Hey, guess what? I’ve been nominated for The Versatile Blogger and the Kreative Blogger awards!
A very special thank you to landscape designer Nicole Brait who blogs at The Sustain Blog.
Nicole Brait is Landscape Design Consultant recently transplanted to Austin, Texas who focuses on sustainable design. She has done projects back in the boroughs of my hometown: Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as Sun Valley, Idaho and Denver, Colorado.
With an emphasis on native and drought resistant plants, water-wise irrigation, and chemical free disease and pest control Brait aims to not just transform her clientsʼ yards but to change the way they think about outdoor space. She also posts on her blog any great products she happens upon such as “repurpose” compostable disposable cups and where to buy recycled building materials.
Through comment exchanges, I’ve learned that Nicole and I share common interests like gardening in our own backyards and community plots in our local community garden. We both love tomatillos. Also, we also share a common heritage that she has commented on my non-gardening posts.
Thanks so much, Nicole!
Because this is a versatile blogger award, I wanted to nominate Seven blogs I have discovered that tie back to the sort of amorphous themes I’m starting to develop on my blog. These blogs hit upon some of these themes: New York City and the New York Metro area, moving to a new town (or even country), family life, and hey why not — food and gardening.
- Letters from New Jersey – Debbie and I met out in San Francisco through her friend Craig, the man who was soon to be my husband. She and Craig met as undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania. During my years out in the Bay Area, Debbie introduced me to a great group of people who helped me find one of my first jobs in public relations. She also threw some great game night parties. Now transplanted east, she is a freelance writer living in Westfield, NJ. In her blog, she writes about navigating roads with jug handle turns and beaches filled with tattooed ladies. She is also a travel and healthcare writer, which makes her completely deserving of the Versatile Blogger Award.
- Chutzpah in the Kitchen – this is written by my brilliant hard-working friend Tammi who is a chef at Wegmans in Maryland. This is the woman who, when living back in Rochester, treated our Israeli Dance group to fig and date stuffed hamantaschen and who created Southwestern Chipotle blintzes. Now that she has been transplanted south, I do miss her, but can’t wait to dance at her wedding this October!
- I Love Upstate New York – Now that I live in Western New York, I’ve come to appreciate this beautifully photographed blog and will refer back to it often when I plan my next day trip to explore our beautiful state. New Yawkers, there is life beyond Westchester County, so come on up and visit!
- Wind Against Current – Okay, for starters, this blog, written by two scientists, has on its home page a panoramic shot of the New York City and Jersey City skyline that can only be viewed from my home digs of Staten Island as one crosses on the ferry. Tugs at my heart every time. And, get this, for the past decade, Vladimir Brezina, neuroscientist at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine KAYAKS all through the waters around NYC on his kayak he keeps up in his apartment on the 17th floor! Relating back to blog nominee No. 2, that’s chutzpah!
- Foodimentary – This guy who goes by J.B. is a regular food historian. Every day is some kind of national food day, did you know that? For example, today I learned is National Cheese Day. Might inspire me to make America’s most popular cheesy dish. Can you guess what that is? Hint: most kids LOVE it! He is so resourceful he even helped me dig up facts on the history of sushi for my son’s Japan project.
- Munira’s Bubble – Munira writes about the everyday events in the life of a wife, writer and mother, but what makes her fascinating to me is that she writes from Pakistan. For example, she recently wrote about going through an old autograph book (think last day of grammar school autograph book) with her daughter that had been kept in a storage area for 20 years. She and I have connected through my posts about Judaism and parenting. Through Munira I get to sample a snippet of life in a country I will never get to visit safely, a country that is having crumbling relations with the United States. Through this exchange, I have learned that two women can share thoughts about raising our kids and find common ground although we are worlds apart and our countries may be at odds with one another.
- Lastly, I came across Kaori’s blog Meuleh!. Kaori is a Japanese woman who has made aliyah (moved to Israel) and who blogs about her new life in Israel. She writes her blog in English, Hebrew and Japanese, talk about versatile!
- My favorite colors are orange and purple, and sometimes I’ll even wear them together.
- I have this niche hobby attempted by very few at least in the Rochester area. Every Sunday night, I join a small number of people for Israeli Folk Dancing. Wherever you live, you should really check out an Israeli Dance session in your neck of the woods.
- I’ve lived in Rochester for 13 years now, longer than I’ve lived anywhere else except in Staten Island.
- I take great pride in my compost heap.
- I learned to read Torah at age 38 and have taught Hebrew school now for nearly a decade.
- I met my husband at camp.
- Here is one weird fact that puts me way in the weirdo category by my kids ‘ standards: I like Dr. Brown’s Cel-ray soda. Thanks to my grandmother introducing it to me at a very early age.
I grew up in a town where many if not most people get up and dance at a rock concert.
New Yorkers are known to be a bit rowdy and I pride myself in my own rowdiness the older I get. It proves I’m still alive
Yes, I know how to sit well-behaved at a symphony or an opera, but at a rock concert, or even a Broadway show with a rocking musical score, many if not all audience members where I grew up get up where they are seated and DANCE.
I just got out of a concert that I can say I have been looking forward to since I got my tickets on January 27. But no, I’ve actually been waiting to see Bonnie Raitt AND Marc Cohn for over 20 years now.
Her Grammy-winning album, Nick of Time, came out the year I graduated college and started my first job at a tiny weekly newspaper in New Jersey. I would play it on analog tape back and forth in my first car, my dad’s 1982 Toyota station wagon, back and forth from New Brunswick to Hunterdon County, every day for months. My roommate and I cleaned house to the upbeat songs. I cried myself to sleep to the sadder songs like “Too Soon to Tell.” It was after this introduction to Ms. Raitt’s newest album that my roommate said that her mom said that I had to listen to Bonnie Raitt’s old stuff. So I got Collection. And I became hooked on that too and developed a love for blues music.
Then, several years later, I moved out to California to be with the man who would soon become my husband. The year we became engaged, Marc Cohn released his self-titled debut album. We were driving on a windy California road and “True Companion” came on the radio. That beautiful song became our wedding song.
These two artists have a lot of meaning in my life. So, hell yeah, if I’m going to be a little loud. I might be compelled by one of Ms. Raitt’s signature blues riffs to get up out of my seat and wiggle a bit. A LOT.
But as Bonnie played one of the more up numbers of the night, “Come to Me,” I noticed that hardly anyone was dancing in their places.
Is it our northern location? Is it the lack of sunlight that mellows out Rochesterians so much that they don’t get out of their seats at rock concerts?
And, Ms. Rait: Was it us? Would you have played some more rocking songs to close out your last set at the Eastman Theater tonight if the audience were not so ….
Would you have closed with “Thing Called Love” or “Love Me Like a Man” instead of a cover version of Van Morrrison’s “Crazy Love” if you got a more up vibe from the sleepy audience?
There were some women, myself included, who tried to do their part and could just not stay seated. Women feed off each other on things like this. Once one woman gets up, another one or two feel validated and do the same. The woman sitting next to me agreed about the lack of life in the audience, and we both declared we were not dead yet and YES we were going to dance.
Then, as a more mellow song followed and we sat down, we actually got scolded by an usher for DANCING at a concert.
The blue-haired, polka dot-shirted bespectacled usher, who was sitting for FREE in the last row behind me, said to me:
“You are being very rude and inconsiderate. I cannot see the performance if you stand.”
If I were younger, a scolding by an older authority would have reduced me to tears.
I’m being bad?
Finally, at age 44?
Hey, Little old lady usher with the polka-dotted shirt and white eyeglass chain:
Did you even know who this woman was on stage? Do you have all of her albums? Did you listen to “Nick of Time” and “Luck of the Draw” till you knew every word and every guitar lick when you were in your 20’s?
Bonnie, my heroine, who at age 61 was playing on stage, in high heels and skinny jeans and playing that slide guitar STILL like nobody’s business;
Bonnie, who in her 2000 induction speech to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame encouraged women to “get out of the kitchen and into the kick-ass fire” of playing rock and blues, Bonnie would have been very proud of me, thank you very much, and to NOT dance and sing and whoop it up would have been an act of disrespect to Ms. Raitt, not to an usher who didn’t even PAY for her seat behind me!
So, Ms. Raitt, if you ever do read this blog, I must apologize for the overheated Eastman Hall and the majority of the audience, who kind of sat there like wet wash cloths and didn’t give you and your hard-working band do justice to get off their asses and dance!
And Rochester, next time you are at a rock concert, give the musicians the justice they deserve and GET UP AND DANCE!!!