Wednesday, July 23, 2008

h o m e

yay! i'm so happy to be back home after my lengthy travels. I returned home to unreasonably beautiful, warm weather (75 degrees in the *wintertime*!) and enormous protests in the streets about tuesday's senate vote on farm taxes (mike got sent home early from work on account of 250,000 people protesting in the streets near his office in Palermo). And we have a *new* home! the story is that our beloved friends Eamon and Lucy used to live in this apartment, but they left Buenos Aires to go back to England (and sometimes Wales) so we got to take over their sweet apartment! We always loved this place, and we are so lucky that now we get to live in it!

Let me give a little tour of our new apartment: it's located on Ravignani, between Cabrera and Niceto Vega, in the cool neighborhood of Palermo Hollywood (stop by for a visit!). It's called "hollywood" because all our neighbors are TV and film studios. Our building is an old PH, which stands for propriedad horizontal, basically it means that it's a big house that has a small facade on the street but reaches way way back, usually PH's are divided into several different apartments, one behind another, each one accessed via a long passageway that runs from front to back.

When you enter our apartment from the passageway, you're inside of a giant jungle! we have this sunroom / indoor patio / dining-room with a glass roof and plants climbing the walls all around. What a beautiful space!

behind the dining-room is our little kitchen, it's kind of small but it's cute and it works fine.

On the left of the dining-room, two doors open into the livingroom, a huge loft space with really high brick ceiling (like, 20 feet high?) and a cozy collection of couches and a piano and a guitar and a ping-pong table!! (we usually keep the ping-pong table folded up in the corner when we're not playing.)

The downstairs bathroom is painted all over in these crazy colored squares which i totally love.

Upstairs (watch your head going up, you have to duck to get upstairs!) is another bathroom and our beautiful bedroom, which has glass-paned doors opening out to the upstairs terrace! The bedroom is so bright and sunny and white, and the down comforter is so fluffy, I always feel like I'm floating in the heavens atop a cloud when I wake up in the morning.

The terraza is covered in plants, it's got honeysuckle and jasmine and ivy climbing all around, and a vine-covered trellis overhead for shade in the summer. we're lucky enough to have a hammock for relaxing among the vines, a little table with lots of chairs, two barbecues, and an outdoor shower out there!! The terrace is totally surrounded by vines and high white walls and blue sky, so it feels totally idyllic and private. Mike just bought a movie projector so we'll be able to have outdoor movie screenings on those high white walls in the springtime!!

So, in all, this place is really fun. I want to take more pictures as we get more unpacked/moved-in/cleaned up. I sound like a real estate agent but it's just because i'm excited to be in a beautiful new/old apartment, and (although we're renting, obviously), its' nice to feel like i have a home, and to feel like I could really stay here happily for a while and make myself comfortable. On the other hand, this place definitely has some drawbacks; it's impossible to really heat it in the cold weather, and it's generally leaky and humid and a bit moldy. It's just old, and there's always a lot of dust and bits drifting down from the slowly-disintegrating ceiling and walls. But whatevs. Right now I'm totally in my honeymoon with my new apartment and everytime I come home i'm like "wow, this place is so beautiful and I live here!"
Stay tuned for upcoming posts about all the neat stuff in our posh new neighborhood, such as El Galpon organic cooperative farmer's market!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

new york

como siempre, my visit to new york was fun and way too crazy. i stopped first to visit Emily and Eric in Boston for the weekend, which was nice, especially because it was the only part of my trip when I really didn't have to be anywhere at any particular time or do anything. just wandered around beacon hill, boston common, newbury street, ate an ice cream cone, watched the people coming and going. we did get stuck in south station for three hours on sunday evening, waiting in line to buy a bus ticket to new york, only to be told that all the buses were sold out. so we had to stay another night and take a bus on monday morning. it all worked out fine in the end.
in new york i stayed at Emily D's apartment in the East Village for a few nights, and one night at Sara's apartment in Greenpoint too. Emily took me out for dinner at Prune, which was yummy. I was sad when I got full and couldn't eat any more. There was a ricotta ice cream with butterscotch croutons for dessert. Butterscotch croutons!!! they were supremely crunchy, sweet, and salty. wow. Also, at Emily's house I picked up this book off the shelf: Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory. I read it in like one hour and it was fun and kind of inspiring.
My favorite moment in New York was picnic night in McCarren park with friends.

I did freelance work at Oshkosh for two days, which was really fun. It made me wish i could go back and work there full-time again!! Went to visit the Met with Sara and sat in Central Park, drinking an iced tea out of a clear plastic cup with a straw, which felt very fancy and special because you can't get that in BsAs (and because i normally try to avoid such gratuitous plastic wastage).
Really, everyone and everything in New York was awesome but getting from one end of the city to another can be such a bitch, and it's impossible to be in new york without a cell phone! That, and there is always so much to do and never enough time to sleep!!! By the last day, I was so totally completely exhausted, and sick of running all over the city. Friday I had to run an errand near the BQE in Clinton Hill and ended up walking along the expressway all the way up to williamsburg in the hot hot sun, sweating and frying on the pavement with the cars flying by overhead, ugh.
So, I was very very exhausted and relieved and happy and homesick when I headed to the airport on Friday. This was a really awesome and fun trip to the USA! but boy, was i excited to go back home.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

maine, new hampshire

Next stop, Maine! we turned up in Gorham, ME on Friday afternoon and after cheerful greetings from all family and dogs, settled right in to the back porch with a beer and italians from Amato's. My sister Amy and her husband George were traveling in Italy so their two dogs Django and Annabelle were staying at my parents' house, in addition to my parents' two dogs, Paprika and Juniper. My two cats Buster and Boris are also living there, in addition to 8 baby chickens who were living in a cardboard box in the hallway. On top of all these animals, and Mike and I, Mike's mom Bonnie and her friend Les had come out from Michigan to visit with us in Maine too! so it was a pretty full house. Bonnie and Les had never been to visit Maine or New Hampshire before, so we all wanted to show them the best of New England. On Saturday we drove over to Intervale, New Hampshire to stay in our family's cabin in the White Mountains. We went to visit Jackson Falls, ate lobsters for dinner, enjoyed some beautiful hours relaxing on the screen porch, went for some beautiful hikes in the white mountains. We walked up Mt. Willard trail (aka Bubblegum Hill) with all four dogs and six people, under cloudy skies and by the time we reached the spectacular viewpoint at the top, it had started to rain... on the whole walk down it was pouring buckets!!

in general our time in Maine and NH included a lot of rain, though there were good hot sunny days too. After a few days in Intervale, we went back to Maine for a few days, snacked at a few seafood shacks, explored Portland, joined Amy and George at an idsva fundraiser, had a great dinner at Fore Street, took a ferry out to the islands in Casco Bay.

Mike left us on Thursday evening and then Bonnie and Les headed home on Saturday morning... but we weren't lonely because my Aunt Barbara arrived on Saturday evening to visit for the week! We stayed in Intervale for most of the week. Amy and George and Alicia and Kathy all came up to Intervale too, so we had a cozy visit with lots of family and dogs and good food.
Again, it was so sad when I had to leave. I packed all my suitcases (I had accumulated SO much new stuff to bring home with me to BsAs... I had to take a whole extra suitcase to carry it all!) the night before and early Saturday morning, Judy and Richard drove me down to the Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway, where the bus to Boston stops at 8:25 am. Goodbye to family and goodbye to the mountains and my homeland. Snif.

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