Greenpoint Power Couples – Grace (Design*Sponge) & Julia (food writer)

Julia and Grace (photo by Lauren Volo)

In this couple’s own words about their professional pursuits in Greenpoint, pioneering blogger Grace Bonney humbly says, “I run a website about design;” her talented wife, Julia Turshen, answers in equal modesty, “I write about food. And I do a lot of dishes.” In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked these creative newlyweds to tell us more about their lives together in the neighborhood. Continue reading

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(Not) Forgotten Greenpoint: Transmitter Park – Attack of the Killer… Mockingbirds?

© National Georgraphic

Okay, “killer” is an exaggeration. A reader wrote in to tell us a funny, but at the same time a little frightening story about her recent run in with an aggressive bird in Transmitter Park. The part about other birds that hang out to watch the action really got me laughing:

“I go to Transmitter Park a lot, it’s very close to my office. On one such visit about a month ago as I walked into the entrance that’s closest to the children’s playground a bird tried to land on my head (at least this is what I thought was happening). Without seeing it, I swatted near my head and turned around just in time to see the bird fly away. I totally thought it was a random, one off thing. Continue reading

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“The DMV of Love” – Getting Domestic Partnered in NYC is More Romantical Than You Think

My recent self-employment brought up concerns, especially from my Mom and Jon about health insurance. While domestic partnership doesn’t seem very romantic at first because of how practical it actually is, our experience turned out to be really fun, stress-free and all about us, which weddings often lack for the couple. And it was $35 not $35,000 dollars and I’m insured!

While we don’t get a lot of the benefits of being lawfully married, aside from health insurance, we do get the right to conjugal visits! Win. Continue reading

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(Not) Forgotten Greenpoint: PREGNANCY TESTS & DOG SHIT

I thought I was pregnant so I dug up a pregnancy test a friend left me before she moved from Greenpoint to California with the advice, “Don’t get pregnant, idiot!”

What a bitch, I thought, not because she called me an idiot, but because she was jinxing me. At the time I was dating someone whom I would have been an idiot to have a kid with.

Three years later this wasn’t the case with Jon, but we weren’t prepared for a baby at the moment. I guess you never are, but we were in the middle of buying an apartment out of foreclosure, I was about to quit my job, and our cats, whose behavior I thought might reflect our future parenting skills, were acting like total assholes. That day they had chased each other across my chest as I sat on the couch, leaving red bloody scratches along my collar bone. Imagine what a kid would do to me.

Before I left for work that evening, the test proved inaccurate, a smudge of blue in both positive and negative fields. It had expired. Continue reading

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The GreenPoint Pick Up: One Girl, One Cup

Have you ever had one of those mornings you wake up and actually cringe at the thought of your previous evening? I like to keep these mornings few and far between. When they do show up, though, it’s nice to think about all the other worst-case scenarios that offer the friendly reminder, “well at least I’m not that guy.”

Recently, I heard a story about a fellow Greenpointer that has become a comfort on any mortifying morning I might awake to.  As a writer, I consider it my civic duty to impart this story upon you.

Continue reading

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The GreenPoint PickUp – Deal Breakers

This article made possible by a donation to the Writer’s Fund by Black Rabbit Bar.

The deal breaker. Whether you have been dating for one week or one year the definition of a deal breaker varies from person to person. For some, it may be that moment when he/she farted on your first sleepover, others it may be the ultimate intolerance of perpetual halitosis or, according to urban dictionary, “The act of firmly yet romantically cramming your entire fist into your significant others cornhole… a distant cousin of the shocker.” No matter the specifics, a deal breaker is a deal breaker and its up to each individual to decide what they can live with and what they can live without.

Here are a few of mine:

1. Getting Lanced:
My boss was sick of me having nothing to contribute to Monday morning dating debriefs so she took it upon herself to set me up with her friend – after our date he said he was headed out on a bike trip for a week out west and asked if we could get together when he got back. The next day I received a heartbreaking picture message – him in full on Lance gear…padded bike spandies, helmet, fingerless gloves…I’m now suspicious he doesn’t have any testis either.

2. Bad Texter:
A friend of mine took me to an amazing art exhibit on the opening night at Milk Studios. The artist was an attractive Frenchman who was acquaintances with said friend. A few days later, the artist had asked about me and he wisely slipped him my number. I guess the trouble started when his message contained 5 smiley faces in a two sentence exchange.. and continually referring to me as “Merry”… REPEATEDLY in each message even after correcting him – “Oh, my name is MEDDY.” Nonetheless I moved forward and we decided on a date…until 4am I received the below message (mind you this IS abbreviated):

“Thank you Merry (smiley face) Indeed. lot of things are happening in the same time. and keep happening..very interesting. means a lot. amazing signs. timing being a sign as well, or interpreted as one, if you need a sign (winky face)! ….do I need signs ? sure always, ying yang confidence and doubts…signs, no ? sorry. strong green.. lol…ok i ll keep it !(smiley face) hum. seriously…. for tomorrow…i was thinking… you already attended my show… enough it s too much on me…no? (smiley face) yes…i feel it that way…i totally forgot that talk… finally and overall i would have a great excuse to live right after the talk…”

3. The Bed Wetter:
It’s funny how an old flame can draw you in even after so many years. For me, it was the college jock. Of all the potentials in my life, I’d say I gave this one (hands down the least deserving) the most time of day. Why you ask? I have no idea. He was a soccer player and I’d had a crush on him since sophomore year. After years of back and forth flirtations we finally met up after college. Naturally, I thought it was going to be monumental–Oh how wrong I was.  In the middle of the night I felt something seep through the sheets… “F#*&!!!!!!! You’re pissing!” I then received the response of “No, I’m not–go back to bed”. In retrospect, it wasn’t the piss that bothered me as much as his mortification-turned-dick-headedness. He pointed me to the next cab and I was out the door. Deal breaker.

Please share your deal breakers in the comments section.

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Today, as we enjoy turkey, we might get attacks of indigestion and heartburn, but a few years ago I was actually attacked by a wild turkey, so Thanksgiving is always a day of sweet revenge, which is actually a positive emotion if you’re Sicilian.

While pretending to be a wildlife photographer in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, off in the marshy swamp next to my parents’ A-frame house, I spotted a wild turkey and her chicks. As I neared to get closer for a photo, they scurried away, but one little baby remained, caught in the brush by my feet.

When nasty Mama saw how close I was to her child, that crazy bitch ran faster than lightning at me. Do you ever wonder what you would do if fight or flight kicks in? Well I ran like a big wimp. Before I could turn half around, she had reached me and jumped on me and clawed at my back, knocking me and my camera onto the pavement!

As I got up, she reared up for another run at me but a car spooked her and I was able to make it to my house. I survived but my camera was not so lucky.

Don’t mess with big birds and Happy Thanksgiving!

(Image found at The Allen Family Bermuda Triangle)

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Plunders and Blunder of Shopping Therapy and Gift Giving (to the Japanese)

Midtown sucks, we all agree. I try to be in and out, but when I have to wait around I seek a haven; a quiet place or I go to therapy, shopping therapy. It’s slim pickins’ but when I need a snack and reading time I head to Fika, a swedish espresso bar, with great coffee and pastries, including chocolate balls, great macaroons and my favorite sandwich, avocado with arugula, red onion and cream cheese on raisin bread.
And when I need to get a brain fix I head to Argosy, a 3-story fetish shop for used books and old prints.
On the bottom level you can find prints from $3, like that sweet flamingo (bottom right). I also picked up that Brooklyn Amusement Park poster (top left) from the late 80s for $10. The other two, a graphic novel with a dude chain sawing a tree (top right) and a weird Russian canned food print (bottom left) were $20 each. Pretty cheap for awesome artwork!
After a ride back home on the G train, which made me wonder they leave one door half open in each car when you wait at Court Square, I realized maybe it’s to keep the A/C inside. The MTA being energy conscious?
The plan was to go to Vintage Modern for the We See Stars trunk sale, but since the train ride was supersonic fast, I mosied around The One Well and chat with Kerry.
I wanted to buy a gift for my friend’s girl who is visiting from Japan. The problem with shopping for someone else is you always find things for yourself.
“That is totally normal!” Kerry assured me, so I bought these pearly pink old lady earrings ($28), which weren’t clip-ons, hallelujah! And for the lady friend I bought this adorable flower bowl ($12).
Then I headed over to the trunk sale and scored those arrow earrings ($18) and ate a gallon of potato chips. See that spread! Erica, the jewelry designer, also sells at the Dekalb Market on weekends.
Jon met me down the block for dinner at EAT after he ate a hot dog. Lucky! Our salad had the most delicious honey vinaigrette. Seth told us how to make it: just whisk together honey, oil and apple cider vinegar with a little salt. Magic.
While there I started unraveling all my wares from my shopping spree.
“Well I had a lot of time to kill!” I reasoned.
“So you shopped. You are such a good American,” Jon said.
“Look how adorable, right? She is going to love it!” I said proudly showing him the flowery bowl. Then I turned it over.
“MADE IN CHINA! I can’t give this to her!”
Every year, my parent’s friends, the Watanabe’s send us Christmas presents from Japan. As a kid (and as an adult) I beg to open all the origami wrapped gifts. When we turn them over we find the “Made in China” sticker and laugh, even though the gifts are always gorgeous. Meanwhile, we probably send them gifts made in China, too. Or worse, Canada!
Without thinking too hard about the history of far eastern diplomatic affairs or mass consumerism, I bought her the slate colored handmade bowl from Eat instead ($7), which is Made in Brooklyn and I happily kept the cute little Chinese bowl for myself.
Oh the blunders and plunders of gift exchange with the Japanese! Now hide my wallet and hope today is payday!

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