Thursday, June 28, 2007

Early Morning Professions of Devotion

Said to me by the elderly man making my latte at 7.30 this morning: "My kind of weather. New York."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Since 1998, Tabla has been serving what its executive chief calls "New Indian." In practice, New Indian uses traditional Indian spices and flavor (cumin, curry, etc.) in western-style dishes. Last night, I started with a crab cake over a spicy avocado sauce and even spicier papadum, then had salmon and risotto (yes, risotto). For dessert, I had chocolate and coconut two ways, which included translucent slivers of coconut, a tiny scoop of ice cream, and a chocolate-covered napoleon.

But the real treat was the choice of beverage. Pomegranate gimlets. Tablatinis, with vodka and pineapple juice. Passionate-fruit cosmopolitans. Kumquat mojitos. Tamarind margaritas. The fact that I was there for work restrained me, but, oh, how I'd love to go back and try them all.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Theodore Roosevelt Park

Not to be confused with the Theodore Roosevelt birthplace, which is on East 20th, or the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which I've been to, in North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt Park is a lovely little idyll abutting Central Park West (at 81st) and the American Museum of Natural History. Like most Manhattan parks, this one is lushly maintained, with a dog run and benches and manicured lawns that you can look at but not touch. Instead of emulating the many people who cut through the park on the way to Central Park across the street, we like to stop and sit there with a beverage, purchased at a nearby bodega/deli, for a spell.

Friday, June 15, 2007

NYPD Sirens

According to an article in today's Times, police officers in New York City have a choice among five different sirens to use at their discretion (there are no official guidelines about when to use what). These sirens are known as the:

1. Yelp
2. Wail
3. Air horn
4. Hi-lo (also called the "European")
5. Fast (also called the "Priority")

Tax dollars at work, friends, tax dollars at work. And, sure, on a daily basis we seem to hear them all. That said, more people work for the NYPD than live in the town where I was born. Forty thousand officers for 8 million residents means, essentially, that New York has one cop for every 200 people. So, reallly, a choice of sirens is the least we can do, right?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New York Writers Coalition Write-a-Thon

The slogan for the NYWC’s biggest fundraiser is “Write Your A** Off” (asterisks theirs). Everyone who raised at least $100 in pledges was allowed to spend the day at the New York Center for Independent Publishing in Midtown, writing, attending workshops, eating snacks, and gathering the requisite tote bags and pens. All money goes to NYWC, which runs free or low-cost writing workshops for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised of New York.

The historic building’s main room, which doubles as the library, housed around 100 writers, off and on, from 10 to 6. Some people grimaced over their laptops; a surprising number smiled to themselves. People shared their projects with one another. As the day wore on and the free candy began to disappear, a lot of people slept. One man took a picture of the room, then uploaded it as his desktop image.

Chris Baty gave a post-lunch pep talk about the joys of high velocity writing. As the founder the National Novel Writing Month, in which participants write a 50,000-word novel every November, he had nothing but good things to say about privileging quantity over quality. “Every time you write, you should be writing things that make you cringe,” he advised. If you don’t write a crappy first draft, you won’t ever have anything to revise and make pretty.

So that’s how I spent the day---writing, and not worrying.

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