Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This TIme on a Different Continent!

So, it's finally happened. I am now reporting to you live from a place known as Osdorp, Amsterdam. It seems to be the sort of European neighborhood where everything goes wrong in an Almodovar film: huge concrete apartment buildings, lower middle class for the most part, lost of kids on bikes shouting what might be threatening things in Dutch. But I am settled in (a little) and about to start my second day. My personal goal is to meet twice as many people as yesterday, which amounted to four. There was a girl named Daniella from Austria at the housing office who seemed very nice, though she had a ring through the gum between her two front teeth, which couldn't be good for periodontic health. There was the "caretaker" (apparently just a creepy title for the building super), who has promised to come back tomorrow to replace a light bulb and fix my shower's strange leak (Though no amount of fixing will change the fact that it is merely a showerhead in the corrner of the bathroom with no curtain or stall separating it from the toilet and sink). Then the taxi driver who was extremely friendly, though our conversation fizzled to some degree when I ran out of things to say about the manual transmisssion on his Mercedes (my choice of subject, for some reason). And finally my neighbor whose name sounded quite a lot like Timothy. He was very nice and offered to show me around the neighborhood and help me set up the internet in my room (which only required plugging an ethernet cord into the wall), though I was about to take a nap when he came by so I had to decline. I suppose I might have been more conversational with Tim, but I was so exhausted when I met him that I couldn't quite work up the will to discuss my academic studies of Feminism and Performance with a Turkish man. It seemed overwhelming at the time. After today there is a good chance that I might have a phone (and maybe also the number of one of my awesome new friends). I'll be reporting back regular. Now it's time for my breakfast of "Winnie Ze Pooh" yogurt and stroopwaffels.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

And So It Begins...

I am stressed out and leaving tomorrow. Will update soon. Theoretically.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Heating the Beat

So it's actually just fucking sweltering in New York. I may be lucky enough to be crashing in an air conditioned apartment, but honestly the humidity just seeps in. And going places is positively sticky no matter what. So short of sitting in front of the AC with nothing on but your laptop and a cool towel round your neck, I have devised a few sure fire ways to cool off on a budget.
1) Seltzer with lime- Is SO MUCH BETTER than any of those sweet beverages (lemonade for example) when you are truly and profoundly hot. The bubbles sort of shoot little pockets of cool into your blood stream. HINT: 4 ice cube minimum, depending on glass size.
2) Incorporating ice cubes into foreplay- It seems tacky to talk about (I assure you I am just repeating an unsubstantiated rumor) and maybe you'll be haunted by memories of that scene from Hot Shots, but it is said to make you feel "profoundly cool."
3)FrozFruit- Just over a dollar usually. And worth every penny. (Recommended: coconut, strawberry and pineapple. The watermelon has seeds, true story).
4)Cold Soup- And not just gazpacho! Chilled cantaloupe soup, bourgie though it may sound, is just fantastic!
5) Heirloom Tomatoes- They have begun to appear at the farmer's markets and, let me tell you, I couldn't be more ready. They should really take off in the next week or two, but look out for some of my favorite varieties including the Yellow Peach, which has a pale butter-like color and a soft, furry skin and the Green Zebra, with a vivid, watermelon-like skin. All it takes is maybe some salt and a little bit of bread, fresh basil if your fancy and cheese if you got it and BAM! So delicious! And no cooking required.
6)Frozen Grapes- So maybe there is a little focus on comestibles (and fruit) in this list.... I really just like food. Freezing grapes is a genius way to cool off. I think green ones work best (they have that cool, refreshing tartness), but whatever looks best to you will work. I would like to point out to the penny pinchers among us that a bag of frozen raspberries or blueberries is a thrifty and satisfying way to enjoy a cool fruity treat.