shivery's guide to new york #2: grey dog cafe
and now, ladies and gentlemen, we hop this tour on over to the land where the grid system has no real meaning, the west village. more specifically, the grey dog cafe (33 carmine st.; 212.462.0041). situated around the corner from bleecker st. records and across the street from the 'unoppressive, anti-imperialist bookshop' (yes, that is actually the name on the awning), the grey dog is all about strong coffee, cozy kitsch decor (such as the hand-painted tables, one of which features a map of sonoma county, my old stomping grounds) and sixteen kinds of bread ranging from sourdough to sun dried tomato. personally, i'm a fan of the sandwiches; i will freely admit that a grey dog grilled cheese makes me weak in the knees. the owl
is more of an aficionado of their stellar french fries (as you will discover if you ever try to nick one without permission). but really, let's be honest. all the food is pretty damn stellar: the sandwiches are gourmet, the salads divine, the omelets the size of your head and the beverages (hot, cold and alcoholic) pleasantly diverse.
as far as i'm concerned, though, the very best thing about the grey dog is its front window, which takes up the entire front wall and is thrown wide open when the weather is nice, getting around new york's pesky zoning laws to give you a quasi-al fresco experience.
plus, they cater! now if only i could get them to deliver to midtown...personal favorites:
hot chocolate; grilled cheese with cheddar and sourdough; the #7 (sliced apples, brie, raspberry mustard and turkey); the fact that they refer to their house green salad as the 'cute' salad and yes, the french fries. oh, the french fries.
writ at 11/13/2003 10:06:04 am by shivery
i'm a million different people from one day to the next
today the red waves are curled up into a beret, the lips are slicked with candy red gloss and the wool skirt has been unleashed for the season. today, je pense que je suis comme une belle parisienne.
i sometimes feel that i live my life as a series of theme days. i choose identities to suit my mood: one day cyberpunk butch, all clompy boots and black black eyeshadow. the next, seventies siren, complete with flippy hair and electric blue eyeshadow. another, forties vamp, tight skirt, high heels and smooth hair, liquid eyeliner and red lips. still another, preppy reject, collared shirts and argyle sweater, sweet smile and kneesocks. beatnik intellectual: black turtleneck, ponytail and eyeglasses. lower east side fashion victim: flat cap, big earrings, i love new york tote, spike heels and tight jeans. serious professional: suit, heels.
i enjoy it, i love the game of dress-up, though for years i wondered if it meant that i lacked a sense of identity, that i was looking for myself in one of these women i kept trying on. the thing that i've realized, though, is that my search through them is actually the very root of my identity. i am all of these women at one time or another, as all women are.
i just let them pick their own wardrobes sometimes.
writ at 11/13/2003 9:12:02 am by shivery
and update: at this very moment, i am at biscuit's house, plotting thanksgiving dinner for the lucky fifteen who have rsvp'd...three appetizers, 12 entree-type things and several exciting desserts (including 40-proof pumpkin pie)...we're battening down the hatches and preparing the troops.
there will be pictures, oh yes. thanksgiving is what we do.
writ at 11/12/2003 10:44:02 pm by shivery
we interrupt this bulletin...
...to remind you that i work with a bunch of nutjobs, indeed. i haven't spent much time in this forum railing about my job or my coworkers (which i loathe and tolerate, respectively), so what better way to introduce them than to paraphrase this morning's conversation for y'all.
on who should really be running for president of the united states in the next election:
tom hanks. (marilyn)
oprah. (sally sue)
that's right. welcome to my nightmare.
ah well. as long as it's not arnie. who is your random dark-horse candidate for president? my vote would have to go to either jean luc picard or the divine miss n.
writ at 11/12/2003 10:11:16 am by shivery
because i don't believe her for a second when she says she's okay.
as a creature that tends towards self-centrism when the chips are down, i have poured a lot of my focus inward these last few weeks. though i have popped my head up intermittently to offer what solace and comfort i can to my nearest and dearest, at all times a little part of me has remained with its eyes firmly trained on my own pain.
so far, only one person has managed to fully capture my attention. and blow me down if i am not just aching, breaking for her with every breath. she and i are running frighteningly similar gauntlets, though hers is mine raised to the eight millionth power. her heartbreak is borne of the sway of a stronger commitment than any i've ever had. her heartbreak is borne of a fury towards the self-proclaimed (though largely ineffectual) cavalry we've shared all our lives that burns and scorches everything in its path, leaving my own feelings of abandonment and relegation to afterthought insignificant. her heartbreak reduces mine to dust in seconds.
in the face of that fire, all i want is claw it out and bury it in the earth where it belongs. because i watch her, and i listen to her (those occasions we managed to cross paths)...and it's not that she can't fight this battle herself, it's not that she doesn't have the strength...it's just that it's a battle she shouldn't have to fight alone. it's a battle that nobody should fight alone. and having just been there (albeit to a lesser degree) i know how to fight this battle. obviously, i don't yet know how to win it. but i want to find that trick for her, even if i can't for myself.
i can't wage this fight for her, but i will throw down every gun i've got if any piece of it, of me, is what it will take to save her.
writ at 11/11/2003 3:35:54 pm by shivery
shivery's guide to new york 1: naidre's cafe
i decided to start this guide close to home--ten blocks away, to be precise. located at 384 7th avenue in brooklyn's south slope, naidre's cafe is known for its super friendly staff, killer smoothies and sandwiches, great coffee and the ever-rotating message on its clapboard outside (a personal favorite: 'let's solve the middle east conflict the american way -- celebrity boxing!'). just a stone's throw from the 7th ave F stop (and around the corner from the biscuit
), this 12-seat cafe is a really popular destination for south slopers: woe unto him who tries to get an actual chair on a saturday or sunday. but fret not, liebchens, because the lovelies at naidre's will pack up any of their specialties to go; they'll even assemble a picnic basket (sandwich, drink, cookie and piece of fruit) for you--perfect for a day in prospect park (five blocks or so away)!
needless to say, i'm a big fan of this place--it was my first destination on september 12, 2001; it was my favorite place to grab a quick nosh pre-buffy; it's one of the places i go when i need to rekindle my love affair with brooklyn and a mandatory stop for all out of town guests.
PLUS, if you swing by in the summer, you just might get some free apples!
the tuna sandwich (my favorite tuna sammich in the city); peach and blueberry smoothies; the 7th avenue; sesame bagels with sun-dried tomato cream cheese; peanut butter cookies and the iced coffee. oh yeah.
be sure to say hi to zac.
want to see more?
writ at 11/10/2003 7:55:05 pm by shivery
what with idle hands being the devil's playground and all, we're making a pre-emptive strike to ensure the winter blues make no more progress in their onslaught. which means--you guessed it! project! watch this space for something fascinating and fabulous: shivery's guide to new york. once or twice a week, i'm going to be profiling one of my favorite places in new york fuckin' city (schedule dependent on how often i can kidnap people's digis), so you too can have a love/hate relationship with the city that never sleeps. suggestions, questions and comments are always welcome.
brace yourself, yo.
writ at 11/10/2003 6:09:42 pm by shivery
so, rhode island rocks my face. autumn leaves, lunar eclipse, good friends, good food, fireplace, cliff walk, ocean view, rhonda the honda, rehoboth, clean air, stars, alias marathon, wine and whiskey, smoking, scarves, quiet, respite, coffee and croissants, vacation, not new york, different and lovely.
it was a kick-ass minibreak and it was everything i wanted it to be.
writ at 11/10/2003 11:24:46 am by shivery
my friend mica just had a baby. his name is oliver.
good god, we're getting older. shocking.
writ at 11/7/2003 3:03:19 pm by shivery
i find that the more shows i do, the less i have to say about them; i suppose that's a good sign, that i'm becoming a professional and growing as a musician. i also suppose it's a little disapponting, because the more competent i become as a performer, the fewer and further between come the jittery pre-show butterflies that make the whole thing so...singular. which is not to say that i wasn't having a good time, of course. i had a great time up there, and i like to think that i was very, very on, with the exception of the bridge to detour. that ended up a bit of a mess. let us discuss it no more. there was much in the way of screaming and yelling and yodeling (from me; from the audience there was good-natured heckling, thanks in no small part to the World's Sluttiest Topô and the leather pants) as well as some proper banter once i got comfortable--about halfway through the set. i sometimes wish that i could get two-hour sets, because i don't really hit my stride until about six songs in.
and the funny thing is, i didn't really think about r. while i was up there, beyond an awareness of his presence in some of the music. even when i was playing the new song, even when i was shrieking the chorus to 'hallelujah' (a song i'm certain i've forever ruined for him), even when i was singing the song i wrote about our twilight days as a pair. before and after, oh yes. a great deal. painfully so. but while i was up there, during the time that had kept me up the night before with worry for my own ability to soldier on, he was merely a peripheral thought. for some reason, i find that absolutely uproarious. in a perverse, metaphysical way, however, it makes sense: in order to get through the set, i had to squeeze all the emotions i'm feeling about him out of it. which meant that they spilled out into the preamble and the postscript. or something. but i think that's a nice image. kind of like a lovelorn cannoli, if that makes any sense.
anyway. for the first time in about ten months, i walked out of the orange bear without a set next booking. i was tired, and i'm tired of playing there, to be perfectly honest. it's been my primary venue for nearly a year, and it's time to start putting my nose back to the grindstone and selling myself to new venues. or take a couple months off. whichever. and if that doesn't work out, i have an open invitation to call in and book another show (behold, the power of scantily clad bosoms when you're dealing with a male booking agent).
but don't worry, i'll still be around. in open mics, in the studio and in your dreams.
writ at 11/7/2003 9:31:40 am by shivery