Holiday weekend handiwork

7 Sep

For a project that started as nothing more than “cheap therapy” and a way to pass countless sleepless nights, this blog has (over two years later!) become the epitome of what it was never intended to be. Instead of a simple distraction from my own thoughts and the perils of navigating everyday life post-broken engagement, it has instead become the place I document everything – thoughts, experiences, anxieties, emotions, and ventures into territories unknown. I told a friend a few weeks ago how incredibly grateful and elated (blissful, even…) I am that I have this for myself. Memories in writing- the best (and worst!) of the past two years, the exciting, the scary, the once unknown, and the journey it took to get to exactly where I’m supposed to be. Well, almost. This story is obviously far from over.

So in the interest of continuing to indulge in my own story, for me (or anyone else interested!), here’s the latest: Labor Day 2012 in review!

Relaxed at the beach, got a tan, wore my favorite sundress, drank a durango margarita. As I stretched out in my beach chair, sand tickling my feet and the sun warming my exposed skin, I simply could not fathom that I had almost not made it to the beach this summer. My summer was phenomenal but until now that fun had not included dipping my toes in the ocean (check!). As one of my girlfriends and I walked along the water, gossiped about those around us (“Chris Christie!”), and napped in our beach chairs, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon. Wanting to take our tans out on the town, we got back to the city and made our way to The National for Moscow mules, followed by margaritas at Dos Caminos. The spicy durango marg (house-infused three chile el jimador blanco,papaya, agave) was exactly what we needed to convince ourselves to make our way to the rooftop of another bar where we laughed and flirted with men. Myself with one more than another…

Realizing that this was only the first of my five day extra-long holiday weekend, all I could think was, “Happy Friday!”

Met a friend for football at a bar, went to another bar, went to another bar. Wait, we’re not supposed to yell “Suuu. Per. Bowl!” at the screen during a pre-recorded,preseason Bills game…? Or, “Thigpen, that’s not how you keep your job as third string QB in Buffalo!”…? Weird. Separately, if you happen to be looking for 40 construction workers, we found them. At the bar. Drinking on their lunch break. Damn unions. Seriously, I’m in the wrong professional apparently. (Cue the eye rolls of my friends who swear we are constantly drinking at my office. I mean, to be fair…we are.) Dressed in orange and yellow neon t-shirts, I initially thought they were part of that Electric Zoo nonsense. But no, they were just thirsty. And focused on safety. We probably should have called it an afternoon but instead swung into a neighborhood bierhaus to visit a friend, and then another neighborhood favorite where we were given full reign over the bar’s sound system. Big mistake. For them.

Wandered around the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, indulged in unlimited brunch, went out with friends, had a sleepover. Despite the humidity of the day, and the fact that I suggested the botanical gardens to a person who has severe seasonal allergies (hey, he could have said no!), it was still great to spend the afternoon wandering through the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, Herb Garden, Lily Pool Terrace (my favorite!), Shakespeare Garden, Fragrance garden (with its crazy-strong scent of garlic!), blossom-less Cherry Esplanade, and the Annual and Perennial Borders. Especially since neither of us had been before. Then another first- one of my favorites (brunch!) with a man who is usually in the kitchen cooking the food, not seated at the table enjoying it. We checked out, oddly enough, an oyster bar around the corner from my apartment which ended up having a nice brunch, and an even nicer waiter who refused to let us leave. I guess I had to forgive him for making fun of my order (salmon benedict with the hollandise sauce on the side); he kept refilling our mimosas, which of course put us into the perfect boozy coma for a late afternoon nap before heading out with friends.  And if I’m being completely honest, a multiple-night sleepover with the Chef commenced…but I’ll heed my mother’s warning (“Remember that my friends and I read your blog, KATHERINE!”) and leave it at that.

Learned to poach an egg, checked out Pet Sounds (check!), strolled through Eataly, indulged in unlimited white wine & sake. After “sleeping in,” yours truly learned to poach an egg (big morning for me!) before heading out to enjoy yet another day away from work. The website for Madison Square Park describes Pet Sounds as “an interactive, large-scale, mixed-media installation by acclaimed California-based artist Charles Long.” When you touch the various, colored “blobs,” (see picture below!) they produce sounds that vibrate through pipe railings which wind and coil across the Oval Lawn. I think I can understand most art, or at least appreciate artistic influences, but I’m going to reiterate what I told my friend: “I don’t really get it.” After strolling through Eataly and picking up something small for a special friend (you’ll get it soon girlfriend!), I eventually found myself engrossed in conversation over a ridiculous amount of sushi and unlimited white wine. (Mom, technically I didn’t lie to you; when we chatted at the park, I hadn’t eaten anything “uncooked” just yet…but I know, I know- “Don’t tell me. Just lie to me!”)

Now, despite my crippling aversion to it, I’ve been in these “dating”, “hanging out”, whatever you want to call them situations in the past but I always find myself liking the idea of being in the situation more than the person I’m actually in the situation with. Something occurred to me this weekend though. I don’t simply like having this particular guy across the table from me, or catching his eye across a room, simply for the situation of it all. No, I actually think I might like him. We’re in uncharted territory people. And yes, I am completely freaked out.

Made a rustic pear tart. I KNOW. We started with pate brisee; for the amateurs out there, myself included as I just had to google it to double check, it is a pastry dough made from butter, flour, water, and egg. We wrapped it tightly in plastic and let the dough sit overnight. I’ll admit that it was not half as complicated as I had exaggerated it would be in my head. The next day I peeled and chopped the pears, which were actually from my friend’s parent’s pear tree in Shelter Island. I definitely whined at one point, “I feel like I’m in prison and pulled potato duty!” Anyway, once I stopped complaining the pears were diced, we simmered them on the stove with water, sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon until they were in a thick, juicy consistency (I think he called it a compote but don’t quote me on that).  Anyway, the tart looked absolutely delicious, and since every single gal knows you should never have an entire dessert of anything in your kitchen, I took it to work on Wednesday with me. Other than dying of shock that I showed up with something homemade, my team loved it! I’m sure the ice cream didn’t hurt…

Spent quality time with myself at the Brooklyn Bridge (check!) and the Common Ground exhibit at City Hall Park (check!). I’ve shared before that it took me quite a while to get here but I absolutely love wandering a museum, the city, or even just running errands alone. After spending the first four days of my holiday weekend with friends, everyone headed back to work and I headed downtown. I got caught in the rain less than halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge but it was a passing shower and cleared up by the time I got to the other side and turned around, less than a mile later. I took a second to snap a quick picture and email it to my mom and one of her best friends, knowing it would, in a sense, bring us together with a warm memory of years ago. I took a deep breath before I hit “send,” swallowing a bit of emotion, and made my way to City Hall Park for the Public Art Fund’s Common Ground. The exhibit collectively shares the works of ten international artists, “with a strikingly original artistic voice and a strong engagement with our contemporary culture.” You can see Paul McCarthy’s contribution, Daddies Ketchup, 2001, in the background of my photo below (or all the exhibits here if you’re interested). I eventually made my way home but not before ducking into a small, quiet cafe to enjoy a glass of wine. With myself.

Most importantly, perhaps you noticed – or even better, didn’t notice – that at no point in this post (until now!), or in the days leading up to this post was there mention of my Labor Day engagement. The entire weekend passed and I didn’t so much as give it a thought until I sat down to write this. It wasn’t the Labor Day weekend of two years ago or even last year. Instead, it was the Labor Day weekend I had been waiting for.  Watch out Memorial Day.  You’re next.

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2 Responses to “Holiday weekend handiwork”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Happy Unmarried and Single Americans Week…take deux! « Unwedded Bliss - October 2, 2012

    […] the best summers of my life and it’s because I spent it doing exactly what I wanted to do.  Like this, this, and this.  There are no holidays to split, no arguments when I work late, no discussions […]

  2. 12 memories from 2012 « Unwedded Bliss - January 18, 2013

    […] Summer Bucket List (that resulted in this, this, this…) […]

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