Thursday, April 29, 2010

Great Nights Out in 2010 - Post #5

The other night we had a really special night; Patrick's mother was in town and agreed to babysit. We are insanely jealous of those who get their parents to babysit, and Beatrix loves spending time with her grandmother, so it was a huge win for everyone.

Our first stop was Bar La Grassa, which was actually far different than I had expected. The space feels very different from its predecessor (Babalu), and was packed with an interesting crowd of hipsters and retirement-aged folks. Nothing against either group, but not sure of the connection.

We started with the "soft eggs and lobster" bruschetta, which really was All That. We followed it with small plates of pasta (the incredible gnocchi for me, fusilli for Patrick, and a third plate of torchio with artichokes and mint, which we shared. Incredible food, great people watching, decent wine, and a reasonably priced bill — no wonder people are talking about the place.

From there we went to the Bradstreet Crafthouse for cocktails — again, amazing. Innovative drinks and perfect service that allowed us to talk and sip and truly enjoy being out for cocktails. I want to try everything on the menu!

We tried to go to King's Wine bar for the Jeremy Messersmith Listening Party and some dessert, but there was no room at the inn. Nothing else struck quite the same dessert chord (and it was getting late), so we headed home.

I think the night could truly have been described as "dreamy."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Home Improvements - The Yard

More on home improvements that I didn't get to earlier today!

We're also working on the yard. The above pics are from our extensive patio work last year. We were wise enough to plant a ton of bulbs, and they really provided great spring color. Now we need to fill out the beds with some perennials. We also need to (finally) put in the horse trough pond, probably with some sort of raised bed from the retaining wall blocks our friends Julio and Jeaneth gave us.

The side yards got completely trashed from the roof work, and I'm trying not to mourn too hard the azaleas, rhodedendrons, and hydrangeas that got trampled (I have perhaps misplaced faith that the raspberries will return). And the front yard — well, let's just say that it definitely shows the fact that I've neglected it since Beatrix was born, and it's time to get it back into shape.

Anyone dividing or relocating any perennials they want to share? We're already on our way with a rhubarb plant from our friends Kristen and Charlie (though probably not big enough for rhubarbaritas this year). We'll have some to share as well...

New Roof

There's been a lot of construction craziness around here, including a new roof! I'm not used to laying out that much money in one fell swoop (yikes!), but it turned out looking great.

Currently trying to decide how much fuss I should raise over it having no "drip edge," though. Thoughts?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

More SARPA Posts!

Check them out here.

Then think about joining the organization!

Monday, April 12, 2010

More on Theatre and Life

So tonight, as I sat in Rough Cuts missing Beatrix's bedtime for the umpteenth time and listening to Matt Gould and Carson Kreitzer's beautiful song entitled "Miles," I couldn't help but think of the paradox of theatre and motherhood (well, likely all art and motherhood, but hey, theatre is what I know.)

"Work-life-balance" is a mythical beast in the best of worlds, and there is not a parent I know who feels like they have it pegged. The general conscensus is that if you are keeping your head above water and kind of sucking equally at each, you're doing pretty well. Everyone struggles with this, in different ways depending on what they do.

But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that theatre is especially paradoxical. To make great theatre you have to throw yourself completely into it, in strange and varied hours, and take all the passion that's in you and put it out there on stage. Yet at the same time there's that little person who inherently owns that love and commitment, that can stop you in your tracks, overwhelmed by how much you love them. (and, if you're as lucky as I am there's the father of that child as well, but I digress).

And at the same time you feel that passion divided, you know you are creating the work that you are for that person, to use art to make the world just a little bit better and more meaningful, precisely because that little person is here on the earth.

I still don't know the answer for the missed bedtimes. It breaks my heart when I am not there for her — but I want the work I do to be there for her too.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lost Theatre

The last two nights have reminded me both how much I love the theatre community here, and how much is missing.

Last night I went to the memorial service for Camille D'Ambrose, held at the Illusion Theatre. The event was really lovely, with family speaking during the first pat, then a sharing of memories. Lou Salerni stunned people by getting up on stage and sharing his memories — there was an audible gasp when he said who he was, and close to a standing ovation when he finished. Shirley Venard gave the last remarks, as beautiful and feisty as ever. And yet there was a sense of sadness, of what we have lost in Camille but also in a theatre community. To some extent we just don't have that anymore, that group of Equity stages doing a mix of old and new work, all playing off of each other, with a group of established actors working between them. And, to be true, by focusing on Jeune Lune for 12 years I absenced myself from that.

Jeune Lune. I still have dreams about that place on a weekly basis. Tonight we saw Brief Encounter by Kneehigh Theatre at the Guthrie, and it was all I was told it was — clever, well-acted, brilliantly staged, tying in music and projection and physical theatre. But it was so Jeune Lune — I could imagine company members in each of those parts, the physical theatre language was a heartbreaking part of me that I knew so well — that in some ways it was painful to watch. Because even though it was a great night of stirring theatre, I used to have that several times a year. And now I don't.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Preservation Blogging

As one of my duties as a SARPA (Summit Avenue Residential Preservation Association) board member, I have agreed to begin contributing to their blog. My first post is here, commemorating the new state preservation tax credit signed into law today. Congratulations to all the preservationists and community organizers that have worked so hard to put this legislation into place!