Friday, January 31, 2014

Real Wicker Baskets

During the first week I lived in London, I took a walk down King's Road in Chelsea.  A young lady whizzed by on a bike that had a wicker basket attached to the handlebars.  It looked like it was right out of a Hugh Grant romantic comedy.  I figured it was just a one-off.  After awhile, though, I started seeing bikes with wicker baskets everywhere.  And the baskets were real wood, wicker -- not some fake plastic substitute made in China.  Often the wicker baskets were attached to the bike's handlebars with beautifully constructed leather straps.  There is something so incredibly British about these bike baskets -- how proper they look -- the willingness to spend the money and take the time to find an aesthetically pleasing, nicely crafted real wood wicker basket.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tennis Anyone?

Look, I know a lot of people detest John McEnroe.  Some people believe he was a spoiled brat who was disrespectful on the tennis court.  Many people take issue with his sexist comments about female tennis players and commentators.  But I love the guy.  First of all, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of tennis, both the technical game and its history.  Second of all, when Flushing Meadows was rebuilding its main tennis stadium for the U.S. Open, many people involved in the process opposed naming the stadium after Arthur Ashe.  John McEnroe lobbied passionately to have the stadium named after his good friend, Ashe; and eventually McEnroe was successful.

So I was over the moon when I saw a poster advertising that McEnroe would be playing in an exhibition match while I was in London.  Even better, the location of the match was just a ten minute walk from my flat.  The match was held in Royal Albert Hall, which is a grand performing arts center.  I was looking forward to the hilarious prospect of John McEnroe cursing and throwing tantrums in such a beautiful and historic building.

It was my first time seeing McEnroe play in person, and he didn't disappoint.  His awkward, jerking forehand.  His deft footwork.  His aggressive serve and volley game (which, sadly, is so rare in today's game).

Of course, McEnroe couldn't get through the match without a few histrionics, but most of it was in good fun -- teasing his opponent, joking with the crowd, and kissing the net after the ball scuffed the top of the net and dribbled over to the opponent's side of the court.  All in all, a fantastic night of tennis.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Champagne and Grappa

(Whitney, Me, Julie)
I've known my dear friend, Whitney, for almost my entire life; both of our moms are from Oklahoma; and we grew up together at grade school, high school and church.  Needless to say, when she told Julie and me that she got engaged over Christmas, it was time to celebrate!

The three of us headed over to Lidia's, and, of course, the first thing we did was order some rosé champagne!

Look at that beauty of a ring!  Classic and stunning.  It looks absolutely perfect on Whitney.


We brought along some bridal magazines for planning inspiration.  Not surprisingly, I had 112 questions, and Whitney patiently answered all of them.

 At the end of the night, our waiter brought us a round of grappa.  But I was the only one who drank it.  Look, I like my liquor strong.
Here's to many more celebrations in Whitney's honor over the next several months!