Someday I will be able to post more often than once every four weeks. I have been repeating that to myself since at least January. I think, once I pin down and purchase a proper domain name, I’ll be more active. Hold me to it! Ha (if there are others out there reading)…
I’ve taken some great snapshots with my phone the last few weeks that represent well what life has been like lately, and where my mind is. I have been crazy busy with work, especially before leaving for a week-long trip to New York. This week (post-trip) has been moderately manic, with expected ups and downs…and I’m easing back into a jam-packed schedule at JE.
In any case, here’s what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been thinking, and what I’m excited about.
Familiar with Manhattan? This is from Washington Square Park. Strolled through the park late one night while in the city and I was pleasantly surprised by how busy and full of life it was, even at such a late hour. Young people were playing in the fountain…older people were relaxing on benches. There were several competing musical factions in the area around the fountain – one was playing piano and the other was playing the saxophone. People of all ages were dancing to the music…reveling in the energy that is a New York summer. It was truly a beautiful sight. Wish I could have stayed longer to participate in the festivities.
The New York trip was, in total, lovely. I spent the bulk of my time walking, shopping, stopping for iced coffee, and taking leisurely lunches with the friends I was with (and who live there). One of my favorite parts of the city, now, is the Highline Park that runs along the west side of the island, mainly in Chelsea.
The elevated multi-use pathway is an elegant and thoughtful way of integrating greenery and recreational space into a busy cityscape. And it recycles an existing railroad line, to boot. You can’t beat mellow foliage, high-rise quality views of Chelsea and New Jersey, and sustainable design. Someday I plan on rollerblading on the Highline in the dead of winter, when high-speed exercise is the most exhilarating!
Towards the end of the trip, I spent a good amount of time bouncing from department store to department store, with my friends who were looking for nothing in particular. New York shopping is really the best in the world, and the spaces that have defined New York fashion and taste are an experience not to be missed. At Bloomingdale’s, we took in the M.A.C. makeup counter, where jars of pigment (I assume) were arranged so artfully. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo.
Color spectrum displays, whether in museum-quality art, printed on tee shirts, or arranged as these jars are, just have a harmony that I cannot express fully. I could stare at this photo, or have this wall placed in my home and never get sick of it.
Once back in Tampa, I did what most people do, in Tampa, in the summer. I lounged by the pool.
My friend Jillian is kind enough to let me use the pool in her father’s gated townhouse complex. I love this pool, in particular, because it feels secluded by lots of tree cover, despite being very close to downtown and directly across the water from the Channelside District of Tampa. And, the best part, it is usually empty on weekdays (when I need to take a mental health day). I am not so much a fan of tanning (prefer skin preservation), but I love the water and I love being outside, near the pool, reading or listening to music and pondering life. I would miss this if I moved.
In Tampa, my favorite lunch spot is Cafe Hey. Because I don’t work downtown anymore, I can’t get there unless I have a weekday off or I go on the weekend. For those unfamiliar, Cafe Hey is a decidedly un-Tampa-like cafe. The owner, the older sister of a girl I know, specializes in organic, vegetarian, and vegan menu items. And everything is prepared fresh, cooked daily, and created in a thoughtful way. My favorite menu item is the cold-brewed toddy coffee, which lends a bolder flavor to the iced coffee than most, which are brewed hot and then cooled. Costs a little extra but certainly worth the premium. Cafe Hey makes excellent salads and downright artisan sandwiches and pastries too. A big thumbs up.
The last great inspiration of the past few weeks, by far the greatest, is my double experience at Becky nail salon in Ybor. Part of the Tribeca Salon on 8th Avenue, Becky (Kay) specializes in using organic means to provide manicures and pedicures. The shop is also one of few (the only?) in the area that applies Minx nails…a new trend in nail art. Minx are heavy-duty stickers that are applied after buffing and application of an adhesive. The designs range from metallic solids to prints of Santa Clause…truly a design for anything you might want. To say I was excited after having mine applied would be a gross understatement. I visited Becky just before heading to New York…and I received far more compliments on them, in New York, than I had anticipated.
Once I returned to Tampa, I proceeded to peel all of them off. Their frayed edges, probably a product of my rough handling and occasional nose-picking, were starting to become annoying. When my friend Paul asked me to join him at Becky on Monday (he was having his re-touched), Kay kindly offered to give me a coat of nail varnish for free, because my Minx hadn’t lasted more than a week and they weren’t cheap. I was touched, and of course took her up on her offer. The result is below.
Wearing nail polish is a relatively new concept (novelty) to me…and I really like it. And when the color is applied so meticulously, I see it more as an aesthetic statement of my good taste rather than a sloppy, juvenile habit. Not sure if I will keep it up, but experiencing Kay’s generosity and mastery of her skill, I see myself going back soon. If you are a frequent manicure-er, I highly recommend Becky for anything you might desire for your nails.
Thank You for reading, friends!