Waiting for spring...

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, March 18, 2013

I thought it's about time I updated the blog – although things have been pretty low key the past few weeks! (Or so I thought until I started writing!)

The Tuesday after getting back from Chicago I did a night class on "Getting started on Wordpress" as I’ll need to manage my website myself. Going to be a bit of a learning curve but exciting at the same time…

On Wednesday Suzy (Australian) popped over for a cup of Dilmah (thanks Lise!) and scones. Unfortunately I realised too late that I didn’t have a sieve and had to sift the flour with a small colander! The scones were OK, but I’ve bought some sieves now so will try again… They have a dog similar to Lulu back home so Suzy came for a bit of a play which Lulu loved. J

On Friday I joined the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Program at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Once you join you can buy blocks of time to use the studio’s presses. It’s in Manhattan in the “Fashion District” – fabric shops everywhere! After that I went and checked out some of the bigger art shops and stocked up on some supplies.

Asha, a girl from my Spanish class, gave me two free tickets to the Natural History Museum as she volunteers there. Matt and I went and checked it out on Saturday, 2 March. It’s HUGE! I think it would take about 10 visits to really see everything properly! When Matt got museumed-out we decided to go and try a pho place I had found online that people seemed excited about. Unfortunately it wasn’t open yet so we ended up exploring a flea market in Hell’s Kitchen. It was freezing with a biting wind so we headed for Times Square. Very busy but fun to check out the biggest Toys”R”Us and M&M store! Later we headed back to the pho place where we had the worst pho we have ever eaten – so bland and tasteless. Not happy! I’ve e-mail Cung and Oahn (I used to work at Oahn’s Kitchen – the best Vietnamese/ French food ever!) to get their secrets for making pho… Time to get a huge stock pot and make it myself!

On Sunday we went into Manhattan as Matt was in need of a new pair of shoes as all the NY walking had taken its toll on his old pair. En route we strolled through China Town and it was hard to not deviate from our intended lunch destination – Momofuku Noodle Bar with all the delicious sights and smells assaulting our senses. After a short wait we were very glad that we didn’t as the Momofuku ramen noodles and pork buns were divine!

On Wednesday I had my first print session. I have to print my blocks on etching presses here as they don’t have platen presses. So the block and paper gets rolled through the press rather than a heavy plate pressing down on the block. It gets a bit fiddly but I worked it out in the end! The other printmakers seem friendly and Chris, the workshop manager, is really helpful and knowledgeable.

Matt was away all of last week – four days in Detroit and one day in Boston. It was a nice sunny (but cold) day on Saturday so we took Lulu for a long walk in Prospect Park. Prospect Park is huge – not quite as big as Central Park, but it still has a lake, forest trails, meadows, etc. On Saturday night we arrived at Talde before 5pm as last time we arrived at 5:45 there was already a 1.5 hour wait! This time after a drink at the bar to wait for the kitchen to open we got a table straight up. We were very excited as it has had good reviews and since we love our Asian food and their menu was Asian with American influences. The first snack – bite sized salad leaves with toppings was great but it went downhill from there. Their version of Pad Thai had bacon and oysters in it and it was absolutely terrible. The bacon was more like heavily smoked ham and the 4 oysters were fried in batter and placed on top. I thought the other meals’ flavours didn’t work either and were too contrived. So disappointing! I couldn’t believe the ratings and hype after eating there but the next morning found a review by the New Yorker which said that it used to be good but had gone downhill fast. They also complained about the Pad Thai and gave them only 1 star! At least it’s not just Matt and I being fussy…

Sunday was also a nice and sunny, but chilly day so we headed in to Manhattan to go and explore Central Park a bit. Unfortunately Lulu had to stay home. We walked around for a bit and then headed for the Loeb Central Park Boat House. One of Matt’s Melbourne colleagues was in town and we hoped to catch up with her there but unfortunately it didn’t work out. It’s a great setting and will be especially nice in summer. After lunch we had to cease exploring and get a taxi home as Matt’s heels had been completely shredded by his new shoes…

Matt headed off to Detroit again for the whole week so it’s left me lots of time to be creative. I have a whole folder of prints that didn’t print perfectly so I’ve started making collages out of them. With all the time, effort and the cost of the paper I just couldn’t throw them out! I’ve made two so far and have lots of ideas - I’ll post some pics on FB soon!! I also printed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week so once the prints are dry and I’ve collected them I’ll have a fair bit of painting to do!

I’m still waiting for anything to happen with my permit to work – I keep calling them and keep being told to wait and call back in two weeks. Grr! It’s getting really frustrating now because many of the big markets have submissions that are open now for markets that take place in summer. I can’t apply until I have the permit as I can’t get a social security number or register the name until I do and don’t want to print business cards, signs or buy the market stall set-up until I know I’ve got it. Just keep printing for now…

On Friday night Matt and I caught up with Marina and Ross at Boulton and Watt in the East Village. We met a few weeks ago at Amy’s house. Ross is English and Marina grew up in California so they’re also newish to NY. Ross loved having a fellow cricket fan at the table! It was very noisy and busy so we headed to their local for a drink, which was also noisy and busy, so we had a nightcap at their apartment before heading home. We both needed a sleep-in after our busy weeks and since Tigger was having a rare attack of affection and was curled up against me and purring like a tractor I was happy to stay in bed! And I wished I stayed in bed when I realised it was snowing outside!

Saturday night we went to the Gowanus Night Market. Gowanus is in Brooklyn and one of those dodgy areas that’s becoming quite hip with artists, cheaper rent, etc. We thought it was a huge market they had towards the end of last year that we missed, but it ended up being a really small market so we didn’t stay for long. At least the food trucks out the front made our bellies happy!

Matt had to do some work on Sunday so I headed in to Manhattan to pick up my prints so I can start painting this week. Spring is supposed to start this week but with snow this past weekend we’re not holding our breath! At least we’re heading for Miami mid-April! Matt has a work function so I’m going along and Matt’s taking a day off and we’ll stay for the weekend. Ready for some serious sun worshipping…
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