Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rose Trees in New York City - Thing of Beauty #064-101

There are boxes everywhere, and finding the coffee pot has become a treasure hunt.  Until it turns up, there's plenty of tea and a charming little coffee shop around the corner that happens to be on my way to the bus stop.  They have free samples of muffins and scones in the mornings.  The kitchen isn't finished, so the coffee pot wouldn't have any place to sit anyway. 

The owner of the contracting company is personally involved in the restoration project these days as a result of the polite but persistent ruckus I raised over the situation with the bathroom floor tile. Turned out that during the time things started falling through the cracks, Andy the job manager had been having surgery on his shoulder very much like the one I had this time last year.  It's no wonder he didn't know what the hell was going on that week.  A lot of foolishness went on, for sure, but at least Andy wasn't bullshitting me about anything.

The owner came over last Thursday, the day I was reunited with my things, to look at the bathtub which had sustained some damage from all the busted up hunks of mortar the tile installer decided to collect there when he was prepping the room for the new tile.  The owner wants to refinish the tub, but I think I'm going to stick with my original plan of simply getting a extra long tub mat.  The bathtub had seen better days before the guys dumped the mortar in there, and I decided I'd rather look at  some ancient crackles in the porcelain than a refinished tub.  I don't like the mat finish.   I haven't taken a bath yet, though, because the plumber didn't hook up the hot water to the tap in the bath tub. That's an item for the punch list -- come back and turn on the hot water.  The plumber was a Rastafarian from Brooklyn, so I'm betting he was high and forgot.  He did a good job with the stopper, however, and that was the main point.

Overall, the place is outstanding, and when the owner came over to look at the tub, he brought a sample of granite for me to approve.  The countertop has taken some time because I really wanted Bahia - a black, white and grey stone with veins of lapis swirling through it. It's way too pricey for me, but because the whole counter is only 48" x 25", a remnant would have been perfect.  Three stone sources were searching, but nobody could find a Bahia remnant.  Something called Butterfly Blue is on the way, but who knows when it will get here.  Meanwhile, I've improvised a counter top from cutting boards.

I don't know where that leaves me and Velvet for Christmas dinner.  We have discussed inviting Cupcake's family over.   I'm good with that idea since the kitchen condition means we can get take-out from Dinosaur Barbecue:  Ribs with collards and mac and cheese.  I can make a salad and find a passable strawberry-ruhbarb pie somewhere.  The main thing is the company, not my cooking or the dishes - although I confess, I know the exact location of the china and silver.  In any case, I've never been particularly into Christmas, as much as I like presents.  I'm much more excited by the galactic alignment coming on Solstice this Friday night.

It's the perfect night to do a ritual using the incense Gwendolyn Holden Barry blended up specially for my own personal housewarming.  I turned the dining table into a vortex:

Here's the light.  The love beads a hippie made for Granny the Ho when she first moved to Laguna Beach back in 1966 are hanging around the center.   Tinkerbell will stay, but the jingle bells and Santa Moon will go back with the rest of the Christmas once that holiday is over.   I may keep the cross up there to protect me from the Christians in the building.  You never know about Christians.

I'll definitely leave this center piece for a while, though.  I love these amethyst bookends and they must be attracting the energy of the cosmos straight into this room. 

It's important to energize this area because I think I'm finally ready to start writing The Menopausal Stoners Guide to Parenting.   The dining room is also my office and library, so the computer is in a corner.

That's a self-portrait Velvet made when he was about six over on the left.  Somebody will hang it up later, once I get a new poster frame at Michael's or somewhere.  That's an empty bag of mango licorice and a dish of dried roses on the left, too.  Velvet gave me the roses at Thanksgiving, so they're special right now.  I eat that licorice all the time. That's why the bag is empty.  There's more in the cupboard, though.  Blueberry-Pomegranite licorice and a few chocolate bars, too.  And some gluten free ginger snaps.  For the record, I don't eat dried roses although I will float them in concoctions sometimes.  Maybe one day soon, I'll float them in the bath tub.

I like this little corner.  I especially like looking out the window right next to the desk.  When I glance to the right, this is the view:

I reckon Velvet can fix the screen so it's not adding an extra horizontal line to the view when he comes over tonight.  He's in the middle of finals right now and wants to continue doing well in school - ergo: he's not moving in until the weekend.  That's just as well.  It's just as well The Man is staying in San Antonio for the holiday, too.  I love him through and through, but I think I like him best when he lives in Texas and we have drinks every year or so.  He's never going to be a bit Bohemian, and I'm committed to a Bohemian lifestyle.  I'm not exactly sure what that means, but let's say it means living at the intersection of Real Life and Fairy Tale, where art and activism combine.  The Man doesn't like to stray more than a few blocks from luxury hotels with consigners and hookers.

I'm so completely content to settle in peaceful solitude that I'm bordering on blissful.  Work is kind of a drag right now because everybody wants to talk about what's wrong with America on account of the shooting in Connecticut and that's a very big topic people should have been discussing for decades.  My friend Al Osorio from Roundtree7.com is involved in seeking justice for a man who the police murdered in his own front yard.  The cop nearly shot his wife while she ran to his side, except the cop apparently ran out of bullets.  Al is in this video at 4:05 talking about the shooting.

Nobody knows about Al's cousin Ernest Manuel Duenez, Jr. He's a brown man in a poor neighborhood and they get shot all the time. Lots of little kids get shot all the time in poor neighborhoods. It's too bad crazy white guys with automatic weapons have to shoot up elementary schools and movie theaters before people start talking about our society. And it's too bad that we ourselves blast little Pakistani kids to bits with drones all the time. I guess it's different when the president authorizes killing little kids so there's no need for candle light vigils around the country. I don't mean to be dismissive or obnoxious about the latest mass killing in America - I just think there were already plenty of reasons for an outpouring of grief and a demand for change. And once something else comes on the TV, most of the mourners will go back to shopping at Wal-Mart. The families in Connecticut will be forgotten as we move into the next news cycle.

Here at Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters in Harlem, I remain focused on making my own little corner of the world as peaceful and loving as possible in the hope - actually with full confidence - that by embracing Love (which comes from the universe just like Obi-Wan and Yoda say) and expanding and sharing that love, the world will be a little better.  It's especially better when you connect with others who are sharing and expanding the love, too.

I have to pause a moment to appreciate my dear friend Diane, who nurtured and supported me for the last few months while the guys were working on the apartment, and Gigi my almost-daughter who gave me a quiet, peaceful place to rest my head over the summer.  Naturally, the whole thing reminds me of a song:


Sir Elton says Rose trees never grow in New York City. I beg to differ. I think the one I've grown is pretty great. And that's Thing of Beauty #64-101, with special thanks to Jennifer Morrison (realia) who challenged everyone to Explore Beauty over a year ago.


Blogger Oso said...

beautiful post, as always. Dinosaur BBQ sounds incredible, would love to see the final results of your place.

When you write you make the mundane fun,the past merge with our own memories and your own experience becomes ours.thanks for the nod,just a mention that Ernest was my friends cousin, not mine, I pasted her status into mine, but thanks so much for your comment.

You'd fit right in with us on Macarthur Blvd, by the way the altar for Day of the Dead is part of the backdrop.

take care

December 18, 2012 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Oso, you know how in the south we often extend the term "cousin" to anyone we love a lot. Ernest can use all the cousins he can get right now.

I'd be delighted to hang with all y'all on Macarthur Blvd. Maybe one day . . .

December 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Aw there I was all enjoying this post and there's my name at the bottom of it. Really sis, you've inspired me. Your focus for setting up your home and venturing through the solstice has got me thinking about same.

I can only imagine that you'll have many happy years in this home. From here it looks to be a most beautiful thing. xo

December 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm coming up right behind ya Tricia, in the BIG MOVE. The 'boys' *from NYC* have made it home for the holidays and I'm sure to enjoy some tips! Nice little Solstice surprise, whole 'family' from Daughters of Isis will be together Friday night at Chief Nana's just down the street from the old shop in Pompano. Turn turn turn.
I love the pics and progress... I agree with tub choice... I have an old fashioned FL bathroom with enamel tub to move into. Tile everywhere and my colors are creamy with bed / baths mint green. I think it works. What do you think?
I love ya more 'en god for mentioning my little tools!

December 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm so happy you're finally in your apartment! I wish there was a way to pop for the Bahia piece. It's worth splurging on. Also, IMO, stainless for the fridge is better than white.

You made the right decision about the tub.

The Man sounds like a pain.

December 19, 2012 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Makropoulos said...

Another new apartment? Oh, I haven't been here for awhile! It looks good though; best of luck in Harlem.

I was just in NYC over the weekend. My brother had an art show, in China Town. It's always great to get back to the city, though parts of midtown just seem like a museum to early 20th Century New York City. I feel like you really have to go to places like Harlem to really be in the city still.

Again, good luck to you in this new place!

December 20, 2012 at 9:44 AM  

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