April Snow Showers
On Sunday night, I slept with the windows in my apartment open so warm Spring air could fill the space and bring in a fresh scent. On Monday night, I did the same thing, positive that Spring was here to stay. On Tuesday night, I felt a chill in the air and I heard the radiator fire up again. I closed the windows and went to bed. When I woke up on Wednesday, I found a layer of light snow sprinkled across the cars parked on my street. I was wrong about Spring coming to stay, but I was glad I closed my windows.
" Carole Radziwill, Real Housewives of New York City
A Warm Welcome
Strolling around Brooklyn Heights on Sunday, I fell in love (as I always do), with the brownstones and the tree-lined streets there; the slate sidewalks and even the garbage neatly piled up at the bottom of what looks like perfectly aged stone steps. It’s such a beautiful neighborhood. But then I came across this 1970’s-inspired red door and I was so happy to find something different-looking in a neighborhood that, despite its old New York charm, can be so much of the same one door after the other.
I walked across a damn in New York State on Sunday afternoon. After twisting my ankle on a stray rock, I got up and admired the view. It was nice.
Have you ever noticed that the word “sign” is part of the word “design”, but it’s pronounced in a completely different way? I hadn’t until I walked by Bert Waggott’s office in the West Village a few weeks ago. I was staring at the unique plaque that looks new, but also has a timeless Mid-Century Modern look when it struck me: Design. Sign. I laughed a little, mostly to myself, because I was reminded of the time that I stood outside a nail salon and realized the word “polish” could mean exactly what the business in front of me specialized in, but that it could also be pronounced as a way to describe an entire nation of people (hint: they can be found in Poland).
I love how Mr. Waggott used a small metal plate and a bold font to illustrate what he can design for his clients with just a small sign.
Each night when I come home from work or freshly sweaty from the gym I stop to open my flip-top mail slot before glancing at the daily delivery of packages left in the communal drop-off spot in my apartment building. I never expect to see my name on any of them, but I always look. Last night was just another exercise in my daily routine, but with an unexpected surprise.
Thru the double doors of my building, down the narrow hallway wearing gym clothes I couldn’t wait to leave in a pile on my floor, pop open my slim metal mailbox and fight to extract the over-stuffed magazines and envelopes; turn to go upstairs and glance at the boxes hanging over the radiator to see a familiar name printed on a long box of flowers: Suzanne Shrekgast. What?! I took a closer look, literally pushing my face to the label with a name that could only be mine. There I was in print, there was no mistake. I tucked the box under my arm and climbed the few steps to my apartment. First thing was first, though: off with the gym clothes and into the shower – I wanted to be clean to discover who sent the mystery flowers. Two minutes later, still wet but free of gym germs, I carefully opened the box to reveal a bouquet of red, yellow and purple tulips with a note neatly placed between two green stems. “I hope this brightens your day,” the card read. It was a note from my cousin in Chicago who sent the flowers for the single best occasion – no real occasion at all.
I spent Thursday night in a Broadway theatre, listening to the music of Carole King at “Beautiful”, the musical based on her life and career. I might as well have traveled back in time to my pre-teen days in Connecticut, though, when my mom and I, cruising around in a wood paneled navy blue station wagon, would faithfully listen to a radio station that played her music and songs from similar artists, all whom I still adore today; Carly Simon, Barbara Streisand, Peter, Paul and Mary, and James Taylor just to name a few. I was young and I didn’t always know what the lyrics in their songs were about, but I loved how they sounded with the pianos, the guitars and the drums accompanying each word. What really makes me love that music now, though, are the memories of riding in my family’s enormous station wagon, singing songs with my mom that I know will always bring me back to another place and another time.
Hot Pink in a Sea of Beige