Category Archives: Friends

Happy New Year!! (Ok, so it is already February.)

So, quite some time ago, when I was still in the single digits, my mother signed up me for a show that was filmed to teach kids in Japan English. It was sort of… Barney-esque? (Or what I imagine a children’s show like Barney to be like, since I was too old to actually watch Barney.) This was my chance to be a child star, or so I like to think. I could be Lindsay Lohan right now, running from rehab doing way too much blow in trendy places like grungy garages of some new hipster boy band. So, the concept of this show was that there was this white lady with a guitar, surrounded by bilingual Japanese-American kids. Some of us half-white, some of us not, etc. So they cast me and we went through rehearsals, where we repeat and sing with the lady in perfect English. If my memory serves me right, I was made to sing, “Fresh fish for lunch, fresh fish for dinner…” or something stupid like that. Either way, the woman LOVED me and I breezed through rehearsals. Then, when they started rolling, I JUST COMPLETELY FROZE. And there goes my career. (I was also on some AT&T commercial for international calling plans as a baby. Apparently. My father was also an extra on a skit on SNL, back in the late 70s. Yeah. Lots of C-level talent here in this family.)

20140201-224622.jpgThis weekend, I was asked to say a few lines for my friend Carey’s movie that he is shooting. I don’t want to give away too much, but it wasn’t so much an acting part… as much shooting a PSA? I don’t want to give too much away, so I am going to leave it at that.

Either way, it was a lot of fun, a breeze, and it didn’t traumatize me like the above incident. I got to catch up with a friend, and I did not clam up. All in all, not too shabby. I’m going to stop patting myself on the back, though, since I haven’t seen how it all came out. Hopefully this is my chance to be a STAAAAAR DAAARLING! :P (Although, it made the memories come flooding back. All those child star dreams down the drain. Oh woe.) The studios as a cute small place in the city. There was lots of red, and when it comes out I will definitely post it here. (I was asked to be in another video of his, on Critical Thinking, but I ended up having too much to do on the day of the shoot (I had a party planned) and it didn’t work out.

See the below video for other things my friend Carey has done.

I would like to introduce you to our newest addition, here at His name is Dogbot.

Jane in my office told me that I need to give him a cute name, though. So I thought, why not “Destroyer of Worlds?” and Jane said, “DOW is a perfectly cute name.” But technically, he’s Ryan’s so… it’s probably Dogbot. Just sayin’

He likes crocheted bacon, chasing and collecting dust bunnies, and new friends (does not necessarily have to be made of yarn or stuffing). He’s the Chief Operations Officer around here.

Dogbot was made by myself using Nelly Pailloux‘s “Dogbot” pattern from her Crobots: 20 amigurumi robots to make book. It’s easy to use, even for the beginner. Dogbot was fairly easy to make for someone who hardly ever crochets (but I do knit).

He was made using wool medium weight scrap yarn and a 3.25 (not the 2.77 recommended) hook. He is stuffed with high quality toy-grade polyester and lots of love.

I hope to try to make one little guy a month. (Especially since I committed to making little handmade things for 3 of my facebook friends on a meme.)

Brooklyn is a very distinct place. I remember the fragmented image I had of the place right before I moved in. In High School, it was either residential, scary, or bare. I ventured into the borough only 3 or so times. By the time I went to Graduate school, it was a hip hip place that all the people in my program moved into (that and it’s low rents). I think that was the time that I really explored Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Prospect Park, and not yet gentrified Flatbush area…

I remember bringing my mother over to see my apartment, walking from the train station through warehouse neighborhoods. She called it a “Slum,” and I just said that she didn’t understand. I live in a residential street with tons of local families and new transplants living together. For the most part, for the three years I’ve been here, there have been couple of incidents that made me feel shitty (like local kids throwing things), but for the most part the good out-weigh the bad.

Although I have been told that Bushwick has immense hipster clout, for the most part, I think the outside media imagines most of it. Most people here are down to earth, living here because the rent is right. We’re just riding the coat tails of some of the transplants from Williamsburg, who are probably just too cool for words, but spends most their time hiking it up to Bedford. In fact, East Williamsburg feels more like a young artist’s commune than party central. For example, there is this article I read a few weeks back in the Style section of the NY Times about Bushwick Collectives that is really great. It dissects the food, art, and living communities that exist in this hub between Montrose and Dekalb.

I personally really connected with this neighborhood after discovering and patron-ing a lot of the great watering holes that exist now. Before that, I felt a little like I was stuck.

There has been several articles in the New York Times romanticizing or condemning Bushwick. There was an article a few months ago about commune living here, where poor artists live in bed bug ridden warehouses with no doors or no privacy for super cheap rent. I think it fascinates a larger part of the Times audience that lives in Manhattan. Yes, I know of many occurrences where this happens. However, a lot of people in Bushwick are 30s-near 30s, living social responsible, non-communal lives.

Of course, for responsible family living, Prospect Park area/Park Slope is known for the mommy carriage invasion. Bushwick, seems to attract, perhaps because of the living spaces, singles and youths. Park Slope, on the other hand, seems to have sprawling beautiful brownstones and new complexes being built (which is also happening in Bushwick, though) that seems more condusive to family life.

Bushwick/East Williamsburg really grew on me. The kicker are the great bars and restaurants (because that’s really where my priorities are at) that are popping up all over the place. Bodega Bar, the Narrows Bar, and Momo Sushi Shack just to name a few recent notables. I mean, it’s to the point that we are scheduling bar crawls in my neighborhood, starting with Wreck Room, Narrows, and then Tandem, eventually ending up at Bodega Bar. Seriously.

Anyway, the article does a good job of summarizing the collective mindset that exists in a lot of the businesses in the area, which I think is amazing.

Roberta’s, for example, the locavore pizzeria near the Morgan Avenue L stop, acts as a kind of community headquarters for area residents and local business owners. In a backyard tent, the managers of the Wreck Room bar and the Deth Killers of Bushwick, a fashion company, can be found doing inventory on their laptops…

In addition to food advocates, Bushwick is loaded with artists. Many have formed collectives to combat the isolation of the studio, the disappearance of state arts funding and what they see as the commercialism of the art world. Rather than petition fruitlessly for Chelsea gallery representation, these groups exhibit their work wherever they can — bedrooms, stairwells, street corners.

Although the article features the Times darling, Roberta’s, I think they should have done some more research in the new places opening up and creating communities. There is the Loom Space, which I first discovered during Bushwick Open Studios. It is a large beautiful space filled with odd stores (Better Than Jam – great dress shop, Knitting Stores, Hair Salons, Bike Shops, Furniture Stores, and a Shabbat) and a HUGE rent-able bar with a sprawling beautiful back door space. It’s like a re-conceived notion of a mini-mall. Really, like a Brooklyn interpretation of a small business owned mini-mall, within a beautiful art gallery. You shouldn’t let the stark outside fool you. Come in doors and prepare to be a little impressed. When there is a party going on inside, definitely peek in. It’s pretty happening.

Another group that I feel should have been mentioned is Laundromat Gallery. I’ve spoken about The Laundromat before, which is a community apartment loft converted as a gallery, run by Kevin and Amy. It features local artists and as well as visiting artists, such as their many featured international artists. They have a lot of ties to the artist community in Bushwick and got a lot of press for their Burger show.

Finally, another group the Times should have included is the burgeoning theater group, Hybrid Theater Works, which did a huge collaboration with Brooklyn performance artist at the end of August. Although I think their headquarters is downtown Manhattan, Tracy who runs it is a recent Brooklyn-ite that runs these great shows on Bushwick rooftops.

A real community is continuing to develop here that’s pretty exciting and I hope to be celebrating it here, on this blog.

The other day Lige was in town to start her MBA program in Philly. It was her birthday and I knitted her a little iphone condom. She just got one and she was excited. I knitted this in round quite easily.

While she was here, all sorts of high school people came out of the woodwork. I realized that high school was so far away that I’ve forgotten and lost the idea of what distinguished most people back then. I was told, “you haven’t changed at all…” It was in passing and I wondered whether that was a good or bad thing. I can only really think of one person who has changed quite drastically. Plastic surgery and everything. No comment.

I did notice, though, that on her birthday we were SO loud. It was a bit jarring and surprising. I had a revelation that I think I used to be much louder and, at times, obnoxious. I think, if anything, I’ve mellowed out quite a bit… More importantly, I’ve lost that ability to be unabashedly loud.

I also think that until a few years ago, I used to have a chip on my shoulder about high school. I was a bit bitter. I would be careful of who to see. It wasn’t for any particular reason. I think it was some twisted way to move on. I think after college, moving out, and paying your own way, those things fall by the side. For the first time I realize I don’t care and it was nice.

No one went to our five year high school reunion, really. I don’t think those are very interesting. However, now, being 10 years away from all that, I’m interested. I like meeting these people again. So, I might just consider going this time around…

Occasionally I have a reason to get all dolled up. Few Fridays ago, we were invited to attend one of the showings of the ACC showings of “Funny Money.”

The ACC is like a little secret nook in New York City. Admission is by invitation and the attire required for admission is basically a tux and formal evening wear. Ry’s friend’s family is heavily involved and invites us to shows.

I really love coming here, because the space is amazing. I love all the pictures and documents of all the shows they’ve put on. I like the actor’s lockers with all of the decorations… and booze. The whole building and courtyard is beautiful.

There is something about the accumulation of history, books, labyrinth like interior, and the antique lockers… that drives me nuts (in a good way)!

The play was really funny, but had that type of humor that was painful to watch at some points. Still, we had a really great time.

The best part is at the end of the night, we all went to Resto!

Apparently the Steinways (from the Pianos) were affiliated here…


The brunch we attended was much more laid back. We had tons of Bloody Mary and Mimosas with eggs, sausages, lox, and bagels.

I was way too hung over post election to really post… then I got lost in a knitting project.

I spent the night at a local bar that a friend bartends at. It overlooks Times Square and the revelry that happened past 11pm was pretty unreal. All through the streets, on the subways, etc.., people were celebrating, clapping, and so very happy.

I got the spend the night with good friends, lots of drinks, and I made cupcakes.

Yay Obama!

The first time in two years since I’ve been to the beach.