Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.Today was a study in meandering. Kaia and I originally had plans to meet a friend but that wound up changing when his plans changed, which we knew might be the case, so we decided we'd take a jaunt down to Soho for one of our weekly runs: Bar 89 or Mercer Kitchen, some shoe shopping (damn Tsubos -- still haven't decided yet), some t-shirts, and a quick run through Z Gallerie. As we were emerging from our quasi-early-morning-cocoon of alcohol and sleep, my sister called to check in with us to see what we had planned for the day; since we were really up in the air and she had no plans, we invited her to come to Soho with us. Another friend had mentioned he'd like to meet up with us at some point in the early afternoon, but we figured we could see him at some point in the next few days and firmed up our plans until my sister picked up Ozzie from the groomer and brought him back home to settle in for a little R&R time in her place.
- Peter F. Drucker
After the monster clean-up job we completed the day prior, we told her to swing by my place and we'd cab downtown together; she was mostly pleased with the state of the apartment, but since she rarely sees my place unless it's in a state of near-perfection, she didn't realize the magnitude of the improvement that had been bestowed upon my primary living quarters over the previous 48 hours. As I tell many of my clients, I should have followed my own advice and taken "before" pics as well as "after."
In any case, we wound up downtown a little while later and did a run through the usual haunts, except this time we neither hit Bar 89 nor Mercer. Since we'd gotten a somewhat late start, we wound up circumventing some of our other usual stops but managed to pick up things here and there; after a couple hours of making personal contributions to the US economy, however, we wound up tired, foot-weary and hungry, so we went to the better-than-average Mirro Cafe. In a Mediterranean vein, they offer flatbread sandwiches with some not-per-usual toppings and spreads, including a Turkish salad spread, an olive tapenade, and a variety of unusual items. We went pretty conservative in our orders: each of us had grilled chicken, diced, with a variety of toppings, including Kaia's, which featured honey mustard and lettuce and bleu cheese, and my sister's, which combined hummus and some other ethnic flavors. Mine was a Calabrese salad with chicken on flatbread: mozzarella, basil, lettuce, roasted peppers and their extra virgin olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing. Nothing fancy but more than adequate, and in a pinch, we'll be back. But now that we know they sell 10 oz Diet Coke (glass) bottles for $2 a pop, we'll order sammiches to go and find drinks elsewhere.
Meanwhile, as we continued our quest, we hit the aforementioned Z Gallerie, which is very similar in many respects to Pottery Barn, but less aloof and far more accessible. The stuff is much more unique and much more reasonably-priced, and while PB features a lot of nice stuff, it seems a lot more staid and conservative (read: ubiquitous) than the interesting stuff we encounter each time we hit Z.
Today's item of interest was this coffee table, which impressed me as being a nice combination of modern and traditional and masculine and sophisticated. In other words, it seemed like an ideal piece for whatever living space Kaia and I eventually share. So we checked it out and might go back for it in the next day or three; but in the meantime, the only thing we procured today was an orchid reed scent diffuser, which my sister bought on our recommendation. Otherwise, though, we spent at least a half hour perusing their goods in an attempt to help my sister consider some things to go along with her new couch and the new rug she ordered from Bloomingdales yesterday. So despite not buying much of anything, we had, as per usual, a fun, productive excursion to Z.
Thereafter, both Kaia and my sister did some more shoe-shopping while I paced outside, made phone calls, gave my opinions on the variety of footwear each tried on, and people-watched. As six o'clock approached we opted to skip Lounge at 593 Broadway, full well knowing we'd be there tomorrow. Lounge is an interesting amalgam of a club, a lounge, a hipster fashion store and a music club/space all rolled into one big colossal ball. For me, the best part of Lounge's scene is the rock and roll memorabilia -- signed guitars, album covers, books, shirts and jackets -- featuring some of the most notable people in rock, including David Gilmour and the other members of Pink Floyd; The Ramones; The Police; The Sex Pistols; and, at least the last time were there, a Hendrix-signed Gibson Flying V. For Kaia, stopping into Lounge means she'll get some new lounge/chill mixes (both officially-released and homemade) and advice thereon from Lounge's in-house DJ, DJ Louis. DJ Louis is an exception -- in a good way -- for Soho. He's eminently knowledgeable about his craft, but -- and here's the exception -- he's got zero attitude and all he really wants to do is make people smile and enjoy the stuff emitting from his speakers. Sometime over the past few months, he's burned Kaia -- after offering to do so -- a few of his own homemade discs, and he's also advised both of us which of the stores musical offerings are worthwhile based on his taste as well as ours. People in a position of musical authority -- ie people who work as DJ's for radio stations, rock journalists, musicians, and music snobs (like me) -- tend to dictate to those seeking their advice should listen to whether or not it suits their taste. But for people who gravitate towards gothic metal or elevator-esque music, no matter how open their minds and/or ears might be, would never enjoy 98% of my personal music collection. DJ Louis, in our first meeting, asked us what types of music we enjoyed and within seconds handed us a variety of six or seven different boxed CD sets of music he knew would work within our collective musical taste. And thus far, whether it's stuff he's recommended or discs he's burned for us, we've both dug everything on which he's given his seal of approval.
It was seven and we walked a few quick blocks to Chinatown's Canal Street before the heat, fatigue and the throngs of tourists became too much. We wound up cabbing home in an eventually-air-conditioned cab, dropped my sister off at her building and then went the additional seven blocks to mine. We basically collapsed for awhile, reawakened, had some dinnerwhile watching "Must Love Dogs" (a fun chick/date movie) and then went back to bed. I opted to check back in here while Comedy Central showed -- uncensored -- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. So while I banged away on my keyboard, I was somewhat surprised to hear Cartman refer to his crowding fellow students as "shit-faced cockmasters," and then later being told, upon singing "Kyle's Mom Is A Stupid Bitch," to shut the fuck up by Kyle himself. I remember, when Scarface came out, that people were eschewing not only the gratuitous violence but the number of instances therein of the word "fuck." Maybe it's me, maybe I'm getting old, or maybe I'm too loyal a member of the Republican Party, but it feels like the South Park movie (which is incredibly hysterical after the first or fiftieth viewing) is much more vulgar. And it's on basic cable -- uncensored. Okie dokey.
In either case, I'm winding down yet again and heading to bed to join Kaia in her slumber; we're planning to head back downtown again at some point tomorrow, and we might try and run into our friend Lisa (of LisaBinDaCity fame) when/if possible. Otherwise, we plan on continuing our enjoyment of shared time and space and avoiding the extreme weather. There's more we need to do tomorrow, but nothing we need to do more than to be next to one another and spend time enjoying doing nothing beyond that.