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June 2008

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soy diary

Third day of summer

I woke up to a burning smell this morning. I walked around the apartment sniffing around. Little bit in the kitchen, but more in the bathroom. Better not be our boiler they just had a repair- a couple of days earlier, there was a burning smell in the boiler room. I went downstairs and saw firemen walking down the street. "Where is this coming from?" "A car fire." They walked on toward Delancey Street. I headed right out on my run, and sure enough there was a car burnt down to just the outside shell on Delancey Street. In the afternoon I went to check out David Byrne's art project "Playing the Building" at the Battery Maritime Building. In a big room there sat a little old organ anyone is allowed to play, which blew air into pipes, banged radiatorsnd pillars via thin air hoses around the room creating a unique symphony of musical and industrial noises. Sun was gently shining through the skylight, and it was just so gently amazing beautiful emmersed in the very unique time and sound and space. It's hard to explain. You have to check it out. It's one of these incredible beauty you find in NYC. My "staycation" two weeks summer vacation here in the city starts next Saturday. I'll be re-discovering the best this city offers. Long list of things to do is growing longer each day. I'm so looking forward to it.
on june 22, 2008 @ 10:41 pm [link]


Last week Vision Jazz Festival across the street kept us busy every night. It was nice to see so many musicians back at SOY. We used to feed them regularly when Tonic was around. Many of them still return time to time. I love it when they ask me what music I'm playing. Music and food. They go very well together. A friend of mine once said, "History of any country, any culture, any civilization can be written in music and food." I totally agree. Food and music. I love them both.

I woke up at 5 am to beat my kitty's wake up meow. Birds were chirping noisily outside. It's interesting that right before dawn it sounds like countryside out there. I dosed off a little more before my semi-weekly trip to Restaurant Depot in Queens. Manhattan skyline was in gray haze this morningo from BQE- it's one of the best Manhattan view. Regardless of weather, or time of the day, it's always dramatic and postcard-ready. At Restaurant Depot, there's this little guy working there, about 5'2", 50-something, who loves me. I swear he can sense me or smell me from aisles away. Last time I was picking up things and suddenly felt my cart go lighter. I turned around and there he was pushing it from behind, "Hi! How are you? Good to see you!" Well, just a minute or two of conversation will suffice to end this harmless encounter, but the way he looks up at me, like a puppy, and I am so sure he would be wagging his tail so hard if he had one, makes me feel a little sorry because I don't have a treat to give him. And of course he found me again this morning in this big warehouse. "Always running around, huh?" "Yes, yes." And I waved and hurried across the floor.
on june 17, 2008 @ 01:02 am [link]

Heat arrives

When I close up the restaurant at night, I take home the laptop, thinking that I am going to make an entry in the blog. But when I come home and actually sit down with a bottle of beer, I just feel like relaxing and I say to myself, I'm going to write tomorrow afternoon. Which does not always happen. It usually does not happen. So in the evening I promise myself that I am going to write that entry, that funny story, about that morning, about that crazy guy, but I may have really, really busy night and I don't feel like writing when I finally come home after 12 hours of work and sit down with freshly cut mangoes. But one night I have to face my demons and write something.

I plunged into the heatwave Saturday morning running Mini 20k in the park. This is one of the races I don't like to miss every year, regardless of my condition. It's the original women's road race, and this was 37th year! The start line is amazingly noisy, with four thousand plus women ready to celebrate our strength. 70 degrees, but it felt like over 80 degrees in sweltering 80 % humidity. At the finish line we were each given a medal and a beautiful pink carnation.

Sunday afternoon Kathy and I visited Ernie in Queens. We sat by his newly planted garden and savored barbecued ribs. We watched two squirrels chasing each other before brief shower came down to cool the air. It was like a country just 10 minutes from our door. I was able to sleep with air conditioner off through the night. When I went out this morning for a quick run at 9 am, it was already 80 degrees out. I thought about last summer in Havana. It was still hotter than this. Some guy on the street shouted, "You have to go out earlier!"
on june 10, 2008 @ 01:07 am [link]

back on the road

I already recovered from post-marathon soreness, and went back on the road. When I went out at noon rain was just coming down and I got a nice shower down on my run. At mid-race last sunday, I swore that I was going to retire from marathons. This will be my second to last. I'll do this year's New York, then I'm going to retire. But I already forgot all about it, and looking up a marathon calender to pick my next big race. Yesterday morning, they were shooting a movie at Schiller's. I was on my shopping rounds, on the way to Essex Street Market. I passed by Mr. Big from Sex and the City running towards the set with a cup of coffee in his hand. "Oh, Mr. Big is shooting a movie," I thought. I didn't know his name. I went home and found out he is Chris North, but no, I really didn't know his name. I felt kind of bad that he is always going to be Mr. Big. Probably a bunch of other people were telling their friends, like I did, "I saw Mr. Big on Rivington Street!" I survived another hectic week, training all the newbees, and doing everything else as always. I found a piece of ginger in my apron pocket at the end of the night. I remembered wrapping it in plastic to put away in fridge, but it ended up in my pocket instead. That's how busy I was.
on june 1, 2008 @ 12:41 am [link]

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