winter wonderland, city vs. country

What a joy this morning! I thought of something and stopped myself after typing a paragraph into my phone. I have a blog, I remembered. I can share a fully formed idea!

So, still in my jammies, I have this to share.

Many of you can’t imagine why anyone would live in Manhattan. Snow, of all things, brought an explanation to mind. Specifically, an image on facebook of an elderly woman stuck to the ice in her driveway while juggling a roasting pan she was trying to get into the back of her car.

It reminded me of my last winter in a little house I rented in Hershey, Pa., while working my first real job. I was a reporter in the state capitol, about a 25 minute drive away.

The winter of 1992-93 was epic in Pennsylvania. (Or was it ’93-’94?) In any case, we got perhaps a foot of snow early on, followed shortly thereafter by a hard rain that froze atop the snow, creating a sort of permafrost that lingered for months. It snowed more. It froze more. Many mornings I awoke to a half inch of ice frozen to the windshield of my red Toyota Tercel that had to be tended to before I could get to work. I was 23. I didn’t know that hurling a bucket of hot water on frozen glass could have shattered the windshield, so I did it, morning after morning, in a hurry to get to the newsroom. The windshield held, but twice that winter I had my car towed into or out of my driveway.

Yesterday, it snowed steadily all day in New York and it was a far different story.

The subway whisked me 90 blocks south in 20 minutes. The sidewalks were a little slushy, but otherwise clear, shoveled by superintendents of apartment buildings and shopkeepers.

During my photography class, I huddled under an awning to keep my camera a little protected. I needed only cross the street for a tall skim hot chocolate, no shoveling out the car and drive to the shopping center if I happened to be out of milk.

There are many wonderful things about living in the suburbs or the country, don’t get me wrong. I miss the pristine, wide-aisled grocery stores carrying everything from organic raspberries to salon-quality conditioner. (I can get both within steps of my apartment, but it’s annoying that they aren’t under the same roof.) I miss being able to walk out my door onto a porch or deck to sit in the sun when I first wake up, without having to change out of whatever I slept in. I would definitely have a dog if I could let him run in a neatly fenced yard. Instead, I have cats.

For you, if you live in Huntsville, Alabama (Hi Betty!) or Raleigh, North Carolina (Hi Liz!), the calculus may be different. I love that about America. But I wanted to share these little details of one day in NYC to explain one of the thousand reasons why I still call this home. And yes, you can find a little nature too:

img_1868

Thanks for allowing me to share. Would love to see some comments on the little things you love about living here in New York, if you do, or wherever it is you call home.

gettin’ my groove back

This is KK:

kkay-portrait

 

Pop quiz. KK is:

A) My neighbor.
B) A super hero incognito.
C) An actress.
D) An inspirational life coach, organizer and style guru.
E) All of the above.

Imaginary confetti is raining down on you if you picked E, all of the above. Go you!

So what makes KK my super hero? She’s one of those rare people who seems to get it all done without making anyone else (me) feel badly about themselves. It’s a neat trick.

In 2016, KK orchestrated her family’s move back to New York from L.A., Type A husband and anxious 11-year-old in tow. Their apartment is next door to mine, and while KK usually keeps her apartment looking like this:

for-kk-004

 

And her last renters left it like this:

kk-renter1

 

 

 

 

 

kk-renter2

kk-renter3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wha wha whaaaah…

Upon her return from the left coast, a quick two weeks of COMPLETE FREAKIN’ chaos ensued. The family of three somehow crammed itself into  – no joke – tk square feet of available floor space as construction workers rebuilt closets, refinished the floors in the master bedroom (twice) and painted the whole place. Then the magic commenced.

About 30 hours after the construction crew cleared out, KK somehow managed to set up her son’s entire room, clear enough of the living room to arrange the furniture and clean EVERYTHING of construction dust.

But back to me, because, to paraphrase Amy Adams in Julie & Julia, “What is blog except all about me, me, me all the time?”

In the presence of a home keeping whirling dervish like this, I figure I’ve got a few choices: Move away, sprawl out on the couch and binge watch “Fixer Upper,” or go with the contact high. I chose the latter.

In the space of a few weeks, I washed my windows, painted a wall, refurbished my kitchen cabinets, combed my closet for two loads of stuff to donate to charity and “Rejuvenated” my entire apartment’s hardwood floors. Oh yeah, I also stripped a cedar chest, oiled my baseboards, painted the bathroom vanity and started to installed an Elfa organizing system in my front closet.

The evidence:
stripping-cedar-chest

 

In the process I learned:

1) Pickling wood is a b*tch. I was forced to strip the cedar chest a second time after pronouncing the experiment a failure, comme ca:

pickeled-cedar-chest

 

2) I have more energy and determination in KK’s presence than outside her sphere of influence.
3) Rejuvenate is a miracle product. Here are my floors, looking practically new:
restored-floors

 

You can read more about that here: http://www.younghouselove.com/2013/07/wax-on-wax-off/

5) Painting a down-at-heel vanity is one of the biggest bangs for your buck out there. Two coats including the paint shopping and prep in an afternoon and my bathroom felt like I’d done half a renovation. (Three cheers for Benjamin Moore’s Bittersweet Chocolate, if you like the look. Are you reading John Petersik? I foresee a candy-themed “What’s Not” paint color quiz in Sherry’s future!) I love the way this turned out:
vanity

 

I also found that getting so much done (entirely on weekends, I might add) begets getting more done. I moved on to give my bedroom a touch-up coat of paint. Downside risk: Getting a little TOO in the groove meant I pretty much missed several weekends of beautiful weather outdoors, which is definitely something I will work to avoid in the future.

So what about ya’ll? Any inspirational forces surrounding you? Any home improvement projects planned to usher in 2017? Would love to hear!

Road Trip!

The story of one woman, one sandwich and one boat

Two great things about living in New York:
1) Escaping to the country REALLY feels like an escape.
2) When the Food Network shows something delicious, there’s a pretty good chance you can go eat it.

As luck would have it, just as I was packing for a jaunt to the Finger Lakes, the Food Network’s “Man vs. Food” featured the perfect stop along my little road trip, a place called Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse.  The draw? A sandwich with pastrami AND pulled pork. I mean seriously, how good does that sound?

THIS GOOD:

ME AND SANDWICH

 

Yum.

Usually I’m suspicious of big food, and by big food I mean the enormous portions Americans have come to expect. Usually more is just more, not better. But at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, they’re layering succulence upon succulence. This place is one of 10, so you can find their one and only “Pork-Sket” sandwich in Harlem and Brooklyn too.  (Skip the fried green tomatoes. Yankees just can’t get ‘em right!)

Once I was full up on meat, it was off to lakes Skaneateles (pronounced Skinny-Atlas) and Seneca. Did you know if you hand somebody your driver’s license and credit card they’ll rent you a BOAT?!?!? I’m sure this is no surprise to some of y’all, but really? I could easily have crashed that thing into the dock en route to open water. I’ve never even been IN a speed boat, let alone driven one. All I can say is WEEEEEE!

ME DRIVING BOAT

 

Turns out driving a boat is a lot less complicated than a stick shift. There are no peddles and the “stick,” such as it is, (called the throttle in boat parlance) only moves straight forward and straight back. Basically you just have to steer and watch the depth gauge so you don’t get stuck on a sandbar. (In our rental, the gauge was busted anyway, so we pretty much just stayed away from buoys. Don’t try this just anywhere!)

Best $200 I’ve ever spent for four hours of fun. Too bad I didn’t realize until half way through that the boat came equipped with a cooler. Beer would have been great on this stunningly beautiful day.

But wait! There’s more! This little place on Lake Seneca where I stayed was originally a single-family residence, built for a woman who ditched her husband in New York City and married her “manager,” whatever THAT means. Here’s her midlife crisis:

BELHURST

 

Here’s my room:

BELHURST ROOM

 

Lovely, yes? Well, there is one more thing you need to know about Belhurst Castle. It is the MOST BRILLIANT idea EVER in the history of hospitality. You see, when you check into Belhurst Castle, you get two keys. One opens your room and the other opens this little iron door in the hall:

WINE SPIGOT DOOR

 

It’s a WINE SPIGOT! All day, every day, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. guests of the Castle have access to unlimited red wine from this baby. And lemme tell you, while they could have filled it with just any swill handy, the vino they chose was delicioso. It’s called simply “Red,” named for a red-headed gent who turned the Castle into a casino after its original matron died in 1926. This smooth, medium-bodied, fruity wine has maybe just a hint of tobacco and could almost woo me away from the citrusy whites I usually drink at home. It goes down THAT easily.

If you head up to the Finger Lakes, I’d suggest leaving plenty of time to make your way down from the town of Geneva to Ithaca. The drive is stunning and I short-changed it just a little by not allowing enough time to visit the numerous vineyards and farmers’ markets along the way. I did make one stop for sweet corn picked that morning. It was delectable.

What about ya’ll? Any fun trips to report this summer? I’d love to hear about them!

well this sucks …

So you’ve heard of tribute bands, yeah? So this is a tribute wail of pain post.

It’s the end of an era over at Young House Love, the blog that launched a thousand home-improvement projects. In case you haven’t had the pleasure, for seven years John and Sherry Petersik — first as newlyweds and then as a growing family — have been blogging pretty much daily about the triumphs and tears of renovating their first tiny ranch home in Richmond, Virginia, followed by a slightly bigger one after the birth of their first child and finally a somewhat grand (for a suburban cul-de-sac) two-story Southern brick charmer.

We’ve seen time-lapse video of Sherry obsessively arranging tchotchkes on a mantle, John tackling his first solo demo job in an almost doll-sized bathroom all the way through turning a down-at-heel sun room into a veranda worthy of, well, Veranda the magazine.

Then their son Teddy arrived and let’s just say it: the second kid changes everything. Suddenly it’s no more “hubby will take the toddler while Mommy whips out 1,000 words about reorganizing the pantry,” and more like “Mommy’s covered in the toddler’s finger paint while changing the baby’s dirty diaper and Daddy’s busy holding the book editor at bay while several thousand clamoring Internet readers are becoming increasingly miffed that their expected 10 a.m. blog fix may not show up until noon or HORROR OF HORRORS maybe not even ’til tomorrow and oh my God does this mean I have to WORK straight through the morning?!?!? I fully admit to being part of the clamoring hoard.

A month ago they took a break, and in the immortal words of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, I kinda figured it was just a hop, skip and a week to a break-UP. The hatchet was delivered in my gmail inbox this morning when I rolled over to engage in that oh-so-millennial wake-up phone check for A) charming Facebook posts that popped up overnight or B) email fire bombs from work likely to have torched my desk by the time I arrive at the office.

The YHL announcement that our favorite DIY diehards are pulling the plug on their public life was a most unwelcome nail in the coffin.

Oh well, things suck change and we move on. I wanted to at least acknowledge their passing here as a way of sharing my sadness with the blogosphere and, for those who hadn’t been fans, clue you in to the John & Sherry archives that they’re keeping alive for any of us that need info on a how-to IKEA hack that really does end up looking like beautiful built-ins (see here and here).

At least I have my John & Sherry memorial lampshades to remember them by:

NEW LAMPSHADE

More on those to come.

So farewell, my not-quite-imaginary friends. For those of you looking for a fresh voice to fill the void, check out my gal pal Chloe and her paintbrush-wielding co-conspirator Eli over at Little House Big City. Anybody got a Kleenex another blog-void-filling suggestion?

friday flowers

Ever wonder why your home flower arrangements never look like this? I think it’s because the “how-to’s” out there never seem to give away the REAL secrets florists use. Enter today’s “the great thing about living in New York is …” there are cheap flowers available all over. And we have a huge wholesale flower district down on 28th Street where nobody asks to see your vendor’s license as long as you pay cash. It’s amazing. So I guess that’s two great things about living in New York.  Here’s how to use them to make party-worthy floral arrangements anytime on the cheap.

First off, truly lush arrangements require a LOT more flowers than you think. I love Martha Stewart’s model of letting you choose an arrangement online and order the flowers and vase to make it, but the truth is she almost never sends enough to fill the vase. Today’s post is about getting that full look without buying 50 stems.

A great way to do it is to use one or more hydrangea heads as the base. This example uses just one hydrangea, but you can bunch as many together as you want to fill bigger containers. Let’s start with these:

007

 

These babies cost me $17 around the corner from my apartment.

You’ll want a vase with a neck somewhere between one-third  to half as big around as your hydrangea head. Trim off all the leaves and cut the stem on an angle. The bottom edge of the hydrangea should rest right at the top edge of the vase without sinking in, like this:

011

 

You’ll also want to cut the woody stems to split vertically like this:

009

 

That’ll let the flower drink more and last longer. Sometimes  I’ll even smash a really hard stem with a hammer to split it apart.

Now for the fun part. Take whatever additional flowers you want and separate out all the stems and remove all foliage. You don’t want any leaves below the water line because they’ll rot, cloud your water, smell bad and kill the arrangement before it’s time (how’s that for incentive?) Plus, you’re going to want the heads to nestle right into the hydrangea. Extra leaves will just interfere. Here I picked two different mums. I love the look of green and white together and at $5 a bunch, these babies are C-H-E-A-P. Here’s my pile of flowers ready to go:
After you’ve stripped the leaves and cut the stems to the right length, start inserting the flowers into your hydrangea. If things get a little stuck, try spinning the stem between your thumb and first finger. That little bit of motion will likely help the stem find its way down.

014

 

Work your way around the hydrangea with an eye to balancing both weight and color. A good rule of thumb is to work in odd numbers. A single flower head or groups of three will look better than a pair. (Why? No clue. It just works.) And here you have it:

016

 

The fantastic thing about a hydrangea base is you can use just about anything in it, from roses to sweet peas, calla lilies, bits of greenery, even fruits like kumquats. In big arrangements, even whole lemons or limes are amazing. Just spear them with a wooden skewer like you’d use for a kabob and cut the stick to stem length. You can also vary the hydrangea. There are gorgeous reddish ones available on 28th Street in Manhattan if you live here, and pinks and blues aren’t that hard to find. Another great thing about using hydrangea as the base is that you can either integrate the ruffled petals into your arrangement for texture and color, or almost completely hide them. Can you find the hydrangea in this bridal bouquet?

ADV WEDDING - BOUQUET

urban oasis

When I moved to NYC in 1997, I distinctly remember telling my new boss that I was looking for an apartment with outdoor space. We were celebrating my new job with drinks at the Rainbow Room atop the NBC Building in Midtown. He raised his eyebrows, surveyed the rooftops and concrete before us and asked dryly, “Do you see any green out there?”

I actually did find a place in Brooklyn with a small brick terrace that was all mine. I populated the edge with three half whisky barrels of variegated holly to block my view of the owner’s completely barren dirt yard. A tiny café table and two chairs completed the space. It was a little slice of heaven in the concrete jungle.

The prospect of more space never crossed my mind, but two years later I moved into my current abode and was most delighted with one thing: access to a fully landscaped common roof garden. For most of the past 15 years I’ve simply enjoyed the space. Sure, I planted a few herbs and pulled a few weeds, but my biggest investment was growing a couple of tomato plants up there each summer. Then last year the long-time gardener, a woman who lives in our building and had started the space herself probably three decades earlier, said she was retiring as caretaker. I thought at least one member of our co-op board would pop an aneurysm.

“What will we do?”
“We can’t afford to HIRE anyone!”
“Do you think we could change her mind?”
It took me about a hot second to write back “I’ll do it!”

And so I became the lead (though not quite sole) caretaker of a large paved space with roughly 75 containerized plants ranging from small saucers of sedum to a five-foot tall smoke bush. Many of these babies I’d never heard of before, so I resolved to spend the year mostly weeding, getting to know the irrigation system, and adding just a few splashes of color. I made only one significant purchase, this lovely “Julia Child” rose (a little blurry thanks to the iphone 4 photo):

Julia Child Rose

I developed a passion for gardening at a small house I rented when I first graduated from college. The long-time owners had no children and instead spent their decades together nurturing a beautiful yard. There were two herb gardens and a vegetable bed. Hollyhocks, rose of Sharon, tulips, lily of the valley, peonies, hydrangea, hostas, you name it. I grew tomatoes, cantaloupe, green peppers, squash, eggplant (a failure, not a long enough growing season), peas, cabbage, and rhubarb (didn’t know what it was the first year it sprouted!)

Now I tend a very different space. So let’s take a look at the current state of affairs. Here’s a series of  paired pictures, the first taken in very early May, the second of each pair from this past weekend.

The eastern area before:

1_EASTERN CORNER

And progress:

1a_EASTERN CORNER

The three pots in the center and in the wooden trough contain herbs that have yet to take off this season and I’m a little unclear if the thyme and sage will make it after this past winter, but I’m giving them a couple more weeks.

Here’s more “before,” also to the east:

2_SOUTHEAST CORNER

Progress:

2_SOUTHEASTERN CORNER

The south wall, with ailing climbing roses:

4_SOUTH WALL

Progress:

4_SOUTHWALL

The southwest corner, including some lavender that didn’t survive the brutal winter:

5_SOUTHWEST CORNER

Progress:

5_SOUTHWEST CORNER

(Forgive the funky floating light in the photo. Still figuring out my new camera updated for the blog!)

More of the west wall:

6_WESTERN WALL1

6_WESTERN WALL

The white flowers are HUGE alysum and the yellow in the trough are daisies.

And more along the west:

7_WESTERN CORNER

Progress:

7_WESTERN CORNER

And one more:

8_WESTERN WALL

Progress:

8_WESTERN WALL

I had previously cut back perennials with some help from a neighbor and my bf James. We lost several plants in this year’s harsh winter. Two huge rosemarys died. About half the old-fashioned climbing roses we use to keep people away from the parapet wall are looking pretty sad. We’ve prune them back and are hoping. Some yarrow and coreopsis are looking like they have a 60-40 chance. We’ll see.

This memorial day weekend I focused on one area, a series of five pots on the western wall of the terrace. These:

9WESTERN WALL 3

Which looked like this when I started work on them Saturday:

002

My predecessor had a penchant for purple, so there’s a LOT of purple on our roof. This year I wanted to add some brightness, so I’m choosing lots of yellow and white. I picked up some purple flowering chives, white geranium and variegated vines to spill over the front.

The first step was to pull up the weeds. When I get to the smallest ones, I scraped the surface of the soil to dislodge everything and then plucked little monsters out a lot more efficiently:

004

Next, I dug holes for the plants and discovered this:

008

The chives were seriously “root bound,” a condition in which a plant is left too long in its nursery pot. The roots grow like crazy and have nowhere to go except round and round in their pots. Some plants actually like this condition, like the house plant jade, but if you want a new planting to take to a fresh environment, you have to break up those roots so they’ll venture into the surrounding soil and establish themselves there.

This was a particularly stubborn trio of chives, so I had to cut their plastic pots away, then split up the root ball with a sharp knife. I cut about an inch and a half deep on each side of the four sides of the bottom and pulled the quarters away from the center like this:

009

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The next step before putting them in the ground (or new pot) is to stuff some fresh soil into the center of that root ball so you don’t create an air pocket at the base of the plant, which may allow the roots to dry out and die. And in go the plants to their new home. The trio I picked out looks like this:

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And the row like this:

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It’s important to water in the new plants when you first put them in the ground, both to give them a drink in their time of stress and to eliminate any lingering air pockets in the soil. I’m happy to report that 36 hours later everyone looks perfectly happy.

012

Now, about those two empty containers on either end …

my other life …

I once considered myself the last woman on the island of Manhattan in my socio-economic class to have never practiced yoga. For years people told me that I (a seriously Type-A personality) should do yoga. Keep in mind, I’m so Type-A that the only written comment on my kindergarten report card was “Sharon can sometimes be bossy with her peers.”

The flip side of this is that I don’t like to be bossed. So the more people told me I should do yoga, the more I didn’t want to do it. This went on for YEARS. A LOT of people told me I should do yoga, which over time translated into me REALLY not wanting to do yoga. It got so bad that I began to hate yoga in absentia.

Eventually this amorphous hatred ate at me badly enough that I decided I needed to actually do yoga. That way I’d have plenty of ammo to shower on the next person who told me I should try it.

So I asked my friend Dawn:

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to take me here: http://www.dharmayogacenter.com/

The funny thing about living in Manhattan is you decide one day you’re in the mood to hear some great classical music and POOF! There’s Itzhak Perlman. Lunch from a street cart? POOF! There’s David Chang driving around the city, parking on random blocks, delivering three-star cuisine. Feel like a  trying yoga? POOF! There’s a living master just down on 23rd street doing stuff like this:

DHARMA PEACOCK

In August 2012 I stepped into the Dharma Center for the first time. I’d hardly call it a studio. Most days Joann welcomes you at the desk, but it’s nothing like checking in at a gym. There’s a lovely sitting area with a warm leaf-motif rug, a forest-green couch and the walls and shelves are covered in a collection of ephemera Dharma himself has likely collected over his 75 years of global travel. His dog Baxter is usually in attendance.

And in the large, saffron-painted sanctuary with its wall of arched windows facing south, a petite gray-haired man takes his place on an elevated wooden platform with a keyboard sort of instrument vaguely resembling an accordion. He strikes a cord and the class ignites simultaneously in a long, loud “Om…..” It vibrates the insides.

Class always finishes with deep relaxation. Dharma leads a sort of guided meditation. When it finished the first time, I wept.

This last week the great guru Sri Dharma Mittra, turned 75. This is what 75 looks like:

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And this:

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This fall I’m headed to France for a week-long retreat run by rock star yogis Dharma has taught. They come from all over the world to meet the man I just take the subway to practice with. I’ve never really known another teacher, and maybe I never need to.

standing bow

let’s lean OUT

Anybody else out there wanna “Lean OUT?” I mean, this weekend I cleaned the tree pits outside my building. (Note to self: order mulch.) And it was great. I got outside. I talked to my neighbors. I gave some guy advice about his houseplants.  I’ve no idea why every woman is supposed to be so hot to “Lean In” to work as Sheryl Sandberg urges. I’d rather be working on this:

rhubarb pie

I recently picked up a copy of Anna Quindlen’s 1998 book  “Living Out Loud,” a compilation of New York Times columns she wrote from home when her kids were little. Before I wrapped it up to give to a friend, I flipped open to a random page. It was about nesting. About the strong desire to bake pies and change sheets and … well, have kids, but that’s irrelevant to me.

My point is, I LOVE nesting, especially in spring. I could spend the next five months working on the roof garden, picking plastic bags out of trees around the block (I grabbed one yesterday with the building porter, a ladder and a tall-shelf grabby thing borrowed from the hardware store) and making fruit pies from whatever fruit is most ready to be picked that month. Rhubarb, anyone?

Anyway, a potentially great thing about this blog is the chance it might inspire me (and maybe a reader?) to nest more. So without further ado, here’s my master to-do list to make my nest the best it can be:

Living Area:
HOUSE1
Clean, caulk, polyurethane (or paint) baseboards
Get couch cleaned
Reupholster rocking chair seat in cream-colored leather
Add art to walls
Clean and buff wooden built-ins under window sill

Dining Area:
HOUSE2
Sand borders of yellow cabinet so door closes properly
Refurbish dining table leaves

Kitchen:
HOUSE5
Fix grout along entryway baseboard
Paint kitchen corner a brighter yellow
Caulk baseboard near refrigerator
Clean and polyurethane wood panels at end of cabinets

Bathroom:
Retile floor in white penny tile
Regrout wall tiles
Caulk top of tiles along window sill
Recaulk tub
Replace toilet

Bedroom:
HOUSE6

HOUSE10

Get a real bed!
Replace lampshades
Make cornice and curtains for window
Stencil initials in silver gallery frames
Refinish cedar chest made by Uncle Jim
Replace window sill with Carrera marble
Replace wire hangers
Remove paint splashes from floor
Buy stack component for washer and dryer
Regrout tile in front of laundry closet door

Other:
Replace outlets throughout apartment with pure white

So I’m curious to hear from y’all. Am I the only one who would rather be caulking and making pies and hand-making birthday presents than working 50 hours a week?? Lemme know!

a little thing i like to call a manifesto …

Who doesn’t take stock around the start of the year? I don’t often make resolutions, but I do have traditions that usher out the old year and ring in the new. (Times Square? No way. New Year’s Eve is AMATUER night in New York!)

Often I start the new year with an extra day off and do a sort of New Year’s cleaning. This year I had a cold, so instead of cleaning the apartment, laid on the couch brain storming about this little blog. (Brain storming? Who am I kidding? Try OBSESSING.)

Starting the blog got me thinking about point of view. A good blog has one, right? And I love the idea of a manifesto, sort of like the one that potter-turned-retail icon Jonathan Adler posts here http://www.jonathanadler.com/manifesto.php.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Small touches count: Get the pretty dish towels.

distowels

Friends are family too.

Use the right tool for the job.

Decorate for your soul.

Be kind to animals. You may come back as one.

Try not to yuck someone else’s yum.

Color = happy. Surround yourself with happy.

Buy flowers.

Save for retirement. It’s empowering.

Take vacations.

Take staycations.

Organic is best, but McDonald’s fries are good too.

Sometimes expensive stuff is worth it.

New York City rules.

Does this inspire any thoughts about a manifesto of your own? Leave a comment and lemme know!