August 20, 2009

A Tribute

My family has always called me Little Liv, a nickname from the days when I was the youngest cousin. Fast forward about 20 years, my first day at my first "real" job. My first stop, Holiday Wine Cellars in Escondido where I was introduced to the wine buyer and his assistant, two people I came to know and love dearly. But back to that first meeting, where the duo grilled me on wines and asked mequestions they knew I couldn't answer. Although I was somewhat intimidated, I knew I had found two kindred spirits and Holiday became one of my favorite stops. Peter always had something clever for me, a new recipe, a bag of homemade jerky, a taste of his famous hummus (this was the man who coined the term guac-ummus, a glorious marriage of guacamole and hummus) or, on several occasions "mad-livs" he had made especially for me. Our friendship grew and I came to think of Peter not as a customer but as a friend. Not to say that we didn't have our moments and the occasional fights over allocations, recipes, or what might be, in our opinion, the best way to do something. These arguments only deepened our friendship and somewhere along the line Peter began to refer to me as Little Liv, going so far as to doctor up a bottle of wine to reflect this moniker.

Peter, you will be missed. Greatly. Deeply. By many. This blog's for you, my friend.

August 11, 2009


There is something about driving that gives your ownership of a place. Getting lost, getting un-lost and the sudden realization that you know your way around what was once a giant puzzle of unknown streets and neighborhoods makes you feel at home. Or is it the act of driving that is home to me? Either way, I am feeling at home in this crazy city.

August 7, 2009

Restaurant Signs I

Somewhere in Jersey they are serving up "old english" style pizza.
Be very scared.

And in Coney Island you can get all of your Pan-America del Sur food needs met under one roof:

photos from my lovely phone/camera

August 6, 2009


The day that he left NYC I walked home slowly in the late afternoon sun and was hit with a strong feeling that the neighborhood wasn't the same one I had left behind on my way to work. In fact, morning seemed a lifetime ago and my neighborhood, our neighborhood, seemed to have lost something. Just as I had lost the rosy, romantic daydreams I once enjoyed strolling it's streets.

I spent a few weeks in this haze and then suddenly I no longer walked up the subway stairs and imagined him waiting for me on the stoop. I no longer looked out my bedroom window expecting to see him crossing the street. No longer did I anticipate his arrival and the door buzzer that would send a thrill through my body. He was gone, and the summer stretched before me.

About a month after he left there was a rather dramatic sign of the distance that was growing between us. The never ending rain in June caused the dramatic collapse of the building that housed Vespers, our favorite local bar. The bar where I realized late one night that I had forgotten my keys and would have to sleep over at his apartment. One of the oldest tricks in the book. We spent the next 12 hours in his one room, almost windowless flat. Time stood still. 12 hours of conversation, the two of us fully clothed and wrapped tightly around each other in his single bed. 12 hours that seemed to seal our friendship and determine the path we found ourselves traveling on.

But can one night really determine the course of a relationship? Can one personal really change the landscape of a neighborhood? Can one building really hold so much weight? The answer is yes (and no, in the case of the building). He was really gone, and like the building, he left nothing but debris and a fine dusting floating down from the sky. And the opportunity to rebuild.

I have found my way through this strange, rainy summer and while I have looked forward to August-and his return-it is suddenly here and I don't feel ready. As much as I have tried to push the thoughts of him away, he has remained at the back of my mind. His voice, with its funny pacific northwest inflections, his quirky way of looking at his world, his sweet chuckle. He has been back for a day now and, while I haven't seen him, I like knowing that we are once again sharing the same city. Tomorrow I will welcome him back to my neighborhood. Our first stop, checking out what remains of Vespers.

August 4, 2009

Things That Make Me Terribly Happy

1. Roadside Diners.

2. Sending postcards.
3. Going to the airport.
4. Freshly painted toes.
5. Reading while taking a bubble bath.
6. The sound of my lovelies laughter.
7. Collecting random pretty things.
8. Coffee with just the right amount of cream and sugar.
9. A day spent cooking in the kitchen and meals shared with friends.
10. Strangers who smile.

photo by Denise Andrade

July 31, 2009

Self Portrait

With the season's hottest accessory, the umbrella.

July 30, 2009


my apologies for the crappy photographs, they were taken using my phone!

My humble recession decorating job. I found this cool old window on the street a few weeks ago and knew that it had a place in our apartment. With some great paper (I love an excuse to visit the paper stores along w18th street) that I scored in a clearance bin I made it look like this--for under $10. And I love it.