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Posts from April 2006

Food Focused

This morning I read Gotham Gal's post about how she, a born and bred food person, has had a significant impact over her husband, for whom food was merely a source of nutrition before they met.  She describes it as two worlds colliding, and I understand her completely.  I, too, am a food person (in case you hadn't noticed), and I realize that I have an incredibly hard time understanding those who aren't.  Is it really possible that people go on vacation without thinking about where and what they're going to eat next, even as they are in the midst of a meal?  That people exist who don't drool over the glossy pages of Gourmet and Bon Appetit as if they were porn?  That there are those who don't relish the joys of strolling through a bustling outdoor food market, with all of its dazzling colors, mouthwatering aromas, and, if you time it right, free samples?  Apparently, such people exist.  And I am dating one of them.

I have ventured into this strange territory before.  Nathan, when I met him, was definitely not food-oriented in the same way I am.  But after dating for several years and living together for a decent chunk of that time, I think there was no way that my foodish tendencies couldn't have rubbed off on him.  At one point after we stopped dating, we met up for lunch, where he described to me how he had recently made pesto with some basil he had recently gotten at the greenmarket.  Now, I don't claim to have that much influence over people generally, but I am convinced that he probably hadn't uttered the phrase "I made pesto" before spending time with me.

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Mark and I have our moments.  The collision of two vastly different food worlds can be wildly funny.  Each of us described our dinner at The Grocery in an email to my friend Rhea, and it was hard to believe we were both at the same table  (I want to publish it here, but we're in negotiations about the intellectual property rights).  But it can also be tricky.  When we were in London, I mentioned that the one thing I really wanted to do on our day off was go to the Borough Hall Market (pictured above).  At one point, Mark asked if it would be okay if he brought a book.  I'm sure I gave him a look like he had just slapped me across the face.  It wasn't so much that I would have minded if he didn't want to come along with me -- I'm fine doing things on my own and if he really didn't want to go, he shouldn't -- but I merely could not comprehend at all that someone wouldn't want to spend a few hours on a gorgeous spring morning at a market.  Especially if that time happened to coincide with lunch.  He must have recognized the shock and horror on my face -- we went, and the book, if it came along at all, stayed tucked away.  I don't really know if he enjoyed it, but he didn't seem miserable, and I do recall that he went back for a second taste at the stall selling olive tapenade, so it couldn't have been too bad.

Any advice on how to interact with these non-food-focused types (or amusing anecdotes) would be greatly appreciated.

PS -- I wrote this entire entry in bed.  Gotta love the laptop!


Back from the Jaunt Across the Pond

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Still a little jetlagged/tired, but at least now the pictures are up.

Highlights, in a nutshell: Guys & Dolls, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, Fino, dim sum, Christopher, Westminster Abbey, Borough Hall Market, strolling along the banks of the Thames, Cambridge, the Great Eastern Hotel, those awesome biscuits which would be the death of me if I were in our London office, tea at the Landmark Hotel, and the Pro Bono Tour of London.  Whew.  Somehow managed to miss Hugh while we were in town, but we tried.  And of course, I had great company.  Pictures are up on Flickr


The Next Chapter

First off, this goes out to the Lovely Miss Katie, who complained that I haven't been writing as much lately (sad, but true).

I had dinner with two friends Monday night. Both are women, but one difference between the two is that one is single and the other is engaged. The engaged friend was sharing with us some of the stress she's finding herself facing -- not with wedding plans, as one might imagine, but with the reality of the cost of having a family in Manhattan. She grew up here, and wants her (at this point still future) kids to have the same sort of lifestyle she had, but of course costs have skyrocketed since we grew up. She is slowly coming to the realization that raising a family in Manhattan,or even in the Westchester suburbs (where I spent my junior high and high school years) is a daunting if not impossible prospect if neither spouse is a doctor or laywer, or works at a hedge fund.

I worry about these things too, although it's certainly not a pressing issue. I'm still more focused on dating someone who's not a jackass, not becoming the kind of person who fades off into coupledom once they find the non-jackass, and dealing with the ever-increasing number of situations where I find that I am the only unmarried, childless person present.

We also had an interesting discussion about “chapters” in one's life. Our engaged friend was describing how she was in the process of moving to a new chapter of her life, and how she has seen the warning signs for a while -- she described how she dressed differently when she was single and stayed out until 2 am much more often than she does now. In some ways I hope that my chapters are not as clearly delineated. I always want to have a mix of people in my life; I don't want to be the kind of person who, because I'm dating someone or someday married, ends up only doing stuff with couples, and I still want to stay out until dawn every now and again, whether with friends or with this hypothetical husband person.

I can think about this stuff forever, but given my current life situation, for me, it's just a matter of keeping a balance that feels right for me now, and adjusting that balance as I move forward.


Sunday Evening Respite

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Made it back in one piece from Philly and proceeded directly to brunch with the lovely ladies from the beach house at AOC, then headed to the Duplex for some cocktails and celebrity-spotting (Sarah Jessica Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman -- must have been the day for three-name celebs).  After that, the 7th annual East Village Idiot Dive Bar Crawl (didn't take as many pictures as I did last year, unfortunately), and an appearance at the third annual Rob's Friends Suck night. 

This morning I had a farm-fresh brunch right from the comfort of New York City with Augie, Lauren, and their friend John -- complete with bacon from Flying Pigs Farm.  Afterwards, I thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous weather by walking around Union Square (passed the line at Trader Joe's, which I chose to skip), reading the paper in the park, and then finally joining Katie for a pedicure for Spring-ready feet.  Tonight, I finished up my taxes, saving a wad of cash thanks to some handy tips from my mom (thanks, Mom!), and am getting geared up for yet another whirlwind week before my next trip -- Vegas, baby.

ADDENDUM:  I just realized that I would be remiss if I didn't mention all the fine people who joined me in my food-based exploration of the Terminal Market and some of Philly's food - the Pro Bono Net team at White Dog, Saralyn, who shared the DiNic's sandwich, the soft pretzel, and Bassett's ice cream, Doug, who joined me for breakfast (yes, I was alive and somewhat functional at 8 am thanks to a visit to the gym), and Alison, Saralyn (again), Marlene, and Tiela, who joined me on my cheesesteak pilgrimage.  And a special shout-out to Jeff, who I didn't even realize I was going to get to see!