our lady of northern liberties
4/5: Fly to New York to visit friends, family. Miss original 9:00 am flight, get on 12:00 pm which leaves at 1:40 pm. Arrive LGA too cranky to go out until Jed convinces me to meet him and Josh at Krystal’s in the East Village. Kevin comes with. After dinner (pancit, adobo, bottles of San Miguel) we have a drink at Beauty Bar. On the subway home, Kevin and I spot a dorky looking sort of guy playing a portable video game and wearing a baseball cap which reads IT DOESN’T SUCK ITSELF. Bwa ha ha ha!
4/6: Hang at home with the twins to see what they do all day. Answer: not a lot. Stir-craziness sets in, finally driving me out to Flushing for a couple of hours of window-shopping. The stores are full of cheap flashy tight clothes being bought by young girls and old ladies, all of whom should know better than to buy midriff-baring t-shirts emblazoned with clever phrases like GOLD DIGGER and PRINCESS and DIVA. Why bother wearing your name on your chest when you can wear an assumed title? If it’s on your t-shirt it must be true, right?
4/7: Lunch with Jed and Art at Sophie’s Cuban in the financial district. Delicious! And the super-fast waiter was cute. A long walk with Maria then I get a taxi to Chinatown, just making the 3:00 pm bus to Philadelphia. New Jersey Turnpike had little in the way of scenery so I read the so-called “green issue” of Vanity Fair (really cool article about Suzy Parker) and listened to Mary J. Blige sing the hell out of U2’s “One” on my iPod. Upon arriving in Philly, I was whisked back to Nick and Nadine’s house. There were supposed to be some houseguests so I was going to be staying at Mike’s bachelor pad. The houseguests never materialized so after dinner, a few drinks at Deuce, and a late-night showing of “The Squid and the Whale” it was decided that I’d sleep on the air mattress. Which was very comfy after a long day of eating, travelling, and more eating.
A few notes:
* Deuce was in this weird little retail/residential complex at the far end of Second Street, near Girard. Along with Deuce there was a fancy ladies shoe store, a spa of some sort, a posh hair salon, the video/record store, a coffee house, sushi restaurant, and a bakery. The bakery, Brown Betty, had cupcakes that were to die. But more on that in a second.
* Nick & Nadine’s neighborhood is all hip and trendy, as evinced by the presence of sophisticated-looking restaurants and bars. Which is why I so much appreciated the rather grunge-tastic couple at Deuce — she wore a mini skirt with her black knee-high platform boots, and I believe the gentleman had a flannel shirt to go with his Van Dyke beard.
4/8: Rain did not stop me from dragging Nadine to the Marathon Grill for brunch with Jeff and Grace. Mainly, we gossiped about the Penn undergrads who slunk in the day after what Grace said was a pretty heavy party night for the university. After brunch I thought about getting a manicure but it was too wet and gross so Nadine and I went home. Sat around. Went out to buy cheese for the party she and Nick were throwing later that evening. Buy cupcakes from Brown Betty, which we scarfed at home before I went back out to get my hair cut. A lovely girl named Jillian talked to me about my hair before she washed, cut, and styled it into a lovely sleek shiny bob. Olivia said later that I looked like your typical Asian lady evening news anchor, and I believe she meant that as a compliment. After the haircut, Nadine and I watched “Proof” (better than I thought it would be). Nick joined us in setting up for the party, then the guests arrived. Vodka and cheese were consumed, cigarettes were smoked, smack was talked.
4/9: Getting up later than originally intended, we had breakfast then headed out to Fairmount Park for the cherry blossom festival. Which was all well and good but when you’ve seen one alterna-chick showing how “down” she is by wearing chopsticks in her hair, you’ve seen them all. Drove Nick to Amtrak station so he could take the train to Harrisburg for a business trip. Nadine and I hit Center City for some discount shopping. A few of the highlights:
* Scored these really adorable pink pencils embossed with love-themed words like, well, “Love” and “Kiss”. Sadly, there was no pencil that said “Frottage”.
* 3-pack of Puma socks at Daffy’s for $6.99
* Free samples at the Kiehl’s store
On our way to the Gap Outlet we totally walked past Andreas as he strode down the street but he didn’t seem to see us. Which I found kinda funny.
4/10: I get up too late to take the bus back to New York to meet Renee for lunch. I laze about the house while Nadine is at work, watching old episodes of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and purring with the cats. When I finally do get on the bus (after a last Philadelphia meal — the meat loaf at the Down Home Diner in Reading Terminal Market — sublime), the trip back goes well enough until we hit lower Manhattan and the traffic jam of doom. I hop off the bus, which took a detour down Spring Street, and got the subway home.
4/11: Bus to airport. I buy Elliott Hester’s “Plane Insanity” to read on the flight back to Chicago. If you see this book, pick it up — a funny, entertaining read whether you’re on a plane or not. It comforted me when we hit some mild turbulence on the descent to O’Hare. I hate turbulence so I gripped the arm rest and closed my eyes and kinda wigged. The hipster chick sitting next to me was pretty nice about it.
4/12: Back at work. This is not as traumatic as I thought it would be. After a week of vacances, I thought I’d get back to my desk and be all “Wha? I’m supposed to do what?” Oh and there’s a new guy in the department. His name is Sean and according to Jacalyn he has a stash of York’s Peppermint Patties at his desk.
4/13: Maundy Thursday. It’s super quiet — meetings are cancelled because folks took off for Easter weekend. I enjoy twirling around work in a green and white print skirt looking, I might add, totally fucking adorable. With the new haircut I am too damn precious. It’s Annie’s last day so I make my way down to her desk so I can enjoy some goodbye dessert with her department. Saying adieu was bittersweet, though not for long as dessert (this Hawaiian style fruit salad made with Cool Whip) was very tasty. Went home to change before Gail picked me up for a trip to the Mercury Theater to see “Urinetown”. Tickets were free so if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t feel bad. As it happened, I loved it. Hilarious. If you’re in Chicago, go see it — guy who plays Officer Lockstock is the best. Afterwards we had some cheap sushi then made it home before we could get caught in the evening thunderstorm.
El Vez – It’s Now Or Never; Elvis Presley – Mystery Train; Morrissey – Glamorous Glue; Peaches – Fuck The Pain Away