Monday, April 28, 2008

A thing of beauty...

It was such a tiring and dreary day, I just needed something bright and lovely to look at.

Good night

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hear that silence? That's "freedom" no longer ringing


I know that there will be many opinions on the acquittal verdict for the cops involved in Sean Bell's shooting but I refuse to believe that firing 50 rounds is considered justifiable shooting. When the verdict was handed down, the judge admitted that noncriminal "carelessness and incompetence" were not standards in his decision. Why not? Because of the carelessness, recklessness, and incompetence of these cops a man is dead. And I do think that that is exactly what their actions were - reckless, careless, incompetent. I believe that in this day and age cops feel superior to civilians, that they are certain their word will be taken over anyone else's.

Of course we will never know all the details that were presented during the trial but, for me, this statement from Justice Cooperman says enough,

“It was necessary to consider the mindset of each defendant at the time and place of occurrence and not the mindset of the victims.”

To the parents who will never see their son again, to the little girls who will never know their father, and to the woman who never got to say "I do", I'm sorry that our justice system failed you. You have every right to be angry. My heart goes out to you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I think vanity license plates are the tackiest thing. Ever. And to prove that it's true, here are some I've seen over the past few weeks...

(I'm guessing this person does a lot of off-roading? You know, in the barren wilderness of New York City.)

(So you married some guy with the last name "Evil", so what?)

(I take this to mean New York Chick, or could it be New York City Hick?)

(I can't even fathom a guess...)

(A runner from the Bronx, perhaps? Although judging by the car it was attached to I would guess it's not quite that innocent.)

(Large fortune? Larry's fortune? El fortune?)

But since people seem to want to continue this ridiculous trend, allow me to offer my own suggestions...







And please, feel free to contribute your own. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lesson of the Day

Never wear 3 1/2 inch heels when mass-transitting from Astoria to 92nd and 1st on the Upper East Side. Oy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

I knew very early on that Pennsylvania was not where I wanted to spend my entire life. A dancer from the time I was 3 years old, I was regularly traveling to New York City with my dance studio for dance conventions and competitions. I fell in love instantly and informed my mother that that is where I was meant to be. It was always my planned destination after college, a no-brainer seeing as I was a theatre major. The pieces fell into place rather easily and, only a year after graduation, I was packing my life into a U-Haul and moving away from home. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. Although I had never lived this far away from my family before and I hardly knew the girls who were to become my new roommates, I was never so certain of anything in my life. I've never regretted the move to this day.

What occurred to me recently is that once I got to New York I made no more plans. Oh, sure, I planned to find a restaurant job to make the most money that I possibly could, I planned to take classes at Broadway Dance Center, I planned to be an actor. But I never planned where I would go or what I would do next in the grand scheme of things. The first part of my life was so set in stone - be a dancer, study theater, move to New York City. It was what I planned and it was what I did. Then my plans abruptly ended. I had never thought about where else I wanted to go but I had never firmly decided that New York City was my final destination.

When I decided that the life of an actor or, more appropriately, the life of a bartender was not for me I went into a bit of a quarter-life crisis. Should I stay in New York City? Should I go home to Pennsylvania? Should I try a completely new location? The second question was easily answered, I had no desire to go back to PA. The third question weighed heavily on my mind for quite some time. After a surfing trip to Mexico my thoughts turned to the West Coast and living the life of a beach bum surfer. I was seriously considering the move when my first question was answered. Ultimately, the answer came in the form of a boy. So, yes, I stayed in New York and I'm happy I did.

But here is the dilemma. Every so often, Arbor boy and I talk about moving out of the city. We both look forward to one day having a yard where he can play in the dirt and I can play with my dogs (that I plan on adopting once we have said yard). The dilemma is that we have no idea where we want to go and, once we get there, will we even be happy? How do we know that suburbia or rural life is what we really want? I then ask myself, how did I know that I would like living in New York City? Sure, I loved visiting but visiting a place and living in that place are two very different things. Was it a hunch, did I just know that I would love living here? Or was it the naivete of youth that made me so sure. It's true, sometimes I'm so tired of living in this city that never sleeps (pardon the pun but the frantic pace of New York is there, just outside the door, all the time) that I can't wait to have a house with nothing but peace and quiet all around. But then there are the warm sunny days when we enjoy a walk around Central Park followed by dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants and beer drinking at The Beer Garden (I will definitely miss that place if we leave) and I think, how could I ever leave this place that I call home.

I guess the truth is, you never know. You just have to take the chance if it feels right. Some people will point out that "the grass is always greener" but I've rarely fallen prey to that cliche. It was used when I was considering giving up bartending for a more "normal" job. I left the restaurant industry a year ago (well, I was asked to leave but that's another story) and I haven't missed it for one second. So maybe we'll just know when the time is right, like I knew that New York City was the place for me. Or maybe we'll take a leap of faith and see what happens. Maybe we should revisit our youth and be as naive and headstrong as we once were. Maybe the grass will be greener on the other side, maybe not. But at least we'll have grass.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Sunday Afternoon

(the "just out of bed" album for this particular Sunday)

I've said it before, I love my Sundays. I try very hard to keep my Sundays as relaxed and unplanned as possible. Today was cool and dreary compared to Saturday so I was quite content to stay inside. Arbor Boy was off to see a private garden in Brooklyn so I had the apartment to myself to work on a scholarship essay. I started off by putting on some favorite "study music", Oscar Peterson Trio.

It's one of my must-haves when I have a test to study for or a paper to write.

Now I admit, I usually have no idea where to begin with one of these essays unless I'm lucky enough to have been given a specific topic. This was not one of those times. How do you talk about your interests and experiences in a certain area and keep it within two pages without it simply becoming an itemized list? I found it very difficult to say what I wanted to say, have a good flow to the essay and make it make sense. But after a few hours of typing and retyping, intermingled with bouts of pacing, I finished what I feel is a solid essay about how I stumbled upon the field of veterinary medicine.

With that out of the way I could really enjoy the rest of my Sunday. Arbor Boy got home from a surprisingly enjoyable afternoon and, after a quick jaunt to get an oil change and a stop at a cat sitting gig, we got down to Sunday-ing. A quick trip to the grocery store gave us good oil cured olives and brie, the ipod gave us good tunes and the fridge gave us cold Brooklyn IPAs. Today's most enjoyable tunes...

"Good Woman" from Cat Power's You Are Free album. If this song doesn't make you cry, there is something wrong.

John Mayer's Room For Squares. I never get tired of this album.

"Marianne" from Boys For Pele. I've loved Tori Amos since high school. Nobody does what she does with a piano and a few strange lyrics.

But now it's time to start cooking a yummy dinner and park myself on the couch for the season finale of Rock of Love. Stop laughing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Green" Day

(photo taken by aef)

Arbor Boy takes some amazing plant photography which you can see on his blog. His photography has been noticed by others, most recently by Hospitality Design Magazine. Arbor Boy is not one to brag so I am happy to do it for him. His photography was chosen for the cover of their March 2008 Green Issue. You can see better pictures of the green wall here.

There are no words to adequately describe how proud I am of him.

(The photograph above is the property of AEF and should not be duplicated or used without written consent)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

"Good fences make good neighbors..." Mending Wall by Robert Frost

The April theme has been chosen for Blog Me A Tale, the blog I'm contributing to. This month's theme is "neighbors" so I decided to take a look back at some of my first neighbors from the neighborhood where I grew up. My story is entitled Memory Lane.

The other contributors have started adding their neighbor-themed stories, and there is some great writing.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Snapshots (Spring Edition)

The weather is rainy and mild, a sure sign that Spring has arrived. What better way to enjoy Spring then with some flower photography.

I look forward to the tulips and magnolias every year, it means the warm weather isn't far behind.
Tulip at the Walt Whitman branch of the New York Public Library in Brooklyn.

Yellow tulip in bloom at the Stone branch of the New York Public Library in Brooklyn.

Lily tulips at the Saratoga branch of the New York Public Library in Brooklyn.

(Tulip photos taken during HSNY Trolley Tour of NYC Public Library gardens, May, 2007)

A walk through Central Park in April to see the magnolias in bloom is never a disappointment.

Although orchids are not spring blooming flowers in these parts, the NYBG Orchid Show takes place in March and we just happen to have one of our orchids in bloom right now.

Cymbidiums at the NYBG Orchid Show, March 2007.

Oncidium at NYBG Orchid Show, March 2007.

The orchid that is blooming in our apartment right now.