Thursday, January 29, 2015

Project 365: Days 23-29

23/365: I dyed my hair for the first time in months and got the color exactly how I wanted it (which is to say, not much color at all).

24/365: We took a vertical tour of St. John the Divine and my inner 8-year-old emerged when I saw this guy with posable fingers in the gift shop.

25/365: I went on my first-ever cross-country skiing adventure and really loved it. The views were incredible, the wintery nature was gorgeous and the entire day was pretty much perfect.

26/365: We got off work at 1:30 due to the impending "blizzard" so Francesca and I ate Chipotle and watched the snow on Lexington Avenue.

27/365: We had a snow day off work, which I spent eating a bagel, walking around Prospect Park, watching a movie and eating dinner with friends. After the park we walked past Green-wood Cemetery which was closed but insanely beautiful in the snow. Adult snow days are the best.

28/365: I met Jim and Katie in Brooklyn for dinner and walked past this sidewalk stencil outside of the Barclays Center on Flatbush Ave.

29/365: I had some gift shopping and card buying to do, so I headed to Greenwich Letterpress where I found this amazing Gilmore-Girls-themed key tag that I had to buy for myself.

This week we finally started to get some respectable snow on the ground, which is my very favorite part about winter so I'm very happy. I can't believe this month is almost over, but it's been filled with such wonderful delights that I definitely don't feel as if any time has been wasted.

Happy last-day-of-January and have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cathedral of St. John the Divine: Vertical Tour

I have been to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine many times—on tours before I lived here, to see the Xu Bing exhibit and I often stop in while I'm on a walk around my neighborhood since I live so close. I am very much not a religious person, but I've always loved grandiose churches and St. John the Divine is one of the grandest. It's tied with the Liverpool Church for largest Anglican cathedral, and it is the fourth largest Christian church in the world. Its construction was halted by the start of World War II and has remained unfinished ever since.

You can tour the interior at your leisure, but to go up inside of the cathedral you have to take what they call a "vertical tour." Francesca, Trent and I took the 12pm tour on Saturday and I highly recommend it. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and interesting, giving us a history of the architecture and construction, as well as explaining some of the intricate stained glass themes.

We climbed to a few different levels of the church via a very tight spiral stone staircase and the views were incredible. There were a few stops on balconies outside of the church, and the view of snowy rooftops in Morningside Heights and the Upper West side was perfect.

We even got to see the attic of the cathedral, which protects the vaulting from the elements and offered a behind-the-scenes look at the back of the famous Guastavino tiling on the ceiling of the church. When you're standing on the main floor of the cathedral it's hard to get a good feeling of just how soaring everything is, and it was nice to get to experience it all from a different perspective. We also got to see some of the amazing stained glass up close, pieces that you can barely see at all from the floor. Like I said, I'm not much for religion, but I'm grateful that if I ever did suddenly decide that I needed a place to worship, a place as beautiful as St. John the Divine is just a few blocks away.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Project 365: Days 16-22

16/365: This is a horrible photo, but I kicked off my weekend getting a chimichanga and a margarita as big as my head with my wonderful friend Trent.

17/365: I got breakfast at a favorite local diner and took the long way home.

18/365: I had the most perfect rainy Sunday, which started off with the best banana pancakes that have ever happened to me.

19/365: I took another walk around my neighborhood and visited this Atomic Buddhist statute. It once stood 1.5 miles away from the center of the nuclear blast that leveled Hiroshima, and now resides on Riverside Drive.

20/365: I got these sock monkey socks for Christmas and they make me happy every time I wear them.

21/365: I wore my skull and pom-pom sweater and prayed for snow (we didn't get any).

22/365: Francesca found another Greek coffee cup to add to my collection—the one on the bottom—and cemented her status as the best coworker/friend around. I've set a few rules for myself, including no picking them out of the trash (yet) or buying them online, but I have no problem accepting them as gifts as long as they were found "in the wild."

I kind of forgot about this 365 project a little bit this week, but that's ok. I'd rather have a grainy iPhone photo or the memory of an amazing day than the perfect shot, but hopefully I can be a little better next week. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Meow Parlour

As soon as I heard that New York was getting its very first cat cafe, I made reservations for Francesca and me. The Meow Parlour is on Hester Street on the Lower East Side—it's been popular so we had to wait about a month before there was an open night. We went at 7pm, an hour before they close and there were four other people there when we got there, but they left soon after and we had the place to ourselves. The cafe part of the "cat cafe" concept is kept separate from the actual cats, in this case it's down the street. It was closing, so we didn't get any cat-shaped macarons or coffee, but that wasn't really the point for us.

Although I have my share of cats to pet on a daily basis, I was still excited to be surrounded by them, and I told Francesca that she had to make sure that I didn't end up adopting one or all of them. That is, of course, the entire point of the cat cafe and I really hope more people go with the intention of taking home one of the residents.

They were all adorable and lovable and it was hard to pick a favorite—that is, until Fang emerged from under the front desk ten minutes before closing time and stole both of our hearts with her unique markings, incredibly sweet personality and gorgeous eyes. Fang is the senior resident of the Meow Parlour, at 10-years-old, but most of the cats are quite young.

Ringo is the pure black cat and he warmed up to me immediately (must be my witch-like tendencies); Roger is white with black spots and he was content to lord over the others from his perch in the Scratch Lounge; Puddin' is a big white ball of fur who gives zero fucks and napped for the entire hour that we were there.

There was one cat who never left the box that he/she had wedged him/herself into, and two sets of cats that looked nearly identical. There was a sweet tortoise-shell that looked just like a cat I used to know and love, and a frisky tabby named Lucky Lemon who was doing his best to destroy an adorable cardboard ice cream truck by eating it.

The place definitely felt like a new business, and it was a bit awkward at first but once we got over that (or once we had the place to ourselves), our hour went by really quickly. I don't have an intense need to pay $4/half hour to pet cats on a regular basis (if anyone wants to pay me anything to come pet Mozart, I'm down with that), but I love that the Meow Parlour exists for people that might not be allowed to have pets, or live with someone who is allergic, or for people looking to take home a pet of their own. I'm sure I'll be back with visitors or to try the macarons, and while I hope Fang finds a home soon, I'll miss her most of all.