Wow, that was some Thanksgiving! Sara and Andrew hosted us, and the four of us were in perfect post-turkey sync all weekend. The city seemed to be half-full, which is a magical way to stroll around the city (the picture above was taken on Bleecker Street). The only time we ran into actual crowds was a brief walk through SoHo, but we ducked into Puck Fair for a quiet afternoon nip to get away from them all.
On Saturday, Misia and I headed over to Brooklyn. We wandered through the Polish section of Greenpoint, and had lunch at Karczma. The food was unreal. We started (!) with a plate of smalec (pronounced “SHMA-letz”). Smalec is animal lard flavored with bits of bacon and other spices spread over Polish bread. It’s amazing just as long as you don’t think too hard about what you’re eating:
Now on Thursday, I ate a normal amount of food. I never felt too full or bloated. Saturday’s feast at Karczma, however, made me question if I was actually going to barf. Not in a Meredith Baxter-Birney from Kate’s Secret sort of way, but in a Lardass Hogan from Stand By Me sort of way. It passed, thankfully, and we shuffled on back to Chelsea.
But the real stars of the weekend were Penny and Ruby, long-distance BFF’s who totally made every minute of their visit together worth it. Knuckles and Chuckles, these two are. Here they are at the Half King Bar (confidential to my mom: Sebastian Junger owns this place) at 9 in the morning on Sunday. These two like to keep the party going, for sure. We didn’t want to leave, and ended up paying for it when we got stuck in holiday traffic on out way back to Boston. The seven hour trek back home was worth it, though. The holidays are meant to be lingered over, to stay a little too long, to eat too much animal lard, and to have a lovely, wonderful, magical time.
I had a lovely studio day today, just working slow and steady. Sometimes I really dig the ultra-fine brush work. If the painting’s dry by tomorrow, I will begin working on the wires. You will not believe the amount of wires on these poles. It has to be some sort of code violation. The finished painting will look like I made them up, but I’m telling you right now I will be staying true to the photograph.
Misia’s out of town for a couple days. We have broccoli in the fridge that needs to be eaten, and let me be the first to tell you that making a portion of broccoli for one is as dull as it sounds. But eating the produce before it goes bad is what we do for love.
I woke up this morning at 7 am to my girlfriend Misia whispering to me, “Babe? I don’t want to freak you out, but the whole basement is flooded. I have to go to jury duty now, but I’ll be home as soon as I can. Oh, and when you’re cleaning it up, make sure not to touch your face after you’ve touched any water, because I don’t want you to get dysentery.” She’s in public health and I love her for that.
Boston received three months of rain in a day and a half. We were one of the lucky houses, in that we only got four inches of rain versus the three feet the house to the north received. Unfortunately, the house adjacent to ours was sold today, which created a responsibility vacuum when it came to the flood cleanup. We ended up pumping out both basements out of necessity. Water knows no property line.
In the early hours of our 14 hour work day, I was feeling good, almost zen-like in my efforts. I thought about currents, about the songs being played on shuffle (the first song of the day was, I shit you not, De La Soul’s “Three Feet High and Rising”), about dry footwear, about water tables. I baled out nearly 200 gallons of water and moved all the soaking wet rugs outside by myself before my dad came over with a second pump, second wet-vac, and gutter extensions. Then Misia came back from jury duty and joined in the efforts. We were all doing pretty well until I discovered two stacks of fifteen years worth of drawings and paintings were ruined. That put me in a bit of a funk. But, we all rallied and kept at it. We were wet and tired and dizzy from looking at wet concrete all day. Then, Kanye’s “Good Life” came on the stereo. Welcome to the good life, indeed. Let’s go on a livin’ spree. Why? ’Cause you know the best things in life ain’t free.