She had just returned from a film

If Tammy thought about it logically she could figure out exactly what film it was. It was definitely a comedy, something light.  She could tell by the way her mom bounced when she walked. It had cheered her up. She even felt like cooking so that was an even better sign, definitely the movie had had some happy domestic scenes. Tammy couldn’t figure out what the catch phrase meant but her mom smiled whenever she said it. Tammy remembered the afternoon her mom kept throwing back her head in an exaggerated laugh at everything, equally annoying was the seventies style head scarf she insisted on wearing for a week.  This was better. She heard the “Hurts good don’t it” just a second before the ceramic cup she painted in fourth grade whizzed past her temple.

8 min @ Frisson Espresso, W 47th St. NYC

excerpt from The New Yorker, February 27,2017

What’s engaging my curiosity?

I’m so glad you asked…

These posts are a random collection of art, books, movies, plays, scenes, images and moments that feed the fires of creativity and imagination.


MAST chocolates

Two of the most delicious forms of inspiration are coffee and chocolate.  Since becoming a staunch acolyte of DARK chocolate I rarely give milk chocolate the time of day. Dark chocolate is for the cultivated palate, milk chocolate is for the sweet tooth; dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, milk chocolate is full of mystifying milk ‘solids’.  I can happily justify the daily ingestion of dark chocolate, milk chocolate not so much. So it stands to reason that a chocolate bar made with the milk of sheep would capture my attention.  I impulsively paid the ransom for an ounce of MAST’s sheep milk chocolate.  Wow.  Those brothers really are masters of fine chocolate.  The earthy note off the top was initially nose wrinkling, much like when driving past a field of sheep,  but just before I would hypothetically roll up the window, the creamy smoothness of the chocolate transported me to that happy cocoa place.  My preference is still for a 70% cocoa minimum but it was a tasty detour.

Finally, new.

Well hello again. And Happy Persian New Year.

cafe nadery
I finally visited Cafe Nadery, a Persian cafe on the borders of NYU. It’s been on my list since arriving in the city and finding it featured in The New Yorker‘s Table For Two. I never made a plan to go because I assumed it was in the neighborhood I was staying in and would stumble upon it eventually. Assumptions are troublesome where directions are concerned. I was staying on East 7th, the cafe is on West 8th.

I decided to finally check the cafe out today because it would fulfill a trifecta of things finally being accomplished, today.  It began with finally seeing the film SELMA.  (This post isn’t about reviewing the film or the cafe though both were positive albeit different experiences.) After buying my ticket there was a little time to kill so I went to browse a favorite used book store. It was at Alabaster Bookshop that I finally picked up a copy of HERE IS NEW YORK by E. B. White. The romantic in me wanted this ode to the city to be the first New York based book I read in situ.  

this is new yorkIt wasn’t even noon and suddenly two things were crossed off an always growing To Do list.

What I will say about SELMA is that the passion and power of Dr King’s words stirred a fire in my belly. It’s been a funky time adjusting to my newly adopted city and I’m still getting my bearings. Some days when the MTA and general bullshit get me bent I wonder why the hell I came here. Oh yeah, it’s New York.
But it’s more than the city. I’m reminded that I came with a purpose, in pursuit of a dream.

I packed up and crossed the third thing off my list. Leaving the cafe I discovered the poster for the Persian New Year celebration starting tomorrow.  On the window by the door was the piece from The New Yorker. The issue date was Jan. 20, 2014. Martin Luther King Day.
Serendipity? Kismet? Coincidence?
I don’t know, but patterns are a beautiful thing.
New York. New Year. Renewed.

He tells me my dear Gertrude

Aunt Gee is rare form today.  Alzheimer’s is a no-win son-of-a-bitch disease.  Most of the time she thinks I’m my dead brother which turns the visit into an emotional mine field for all concerned.  Even the day nurse cringes visibly at our stilted exchanges.  But the real challenge is when she recognizes me and tells me all the secrets my brother has recently shared with her, because apparently he visits more faithfully than I do.

“I don’t understand how a military haircut is considered fashionable.  Even for a lesbian.  My god you look like a cliché.”
“It’s not a crew cut Aunt Gee, it’s a faux hawk.”  She’s flapping her thick-veined, thin-skinned hand at me in dismissal.  I know not to agitate her further so I wait for her to make the next move.
“You know, when I die, you should use the inheritance and move to Paris.  It’s the place to be if you’re to be a true artist. It’d be good for your brother too.”

8 min on the F train, 6.10.14
prompt from Hamlet by William Shakespeare

fat free

My therapist said I had to make better choices. I chose to fire her.

And I chose to go back to gluten. I wasn’t depressed because of gluten, I was depressed because I was heartbroken.  Because I was heartbroken I ate too many bad pastries.  I like sugar.  Sugar makes me feel good. But then sometimes it makes me feel bad.  Now I know there’s good sugar and there’s bad sugar, like cholesterol or men.
Now I make choices based on the long-term. I want the good feelings to last longer.  The impulse danish or Dunkin’ Donut only feels food for a little while.  I timed it once:  twelve minutes and then I wanted another one. Twelve minutes later I just felt extra bad – and extra bloated.

I learned how to make my own bread and sugar-free muffins.  I bring them to the office on Mondays. Jennifer at work doesn’t believe me when I tell her how I lost the weight.  She thinks I’m being a bitch because Colin has fallen in love with my carrot cake muffins.  That’s her prerogative, I didn’t start baking to woo Colin.  We’re all making our own choices.

8 min on 6.3.14, in Queens
prompted from a cookie wrapper on the F train

Broadway’s best party

“What do you think of the shirt?”
“It’s a nice shirt. What jacket are you wearing with it?”
“I’m not wearing a jacket.”
“It’s a big deal party Guy, you gotta wear a jacket.”
“We’re musicians. We don’t have to do jackets.”
“Are you already high? We’re not rock stars. And we’re composers not musicians. We have to wear jackets.”
“No I don’t. I knew this model once and she -”
“Wait a minute how are you just casually dropping that you ‘knew this model once’? I’ve known you fifteen years. We’re forty-something divorced guys with daughters who tolerate our presence in exchange for shopping allowance. When the hell did your path ever cross with a model?”
“Screw you Buddy. Why is it so unfathomable? I did music for a tiny show once with a model turned actress in it, she gave me a style tip that has always stood me well -”
“So technically she wasn’t a model anymore.”

8 min on the F train 6/16/14
prompted from Rock of Ages transit ad

Bodega cat is the best pet

It started as a joke, like all great traditions.
Kenny gave me the pet rock the summer of my twelfth birthday. It’s not a real trademarked one like Shauna Brayer had. It’s better. Kenny made it himself from a rock he found at his parents’ cottage. The googly eyes came unglued when I unwrapped it so we magic markered on the eyes. Royal blue and black. Kenny vetoed lashes. Giddy from the fumes we solemnly set the ground rules for my pet ownership. Every night the rock was fed a secret, whispered from Bonnie Bell slathered lips. I outgrew my addiction to sticky lips but I’ve been a diligent mama bird, sustaining domesticated granite with my every hope, wish and desire since adolescence. This rock has travelled the world and lived in three world-class cities and has kept my secrets safe and my psyche sane.

8 min on the F train 6.17.14
Prompted from seamless/ grub hub transit ad

Where kids go to grow

Hi. My name is Fernando and I’m eight years old. I am called different things at school because of my teeth (they kind of stick out) and my ears (they stick out too). But it’s okay because my mom calls me mija and it’s the sweetest sound.
My baby sister doesn’t have any words yet but she calls me ‘dO’. Mom calls her mija too. She says it different though. Like, I dunno fuzzier, pinker. I’m not sure if it’s different because she’s a girl or because she’s different. I don’t remember when I got my words but I think I had them when I was doing the stuff she’s doing now. You know like running and walking and drawing like that. She tries to talk I think but it’s mostly just sounds like O and Eee. She screams a lot to get attention.
I think she’s going to get called worse names at school. Her eyes are so big and they kinda stick out too.

8 min on the F train, 6.4.14
prompted from transit ad