New York Vacation

20140801-163039-59439249.jpgIt’s been awhile since an update. I know. I’m going to continue as if that never happened.

We left New York when Alice was just 4 months old. When we made the decision to leave we promised we would bring her back regularly, that she’d know that city as well as our new one.

One full week, and instead of fretting over rent, affordable childcare, transportation and all the distracting realities of life in New York we so eagerly left behind, we focused on just enjoying the city. We visited friends, old neighborhoods and restaurants. We swam in warm ocean water and ate bagels and pizza. We did all the romantic things we had meant to but rarely had time for while we were living there: Central Park, The Museum of Natural History, Jane’s Carrousel, the High Line Park and The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

20140801-164147-60107865.jpgThe most amazing aspect of our entire trip was experiencing the city with a very outgoing almost-two-year-old. Where there were once tense, crammed subway rides at rush hour there were now friendly, outgoing individuals smiling and talking at length with Alice. Diverted eyes and random pushes we’re replaced with smiles, waves and the concerned “pardon me.” Even cabbies and uber drivers were double checking her carseat and asking of the baby was comfortable.

IMG_547220140801-164151-60111700.jpgI’m not sure how we’ll recover once we no longer cart around this precious toddler who calls out (“close it!” to the subway doors and “sit down” to each new passenger), waves and dances to anything resembling a beat. I guess we’ll need a really cute dog to carry in a handbag.

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Have you seen the little piggies?

ImageMy blogging as of late is disgraceful.  I think it’s largely due to Moses and my on-going discussion on blogging and privacy.  I wouldn’t say we’re at a disagreement: on the contrary, we mostly agree, but we’re not any closer to a resolution.  The issue at hand is whether or not we’re comfortable showing our baby on this (admittedly small-knit community of viewers) once she makes her debut.

I’ve mentioned before pregnancy has made me balk a little at the idea of sharing, which is a little unlike me.  But I’m finding it hard to say if baby is truly mine to share.  What if some day she resents that I posted pictures of her or shared her babyhood?  Moses, in the same vein, thinks online images are awfully open…and so very potentially permanent.  But is there really any stopping it?  And I am really excited—and I love to write and photograph things—and I know there will be no better subject (judging the by volume of Kitty Vivienne pictures I have lurking on my hard drive, the baby’s first year of images is likely to paper a trail to the moon and back), but is it fair?

Fortunately I have a few more months to go back and forth, back and forth.  I’m sure I’ll need them.

ImageBut in the mean time here are a few pictures from our latest weekend trip.  For his first (sort of first?) father’s day, Moses decided we should get away for the day.  We’ve become Montauk enthusiasts, but since variety is the spice of life, we opted for a new direction this time.  Woodstock.  Moses found The Woodstock Animal Sanctuary and we got a zipcar.  We brought our sunhats and bought some bagels on the way out of town—and voila, goodbye New York (for the day).
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ImageImageImageThe animals are all farm animals, and mostly refugees from Brooklyn and Manhattan—there was a cow a couple had purchased from a farmer that was taking him for slaughter, lots of very lucky hens and roosters, ducks and a handful of (huge) pigs.  There were sheep, and my favorite, goats (they’re really affectionate), and one absolutely terrifying turkey that walked around intimidating people (me) by making this weird sound like a furnace lighting up and getting just a little too close (I ended up running into an air conditioning unit to try to get away from him/her, bruising my arm).

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But, despite some of the very sad stories and a lot of serious talks about animal rights (no matter how much I do I know I could always do more) we had a great time.  It was wide open and beautiful, and we bought some fresh jam and had some delicious juice, and even though our tour guide worked her hardest to convert my meat-eating significant-other, his last father’s day request was…you guessed it: BBQ in Harlem at Dinosaur BBQ on the way back into the city.  Sometimes the gap between the guided tour and the dinner table seems like a very long way.

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but what about…

when you’ve finished what you wanted/needed to take care of and you need your “hostage” back?

True story:  I went to see “You, Me and Everyone We Know” at a theater in West Village when I lived in NYC the first-time-round.  I went as a “date” with a boy I who reminded me of Peter Kraus (tall, red-headed) and was a film something-or-other who would ride a skateboard to my Green Point apartment from midtown.  I liked the movie, I know I did, but for some reason I can’t ever remember being with him inside the theater.  Instead I just remember standing with him on the platform, waiting for the G train.  It took ages and I was afraid he’d get mad.  Lately I’m astounded by how fragmented memories can be.  Mine, yours…and everyone in between…

Rest and Repose.

Monday’s under my new schedule are my “school work day,” which means I wake up with Moses and when he leaves for work I start my homework.  Four classes of work in one day takes the entire day, but better that than struggling to try to spend time with Moses and do homework throughout the week.

Although Monday’s are often intense, it still takes the burden of “the weekend is over” off Sunday.  My mother always says Sunday is her favorite day of the week and has been since she officially decided that she should do absolutely nothing on this day: no obligations, no worrying, just relaxing activities of her own choosing.  Now that I have Monday’s to myself it makes that easier to accomplish.

Today we made avocado toast with red pepper and olive oil followed by our autumn favorite, grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Because we’re doggie sitting for our friends we got the added bonus of spending time on their patio while their little darling, Bella, got some doggie circles out of her system running through the last of the flowers.

I’m always a little in love with Hollie’s (Bella’s mom) fabulous sense of personal style and decor.  Everything looks some whimsical and uniquely, effortlessly put together in a delicate, vintage way.  A few of my favorites at chez Velten/Lattrell:

And after the feeding and caring of Miss Bella we headed to SoHo, where Moses bought a new denim jacket and we had Thai food.

What’s the the works for tonight?  Veggie fried rice and addressing our save the date cards, which we just had printed.  How very exciting.

The Urban BBQ.

It’s raining here this afternoon, thank goodness, because it’s been unbearably warm the last few days.  But of course, now that I’m tucked away inside enjoying being able to cook at home for the first time in a week (an oven on in an already hot apartment is just awful), I’m half wishing it were sunny and warm so we could talk someone into having a bbq.

Ready for a surprise?  I think I actually prefer cooking out in New York MORE than LA.  Or, at least, I appreciate it more.  In LA we cooked out so often it just felt like an outdoor kitchen, but here to be invited out for a cook out is an “event.”  It also feels so urban and impossibly quaint, to be precariously situated between huge buildings with beautiful little gardens.  Most of these photos are from our friends Hollie and Sean’s garden, which is the best I’ve ever seen in Brooklyn.  Lucky for us, it’s just down the street.

And while I’m at it, another thing New York does best is stoops.  I love them.  Stoops are the one aspect of New York I had high expectations for and have absolutely NEVER been let down.  Every time I see one I think about how it looks like I’m in some great “New York” movie (the picsuresque ones like “You’ve Got Mail”) and I remember to be excited I’m fortunate enough to live here (even if there are garbage cans concealed cleverly just out of sight-range).

Alright.  Soon enough it will be hot and sunny all over again, so for tonight I’d better just enjoy the cozy rain.  Tomorrow I start my new job.  I’m very nervous/excited, and starting anything is always stressful.  I hate walking around and being told the names of a million people, only to retain zero.  So tonight I’ll have a nice dinner (Moses and I are making civiche and fresh chips) while enjoying our new wine club latest from Lindcourt.  Can’t wait.

A Year in Hipstas.

Alright, so it’s not quite a year just yet, but it is a significant amount of time we’ve been in New York now.  As a librarian I find myself panicky about electronic storage (or my sublime lack of electronic organization) and the fear I’ll simply loose all the easy little photos I have hiding in my phone.  It also makes for a neat little exhibit–the trivial little shots that make up the days…

Row 1: 5th Avenue in winter with school children, Balthazar pastries, Brooklyn Heights Peonies on Henry Street, Candles in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

Row 2: Shop cat on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, Flower Shop in display in Brooklyn Heights,  The Upper West Side from a roof top BBQ with friends, fall leaves in Tribecca.

Row 3: Moses’ oodon, peonies in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Kitty Viv with her hoodie, Shop cat exploring in Brooklyn Heights.

Moses is famous.

Moses, being an avid follower of gothamist, saw this post this morning–and now he is famous(ly looking annoyed by the streets of SoHo).  I’m always amazed by blogs, flickr and all that business.  Now we’re all just orbiting one another and occasionally colliding.

Speaking of Moses, we’ll be visiting LA from August 11th-15th to celebrate his big bad birthday.  Since most of the people who read this blog are there, make a calendar note. xoxo.