Jo, Meg, Beth or Amy

Last week I gave you assignment: read “Little Women”.  So now that we’re up to speed…

Ok- I really didn’t expect the six of you who haven’t read the book to go out and get a copy…but for all of us who have read it, I noticed a common theme.  Whether it was my book club or the blogverse, every woman who reads LW identifies with one of the four main characters, Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy. I think this is what makes the book universally appealing, to see your traits show up as one of the March sisters. So today, I want to know how you define the characters, and which character you think you are. (I know some were pondering this question last week)

I looked up SparkNotes to get some ideas for character description.

Meg: Oldest daughter.  Responsible. Kind. Mothers her younger sisters. Small weakness for luxury and leisure. Gentle.  Loving. Morally vigorous

Jo: Wants to be a writer. Temper. Quick tongue. Tomboy. Doesn’t like limits placed on girls and women. Hates romance. Strong willed. Impetuous.

Beth: Very quiet.  Very virtuous. Tries to please others. Musical. Sweet. Moral compass.

Amy: Youngest daughter. Artist. Adores beauty.  Materialistic. Pouter. Whiner. Can have temper. Vain.

When I first read the book a hundred years ago, I thought if myself as Beth.  But more the shy quiet Beth as opposed to the virtuous part.  I guess this is how I would define my younger self: quiet, out of the way, wanting to please others.  Thank gosh I got over the pleasing others part…

I think everyone wants to be Jo.  She is the protagonist and the strongest character in the book.  But, we can’t all be Jo…

So….how else would you describe the sisters?

Which sister are you?

Are there other literary characters that you identify with?

I know a woman who was named after Amy: were any of you named for one of these characters?

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Choice A or Choice B

I recently got a letter from author Jessica Knoll.  I also received one from author Curtis Sittenfield.  No, not real, stamped in an envelope real, but rather a generic email sent via Goodreads.

Dear Waking,

Hope you enjoyed my last book.  I just wrote a new one.

Love,

Best Selling Author

So, here’s the question: do emails such as this work as a marketing tool?  Upon receiving this email, does one get all aflutter and immediately put the tome on their TBR?  Or does the email go directly to the symbolic trashcan?

Which brings us to the next question: How do we choose the books that we read?

I am a hands on sort of girl.  I love trolling around bookstores- the real brick and mortar ones.  I love to walk the aisles, look at the covers, read the blurbs. The blurbs are very important to me- I can usually get a pretty good idea if it’s a book that would interest me, and if it’s the type of book I’m in the mood for. I peruse the staff favorites, the new and notable, the best sellers.  I find most of my new reads in this decidedly old fashioned method.

Another way I find new books is the newer age Amazon.  I punch in a book that I enjoyed, and I scroll down to the section that shows other books similar in style and/or genre.  And then I go back to the blurb method- I read the paragraph summary.  I also check the star rating- I like to see a solid “4”.  While we’re in this paragraph, let’s chat about the recent headline that Amazon reviews should be further reviewed.  How can one trust a review?  I try to use common sense:  too many 5’s is a red flag that something is a plant.  I almost never give out a 5 star review: there are practically no books that I consider perfect.  I am also wary of too many 1’s.  Really?  The book was that bad?  I look for books that have the majority of their reviews somewhere in the middle.  That seems more reasonable.

So, since many of my blog friends are reviewers, you’re thinking:  Does she read reviews.  Yes.  I do read reviews, BUT I am really careful of the reviewer because I don’t like spoilers.  Basically, I want to know if something was good, bad or indifferent- I don’t want to be told the story- I want the story to unfold naturally.  But, I am an avid reader of reviews AFTER I have read a book.  I love to see what someone thought was important, or interesting, or worthless.  I like reviews because I like the discussion aspect of a book (as evidenced by my participation in two book clubs, and being always open to talking about a book)

My yearly reading goal is 50 books, about a book a week.  But here’s an odd little fact: I have a relatively short TBR.  I think I have about 5 books on my Goodreads TBR, and maybe three or four pages ripped from the NY Times or magazines.  If I like a book enough to jot it down,  I read it fairly quickly.  I get excited when I find a book that interests me, and just want to get on with it.  I know this is a departure from the average avid reader.

So, because it’s Friday, and I am not looking forward the weekend because I have family obligations, I am hoping you all make my weekend better by telling me your methods of choosing books.

Do you read marketing emails?

Blurbs?

Recommendations from friends?

Reviews?

Throw a dart?

Also: how long is your TBR?

 

 

 

Week in Review- March 18-24

Another week in the books!  Here’s a little wrap up of my week:

What I Listened to:

Claude Debussy: Treason- Oriental Influences for Flute and Piano

Lucy Dacas- Historian

Yuja Wang

Grateful Dead- The Best of The Grateful Dead (Live- remastered)

Borns- Blue Madonna

Romeo Santos

Esa-Pekka Salonen- Memoria

My Fair Lady soundtrack

Apollo Fire

What I Watched:

“Call the Midwives” (I know- I’m late to the party.  Love)

Queer Eye (I miss the original Fab 5, but still love the concept)

New York International Children’s Film Festival- Shorts Program 3.  My daughter and I have been going to this festival since she was three.  We love voting on our favorite movies.  If I find the program I will list the films we saw.  Our favorite was “Negative Space”.  I know “Geneva Convention” won the category though. (technically last week, but…)

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“Instinct” This could become my new favorite show.  I know it’s a golden age of TV, but I like my TV light and easy.  I have home ADD- I can’t just watch TV, I have to watch along with doing something else, so thoughtful TV shows are out of my realm.  This is a nice. cozy mystery starring Alan Cumming.  Seriously perfect for me.

“Keep the Change” I love indie movies, my Husband doesn’t.  Recently, he found out about an amazing Italian place across the street from one of my favorite indie movie theaters.  Sometimes it’s a win/win.

What I went to:

Angela Hewitt performing Bach’s :Goldberg Variations”.  She is an gorgeous pianist, but I have to say the first two thoughts after the 90 minute no intermission performance were 1) Wow.  She has that all memorized.  and 2) look at how stiff she is when she got up from the piano.  That takes a lot of stamina

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Cooper Hewitt  Saw “Access and Ability” exhibit which was a cool exhibit about the functionality of design and “Bob Greenberg Selects” which was just his curation of tech objects in our world.  This is just a fun space and cool if you have kids and are visiting. (technically this was last week but I didn’t mention it because I was in a lousy funk last week and didn’t feel like writing about it

What I’m Reading:

Finished “Portrait of a Lady” ( I actually liked this book when I first read it 30 years ago.  Not so much on the reread)

“A Piece of the World” Christina Baker Kline (remind me not to have my two book clubs meet within days of one another…)

Funnyish part of week:

My daughter has applied for three summer internships so far (the other four are in the works of being sent out).  I thought she would definitely get called back for one of them:  she didn’t.  I thought she had no  shot at another: so of course she got an interview.  So another moment that I literally know nothing.  But- she did get an interview with the one she really wants, which was almost a disaster because she didn’t get the first email they sent….

Random Question (getrandomthings.com)

Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous? Infamous maybe…  But, my cousin plays lead guitar for a fairly popular singer, but that’s borderline if he’s famous or not.  Otherwise, no.  My family is utterly unremarkable.

Stitchfix:

Yay!  Very happy to love my box.  Yes- I am obsessed!!

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Definition: Good

I feel like I’m working with the whole chicken/egg dilemma today.  My original thesis was, ‘does a book need to be good to be important’.  And then I thought, well, what makes a book ‘good’?  And the more I thought about it, the more intertwined the ideas became.  So how do I broach this topic?  Do I want to broach this topic?

Let’s start with an example.  I recently read “Origin” by Dan Brown and “The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin.  I did not consider these books to be particularly well written.  I thought there were plot inconsistencies and gaps that brought me out of the story.  I thought some of the dialogue was tedious and repetitive.  I thought the characters were a little too stereotypical, yet behaved in illogical ways.  I did not think these books could be defined as good.

But…

Both of these books left me thinking about them after I had read them.  I wrote a post about the main plot line of “The Immortalists” because it was so thought provoking.  I have discussed these books with people and journaled about them.  I have spent more time talking about these books than books that I labeled ‘good’.  I think I’m going to remember these books. So, doesn’t that make them good?

Now think about this: can you think a book is good yet not like it?  Can you like a book but think it’s not good?  Or are like and good too intertwined?

I know there are books that I thought were well written but I did not like. (Handmaids Tale)  And if I thought about it I’m sure I could find a book that I thoroughly enjoyed yet no one would ever call it a good book (my novel).  But how many people differentiate?

So. here’s todays thought points:

  1. What makes a book good
  2. What makes a book important
  3. Do you think of these things when you are reading

Yes.  I am asking you to write my blog for me this morning because I am in a quandary.  What do we look for in a book, and why.

Discuss:

February Writing Update

Ok- Where do I start?

Writing Class.  Like my teacher.  I think he is really good at giving us helpful nuggets and examples of how to incorporate into our writing.  I think he is making me a better writer.  His critiques are well thought out and reasonable.  I think this was a great choice.  He has explored how to use techniques to get the story moving, and to use details that enhance the characters. setting and plot instead of distracting from them.  He has also helped me look for errant adverbs and adjectives which can make the writing clunky.  I’m writing tighter sentences now that are more impactful.

I presented my work this week.  I’m forming many ideas in my head as to what is critique versus what is opinion.  When I presented the prologue and revised first chapter of my book, I was told my characters sounded too old.  Another classmate told me my characters sounded too young. The critic who complained too old is in her twenties.  The critic complaining too young is in his eighties.  My characters are in their fifties, like me. You tell me?  Valid criticism or opinion?

I also got a criticism that I introduce the conflict too late in the book.  For the record, the conflict gets introduced about 15 pages in, in the beginning of the second chapter.  Pacing wise, I think this is the right time to introduce the “story”.  How much do you want thrown into the first chapter?  Should a little of the scene be set before the plot line starts to focus in?

But that being said, I still struggle with chapters/sections that rely too heavily on scene setting and what is known in my head as &^%$# description.  This frustration is especially apparent in the first section where I am describing the setting.  Though I have revised chapters one and three, they are still the bane of my existence. It took my three days to rewrite chapter three and I still hate it.  I feel that the final version of my novel will contain the plot, but i can’t imagine the exact wording to make it in. The words, sentiments and ideas don’t flow organically.  I am trying to describe the neighborhood in which these women live, yet it comes across as a generic laundry list. It’s boring and inane.  I am happiest when I am writing dialogue heavy chapters, because that’s how I like to get my story across.  I find conversations between people very telling, and it’s where I do my best work.  The extremely necessary conversation in this part is being overshadowed by trees and cars and neighbors.  I have to figure out how to describe the scene without describing it. Ughhhhhh.

I know my goal this month was to find an agent.  Guess what I didn’t do?  I have been researching writing query letters, so I’m getting some ideas.  I found one agent who I think would be a good fit, so I will work on that this coming month.  I’m actually struggling with finding an agent that would be a good fit for what I write.  I’m working on it.

So there you go.  I’m almost halfway through with second draft.  I’m liking the majority of my work.  I’m still meeting with my writing group which is awesome.  I made some great women writer friends.  My class ends at the end of the month, and I think I’m taking Novel Writing Three next semester, a class which focuses on revising your draft.  There is so much to learn about writing.

On a side not_ I am very behind on my blog related activities.  My sister and niece were in from Seattle, so the majority of Friday, Saturday and Sunday were consumed by them. (ahhh…family……there will be posts about this in the future)  Will be catching up this week!!

 

Sunday Wrap up

Another week has come and gone.  New York experienced a little bit of humidity this week- not a fan of humidity.  Also thwarted with some subway issues this week, and trust me, waiting underground in humid weather is not fun.  But here’s the run down- Ratings 0-5.  I’ve received no compensation for any of these things!

Books

“The Little French Bistro” Nina George  The heroine is 59 years old.  I don’t think I can say much more than this- it is refreshing to see an adult women in a novel.  This is a feel good book about overcoming adversity.  While not a great book, it is a fairly easy read. 4

Movies

“Home Again”

A story about a 40 year old woman getting her life back together after she separates from her husband.  (are you sensing a theme?  Middle age women overcoming adversity- yes- and I want to see/read more of it)  Movie is light and cute, if predictable (again, a theme) 3.8

Television

“Suits”- Season Finale.  I didn’t love the finale.  My Suits friends, please give me opinions.

Museums

New York Historical Society

“The Duchess of Carnegie Hall: Photographs by Editta Sherman”  I loved this exhibits.  Portraits of celebrities- many from the 40’s and 50’s.  Absolutely gorgeous.  What was a little dismaying was how many people were photographed smoking, but it was a different time. 4.7

“American Visionary:  John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times”  Amazing photos of JFK.  Beautifully curated exhibit.  4.2

“Eloise at the Museum”  Exhibit that explores the beloved book character Eloise.  Cute exhibit, but really much better for children.  4

Food

Ofrenda  Delicious Mexican food in a lively (loud) cozy (ridiculously small) place.  Appetizer called Queso Fondido, which is basically a Mexican fondue.  Yummy.  Killer, and I mean that literally, Margaritas. 4.3

Island Burger and Shakes- I used to love this place- but the quality of the burgers has gone way down.  No worth going to anymore.  2.8

Levain- This bakery has about the best cookies known to man.  So big they more closely resemble muffin tops.  And I love the chocolate brioche.  Ridiculously yummy!

 

Housekeeping

I have narrowed down my WordPress issues.  On the app, my reader does not always work correctly.  I sometimes miss certain hours of the day, so for example, if someone posts between 11 and 2 pm, I will miss all of the posts- I am not receiving the “Load More Posts” prompt.  Let’s see how long it takes to fix it now that I’ve isolated the issue

Thanks again for all the amazing commentary this week- your feedback is amazingly valuable as always!

 

Sunday Wrap Up

So, even though summer doesn’t officially end for a few more weeks, this weekend makes it fall for me.  Daughter will finally reenter the school building on Thursday.  The next two months will see me run to the Bronx, and far reaches of Manhattan to attempt to see her play tennis (there aren’t many tennis courts in Manhattan- and no public high school boasts a bunch of tennis courts, so it’s sort of guerilla tennis- one school uses a court that sits aside the West Side Highway.  Imagine playing with constant traffic to your left, and random New Yorkers filing by on your right)  And so the pattern of my free time will change slightly.   As my daughter has an awesome reading list for school, I will probably be rereading a lot of books, cause they will be in the house, and I enjoy discussing literature with her- and she’s going to read Gatsby for the first time- YAY.  But here’s what happened on my “last week” of summer.  Reviews 0-5.  NYC unless otherwise indicated.  My money- no freebies.

Books

“Reading Lolita in Tehran”   Azar Nafisi   I first read this book 15 years ago, and I enjoyed it more then.  It’s a memoir about an Iranian University professor attempting to teach literature during the early Ayatollah years. She ends up having a female book club which discusses books that are banned in Iran. While interesting, it’s a bit self-serving.  3.8

“Murder on the Orient Express”  Agatha Christie.  Reread- first read about 45 years ago.  I love Christie.  I love Poirot (her detective) I love this story.  I reread this because my daughter bought it as a fun read and it was on our Nook account, and because there is a new movie version coming out soon.  I want a fresh comparison of all the film versions to the book.  4.8

Movies

“Leap”  Animated.  This is an average kids movie.  But- it has a strong female heroine, who is resilient.  I think this is important for kids to see, because frankly, I don’t think there are enough strong, female heroines.  But, OK to wait for DVD or cable or streaming, or however else you get movies at home. 4, but entirely because of message.

“Wind River”  This is a thriller based on a Wyoming reservation (But it is not one of those supernatural thrillers that seem to be taking over the box office- don’t get me started on that genre, which is one of very few movie genres I hate)  I thought this was a well made movie.  Great visuals, great acting, great script, great directing.  Every thing about this movie is understated, and it works.  But- it is not an easy movie to recommend, because even though there are many things that are done well, there is something stopping me from saying- “Go see this film”, and I can’t tell you why that is.  FYI, my movie buddy said the exact same thing.  So, if you are still interested, read a review that may contain actual spoilers, and then think about it.  I still give it a 4.4.

Television

Sorry- I pretty much watched the US Open as much as possible, and that was about it.

Food

Alidoro This is a little sandwich stand in the Bowery.  (there are two other locations, but I don’t know how they are physically situated)  They only have 1 or 2 outdoor tables, so this is really a place to grab a sandwich and go to a park to eat.  But you really should grab a sandwich here, because they are that good.  They only do Italian sandwiches here, but mortadella or not, these are some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.  No lie.  You get a choice of about 6 different rolls (go with the soft roll- I think it’s called Trapezino) because it just makes the sandwich a bit easier to eat, but seriously, all the  bread is perfection.  And then the fillings- they slice the deli meats fresh when you order.  And sandwiches have exact right filling to bread ratio.  Seriously, if they were open now I would go.  4.9

Counter by Chef’s Club- This is a fast casual place in Soho.  It’s unique because about 8 or 9 famous chefs have each contributed the recipe for a dish- so the burgers, sandwiches, whatever are slightly elevated, and slightly awesome.  My daughter and I split what I can only refer to as hash brown tater tots, served with sour cream.  It’s like a tater tot on steroids- salty, crisp and yummy.  Warning- we went early on a Friday, and it was not crowded.  I can imagine on a weekend this place will be mobbed. 4.5

Oddfellows- Soft serve ice cream.  There are only about 5 flavors, and a few toppings, but this is really good ice cream.  I’m not a soft serve girl, but it was really good and creamy.  And it is conveniently located next door to Counter…. 4.3

Housekeeping-

You have all become friends to me, to the point where I talk about you all.  My daughter will say, “Did you come up with a good recommendation for Tater?” or “How’s Ryder?  Did he get his doghouse yet?”.  But this week, my daughter asked “Have you heard from Mojo today?” because my blogging buddy Joanna lives in Houston.  So to everyone in Harvey ravaged areas, my thoughts, prayers, and a little bit of my money are with you.  Stay strong.  You got this!

Thanks to all of you and your comments this week!  I truly appreciate every one of you!  I love keeping the conversations going.  I’m learning that so many people share the same feeling and struggles that I often feel.  Thanks for the honestly and the stories!

Ok- this week I plan on writing about family (spent Saturday with my parents and we will spend today with my Father in law and Sister in law- I’m guessing there will be anxiety and blog posts stemming from both these things) There might be an non- family rant or two.   I can’t imagine not mentioning pumpkin spice……. But who knows- I never blog about what I think I’m going to blog about!!

Happy September.

Sunday Wrap Up

The weather has been hot- I am actually looking forward to cooler temperatures.  Cooler, meaning 60’s- lets not get crazy.  This was a fairly quiet week- but here’s what went on.  I have received no compensation for anything discussed here.  All things are located in NYC unless otherwise specified.  Ratings are 0-5.

Books

“Everything I Never Told You” Celeste Ng  Ummm- where do I start?  Not a great book for the Mother of a teenage girl to read.  But it was well written.  Story somewhat interesting.  4

Television

“The Next Food Network Star”- I picked Jason.  Jason won.  I think he’s fun.  Looking forward to his show.  4

“Broadchurch”  Series finale.  I will miss David Tenant screaming “Millerrrrr”. but I will not miss much else.  I didn’t love the 3rd and final season.  3.5

“Garage Sale Mysteries- Hallmark Mystery Channel”  I love a cozy mystery- even though these are a bit silly and predictable.  3.5

Food

Nathan’s Hot Dogs- Coney Island Brooklyn.  There might not be anything better than thick crinkle fries and a hot dog near the beach.  And an orangeade to complete the picture.  4.8

The Smith- Midtown- This NYC based chain (I don’t know if it is a chain, but it has multiple locations, so I’ll call it a chain) is one of my go to’s if I need a place for a group, or I have friends in from out of town.  The menu is just varied enough to please most diners, and the prices aren’t ridiculous.  Good drink menu (3 champagne cocktails!) and fun vibe.  But….this comes with a caveat.  Why I was waiting for my friend, a group of people came out- a young woman in her early 20’s and what I can assume were her parents- if I had to guess, I think they were slightly older than me.  They did not eat here- they left complaining to their daughter that it was much too loud and too “not them” (I don’t know exactly what this means though- I can only eavesdrop so much)  So while I think it is a fun, cool atmosphere, others may not.  I still like splitting their homemade chips with blue cheese fondue and burgers. 4

Bar Primi- I love pasta.  This place has good pasta.  No- make that great pasta.  All pasta is homemade and my friend from Illinois said it has spoiled her from ever eating pasta at home.  I had a dish with fresh corn, mushrooms and scallions in a light cream sauce- it was so good.  So good that I wish it was socially acceptable to lick a plate clean.  And they have a slushy rose cocktail….4.6

Daily Provisions- This is a take out place, with a couple of counters to stand at.  I had what is known as OG- it’s like a cheesy croissant like pastry filled with scrambled eggs.  It was delicious.  It’ sinful that eggs can taste this good-  4.6

Other 

New York Aquarium- Coney Island Brooklyn.  This is a very average aquarium, and they are presently undergoing renovations.  But it’s fish and otters and sea lions.  On the boardwalk at Coney Island.  And it has memories for me- I went here as a kid.  I took my daughter here when she was little.  When she was 5, her dream job was to be the person who worked at the touch tank. 3.5

Stop the Zombies- Deno’s Wonderwheel Amusement Park- Coney Island.  This is a 4D virtual experience where you and 15 other people try to save NYC from Zombies.  This was so much fun!  And I came in last at shooting zombies, and I still loved it (Yes- at the end they rank the zombie hunters) Tip- sit in the front row. 4.5

Housekeeping

I solved 3 pesky organizational problems (thank you Container Store for helping with the drawer compartmentalizing).  I have gotten rid of a large bag of clothing.  Yay me.  I jammed the shredder and it took me 45 minutes to unjam it.

I intended to finish another book this week, but it is a book for book club.  It is a long book for book club- about a convent in 16th century Italy.  I may never finish it…….

I have ideas floating around in my head about family and parenting.  Expect a blog on these topics in the coming weeks.

I reached a personal high score on Ballz, but the family is still ahead of me!  I did manage to beat the husband at words with friends!

I had some issues with the wordpress update….I needed to uninstall and reinstall and I’m still trying to make sure it’s all working correctly.  Also, anyone who emails me blogs or anything….I am way behind on emails!  I’ll get there!  Thanks!

Thank you to all who commented this week.  You guys inspire me with your ideas and thoughts.  Also- I welcome those who have a different opinion than I do.  Don’t be afraid to disagree- I am always looking to improve my mind- though we all know- I am always right…….

 

Sunday Wrap Up

Re-entry from vacation is often difficult.  There is laundry to wash, errands to run, blogs to read…..But I’m slowing catching up.  As always, I received no endorsement for anything mentioned in this was post.  Rating are 0-5.  All locations are New York City unless otherwise specified.  And you know I’m not a critic, but especially not an art critic- so my exhibit critique is purely my initial impressions.   Here’s the gist….

Books:

The Feed” MT Anderson.  I’ve had some discussions about this book with various people.  Frankly, it mentally scared the pants off me.  It’s a dystopian world that seems oddly relevant.  Is it a great book?  No.  Does it make you think?  Yes.  I think every teenager should read this book (which is appropriate as it is YA, and my daughter was given it as a summer assignment) 4

Television:

“Broadchurch“- I’m ambivalent about the story this season, but Not about David Tennant.  3.8

“Suits“- I love the relationship between Harvey and Mike- great writing.  Now they add Dule Hill- from the much missed Psych (but don’t worry- movie coming in December).  The show has trite plot points, but I don’t care. 4

Movies:

Despicable Me 3″- This movie is exactly what you would expect from the third in a series of animated movies aimed at young children.  My family was tired of laundry and we wanted an air conditioned escape that was close to the supermarket.  3

“Dunkirk“- I normally like movies that are heavy on dialogue and interplay between characters.  This really has neither.  But it is a spectacular war movie.  Brilliant direction- staging was spectacular.  4.7

Museums:

New Museum–   Located in the East VIllage/Noho area (I don’t know what they’re calling the Bowery these days)- building is small but conducive to exhibits.  Exhibits tend to be newer contemporary works that are usually pretty thought inducing.  It expounds the definition of what art actually is.  7th floor has a small viewing area that is pretty neat, but view is Ok.  Cute coffee shop.  Venue- 4.3

Exhibits:

“Half -Truths” Paul Ramirez Jonas- Loved this.  Exhibit is literally fueled by attendees.  I’m loving the trend of people contributing to a work of art- it adds and edge and an authenticity to works, and makes it socially relevant.  Downside- it is not meant to last.  I’m not sure how I feel about the non-permanence. 4.8

“Under-Song For a Cipher”Lynette Yiadom-Boakye  Paintings.  Old fashioned paintings.  Nice. 4

“Good Thing You Are Not Alone” Kaari Upson.  Huge installation piece “Idiot’s Guide Womb Room”.  Loved it.  The rest of the exhibit was interesting, and, as all contemporary art does, it makes you think.  4.3

Antibodies” Carol Rama This didn’t do anything for me.  It seemed sort of generic, which is saying something if you describe contemporary art as such. 3.5

“Viscera Has Questions About Itself” Elaine Cameron-Weir   This was a small exhibit, but actually pretty interesting.  Use of generic materials in different ways.  You can sort of immerse yourself in the works, which makes it interesting.  I’m going to call it installation art. 4

Food:

The Palm Too- Old school steak house.  Meal is fine, but I think it’s too highly priced, and I would rather go to other places.  That being said, it is perfect restaurant to take Father in Law for his 80th birthday if he is a carnivore. 4

Rubirosa- We went for lunch.  Pizza very good- thin crust.  Chicken pesto sandwich also delicious.  I’ve had better pizza in New York though.  We didn’t get pasta, but table next to us did and it looked amazing.

Housekeeping:

My daughter did not get picked to be a US Open Ball person.  She was sad but not devastated.

We did not visit my nephews at their camp.  Husband realized that it was prohibitively far from our destination, both going to, and leaving Maine.

Emoji Movie.  At one point this movie had a Rotten Tomatoes score of 0.  As of Saturday night- the rating stood at 7%.

I am almost done reading blogs.  I read them in a weird pattern that even I don’t understand- but it doesn’t matter because I am almost caught up!

My high score on Ballz is 121.  This is a personal triumph as I am not good at app games.

 

 

 

Sunday Wrap Up

Here’s a little piece of my life this week.  Unless otherwise stated, events take place in New York City.  As always, I paid my way for all the following.  Ratings are 0-5.  Enjoy!

Books

“The Awkward Age: A Novel” Francesca Segal- Awkward is an appropriate word for this book- it truly is awkward.  And I try to avoid siding with men, but I had to agree with the male characters in this book.  This book would appeal to parents of teens.  3.5

Movies

“Casablanca”- Rooftop Cinema.  First of all, here’s looking at you…I haven’t seen this movie in 20 years- but it still holds up.  It is as good today as it was 75 years ago.  4.99.  I saw this movie as part of the Rooftop Cinema series- A rooftop in Brooklyn is equipped with lawn chairs, blankets, rain ponchos, head phones, popcorn machine and a screen.  There is something magical about watching a movie with the Manhattan skyline in the background.  Great experience all around. (except for the 5 flights of stairs, and the restroom being on the second floor.  Venue 4.5

“Falsettos”- Technically, this is a Broadway show that was filmed, so though I saw it at a traditional movie theater, it really is a “live” musical performance.  This was a wonderful show, no matter how you look at it- happy, sad, real and human.  4.8

“Spider-Man: Homecoming”  I loved this movie- possibly one of my favorite superhero movies ever.  I normally prefer my Superheros dark and brooding, but there’s something to be said for youth.  Movie is clever and fun.  Oh, and Ironman is in it……4.8

Food

Cowgirl Hall of Fame- This is Tex-Mex kitsch heaven.  Also least healthy restaurant ever- I believe the lettuce is fried.  Good for groups and children- loud and crazy.  Not for someone looking for a culinary experience.  3.5

Joe’s Pizza- My family calls this place stand-up Joes, because there is a counter, and maybe one stool- you stand up to eat your slice.  But what a slice…If you want a slice of traditional New York pizza, this is the place.  Seriously-  best pizza. 4.9

Aux Merveilleux de Fred- My daughter and I stumbled upon this bakery- it has been around since 1982, and I can’t believe I’d never seen it.  We split a meringue- light and ethereal, but the star would be the brioche.  We didn’t buy a brioche, but they were giving out samples……oh- was this brioche good.  Dream worthy good.  Not quite Paris, but close. 4.5