So Adam and I…okay, I would like to insert a note here to say I actually have friends who are NOT my Significant Other, but I value their privacy. Adam, on the other hand, is all over the internet*, so clearly, he gets to be the topic of all of my posts. Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest, so my two readers don’t think I’m some Boring Smug Married who spends all of her time with her S.O.

*We met in real life, or IRL as the kids say, but he is the most useless person to google because there is Way Too Much information about him on the internet.

Anyway, so we’ve been taking these long walks, or as Adam dubbed them “Urban Hikes” (and as he’s dubbed himself, “Guide Adam,” pronounced obnoxiously French-y, as in “Geeede Ahhhdahm”) around the city, and we’ve seen some cool rarely seen sights in the city. Like graffiti:

lemon drop socks WIP

Here’s the traveling sock with some graffiti at 5 Pointz, which is this huge factory space covered with graffiti. (My city councilperson*, by the way, hates graffiti with a crazy vengeance, and is always sending me updates–via snail mailed newsletters–about his latest attempts to convince marketers and branding companies that “graffiti is not art.” Sometimes I understand his issues, especially on storefronts and private residences, but sometimes, I am like, “Okay, just let The Man use graffiti on some stupid energy drink to pretend to be cool. OMG.”  Personally, I think some graffiti can be really neat, though, like I said, there is the bourgeois part of me that understands how graffiti is my city councilperson’s pet peeve. Like ugly tags. Why do people have to use those? Blech. Also, I am probably the only person in my district who reads my city councilperson’s newslwetters.)

*New York has a representative for each district called a councilperson or councilman, who serves, duh, as part of the City Council. They’re pretty much small-time politicians, though they do have a certain amount of power as individuals and as a governing body. They’re generally pretty accessible, though.

lemon drop socks WIP

A close-up of the sock with some graffiti outside 5 Pointz.

We were trying to walk from Queens to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, but it took longer than we thought, so stopped in Williamsburg.  New Yorkers know Williamsburg is The Hipster Neighborhood, but there’s also the Hasidic Jewish part, which is less commonly visited by non-Hasidic Jews, and which is where we ended up. I knew, however, from past experience, that the Hasidic Jews serve delicious stuffed cabbage, but we could not, for the life of us, find a single restaurant. It might have been because it was Sunday, or that there aren’t a lot of restaurants in general in the Hasidic part of the neighborhood. (Interestingly, I was just reading this week’s New York magazine, which just came in the mail, and it has an article summing up the problems between the hipsters and the Hasids, amusingly entitled “Clash of the Bearded Ones.”) I was starving, though I did manage to satisfy my hunger a little bit with some chocolate babka (I went to Jewish pre-school at a JCC, so even though I am not Jewish, nor a hipster, but Chinese-American, I have a store of Jewish knowledge that pops up at random times. Like what babka is. Or how to recite Jewish prayers. Or how to make challah. *I* should be the subject of a New York magazine article! Chinese girl raised Jewish! Though I went to a Reform Jewish pre-school in San Francisco, which is quite different from the very observant Hasidic Jewish community in New York.)

Anyway, we crossed over from the Hasidic side of Williamsburg to the Hipster side to eat at Diner. Where there were ramps on the menu. RAMPS! Adam and I make fun of ramps all the time, because foodies are always like “Ramps! Ramps! Ramps!” We are like, “Okay, calm down, freak shows.” Anyway, we had the ramps. Unsurprisingly, they were like any member of the allium family (leeks, onions, chives, etc.). You know, CHIVE-y. And tasty. But not, mind-blowingly tasty. Just good. I also had the nettle fettuccine (NETTLES!) and it was good. Adam was like, “Do those noodles have some sting? Is that the nettles?” I was drinking (a rare thing for me, because I am sort of allergic to alcohol), and I was like, “I don’t know…everything is making me feel sting-y.”

lemon drop socks WIP

Diner is set in an old railroad car. Can you get any more hipster?

Posted in Socks, travelingproject at April 12th, 2010.

So it’s actually warmed up a bit this week, but the last few weeks have been really quite chilly. Not cold enough for mittens, but cold enough for my fingerless mitts.

Sadly, I was taking the S (or Shuttle) subway a few weeks ago, and I dropped one of my mittSF (my own pattern, click on the link for the free pattern)! Oh noes.

MittSF and Socks

One lonely mitt left…those are Adam’s Civil War Socks that I knit for him by the way, not a weird New Balance foot fet*sh photo.

The super annoying thing was that I dropped it on the little platform that’s just below the platform. Adam even got on his belly on the (totally disgusting) Times Square platform to try and reach it for me, but it was just a few inches too far. I actually dropped my MetroCard a year ago at my subway station and the MTA folks kindly got on the track to get it for me (even though the conductor was annoyed when he found out it was just a MetroCard–he thought I had dropped a cellphone), but there was no help at the busy Times Square platform. The gal at the ticket booth said that there were only two (TWO!) people assigned to pick up stuff from the tracks for the whole city and hinted that they might never come; the train conductor firmly told me that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should I attempt to get it myself (he pointed out that there was the Very Dangerous and Murderous Third Rail, which is electrified); and the policemen (and, by the way, New Yorkers, have you noticed way more police presence in the subway stations lately?) nodded sympathetically when I wailed “But I knit it myself!” but were like, “Yeah, it’s a mitten, get over it.”

Sigh. Well, I can always knit another pair.

Posted in travelingproject at April 5th, 2010.

Every year, I do one month where I get REALLY into blogging, and I’ve decided that month is going to be April. Get ready!

In other news, I still haven’t finished my sock:
lemon drop sock

Posted in travelingproject at March 31st, 2010.

WIP lemon drop socks

I’m sort of participating in Knitting Olympics, in that I’m knitting and watching them. I did cheat (not with steroids), but by casting on the toe and knitting it before the opening ceremonies. This yarn’s color is “Lemon Drop” and the stitch pattern is a bit lemon drop-y too. Adam, without seeing the label, remarked that the color looked like a lemon drop, so it’s fairly accurate. Yes, New York has snow. Not a ton, but it’s here.

Here’s the first sock:

WIP lemon drop socks

The yarn is Yarntini (from deep in the stash) and the pattern is from More Sensational Knitted Socks.

Posted in Socks, travelingproject at February 16th, 2010.

Socks

I was inspired by this Fig and Plum post, which she called “The UFO Chronicles, Part I.” I, too, have many Un-Finished Objects, so perhaps blogging about them will inspire me to get a move on and finish them. If only I didn’t have startitis.

Anyway, the socks. They’re almost done–I’m doing afterthought heels on them, which kind of makes them look like they have gross carnivorous plant mouths:

Socks

“We have come to eat you!!”

By the way, I had dinner on Friday on the Cafe on 2 at the Museum of Modern Art (free on Friday nights! Well, the museum, not the food) and these European tourists were fascinated by my mesh bag in which I keep my knitting. (You can see it in the top photo.) They were all “where can we buy this bag?!?” I was like, “Well, they are both easy and difficult to find. Easy, because you can find them in many stationery/office supply stores, but they often run out or don’t have the right size.” And they were like, “Ohhh, Staples?!?” And I was like, “No! Not Staples.” I always find them in mom-and-pop stationery stores, Japanese $1 stores, and occasionally, Sam Flax, the art store. But never Staples–they’re strangely hard to categorize, and Staples must not consider them true office supplies. Adam thought maybe Muji might have them, but that’s part of the joy of owning these mesh bags…you gotta look! (Plus they’re cheap–generally between $1 to $4.)

Posted in Socks, travelingproject at November 22nd, 2009.

Traveling Project at Leonard Cohen

Hello blog readers! I am still alive! I sort of fell off the blogging wagon there for a while, for a variety of reasons, most of them good–I’ve been working on a big freelance project in-house (meaning I go into an office) and I had a bunch of other freelance assignments, all of which were leaving me little time to blog. Anyway, I’m hoping to get back into blogging this month, blah blah blah.

Anyway, I am still knitting–here’s a quilt square at the Leonard Cohen concert that we went to last month (it was great, even though we were sitting in front of the very loud and somewhat smelly concession stand, aka the very last row in Madison Square Garden).

There’s a bunch of new yarn/yarn-esque stores that have opened in New York, so I definitely need to visit and to blog about that, plus some other stuff. I’ll be baaaaaaaaack, as the Governator would say.

Posted in travelingproject at November 15th, 2009.

Sorry for the silence–I’ve been busy, um, going to the gym, and freelancing, and I don’t know, reading Wikipedia? (Wikipedia is a serious time-suck. I can’t stop click on weird links. I now know way more about Monaco’s royal family than one person could ever need to know.) Sometimes I think I need a firewall between me and Wikipedia.

Plus, I went to California to visit my family and to attend a friend’s wedding.

traveling socks

Here are the socks overlooking the rocks on Highway 1. Highway 1, for those of you who have never been to California, is an insanely twisty road that twirls right along the edge of the mountain, right above the ocean. We rented a car to drive down to Stinson Beach, where the post-wedding brunch was held, and I mentioned to Adam that he should be careful–I had once ridden in a car with my grandparents down Highway 1, and they spent the whole time clutching the dashboard (my grandfather) or the door handle (my grandmother) and closing their eyes. Adam scoffed at the notion that he could be anything less than an excellent driver and deemed me and my grandparents “soulless” for our tendency to ignore natural beauty and focus instead on our potential plunge to death. (Very few guardrails stand between you and the ocean on Highway 1.) My mother also rolled her eyes when I mentioned this, saying, “I can’t believe you are like your grandmother in your worry about this.” Anyway, the drive up to Stinson Beach from San Francisco is actually not the worst part–I think the part down to Half Moon Bay is the most famously treacherous, though we did not see that part on this trip.

joannaweddingcrop

Photo by Amala, fellow wedding guest.

That’s us, above, posing, while another guest takes a photo of us with Adam’s Holga. The light was really beautiful at this wedding (among many moments of beauty) and joy of joys, I was chatting with my dinner companion to my right, when I mentioned my Wikipedia and Ravelry addictions. The bride’s aunt, sitting one chair away from me, leaned in and was like “Are you on Ravelry?” It turned out that she was also an enthusiastic knitter, and we happily chatted away about patterns and DPNs versus circulars. My friend jokingly kept calling her wedding “Our Special Day,” but it really was quite special, and I’m glad we got to attend.

Posted in travelingproject at September 16th, 2009.

Two-at-a-Time Socks

I temporarily lost my blogging mojo last week, what with the heat and all. And trying to slog through George Eliot’s Middlemarch.

That book is no laugh a minute. Actually it has this problem that many multi-plot novels have, I think, which is that the reader tends to only be interested in a couple of the plotlines, and frustrated by the others. For those of you who have read Middlemarch, I am halfway through and interested in the Garth storyline. Very Old-Fashioned Girl. Plotlines I am not interested include any discussion of politics. BORING. Also, I think that Celia, the catty sister of Dorothea, could do with many more scenes. (She definitely has some of the best lines in the book.) This is a book that might be improved by watching a BBC version of it instead of reading it. Oh well, I will conquer you Middlemarch.

On the topic of other long-winded things, we went to see Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution at Lincoln Center last week. I thought Adam would like it because his favorite movie is Wong Kar-Wai’s  In the Mood for Love, which my grandmother accurately described as “a lot of walking, not a lot of talking.” I wanted to see it because I heard the clothes in it were quite stylish (it was set in ’40s Shanghai), and it was set in a similar time period (well, “the past,” I guess–ITMFL is a bit later, probably the ’60s) and place as In the Mood for Love. (Also, both star Tony Leung.)  I thought Lust, Caution was okay, but it was very very long, and at a certain point, I was like, oh my god, hours have passed, and the main character is still in Hong Kong! This movie is never going to end!!!!  To quote Elaine in Seinfeld, “Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert and just die already!  Die!” Adam liked it even less than I did and claimed it was “boring.” And that is the end of my art-house movie reviews for the week.

Okay knitting-wise: My sweater has reached a stalled point because I know I need to rip out part of one sleeve and reknit so it isn’t so oddly shaped, but this has totally cramped my enthusiasm for it. Meanwhile, I seem to have lost many DPNs, and thus am knitting my latest pair of socks on one needle. (See above.)

Posted in travelingproject at August 12th, 2009.

Cyclones Knitting

Last week, a friend of mine who has season tickets to the Cyclones (the farm team for the New York Mets) out at Coney Island, invited us out to watch a game with her. I recently saw a game at the Mets’ new Citi Field (which replaced Shea Stadium) and I was surprised by how close we were to the field at the Cyclones–definitely a more intimate experience than at Citi Field, though I liked the new Citi Field as well. It’s a beautiful environment out at Coney though–you can see the Parachute Jump from the World’s Fair in the background of this photo, which adds a nice nostalgic touch to the game.

Posted in travelingproject at July 9th, 2009.

traveling sock

I don’t know what it’s been like in the rest of the country, but this summer has been the year of non-stop summer rain in New York. Like EVERY DAY. I think we need to build an ark soon.

Here’s my latest second sock. I like knitting socks because they have definite stopping points…knittttttttttt and then the heel, turn the heel, and then knittttttttt the rest of the sock. Rinse and repeat. And you’re done! Whereas other projects sometimes seem a little endless. I knit lots of my socks of the subway, where people like to talk to each other about my sock knitting all of the time. Especially older women–they’re always telling their family members how they, too, can knit socks. I’m like living history on the subway. Maybe I should charge to watch me on the subway! Hah!

Posted in Socks, travelingproject at July 2nd, 2009.