Friday, December 31, 2010

Brooklyn Rocks!

Brooklyn is such a cool place. I know this is nothing new, but I am just having such a fun experience here. Today, New Years Eve Day, Hen and I went for a slushy trek all over Park Slope and it was better than fun.

Fabulous Painter Henry Finklestein, in deep thought...

 We started at the groovy food coop, moseyed onto the bodega which was absolutely jammed to the brim and ended up at an Italian deli/√©picerie so Henry could buy pancetta for his famous New Year's
specialty: wholewheat carbonara.YUM!

Happy Saint Sylvestre! Happy Réveillon!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Doing the Brooklyn Thing

It's been two days now that we've had our first Brooklyn-based pop up store at One Hanson Place. Everyone seemed to know about Brooklyn flea but me, and it is amazing. Setting up was stressful and I would say that today, we are starting to feel at home, as if things are a bit under control. We've got some fabulous neighbors. Across the aisle is "dAN's Parent's House," a funky collection of Star Wars action figures, block and tackle pulleys, old letterpress type, vintage gum ball machines, and a poodle decanter with six shot glasses. He plays Vampire Weekend, one of our favorite New York bands, and the girls and I dance around.

Right next to us is Twig, that's Katy and Michelle, the amazing terrarium makers. Tomorrow morning, they are doing a special terrarium-making event with Grace from design*sponge.

Today I did a little shopping myself (I think I've spent more $$ than I've earned) and I bought two gorgeous hand-block printed notebooks and a set of colorful note cards–all one of a kind from Beau Ideal Editions.

Anyway, it's been so fun and I'm learning a lot. The girls have helped me so much. Here are some pics that Hallie took with her new camera. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Buns are Fun!

Here's what you do when you are supposed to be putting new products online and packing. You make a bun and then break out the old Polaroid. There are always lots of fabulous ways to procrastinate! And I am a pro!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Dans les Valises

Actually I wish I could actually say that I was "dans les valises," busy packing my bags. That always seems to be a last minute event for me, 2 in the morning kind of thing. Thank God I am a light packer. This trip my bags are going to be filled with merchandise for the market in Brooklyn, exciting stuff that I hope arrives before I leave Lyon. Yikes it's a tight squeeze. And I still have 3 cartons + to send—one a day, that's my motto.

Anyway, the weather is turning balmy after some mighty snowy days. And since Abbie and I are so rarely pictured together, I thought I would pop this photo on. Time for me to get some new glasses. The nerdy look is getting a bit old!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Reproduction by Arnaud Fleurent-Didier

I am a little big stuck in a music mind today. Not getting a lot done. But, this guy is absolutely fabulous!

Oh Yikes!!!

My friend Ka just sent me a photo he took in the New York subway yesterday . A poster for Brooklyn Flea's Holiday Market "Gifted." Now this is a big deal. I sure hope you will all come and visit me. I just made the best mix of new French music and we are going to rock this show!!!!!

Thoughts on Christmas

Christmas is a funny time. Not funny haha, but strange.

I love the idea of abundant food, cozy and warm, bright shiny lights, snow, the smell of pine, ornaments, candles, a fire, inspiring church services, Christmas carols, a creche, happy children and one big happy family. I love it all. I love shopping and cooking and thinking about presents for my friends and family, I love buying (we all know that.) I like less receiving, but I like buying for myself (who doesn't?)

That's it, I love the idea of Christmas. Eat, pray, love. It's the reality that I am not too fond of. I'm sorry. I have to be honest. Christmas is just wildly stressful and I dream of the moment when I can actually have a life where I am able to enjoy the holidays and not dread the monumental task of traveling overseas, working up until the final hour, sleeping in a strange bed, leaving my dogs behind, rushing, fearing bad weather, feeling un-entitled and guilty, burntout and disappointed. Each year I try to manage my expectations and this year for example, I am again very excited about the idea of the upcoming holidays.

Here's what I have going on. Between now and December 8th I am an absolutely crazy maniac, packing cartons, managing family life with 2 teenagers and 2 dogs, trying to see friends and loved ones, packing suitcases, dealing with Basic French and pre-holiday retail madness, writing my blog, answering emails, twittering, facebooking and taking HD festive holiday videos. The 7th I drive Clementine to the country where she will board with all her Weimeraner pals at a cost of 16 euros per day. I can't move the car on the 8th because it is Les Fetes des Lumieres here, the absolute busiest day of the year in Lyon when no one can park and all the roads are blocked off. Hundreds of thousands of people descend on Lyon for a week of illuminated frenzy. The 9th we leave from Lyon, fly to Paris, arrive at JFK at 9:15pm, drive to Red Hook, and then the fun begins around midnight! This is the holidays.

God bless Barb and Barb, who welcome me, now that I don't own a house in the Hudson Valley, into their lovely amazingly cozy and fabulously festively decorated home, a place that feels like home to me, the way home should feel. You can paddle around in your pjs and slippers, mumble to each other in the morning until the coffee kicks in, then go independently your own way during the day only to regroup at the end of the day for a home-cooked meal by chef Bob. It truly does not get any better than this!

I will be in Red Hook for 4 whirlwind days preparing for the Brooklyn Flea Holiday Market "Gifted"  and trying to fit in visits with all my friends, not to mention numerous doctor's appointments. The show goes from the 15th until the night of the 22nd, or at least that is when I pack up my stuff, race back to Red Hook, unload the van, pack my bags and hightail it to Bucks County, PA to see my parents. Am I enjoying the holidays yet?

Let me pause. It is usually at about this time that I have a complete change of mind and a wave of grace passes through me. It is about now that I begin to be tired of all the spending and excesses that this holiday engenders. I hate to be Scrooge and kiss a good festive moment goodbye, but I must look at the big picture. At this time of year, I start worrying about the homeless people in my neighborhood. It's cold, they are outside all day, and Christmas is going to be an unfun day for them, like all the rest of the unfun days. I begin to pray for them and pray for peace in the world. I remind my girls how fortunate we really are, that getting stuff is nice, but a thoughtful gesture, however small, brings far greater joy to the world. So we bake cookies for the lovely old ladies in our building who thrill at the chance to share a lyonnaise story with us in the hallway as we dash away, dash away, dash away all. I try to smile more and say nice things to people who look lonely. I go to St. Martin D'ainay, the 13th century abbey next to my house, and cry for all the sadness in the world...then I feel better. The bells ring, the low golden sun bursts through the cool gray clouds.

Christmas, for me, is love, pray, eat {in that order}. . . and on this 3rd of December, 22 days BC, I want to remember why I am here on this earth and embrace the true Christmas spirit! It's time to put on Ella Fitzgerald, hug my kids, be grateful, bake more cookies and sing!