Thursday, May 30, 2013

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

The only not so amazing part of receiving a bunch of beautiful, thoughtful gifts for all of our rooms is that we live in the West Village in a 700 square foot apartment, with not so many rooms. Receiving our shower gifts reminded me of our imminent need to relocate. I vote for LA. My fiance, more realistically, is pushing for Chelsea or the Upper West Side here in NYC. We’ll see. But in the meantime, inspired by Nora, I’ve come up with “What I Won’t Miss” and “What I Will Miss” about our little humble abode nestled in The Village.

What I Won’t Miss
The broken AC unit in our bedroom
The perpetually clogged sink in our bathroom
The always-fighting couple that lives above us (And the frequent f-bombs that come with)
The "oldness" of our apartment; it never feels squeaky clean
The tiny pieces of brick that fall from our crumbling exposed brick wall
Our serious lack of closet space

What I Will Miss
Our quiet block
Our apartment’s amazing location
The bodega around the corner that delivers us pints of ice cream
Roxy, the neighborhood Burmese Mountain Dog
The beautiful, towering tree outside our living room window
The mom & pop bookstore around the corner
The neighborhood bike shop
Our proximity to the West Side Highway (Although Justin insists we’ll be close to the Hudson River in our new spot too)
The countless amazing restaurants within walking distance
Our exposed brick wall
Did I mention the amazing location?


(photo via veronica lola)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Showered With LOVE

Last weekend I was the lucky guest of honor at a beautiful bridal shower, hosted by my aunt and cousins. The shower consisted of brunch (including an awesome omelet station) and toasts/poems by my loved ones. There was a “room to room” theme and each table boasted a centerpiece with everything from “his” and “her” aprons for the kitchen to – ahem – condoms for the bedroom. But despite the protective gear it was a classy affair. My aunt and cousins wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hearing my friends and family speak kind words about me and Justin was a real highlight. And taking into account all of the hard work and thoughtfulness of my hostesses was heart-warming. Every “decoration” was a gift for me and my beau. Every element was purposeful and meaningful. Even the parting gifts for attendees were Napa themed wine bottles, filled to the brim with Jelly Belly jellybeans. (My belly has since turned into quite the jelly belly…) And an added bonus? The gifts! The ladies in my life showered me with thoughtful gifts. Everything from decorated wine bottles to toast upcoming life events (like having a baby, no pressure :) to cheese knives we’ve been coveting and gorgeous crystal vases. We’re grateful to have these things, and incredibly appreciate of everyone who contributed to making the day so special, just by being there.

With Gratitude,

P.S. My little cousins made a “bouquet” and “veil” from the gift-wrappings. How totally awesome?!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

To do: Talk about Nora

I’m a list maker. I feel like I always have a million things to do, and if I can at least get these tasks written down, I feel like I’m halfway there. Halfway to paying that dentist bill. Halfway to remembering to pick up lemons for my lemon water. Halfway to writing that blog entry about Nora Ephron. Speaking of… While I didn’t love I Remember Nothing, I did love Ephron’s closing remarks on “What I Won’t Miss” and “What I Will Miss.” Of course these lists are especially touching because Ephron passed away not too long after the publishing of I Remember Nothing, her final book of essays. The blog “Lists Of Note” features Ephron’s last published lists here. I've also pasted the reproduction below [Source: I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections]:

What I Won't Miss

Dry skin
Bad dinners like the one we went to last night
Technology in general
My closet
Washing my hair
Illness everywhere
Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism
Fox TV
The collapse of the dollar
Bar mitzvahs
Dead flowers
The sound of the vacuum cleaner
E-mail. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.
Small print
Panels on Women in Film
Taking off makeup every night

What I Will Miss

My kids
The concept of waffles
A walk in the park
The idea of a walk in the park
The park
Shakespeare in the Park
The bed
Reading in bed
The view out the window
Twinkle lights
Dinner at home just the two of us
Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives
Next year in Istanbul
Pride and Prejudice
The Christmas tree
Thanksgiving dinner
One for the table
The dogwood
Taking a bath
Coming over the bridge to Manhattan

I absolutely love Nora Ephron, and not just because she was a fellow list-maker. I love her. I use the present tense because I’m just getting to know her now, through her own work as well as via other people’s remarks on her. She was brilliant. She was hilarious. She was thoughtful among her close family and friends. She was smart. She seemed fearless in her role as a young journalist, and later as a moviemaker. I look up to Ephron as a true role model. And one particular quote of hers really speaks to me:

"As you age, live life to the fullest. Travel to exotic places, eat good food, walk in the park, read lots of books and under no circumstances eat egg-white omelets."


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wedding Planning

Planning a destination wedding isn’t easy. But being able to get married in a special place, surrounded by loved ones not just for a few hours but for a few days, will be worth it. And another perk? We just had to go out to Napa for a long weekend recently, to do some planning.

On the packed agenda?

Food and wine tastings at our wedding venue and welcome party spot.
A sit-down with our florist.
Wine tastings, just for fun.
Big lunches and dinners, just for fun.
Hair and makeup trials for me and my step-mom.
A walkthrough of our wedding venue, to remember its loveliness.
A glass of wine by the picturesque pool at our wedding venue, because why not?

Here are a few pics:

[Soon to be Son & Father In Law]

[Moi, Post Tasting & Trial]

A/Napa Bride 

P.S. For dinner we went to Cindy Pawlin’s, Mustards and Redd Wood - to name a few. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I have lots to report on. But first I’ll focus on my recent reading. Lately I’ve been picking up title after title, consuming as much literature as possible, some fiction but mostly of the memoir genre. I plan to write a book, so I consider it not just a beach/bedtime hobby but very important research J Just as writer Harold Brodkey said, “You really can’t write unless you read. You have to know what the game is all about.”

So, I re-read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love.
I originally read Eat Pray Love when I was going through a rough patch in my early 20’s, living in a different city and feeling kind of lost. My friend Tory introduced me to this unknown memoir, which of course became a #1 New York Times Bestseller and (in my humble opinion) a disastrous major motion picture. But the book had – still has – its merits. I dog-eared many pages reading it the second time around. Like Gilbert, I’ve embraced yoga for its principles, not just for its poses. And Gilbert quite smartly broached the topic of yoga in a non-preachy manner in Eat Pray Love, while at the same time using the yogic japa mala number of 108 for her book’s structure. Eat Pray Love really resonated with me as a reader and as a student of both yoga and writing.

And I finally read Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck.
It was SO enjoyable. Literally laugh out loud funny. Ephron was hilarious and unapologetically “her.” I practically inhaled this first compilation of essays.

Then I immediately read Ephron’s next collection of essays: I Remember Nothing.
This was hugely disappointing. Not nearly as funny or enjoyable as book one.

Desperate for a plane read, I purchased this memoir at an SFO bookshop. I have a love/hate relationship with Lots of Candles. Only a few pages in, I regretted picking it up in the first place. I couldn’t relate to this woman with her country house and her NYC townhouse and her perfect nuclear family. Yet I felt compelled to keep reading. Quindlen is an amazing writer no doubt. Her memoir tells an optimistic tale of womanhood and aging, and her success story is certainly aspirational. Perhaps I wasn’t so into it because I’m still in the quarter life crisis zone, and not in the middle age demo this book is really speaking to. But as a student of literature (and of life) I don’t regret reading Lots of Candles, and I hope to revisit it in many, many years and have a whole different take. 


P.S. I also recently read The Newlyweds, a novel by Nell Freudenberger. This was not research. This was for pleasure. And it was enjoyable, but not can’t-put-it-down amazing.

P.P.S. Here’s a must-read list from Daily Candy. I think I’ll pick up The Receptionist.
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