Archive for the ‘mad about NYC’ Category

a mad rabbit hole. . .

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

While we’ve made plenty of progress over the last year, our home is still very much in transition. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are many items mad is waiting to unpack until our rehab efforts are complete. Thankfully, there’s a room in the garage (that was once my dad’s bedroom) that facilitates this storage.

Storage Room

The garage storage room that enables the mad approach

Sometimes, however, our approach can be a little frustrating (especially given our well known type a tendencies). The good news is that today’s rabbit hole was started for a good cause. I brought a few things back with me from my five years in New York. An appreciation for real seasons, a partner in life, and an affection for the New York Mets baseball team. My fandom was prompted in part by Mike (who loves all things baseball) but also by getting to know the Mets over a four-year period. I like that they’re scappy–even though they have a pretty high payroll. I like that they always act like a team (as opposed to a gathering of well-paid position players). I like that they’re the ancestors of the Dodgers and the Giants. I like the big apple in the top hat and the whole Met mascot family. And I like that they’re always the underdog due to another NY baseball team that we don’t need to name. I will even admit that I even like the way the Mets make you earn your fandom. Mike and I don’t have any animosity towards other baseball teams, but the Mets are menschkeit to us (especially with Isaac Benjamin Davis at first base and Howie Rose announcing the plays).

How does this relate to our storage room? The Mets are kicking off their west coast roadtrip this week. In honor of this, Mike and I decided to get some bleacher seats to see them at AT&T park here in SF. There really aren’t any bad seats at our local ballpark, and one of our best dates was going to see the Brooklyn Cyclones at Coney Island in the bleachers. Of course, to properly pay tribute to the Mets I wanted to bring my super-cool stadium seat cushion. And of course, this cushion was still packed away in one of our many boxes full of art in the storage room.

nym stadium seat

the cause of today's rabbit hole

Mike was kind enough to halt work on his office to locate the cushion. After a couple of hours, he found it–in the last box he looked in (why are these things always in the last box?). Of course, he found a few other items that we’ve agreed to take out of storage (towels and sheets)–and the room is neater and more organized than when he started. I showed my appreciation for Mike’s efforts by making him a homemade pizza while he was working away. Now both residents of mad maison are sated.

mad pizza

a little thank you from one member of mad maison to another

I hate to gloat. . .

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I enjoyed seasons when I lived in New York. Fall and Spring are absolutely gorgeous, and winter is beautiful and cozy. I even enjoyed the snow–probably because I never had to shovel a driveway or sidewalk. The one season I never understood was summer, but I was always placated by the fact that it would only last a few months.

For some people, the San Francisco summers are rough. We do have the lowest average summertime temperature of any contiguous American city. For many, summer is supposed to be about wearing shorts and balmy evenings. In San Francisco, summer is about wearing layers and hoping for some afternoon sunshine.

I was born and raised in San Francisco. So for me, moving back to San Francisco in the summer was smart–because immediately there are no regrets. We’ve had one day when the temperature rose above 85 degrees, and by the evening it had dropped to the typical high 50’s-low 60’s. And of course, there was no sticky wet-warm-sponge-like humidity to contend with. This evening I was a little warm–so I opened a window and was immediately greeted by a cool, refreshing breeze. This led me to go to to see what my NY brethren were dealing with. I have compassion. I have empathy. But I am happy to be here.

If you're there, I'm sorry. I'll see you when the leaves change.

If you're there, I'm sorry. I'll see you when the leaves change.

our last knish

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

When you’re leaving a city like New York, you want to savor every last bit you can. You tell yourself that your ability to get an authentic knish will be severely limited in San Francisco. So, for the first time in almost a year you stop and get knishes. They’re so good going down. But then, about 10 minutes after eating said knishes, you remember why you don’t eat them on a regular basis. Then you look at your partner in crime and say “thank God there aren’t an abundance of knishes in San Francisco.” In case you’re curious, knishes are not good packing food.

so good, and yet, so bad

so good, and yet, so bad

One view, or another

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Mike and I are lucky enough to live in a small enclave of Queens that looks nothing like the rest of New York City. Our neighborhood was built in 1906 to resemble an English Tudor village, and even our British neighbor Janey says those designers succeeded. What that also means is that we have a very unusual view out of our apartment. From ourĀ  living room windows (the best feature of the apartment) we have scenery that’s always beautiful yet changes with the seasons. I couldn’t remember what was visible out of my grandmother’s windows. Again, Hall of Fame inductee #2, my brother, came to our aid. While we know that the fog will have a more dramatic impact on what we see from day to day, we’re excited to know that we’ll have a different kind of urban backdrop to enjoy. One of the pictures he took even hints that on some days, when the fog lifts, we might even see a hint of the bay. You’ll just have to keep on reading to find out if that turns out to be true.

Our atypical Queens view in autumn.

Our atypical Queens view in autumn.

Our new urban backdrop, with surprises waiting for us behind the fog.

Our new urban backdrop, with surprises waiting for us behind the fog.

Giving up New York living

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Living in New York City is a give and take. You give up personal space and get a level of customer service unique in the states. Every dry cleaner, grocery store, and virtually every restaurant delivers to your door. In addition, we live in a beautiful apartment building with a wonderful staff. Every package is collected until we get home, every visitor is signed in, and we put our garbage in a room down the hall. Mike and I have gotten used to apartment living–we enjoy our organized home and not having a bunch of extra possessions, but we’re also looking forward to not putting our bikes in the bedroom and not using the space under our bed to store miscellaneous items. However, not having the guys downstairs helping us out will be a an adjustment.

the comforts of New York

the comforts of New York

Mad about NYC

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Mad is in a unique position–we’re not fleeing New York City. We love NYC–and will continue to love NYC. Mike is a true native-born and raised in Queens–and Denise is the only Californian that both New Yorkers and Californians believe is actually from New York City. Mad simply can’t resist the opportunity to move into a home in another great city that we won’t have to leave–and start a new adventure, all while helping our family in the process. Over the next few weeks, as we finish packing, we’ll use this blog to document some of the things we adore about our current home town. Of course, as good New Yorkers, we’ll also find a few things to lovingly criticize.

One of mad’s favorite neighborhoods is Soho (which is an acronym that stands for South of Houston St). We love the architecture, the cobblestone streets, the fellows who sell bolexes and gucco watches, and a few of our favorite stores (Muji, Pearl River, and Le Pain Quotidien). Mostly, we love the overall sensibility. It will be one of the hardest places to part with, especially because there really isn’t any San Francisco equivalent; of course, we’ll make due with all the great neighborhoods in SF, but Soho has the distinction of being unique.

Quintessential Soho architecture

Quintessential Soho architecture