These prompts are from Gwen Bell's December Blogging Challenge. I'm playing catch up after a very full week of artistic output on my play, energy spent on my herbal biz, dancing in a performance, and in case that sounds like too much fun, really thrashing out a tricky situation. Here online I was getting carried away with reading everyone's amazing posts and noodling around on twitter at all hours of the night. I had to chose between blogging from midnight until 4 AM or sleep, and sleep won out. But maybe I can learn to both sleep and blog. Yet to be determined.
Rush of the year:
Hearing the play I worked to complete for five years read aloud for the first time by an actor.
Glass milk bottle. Elegant. Completely reusable. The milk tastes infinitely better. There used to be one type of milk that I could find in a glass bottle here in NYC. Now there are two kinds readily available in my neighborhood, Ronnybrook Farm and Milk Thistle Farm. My hope is that the glass milk bottle craze will sweep the nation. It tastes so good, the reusable bottle gives you a happy feeling, and you can pretend you're on Mad Men.
Tea of the Year:
I'm an herbalist, a.k.a. a tea-ologist. I'm known for my tea blends, and I own 4 teapots of various sizes and actually use all of them regularly. My very favorite tea isn't a blend, though, its Linden flower I gathered myself from the trees in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. You know in June when all of a sudden the air smells like honey as you pass under these enormous shade trees often buzzing with bees? That's linden. I love it so much that I named my dog after the tree Tilia, the Latin name for Linden. Its not cultivated in the U.S., though its highly medicinal (studies have found it lowers blood pressure) and is also relaxing, as well as simply delicious. You can buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs, though its imported from Eastern Europe, where it has been a beloved tisane for centuries. Proust writes about Linden tea with his madeleine in Swan's Way.
Word or Phrase:
2009 was... transformational. 9 is a number of change. After a run of some (10) entropic-feeling years I finished my play, wrote 30 poems in 30 days, started a novel, danced a solo in front of an audience, began the process of founding a not-for-profit, expanded my business, and finally made homemade mayonnaise.
EMc2 Emmett McCarthy
Emmett McCarthy's designs are timeless, current, sophisticated, and a little tongue-in-cheek. What Holly Golightly or a young Elizabeth Taylor would wear today. Michelle Obama has caught on. Emmett uses beautiful fabrics in both neutrals and deep jewel tones, with exquisite tailoring done right in New York City where his boutique is located. One of his winter coats boasts a silk lining. Those kinds of luxurious details make me feel both dressed to kill and also completely comfortable. I have one of his gorgeous coats now, and plan on adding another piece to my wardrobe just as soon as I can.
Best Car Ride of the Year: the subway.
I understand driving a car really fast. Driving makes more sense to me as a sport than as a mode of transportation. For the latter I'd rather walk, snowshoe, ride a horse, a bike, or in the city take the train. I love the fact that if you live in Manhattan you don't have to own a car.
This summer I took a long road trip with my partner, and we drove through bizarre little towns north of Highway 2 in Minnesota. It was a glimpse of what driving must have been like before highways. We got a feel for which towns were wealthy with their freshly painted Scandinavian inspired gingerbread moldings on the buildings, and which were not: 'Spooner Blows!'. We drove through brat days and past spaghetti dances. We goofed, laughed, listened to good jazz, but unlike when we're sitting by a lake having a great time, or at our kitchen table, I felt slightly queasy and stiff from immobility. So ultimately I left the car knowing that I'll always need to live somewhere where I don't have to drive because no matter how much fun driving can be, its still driving.
Even though the MTA has been really shady lately with their fare hikes and service cuts, I'm so grateful for the New York City Subway System.
Here's my favorite ode to the train: Duke Ellington & Ella Fitzgerald, Take the A Train.