Life’s A Beach

Moses loves the beach.  I like the beach, but growing up no where near it, it’s much more of an appreciation than a “need” or yearning.  Moses requires beach time.  I wonder how Alice will be?ImageWe took her to Huntington Beach where Moses grew up on Saturday and Malibu Sunday for a hike and some more beach time (and some swinging).  Since Alice’s favorite thing in the world is to sit on a padded blanket and have us play with her she was pretty stoked on beach time.  She also loved all the other children and people she could stare at until they smiled at her or came over to say hi (including, randomly, David Spade, who was sitting close to us while we had lunch at Cafe Habana on Sunday).Image

When we dipped her baby feet in the freezing cold water she looked a little shocked, but she recovered quickly and set to her next task: trying really hard to eat sand.  We managed to evade the actual eating of grains (until today, when I took her to the Santa Monica Pier for the afternoon.  I now have ample photos of little Bluebelle with her mouth ringed in sand).ImageBeyond the sitting on blankets with padding, Alice’s other favorite thing is to pinch, pull and squeeze just about anything she can get her hands on.  This includes my hair and Moses’, Moses’ nose and eyebrows, my lips and so on.  I miss wearing my hair loose, and while I’m not a big jewelry person beyond rings, it would be nice to have that option…but Alice won’t be a baby forever and then I’m sure I’ll miss it–even the scratches when her nails get too long.ImageImageSometimes when Alice and I are outside I tell her how lucky she is to grow up here–She wakes up to (a really annoying but picturesque) rooster and the nighttime air smells of jasmine.  We have wild parrots that (again annoyingly but…) sit on our porch rails and we spend our weekends hiking and beaching, our days growing plants and vegetables to eat.  While I love where I grew up and will always enjoy the seasons, I can’t say I miss it.  California is such an amazing place.ImageImage

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.

DIY Flowerbeds.

Moses and I have been planning on building flowerbeds for our front apartment windows for a very, very long time now.  Without a car, projects aren’t nearly as easy to just “knock out” in one day (i.e.: Home Depot to Osch and back home with dirt, flowers, tools, planters and the like).  However, after about three weeks total project time we finally finished!

Moses built the boxes in the basement a few rainy Sunday’s ago and installed them.  (Our front window cages are curved to fit planters, lucky us).  Our biggest drawback is almost always dirt.  Why oh why is it SO hard to go and buy something you can find in some variance just about anywhere?  And, having learn from planters-past, we also included broken cinder blocks on the bottom to help the boxes drain when there’s heavy water (in LA we tried news papers and a vast array of other things only to find they decompose and the flowerbed sinks).

And then it was time to plant.  Our local flower shop, Natty Garden (please, oh please look at their website via the link.  If nothing else it REALLY helps explain our neighborhood to those of you who haven’t been here in person.  It’s always such a learning experience.  It’s a lovely little shop though, very well put together and diverse plants.) and spent a few hours trying out arrangements for each box.

We had a few criteria: we didn’t want the boxes to be exactly the same, we needed some camo in the back to keep passer-bys from looking into our windows so easy and give us something to see from INSIDE (other than the bright lights of Laundry City, the Laundry SuperStore), and we didn’t want just overly delicate little blossoms.

All in all, I think we did well.  We’re now the ONLY flowerbed apartment on our block (though another up the street has some planters on their stoop and bushes), Kitty likes to try to smell the plants from her cat-perch inside and we finally have some privacy and pretty things to look at while we eat our dinner.  It feels MUCH more like home.

Next project?  Our back patio.  It gets more difficult, the warmer it gets, to believe we’ve let this one go so long…but, when we were viewing our apartment for the very first time I gazed out the back windows and thought I saw a squirrel playing in the barely-there brush.  On second glance, it wasn’t a squirrel at all, but a much more New York-appropriate rat.  Darning work gloves and picking up the early architecture of a mini-rat’s nest doesn’t sound nearly as appealing (and I get a little sad thinking about destroying something an animal worked so hard to create…I know.  This is why I can’t eat meat.)