Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pre-Dinner, Post-Dinner activities

My hiatus from updating stems from many factors, none of which I'll bore you with, however, I am back and I have things to talk about concerning the time we spend before and after we are eating and drinking (I know, shocking).

I've found that with warm weather comes a desire to reconnect with the outside world, at least for me. So I've been trying to be outside more, turn on my ipod less, listen more, and keep my eyes open. Keeping with this theme, I decided to take a break from my email responses, shut my laptop and put it under my bed before dinner tonight. My roommate and I decided to hit up the new tapas place on the corner, but she was running a little late, so I sat myself down on my newly laundered sheets (isn't that the best feeling in the world, clean bedding?) and picked up my book. Okay, so I lied, the computer wasn't fully shut, it is my only means for playing music, so it was left slightly open and plugged into my speakers. I put on my "afternoon jazz" playlist–a collection of Coltrane, etc that has always been a pre-dinner favorite of mine–perched myself on the pillows and cracked open the book. Sure, I was hungry, sure, I had things to do, but sometimes the best way to enjoy a good meal is to just take a few minutes beforehand and SLOW DOWN. I'm all for living your life in the New York Minute, you know, rapido, rapido, rapido, but man, that takes its toll. Those 10 minutes of memoir reading, saxophone enhanced calm were priceless, and you know what? I'll answer those emails later, whenever I please, because they're not going anywhere.

After our delicious dinner (I think the neighborhood, and myself, is on some sort of latin food kick) I asked my roommate if maybe she wanted to go for a little walk around the neighborhood. Being the laid-back, agreeable person that she is, she obliged, and we walked in a little circle from Avenue B and 3rd street up to e 6th, over to Ave A, through Tompkins Square Park, and back down Ave B. Firstly, walking after dinner is a pastime in which I think everyone should partake, and secondly, there are so many amazing people and places and buildings and things to see! We walked about 10 blocks total and found some amazing stuff! The act of finishing a good meal and getting up and just walking around and digesting is just such an enjoyable one! 
So, we walked right by this gorgeous garden: Untitled Document and another, smaller one that I personally like a lot more. I feel like these gardens exist in a sort of dream world where I fantasize about having the time and the chance to spend time eating salads and drinking tea (or something) sitting on their benches. Nonetheless, they are beautiful, botanical places. Then we stopped and got vegan ice cream (something I'm not in the habit of eating, but was such a cute little place with a brick wall and apothecary jars with candy in them, that I just couldn't resist).

BUT, the highlight of the walk was the building that we "stumbled" upon on the east side of Tompkins Sq Park at 8th street. The building is red brick and four stories tall. After a short conversation about how much we enjoy peering into other people's apartments (oh, come on, its FASCINATING!) we look into a high ceiling-ed loftish space approaching the corner of B and 8th. It's HUGE! It's GORGEOUS! I walk around the corner to the entrance to the building and above the door is written "Talmud Torah Darch Noam", immediately confused as to whether this is a residential building or a synagogue I rush home to look it up. I must live there! Turns out the building was built in the 1800s as a Newsboys' Lodging House, and then turned into a Synagogue, then The East Side Hebrew Institute, and since 1978 a SEVEN APARTMENT Co-op. There are no good pictures, but this is what I've got: 

So, kids, I will now be calling the co-op president wondering how to get onto the waiting list for that building. I figure that in 20 years when someone dies and there's an opening, I'll be able to afford it. Here's hoping...

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