I nearly made it down the mountain with that cow’s bell–which would have been the best souvenir–but I felt bad and left it. The size of bell reflects the quality of the milk produced by the cow i.e. biggest bell equals the best milk (or so I was told).
Parapenting over the Bernese Alps near Leysin Switzerland.
Every morning the clouds would roll in from the valley floor, floating over me while I lay in bed. Breathtaking.
There were so many beautiful photos to choose from, so I had to narrow it down to the top 12. More dialogue on my love affair with NYC later…
We started off the first morning with breakfast at Tiffany’s, perused the diamonds, strolled through Central Park, and simply enjoyed the city.
The beautiful architecture and signage found all around the city left me amazed. Welcome to the literary bar of the century.
Just gotta appreciate the NYC Metro. People falling asleep on each other, dudes selling incense and “black soap(?),” and the opportunity to have a conversation with someone that will inevitably include the 30 people standing around and on top of you.
Had to have my fortune read by Zoltar on the Coney Island boardwalk. Love the movie Big with Tom Hanks. AND Splash with Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, & John Candy which ALSO takes place in NYC.
“Lecrecious the Walrus,” painted by Rob Fricke, my outlaw once removed. Referenced from a novel by my brother The Literary Man.
The Cyclone. World famous roller coaster on the board walk. I will say that the construction looks quite shotty, but at least your friends could say that you died on The Cyclone?
The New York Aquarium mural at Coney Island.
I love Ferris Wheels
“If Paris is France, Coney Island, between June and September, is the world.”
Meet me at the Empire State. We sat below on a roof top bar, and the Empire State building disappeared into the night fog. The scene was just perfect for drinking a Manhattan.
“Crab Kalash aka Khlav Kalash” -Part of a photo project my sister in law has been working on for the past several years. That’s an Alabama flag if you were curious. Also, the title is derived from the Simpsons episode “New York City Vs. Homer Simpson.”
Aquarium mural at Coney Island. I plan to paint this in very large scale.
Mint Juleps: The Official Drink of the Derby
2 cups water
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish
1. Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves
2. Fill eight cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person’s sweet tooth). Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups. Serve juleps on a silver platter.
“It’s a fantastic scene–thousands of people fainting, crying, copulating, trampling each other and fighting with broken whiskey bottles.” -Hunter S. Thompson
It’s Derby Day once again. The fastest two minutes in sports. My first derby experience was epic. A road trip from Chicago to Kentucky to meet up with my bro, who had made the trek with his fratastic brahs from Vanderbilt. It had poured the Friday before, leaving the infield of The Churchill Downs a 2ft deep mud puddle that stretched nearly a half of a mile long.
Needless to say, there was no staying clean that day–so I was obviously not going to put out any effort to do so i.e. mud wrestling seemed an appropriate choice to honor the day.
It was after this epic moment that I remember something very important. I reached into my bra recalling the ziplock baggies that had been filled with whiskey. You see, you can’t bring any liquid into the derby, so sneaking liquor into the races in peculiar fashions was quite common. My brother had duct taped two catheter-like bags of bourbon to his thighs. I give the plastic a tug, expecting that it would have burst during my muddy plunge, only to pull out a fully sealed bag of Makers Mark.
“This is the coolest you will ever be,” my brother said.
“Each man reads his own meaning into New York.” Meyer Berger
Headed to the big apple to visit mon frèreand his wonderful wife. A trip that will most certainly be filled with a random off Broadway show, a Yankees game, and a Great Gatsby party with sequins, cigarettes, martini cocktails & mint juleps. Sigh.An amazing city where you can go out, drink 4 boisson and pay the tab by throwing down a $100 dollar bill. Yes, that is a real photo I took after an aperitif at The Algonquin last fall.
A city where you can step outside and within three blocks, eat any type of food that you wish, be threatened in some fashion, buy a pack of American Spirits for $19.89, and find someone who is willing to sell their soul for Radiohead tickets.
A city that can–but probably shouldn’t–give you everything you need in life.
It’s strange when you can go to place and feel the history. It feels comfortable and yet exciting and new. I took this photo of the Brooklyn Bridge last fall–a very very cliche photo to take–and it’s a prime example of how a place can remain the same through time, but change in its meaning and purpose for all who encounter it. New York is a city where people go to find themselves, to lose themselves, or to just have an effing good time.
Art, culture, life. Turn the corner during a trip to the MOMA and you are in awe of Jasper Johns’ Flagthat means so much more because it hangs at 11 West 53rd. America is New York.
Let’s also call attention to one of the most amazing movies that is based in New York, An Affair To Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. Handsome playboy Nicky Ferrante and beautiful night club singer Terry McKay have a romance while on a cruise from Europe to New York. Despite being engaged to other people, both agree to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months. However, an unfortunate accident keeps Terry from the reunion, and Nicky fears that she has married or does not love him anymore. Will he discover the truth behind her absence and reunite with his one true love, or has fate and destiny passed them by?
If you ask me what my life might look like a year from now, I would have absolutely no idea what to say. Everyday I wake up, and I think “I wonder if something life changing is going to happen today.”
The problem with this thought is that it’s never just one event that changes your life forever. It’s a series of things that happen very slowly–and sometimes painfully–that get you to where you are. Then we stop and think “how on earth did I get to this place?” What kind of life story do I want? I can’t tell you the details like most people might be able to. I have no idea what I should be working towards. Some have it down to a mental check list; spouse, pet, nice house, 2.5 children, job that is bearable, etc. = Nice happy love story with a happy ending.
Unfortunately my list doesn’t look like this. Actually, I don’t know where my list went. I’m pretty sure a couple things were checked off, then scratched off, others erased, and only a few starred. However, on the bottom of the page–artfully depicted bien sûr–was a little sail boat.
I imagine that one creates their life list based on a combination of factors such as family values, childhood experiences, and societal pressures. I wonder though, how much genetics plays part in the desires of the heart. My grandma Mary, pictured above, was bound for adventure. True, she had some very trying life experiences, and perhaps some interesting ways of dealing with them, but I like to believe that she simply followed the wind. Living in Israel, working as a flight attendant, sailing, traveling the states in a motor home, and enjoying the beauty of meeting different people everywhere.
Adventure is in my blood. I have no agenda, no check list, no pressing life goals. Just a small little drawing of a sailboat. Time to follow the wind.
Was it really 6 years ago that Babette and I were in Galway, Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day?
It was absurdly frigid that day. I recall wearing two pairs of wool socks, jeans, two wool sweaters (one purchased from some old lady in Dublin and one I had purchased in the states from the Goodwill Bins–a Goodwill store that sells clothes and items by the pound,which is something that most certainly should be discussed or at least highlighted–but I digress), an overpriced North Face jacket, a pashmina, and still I remember being chilled to the bone. Babs and I had taken a terrible bus from Dublin the night before. Upon awaking in this small town, first order of business of course, coffee.
Neither of us wanted to admit that it was too cold to be walking around. Anyone who knows the relationship between Babette and myself will attest that NEITHER of us was going to admit anything. Alas, we spent the majority of the morning drinking espresso and walking through the town, watching the real Irish prepare for the festivities. A parade, singing, dancing, and of course drinking lots and lots of Guinness. By the time that it was socially acceptable to begin partaking in said libations, it was about 2pm. Despite the -20 weather, there were scads of people out and about, most wearing wool of some sort. Through the afternoon and into the night, people floated from bar to bar, singing (to be read as shouting) traditional drinking songs which supported more drinking, and giving kisses because everyone is Irish on March 17th.
It was amazing. I wouldn’t have wanted to be there with anyone else. Babette, it’s time to plan our next adventure across seas.