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Category Archive for ‘friends’ at The Green Peugeot: Listen up, you.
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Archive for the 'friends' Category

From Franklin Ave to Franklin’s House

A few weekends ago, my friend Michael Gately and I went on a small voyage up to Hyde Park, NY to visit the FDR library and museum. A few weeks previous, we had been eating crumpets and marmalade and discussing presidential china patterns, and decided on a trip to visit the closest presidential library to New York — which turns out to also be the first presidential library. FDR!

Mosaic Map
Mosaic Map

There’s a great mosaic tile floor map in the main hall, which also serves at the meeting point for tours of the grounds or of FDR’s house — which is really Sara Roosevelt’s house, but Franklin lived there, and Eleanor too. The tour was led by Shannon, a park ranger and delightful history nerd who answered our questions as fast as we could think of them. She had worked at a different historic site/national park before she came to Hyde Park, and we asked if she had been deployed here. She looked at us like we were crazy and said “I applied for this job. The national parks are not the military.” She then confessed to us that her dream job would be to work at Gettysburg, but whenever a job opens up there, 500 people apply, so it’s best not to get one’s hopes up.

wheelchair with swivel mounted ashtray

In addition to the house, we saw the library, which is FDR’s former study, and broadcast location of at least two fireside chats. It’s the only presidential library that was actually used by the president in question, and the study is preserved with FDR’s things — including his special made wheelchair with “swivel mounted” ashtray.

wheelchair with swivel mounted ashtray

We learned a lot of things about America’s longest-serving president. Like he was a cheerleader. And had a lifetime membership to the Natural History Museum. And that Eleanor knit during meetings!
FDR was a Leader of Cheering
National History Museum lifetime membership
Eleanor's Knitting Needles

We also got to pose for some photos with Eleanor and FDR:
Franklin and Michael and Eleanor
Franklin and Dory and Eleanor

And then we hit the gift shop. All in all, a successful and educational adventure. We’ve pledged to return in the summer, when the rose garden is in bloom and walks in the woods can be taken.

I'll bet my shirt

More facts about my friends

Michael Gately loves a waterpark;
Kurt Wong loves driving standard;
Natalie Forssman is great at wall squats.

Pink Grapefruit, Naval Orange, Meyer Lemon

I just got back from Epic Lady Vacation in Puerto Rico. We stayed on the beach in San Juan for the first few days, because, as Naomi said, “we’re not here to prove how bohemian we are.” Instead, I said, we went to prove that we have nice shoulders, that we love swimming in the ocean, and that we tan up nicely. In July, lying on the beach at Fort Tilden or Jacob Riis, I pointed out how good we are at enjoying the sun and ocean and declared that we should plan to do this when it’s cold in New York. So we planned for Puerto Rico in January, and then all of a sudden exams were over and we were taking off our flip flops and beach dresses and plunging into the Atlantic.

Puerto Rico, Jan 2012
(Naomi and Naomi, walking in Vieques)

The thing about vacation — at least for me — is that time spent not doing certain things reminds me that I love them. And vacation is not really a time for making. I knit a little bit of sock when we were hanging out in our little traveller’s apartment one night, and I made us a salad when we realized that beer wasn’t really dinner, but vacation is not time for cooking or crafting. So it was nice to come home and trudge through the snow to the coop to buy oranges and meyer lemons and grapefruit for Three Citrus Marmalade . I zested, cut away the pith, supreme the segments, and boiled it all up with sugar. It took longer than I expected for the pot to hit 220 degrees, and even so I’m not sure that it really set, but I have 6 beautiful translucent jars of sweet and tart citrus deliciousness.

Facts about my friends #1

New feature! Facts about my friends. Today, Jamie.

Fact: Jamie likes having her expectations calibrated.

thrift and craft

worksite accients

I’m a few pages into a book I picked up at a used bookshop in Rockville, MD–the book is called “In Cheap We Trust” (by Lauren Weber), about the idea of thrift, frugality, and cheapness. Pop sociology and good summer reading (I hope). In this into, though, she writes that “thrift advocacy has always carried a whiff and often a stench of preachiness.”

Let me state: I don’t agree.

This statement came after a bit of discussion of the need to patch and mend and darn when good were scarce, and got me thinking about the world of craft and its connection to thrift. It’s true that the two are not synonymous: there are big-box-craft-stores on the side of the highway with aisles Martha Stewart branded official scrapbooking supplies; there are very shmancy brands of yarn that are just another thing to covet or splurge on; even knitting a sweater out of reasonably priced yarn isn’t going to be cheaper than buying something new. But craft is thrift not in the sense of paying as little as possible for anything, but in the sense of being careful and conscientious about things and objects and materials. Advocacy of this sort of thrift is not preaching, it’s exploration of how things are made and what things can be used for. It’s full of wonder.

charming darning (explorations in darning techniques from karen barbe)

I also think of my rad friend Becky Johnson, who I had the immense pleasure to see speak at Etsy when she came through Brooklyn in June. She officially spoke on the subject of “Crafting a Well-Rounded Business” but really she spoke about what she does (tour America in the summers, selling her wares at craft shows and visiting boutiques and other sites-of-handmade), and how she makes it work. One of the points she made to the room full of lovely Brooklyn Etsy ladies seeking success, is that her version of “success” is a wildly different recasting of the idea that you can craft your way into a profitable business. Becky’s success is that she makes her life work on not very much income, in part because the principles of craft and thrift encourage sharing, reciprocity (she talked about being able to travel widely and have somewhere to stay because of the art-and-craft community she has cultivated), and a very different sense of what’s important and worth spending money on. Her successful craft business is not about winning at capitalism, it’s about existing on sort of the outside edge of capitalism.

becky
(my friend becky)

I just read a book called “The Chairs are Where the People Go” by Misha Glouberman, and in a short section titled “Social Capital” he points out that artists and other creative folks may not have a lot of money, but they are certainly not “poor.”

I think this might be related the point that Weber is beginning to make. Thrift out of necessity is what it is, not particularly virtuous, just a way to live within your means. Weber’s feeling of “preachiness” is a similar sense of discomfort to Glouberman’s disapproval of artists considering themselves poor. In this understanding those claiming thrift or poverty are trying to set themselves off as different from what is expected of folks in their socioeconomic position, and receive some sort of credit for it.

Its true that the poverty of artists and musicians is different than the systemic poverty that really exists in our world. But the idea (and this is not the point that Glouberman makes, but is the point implied by Weber’s statement) that anyone who lives outside of the capitalist matrix is inherently smug about it feels really defeatist. Being able to take on a different mode of life is really valuable. Being able to make that work–through thrift, barter, art, travel, and careful darning of one’s handknit socks–is what is really exciting and inspiring about all of my friends amazing diverse lives and professions.

===

The image up at the top of this post is of the “Worksite Accidents” Gocco prints I received from Becky for pledging her Kickstarter campaign that she used to fund this summer’s craft tour. Here it is in its milieu on my kitchen wall: most of these things are thrifted.

worksite accident print

Hexagons for Karen and Sammy

I have awesome friends, Karen and Sam, who got married this past September, at a Bowling Alley in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Karen and Sam!

Hexagon Piecing Tattoo!At the wedding, I met a friend of theirs who had this rad hexagon paper piecing tattoo. (Please excuse the terrible picture). We got to chatting about hexagons; at that point I had never attempted making them because the whole things seemed so finicky and daunting and I was convinced that I needed to take a class to learn how to do them. But oh how I love the way they look! A few weeks later I sat down with the internet and a hand sewing needle and my bag of scrap fabric and figured it out. Of course, it was kind of finicky and tedious and the prospect of doing a whole quilt like this continued to seem daunting. I made a few random blob shapes and declared myself done.

Hexagons

Of course, at this point I still hadn’t gotten anything for Sam and Karen, and remembering the pillowcases I’d made for Jamie and Rufus, I decided that I’d do that again. Pillowcases are a great gift idea–hand made and lovely but not months and months of work. So I appliqued the hexagon blobs (well, one blob and two hexagon flowers) onto grey fabric, and sewed them up into pillowcases. I used some bird fabric and a chopped up old pillowcase (that had an interim life as a pillowcase skirt, that ingenious new-sewist project that is actually unwearable because people and pillows are very different shapes, as it turns out) for the edging, and voila! Pillowcases!

Pillow Cases
Pillow Case Edges

Whale Hero

David has these great paintings by Johanna Wright. They’re both of the Whale Hero (though only one of the paintings has that title)–a scrappy-looking big blue/grey whale, smiling a nervous kind of grin, saving folks (Whale Hero) or being celebrated (Whale Parade).

Here’s Whale Hero:
Johanna Wright's 'Whale Hero'

And Whale Parade:
whale parade

It was the little patches on the Whale that did me in. I loved them, and wanted to recreate them, so I made David his own whale.

The Whale

I haven’t made a lot of softies, it’s never really been appealing to me as a thing to make, but boy oh boy did I want to make a whale! I just drew a simplified version onto newspaper, cut it out and traced it with seam allowance onto fabric to make 2 pieces. I embroidered a mouth and an eye on each piece, and sewed on some patches–I used white glue to stick them, and then zig-zag stitched around them, they were too tiny for pins. I got a bit stuck on the stuffing part, I left the open bit (to flip it right side out and stuff) by the base of the tail, so that turning it right side out would be easier, but it made it really hard to hand sew it shut. I did an imperfect job, but that’s alright because The Whale is a scrappy guy.

Ozzy likes it:
Ozzy and the Whale

and David too:
David and his Whale

Pickled Party

Here is a photograph of the pickled eggs in action at my birthday garden party. There’s Barbara on the left, with a pink pickled egg on her fork, and Sara on the right eating something else.
they were enjoyed

And here is a photograph of me and Ms. Naomi Adiv, at the same party.
dory and naomi

nope

2 years in America, my phone contract is up for renewal, and I am coming to realize that I just don’t want an iPhone, or any other “cool” phone. Maybe I want a Razr, they were cool phones once. It’s nice to know that my friend Kenan doesn’t really want one either.

Instead of playing word jumble or brick breaking games on the subway, I’ll read John Steinbeck (the other day a woman tapped me as I was reading East of Eden and asked if I was reading that for school or for fun. When I said for fun she was impressed; I wonder would she would have thought if I had been reading The Production of Space?)

Not that I am anti-technology, mind you. I very much appreciate my sewing machine, which I used to make a banner for the Crow Hill Community Garden, and am using to piece together some blocks for a quilt (one for myself and my home, this time).

garden banner
9-patch blocks

Also, I like my new dehydrator, gifted by Emily in her going-away-paring down. Sara, my awesome new roommate, and I made kale chips, with kale she grew in her friend Stefan’s garden.
kale

triangles for Rachel and David

I want to show off a few photos of the quilt I made for Rachel and David’s wedding gift.
quilt
quilt
quilt
quilt
quilt

I like these kids

adam and naomi

in a place

Last summer my brilliant friend Sarah and I were musing about a strange turn of phrase: “I’m in a place where I can’t date right now” or “I’m in a place where I can’t go for coffee.” Where is this place? Sometimes the phrase is framed in the negative, “I’m not in place where it makes sense for me to see you,” but if you’re not in one place, you must be in another, right? So still, where are you? Where is this place?

We imagine this place to be an awesome fantasy park, full of dudes throwing baseballs around, hanging out with puppies, maybe there’s a hot dog vendor. There are definitely no girls allowed in this place, but it’s awesome, and the guys are having a good time and the appeal is apparent. Still, being in this place prevents them from being in a place where they can go for coffee or go on dates or make out or whatever.

So when dude says “I’m not in a place where I can date right now” what they’re not saying out loud is “BECAUSE I’M AT THE SECRET BOY AND PUPPY PARK!”

So what the awesome girls do, is they bike down to the place, on their 3-speed Schwinns with good stuff in their baskets. And they lay out a blanket and set out a picnic full of baguettes and brie and mason jars full of gin and tonic. Now this picnic spot is open-access, and the boys can totally see it from dude and puppy park, and maybe they’ll be tempted by the smart girls who planned for the day with all this rad stuff that the dudes didn’t think of. All they have are hot dogs and baseballs and maybe they’ll start to think that if they got out of the place then they too could have fancy cheese and picnic cocktails.

Sometimes Sarah and I think that the Place is the Red Hook Ballfields, but the food is too good there for this to make total sense.

Anyhow, welcome to spring everyone. It’s bikes and picnic season!

Here are some unrelated photos of dudes and puppies.

dudes and puppies
(photo by buzzchap)

dudes
(photo by thebigblackmariah)

dude and dog
(photo by unfocused mike)

Brooklyn Thursday Evening

On Thursday, I took the S-Q combo of trains to Ditmas Park to hang out with the cluster of wonderful humans that live in a house (which might be against the rules), pick up my car, and settle Catan. I took my new camera (a Canon G11) for the ride–I’m so pleased with how it works in low light!

botanic garden
The shuttle stop by me is called Botanic Garden even though it’s not the closest stop to the Botanic Garden and it’s connected to the 2/3/4/5 Franklin Ave. I don’t know how things got named.

waiting feet
Yellow socks and the yellow lego-like subway stripe. I really like that if you look closely, is says “Amoreille” in dots in the top right.

on the train
This little girl was totally vamping for the camera.

settlin'

loosin'
Then we drank wine and played The Settlers of Catan. Jamie won.

structural mittens

Dear Kat,

I remember that frustration indeed, but looking at those photos (plus the fact that my sewing skills have developed over time) makes me think that I could make some structural mittens now, without even reading the pattern/recipe.

Thanks!

Love,

Dory

Everyday I write the book. Er, blog?

This post from my dear friend Kirsten reminded me that last year I successfully participated in NaNoBloPoMo–and so even though it’s already the second I’ll give it a go this year as well. Hi Kirsten! (And Emily and Kurt with whom I participated last year, a slightly drunken pinky-swear sealing the deal).

Yesterday I woke up late, ate eggs AND waffles for breakfast with Zach, watched Crooklyn, and then drove up to Connecticut for a long-weekend (election!) holiday at the farm-mansion with Anna and Naf.

The night before was Halloween. Zach and I made matching Max-from-where-the-wild-things-are costumes (full disclosure: I am still wearing my grey sweatpants with the tail attached. I am a costume-obsessed 9-year-old this week) and then split up for the night. At my shindig Kelly was decked out as KW (with little stuffed owls tucked into her belt), so we had fun howling together.

kw and max
(photo by Tanveer)

A few weeks before that, the same group of wonderful people held Brooklyn Thanksgiving — a whole slew of people were actually going to be away during real thanksgiving, so we held it early. This photo comes from Emily:

thanksgiving spread

I tried to uphold the tradition of making waffles on thanksgiving, but Em’s waffle iron was mysteriously missing. So we had thanksgiving pancakes with corn salsa. Totally yum.

more friends, more quilts

So the most recent life-changing-event-secret-quilt-project has been quilted and bound and photographed and folded and handed off–this is the log-cabin quilt that I made for Anna and Naf’s wedding (coming up this weekend, in Rochester!)

anna and her quilt
back of the quilt
anna!

anna/naf crestOrange centre squares, other fabrics include some orange flowers, some John-Dere kitch, some city-print stuff, a thrifted pillowcase, an old skirt of Sarah Zarrow’s, some yellow katie jump rope flowers, some yellow stuff from Anna’s mom’s stash (which made it into a quilt she made me years ago!) and some grey and pale turquoise stuff I bought in Berlin.

I’m still working on some wedding stuff for A+N: handwriting the escort cards (that are not as awesome as these ones), and planning for the Brooklyn Sheva Brachot early next week, which includes drawing the little Anna+Naf crest you can see on your right there.

the North Brooklyn Blogger’s Banquet

I sometimes think that it’s silly that I live in New York because I don’t really care about all the stuff that goes on. A really good day for me is about bike rides, coffee, and making and eating food with good people. It’s not even that I’m content to miss some world-famous DJ spinning in some club–I don’t even know that it’s happening and I’ve never heard of the dude.

It’s a good thing that I live here though, because there are lots of good people who want to make food and hang out and dance around the kitchen and debate the merits of zucchini versus summersquash while shelling peas and drinking bottles of Brooklyn Lager.

I appreciate it when these nights are informal and spontaneous, but a little while ago a group of very wonderful North Brooklyn friends and I started plotting and planning about something a little more structured. This group of friends includes photobloggers (Jake, Tanveer, and Joe), comicbloggers (Kenan), breadbloggers (Liz), food+bakingbloggers (Cate), and all-sorts-of-everything-bloggers (me and Emily)–so the logical conclusion was an over-blogged dinner party: The North Brooklyn Blogger’s Banqut (NB3)!

an annotated picture of salad

(photo courtesy of Tanveer Badal, annotations courtesy of me)

Inspired by Mark Bittman’s recent article about salads, I put together the watermelon-tomato-basil-goat feta salad pictured above. I picked up most of the ingredients on saturday at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket and the Park Slope Food Coop, and got the watermelon from Nam’s* on Sunday on my way up to Greenpoint (to Liz & Joe’s) for the event.

THEN: we shucked corn and shelled favabeans and snapped photos and danced around eachother in the kitchen and stirred and baked and put things in the oven and we used all the knives and bowls and cutting boards and we rearranged things in the fridge and took things out of the oven and we stirred and took more photos and peered in the the neighbours backyard and got caught in a rainstorm and drank rose and played with some puppies and made a mess and cleaned it up.

prepping in Liz and Joe's kitchen
Photo by Joe

And then we ate dinner.

And now we’re talking about doing it again before the end of the summer. The same principles will probably apply: no spectators. Well, no spectators at the event, only afterward. Read everyone’s takes on the evening!

watch out, tanveer!

*I don’t love Nam’s like the dude who writes I Love Franklin Avenue loves Nam’s–it’s too pricey and the produce isn’t particularly awesome or plentiful–but I’m glad that it’s there.

Sage Advice

always do a thing

Announcements

dory and zach, originally uploaded by dorywithserifs.

I don’t think I’ve said it publicly here, but it’s for real: I’m starting a PhD in the fall! At Columbia, in Planning, so I’ll be in New York, reading books, for quite some time.

Also, I’m excited that Zach is in New York too. He got some jobs, and a sublet in the neighbourhood.

Photo is us at Coney Island almost two years ago. But we’ve been friends since kindergarten, so what’s two years?

design, signs, questions, and the Atlantic Project

Following a link that said “what’s the cost of being a nerd?” I landed at the Atlantic.Project–which looks to be a new package for the Atlantic. Set up as a series of questions, there’s a cute little video for each and links to “conventional” articles and blog posts. The whole thing looks great! Screenshot (click to embiggen):
what's the cost of being a nerd

Each question gets written out in neon in some wonderfully ordinary place, on the street, on the steps of the library, in a diner, and people are standing and sitting near them when talking in the videos.

The opposite of the neon lights though, are the questions written up to camouflage with the rest of city signage:
can selfishness save the environment?
who killed the great american novel?

These are the most beautiful. The mimicry is spot on, and to see these in the city would be such a sweet, private moment of being disarmed. They remind me of my favourite Steve Lambert work:
call you mom (soonish)