Happy International Women’s Day 2017!
Women’s Day is not widely celebrated in the United States. However, 2017 dawned with the inauguration of an American leader who bragged that he can grab vaginas, ogle near-naked teenage beauty pageant contestants, publicly humiliate a Miss Universe.
We have been asked to wear red in solidarity, something I probably would have done anyway. I like red tones. But the uniform wearing of red reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Scarlet Letter, neither of which presented good lives for fertile women. Continue reading Holding On To My Power: International Women’s Day
One of the small, fun benefits of taking classes is the implied permission to collect supplies. Promotional pens and pencils, colorful clips, happy highlighters and a pencil sharpener that I forgot I even owned! Continue reading A Good Match for New Life
Book life comes full circle.
While book lovers all over the Internet are comparing modern times to George Orwell’s 1984, I was compelled to reread 2009’s The Return by Victoria Hislop. It’s a novel about Englishwoman Sonia, who is drawn to a cafe in Grenada, Spain. Through that, she learns much about herself and about Spain’s Civil War.
Sonia, our modern-day protagonist, leaves her stuffed-shirt husband at home to celebrate her best friend’s birthday in Spain for a few days. They book salsa classes in advance of the trip but Sonia is also drawn to flamenco. She is enraptured by some old flamenco posters at a cafe she happens upon. Miguel, the elderly cafe owner, takes a liking to Sonia, and she to him. Dance and the cafe become central to her visit. In the course of the novel it all ties together, even Miguel’s youthful involvement. Continue reading Returning To A Beloved Novel And Learning About Fascism
A snowy day is the perfect day to browse the archives for a shadowy Photo Challenge picture.
And what better than a tree looming over a normally busy street that was closed to accommodate a nearby summer street fair! Continue reading In the Shade of a Shadow Tree
Atlantic City ‘s Art Walk is well worth a visit.
The mile-long path borders marshland in the Marina District, crosstown from the Boardwalk that we usually associate with AC. On one side of the path is beautiful shoreline, which is desolate in the winter. The paved path undulates like the shoreline it follows. Continue reading Shoreline Solitude in Atlantic City
About 399,999 protesters and I shut down Midtown.
I attended the Women’s March on New York City with a friend and the Center for the Women of New York. We assembled in a midtown hotel lobby where I bought a commemorative pin and sash from the Center; they need the money and I wanted a memento that I can use again. I helped myself to complimentary coffee as added fuel. Continue reading Not Being Silent: The March on New York City
I’ve been trying to write a sweet post about decorating with light for the past week. But the inauguration had me too sad for pretty word pictures.
I wanted to show how I used a combination of tealight candles, battery-operated candles and battery-operated Christmas lights to transform the dark end of my living room. I wrapped bright lights around the top of my decorative lighthouse and I like it so much, it will stay that way all year long. It seemed appropriate to create my own personal beacon. Light is safety; it prevents bumps and bruises. Light shows what things really look like; a truly lit object will show its details and flaws. Continue reading The Light At The End…
New York City is five counties of unique areas that need names, as well as addresses, to locate. They are worth the hunt.
They are so wholesome that they opened this shop immediately after last year’s blizzard. The hearty lamb meat pie was delicious. Continue reading Naming In New York
It’s been a mild winter so far here in New York, but we all know the snow is inevitable. Continue reading Winter Resilience And Fun
Christmas is eagerly anticipated worldwide right now. In my corner of the planet, I am also looking forward to the results of renovations on my apartment building.
The modernization started about a year ago and I see beautiful new workmanship every day. Dated pink wallpaper was replaced with serene, sensible beige. Moldings were added with drops a few inches from the ceiling to hide cable wires. The elevators were replaced with taller, safer ones. Marble flooring is being installed, which actually worries me: the inevitable icy winter weather will cause wet, slick floors. And you really don’t want to slip on marble. Continue reading Anticipating Christmas and The End Of Renovations
Midlife is a strange and exciting time to be job-eliminated.
I had a lifetime of caring for other people (I am the oldest of five so the responsibilities started early.) I can now sensibly think of shifting gears and earning a living at work that I love. But what? Continue reading New Horizons: Things Are Looking Up
I have a love/hate relationship with gift cards. Yes, they are convenient and show the recipient some consideration.
The bank or retailer is holding on to your money until the card is redeemed. Not only are you lending them your cash for free, but banks actually charge you for the privilege. Hey, at least throw in some nice packaging! So as a public service, I visited local retailers and gathered some helpful intel: Continue reading Which Gift Cards Are Worth Buying?
The calendar and political climate have caused New York’s Union Square to make dramatic changes in just the past two weeks. Politics and the holiday shopping season collide.
Many gathered at the park to speak of their discomfort with the presidential election results. It was a friendly scene; I thanked one speaker for urging protesters to select one thing to be activist about rather than be overwhelmed by the big picture. This turned into a casual conversation between two people who were, clearly, older than most of the rest of the attendees. This is Union Square at 14th Street on November 10: Continue reading Union Square’s Seasonal Transformation
I suspect every American knows that the best thing about Thanksgiving is the leftovers.
The sheer amount of food on the holiday can be overwhelming, especially if you are hosting and have to figure out where to put ALL THAT FOOD. Continue reading Bonding Over Thanksgiving Leftovers
Distracting myself from 24/7 news coverage of the U.S. presidential election with this picture of apples and a pear. I couldn’t resist the tiny ones at the farmer’s market; they were so cute! Continue reading Cheerful Little Apples
President-elect Reality Show Host has shown open disdain for Hispanics, and that doesn’t bode well for me. Long ago it was preferable to “pass” for an another ethnic group rather than look Spanish. I can but have enough self-respect to answer honestly. “What is your heritage?” “What is your ethnic group?” “Are you [fill in locally acceptable nationality here.]?” Hispanic. Continue reading It’s No Longer Enough To Be Born In America: A Midlife Hispanic View of the American Presidential Election
New York Suffragists
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
That’s the simple beauty of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote. It was ratified in 1920, meaning that there are women alive today who were born before they had that right.
Continue reading Breaking Fashion Rules to Celebrate My Right to Vote
This year, my sister and niece are organizing a new way of exchanging Christmas gifts, and I couldn’t be happier.
Each family member over high school age buys one gift valued at up to $50.00 and brings it wrapped. Each recipient will be assigned a number. Number one selects first, number two second, and so on. You get the gift associated with that number or you can “steal” a gift that has already been opened. I’m not sure if that would be funny or cause some sore feelings, but I’ll go with the flow.
Our family members in the scheme will range from college age up to, well, me. Boys and girls. We are neither fancy nor cute, mostly suburban working class. And after some retail research, here are some ideas: Continue reading Holiday Gift Shopping Made Easy
On a bright day with shiny blue skies, an ordinary office building becomes a grid for the surrounding trees and parking lot.
From the third floor, those cars look like art:
In Midtown Manhattan it’s so easy to forget that New York is a city of active rivers, with shipping and ferries, sightseeing boats and sights to see. This is the view at sunset near where I currently work in New York City. Continue reading The Hudson River at Dusk
Who would have thought, back in the Seventies, that people would be so nostalgic about The Ramones that their hometown would be falling all over itself to honor them? Continue reading Punk Nostalgia
I love air plants, that they don’t need pots or messy soil. In nature they grow on the sides of trees in humid environments and feed off the moisture in the air. How hard can it be to keep them alive, right?
This summer saw the possible demise of three plants I bought at the beginning of the season. I didn’t keep them hydrated enough and they lived under a ceiling fan. They were pretty shriveled up by the time I realized that my nice breeze was their kiss of death. Continue reading Trying Not To Kill The Air Plants
I study the little poofy ponytail in the mirror, the same type my hair has made since I was a little girl. The apartment is warm but I have work to do, vanity be damned.
I notice that my once-prominent cheekbones have softened my face into an oval, my dark hair now colored a lighter shade of brown to more effectively disguise the greys. Am I too old to be seen with a ponytail? Continue reading How Old Is Too Old?
I wasn’t planning to post about the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, but I was sent this video. Among the heroes of the day were ordinary working people banding together as rescuers. I’m honored to share their collective story.
In the summer, daytime doesn’t give up without a fight.
With the city in the distance, these commuter train tracks pick up the vivid oranges of the setting sun before the cool darkness takes over. Continue reading Summer Sunset
A week ago I was flying home from Los Angeles after attending the annual BlogHer conference. Continue reading BlogHer Fun: Los Angeles
I can eat breakfast food all day long. These eggs could be served as omelettes or scrambled, with cheese or meat added in. Dunk sliced bread in, fry it, and you have French toast. Continue reading Versatile Eggs
So the Trump boys thinks that if a woman is sexually harassed in the workplace, she should quit.
And do what? Create a job opening for another potential sexual harassment victim? Live on no income while she looks for another job?
The harasser is in violation of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission law. The EEOC website says:
If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, you can file a Charge of Discrimination.
That’s an actual copy/paste from their website. And it’s a clickable link.
So this guy thinks it’s acceptable to break the law. The victim, though, pays twice: first when she is forced to perform some sex act so she can earn a living and again by losing her job if she complains. The victim is now forced into a lower financial situation where she is less able to defend her rights in court.
This is his view of America, where women are devalued, debased and tossed aside. And he wants to be president.
What do we tell our daughters?
Sweets are great.
A treat with a cherry on top is greater.
Dessert with a pitted cherry is better still, eliminating the awkward pit disposal.
I never really knew how to pit fresh cherries so I tried three methods: Continue reading Cherries On Top Of Dessert: How To Make That Happen
Even decades after her birth, I still marvel at my daughter. Her genetic makeup covers the Caribbean, South America and at least three European countries.
That we know of.
I’m certain that I inherited my coarse, curly hair and need for eyeglasses from the birth mother who left when I was a toddler. I’m kind of sure of my ethnicity but feel sad that I passed the uncertainty to another generation. Continue reading Seeking the Details of My Ancestry
After a long commute and a much longer day at work, this is what greeted me as I climbed the stairs up from the subway. The next day was as hot as that ball of sun promised it would be.
Continue reading Looking Up From The Phone
Lively, sunny, exuberant Rockaway Beach, New York City, presents some surprise opportunities for reflection. Continue reading Beach and History: An Unlikely Coexistence
An expensive, annoying pest is proliferating high above New York City streets: traffic cameras.
Local law sets the driving speed limit at 25 miles per hour, which is 40.23 kilometers for my metric friends. It’s part of the weirdly-named Vision Zero initiative and has reportedly saved lives. I still believe it’s overkill. Continue reading Cameras Partner to Catch Drivers
Wow, have I gone soft!
I live on the top floor and what I remember most from science classes is that heat rises. I’m reminded of that every day that I wait for my landlord to replace the broken air conditioner.
I grew up without air conditioning. That was my normal. We did what we always did, just sweaty and, probably, a little stinky. If it became unbearable we took quick showers or ran through people’s lawn sprinklers. And yes, the year I lived in the Bronx I enjoyed the fire hydrants with all the other kids. Three life lessons in one: tough enough to handle the water pressure, grateful that someone (illegally?) opened the hydrants up for us, nimble enough to dodge the cars because we were, after all, in the street. Continue reading City Summer
One of the few things the City of New York does consistently well is build parks. It’s a strange claim to fame for a metropolis but we really have some nice parks.
This park is in a residential area across the water from LaGuardia Airport. I like how the curve of the trees let you see the airplane landing in the distance. By the way, this is the airport that was rightly insulted by none other than our Vice President. Continue reading City Respites and Trees That Curve