Friday, June 16, 2017

Wednesday with Carol, June 14, 2017

Sister Act:
Flaneuring in the
West Village
June 14 was Wednesday with Carol, Susan and Jeanne. We sisters got together to flaneur in the West Village. That is, we were going to roam the West Village, turning up whatever street looked the most intriguing. The West Village is inherently charming, so there are plenty of twists and turns to lead you to a new discovery.

Our plan was to meet for lunch at a little boite called While We Were Young, Kitchen & Cocktails on West 10th Street. I took the F train to West Fourth and walked on 10th Street to the restaurant. As I walked, I noticed pretty things begging to be photographed, as in "Please, please, madame, take my picture."
The window at Té Company and
Tea Room

A tiny birdhouse....
 Three Lives Books...
Richard and I owned a house in Greenport, Long Island
for awhile. The owners of Three Lives had one too, a block
from our house. One day they said that we should cut down the
huge, old Maple tree in our backyard, because it
blocked their view -- of us.  They spied on us with binoculars.
 Fedora dates to 1952.
Dapper gents used to frequent the place.
Now it's a "fauxstalgia" joint.
 As authentic old village as they come.
Sevilla opened in 1941!
It has not been gentrified. They
probably serve the same tired paella
as in the olden days.
An elegant display on a brownstone's steps.
 I was the first to arrive at While We Were Young
and was offered a seat at the bar while I was old,
while I was waiting for Jeanne and Susan, and
while they were still on the West Side Highway
driving from Westchester.
The barkeep poured me a tall glass of ice water while
I took in the petal-strewn surroundings. 
While We Were Young is pretty and pink.
Flowers figure prominently in the decor.
 The owner, Bradford Dunigan,
grew up in a house which his mother
filled with flowers.
 The sisters arrive.
Here is Jeanne.
And Susan
And Carol and Susan
A beautiful cocktail ordered by
the lady at the next table.
My lunch was delicious.
Burrata, avocado, wildflower honey,
basil and pink grapefruit.
Jeanne pointed out that the grapefruit
had been cut into "supremes".
Although the white pith and membrane are edible, they
are bitter, so you can cut them out using a 
technique which can be found on Sam Sifton's blog
in the New York Times.
Bradford asked the chef to personally
deliver this yummy, complimentary cake to us.
What a delightful surprise.
 After lunch, we flaneured once more.
On Hudson Street, we found The Meadow,
a shop specializing in salt, chocolate, drink and
flowers. They had a huge selection of bitters.
 Poesies at The Meadow.
Jeanne purchased bitters for her
husband's cocktails.
Susan got a chocolate treat.
 Walking west and north, we came upon Lucy Sparrow's
all-felt bodega, 8 'Til Late, which has popped up 
at the Standard Hotel. This ice cream freezer is covered
in felt and all the treats within are made of felt.
 In fact, every single thing in the bodega is
made of felt.
 Lucy Sparrow is an English artist working
at the intersection of textiles and art.
We did not buy any of the products because
we felt they were too expensive.
 Finding ourselves in Chelsea, we spotted
the Unix Gallery, where there is an exhibit called
"Sugartarium". It's an art asylum for sugar addicts.
 The art consists of large assemblages of
sugary candies and cookies, all
smashed. Yum, I love chocolate-covered cherries.
Since this is a Sugartarium, there
are hospital beds where you can detox from
your sugar overdosing.
 If you have an emergency, you can speak to
the Sugarologist via this phone
for triage. I tried it and was told to lie
down on a bed for awhile and stay away from sugar.
 Final stop: Trestle on Tenth
We cooled down with a Passion-Fruit Fizz.

À Bientôt!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Not Wednesday, but Saturday, with Carol

Birthday Girl
I have heard from my readers who are wondering where my Wednesday posts have been for the past week. I have been remiss in not detailing a few of my Wednesday adventures.  For instance, last Wednesday, I met my girlfriends from Elmira College for lunch at the Yale Club.

Having taken the 6 train, I arrived at Grand Central Terminal early for the luncheon. I had to buy a birthday present for one of my ladies, and I found a little shop called Cursive, New York. There I purchased a colorful, small canvas bag in lavenders and reds made by Les Toiles du Soleil, a shop specializing in canvas fabrics from France. My nails were a frightful sight, so I walked over to Lexington Avenue and 45th Street to a wonderful salon, full of career women on their lunch breaks where I got a manicure and had my nails painted red.

Now let's forward to this Saturday, not a Wednesday, but still a perfectly good day of the week to write about. Richard and I have been enjoying a visit from his daughter, Dianna, and her husband, Michael, who live in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. It's Dianna's birthday weekend so we planned a festive lunch in her honor at The River Café, down under the Brooklyn Bridge on the East River.
Dianna and Richard at The River Café.
They have an in-house florist.
The flowers are breathtakingly beautiful
 throughout the restaurant.
Michael, Richard and Dianna.
The River Café first opened in 1977 in a
desolate waterfront area by the Brooklyn Docks.
The restaurant seems to float on the East River
like a houseboat. It has unmatched views of Manhattan and
the river, plied by tour boats and water taxis.
The historic Brooklyn Bridge is seen through
the window.
 The Café's dinnerware.
The menu has always relied on the highest
quality cuisine and the freshest ingredients.
 In 2012, the Café was inundated with four feet
of water as it was battered by Hurricane Sandy.
They closed and rebuilt opening again
after 15 months with most of the staff returning.
Michael choosing our wine.
 The sommelier discusses our wine choice
with Richard.
 A toast to Dianna.
 My favorite item in our lunch.
Warm roasted Anjou pear, crisp goat cheese croustillant,
little gem lettuce, cider vinaigrette and
double smoked bacon.
 No repast is complete for Richard
without oysters.
 The Brooklyn Bridge dessert.
 Magnificent white floral display at the
Cafe's entrance.
RC's girlfriends.
Back home after our day in
Brooklyn....a petite birthday cake
for Dianna.

À Bientôt!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Wednesday with Carol, May 10, 2017

Kawabonga Kawakubo
This week I spent a few hours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the new show at the Costume Institute: Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons, Art of the In-Between.

Let's put the emphasis on ART here because as clothes, the garments in the exhibit are virtually unwearable. That is the modus operandi of Ms. Kawakubo, the famously reclusive and mysterious madame of the far out.

Comme des Garçons (like boys) is Ms, Kawakubo's retail conduit to reality. At her stores around the world, clothes that people can purchase and wear, including tee-shirts with the Comme des Garçons logo, are for sale. In New York City, we have Dover Street Market, her emporium in an old bank on Lexington Avenue.

Meanwhile, she is holed up in an atelier in Paris or Tokyo conceptualizing themes like Then/Now, High/Low and Absence/Presence, like a high priestess of Clothes As Art, on the order of the artist Louise Bourgeois who was a high priestess of Art as Art.

Rei Kawakubo = Art + Commerce = Avant-Garde.
 I favor the red dresses because I like color.
This one has a plastic bodice
and bubble wrap hair.
 Intense bondage
and strange protuberances.
A flat skirt in felt.
 Gaga for Gingham.
The exhibit installation is stunning.
All white with curved shapes.
The installation reminds me of the Guggenheim Museum.
The dance of the Sugar-Plum Tailors.
Stark black lines on white tulle.
I like the large red circle on the skirt.
The ballet's costume designer
used up all the red tulle on the skirt.
The bodice is a composition
from the rag bag.
Dress meets coat flattened
by steamroller.
 The black against the white walls
is so effective. The sculptures on the heads
are a show stopper.
The silhouette is reminiscent of
a 19th century lady leaving
the Bon Marche with her shop-lifted
booty hidden in her booty.
After the Met, I walked for blocks and blocks
down Madison Avenue, finally hailing
a cab to take me to 58th Street near Second Avenue.
 My destination was Bon Vivant,
a cafe and shop selling
petit fours, coffee, tea and pastries.
 I met the lovely owner, Maya Hormis, who explained that
the exquisite cakes are made with  buttercream and
marzipan fillings and covered with a fondant icing.
This was my perfect treat on a Wednesday
afternoon, as I sat by the window gazing out
on a sun- dappled New York Street.
The petit four was scrumptious,
the Macchiato coffee was served in a perfectly sized cup.

The petit cakes may be ordered here.

À Bientôt!