Monday, September 28, 2009

From Megan's Blog

Tonight's blog is a paste from what I wrote on the blog I keep for my daughter, who is hopefully STILL in remission from LMS. I repeat it here as cancer touches so many of our lives.

When someone you love dearly has cancer, each time they get sick or experience an ache, it wrenches your heart. You never rest easy as you know how insidious cancer is, and it becomes an ever present shadow that quite never goes away.

Each time Megan has a test I get worried, though the doctors think that as long as she keeps her lupus at bay, they can keep the likelihood of metastasis at bay.

Lately she has been having severe neck pain, tunnel vision, and had knocked herself out cold from hitting her head on things as her vision is skewed. The doctors were giving her muscle relaxers etc., but not giving her the necessary tests to show what is wrong. With her history, I see that as gross negligence on the part of the medical doctors.

Finally, after crying and telling them that she can't do this anymore, and that the medications are not working, they gave her an x-ray. When she called the office today she was told that there is something definitely wrong and she needs to come in for a CT immediately and the doctor needs to see her. Well HELLO---she has been telling them that for a long time!

We wonder, is it an inflammation of an old injury, or is it a tumor?

I tell Megan to keep positive, that by thinking too much will only make her crazy and not change the outcome in the end and to believe in the power of positive thinking/the law of attraction.
But I also told her that I would be thinking the same thing, and how very hard this is for her.

It is a shame that the doctors don't listen to their patients, and prefer to give them drugs rather than look for alternative options, and LISTENING to your patients should not be one of the alternative options. Maybe because it is the military/government, they are tied in with the drug companies, which keeps the big money machine rolling.

I don't know.

So, I will be writing more when I know more. Like with anything else in life, it is a moment at a time, and I do my best to BE in the moment. And breathe.


PS Megan and Randy..a few months ago
PS visit to read a bit about Megan's story for those who don't know it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Seems this week is destined to be a walk down memory lane. I never expected the stroll to be so intense-in mostly good ways.

Summer of 1969. Little catholic school girl gets moved from Long Island to a remote town in the Catskills. She leaves behind her first boyfriend of any significance, (though not her first crush), who is good at marketing and selling her handmade things door to door in the neighborhood. She leaves behind a handful of "approved" friends, and a whole neighborhood of constant entertainment in her micro managed world.

1969. The summer I left behind my innocence, as a new world slowly yet steadily unfolded itself to me from that point forth. It was a summer of change.

I was a clean slate. Innocent. Sheltered. Controlled. Monitored. Again, so innocent and unworldly.

What my father couldn't control was that we had moved below a large commune called The Children of God. The people walking down the road and the music which played into all hours of the night, became my new little world of entertainment and wonder as a 12 year old girl. It was much different than the world I had just left.

I reveled in the moments of stolen music. I was not allowed to play music/rock and roll, so the band practice was my intro to the music of the 60's. I would stand in the yard, a lanky and awkward skinny-legged kid, and watch the "hippies" walk down the street, many of them stoned on one thing or another. They were kind and said hi, and I would say hi back, but I knew I was not allowed to talk to them.

I had a rough entry into a school where I knew no one, a city kid doing battle with the country kids. I had to fight a few times, making sure at the very least that I did something to make the kids talk about the fight..even if I got the raw end of the deal. A skirt got ripped off, or I bloodied the bully's nose. In the end it was my art that earned some respect.

Flash forward to 40 years later, Jay asks me if I want to see WOODSTOCK, the original movie. I was solo for the evening, so it took all of 30 seconds for me to say SURE.

For three and a half hours I was mesmerized by the hugeness of the concert, and by the genius of the musicians playing at an amazing point in American History. I had seen snippets of it on TV or in the papers, but until last night, I did not realize the vastness of it. Tears came to my eyes during Hendrix's performance, and marveled how he evoked such emotion out of his guitar.
I transposed the Vietnam War with the current wars, and my heart ached for those who are thrust into such wars and shake my head in disbelief...wondering "when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn..."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Old Shandaken Home...

I have been too busy to blog. Work, Union stuff, house and garden things to do. Bills. Laundry. Allergies which bring on lethargy. Lethargy which brings on naps. I have done nothing in the studio which is making me very sad, but I am hoping that I will get some time once the weather turns colder and I won't be gardening or tooling around the Hudson Valley enjoying some last ray of sun.

On my trekking around the countryside last weekend, I had Larry drive up to my old house, the one that I grew up in as a teenager, when in 1969 my parents moved us from Long Island to a little town in the middle of nowhere.

The house is bounded on three sides by state land, and the other side has an acre or so that my father bought and attached to the deed of the house. It is a small house, some 1300 sq. feet, smaller than the house I live in now. It sits at the base of a mountain, and has a view of another mountain from its wrap-around deck. It is a simple house in a lovely setting, 30 minutes from being deep into the Catskills, or 30 minutes from the city of Kingston.

However, it is another world. In addition to the wild life I have here in the city, there are fox, porcupines, bobcat and bears to contend with. Think I have problems with critters in my garden now?? And then there is the snow factor. It snows much more and much worse up there, and would make winter driving 45 minutes away a nightmare at times.

Why am I telling you this? Because the house and property are for sale. I could probably exchange this house for that house. And, if I could put this house on THAT property, I might seriously consider it.

Though I have a lot of horrid memories from my teen years, I choose to remember the good ones. Feeding the deer and chipmunks. Hiking through the woods. My favorite tree. The old stone walls. Art, writing, communion with nature. Peace and quiet, save for the call of the foxes, the hoot of the owl or the scream of a rabbit being caught by something larger than itself.

I envision a studio on the property, big enough to teach in. No screaming neigbors. I can have garden parties. I can have a freedom that I can't have in a city home.

From the Lovesong of J. Alfred Proofrock

“Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—....
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

Patti O Memories

Monday, September 21, 2009

Catskill Jaunts, Part II: Andes

Paisley Boutique

Inside the Andes Hotel

Christie Scheele at the Chace-Randall Gallery

After our visit to the Pakatakan Farmer's Market, Larry and I headed further into the Catskills to a little town called Andes. Past Arkville by a few miles, this lovely country town was charming.

We were starving and hoped to find somewhere that served a late lunch, and we landed in the Andes Hotel where they serve lunch right up until dinner time. Larry and I ordered two lunches to share: local smoked trout with a tomato relish and horseradish sauce, and beer battered shrimp with a spicy pepper dipping sauce. I am not a big fan of fried food, but the batter on the shrimp was light, and the shrimp were not oily and greasy like other fried shrimp I have had. The trout was excellent, the relish unpretentious and tasty. The Hotel offers outside dining/cocktail area on the porch, the bar is a nice size (with a pool table!) and it features entertainment too! There is also a hotel behind it where a double room is 95.00 for the night.

Our appetites whetted, we sought out the Chace-Randall Gallery, where a few of my artist friends/associates exhibit their work. After having tromped through galleries in Wellfleet and Chelsea recently, it was inspiring to see what I considered some really nice work in a much warmer atmosphere. Zoe, the gallery owner, led us through the rooms and graciously offered me a glass of wine as we enjoyed work by artists Christie Scheele, Meredith Rosier (I lusted after a few of hers) and others. The work was every bit as good as what I had seen in the city, with reasonable prices, and a less pretentious atmosphere. If you are in the market for art, I highly recommend stopping in to see Zoe.

Our final stop was a little store called Paisley, where I bought my granddaughter a lovely winter patchwork velour dress, as well as a skirt and a top for myself. In addition to rock bottom prices of clothing by companies such as Sacred Threads, there were lovely baskets, block printed bedspreads and other sundries that I just loved looking at.

It looks like I will be making another trip out 28 before the weather gets too cold, to enjoy the small town warmth and charm of treasures hidden in the Catskills. I think there is magic in these mountains, and I aim to have some rub off.

Till tomorrow,

Patti O

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Catskill Jaunts: Part 1: The Pakatakan Farmer's Market

Larry and I were supposed to go away for the weekend, but with my hormones not cooperating, and me not wanting to drop a few bills on a nice B and B while feeling horrid, we opted for staying home and touring the Catskills.

I have been buying my skin care products from Lorna at Lorna's Naturals for years at the Kingston Farmer's Market. However, since she can't be in two places at once, she no longer does that market, and sells at the Pakatakan Farmer's Market in Halcotsville, NY, just outside of Margaretville, which is 30 minutes or so west of Woodstock. I have been out of face, skin cream, and soap for a long time, so I was determined to find her.

It was a flash back, riding up Route 28 and gazing at the country side that I grew up in. The church I used to go to, now for sale and overgrown. The portal, where the waters is discharged from the Gilboa dam further north, into the Esopus creek. Roads I used to travel. Mountains, trees, trains, new businesses as well as some old ones which have survived 30 years.

Though we had a bit of a hard time finding it is we had minimal details, and had only 30 minutes to buy from Lorna and check it out the market, the setting is lovely as is the quality of the vendors.

The first booth I stumbled upon was lovely organic produce, and was delighted by the wonderful ceramics (lovely round handmade ceramic sinks for 200.00 folks!!), wool, clothes, pesto and I even found Grey Mouse Farm jams and food. I buy from her at the Unison Fair every year, so you KNOW I went home with a jar of delectable Dilly Beans and her dried veggie chips.

When Lorna saw us come in, she came running out and we gave one another huge hugs.Besides being a fabulous woman, she makes the most amazing body products, and I have tried A LOT, some at much higher prices.

I came home with a bag full of presents for others, as well as some for myself. Face oil with jasmine and sandalwood, face cream, Gardenia and Lavender creams, a solid rose perfume, cranberry scented lip gloss for the mysterious chapping of my lips (either an allergic reaction to lipstick, or else the pre-cancer has spread..) and six bars of soap, ranging from sandalwood, to Patchouli, and spearmint. One of the jars and soaps is going to a friend who has pretty serious cancer is an now starting chemo. It will be a delectable NATURAL way for her to start her day.

Tomorrow's blog will be our stop over into the little town of Andes, NY. Right now, Larry is waiting for me to take him to Dolce for breakfast, and then off to Olana to celebrate our 13 years of vows taken there.

Life is beautiful.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Pirates on the Hudson

Today was pirate day at school, and thanks to Rhona, I was well equipped to pull off some nearly authentic Arrrrrs in school.

Many of the staff dressed up, as did Rhona. She was the most splendid pirateress of all, and I was willing to take second place besides her. One of the students said: "you look like a peasant next to her!", and I have to agree. But what a happy peasant I was.

I love participating in events at school; it shows students that we know how to play, and how important in life it is to play. I am so adamant about teaching kids to get excited by the simple things in life, and to be in touch with their inner child. Do they think I am a bit nuts? Sure, but they smile, laugh, and even one of the boys coveted my corset.

After school, I went down to the Rondout (the waterfront on the Rondout Creek which feeds into the mighty Hudson) to have some photos taken by the boats, and walked by a few threatening the owners with absconding with their vessels.

Walking about was a hoot in full costume. People looked. People laughed, a few growled Arrrrrr....Some were like WTF is up with these chicks? The best part was the drive back home w/the top down.

Here's to me mateys of the world, may your sails be full, and adventures abound!

Patti O Pirate

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If I were a Baby Boy

This photo is what I feel like right now..if I were a baby boy.

Poor Randy, my little grandson, is done with his spaghetti dinner and really wants to go to bed. Patti is also done with her dinner and wants to go to bed too. Only I have my shirt on and am not quite so dirty.

After a long day, topped off with a Union meeting that has made me even more nuts, I am ready for some R and R. I can't WAIT till I retire, and in the genre of Frank McCourt, I am going to write a book called "Teacher Woman". You'd never believe the shit that goes down where I work.

Estrogen still crashing, and I am debating as to whether or not I am going to go away w/Larry for the weekend. At the very least, we will do some day tripping, and get some meals along the way.

Hey, that could be a song from the Estrogen Devils... "Meals Along the Way", aka, "Yep, You Wanted him Gone"....

Feeling evil. Be scared, very scared. Another song on the CD: "Methinks I have made some Enemies but I Don't Care". Last song on the CD might be: "Mother Never Told me it was Going to be Like This.

Patti O Devil

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Estrogen Devils

I think if I were to be the lead singer in a punk rock band, I would title it "The Estrogen Devils". You know - the kind of music that makes you want to kill your own kid, or the puppy that just pooped on the floor.

My estrogen is crashing, as is my reasoning, my patience, my ability to laugh.

Then again, sometimes I question if my recent outbursts of standing up and shouting I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE is my hormones, or is that I have reached the end of my tolerance for ignorance, abuse, shoddy workmanship, laziness etc.

Today I reached a new low and though the sun was shining and it was 80 out, I was slumped in a chair, feeling like nothing could make me happy. My school day ended up with the sink flooding in my art room, ruining things, and making a horrid smell from the trap. After writing letters to my supervisors *this has been going on for a year and maintenance hasn't fixed yet" email...I slunk home looking a bit like Wiley E. Coyote behind the wheel of a silver convertible.

On his rush to work, Larry suggested a bunch of things. Studio? NOPE I AM SICK OF WORKING. Nap? I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SLEEP. Go to the pool? OH IF I DO THAT THE SKY WILL TURN BLACK" were my retorts.

But I was craving something....a ride, a drink, food, food on a deck, and I picked up the phone and called up Karen, who suggested burgers at Madalin's in Tivoli, and I knew then that was it. The panacea for my ragged psyche.

Homemade veggie burgers, with sweet potato fries, and a delightful handsome young man to serve us who purred "oh yes, I will bring you a large RAMEKIN full of sauce" The way it rolled off his tongue into my lap was priceless. The facade cracked, laughter spilled out, and I was almost back to my normal self.

I still don't feel well. I suspect sometime tomorrow I will be feeling a lot worse, but at least medication can take care of that.

The only medicine for my recent dark cloud was a good friend, a good meal, a bright charming young man, and the lovely Catskill Mountains at sunset.

Patti O Bruiser

PS my idol - marathon runner friend Karen, whom I have been friends with some 20+ years. We used to race together. I can't any more, but she still amazes me with all the races she runs and wins! She dared to ride with me to what turned out to be a very therapeutic dinner for the both of us.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I finished my first week back to work at school. I am still in shock, and it has given weekends a total new meaning.

I still am not used to getting up at 5:30 and being in bed before midnight, and don't have the food thing together. Once I am settled in, my classroom is very cozy as I make it my second home. I have a refrigerator, a microwave (both thanks to Larry), a toaster oven, coffeemaker and grinder (got to have fresh organic coffee), water filter, my art on the walls, photos I have taken during my summer adventures posted, as well as opening post cards and more.

I try and teach using as many modalities as possible. Video, music, lecture, notes, hands on, discovery learning, etc. It takes a lot of work at times to do all of this, especially since I teach 6 classes a day, and four of them are different! (never mind trying to make, show, and sell art as a second career)

I raise the bar high in my room, realizing that some will be thrilled with the challenge, while others will barely give it a half a chance. Some sit there and wonder "where the hell is she coming from?" while others look at one another and nod "freak". But most of them listen....and if I make them wonder, or question, or see, than I have done my job.

I finished an art video of my work in iMovie. Whether it will be compatible with my school PC is another issue. I am now becoming quite adept at bouncing back and forth between both systems, but still not sure what things transfer over. I'd post here, but I used a song from WAH! and it is probably I will have to go into the program, remove the music, and save so I can post here next time.

Off to figure out what to wear will be above 70 which means I can have bare legs or cropped pants... I miss the summer --- where I could wear the same tank top and shorts for three days and no one would know..and if Larry did, he didn't say anything!

patti o


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Woodstock Openings this Saturday

I am thrilled to have one of my new paintings, never shown before, at the Woodstock Art Association/Museum show "The Other Side of the Mountain" which opens at the gallery this Saturday, from 4-6.

It is one of my larger 24 x 30" oil paintings of an Olana sunset - mostly sky, with just a hint of mountains at the bottom. A small acrylic sky was rejected at the Small Works Show, but I have to say, if I were to choose between the two, I would rather have it be the upstairs/main gallery showing.

This makes the second painting to get into a show. I know you probably think...what's the big deal, but as someone who has always beenan insecure painter who didn't paint for a very long time, this is a joy.

I can't think back to my past, as it does no good. But once in a great while I ponder, "what IF my parents supported my art and my paintings" However rather than the what-ifs, I chose to go with "look what I am doing NOW".

The other two pieces are at the Varga Gallery, two new works that have not been shown and are mixed media pieces. That opening is 6-8, with music at 8.

It has been a challenge however finding time or energy to get into the studio. I am hoping that once I get on a schedule, I will have more impetus to spend a few hours painting. Right now, I have such little drive. School is sucking up all my energy, and all that is left is a little for cleaning the studio some more, and selling papers online as I need to earn some moolah for the heating bills for the studio.

Oh and PS don't forget to catch the openings at the Woodstock School of Art, Oriole 9 and The Dog House Gallery, right outside of town on the corner of Glasco Turnpike and Phillips Road. If you plan it right, you can catch a majority of them. Makes for a fun night out!

Top Photo: Olana sunset at the Woodstock Art Association (Oil on Canvas Framed, 24 x 30", 500.00)

Bottom Photo: Mon Cherie (mixed media in a fab antique frame for around 265.00--I forgot what the price is) at the Varga Art Collective.
(am also being lazy and posting this in duplicate on my art blog..)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I am desperately trying to figure out how to live the life I was living when I wasn't out of the house teaching for 8 hours.

I hit the floor running at 6 am, and have not sat down to rest till after nine the past two nights, which leaves little time for any decent R and R, never mind socializing! After a full day of teaching, there is still gardening, harvesting, preserving and cooking to do, as well as things related to my art shows and studio, laundry, cleaning, blah blah blah. Oh, and my blogs and Facebook! What do I give up?

In a way I look forward to rainy days that keep me inside, and the winter months that the gardens lay dormant. Though I miss the fresh greens and veggies, I am tired of the work that it takes to procure a good harvest, and of maintaining the yard. I am even OK with closing off the back room as it is one less room to clean.

Off to bed to preview some art films, and then try and get some reading in.
Oh, and try and fix my Itunes..which won't open and I seriously hope that installing the new version will fix it!

Patti O Geeked

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Last Big Hurrah

I have packed in an awful lot this weekend.

Dinner with Larry Friday night, then Jazz Fest Saturday evening after a day of chores/work, on Sunday a hike to Poets walk with Larry and then dinner at our house with Karen and Phill, and today was a trip to the Renaissance Faire with Rhona in Sterling Park, NY.

I am exhausted. Laundry needs to be folded, and I need to figure out what I am going to wear to school on the first day..which is just meetings and such.

But I will sit there, a bit shell shocked, but smiling, because I know I filled up every moment of my summer with many experiences...and will continue to do so every day AFTER work and on the weekends. (my new mantra to help me get through the difficult days..)

I am sure you wonder..gee..does that woman EVER sit still?

Not much. Ask Larry.

In fact, I had better find him to spend the last few minutes of the day.

Till the next one, Patti OOOOOOO

PS Playing dress up in Rhona's closet was TOTALLY fun, and I partook in my first parade EVER..representing Moresca, the company that made my Renaissance clothes...more on that another time.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Making Amends

After a second in two days close woodchuck siting, I decided to take heed and pay attention to the fact that it could be one of my spirit guides, and they are connected to altered states of consciousness and dreams. I am on that journey, have very intense dreams, one of which I had last night.

I had the usual stress dreams about school, which I have had all summer. They are usually involve my difficult students (and some staff..) and can involved insubordination, throwing art supplies, and sometimes violence. I have to find a way to resolve this as it has caused me some anxiety and I have to put in at least another 3 years there..before I can make any major life decisions. I need to be able to work there in peace and in joy and let the craziness wash over me.

But the dream that was etched on my mind most, was a dream about two people in my life who are sick, but who came to help me out in spite of their ill-health. They had stopped by my house, and finished all the unfinished odd jobs, so that when I came home from work I had peaceful place of refuge. "What a selfless token of love and friendship" I mused as I wiped the webs of sleep from my eyes.

Flash back to August 25th, it is during the burial mass of my aunt. The priest asks us to think of those we have hurt in our family who were there, have fought with, or have bad feelings about. I sat there smugly, thinking that I had no issues with any of them, save perhaps for some political differences that had ticked me off. Easy enough to remedy. Forgive, shake hands, wish them peace, and don't discuss politics or religion.

But after waking up from this dream, I realized that there are others who I have not made peace with, others with whom there were misunderstandings, bad words, anger, hurt. And one of these came to me in a dream to help me out.

I think I will write a letter or an email, and make peace. And I will think if there are any others that I need to do that with, I will reach out. I have made peace with my heart with my father, and also with my ex, though I don't know if I will ever be able to sit with him and do it face to face. Though I have made peace in my heart, I still fear him on some level. But if I can make peace with them, I can make peace with anyone.( OK---the neighbor thing is still my brick wall and perhaps final challenge).

Off I go to write an email and make an offer of peace this Sunday morning.

Oh, and this woodchuck was yesterdays siting from my back porch. He was running to go under my house. Probably had to go to the bathroom to make room for more good garden food, hahaha. And the other photo, a shot from the car while going over the Rhinecliff Bridge. I stick it up over the windshield and shoot w/out looking. This is what I got "No Stopping on Bridge". Not yet, but someday I will!!!

Patti O Dreamer

Friday, September 04, 2009

Another Woodchuck Story....

Another spectacular day in the Hudson Valley.

I forced myself to take the car to the car wash, so I could vacuum, wash, and wax it. I had a few cups of coffee in me, so I was able to get it done in an hour, including the drive time to the car wash.

After that, off to Gadeleto's for a lunch meeting with a group of local artists, which included good conversation about the art world, and life in general. Then off to Hurley to visit Meredith, where I had a very strange occurrence with a woodchuck.

Those of you who follow this obscure blog, know that I have huge issues with woodchucks living under my porch, living in my yard, raising their young, and sometimes being very smelly. (they have a toilet area of their burrows, and I suspect that last year that spot was under my house) I trapped one and re-located it last month, only to find more had appeared. (spouse/kids?). I don't mind them, but they do like my garden, though not as much as the deer do, and I really don't like the smell of their scat while I am reading a book or eating on the porch.

So I am sitting having a Blue Moon brew at Meredith's, when a woodchuck comes barreling up the hill across a large field, heading directly towards me, stops only a few feet away and stares at me. I talk to it for a bit, (uh, what DO you say to a's the eating?) and then it turns around and takes off to the neighbor's house.

I have had hummingbirds do that on several occasions..and I blamed it on my red hair, but a woodchuck??!!! Someone suggested that it might be my totem animal, so I did a bit of research.

Very interesting. I will post the link HERE so that you can read I don't want to copy/paste, but in the event it is true, that is very very groovy..but now it makes me wonder if I should be trapping and relocating them......sigh. If only they didn't shit under my house. I would even give them a little garden of their own to munch out on.....

So much to think about.....

Patti O Animal

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Beer, a Book, and a Bikini

I was restless today after coming back from three days of go-go-go in NYC.
After a doc appt in the AM, I took myself out for breakfast at my local bagel joint. Not Brooklyn Bagels, but the closest I will get to them here in Kingston.

Once home, I harvested beans, swiss chard, and tomatoes, cleaned up the house after being gone for a spot, organized the studio, and wondered what to do with myself till my 5pm Woodstock appointment.Everyone was working or busy, and I found myself alone without a plan for the afternoon.

Too nice to hang in the house, so I headed up with top down to Mermaid Lake with an Oktoberfest Beer, my book written by friend Heather Rolland (and takes place in the Hudson fun!) sporting my bikini.

Cerulean sky, no one on the banks, with a picnic table to serve as my lounge chair. (forgot the folding chair...)

I spent the majority of two hours, undisturbed save for a few plops of jumping fish, and the slight buzz of bees, wasps, flies and flying grasshoppers. I sipped, I meditated, I read. I swam for a bit, though the water was chilly from the cool nights. A few of my friends showed up for a chat, but the majority of the day was spent in solitude and in communion with nature and myself. It was nice to disconnect for a bit...far from the noise and chat of the busy world.

After a home cooked and garden grown dinner, I sit back and bask in the afterglow of the warmth the day, and I feel blessed - grateful for all that I have.

Patti O Serenity

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

At the End of the Hudson: a Chelsea Slog

I have returned from three glorious days in the Big Apple, visiting a dear friend of mine who is one of the lucky ones who retired and lives out her dream life with her husband in Chelsea, NYC.

Besides being nearby to so many wonderful places, Chelsea is a happening scene. A quick walk brought us to the High Line walk, and Chelsea Market.

We strolled along the High Line,which is a lovely park in the process of being developed on the old elevated train tracks built in the 30's. It is in the old meat packing center of the city, 30'in the air, and though still under construction, you can enjoy a lengthy stretch of lovely flora and fauna, sit on stone benches, some in the shape of chaise lounges for some city sunning.

Chelsea Market is another fun jaunt, resurrected from the ruins of the National Biscuit Co. and features amazing food shops like Elani's cookies (at a mere 75.00 a box on the high end..) a great kitchen supply store, various specialty food shops, art, music and lots of good atmosphere. Oh, and it is where the Food Channel does its filming.

You never know who you run into in the Big Apple, and we literally hovered over greens next to Willem Dafoe. What happened during those few moments will be treasured and laughed over by Frannie and I, and perhaps shared with a few friends. What we will always wonder is...did he do it on purpose?

We spent time perusing some of the galleries in Chelsea, and got to see the show: The Female Gaze: Women Look At Women at Cheim and Read We visited several others on the same block, and it is always good to look at what is going happening in the NYC art scene, where you see what and who is hot. The gallery scene can be a bit haughty and foreboding for the timid, though Timothy at Axelle Fine Arts Gallery actually came over to me and handed me a card while I jotting down notes for my art blog. He was handsome, kind, and told me to email him if I had any questions. Far different from some of the once overs you get from those who are sizing you up as to whether or not you are a potential customer and deserve notice.

Of course there was lunch, martinis at Moran's where we had the BEST EVER grilled calamari, bagels for breakfast came from the Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee company, where their everything bagels have everything on BOTH SIDES.

In the garment district we ran through Jack's .99 Store, one of the best .99 cents stores in the world, and we were in scarf heaven in New Company where you can buy 6 Pashmina scarves for 3.00 each! (uh, beats 10-20.00 which is what I have found them up here for, and is only marginally more money than what I paid for them in Spain) and other things. I found a beautiful rayon crochet shawl/sweater for 25.00, though in hindsight I realized it was made in was probably most of the things there...

The highlight was a visit to the top of the Empire State Building (thanks Frannie!!) where the clear sky enabled us to see so much and so far.

I have tons of great memories, photos, and am inspired by the art, food, culture, and Mayor Bloomberg's revitalization work...from new bike lanes, to areas of street closed off for public sitting areas. Oh, and the laughter and joy that only a close friend can bring.

I'll be back soon!

Patti O New Yorker