Friday, May 28, 2010

2 years out

Memorial Day weekend became a whole new thing two years ago, because it also became graduation weekend.  My parents and I drove to NYC on Memorial Day of 2008 to start looking for an apartment, and it was the end of my days in Ithaca.

This dose of sentimental nostalgia was brought up early this year, with the release of "Graduation Song" by the duo Kinetics & One Love - otherwise known as two Cornell grads who are also behind the BoB/Paramore/Eminem song "Airplanes."  Interlaced with references to Ithaca/Collegetown, it took several listens to unearth them all, but my favorite is still "I miss you more than I used to miss my 8:40" - not that I *ever* signed up for an 8:40am class.  I could barely do the 9:05 classes in my schedule.  (I still have yet to regularly need to show up anywhere before 9am...since high school).

Check out/download the song here:

I've also recently been asked with some frequency, how long I've been in NYC.  It still seems weird to say that it's been about 2 years.  Time flies.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

mid-week musical moment

Even after the real video was released, I'm still smitten whenever I see this:

i'm not a box - there are more than 4 sides to me

My desktop rotates images every 30 minutes.  Here is what I will aptly call, the blue section:

May 25, 2010 newsflash: a hopeless endeavor? no.  sometimes, like today, the rhino succeeds.

 image credit:
*can't remember which blog i pulled this off of

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What kind of bear is best?

Last night a few of us went to the Bell House for NYC Pop Fest (which has actually been going on since Thursday and ends today).  We managed to catch all 6 bands:
  • Very Truly Yours - from Chicago!  Adorable, fun music that made me feel like it should be a soundtrack for a cutesy Zooey Deschanel movie.
  • World Atlas - Brooklyn's version of Belle & Sebastian (pretty much?)  A gazillion musicians on stage, as is often the case with the big orchestral pop sound.  One of their members, though, is a crossover who was in My Teenage Stride back in 2007 when I saw them at Cake Shop!
  • Bears -  from Ohio, but one member lives in Chicago now(!)  We talked to them after the show, and they were all really nice and personable - man I love midwesterners sometimes.  Cori was a little bored while we were sitting around later in the night and drew a picture of their band, and of Very Truly Yours.  Anyway, (spoiler alert!) they were my favorite band-I-had-not-heard-before last night, both musically and in stage presence and energy.  Craig and Charlie and the two main band members, sharing lead vocal duties.  Also, I really liked all of the graphics and illustrations that Bears used, which we found out are drawn by Charlie's girlfriend, who also sells things on Etsy.  It was a lot of fun and I hope they come back to NY again. 
  • My Teenage Stride - right, back to this story.  So I thought I recognized the girl in World Atlas, and I was totally right because they pulled up their former band members on stage with them to sing their last song of the night, "To Live and Die in the Airport Lounge."
  • BOAT - something about the first half of BOAT's set reminded me of some of the bands I listened to in high school - not in a bad way, but more in an energetic happy way.  As it progressed, it was really solid and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  They were fun and people were dancing around quite a bit out in the audience.
  • The Wake - (UK) 1) The Wake has been a band longer than I've been a person. 2) Their sound spans this entire time period, so there was a little something for everyone. 3) We were so tired by the time they came on that we pretty much sat the entire time, which isn't a personal statement against the band, it's just a good reminder that I should get more sleep the night before a music festival.
 Archival photo of My Teenage Stride in 2007 at Cake Shop!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

we could pull another weekender

I'm exhausted (in a good way!) after a long weekend of balancing more activities than I'd normally have all week.  Nikki and Dan were here from DC!; so was Eve!; work, a concert, a play, and a birthday party.  I've eaten and drank and sat in the sun and spent a crazy amount of time running around (I don't even want to think about how many times I walked between the York St F train/DUMBO and my apartment).  But it was all great, and I wish that everyone could live here all the time!

Friday: work, promenade and dinner with Nikki and Dan, seeing As You Like It with them up near Columbia, shooting downtown to stop by Gabe's birthday party.  Saturday afternoon after work was spent sitting in Bryant Park enjoying the beautiful weather and sipping some pink lemonade with Eve and John, followed by The National concert at BAM, and a stint at the Library.  Sunday brunch was in DUMBO at Superfine, to the tune of a bluegrass band and some decent huevos rancheros.  Dinner included sharing a bunch of food at Cafe Himalaya which was incredibly affordable and delicious, followed by a drink and some pool playing at Mona's.  As if I hadn't eaten enough, Monday I had my last meal with Nikki and Dan at Momofuku Noodle Bar.  They aren't kidding about those noodles being spicy.  Wowza.

I love friends and plans (and even work), but it will be nice to have a less hectic schedule for the next few weekends.  I need a breather before Ali(!) comes at the beginning of June.

Monday, May 17, 2010

and the voices are in my soul soul soul

I was going to try to be really objective in writing up the Zync/AmEx-sponsored, YouTube-streamed The National concert at BAM, but failed repeatedly as I realized that the reasons it was so great are because The National continually conjures up feelings and reactions that are entirely non-objective.  In short, it was basically the greatest thing ever.  Matt Berninger feels every word and note that he writes/sings, and his crazy maniacal emotive stage presence filled the BAM Opera house multiple times over.  The core band was supported by a string and horn section, as well as a smattering of other guest musicians featured on High Violet, including Sufjan Stevens and Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire) - who I love immensely.

The setlist was a solid mix of High Violet, as well as favorites from Boxer and Alligator.  Considering that the last time I saw The National in 2007 there was a torrential downpour on the quad and things had to be cut short, this was a pretty much perfect show.  The new album is a continuation of that perfect hybrid of emotions that they play so well.  Every song is so genuinely performed that everyone can feel like The National are speaking both directly to you and directly about you. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the one where Ana turns 24

This weekend was full of fun and celebrations (and less work than I thought!).  Friday was Slope Day, not that any of us went up for it.  Instead we had a fake NYC version in which we sang songs that were popular when we were in junior high and ate fried pickles (surprisingly not as terrible as they sound).  Saturday was Ana's birthday party.  Dinner at Madiba, drinks and fun times at Botanica.  The bartenders are finally on my good side, because not only were they super prompt, but I'm pretty sure that I was only charged for 2 of the drinks that I ordered.  Excellent.

enjoying some delicious durban bunny chow @ Madiba
I'm starting to think this looks more appetizing in the dim lighting of Madiba
friends! botanica!

PS - happy Mother's Day to my mother who god-willing will never read my blog.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

exceptional fast food and exceptional dance moves

This weekend was surprisingly busy and diverse, and I accomplished a lot of the little goals I've set for myself lately.  I saw FSAD friends that I don't see very much, went to the Ft Greene Flea and got a People's Pop on a 90 degree day, went back to the beer garden in Astoria (the older one, not the sushi-serving new one), had an awesome dance party, and even clocked some mostly painless hours for work. 

raspberry basil People's Pop popsicle, you were delicious

Aside from the popsicle, which I've had a rather long-standing quest to eat after being thwarted last year by the Martha Stewart Show film crew, I also had the most delicious apple-ginger soda, and found someone who was selling Stroopwafels, which are these delicious Dutch cookies made with waffle-y wafer cookies with caramel in the middle.  I've never seen them in the U.S. and a month ago I just ate my last pre-packaged one that I took from Amsterdam.  Exciting times!

Also, I saw the above house(?) in Ft Greene while I was walking around, and its porch seemed so un-NY that I felt inclined to take a photo.  Brownstones are beautiful, but after a while they sort of blend together, and I loved how far back these houses were set from the road.  It was like momentarily stepping into a totally different place.

On Saturday, amongst many other activities, my friends also showed me a lot of Autotune the News.  Which is hilarious/somehow I totally missed its existence.  And I'm sharing one of my favorites with you:

Other, non-autotuned news:
* Saturday night I was coming off the subway at Delancey-Essex, and someone called out my name.  It was a girl I went to high school with who I haven't seen since then.  SO bizarre.  Apparently she lives up in Harlem and goes to Columbia.  I really never run into people I know, much less people I knew over 5 years ago and not at all in the interim...
* I'm clearly unlucky in choosing services to embed songs into this blog, because now Lala is disappearing on May 31st, much like all of my imeem playlists disappeared into the void of myspace a while back. Sigh.  Someone out there in the world either wants to make my life difficult, or is unintentionally encouraging illegal music file sharing.