hannah's birthday 2

more reasons to visit the ozarks

Okay, there's the just opened Walmart heiress's art museum in Bentonville, Ark., called world class by the New York Times, and just a little further west there is or will be the new Woody Guthrie museum. And yes, those are Woody's New Year's resolutions above.
A list to live by.



What a difference 30 years makes—and then again, not.

Let's celebrate the years between. Yes, omfg it's too true: We've been holding an open house on New Year's  Day, birthdate of Hannah Weishart Gasner Garrison, for three decades now. And we're going to do it again.

WHO:        You and anybody you pick up en route
WHAT:       Hannah's 30th birthday
WHEN:      New Year's Day, January 1, 2012
                    @ noon to @ midnight
WHERE:    The Dowling Intercontinental
                    New York, NY
 Bring your own anything—or not.


back to the city

Nose pressed against the glass, I took the train south on the Atlantic seaboard, looking for another party to crash. Oh wait, I mean give.


and a fine time it was

Is Christmas surreal for everyone or is it just me?


nonwhite christmas

No snow this year. A mele kelikimaka to all!

tiny tina

"Oh, no! Something terrible has happened!"

"Look, Mama!"


My baby sister's birthday today. She had her party last night. One of her friends told me she was pretty sure that my sister would soon be the president of the garden club. I should have given the friend my phone number, because when she is sworn in, Sis will never tell me. I would make fun of her.
  As for the rules of a happy house on her fridge, I would add, if I cook it, you better eat it. Any more?


an appy christmas

So this is a cool photo ap that basically changes your life into a coloring book. Those of you getting new toys under the tree this Christmas may be interested. Yes, I know it looks like Christmas morning here already. But this is actually daily life.


santa's list

Eva's older sister Madison, now a teenager, still has her annual request on her Christmas list:
A black bear with a bear licence.


camilla and alabaster

Now on babysitting duty while the elves work.
Here's what they're working on.


on the move

It's Christmas time, and everyone's on the move. Rhode Islanders to New York, New Yorkers to Rhode Island, and etc. I'm off today. Merry Merry!



deck the hall

The winning Christmas card from last year, from Bill Dugan of Missouri, grapevine wreath from Block Island—on the front door in New York, NY.


where's claudia?

My cousin GulEEun, went artwalking around New Orleans and took me with her! So fun!


just one more


Ok, so today is my actual birthday. Thank you to my mother for birthing me, my father for siring me and many of you for showing up at the Explorer's Club last year to celebrate with me. Just going through the pix. Some of them are pretty bitchin!


holiday season

Yes the season has opened, with two birthday girls bagging flowers and cake. Thanks to the Man with Manners for the roses. I looked up white roses, and the meaning is innocence and purity (not so much) and honor and respect (well, maybe). But I trust MWM to know which appropriate flowers to give the girls.


aerial of block island

Water water all around. This is a cool surfable Bing map of Claudia's and Hannah's rental beach houses and the rest of the family compound in Block Island.
It forms quite a contrast to Chien-Chi's latest project about heroin addicts in Tanzania. Warning: Very tough to watch.


tis the season

When last seen, the happy couple was in New York, marveling at the traffic on their guitar string bracelet web site, Wear Your Music.
Now they are in holiday hell.
They can hardly manufacture and package and ship fast enough to make Christmas deadlines, everybody caught colds, baby is too dislocated by the bustle to sleep—and so no one else can sleep either, which they need to do to manufacture and package and ship and oh yeah have the roof redone, new windows put in, deal with tenants, play Santa, plan the holiday stroll, edit photographs, juggle schedules and prepare for the imminent invasion of relatives.
Poor little things.
All will be calm, all will be bright. After December 23.


now renting block island

Truth in promotion. There is a very funny slide show showing the difference between hotel rooms as seen in brochures and on websites and the rooms as they look in reality. You can see it here. The message seems to be that you should portray things a little more realistically so that when travelers get there they are not disappointed. I looked for reviews about Block Island stays on Trip Advisor, but they seem to have mostly hotels and restaurants listed. No feedback on Block Island rental houses.
     Claudia tells all: Yes, I do pimp the place out for a photo shoot. I put flowers around or a bowl of steamers that are not there. I shoot the beach out front on a sterling day (above) that doesn't require photoshopping. I suppress the road in the views. And "cozy," as most people know, means small. But on the other hand, you can see warts and all in the home movies of Claudia's and Hannah's. Finally, I decided that if anything, the places are better than advertised. People realize how very few houses in Block Island are on the beach and come back, again and again.


winter's bone

photograph by flmIII
And speaking of what's happening while we're not there, here's a photograph of what's going on in the Ozarks by someone who is there.



When I first started a blog, like—seven years ago?—it was suggested that you build readership by reading and commenting on other blogs. I did that for a while, and one woman started commenting on my blog as well, until it became a dialogue.
   Carly was a single mom who lived in the desert near Palm Springs, interested in writing and art, with a sly sense of humor. When I visited the area sometime later, we made plans to meet but didn't get it together. She stayed in my apartment in New York when I wasn't there for a week (people thought I was crazy). We finally met in New York and in Missouri, where she's from. I've met her brother and kid. She's married and had another baby. I keep up with the new baby on Facebook. This weekend she visited in person with her husband and brother.
    Go figure, an old-fashioned friendship from across a generation and a continent, connected by a medium that didn't exist a decade ago.
   Life is weird.


meanwhile. . .

Don't forget what's going on in other places when you're not there. . .


subway panel

This here is art.
OK, sorry I haven't been posting that well,  but first it was houseguests and now it's a story deadline and next summer's bookings, and I keep trying to get to the gym any old how. Guess I could post from the stationary bike, but I can't answer for my typing under that circumstance. So, yes, I'm thinking of you (yes, every one of you!), and I will be back with the program soon. Just as soon as I finish this darned rough draft about steam locomotives.


one more

Somebody had a special Thanksgiving outfit.



Much personal grooming also took place over the holiday weekend.
An unusual Thanksgiving tradition, but so New York.


the girls of hunter

After school, the friends' paths diverged. One had a baby, one opened a restaurant, one moved to Costa Rica.


what a difference a year makes

Thanksgivings past and present. From a bath in the kitchen sink to a stroll to the dinosaur museum.


crowded house

Eva makes the place cards, Erin makes the mousse, Mason does the Zabar's run, Hannah monitors her website and Eva plays baby.


guess who's coming to dinner

Maybe the appropriate question this year is guess who's NOT coming to dinner! At present we're sitting down 19—and Baby makes 20.



The nevvy and his friend admire the silly pet trix performed by pet dominatrix Donna Ferrato in her tribeca loft. We were gathered for the birthday of one of Philip Jones Griffiths' daughters hosted by the other. Much fun was had by all, including the cat Houdini (sister Puccini did not perform).
   Several of our readers sent in videos referring to purring. Here is a catvertising video and don't miss the Moscow Cat Circus.


breaking news

So you're sitting peacefully in your loft in a building hard by the tracks—a seed warehouse or some such built before the Civil War.
One minute it's your home; the next it's a train wreck.
This actually happened yesterday to our own CBA. That is not her loft shown—she lives on the other side of the building. The owners, fortunately, were out. And now they have to stay out pending all kinds of litigation.
A logging truck, see, was crossing the tracks without looking both ways. The driver's okay. The engineer is okay. Everybody's okay except for, like, the stove-in part of the building. And the truck.
Was this incident predicted in the stars?
Find out on Heaven Knows What.


boogaloo down broadway

This xerox of a photograph hangs on the window of the empty storefront where H&H bagels used to cook. The view is of Broadway looking uptown from just south of 79th Street. You can see the subway entrances on the left. The church is still there too, and the bagel store at the end of that block, though now my gym is built above it, and you can look out at the church turrets from the weight room.
   That woman in the dress is not going to the gym. And I am not going to buy bagels. Time is a conspiracy to pull the rug out from under you.


oh well

We know where I fall on this piechart. Maybe I should get into crafts? What would you suggest? Blogging was originally meant as a somewhat interactive form.