Archive | Etiquette Matters

Finish Lines: Double Toil, Trouble, Entendre

Cute Cat’s Curls

Where to start, where to start?

It hasn’t been that long since I blogged, but it’s been a while since I deposited the kind of long, rambling essay that I feel inclined to deposit right now. Consider yourself warned.

The universe is encouraging me to do so. For one thing, I hiked all the way into the West Village to write the thank-yous I so desperately need—and want!—to write, only to discover I’d remembered everything but the beautiful notecards I’d purchased for this purpose. It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m here at Oslo West, with my long-lost friend, barista Cat, who has new curls—or maybe curls she just let off the leash. Either way, they’re fetching.

So far it’s been that kind of year: everything off the leash. Exhibit A: our democracy. Correction: Our former democracy.

Anyway, all of the West Village is fetching, sometimes I forget. Once upon a time I lived here with the Architect, and as much as it’s changed it’s also the same: the oddest mix of brittle and cozy, bohemian and haughty. Continue Reading →

Kiss the Kitchen Witch

Once upon a time–before Instagram and a decent camera on my phone, basically–I used to list here what I cooked. For this I was rightfully mocked, but today I feel a huge urge to resurrect the ritual. Because it was the kind of quiet November Monday that only could be brightened by indoor activities, and in the absence of a lover (the recent absence, no less) I dove into my book again–finally finally!– and then poured a glass of red and cooked so beautifully–pork roasted with smoked salt, chili pepper, hot paprika, and garlic; brussels sprouts roasted with thyme and more garlic– that I would fall in love with myself were I not already hopelessly hitched to this wagon. As I stirred and sliced and chopped, I thought of what a friend once said to me while I was learning to fuck and eat with relish. “Instant sex will never be better than the kind you have to peel and cook.” Oh, how we make do on these long cold nights.

No Room to Let (Dowager Chic)

2002 me

This is a blunt story–which of mine are not?– and it probably deserves to live somewhere besides a blog post. But as is so often the case, I will begin writing it to the audience that exists in my head when I write here–namely, sensitive, smart, and roughly my generation, at least psychospiritually.

Four years ago I began a battle to establish my apartment’s rent stabilization. I’d moved into the building in 2002, a few months after September 11 had dashed my dreams of being a wife and a mother (a separate post; a separate book, really). There was a markedly different group of tenants  because back then third stop on the L Train did not mean hipster. It meant working-class families of mostly Italian, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent. I was the only woman on the block living alone–definitely the only blond wannabe writer from Boston. Mostly I got along with everyone–oh, there was the time I got in a fight with a mafia princess over a parking space and her father came after me with a baseball bat screaming YOU FKING WHORE-but having grown up in Newton’s The Lake I knew how to hold my ground. Sort of. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy