de vroege ochtend
fris en vol verwachting
geluiden klinken nieuw
alsof de auto zijn eerste ritje rijdt
alsof de buurman zijn eerste praatje maakt.
de glorie van de ochtend
het zachte licht
geluiden die knisperend de stilte verbreken
ineens wil ik kamperen
met koffie van mijn campingsetje
wiebelend in het gras
de dauw nog op de tent
een nieuwe dag.
(2nd, 4th and last photo by the talented ben and bekah of kallima photography: www.kallimaphotography.com)
creative excitement, for example. creatiflies?
i haven’t had these flies for a while. at first i didn’t even notice that they didn’t show up ever since my last post. at a later moment i did start noticing they weren’t there, but that didn’t bring them back.
they might have been numb. at the beginning of this summer, some very-important-people in my life were hurt. very hurt. and even though this hurt didn’t directly touch me – the flies must have felt it.
i learned i need these flies to write somewhat coherently. i can always write something – and writing i did. not coming from the same place within me though. my writings were harsh and all over the place. full of anger or sadness.
i sometimes struggle with this blogging-thing. my daily life in new york is not perfect. it is a privileged, but at the same time normal life looking at the daily reality.
still, on the blog it might seem my life is existing of a range of fun & light things. i want to be ‘real’ – and my life is not only ‘fun things’. then again – nagging about little things i have no desire for, and writing about the more serious things often involves others’ privacy i do not want to violate, or is too private for me to put online. i think about how to make the blog more ‘real’ every now and then. and i haven’t found the answer yet.
still, and somehow, today i woke up earlier then normal – and they were there again. the flies. not sure why. it’s not that i was down all summer and now i saw the light again. actually – my summer also existed of many really nice moments and memories. good moments without the flies, though.
and when i wake up with them, like this morning, it is the best thing ever to be in new york city. because a little fly can go a long way here, i feel like. it is so easy to ‘do something different’ here. the city is full of little different things. and flying is easy.
i couldn’t go back to sleep, so i got out of bed, put some clothes on and went outside. i bought a coffee and read on the front of the newspaper ‘labor day approaching: the unofficial end of summer’. i felt the need to write. i felt the flies and they were alive like summer was just about to start.
i randomly took the train to the west village and walked the quiet intimate morning streets; no cars, just a person walking a dog every other corner or so. i found a breakfast place that was open, and started writing this. scrambled eggs coming up.
a feeling of being content just where i am, writing in not-my-neighborhood, on a quiet weekday morning. life is not perfect, but has little perfect moments (who said that?). and after a long summer that included sadness, but also many really beautiful and fun moments – this one was different. a moment of contentment. and a moment where writing flows (flies?). from someplace within me. a little perfect moment.
in this post some photos that picture the beautiful moments this summer – plenty of them, as you see. the hurt is not gone. it is not ‘dealt with and over’; certainly not and most of all not for the people that were directly affected. but it is also important to remember the good things.
and this morning, with the unofficial end of summer approaching and flies flying, that is just what i feel like.
*written a few days ago – typed today, from renske’s home. my family-season (aka indian summer) has started!
right before we leave the city for a bit, a quick post with a few random things from spring 2012. when we come back it’ll be summer – and spring here is just too good not to remember -
- waking up with smell of firewood and a fireplace… in a wooden cabin in vermont. nothing feels homey-er.
- Spending gray sundays eating meat and cheese plates and drinking home brewed beers in brooklyn… only to cycle back home in the pooring rain for over an hour; over the empty(wow!) brooklyn bridge, all the way up north back to the upper west side. for an evening of ultimate laziness. my kinda sunday.
- a new highlight in our life as new yorkers – and a little follow up on the last post – taping a commercial for klm on times square. i heard about this through matt’s former dutch teacher: extra $ for one night of recording? sweet! especially because we wanted to book tickets to china. minor detail was that we were selected for a horse back riding shoot. me + horse back riding = disaster. so we declined. until we got a call back that we were now put in the times square shoot! for all the people that made sweet comments about how ‘in love’ we look… really do love this crazy cat, but in all fairness, we had to act this way:). and that about fifty times in a row thankyouverymuch:-/. thank you operette in deventer, for my (minimal) acting skills. also: new respect for actors. also: little teenage kids thought we were famous, and asked whether ‘we were going to kiss’. also: i am happy i am not famous. but it was fun:)
- being faced with the question: do you dress up below your waist when you have an online (webcam) interview? or do you just stay in your underwear for the sake of ‘why not’? and: feeling so weird to dress up and then never leave the house for the actual interview – welcome to 2012!
- blue and white in SPRING: 2012′s favorite blossom photo -
- getting the best deal ever. fresh baked chocolate cake and a song request played on guitar, all for a price you can decide yourself! wait – what, who, where? 3 neighborhoodkids (one being the guitarist) on the corner of the street. all benefits to unicef! little social entrepeneurs, me gusta!
- picknicking@ night in riverside park. sitting in the grass under a tree, drinking wine, eating lasagna. it smells like… summer!
- smorgasburg food market. organic self-made hippie foodfreak heaven of new york. why on earth have i never been here? and all of that goodness in the sweet company of… these kids:
- sailing sunset @hudson river with the same crew, drinking one-too-many glasses of champagne. hey, it’s free! and i’m dutch! over he-ere!
- no excuses for too many late nights at work. ok, well, once then… i do accept fancy dinners when i can finally try out always overpriced caviar… something off my pre-30 bucket list (self made, self imposed and seafood focused: the only other item on there was oysters; crossed off as well)
- coffee, tea and wine at random moments with my not-so-new-anymore neighbor eveline. friends in ny = good. friend across the street for random walks in the ‘hood = (dare i say) awesome.
- bootcamp. the first sports class i actually really like. why? because i can look at the green springleaves and discover new spots in central park, while running up and down stairs and doing crab crawls. not bad, not bad.
- being proud of this one:
…for getting himself into columbia (with a ‘u’, aka. the school – he didn’t board an airplane with a suspicious package, promise). sept. 2012 = part time back to school for matt, for 20 consecutive months.
- girls night & reliving each year of our twenties with this ol’ friend o’mine…
- making plans to travel to china (guangxi, yunnan and sichuan) – in fact, we leave in two days. it was ‘now or
nevernot for 20 months’ because of matt’s school plans, and we chose now. have not prepared much but ready for adventure. on our way back, we’ll spend a little time with friends and family in NL. i can’t wait to see everyone and to turn 30 in a very special place.
- and, last but not least, being so excited about my first boomstam(you know who you are)-niece, isa. and being proud of marij for being her mama! also: nervous whats-app messages about whetherthebabyisbornyet are hilarious. and a great distraction from work.
life cannot be planned.
from bakery to camera? yup, indeed. latest gig of m and me right here
more soon, happy spring!
working at the bakery wasn’t just glorious, and every day was different. but there is one thing i always loved:
the early mornings.
definitely one of my favorite memories of my first working year in new york.
starting at 7 meant (for me) getting up at 6:45; washing my face, brushing my teeth, putting on my bakery t-shirt and my flour-and-dirt-covered converse and walking the quiet streets to the next block over, west 74 street.
going down the stairs into the lower-then-street-level bakery, finding 2 bakers busy baking bread, bombolocinis, muffins and scones; music playing; ovens working at full speed – a new day.
quickly putting on a bandana i start preparing the small store: making coffee, putting the baskets that hold all the goodies in place, cleaning the signs, putting away milk, butter and other groceries, and filling the racks with warm bread. of course accompanied by a big cup o’ joe – the best coffee in new york can be found at levain if you ask me.
this early morning hour i loved. chatting about the weekend with colleagues, the freshly baked goods, the small store still empty and for the rest just coffee and music to wake up with – getting everything ready for a new day at a relaxt pace.
8 o’clock – opening time. we carry the bench outside and greet the few people that are waiting. the first hours consist mostly of regulars stopping by – people who come here every day for their morning coffee on their way to work (coffee to-go is the only option), or stopping by while walking their dog. blueberry muffin, cinnamon brioche, sourcream coffee cake; most regulars know what they love & stick to it. the atmosphere still feels a little sleepy at such an early hour; a friendly place where you can start your day off on a good foot, or find a little silent comfort if you didn’t wake up feeling great that day. the ‘romantic’ image of the (or any) bakery was most true during those early hours, i think. a cappuccino, a warm scone, and a little chit-chat (or no chit-chat) to start the day – nothing better then that.
there they come: the good spirited ‘2 large coffees’ cyclist who always has some words to share; the dark-haired ‘1 black ice coffee’ woman who never says anything but sometimes -almost unnoticeably- smiles; the ‘coffee with cream’ guy who works at the metropolitan opera and is either completely quiet or witty and talkative; the mom with her baby that we see grow up just a little bit each day – and the old man who, with a glistening in his eye, orders a dark chocolate chip cookie and a small black coffee for breakfast every time he comes in. oh, and don’t forget the men-in-suit, seemingly on their way to their office, who take a slice of cake with a coffee, the regulars stop by with their dogs (or the dogs that stops by with their owners?) that are fed scones by owner connie, who knows every single dog by name, the tall handsome blond guy who orders a blueberry muffin* – and the old man who sits on the bench with his dog every single day, taking in the daily life in this neighborhood he knows so well. work at the bakery gets busy in the morning, with the coffee machine constantly running, and breakfast goodies selling quickly. but the busier moments are broken up by quieter stretches – making it all so enjoyable.
as the morning progresses, more and more cookies are being sold. school kids, (french) tourists, people who celebrate and people on their way to parties or family stop by for cookies. friends would stop by while i am baking baking, trays full of cookies, one after the other. the cookies are so big that they need to cool down a litte in order to pack them – and always having ready-to-pack cookies at hand in this little space with just two cookie ovens can be a challenge on busy days. while traying cookies in the front, constant ooh’s and aah’s over the smell of fresh baked cookies and comments over how tasty they look come my way. when people ask for recommendations, we bakery peeps hardly ever have to say something; other customers will passionately start recommending their own favorites. more colleagues arrive throughout the morning and into the afternoon – and on fridays the line starts to form outside the door.
around noon, lunch will be ready; fresh tomato-mozzarella-basil sandwiches, baked veggies with hummus, or crispy thin pizza right out of the oven. yum! as the afternoon unfolds itself, the end of my shift comes closer – and between 1:30 and 2 i take off my bandana, grab a slightly misbaked cookie from the ‘staff-only’ tray, try to shake off some of the flour that is everywhere, giving my clothes a heavy, flour-with-cookies-combined smell, say goodbye and step outside into the bright light.
on mondays an afternoon and a work week ahead of me, on fridays a whole free weekend to go. in need of a shower, and a little tired from standing up 7 hours straight, but feeling content; selling coffee, bread and cookies = a good start of the week.
i will miss the bakery, its homey atmosphere and the people. it was the best place to start my (paid&)working life in new york city! and i will keep coming back.
and, much more. to name a few…
- myrthe was here to
partyhelp me adjust to post-bakery life. i now count on foreign affairs to send her here for a couple of years; it was just too good:). and she brought spring! cycling without a jacket, coffee on a terrace, and today (post-myrthe, unfortunately): flip flops!
- it seemed like winter never came. so strange, after the last two winters i’ve spent here. most snow was in october, when paul and rita were here!
- i started a (follow-up) photography course. maybe next post my pics will be slightly better then all these crappy iphone snapshots!
- enjoying my ‘hood on the other-then-monday-and-friday-mornings; like a real
americanenvironmentally conscious person i now have a re-usable coffee cup, and on work-from-home days i take morning walks with coffee (hello park!) in the neighborhood. observing people and a city that wakes up never bores me.
- soaking in all NY has to offer; music, street life, theater, markets, 46th floor apartments with view of manhattan, bars, restaurants, cycling paths and so–much-more
- making -small- progress in our little apartment. last accomplishment: photo wall & desk in bed room!
- matt and i are making plans… about work, travel, school, upcoming birthdays… not much has been decided yet, but the brainstorming / what if / can we?-stage is pretty sweet too. most likely plan for now: china-bound vacation in may, NL early june. will keep you posted!
last but not least… how you doin’?
…stacy, the park, and a chocolate chip cookie from levain!
or: the joy of implementing non-existent new years resolutions.
happy new year, peeps! it’s a little late, but the year is still pretty new – and at least i can start off this first 2012-post by announcing i already have implemented a new years resolution, instead coming up with a boring list of things i’ll never do anyway (i neglect the fact that this resolution never existed in the first place; the feel-good effect of naming it an implemented resolution is just so much better! and better implement a never existent resolution than not implement an existing one… or so? ha!).
anyway… a little context:
ran 10k, my longest run ever
last run in the park, as a prep for my 6k-thanksgiving run
1 jan-26 feb 2012:
6 weeks bootcamp. classes are intense, but i don’t do anything else when it comes to working out.
…and so, we arrive today (well, 2 days ago from posting)
27 feb 2012:
6:30am: get up
7:00am: start work at the bakery
7:00am-1:30pm: drink lots of coffee, eat breakfast, lunch, and 1,5 cookie in between
2:30-5:30pm: home, work on some projects that take wayyy longer then i want – i’m getting annoyed
5:30pm: decide last minute to go for run in the park (next month no bootcamp for me, so want to get into rhythm of running again)
5:55pm: the hill at 75th street east side, always a hard one, somehow seems easy this time. ‘the harlem hill [=bootcamp hill] is way steeper’ i think to myself, and ‘during stacy’s [bootcamp teacher] classes i get way more out of breath then this’.
6:00pm: going smooth along east side of the reservoir. start wondering for how long i could do this running thing. feeling confident, i think i might be able to do more then my maximum of 1 circle (=10k).
6:03pm: i wonder if i could do 2 loops…
6:06pm: that would basically mean half a marathon. HALF.A.MARATHON!!! that sounds so… unrealistic but COOL! half a marathon sounds like i could NEVER do that. but two circles… mmm… i’m going strong and don’t feel tired. i don’t wanna be overconfident, but… what if? could i?
6:13pm: right before i finish my first circle i realize that one circle is not 10k, since i skip the most northern part. bummer. in the past few minutes i got so in the ‘half marathon hype’ that it doesn’t seem exciting anymore to do all this for 18k, or so… that seems so lame compared to that unreachable-and-very-cool half marathon. i begin to think i might just stop at one circle and finish my (still great, i used to run less far) workout.
6:17: just a few steps before the one circle line, i hear the same song playing on my ipod. what, the same song?? that means i have ran A WHOLE CD LONG WITHOUT STOPPING! that has never happened. this is a sign*. i can’t stop now. suddenly i feel like i would be SO disappointed in myself if i would stop now (don’t ask me where my overachiever-ish pushy attitude towards myself comes from… one thing is for sure, i could use some of that in several other areas in my life!)
6:20pm: start running my second loop and don’t understand people look at me weirdly when i’m running with a huge smile on my face. i feel like saying ‘hellloooo!! this is my SECOND circle, peeps! now sing along with me!’ of course i don’t this. and i wasn’t singing out loud, promise. but somehow, i felt so good about myself, it’s kind of embarrassing.
6:35pm: i am passing that now-second-time-around-actually-kind-of-annoying 75th street east side hill again. i am trying to tell myself the thoughts i had one loop ago; it really isn’t that hard, bootcamp is wayyy harder… etc. it’s a little harder to convince myself, but on the straight part that follows i feel good again. whoohaa!!
6:50pm: passing the northern part of the park and start my run down on the west side. i am getting tired, and realize again i will NOT have run half a marathon when i finish this circle. 18-19k, at most. ah! the frustration (again, don’t ask why i would not be happy with my longest run by far EVER. why???)
7:00pm: i am tired and my legs and feet start to hurt. i decide that, after two circles, i will check how far i ran and if i am over 17k, i will try to make it to 21. i push the thought away that this might NOT be the best thing for my body (running this long without real running training…). the only thing i think is: no half marathon = not cool, half marathon = cool.
7:05pm: finish second circle. i check: 16.6k. ouch, still almost 5k to go! but i can’t stop. my body really kinda wants to, but i just don’t stop. one more lower (=way smaller) circle through south part of the park should do it. i know that that circle is only 3k, but i hope that through a miracle it should be at least between 20 and 21 k.
7:15pm: i think my face… doesn’t look happy right now. i am not happy, but still
7:20pm: i finish the small circle, check once again, and still have 1,5k to go! nooooooo!!! i now feel bad. but.i.can.not.stop. ‘i will prove to stacy (who: 1. probably would recommend to stop right now because i am hurting and 2. couldn’t care less whether or not i can finish half a marathon as i have never mentioned that as a goal) that i can do this, by solely preparing with bootcamp’ (…) ‘i will prove to myself that i am capable of doing things i think i cannot do and write a self-help book about it to complete my integration in america)’ (…) ‘i will make matt fall of his chair by accomplishing this’ (…) ‘i will be able to tell for the rest of my life i have done this’**
7:25pm: i push through, up north again. i see another hill. i turn around. i am basically running up and down the street now. at 66 street i run towards central park west and north again towards the 70’s. ouch. i want to sit in a hot tub right now, and not feel pain. for some reason, i’m still running.
7:27pm: on central park west, right before 72 street, I FINISH 21.1k!!! aaaahh!!!
I JUST DID THIS!!! why??? i don’t know. it was a rush! i was ‘in it’ in a way i have not experienced before.*** I RAN HALF A MARATHON ‘just like that’ (not really ‘just like that’. the spot where my legs are attached to the rest of my body hurts A LOT, and actually, i have to force myself to keep walking (and not continue running or stop walking, what i am inclined to do if i don’t force myself). anyway, i did-did-did it.
a non-existent resolution was born by fulfillment.
7:30pm: i walk-walk-walk, walk into a store, buy a disgusting gatorade (while walking around the cashier because i am afraid of cramps when i stand still… i don’t even know if that is how you get cramps but it’s something i vaguely remember someone telling me).
7:40pm: i walk more and drink my gatorade, and text a screenshot of run keeper (app) to matt, who thinks a am insane, but superhero-insane. whoohaa!
8:00pm: i come home, freshen up, and we go to my favorite Italian restaurant. I HAVE JUST FINISHED HALF A MARATHON, WHOO HOO! let’s celebrate!
~ the end ~****
told ya… all i needed was these two. so here goes, a special thanks to:
stacy berman @ www.stacysbootcamp.com, for getting me, without knowing, in ‘half marathon shape’, and
levain bakery @ www.levainbakery.com, for feeding me cookies that make me able to run this far.
*) for the sake of convenience, i started believing in signs. temporarily. my normal self doesn’t believe in signs:)
**) unlikely because i hate people who brag about this stuff
whom i now unwillingly belong to because i write about this online(!), a.k.a. the never erasable memory of the world. so, i mean the really-really annoying people who brag about this in real life, verbally. blogs and self help books are excluded. ha;-)
***) date publication self-help book ‘how to randomly do something hard instead of wisely preparing for it – and feel good about it’ to be determined
****) my apologies for the high bragging-level of this post. couldn’t stop posting it because i’m so freakin’ proud of myself!. but: pretty stupid to come back to the w.w.w. after a little silence, just with something to brag about. next time more real-life, down-to-earth stuff! ciao peeps!
waarom zijn jullie nou zo leuk?
waarom zo lief? en soms ook grappig?
en bovenal, waarom zijn jullie allemaal zo heerlijk normaal?
het nadeel van leven op twee plaatsen is dat er altijd iets is wat je niet hebt. grote verscheidenheid aan mensen = new york. fietsen naar je werk of vriendin = nederland. central park = new york, en matt = meestal new york. wijntje voor drie euro, en lekkere + goed formaat koffie = nederland. koffie-to-go, over de straten met je koffietje = new york. en zo voort.
en om nou even door te gaan op de glas-is-half-leeg-toer, als ik thuis (nederland-thuis) ben, voel ik af en toe, als ik weer zo’n heerlijk normale afspraak heb: wat fijn! maar ook: dit heerlijke normale – van de boterham bij het ontbijt (new york = kies je ontbijt), de leestafel bij de zaak en de wijntjes bij de vingerhoed tot de gesprekken over alles en niets, maar in elk geval over bekende dingen – doet soms een beetje pijn.
new york is fijn. en in new york ben ik niet de hele tijd op m’n tenen aan het lopen ‘omdat niets normaal is’. met een aantal vriend(inn)en heb ik inmiddels het ‘normaal-level’ (zo belangrijk in vriendschappen! wie wil vriendschappen die altijd leuk, geweldig, extra-dit-of-dat zijn? nee, juist die heerlijke normale, met grappigesuffegewoneverveelde -en soms ongewone- verhalen, die zijn het waardevolst) bereikt.
maar mijn new yorkse vriendschappen en relaties doen geen p/fijn. ik heb meestal ‘toegang tot’ mijn vrienden hier. ik hoef niet een split-seconde te denken, tijdens het uitwisselen van de laatste weetjes en gebeurtenissen, ‘auw! ik voel een steekje in mijn zij. straks zijn zij ver weg en niet bij mij!’.
dat is p/fijn dus. fijn met een beetje pijn.
grappig is dat door die p/fijn, het normale wordt verheven tot speciaal. en een beetje ‘extra’. want alhoewel ik mijn vriendschappen (waar ik ook even alle fijne familiebanden tot reken) juist zo waardeer omdat ze al die superlatieven niet nodig hebben, toch heb ik in het vliegtuig terug, met p/fijn in mijn hart, de neiging om terug te zwijmelen met woorden als: wat was het super-gezellig! super-vertrouwd! super-leuk! super-familie, en super-vriendinnen!
het was gewoon super-normaal – en daardoor voor mij zo superspeciaal.
met een beetje p/fijn in mijn hart en een dikke kus,
tot de volgende keer @nederland!