington Square Park. Cody is still unsure of what that movie was actually about.

 

 

  • We spend a lot of time on our roof. That’s an almost daily thing.
Thanks to Instagram you can make NY look all artsy-dreary like it supposedly did long before Instagram existed.

Thanks to Instagram you can make NY look all artsy-dreary like it supposedly did long before Instagram existed.

And this is what happens when you're a Photoshop newb.

And this is what happens when you’re a Photoshop newb.

 

  • I did yoga in Times Square on the Summer Solstice (June 20). It was the strangest thing trying to find peace among all that loud bustling chaos. Unnatural even. It’d be like finding a traffic jam in the soothing waves of the ocean. I wouldn’t say it was unsettling. I never reached peace, though I came to some kind of a dark solace.
Weird, right?

Weird, right?

 

  • One Friday night we saw a midnight movie at Landmark’s Sunshine Theater. It was National Lampoon’s Vacation, the original one. Funny thing is that even though he and I were both raised on old movies neither of us had seen this one. It was a great flick. There we also saw this gem:
R. Kelly's brilliant work of art may be unfamiliar and before your time, but your parents will of course appreciate the masterpiece that reflects what good taste my generation has in music videos. Truly.

R. Kelly’s brilliant work of art may be unfamiliar and before your time, but your parents will of course appreciate the masterpiece that reflects what good taste my generation has in music videos. Truly.

The fanciest candy counter I've ever seen.

The fanciest candy counter I’ve ever seen.

and a fancy marquee

and a fancy marquee

  • We went to a rooftop party at a place right next to the Empire State Building. There we learned that it is, in fact, impossible to meet people at parties unless you come with a friend who knows everyone.
It never loses its luster. Anytime I ever see it, especially up close, I feel tingles of excitement. And I see it almost daily!

It never loses its luster. Anytime I ever see it, especially up close, I feel tingles of excitement. And I see it almost daily!

  • Katrina came to visit. I took a couple of days off and we explored. It was fantastic!
    Pre-Central Park Bloody Marys on a Friday afternoon. #winning

    Pre-Central Park Bloody Marys on a Friday afternoon. #winning

    The lovely Katrina in Central Park

    The lovely Katrina in Central Park

    Lots of love at the world-famous Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens.

    Lots of love at the world-famous Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens.

    More beer love :-)

    More beer love 🙂

    Our final stop was for a Halal Guys gyro platter, aka The Best Food Known To Man. At 53rd & Ave of the Americas.

    Our final stop was for a Halal Guys gyro platter, aka The Best Food Known To Man. At 53rd & Ave of the Americas.

  • We checked out Roosevelt Island, a teeeeeny tiny little island randomly plopped between Manhattan and Queens. It has a fairly uninteresting history (see here) but what’s cool about it is that you take an aerial tram to get to it! You run over the Queensboro Bridge. I didn’t get a great shot of the view from above, but it’s something. We stopped at a cupcake ATM (yep, you read that right) on the way there. Click the link for a video demo courtesy of Youtube.
    View of the Queensboro Bridge from the Roosevelt Island Tram

    View of the Queensboro Bridge from the Roosevelt Island Tram

    The East River (just think of all the great bodies floating around in there!)

    The East River (just think of all the great bodies floating around in there!)

    Yes. That is indeed a cupcake ATM.

    Yes. That is indeed a cupcake ATM.

     

  • One random Friday, Brenden won free tickets to a Mets game (in Queens)! Yes, the Mets suck, but hey – it was free and we really enjoyed it. Plus the seats were pretty good.
    "I'm not calling it after some stupid bank. It's called Shea Stadium."

    “I’m not calling it after some stupid bank. It’s called Shea Stadium.”

    View from our seats

    View from our seats

  • We took Cody to a dog party in Brooklyn! Yes, that’s right folks. There’s something for everyone here.

    CODY DOG!!!

    CODY DOG!!!

  • As the summer wound down there was a really great block party on my street, W 136th. There was a DJ, live music, dancing, bake stands, and grills galore. It was one of the hottest days of the summer so the atmosphere was perfect. Especially when they cracked the hydrant. Kids running around in hydrant has always been an image I’ve associated with New York. Actually seeing it reminded me this is real. We’re actually doing it. It was beautiful. 🙂

    hot fun in the summertime - my block: W 136th & Broadway

    hot fun in the summertime – my block: W 136th & Broadway

  • At the end of the summer, right before my birthday, Brenden’s uncle John took me to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. It was my first time seeing a Broadway show, and it was better than I’d ever imagined it would be. The music was bitchin — it “beat the shit out of Phantom,” the lighting was CRAAAZY cool, the makeup and costumes were overwhelmingly impressive, the theatre itself was cool. It was one for the bucket list, and it is an experience I will always cherish.

    Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway! Not the best picture, but by far the best Broadway experience!

    Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway! Not the best picture, but by far the best Broadway experience!

  • Summer concluded on September, 22, the birthday of yours truly. We went to a restaurant in Little Italy and had the best Italian dinner and the best wine I’ve ever had. Maybe I’ll add a review of it on here sometime… I also walked past the pop-up (New York lingo for temporary) cafe, Central Perk, which came to be as a tribute to the 20th anniversary of the show, which also fell on my birthday. At dinner Brenden gave me tickets to the opera, La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera in the Lincoln Center. This probably sounds stuffy to you, but since I was a little kid watching Moonstruck with Auntnet and Becca, I’ve dreamt of seeing it at the Met. Spoiler alert: it was incredible. I will post about that later.
    If only it were real...

    If only it were real…

    BIRTHDAY CANNOLI!!!

    BIRTHDAY CANNOLI!!!

    preparing wish...

    preparing wish…

    making wish...

    making wish…

    annnd giggling at hubz's comments

    annnd giggling at hubz’s comments

    Still trying to figure out how I managed to hook this man...

    Still trying to figure out how I managed to hook this man…

 

Well, that was a lot. And like I said, there’s more. I hope you kids don’t hate on me for taking so long to post. As you can see I’m a busy bee! But I’m never too busy to miss you.

All my love,

Aunt Cat(ie)

 

Lobster & Beer on a Boat

Hi kiddos,

A few days ago Uncle B and I went aboard the Clipper City, an old-school schooner, and proceeded to delight in luscious lobster rolls, beer, and some of the most beautiful sights either of us have ever seen! For two hours we were in heaven. I can’t remember the last time I was on a boat and I’ve never been on a boat as big as this one. The weather was perfect for it: mid 80’s, nice breeze but not too windy, a good little chop goin’ on in the water… Ah, just perfect. The sea air was so refreshing and calming in itself. Add some of the best damn lobster I’ve ever had and unlimited craft beer into that mix. Fughetabboudit!

The music was nice, too. It was as if for just a couple of hours that boat took us all away from Manhattan and an attitude of “play nice” washed over everything. Life went calm again; no more taxis and cranky suits. That boat took me back to age five, clutched to Uncle Joey on the back of a jetski as we and a pack of dolphins smashed into wave after wave. I can still see it all so clearly and feel the jetski smash smash smash and the waves spray. I thought a lot about Uncle Joey during our trip. He’s always been the great water lover and that is something we share. The sea and Uncle Joey are almost synonymous for me. Both so calming and reassuring. Both remind you of what’s important in life and that it’s important to take it easy. Uncle Joey, [my] Mom, and AuntNet made sure that I got to the water aplenty as a kid, and they made sure that I was as surrounded by love as I was the water we’d visit. I’m kind of a rough-around-the-edges person sometimes, but I am confident that those precious childhood water visits are a lot of what made me smoother in-between. To this day when I need calm and I seek clarity I turn my heart to the sea.

Maybe in a year or so it will be from there that I write you. Who knows what the future holds for me, and Uncle B., and for you. 😉

Our sailing experience really was just way too visual to explain with words, so I leave you with these photos.

Love always and always and always,
Aunt Cat

PS: WATCH THE VIDEO!! (All of it! It’s only 24 seconds.)

The lovely Clipper City!

The lovely Clipper City!

our starting location

our starting location

Brenden & Aunt Cat escape Manhattan!

Brenden & Aunt Cat escape Manhattan!

he drinks in twos (no, not really)

he drinks in twos (no, not really)

Luke's Lobster Rolls ...omgsogood

Luke’s Lobster Rolls …omgsogood

The State Island ferries. I love the old school fonts!

The State Island ferries. I love the old school fonts!

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty. Believe it or not, this photo is unedited and that glow around her just kind of happened on the camera!

...but this one is edited

Lady Liberty at dusk

Returning to the Manhattan docks at dusk

Returning to the Manhattan docks at dusk

So, there I was!

So, there I was!

Do The Rockaway

Dear kids,

Last weekend Brenden and I got an epic deal on some bus tickets to the beach, so we went to Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways, which is in Queens. Beaches are the last thing that I associated with NYC before I moved here, but then it hit me as the weather started warming that we’re more or less ON the ocean. In slightly under an hour I can be from my front door to the sands of the ocean. Beaches here don’t get the best rap, but this particular one in the Rockaways got great reviews and, being the water babies we are, we were desperate for some ocean love.

Old school postcard: Surf Bathing At Jacob Riis Park, Rockaway Beach Long Island, NY

Old school postcard: Surf Bathing At Jacob Riis Park, Rockaway Beach Long Island, NY

Recently I was hard at work surfing the web last week when I came across an article about the NYCBeachBus. For $12 a person, a bus will come fetch you and take you to one of two beaches in The Rockaways,** let you stay to a designated time, and then take you home. But wait! There’s more! The $12 includes beer!! It was supposed to be two beers, but we only got one because the moron running the trip on the way home “didn’t have time” but that’s something I’ll take up with Yelp, not this blog. The beer we did get was good beer, too. Not that Miller Lite crap that your fathers drink. All in all it was a great deal that led us to the holy Mecca that is THE OCEAN.

[**FYI: Rockaway (aka The Rockaways) is a peninsula in Queens. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the south and Jamaica Bay to the north.]

Jacob Riis Park is approx 1hr total from our front door

The beach was beautiful and the water was crisp. Definitely too cold to swim in, but the weather was perfect. We spent the day basking in the sun. At one point we noticed a bunch of half-naked people walking around and realized we’d accidentally stumbled upon a nude beach. Fortunately we saw no saggy old men.

jacobriisbeach

After getting some good chill time in we went to this place, The Wharf, for lunch. It’s a waterfront dive-type place on the bay side of the peninsula, with great views of Manhattan. Plus we were so close to JFK airport that we got some great plane watching in. For food we got the crab cake appetizer, Brenden got fish tacos, and I got the coconut shrimp basket.

The Wharf Bar & Grill

The Wharf Bar & Grill

Displaying photo 3.JPG

Brenden post tacos

All in all it was a lovely day! By the time we got home we were so pooped, but the good kind. The kind that lets you know your day was a success. 🙂

Until next time, and all my love.

Cat

The Subway Surfboard Spectacle: A move in numbers

this happened

this happened

Dear kids,

For the past three months I have observed interesting and unusual activity as a passive subway-rider anthropologist. I’ve encountered some weird phenomena, including a vampire, complete with fangs, on the L-train. Two weekends ago, I took a few steps closer toward being a real New Yorker when I went from seeing a subway spectacle to being a subway spectacle.

Before moving here, Brenden and I purged about 75% of our crap. We kept only our clothes, a not-quite-full-length mirror, books, kitchen stuff, and a sweet board game collection (but a lot of that got the kibosh, too). The books, kitchen stuff, and most of the board games are in storage. The clothes, mirror, and some of the board games stayed with us. The latter are the “only” items we had to move from our initial three-month sublet to our new, somewhat more permanent apartment.

“Only.”

If we had a car or a van this would’ve taken one trip and we still would’ve had room in the car for groceries–but we didn’t. Instead we moved all of our crap via public transportation. One trip = as much as 2 arms can carry.  There was “only” a little bit, but there were indeed many trips.

george

2 arms of carrying = something like: at most 2-3 boxes -or- 1 backpack1 large duffel bag1 large box (carried on top of my head). So, “only” clothes and some board games actually turned out to be a lot of crap because as it turns out, winter clothes for two people take up a lot of space. Oh yeah, in addition to “only” that I have with me my most prized possession, ONE 9′ SURFBOARD. Which, along with everything else, I carried:

3 flights of stairs (down)

+

8 blocks over

+

1 careful hike underground into the subway station

+

3 subway stops

+

1 cautious crawl out of the underground

+

1.5 blocks up

+

4 flights of stairs (up)

pivot (<– joke for my Friends lovers, namely Aunt Jalisa)

1 trip = 1,000,000 calories burnt = 1 guilt-free beer drinking and pizza eating session that followed the fun of moving.

endless beer

Good times.

All’s well that ends well, and our new apartment is EVERYTHINGANAPARTMENTSHOULDEVERBE! but more importantly…

I HAVE MY DOG BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the reunion :-)

the reunion 🙂

Love always,

Aunt Catie

Brenden with the not-quite-full-length mirror

Brenden with the not-quite-full-length mirror

one of many trips

one of many trips

Marvin Van Peebles at the Lincoln Center Atrium – February 25, 2014

Dear kiddos,

Last Tuesday I jammed out to Marvin Van Peebles wid Laxative [sic] at the Lincoln Center’s free(!) AtriumFlix show of the season.

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Hybrid arts (whether visual or aural) are among my favorite, and this group was that indeed. Their fusion of jazz (I ❤ saxophone), funk, and spoken word offered just the heat that the frozen night called for. The free(!) show was followed by a discussion with Marvin and his son Mario, and a showing of Mario’s documentary, Baadasssss!, which is about a legendary documentary his father, Marvin, made in 1971 called Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. While I was at the Lincoln Atrium, Uncle Brenden went to Brooklyn for a seminar on hot peppers. You guys probably don’t know this, but Uncle B loooooves him some hot sauces and within the last year or so he’s started making his very own. He’s got this fascination with hot peppers I guess. I’ll have to get him to post about his experience at the talk.

All for now–

xo,

Cat