February 28, 2014

These girls.

Changing full tilt. Quelle beauté, says her papa.

This one too. She is the ultimate in big sisters. Quells Colette's blustering tirades. Shares all of her playmobiles.

And this one. This has been her style lately...hoping Spring will blow in some new air and a new mood.

I swear, her cheeks are getting heavier and heavier - drooping like a basset.

February 23, 2014

On a bicycle in Harlem.

I love that Susan B. Anthony said bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world." As far as personal emancipation in any city goes, I couldn't agree more. I got back on my bike today and it was pretty magical. City bikes haven't yet hit this far north in Manhattan, so I don't have a ton of competition in Harlem - enhancing feelings of liberty.

There is one crook of Harlem that is a compete gem. It is near the new construction site for the expansion of Columbia University (up to 133rd Street) - the streets around Old Broadway and West 126th Street. I am certain this little triangle is going to explode in the next 5 years - the buildings here are chock-full of charm and potential (even if they look like total abandoned dives currently). I love the feeling of these streets - off the grid and a bit hidden.

Harlem has been getting some press lately. Co-owner of Red Rooster, Swedish gent Marcus Samuelsson, wrote a great piece in the Times, "Is Harlem 'Good Now'," praising Harlem's spirit of hospitality - featuring lots of the new spots to dine/celebrate around here. There was also just "36 Hours in Upper Manhattan" saluting a large chunk of the city above 125th Street.

February 21, 2014

February 19, 2014

The aquarium.

In our search for warmer waters, we headed to the Coney Island Aquarium...

One of the most refreshing things about a 2-year old is her sense of wonder. Colette is chock full of it and was wide-eyed and pointing and screeching with delight.

She had a good guide - Miss Marguerite who explained all sorts of details about crustaceans and coral gardens and yellow and black fish.

February 18, 2014

Romy et la layette de son papa.

This is really sweet. Xavier wore this 'layette' almost 38 years ago when he was born. His mother, the very attentive and meticulous person that she is, saved the handmade piece and gave it to Xavier for his babies.

Our friend Meredith noticed the Romy looks a bit like a strong man in the circus in this one. Very true. Romy is a sweet soul - she is peaceful and her gaze is sincere and less frantic than Colette's was.

I am having such a different experience as a mother with Romy than I did with Colette. Colette was a revelation - a complete life altering entrance. She competed with everything else - and won. Romy, just by the nature of things, is different for me. Colette has been breaking my heart with her all-out tantrums - her rage (I had no idea a 2-year old could shake so furiously), her reaction to the changes in our house. I feel like I am betraying her by holding and feeding Romy continuously and then I look down at this little soul, Romy, and feel inadequate for her. Colette's response to Romy can just be a long, shrill wail - 'NOOOO' - as in, no!, how can you keep doing this to me? I believe in my brain that it is good for Colette and she will love her sister - just hard to live with my gut. I've also been somewhat obsessed about finding time for myself - I have a bad case of overstimulation - of constant contact. I flee from the house when I get the chance and love the feeling of empty arms, empty belly. Ungrateful? Maybe. Perspective is useful though. I think I will be a more balanced mother in my relationship to Romy - and Colette.

February 15, 2014

Great moments in the worst of winters.

This winter has been villainous. If you live in NYC, you know what I mean (and lots of other places in the USA as well). The weather has matched my mood. I've found recovery heavy with this thing and reappearing in life to be challenging. I often find inspiration in new sights, smells, sounds, places, but right now the very best moments are all already well-discovered: they are all people based - brow to brow gazing.

My mother's youth and heart.

The mamas on the bus at the library in Harlem, where I am pretty sure Colette has one of the most diverse group of friends in the city.


Xavier's dimples when he admires his girls.

A new baby at lunch.

Colette's pleas (with this cock of her head) to: "Mommy, please put Romy down."

Neighborhood walks with Colette and Claire.

A careful comparison of foot size.

A faithful companion for arctic walks.

Good-natured boys.

Local tours.

Post-bath contentment.

A constant friend, protection against the blahs.

February 4, 2014

The street where we live.

Our street was sublime this morning!

February 3, 2014

Music class.

Thursdays are good days in Hamilton Heights for Colette and other local 2-year olds. Music class. Sometimes we host. Talented teacher Liz makes Colette and her friends dance and sing and shake with frenzy.

Colette and Cicely are quite a pair.

This one is full of frenzy.

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