Brooklyn Biscuits

Tuesday 03.06.12

Last week, on a dismal rainy evening, I trekked out to Coney Island Avenue to meet some old friends of mine for an evening of food from the Caucasus. We are an intrepid little band of eaters, and our cravings often take us outside the familiar bounds of Manhattan and Brooklyn. I arrived early, and a good 10 or 12 blocks from the restaurant, so took my time in getting there. As I was walking towards my destination, I passed by a large Russian supermarket and jumped at the chance to get out of the rain. Plus, give me a supermarket or a hardware store and I am at my happiest. I ended up walking back and forth through the entire store. Everything was printed in Cyrillic. No one spoke English. The odd shaped biscuits caught my attention (and were far easier to transport than the 50 types of feta, countless canned goods or the giant cow heart from the meat display). So familiar and yet totally strange. From the shape of the Russian writing baked into the diamond-shaped cookies to the green string holding together a necklace of vanilla scented, donut-like sweets. Always amazed at how the most mundane item can be such a clear reflection of another place.

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A Little Botany

Friday 03.02.12

In the early glory days of ebay, I came across some unusual and quite large botanical charts from 1850s England. There were four of them. They were listed in the furniture section of the site because they came housed in their original schoolhouse/mission style oak cabinet. Consequently, the charts went relatively unnoticed by the voracious collectors who, in a blink, buy up these types of illustrated images. Regardless, the bidding price started to rise…quickly…and well beyond what I was equipped to pay. So, a friend and I decided to go in on them together. Through sheer tenacity, adrenaline, the refresh button and a healthy dose of stupidity, we prevailed in the auction. She paid one quarter of the price and I forked over the rest. Two of them hang in our apartment in Brooklyn, one is in my studio and she has the fourth. I never ever tire of looking at them. Here are a few details from the one in our living room.

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