What Inspired Me: 1/23/22

  1. It’s Restaurant week- Yay!! we went to Almond, a wonderful farm to table style place near my house- my three courses were butternut squash soup, steak au poivre, and sticky toffee date cake. Of course, my cider and pear gin flavored cocktail was an outstanding way to start the meal
  2. So I went to the Met, planning on continuing my numerical way through the galleries. Galleries 164 and 165 were closed. Hmmm. So were galleries 166 and 167. Trying to rebound from my disappointment, I went to a special exhibit, which, of course, was closed. Can you feel my OCD like tendencies bubbling to the surface? I pulled up the Met Website and found two exhibits which are ongoing and that I have never seen before. Crossroads was just wonderful- all about cultural interconnectedness. I was amazed to see a Chinese plate depicting the baptism of Christ. Who knew? The African Origin of Civilization is also a small but incredibly well curated exhibit- I loved how they showed similar imagery from two different parts of the continent. So well thought out. These are both must see’s if you ever get to NYC.
  3. I walked home the other day across town on 27th Street- which is not a route I usually take. I passed Dominique Ansel Workshop and there was no line (there’s rarely a time when there is no line at either of his places) so I went in. Really, it’s decision paralysis because everything looks so good. I settled on the pecan sticky thing- my Husband and I shared it and it was yummy- buttery and light and decadent at the same time.
  4. I had a pampering sort of week- hair cut, color, mani, pedi….I needed to take care of myself a little….
  5. WORDLE is my new obsession…FYI- good thing it’s only one word a day…

What Inspired Me: November 21

  1. Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror The Whitney. This is a pretty comprehensive view of his work, curated very well. There is a companion exhibit in Philly that I would love to see too. Just an amazing career. Diver intrigued me the most as it was inspired by the suicide of poet Hart Crane- just sad and touching.
  2. My Barbarian- Whitney. This is one of those installation pieces that I just don’t understand at all. Also not sure if I care enough about it. (closes 2/27/22)
  3. Labyrinth of Forms: Women and Abstraction 1930-1950. This was a small but well curated exhibit. Glad they highlighted some women artists that often get overlooked. Of course there was one Lee Krasner…but that’s OK because the description didn’t mention her partner- she was allowed to be listed as an artist in her own right…
  4. Amazing to walk through Central Park and see the beautiful autumn colors, and then smack into holiday displays on Fifth Avenue
  5. NY Doc Festival: You know I love a film festival and I love shorts, so I was thrilled to see Shorts: New York, New York and the films: All Riders, The Andrew Yang Show, Flatbush! Flatbush!, When we Were Bullies. Also got to hear representatives of each film discuss the work. I always love to hear about the creative process of a film from someone who was there. Of course, hearing one of the speakers talk about their film as well as the film itself is going to be a blog in a few months. Inspiration everywhere…
  6. I was invited (through Roundabout Theater Company where I am a subscriber) to see an advance screening of The Humans. I saw his as a play on Broadway a few years back and it was wonderful. I saw this as a movie in the theater and it was less than wonderful. I think it’s often hard to film a successful play, even when in the hands of the playwright. But, it was cool to see writer/director Stephen Karam introduce the film.
  7. The tag line of Simo Pizza is: 90 Seconds to Napoli, because once the pizza is made, it’s only in the oven for 90 seconds. What you get is a tender, slightly chewy crust and the topics perfectly melded. Yum. If you’re going to The Whitney, this is conveniently located across the street.
  8. Belfast. SEE THIS MOVIE. Seriously- see this movie. I can’t imagine there will be a better film out this year. It has automatically jumped up to my internal list of best movies ever. Bravo.
  9. And- you must listen to soundtrack from Belfast. Van Morrison and Everlasting Love. Need I say more?
  10. Betty’s new trick is to pathetically wait next to my desk chair so that I pick her up and put her on the chair with me while I’m writing…
  11. Met- gallery 151 holds Minoan Gems, which served as seals to identify ownership before literacy became widespread. Thought that was really interesting. Also saw new pieces in the Masters and Masterpieces: Chinese Art from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection. Just beautiful pieces.
  12. I love a cocktail bar. I like to sit in a dimly lit room, on a banquette or uber comfy bar stool and drink an overly expensive but well crafted cocktail. Thyme did not disappoint on any level. And look at how pretty the drinks are! Also, watching the bartender make the drinks was magic- they did this pour from one vessel to another and I can’t remember what it was called (talk about a time when I needed my notebook!) but Wow…go for the drinks and stay for the entertainment.
  13. TV- Just started Squid Games- why oh why am I so intrigued!?!?
  14. Going to mention The Comfort Book by Matt Haig. I only read a page a day so it could take me awhile to finish, but it’s the perfect little note to savor before bed, or when you first wake up, or anytime.

What Inspired Me- November 7

  • You never know what you are going to see around NYC- a plaque dedicated to writers, a snow globe dedicated to Broadway or a Naked Cowboy
  • Nowon is a amazing restaurant in the East Village. It’s Korean inspired, however they clearly make one of the most delicious burgers in the city. Also, their soju based cocktails are incredibly tasty. Of course, they sent a text to confirm our reservation. When I replied “Y”, the reply text came back “It Gon Be Lit”.
  • Velvet Underground documentary is quite good, though, I did not know much about them save Lou Reed, Andy Warhol and Nico. The director showed people talking, but I had no idea who some of them were or their relation. The closing credits did give a quick bio, but would have been helpful to know during the actual doc.
  • NYPL for the Performing Arts advertised a display of mini broadway sets. Bleh. It was extremely lackluster. Though I am seeing a revival of Company next month, so seeing the original 1970 set design was somewhat interesting
  • 90th anniversary of Frankenstein. Love this movie. However, I realized that in the credits, the author credit was listed as “Mrs. Percy Shelley” Can you imagine?
  • Had the roti breakfast at Miss Lily’s- Caribbean/Jamaican food. Jerk sausage.Yum.
  • Molly’s cupcakes for our Halloween Treat- Mine was bottom left- Apple Pie flavor. SO GOOD. I mean…sooooo good….piece of buttery pie crust on top, apple filling inside, cream on top.
  • Thoughts of a Colored Man is one of the best plays I’ve seen in awhile. Thought provoking, well acted, script just eloquent and beautiful and real. If in NYC try to see. Full Disclosure- I received tickets for this play for free via God’s Love We Deliver, a non profit I volunteer with. I was not given the tickets in exchange for a review either favorable or otherwise
  • Met exhibits- Permanent Collection Egypt. Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor (special exhibit closing 2/21/22)
  • Brooklyn Museum- Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: A Crack in the Hourglass, An Ongoing COVID-19 Memorial (closes 6/26/22) Baseera Khan: I Am an Archive (closes 7/10/22)

I know that I have showed you lots of wonderful images of things that I did this week, but I must add that my heart has been very heavy. Sometimes you can go through the motions, and you can actually laugh and enjoy, but it doesn’t mean that you feel good all the time. This is why I laugh at the whole “Be Positive” movement- I did all the be positive stuff I could muster and it still didn’t make me feel any better- it just distracted me for little chunks of time. While distraction can be good, it shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. I know that I have been angry or sullen in my posts this week- that a byproduct of working through feelings and emotions- sometimes it can’t help but come out in writing. Also why I think journaling is an awesome idea… And here I go again writing a long drawn out thing when I only intended to write one line.

Be well.

What Inspired Me: October 31

  • I saw two Hitchcock movies this week- Yet I can’t decide which Hitchcock is my favorite. I’ve seen Strangers on a Train more times, plus studied it in a film class, so I can’t help but look for certain motif’s when I watch it. Doesn’t matter. All good!!
  • If anyone wants to buy me the Jaguar that was at MOMA….it does bring up a now talked about point- should beautiful cars be considered art? I say a big resounding yes- for beauty and engineering- but some are against that. Can cars be considered art?
  • Kim- couldn’t help but throw in a little surrealism…
  • So I was at the Met- for my weekly gallery by gallery tour, and I was approached by people in the digital media department of the Met who asked if I wanted to share my opinion about the Met. Hmmm…do you think I want to share my opinion about the Met?
  • We did a tourist walk this week: Bowery, SOHO and Little Italy. Once again we went to neighborhoods that we frequent on the regular. However, I did see a statue outside the Basilica that I’d never noticed.
  • I am a huge fan of Schitt’s Creek. Had the opportunity to see Eugene and Dan Levy talk about their new book. They are as warm and charming and hilarious in person as they are on TV. Love them. And the pride and love that Eugene shows for both Dan and Sara is just heart warming. FYI- if you’re a fan of the show or know one- the book is a great holiday gift
  • 886 is a Taiwanese comfort food place in the East Village Manhattan. The chicken sandwich was about the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever eaten! Two words- potato starch. I’ve never used it but they use it ibn the batter- crisp and not greasy chicken. It was soooo good. They dress it with pickled daikon…
  • Korean corn dogs are a thing in NYC right now. We tried Two Hands (SOHO) and the dogs were delicious- had spicy one and one coated in rice crispie treats. Yum…but needed more than two napkins
  • Szechuan Mountain house came recommended to us as authentic szechuan food. It was delicious. I didn’t mark down the dishes we ate, and when I tried to get them from website it wouldn’t let me open menu because they’re not open now. But – everything yummy. The thing with Szechuan food isn’t so much the spice as the tingle of the peppercorns. So good. They also serve delicious green tea, and the place is a little haven of tranquility.
  • I am trying to cut down my mindless TV viewing. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I am LOVING Ted Lasso (appletv) and Great British Baking Show (Netflix). Also- Dune (HBOMAX) is worth a watch- really well done!!!

Happy Halloween!

What Inspired Me: October 17

Egypt- Permanent Collection- Met

  • Back to Broadway- Caroline or Change is a wonderful, thought provoking musical. Being in a Broadway theater again. Priceless.
  • Can you say Carnegie Hall!!! Yes- also returned to live music!! Lang Lang doing the Goldberg Variations. Brilliant- both the pianist and the work- Plus- I really did get inspired with an idea for a fiction work that I’m already 1000 words in on
  • Remember I said that Oktoberfest is the least objectionable holiday? So we celebrated at a Pop Up behind the Schaller and Weber German Grocery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. We had some Wiener Schnitzel and a Sausage Platter, plus a side of potato pancakes. Of course I had a stein of Weizenbier. Now, I’m not a big fan of beer- however- this was delicious!! Food, drink and little patio garden were all awesome!!

Housekeeping Note: I’m changing the days that are included in my Sunday wrap up. I used to do Sunday to Saturday, but now I’m doing Friday to Thursday. This really means nothing except less pictures today, and way too many next week.

What Inspired Me: October 10

  • We did another city walk this week- The location was the East Village. I love the East Village. I am often in the East Village. The problem with this is that I’ve already seen the majority of things included in this walk, and I know many of the historic facts about this neighborhood. That being said, it was a beautiful sunny day to walk the neighborhood with Betty, and remind myself of the musical associations of this neighborhood…
  • Yellow Rose bills itself as a Texas Restaurant. I can’t validate the authenticity, but I had a delicious Migos Taco and the best buttermilk glazed donut.
  • I was in a Broadway Theater this week! First Time since March the year that shall not be named…Ten minutes after I took a picture of the stage, the great John Lithgow came out and read poems from his new book. And a few hours from now, I will be seeing my first Broadway performance since March 2020…
  • The new exhibit at the Met is Surrealism Beyond Borders. After viewing this exhibit, I have decided that I don’t really care for surrealism. I thought it was funny that the pieces that I was drawn to were, for the most part, works of famous artists. The other thing that intrigued me about the exhibit was how many verbal descriptions lined the walls. It made me wonder if you need to give a lot of background to a work, is it really that good? I can’t help but think of the writing maxim- show don’t tell. I’m going to overthink this a bit and probably blog about it in the future.
  • We are about to begin a burger list- we started at Happiest Hour, which is really a bar with wonderful cocktails, a charming and wonderful bouncer, and a pretty awesome cheeseburger. I got the single, but they also have a double. Imagine a Big Mac but oh so much tastier. The tater tots were pretty good too!
  • Bill Cunningham was an iconic photographer for the NY Times (I don’t really read the Times for the news- I read it for culture and style) He used to ride around and snap pictures of things that caught his eye- mainly stylish people. My fashionista friends used to worry that the day they were in sweats and a pony tail would be the day that they saw Bill cycle by…He had been one of my favorite parts of NYT. However, this poor excuse for an exhibit does not do the memory of Bill Cunningham any good- its awful…
  • To get the awful taste of the awful exhibit out of my palate, I needed to go to Funny Face Bakery- OK- I didn’t get a cookie but I did enjoy looking at the beautiful creations
  • The Wavertree is offering free tours- it was a cargo ship used in the late 1800’s. Fun to see, and did I say free?
  • Cheeseburger Hash Browns are a thing- and they’re delicious…
  • The Rescue is a documentary about the rescue mission of the Thai soccer team caught in a cave- just such an amazing story

What Inspired Me: October 3

  • Blog friends meet The Temple of Dendur: This is one of my favorite rooms in the whole world. I just love everything about this room.
  • I love brunch because it’s the best part of sweet and savory. Hello bacon, egg and swiss french toast…
  • The Worst Person in the World is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. I was lucky enough to see it as part of a film festival, so I got to hear (seated) Joaquim Trier (Director), Renate Reinsve (star), Anders Danielsen Lie (star), and NYFF Eugene Hernandez (Director NYFF59). What’s funny watching a subtitled film is acknowledging how fast people read and get the subtitles…the laughter starts at different points. I wonder if the late laughers think it’s funny or just want to be part of the crowd.
  • Most thought provoking movie of the year goes to I’m Your Man– if you like my posts about romance and tech, then this movie should be on your to be watch list
  • When I bought tickets for last Wednesday’s game, the Mets were in a position to make it to the post season. Yeah….there’s always next year…

What Inspired Me: September 26

  • Banksy exhibit was quite interesting. It’s unauthorized, so I didn’t expect anything to disappear before my eyes, yet I was still sort of hoping… Banksy was the author of the quote in Friday’s blog. It’s not his art per se that is important- it’s his reasoning behind what he chooses to do…
  • Flip Sigi is Philippino fast food- and it’s delicious. The burger has a Longanisa sausage patty on it. Don’t know what it is, but it’s delicious…two words: banana ketchup
  • It was fun to go back to San Gennaro. Our goal is always to find something new at one of the stands- this year a huge, meat filled rice ball. We were not there for the parade or cannoli eating contest.
  • The Relative Value: The Cost of Art in the Northern Renaissance exhibit at the Met is interesting because they explain how things were valued- namely by how many cows it would take to purchase something.
  • I’d never seen Breathless before. Should see for anyone who is interested in film…however….if this was an American classic we would be condemning it as opposed to genuflecting before it. If you are easily offended by sexist behavior, probably not for you to watch…
  • We have completed the Thrillist List of best Pizza- My clear winner is Zazzy’s Pizza. Clearly one of best slices of pizza in NYC- if you ever visit and want a traditional NYC slice- this place should be on your list
  • Dior exhibit amazing!!

What Inspired me: September 19

  1. 60 Rivington once housed two synagogues. The building is now owned by an artist who took out some of the bars that made up the Jewish Star, and changed it to look like a camera lens
  2. Our walk was through the Lower East Side. It’s an odd neighborhood- you see lots of buildings that once house Synagogues, which now house other things. The neighborhood, once largely Jewish is now a mix of Chinese immigrants and hipsters (though I loathe to use that word…) We also meandered from neighborhoods where drug deals are done right in front of you, to high end galleries and families playing at parks. This neighborhood kind of gives you everything.
  3. The Alpinist is a decent doc about an alpinist…
  4. Though I did not attend the Met Gala, I did attend the corresponding exhibit. I was underwhelmed…hoping part 2 in May is better
  5. The idea of Biophony was better than the execution- it seemed every time I passed on of the musical groups, they were on a break. While that was a good storyline for Friends, not so good when you are walking around trying to get snippets of music
  6. Wife of a Spy was quite good…good filmmaking

What Inspired Me: September 5

  1. The cows are back! This year the cows will be auctioned off with the money going to God’s Love we Deliver- a meal service for those who are homebound. I volunteer for this organization, so hoping they raise lots of funds
  2. Reminder to be kind…what is kindness to you?
  3. What do I love about French film? Everything…but really it’s the understatement…the only issue is I went to see them by myself, and really wanted to discuss the nuances with someone- especially Who You Think I Am- which I have a lot of thoughts and questions
  4. Pre-Covid I had a list of restaurants/food that I wanted to try. Needless to say I threw out that list last year. However, I recently started a new list. The first thing I am tackling is a best pizza article- FYI- the slice at Zazzy’s (village location) was outstanding- at the top of my best pizza in NYC list for a NY slice