Life

Home 3.0

20160918_002141
Stay tuned for the gallery wall behind the couch!


I've lived in my current apartment since 2001 -- 15 years. That's a long time to be in what's basically a studio, albeit one that is masquerading as a one-bedroom. During that time, it has gone through several transformations. For years I rented, and psychologically, that limited the decorating choices I made (well, that and the non-profit salary, I suppose). In 2008 (I think), I bought it, and to go with the apartment, a copy of Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure. I went through a decorating process that involved painting, changing light fixtures, and actually being somewhat thoughtful about how my home looked and felt (here are some scary before pictures). These changes were a huge improvement, and was a wonderful first step into making my apartment somewhere I truly enjoyed spending time. 

As you know, I got my kitchen renovated a few months ago. Because it now opens into the living room, and because my couch was on its last legs, the renovation was a good excuse to get new living room furniture and rearrange. This has blossomed into a few little home improvement/decorating projects, including purging a bunch of unwanted stuff (ongoing), rearranging, painting/refinishing furniture, and buying/hanging some new accessories, including lamps and a rug (I haven't had a rug in my apartment. Ever.).  

I hosted a little thank-you party for my friends who chipped in towards my kitchen, but in addition to thanking them, it was also a motivator to get me to clean/hang/fix stuff.  I got a great deal done before the party, although I still have more to do. That said, looking around my apartment for the past few days feels -- well -- different. It feels like a whole new home. Cozy, warm, inviting, pleasant. Maybe it better reflects who I am now (more stylish! still a bit kitschy!), maybe I just needed a change -- either way. I LOVE IT.   Come check it out!!


Race Ready!

20160720_231406   1467646967294 (1)Hi gang!  If all goes according to plan, I will complete my 7th NYC Triathlon this Sunday, 7/24, and I hope to see you there!  All details can be found in this handy Spectator Guide.  If you're an early riser, and want to watch the swim or bike, I'm guesstimating my start at about 6:30 -- in the wave with the yellow swim caps; will hit the bike at 7ish, and the run around 9ish and finish around 10:15ish), and you can find me at the bandshell at the end of the race.  I'll be wearing a the outfit above with a yellow number (#1253), and will be on a blue bike with hot pink handlebars (for the bike).

Good places to watch the run are along 72nd Street from Henry Hudson Parkway to Central Park West, Cherry Hill before we head to the finish on Dead Road in Central Park, and Dead Road in Central Park near the bandshell off the 72nd Street Transverse, but honestly, if you can pop by anywhere I'll be thrilled to see a familiar face! You can also track me online, #1253. If you're not an early riser, contact me for info on the post-race celebration.  See you in the Hudson!


Catching Up

PhotoGrid_1469040390896
Where to begin? Let's see . . .

First, I just returned from a wonderful weekend celebrating my brother and Becky's wedding on a lovely farm in Western MA. Welcome to the family, Becky, and congratulations to you both! Also got to spend time with family, friends, and (best of all, but don't tell everyone else), my nephews.

Next, I'm down to the wire for the NYC Triathlon, which is happening this Sunday whether I'm ready or not (but I feel pretty ready). More details to come on how to come out and cheer me on if you're so inclined.

Finally, thanks to an enthusiastic co-worker's recommendation and a major sale (40% off plus credit card points means I got it for $22), I am now the owner of an Instant Pot. Stay tuned for the culinary experiments.


Road Rage

1467646967294I know -- it's been ages since I've posted. One of the reasons is that I've been busy with triathlon training (it's on 7/24 -- 13 short days away!).  This means that I'm spending a decent amount of time on a bike. I love cycling, but have to admit that at least at some point each time I ride, I get completely pissed off at the poor cycling etiquette in NYC -- people cycling the wrong way, insisting on passing (and often crossing over into the oncoming cyclist lane to do so) at narrow points on the bike path, not saying "on your left" or ringing a bell or in any way warning me that you're coming up alongside me, biking 5 people wide in Central Park super-slowly, without any sense that people might want to pass . . . and more. Seriously, people, a little courtesy and safety goes a long way.  It's not hard. And stop pissing me off!!


My Staycation Was for the Dogs

20160531_171738
And it was soooooo relaxing.  I took an extremely long Memorial Day weekend to recover from an incredibly busy past month or so. In addition to a trip to Ikea and some continued work unpacking my kitchen, I didn't have much on the agenda. I once again moved out to Brooklyn Heights with Moxie, this time to dogsit for Barley & Hops while their humans took a vacation. Aside from an impromptu dinner at Noodle Pudding on Thursday, hosting a barbecue Friday night and attending another barbecue on Sunday, I did a whole lot of NOTHING. It was glorious. I slept late, went running, cooked/grilled, read, binge-watched Season 2 of Bloodline, and watched the sunsets over the Brooklyn Promenade. Oh, and there were dogs. This shot was taken yesterday evening sitting on a lounge chair on the patio, a glass of lambrusco to my left, enjoying the evening breeze with my dog posse. Rachel & Nagib -- happy to hold down the fort at the #dogpalace anytime.


Notes on a Renovation #4: Home Away From Home

20160430_091907During the worst of the renovation, Moxie and I have been fortunate enough to live with our good friends Rachel & Nagib and their dogs, Barley and Hops, in Brooklyn Heights.  I don't even know where to begin on how lucky we are. When all is said and done, they will have had us as guests for two full weeks -- their hospitality shows no bounds.   We've had a great time together -- so much so that I'm afraid Moxie isn't going to want to come home. 

The kitchen has been gutted, the pass-through created in the wall, electrical work, plumbing and gas is done, the walls have been prepped for paining, and the waterproof membrane has been laid down on the floor. This week -- installation of the floor tile, painting, and installation of cabinets, countertops, and appliances. Progress!!


Notes on a Renovation #3 -- Getting Real

Appliances are purchased, asbestos testing completed (negative!), packing and prep checklists made, building architect has approved the plans, paperwork is almost finished, pre-construction meeting scheduled with building and contractor, and work is scheduled to start the week of 4/18.

That said, I had a drink the other night with a neighbor who went through renovations in my building and he scared the hell out of me with regards to the amount of preparation I'll have to do to prevent everything in the entire apartment being covered in dust. His secret weapon? An industrial-sized roll of plastic wrap.

I also learned that I'll be able to keep my current fridge in my apartment somewhere to use until the new one is set up. Between that and the microwave & toaster (a.k.a. my auxiliary kitchen on a bar cart by my door), I should be able to do some cooking and eating at home after the initial demolition period (during which I'll be relocating to Brooklyn).  

Of course all of this is going on during my busiest time of year at work. If all goes well, it'll be done before I have to go to Chicago for a conference in mid-May. Fingers crossed . . .


Notes on a Renovation #2

Way back when I wrote a post about my kitchen renovation. No, it hasn't started yet, but I have made a great deal of progress. I've firmed up my design, selected all of my materials and appliances, signed contracts with the designer, cabinet/counter installer, and contractor, and sent various checks out.  I've also started to select a new couch and chair for my living room (the living room update is a collateral consequence of the kitchen renovation, plus my couch has about had it). Work starts mid-to-late April, and, in theory, everything will be done by mid-May. I can't wait!!!