Golden hour. Good any time of year, but in summer? The light is stunning. The harsh shadows from the day dissipates to soft, warm light and the city glows as the sun bounces and reflects off buildings. Now that the High Line has finished its last phase of construction, the bend where it veers towards the Hudson before it wraps its way back down to street level is a great place to watch sunsets from the city. And we had a great sunset last Saturday.
When the sun went down, nobody wanted to go home. We hung around the High Line till the last bit of light, and even though we had already walked a couple of dozen city blocks, the girls wanted to walk around some more. We don’t go out at night too much, so city lights are still a bit of a novelty for the girls.
Watching the sunset that evening, I thought about how fast the summer is passing even though we still have a month left before school starts with many adventures still to go. But it’s hard to ignore all the Back to School signs and summer clearance sales at stores as they start to bring in Fall wardrobes. There’s that point in the season where you start inhaling all thing summer with a bit of urgency because you notice that the light is already changing and the days are getting shorter as we chip away at daylight a little bit everyday.
The girls are done with camp for the summer now so our daily rhythms will change again. This week we try and wrap things up before heading out of town as we always do in August. It’s usually a busy week for Mark as he scrambles to get everything done, usually at full speed right till we’re in a car headed for the airport. For me, it’s the same – more so now that I have a job. Although I’ll be taking some freelance work with me, vacations are that much more precious. See you on the other side.
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Took a morning off last week to visit the new Whitney Museum, a much delayed visit after we unsuccessfully attempted to go on opening day. I love how the city is as much an integral part of the museum experience as the artwork it houses. There’s something about the architecture of the new building that blurs the outside with the in. There are outdoor spaces that connect each floor with an exterior staircase, and couches line up opposite large windows for expansive city views on some of the gallery floors. The move from the Upper East side to the Meatpacking District where the High Line ends was a great move, and the new Whitney feels just as airy as the old building felt heavy and oppressive.
We haven’t had too many city adventures this summer. We usually have a checklist of favorite activities and places we like to hit up every year and we’ve barely touched it. Summer’s usually when we spend large amounts of time together, but everyone in the family’s got their own thing going on at the moment. We spend our days apart, and come together in the evenings. It seems unlikely we’ll make a dent in our list at all, but it does seem inevitable that this is what life will increasingly look like as the girls get older.
One thing that’s really changed for me in the past year is that I rarely go out at night anymore. To be honest, I don’t really miss it, but the rare times that I do is during summer evenings. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside as the sun goes down with some kind of drink in hand, the city buzzing around you. Will need to do that at least once or twice before the weather gets too cool. Hope you’re having a great summer.
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We haven’t had too many city adventures lately, mostly because we’ve been escaping to various gardens and parks outside the city to take advantage of Spring in all its flowering glory. Commuting to an office a few days a week has also dampened my desire to take a train into Manhattan on the weekends to hang out. But now that the trees have shed all its petals and bursts of color in exchange for a canopy of green, we found ourselves in the mood to stay local this weekend.
On Friday after school, we all jumped in the car when Mark got home from the kitchen to make a delivery in Dumbo. Walking around the cobblestone streets, we counted no less than 6 wedding shoots in and around the neighborhood. With the backdrop of lower Manhattan across the river and two iconic Bridges, you can’t argue that there’s a better location for a NYC wedding photoshoot. The streets were bustling with people getting off work and you could taste the anticipation of the weekend in the air. The city in twilight hours is irresistible – you just want to stay outside and watch the light shift from gold to dusk and enjoy the evening breeze.
On Saturday morning we walked around the Lower East Side, eating our way through a block party celebrating the 75th birthday of the Essex Street Market and hitting up Economy Candy afterwards. Hard to believe, but it was our first time in the store. Remember candy cigarettes? I had totally forgotten about them, but they had them and I had to laugh at the thought that at one point in time, candy cigarettes was totally acceptable for little kids. And I loved them as a kid, I did! We used to hang them from our lips, pretending to take long drags, wearing Jordache jeans and god knows what else from the 80s. The girls just looked at the boxes like it didn’t even register. They quickly moved on to other, more enticing looking bins.
I spent the rest of the day Saturday walking around by myself, popping into stores, trying to satisfy a particular sandal search quest. When I’m looking for something I can be quite obsessed, though with much less shopping stamina than I used to have. It had been awhile since I walked leisurely around the city alone and it felt like this great luxury of time. I looked through all the open windows of cafes and restaurants and felt a weird jealous pang of all the people brunching, which is silly, of course. I can’t explain it, but something about that particular scene that morning just felt far removed from my life. Maybe it was just being in the Lower East Side which isn’t a neighborhood I go to much anymore; it reminds me of a past life I used to have. I guess I’ve also become more reclusive in this last year. But the day ended with a backyard potluck dinner back in Brooklyn with our other food biz friends, so I’m not as much of a lost cause on the social front as I sound.
The weekend felt like a precursor to what we can look forward to this summer. It’s already June. I do hope time paces itself a bit. Although we have much to look forward to in the coming months, I’m wanting time to sloooooow down. 24 hours in a day isn’t nearly enough.
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I’ve been pretty quiet, I know. But sometimes you need to be quiet, you know? Just to balance out the “loudness” of life and all that comes with being alive. But I wanted to share these photos of our recent visit to Wave Hill in the Bronx. I suspected Spring would be a nice time to come, but I didn’t expect such a spectacular display of flowers. Seriously, this magnolia tree; it was magnificent. I had never seen blossoms like these before. It looks like a Saucer Magnolia which is everywhere in the city, but these blooms were fuller and luscious with a deeper, vibrant shade of pink, plus the blossoms were still very much peak when most of the sidewalk magnolia petals had fallen. As tall as the tree was, some of the branches of this massive tree curved down to the earth almost as if the size of the giant blossoms weighed it down.
I was pretty enchanted by all the various potted cactus and succulents when we visited last summer, but look…flowers! I wasn’t expecting to see them flowering this time around. I tried to get the rest of the family over to take a look while I geeked out on the flowers but they weren’t as overtly impressed like I was. Pffftttt.
And more magnificent magnolias – this time, a different species and a paler shade of pink.
I’ve been enjoying the flowers this Spring a little more intensely than other years. I guess something about surrounding yourself with beauty to remind yourself of the good things in life. Or something like that, right?
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I’ve always liked New Years Day. What’s not to like? The start of the new, a clean slate, all that stuff. I was blindsided by how tough the holidays were this year. I didn’t really expect it to be that hard and I’m relieved it’s over. As the day wore on yesterday, I felt a weight being lifted after feeling depressed for weeks. So strange! But if that’s how holidays are going to be from now on, at least I know and I’ll brace myself for next year.
This New Year’s Day we made sure to make rice cake soup, a tradition for good luck in the coming year. I admit to being superstitious enough that I feel out of sorts if I don’t have it on New Year’s Day, and I didn’t want to jinx myself this year, superstitions aside. I also realized that upon reflection of last year (which is really hard not to do, despite the desire to look forward and not behind), I felt isolated and lonely. Some of this was circumstantial and of my own doing as a way to cope and grieve, and I don’t know if some of my relationships will ever be the same, but I’m hoping to climb out of this. Despite it all, I woke up this morning feeling pretty okay. Isn’t this what New Year’s Day is for?
We ended our day (and holiday season) with a drive to Dyker Heights to see the crazy Christmas houses. I’ll confess that it was my first time. If we’re in the mood for a show of crazy decorations, we usually go to Queens – less famous for the lights maybe, but equally mind-boggling. I think I was more intrigued by the houses though, since it was my first time in the neighborhood. I walked around with my jaws dropped pretty much the whole time. Clearly the bigger mcMansion-style homes with Roman columns, landscaped yards and outdoor fountains (apparently, if you have money in Dyker Heights, your house has a fountain) are newer than the typical brick rowhouses that define so much of Brooklyn and Queens. These newer homes looked so odd nestled between these semi-attached houses and older turn of the century mansions. It was fascinating; I didn’t feel like I was in Brooklyn at all.
P.S. There’s a new year’s sale on our site.
Posted by Jenna | 3 Comments