Friday, July 27, 2007

A Moon in June (Well, July!)

I wanted to give a huge Thank You to Molly of a little house in the clouds for tagging our site! I love the way she is so excited about her family & friends & life in - and how she shows her artwork along the way! Keep up the fab writing - and good luck with those summer school kids!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

summer lovin'

"Tell me more, tell me more!"
Well, Fabios Helados de Coca (4th Ave bet. 49th & 50th) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn is not only Greased Lightnin', but Nirvana mixed with Mr. Softee mixed with your most cherished memory from that far-flung youth of yore. Man, once you taste this magical mix of sorbet/icee/ice cream, it'll be part of your RDA for the next few months or so, since, sadly, Fabios is only open from approximately March through the 2nd week of September each year. Get your fix whle supplies last! Get your fix now!
Happy Helados,
Mr. & Mrs. K.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Building Joy in Illinois

After much delay & many adventures, we're back in the swing of things!
A few weeks ago, I was in Illinois while Miss L & Mr. Kat held down the fort here in Brooklyn. Part of the time was spent in my hometown of Decatur (you know, the one Sufjan Stevens sang about?) realizing yet again that, though the town is past its prime & makes me sad in a lot of ways, it can still shine!
Case in point, one of my favorite buildings, the Post Office!

Now, this is only an a lame interior shot, but look at the details!! For some reason, I didn't shoot the outside - a classic understated deco gem, as they say, but you can check out one of my fav parts, the interior frescos detailing Illinois history on this website: When I was a kid, I would go with my father to the P.O. to get the mail & we would walk the interior, looking up, while Dad explained the details of each painted panel. Ah, history!

Okay, so to show a better exterior shot of another downtown deco dream, let's go to the Macon County Building, a building we spent many a moment (Dad's workplace).

Check out the lines, the weight, the symmetry of this building! And, the lovely details that look like lace! All for a municipal building, can you believe it?
So, after downtown, I went to my old neighborhood, what they kindly call the "historical district" & what I call falling apart. Anyway, there's this fabulous grouping of well-turned-out homes in distinct architectural styles surrounding an imposing Italianate mansion, the Millikin Homestead. Much time was speant on the grounds, since it was down the street from our house - it's like a small park with old-growth trees & lightly rolling hills.

It's not an operating home, but they do give tours ( if you get a chance!
The surrounding homes are Frank Lloyd Wright-style, tudor, and kind-of storybook style, among others, all packed into a few acres. I remember as a kid, going to an open house at one of these - it was complete with ballroom & sweeping staircase! How I begged my parents for it!

These meanderings could go on for ever, so I'll just end it here, saying take a look around at your neiborhood & see what you see......

Mrs. K

Thursday, May 31, 2007

All things in Miniature

Okay, so I know this seems like an obvious choice for a "fantasy" New York car, but still, look at the cutie! I have dreams of easy parking & a smooth ride, along with adorable styling, but alas! It is not to be until these puppies end up on Craigslist for a price where monthly payments are not required. Sigh.
If you go to, you too can create your ultimate little guy! (Thanks to Tom for the heads up!)
Mrs. Kat

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pass the Puddin', Please!

Once upon a time, I decided that 'd had enough adult fare & it was time to venture into the realm of fantasy. I had recently been trying to read Rats, by Robert Sullivan, an incredibly informative & fascinating book on New York's real majority. Well, I got as far as page 74 & ended up putting it down "for the time being" because everywhere we went, I imagined or actually saw rats. It got to be too stressfull, though somehow enjoyable, knowing a book had such a hold on my psyche.

Enter The Magic Pudding!

The Magic Pudding, by Norman Lindsay, is a frolicsome account of the Puddin' Eaters & their crotchety Puddin'. I won't say much, except that I couldn't stop talking about the Puddin's antics while reading, to the point where Mr. K gave me one of those polite "How lovely for you to have such fun with your book" smiles after I interrupted him for the umpteenth time. Oh! And did I mention the beautiful pencil (or pen?) illustrations full of energy & peronality. You can almost reach into the Puddin' & grab a piece of steak & kidney pie for yourself! We have it at the store or you can get it through NY Review of Books. Enjoy!

From the NY Review of Books Synopsis:
"a The Magic Pudding is a pie, except when it's something else, like a steak, or a jam donut, or an apple dumpling, or whatever its owner wants it to be. And it never runs out. No matter how many slices you cut, there's always something left over. It's magic.
But the Magic Pudding is also alive. It walks and it talks and it's got a personality like no other. A meaner, sulkier, snider, snarlinger Pudding you've never met.
So Bunyip Bluegum (the koala bear) finds out when he joins Barnacle Bill (the sailor) and Sam Sawnoff (the penguin bold) as members of the Noble Society of Pudding Owners, whose "members are required to wander along the roads, indulgin' in conversation, song and story, and eatin' at regular intervals from the Pudding." Wild and woolly, funny and outrageously fun, The Magic Pudding stands somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and The Stinky Cheese Man as one of the craziest books ever written for young readers."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

summer lovin'

A brief ode to summer:
Okay, so it's not officially summer yet, but the Mr. & I have been treating it as such. Just a hangin' out with friends, passing the time, sitting in any outside space there is to sit, just enjoying what there is to enjoy with the free time we have to use. Thank you all, thank you summer weather, we're having a lovely time & hope you are too!
Mrs. K

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Curmudgeonly Ways

Okay, so the Mr. & I are forever in conversation about the "Goode ole New York". You know, the little bit-o-grit, not many box stores, don't need a paycheck job to afford it New York. We're kind of bah-humbuggy about it, I have to say. A lot of what we lament about are businesses that have closed since we've come to town. Mostly, these were small businesses where you could chat with the owner & which added character to a neighborhood just by being there. But, alas, they are no more & we are in continual mourning for their energy, interest & little trinkets & goodies they offered. So, we are proposing a moment of silence for some of our faves (we know there's some we forgot, so apologies go out ahead of time) :

East Village:
Little Rickie's - purveyor of tiny figurines, funky cards & a PHOTO BOOTH! Many a cool find was found there back in the day.

Gary's on 4th - kind of a junk store/vintage store. They had this wall-sized card catalog type thing in the back which had little titles on each drawer - "hankies", "army men", "patches", etc. You never new what Gary & Wanda would have each visit!

Dullsville - a most-excellent vintage store I stumbled upon one day & never looked back! Run by a husband & wife team, it featured just about anything you didn't know existed - alot of it very interesting handmade folk art. Gnome art? Got it! Plaster wall art of a deer w/men trophies on his wall? Got it! Fungus art? Damn, you bet! They even told me of a "painting" they had in storage made of gum! The Mr. & I took separate trips each Xmas season to stock up on presents & ornaments for each other, refreshing ourselves in the vintage warmth until our next visit. They said they were going to be at the 26th St. flea market from time to time - we've got to check that out.

The "old" Vaselka - okay, first, there was the odd little balcony in the back room & the brown gingerbread trim under it. Then let's talk about SLICES of pie rather than individual ones - no contest.

Albert & Piccolo - what a great shop this was, just down the street from us! It was stocked with really interesting art pieces like this seaglass green meneke neko that was probably crackled porcelein, t-shirts & undies silkscreened by the owner, with crazy little scenes of animals having fun, jewelry, handbags, etc. & etc.... Oh - and there was a little art gallery in the back where there was always something happening. The really good thing is that you can still get Albert & Piccolo t-shirts & undies at Flirt in Park Slope! (which is another really great store!)

Well, that's probably just the beginning of our "we can't belive it's gone"/"change is bad" list, but that's it for now.
Oh! Next time, change will be good, when we explore the great new places we've fallen for! Stay tuned....

Mrs. Kat

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

here we come!

Okay, hello out there - here is our 1st attempt at "blogging", thanks in large part to Molly's ( amazing enthusiasm just yesterday! Thanks, Molly!
Not so sure what we're going to do in here. Maybe little bits about other stores or products we enjoy, maybe about random things we both love - music, movies, fabric, the 80's..., maybe about Neil Diamond. Who knows? All we know is that we hope to have fun & we hope you will to.
Here's to starting something new!
Your hosts,
Nora (Mrs. Kat) & Damond (Mr. Kat)