round these parts | solace in fresh flowers, quiet streets, neighborhood oddities, and sweeping skylines

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(small pleasures)

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(stoop sale)

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(the F train is above ground before it hits Carroll Street; and because it's been hotter in New York than any of us know how to handle {and waiting underground in the hotbox that is a subway station doesn't appeal to anyone} it's been especially pleasant to watch for the train's approach before heading down)

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(not a stoop sale. simply for the taking)

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(from the top of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg)

 

it has been hot in new york. so hot i'm barely functioning--everyone is barely functioning. on top of that i'm taking a Princeton Review course to prepare for the GRE and i can't recommend it enough--it is so very, very good. but it is so very, very, very much work and i always feel like i'm two lessons and three practice tests behind where i'd ideally like to be. so, if you ever feel so inclined to take such a course--opt for the one that's just once a week, as opposed to twice. turns out there are only so many math problems i can do before my brain turns to mush and my eyes glaze over. so blogging has been taking a back seat...

i've got like two mammoth posts all typed up in word document, but i can't quite finish either--i'm not sure if, it's in actuality, just one massive post.

i've been thinking a lot about kindness and honesty and where those two things meet. and men and worth and why they feel tied together, even though they're not. about growing up and how hard but rewarding it is (and how many people refuse to do it because they're scared of the hard bit). all of these thoughts are swirling around, but have yet to really come up and out in any coherent way because all those damn math problems are taking up what little time and space i have in my life (and mind).

 

so, this is all to say, apologies that things are a bit quiet around here. there's a lot of life happening...which doesn't always allow for a lot of blogging. not now, at least.

 

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round these parts | summer begins

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(the Bowery Hotel has a lovely bar right off the lobby, in case you were wondering...)

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(one of the best bits of a Brooklyn summer? the free concerts in Prospect Park)

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(if you ever get the chance to see Fitz and The Tantrums live, YOU MUST)

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i love summer in new york. the heat is nearly unbearable and i find myself wishing it away, but there is so much to do here. free concerts and outdoor bars and pop-up markets. the city becomes a veritable cornucopia of opportunity--i mean, it is always, but it's more evident in the summer. everyone is out and anything is possible. i knew that when i crossed the brooklyn bridge last saturday night just as the sun was rising (after a night of karaoke), that summer was off to a roaring start...

round these parts

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i've officially been on vacation since last friday. but because i didn't fly home until late friday afternoon i had just enough time to get totally turned around and lost in the west village friday morning. i felt like a tourist in new york and it felt great. because i've been in the city for so long now, some of my very favorite moments happen when i stumble upon a street or cafe which i've never before seen and suddenly i'm transported. it always makes me feel like i'm somewhere else entirely: lost in europe, or visiting a friend in sydney. i think in many ways people like new york because it is so clearly someplace else. so for me, when i stumble upon that someplace-else-feeling, i end up imagining any place other than new york. and falling more in love with the city in the process.

but now i'm safely home in houston where i'm reveling in the comforts of home and desperately searching for a dress that both my mother and father think appropriate for my father's retirement party at the end of the week. a few years back i wrote about how my mother encouraged me to go in search of some strapless dresses because i had some weddings to attend. turns out a retirement-party-dress is the antithesis of a attending-a-friend's-wedding-dress. and pleasing everyone is proving nearly impossible.

but vacation is always a good excuse to shop. so i'm keeping at it.

round these parts

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it was spring when i first fell in love with brooklyn.

just over a year ago.

and it's been a spring-sort-of-love-affair ever since.

these last few weeks have seen a rolling progression of the trees in bloom. first came the magnolia trees and then the dogwoods and the cherry blossoms and many others i can't yet name.

the trees just out of my apartment have caught fire with green and my tiny studio apartment feels like a grown up's tree-house (in the best possible way).

everyday in this second spring is a lesson in how easily gratitude can sometimes arise.

gratitude for the flowers and the trees and the angling in of the morning light. gratitude for the quiet of the neighborhood. for the sounds of the birds and all the sidewalk sales. for the court street fair and the parade to and from the garden shop because absolutely. everyone. here. tends to their herbs and flowers and front yards.

gratitude for how very much the whole of this place feels like home.

gratitude for the cool air that demands nothing more than a jean jacket. gratitude for such good girlfriends and their very perfect children and a meatball sandwich shared with my father on a monday afternoon before wandering through the whole of brooklyn heights.

it's such a good time of year this spring.