So, you might have noticed I haven’t blogged in a million years. The plain and simple truth is that I was completely consumed in my chapbook and couldn’t tear myself away from it. If I had a moment for writing, I used to it to work on that. So, sorry I’ve been neglecting you guys. It was for a good cause.
The most exciting thing that happened at work last week: Poets House is the proud new owner of E.E. Cummings’ writing desk! It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m in love with it.
On Friday of last week Brittany and I went on a nice dinner date at East of 8th in Chelsea, a restaurant that boasts a rainbow gay pride flag out front and a disco ball at the bar. We ate in the dining room upstairs right next to the giant windows, which afforded us a beautiful view of 23rd street. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere seemed dressy without the dressy price. After that, we hopped a couple doors down to the Gotham Comedy Club to see Steve Byrne (Brittany’s favorite comedian) do some stand-up. It was a blast. I was in one of those god-damn-I-love-my life kind of moods that borders on insanity.
Saturday morning brought Brittany and I to New York Central Art Supply, where I perused the different kinds of paper to make my chapbook. After much deliberation and a couple price heart-attacks brought on by some faulty math, the guy who was helping us lugged my paper choices out from the storage in the back. I don’t know if I’ve ever been as excited about anything in my whole life. It didn’t wear off for hours, either. He had them rolled up, so I could see the contrast of the two together–the smooth vanilla of the butcher paper (so appropriate, right?), and the dangerous, dark, textured “red brick” banana leaf paper–and I was just completely ecstatic. I couldn’t have gotten anything more perfect.
While I was paper shopping, Brent and Andrea arrived in New York City! I looked forward to their visit more than anything else in my time here. I met them near the steps of the giant post office on 8th, and we stopped in at a pizza place for a quick lunch. We headed on over to their hotel to check their bags in, and gawked at their GORGEOUS view from the floor second to the top. We did some shopping (their hotel was basically next to Herald Square), and ducked in to Trailer Park to fill our empty bellies. That place is quickly becoming one of my favorites–I’ve tried both the tacos and the burgers and loved them equally. It’s just trashy trailer park food, but it’s amazing trashy trailer park food! The sweet potato fries are my favorites. They put tons of brown sugar and cinnamon on them. I think I could seriously go there and just get those. Following trailer park we headed to a bar across the street from Madison Square Gardens to watch the Rangers play the Sharks (who were playing like dirty pieces of shit). Eventually we ordered dessert, which Andrea ate with a spoon juuuuust about the size of her face. We were all pretty wiped out at the end of the second period, so we decided to call it a night. I was so mad at myself for going to sleep when I heard they won in a shoot-out!
After going to the gym (I ran five miles in 51:50–that’s three minutes off my time last week!), we spent a couple hours at the Museum of Natural History. I loved seeing all the animals, despite some of them looking extremely creepy in their stuffed state. For example: everyone tells you bald eagles are freaking huge, but it’s kind of hard to wrap your head around that until you’re so close to one. They had one of them with its wings spread like it was flying. Attn Ben Franklin: I am so damn glad the turkey is not our national mascot. There was a special brain exhibit that was going on, featuring a giant art installation–a tangle of wires with light pulsing through them to represent neuropathways. I was already pretty clued in to most of the information in the exhibit, thanks to A.P. psych, but it was a cool experience, regardless. Some woman really liked my shoes and wouldn’t stop asking me about them until I was hopping up and down trying to make out the designer’s name from the bottom of my own shoe. How special. We also walked around Central Park a little bit, which is beautiful…despite feeling slightly artificial to a nature lover like me.
After the museum we had dinner at Restivo’s, the greatest Italian restaurant on Earth. It was bizarre for it to be so light outside, it being the first day of daylight savings time. I’m in love with the food there, and I think Brent and Andrea were pretty impressed, too.
Of course, we couldn’t resist a trip to Billy’s Bakery after Restivo. We waited in line for a while, trying to decide what to get (that’s the bakery’s only flaw, I can’t ever decide what to get!). Eventually we landed on Andrea’s genius plan: each of us got a slice of cake and a cupcake, and we all sat down in the lounge at 305 to eat it, taste-test style. The picks:
Andrea – “yellow daisy” cake (yellow cake with purple frosting), chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting
Brent – banana cake with cream cheese frosting, carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting
Me – red velvet cake (a durrr), pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting
I have to say, I didn’t love the red velvet cake. Instead of there being a hint of cocoa, it was literally chocolate cake dyed red. It was weird to me, because I LOVE their red velvet cupcakes. Good to know, though. The unanimous winner of the taste test was definitely the banana cake, probably the best thing I’ve eaten in the city so far. I kind of want some right now, actually. The pumpkin cupcake came in a close, close second for me. I think I’m sensing the pattern that I’m just head over heels for their cream cheese frosting.
Wobbling along in painful sugar comas, we headed back down to 23rd to the Gotham Comedy Club for some stand-up. The comics were pretty hilarious, but the emcee was TERRIBLE. I have no idea how that guy can’t take a hint. No one was laughing. In fact, people were either cringing or staring in hatred. Thank god the comics were good, or I would have felt awful for taking Brent and Andrea there. We also got an order of fries a little while into the show. As a result, I shuffled back home and slept with a trash can next to my bed, feeling certain I was about to throw up.
On that bright and shiny note, we have arrived at this Monday! We met at tik tok diner on 8th for some delicious brunch, and then set out to do some hard-core shopping. I finally bought the saddlebag-esque Ralph Lauren cross-body purse I’ve had my eye on for weeks. There were only two left! After Macy’s, H&M, and Express we were pretty wiped out. We grabbed little burgers at the food-court-type-place nextdoor to Brent and Andrea’s hotel (it was actually pretty cool–we ordered our food on little computers! First time ever I haven’t worried about people getting the order for my burger right), and proceeded to crash for a little while before our outing to see “The Book of Mormon” that night.
We ate at East of 8th again, which was just as delicious as the first time. Once gorged, we hopped in the cab to the Eugene O’Neil Theater. HOLY CRAP our seats were amazing. Five or so rows from the front, smack dab in the middle. I don’t think I’ve ever sat in such great seats for anything I’ve gone to in my whole life. The show was ridiculous and hilarious, of course, but what surprised me the most was how legit it was. I mean, it’s a musical–it’s not south park on a stage, you know? The castmembers were extremely talented, I was especially impressed by the dancing! What was really great about the show, though, was its strange ability to make fun of religion without completely bashing it.
After that we (of course) went to the Apple store on 5th Avenue…I had no idea it’s open 24/7! We were there around midnight, and the place was completely packed. Brent was in heaven.
The next day it was back to work for me. Brent and Andrea came down to Poets House to visit briefly before making their way to Ground Zero (Poets House is a short, short walk away), their last stop before their flight at 4:30pm. I had such a blast with them here, it was a bummer to see them go. I feel like ten weeks here is too short a time–I can’t imagine only a couple days!
As I said, I’ve mostly been working on my chapbook this week. Yesterday ushered in not one, but TWO celebrity sightings. First: Mark Doty. Maybe not a celebrity to those of you who don’t know poetry, but definitely a celebrity to me. He was in the library yesterday and I was SO SURE it was him…but I didn’t want to say anything to him because I didn’t want to bother him, especially if he wasn’t actually Mark Doty! I came in today and another intern confirmed that our supervisor had said it was him. GAAAAAAAAAH I wish I would ahve talked to him. SO DAMN COOL. I at least told him to “have a nice day” as he left, and he was very smiley and friendly-looking. DAMN I am so mad I didn’t talk to him. Also, Kathy Griffin was waiting to cross a street just opposite me, and walked right by me. Crazy! She’s super thin and tiny, and her hair is fantastic. It was kind of bizarre, actually. I love Bravo TV, so I’ve watched her show numerous times. I kind of wish I would have stopped her to take a picture, but that might have been kind of weird. I’m sure she noticed me freaking out, but trying not to appear to be freaking out. Yeah.
So, here I am now. I’m currently doorkeeping at an event for Poets House. Voila, we have arrived.