Still, Still, Still


My one other to-do list item while I was in New York for work was a visit to St. Patrick’s for a free concert. The church was in the throes of a major remodel, but I think it added charm to the whole affair.


The Pfizer Choraliers performed 45 minutes of Christmas carols, and although we haven’t even hit December 25th yet, their concert might go down as my most festive and favorite holiday treat this year. Also it was free, so take that, stupid exorbitant Nutcracker performances!


Did I glare icily at the tourists who kept wandering up and down the aisles, talking obliviously through some of the performances? Oh, absolutely.


But the atmosphere was mostly reverent, brief surges of annoyance aside. The choir sang one of my seasonal favorites, “Still, Still, Still,” during which I grinned like a dumb tourist myself. I really do love the holidays, even in crazed Midtown.


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I was up in New York a few weekends ago, mostly for work, although I did fit in some exploration, too. My main activity (before heading back to my hotel room to eat New York cupcakes in my pajamas while watching Seinfeld re-runs) was a visit to the Museum of Modern Art.


The big event at the MoMA right now is the Matisse exhibit on the top floor, featuring his famous cut-outs. Pictures were prohibited, but it was too crowded to have been able to snap anything good anyway. For what it’s worth (and I know it’s not much, because I’m not what you might call an “expert”) I thought the Matisse exhibit was fabulous, over-crowding and all.


It was, however, a relief to escape to the lower floors, where there was more room to breathe and sit and think. I went at my own weird, erratic pace, and it felt like a luxury.


As is my M.O., I went in hoping to learn about one or two new artists – my educational hopes are modest – and I came out just barely smarter than when I went in so I’m chalking up the visit as a success.


I went away with a plan to look up Anselm Kiefer, artist of the below piece, and Sam Gillian, of the above.


Aside from pieces by more known-to-me artists like Gaugin and Picasso, these were my takeaways of the day, because that’s about all the art section of my brain can handle (I have to leave a lot of room free for celebrity trivia and the jokes in minor English comic novels).


When I arrived at the MoMA (or is it just MoMA, without the article?), the crowds in Midtown had gotten to me, and I was a little on edge. But even at the also-crowded Matisse exhibit, just slow-walking around while looking at lovely things seemed to take the edge off. It was a pleasant afternoon, reminiscent of our time in Germany, when DH spent his days at libraries and archives, and I explored museums mostly alone, learning very little but feeling cultured and superior nonetheless. But still, it was nice to go back to my hotel room, where I ate food in bed and watched re-runs, comfortably low-brow.

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Our Saturday wanderings took us to Penn’s Landing for “Winterfest,” which includes an ice rink, a jazzy soundtrack, Christmas trees, hay bales, a lodge replete with couches and individual fireplaces, and all the hot snacks you could require. Admittedly, it’s a little less magical in the daytime when none of the twinkle lights are in full force, but we were still impressed. Very Germany-esque, we thought, which is treat because I miss Germany most in November and December.

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We ate too much on Thanksgiving, just as the Pilgrims intended. DH and our friends’ lamb of a dog demonstrated how we all felt after dinner.


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At this very moment we are all on the couch together, fireplace on the tv roaring, with Dave Brubeck on the speakers. Later, we’ll walk over to our friends’ house for a day of cooking and overeating. We’ll video chat with our families – the next best thing to actually being with them in person. Lucille 3 will get an extra bone this afternoon, and this evening I predict that we will fall asleep early, in the middle of watching a Bourne movie.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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A New Day, with No Mistakes in It

We recently had a perfect day. Here’s how it went down:

  • We found a real twenty dollar bill on our morning walk with Lucille
  • There was enough milk in the fridge for lattes AND a bowl of Cheerios
  • Our hair looked good for no discernible reason, since we definitely did not shower
  • I read fifty pages of a new and promising book before falling asleep for a brief mid-morning nap
  • Then I watched half a movie on Netflix while I knit a scarf; it will be a heartfelt gift for whoever is nicest to me this holiday season
  • We rented a Zipcar and the cheapest one available was a Honda Fit
  • The Honda Fit is our dream car
  • We drove to Mt. Airy in our dream car
  • I had exact change in my wallet for the parking meter in Mt. Airy
  • We bought an Eames chair from a nice person who did not take advantage of us or creep us out
  • I was in charge of navigating our route back to the city and we didn’t get lost or even cranky
  • We stopped at the grocery store for soup ingredients and I bantered with the cashier about parsnips
  • I also bantered with the lady at the hardware store
  • We went to the hardware store and I remained cheery enough for banter
  • DH sealed up our windows for the winter!
  • We agreed to watch the movie Goldfinger, but then it came on and I was like, “Wait, isn’t Eddie Murphy supposed to be in this movie?” and then we watched Bowfinger like I had subconsciously wanted, because it is indeed the superior of the movies that end in the word finger
  • We were asleep by nine


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On the Boardwalk


This new boardwalk/river trail thing-y opened up earlier this month. I don’t know what to say about it other than it’s cool. Sometimes it feels like Philadelphia is really coming into her own (you know, aside from the gazillion school closings).

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P.S. These pictures are about a month old. It is now winter. I am writing this post while bundled up in three different blankets, clutching a mug full of coffee for warmth.


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