Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Upheaval



It looks like I'm about to be one.

Well, not really.  I'll always be a New Orleans girl.  We all know that.  She's my love, my life, my everything.  My heart and soul live there, and always will.  I can't stay away.  I'm not even gone yet, and my heart is already aching for her.  Just the thought of leaving, it makes me cry.  But I'll be back.  At the end of the day, I'll always come home.  She's my destiny.

But right now, it seems like life is taking me to Manhattan for a while.  I have an opportunity, and something is pulling me.  I feel compelled to follow.  Feels like I'm on the edge of a cliff right now.

Shit.  Shit shit shit.  I never wanted this!  New York was never in my plans, never on the list.  I grew up in her shadow, on Long Island.  Had no interest in the city.  Moved to New Orleans in 1996 and never looked back.  Now I'm being catapulted back.  My head is spinning.

My life is about to be in upheaval again.  Moving, packing, saying goodbye to a place I love, tearing myself away from friends, family and loved ones.  Didn't I just do all that two months ago?

Leaving San Francisco was hard.  Leaving New Orleans will be harder.  To be honest, I might not be able to.  It would be so easy to stay.  I have everything I need.  Great food and music.  All the love I can stand.  A beautiful home and pool weather nine months out of the year.  Sexy jazz musicians to date...

Scheming and dreaming.  Need to sleep on it tonight...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

 Somewhere along I-10, Texas
February, 2010

These were taken on my Road Home journey from San Francisco to New Orleans.



                        


                                                    
       http://www.heyharriet.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bad reputation

This week finds me in New York City.  In response to Patti's comment last Sunday, it's true girl, I do like to wander!  I'm staying in my mother's apartment, finally getting a chance to go through it and see what needs to go and what I want to keep.  It's not as heart-wrenching as I had feared.  Last night was my first night here, and I avoided going to bed as long as possible.  I was afraid to sleep in her bed.  I thought it would be... I don't know.  I wasn't sure if I 'd be able to sleep.  Finally I put on her soft, pretty nightgown and climbed in.  I was out the minute my head hit the pillow, and I slept better than I have in months.  Go figure.

Going through her shit is actually kind of fun, although frustrating at times.  Damn you woman, why did you have to be so skinny?  Those are Gucci pants I can't fit into!  Why couldn't you have eaten more fried chicken?  Oh, and that Karl Lagerfeld dress is breaking my heart.  How the fuck did she manage to stay so thin with Zabar's two blocks away?

I love Zabar's.  Zabar's is my new best friend.  They will know me by name when I live here.

In any case, being here has got me thinking too much again.  If you died right now, what would people say about you?  Turns out my mother had a bad reputation... for being too nice.  Everyone said she was generous and sweet, much too kind-hearted for Manhattan.  From what I can remember of her, I believe it to be true.

So it got me to thinking, what would people say about me if I got hit by a bus or jumped off the roof of this building?

My friends in San Francisco would probably say, "She loved New Orleans.  That's all she ever talked about."

My friends in New Orleans would probably say, "She loved it here, but couldn't make her mind up about where she wanted to be.  She kept leaving, but could never stay away for very long."

My friends in Alaska would say, "She loved nature and wild animals.  She loved to hike and fish and go on adventures and talk to people and make new friends."

Everyone would say, "She loved to travel, all she wanted to do was wander the world and write postcards.  She liked to socialize.  She loved her friends and made sure they knew it.  She liked to drink and dance and carry on.  She loved food and wine and a well-made cocktail.  She liked men, a lot, and occasionally women.  Sex, drugs and rock and roll, with some jazz and funk thrown in there as well."

Of course, that's what I THINK they would say.  To be honest, they might say, "She was a cranky, slutty bitch who drank too much and spent all her money on plane tickets."

Who knows what people would say if I kicked the bucket.  I'm in no hurry to find out...

Things I miss about San Francisco

Wandering down to the Ferry Building at night and stopping in the Slanted Door to harass Leader.  He always made me the prettiest cocktails...

        


        

Hey Leader, whenya comin' down to New Orleans so I can return the favor?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Laurent Perrier taste, Korbel budget

Still in Palm beach.  Life is still surreal around here, although I must admit, I've gotten pretty comfortable riding around in the Rolls.  It's going to be tough readjusting to the Toyota.
  
My host has been treating me like a princess, which is easy to get used to.  What's not easy to get used to is seeing hundred thousand dollar cars parked at the beach, or Pablo Picasso hanging in the local art galleries.  Amazing stuff in there.  Dali, Warhol.  I noticed a beautiful sculpture and went to take a closer look.  It was a Renoir.  Who the fuck buys a Renoir?  I guess the guy driving the Aston Martin.  "It'll look nice in the parlor, won't it, dear?"

Damn it.  Why don't I get to hang Jean-Michel Basquiat in my living room?

Walking around Worth Avenue was a riot.  All your usual names, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany, Herm├Ęs.  They also had some nice boutique shops.  I noticed a beautiful little black dress in the window of Gypsy.  Every woman needs a little black dress, and I'm in the market for a new one.  I knew it would be insanely expensive, but figured it couldn't hurt to take a look.  I have a nice tax refund on the way, and I like to splurge now and then.  I work hard, I deserve nice things, right?

So I went inside and checked the price tag.  $2,300.00

Hmm.  Maybe when it goes on sale...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Palm Beach, Florida

I was wandering around at the beach today and came upon two girls with their arms around each other's shoulders.  For some reason I found it to be a compelling scene, so I stopped to take a few shots.  Wasn't sure if they were family, friends, or lovers, so I watched and listened for a while and figured out they were sisters.  What a loving family.  Made me wish I wasn't an only child...


        

            

 www.heyharriet.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Parallel universe

I'm in another world right now.  It looks kind of like Earth, but not the Earth I'm used to seeing.  There are mansions and Bentleys everywhere.  There's a golf course across the street and a Rolls Royce parked outside.  Not my usual scene.  This is the house I'm staying in:

        

There's a lovely courtyard out back.  A great place to lounge around and play with your computer:


                            

I'm in Palm Beach, Florida right now.  I hear you asking, "Hey wanderlust, what the fuck are you doing in Palm Beach?"  The short version of the long story is that I am here visiting my deceased mother's extremely wealthy best friend.  It's the first time we've met.  The reason it's the first time we've met is an even longer story that I won't bore you with right now.  It's been a pretty interesting visit so far.

By some strange cosmic coincidence, my friend Lauren, who I also met as a result of my mother's death, happens to be visiting Palm Beach right now as well.  Her sister (yet another dead Mom connection) saw my facebook page, realized I was here, and told her to call me.  I was delighted to hear from her, and of course we had to go out for drinks.  

She picked me up and off we went to Cucina.  We ordered some booze, sat down at the bar and looked around.  It was like we had entered an alternate reality.  These people are so far out of touch with the real world, they're not even on the same planet.  It was truly surreal.

The funny thing was, it was the exact same scene you can find on any Bourbon Street bar any night of the week.  Men and women on the prowl, people getting shit-hammered and dancing to the same old regurgitated pop tunes people have been dancing to for thirty years.  If I hear Mustang Sally one more time I'm going to jump off the roof of my mother's apartment building, I swear.  It was your usual horrifying scene, except all the women were wearing designer couture and breast implants, and the men were all wearing button down shirts and blazers.  EVERYONE was wearing five hundred dollar shoes.  There was a woman whose lips were so pumped full of collagen she looked like she was balancing two jumbo hot dogs on her chin.  It was unbelievable.

We found the whole thing to be quite entertaining, especially as outsiders looking in.  It's great watching the ridiculously rich make complete asses out of themselves.  Ahh, alcohol.  The great equalizer.  Because rich or poor, drunk is drunk.  It's rarely pretty.  No matter HOW expensive your shoes are...


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nostalgia

Finally made it to my old neighborhood the other day.  Life was good over there.  Fun times living at The Compound.  I have friends from San Francisco in town and I'm trying to show them as much of the city as I can, which is great, because I'm in the process of rediscovering the city myself.  I really haven't been back very long.

My former hood looks great, all the good stuff is still there, and now there's all kinds of new stuff to sort through.  I'm hugely pissed that the St. James Cheese Company didn't open until after I left.  If the St. James Cheese Company was three tiny New Orleans blocks away from my house when I lived there, I might never have left in the first place.  Lots of other cool stuff too.  I saw a sign outside of some new place on Magazine St. that said "boudin meatloaf."

What?  Boudin meatloaf?

I should have stopped.  Why the fuck didn't I stop?  When will I learn that my greatest regrets are always the things I didn't do?  I'm still kicking myself for not buying that jacket at that thrift store up the street eight years ago.  It was twenty bucks!  What the fuck was I thinking?!

Of course I went to see my old place.  My former landlord owned all the houses on the block.  I was surprised to see that they were being painted.  I didn't even recognize mine, it was quite unsettling.  I'm really hoping that it's primer I saw and not the final color.  Because if it is, it's hideous.  I was thrilled to see that my sticker hadn't been removed from the window, although the bastards got paint all over the bottom:

            

I'll bring something to scrape it off with next time I'm in the area.  Who dat!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

San Francisco, CA
January, 2010

The ferry ride to Sausalito

    



 
          

 http://heyharriet.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Anarchy number two



The basic idea is to try to get people to show up for their scheduled shifts.  "Come on, guys.  Please?  At least on the weekends, huh?"

Good advice


She was a bright star, that Suzanne.  So bright that her light is still shining, seven years after it went out.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things I miss about San Francisco

      

The best Thai food I've ever had outside of Thailand.

Los Angeles used to hold that title, their Thai restaurants are consistently very good, but Ploy II has set the bar pretty high for me in recent years.  I went there on my very first visit to San Francisco, in June of 2004 on the recommendation of a friend of a friend that I met my second night in town at a party in the Mission.  It was a brilliant, brilliant recommendation and I never even got a chance to see her again to thank her.  When I moved to SF, it was one of my first stops.  Also one of my last when I left.

It's in the Upper Haight, by the park.  It's tiny, it's cute.  It's delicious.  I used to be able to walk there in fifteen minutes.  Now it's over two thousand miles away.  Four days in a car.  Way too far to walk...

http://www.ployii.com/

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lunch break

Funny how easy it is to slip back into comfortable routines.  Sometimes it feels like I've never been gone, like I've been living here the whole time and have only been on a really long vacation for the past four and a half years.  San Francisco seems like a foggy  dream now.  It feels good to be sitting here in between shifts again.  Like catching up with an old friend.

        

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One stop shopping

Because it's all about product placement.

        

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

  New Orleans, LA
The house on the corner





        


    
  

http://heyharriet.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Anarchy



Having trouble reading the sign on the cooler?  Here, let me get a little closer for you...

        

Friday, March 5, 2010

Love affair

I was riding my bike down by the river today.  The sky was red from the setting sun, casting a deep pink shine on the water, all sleek and sexy.  The lights were coming on downtown, and the city was glittering.  It was then that I had to stop pedaling, because my eyes were blurred with tears.

I am so fucking happy to be home.

Have you ever rekindled a love affair with a former flame?  A former flame that you were passionately in love with, that you had sheet-grabbing, shirt-tearing, back-arching sex with?  You know those initial stages, when you can't get enough, when you can't wait to retrace every pleasure-zone, reveling in the familiar nooks and crannies of your sweetheart's body, delighted by what is still the same and discovering the ways you both have changed?  When you want nothing more but to gaze into each other's eyes, to kiss and caress, to devour each other, wholly and completely?

Yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at with the city of New Orleans right now.

My love for this town, it's almost unbearable sometimes.  No other place on the planet can do it to me like she does.  I wish I knew why.  I've tried to break away, oh sweet Lucifer have I tried.  San Francisco did her best, but could never seem to completely satisfy.  Like a neglected wife, I kept having to sneak away to the seductive arms of my former lover at every possible opportunity.

Sorry, SF.  The song was mistaken.  I left my heart in New Orleans.  You're beautiful, you're well put-together.  We had some amazing times, didn't we?  You have a lot to offer.  We'll always be friends.  I'll always love you.  But I'm not "in love" with you.  Don't worry, I'll still come around.  We'll still have lots of fun together.  Hey, you never know what might happen in the future.  Seriously.  But right now...

Right now I'm exactly where I want to be.  I hope you understand.

Yes please

When I see a sign like this, it's pretty much impossible for me not to stop.  Even if I'm trying to get somewhere and really shouldn't stop because I already wasted an hour dicking around at the lake.  The siren call of chorizo and eggs and an ice-cold cocktail was overpowering...

                

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Costume party

New Orleans, LA
Mardi Gras 2010

Quite possibly the best costume I saw all day.

        

Olympic boredom

I'm so glad the fucking Olympics are over.

Countless hours in my kitchen wanting to put my eyes out with an ice-pick as my friends anxiously awaited figure-skating scores.

Countless hours at work trying to stay awake as co-workers dissect the technicalities of curling with a feverish passion.

Come on people.  Let's be honest here.  Bobsledding hasn't crossed your mind once in the past four years.  Bobsledding hasn't crossed your mind once since the last fucking Winter Olympics, has it?

I never understood the Olympics.  Not quite sure how winning the most medals in sports competitions makes one country superior to another.  It's always this bizarre phenomenon, every couple of years the whole planet gets some sort of personality disorder and develops a fervent yet temporary obsession with sporting events they've never heard of and know nothing about.

The double-luge?  Who gives a fuck about the double-luge?  Ice-dancing?  Since when do straight men watch ice-dancing?

That Apolo Ohno kid, though.  Oh man.  He saved the day for me.  Couldn't have made it through without him.  What exactly is it that he does again?  He skates or something, right?  I didn't notice.  I was too busy picturing him naked.  Yum.

Hockey is the only Olympic sport that doesn't bore the fuck out of me, probably because I'm actually a hockey fan in real life, not just every four years.  Those Canadiens, bless their hearts.  They needed that gold much more than we did and you know it.  What a game!  Overtime!  That game was a hundred and fifty times more important to them than it was to us and I'm glad they won.  So what if it was at our expense?  I truly couldn't care less how many gold medals the U.S. wins.

I know, I know.  I'm un-American.  I get that a lot.  I'm un-American because I don't like the Olympics, I'm un-American because I prefer books and music to television.  It's OK.  I'm comfortable with that.

The best part about the Olympics being over is that now us Americans can start hating each other again.  For a little while there we were all came together as one, drunkenly chanting, "USA! USA!" in crowded bars.  Now we can go back to normal and return to the divisive in-fighting we thrive on so well.  Who wants to share their health care reform opinions?  How does everyone feel about gay marriage?  Do you approve of President Barack Obama, yes or no?

There.  Now doesn't that make you feel a whole lot better?