In one of the more “Oh, Brooklyn, you are so cute.” moments I’ve had in a while, I ordered this cake not from a form, but by walking from my apartment to the French patisserie down the street from me [Trois Pommes in Park Slope], calling the baker over, and having her join me in a brainstorming session.
We literally had a daydream about cake.
“No chocolate.” was my only rule (Patrice is allergic.) “Anything else is game.”
We ended up doing peanut butter cake with a peanut butter and raspberry jam filling and cream cheese frosting. It was childhood and love in cake form, and there’s a huge hunk of it left in my fridge because it was so rich my friends all tapped out after one piece. Wimps!
In August 2004* I wrote in this blog post (among other thoughts that I felt were deep at age 22) “Lick everything.”
I’ve always wanted at least a teaspoon full of just about everyone I meet. It’s part of the reason why I’ve created a career of inserting myself into people’s lives and families. My job thrills me so much because hanging out with people I don’t know during intimate moments – getting married in a group of five friends, sitting in their living room posing for family photos, or literally taking their clothes off – is thrilling. Getting close to other people and peeling back their public facades is so fascinating.
When I found out about David Greg Harth’s project, I figured, correctly as it turns out, that he is one of my people. His project is called Every Person I Know And Every Person I Don’t Know; he invites friends and strangers to climb into a photo booth with him and takes a strip of shots. He’s amassed hundreds of photo strips throughout the years, and plans to do it “until forever”.
We met for beers Monday night at a bar in the East Village that had a photo booth. I told him about how I have always wanted to “lick everyone”, and how his project embodies that sentiment so completely.
Then we got in the photo booth together… and I licked him.
*Holy shit I’ve been blogging for a long time.
“Hey! Nice purse!” I called out.
I was on the streets of the East Village, and a lady my age was carrying the exact same purse I have, which is made by a tiny company in Warsaw, Poland that no one has heard of unless they are Pinterest-addicted. It’s the type of purse that ages like a baseball glove, and I plan on carrying it for decades.
“Yours looks broken in,” I said, admiring it. “Mine is still crisp because I just got it. This is what I have to look forward to.”
“Oh, yours is so shiny. I like it. Mine’s been everywhere. I just took it to Costa Rica!”
“So then yours has stories on it! I can’t wait for the stories to show up on mine.”
We compared all of the stuff we shoved into our purses on a daily basis, and giggled at ourselves for carrying too much before parting ways.
The gentleman I was walking with wisely took a step backward and remained silent.
Monday 5 November: I will be spending the morning collecting items that are desperately needed and the afternoon sorting them and then helping to bring them.
Hello fellow Park Slopers.
If you want to donate, I will come to your house in my station wagon, get items from your front door, and take them to those in need myself.
NOTE: If you have “like, only one blanket”, THIS IS FINE AND HELPFUL. That one blanket or one flashlight will help someone.
Here is the list of what is needed from my friends in the Rockaways:
diapers and wipes
feminine hygiene items
UPDATE: Body lotion
From Congregation Beth Elohim – I can get these from you or you can bring them yourself (8th and Garfield.)
Ready-to-eat foods like meal bars, liquid nutrition drinks, granola bars
D batteries specifically
candles and lighters
clean dry socks
From the Gowanus Community Center – I can get these from you or you can bring them yourself (420 Hoyt Street)
- Heavy blankets/comforters, etc.
- Heavy Socks
- Disposable hand warmers
- Thermal underwear (long johns – all sizes, must be new)
From the Occupy Sandy Relief NYC group (drop off centers at Clinton Hill: 520 Clinton Avenue (between Fulton & Atlantic) and Sunset Park:St. Jacobi Church, 5406 4th Ave Contact: Ronnie 646-353-5194)
If you live remotely, you can donate by buying a few items off of this clever “wedding” registry: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wedding/32TAA123PJR42
There is currently no more need for clothing.
If anyone has gift cards to Target, Costco or Staples that they would like to donate, I will take those, too.
I’ll be making my rounds late afternoon on Sunday. To get in touch, email me theambershow at gmail dot com or text me 424-226-2378 with your address. If you can’t be home, let me know where you are leaving your donations.
“Watch the Gap” signs are everywhere in the NYC subway system, but I dismissed them as a legal thing, and didn’t think people actually fell into the space between the subway car and the platform until it happened to me. I was coming home from a photo shoot and heard the train pull up while I was halfway down the stairs. It was Sunday, meaning that trains come about once every frajillion hours so I hustled, and was just getting into the car when my left foot caught and slipped straight down into the gap.
With my left leg suddenly wedged to just above my knee, my upper torso went flying forward and my face slammed onto the floor of the train, covered, no doubt, in a film comprised of every single substance a homeless human being can excrete. My right leg sprawled out on the platform behind me.
Thankfully BOTH legs didn’t fall into the gap or I’d have been stuck up to my hips, or, worse, fallen through completely, and then the train would have pulled away and I’d have been done for. Eeeps!
Thankfully with one leg out for leverage and two gentlemen who immediately came to my rescue by pulling my elbows, I was able to wedge myself out pretty quickly, although not quickly enough to avoid the subway doors closing and opening a few times on my rib cage (ow!)
I crawled all the way onto the car with the doors attempting one last failed open-and-close on my already bruised ankle. I sat. Everyone went back to reading their magazines or staring into space, because this is New York and people thankfully stop giving shits really fast. I patted the bruises and scrapes forming on my leg, brushed off the crud from my hands as best I could, and collected myself.
Seriously, guys: Watch the Gap.
I had eschewed air conditioning in my apartment this summer because it smells weird, because it makes me too cold, and because I can: this is the first summer in years I don’t have to compromise on temperature with someone who once complained he was “too hot” in the middle of a blizzard.
But, there’s that old New England phrase: “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, and on Wednesday morning, the humidity was keeping me up and making me crabby until I snapped. It was 2:45 am when I sat upright and said, “Ok, fuck this.”
I got in my car, drove over the bridge to Manhattan, bought an air conditioner in New York’s only 24 hardware store, lugged it home, installed it, and finally fell asleep in some sort of comfort just after four in the morning.
Guys? I bought an air conditioner at 3 in the morning. This is why I live in New York.
Camp Mighty is in a few weeks. About 150 people are descending upon the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs for a few days to talk Life Lists and party. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to soak up some sun and inspiration.
Requirement for my attendance is raising money for Charity:Water. My first thought, of course, was some sort of photography thing I could do, but that sounded less fun than hosting a happy hour in Manhattan, which is exactly what I’m doing. Here are the details:
November 3, 7pm – 11pm
25 Avenue B (btwn. 2nd and 3rd street)
New York, NY
Open bar from 7 – 8
$5 suggested donation.
There will be drink specials all night, and they have a full burger menu, too.
Five bucks for open bar?! You can totally drink more than that in an hour. I think even my teetotaler friends can put more than that away in Diet Cokes.
To raise more dollars for this awesome charity, there will be raffle prizes and a photobooth set up. We’re taking cash, checks and, because the world is awesome and I can swipe a credit card with my iPhone, we’re taking plastic, too.
Hosting a charity event is on my Life List anyway, so this is perfect.
See you there? You can RSVP on Facebook here (preferred) or leave a comment on this post.
If you can’t make it but you’d still like to donate, you can use PayPal to send in a donation (use my email address theAmberShow at gmail). If you leave me your address, I will hand-write a poem just for you and put it in the mail.
If you’re in New York City tonight looking for something to do, you might want to swing by the Cupcakes and Dates Charity auction hosted by a few of my lovely friends. They’re auctioning off dates with bachelors and bachelorettes to the highest bidder, and all the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society.
You can also bid on ME! The winning bidder’s “date” will be a one hour photoshoot package. (although if you bid big, I might throw in a little something extra. No promises… but I totally don’t have a gag reflex. What? It’s for charity.)
There will be a bake sale element, too, and trust me – I know some of the people who are baking for it, and they turn out some quality goods.
If you want to go but you don’t know anyone, text me at 424-226-2378 to say that you’re coming and Rob and I will meet you out front so you don’t even have to walk in solo. We will hang out for the evening, ok?
“Cupcakes & Dates” charity event
932 2nd Avenue (corner of 50th & 2nd Ave)
That night, there is going to be a gigantic wedding reception, open to the public, with drinks, a DJ, awesome decorations and an open wine bar. Rob and I will be there, and I hope you’ll come, too. Save me a dance! Tickets to the event are $20 on on sale here.
Will I see you there? I hope so!
p.s. Even if you can’t make it, you can buy a tote bag to support the event. Cute, right?
It’s morning, around 5, and I hear our apartment door open.
“Rob!” I whisper, poking him awake. “I hear something!” In the movies, it’s always the lady that wakes up first when there’s a strange noise in the house, and that’s no stereotype. We lay tense in the dark, listening, doing that thing where you’re pretty sure what you’re hearing is not really someone walking around your apartment, waiting for the moment it becomes obvious it’s just a neighbor coming home late and brushing against your door, waiting for the moment you can laugh, roll over, and fall back to sleep.
Our our key sets hang together in the living room; they start to jingle, a totally distinct sound that makes it REALLY clear that someone is, in fact, in our apartment… and touching our keys.
Rob springs up, wooden baseball bat in hand and runs to the living room while I fumble for my glasses. The light in the living room slams on, and something INSANE happens to Rob’s voice. It goes mad, and deep, and LOUD, and really fucking scary.
“YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE. GET OUT.”
I think “Well, duh.” Of course the burglar knows he doesn’t live here. I reach for my own bat and curl my fingers around its handle, ready to be backup in case Rob goes down, because the fact that this person might have a gun has not occurred to either of us. I sneak to the doorway, but Matty is faster, brushing by me to see our new friend. (The other two never bother to get out of their dog beds. All three are useless.)
The purp, all 15 years and 80 pounds of him, was wobbling and incoherent. I’m living room now, bat in hand, pumped up and itching to go one-two with Rob in a mega beat-down. Rob’s words suddenly make sense: this kid doesn’t know his own name let alone where he is. The smell of sugar and alcohol is heavy in the air and he’s stumbling, slurring, slumping.
We shoved him out into the hall, assuming he lives elsewhere in the building; maybe a friend of the teenager on the fourth floor, even though that doesn’t make sense: our neighbor is a nice kid, respectful, and this doesn’t seem like the kind of company he would keep. We get back into bed and a minute later hear yelling above us; two minutes later the police are on our doorstep. He had made it to the fourth floor and got into our neighbor’s house, then ran back out and onto the street. By the time the cops got there, he was gone.
“You just left your door unlocked? That’s really dangerous!” NYPD doesn’t so much admonish you as bitch you out. She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Crazy, man.”
And it is. We totally spaced on bolting the door.
We go back to bed again and tuck every part of my body I can around Rob, clinging to him like a baby monkey.
All is quiet until 6:30 when the door rattles, softly (having been properly secured); it’s the same kid again.
I dial 911, Rob does more yelling and eventually the police come back and tell him, “dude, you’re in the wrong apartment building, and also, how old are you again? And you were drinking?” This is when I find out how old he is, that he is named Christian, and that he is going to be in a LOT of trouble. Our neighbors put a note on the door asking everyone to please remember to keep the door locked. I’m fine, but I think Rob is still jittery.
Can I just say a word about NYPD? They are PROMPT. I wasn’t even off the the phone with 911 before they were knocking on our door. And they’re so diverse! A Puerto Rican lady (the one that bitched us out) came, flipping from English to Spanish getting the story from our neighbors and us. She was with one of those “Fuggedaboutdit!” Brooklyn guys, a darker, Italian guy with muscles like crazy, and a black cop with corn rows. It was kind of the best thing ever.