Today is Maddie’s birthday. My dear, sweet niece is 7 years old. 7!! It feels like only a couple years ago that I met her whiny tush (she was colicky…I’m not just calling her whiny without reason).
So, I’m taking today off and Maddie and I are going to get manicures. After that, we’re getting her ears pierced. After that dinner. And then I’m going to go home and cry because I’m officially considered old. And I don’t like it at all.
Saturday night, Liza and Maddie came down to Brooklyn to visit and we hung out at a coffee shop for a bit. Maddie became a little fixated on this clothesline that had old found polaroids hanging from it. I so badly wanted to buy the piece for her, but clearly I don’t have $800 to spend on art. The way I see it, I can find a few polaroids at stoop sales, stick them on some clothesline and secure them with clothespins. And Voila!–”Art.”
I’ve hit the proverbial wall with writing. Well, I actually hit it a while ago…but I’m finally now addressing the issue. There’s a scene in Run, Fat Boy, Run where Simon Pegg’s character hits the runner’s wall. And he literally, in his exhausted delusional state, sees a brick wall in front of him which he peers through the cracks and sees himself on the other side urging him to break through. That’s how I feel. There’s a brick wall in front of me and on the other side I can see myself sitting with my laptop urging my other self to hurry up and start writing quality stuff again.
I used to spend much more of my days writing. And not just little descriptions of what I did that day, but short stories based on what had happened to me. I miss those…I feel like I had really hit my stride with that type of story telling. And I want to make an effort to find that again.
It’s tough though…when I first moved to New York, I was very lonely. I had no concept of how little people actually saw each other…unless you worked together or lived within the same few block radius. Friends whom I had hung out with every day in college, I ended up only seeing once a month. If I was lucky. No one at work was my age, I didn’t like my roommates (at the time…not you, Lindsey!) and most of my friends lived either in Harlem or in Brooklyn. A lot of times I would go sit in Union Square and watch people. Watch everyone else with friends. Yes, I know…a bit self-deprecating, but aren’t we all at sometimes?
And then I discovered New York coffee shops. You weren’t expected to meet any friends there. No one cared if you were drinking alone or if you were meeting with a whole table full of people…they only cared if you sat at that table for too long taking up precious space. And this is where I started writing. I had always been drawn to coffee shops, but here in my loneliest moments is when I used it to take myself back to times when I wasn’t lonely–whether that was earlier that same week or years earlier in college.
And now that I have many more friends and a very busy freelance job and a boyfriend/roommate whom I see and hang out with constantly and two dogs to care for…I guess that empty space that used to be there (that empty space which had to be filled with writing) no longer exists. And I think my art has suffered for it. I need to find a way to regain the need and the passion to write without sacrificing my happiness. Has anyone else hit these sort of walls? I mean, I’m sure we all have…but I’m curious if anyone has any suggestions.
Now, I realize the quality of this photograph isn’t quite up to par with the rest of this site, but I only had my little point and shoot camera on me.
In case you don’t recognize the decor (which I wouldn’t either if I were you), this here is the infamous Russian Tea Room where my parents and I had lunch yesterday. Faberge’ eggs in glass cases surrounding us, beautiful artwork and gold guilding on the walls above our heads. It was really fantastic. And for lunch, a goat cheese blintze, duck-truffle ravioli and a chocolate mousse “pyramid” with a espresso to finish off the lunch. And this may have been the single most expensive meal of my life…the only price I’ll divulge is that the espresso (one shot) was $8. And it wasn’t anything spectacular.
The food was very good, but portions were dainty and the descriptions of the food made it sound a lot more interesting, tasty and complicated than they actually were. When my 3 pieces of ravioli–yes, three was all you got–were put down in front of me, I quite honestly almost laughed. Then, I leaned over to my dad and said, “I think we’re gonna need to grab a hotdog after this.” My parents laughed, but I was so not even kidding.
I just want to take a moment to brag….
This is the view from my new balcony:
I stumbled upon Jack’s Stir Brewed Coffee while wandering around the west village the other day. Everyone within this coffee shop seemed to know each other. As I stood in line, customers and employees waved, hugged, and spoke about their past week. And like all good coffee shops, it was manned by an attractive-looking man with less than attractive facial hair. I stood out immediately as being a “newbie” (as the barista called me) and when he learned my name, he made sure to repeat it back to me several times within the conversation.
“You seem to be good at maintaining customer relationships,” I stated as he poured my cup of coffee.
Smiling, he looked back at me over his shoulder. “That’s the point, isn’t it, Colleen?”
“I suppose. So long as the quality of your product is also good.” I smirked back at him.
“Well, you be the judge of that,” he slid the mug of coffee into my hands and winked. “Be sure to come back and see me.”
I loved the neighborhood feel to this place. It’s an absolute ideal place to read the Sunday Times. I adore all the little quirks linked to this charming, small facility—the posters, the pictures, even the random cow features. And the product measured up to the friendliness—the coffee was well brewed and smooth, unlike many other coffee shops whose brew has bitterness and bite to it. This is apparently directly linked to the method of brewing they use which is not the typical drip brew, but a technique called “stir-brewed.” With this method, the coffee grounds are stirred while brewing creating a smoother more even blend. I also highly recommend the homemade Oreo cookie. It’s heaven in cookie form.